Author Archives: Nathan Butler

The Force Awakens (and Some Show News) – Rebels Roundtable #27

The Star Wars Report’s Rebels Roundtable takes on The Force Awakens.

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The Star Wars Report’s Rebels Roundtable returns with a massive episode featuring the panel’s reactions to The Force Awakens.

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(‘Nuff Said.)

Join Johnathan, Berent, Jen, Nathan, and Jerry (a Republic Forces Radio Network reunion!) as they discuss the newest entry in the Star Wars film saga. How did the new characters strike them? What did the panelists think of the returning characters? Did they all actually like the film? Oh, and what is the future of Rebels Roundtable? All this and more in this episode

Download the MP3 of this episode HERE (right click, save as).

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Star Wars: The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku – A Beyond the Films Review

With a backlog of recorded episodes and episodes to record very soonStar Wars Beyond the Films‘ Nathan P. Butler is now posting short, non-spoiler reviews for many new releases. Spoiler-filled discussion will often follow in the weeks thereafter on the podcast. (In the case of minor releases, that discussion may be kept for a Year in Review series of episodes.)


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The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku by Landry Q. Walker (ebook, 2015)

In April 2016, a new anthology – something Star Wars fans have long been hoping for – will be released. The book, Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens will include six stories, four of which were recently released as separate ebooks, months before seeing physical print. Unlike in previous anthologies, all of the stories in this new tome will be written by a single author, Landry Q. Walker. Each story will feature alien characters from The Force Awakens. This review focuses on one of the four stories released in December 2015.

The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku

Sidon Ithano (AKA the “Crimson Corsair”) and his first mate, Quiggold, appear in The Force Awakens as the duo with whom Finn intends to leave Takodana. That makes them the characters with the greatest impact on the film among the characters featured in the Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens ebooks released in December 2015. That gives this story a tiny bit more gravitas, since we might actually have wondered about these characters when seeing the movie in theaters. (As Dennis Miller once said and I am fond of saying, this makes them the valedictorians of summer school, the most notable of a rather lackluster lot.)

The story is a sort of pirate chase. A Separatist ship carrying a valuable cargo for Cound Dooku crashes on Ponemah late in the Clone Wars, and in the era prior to The Force Awakens, its location is discovered. Varioius gangs and pirate crews race to get to the ship first and obtain its contents. We follow Ithano’s team, as they race against rivals old and new, facing a sandstorm and more, only to find that the prize is not quite what they expected.

This is a fast-paced tale with some intriguing twists, especially in the revelation of what the valuable cargo on the ship turns out to be. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that the revelation has a strong tie into the sixth season of The Clone Wars and makes me wish we had seen see more of Ithano’s crew in The Force Awakens.

The story includes a fair amount of humor. With its fast pacing and amusing moments, it has the feel of a Pirates of the Caribbean film, just without as outlandish a lead as Jack Sparrow.

It is the longest of the ebooks in this series with the longest title as well, and it just might be the story that will have the most “mainstream” appeal to Star Wars readers.

Does the Label Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Actually Fit the Story?

Unfortunately, like most stories in our “journey” to the new film, this story has no real relevance to the movie at all. Like with other stories in the line, this is a Tales from Mos Eisley (et al) style short story to give us an adventure for some of the aliens seen on Takodana in The Force Awakens. Unlike the anthologies of the 1990s though, no attempt is made to actually tie the actual story into the film beyond shared characters. The label simply does not fit the content.

The Verdict

The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku is a fun read, and it sparks enough interest in the reader to foster a hope for further stories of the Meson Martinet‘s crew. This is definitely one to check out, especially for fans of The Clone Wars.

Recommended for: Those looking for a fun romp with ties into The Clone Wars.

Not recommended for: Those looking for something that truly ties directly into The Force Awakens or those who greatly disliked The Clone Wars.

A retail purchase ebook (on Nook) was used for this review.

