Star Wars Cantina
Come let me buy you something
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Сразу две книги для младшей подростковой аудитории вышли в начале мая в Америке. Первая - "Становление повстанца", рассказывающая о юных годах Джин Эрсо и ее взрослении под крылом Со Герреры. Вторая - "Стражи Уиллов" о том, как неразлучная пара Чиррут Имве и Бейз Малбус охраняла храм Кайбера на Джеде. А сегодня портал Entertainment Weekly опубликовал два отрывка из книг.

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The reason the Imperials garrisoned their troops aboard the Star Destroyer was for security, nothing more. A garrison on the ground gave any insurgency a possible target; a garrison floating in orbit was untouchable, a sign that opposition to the Empire was futile, and doomed to ultimate failure.

But this created its own set of problems. Troops on deployment needed to be supplied. They needed water, and water was in short supply on Jedha. They needed food, and local food could be poisoned, could be tainted, or could simply be inedible. They needed medical supplies to tend their wounded, be those wounds courtesy of the fledgling and scattered—and, many said, highly ineffective—insurgency or any of a myriad of other hazards. They needed ammunition, because a stormtrooper whose blaster ran dry was as useful as another kilogram of sand in the Jedha desert.

This meant that the Empire needed supply caches throughout the Holy City, secured locations that could serve as depots to reequip and rearm troopers on patrol. Thus, the Empire had exchanged one obvious target—a garrison—for multiple smaller ones, with the logic being that the loss of an occasional cache was insignificant in the face of the continued existence of the larger Imperial presence.

The Zeta that Baze watched land was on a resupply run for these caches, or so Denic, Baze’s contact, had assured him. The information hadn’t been given out of the goodness of Denic’s heart. She’d made it very clear that should any of the resupply cargo, say, fall off the back of a speeder, she expected a cut. Specifically, she wanted any weapons and ammunition that might be recovered.

This was fine by Baze. Weapons and ammunition weren’t what he and Chirrut were after.

He waited until Chirrut was off the roof and down on the street before moving himself. Baze was a big man, a strong man, but he knew how to move himself with speed when needed, and with purpose at every moment. While Chirrut’s movements had flow, Baze’s had direction. He vaulted from rooftop to rooftop, clearing one block and then the next, pausing only for an instant to check on the progress of the resupply. The Imperials had loaded the cargo crates onto the back of an armored landspeeder, a contingent of five stormtroopers responsible for its security. One had the driver’s yoke, with another crewing the mounted repeating blaster; the remaining three rode outboard, weapons at the ready, keeping watch.

Baze reached the edge of another rooftop and leapt without breaking stride, this time not to the roof of the adjacent building but instead down to the street. He landed heavy and hard, felt the ground stab back at him, sending pain through his legs to his knees. There had been a time when such a jump wouldn’t have given him even the slightest discomfort. There had been a time when he had called himself a Guardian of the Whills, and others had, too. There had been a time when his faith in the Force had been as unshakable and constant as Chirrut’s.

He had been a younger man, then.

He drew himself back up to his full height and checked the E-5 in his hands. He’d modified the weapon himself, trying to draw more power from it, and his efforts had been successful enough that even a glancing shot from the carbine would send a stormtrooper to the ground, and a direct hit could punch a hole through armor and the soldier within it. The trade-off had come in two parts. The first was its ammo capacity. The weapon ate charges, and ate them quickly.

The second was that there was no longer a stun setting.

There was a time when this would have bothered him. He had been a younger man, then, too. These were Imperials, these were the people who had destroyed his city, his home. These were Imperials, who had taken that which was beautiful and made it profane, and it didn’t matter if Baze Malbus still believed or not; it mattered to him that others did, and he saw the pain the Imperials caused every single day. He saw it in friends and strangers. He saw it in hungry children in the streets, and hiding beneath the smile of Chirrut Îmwe.

It made him angry, but there was still enough Guardian of the Whills in him that he did not want to kill in anger. His balance had been lost long ago, and whether or not the Force was still truly with him, Baze knew that he was no longer with the Force. But he would not kill in anger, not if he could at all help it.

The Imperials made it very hard to commit to that, sometimes.

He drew himself back into the shadows, beneath the covered alleyway between two buildings. He could hear the speeder slowly coming closer, but that was only part of what he was listening for. Then he heard it: the regular beat of Chirrut’s walking stick against the road, the tap-tap-tap of the uneti wood striking stone.

The speeder lumbered into the street on Baze’s right, swaying slightly beneath its load. He pressed himself farther into the shadows, willed himself into stillness as the vehicle passed by. The whine from its engines drowned out the sound of Chirrut’s approach, but Baze barely had time to worry before he heard the pitch on the speeder change, the repulsors quieting to an idle. He slid from the alley, looking down the street, and now he was behind the vehicle, and he could see the stormtroopers aboard all facing front, even the one posted at the rear whose job it was to watch their backs.

Chirrut stood in front of the speeder, in the middle of the road. Baze could hear the stormtroopers.

“What’s the holdup?”

“The guy’s blind.”

“Move. Move or we’ll run you down, citizen.”

“My apologies, my apologies,” Chirrut said. He bent out of view, apparently searching the ground in front of him. “My stick, I seem to have dropped it. You surprised me, you are on the street so late.”

Baze settled the E-5 at his shoulder, exhaled half his air through his nose. The stormtrooper on the mounted gun ran the charger, the clack and whine of the weapon being made ready audible even from where Baze stood.

