Monthly Archives: April 2012

Big Three? Or Not Big Three? – SWBTF #16

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Welcome back to Star Wars Beyond the Films, your weekly look at the Star Wars expanded universe!

On this episode the guys talk about what’s new, including Blue Rebels?!

Baby Jaina is all cuteness with dad’s saber.

Both hosts will have to rearrange or purchase new book shelves in order to hold their whole Star Wars media collection! Here’s Mark’s shelf.

Images of Nathan’s EU collection can be found here, though he has yet to finish purchasing and arranging his collection.

Move over Garibaldi, Star Wars will be taking over your space on the wall!

Is Star Wars viable with EU only characters? And can the Saga use non film characters and thrive? Or even survive?
Should new characters get more page time, or less? Corran Horn finds some page love in Apocalypse.

The Old Republic is a prime example of new characters. Jaden Korr, and other game characters have been featured prominently in single novels.

Wedge Antilles was a minor film character who’s character was featured greatly in the EU.
Can Del Rey play off the younger generation?
Nathan mentions Scourge and talks about how the publisher entices readers.

Mark has a man crush on Corran Horn, and he’s not a film character, or even a main character in the EU, like Jacen or Jaina Solo.

The potential for great stories is ever present in the ever expanding Star Wars universe.

Red Harvest was a great stand alone that did just that: stood completely alone. No known character was used, and it was set in its own timeframe.
They pause and talk about TOR, the comic and it’s book and how that factors into the over all saga.
Nathan says the 5 words that kill Mark “I don’t care about K’kruhk”
This sets Mark off in a rant about K’kruhk being back in the Order since the end of the New Jedi Order.

Dawn of the Jedi – could this be your reboot series?

Do most stand alone books cover game characters vs newly invented ones? For instance Jaden Korr and Revan vs Corran Horn and Ganner Rhysode.
Is it time for Yoda’s force ghost to make an appearance?

Also, is Jaina on equal footing with the big three? How will they phase the big three out? Eventually they’ll be too old to continue to realistically use… And, what does a post Apocalypse EU look like?
From what readers DO KNOW from the Legacy comic series, readers know some of the direction.
Have characters been killed off for ratings? Was Jacen’s character prematurely killed off?
At some point the big three will have to bow out, period. And wouldn’t that scenario be very hard to market?

Is Darth Vader shoehorned into the EU between Episode three and four? The Clone Wars seems to be having a hard time with cramming in the story-line as well. Settings in the eras farthest from that bright center (the films) seem to be the best place to use non film characters.
Nathan and Mark also discuss the cancelation of Blood Oath and fan reactions to that.

Ahsoka is comes very close to being a canon main character, and she came fairly late to Star Wars, publishing wise.

Your hosts also talk about Maul as a recurring character….

And Nathan starts the doomsday clock of the Saga…..

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an EU tv series? Something like: X-Wing: Wraith Squadron coming to television soon! Ahh Mark really gets onto the loving of Wedge Antilles bandwagon.

Should we have more book trailers?

Mark looks at the New Jedi Order and how it was a series made up of standalones and doulogies and trilogies, not just one big series even though that was how it was marketed.

Should the line up of authors from the Legacy of the Force series to the Fate of the Jedi series have been rotated? When books/authors don’t line up it sometimes brings the reader out of the story, and it translates to series as well.

They guys finish by reminding themselves that they love the saga, and that some times concern and passion can be seen as being negative. Sometimes it just shows you care.

After all, the hosts want their children and their children’s children to be having fun with old and new Star Wars adventures to read and watch.

We hope you enjoy this episode, and may the Force be you, always!

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Darth Plagueis Commentary: Chapters 8-11

Darth Plagueis Commentary: Chapters 8-11

Who is still talking about the Darth Plagueis novel? We are!

Here is our discussion of chapters 8-11.  For this part of the discussion Mark Hurliman of the Star Wars Report and Star Wars Beyond the Films podcasts joins me.  We also have a special guest, Mark’s father (Mark E) who himself is an avid reader of the Star Wars novels.

If you missed the first two parts of our discussion here are the links.

