Tuesday, September 28, 2010

20th Anniversary Edition of Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire

Hardcover 20th Anniversary Re-issue of Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn. http://amzn.to/dor5gM

Star Wars 3-D: The Phantom Menace

As if a Blu-Ray release wasn't enough, Lucasfilm is reprocessing and theatrically re-releasing the Star Wars Saga in the Third Dimension....

September 28, 2010 Lucasfilm Ltd. announced today that the live-action Star Wars Saga will be converted to 3D! There are few movies that lend themselves more perfectly to 3D; from the Death Star trench run to the Tatooine Podrace, the Star Wars Saga has always delivered an entertainment experience that is completely immersive. Presented by Twentieth Century Fox and Lucasfilm Ltd., the cutting edge conversion will take that immersion to the next thrilling level, with Industrial Light & Magic supervising the project. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace is expected to be released theatrically in 2012. A release date has not yet been determined. 

Darth Maul is scarier in 3-D

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Clone Wars Season 3: Clone Cadets & ARC Troopers

This weeks two part season premier showcased the clones of Domino squad previously seen in Season 1 episode #5: Rookies.  We see Hevy, Echo, Cutup, Fives, going through there final stages of training on Kamino.  We are also given the introduction of Jedi Master Shaak Ti, Clone 99, Lama Su, Bounty Hunter Training Sergeants Bric and El-Les, and some ARC Troopers.

In the first episode we see the character development of all the characters, in the second episode we see the invasion and (at least one) the Battle of Kamino.

Visually the Clone Wars has gone to a whole different level from season one, the details of the characters and environments, the movements of characters is simply awesome at this point.  When the series first started I had my doubts about how well the style of animation would work, but as the animation has matured it works very well.  To truly be appreciated the show has to be seen in HD or on Blu Ray.

Dee Bradley Baker is the voice actor for all the adult clones, he is a tour de force in this episode and is the vocal foundation for the series.  Most of this episode is him acting multiple characters interacting with each other in most every scene.

S3:EP1 Clone Cadets

The messages of Clone Cadets, is clear that diversity is a strength rather then a weakness, that team is more important then the individual, and that all life has value.  We see the disabled Clone 99 who while he may not be a Trooper is as wise as most Jedi we have seen.  We see a gang of screw ups with different personalities and skills, come together in the crucible of battle training and becoming a successful team.  We also see the discussions between Shaak Ti and Lama Su regarding clones, and Bric and El-Les regarding the clones as well.  The Shaak Ti/Lama Su scene was very well done.

S3:EP2 ARC Troopers

One of the coolest sets of characters created by the EU are the ARC Troopers, half soldier half bounty hunter, all kinds of awesome.  If the first two episodes are any indication, I think we will see ARC Troopers (even if its not the same ones) as recurring characters in the series going forward.

The best part of either episode was Assaj Ventress.  She was the evil star of the show.  She is scary, Sexy, and very entertaining.

Aqua droids, cool new ships, dramatic battles, and sick lightsaber battles make this an episode not to miss.  Only one question, where is Ahsoka? 

Continuity Issues?

Karen Traviss no departed from the stable of Star Wars EU contributors did a ton of work on the backstory of clones, their training, culture, etc.  Also the development of the Null-ARCs a rejected early group of suped up Jango clones.

It is with some relief that because of the way the episode was presented some ideas from Traviss' work fit in and some was neither included not contradicted.  We had bounty hunters training clones.  In Traviss' Republic Commando series, Jango Fett  recruited a group he called the Cuy'val Dar ("Those who no longer exist") to give up there lives and in secret go to Kamino to help him train the clones.  While its made clear that Bric and El-Les are bounty hunters, it is not mentioned whether either is Mandalorian, though I am assuming that neither is.  This is not a problem because the Cuy'val Dar were not exclusively Mandalorian, though the majority of them were.  But this is also not a problem because the Cuy'val Dar story is mostly about what happened before the war kicks off in terms of training.  Its perfectly reasonable that as the Republic took control of the army it brought in more trainers that it had a hand in selecting, and that Bric and El-Les could either be original Cuy'val Dar or later additions to the roster of training instructors.

Bric does also have some similarities to another of Traviss' characters in Walon Vau, who took a very much tough love approach and physically and emotionally battered his clone trainees.

How does Clone 99 related to the idea that Kaminoans destroyed defective clones?  It would be easier to fit 99 into the continuity if he wasn't so physically deformed.  If he was just a shade below spec, it would make sense that they may keep him around and not recycle him.  However, I think a ready explanation exists in the EU, in later of Traviss' books we see that the Kiminoan economy is not doing well and that the Republic is not exactly paying all its bills.  Keeping around defective clones for menial labor makes sense as a cost control measure.

