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Tarkin's Top Shelf

A Star Wars literary podcast that strives to deliver an educational and yet, entertaining analysis and outlook, pertaining to the new canonical novels/YA books from the galaxy far, far away. In other words, Becca and Mark are your guardians to the Whills and your librarians to the long-lost Jedi Archives.
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Tarkin's Top Shelf
2019
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2018
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2017
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Now displaying: Page 1
Apr 19, 2019

In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, Mark, and Becca are thrilled to finally discuss, Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray. Your Hosts are just getting back from Star Wars Celebration Chicago, but they're ready to get back down to business. Jedi business that is. This review covers the core characters and focuses primarily on character backstory and plot. Also, in addition to the book review, there is an exclusive interview with the author herself, Claudia Gray, on-site from Star Wars Celebration Chicago!

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Apr 16, 2019
Tarkin's Top Shelf is LIVE from Star Wars Celebration Podcast Stage! Join your hosts Mark and Becca as they take to the Star Wars Celebration Podcast Stage and take you on a literary journey across the stars in a galaxy far, far away. This discussion covers every parsec of story possibilities from the books, on-screen, and everything in-between. Joining them on this bookish adventure are their honorary guest hosts: Devon Meyers from Kanata's Castle and Ryder Waldron from Idiot's Array Podcast.
 
Apr 12, 2019
Welcome to the Tarkin's Top Shelf Roundtable at Star Wars Celebration Chicago! In this episode, Tarkin's Top Shelf welcomes The Cantina Podcast and Kanata's Castle to the show. All three podcasts sit down and discuss the upcoming Episode IX Panel and what they expect the fans will see. From fan theories to canonical theoretical thinking-it's one helluva discussion! So, don't miss out! Sit back and fly casual and let the speculation begin
Mar 28, 2019

Please join Tarkin's Top Shelf in welcoming, a very talented wordsmith, a gifted published writer, a New York Times Best-Selling author, and a Star Wars fanatic from behind the pages, the lovely E.K. Johnston!

In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, Mark and Becca get behind the guise of Star Wars: Queen's Shadow as they sit down with E.K. Johnston and discuss everything and anything about Padme' Amidala, and her literary process of getting to know our beloved Queen, inside and out!

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Mar 23, 2019

In this episode of "Tarkin's Top Shelf," Mark and Becca continue the Flight of the Falcon series with Lou Anders' Star Wars: Pirate's Price! But, before they discuss Hondo Ohnaka, the greatest pirate in the galaxy and hero of the Rebellion, they lightspeed into Star Wars Celebration News, Season Finale of Star Wars Resistance, and Leia's Top Spy, Vi Moradi in Galaxy's Edge: Black Spire!

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Mar 5, 2019

In this episode of "Tarkin's Top Shelf," Mark, and Becca review the long-awaited novel, Star Wars: Queen's Shadow by E.K. Johnston. Finally! More Padme' Amidala content and greedily, we want more. That said, Mark, and Becca dive-in and revisit one of Star Wars most beloved and remarkable characters of the entire saga, Padme' Amidala. This novelization takes place after Queen Amidala's two terms as Queen of Naboo are up, and into the depths of Padme's first year in the Republic's Senate. Queen's Shadow is full of political espionage, intrigue, character backstory, romance, and the fight for equality through liberation for all people in the galaxy far, far away.  After all, we are brave, your Highness.

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Feb 21, 2019

In this episode of "Tarkin's Top Shelf," Mark, and Becca discuss the evolution of manipulation in Star Wars. Star Wars has always touched on relatable dynamics, and the manipulation between master and apprentice is no exception. But, the times have changed, and so have the characters in the galaxy far, far away. And yes, each generation has a story, but with each generation, the pattern not only continues, but it also expands. The roles of the protagonist and villain have become more complex and in turn, more relatable. So, get ready to journey into the depths of classic conditioning, psychological control, and Stockholm syndrome with a Star Wars twist as "Tarkin's Top Shelf" tackles the evolution of manipulation in the galaxy far, far away.

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Jan 28, 2019

Timelines collide as Dark Disciple meets The Clone Wars. In this episode, Mark, and Becca take a closer look at Christie Golden's Star Wars: Dark Disciple and how certain plot points may align with the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. But first, Mark and Becca go over the latest Star Wars news. Starting with the recently released official key for Star Wars Celebration Chicago by Paul Shipper and then they dive-in on some theoretical thinking regarding the upcoming Alphabet Squadron Trilogy by Alexander Freed. So, strap yourself into the nearest X-Wing and enjoy the takeoff with "Tarkin's Top Shelf!"

