Tag Archives: Mandalorians

Book Review: ‘Star Wars: Crucible’

Title: Star Wars: Crucible
Author: Troy Denning
Release Date: July 9th, 2013

Warning: This review may contain minor spoilers.

Where to even begin? I blame myself for how I feel about this book. I was so excited for it.
Too excited.
Han, Luke, and Leia together again on an adventure? This was going to be like old times. But it wasn’t. It was more of what we have gotten recently from the trio’s ongoing story.

Let’s look at the official synopsis before we get too deep.

Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo, and Luke Skywalker return in an all-new Star Wars adventure, which will challenge them in ways they never expected—and forever alter their understanding of life and the Force.

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Maul, the Unpredictable Sith – SWBTF #59

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Darth Maul, Mauldalorians, The Opress Brothers 3 or was that 4, Vader vs Maul, and more, all on the next Star Wars Beyond the Films. YOUR Star Wars discussion podcast! YOUR ticket to the EU!

This week true believers, Beyonders, Fanboys, Fangirls, respected aliens around the galaxy, The Defender of the EU; Mark Hurliman, and your EU Guru; Nathan P. Butler, sit down to discuss Darth Maul, the character. Strap in and tighten your crash webbing Fandom, Star Wars Beyond the Films is setting off on another rapid-fire trip into the galaxy far, far away!

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Clone Wars Season 5: What’s Coming Up?

Season 5 of The Clone Wars started off with a bang!  We got Darth Maul, Savage Opress, Hondo, Obi-Wan, severed limbs, dead Jedi… so much excitement packed into one episode. Then they left us hanging. Since then we have had episodes about a small rebellion, kid Jedi, and droids. Sure some of these episodes were enjoyable but I think we are ready to get back to more Obi-Wan and Anakin, and to find out exactly what’s going on with Darth Maul.

This Saturday our wait is over.  Darth Maul and Savage Opress are back with a Mandalorian bonus.  The next three episodes will continue and finish the story arc that was started with the first episode of the season.  We have been teased with a couple preview clips for the episode that show the begginings of a Night Brothers/Mandalorian team up.  We are finally starting to see some of those things that got us so excited in the Season 5 preview trailer.

So what else do we have to look forward to?

Based on the info we have so far it looks like there are only three story arcs left in Season 5.  The next three episodes will finish the Darth Maul arc and are titled Eminence, Shades of Reason, and The Lawless.  After that my guess is they will have a three episode arc with the story featuring Anakin, Padme, and the return of Padme’s ex-boyfriend Clovis.  These episodes seem to be titled An Old Friend, The Rise of Clovis, and Crisis at the Heart.  Assuming that this is a 22 episode season, just like the last 4 seasons have been, that leaves 3 episodes for the season ending arc featuring Ahsoka on the run.

Let’s take a look at some screen grabs from released trailers and clips and speculate a bit.

Darth Maul Arc

If you have read the young readers novel Darth Maul Shadow Conspiracy then you already know how this story goes.  I have not read the book so I will only speculate on how the story goes.

Based on the next few screen shots it looks like Maul and Opress will come up against some bounty hunters we know pretty well.  Here is a shot of Sugi and Dengar.  In the shot you can’t see Maul and Opress but in the trailer it shows that is who the bounty hunters are firing at.  Not sure why Dengar is shooting at the ground.

Sugi is not doing so well against Maul.  I hope they don’t kill her.  I really like her character.

It also looks like Embo has to face off against Savage Opress.  He most likely lives since he still has to show up in the Clovis story arc.

That is definitely a robotic arm that Savage is sporting.  I guess Mother Talzin wasn’t available to regrow it for him.

We also know from the trailer and a clip they showed at Celebration VI that Maul, Opress, and Death Watch also team up with the crime syndicate Black Sun.  This is a nice shout out to the Expanded Universe since the Black Sun was first seen in the pages of the novel Shadows of the Empire and the organization appears in numerous other EU works.  In this image you can see members of the Black Sun standing with the female Mandalorian Bo Katan.  It looks like they are planning an attack on a Mandalorian city.  If you look closely you can see that the male Mandalorian has the same logo on his chest that Boba Fett wears on his shoulder in the Original Trilogy.

Not sure who these aliens are but it looks like they are teaming up with the Madalorians too.

What is cooler than Darth Maul in Madalorian armor? (assuming that is him)

How about Obi-Wan in Mandalorian armor!

And it looks like we will get another Obi-Wan/Maul face-off.

So part of Maul’s deal with Pre Vizsla seems to be that he will help Vizsla reclaim Mandalore from the pacifists.  This means Satine is in trouble, and when Satine is in trouble you know Obi-Wan will be there to help.  But will his help be enough?  In this image it looks like they are setting Obi-Wan up for the often used “I can’t hold on!” line.  See the grease on the cylinder that he is holding onto to?  Uh oh.  Satine may not live to see the end of this arc.

At some point Vizsla and Maul must have a falling out and they clash sabers.  We also know from some preview clips that Obi-Wan ends up teaming up with Bo Katan.  In many of the clips that seem to be from the climax of the episode Pre Vizsla is nowhere to be found.  This makes me wonder if he is killed by Maul.

