Tag Archives: Jedi

Getting Tribal (2 of 3) – SWBTF #33

Greetings Fanboys, Fangirls, EU Fans, and returning Beyonders!
And welcome to Star Wars Beyond the Films!

This week true believers, The Defender of the EU; Mark Hurliman, and your EU Guru; Nathan P. Butler, continue on their merry adventure unlike any other. You’re invited as they discuss the next four (e)books of John Jackson Miller’s Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories in part two of their three part coverage of the newest premium trade paperback by Del Rey.

Mark and Nathan discuss maps, as well as the choice to keep the second map tucked away mid book. Mark gushes about the Tolkien-feel to having the maps in his SWEU books. As well as if he could ask Mr Miller some questions about envisioning Kesh.

Nathan touches on the cover images of the ebooks. Mark mentions the older books would do that with their series. Nathan sets the dates as well as touches on other SWEU works in play at that time. You know… the basics.

A tie to Star Wars: Vector? Wait…

Covenant, Lucien Draay. the fate fo the Galaxy…. you know… again those basics. Nathan also explains how Sentinel has a jump that falls under a new year, and why.

How many stories are their? 4? 3? 5? Well… couldn’t that be a point of view thing…

Who found the next four books more boring? Who enjoyed the ride more? You’ll want to tune in!

Yaru Korsin…. the Darth Bane of his time.

Nathan makes some Game of Thrones comparisons while exploring timing of the book. The hosts cover the “need” to connect things, and how John Jackson Miller handles it well.

Mark’s internet connection gets attacked!

Sides, whose side do you side with? If you had to pick sides…. Nathan discusses the concept.

And don’t forget to check out Lost Tribe of the Sith: Spiral when you finish up reading The Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories! The hosts discuss some of the first issue and how it could play out in conjunction with the collected stories.

Hilts- what do you think: more like Luke? Or Indiana Jones?

Does Hilt’s changes to the Tribe’s way of doing things eventually get undone off the page? Nathan points out that there are 3,000 years to play with.

Another week with too much to discuss in one episode! Be sure to stay tuned as next week the guys cover Pandemonium!

You also have until the start of Celebration VI (8/23/12) to like our Facebook page for a chance to win Mark’s (once-read) hardcover of Star Wars: Fatal Alliance. On the first day of Celebration VI, one of our “Facebook friends” will be chosen at random to win!

Another must listen episode with your dynamic duo, way too much to cover in one set of shownotes. So once again, the guys will be spreading this great book over another episode! Enjoy and may the Force be with you!

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Dawn of the Je’daii – SWBTF #28

Greetings Fanboys, Fangirls, EU Fans, and returning Beyonders!
And welcome to Star Wars Beyond the Films!

This week, true believers, your EU Guru Nathan P. Butler and The Defender of the EU Mark Hurliman, invite you to come on a journey into the far flung past of the Star Wars Expanded Universe as they explore the first arc of the new Dawn of the Jedi series by Dark Horse Comics.

Kicking things off, Mark talks about feeling like Wedge Antilles?! Well, sometimes. Both Nathan and Mark talk about why John Ostrander and Jan Duursema are two of their favorite SWEU creators.

Nathan then breaks down the chronology of the story’s setting. As we know; the printed word isn’t always correct.

Mark ponders if we will get a 0.5 issue as we did with Legacy? In fact, both hosts agree that the Zero and Zero Point Five issues set the tone of new eras very well.

In terms of historical story; are we witnessing the first force war? Mark has mentioned before how Dawn of the Jedi feels like a reboot of what we know about Star Wars, now he explains. No Jedi?! And a Clone Wars tie! (a good one) Mark’s talking circles again; and this week he explains bubbles within bubbles.

Is there something “extra-special” going on, on the planet Thyon?

At last Ashla and Bogen arrive! Not just concepts, but also physical locations.

Nathan runs down some places and people giving a  deeper glimpse into the time period.

Sleeper ships! Good Sith? And the evil Rakata, and their Infinite Empire Tatooine with WATER! Yep, we’ve seen it hinted at. Now witness!

And with an early oceanic Tatooine  we also get the Kumumgah, those even less talked about natives of the planet. These guys eventually become the Tusken Raiders and the Jawas! Maybe we’ll see how?

The hosts also focus on Xesh. Xesh… the Silver Surfer of the SWEU.

