Monday, February 28, 2011

Clone Wars: Counter Attack Preview (Ep. 3.19) Air Date: 3/4/11

Rex keeping his eyes on Tarkin
Jedi Fortune Cookie: "Anything that can go wrong will."

Episode Guide Synopsis:
With freed prisoners in their possession and the brutal warden attempting desperately to thwart them, Obi-Wan and Anakin search for a way out of the Citadel and back to Coruscant. The prison, however, has more traps, perils and pitfalls in s tore for them than they had imagined and they must work past their differences if they are to escape.
This episode is written by  Matt Michnovetz and directed by Brian Kalin O'Connell and is the second part of the three part Citadel story arc.  Part one "The Citadel" was also written by Matt Michnovetz.  Its nice for the sake of the story to have one lead writer work on these story arcs, this is the same pattern we saw with Katie Lucas in the Savage Opress/Nightsisters arc and Christian Taylor with the Mortis arc.  If the pattern holds Matt should also be the writer of the arc's concluding episode (3.20) "Citadel Rescue."

We don't get any suprises in the Cast or Location list, other then the fact that Coruscant will appear. This could be the call for help from the strike team and the scrambling of the rescue operation for "Citadel Rescue," but I hold out hope we will see some Tarkin/Palpatine interaction in one of these episodes.  This interaction is something we didn't get to see in Episode IV, but would be really cool. 

Sounds like our noble heroes will have to make  nice with Tarkin in order to get out of the Citadel.

Stay Tuned to Lightsaber Rattling for more Counter Attack updates leading up to Friday's Episode of TCW.


SOURCE: STAR WARS.COM EPISODE GUIDE FOR COUNTER ATTACK

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Announcement: New Design for Lightsaber Rattling

Hello Ladies, Gents, and Hermaphroditic Gastropods,

As you will have noticed I have updated the look of Lightsaber Rattling.  The Dark Side is on the rise here at Lightsaber Rattling. 

This update effects not only the web version of the site, but for those who view the site on mobile devices, you will see a change as well.  The mobile version of the site will now have a white background instead of black.   Hopefully that makes it easier for mobile users to view as I have had some comments about the black background. 

I'm always tinkering with the site, but this was a bit of a major overhaul.  Hopefully you like the new look.  But please positive or negative leave comments to this post to let me know what you think. 


I am going to be messing around with gadgets on the main page to attempt to unclutter it, but for the most part most of the clutter is now at the bottom of the page.


Once the Clone Wars season ends, I will be spending some time updating the Novel Timeline, Authors & VIPs, Appendices, and Novel Value Guide Pages. 

As always thank you for visiting and stay tuned for more Star Wars news and opinion.

~Pete

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Clone Wars: News and Rumors: Episode 3.20 Title Revealed

The Citadel

Episode 3.20 of The Clone Wars will be entitled "Citadel Rescue."  The title was first revealed by Cartoon Network in their TV Listing.  The episode will be the third part of the "Citadel arc" and will be the final episode before the two part season finale "Padawan Lost" and "Wookiee Hunt."

"Citadel Rescue" will air on the Cartoon Network on Friday 3/11/11 at 8:30pm, will be available on iTunes on Saturday, and for free streaming on StarWars.com Monday.

The title makes me think that we will be seeing Saesee Tiin and possibly Plo Koon coming to the rescue of our trapped heroes.

Plo Koon (Far Left) and Saesee Tin (Left)

SOURCE: KNIGHTS ARCHIVE (A TREMENDOUS STAR WARS FAN SITE)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Darth Maul: The Tattooed Face of Star Wars Merchandise in 2012



Starwars.com has released a sneak peak at Lucasfilm's marketing campaign for 2012 and it will focus on eveyones favorite double bladed Lightsaber wielding villain, Darth Maul.

The story also had this brief Clone Wars nugget:

Will there be a variation of this used for The Clone Wars packaging?

Cheregotis: "There will not be a variant for Clone Wars packaging. We always try to keep one brand look for all segments of the property, and in this case, the use of Maul is especially fitting given the introduction of Savage Opress in The Clone Wars and his quest to find Maul."

SOURCE: STARWARS.COM

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Clone Wars News: February Clone Wars & Cartoon Network Ratings

Did you hear the news?

Turner Broadcasting the parent company behind Cartoon Network has released an update on ratings which has been published by the website TV by the Numbers

Across the third week of February 2011, Cartoon Network earned solid delivery and ratings gains vs. the same week last year among kids 9-14.  Compared to the 2010 time period, average early evening prime time kids 9-14 delivery (406,000) grew by 3%, and ratings (1.7) by 6%.

Friday night’s animated action-adventure programming (7-9 p.m.) propelled Cartoon Network to the #1 destination on all television among boys 2-11 and 9-14, showing strong double-digit delivery increases: overall kids 9-14 delivery (557,000) grew by 39% and boys 9-14 delivery (481,000) grew by 46%.

 STAR WARS: The Clone Wars (8:30 p.m.)—kids 6-11 delivery (662,000) grew by 8%, kids 9-14 delivery (607,000) grew by 49%, boys 6-11 delivery (543,000) grew by 6%, boys 9-14 delivery (517,000) grew by 53%

More great ratings news for The Clone Wars.  Dave Filoni and the crew is doing a great job and the more mature tone of the show this season really seems to be taking off with older kids.

