Sunday, September 30, 2012

Book News: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Episode Guide by Jason Fry? has a new wave of Star Wars books by different publishers entered into it's system. Credit to Bryan at Knights Archive for mentioning this on Twitter.

One of the items that caught my eye was a new listing from DK.

From author Jason Fry, we have Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Episode Guide
Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: DK CHILDREN (May 20, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1465408738
ISBN-13: 978-1465408730

No summary or synopsis is available yet for the book, but if my instincts are correct, I think this dovetails with Leland Chee's contribution to the Star Wars Blog, "Chronicling The Clone Wars."

The timing of the book puts it after the end of Season Five. This means what I think we are getting is the definitive chronoligical order of TCW episodes along with summaries and behind the scenes info on each episode.

It should be noted that Mr. Fry previously wrote Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Official Episode Guide: Season 1 for Grosset & Dunlap and Star Wars: The Clone Wars Official Episode Guide Series 1 & 2 for Sunbird.

There does not appear to be any published "Episode Guide" books for seasons 3 or 4 of TCW.  Below are two samples from inside Star Wars: The Clone Wars Official Episode Guide Series 1 & 2 from Amazon UK.

Stay tuned as we will let you know as soon as we learn more. But perhaps you can pester Mr. Fry into revealing some of the details of what he is working on. Just be careful he may be in a foul mood over the Mets' season.

SOURCE: Via Knights Archive

Review: Star Wars: The Essential Reader's Companion by Pablo Hidalgo

I like to think Pablo Hidalgo wrote this book  just for me.  My favorite area of Star Wars fandom is the novels, I love reading the books set in the galaxy far, far away.  The benefit of this is that my mental special effects budget is unlimited. The downside is that at this point there are so many novels and short stories that it can be easy to forget what happened where and keep the hordes of supporting characters straight.

I have been forward to this book for a number of reasons. The handy ability to quickly check out a books summary to remember what it was about when I am contemplating a re-read. The ability to catch up on the more obscure short stories or tales that I may have missed along the way.  The hopefully entertaining and insightful editorial comments inserted by Mr. Hidalgo. Then once we started seeing rough artwork from the book I also became very excited to get my hands on this reference book for the artistic eye candy.

What did we end up getting?

The Essential Reader's Companion is a bookshelf busting 496 page, 2.8 pound tome. It is structured chronologically with an Introduction, two appendices and eight chapters. While it is a massive book in page count it is smartly designed in terms of height as to be very readable and not become difficult to handle while reading.  The book comes with a MSRP of $29.95 but you can find it on sale for much lower than that.

The Introduction:

In the introduction Pablo lays out the scope and mission of the book. He discusses what is and what is not in the book and the reason behind those decisions. He also touches upon a suggested reading order and the issue of canon and continuity.

This is important to set the reader's expectation. What you get here is an exploration of the Star Wars prose fiction universe.  While Pablo touches upon comic books, the Clone Wars series or video games where it is relevant those topics are only brought up in relation and how they interact in a specific way with the prose fiction. Without this limitation the project of writing this book would not doubt have been impossible.

The Chapters:

The body of the Companion is broken down into eight chapters.

  • Chapter 1: Tales of Ancient Jedi and Sith
  • Chapter 2: Height of the Republic
  • Chapter 3: The Clone Wars
  • Chapter 4: The Dark Times
  • Chapter 5: The Galactic Civil War
  • Chapter 6: The New Republic
  • Chapter 7: The New Jedi Order
  • Chapter 8: Legacy

It should be noted that as of it's publishing the Companion includes five yet to be published works of fiction.

"The Last Battle of Colonel Jace Malcom" from Insider 137(Pub. Date 10/24/12), The Old Republic: Annihilation (Pub. Date 11/13/12), "Heist" from Insider 138(Pub. Date 12/12/12), Scoundrels (Pub. Date 12/26/12), and The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy (Pub. Date 1/1/13).

If you want to avoid spoilers from those stories you should skip the sections that talk about those pieces.

Each entry in the Companion features the following information when applicable:

  • Author
  • Cover Artist
  • Publication History (Format and Date)
  • Time Line Placement (In universe BBY/ABY calendar)
  • World Visited (Atlas coordinates included)
  • Main Characters (In dramatis personae style of name, role, species and gender)
  • Summary

Hidalgo's editorial comments generally appear after the summary when they relate to that book or in a separate box if it relates to a larger issue or series of stories.  These comments range from trying to untangle continuity messes to cool behind the scene tidbits about what almost happened with certain stories. In terms of the text of the book, I just wish we had more room for these pearls of wisdom from behind the scenes, but there are only so many pages and some secrets have to remain secret.