Mark fanboys’ out over Jan Duursema’s art.

Balance seems to be the key to the setting of Dawn of the Jedi. Each Je’daii is striving for an internal balance. And the planet Tython seems reacts to that balance as well. Xesh’s arrival sent the whole planet into huge Force Storm chaos.

See anything similar in the Je’daii Code with both the Jedi and Sith Codes?

The Je’daii oath:

There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.
There is no fear; there is power.
I am the heart of the Force.
I am the revealing fire of light.
I am the mystery of darkness
In balance with chaos and harmony,
Immortal in the Force.

The guys talk tech, samurai like swords, and Rakatan technology.

Another unique thing about this series and it’s tech; no lightsabers… well a Forcesaber. Rakatan tech has a very unique look to it, from the Forcesaber to the Star Forge.

Mark even mentions Star Wars: Riptide’s use of Rakatan tech, and how ironic it is that the Dark Side is what inspired the lightsaber.

Mark digs the sleeper ships and the way they were worked into the story. As well as the old naval feel of most the ships seem in the Zero issue.

Nathan discovers that Spanish has some ancient Sith in it. Hola if you feel me!
And please; tell us if you’ve heard that a Bazillion times before. ;) Ah Earthizms.

The guys run down the many various Kesh’s and how they function. Is this like Force College? How can I earn my Force Major?

Kesh, Crech, or Zesh? Turns out Xesh is pronounced Zesh.

Daegan…. What will he do, and how will it affect the story?

Where are we gonna go next? We later learned at San Diego Comic Con that there will be a Dawn of the Jedi novel soon to come! Into the Void.

Could Xesh be a redeemable character? His story will shed a lot of insight into the Rakatan’s ways. Any way you slice it, it’s going to be a wild time in a new era!

 

So much to discuss this week, so sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s Star Wars Beyond the Films!

Email:         beyondthefilms@starwarsfanworks.com
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Mandalorians… ‘Nuff Said – SWBTF #25

Greetings! And welcome to Star Wars Beyond the Films!

This week your hosts, the Defender of the EU, Mark and the EU Guru, Nathan tackle a topic many EU Fans have been salivating for. Mandalorians.

 

And who better to help them discuss the Mandalorian culture, than Tom Hutchens; a.k.a. Mandalore the Uniter, founder of the Mandalorian Mercs. Tom brings a unique look into the Mandalorian culture through his love of metal work, making custom armor.

Also, Nathan and Tom were recently at the ConCarolinas Star Wars Panel where Nathan recorded the panel for listeners to enjoy.

Nathan sets the current stage of the Mandalorians in the Saga to catch us up.

The hosts ponder the question: Does the current state of the Mandalorians fit well to you?

The hosts all agree that Jason Fry’s Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare stitches everything back together into a cohesive unit well. As Mark’s fond of saying; “if there’s a retcon: there’s a way.” Mark thinks that retcons can fix stang near everything!

Tom mentions armor, and how it fits into the culture of the Mandalorians. And Mark noticed certain elements of Jango Fett’s armor mirrored in the architecture of Mandalorian buildings in The Clone Wars. Tom has a very good explanation for this, based in the beskar’gam (armor) itself. Very deep stuff.

Speaking of The Clone Wars the hosts discuss the Death Watch, and other new characters recently introduced. Most notably Bo-Katan. Bo-Katan‘s introduction to The Clone Wars gave fans voice actress Katee Sackhoff, who plays a strong female warrior who is the equal of any man in the Death Watch.

Was Karen Traviss’s take on the Mandalorians your meat & potatoes? Or did you feel you were left with burnt toast? There was a time when she was considered by some to be “The Authority” of the Mandalorian Culture, as well as Clones, especially Clone Commandos. But then some didn’t care for what she brought to the table at all. Few fell into the “Meh” group.

Is the Mandalorian’s ever fluctuating past due in large part to George Lucas’s morphing vision? Or author carelessness? Or was it simple over-site? However it was, Jason Fry’s Essential Guide to Warfare sews it back together brilliantly.

Nathan points out that the groundwork for the retcon for The Clone Wars‘ New Mandalorians was in place well before the episodes even aired, inside the pages of Star Wars: The Essential Atlas. Many missed this at first though, perhaps owing to the higher price for the Essential Guide series prices?

 

Tom brings up an excellent question: what is the real face of Mandalore?