Congratulations to the cast and crew, hopefully the March numbers are huge.

SOURCE: TV BY THE NUMBERS

Review: Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith: Sentinel by John Jackson Miller



I. SETTING

Sentinel is set in 3960 BBY on the planet Kesh in two principle locations, the capital city of Tahv and the area surrounding the Marisota River.  The Sith have now been on Kesh for 1040 years, so their society and culture is very ingrained.  What we have is a very caste based system, and in this system a fall from power has dramatic consequences. 


II. DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Jelph Marrain, Male, former Jedi Knight and Jedi Covenant Secret Agent
Ori Kitai, Female, Lost Tribe of the Sith
Grand Lord Lillia Venn, Leader of Lost Tribe of the Sith
Candra Kitai, Mother of Ori Kitai and disgraced High Lord.
Lord Flen Luzo, Male, Lost Tribe of the Sith
Lord Sawj Luzo, Male, Lost Tribe of the Sith
Gadin Badolfa, Architect and political go between for Sith
Krynda Draay, Female founder of Jedi Covenant (Mentioned only)
Jedi Master Lucien Draay, Son of Krynda, member of Jedi Covenant (Mentioned only)
Darth Revan, Fallen Jedi/Sith (Mentioned only)

III. STORY

At four chapters and 29 pages, Sentinel is a quick read but is really part of the larger story that began in LTotS #5: Purgatory.  It tells the story of the relationship between two outcasts from their respective societies former Jedi Jelph Marrain and former Sith Ori Kitai. 
She opened her eyes and glared at him. “I can feel it in your thoughts. You think I’m beautiful. You think you want me. You want to trust me. But you’re looking behind every word I say, trying to find me out, trying to trap me. Because of who I am.”
Jelph looked down at the water. He hadn’t known why he had come all this way when so much was at risk. Not until now. “I think I know who you are, Ori.” He stepped forward and put his hand on her shoulder.  She shrank at his touch.
This was a fun little romp through the LTotS, which gave us a some action, some romance, an interesting take on the Sith society/philosophy, and a bit of a twist at the end.  It also did a good job tying this series of stories into John Jackson Miller's previous work on the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comic series by having Jelph be a former member of the Jedi Covenant.  It also does a nice job of tying into the Knights of the Old Republic video games by bringing Revan into the story.

There isn't much to criticize in this story, other then the fact that Miller completely glossed over a fight scene at the end of Chapter 2 and the beginning of Chapter 3.  It wouldn't have added a ton to the story, but it just felt like a rather large omission in the flow of the story.

If you haven't gotten into the LTotS story yet, starting with #5 and #6 is a good place to start.  Jelph and Ori are interesting characters and has me wondering what ramifications this story may have for certain members of the LTotS in the Fate of the Jedi novel series.

IV. CONCLUSIONS

Lost Tribe of the Sith: Sentinel gets 8.5 out of 10.  Miller has a real nice way of crafting memorable sentences and there are a couple good ones in here. I look forward to continuing to read the LTotS story.  


You can download LTotS: Sentinel at StarWars.Com as a PDF or on Amazon.com for the KINDLE


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cover Preview: Star Wars: Shadow Games by Michael Reaves & Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff

Art by Scott Biel

StarWars.com has released a First Look at Michael Reaves new Star Wars novel, co-written by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff.  Shadow Games (working title Holostar).  Shadow Games is a stand alone paperback novel that stars Dash Rendar (introduced in the 1996 Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire multimedia releases).  The SW.com article mentions an October release, however Del Rey's Official Star Wars Facebook Page, lists its release as Nov. 29th, 2011. 


SW.Com Novel Blurb: 

Javul Charn is the most famous pop star in the galaxy -- and the runaway bride of a violent lieutenant in Black Sun, the crime syndicate commanded by Prince Xizor. Or so Javul says. Soon after Dash Rendar, broke and desperate, agrees to be Javul's bodyguard, he realizes that openness is not her strong suit -- and that murder is stalking her tour.
Between the discovery of dead bodies in a cargo hold and an attack by an unidentified warship, Dash and co-pilot Eaden Vrill desperately try to understand who is terrorizing Javul's tour and why. When Han Solo suddenly joins Javul's road show, the stakes are raised even higher. Now Dash, who has a history with Han and an even worse history with Prince Xizor, follows his instincts, his discoveries, and Javul herself -- straight into a world that may be too dangerous to survive!
My Thoughts on the Cover Art and Story Blurb:

The cover is a different look for a Star Wars books, there are elements of it that I like and elements I don't like.  The Star Wars logo in red with the effect on it looks nice.  I really like the open doors with the Imperial cog on one side and the Rebel Alliance logo on the other.  Though if Black Sun is going to feature prominently perhaps it would have made more sense to have the Black Sun logo featured on the cover. 

I dislike the effect on the "Shadow Games" title.  I also dislike the male character image deep set down the hallway between the doors. Looks like it could be no one and anyone.  It does also have the suspense/thriller/action novel feel to it.  Unlike the Knight Errant novel cover that had me really excited for the book, the cover art for this one isn't much of a hook to get me excited for it.  Hopefully the story is awesome. 