One addition that I would have liked to see more explicitly spelled out in the bullet points for each work is a list of books or stories that heavily referenced that work.  This way make it easier for the reader to follow story or character through-lines which may not be contained in a specific series.  I believe Hidalgo does this to an extent in the book, but I would have liked a more definitive and spelled out list of connecting works.

On top of the entries we also get a variety of artwork in the book. We get the story source's cover art, we get full and half page illustrations and we get character portrait galleries.

Jeff Carlisle, Joe Corroney, Chris Scalf, Darren Tan and Chris Trevas provide the illustrations throughout the book, while Brian Rood handles the character portrait galleries.

The art takes the Companion to another level.  It is very well done and there is a pretty good variation in styles. I think the variation in styles is smart, as I tend to prefer the works of Tan and Trevas over those of Carlisle, but I think some fans may feel the opposite.  It doesn't put all of your eggs in one artistic basket.

In any book particularly one this large there are no doubt editorial decisions that are made with great difficulty.  My one major criticism of the book is that the character portraits by Brian Rood are done so well that it is a shame that the portraits are only about 1.75" x 2.25" and arranged six to a page.

The book is printed on very nice slightly glossy paper that really makes the artwork pop.  There is a nice mixture of major character and minor characters and some truly strange and unique choices of subject matter scattered through the book.

The Appendices: 

The Companion contains to appendix, Appendix A: Works in Publication Order and Appendix B: Works by Author.

These two resources also include the page number in the Companion where that work appears. Say did you like an Aaron Allston novel you read and want to find out what other Star Wars books he has written, you can go the Appendix B and then shoot to the page offering the description of the books.

Say you are relatively new to the EU and come across something that strikes you as odd or out of place in the EU. Check Appendix A and when the work was published may help explain why something doesn't seem to fit. Or say like me you took a few years away from the EU, then if you go to the appendix you can look and see what was published in the years you missed and seek out those items.


 This long awaited book by author Pablo Hidalgo and his rogue squadron of talented artists satiated this bibliophile's Star Wars book addiction. If you are a veteran of the EU pick up this book and let it remind you of some books or stories you may have forgotten and reconnect with those old friends. If you are new to the EU pick up this book and perhaps it will help you navigated the twisted hyperspace lanes that make up Star Wars publishing.

The Essential Reader's Companion will turn out to be both essential to my collection and a true companion that I turn to often.

The Essential Reader's Companion goes on sale October 2, 2012 in trade paperback (MSRP $29.95) and e-book (MSRP $12.99) formats.

Note: Review copy of The Essential Reader's Companion provided by Random House.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 5.1 "Revival"

"Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We pillage, we plunder, we rifle, and loot,
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot,
Drink up me hearties, yo ho." ~Yo Ho

I bet you didn't think my review would kick off with Hondo instead of Darth Maul, but alas it is time I reveal my long standing infatuation with pirates.  One of my favorite novels as a young lad was Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, one of my favorite toys was a Lego Pirate Ship.

The Clone Wars Season Five premiere kicked off with some great Sith action and an incredible duel featuring Obi-Wan showing why he carries the biggest lightsaber in the republic. To me not only did Hondo steal the Sith's credits, but he stole the show.

There are a number of reasons that Hondo Ohnaka is so much fun.
(1) His crew uses flying saucers. Really. Flying saucers. Why the heck not.
(2) He laughs in the face of Sith Lords
(3) He has a Kowakian monkey-lizard instead of a parrot.
(4) He salvaged the Slave I
(5) He always gets the best lines. (I have dubbed this Hondo's Law: Whenever Hondo is in an episode, he will get the best line.)
But enough about every ones favorite space pirate.  The episode featured Obi-Wan and Adi Gallia hot on the trail of the Sith brothers.  Anakin must have been busy, because in this week's episode Obi-wan added Jedi Master Adi Gallia to his Sith hunt. Unfortunately for Master Gallia, Savage Opress prefers subtraction to adi-ition. (Jeez, that was a horrible forced joke.) 

While they are on the run from the Republic law, Maul and Opress are busy knocking off a space bank.  This robbery is the catalyst to a confrontation between Maul and Opress as Opress challenges Maul's dominance and his put in his place by his brother.  Maul it seems has completed his mental recovery and has asserted his dominance as the master and Opress as his apprentice, fundamentally shifting the brother's relationship.

Maul hatches a plan to build up an army from the galactic fringe.  The first stop on his recruiting tour is scraping the bottom of the durasteel barrel on Florrum.

Things don't go according to plan when the Jedi show up in system and align with Hondo and a portion of his pirate gang.  Maul has co-opted three ships worth of Hondo's gang and invades Hondo's camp.

All heck breaks loose as it's pirate on pirate blaster fighting and the two Jedi and two Sith square off. 

Gallia falls to Maul's saber while Obi-Wan holds his own against the brothers. 

