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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
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Now displaying: 2021
Jul 27, 2021

Tarkin's Top Shelf reviews Star Wars: The High Republic: Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland and Disney Books. Your hosts discuss the characters and their arcs, the plot points, the timeline, and continuity payoffs. It's an in-depth, no-holds-barred review that Mark and Becca strongly recommend reading the book first before listening to the show.

Thank you, Disney Books and Lucasfilm Press, for supplying Tarkin's Top Shelf with advanced copies of Star Wars: The High Republic: Out of the Shadows for review purposes.

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Jul 22, 2021

In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, your hosts discuss "Deep Reading" with Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. As Matthew W. Stover says, "there are no "deep writers," just "deep readers." And with that, Tarkin's Top Shelf gives you one helluva in-depth discussion that talks you through some Star Wars mazes on a literary journey in a galaxy far, far away. It's [Star Wars] like poetry. They rhyme. 

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Jul 15, 2021

Tarkin's Top Shelf welcomes Matthew W. Stover, the author of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, to the show! In this episode, Mark and Becca sit down with Mr. Stover and discuss the creative process, character motivations, metaphorical fears, and the narrative of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. It's a trip down Star Wars memory lane, sixteen years, to be exact! And, there are even some George Lucas stories as well. So, you might want to buckle up, baby. This one's coming in Sith hot!

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Jul 8, 2021

Tarkin's Top Shelf welcomes Star Wars: The High Republic story architect Daniel José Older back to the show! In this episode, your hosts chew the fat or, if you're a Drengir, chew the meat with Daniel José Older about his recent book for the 2nd wave of The High Republic, "Race to Crashpoint Tower." They talk about the creative process behind The High Republic, character arcs, dinosaurs, Drengir, MEATS, and yes, they even ask about sweet seafood, too.

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Jun 29, 2021

In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, your hosts review Star Wars: The High Republic: Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel Jose Older, Disney Books, and Lucasfilm Press. Race to Crashpoint Tower is the second middle-grade novel within The High Republic publishing campaign, the first being A Test of Courage. Race to Crashpoint Tower follows two young Padawans who have to learn "what being a Jedi is all about" as they fight dangerous threats against the Republic. Again, this is a No-Holds-Barred kind of show, so please, be sure to read "Race to Crashpoint Tower" first if you do not wish to be spoiled. 

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Jun 29, 2021

In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, your hosts review Star Wars: The High Republic: The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott and Del Rey Publishing. Mark and Becca discuss the Republic Fair, Valo, The Nihil, character arcs, plot points, Dinosaurs, and the narrative throughout the novel. It's a No-Holds-Barred kind of show, so please, be sure to read "The Rising Storm" first if you do not wish to be spoiled.

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Jun 26, 2021

In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, Mark and Becca discuss the recent interview with Leslye Headland regarding Star Wars: The Acolyte and her writing room via cinemablend.com. Your hosts also touch on the current articles regarding Emilia Clarke reprising her role as Qi'ra in a future Star Wars project.

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Jun 14, 2021

In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, your hosts take a closer look at Leia Organa, the Jedi Padawan of her brother, Master Luke Skywalker. Mark and Becca question why Leia decided to put down the saber and hop back on the political bandwagon again? They discuss foreboding dreams of losing Ben, history repeating itself, and possibly, knowledge obtained from the "restricted section" of the old Jedi Archives now known as "the Sacred Jedi Texts." References include Leia: Princess of Alderaan, Aftermath: Life Debt, and Star Wars: Bloodline.

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Jun 6, 2021

Tarkin's Top Shelf takes a break from the books in episode 142. Your hosts explore possible continuity connections between The Bad Batch animated series and the upcoming live-action series, The Book of Boba Fett. Ok, so taking a break from Star Wars books is true, but not in the figurative sense. You see, Mark and Becca take a closer look at Omega and try to discern if her character may or may not play a pivotal role in the Disney Plus series, The Book of Boba Fett.

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May 26, 2021

Tarkin's Top Shelf welcomes Amy Ratcliffe, the author of Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy and The Jedi Mind, back to the show to talk about her latest book, Star Wars: The Art of Galaxy's Edge. Your hosts sit down with Amy and go over the creative process, both behind the scenes and with hands-on, on-site research. It's quite the conversation that hits all the personal notes and tones for every Star Wars fan. So grab a frothy mug of Hondo's "Smuggler's Rum" and enjoy the discussion!

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May 20, 2021

Tarkin's Top Shelf welcomes, Kristin Baver the Associate Editor of StarWars.com and Author of Skywalker: A Family At War, to the show! In this episode, Mark and Becca sit down with Kristin to talk about the Skywalker family and their legacy in a galaxy far, far away. Come to find out. We don't know everything there is to know about this fictional family. So buckle up, baby. There's a lot of Skywalker drama ahead.

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May 14, 2021

In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, Mark and Becca take another look at tie-ins between on-screen and literature mediums. Your hosts revisit Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron's, Victory's Price, and how it connects to The Bad Batch in "Cut and Run." As they continue their "Tie-In" discussion, they find other similarities between Thrawn's Greater Good and certain characters and their characteristics within the animated series of The Bad Batch. So, strap in for some Top Shelf tie-ins and get ready to be charmed, to the last.