Prologue - Chapter 3
Chapter 4 – Chapter 7

 

Mark: So we’re on Chapter 8, Victims of Their Own Demise

Aaron: Plagueis decides to track down some “Forceful” beings that Venamis had his eye on.  “Forceful”, still can’t get used to that word.  So the first one he tracks down is a gambler.  I guess it’s not really gambling when you are using the Force.

Mark: Breaking Muun tradition no less by being seen in places no Muun would go.  The fact that the first one was a shape-shifter of all things blew me away.  I love the idea of a Sith shape-shifter.

Mark E: A shape shifting gambler who was giving his winnings to Kerred Santhe of Santhe/Seinar.

Mark: Yeah the tie in to Santhe was cool.  Plagueis himself assassinated Kerred Santhe’s father which made a nice twist and kept things going with more details that linked the Sith to older works.

Aaron: I’ve never actually liked the idea of shape-shifters in Star Wars.  I’ve always thought it was more of a Star Trek thing.

Mark E: But shape-shifters are way cool, and pretty hard to hunt.

Aaron: Exactly why I don’t like them. Too easy of a plot device.  Now was he the same species as Zam Wesell from Attack of the Clones?

Mark: No, at first Plagueis thinks so, but turned out it was a Shi’ido like Uncle Hoole in Galaxy of Fear ;)

Aaron: Galaxy of Fear. Oh, everyone read those books…

Mark: I’m only missing #9 and #10.  I was surprised though that Plagueis left the Shi’ido alive.

Aaron: Yes, if you can call the way he left him alive

Mark E: He let him go but basically told him to get his winnings and get out, he was done!

Mark: 11-4D blasts him in the brain, but do we think this was a permanent disabling of his shifting?  Or would he heal up?

Aaron: “You can’t leave me like this” the Shi’ido begged.

Mark: It was left kind of vague there.  But still I loved it. I found myself falling to the dark side in this book.

Aaron: Let me quote the book here.  I think it implies he was permanently disfigured…

“You have one last chance to use your Force talents to win big before your horrid image becomes the centerpiece of the cheaters database on every gambling world.”

Mark E: I didn’t get permanently disfigured as Plagueis was going to allow him to continue fleecing casinos.

Mark: I guess when I was reading it I was figuring Plagueis thought Shi’idos were ugly/ hidious in general.  But it does make sense that the Shi’ido would have one shot in the form it’s in now and that would be the same as any person who can’t shift having one shot, or as many shots as they took before getting caught.

Aaron: So Plagueis moves on to Saleucami to meet somewhat of a cult leader.  It was kind of a gathering of hippies.

Mark E: Really spacey hippies!  Selected hippies.

Mark: And hasn’t The Clone Wars gone there a couple times?  Or mentioned it?

Aaron: This was the planet where Rex got shot and meets the clone deserter Cut Lawquane.  It is also one of the planets in the Order 66 montage in Revenge of the Sith.

Mark: The planet Saleucami has shown up a few times in the EU correct?  Republic comics for one.

Aaron: You can’t spell Saleucami without “eu”.  It is a very important planet in this era.  The Iktochi woman seemed like she knew what she was talking about with her professions.  “On the horizon looms a galaxy spanning war.”

Mark: Yeah she all but calls the future and Plagueis can’t have that.  You had this sense of something very bad was about to happen

Aaron: And once she realizes what he is she basically begs him to take her as an apprentice. “Let me do your bidding.”

Mark: It was a cool throw back to Vader’s “what is thy bidding my master” line.  When he touches her and fries her I thought of a well-executed assassination.

Aaron: The hand holding of death.

Mark E: He did nothing… “she fainted”.

Aaron: And then Plagueis moves on to the third unwitting victim.

Mark E: Naat Lare had broken out of the Bedlam Institution for the Criminally Insane.  Sounds like a fun place!

Mark: I couldn’t help but think of Arkham Asylum.

Aaron: And Venamis helped him escape. He must have had a lot of interest in this guy.

Mark: Plus if Naat had survived he would have made a darn good Apprentice. Venamis picked potentials well, you gotta hand him that.
Venamis might have been a very real threat- he being a Bith after all. We never saw the depths of HIS genius. And from the small bit we got in the Tenebrous Way; I fear Bith Sith!
By this point, I was starting to feel the chapter was more a filler chapter, but it did have a certain EU real feel to it. With every Sith potential even having potentials. As with the EU you can never get rid of the Sith, or Sith wannabe’s.

