Monthly Archives: November 2012

Book Review – Star Wars: The Old Republic: Annihilation

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Annihilation, released today, was the fifth and final new Star Wars novel released by Del Rey in 2012.  I would say that Annihilation is more in the vein of Mercy Kill or Scourge rather than Darth Plagueis or Apocalypse but we’ll get into that later.  First, here is the official synopsis.

The Sith Empire is in flux. The Emperor is missing, presumed dead, and an ambitious Sith Lord’s attempt to seize the throne has ended fatally. Still, Darth Karrid, commander of the fearsome Imperial battle cruiser Ascendant Spear, continues her relentless efforts to achieve total Sith domination of the galaxy.

But Karrid’s ruthless determination is more than matched in the steely resolve of Theron Shan, whose unfinished business with the Empire could change the course of the war for good. Though the son of a Jedi Master, Theron does not wield the Force—but like his renowned mother, the spirit of rebellion is in his blood. As a top covert agent for the Republic, he struck a crucial blow against the Empire by exposing and destroying a Sith superweapon arsenal—which makes him the ideal operative for a daring and dangerous mission to end Ascendant Spear’s reign of terror.

Joined by hot-headed smuggler Teff’ith, with whom he has an inexplicable bond, and wise Jedi warrior Gnost-Dural, Darth Karrid’s former master, Theron must match wits and weapons with a battle-tested crew of the most cold-blooded dark side disciples. But time is brutally short. And if they don’t seize their one chance to succeed, they will surely have countless opportunities to die..

Annihilation is the fourth novel in what is kind of a series of Old Republic novels based on the MMO with the same name.  I say “kind of a series” because the individual novels don’t really have an ongoing narrative and can essentially each stand on their own.  If anything Annihilation is a sequel to the Dark Horse Comics series The Lost Suns which tells a previous story of our main protagonist Theron Shan.  Reading this comic series before reading Annihilation is not necessary but it may help you get to know the characters better and understand some of the references they make.

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What The Phantom Menace Can Teach Us About Episode VII

Star Wars Episode VII is coming out.

I’ve never seen so many people who have disliked the direction of the franchise over the past few years jump back onto the bandwagon.

(I envision them as the Minions from Despicable Me.)

“Hurray! George Lucas is no longer involved. No more of that Jar Jar crap! We’re finally going to get the movies that we’ve always wanted!”

What could go wrong?

There are people who seem to naively think that the prequels are all that’s wrong with the franchise, when the real problem is themselves. Think about it.

Almost everyone can agree that The Phantom Menace had WAY more hype than it could possibly live up to. No matter what you think of the film, realize that people had their own idea about what TPM should be like, and when it didn’t fit perfectly into that picture, predictably, they were disappointed.

That is very similar to what I see going on right now. Now is the honeymoon period. Everyone is really excited. Even John Smith, who hasn’t liked a single Star Wars story since he watched The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, thinks that, somehow,  Episode VII  will be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Not going to happen.

Why? Because Joe is convinced that the new SW movie MUST be a direct adaptation of Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, or that it HAS TO overwrite the expanded universe, or that it’s GOT TO recast the big three, or that it CAN’T POSSIBLY recast the big three, or that Joss Whedon MUST do it, or J. J. Abrams, or Stephen Spielburg… you get the idea.

I’m already seeing people make decisions about what these new Star Wars movies should be, while in the same talking about how Disney “BETTER NOT SCREW IT UP!”

The reality is that George Lucas wrote the treatments, and Kathleen Kennedy will stay true to George’s vision, and that vision may not fit exactly into what we want it to be or think it should be.

But it’s still going to be new Star Wars on the big screen.

I choose to enjoy the new Star Wars films for what they are, and not to hate them for what they are not.

Riley Blanton

Host of the Star Wars Report podcast, Tech enthusiast, former CAP cadet. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of… well… other people.

A Whole New Discussion- TWL Discussion Video


Check out Karl and Jason’s first joint discussion video as they sit down to talk (face to face) about the news surrounding Harrison Ford’s possible return for the Sequel Trilogy as well as the news about Michael Arndt taking on the job as the screenwriter for Episode VII.

Clone Wars Revisited- TWL #36

Join Karl and Jason as they welcome returning special guest Joe “Hogatron” Hogan, the amazing up-and-coming Star Wars artist who has done their artwork as well as other numerous Star Wars art projects, most notably “Siren of Dathomir.” Strap yourselves in as they have a great time talking with Joe about his current motion-comic project which will be featuring two very special guests! They go on to discuss the Clone Wars Micro Series which aired back in 2003. So sit back, relax, grab some cold blue milk and enjoy another fun episode!


Disney Star Wars Rumors Abound – SWR #69

Hello one, hello all! Welcome back to the Star Wars Report podcast!

On this episode, your three hosts, Riley, Mark and me (Bethany) are all back to discuss some of the most interesting Disney Star Wars rumors! Joining us for an episode of fun is good friend Steve Glosson of Geek Out Loud fame.

We spoke of Michael Arndt (who’s writing credits include Toy Story 3, the upcoming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and an untitled Pixar project) having written a treatment of Episode 7 that will be shown to different, potential directors. We also speculated about the directors we’d like to see take on the project, and who it makes sense to assume the responsibility.

We also discussed what story and timeline the movie would most likely take place in, and the reports that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford all seem willing to re-assume their original trilogy roles.

We wondered what the new Star Wars will look like. It’s been decades since the originals, and years since the prequels. What form will these new movies take? What form will Star Wars as a franchise take? We were all optimistic about Disney’s acquisition though, and trust that overall, Star Wars is in good hands, and the vision of Star Wars will remain intact.

Why are we confident of this though? We take a brief look at the history of Disney and Lucasfilm as companies, and the creative vision behind both, and in the end, while both companies have had their dark times, the vision behind both continue and to some degree align with each other. As consumers, we’ve had very good products and stories from both, and we saw no reason for that not to continue. Disney handled the acquisitions of both Pixar and Marvel well, why should they mishandle the acquisition of Lucasfilm?

Long live the Wars! What do you think Star Wars will look like in the future? Are you thrilled, worried, or a bit of both?

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