Poor Mandalore… it was forest and woodlands a few times, and then it gets one picture of a barren wasteland and suddenly the whole planet is totaled? Not so fast!

The whole planet’s surface does not need to be destroyed. Perhaps it was only a few locations that had been bombed out of existence. Perhaps it is the New Mandalorian Culture that felt the location was sacred or symbolic. Mandalorians- as known before we see them in TCW -were a nomadic people, they could uplift camp and leave in a moments notice. So perhaps they didn’t care that the New Mandalorians set up in these old bombed out capital locations. There are multiple ways the wastelands seen on the TV show could have happened. The hosts ponder a few.

Mark asks: Did The Clone Wars turn the Klingons of Star Wars into Vulcans?

Or in the end did it  just blend the two?

In the EU, Knights of the Old Republic (the comic) plays up the fact that the Mando’s were equal opportunity employers, a come-one, come-all attitude. It didn’t matter what species, so long as you honored the Resol’nare. Whereas the New Mandalorians seem like they are more like the empire, everyone same skin tone, hair colors, and eye color, and all human. Is there a story to be told as to why?

Kotor: War was brought up due to one of Mark’s biggest EU wishes: Mandalorian Knights! Granted this isn’t Knights of the Old Republics first foray into the land of Mandalorian Knights, Demagol tried to create an army of them with Jedi Master Arca Jeth’s DNA. But it would seem that after Demagol’s failure it was decided it would be better to have adult Jedi vs. raising them from infancy.

Yet these new Mandalorian Knights as seen in Kotor: War are the best of both. They are Jedi who have sided with the Mandalorian people. As Jedi they are still honoring life, just not the lives the Republic Jedi want them focusing on.
On the cosplay side of things Tom explains how being a Mandalorian Knight would work in the Mandalorian Mercs. Who knew there were so many well thought out rules to wearing a Star Wars costume?
Leaping into the far future, Mark points to Hondo Karr, the secretly-Mandalorian, Stormtrooper who was a member of Joker Squadron, who would again shift sides and join the Galactic Alliance and of all squadrons, Rogue Squadron. But the Legacy series still has a Mandalorian tale to tell… Hondo was last seen donning his beskar’gam once again and setting out to hunt down the new Mandalore to seek revenge.

The hosts stop and ponder the polar opposite of the Mandalorian Knights; Mandalorian Sith!?!

Nathan explains why this concept just might not work.
Returning to the Klingonization of the Mandalorians, we have Mando’a, the Mandalorian language. Nathan asks if creating a full language going just a little too far?

The hosts ponder a lot this episode, and cover a lot of ground. Enjoy the episode, and don’t forget; if you want to chime in on anything be sure to hit up the guys through email, or their facebook page.

 

Email:         beyondthefilms@starwarsfanworks.com
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10 years of Attack of the Clones: Riley’s most memorable scene

Over the next 7 days i’m going to try an experiment. I’m going to blog.

Now I’m not really that much of a writer, I’m more of a podcaster. So over the next week I’m going to peek outside my podcast studio, step out of my comfort zone and try my hands at the old laptop keyboard. Over the next 7 days I’m going to be doing a 7 part retrospective series about the Star Wars movie that just turned 10 years young, Attack of the Clones.

This series will cumulate with our live video podcast commentary of the movie on Thursday the 24th at 7:30 EST at http://www.starwarsreport.com/live Be there!
I still remember watching AOTC for the first time. I watched it with my older sister on our 1980s era 13 inch, glass, built-in-mono-speaker, weighed-50-lbs tv set. Those were the days when our primary source of television entertainment was old, taped-off-tv, Little House on the Prairie episodes (loved that show) so 15 year old me thought this movie was pretty cool.
There are a lot of scenes that jumped you to me, and not all in a good way. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this movie but that was a time in my life when any idea of romance was still “Gross”.

The on screen chemistry (or lack thereof) between Hayden and Natalie didn’t help.

Forced romance, and poor dialogue aside, there are a ton of great moments in this movie but the one that stays with me the most is the scene where Obi Wan witnesses the clone army assembling for the first time. This was when the true magnatude of what was about to happen in the Star Wars galaxy finally dawned on me.  Why?

  • The music. You hear the return of the ominous Droid Army theme from The Phantom Menace.
  • Obi Wan. The guy rarely losses his nerve but at that moment I think the look on his face shows that he’s just realizing that there is a long war ahead of him.
  • The line. “Magnificent, aren’t they.” I wish we could see this large scale of a portrayal in the Clone Wars.

