Tag Archives: Star Wars Expanded Universe

Getting Tribal (2 of 3) – SWBTF #33

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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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SWBTF Feedback – May/July 2012

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Hey everyone and welcome back to Star Wars Beyond the Films!

On this special episode, your hosts the Defender of the EU (Mark), and the EU Guru (Nathan) answer your questions and read your feedback!

Email:         beyondthefilms@starwarsfanworks.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/swbeyondfilms

Twitter:      twitter.com/#!/SWBeyondFilms

 

Book Review: X-wing Mercy Kill

X-wing: Mercy Kill Review


Warning: This review may contain very minor spoilers.  Characters and locations are mentioned but no major plot points or events are revealed. 

I have a confession to make.  Until now I had never read an X-wing novel.  When I started reading the post Return of the Jedi novels back in the late 90’s I skipped right past the X-wing novels.  I read Star Wars novels to see what happened to the movie characters after they blew up two Death Stars.  I read Star Wars novels to learn more about the Jedi and the Force.  I wanted lightsabers and Luke Skywalker not space battles and Wedge Antilles.  I have since learned to appreciate Star Wars books that aren’t about Skywalker or the Jedi (although I still very much prefer those stories), but I am so far beyond the X-wing novels that I am not sure I will ever go back and read them all.

When I heard about X-wing Mercy Kill coming out I thought it might be another one to skip.  But lately I have been reading every new Star Wars novel and Mercy Kill was set after the events of Fate of the Jedi.  How could I not read the latest novel in the Expanded Universe timeline?  I had to, space battles or not.

Here is the official summary…

The intrepid spies, pilots, and sharpshooters of Wraith Squadron are back in an all-new Star Wars adventure, which transpires just after the events of the Fate of the Jedi series!

Three decades have passed since Wraith Squadron carried out its last mission. Taking on the most dangerous and daring operations, the rogues and misfits of the elite X-Wing unit became legends of the Rebellion and the Second Galactic Civil War, before breaking up and going their separate ways. Now their singular skills are back in vital demand—for a tailor-made Wraith Squadron mission.

A powerful general in the Galactic Alliance Army, once renowned for his valor, is suspected of participating in the infamous Lecersen Conspiracy, which nearly toppled the Alliance back into the merciless hands of the Empire. With orders to expose and apprehend the traitor—and license to do so by any and all means—the Wraiths will become thieves, pirates, impostors, forgers . . . and targets, as they put their guts, their guns, and their riskiest game plan to the test against the most lethal of adversaries.

The good news for new readers is that this book, although titled “X-wing”, is basically a stand-alone novel.  The story does not rely on prior knowledge of the X-wing series, but having that knowledge will most likely expand your enjoyment of the book.  I will give a bit of a warning though.  If you plan to read the initial run of the X-wing novels, you may want to do that before reading this book.  Yes it is a stand-alone story, but there are mentions of events from past novels and some of those mentions are spoilerific.

As I started reading the book I immediately got an A-Team sort of feel.  As the book went on I also got some Mission Impossible and maybe even some Ocean’s Eleven.  It is very much a special unit/team-up/caper/undercover kind of story.  I was also very happy that there weren’t a lot of space battles.  In fact there was only one time in the book where I found myself zoning out because of spaceships maneuvering and chasing each other.  Mostly it was just great characters planning missions, going on missions, and getting the bad guys.

And the characters really were great.  Initially I was turned off by the main protagonist, a genius Gammorean who goes by the name “Piggy”.  Being a big fan of the Expanded Universe I had heard of this character but had never really thought that much about him.  Now I was having to follow him as a main character.  It didn’t take long for me to warm up to him though, and his character progression was interesting to follow.  “Piggy” was also surrounded by a team full of impressive characters.  I really enjoyed most of the Wraiths in this book and I would love to see where some of this new generation end up in future books.  They even managed to slip a Force user onto the team which made this Jediphile very happy.

Aaron Allston really knows how to write humor and this book is full of it.  It maybe has a little too much.  I liked the lightheartedness of the book but it started to feel like every line was a quip or sarcastic jab.  I know many appreciate this type of humor in a Star Wars book but it got to be too much for my taste.  Not that there weren’t serious moments.  When Mercy Kill got serious, it got very serious.  Mixed in with the humor there were exciting moments of action and even some heart wrenching emotion.  Although a little heavy on the humor, It was actually a really good mix and I found myself highly entertained for most of the book.