Aaron: Yes I agree, it did seem like filler but it was cool.  I always like to see Force users who are not affiliated with the Jedi or Sith.

Mark E: What did you think of how quickly Plagueis snapped back when he heard “Jedi”?

Aaron: I think he was excited that the Jedi were involved. Like he was hoping for a confrontation.

Mark E: I liked the fact they tracked him to Barab.

Mark: Barab- I loved it’s use- we know the Barbel have a deep respect for Jedi, and how would they even know a Sith from a Jedi at this point in time?

Aaron: This was happening on Abraxin right, not Barab?

Mark: Hmmm this bears closer inspection… Oh it looks as though it was a Barabel settlement. Which makes more sense come to think of it.

Aaron: I personally got very excited to see Jedi at this point.  I was hoping they would be more involved in the story.

Mark: I agree Aaron- I had hoped they would play a bigger part, but the part they played was diabolically clever.

Mark E: I liked how he had 11-4D watch the Jedi for reaction when he called on the Force.

Mark: Shadow Games give us some minor insight into what it must have been like to be Naat or even Kit Fisto, a Force sensitive Nautolan.

Aaron: I loved the end of this chapter. Plagueis meets Naat and tells him to prove himself by defeating the Jedi.

Mark E: But then Plagueis has the Jedi Ni-Cada do the dirty work for him.

Mark: Yeah, suckering the Jedi to do his dirty work was perfect- had Naat proved worthy, well, things would have been different to say the least.

Aaron: I feel like Naat would have been more of an enforcer and not fit well with Plagueis.  Like Maul was to Palpatine.

Mark: Maul…. Oh poor poor Maul (But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

Mark E: Naat was truly criminally insane.  Plagueis had no use for him, whether he was Forceful or not.

Mark: I got the distinct impression that it was the Padawan who did the killing though.  With his Master screaming “Don’t Don’t.”

Aaron: When he said “Stand aside Padawan” I figured the Master handled it from there.

Mark E: Padawan questions “Master?”  Someone else presumeably Master, says “its done, he’s dead.”

Mark: I like how some authors assign nothing to dialog. Karen Traviss would do this and I could get so confused at times.  To me it was more the Padawan excited by the battle “Master!” The Master tries to intervene “Stand aside Padawan.”

Aaron: Based on the last two lines of the chapter it seems clear that the Master did the killing.

Mark: It’s all about point of view.  I’m not saying I’m right- just how I read it was different.

Aaron: Moving on…

Mark: Going back to Hego Damask, and more of the public side of his Sithy self.

Aaron: Chapter 9. Our intro to Palpatine in this book!

Aaron: What did you guys think about the fact that they still kept his first name a mystery?

Mark E: I thought it was explained that he was just rebelling against the norm and he chose to go only by his last name.

Mark: I found the lack of his first name interesting to be sure. I’ve seen some say his name was the same as his fathers but I felt it was way too wide open to lock down. It was some rebelling- I mean the fact that the Palpatine name is a ROYAL line on Naboo. That took me back.

Mark E: The untapped plasma of Naboo, one of the more memorable aspects of The Phantom Menace.

Mark: Oh man the plasma- that totally changed how I looked at the purple beams flowing up in The Phantom Menace during the Duel of Fates!

Aaron: And the value of the plasma made you realize just how important Naboo is in the overall plan of the Sith.

Mark: Yes- the plasma made Naboo more relevant then it was in the films IMO. Or at least it made it have more of an allure.  I liked how the Naboo and Gungans would recall Plagueis’ trip as Damask as the coldest winter they ever had.  We also learn where the Royal Fleet comes from- Hint Hint R2!

Aaron: I liked this line…
“In human hands…rested the profane future of the galaxy.”
He didn’t like humans but knew their importance.

Mark: As if Plagueis knew this and worked all his Sithly plans in that fashion.  He was ready to set Naboo up for life to get his hands on the plasma… or better- to USE the plasma to further the Sith Grand Plan.  Everything seemed to factor into this plan.

