Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Star Wars: Expanded Universe Publishing Calendar Update February 2012

Del Rey's official Facebook page for their Star Wars publishing line, Star Wars Books has revealed a great deal of information and specifics regarding the Star Wars publishing calendar.


First coming out next Monday (March 5th) is John Jackson Miller's Lost Tribe of the Sith #8: Secrets for free digital download across various platforms.

The Complete Calendar update from Del Rey Editor Frank Parisi:

We have a few announcements to share with you today. 
Theron Shan
First, DARTH BANE and REVAN author Drew Karpyshyn is cranking away on his next novel, STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC: ANNIHILATION. Republic agent Theron Shan and his Twi’lek compadre, Teff’ith (from Dark Horse Comics’ STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC: THE LOST SUNS) must contend with a Sith Empire counter-attack against the Republic, spearheaded by the lethal apprentice of Darth Malgus. Satele Shan and Jace Malcolm co-star in what will be a fast-paced and tension-fraught tale based on the award-winning video game from BioWare and LucasArts. 
The previously planned Nomi Sunrider novel (to be written by Alexander Irvine) has been cancelled due to changes in direction and concepts in the overall publishing plans. However, look for some exciting new announcements about 2013 (and beyond) in the coming months.  
Teff'ith
Here is our new release schedule for the rest of the year (this does not include mass market reprints):
STAR WARS: FATE OF THE JEDI: APOCALYPSE by Troy Denning goes on sale MARCH 13.
STAR WARS: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO WARFARE by Jason Fry goes on sale APRIL 3.
STAR WARS: SCOURGE goes on sale APRIL 24.
STAR WARS: LOST TRIBE OF THE SITH: THE COLLECTED STORIES by John Jackson Miller goes on sale JULY 31.
Aaron Allston’s STAR WARS: X-WING: MERCY KILL goes on sale AUGUST 7.
Pablo Hidalgo’s STAR WARS: THE ESSENTIAL READER’S COMPANION goes on sale AUGUST 21.
STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC: ANNHILATION by Drew Karpyshyn goes on sale NOVEMBER 13. 
Lastly, Timothy Zahn shared a few details about his upcoming classic-era Han Solo heist novel on his Facebook page last week, but what he didn’t say is that we’ll be publishing it in Winter 2012. A firmer release date and title will be forthcoming very soon.
May the Force be with ya’ll!
(FP)
The biggest news is the cancellation of the Nomi Sunrider novel, that we get a title and release date for Drew Karpyshyn's next The Old Republic novel, now titles Annhilation and scheduled to be released on November 13, 2012.  We also got a tentative date for Timothy Zahn's new Han Solo novel, that we learn will be a heist caper and is due out Winter of 2012.



Source: Star Wars Books on Facebook

No More Nomi: Nomi Sunrider Novel Cancelled


Del Rey Editor Frank Parisi gave us a big update on the Star Wars publishing calendar today, including the cancellation of the Nomi Sunrider novel, which was to be written by Alex Irvine.

Alex Irvine
Irvine's novel had a working "title" or nickname of Mandorla and if it reached publication the actual title of the book could not contain Nomi's last name of "Sunrider" because of a legal dispute with the Jeep automobile company.

Mr. Parisi's comments regarding the books cancellation:

The previously planned Nomi Sunrider novel (to be written by Alexander Irvine) has been cancelled due to changes in direction and concepts in the overall publishing plans. However, look for some exciting new announcements about 2013 (and beyond) in the coming months. 

I am interested to learn more about why this book was scrapped and what new books are in the works.

UPDATE: Reached via Twitter, Alex Irvine had the following to say regarding my condolences on the canceled book.

@Alexirvine: It was a cool story. Ah well.

After reading one of Irvine's other novels Transformers: Exodus, I enjoyed his writing and hopes he gets another at bat in the GFFA.

Source: StarwarsBooks on Facebook

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My first Star Wars Fan-fic: The Emperor's Artwork


Please head over to The Star Wars Book Report and check out my ham handed attempts at fiction writing.  My short story features Grand Admiral Thrawn, Emperor Palpatine and a cameo by Kinman Doriana.

LINK to the story.

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 4.19 Massacre

"Choono slalem denni tay'lori olee-ay. Lucheno vadem klavlane. Blenay vedi nalem koreem. Blenay vedi nalem koreem. Villos susko kono lamal! Vlemon tagoo!"

Asajj Ventress, Mother Talzin, General Grievous, and Count Dooku return with avengence in this week's episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  Things quickly go from bad to worse in this aptly named episode.

"One must let go of the past to hold on to the future."
Count Dooku is determined to have revenge against the Nightsisters of Dathomir after their betrayal. General Grievous launches an all-out droid attack against the magic-wielding witches, and Mother Talzin and Asajj Ventress lead the defense with all the dark powers at their command.
I am curious where this episode fits in the timeline.  The episode opens with Asajj Ventress returning to Dathomir after licking her wounds following last season's "Witches of the Mist" (3.14).  While we know at least some time has passed it is not clear chronologically when this episode is set.

One has to wonder what exactly the fates have in store for Asajj as she seems to be a perpetually cursed figure.  This episode pushes her character in an interesting a new direction but leaves this viewer with a lot of questions it's impact on the greater story.

To briefly summarize the episode:

 Ventress returns to the Nightsisters and is greated warmly and initated fully into their ranks.  Meanwhile on Serenno, Dooku learns of Ventress' reapparance and dispatches General Grievous and just about the entire Separatist Droid army to the planet for a good old fashioned witch burning.  Vastly outnumbered, the Nightsisters turn to necromancy and unleash zombie Nightsisters on the droids.  Whilst her forces are battle the droids, Mother Talzin turns her magicks on a voodoo doll of Count Dooku injuring and potentially killing him.  Dooku redirects the Separatist attack to go after Mother Talzin, thankfully for the droids, Mother Talzin and Old Daka (who is controlling the zombies) are both in the same hidden cave, so when the droids attack Talzin, Grievous also kills Daka ending the Nightsisters' zombie reinforcements and leading the way to a Seperatist victory.  Mother Talzin bamfs out of there and has a brief conversation with Ventress, declaring Ventress' fate lies along a different path then her sisters.  The episode closes with Ventress is left once again feeling like a failure, betrayed and abandoned.

This was one creepy episode of TCW.  Aside from a few shots of the fleet arrive at Dathomir I thought this was a beautifully animated episode.  The undead Nightsisters had a very cool look to them.  The story was solid as usual with most of Katie Lucas' TCW stories, but there were a few internal consistency issues that I had with it.  The first and obvious issue that instead of using her massive magick powers to face the immediate threat, Mother Talzin retreats to her cave and starts working voodoo on Dooku, either to kill him or to get him to call of the attack.  It seems like it would have been a better use of her time to meet the immediate threat head on, she was laying the droids to waste with her lightning in the beginning of the invasion.

Also if the Nightsisters' magicks appear as a green mist that is visible to all, wouldn't Mother Talzin have known this would have left a trail of bread crumbs for the Droids to follow to her "hidden" cave?  Better defenses should have been set up around the cave or at the very least, Daka and Talzin should have been at Separate locations for strategic reasons.

The other issue I had with this episode was with the portrayal of the Nightsisters themselves.  It seemed that when faced with a threat they resorted to purely combat skills and didn't take advantage of their magicks.  Ventress used her Force abilities, Talzin used her magicks, Old Daka used her magicks, but everyone else simply relied on their bows, blades and blasters.  I was hoping for the rank and file witches to act more like witches.

So after over-analyzing the episode it sure doesn't sound like I enjoyed it as much as I did, so lets discuss what I did like.

My favorite moment is rather morbid.  I actually laughed out loud when the statute fell and squished Karis.  Oh look, Asajj made a friend...SPLAT! At this point, in TCW you can be sure of one thing, either Obi-Wan is going to suffer some physical trauma, or Asajj is going to suffer some emotional trauma.

I loved the fact that apparently the Separatists can just abandon fighting the Republic for a little while to invade a neutral planet full of Force wielding witches simply to exact personal revenge of Count Dooku.

I loved the fact that Dooku and Grievous are masters of overkill, 50 billion battledroids, Super battledroids, and commando droids along with air support to take out a few dozen Nightsisters, really?

I loved that Ventress engaged in a personal honor duel with Grievous and actually was about to win when Grievous cheated and had the droids open fire on her.

I loved the look on Ventress' face and pain in her voice when the specter of Mother Talzin appeared and basically gave her the heave-ho.

In the end this episode opens up a ton of interesting questions and story telling possibilities.

1) Do the Separatists leave a garrison on and occupy Dathomir?

We know that Palpatine eventually placed the planet under interdiction during the Imperial era, but did the Separatists leave a presence behind during the Clone Wars?

2) Where their other Nightsisters either on Dathomir or working off-world as mercenaries? 

Mother Talzin at the end of the episode after all the Nightsisters were presumably wiped out, still referred to the Nightsisters as "us" she didn't refer to herself singularly when talking to Ventress.  The implication is that there are still other Nightsisters.

