A Deep Review, Book Review

A Deeper Look # 3

Taking a deeper look into Lost Stars (Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens) by Claudia Gray doing a fun reader’s challenge presented by Gabriela Pereira creator of the diymfa. There will be spoilers, warning for those who have not read this book.


This thrilling Young Adult novel gives readers a macro view of some of the most important events in the Star Wars universe, from the rise of the Rebellion to the fall of the Empire. Readers will experience these major moments through the eyes of two childhood friends—Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell—who have grown up to become an Imperial officer and a Rebel pilot. Now on opposite sides of the war, will these two star-crossed lovers reunite, or will duty tear them—and the galaxy—apart? 


The Protagonist

In this book there are 2 protagonists. I will do both. I believe the main protagonist out of these two is Ciena.

Protagonist #1

Ciena Ree, known as LP-888 in the Imperial Navy, was a human female First Waver villager from the planet Jelucan who fought for the Galactic Empire during the Galactic Civil War.

Protagonist #2

Thane Kyrell, known as AV-547 in the Imperial Navy, was a human male from the mountainous and remote planet of Jelucan, an Outer Rim Territory annexed by the Empire eleven years before the Battle of Yavin.

Who is actually telling the story?

We see more of the Empire’s side in this story. I would say it is mostly Ciena. Who stays with the empire no matter how many times Thane begs her to leave. She has her upbringing, reasoning why she cannot leave. We see the Rebellion from Thane, and also the empire.

Which character’s story do you want to follow?

The character I want to follow is Ciena. She knows the Empire is evil and wrong. I believe they faltered her faith when the Death Star blew up Alderaan. But it was changed when the rebellion blew up the death star. She lost friends and forever hated the rebellion. 

What type of character is your protagonist?

Ciena is an underdog. She is someone who needed to rise to the occasion and do something extraordinary. She came from the planet Jelucan, an outer rim planet. Her family was from the first wavers. It was a planet the Empire looked down at. Ciena felt it was an honor to be chosen and sent to the top imperial academy in Coruscant.

Thane is also an underdog. He needed to rise to the occasion and do something extraordinary. Like Ciena, he came from Jelucan, but unlike Ciena, he came from a first class or a richer (what they called second wavers). He was happy to move away from his family and head to Coruscant. 

What is the character’s deepest desire?

I believe both Ciena and Thane are wanting to be together. Their friendship turned into love and even though they are on the opposite of the war, and some of their values are different, their love for one another remains strong and grows every time they are together. This is kind of the Romeo and Juliet story but Star Wars style.

What does this character want?

I believe it is to do good for the galaxy. To prove to themselves they can do good.


The Five Promises

At the beginning of a book, the author makes five promises to the reader. These are a character, voice, world, problem, and event. Do these promises appear early in the story, or the author choose to delay any of them?

Character

Who are we meant to root for?

The characters we are to root for are Ciena and Thane. I also think we are supposed to root for the Empire.

Who is the character at the center of the story?

Even though there are two protagonists, I believe Ciena is the center of the story.

Voice

Voice is what connects the reader to the storyteller.

Whose voice is telling the story? Is it a character in the story or a narrator outside the story looking in?

Ciena and Thane are telling the story in this novel.

World

Where does the story take place? Is a realistic, contemporary world, or an imagined fantasy world?

This story takes place in multiple planets, most of these planets are Jelucan and Coruscant. But it mostly sets place on a star destroyer in space. I would say this would be a imagined contemporary sci fi and fantasy world.

How is the author showing us the world of this story right from the start?

Spaceships and the planet Jelucan.

Problem

What immediate obstacle is the character facing? This obstacle might be directly related to the central conflict of the book, or it might be a separate but related problem.

Empire and Rebellion

Event

Every story needs a reason to start where it does.

Why does this story begin at this exact moment in time? Why do you think the author chose this as the opening for the book?

The reason Lost Stars opens up to Jelucan, is to set up the cultural differences between Ciena and Thane. They may come from the same planet, but their view on things are different. It also makes the impact of Thane’s choice to leave the Empire and Ciena a bigger blow knowing how they became friends from childhood. Thank thought because they were friends, their view on the universe was the same and not realizing Ciena is different culturally.


The Inciting Incident

The inciting incident is a decision point that moves us from Act 1 to Act 2. This is one of the main landmark moments in the three-act story structure.

What is the external event that sets up the inciting incident?

The external event that sets up the inciting incident I believe is when the Rebellion blew up the death star. This faltered the views of the Empire in both characters’ eyes.

What internal choice does the protagonist make that they act on to pivot us into Act II?

Thane struggles on his feelings and love for the Empire.  

Ciena struggles with her feelings of losing her best friend. But is not sure on if the Empire is as great as they appear to be.

What makes this moment a point of no return? Why can’t the protagonist go back to the status quo?

Thane struggles lead him to become a deserter of the Empire.

Ciena lies to protect Thane and struggles with her honor to both Thane and the Empire as it will overlap.

How does the protagonist’s choice affect you, the reader, and your feelings toward this character?

Cluadia Gray did a great job setting it up. I was not shocked about the two’s decision.