Hondo' corners his allegiance-challenged gang members and convinces them to rejoin his gang. Meanwhile Obi-Wan gets the best of Savage by cleaving off his arm.  This leads to Maul and Savage fleeing, they manage to take out Obi-Wan's shuttle but not before Maul loses a leg and the Sith brother's ship is damaged forcing them to make a run for it in the escape pod.

The episode ends with Obi-Wan, Mace and Yoda meeting with the Chancellor who forces the Jedi off the hunt and refocuses them on the Republic's true enemy Dooku.  The money shot is the end, once Palpatine dismisses the Jedi, he sits at his desk and we see Sidious in all his maniacal glory.

A few things struck me from this episode:

1) The second lightsaber duel with Obi-Wan versus Maul and Savage may have been the best duel in the series so far.  Very fluid at times and more aggressive than we usually see Obi-Wan.

2) When both Maul and Savage were maimed, we saw the green Nighsister magic mist leak out. Just something interesting to think about.  Does this signify a loss of some segment of the magic they had been imbued with? 

3) Did we get our first Saturday morning edit?  They don't show Adi being killed, but they had no problem showing a "bad guy" pirate being impaled via hologram.  It is a curious choice and I hope that Dave Filoni talks about why that particular death was kept off screen.

4) It is interesting and it works well how the episode ends with the Jedi's pursuit of Maul being suspended in universe and the shows focus on Maul being suspended.  This is particularly interesting because this was not originally intended to be the premiere episode. 

5) I hope we get lots more Hondo this season, he is just to much fun.  

6) Yoda seemed much to deferential to the Chancellor in the final scene. As concerned about the Sith as he is, it seems like he would be much more strong in his opinion to seek the capture of Maul and Savage.  

Getting Piell'd:

On the continuity front, Adi Gallia got the Evan Piell treatment. Her Expanded Universe death has now been overridden by The Clone Wars. 

Gallia was originally killed in Star Wars: Obsession #5 published by Dark Horse Comics in May of 2005.  In that comic she was killed on Boz Pity by General Grievous. 

I can't really gin up any mock outrage over this change. I haven't read the Obsession series and even if I had, I have to admit I don't care about Adi Gallia at all. That may make me a bad fan, but she just feels like filler to me. Perhaps if I had gotten more attached to the character, but alas it was not meant to be.  I will not shed any tears for Adi Gallia and her two deaths.  I guess it is true what they say, live by the lasersword, die by the lasersword. 

Rating: 8.5: It was a nice mixture of action, darkness and levity in this episode.  We got a fairly significant death. 

Next time on Star Wars: The Clone Wars: 5.2 "A War on Two Fronts"

Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka and some clones are going to Onderon to serve as "advisors" to a local resistance movement. I have a bad feeling about this. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Ask Dave" Video Q&A's with Dave Filoni for Season Five: #1-5's Star Wars Blog has started posting a series of question and answers from Star Wars: The Clone Wars Supervising Director Dave Filoni.

Below we compile each video as it is released.

ASK DAVE #1: Jedi Cameos

ASK DAVE #2: Rex's Fate

ASK DAVE #3: Ahsoka and Lux

ASK DAVE #4: Darth Maul's birth name?

ASK DAVE #5: Wither Twilight?


Monday, September 24, 2012

The Clone Wars: Revival Preview Posted on

It's back!

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Five premiers this Saturday at 9:30 am on Cartoon Network. has now posted it's episode preview.

Jedi Fortune Cookie:

"Strength in character can defeat strength in numbers."Fueled by vengeance and rage, the newly reunited brothers Savage Opress and Maul spread terror and violence across the galaxy. As the Sith brothers forcibly recruit Hondo Ohnaka and his pirates, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Adi Gallia chase them down, leading to a deadly confrontation.
The Clone Wars has come a long way since it's feature film debut. Look for my Battle Meditation review of S5.1 "Revival" on Sunday.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Star Wars Reads Day Press Release


Over 1200 Bookstore and Library events throughout the US to be held October 6, 2012

, September 18, 2012 – On Saturday, October 6, 2012, over 1200 bookstores and libraries across the United States will host events in celebration of a national Star Wars Reads Day. Star Wars Reads Day is an initiative of Lucasfilm and its publishing partners to celebrate reading and Star Wars. Participating publishers include Abrams, Chronicle Books, Dark Horse Comics, Del Rey, DK, Klutz, Random House Audio, Scholastic, Titan Magazines, and Workman.