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Jan 11, 2019

Han Solo, the Iconic Smuggler, Rogue, and Hero of the Rebellion. In this episode of "Tarkin's Top Shelf," Mark, and Becca go-over Gina McIntyre's Star Wars Icons: Han Solo. Insight Editions and Gina McIntyre collectively capture the scruffy-looking nerf herder through an evolutional journey from concept art, first drafts, to casting, Harrison's performance, a rebirth in Solo: A Star Wars Story with Alden Ehrenreich, and so much more! Simply put, if you happen to be a Han Solo fan, this is the book you're looking for, and you'll want to click play on this episode, now.

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Dec 23, 2018
Another year means a time for reflection, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, one year later. In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, Mark, and Becca discuss the most controversial Star Wars movie of all-time and where their views stand now, one year later. But first, they go over the latest Star Wars news beginning with the announcement of Black Panther's composer, Ludwig Göransson joining the galaxy far, far away to score, The Mandalorian. Following up with the latest comics, Age of the Republic and Fortress Vader. So, hop into your escape pod and ship yourself to the galaxy far, far away, and let the past die. Kill it if you have to. After all, as a wise Jedi once said, "the greatest teacher, failure is," and "we are what they grow beyond."
 

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Dec 11, 2018

In this episode of "Tarkin's Top Shelf," Mark, and Becca recap the Heroes, Scoundrels, and Villains of Star Wars from 2018! Yes, it's time to pull the Star Wars Bookends off the shelf, the Top Shelf, and highlight the literature aspects that had an impact or enriched/enhanced the Star Wars Universe in some way, making said books essential to the Star Wars storyline. But, before your hosts' dust off the books from 2018, they go-over some book news and speculate a bit about the upcoming "Thrawn Treason," and the debut of Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures and more! So, get ready to recap some of the literary highlights of 2018 that made the galaxy far, far away a whole lot bigger and brighter!

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Nov 24, 2018

The hosts of "Tarkin's Top Shelf" sit-down to talk about worldbuilding in Star Wars. Mark and Becca discuss the growing galaxy of Star Wars between the books and on screen. In other words, the future of Star Wars is bright! In fact, so bright that the galaxy far, far away is extending well beyond the unknown regions. Well, from a certain point of view, of course.

Star Wars is worldbuilding with additions like The Mandalorian and the Cassian Andor series and the animation shows of Star Wars Resistance, and the return of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. No to mention, more books like The Queen's Shadow and Master and Apprentice, and The Alphabet Squadron. Oh, and let's not forget the new Vader's Castle comics series. Yes, it would appear that there is no end in sight for Star Wars and that's a good thing, right? After all, these new extensions will only enhance the stories from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. That said, don't miss out on this thought-provoking episode on Star Wars Worldbuilding: Between Books and On Screen.

 

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Nov 12, 2018

"Tarkin's Top Shelf" welcomes the author of Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy, Amy Ratcliffe to the show! In this episode, Mark, and Becca sit-down with Amy Ratcliffe and talk Star Wars. They discuss the early concept of Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy, the beginning stages of "setting the stage," matching the illustration artistry with literary depiction, and the tone behind the womanly facts of the galaxy far, far away. All-in-all, this is one book review you don't want to miss!

 

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Nov 6, 2018

"Tarkin's Top Shelf" discusses the symbolism of fire and its relevance in Star Wars Lore. Mark and Becca welcome Michael Moreci, a Star Wars comics writer, and novelist to the show to join them on their journey through fire walking and innocent until proven guilty in Star Wars. During their discussion, they not only dissect specific scenes across the saga films but other mediums as well. Namely, Ken Liu's Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker. So, get ready for a mind-blowing conversation that will forever change the way you watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi. 

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Oct 22, 2018

"Tarkin's Top Shelf" celebrates their 50th Episode Anniversary with Lando's Luck by Justina Ireland and Disney Press. In this episode, Mark, and Becca review the latest literary continuation to Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lando's Luck! This young reader is about 150 pages long and follows Lando and L3-37 on an all-new adventure. A story about one of our saga's greatest smugglers who chooses to do the right thing and in doing so becomes a hero. And sometimes, being a hero is worth more than money, even to a scoundrel like Lando Calrissian. So, buckle up baby, it's going to be one helluva discussion!

Oct 2, 2018

Tarkin's Top Shelf" revisits Star Wars with The Complete Visual Dictionary (New Edition) by DK Publishing. In this episode, Mark, and Becca review the newly updated Visual Dictionary by highlighting their personal favorites. But, before they dive-in, they go over some of the latest Star Wars news. Including, leaked sets for the Live Action TV series for Star Wars, Solo: A Star Wars Story Blu-Ray edition, and the upcoming book, Star Wars: Women Of the Galaxy by Amy Ratcliffe. So, strap yourselves in, you're in for on helluva Star Wars factoid ride!

