An alternate plot for Star Wars Episode Seven

As a bit of fun I have imagined a crazy continuation for Star Wars Episode Seven…. Hope you like it.

Luke has turned to the dark side mostly because he was bored and the evil ones always get the best chicks. He dons a mask and pretends to be a dark Lord. No one else knows who he is and he enjoys the anonymity. The pay is better and his ship goes faster. Gathering the remains of the Empire around him he goes in search of the last Jedi, secretly hoping it is a lady Jedi that he can get friendly with.

Meanwhile, Princess Leia has become a feminist and having defeated countless enemies she has thrown away her light sabre in disgust at their weakness. Unable to find a real man, she now runs a health food shop and is heavily pregnant with a surrogate child. Actually twins (blame her mother). She pines for the days when she ran her own nation.

Han Solo hit the bottle soon after breaking up with Princess Leia. She was too much of a handful so he hit the space highway. He makes a living smuggling illicit fast food and soft drinks from planet to planet, much to Leia’s disgust. The Millennium Falcon is now way past its best and limps from place to place scraping by heaps of space junk that drift around.

Darth Vader is still alive and in a home for retired villains who became sort of good again. He didn’t really die, it was all a bad dream. They put his helmet back on and he survived. Far from being in a Jedi heaven he is now a resident of a home for alien elderlies and dribbles a lot into this breakfast cereal. All his midi / metachlorians have left for the beach and he no longer has any powers. Ahhh. However he still remembers all his past glories and delights in recalling them to anyone within earshot.

Chewbacca is now father to twenty young Wookies. Overrun and overworked, he escapes to his job every day he can. He earns a living guiding tourists around Kashyyyk while explaining the finer points of philosophy, the meaning of life and the supreme being with his trademark ‘raroorowwwwull!’  Strangely no one understands a word, but the scenes are pretty.

A faction of 10,000 clones have learned about their true past and rebelled. Wearing their old uniforms they have escaped servitude and opted for a life of leisure and indulgence as hippies. They set up a commune and roped in some local females on the paradise planet of Ylesia. Everything was going really well until they upset some local fanatics and ended up in a never-ending war all over again. Fortunately they kept their uniforms and blasters…. They all answer to the name ‘Bob’.

Luke succeeds in finding the last Jedi who turns out to be his own child, created by artificial means while he was in hospital,  and who has been parented  by Lando Calrissian (who had a secret crush on him for years) with a slave girl he freed from Jabba the Hutt.

The last young Jedi is a girl (naturally) who enjoys drag racing, arm wrestling and bungee jumping. When told about her powers she says ‘yeah, so what, they can keep the Galaxy for all I care’ and elopes with a hunky dune biker in the direction of the nearest horizon. Luke tries to stop her and she uses the force against him.

Luke calls on Leia for support and together they talk his daughter into a life of selfless dedication to the Force. She agrees to this on condition they buy her a guitar, a pimped out space ship and take her snow boarding three times a year.

The galaxy meanwhile is a total mess. Space junk clutters up most hyperspace lanes and each planet has long since given up on being ruled by an Empire that did not work. Everyone is happy again and dances to non-disco music in their own dialects.

The Death Star project has long since been downgraded to the Intergalactic Communications Monitoring project, due to lack of funds. The majority of previous employees of the Empire were laid off years ago and most make their livings from vehicle maintenance, dentistry and working as security guards.

The Sith formed a heavy metal band and tour regularly wearing their costumes. They have a following on most planets and have tired of ruling the galaxy. ‘We could right, if we wanted to, but then some Jedi dudes would come and chop us up, so whatever.’

The Skywalker clan relocates to a far flung planet and become Vegans. Han Solo shunts a space station and ends up in jail with a broken wrist. No more drinking for him. Chewbacca becomes a linguist. Lando Calrissian volunteers to be the Skywalkers’ housekeeper, which they accept reluctantly. Darth Vader bores everyone to death with his stories of galaxy domination and Death Stars, until someone slips a poison into his Horlicks. The galaxy survives the whole episode largely intact. The Ewoks do not feature at all and save no one from anything. They play in the trees like little teddy bears in a nursery rhyme and look after a princess figurine of their own. Ahhh. Everyone lives happily ever after (well mostly).