At Star Wars Reads Day events, officially participating bookstores and libraries will offer a range of activities such as raffle prizes; promotional giveaways; trivia; and more. Sponsors for various raffle prizes include Thermos, Kotobukiya, Uncle Milton, Mimoco, and Comic Images. Select events will feature appearances by the more than 30 Star Wars authors and artists located throughout the United States. Participating authors include Chris Alexander, Aaron Allston, Tom Angleberger, Jeremy Barlow, Haden Blackman, Charles Boyd, Jeffrey Brown, Troy Denning, Dave Dorman, Ashley Eckstein, Alexander Freed, Jason Fry, Henry Gilroy, Christie Golden, Jeff Grubb, Paul Gulacy, Pablo Hidalgo, Hall Hood, Drew Karpyshyn, Rick Leonardi, Steven Melching, John Jackson Miller, John Ostrander, Chris Reiff, Matthew Reinhart, Mike Richardson, Ian Ryan, Chris Scalf, Lara Starr, Randy Stradley, Marc Thompson, Chris Trevas, Daniel Wallace, and Ryder Windham.

Nearly 1,000 volunteers from the international fan-based costuming organizations, the 501stLegion, the Rebel Legion, the Mandalorian Mercs, and the R2 Builders Club will also participate at select Star Wars Reads events around the country.

To help extend the celebration to readers everywhere, NBC’s The Today Show Charitable Foundation has signed on as the official charitable partner for Star Wars Reads Day. Each participating publisher will donate Star Wars books from their respective libraries, and The Today Show Charitable Foundation will distribute the books to their affiliate organizations nationwide.

“Star Wars Reads Day is the perfect way to celebrate with our Star Wars fans” says Carol Roeder, Director of Publishing at Lucasfilm. “Our publishing program has always been an essential component of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, as there are so many more stories to tell than what we experience in the films, TV series, and games. We at Lucasfilm are proud to be a part of initiatives like Star Wars Reads Day and hope that it will encourage more young people to read.”

There are currently over 120 million Star Wars books in print and more than 110 Star Wars titles have been New York Times bestsellers.

For a list of Star Wars Reads Day events visit the following link:

Lucasfilm, STAR WARS™ and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. TM & © Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

SOURCE: Random House

USA Today Exclusive: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Five Premier Clip

Darth Maul and Savage Opress take center stage in USA Today's exclusive clip from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Season Five premiere episode "Revival."

You can see the video clip HERE.

It certainly appears that Savage takes exception with being subordinated to anyone, even his Sith Lord brother.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Is Matthew Stover Writing Imperial Commando II?

Image Source: io9

When it comes to Star Wars book rumors the provenance of this one may be subject to some doubt, but as a Commando Fanboy I cannot ignore this juicy morsel.

I saw this first on Club Jade but by this point it has made the fan site and social media rounds.

"In other news Matt is replacing Karen Traviss as the author of the 501st novels for Star Wars." 

The rumor comes from an associate of Matthew Stover, a man named Moe Suliman who is involved in a Kickstarter to fund the OverWorld comic book series.

Star Wars novel fans may remember Matthew Stover from such novels as; Traitor (New Jedi Order), Shatterpoint (Clone Wars), Revenge of the Sith (Film Novelization), and Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor (New Republic).

Stover also has recently written the Insider Magazine short story, "The Tenebrous Way," which tied into James Luceno's Darth Plagueis novel.

Stover does have some experience writing clones.  As part of the 2003 Hasbro Short Story Collection he wrote a story called, "Equipment."  This short story was available in a book form with Hasbro toys as well as as a PDF on  You can still find an archived version of the PDF HERE.

"Equipment" tells the story of a LAAT/i bubble turret gunner, CT-6/744.  It is written as a tie-in to the novel Shatterpoint and is set in a space battle around Haruun Kal.

The story itself is a quick read and while it is hardly Stover's greatest contribution to the SWEU, it does play with the issue of the dehumanization of the clone troopers.

I really enjoyed all of Stover's Star Wars novels and I think he would give a darkness and intensity to the series that makes sense based on the events of Order 66 and Imperial Commando 501st.  I do wonder however if Stover does take over, we see a shift in focus of the series away from Clan Skirata and more to the 501st Legion and a healthy dose of early Rise of the Empire Era Vader.

SOURCES: Club Jade and Kickstarter

Sunday, September 16, 2012

New Lego Star Wars Special: The Empire Strikes Out

Image Source: Hoth Bricks

The Simpsons and Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace writer, Michael Price confirmed via Twitter today that we will be soon seeing a new installment in animated Lego Star Wars action.

The new special will air Wednesday September 26th at 8 P.M. on Cartoon Network.

SOURCES: Twitter, Hoth Bricks and TFN

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Star Wars Anime Short on Youtube: Kriffing Awesome!

The original video posted under the title, "Tie Fighter WIP-revision 3" has now been taken down, but you can still find audio-less versions on Youtube.

Check out the video at the link below and dream about the awesome possibilities of an anime translation of the X-Wing series of novels. Of course this video shows a decidedly Imperial bias, but can you blame the creator? After all the Imperials get all the shiny new tech.  Credit to io9 for linking to the audio-free version of the video.