Aaron: And he uses Palpatine to help determine who will be the next king.  The Sith don’t leave anything to chance.

Mark E: The meeting between Plagueis and Palpatine was kind of drawn out, but Plagueis did a pretty thorough job of interviewing for an apprentice.  What about Palpatine being a speeder racer?

Mark: Learning Palpatine; like Anakin has a need for speed was great! I never would have taken Palpatine for a thrill junkie!

Aaron: I actually thought that bit of information was out of place.  It never really factored into the rest of the story.  Did we really need to know Palpatine had a sweet ride?

Mark: And yet it too fits with his ole EU self- the playboy.

Mark E: Need for speed plays to the rich kid persona.
And then Hedo hires palpatine as a spy for Damask holdings at the end of the interview! Then Palpatine says he will only work for Hego if he can report directly to him.

Mark: You have to wonder if the amulet Plagueis gives Palpatine was under any spells.

Aaron: Or a tracking device?

Aaron: Moving onto Chapter 10: The Cycle of Violence.  Palpatine gives Plagueis the tour of Theed and they are fast friends.

Mark E: Fast friends, but Plageis “knows he can own him”

Mark: I liked how Palpatine knew the speeder was a bribe from his father, but took it anyway.  Already showing a Sith-like way of thinking.  I’ll use you using me to my own advantage.

Aaron: We learn Palpatine has blood on his hands at an early age, being responsible for the deaths of 2 pedestrians.  He doesn’t seem to care that much about it.

Mark: He has his own moral code.  That seemed to be of great interest to Plagueis.

Mark E: He learned his lesson, wear down pops and you can drive the speeder again.  No accountability for the rich kid.

Mark: Palpatine also has his own opinions of the Jedi and the state of galactic affairs

Aaron: Palpatine is so political minded but tries to act like he isn’t interested in politics. Plagueis could see right through him.

Mark: Like he was a closet politician.

Mark E: Palpatine is certainly racist against the Gungans, “I don’t mind them as long as they keep to their submerged cities and waterways.”

Aaron: Fits with the mostly human Empire when he is in charge.

Mark: Yes I kept expecting to see Plagueis do something SO TERRIBLE that Palpatine would hate all aliens from then on out- but it would appear his prejudices were already in place.

Aaron: I kept forgetting how young he was here. He was only like 17, right?

Mark: I believe so.

Mark: You knew Palpatine didn’t have a chance in the 9 Hells when Plagueis thinks to himself, “Before long, I will own this human.” And then proceeds to manipulate the holy Sith out of him.

Mark E: He’d respect the Jedi more if they’d only impose their will on the entire galaxy.  Sounds like the future!

Aaron: The funny thing is, at this point, Plagueis still can’t tell if he has the Force.

Mark: I loved this- the way it was explained made so many other EU works make sense- like Zekk- how he wasn’t noticed at first, and other Jedi who were missed at a young age.  The fact that it was a defense mechanism in Force strong beings also makes sense why Anakin didn’t just JUMP OUT WITH A NEON SIGN.  It took his blood sample to floor Qui-gon, not his mere presence.  And the way Luceno explained it made so many things work!  I love it when a book does this!

Aaron: It seems the will of the midi-chlorians can be used to explain anything about the power or lack of power of a Force user at any given moment.  Like, Obi wan couldn’t run faster at the end of Ep 1 because the midi-chlorians didn’t let him.

Mark: Which is EPIC! Because the midi-chlorians follow the Will of the Force- so in a sense the mystery is still there while they made it quantifiable at the same time.

Mark: So in this chapter the miners who were marooned in chapter 2- we discover their fate, that of being murdered and left on their employers front door.  Also the book once more jumps ahead a few months.  That’s something I really enjoy about the Sith books- they cover lifetimes, not just events.

Aaron: And then we get Palpatine’s dad basically telling Plagueis “stay away from my son”.

Mark: Yeah that was exactly what Plagueis was waiting for- grooming the moment as it were to set father against son.

Aaron: This was a war of wills that Cosigna had no chance of winning.  Moving on to Chapter 11.

Mark: Avatar of Morality

Aaron: Plagueis meets with Palpatine and tells him a story about how he orchestrated the deaths of his siblings after his father’s death so he could inherit the fortune.