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May 5, 2021

Tarkin's Top Shelf celebrates Star Wars Day with Clayton Sandell! In this episode, Mark and Becca welcome Clayton Sandell to the show to talk about May the Fourth, The Bad Batch, Star Wars memories, and a brief look at one of Clayton's favorite canon novels, Star Wars: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel.

Thank you so much for listening and for supporting the show over the years. May the Fourth be with you. Always.

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Apr 27, 2021

Tarkin's Top Shelf reviews the second novel of the Thrawn Ascendancy Trilogy, Star Wars: THRAWN Ascendancy: Greater Good. In this episode, Mark and Becca take a closer look inside the Nine Ruling Families of the Chiss, their political background, and where exactly Thrawn stands within both. But first, your hosts discuss the latest in Star Wars news.

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Apr 22, 2021

In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, your hosts go a bit off the rails with Skywalker rants and Kenobi tangents. Mark and Becca go over the recent Twitter discourse about Chris Terrio's comments regarding the "A New Home" sequence from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and then they follow up their discussion by revisiting the Lords of the Sith novel by Paul S. Kemp and how it may or may not correlate with the upcoming Kenobi series on Disney Plus.

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Apr 12, 2021

In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, your hosts' review Skywalker: A Family At War by Kristin Baver and DK Publishing. Skywalker: A Family At War is a historical biography of the fictional Skywalker family and the turbulent story surrounding their family dynasty. But first, Mark and Becca go over the latest in Star Wars news.

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Mar 28, 2021

Tarkin's Top Shelf takes a closer look at Qui-Gon Jinn and Palpatine (the top two influencers of the Skywalker family) in preparation for the upcoming Star Wars family biography by Kristin Baver, Skywalker: A Family At War. Your hosts discuss the recent excerpt for Skywalker: A Family At War and revisit the Aftermath Trilogy by Chuck Wendig. But first, Mark and Becca talk about the latest in Star Wars News.

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Mar 18, 2021

Last week Tuesday, Del Rey Publishing and DK Publishing took to their Twitter accounts. Both announced that Due to the ever-expanding world of The Mandalorian, they are no longer publishing The Mandalorian Ultimate Visual Guide or the Original Novel at this time, as the story continues to unfold on-screen. In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, Mark and Becca discuss those announcements and do their best to look beyond the obvious and the so-called rosy goggles that tend to blind us from being rational. But first, your hosts go over the latest Star Wars news, The Tartakovsky Clone Wars and Ewok movies coming to Disney + April 2nd, and The Bad Batch debut on May 4th!

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Mar 9, 2021

In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, Mark and Becca review the finale to the Alphabet Squadron trilogy, Star Wars: Victory's Price by Alexander Freed. Your hosts kick-off the show by chatting about the latest in Star Wars news, then they deep-dive into the meat and potatoes of Victory's Price. Ok, it's more like an emotional meat grinder than a meal, but it's still one helluva hero's journey!

A special thank you to the kind folks over at Del Rey Publishing for providing Tarkin's Top Shelf with advanced copies for review purposes. 

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Mar 5, 2021

Tarkin's Top Shelf welcomes author Alexander Freed to the show to talk about Star Wars: Victory's PriceAlexander Freed is the author of the Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron trilogy, Star Wars: Battlefront: Twilight Company, and Star Wars: Rogue One and has written many short stories, comic books, and videogames. In this episode, Mark and Becca sit down with Alexander Freed to talk about a Star War and space jams that inspire and lead Alphabet Squadron against the last remnants of the evil Empire. 

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Feb 23, 2021

Padme' and Geode, and Sith, Oh My! In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, Mark and Becca take a moment to discuss what's coming to our Star Wars bookshelves in a galaxy not so far, far away. That's right! Your hosts talk about the upcoming Padme' book, "Queen's Hope" by E.K. Johnston, and "The Secrets of Sith" by Marc Sumerak. Then, your hosts wrap things up with some sedimentary nonfiction talk. Yes, it's all about Geode and the path that rocks.

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Feb 13, 2021

Tarkin's Top Shelf takes a break from book reviews and spends an entire episode going over some listener feedback. That's right, Mark and Becca take the time to respond to their listeners' emails and dive deep into those ideas and questions. And yes, Mark does take the conversation down some longwinded tangents, so you've been warned.

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Feb 3, 2021

Tarkin's Top Shelf reviews Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray and Disney Books. "Into the Dark" is a Young Adult novel by Disney Books and is the third novel (so far) from The High Republic series. 

In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, Mark and Becca go over the latest novel from The High Republic series, "Into the Dark." Your hosts take a deep dive "Into the Dark" as they discuss the overall story, plot twists, character backstory, connectives, and narrative, and saga continuity.

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Jan 29, 2021

Tarkin's Top Shelf welcomes author Amy Richau to the show! In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, your hosts sit down with Amy Richau to discuss the lessons in love and friendship in a galaxy far, far away; Star Wars: I love you. I know. Thanks to DK Publishing for providing advanced copies for review.

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Jan 19, 2021

In this episode of Tarkin's Top Shelf, Mark and Becca review The High Republic: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland. Your hosts take a deep-dive into the second story from The High Republic Era that follows a young Vernestra Rwoh on her very first mission as a Jedi Knight. They discuss how A Test of Courage expands the story by adding more mystique to the ominous Nihil and the Noble Jedi of The High Republic.

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