As someone who needs lightsabers and the Force in my Star Wars I was not expecting to like this book nearly as much as I did.  It was the characters and storytelling that won me over.  Even though the book did not have some of my favorite Star Wars elements it did have things like Star Destroyers, X-wings, and familiar alien species that place it firmly into the correct universe.  Don’t expect any Luke or Han cameos or galaxy shaking events, but if you are looking for a fun stand-alone Star Wars story I would highly recommend this book to you.  Established fans of the X-wing series will utterly love this book.

Buy this book.

(More spoilery stuff below)

Random Thoughts

I loved the characters of Myri, Trey, and Jesmin and hope to see them again.
I didn’t really like the Vong character of Scut. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to.
I took the main character much more seriously when he was going by Voort instead of Piggy.
Referring to people by names, code names, AND numbers got really confusing.
A Clawdite Wraith.  Very convenient.
Using the Force to make people need to pee.  That’s a first.
Some great flashbacks fill us in on what’s been going on with the Wraiths.
Just when you thought you had heard the last of the pilot with a horse head.
Wedge cameo!
Look for me wearing my “Quad-Linked Militant Pacifists” shirt at Celebration 6 next month.

- Aaron Goins

 

SWBTF Feedback – April 2012

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Hey everyone and welcome back to Star Wars Beyond the Films!

On this special episode, your hosts the Defender of the EU (Mark), and the EU Guru (Nathan) answer your questions and read your feedback!

Email:         beyondthefilms@starwarsfanworks.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/swbeyondfilms

Twitter:      twitter.com/#!/SWBeyondFilms

 

Parenting in the Saga – SWBTF #22

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Welcome back to Star Wars Beyond the Films!

Kelly Adams joins Nathan and Mark this week as they focus on parenting in the saga far far away.
How did some of our more prominent character handle raising their brood?
Nathan ponders back in the day with black and white TV, Nick at Nite and how Star Wars fits into the equation.
Did many of the kids raised by the characters focused in this episode grow up “normally”?
The hosts start with the Skywalkers and look deeper at the relationships there in.

Kelly brings up Padme’s WILL TO LIVE, and how it is ESSENTIAL to parenting. No will to live. No parent. Not very in-character of Padme.

Shmi the virgin Mary of our beloved saga was explored as well. The single mother struggling to provide for a very special boy.
The hosts have a lot of fun this week, exploring as well as poking fun of some situations the saga has provided.
Imagine a galaxy where Shmi struggled with Anakin’s being born with no father….

Maybe using the saga as examples of good parenting isn’t such a good idea……
Moving a long the hosts break down the Skywalker line by generation.
The Solos it would appear average 1 out of 3… No wonder Han said never quote him the odds.
In fact the Solos could be some of the worst examples of parenting in the EU. Or a good example of what not to do.
But is this the fault of the books? A lot of the kids early lives were offscreen. Perhaps this is something a crafty author could go back and correct?
Duty over honor- is this the descision that hurt the Solo kids? That the parents were too focused on the government and the galaxy and less on parenting?
Should the Solos have taken more time off? They certainly seem to be better grandparents than they were parents to their own three kids.

Mark STILL wants more fleshing out of the gaps in the timeline. More Solo kid adventures and so forth.

At least we’re seeing character growth in the next gen characters in the last few 9 book series (Legacy of the Force, and Fate of the Jedi).
The hosts even focus on some of the EU exclusive characters as well, and how their style of child rearing worked out.
Who was the best? And who was the worst?
One thing seems certain- kids in the EU will work in the profession of their parents more often than not.
Kelly mentions Chewie’s family as represented by the Holiday Special.
Like the balance to the Force the hosts discuss the balancing of Shmi Skywalker and the anti-Shmi, Jango Fett.

Also, quick show of hands, who wants us to cover the Mandalorian culture sometime in an episode?
Lastly they touch on adopted and foster parents.
The moral of this week’s episode: Don’t use Star Wars as an example of parenting!

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