The End.

D. M. Jarrett




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What next after Harry Potter? 5 Great middle grade to tween book series

Well it had to happen, our son has read all the Harry Potter books and we’ve been searching for other great book series. In no particular order here are 5 great book series for middle grade to tween readers. (I have omitted Young Adult titles deliberately).

1. Harry Potter Click here

Obvious really. If the first three books don’t grab your child’s attention I guess they don’t like Harry Potter. Stand by also for the comparisons and proclamations of the things not in the films which are better presented in the books. Strangely the shorter books were voted the best by our son, perhaps they were better edited?

2. Percy Jackson Click here

Now you do need to allow your child to settle with the idea that Greek and Roman myths have been ‘borrowed’ and transplanted to the US. (Not my idea of plausible I have to say). Apparently the books are an easy and exciting read with lots of action. I would add that they seem to be easily read in next to no time. Good news for the author and publisher, not such great news for the parents asked to buy the next book in a matter of hours.

3. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Click here

Perhaps a push for middle grade and pretty heavy in volume. We started with The Hobbit and it was very well received. A budding fan is born. I await the film and book comparisons. LOL. Given the length of both that could be some years away.

4. Sean Yeager Adventures Click here

Fast paced, exciting and full of ideas. Our son and several of his friends have been up all hours reading and re-reading books one and two. Be prepared for an explosion of ideas, designs and follow on stories.

5. Bear Grylls Mission: Survival  Click here

Apparently these books are non-stop boys own adventures with all the details added in. Useful if you are ever stuck in a jungle and need survival skills. If only there was an episode for commuters and office workers.

6. Artemis Fowl Click here

Technically this is the sixth book series, though I did say ‘after Harry Potter’. We have had a mixed reception with this series. Son loves the action and humour, he’s not so keen on the faeries. Nonetheless a worthy addition to our humble book series list. Lots happens and there are plenty of books in the series.

So there you have it parents, grand parents, aunts, bloggers. We hope you find this list of book series useful when seeking purchases for the children in your life.

Happy reading.

D.M. Jarrett


10 great boys’ books to encourage reading and fun

As a parent it can be tricky to find great books for your boys to read. You want books to help develop and encourage your child’s reading and you also want books that your child will enjoy and want to finish. We have found this with our own son from the age of 6 to 11. Here is a list of 10 great boys books as voted for by the person who matters – our son – who read them all (and rejected several others). We hope you find this book list useful for the boys in your life.

In no particular order

1. Warhorse by Michael Morpurgo

A boy’s own war-time adventure through the eyes of a horse. Now also a film and play, but apparently the book is the best format of all.

2. Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

The original and best. If your child likes this book there are plenty more in the series…

3. Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff

A Roman adventure and page turner, with lots of suspense and historical references. If you want to inspire learning about Roman life, what better way than to introduce this book?

4. The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

Before they managed to massage this story into three films, this book was the best introduction to the world of J R R Tolkien. It is action packed and surprisingly short, unlike the giant saga that followed.

5. Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief by D.M. Jarrett

Non-stop action and mayhem. Like a cross between James Bond and Star Wars or as the reviewers put it ‘a rollercoaster ride’ in book form. It also has a great sequel to follow-up.

6. The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall

Another boy’s own story, this time set in World War II England. What would your son do if he discovered a crashed German Bomber complete with machine gun? Action and surprises all the way.

7. Alex Rider Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz

One of several great stories from the popular Alex Rider series. An orphaned James Bond like child sent on dangerous missions.

8. 8000 Things You Should Know by Mile Kelly

Our son and his friends were given party gifts of this book after a birthday bash. They were all so immersed in its pages they had to be prised away. This is how all factual books should be presented. (It’s presented like ‘information mapping’ and is highly effective, amusing and addictive.)