That concludes the first post. Be sure to swing by tomorrow for part two!

Thanks for stopping by,

Riley

 

Star Wars: Scourge Book Review

Star Wars: Scourge Book Review

Now for something completely different… 

Scourge, on bookshelves today, was written by Jeff Grubb.  This is his first Star Wars novel but he is not brand new to the Star Wars Expanded Universe, having previously written and contributed to a number of roleplaying guides and supplements.  Scourge is unique in the fact that it is a novelized version of the roleplaying game supplement Tempest Feud, making it the first Star Wars novel completely based on a story from the roleplaying game.

If you are a diehard roleplaying gamer who picked up Tempest Feud back in 2002 then you already know how the story goes.  For the rest of us here is the official synopsis.

In the heart of crime-ridden Hutt Space, a Jedi Scholar searches for justice. While trying to obtain the coordinates of a secretive, peril-packed, but potentially beneficial trade route, a novice Jedi is killed—and the motive for his murder remains shrouded in mystery. Now his former Master, Jedi archivist Mander Zuma, wants answers, even as he fights to erase doubts about his own abilities as a Jedi. What Mander gets is immersion into the perilous underworld of the Hutts as he struggles to stay one step ahead in a game of smugglers, killers, and crime lords bent on total control.

Scourge was a book I was really looking forward to reading for a number of reasons.  I loved the idea that the book was set in the New Republic era just before the Yuzhan Vong War.  I was looking forward to a novel that focused on brand new EU characters and not the main cast.  I love books about individual Jedi on an adventure like previous books I, Jedi and Crosscurrent.

Sometimes what you think you want isn’t really what you want.  As I was reading through this book I found myself longing for familiarity.  I was happy to have a book that did not focus on Luke Skywalker but I could have used a reference or two to him.  This book is the definition of a stand-alone novel.  Characters and locations that would be in play at this time (19ABY) are not even mentioned. If it wasn’t for a couple of throw away remarks about the Jedi Praxeum being on Yavin 4 and Tionne being Mander’s former Master, this book could really have been set in any era.  I kept looking for something to anchor me into the galaxy and I just couldn’t find it.

Mr. Grubb does introduce some cool new characters into the galaxy.  Mander Zuma was an interesting Jedi to read about because he lacked the confidence you would expect in a Jedi Master.  It was a refreshing take on a Jedi character.  His main companions in the book, the Pantoran female Reen Irana and the Bothan male Eddey Be’ray, were great additions to his team and I wanted to know more about all three of the characters.  The Hutt characters were also interesting and unique.  The one Hutt having an entourage of drunken Wookiees made me smile every time they showed up on page.

The book addresses serious issues like drug use but still stays very lighthearted.  There is no lack of humor and sarcasm and the author writes it well.  The characters are put in some ridiculous situations and they know it.  One particular scene our heroes are attacked by a “Hutt in shining armor” and one character says aloud exactly what was on my mind, “You have got to be kidding me.”  Situations like this were obviously not meant to be taken too seriously and I really enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek style.

The book really reads like a game. I don’t have much experience with roleplaying games, so I related it more with video games.  The characters go to a planet, solve a mystery, defeat a boss…repeat until you get to the big boss at the end.  Scourge was a fun adventure/mystery book.  It is not action packed.  The galaxy as a whole is not in peril.  There are no Skywalkers or Sith Lords.  It is just an entertaining story set in the Star Wars universe.

There were moments the book moved slowly but it picks up toward the end, and the ending is very satisfying.  There are also some twists that, if you are not paying attention, you may not see coming.  I liked this book.  If you want a book that breaks away from the norm and doesn’t rely on the movie and major EU characters, you may very well love it.

“Gon kodowin pumba mallin.”

Random Thoughts

Was Toro our first Pantoran Jedi?
I really want a portrait of Mander, Reen, and Eddey in the Essential Readers Companion.
The drug trade kept making me think about Breaking Bad.
Best Hutt death ever.
The Jedi Mind Trick is really explored in this book.
Lots of hand injuries in Star Wars novels lately.
Let the ship wars begin… Mander/Angela or Mander/Reen.
Not since Beldorion the Splendid

Here is where you can buy this book.

- Aaron Goins