Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Clone Wars to Return with Episode 100 on January 5, 2013


You may or may not realize it, but The Clone Wars is taking almost one month off for it's mid-season break.

When it returns on January 5, 2013 the Droid (D-Squad) arc will continue and clone trooper junkies will be thrown a bone by the inclusion of a new Clone Commando named Gregor who has been previously discussed on this blog.

I guessed that Gregor would be suffering from amnesia based on his Steven Seagal like beard that we saw in the season five trailers.  On a side note, if you haven't seen Hard to Kill, you may want to rethink your life choices.

Cartoon Network has released a press release discussing it's new Saturday morning episodes kicking off in January.  Included is a more detailed description of Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode 100, Missing in Action.

"Season five of Lucasfilm Animation’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars ushers in the 100th episode of the series, “Missing in Action.” In a nearly vacant town on a strange planet, the intrepid members of D-Squad discover Gregor, a clone commando who has lost his memory, and is toiling away as a dishwasher. The all-droid squad and their gruff leader must help Gregor regain his memory so they can steal a heavily guarded shuttle and return to the Republic."

Source: ToonZone.net

No Star Wars Comics in 2014? Does Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars License Expire after 2013? A Provocative Rumor


The blog Blue Sky Disney has an interesting rumor concerning the fate of the Star Wars comic book license going forward.

The most predictable outcome of Mickey's take over of the galaxy far, far away is the return of the Star Wars franchise to Marvel Comics.

Well the wait might not be to long if this rumor has any merits.


"The Suits in the know have determined that no new contracts will be given to Dark Horse after the current ones expire. So all new projects after 2013 will be handled internally by Marvel. 
It's not known yet if titles will be worked into the regular line up, or will Marvel create a special branch of the company that deals with Star Wars. It'll take a couple of years for the old deals to work there course, but the stories that Dark Horse have coming down the pipeline will be the last. And you can expect anything new from Marvel dealing with Star Wars to arrive around 2015."

SOURCE: Blue Sky Disney

I think the Han Solo's Scoundrels are on Santa's Naughty List



This gift label is just to good not to share, courtesy of Del Rey/Random House. Han and Chewie hardly look pleased with their festive outfits, but Lando even makes that scarf look cool.

Check out an excerpt of Scoundrels at RandomHouse.com and you can also listen or download an audio clip from the audiobook release.  Star Wars: Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn is available on January 1, 2013 in hardcover, ebook and audiobook formats.



LINK: Random House


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy by Jason Fry

Are you a Clone Wars junkie? If you are than you may be impatient to know what is going to happen in Season Five of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. If you do want to know what happens and don't mind spoiling the content of the episodes, then this is a great little book to read.

Originally scheduled for a September 2012 release, Shadow Conspiracy is a novelization of four episodes from The Clone Wars. These episodes include the season premier "Revival," as well as "Eminence," "Shades of Reason" and "The Lawless." I was able to find Shadow Conspiracy in stock at Amazon.com, but it's current release date is listed as January 2013, so it may not be widely available at this point.

Each episode takes between about 40-50 pages to tell in the book with the book weighing in at 184 pages in total.

If you have watched the Season Five trailer it is clear that this is going to be the "major" arc of the season, bringing together in a dramatic brew the Sith, the Mandalorians, the criminal underworld, and of course the Jedi.

This book seems to be a pretty close adaptation of the episodes based on reading Part I: Revival after having viewed the episode. There are some parts in the book, such as some timeline and back ground on the Mandalorians that I think is an addition that probably won't end up in the actual episodes.

The weakest of the four sections is probably the one based on "Eminence." The downside of The Clone Wars' 22 minute run time is that sometimes stories are compressed and events occur too quickly. To this reader some of the events in "Eminence" need more space between them.

The sections based on "Shades of Reason" and "The Lawless" are simply awesome. The action ratchets up and many things change, many characters are tested and fates are laid.

These stories really give Obi-Wan a chance to shine and in an the midst of these dark and dramatic stories, it is Anakin who is used to bring some levity to the episode. A nice choice based on the pair's relationship even this late in the Clone Wars and so close to Anakin's fall.

I have no doubt that Mandalorian fans will be very split over these stories. I am a huge fan of the culture that was crafted around these armored warriors. When The Clone Wars introduced the New Mandalorians and their pacifist way, there was much gnashing of teeth and digital moaning and groaning. I have long suspected The Clone Wars introduction of the pacifist Mandalorians was not the big deal it seemed, I have been waiting for a Mandalorian Civil War to return the Mandalorians to something much closer to the Expanded Universe version of the culture. As much as I expected events to unfold, I was still surprised at how exactly it played out and there are two specific choices that some fans will freak out about.

If you have watched the Season Five trailer, then you have seen Darth Sidious dueling with Maul and Opress, I won't give away the story, but I will say that assuming the episodes end at the same point as this book, Season Five will be ending in a bit of a cliff hanger.

In the end this is a great book for kids because the story is pretty dynamic and will keep their attention. For the adults this will be a very quick read and enjoyable as Fry does not dumb down his writing. The only caution I would have is not to expect the kind of embellishment you get in an adult novelization such as Matthew Stover's Revenge of the Sith novel.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy is published by Scholastic with a cover price of $5.99.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Review: Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher (Mild Spoilers)

Occasionally you come across a book that is frustrating not because it is bad, but because it showed so much potential and then went in a direction that felt less satisfying.

I want to love Seven Wonders, I really do, but this is a novel that's first third carries great promise, goes off the rails in the middle third and concludes with a final third that is stronger than the second, but not as good as the first.

The set up is pretty simple, the story is set in San Ventura a fiction Southern California megalopolis. This city is "protected" by The Seven Wonders and threatened by the dastardly super-villain, The Cowl and his sidekick Blackbird. The story also features a SVPD SuperCrime department Detective named Sam, as well as a big box store retail employee with emerging superpowers, named Tony.

The introduction of the characters gives us an idea of the status quo in San Ventura, The Cowl and his legions of copycat gangs terrorize the city at night. The Seven Wonders are largely detached and more concerned with appearance and ceremony than with you know rescuing cats out of trees and all that jazz. Sam is an obsessed detective running her own off the books investigations on the Cowl for her own personal reasons. Tony is what I can think you can characterize as a frustrated loser, stuck in retail sales hell.

The comparisons of Cowl and Blackbird to Batman and Robin are obvious, and I enjoyed the idea of an evil Batman. The backbone of the first third of the novel is The Cowl dealing with losing his powers and Tony dealing with his developing powers.

This section of the novel opens up some interesting idea about superpowers, how they are used, and the morality of villains and heroes. This is compelling and interesting stuff, particularly if those presented as heroes are actually the villains and vice versa.

The second section presents some pretty dramatic character changes for the cast, but often while Christopher does a good job building up to these transformations, it feels like they happen either off the page or too quickly to feel real or satisfying.

The third part of the book brings in an intergalactic threat. While this part of the story is told well, it feels somewhat disconnected from the themes dealt with in the first third which would have provided a more compelling novel if this remained the focus.

In the end while I enjoyed Seven Wonders, It felt like the story wasn't given room to breath properly and the whole alien menace plot should have been left for a sequel novel. I wanted to spend more time Tony, The Cowl and the leader of the Seven Wonders, Aurora.

If you are a fan of the superhero genre this book is worth a read, but you may end up a bit frustrated like myself.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: A Sunny Day in the Void (5.11)




This week's The Clone Wars episode certainly felt like artwork, and much like artwork opinions will vary greatly.

Episode Description:
"When all seems hopeless, a true hero gives hope."After a comet damages their shuttle, R2-D2, Colonel Gascon, and the other droids crash on a desolate planet where they must make their way across a bewildering expanse of emptiness to carry out their mission.
How many times over the years  have we heard TCW Supervising Director Dave Filoni discuss George Lucas' desire to experiment with storytelling with this series? Some times this takes the form of clear homages to other films or genres and sometimes as this week's commentary discusses we get an episode about "nothing" set in a minimalistic style inspired by the artist Moebius (Jean Giraud).

The plot is very simple for this one, D-squad's shuttle gets damaged by comets, crash lands on Abafar, and the droids and Gascon get lost on the bleak desert world.  We get some bickering that echos Artoo and Threepio on Tatooine, Gascon looses his marbles, sees a mirage, looses more of his marbles, the "mechs" leave Gascon and WAC to their own devices, lucky for them this unlikely pair is rescued by a Jurassic Park like stampede and brought to a watering hole next to a outpost of some sort. It turns out the mechs are already there and the episode ends with WAC getting a promotion and Artoo still actually leading the mission.

City of Pons Ora
While this is certainly not what we have come to expect from Star Wars or The Clone Wars in particular, if you look at this episode on it's own merits I think there is a lot to appreciate.

This was a very visually interesting episode, while the environmental designs were minimal, there are some moments for example when Gascon is reflected in WAC's "eye" and then wipes the dust off of the eye that are incredibly well done.

One interesting thing to think about is that in the episode's newsreel we get a revelation that I think is new:
"Secret weapons! The Jedi Council deploys a squad of droids on a desperate mission aboard a Separatist cruiser. Under the guidance of Colonel Meebur Gascon, the droids succeed in stealing a crucial encryption module. Now, the colonel and his droid squad must return the module to the Jedi Temple to crack a Separatist code detailing the impending terror plot against the Republic."
Does the mission succesed and the plot is averted, or does the terrorist plot have future ramifications in the season five?

The good news is if you didn't appreciate this episode, the additional of a Republic Commando to the arc should spice things up.

Rating: "A Sunny Day in the Void" gets a 6.0. Fans tastes very so greatly so that an episode like this one is no doubt going to turn off as many people as it appeals to.

Direct Link to Watch "A Sunny Day in the Void." (Episode 5.11)

Clone Wars Download: Webisode 511: Into the Void


Coming up on Star Wars: The Clone Wars:

Episode 5.12: Missing in Action

Episode 5.13: Point of No Return



SOURCE: Starwars.com

Author's Note: For more on the artist Moebius, check out this MTV Geek Tribute.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Review: Darth Vader: Together We Can Rule The Galaxy Book and Statuette

Looking for a Christmas gift for the little darksider in the family? Chronicle Books may have something right up your alley.

On August 6th, 2012, Chronicle Books released an interesting collectible for fans of the Dark Lord. "Darth Vader: Together We Can Rule The Galaxy" includes a small Darth Vader Statuette and a small booklet as well. The booklet contains images from the films as well as quotes related to Vader and the dark side.

Publisher's Summary:

"This one-of-a-kind, hand-painted Darth Vader statue in a classic Force-choke pose, complete with a customizable display stand and a booklet of the Sith Lord's most chilling and inspirational quotes, is an essential totem for Star Wars fans or anyone wishing to master the dark side of the Force."

The inside of the box provides a nice little red display stand for the Vader statuette and the booklet slides into the back of the display stand.

The book itself is pocket sized (3 3/8" x 4 1/2"), and has it's pluses and minuses. On the bright side author Pete Vilmur provides one of the most concise (four small pages) yet complete summaries of the life of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. I loved this summary. The book works well for the one page images with quotes but the two-page images are disrupted by the size and binding of the book and too many of the images lost into the binding of the book.

In the end this is a curious product, to my mind best suited to younger kids. If you want to get your kids into collecting or if they saw a Gentle Giant bust and wanted one, but you don't want to shell out the money, this is a nice gift to get them, if they really dig the Vader statute, then down the road more expensive collectible statutes may be something for them to pick up.

At $19.95 or on sale for cheaper this is certainly an affordable entry level collectible, straddling the world of Star Wars books and Star Wars statuary. Not a must have for an adult, but i do think children would get a kick out of it.

For more on this item or to purchase it, visit Chronicle Books at:

http://www.chroniclebooks.com/titles/darth-vadertm.html

Author's Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher for this review.









Sunday, December 2, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Secret Weapons (5.10)

I'm on vacation so this week's review is going to be short and sweet just like Colonel Meebur Gascon, well except for the sweet part.

This week's episode "Secret Weapons" kicked off a four-part story arc centered on R2 and the droids of D-Squad (WAC-47, U9-C4, QT-KT, M5-BZ).

The episode's dialogue was carried by the pairing of Gascon and the Pit droid WAC. Evidently R2 talking to other astromechs is to much beeping and booping.

The episode itself is a play on incompetent officer story. Traditionally we see a young inexperienced junior officer and a grizzled veteran Sergeant and his squad. One of my favorites in this trope is that classic of '80s cinema "Heartbreak Ridge." If you haven't watched this film, you are missing out on American Cinema at it's zenith.

While R2 was certainly competent and interviewed at a crucial moment the addition of WAC to the mix added an interesting character that partially substituted from the competent sergeant. In WAC we had a boastful pit droid who's abilities didn't necessarily match his confidence. WAC is definitely the Gomer Pyle of this episode with his bumbling nature, but in the end he proves crucial to D-squads successful mission.

It was a bit surprising that Gascon and the droids got away seemingly successfully at the end of the episode, but I have a feeling they won't have much time to celebrate their victory. It does make sense for the characters because for Gascon and WAC in particular it gives them that accomplishment that they can build confidence on.

A few random thoughts, clearly pit droids have delusions of grandeur after this episode and last season when they enslaved a planet. Also the inclusion of QT-KT based on R2-KT was an incredibly cool touch.

"Secret Weapons" was a fun episode and if you watched Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C reruns like I did as a kid you probably got even more of a kick out of it. I can't wait until we get to Republic Commando Gregor.

Check back next week for my regular review of episode 5.11 "A Sunny Day in the Void."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Timothy Zahn's Star Wars: Winner Lose All Cover Art and Release Info


Del Rey's Star Wars Books Facebook page announced yesterday the release date and pricing of Timothy Zahn's new original novella, Winner Lose All.  They also released the cover of the eBook which is shown above.

The short story is set to tie into Zahn's forthcoming novel, Star Wars: Scoundrels.
"Star Wars: Winner Lose All-A Lando Calrissian Tale" by Timothy Zahn is a special eBook original novella. The tale is a prequel of sorts to Zahn's upcoming novel STAR WARS: SCOUNDRELS (available in hardcover, eBook, and Audio on Jan 1) and will be available for all eBook devices on December 10 for only $1.99. Pre-order now for this fun adventure and don't forget to begin 2013 with some scoundrels! (Erich)

SOURCE: Star Wars Books on Facebook

Actor Jason Flemyng Adds Fuel to the Matthew Vaughn Star Wars Episode VII Directing Rumors




The Matthew Vaughn Episode VII rumors just won't go away and it appears his friends aren't helping matters. 

At the UK Premiere of Seven Psychopaths, actor Jason Flemyng gave a brief interview on the green carpet.

Fans may best know Flemyng for his portrayal of Azazel in X-Men: First Class which was written and directed by Matthew Vaughn.  

Vaughn also directed Kick-Ass, Stardust and Layer Cake and wrote Kick-Ass and Stardust.  Flemyng appeared in all of those films, so he appears to be a Vaughn favorite. 

Does Flemyng have any inside info or is he just speculating when he talks about his desire for a role in Star Wars Episode VII with Vaughn at the helm?  I will let you be the judge. 




Sunday, November 25, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: A Necessary Bond (5.09)



  
 It is kind of ironic that a ship named Slave I leads to freedom for pirates and Jedi alike, isn't it?
"Choose your enemies wisely, as they may be your last hope." 
When General Grievous launches a full-scale attack on the pirate base on Florrum, Ahsoka and the younglings fight side-by-side with Hondo and his pirates to turn back the Separatist forces.
I am just going to get my one major criticism of the episode out of the way first. The ability of Katooni to construct her lightsaber in a couple seconds after a gentle prodding from Hondo seemed a little silly.

On to the good stuff.  I could go on and on, but I am going to make this short and sweet. We had two chase scenes, a droid invasion, Grievous vs. Hondo, a ground battle, Grievous vs. Ahsoka, Grievous vs. Slave I, and the return of Slave I.


Chase Scenes: 

We had two different chase scenes, the first was the Jedi attempting to board the Crucible and flee the pirates. This featured the Jedi dangling from the Crucible's boarding ramp. With presumably the heaveist of them, Gungi hanging at the bottom of the Jedi chain. Not the best planning if you want to get on the ship, alas the ship was damaged and the Jedi, Huyang and R2 ended up crashing and being re-captured by the pirates.

The second chase scene was much better and tons of fun.  Barreling through the canyons on Florrum felt like a combination of the Podrace scenes, the trench run and the reactor run from the films.  It was a great action piece. The fact that it ended with the pirates and the Jedi in the Hondo Cave was very cool.


Also how awesome was Grievous's speeder, seriously. Wowzer.


Droid Invasion:

The droid invasion makes the space battle in the previous episode make sense and also provides an explanation for Hondo's base being destroyed like it was in the season premier. This also provided us a chance for a little humor as Hondo gets tossed around by Grievous.

Ground Battle:

The pirate and Jedi fight through Separatist forces towards freedom was great, shades of the Battle of Geonosis. It also provided us to see SUPER AHSOKA. Faster than a speeding blaster bolt, able to Force leap tall buildings in a single bound.  I love this visual so much.  


Grievous vs. Ahsoka:


Ahsoka covered the retreat of the younglings as she dueled Grievous.  Ahsoka got the worst of the duel this time including getting her head grabbed by one of Grievous' clawed feet and being flung head first into the ground. There was a very meaningful look on Ahsoka's face just before she leap aboard Slave I.  To me it looked clearly like Ahsoka knew she was beat and overmatched by Grievous.  Perhaps this is a turning point for Grievous' character in this series as his dangerousness and competence will increase leading up to Episode III.


The Return of Slave I or Why a Blaster Cannon Beats a Lightsaber:

We have already previously heard from Dave Filoni that after the events of Season Two when Slave I crashed on Florrum that Hondo had found and repaired the wreckage, but now we finally get to see the ship in action again and with a more familiar paint scheme.

Clearly Hondo hasn't gotten around to repairing Slave I's weapons systems as he had Grievous at point blank range and missed him with the ship's blaster cannons before the Droid Tanks forced him to make a retreat.

As a huge Boba Fett fan, I am very excited to see Slave I back in action, because I think it foreshadows a Season Six story arc.  We are going to see a showdown between Hondo and Boba Fett over the ownership of the Slave I. Will Boba kill Hondo?  It would be an interesting way to handle Hondo's fate. After all the life of a pirate is dangerous and a cold blooded murder would provide some excellent character development to a maturing Boba Fett on the series.  In any event I think we see the fate of Slave I resolved in Season Six and I don't think it is decided over a game of sabacc.




Rating: A Necessary Bond was a terrifically fun episode and probably my favorite so far of Season Five, it gets a 9.0. An episode the provided the perfect conclusion and brought together the previous three episodes in the arc.  Lots of action, fun and a little humor mixed in. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.  





Next Time on Star Wars: The Clone Wars:


Episode 5.10: Secret Weapons: (Air Date 12/1/12)

"R2-D2 and other Republic droids receive a mission to retrieve an encryption module from the Separatists."

Next week's episode will kick off the Droid/Republic Commando arc written by Brent Friedman.  The other episodes in the arc are 5.11 "A Sunny Day in the Void," 5.12 "Missing in Action," and 5.13 "Point of No Return."

We won't likely see Republic Commando Gregor until the 3rd episode in the arc, but I am excited to see R2 give the Separatists all kinds of headaches.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Star Wars Sequel Trilogy Rumor: Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg to Write and Produce Episode VIII and Episode IX

Kasdan, Lucas, and Hamill
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg have signed on to produce and write the second two films of the Sequel Trilogy.

From THR's Heat Vision Blog:
"Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg have closed deals to write installments of the new Star Wars trilogy, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The pair will write either Episode VIII or Episode IX — their exact division of responsibilities is yet to be determined — and they will also come aboard to produce the films."
It is hard to find anything bad to say about this news, particularly Kasdan's return to the franchise.  I am very excited.

Kasdan's IMDB Writer Credits:

2012 Darling Companion (written by)
2003 Dreamcatcher (screenplay)
1999 Mumford (written by)
1996 Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (Video Game) (story)
1994 Wyatt Earp (written by)
1992 The Bodyguard (written by)
1991 Grand Canyon (written by)
1989 Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation (video)
1988 The Accidental Tourist (screenplay)
1985 Silverado (written by)
1983 The Big Chill (written by)
1983 Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (screenplay)
1981 Continental Divide (written by)
1981 Body Heat (written by)
1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark (screenplay)
1980 Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (screenplay)

Kasdan's IMDB Producer Credits:


 2012 Darling Companion (executive producer)
 2007 In the Land of Women (executive producer)
 2006 The TV Set (executive producer)
 2003 Dreamcatcher (producer)
 1999 Mumford (producer)
 1998 Home Fries (producer)
 1994 Wyatt Earp (producer)
 1992 The Bodyguard (producer)
 1992 Jumpin' at the Boneyard (executive producer)
 1991 Grand Canyon (producer)
 1989 Immediate Family (executive producer)
 1988 The Accidental Tourist (producer)
 1987 Cross My Heart (producer)
 1985 Silverado (producer)
 1983 The Big Chill (executive producer)

Kinberg's IMDB Writer Credits:


2014 X-Men: Days of Future Past (screenplay) (pre-production)
2012 This Means War (screenplay)
2009 Sherlock Holmes (screenplay)
2008 Jumper (screenplay)
2007 Mr. and Mrs. Smith (TV series) – Pilot (2007) (writer)
 2006 X-Men: The Last Stand (written by)
 2005 Mr. & Mrs. Smith (written by)
 2005 xXx: State of the Union (written by)
 2002 The Legacy (TV movie)


Kinberg's IMDB Producer Credits:


2013 Elysium (producer) (post-production)
2012 Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (executive producer)
2012 This Means War (producer)
2011 X-Men: First Class (producer)
2008 Jumper (producer)
2007 Got Next (short) (producer)
2007 Mr. and Mrs. Smith (TV series) (executive producer - 1 episode) – Pilot (2007) (executive producer)




SOURCES: THR and IMDB
 

Wooden Lightsaber: Gungi's Rare Blade

Gungi

This website is named after one of the most iconic weapons ever imagined in fiction, the lightsaber.  A weapon with the hilt of a sword and a blade made of laser. So from time to time I like to highlight unique and cool lightsabers that appear in Star Wars.

In season five of The Clone Wars we are introduced to a group of younglings who are constructing their first lightsabers.  Among these Younglings is Gungi, a rarity among the Jedi because he is a Wookiee.

Gungi's blade fits into the Expanded Universe's tradition of the Wookiees blending organic and inorganic technology. They are a species not only are very skilled with technology but also in integrating wood into their technology.

At the heart of Gungi's lightsaber is a kyber crystal, collected from the Jedi's sacred cave on Ilum.

We now know more about the lightsaber crystal, courtesy of the Star Wars Encyclopedia:
"At the heart of every Jedi lighstaber is a kyber crystal harvested from the icebound caves of Ilum. This crystal is attuned to the Force, and connected to a Jedi Knight on a deeply personal level. In this way, a lightsaber is an extension of a Jedi's Force awareness. Because Jedi let the Force guide their selection of the crystal, the vibration that the crystal creates in the lightsaber blade helps Jedi center themselves and find balance in the Force. In this way, a Jedi can center his or her attention beyond the distractions of combat. A lightsaber crystal is colorless until first attuned and connected to a Jedi -- at which times it glows either blue or green, or in some rare instances, another shade. From that point on, it retains that hue."
Lightsaber components in detail.


There is a number of materials and variations in constructing the rest of the saber. The exterior of Gungi's lighsaber hilt is carved from the wood of a brylark tree. In constructing his lightsaber Gungi uses the Force to combine organic and inorganic components into a unified weapon, his lightsaber.

Gungi meditating and using the Force to move his lightsaber's components.

Gungi uses the Force to begin the lightsaber assembly.

Close up of pieces coming into alignment.


Gungi seats his lightsaber crystal inside his lightsaber.

Assembly of interior portion of lightsaber complete, attaching activation switch. 

Inserting the lightsaber's internal components into the brylark wood casing of the hilt.

Gungi admires his work.

Successful ignition of a green lightsaber blade. 
SOURCE: STARWARS.COM

Monday, November 19, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Bound for Rescue (5.08)


Ain't no party like a Weequay party.
"When we rescue others, we rescue ourselves."With Ahsoka captured by Hondo's pirates, the younglings work together to infiltrate the pirates' den, using their wits and courage to deceive Hondo Ohnaka and launch a daring rescue.
In this week's episode our Younglings head to Florrum to land the Crucible and let it's engine system cool down before it overloads.  Meanwhile they request for aide from General Obi-Wan Kenobi and his forces to rescue Ahsoka from the clutches of evil pirate lord, Hondo Ohnaka at his base on Florrum.  Before Obi-Wan and Commander Cody can come to Ahsoka's rescue they are attacked by a Separatist battle group led by General Grievous.  Grievous' forces board Obi-Wan's flagship and the Jedi is forced to abandon ship but not before he sets the self destruct and narrowly misses killing Grievous.


When no aid comes from the Republic, the Younglings set off across Florrum on their own to rescue Ahsoka. Conveniently they come across a traveling circus and their Force enhanced acrobatics are enough to impress the circus' Ringmaster. Disguised in animal costumes the younglings take advantage of an inebriated Hondo, stealing Ahsoka's lightsabers and freeing the Jedi and fleeing the pirate base with Hondo's band in hot pursuit.


Bound for Rescue had a little bit of something for everyone. Bound for Rescue is a well balanced Clone Wars episode from start to finish.  The youngling's story continues as some of them are able to finish building their lightsabers.  There is a terrific space battle and a duel between Grievous and Obi-Wan that provided some much needed action in this arc.  It is good to see Cody return, he is one of the more under used clone characters in this series.

I love this shot, it looks straight out of a video game.

I love the map of the galaxy, reminds me of the old map in the EU novels. 
 
How many times will Obi-Wan duel Grievous before Revenge of the Sith?
When the younglings attempt their rescue they join up with a circus.  The artistry of Jedi acrobatics made me think back to Alan Dean Foster's Clone Wars novel, The Approaching Storm where Jedi Master Luminara Unduli performed a strange sand dance.


The idea of infiltrating the bad guys base in disguise is hardly a new idea, we have seen it in Return of the Jedi, but the idea of infiltrating as entertainers brought me back to the late great Brian Daley's Han Solo at Star's End.  Where Han, Bollux and a pair of Trianni bill themselves as "Madame Atuarre's Roving Performers" in order to infiltrate the Corporate Sector Authority's prison.

Besides these nostalgic notes, the younglings in disguise didn't do much for me and their acrobatics is where the episode dragged the most for me.  But it did give us the chance to see the most interesting pirate in the galaxy, Hondo enjoying lots of adult beverages and feeling pretty good about himself.

"I don't always drink ale, but when I do it's lomin ale."

Rating: Bound for Rescue gets a 8.0. There was enough here to keep all ages entertained and it had that perfect blend of action, drama, humor and fun that makes Star Wars so magical.

Direct Link to Watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Bound for Rescue (5.08)

Clone Wars Download: Webisode 5.08: Machinations and Motivations: Being General Grievous 


Coming up next on Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 5.09: A Necessary Bond

"Pirates and Jedi reluctantly join forces after Grievous attacks Hondo's settlement on Florrum."

SOURCE: Starwars.com

Starwars.com Video: Lucas and Kennedy Interview Part 3: An Offer You Can't Refuse

In part three of a five part interview recorded for Starwars.com, George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy discuss how Lucas approached Kennedy to take over his company.




SOURCE: http://www.starwars.com/

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Bound for Rescue Preview (5.08)


The Youngling arc continues this Saturday as we get the eighth episode of The Clone Wars Season Five, "Bound for Rescue."
"When we rescue others, we rescue ourselves."With Ahsoka captured by Hondo's pirates, the younglings work together to infiltrate the pirates' den, using their wits and courage to deceive Hondo Ohnaka and launch a daring rescue.

Fans tired of the more kid focused story may be happy to see Obi-Wan, Cody, and Grievous in this week's episode.

Preview Clip #1: Lightsabers



Preview Clip #2: Space Battle




SOURCES: Starwars.com and Youtube

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Skywalker Vineyards Wine Sale: Many Grapes Died to Bring Us This Vintage




If you are a wine lover and a Star Wars fan you may have a new item to put on your shopping list this holiday season.

Skywalker Vineyards has made available via it's mailing list two wines for sale.  They are limited quantities and offered on a first come first serve basis to mailing list members.



2010 SKYWALKER PINOT NOIR: MARIN COUNTY ESTATE

$70/Bottle  $840/Case

Dense ruby with purple shadows, this wine’s color hints that good things will follow.  Powerful aromas of spicy clove and dark forest berries lead to a luxuriously textured and coating wine with incredible density and sweetness.  The finish is beyond generous with layers of ripe fruit and spice, very lasting and uncommon for its power and hedonistic charm. Only 202 cases made.



2009 VIANDANTE DEL CIELO PINOT NOIR: MARIN COUNTY ESTATE

$35/Bottle  $420/Case

Beautiful, lifted sweet spice and plum aroma, oak scents, and clove telltale of classic cool climate Pinot Noir.  Balanced and elegant with beautiful texture carrying through to the finish.

Click here to join the Skywalker Vineyards Mailing List.




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