9. Stephen Biesty’s Incredible Cross Sections

A hero in our household, Stephen Biesty is an incredible illustrator and this book is simply breathtaking in it’s detail and layout. For any budding designers or boys who like to take things apart.

10. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The original and best, provided of course you can suspend disbelief about the Greeks not moving to the US. And of course there are plenty more Greek myths elaborated on throughout the series.

Hope you find some great reading in our list to inspire the boys in your life. Above all we hope they have fun reading and developing their curiosity for learning.

Happy reading

D.M. Jarrett

Sean Yeager Adventures website

Buy Sean Yeager Adventures


Fast-moving, action-packed and humorous

Make this into a movie now!

Buckle your seat belts!

This story reads like an action ride and I enjoyed the ride

Why is everyone so excited about Star Wars?

What is it about Star Wars that has everyone so excited?

It is said that you either love or hate Marmite. Possibly because of the salty, tangy, yeasty taste. Or so the PR would have us believe. Is this also now true with Star Wars, the massive global franchise? I’ve heard many views among aquaintances and while most people like Star Wars, whisper it softly, some do not like it or don’t get it.

With the fever building over the forthcoming Episode VII here is a my personal selection of highs and lows across the saga.

The high points:

Film Episodes IV and V

In my view the original films are the best hands down. The Empire Strikes Back is my personal favourite because it shows the strength of The Empire and some genuine struggle against the mighty enemy. I like the plots, the acting and the humour. It’s interesting that all the main characters are introduced in the first episode, no matter how many re-imaginings have followed. The production team sure knew what they were doing, though I doubt anyone realised how enormous Star Wars would become.

Star Wars Encyclopedias & Cross Section Books

There are some really good Star Wars books out there with photographs of props and cut-away artwork of all kinds of craft. These are great for catching up on the finer details of factions as they flash (or crawl) by. And let’s face it there are some amazing designs in the mix. Naboo Starfighters are one of my personal favourites. Sleek and original, if a little Dan Dare, though not the only design to borrow from Dan Dare.

Star Wars Lego

What a brilliant partnership! A stroke of genius for both Lego and Star Wars. Children are able to make their own craft and scenes. And to act out their own adventures. It’s frustrating that you can not buy the main figures separately to the kits. While many sets are incredible, it would take glue or storage in a case to keep them intact when children are playing. A curious irony given the expense.

Star Wars Lego computer games

Building on the success of the real world toys, another inspired idea. I was genuinely surprised by the ingenuity of the Star Wars platform games. It’s the humour, puzzles and wit. The fun is in the playing and discovering unexpected twists among the film plots. So far we’ve seen head banging guitar axe guards in one scene and bathing Stormtroopers in another.

What I laugh about in Star Wars:

Episodes I to III

Sorry to say I found the plots soft and the films over produced and under acted. The pace is unbalanced with far too much happening on screen in some scenes and far too little in others. Politics and duplicity don’t really work in an action genre, especially when the twists are telegraphed so clearly. The true lowlights are surely the wretched romance sequences with Anakin Skywalker and Padme.

Jar Jar Binks & The Ewoks

Was Jar Jar Binks intended to be a joke character and an insult to a whole swathe of patois speakers? Perhaps not, but to me Jar Jar is a horrible construction of part Bugs Bunny, part Flipper and part gazelle. Perhaps Jar Jar is intended as a joke, a slapstick funny guy? Either way Jar Jar is seriously uncool and nothing like the leader of the Gungans. As for the Ewoks, where do we begin?  Could giant Teddy Bears defeat (supposedly) elite Stormtroopers? What can Ewoks do, cuddle them to death?  It’s all very silly.

Instant alien to alien translation

How come the walking carpet (Chewbacca) says much the same thing all the time and is always understood? Han Solo must be the best linguist ever and he never utters a world of alien speak. Jabba the Slug too utters alien gibberish back and forth with the American space smuggler. There’s some strange logic going on there.

What about science common sense?

Somehow we allow ourselves to suspend disbelief for blockbuster productions on the big or small screen. But there is no getting away from it, Star Wars has little science common sense.