Supporting Cast

Supporting characters are not secondary to the protagonist. While they might not own the spotlight, the supporting cast has an important job. They need to help the protagonist move along on their journey.

Kendy Idele- was a roommate and great friend of Ciena’s until later when she became a deserter then is for Thane

 Jude Edivon- was a roommate and best friend of Ciena until the Death Star was blown up. She was assigned to the Death Star.

 Nash Windrider- was Thane’s roommate and good friend until Thane deserted and also was assigned the same star destroyer Ciena was. 

 Lohgarra- was the caption of the ship Mighty Oak Apocalypse. Thane worked for her after he deserted the Empire 

 Yendor- a fellow rebel pilot and roommate and a good friend.

Here are five supporting character archetypes:

The Villain

The Love Interest

The BFF, Sidekick, or Entourage 

The Mentor

The Fool

Which of these supporting character archetypes you see reflected in the book you have chosen. Are they all present? How does each of these supporting characters add tension to the story or support the protagonist’s journey?

The Villain

Not really a villain unless you count their self doubt or both the Empire for the rebels and Thane and the Rebellion for Ciena and the Empire.

The Love Interest

Ciena and Thane are love interest

The BFF, Sidekick, or Entourage 

Nash Windrider

Kendy Idele

Jude Edivon

Yendor

The Mentor

Lohgarra for Thane

Grand Moff Tarkin before the Death Star blew up for Ciena  

The Fool

Mon Mothma, Wedge Antilles for Thane.

I do not remember any for Ciena unless you count her Superiors.


The Midpoint

Temporary Triumph

This is a moment where the character appears to get what they want, but they realize it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. They begin to have second thoughts about whether they really wanted that thing in the first place.

False Failure

This seems like a rock bottom moment where it seems like things can’t possibly get any worse for the protagonist… until they do get worse.

Is there a scene where the protagonist experiences a moment of self-reflection?

Thane yes.

Ciena yes

What happens in that mirror moment and how close is it to the center?

Thane had an offer to join the rebel alliance by Wedge Antilles. He ends up talking about the off and how he felt about t to Lohgarra. This incident happened at the middle of the book.

Ciena got promoted to Lieutenant Commander do to her performance on the Star Destryoer Executor. She goes over in her mind if she truley deserved the promotion do to her actions the Empire did not know know about. How and why she feels the way she feels. This happend a few pages after Thane’s moment.


Theme & Thematic Elements

Theme

Could you sum up a book you have selected in a single sentence? If so, this is your theme.

Loyalty is deeper than everything else.  

What evidence can you draw from the text that helps support this? What details clued you in to this being the theme?

Ciena has held her cultural values even when the Academy wanted to reset and brainwash the cadets. She held an oath to the Empire and even when she sees what evil the Empire was doing; she was hoping she could do good from the inside and still hold her oath until her term was over.

Thane is loyal to himself and what is good for the universe. He leaves the Empire after what happened to Alderran and the first death star. He does not want to join the Rebellion at first because of what he was told by the Empire and Ciena, but eventually he wants to help believing the rebel alliance would be better for the universe than the empire.

Thematic elements

What imagery or detail does the author use to underscore that theme? How does the author use these thematic elements to emphasize or illustrate the theme?

When we are visiting Jelucan, Claudia Gray immediately shows us the difference between the two cultures. The First wavers who Ciana comes from are honorable people. We see Ciena tip toeing her loyalty between the Empire and Thane.

How does the author use these thematic elements to emphasize or illustrate the theme?

When Ciena decided not to shot down Thane when both of their squadron were against each other or reported him dead instead of reporting where he was. For Thane, it was when he saw what the Empire was doing and how he kept his love for Ciena.


The Ending

What happens at the end?

The battle of Jakku is underway. Cina is the captain of her own ship at this point. The rebellion sends a squadron to board and capture her ship. Ciena did not realize Thane’s squadron boarded her ship. She sent everyone to the escape pods and set the self destruct towards Jakku landscape, looking herself in the command center. Thane figures out she was the captain and goes to get her. They both fight each other, wanting one another to leave for different reasonings. Thane wins and Cina is captured and imprisoned by the New Republic.

What scene represents the climax?

I believe the climax is when Thane’s squadron boards Ciena’s ship. She tells her crew to leave and she locks herslf up starting the self destruct button. Thane figures this out and seeks Ciena out. Thane fights Ciena at the command center on her star destroyer. The two are stunning each other as they are both convincing the other to leave. Thane wants Ciena to leave with him even if had to drag her. Ciena wants Thane to leave without her. She wants to die with the ship, to release her oath for the Empire.

What is the outcome of the story?

Ciena is captured and help prisoner for the crimes she had committed. At this point, she is a Capitan and was in charge of her own Star destroyer. She was talked into escaping her captured and destroyed star destroyer by Thane. The Empire believed she died a hero, plunging her star destroyer into the planet instead of letting the Rebellion capture it.

In other words, does the character get what they want and do they still want it?

Thane got Ciena back even though they have no idea what her future holds.

Ciena yes and no. She wanted to die in the star destroyer over Jakku, to release her of her debt and oath to the Empire. At the same time, she can be with Thane, no matter how limited.


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