The story is set in 2 BBY, which interestingly enough is the same time in universe time period as Brian Daley's Han Solo Trilogy.  So Han who will be guest starring in this book either has to be coming from or heading to the Corporate Sector.  It also is set before the Death Troopers novel (1BBY), so its before Han and Chewie have their run in with zombies.  It is also set about 5 years before Shadows of the Empire in which Dash Rendar makes his Star Wars debut.

Overall this is a curious period of the timeline to explore and a curious main character to use.  Was their some massive clamoring for more Dash Rendar?  Is this book a way of testing the appeal of minor character stories set in the Rise of the Empire era?  Possibly testing the waters for the Live-Action TV series which is rumored to have a similar setting? 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Savage Opress Comic: Free Comic Day Story by Dark Horse Comics


If you can't get enough Savage Opress action, then on May 7, 2011 (Free Comic Book Day) run don't walk to your local comic book store for this free comic from Dark Horse Comic which will feature not only a Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Opress Unleashed comic, but in the same book an Avatar: The Last Airbender comic based on the Nickelodeon TV series. 

Interesting in the Preview of the Free Comic on the Free Comic Book Day website we see Opress visiting a Hutt, Noggox the Hutt.  It will be interesting to get this short comic book story and hopefully get some idea of what Opress is up to between the time we last saw him on TCW and the time we will next see him, presumably in S4. 

Source: FreeComicBookDay.com
Source: Jedi Temple Archives

New Chewbacca Clip from The Clone Wars Season Finale


Big Shiny Robot has posted a new video clip from the EmpireFail's YouTube Channel  of the two-part Season 3 Clone Wars Finale event featuring Chewbacca.

Long before he was imprisoned by Imperials following the events of Revenge of the Sith, and even longer before he was rescued by and pledged his life to his friend Han Solo, Chewbacca crossed passes with Ahsoka Tano.



Looks like we are in for some serious Wookiee action.  Its cool to see TCW bring in the Wookiee-Trandoshan conflict from the EU, for those unfamiliar the Wookiees and Trandoshans originated on separate planets within the same star system, the Kashyyyk System. There is a long history of animosity between the two species.  For more on the Wookiee-Trandoshan conflict visit Wookieepedia


SOURCE: Big Shiny Robot
SOURCE: Star Wars Underworld

Clone Wars: Counter Attack (Episode 3.19) Preview Video

Since TCW is taking a week off, the Lightsaber Rattling full preview of Episode 3.19 "Counter Attack," will have to wait until next week.  Until then any news, press releases or other updates will be covered in multiple posts. 

I like the Imperial Probe Droid call back to Empire Strikes Back.  

Cartoon Network Preview:  VIDEO


Cartoon Network Preview Blurb: "Obi-Wan and Anakin search for a way out of the Citadel and back to Republic Territory."

For our iPhone Readers here is the Youtube Video that doesn't require Flash. 



For more coverage of TCW and other things Star Wars, please visit our friends over at Knights Archive

My Collection Update: Transformers Exodus by Alex Irvine.



One of the coolest features of following authors and publishers through the use of social media is stumbling upon the occassional contest/giveaway.  I had the good fortune recently of seeing author Alex Irvine, who I began following after learning that he would be penning a Star Wars novel about Nomi Sunrider.  The Nomi Sunrider book, which can't have the main characters name for legal reason is going to be a hardcover, scheduled for release tentatively in September of 2012.

Recently Mr. Irvine held a giveaway in which he gave a couple lucky fans autographed copies of his Transformers novel, Transformers Exodus.  Published in 2010 by Del Rey/Ballantine Books.

Publisher's Summary:
For twenty-five years the colossal battle between Megatron and Optimus Prime has captivated Transformers fans around the world. Yet the full story of the conflict between the two most famous Transformers—everything that happened before Optimus and Megatron arrived on planet Earth—has always been a mystery . . . until now. Here, for the first time told in its entirety, is the thrilling saga of Optimus and Megatron before they were enemies, before they even knew each other.

“Freedom is every Cybertronian’s right!” After Megatron utters these immortal words, the caste-bound planet of Cybertron is rocked to its foundations. Megatron, an undefeated gladiator thug, gives voice to the unspoken longings of the oppressed masses—and opens the mind of an insignificant data clerk to possibilities previously unthinkable.
Long before becoming the honorable Optimus Prime, Orion Pax is a mere office underling, an unlikely candidate to answer an outlaw’s call to revolution. But Orion is determined to meet this defiant enemy of all that Cybertron stands for, no matter what he has to do, or how many laws he has to break.

What happens between Orion Pax and Megatron forever changes the destiny of all Transformers. This gripping, action-packed novel reveals all the loyalties and treacheries, trust and betrayals, deadly violence and shining ideals, as well as the pivotal roles played by other characters, including Starscream, Sentinel Prime, Omega Supreme, and one of the thirteen original Primes, the last link to Cybertron’s glorious Golden Age.

Discover how meek disciple Orion Pax becomes the fearless leader Optimus Prime; follow the tantalizing clues about the lost Matrix of Leadership and the lore surrounding it; find out why the two allies fighting a corrupt regime suddenly turn on each other, and what triggers their epic war. Transformers: Exodus provides everything fans ever wanted to know about one of the fiercest rivalries of all time.
Look for an Off Topic Review of Transformers: Exodus in the coming weeks on LightsaberRattling.com.