  • Noise in space – it’s a vacuum, sound effects are not going to happen. Sure it would make for some quiet scenes in the movies.
  • Time travel – hyper drive and no time lags (not even jet lag). That’s relativity gone out to lunch right there. Flying into meteror showers and planets is probably best avoided….
  • Metachlorians (or should that be mitochondrions?) – how are bacteria going to exert forces that move objects? Hilarious.
  • Never ending fuel – where does it all come from? Giant star ships move in all directions at massive speeds, across vast galaxies with no fuel propulsion and no refuellers anywhere.
  • Brakes – how do all these craft travel at vast speeds and suddenly come to a halt? In a vacuum that’s going to take a lot of energy and time.
  • Food and toilets – how do they keep all these armies of clone / stormtroopers fed and well? There are millions of them, not just a few troopers.
  • Millenium Falcon gravity. The ship twists and turns without a gravity boot or seat belt in sight. In the galaxy far, far away no one floats in space. And no one bangs their head on the ceiling either. Don’t try this one at home.

Stormtrooper effectiveness

Why couldn’t they hit a barn door in Episode IV, when the same cloned troopers defeated the droid army in the earlier (yet later) episodes? And then they get a makeover and become the super powerful First Order. All this from the same never-ending clone / training camps drawing on Jango Fett. Perhaps they would shoot straight if they could see where they were aiming through all that (useless) armour. One hit and they die. Hardly worth wearing it then is it?

Well that’s all for now. Hope you enjoy the many Star Wars movies and spin-offs. They are sure to be a big hit for many years to come. In case you’re wondering, I am a long-standing fan of the original Star Wars worts and all. Later in life I created Sean Yeager Adventures, with original ideas and inspiration from many sources. In Sean Yeager stories, things break and run out of fuel. Characters are heroes and fallible, often in the same scene. A bit like life really.

Happy reading and watching.


D.M. Jarrett

Sean Yeager Adventures website

Buy Sean Yeager Adventures


Fast-moving, action-packed and humorous

Make this into a movie now!

Buckle your seat belts!

This story reads like an action ride and I enjoyed the ride



Son inspires Father to write children’s book series

It all began on a foggy Saturday morning one autumn. I was driving my son to a football match along a winding country road. The fog was so thick we could hardly see the next bend, let alone the trees standing silently on either verge. Fortunately, the traffic was light and there were no wild deer wandering around. It seemed so surreal and closed-in that it made me feel like we were completely alone in the world. Two explorers on an empty trail.

‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we were kidnapped by aliens?’ I joked.

My son laughed and asked me what kind of spaceship they had. I invented a story as we drove along. It was a bit corny and very Close Encounters, but my son loved it. A huge ship with bright lights levitated our whole car into the sky, swallowed us whole and sped away into space.

‘And then what happened?’ asked my son.

We arrived a little late for the football match and I think the result was a hard-fought draw. On the way home my son again asked about the aliens. Over the next few days he asked for more  details, which I dutifully made up on the spot. And he drew pictures of the aliens, their home world and their ship. The mushroom headed aliens from the orange planet had been discovered!  As a surprise, I wrote a short story about an elaborated version of the adventure and printed it out, My son was only 5 years old and it seemed like a great way to encourage his reading. Sure enough, he read the twenty page story several times over and asked for more. He continued to request more information about the aliens and wandered around the living home inventing elaborate details. He invented their home world, their food, how they communicated and where they lived. A creative professor was appointed.

We still talk about that first story to this day. I have the printout tucked away in a folder somewhere. Over the following months I wrote several other short stories. A fairytale, a mystery and a spy story. Each was studied and my son acted as editor and critic. He was honest and articulate. We also shared the stories with one of his closest friends. Two of the stories stood out for them. The aliens and spies. They enthused about them and developed intricate details of the gear they used and how they outdid their enemies. It dawned on me that these two boys enjoyed nothing better than reading about gizmos, gear, ships and of course adventures.