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Sep 20, 2018

In this episode of "Tarkin's Top Shelf," Mark, and Becca break-in the binding of those so-called, Sacred Jedi Texts. Well, figuratively speaking, of course. Star Wars is full of many mythical themes and story tropes, and also religion and spirituality too. A lot of these aspects are repetitive, sprinkled throughout the generations of the Star Wars saga. And mostly showcased in the Skywalker line or legacy, starting with Anakin Skywalker. So, without further ado, hit that play button and kick back with some Sacred Jedi Texts exploration, from a Biblical lens. Enjoy "Tarkin's Top Shelf's" journey into the parallels between Star Wars and the Sins of the Father.

 

 

Sep 4, 2018
On this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, Mark, and Becca discuss and analyze the latest literary Star Wars film adaptation, SOLO, the Expanded Edition by Mur Lafferty and Del Rey Books. They go over the characters, the flow of the film as compared to the jive in the book format, and the expanded scenes not seen on screen. And then, when all is said and done, your hosts determine whether or not they feel Solo: A Star Wars Story Expanded Edition should be considered essential reading. So, buckle up baby! Punch it, Chewie! 
 
Aug 29, 2018

Tarkin's Top Shelf welcomes Michael Kogge the author of Star Wars: The Last Jedi 'A Junior Novel,' to the show. Michael Kogge is also known for Empire of the Wolf, and junior novel adaptations for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Batman vs. Superman: Crossfire. In this episode, Michael Kogge joins Mark and Becca to discuss his literary adaptation of Star Wars: The Last Jedi 'A Junior Novel.' The hosts of Tarkin's Top Shelf take turns asking questions varying from character perspectives and directions, to conceptual angles and motivations, and so much more. So, tune in now and learn even more about The Last Jedi, for all things are possible in the Force!

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Aug 25, 2018

Is it possible that we'll see a literary character(s) crossover in Star Wars Resistance? In this episode, Mark and Becca discuss the possibility of characters from the Star Wars literary universe crossing over into the upcoming animated series, Star Wars Resistance. After all, if one is to understand the great mystery that is Star Wars, one must study all its aspects, not just the films. And so, Tarkin's Top Shelf continues to dive deep into the books and relentlessly look for continuity connections between the pages of the books and everything in between.

 

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Aug 9, 2018

Welcome to a Clone Wars Chat with JAT! Today we are humbled and honored to welcome, James Arnold Taylor (JAT), the voice of Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Plo Koon from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ratchet, Tidus, Johnny Test, Fred Flintstone, Flash, Spidey, Fox Sunday and the author of JAT 365: 365 inspirations for the pursuit of your dreams to our show! In this episode, Mark and Becca sitdown with the man of many voices, James Arnold Taylor to talk about The Clone Wars and everything in between.

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Jul 28, 2018

"Tarkin's Top Shelf" welcomes Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano, the creator of Her Universe, and the author of "It's YOUR Universe" to the show! In this episode, Mark and Becca join Ashley in discussing her journey through dreams and hope by delving into her memoir of positivity preparation. Along their journey-filled discussion, they take a moment to touch on Ahsoka Tano and the revival of Star War: The Clone Wars announcement from San Diego Comic Con.

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Jul 26, 2018

"Tarkin's Top Shelf" revisits an old friend with Star Wars: THRAWN: Alliances by Timothy Zahn and Del Rey Books. In this episode, Mark and Becca discuss the unlikely duo of General Anakin Skywalker and Commander Mith’raw’nuruodo and then, the fierce rivals of Darth Vader and Admiral Thrawn. It's not just about character dynamics, it's about dark secrets, and plot twists too. And "Tarkin's Top Shelf" is about to uncover, and go over it all!  After all, if one is to face their future, you must first face your past.

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Jul 11, 2018

Tarkin's Top Shelf gets back to the basics with Star Wars: Most Wanted by Rae Carson and Disney/Lucasfilm Press. In this episode, Mark and Becca break the binding by taking a closer look, through a critical lens at the prequel to Solo: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: Most Wanted. Each host takes a turn fleshing out each character and discussing the plot, pace, and flow of the storyline. They even take the time to connect current and past content to this well contained Han and Qi'ra centric adventure. Oh, and that's not all! Mark throws in an extra review as he gives a quick rundown of Star Wars: The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear!

 

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Jun 30, 2018

Tarkin's Top Shelf welcomes Dan Wallace to the show to talk about Star Wars: The Rebel Files. Dan Wallace is the author of Jedi Path, Book of Sith, Imperial Handbook, The Bounty Hunter Code, and the soon-to-be-released, The Rebel Files. In this episode, Mark and Becca sitdown with Dan Wallace to discuss Star Wars and The Rebel Files. This interview takes on a personal perspective by Dan Wallace as he delves into his love for Star Wars and his vision on the galaxy far, far away. It's an interview you don't want to miss!

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