Mark: Plagueis sets the bait that will later ensnare Palpatine and leave him little choice but to join Plagueis.

Aaron: And we are led to believe the story may not be completely true.

Mark: This too plays into the moment that arrived last chapter- now he paints Palpatine the picture of betrayal, and gaining the uperhand over an oppressive family.

Aaron: So Palpatine’s father makes the big mistake of trying to assert his will on Palpatine right after his head has been filled with Plagueis’s ideas

Mark: Bad timing pops.

Mark E: big mistake…

Mark: Plus he gets the whole family onto the ship together.  I mean it IS the perfect opportunity

Aaron: This was almost a little too convenient. We also learn that Palpatine’s dad always had a bad feeling about him. Knew he was trouble.
“You’re an animal at heart”
“King of the Beasts, father”

Mark: Plus…
“if the Force birthed you then I curse it”
“As I do” says Palpatine.

Aaron: He says all the wrong things and Palpatine in all his teenage, untrained Force rage brutally kills his father.

Mark E: Mom, dad and siblings too!

Aaron: I have to say although I saw the death of his dad coming, I was surprised he killed everyone else on the ship.

Mark: Very much Anakin and the Tusken Raider village all over again.  And Palpatine reaches out to his new mentor- and Plagueis goes to efforts to cover up the murders. “Congratulations on becoming an emancipated being.”  Great set up- and you could say that in a sense Palpatine starts to really share the limelight.  One other thing I loved about this book is that it could just as easily be a prequel for a Darth Sidious book to come later.

Aaron: In a way this was a Darth Sidious book.

Mark: Very much so.  This is also when Plagueis himself discovers just how POWERFUL Palpatine is in the Force.  The murders have broken down the barriers protecting him.

Aaron: So now Plagueis knows he picked the right guy, reveals himself as a Sith and tells Palpatine he has a new name.  A lot for Palpatine to take in but he goes right along with it.

Mark: This was the money chapter. The moment when things shift into a higher gear.

Aaron: Once Palpatine was introduced the book really picked up for me.

Mark E: “From this day forward, the truth of you, now and forever more, will be Sidious.”

Aaron: Seeing exactly how he became Sidious was a thing of fanboy dreams.

Mark E: I thought the book really took off from here.  I finished the rest in like a day and a half.

Mark: I loved when Palpatine mentions that he could have joined the Jedi Order and Plagueis comes back “and of what possible use do you think a person of your nature would be to the Jedi Order? You’re heartless, ambitious, arrogant, insidious, and without shame or empathy. More you’re a murderer.” (cue Gollem talking to Smeagol)
You totally had the sense that Palpatine was about to make his deal with the devil. The classic Sith christening. I had the same feeling when Anakin dons the title in the Episode 3 novelization. I love how Plagueis tells him there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“In time you will come to understand that you are one with the dark side of the Force, and that your power is beyond contradiction. But just now, and until I tell you differently, abiding submission is your only road to salvation.”

Boy these were some great chapters.  This was when the book got hard to put down.

 

That is all for our discussion of chapters 8-11.  Check back for chapters 12-15 next time.

- Aaron Goins

 

There is No Try – SWR #41

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Welcome back to the Star Wars Report podcast!

On this episode, your hosts Mark, Riley and Bethany are joined by special guest host Jason of the Wampa’s Lair Podcast! We talk about many things Star Wars, and talk to Jason about how he got into Star Wars, and what his favorite Star Wars moments are, among other things.

Star Wars Identities has an official website!

We gave several Star Wars Celebration Six updates,  and talked about Lucasfilm’s decision to abandon the facility building plans they had for Marin County, CA.

A new Darth Maul comic has been announced.

DK publishing donates $95,000 in children’s books on behalf of the 501st and the Rebel Legion!

We also discuss Star Wars Kinect a bit more.

Why is The Clone Wars writer Brent Friedman skulking around LF?

What is coming in the future of Star Wars, now that TCW is getting older, and the Fate of the Jedi series is at an end, what stories will be told? What will happen to the Jedi?

We talked about Del Ray’s April fools joke, and laughed about it.

We hope you enjoy this episode, and remember, many Bothans died to bring you this podcast!

