Canon Young Reader’s Review: Forces of Destiny: The Leia Chronicles

Forces of Destiny - Leia Chronicles

After two volumes of Daring Adventures, the young reader’s Forces of Destiny book line moves into a more focused approach, wherein all three stories focus on a single character. The first volume focuses on Princess Leia, but also has surprise delights in store for fans of Star Wars Rebels! 

Do you ever stop and really think that, wow, the Ewoks are kinda scary? Well, I hadn’t really either, until I read The Leia Chronicles. The first two stories take place on Endor, adapting both Ewok Escape and An Imperial FeastLest we forget the Ewoks helped take down the Empire, the stories give us a new look at the Ewoks in all of their brutal, primal glory. They lay traps for the Empire, eventually trying to eat captured stormtroopers! I mean, literally, the plot of An Imperial Feast is that the Ewoks are going to eat stormtroopers, and Leia wants to provide an alternative. It makes you wonder where Leia’s Ewok dress came from. I don’t bring this up to be macabre for macabre’s sake: I bring this up to wonder if these stories were appropriate for young children’s stories! They’re not graphic by any means, but they might incite something…unsavory in the imagination.

The new Chronicles editions are keeping in track with the Daring Adventures by having Maz provide a narrative bridge between each of the three stories. While it is nice to have this consistency, the Maz scenes didn’t provide as solid a transition as they have in the previous two books, making me wonder if there is space for a new bridge between the adaptations. I’d hate to do away with Maz (who doesn’t hear her opening lines from each short each time they hear “Forces of Destiny??”), but there may be some need for adjustment here. It may display a more inherent problem with these books for most fans: since they only adapt previous stories, choices are slim on what could be included. This makes them hard to link thematically (because they’re chosen by necessity rather than thematic links), which may be part of the awkwardness of the Maz scenes. It would be great to start seeing new, and exclusive, content in these stories.

The first story adapted is Ewok Escape. This story picks up during Return of the Jedi, as Wicket brings Leia back to camp. The story does not add much to the cartoon short content wise, but brings new light to the Ewoks and their fighting spirit. As Wicket and Leia return to the Ewok village, they encounter some stormtroopers as they rough up two other Ewoks. The Ewoks spring a trap, and Leia helps free them. In response, the Ewoks grant her the tan dress she later wears when she learns that Luke is her brother. This one felt hard to read, as the short already did not feel content heavy, so adapting it to have the same page count as other stories felt unduly elongated.

On the other hand, An Imperial Feast was fun if only because it featured everybody’s favorite pilot, Hera Syndulla! Han and Chewbacca are sent to get rations for the Ewoks so that they don’t end up eating some captured stormtroopers. Hera won’t let them get their food so easily; first, Han must admit that The Ghost is a better ship than the Millenium Falcon! The story seems more focused on Hera than Leia (maybe even on Han more than either), but it is a delight to see Hera get out of Rebels and into the larger galaxy, especially appearing on Endor! Again, this adaptation does not bring much more to the table, but it can be excused as it both features Hera and has a solid enough story to sustain the page count.

Finally, the third story adapts Bounty of Trouble, starring Leia and Sabine Wren! This story is one of my favorite stories of all of the shorts, so I was happy to see it here. Imperial Senator Leia Organa secretly arranges for a trade, wherein Sabine could take files with the locations of secret Imperial bases. Unfortunately, their plan hits a snag when bounty hunter IG-88 arrives on Garrel, disrupting Sabine and Leia’s plans! Thanks to some quick thinking on Sabine’s part, the stormtroopers chase IG-88, letting the Alliance get the information it desperately needs. Any story wherein Leia is forced to act like an Imperial Senator is a plus in my eyes, even if this adaptation didn’t add much content. (Nor did it do much to change some clunky dialogue, in my opinion.)

This book is a treat for fans of Leia and for Rebels. Unfortunately, it offers the least new content from the shorts, sharply narrowing down its target audience. Though I’ve bought every piece of literature in the line, I am finding myself becoming jaded with the constant adaptations (something the comic line was able to almost do away with entirely). Thankfully, the stories in this book have only been adapted in this volume, rather than multiple times as other stories have been so far.

Chris is the Sous Chef at the Mynock Manor. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisWerms, and of course, follow the Manor.

Movie Reviews:
The Last Jedi 

Legendary Adventures:
The Old Republic EraDawn of the Jedi: Into The Void | Lost Tribe of the Sith | The Old Republic: Revan | The Old Republic: Deceived | Red Harvest | The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance The Old Republic: Annihilation | Knight Errant | Darth Bane: Path of Destruction | Darth Bane: Rule of Two | Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil

The Phantom Menace: Darth Plagueis | Maul: Lockdown | Cloak of Deception | Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter | The Phantom Menace

The New Jedi Order Era: Scourge

Canon Novel Reviews:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Star Wars Young Reader Reviews:
Adventures in Wild Space: The Escape (Prelude)
So You Want to be a Jedi? 
Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
Poe Dameron: Flight Log
Rebel Dossier
Princess Leia: Royal Rebel (Backstories)
Darth Vader: Sith Lord (Backstories)
The Force Awakens: Finn’s Story
Forces of Destiny:
Daring Adventures vol 1 | Daring Adventures vol 2 | Tales of Hope & Courage

Star Wars Comic Book Reviews:
Darth Vader: The Shu-Torun War
The Force Awakens 1-2

LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures Reviews:
“A Hero Discovered” 1×01 | “The Mines of Gabralla” 1×02 | “Zander’s Joyride” 1×03 | “The Lost Treasure of Cloud City” 1×04 | “Peril on Kashyyyk” 1×05 | “Crossing Paths” 1×06 

Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide