Friday, April 29, 2011

Star Wars Blu-Ray Details to Be Revealed On-Line May 4th


 Are you excited about the Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-Ray release coming this fall?

If you are like me and can't wait to get your hands on the Star Wars Blu-Rays on September 16, then you want to check out a special announcement by Lucasfilm on the holiday of all holidays.  May 4th.

May the 4th be with you.  Get it, fourth, force.

On May 4th at 6:00AM PST (9:00AM EST) visit a special new website set up by Starwars.com:  http://maythe4th.starwars.com/

Currently the website has a countdown clock until May the 4th, but we should be getting some pretty massive news regarding the specifications and possibly the external and internal look of the box set.  The tag line for the announcement is; "all will be revealed."  

I highly suggest you pre-order your copy of Star Wars on Blu-Ray now, as they are going to be flying off the shelves.  In fact, if you don't have a Blu-Ray player yet, go get one, and while your at it pick up The Clone Wars on Blu-Ray, it looks incredible.

You can Pre-Order Star Wars on Blu-Ray at Amazon.com:  Complete Saga, Prequel Trilogy, Original Trilogy.


SOURCES:  StarWars.com, Maythe4th.starwars.com, and Jedi Temple Archives

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Heir to the Empire: 20th Anniversary Edition Preview: Annotation #7: Heir Mitth'raw'nuruodo


















 Star Wars Books on Facebook has released the latest in a series of preview annotations for Timothy Zahn's Star Wars: Heir to the Empire: 20th Anniversary Edition.   Annotation #7 involves a curious random factoid that doesn't have much to do with the story but focuses on what can sometimes be lost in translation.


ANNOTATION #7: 

"A small thing that I never would have anticipated, and never even knew before I was invited to a Star Wars convention in Munich: The "thr" combination apparently doesn't exist in German, or so I was told. German Star Wars fans therefore have terrific difficulty pronouncing Thrawn's name." -- TZ

It would be curious to know what the German pronunciation or attempted pronunciation of Thrawn ends up sounding like.  

SOURCE: STAR WARS BOOKS ON FACEBOOK

Del Rey Spectra Twitter Book Giveaway: Features Two Star Wars Books


Del Rey Spectra the imprint of Random House that publishes Star Wars books is holding a giveaway via Twitter that ends at 5pm EST on April 29th.

Del Rey Spectra:  If you RT w/ , you'll be entered to win the 6 print books on this list (US & Can, 18 and up; ends 5 pm ET 4/29)
The six books are paperbacks:

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi Allies by Christie Golden
The Hidden Goddess by M.K. Hobson
The Star Wars Craft Book by Bonnie Burton
The River of Shadows by Robert V. S. Redick
Will Supervillain Be on the Final? by Naomi Novik
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

Sources: SUVUDU and @DelReySpectra


SandTroopers.com First Look at Savage Opress TCW Action Figure

I am not really toy collecting side of the Star Wars fan community, but I am a big fan of Savage Opress so I found this news from Sandtroopers.com to be really cool. 

One of their contributors CommanderPhoenix got some pictures of the new Savage Opress action figure part of Hasbro's Star Wars: The Clone Wars line. 


Head over to Sandtroopers.com for the complete photo gallery. 

Ashley Eckstein's Her Universe Update: New Products and a Sale

Ashley Eckstein the actress behind Ahsoka Tano and geek girl fashion impresario, will be co-hosting Disney's Star Wars Weekends this summer.  In conjunction with this she has announced that her clothing company will be unveiling two new shirts and two previously adult shirts in kids sizes.  The shirts will be available exclusively at Disney for a limited time, presumably before becoming available on the Her Universe website.



















Her Universe also has six of its shirts on sale as part of its 50% off sale.

Head over to Her Universe to check out the sale. 

Head to Disney's website for details on Disney Star Wars Weekends.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Off Topic: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows 2 Trailer: Harry is a Right Ornery Git

This is just to awesome not to share.



I was a late comer to the Harry Potter phenomenon.  I saw the movies before I read any of the books, an while I liked the first few movies as the tone has gotten darker an more mature I have found myself really getting into the story.  Ginny is awesome.  I can't wait to see Mrs. Weasley in action.

Lightsaber Rattling: Social Media Update (Facebook, Twitter, & Forums)


I thought I would take a minute to say thank you to all the readers for making my little blog an overwhelming success from my perspective, and to let you know where you can find and interact with me in different social media forms.

Lightsaber Rattling has an official Facebook page.  We are up 96 likes and I would love to get that number over 100 soon.  If you haven't liked us yet please do and stop by and leave a comment. 

I am also fairly active on Twitter, I usually Tweet (@Pete_Morrison) links to articles as well as engage in #Starwars and #SWEU discussions.  I generally Tweet about Star Wars, but watch out for some sports related tweets and occasionally other topics, but generally you want see me tweeting about standing in line waiting to buy laundry detergent. I am up to 229 followers an would love to see that number get over 250 soon. 

I have over the years posted on the Starwars.com Message Boards.  Some of us Internet veterans still like the message board format as a way of interacting.  Call us old, but at least we have evolved away from the AOL chat rooms....With the official site message boards shutting down, I have very happily migrated to the EUCantina.net Forums. This is a message board run by my friends and fellow Star Wars fans over at EUCantina. There is a strong core group of members there as well as a large group of new members joining and even some VIPs.  You should head over and give the great looking new message board design a look, pull up a chair and join the conversation.  Look for me posting as LightsaberRattling so that any fans of the site will be able to easily find me on there. 

Lightsaber Rattling Social Media Links:

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

EUCANTINA.NET FORUMS

Monday, April 25, 2011

Continuity: It surrounds us, penetrates us and binds the Expanded Universe together


Club Jade has posted a very well thought out post regarding Star Wars, fandom and the issues surrounding continuity and canon.  I highly recommend you read it HERE.

Sometimes we take things to seriously.  In the end, the EU is nothing but a collection of stories written at different times by different authors' based on an original set of stories written by George Lucas.  This isn't life and death, it is entertainment and we should always keep that in perspective. 

One of the ways that I help to rationalize the conflicting story elements that appear in continuity, is to intellectualize the process.  The Star Wars saga supposedly took place "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away."  Conceptualize these stories as ancient historical events, then approach them by looking at how we remember ancient historical events on earth.  Often in historical accounts from ancient times there are conflicting accounts of events.  Some times these conflicting accounts are the result of mistranslations, of misunderstandings, or of incomplete information.  Some times these differences are actively inserted in the historical records, as Winston Churchill said, "history is written by the victors." 

When a conflict arises in continuity, I try to think of the different authors as ancient historians, and embrace the fact that there will be differing accounts of the same events or persons. Try not to get to hung up on minor details, or even major continuity changes.  Focus on the spirit of the story, what is at its core.  

Ultimately enjoy each story on its own merits.  Whether or not they can all be fit into the larger tapestry of Star Wars continuity only enriches the story.  If a story or a character does not fit into this tapestry perfectly, does it make that story or that character any less enjoyable when you read, listen or view it?  I think not. 

The only time that continuity really bothers me is in situations such as the Karen Traviss imbroglio.  While I think Karen shares some of the blame for the way she, in my opinion overreacted and blew what should have been a workable situation between herself, Lucasfilm, and Del Rey working together to retcon the Mandalorians and complete the story of the Republic Commando characters into an unmitigated mess.  What bothers me is not so much the way The Clone Wars changed the Mandalorian culture from what was presented in the EU, but the fact that it resulted in a story not being finished.  A story that spanned five books.  That is a significant financial and emotional investment that fans made in a set of characters and their stories that were left unfinished.  I doubt that we ever see Karen return to the Star Wars universe, but I hope that the Republic Commando characters are revisited at some point to give their stories closure.
  
In the end,  changes will be made to continuity whether you like it or not.  You can either get angry about it and allow it to spoil your enjoyment of Star Wars, or you can roll with the punches and find your own way to rationalize the changes to the tapestry.   Good Luck with your decision. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Can James Luceno's Darth Plagueis Novel Meet Fan Expectation?


Chancellor Palpatine: The fear of losing power is a weakness of both the Jedi and the Sith. Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?
Anakin Skywalker: No.
Chancellor Palpatine: I thought not. It's not a story the Jedi would tell you. It's a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise, that he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create... life. He had such a knowledge of the Dark Side that he could even keep the ones he cared about... from dying.
Anakin Skywalker: He could actually... save people from death?
Chancellor Palpatine: The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.
Anakin Skywalker: What happened to him?
Chancellor Palpatine: He became so powerful, the only thing he was afraid of was losing his power... which, eventually of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew. And then his apprentice killed him in his sleep. Plagueis never saw it coming. Ironic. He could save others from death... but not himself.
Anakin Skywalker: Is it possible to learn this power?
Chancellor Palpatine: Not from a Jedi.
With this brief scene Darth Plagueis entered Star Wars film canon and fan speculation about this Sith Lord exploded.    With this interest came the announcement that James Luceno would be writing a book about the Sith Lord who was Palpatine/Sidious' Master.  Then the announcement in 2007 that the book was cancelled.  But like many things in the Star Wars universe, ideas once abandoned are often revisted and in 2010 it was revealed that the Darth Plagueis novel was again in the works with James Luceno set to pen the tale. 

Among Expanded Universe fans, news that the  novel was back on was met with very positive reviews.  I like many of my fellow fans was and still am very excited about it.  But I have some concerns that are leading me to temper my expectations of the book somewhat. 

Luceno has been around the Star Wars universe for a long time now.  He has written seven novels, one e-book novella, and two reference books.  Of his two most recent books, Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader (2005) and Millennium Falcon (2008) we got one book that I really enjoyed and one book that is one of my least favorite EU novels.  Dark Lord wasn't really what I was expecting, in that it was much more about Jedi Roan Shryne and his companions then it was about Vader.  But I still enjoyed the story a great deal.  Millennium Falcon on the other hand started off well enough, and I like the general idea of following the history of the ship, but the entire Maltese Falcon-esque "Republic Treasure" subplot fell flat for me.  The story that Millennium Falcon was built upon didn't feel significant enough in terms of story telling value for its subject (i.e. one of the most iconic ships in all of science fiction).  Of course the novels timing, coming on the heels of the Legacy of the Force series, was a pretty significant emotional let down and rather unsatisfying.

So its with a rather mixed recent track record with regards to Luceno's writing that I go into this book.

The second thing that scares me about this book is the purported length as listed by Random House as only 224 pages.  For comparisons sake some of the smallest recent novels, Deathtroopers (288), Red Harvest (272), and FotJ: Omen (272).  Hopefully the page count listed by Random House and Amazon (224) is inaccurate and the novel comes in a little longer, however if this is accurate Darth Plagueis will be a pretty short stand alone novel.  Page count isn't everything, the story dictates how long the book ends up being, but it makes me wonder if there was enough story for Luceno to work with, and this leads me to my third concern.

Readers of this site will no that I am not a George Lucas hater as some misguided EU "fans" are.  Growing so attached to the continuity of "their" EU that when Lucas changes something, they feel like it has destroyed "their" universe.  That being said, Plagueis is G-level canon.  He is a character that Lucas created and introduced in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith as part of Darth Sidious' seduction of Anakin Skywalker.  I can't help but wonder if there is some limitation on what Luceno can do with the character that Lucas may want to reference or expand upon in some form himself in the future.  I think this played into the books cancellation the first time and I fear that we may see a less in depth and interesting story as we are expecting given what appears to be the rather brief length of the novel. 

I hope that my concerns are unfounded, but I can't help thinking that this book will never be able to live up to fans expectations...

SOURCES: Random House, WikiQuote

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Random House Fall 2011 Hardcover Catalog: Fate of the Jedi: Ascension, The Complete Vader, and The Old Republic: Revan


Random House's Fall 2011 catalogs have been posted in PDF form on their website.  There are no Star Wars titles in the trade paperback catalog, however the Hardcover catalog has three Star Wars titles in it. Unfortunately we do not get a lot of new information about any of the three titles listed that we haven't already had. 

Fate of the Jedi: Ascension (Book 8 of 9): 400 pages. Release Date: 8/16/11. Price: $27.00

The eighth novel in a thrilling nine-book story arc for fans of the Legacy of
the Force series, the Dark Lords of the Sith, and the most popular
characters in Star Wars, Luke, Han, and Leia!
In this penultimate novel in the bestselling Fate of the Jedi series, Luke
Skywalker, his son Ben, and the Sith girl Vestara are in hot pursuit of the dread
power called Abeloth, who has joined forces with the Sith in a bid to take over the
galaxy. The leadership of the government is uncertain, torn apart by power
struggles and infiltrators, while the Sith have a terrible secret that could shake the
Jedi Order to its core... 
Key Points/Quotes
SERIES SUCCESS: There are more than 660,000 Fate of the Jedi series books in print.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERS: Every title in the Fate of the Jedi series has been a
New York Times hardcover bestseller!
AUTHOR POPULARITY: Christie Golden made a New York Times hardcover-bestselling
splash with her first Star Wars novel, Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Omen--but even before
that she was a bestselling author of World of Warcraft and StarCraft novels.
NEW PACKAGING: While we're keeping the look of the nine-book series consistent,
we're giving the last three books (starting with Conviction, Summer 2011) a distinctive
look to set these final novels apart as a climactic mini-trilogy for readers.
eBOOK TIE-IN SUCCESS: Our free eBook series tying into the Fate of the Jedi--Lost
Tribe of the Sith, by John Jackson Miller--has been a huge success, with more than 700K
downloads for the first five stories.
Copyright © 2011 by Lucasfilm, Ltd. & ® or (TM) where indicated. 
Series Overview
A nine-book Star Wars adventure featuring Luke, Han, Leia, and a lost tribe of Sith, in which
the fate of the galaxy could fall on the shoulders of the next generation--and an unlikely
alliance. Set in the time just after the Legacy of the Force series.




The Complete Vader: 192 pages. Release Date: 10/18/11. Price: $60.00


This gorgeously illustrated book is a must-have for Star Wars fans--the first
time a book of this scale has been dedicated solely to Darth Vader, the Dark
Lord of the Sith.
A comprehensive, in-depth, and fully illustrated look--including interactive
artwork--at arguably the most important character in the Star Wars universe: Darth
Vader. Star Wars: The Complete Vader will be the definitive book on the history,
myth, and cultural impact of Darth Vader. From his early development by George
Lucas, to the new legends created in comics and novels, to his ongoing
appearances on everything from television commercials to bedspreads, this book
will present a complete view of the character in all his incarnations.
Star Wars: The Complete Vader features hundreds of images, including early
concept sketches, collectibles, movie posters, script pages, and an uncut sheet of
Darth Vader trading cards. The book will also feature interactive elements such as
lift-up flaps, envelopes, and cut-outs. 
Key Points/Quotes
FEATURES HUNDREDS OF IMAGES: Includes early concept sketches, collectibles,
movie posters, script pages, and an uncut sheet of Darth Vader trading cards.
INTERACTIVE ARTWORK: The book will feature lift-up flaps, envelopes, and cut-outs.
STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE VADER is being produced by packagers Becker &
Mayer, who are well known for their previous successful works of this scale.
BOTH AUTHORS HAVE A LONG HISTORY of working with Lucasfilm and have access
to some of the largest Star Wars collections in the world.
THE STAR WARS franchise remains as popular as ever.

The Old Republic #3: Revan: 352 Pages. Release Date: 10/18/11. Price: $27.00

An exciting new novel based on the blockbustster online video game, Star
Wars(TM): The Old Republic(TM) from BioWare and LucasArts!
With the success of the New York Times bestselling Star Wars: The Old
Republic: Fatal Alliance and the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic:
Deceived in Spring 2011, this original new novel set in the world of the game by
BioWare and LucasArts is sure to bring fans who want a truly immersive,
transmedia experience! 
Key Points/Quotes
EXCITING FAN-FAVORITE TITLE TO BE REVEALED: A major title reveal to happen
sometime in early to mid-2011!
BIG GAME: Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a story-driven, massive multiplayer,
online PC game, where gamers will experience the next generation in video-game
storytelling, providing unprecedented immersion into an epic Star Wars saga that unfolds
based on their choices and actions.
POPULAR STAR WARS AUTHOR: Drew Karpyshyn is the New York Times bestselling
author of our Darth Bane novels: Star Wars: Path of Destruction; Star Wars: Rule of Two;
and Star Wars: Dynasty of Evil!
CLOSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GAME AND BOOK: This novel was written with the
full cooperation and creative consultation of the BioWare/LucasArts game-design team.
As one of the writers on the game, Drew Karpyshyn has intimate knowledge that will
color all aspects of the novel. All possibilities for cross-promotion will be exploited!
NEW OLD REPUBLIC STORYLINE: The Old Republic is a huge era that is still relatively
untouched in terms of new Star Wars content, and a time that fans are eager to explore
further.

Commando video-game tie-in novels have been highly successful, and the novel based
on Star Wars®: The Force Unleashed(TM) was a #1 New York Times hardcover
bestseller! Our first TOR novel, Fatal Alliance, was a New York Times hardcover
bestseller.
HUGE GAMES: Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic(TM) has sold more than 2
million copies, and Star Wars®: The Force Unleashed(TM) has sold more than 7.8
million copies!


SOURCE: Random House
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