Star Wars: All Creatures Great and Small – A Beyond the Films Review

With a backlog of recorded episodes and episodes to record very soonStar Wars Beyond the Films‘ Nathan P. Butler is now posting short, non-spoiler reviews for many new releases. Spoiler-filled discussion will often follow in the weeks thereafter on the podcast. (In the case of minor releases, that discussion may be kept for a Year in Review series of episodes.)


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All Creatures Great and Small by Landry Q. Walker (ebook, 2015)

In April 2016, a new anthology – something Star Wars fans have long been hoping for – will be released. The book, Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens will include six stories, four of which were recently released as separate ebooks, months before seeing physical print. Unlike in previous anthologies, all of the stories in this new tome will be written by a single author, Landry Q. Walker. Each story will feature alien characters from The Force Awakens. This review focuses on one of the four stories released in December 2015.

All Creatures Great and Small

At first glance, the strange character Bobbajo, the old Nu-Cosian with a long neck and containers of creatures on his back that we briefly see at Unkar Plutt’s “office” in The Force Awakens, seems like he would be a rather dull character to feature in his own short story. Instead, we get a short story here that is more “strange” than dull, a retelling of parts of A New Hope in a way that is almost as bizarre as Adam Gidwitz’s take on The Empire Strikes BackSo You Want to Be a Jedi?

The story takes place in two eras. The “present” is sometime presumably before The Force Awakens. Bobbajo visits a small town on Jakku just as a slaver raid occurs. To keep local children calm during the raid, he tells them a tale from decades earlier.

That earlier adventure takes up the rest of the short story and feaures Bobbajo as a prisoner on the Death Star during A New Hope. In his efforts to escape, we see three of his creatures engage in “missions” to help Bobbajo that essentially make Bobbajo and his animals the true heroes of the Battle of Yavin.

It is a strange story, but what would one expect from a story based around a strange old guy and his animals? I kept picturing the sentient helper mice in Cinderella.

Does the Label Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Actually Fit the Story?

Unfortunately, like most stories in our “journey” to the new film, this story has no real relevance to the movie at all. Like with other stories in the line, this is a Tales from Mos Eisley (et al) style short story to give us an adventure for one of the aliens seen on Jakku in The Force Awakens. Unlike the anthologies of the 1990s though, no attempt is made to actually tie the actual story into the film beyond shared characters. The label simply does not fit the content.

The Verdict

All Creatures Great and Small is an undeniably goofy story, playing out like so many Disney cartoons with animal heroes, while simultaneously altering our view of A New Hope (if any of Bobbajo’s story is actually true).

Most “serious” Star Wars fans will find the story too strange to bother with, but given that Bobbajo’s story is probably just that – a fictional story, even in-universe – it can be read for some mindless fun by those looking for something out of the ordinary.

Recommended for: Those looking for an odd story or those with an affinity for heroic animals.

Not recommended for: Those looking for something that truly ties directly into The Force Awakens or those who find cute animal tales annoying in Star Wars.

A retail purchase ebook (on Nook) was used for this review.

Star Wars: The Face of Evil – A Beyond the Films Review

With a backlog of recorded episodes and episodes to record very soonStar Wars Beyond the Films‘ Nathan P. Butler is now posting short, non-spoiler reviews for many new releases. Spoiler-filled discussion will often follow in the weeks thereafter on the podcast. (In the case of minor releases, that discussion may be kept for a Year in Review series of episodes.)


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The Face of Evil by Landry Q. Walker (ebook, 2015)

In April 2016, a new anthology – something Star Wars fans have long been hoping for – will be released. The book, Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens will include six stories, four of which were recently released as separate ebooks, months before seeing physical print. Unlike in previous anthologies, all of the stories in this new tome will be written by a single author, Landry Q. Walker. Each story will feature alien characters from The Force Awakens. This review focuses on one of the four stories released in December 2015.