Fast forwards several years, I am in the process of plotting Sean Yeager books 3, 4 and 5. My son, now 10, introduces inspired ideas. Sometimes accidentally, often with great precision and deep thought. He is the self-appointed ‘chief designer’. If a craft or building is referred to in a scene he designs it. Factions, tactics and missions are declared regularly with requests to talk about the ‘Golden Era’ or the ‘Foundation Commandos’. A timeline was invented pitching the  first two books firmly in the middle of an epic saga. So far so Star Wars and yet not at all.

We are both fans of James Bond, Star Wars and numerous films and characters. Monty Python and Johnny English for example. With a twist. Many are the times we debate where all the Stormtroopers have suddenly arrived from and why they can’t hit a barn door at five paces? Austin Powers is another favourite for making fun of the baddies and their huge private armies. We are convinced that every base must be wired with self destruct devices from day one.

Without giving away plot spoilers, it is true to say that my son has now inspired at least three major plot points in book 3 and most of the outline plot for book 4. Book 1 was drawn in part from two early short stories, while book 2 was I have to say mostly my own creation to surprise and stretch the genre. I have long since decided to stretch the SY world as far and deep as I can. With some humour and plot twists thrown in for good measure. The back story is about spies and two factions attempting to defeat each other and leave Earth. Hence the tagline James Bond meets Star Wars. Of course Sean Yeager Adventures are also original with a flavour of their own.

In the Sean Yeager world nothing is what it seems. For a start it is superficially just like the town you live in. Things break and go wrong. There are no massive armies or heroes who survive certain death for implausible reasons. You see, none of these plot angles would survive my number one muse and critic. And I find that the confines of constraint are far richer veins to explore than heroes and enemies with infinite resources. Perhaps those are variations on the ‘unstoppable force and immovable object paradox’? Or the similar ‘slap shot syndrome’.

Looking ahead, I am pleased to have entertained my son and his friends. Long may it continue. They have pretty much demanded book 3 with helpful hints such as: ‘more gear and vehicles please’.  They have role played the heroes and villains and taken them far further than the existing plot lines. Lego ships and paper drawings abound. We once made Kimbleton Hall in plan view out of basic Lego bricks. It was great fun. Book 3 is overdue and the plot is already well-defined. All that remains is the many hours of writing, refining and editing. LOL.

It seems that inspiration is circular, from author to readers and around again. From father to son and now son to father. One day who knows we may be watching a Sean Yeager film together and debating the finer points scene by scene. Now that would be fun.

D. M. Jarrett

Sean Yeager Adventures website

Buy Sean Yeager Adventures


Fast-moving, action-packed and humorous

Make this into a movie now!

Buckle your seat belts!

This story reads like an action ride and I enjoyed the ride


Do children learn better with less screen time?

Do you remember a time before PC’s, laptops, tablets and computer games? When making a phone call meant using a fixed line device that could only ring and click? Times move on, progress we are told is a good thing. But wait, did anyone ask whether all this technology is helping our children’s learning in their early years?

I have long been concerned about the length of time young eyes and postures spend hunched over controllers, tablets and computers. It seems to me that learning how to write with a pen, draw with a pencil, paint, sculpt, take things apart, make models and, fix bicycles are equally valid skills to learn and develop. To which we can easily add: play sports, read books, swim, run, learn musical instruments, sing, act, imagine, converse, play, explore and so on.

Do we want all our children to end up in offices staring at screens all day every day? Is that a good set of disciplines to be training children as young as 7? I think not. I believe that children can easily learn these skills in a few hours a week when they are ready. Let’s face it they are likely to use many devices at home anyway. And they have a knack of running rings around their parents when they do.

An OECD report published recently ( BBC link ) makes for interesting reading. It suggests that technology is not the panacea to learning that we have often been led to believe. It states that screen time does not help reading skills either. Surely some mistake? Isn’t the internet the ultimate answer to all our questions? Yes. And is it also the ultimate distraction? Smart phones are incredible, but do they encourage better grammar or conversation? Hmm, that’s worth thinking about isn’t it? Are we encouraging short attention spans and instant gratification instead of true childhood development?