EDIT: Video is down again. But you can view it on i09's page still. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Clone Wars Chronology: Leland Chee Opens the Holocron

Star Wars continuity master, Leland Chee presented a Star Wars Blog post about the first four syndicated episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and how they fit into continuity.  He also touches upon where previous Clone Wars EU stories fit in.

Chronological Order:

  • Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
  • “Cat and Mouse” (S216)
  • “Hidden Enemy” (S116)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008 theatrical release)
  • “Clone Cadets” (S301)
  • “Supply Lines” (S303)
On Previous Clone Wars EU:

"All of these episodes take place early on during the Clone Wars, mere months following the Battle of Geonosis seen in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.  Many of the dates and events on previously existing EU Clone Wars timelines have been condensed into this period before the events of “Cat and Mouse.”

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Darth Maul Returns DVD

The final four episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season Four have been collected in a special Target exclusive DVD release.

Presented together these four episodes have been edited into one 88-minute theatrical presentation.

You can read my reviews of he individual episodes written last season.

In terms of the DVD presentation itself, it comes at a retail price of $9.99.

It is packaged in one of the eco-friendlier cases that has less plastic. Personally the holes in the case make this design feel flimsy and makes me much more worried about discs getting damaged.

The disc itself contains the four episodes and an audio/subtitles menu and that is it. No promo trailer for the Season Four set release, no commentaries and no Season Five preview.

The low price point makes it hard to be upset with the set, but it is much less impressive than the originally Walmart exclusive Lego: Padawan Menace Blu-ray.

If you are a completist in Star Wars home video collections or you just can't wait until October for the Complete Season Four release, pick this up, but otherwise I would advice you to skip this release.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Star Wars: The Esssential Reader's Companion Free 28 Page Preview

Look at the size of that book!

The countdown is on until October 2nd, when fanboys and fangirls across the Expanded Universe will throw lavish praise at author Pablo Hidalgo and artists Jeff Carlisle, Joe Corroney, Brian Rood, Chris Scalf, Darren Tan, and Chris Trevas.

Hidalgo and his merry band of illustrators have packed what promises to be 496 pages of awesome.

As a Star Wars book nerd, this is easily my most highly anticipated Essential Guide yet.

Random House now has a 28 page preview available for viewing on their website.

SOURCES: Random House and Star Wars Books on Facebook Via Knights Archive

Monday, September 10, 2012

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Syndication Information For San Diego, CA

Just in case I have some local readers, it looks like Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be airing on the local CW affiliate in San Diego, XETV Channel 6.

Current air dates listed are:

Sun, Sep 16: 4:00 PM Cat and Mouse (2.16)
Sun, Sep 16 4:30 PM Hidden Enemy (1.16)
Sun, Sep 23 4:00 PM Clone Cadets (3.01)
Sun, Sep 23 4:30 PM Supply Lines (3.03)

As Club Jade points out, Keeper of the Holocron, Leland Chee dropped some interesting continuity info via Twitter.

SOURCES: Club Jade and San Diego 6

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Sketching Out Season Five's Schedule

An interesting mental exercise is to try to project out the fifth season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  We know some episode titles and we have gotten hints from Comic-Con, Celebration VI and assorted interviews with cast and crew about where the show is going in Season Five.

What we think we know for sure:

Episode 5.1: Revival (Season Premier) Air Date: 9/29/12

Screened on 8/24/12 at Celebration VI, the decision was made to move Revival up in the schedule to start the season with Darth Maul.

Episode 5.2: A War on Two Fronts (Onderon Arc 1 of 4?) Projected Air Date: 10/6/12
Episode 5.3: Front Runners (Onderon Arc 1 of 4?) Projected Air Date: 10/13/12
Episode 5.4: The Soft War (Onderon Arc 2 of 4?) Projected Air Date: 10/20/12
Episode 5.5: Tipping Points (Onderon Arc 3 of 4?) Projected Air Date: 10/27/12

The Onderon arc has some interesting story telling aspects with Anakin promoting a native resistance and potentially sowing seeds of the future Rebellion.  The growth and change of the relationship between Ahsoka and Lux is also curious and has the possibility in going in different directions.  Do they move it in a romantic direction or do they transition into a mature friendship?

Episode 5.6: An Old Friend (Clovis/Padme Arc 1 of 3?) Projected Air Date: 11/3/12
Episode 5.7: The Rise of Clovis (Clovis/Padme Arc 2 of 3?) Projected Air Date: 11/10/12
Episode 5.8: Crisis at the Heart (Clovis/Padme Arc 3 of 3) Projected Air Date: 11/17/12

This arc sees the return of Clovis who we all assumed was previously killed by his Separatist friends.  It also features the return of the bounty hunter Embo.  It looks like their will be both attacks by Droids and Embo that threaten Padme and Clovis.  Not to mention Anakin's jealousy and anger getting the better of him.  I think the final episode of the arc is set at some kind of resort. The "Heart" strikes me as the name of a location, in addition to the internal crisis within Anakin and Padme that the arc may bring about. 

Season Break and Season Finale Date Speculation:

We can start to guess at where the mid-season break will be.  In Season Two there was a month long break between Episode 2.8 "Brain Invaders"  on December 4th and Episode 2.9 "Grievous Intrigue," on January 1st. There was another long break between  Episode 2.14 "Duchess of Mandalore" on February 12th and  "Senate Murders" on March 19th.

During Season Three we got  the big break between Episode 3.11 "Pursuit of Peace" on December 3rd and Episode 3.12 "Nightsisters" on January 7th.

During Season Four the big break occured in the middle of an arc, between Episode 4.12 "Slaves of the Republic" on December 2nd and Episode 4.13 "Escape from Kadavo" on January 6th.

So I think it is safe to guess that the Season Five mid-season break will occur between December 8th and January 5th.  It would also fit that the likely season finale date will be one of March 23rd, 30th or April 6th.

Trying to Fit Story Arcs in the Schedule:

It sounds like the 88 minute "Young Jedi" arc that was screened at CVI in the "Calling All Kids panel" was a set up for a potential spin-off series, but it could also be a nice palate cleanser for younger audiences with the darkening tone of TCW. Originally I thought the Young Jedi feature would make up episodes 5.9, 5.10, 5.11, and 5.12, but after thinking about it and reading opinions and reports out of CVI, I think that it is more likely that if we see it this season it will be as a 2-part special during TCW holiday break.  As James points out on Club Jade, there is speculation that these episodes may simply be a trial balloon and not actually included in Season Five of TCW.  If these four episodes aren't included it opens up a lot of possibilities for another 3 episode story arc as or a few stand alone episodes. A Dooku and/or Grievous centered arc would make some sense.

Episode 5.9:  ????  Projected Air Date: 11/24/12
Episode 5.10: ???? Projected Air Date: 12/1/12
Episode 5.11: ???? Projected Air Date: 12/8/12

At this point we are exactly half way through the season with 11 episodes remaining.

There will be a 4 part Sith/Underworld arc, a novelization of which Jason Fry wrote.  This arc includes the season premier episode. The book, Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy is scheduled to be released on  1/1/13, so it would make sense that the episodes air soon after the books release.  So lets say the final three parts of the 4-part Maul arc come in episodes 5.12-5.14. Given that it will be over 2 months since the premiere aired, it would make sense that we would get a repeat airing of the premiere before Episode 5.12.

Episode 5.1: Revival (Maul Arc Part 1): Projected Air Date: 1/5/13
Episode 5.12: Maul Arc Part 2: Projected Air Date: 1/12/13
Episode 5.13: Maul Arc Part 3: Projected Air Date: 1/19/13
Episode 5.14: Maul Arc Part 4: Projected Air Date: 1/26/13

My friends at We Talk Clones mentioned news out of CVI that the R2/Republic Commando arc will come after the Maul arc. So we will slide that in that four part arc next.  I can't wait for this arc, as I am excited to see how the Satine/Obi-Wan story finishes up.  I think Obi-Wan's reaction and experience explains why Yoda and the Council is so indulgent and forgiving of Anakin's faults and failures. It seems like in Lucas' conception of the Jedi, it is inevitable that they will experience that fit of youthful romance, this first major threat of attachment is a necessary step in growing as a Jedi.  That Obi-Wan is able to conquer it and even deal with the potential return and death of his old flame speaks to his strength of character.

Also who wouldn't be excited for a Mandalorian Civil War with Obi-Wan and Maul involved up to their necks, oh and the cherry on top is Sidious being Sidious and taking on the Maul and Opress.

Episode 5.15: R2 Heist Arc Part 1: Projected Air Date: 2/2/13
Episode 5.16: R2 Heist Arc Part 2: Projected Air Date: 2/9/13
Episode 5.17: R2 Heist Arc Part 3: Projected Air Date 2/16/13
Episode 5.18: R2 Heist Arc Part 4: Projected Air Date 2/23/13

Season Finale Arc Speculation:

We have one curious set of scenes involving Ashoka, Dooku and Republic versus Separatist atmospheric battles.  If I had to guess I think this ties into the final episode of the Clovis arc, but I may be off base on that.

That leaves me with what I think is the season finale arc star, Ahsoka Tano.  From the Season Five trailer, It think the season finale arc will focus on unrest on Coruscant, an attack on the Jedi Temple and Ahsoka being chased by Ventress through the Coruscant Underworld. Previously I have discussed some thoughts on what I dubbed the "Ahsoka Fugitive" arc.