The Face of Evil

Short stories in Star Wars tend to be fairly straightforward, and horror/thriller tales in Star Wars rarely actually creep me out or surprise me. The Face of Evil managed to pull off that rare experience, while seemingly being just another straightforward tale as it began.

The story follows criminal Ryn Biggleston, partner of BeeLee Amdas. During a recent job, BeeLee was spotted by security cameras, leading Ryn to steal her part of their loot and leave her to die. Now, Ryn has come to Takodana with her identity and most-wanted status revealed to the sector in one last act of defiance by her dying former partner.

Escaping the many individuals on her tail means a change of identity, and no one at Maz Kanata’s castle is better at giving clients a new identity than the Frigosian “mad scientist” cryptosurgeons, Thromba and Laparo.

To go into any more detail would spoil some great moments in this story that make it feel straight out of an old episode of Tales from the Crypt. It is a fairly simple premise to start, and the Frigosians are rather strange, which can make them tough to get interested in at first. Stick with the story past the first couple of chapters, though, and you are in for a treat.

Does the Label Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Actually Fit the Story?

Unfortunately, like most stories in our “journey” to the new film, this story has no real relevance to the movie at all. Like with other stories in the line, this is a Tales from Mos Eisley (et al) style short story to give us an adventure for some of the aliens seen in Maz’s castle in The Force Awakens. Unlike the anthologies of the 1990s though, no attempt is made to actually tie the actual story into the film beyond shared characters. The label simply does not fit the content.

The Verdict

The Face of Evil was a pleasant surprise and certainly the high point of the four ebooks released that will later be among the six in Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens. At only $1.99 currently in ebook form (or as part of the upcoming anthology), fans who enjoy a good Tales from the Crypt-esque story now and then should definitely check it out.

Recommended for: Those interested in a creepy Star Wars tale that is reminiscent of the old Tales from the Crypt series.

Not recommended for: Those looking for something that truly ties directly into The Force Awakens or those who are squeamish.

A retail purchase ebook (on Nook) was used for this review.

Beyond the Films 2016 New Year Contest

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To celebrate the beginning of 2016 and the upcoming 200th episode of Star Wars Beyond the Films, hosts Mark and Nathan are giving away items that come from their own Star Wars collections (including some that have the distinction of having been used when creating summaries for Nathan’s The Star Wars Timeline Gold).

Up for grabs in this contest are:

  • A huge prize pack of webcodes (emailed to the winner) for characters and expansions in the digital (PC or mobile device) version of Disney Infinity 3.0, including all of the Star Wars, Marvel, Tron LegacyPirates of the Caribbean, and Nightmare Before Christmas characters released thus far, and more.
  • Two smaller prize packs with Disney Infinity 3.0 webcodes for characters to be used in the digital version of the game.
  • Marvel’s Star Wars #1 – 13 (first printings)
  • Marvel’s Darth Vader #1 – 13 (first printings)
  • Marvel Mini-Series: Lando #1 – 5Princess Leia #1 – 5, and Chewbacca #1 – 2 (all first printings)
  • Aftermath (hardcover)
  • Before the Awakening (hardcover)
  • Battlefront: Twilight Company (hardcover)
  • Sampler Duo: The 2015 Del Rey Star Wars Sampler and the recent Marvel Comics Star Wars preview comic
  • Several separate copies of the recent Marvel Comics Star Wars preview comic
  • A signed copy of the Movie Magic magazine in which Nathan wrote an article on the then-upcoming The Force Awakens.

Moreover, since we know that many of our listeners have picked up Nathan’s Equals and Opposites story from Star Wars Tales in some form, or one of his other published works, and might want a signed item to put with it, every entry (while supplies last) will receive either a signed Star Wars Action News trading card of Nathan (from when that other podcast did a set of trading cards of all of the team members) or a signed WARS Trading Card Game card with some relevance to Nathan’s WARS: The Battle of Phobos novellas from Grail Quest Books.

So, how do you enter? Listen to this brief contest info episode for details!

(Entries must be received by Feb. 29, 2016.)