Email:         starwarsreport@gmail.com

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Forum:       www.eucantina.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1233


Dallas Comic Con Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Largest Show Yet!

Dallas Comic Con celebrates 10th anniversary with largest show yet!

Actors Patrick Stewart, Val Kilmer and TV’s original Dynamic Duo – Adam West and Burt Ward – join a long list of comic artists and media guests for the largest Dallas Comic Con yet on May 19 and 20. Presented by legendary comic book writer Stan Lee, the show will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the 300,000-square-foot Irving Convention Center in Irving, Texas.

“This is definitely our biggest show thus far,” said producer Ben Stevens. “Not only do we have a huge line-up of artists, actors and other guests, but we’re using every square foot of the facility so we can bring in some new and exciting surprises for our fans. There will be more things for them to do and see at this show.”

Mr. Lee, a guest at last year’s Dallas Comic Con, signed up for this year’s show immediately afterward. In addition to being the former president of Marvel Comics, he’s well known in the industry as a writer, editor, actor, producer and publisher.

Comic artists appearing at the show include Neal Adams, co-founder of Continuity Comics and legendary artist of Batman, Conan the Barbarian, Green Arrow, Superman and X-Men; Superman artist George Perez, also known for Wonder Woman; Len Wein, co-creator of Wolverine and Swamp Thing; and Marvel artist Arthur Suydam, award-winning creator of the smash hit Marvel Zombies series.

Mr. Lee charges a fee for autographs, and many of the artists draw small sketches for a fee. However, most artists will sign autographs at no charge

Actor Kevin Conroy, the voice of “Batman/Bruce Wayne” in both animated film and video games, also will be signing at no charge throughout the weekend.

Patrick Stewart and Val Kilmer top the media guest list that will appeal to fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Batman and even the recent hit movie, The Hunger Games.

Mr. Stewart is best known to sci-fi fans as Star Trek’s “Capt. Jean-Luc Picard” and “Professor Charles Xavier” in the X-Men movies and video games. Mr. Kilmer took on the iconic lead role in 1995’s Batman Forever, played “Doc Holliday” in Tombstone, and nailed the role of “Jim Morrison” in Oliver Stone’s The Doors.

Other media guests include actors Adam West and Burt Ward, aka “Batman” and “Robin” in the 1960s Batman TV series; actress Kristanna Loken from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; John de Lancie, who starred in both Star Trek: The Next Generation and Stargate SG-1; and Dallas native Tim Taylor, who plays “The Gamekeeper” in the recent smash hit The Hunger Games.

Star Wars fans will welcome back perennial favorites Dave Prowse, who played the villainous “Darth Vader” in the original trilogy; Jeremy Bulloch, portrayer of favorite bounty hunter “Boba Fett;” and Englishman-turned-Texan Peter Mayhew, best known as the gruff but lovable sidekick “Chewbacca.”

During the two-day event, the actors will be available to sign autographs, talk with fans and answer questions during special panel discussions, which are free to attend as space allows. Guests charge a fee for autographs.

In addition to meeting the actors and artists, fans may peruse more than 200 exhibitor booths featuring comic books, movie memorabilia, old and new toys, clothing and other merchandise. For an additional fee, fans also may have their photo taken with select actors by a professional photographer.

Admission to Dallas Comic Con is $20 Saturday and $15 Sunday when pre-purchased online, and an additional $5 if purchased at the box office. Online sales end April 20. VIP and Priority passes for this show are sold out.

Show hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 19, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 20. The Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., is at the intersection of SH114 and Northwest Highway in Irving, Texas.

For more information or to pre-purchase tickets, please visit the website at http://dallascomiccon.com.

Nathan’s Interview with WARS Radio 2

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Greetings and welcome!

On Dec. 31, 2011, Nathan Butler was interviewed by James Robert Crews Wylder for the podcast WARS Radio 2. The discussion involved Nathan’s previous writing experiences with Star Wars Tales, WARS, and original works like Greater Good that was just professinally released this month. As a curiosity for those interested in Nathan’s other works, we re-release “WARS Radio 2 #3″ here through the Star Wars Beyond the Films podcast feed. We hope you enjoy the interview. More information can be found at http://nathanpbutler.com/.

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