Episode 5.19: Ahsoka Arc Part 1: Projected Air Date: 2/23/13
Episode 5.20: Ahsoka Arc Part 2: Projected Air Date: 3/2/13
Episode 5.21: Ahsoka Arc Part 3: Projected Air Date: 3/9/13
Episode 5.22: Ahsoka Arc Part 4: (Season Finale) Projected Air Date: 3/16/13

This schedule would end up a little short of my projected season finales dates, but you would assume Cartoon Network would skip a couple weeks through the season pushing the season finale back a week or two.

Ending the season with Ahsoka making a difficult choice, perhaps killing Ventress or having to flee Coruscant and the safety of the Jedi Order, or even leaving the Jedi Order for some reason would set up an interesting cliff hanger going into Season Six.

Complete Projected Schedule for Clone Wars: Season Five:

Episode 5.1: Revival (Season Premier) Air Date: 9/29/12

Episode 5.2: A War on Two Fronts (Onderon Arc 1 of 4?) Projected Air Date: 10/6/12
Episode 5.3: Front Runners (Onderon Arc 1 of 4?) Projected Air Date: 10/13/12
Episode 5.4: The Soft War (Onderon Arc 2 of 4?) Projected Air Date: 10/20/12
Episode 5.5: Tipping Points (Onderon Arc 3 of 4?) Projected Air Date: 10/27/12

Episode 5.6: An Old Friend (Clovis/Padme Arc 1 of 3?) Projected Air Date: 11/3/12
Episode 5.7: The Rise of Clovis (Clovis/Padme Arc 2 of 3?) Projected Air Date: 11/10/12
Episode 5.8: Crisis at the Heart (Clovis/Padme Arc 3 of 3) Projected Air Date: 11/17/12

Episode 5.9:   ????  Projected Air Date: 11/24/12
Episode 5.10: ????  Projected Air Date: 12/1/12
Episode 5.11: ????  Projected Air Date: 12/8/12

Episode 5.1: Revival (Maul Arc Part 1: Projected Air Date: 1/5/13
Episode 5.12: Maul Arc Part 2: Projected Air Date: 1/12/13
Episode 5.13: Maul Arc Part 3: Projected Air Date: 1/19/13
Episode 5.14: Maul Arc Part 4: Projected Air Date: 1/26/13

Episode 5.15: R2 Heist Arc Part 1: Projected Air Date: 2/2/13
Episode 5.16: R2 Heist Arc Part 2: Projected Air Date: 2/9/13
Episode 5.17: R2 Heist Arc Part 3: Projected Air Date 2/16/13
Episode 5.18: R2 Heist Arc Part 4: Projected Air Date 2/23/13

Episode 5.19: Ahsoka Arc Part 1: Projected Air Date: 3/2/13
Episode 5.20: Ahsoka Arc Part 2: Projected Air Date: 3/9/13
Episode 5.21: Ahsoka Arc Part 3: Projected Air Date: 3/16/13
Episode 5.22: Ahsoka Arc Part 4: (Season Finale) Projected Air Date: 3/23/13

Author's Note: This post was inspired in part by the discussion held at about 1 hour and 13 minutes into We Talk Clones Podcast 5B.  Check out their speculation and reasoning. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Should Star Wars: The Clone Wars Return to Movie Theaters?

Long time readers of this blog will remember that I attended the Savage Opress screening at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.  This was not only my first chance to visit the bright lights and big city of Hollywood, but also my first chance to be at a Star Wars Event. My wife and I got their early and got to say hello to Dave and shake the hand of the Maker's Apprentice.

If you saw the original TCW movie in theaters you might be ambivalent to the series returning to the big screen, but the advances in animation the show has made have been quantum leaps forward.

Watching the Savage Opress screening on the big screen is some of the most fun I have had in a movie theater in a long time.  The way the show is shot is much better than on the small screen or on the PC screen.

There are some interesting experimentation going on at Lucasfilm right now.  We are getting a Target exclusive DVD Director's cut of the 4-part Darth Maul arc from Season Four.  We also saw a 4-part Young  Jedi 88 minute cinematic experience exhibited at Celebration VI.

These multi-episode arcs are so much more enjoyable when they are woven together and watched as a complete story.

Listening to the latest episode of's We Talk Clones Podcast, they discussed the idea of partnering with a company like Fathom Events. To provide movie screenings like we have seen in a handful of cities in previous seasons on a bit of a larger scale.

Fathom Events is a company that provides live and previously recorded special event programming at movie theaters.  On July 23rd in cooperation with CBS TV they had a special screening of Star Trek: The Next Generation Episodes 106 and 114 in a ton of theaters across the country.  This was a special event to help promote the Blu-ray release of the series. Now I have checked Fathom's website and their Fall 2012 until Spring 2013 doesn't include any Star Wars events listed, it is mostly classic movies and performances from the Metropolitan Opera.