And then the moment we have all been waiting for.  The part of the trailer they showed at Celebration VI that made grown men cry.  Darth Sidious with not one, but two lightsabers faces off against the Nightbrothers.  Can anyone expect to survive when facing off against the true Master of the Sith?

Don’t worry Maul, that’s just a little Sith lightning.

Oh…That’s a lot…

Clovis Arc

It will probably be hard to go from all that amazing you see above to a story about Padme and Clovis.  Of all the characters in The Clone Wars I am surprised they are bringing this guy back.  It looks like this story arc will feature Anakin protecting Clovis and Padme from what looks like an assassination attempt by the bounty hunter Embo.  This is interesting because in the past they have painted Embo as kind of a good guy.  It also looks like Anakin is going to have to deal with some jealousy issues.

Anakin vs Clovis.  Doesn’t seem like a fair fight.

Here is an image of Embo watching an explosion.  Since Embo appears in more than one of the remaining arcs, this image could be from either story.

The trailer also shows a clip of Embo taking sniper shots at Padme.  In a scene that is sure to delight the younger audience of The Clone Wars we will see Embo use his shield/hat as a snowboard as he chases down a speeder containing Anakin, Padme, and Clovis.

Ahsoka Arc

This last story arc is the one we know the least about.  Well at least we don’t know the titles of the episodes yet.  But many of the clips from the trailers seem to come from this story.

In the trailer this woman in purple is telling Ahsoka, “There are some citizens of the Republic who believe the Jedi Order is not what it used to be.”  Who is this lady?

Yoda also mentions an attack on the Jedi Temple and later in the trailer we see what looks like a Jedi funeral with 6 bodies being buried.  Is this attack what killed the Jedi?  This is the perfect opportunity for the writers to kill off some other Jedi who aren’t supposed to be dead yet.

For reasons unknown, Ahsoka seems to be on the run.  In the 100 Episodes Trailer there is a short clip at the end where Yoda says, “Bring back this lost child, before it is too late.”

Maybe Plo Koon is out looking for her.  Here you can see him on a landing ship with some red-armored troopers at well as what looks like Commander Wolffe.

And it looks like Asajj Ventress is hunting Ahsoka, and she is wearing a brand new mask.  Looks kind of like a commando droid’s head.

Here we see her taking on the same red-armored clones.  If you look closely at her belt you can see she has already taken at least one of Ahsoka’s lightsabers.

Things are not looking good for Ahsoka.

But they wouldn’t kill off Ahsoka yet.  Would they?

She’s jumping and not falling in this picture right?!

I can’t wait for the rest of Season 5!

- Aaron Goins

 

Special thanks to the We Talk Clones podcast.  I referenced their speculated episode order while writing this post.

 

 

Travissty in the EU – SWBTF #26

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Greetings Fanboys and Fangirls! 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 Mandalore the Uniter, Tom Hutchens back onto the show. They discuss the Legacy and Travissty of author Karen Traviss, and her impact upon the Expanded Universe, and the Saga as a whole.

Author of the Imperial Commando series

Love her, hate her, or just don’t care, fans tended to have strong opinions of her.

Author of Heir to the EmpireThe Hosts discuss the situation(s) and some of the perceptions made in Fandom when Karen stepped out of Star Wars for good. In the end, could it be said that she went out in the ranks of SWEU Greats like Timothy Zahn or Micheal Stackpole?

 

 

 

Does creating such depth create a situation for authors to get emotionally attached with their characters? Or for the readers?

Mark mentions Jacen Solo as an example of a character whose payback means more to the reader when they have followed that character for a long time.
by Day_dreamy
Karen like Mathew Stover goes in deep with the background of their stories, and the cultures involved. Can this backfire?

In the Commando series we had a Moral Point Of View on the Jedi. Granted not everyone enjoyed her new POV. But it was one that Palpatine would exploit in years to come, so seeing it begin was refreshing.

They discuss sensational terms like Talifan, Fandalorian, and calling EU Fans Kooks.

Karen gave us some cloned Jedi in A Two-Edged Sword.

Karen also has the most K’Kruhk references in her novels than any other author. Bonus points from Mark for that. One of the most prominent under-known Jedi ever.But not everything Karen brought into the EU fit, sometimes things were overwrote, or just didn’t jive. Luke's first major love

Callista… we’re looking at you dear.

Have you read Traviss’s adaptation of The Clone Wars? It is the only way you will ever truly understand what Rex and the 501st sacrificed for the Jedi.

Nathan sets the tone and some ground facts as the deeper end of the discussion gets underway. As well as points out a lot of valid criticisms from many fans.

Had The Clone Wars forced Karen out? Did business issues drive her out of the franchise? Had an 11th hour scenario created conflicts in the clone/ Mandalorian stories that could have been prevented?

Tom wishes she would have done more than just focused on Mandalorians, perhaps broadened her horizons.

Nathan actually retconed something of Karen’s for The Essential Atlas.

Nathan explored Niche Writer vs Broad Writer styles which spins into a semi-rant about Mary-sue characters.

Tom points out that she was brought on to tell a tale for a certain point of view; the clones. More specifically the Republic Commandos.

Ponders prevail, as the hosts explore how things looked, how they were, and what they could have been, this episode is so controversial we couldn’t tell you all about it here!

You’ll have to listen to the episode to understand.

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

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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.

 

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