“Insurgent tricks,” the gunner said. He pivoted the weapon down at Chirrut.

Baze fired four times. Four stormtroopers dropped. He sighted on the last, but Chirrut had already moved, had done something with the recovered walking stick, and the last trooper was falling off the side of the speeder.

Baze closed the distance at a run, vaulting into the speeder to find Chirrut sitting at the control yoke.

“Shall I drive?” Chirrut asked.

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Jyn sat beside Saw in the cockpit of his ship. She stared straight out the window, watching as they soared through the clouds of Lah’mu. The ring that circled the planet in a constant white rainbow arched over- head, and then they broke atmosphere. The sky turned black, speckled with white stars, a glow of light om the re ected sunlight on the planet’s belt just visible.

Jyn gasped.

Saw glanced where she was looking and nodded grimly. A Star Destroyer hung in the blackness of space, the sun illuminating the underbelly of the ship.

They’d sent a Star Destroyer for her father.

Papa is on that ship, Jyn realized, her eyes widening. He was somewhere, somewhere there, just out of reach but so close.

Saw was busy at the controls. His ship was so tiny compared with the Star Destroyer, a flea next to a giant, but his mumbling curses informed Jyn that he was worried about being spotted. Within seconds, they were well past the Destroyer, and in minutes, they’d lurched into hyperspace. The blue-gray stream of lights out the window made Jyn blink, hard, her sight blurring not just with the light but with the unshed tears that were building in her eyes.

“Hey, kid,” Saw said, swiveling his chair so he could see Jyn fully. “I . . .”

He stopped. Jyn knew he was going to say he was sorry, but there was something in his eyes that made her realize he knew just how futile those words were.

She stared at his face, wondering at her memories of him being funny and kind. His dark skin made the puckered scars near his le eye stand out. He looked angry. Except for his eyes.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Jyn said, pulling her knees up to her chin and wrapping her arms around her legs.

Saw’s expression grew hard. “Too bad,” he said, “because I need to know why the Empire came after your father like that.”

“You knew why my parents went into hiding,” Jyn said.

“I knew bits. But I had no idea they’d send a Star Destroyer after him.”

Jyn had to admit she was a little surprised, too. She knew her father was important and that he’d worked as a scientist for the Empire before fleeing Coruscant and going into hiding on Lah’mu. She knew some of what he did. Mama and Papa had said never to tell anyone about Papa’s research, but she could trust Saw. Mama had.

“He studied crystals,” Jyn said, pulling the necklace her mother had given her om under her shirt. She slipped it over her head and handed it to Saw when he held out his hand.

He turned it over in his palm and held it up to the light, squinting at the clear crystal. It was, Jyn knew, a kyber crystal. Not a very good one, not worth a lot of money. Papa had worked with very good kyber crystals when he worked with the Empire. He liked rocks.

“I know about the crystals,” Saw said, handing the necklace back to Jyn. “But your father must have been working on something else, something more concrete. Something they want. The Empire doesn’t just come down like that for crystals.”

“That’s all he worked on,” she insisted.

“That you know of,” Saw said darkly. “Did he say anything when the Empire came? Anything at all— maybe he told you something that could be a clue.”

Jyn closed her eyes. She could still hear her father’s voice. Jyn, whatever I do, he’d said, I do it to protect you.

And then he had gone with the man who killed Mama.

“No,” Jyn told Saw.

Saw turned to the window and stared at the blue-gray light of hyperspace. “There’s something more here,” he said, mostly to himself. “Since Coruscant, Galen has been working on something big, I know it. We have to figure out what it was.”

Jyn felt tears burn in her eyes. Her father had been working on a broken harvester droid the night before the Empire came. Not some big secret. But she knew Saw was right. Mama and Papa talked about it, late at night when they thought Jyn was asleep. Research and crystals and fears. She wished she’d paid better attention. She wished she could at least understand why all this was happening.

She forced herself to remember the way things used to be. On Coruscant, when her father had openly worked for the Empire. She had been littler then, and easily distracted, but even she knew that her parents weren’t happy. When they’d moved to Lah’mu, things seemed better. More relaxed. Mama taught her every day, math and science and literature and history. Papa worked in the fields, and at night he continued his research, but it wasn’t like on Coruscant. He didn’t work until he collapsed, mumbling to himself, ignoring her. Things were better.

But there had still been that undercurrent of fear. It spiked occasionally, when the comm tower picked up static, or when Mama and Papa insisted they have a safety drill. They invented scenarios of bad things that could happen and told Jyn what to do. Papa liked to pretend it was a game, but Jyn knew better.

There wasn’t a scenario for if Mama died, Jyn thought. They had a lot of plans, but none of them ended with Jyn alone. They would hide, run, survive. Together. Mama had never thought about what would happen if she died and Jyn hurtled away from home through hyperspace.

But when she looked at Saw, she knew that wasn’t true. He was her parents’ plan if the worst happened. They hadn’t wanted to tell her that; they hadn’t wanted her to think about just how bad things could get, but Jyn knew it to be true.

Saw was her last hope.

His eyes were red-lined, and he sighed heavily as he ran a hand over his smooth head. As if he could feel her eyes on him, he glanced down at Jyn, and he tried to shoot her a reassuring smile. But then he said, “I don’t know what to do with you, kid,” and any comfort she’d felt disappeared.

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1. "Становление повстанца"  9  (16.36%)
2. "Стражей Уиллов"  17  (30.91%)
3. книгу о том, как найти время, деньги и силы на все, что выходит по ЗВ  29  (52.73%)
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