You can follow author Alex Irvine on Twitter at:  @alexirvine and on his website

You can purchase Transformers: Exodus on Amazon in Hardcover or Paperback.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Clone Wars News and Rumors: IMDB Listing of Darth Maul and Savage Opress in TCW Season Finale False According to Lucasfilm.

2/22/11:  UPDATE

Updating the story I posted yesterday regarding IMDB's cast listing for The Clone Wars Season 3 Finale, Episode 3.22 "Wookiee Hunt."  Big Shiny Robot Editor Bryan Young received confirmation from Lucasfilm that this cast listing was inaccurate, debunking this rumor.  For More on the story head over to Big Shiny Robot.


The IMDB listing for our S3 Season Finale contains some incorrect information – but while neither Darth Maul nor Savage Opress will be featured in the episode, we will be marking the Clone Wars debut of Chewbacca, one of the Star Wars Saga’s most iconic and beloved characters.
Original Article:

I caution that this is totally unconfirmed, but someone has posted the following casting information on IMDB for the Season Finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Episode 3.22 "Wookiee Hunt."  



It has Clancy Brown who previously voiced Savage Opress in the Nightsisters arc, and Stephen Stanton who is appearing in the current story arc (Citadel and Counter Attack) as Captain Tarkin listed as appearing in the episode. 

Curiously it has Stanton who has previously done some minor work on TCW as Mas Amedda, Brother Viscus and a few minor characters, as voicing Darth Maul.

More curious still it has only these characters and Tom Kane as the Narrator listed in the cast portion of the information.

At this point this may be nothing more then a red herring.  Though if Savage and Maul where to appear in the Season Finale it would likely be a brief glimpse in the closing seconds of the episode to set up and  tease Season 4 (as I speculated in this POST).

This entry on IMDB was first mentioned on Twitter by The S.W. Underworld ( @Theswunderworld ) who also has a Facebook Page.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lost Tribe of the Sith: #6 Sentinel Released 2/21/11

The latest entry in John Jackson Miller's must read e-book novella series, Lost Tribe of the Sith has been released.

Sentinel follows on the events of Book 5: Purgatory,  StarWars.com has also posted the following blurb for the novella:

Cast into slavery by the machinations of the Sith, Ori Kitai believes she's found her way back into the Lost Tribe -- and perhaps a whole lot more. Ori's discovery of a second starship gives her the opportunity to avenge the humiliations heaped on her family by the decrepit Grand Lord. Indeed, she could turn their entire society upside down -- offering escape from their planetary prison. But Ori encounters resistance from a surprising person: the seemingly humble farmer who took her in: a man with a secret past and an agenda of his own. He cannot allow Ori Kitai to unleash the Lost Tribe on an unsuspecting galaxy. But how can he stop the woman he loves without destroying them both?

Look for a review of Sentinel on Lightsaber Rattling this week.

Amazon Link


StarWars.Com Link

For the rest of the Lost Tribe of the Sith and other interesting Free Downloads visit, StarWars.com's Digital Download Page. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Battle Meditation Review of Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Citadel (Episode 3.18)

Even Piell is a bad, bad Lannik

Episode Title & Number:  "Citadel" Season 3, Episode 18 (3.18)

Original Air Date: February 18, 2011. 


Review Blurb:

Its a Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Attack of the Clones Mash-Up this week on The Clone Wars.  Classic Star Wars.  EV-9D9 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I used to love that action figure!  "You're a feisty little one, but you'll soon learn some respect. I have need for you on the master's sail barge, and I think you'll fill in nicely."  Wait, is it wrong that I am more excited about Eve then I am about Tarkin? 

Jedi Fortune Cookie:  "Adaptation is the key to survival."

Episode Dramatis Personae:

Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Master
Ahsoka Tano, Jedi Padawan
R2-D2, Astromech Droid
C-3PO, Protocol Droid
Osi Sobeck, Phindan Citadel Commander
Even Piell, Jedi Master
Captain Tarkin, Republic Captain
Clone Captain Rex, Clone Trooper Captain
Clone Commander Cody, Clone Commander
Echo, Clone ARC Trooper
Fives. Clone ARC Trooper

Episode Summary:

Newsreel: 

Captured! Returning from a perilous assignment in the Outer Rim, Jedi Master Even Piell's cruiser has fallen under attack and been boarded. Seeking vital information he carries about secret hyperspace lanes called the Nexus Route, Separatist forces have taken him alive.

Now the Jedi are preparing a stealth mission into the heart of Separatist space in an effort to rescue Master Piell from the deadly prison known as the Citadel....

Episode Guide Synopsis:


With help from R2-D2 and a squad of captured battle droids, an elite team of Jedi and clone troopers led by Obi-Wan and Anakin attempt to free a captive Jedi general, Even Piell, from an impenetrable prison.

Review:


I) Story/Writing

This episode (written by Matt Michnovetz & directed by Kyle Dunlevy)  starts with a nice MacGuffin, Jedi Master Even Piell has found some super secret super important hyperspace lanes that go between the home worlds of the Republic and the Separatists, called the "Nexus Route."  Do we really care much about the Nexus Route? Besides the fact it gives us a potential update for the Star Wars Atlas book?  Not really, it serves as a purpose for the droids to keep Master Piell alive and for the Jedi to pull out all the stops in a uber dangerous rescue mission.  MacGuffin mission accomplished.

This episode is full of cool action, imagery and Star Wars movie references. I will be discussing some of the stuff that caught my attention in the following paragraphs. 


The Citadel:

We learn that the Citadel isn't exactly new, its very old and it was designed to hold Jedi who have lost their way.  This could be a throw away line, but its one of those little things that you could build an entire story around in the EU.  Why did the Jedi/Republic/Whoever feel the need to build a prison for Jedi?  Was there a rash of Jedi becoming Dark Jedi, Sith, or going crazy as we have seen in the Fate of the Jedi series?  I can't wait to find out more about the original purpose of the Citadel. 

Carbon Freezing:

I don't want to end up a wall decoration ~Clone Captain Rex

Carbon Freezing brings us right back to ESB and RotJ.  Rex not wanting to end up a wall decoration, as Han Solo later ends up as Jabba's favorite decoration at his Palace.  Nerdgasm

In this episode the infiltration by carbon freezing to get past the Separatist's scanning for life-signs  was Anakin's idea.  Makes you look at ESB carbon freezing a little differently. Just how much of Anakin still is part of Vader in ESB?  Does he think of carbon freezing as a convenient and effective way for transporting personnel?  Nerdgasm

But the carbon freezing scene does leave me with a major question.  Is that a mobile carbon freezing station or do the Jedi keep one on their hanger deck usually?  We know from the EU that carbon freezing is a way to transport highly valuable perishable materials, but the Jedi aren't exactly the intergalactic UPS.  Why would they have a carbon freezing facility in the Jedi Temple? 


The Shuttle Ride:

"Shuttle Tydirium, what is your cargo and destination?
When our Jedi strike team arrives at the Citadel, aboard there Separatist shuttle with its captured battle droid crew, we get a scene very reminiscent of the Rebel insertion onto the forest moon of Endor in Return of the Jedi (RotJ).  Much like the shuttle Tydirium being challenged for its cargo and destination on its approach to the Imperial fleet surrounding Endor, the Jedi's shuttle is challenged by Citadel Command, for their cargo. 

They need a better cargo manifest on the shuttle.  The droids load carbon frozen stow away Ahsoka.  It was pretty funny when Anakin greets her instinctually coming out of carbon freeze before realising she is not suppose to be there.  It made me think of Luke's conversation with the Force Ghost of Obi-Wan on Dagobah, when Obi-Wan makes the "certain point of view" argument.  Ahsoka "discussed it" with Master Plo about going on the mission all right.  Ahsoka is a sneaky one and picking up some poor discipline habits from her Master. 

Guard the shuttle R2, Guard the X-wing R2, what is he a car alarm?  R2 must get a little frustrated sometimes. 

Jail Break:
 
How kick butt are the Clone Commandos?  They keeping up with the Jedi, free climbing the sheer cliff face that is lined with electro-mines to get to the prison entrance.

Ah the old ventilation duct entrance trick.  Good thing they brought Le Petite Padawan.

Clone Troopers Echo and Fives aren't going to like the "special unit" droids very much, "Rookies" flashback time.



EV-9D9: Some Droids like it Rough

Some droids are nice and friendly, some droids are subservient, and some droids like to torture other droids or sentient lifeforms.  Its always nice to see a droid enjoy their work.  The torture scene of Jedi Master Even Piell echos two movies at the same time.  It immediately makes you think of RotJ as C-3P0 and R2-D2 are taken to Jabba's Droid Overseer EV-9D9 for job assignments and we see poor little droids being tortured.

The way Master Piell is being imprisoned is straight out of AotC when Count Dooku has captured Obi-Wan Kenobi on Geonosis and has him suspended in bindings.   Double Nerdgasm

Look Who's Tarkin:

Rapid Entry by Jedi by far my favorite way to make an entrance.

Very interesting character development on Tarkin in his few lines in this episode.  We get a glimpse into his psyche in the debate between he and Obi-Wan on how best to attempt to escape.  Size/Strength in number philosophy by Tarkin,  two separate groups/diversion strategy of  Obi-Wan. These two strategies fit into what we know of these characters in ANH.  Obi-Wan goes off on his own to shut down the shield generators instructing Han and Luke to stay behind in the control room.  Tarkin believes in overwhelming force and power is the way to go, and he has the biggest ship and biggest gun in the galaxy. 

The other very interesting angles of this story arc are that Tarkin knew Obi-Wan. Just how much does Tarkin know of Vader/Anakin's past?  There are a lot of potential implications of this that I need to think about some more, and hopefully we see more Tarkin interaction in the next episode.

II) Acting

Matt Lanter did another good job this episode exposing the major character flow of Anakin's attachment. In this case it was Anakin's attachment  to Ahsoka, telling her she can't come on the rescue mission because its not a mission for training.  The subtext is that he is afraid she could die.  From the EU its was not uncommon for Jedi to lose Padawan's during the Clone Wars as well as other conflicts, and taking part in dangerous missions was par for the course of being a Padawan. 


Even Piell had a cool german influenced accent. 

James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) also portrayed the dastardly Citadel Commander Osi Sobeck.  The Episode Guide from StarWars.com confirms what my ears told me watching the episode. Christopher Walken.  I got a fever and the only solution is more cowbell.
For James Arnold Taylor's characterization of Osi Sobeck, he performed the dialogue with pauses and inflection inspired by Christopher Walken's distinctive speech patterns.


