My brother is an OG-we-had-the-Darth-Vadar-Cases-for-our-action-figures Star Wars fan. One of the only things my brother says he will never forgive my mom for is falling asleep in the theater when she watched A New Hope for the first time: In her defense, she was 16, and leaving the house childless for the first time since my brother was born, so she was pretty tired. She remembers the words crawling up the screen, a ship, and that’s all folks. New moms everywhere can understand.
I know for certain that he & I both saw Return of the Jedi in theaters, and if almost 4-yr-old me wanted to be ANYbody more than Miss Piggy, the ONLY other acceptable option was Princess Leia. My brother had no such split loyalties, however: he was a Luke Skywalker fan from day 1. We owned all of the original VHS tapes (and later deluxe VHS, DVDs, I think he had a laserdisc set at one point?), back in the days when we were still too poor to buy VHSes, and just taped things off of the TV when we could.
And the merchandise? There were Star Wars Christmases after Star Wars Christmases at our house.
My favorite/least favorite toy was the trash compactor, from Episode 1: It came with these little squishy foam rectangles that make me cringe to think of to this day, but I also got to play out the scene where I felt Princess Leia had been the most badass of badasses. He liked the AT-ATs, (which we pronounced at-ats, not a-t a-ts, like some kind of heathens) &, of course, the Millenium Falcon, which I was n e v e r allowed to drive (younger sisters everywhere can understand).
As he got older, he survived the disappointment of the prequels by clinging to the novelizations of the extended Star Wars Universe, and there are about 35 of those sitting on a shelf behind me right now. I read exactly one of them as a teenager, and -as has always been my complaint about most fantasy/sci-fi I couldn’t get into – there was too many things I was expected to know (maps of the galaxy, for instance) or remember (Why does everybody’s name start with the same first consonant on this planet??? Who even knows what that word means, and how far am I supposed to read to find out? Just the ‘Why is Gamora,’ of every sci-fi book ever, basically) and I gave up on continuing. My brother did not, and I think these are basically the only books I saw him read between the time he graduated from high school and had his first kid, at which point picture books also made it into the rotation.
Which is why he and my nephew are always able to tell me who the Star Wars dude is before whatever show we’re watching does. (Boba Fett’s gunslinging foe’s moniker this season was outta both their mouths, when he was just a shadow walking up to the sheriff; Bo-Katan on The Mandalorian got a whole backstory when she showed up.) But I STILL can’t get into those books. I do have a couple on my TBR – the Queen Amidala series of books by E K Johnston look great to me, and I keep waiting for my library to have some – but I still skip/skim names and world-building-y things that I just don’t care about, when it comes to sci-fi especially. Which is probably why I tend to avoid them. But um…
A03 is a giraffe of a different color, my friends. on A03, a lot of the things I don’t care about don’t matter. And so when one of my favorite Marvel fanfic authors writes a Mandalorian fanfic where Din, Grogu, Fennec, & Boba Fett are hilariously awkward found family & they absorb Luke Skywalker almost accidentally into that family? Where lines like “Bo-Katan would lose her gourd if we befriended the jedi and didn’t share,” he offered. “Done,” Fett said immediately. “It’ll make Solo so mad, he’ll weep. Excuse me, I must add it to the master plan.” are just left there for the reader to enjoy and curl up with and want to read aloud to people?? Well. If you don’t think that’s my cuppa tea, then you’ve also lost your gourd.
I spent the whole first part of the review talking about me & Star Wars, but now I’m just going to keep dropping more and more lines of gold, because the WHOLE FIC IS AMAZING AND I LOVE IT.
“I should have eaten you in the womb,” she shrieked after him. “I’ve regretted every day that we’ve woken up and still been breathing at the same time. Obi-Wan was my last fucking hope, not your punk ass, Luke Skywalker.”
That sounded like some intense family drama. Din did not envy any of it whatsoever. In fact, he was seeing himself out of it.
“Mand’alor WHATEVER—as if I care who you are.”
Was Din going to have to fight this tiny senator? Was that what he was going to have to do right now?
“I hate you, too,” The princess-senator said, storming on up to punch a finger against the center of Din’s chest plate. “YOU,” she pointed at Bo-Katan, “Are a terrorist. YOU,” she pointed at Fett, “Tried to kill my husband, and YOU.”
Fennec cocked a hip.
“I don’t know who you are, you’re free to go,” the princess-senator said.
“Thank you, your highness,” Fennec purred.
“I take it back, I know the sound of a bounty hunter, you can go to hell too.”
Or consider sweet, innocent, bounty hunter, Din, first-time subway rider, not understanding he’s basically the president of Mandalore, and wondering why everybody’s filming him on the train & how come Boba Fett won’t let him pet any dogs:
“You’re killin’ me, kid,” Fett moaned, holding his forehead in his hand while Fennec tried badly to cover a deadly smirk. “It’s the damn train. People are just trying to get from point A to point B. Don’t look at anyone. Don’t be friendly. Just stand. Look bored, look miserable, look regal. Those are your options. Understood?”
But what if there was another dog? Could Din pet the dog this time?
“No, dogs. Not a single dog,” Fett said.
Din tried not to feel hurt about that. He so rarely got to—that was a child. It was so small. Fennec, look. It was so small.
There’s Jedi ghosts who bicker like Statler & Waldorf; there’s an entire galaxy of random characters making bets with Fennec behind everybody else’s backs; there’s Luke being bad at clubbing; there’s Din’s covert/Mandalorian family of origin (AU, of course). There’s Luke & Leia & Fennec live streaming a video game where Luke is a playable character. Are you trying to tell me you don’t want to read that? Because you’re a LIAR if you are.
Is it all fun and games? No, not it is not. There are a lot of emotions, and deniigiq is great at both making me want to stop reading because I know I’m going to cry & also keep reading because I’m crying and I have to know what’s on the other side of the tears. Is it so clearly written in the character’s voices that I can HEAR their actors saying the words? Yes, yes it is, and I think Ming Na Wen especially would love some of her dialogue.
So far, It’s called a flush is first in a three-part series, and the second part is a group chat. A Group Chat. Between Boba Fett, Fennec Shand, Luke Skywalker and Din Djarin. There is nothing about either of these stories that I don’t love, so even though it’s not even my main fandom, here’s my first fanfic review, because every chapter I read I kept wanting to read parts of it aloud to my niece and she was trying to do schoolwork, and this seemed like a better idea then making her fail algebra bc I wanted to talk about the Mandalorian with her. Her loss; your gain. I haven’t read the third piece yet, bc I didn’t know it existed til I was checking the links for this review, so I’m gonna go read that now.
(Deniigiq is also the author of one of my favorite MCU/Spider Man series, so if you’re interested in that, make sure you check out the (quite lengthy) Inimitable Verse. You’re welcome.)