I am happy to see that overall it looks like George Lucas and Dave Filoni have told a clone centric story based on Kamino that tells a parallel story to what we see in the Karen Traviss novels without any major direct continuity conflicts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

RED HARVEST COVER: Mmm Sith Brains.....

Now this is how you do a Star Wars/horror novel cover. Brain eating Sith Zombies.

It would be really good if this book delves into some Sith history and shows some Sith record the history of this past outbreak incident in a holocron or something which Palpatine discovers and leads to the events of 'Deathtroopers.'

RED HARVEST: Cover to be released soon

Joe Schreiber's prequel to the 'Deathtroopers' novel is entitled 'Red Harvest' and is due to be released in the U.S. on 12/28/10 is set to get its cover finalized soon.

Sue Rostoni posted the following in the VIP thread on Starwars.com;

The cover for RED HARVEST will be posted soon! Maybe today, maybe tomorrow --- stay tuned.

For those unfamiliar with 'Deathtroopers,' it was released on 10/13/09 and told the story of an Imperial prison barge that was infected with a virus/bioweapon that had the unfortunate result of creating zombies. Its was a weird but enjoyable Star Wars tale with a brief cameo by HanSolo and Chewbacca.

Star Wars Live Action Television Update

In a new interview by IGN George Lucas talks about the Live Action Star Wars Television Series, that is currently being interdicted by production costs....

A quick summary:

1) Scripts done for 1 TV movie and 50 hours.
2) Current Production costs would be @$50M per episode.
3) Planning to use "much more sophisticated" cameras
4) Waiting for production/special effects costs to come down.
5) Won't compromise on quality, but working to improve technology to tell story.


Friday, September 10, 2010

New Timothy Zahn Novel Title changes again...

First we had a working title of "Choices", then we had a second working title of "The Hand of Judgment", now Sue Rostoni gives us a title update in the SW.com VIP thread...

Hi all,
I've been really busy this week -- Tim Zahn's manuscript came in and I have to finish it by the 17th -- which wouldn't be an issue if it was all I had to do! Fun, though.

Oh, and we changed the title again -- to Tim's first choice. It's now titled



Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mandorla? Nomi Sunrider Novel News

We have a working title for the much anticipated Nomi Sunrider novel by Alex Irvine.

The Star Wars novel, tentatively titled Mandorla, is now scheduled for December 2011...and there's a lot more in the hopper, dates TBD

Alex Irvine's blog

What does "Mandorla" mean?

There seem to be two main definitions of it, 1) in religious art, almond-shaped aureole of light surrounding the entire figure of a holy person. 2) The other is two overlapping circles, where the section of the middle where both circles interact is to represent opposing forces and/or worlds interacting.

What does this mean for the novel, I have no idea. And why not just call it the "Adventures of Nomi Sunrider" Well that is a longer and more mysterious story......

Nomi Sunrider is a character created by Dark Horse comics for its Tales of the Jedi series, for those not aware.

The most interesting thing about this novel announcement is that apparently there are legal issues involving the name "Sunrider" which prevents Lucasfilm from using the name on the cover of a book.

At some point in time, legal issues began to arise over Lucasfilm Ltd.'s use of the name "Sunrider."[9][10] It remains unclear to the public who the offended party was, but many fans have speculated that a lawsuit was filed by the Jeep Corporation,[11][12][13] who manufacture a trademarked jeep soft top called "Sunrider."[14] Although this rumor has not been verified by any Lucasfilm employees, the existence of legal issues surrounding the use of the name has.[9][10] When the 2003 video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was in development, Vima Sunrider was slated to be one of its protagonists, but the legal issues prompted the development team to instead create a new character named Bastila Shan.[9][15] The game is set thirty years after the final story arc of Tales of the Jedi and references Nomi several times, but only once by her last name.[16] That instance was an oversight by the development team. They were also forbidden from using the name in the game's 2004 sequel, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords.[9]
Presently, the legal issues continue to exist, but do not preclude the appearance of a Sunrider within Star Wars media, nor the use of the family name. The latter is permissible within the body of a text where it cannot be confused with any other trademarked product, but cannot be used in a book's title nor be attached to an action figure.[10] Nomi has been mentioned by her full name in several recent novels and sourcebooks,[17][18][19] and will star in a novel set to be released in 2011.[20]