I could really see Lucasfilm partner with Fathom or a similar company to bring Star Wars: The Clone Wars back to the big screen.  The biggest issue I can imagine is with Cartoon Network. If you hold the event on too many screens you may hurt CN's ratings and the value of TCW to that network.  So if they where to do a screening perhaps if it is a large scale one it would have to take place after the episodes air or with a profit sharing between Fathom, Theaters, Lucasfilm, and Cartoon Network.

Make it happen folks.

We Passed 400,000 Page Views Today!

So this blog, which I consider a small thermal exhaust port on the Death Star of Star Wars fandom hit a milestone today.

Thanks to your visits we passed over 400,000 page views today. 

Thank you very much to everyone who has stopped by and read my ramblings and especially to those who have taken the time to leave a comment.



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lucasfilm President and COO Retiring, Kathleen Kennedy Gains UNLIMITED POWER!

Ok, so the headline was a little tongue in cheek.  Kathleen Kennedy is hardly Emperor Palpatine, but it looks like with both George Lucas transitioning into retirement and Micheline Chau retiring, it certainly seems that authority at Lucasfilm is being consolidated in the person of Ms. Kennedy.

According to Variety, the "Senior executives" of Lucasfilm's divisions; Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm Animation, LucasArts, Lucas Licensing, Skywalker Sound, Lucas Online, and Lucasfilm Singapore, will report directly to Ms. Kennedy.

From Variety:

"I've been very fortunate to have Mich at the helm of my company," said Lucasfilm founder and co-chairman George Lucas. "She has provided the focus and strategy needed to keep Lucasfilm at the forefront of the global entertainment industry. Mich has been a key member of my executive team for over 20 years and she will be missed. I wish her the best in her retirement."
"I've spent the past two decades at Lucasfilm growing the business and in the process have had the distinct pleasure of working with some of the most creative people in the world" Chau said. "I'm very proud of what Lucasfilm has accomplished during my tenure and I know the company is set up for great things and will continue to inspire audiences for a long time to come."


Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Fate of Captain Rex and his Appearance in Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5

One of my favorite aspects of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is the exploration and characterization of the clones, done wonderfully by the talented Dee Bradley Baker. The main clone in the series is Captain Rex, leader of Anakin Skywalker's 501st Legion.

It is interesting that we have gotten a a lot of clips from Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season Five, yet we haven't gotten any with Captain Rex yet. The lack of Rex has me not only wondering about his role in Season Five but also about his ultimate fate.

So far has the following video clips posted:
1) The Clone Wars Season 5 Teaser (0:35)
2) Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5 Trailer (2:21)
3) Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5 Sneak Peek 1 (1:19)
4) Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5 Sneak Peek 2 (2:05)
5) Battle of Onderon: TCW Season 5 Clip (1:56)
6) Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5 Trailer (3:26)

We see most of the series regulars, Obi-Wan, Anakin, Ahsoka, Padme, Palpatine, Yoda, Mace, R2, Maul, Opress, Ventress, and Dooku in the various clips along with a mixture of recurring characters and new characters.

We also see a couple new clones in Coruscant Guard Clone Captain Thorn and Republic Commando Gregor.

There are three figures noticeably absent from the trailers, C-3P0, General Grievous and Captain Rex.

The one caveat is that there is a clone speaking during the latest S5 Trailer from the Onderon arc who says, "Steela is a born leader." This could be Rex but it might not be.

Where is Captain Rex and will we be seeing much of him this Season?  One of the highlights of TCW Season 4 was the Umbara arc which featured a heavy dose of Rex, hopefully we see the evolution of Rex's character continue.

With Rex I think we are seeing a very broad story arc, when we are first introduced to Rex he is a superb soldier and mentor to Ahsoka and confidant to Anakin.  We see the seeds of doubt and deeper philosophical thinking planted in Rex by his interaction with Cut Lawquane and his family.  We see Rex's story take another turn on Umbara where we see betrayal by the Jedi, dogmatic thinking by younger clones and Fives constantly watering the doubt that Cut Lawquane planted.

I think Rex is a highly honorable individual with a personal code that keeps him loyal to the Republic, by the end of the war however, I think we will be seeing a character who is faced with a significant decision point.

I think in The Clone Wars you can count on two characters to stay relatively pure, Ahsoka and Rex. I think this means that whether it is before Order 66 or after we will see Rex break with the Republic/Imperial military.  The tragedies of the fall of Anakin, death of Padme and failure of Obi-Wan and Yoda are heavy emotional weights that punctuate the end of the Clone Wars.  Rex ending his story arc as simply a cog in the Imperial machine or gunning down a Jedi would be another tragic end for a fan favorite character.

While we know the majority of clones remain loyal to their programming and training and follow orders as the Republic becomes the Empire, it makes sense that some clones would not.  Given the way the series has developed Fives and Rex are these clones to tell that story with.