III) Animation
Lola Sayu may be my favorite planet yet depicted on TCW, how awesome was that?  Part of the planet is molten and breaking up.  It looks incredible. 

Facial twitches of Plo Koon, his fangs for lack of a better word were moving independently.  

Obi-Wan's hair is blowing in the wind?  I would love to know how much that cost?

Ahsoka's padawan beads swigning and the fluidity of Commando droids were also nice touches and once again show how far the animation has come in this show.  

IV) New Characters/Planets/Vehicles  
Echo and Fives
Separatist Escort Shuttle Class B

Lola Sayu from space

K2-B4

Commander Osi Sobeck

The Citadel

Commando Droids

Captain Tarkin

Jedi Hanger w/Carbon Freeze Facility (Concept Art)

Concept Art




































































































Trooper Longshot? RIP


V) Continuity Clashes:  "How I learned to stop worrying and love the ret-cons."


TARKIN AND HIS BACKSTORY

As an interesting character and a fun villain to use, Grand Moff Tarkin has made appearances directly or by reference in lots of EU material.  This episode re-introduces him as a Republic Captain during The Clone Wars.  How does that fit into what we know about his backstory at this point.  In Cloak of Deception, set in 33 BBY we see Tarkin as Lt. Governor of Eriadu.  In 29 BBY, Tarkin is involved in an attempt to get special starship technology from Zonoma Sekot in Rogue Planet.  The Clone Wars run from 22BBY and 19BBY, by 22 BBY Tarkin had risen to the Governorship of Eriadu.  This brings us to the issue of when and how did Tarkin set aside his office as Governor and re-enlist as a Captain in the Republic Navy?  Was he drafted in or did he volunteer in?  It seems like a pretty dramatic step for a planetary Governor to step down in the middle of a galactic conflict to join the Republic's military forces.  At some point the ret-con story that fixes this back story inconcistency needs to be told.  (Research on this section via Wooieepedia)


HYPERSPACE LANES


Not a major issue, but this episode introduces us to the "Nexus Route," which is a secret hyperspace lane that allows transit between the home worlds of the Republic and Confederacy.  My only problem with this is that it seems like these routes should be fairly well known at this point of time, especially any route that heads toward Coruscant. 




SHIP YARDS OF DOOM



In this week's episode the Jedi and Clone Troopers use the trick of freezing themselves in carbonite in order to cover their life signs and slip past Separatist scanners and get behind enemy lines.  In this episode Anakin says that this is the first time they have tried this.  However we have an earlier (9/24/08) Clone Wars story featuring the same trick, also Anakin's idea, also with Ahsoka stowing away, that is apparently set before the events of this episode. 

"We are early in this conflict Lord Tyrannus." ~Darth Sideous via hologram to Count Dooku in Shipyards of Doom

If we take Sideous' comments at face value, then either Anakin is forgetful or TCW production team dropped the ball on continuity here.  Simply removing the line of dialogue from the episode would have prevented a continuity issue.  As it stands, 'Citadel' is set later in the Clone Wars with new character models and should be placed later in the timeline then Shipyards of Doom, but unless you make Shipyards of Doom after Citadel, then Anakin's dialogue doesn't make sense. 

Old character models and carbonite
From the StarWars.com Episode Guide: 
During Season One, discussions about getting past droid scans led to Superising Director Dave Filoni and writer Henry Gilory developing the carbon-freezing tactic, though it never made it into an episode. Gilroy later used it in an Expanded Universe Clone Wars comic book story, The Shipyards of Doom. Its use in 'The Citadel' brings it to the screen.


Shipyards of Doom is available in multiple formats from digital to print.  It is available from Amazon HERE.


VI) Rating This Episode

10 out of 10.  This episode flew buy and there was a throwback to one of the films in almost every scene.  I can't get enough of this.  An awesome way to follow up the mind bending mythology heavy Mortis arc with a good old fashion Star Wars swashbuckling adventure yarn.

The only negative for me was that the cool space battle and capture of Evel Piell was handled in the Newsreel instead of in the episode proper.  I want to see that scene with sound effects and music. 

VII) Next on The Clone Wars

Next on TCW is Episode 3.19, "Counter Attack." The Clone Wars is taking a week off and will be returning with a new episode on 3/4/11.  Will our heroes escape the Citadel?  Can Echo and Fives survive more Commando droids?  How many more movie references can they throw into this story arc?  Tune in to find out.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Clone Wars Speculation: No Darth Maul Until Season 4?

Darth Maul as seen in Witches of the Mist



With the revelation of the next story arc featuring Even Piell and Captain Tarkin (starting this Friday 2/18 with "Citadel"), and the revelation that Chewbacca will be preparing in the two-part season finale ("Padawan Lost & "Wookiee Hunt"), it leaves me wondering where we are with the story of Savage "Opress and Darth Maul.

It seems more likely then not that we will not be seeing either Opress or Maul again this season unless it is in the closing minutes of the Season Finale as a way to tease what is to come in Season 4.

This makes a lot of sense if you think about what is coming in 2012.  We are ramping up to what is going to be a massive marketing push by Lucasfilm across all platforms for the 3D Release of Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace. 

We know that TPM will be released in 3D in 2012, it is speculated (Here) that the release will occur in February of 2012. Though I think it probably ends up a little closer to Spring but before the big Summer movie releases.  May anyone?

It also has been announced by Del Rey that we will have paperback re-issues of two TPM related novels in Spring of 2012, Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter and The Phantom Menace: Novelization, replete with new short stories in each book.

This Spring and Summer as they start the marketing campaign for Season 4 of The Clone Wars and for TPM 3D, I am sure the main character of the marketing push will be Darth Maul.  Just as we had Savage Opress as a central figure in the TCW Season 3 marketing, we will see it to even a greater degree with Maul. 

This is just speculation on my part but I think Season 4 will have a large portion of it as a detour from what we think of traditionally as the Clone Wars.  I believe we will see Opress training under Maul, then those two forging a third faction in the galaxy that is openly opposed to both the Separatists and the Republic, and covertly opposed to Darth Sidious' machinations as Maul tries to supplant him as the heir to Darth Bane's legacy. 

What ever form the Darth Maul story in TCW takes, I don't think we will be seeing it until next season.

What do you think?

Del Rey/Star Wars Books holding a Fan Roundtable Discussion on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/starwarsbooks

Del Rey's Star Was Book Facebook page is soliciting comments from fans regarding the EU.  Join in now to take part in the discussion.  Let the publishers of Star Wars books know what you like, dislike about the EU.  

The Del Rey staff associated with STAR WARS tries our best to stay in touch with what you, our readers, think of the books. We've read some interesting blogs about the EU lately, some positive, some negative, and some in between. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, we always love to hear them. (ES)

 STAR WARS BOOKS DISCUSSION THREAD ON THE EU

 UPDATE: 2/17/11:
Comments by Editors Erich Shoeneweiss and Shelly Shapiro


Star Wars Books
Thank you all for the great suggestions and keep them coming. We read all of the posts on this page and all of your comments. What you think is important to us. Some of the suggestions you made we're already working on. As Shelly Shapiro st...ated at Celebration V, there will be no more long multi-book series after Fate of the Jedi. We'll be publishing more one shots and trilogies. Aaron Allston is working on a new Wraith Squadron novel and we've got the Shadow Games, Darth Plagueis, and Alex Irvine Nomi Sunrider novels on the schedule. More will be revealed in time. Keep the comments coming. The Force is strong with you. (ES)
Shelly Shapiro Thanks to all of you for taking the time to post your thoughts about our books. We (us and the authors) try very hard to create stories that will appeal to as many readers as possible--that will work as fun novels as well as fun Star Wars, but obviously we are not pleasing everyone all the time. Your opinions do matter, and I appreciate hearing them. Hang in there with us--we have some great stuff coming up in the future!

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Deceived: Sneak Peak


Del Rey's Star Wars Facebook Page, Star Wars Books has posted a new photo of the finished Deceived Hardcover Editions. 

Del Rey Editor Erich Schoeneweiss also commented about the embossing on the cover, we know embossing is fairly expensive and it looks like Del Rey and LucasBooks are pulling out all the stops with this cover and likely this book as a major promotional tool for The Old Republic MMORPG.

Star Wars Books It's a little hard to make out in the photo, but we sculpture embossed Darth Malgus on the jacket so he's really cool looking when you hold the book in your hand. I love this jacket. Love this book. (ES)


Photo from Star Wars Books Facebook Page

Clone Wars Season 3 Season Finale: Chewbacca in TCW and Episode Titles Revealed
















The sound you hear is millions of fan girls and boys exploding in joy as it is announced that Chewbacca will be coming to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, in the two part Season 3 Finale.

First reported by the NY Times, the episode titles for the two part season finale have also been announced as "Padawan Lost" and "Wookie Hunt."

Though Lucasfilm Animation is keeping specific plot details under wraps, the “Clone Wars” finale, scheduled for April 1, will see Chewbacca cross paths with Ahsoka Tano, the Jedi apprentice to Anakin Skywalker (a k a the future Darth Vader). To prepare for these episodes, titled “Padawan Lost” and “Wookiee Hunt,” the “Clone Wars” supervising director Dave Filoni and his team of animators and artists delved into the Lucasfilm archives for original Chewbacca reference materials and costumes, and invited Mr. Mayhew to their studios in Marin County, north of San Francisco, to advise them on the process of bringing Chewie to digital life.

Peter Mayhew also got the chance to portray the voice acting for Chewbacca in these episodes:

To portray Chewbacca for “The Clone Wars,” Mr. Mayhew was not required to don the outfit at all. (“I was doing it in my own clothing,” he said.) However, he did record dialogue for the character, having learned over the years to emulate the blend of bear growls and other animal noises used to create Chewie’s voice.
Lucasfilm hasn’t said yet if Chewbacca will return for future episodes of “The Clone Wars,” but Mr. Mayhew said he was happy to have been so closely associated with the character for nearly 35 years.

VIDEO of CHEWBACCA!  ARGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH 

UPDATE:  

Riley posted on The Bothan Report Facebook Page has screen captures from the Chewie Trailer: LINK

Joel Aron (TCW Visual Effects Supervisor) Posted a portrait of Peter Mayhew on Flicker/Twitter: LINK

New character model art of Chewbacca from The Clone Wars posted on Star Wars.com:  LINK
Bowcaster Awesomeness!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Ascension Cover Art and Other Book News

Cover Art by Ian Keltie


StarWars.com has released a First Look at Christie Golden's FotJ: Ascension due to be released on August 16, 2011.  Ascension is the 8th and penultimate book in the Fate of the Jedi series. 

This cover is the second time that Ben Skywalker and Vestara Khai have graced the cover of a novel in the series.  Ben was also depicted on the cover of Book 4: Backlash. Vestar appeared on the cover of Book 2: Omen. 


You can pre-order FotJ: Ascension on Amazon.com.



IN OTHER STAR WARS BOOK NEWS:

1. Darth Paper Strikes Back:  Fall 2011
A sequel to Oragami Yoda by Tom Angleberger, published by Amulet Books. StarWars.com Announcement/Interview.

2. The Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: June 2011
A new Character Encyclopedia in the style of The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia by DK publishing.  It will feature 200+ Characters. 

3. Jedi Path by Daniel Wallace: Trade Edition: September 2011
A tremendous book by Daniel Wallace, that I reviewed (HERE)  is going to be re-released this fall as a trade edition at a more affordable price point.  A must have for any Star Wars fan and the perfect compliment to the Star Wars Blu Ray purchase also coming out in September.

4. New Kids Books
LEGO Star Wars: Anakin: Space Pilot (in 3D) June 2011.  Also by DK Readers due out in June are Star Wars: Ultimate Duels and The Adventures of Han Solo.

SOURCE: STARWARS.COM

Clone Wars: Citadel Preview (Ep. 3.18) Air Date: 3/18/11

Captain Rex being frozen in Carbonite
Jedi Fortune Cookie:  "Adaptation is the key to survival."


Video Source: TheForce.Net

Official Site Synopsis:  With help from R2-D2 and a squad of captured battle droids, an elite team of Jedi and clone troopers led by Obi-Wan and Anakin attempt to free a captive Jedi general, Even Piell, from an impenetrable prison.

 From the Preview Episode Guide:
Key Characters: Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, R2-D2, Osi Sobeck, Even Piell, Captain Tarkin, Clone Captain Rex, Clone Commander Cody, Echo, Fives
          Key Locales: Lola Sayu

Dave Filoni's Preview Quotes For Citadel from StarWars.com

"This arc is basically classic Star Wars; we focused on the things that I really remember loving about the Saga from when I was a kid. In the Mortis trilogy, George [Lucas] wanted us to explore some ground that's never really been covered in Star Wars before. And now with the Citadel arc, we're going back to some of those essential, classic conventions that have always made Star Wars so fun."

Anakin Skywalker in Carbonite
"There are a lot of references packed into these episodes. Even the basic [prison] break-in idea parallels the Death Star rescue from Episode IV. It was really fun to do our version of that, but it's definitely not the only thing that will feel familiar -- though we've put our own spin on everything. This whole arc allowed us some fun opportunities to pay homage to the Star Wars that we all fell in love with when we, the older fans, were kids. Pretty much everyone on the crew is a fan, so it's been fun to revisit some of those classic elements in The Clone Wars."
Ugnaught putting Jedi and Clones on ice

"Tarkin was tricky. We had to capture his essence, while also aging him down appropriately. Peter Cushing is such a distinguished actor, and Tarkin is such an iconic role. He fills the room with his presence and, aside from the Emperor, he's the only character who ever orders Vader around. So getting him right was very important to us, because his introduction to Anakin is an important one. And they've got a fun relationship that's been very interesting to explore."
Captain Tarkin
Thoughts on the Preview of TCW: Citadel: 

The Episode was written by Matt Michnovetz and directed by Kyle Dunlevy.  Supervising Director Dave Filoni promises us a return to classic Star Wars fun in this story arc that features a special Jedi/Clone strike team being frozen in carbonite and ferried by R2-D2 and a captured group of battle droids; behind enemy lines to rescue imprisoned Jedi Master Even Piell from a seemingly impregnable Separatist prison.

This looks like fun.  We have seen Even Piell in the previous preview trailer looking like a bad bad man.  I can't wait to see him in action, I am sure he will become a very hot action figure among collectors and kids alike.

It is very interesting to hear Filoni talk about Tarkin and Anakin interacting and their relationship, that makes me think Tarkin has a fairly large role to play in this story arc.  Of course this also makes me hope we see some hint of villainy from him and an appearance by Palpatine as well.

I am also interested to see if they address hibernation sickness for the Jedi or Clones as we saw Han Solo suffer with in Return of the Jedi.

We are getting a new character in Osi Sobeck, perhaps this is Phindian that has appeared in the trailers and that Leland Chee has been talking about on Twitter.

There is also a new planet involved, Lola Sayu.  I am assuming this is the Separatist prison world, but we shall see.
Obi-Wan Kenobi in Carbonite

As always TCW airs Friday nights on the Cartoon Network, is available on iTunes Saturday, and on StarWars.com for free on Monday.

StarWars.com Preview Clip for Episode 3.18 "Citadel"

UPDATE: 2/17/11

Entertainment Weekly (EW.com) has a preview article for The Clone Wars: Episode 3.18 Citadel, which includes quotes from Matt Lanter and Dave Filoni and an exclusive Preview Clip of Anakin and Tarkin interacting.  EW VIDEO CLIP

We also learn that Captain Tarkin will be voiced by actor Stephen Stanton

For those like iPhone users who Flash Video won't play for. Here is the Youtube version of the Clip.


WATCH THE CLONE WARS ON CARTOON NETWORK:





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