My theory is this. Let’s develop our young children’s minds, their physical skills, their social skills and their spirits first and foremost. Let’s keep the tools in their place. As tools, not as primary skills. Technology is a helper it is not the font of imagination, solving the world’s problems or nurturing new talent. It has a place and can help sure, but it does not make the person.

The alternative is that we risk creating a generation of one-dimensional people if we limit their development to how to swipe a screen, search the internet and touch type. What about the myriad other skills and abilities the world needs every minute of every day? Isn’t it more sensible to balance children’s learning and maintain a mixture of practical, theoretical, vocational, factual and technological skills? Of course some children will become gifted programmers and in time many will use computers as tools to support their trades. But which comes first? The human being with the drive and ability to achieve great things or the blinking screen demanding attention every second of every day?

Roald  Dahl expressed a similar thought eloquently in his poem  Mike Teavee : ‘(TV) rots the sense in the head, it kills imagination dead’. And computers are in my experience every bit as limiting. They are great for the execution of tasks and ideas, but I find they stop creative thought dead in its tracks. Give me a pencil and piece of paper every time. It is the process of writing, reviewing, adjusting and repeating that helps me. Talking things through with another person is better still.  I’m sure it uses more neurones and connections. I’m convinced that more lateral thoughts result from conversation and sharing ideas socially.

Seriously though, there has to be a balance don’t you agree?  Moderation in all things. Too much screen time really could make Jack and Jill dull boys and girls. And that would be two genuinely missed opportunities.

D.M. Jarrett

Sean Yeager Adventures website

Buy Sean Yeager Adventures

Amazon reviews:

Fast-moHunters Hunted Text 2lving, action-packed and humorous

Make this into a movie now!

Buckle your seat belts!

This story reads like an action ride and I enjoyed the ride

Five great tips for encouraging boys’ reading

Five great book reading tips for boys.

Boys can sometimes be reluctant to read books and let’s face it they often have plenty of other distractions. Recent research has shown that regular book reading and progress with reading development are key indicators of success at school. So how can carers and parents encourage boys to read more often and more widely?

Here are some tips to help the boys in your life read more I hope they help.

1. Involve boys in buying (or borrowing) their books

In this way they will feel empowered and given the choice of what they would like to read. Be careful though not to limit their choice too much. Most people like to feel they have a say in their life choices and boys are no different when it comes to books. And by the way, physical books are far more attractive than e-books or worse a computer file (where they can easily pretend to be reading).

2. Indulge their interests (within reason)

If your boy likes reference books about sports cars, go with the flow. It’s worth bearing in mind that any reading can be good reading. Of course there will be some exceptions, but if they love Mutant Alien Zombie Slimebugs from Lincolnshire and the book is a harmless read, where’s the harm? You can always insert a few more traditional choices alongside their apparent favourites.

3. Set regular reading times

A regular time before sleep or early in the morning can work really well. As can ‘dead time’ in a car or while waiting for an out of school class. As a parent I have found that regular slots work best and when my son has a book he really enjoys it is so easy, he simply wants to find out what happens next.

4. Acquire some ‘cool’ books

Peer pressure is a huge factor as your child reader grows up. If their whole school is interested in Harry Potter or a similar high profile title seize the opportunity. They may not like each book just because their friends and rivals do, however it’s another string to your bow in convincing them to read in a soft way. Their motivation being the key point here.

5. Reward regular reading with treats

If all else fails, reward reading minutes with another currency. It may not be money, it could be time spent doing something else they enjoy. To succeed though they must always earn their reward before being allowed to indulge in their laptop, computer games or football (for example). Bribery may not be ideal, but it can work if used sparingly and provided promises are kept on both sides.

Best of luck

D.M. Jarrett

Sean Yeager Adventures website

Buy Sean Yeager Adventures


Fast-moving, action-packed and humorous

Make this into a movie now!

Buckle your seat belts!

This story reads like an action ride and I enjoyed the ride