3) What does this mean for the other Witches of Dathomir?

Completely unaddressed in TCW is whether the other daughters of Allya still exist and what there fate is after the Separatist invasion.  Whether it is the Singing Mountain Clan, the Misty Falls Clan, the Red Hills Clan, the Dreaming River Clan, the Frenzied River Clan, or the Great Canyon Clan, we are left simply to wonder about the other inhabitants of Dathomir.

4) What does this mean for the Nightbrothers?

We know the Zabrak Nightbrothers live in a separate community far away from the Nightsisters' enclave.  Would Separatist clean up operations include the targeting of these men?  Will the elimination of the Nightsisters "free" these men from their enslavement?

5) Where does Mother Talzin go from here?

One has to believe that we haven't seen the last of Mother Talzin on TCW, as she regroups and presumably reforms the Nightsisters, what will her role be going forward?

6) Where does Asajj Ventress go from here? 

It looks like we will be getting the answer to this question rather quickly, as Ventress takes another starring role in next weeks episode, "Bounty" and throws in her lot with Boba Fett and his crew.

Rating: Massacre gets a creepy 8.5.  A very solid and very dark episode that's awesome action leaves me with many many questions.

Direct Link to Watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars 4.19 "Massacre"

Next time on Star Wars: The Clone Wars: "Bounty" (4.20)



"Who we are never changes, who we think we are does."
An aimless Asajj Ventress joins a team of bounty hunters under the leadership of young Boba Fett. On an alien world, they undertake a dangerous but profitable mission that tests the limits of their skills, and the strength of Asajj's character.






Thursday, February 23, 2012

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Four Darth Maul finale trailer images


"This world will burn!" ~Darth Maul

Stuff is about to start getting crazy on The Clone Wars.  Check out images from the new Lucasfilm trailer for Darth Maul's return to TCW.  Commentary with each image will follow later. 



 "I have been waiting, fueled by my singular hatred for you." ~Darth Maul


 "It is over Sister." ~Mother Talzin
"No one remains.  It is all my fault." ~Asajj Ventress


 " Fear you are in danger, I do. From the dead, an old enemy has awakened seeking vengence." ~Yoda to Obi-Wan Kenobi.



 "His capture is far to important" ~Mace Windu




SOURCE: USA TODAY

USA Today The Clone Wars Darth Maul Arc Trailer reveals a ton

Yeah, Just watch and prepare to geek out.

SOURCE: USA TODAY

Review: Carpathia by Matt Forbeck


Author's Note:  In an attempt to broaden my horizons a bit past the Star Wars Expanded Universe I will be on occasion be reading and reviewing non-Star Wars books on this site.  Many of these books will be provided by the publisher Angry Robot Books in the form of digital ARCs.   This is one such book.  Hopefully these reviews will be helpful in your non-Star Wars reading.  

In the interest of full admissions, I must confess I am hardly the biggest fan of the genre of horror.   In the interest in expanding my typically myopic literary experiences, the first of these books that I will be reading from Angry Robot is Matt Forbeck's new work of historical horror fiction, Carpathia.

Carpathia is a fictionalized account of the the April 14th, 1912 crash of the RMS Titanic into an iceberg and the April 15th sinking of the ship.  Carpathia tells the tale of the cruise liner RMS Carpathia, the vessel, crew and passengers that came to the aid of the survivors of the Titanic disaster.

Thanks to James Cameron's hugely successful feature film Titanic, the story of the sinking of the massive vessel is well known to fans, but thankfully unlike Cameron's story there is most definitely no Leonardo DiCaprio.  In fact this book is just like Titantic and Twilight combined, if both had been cool and not totally lame.

Author Matt Forbeck
Carpathia focuses it's story around a trio of anchor characters, Quin Harker, Abe Holmwood, and Lucy Seward.  Quin is lawyer, Abe is an aristocrat, and  Lucy is a self-described "suffragette."  The relationships between these three characters make period piece accessible to the modern reader.  We may not totally relate to the world in which Quin, Abe and Lucy live in, but we can relate to the characters themselves and Lucy in particular has a very modern feel to her characterization and for those that love a strong heroine, she certainly fits the bill. I think Quin will be relatable to most readers, but Abe is a little harder to relate too, there is a certain laissez-faire attitude present in Abe that I found curious.  I think the reader is to interpret Abe's attitudes in the book to his social status as well as other factors, but I found his characterization just slightly off note.

We follow Quin, Abe and Lucy through an adventure that takes them from the worst night of their life to an even more harrowing voyage.  Along the way we have a very good mix of actual historical characters from the Titanic crash with some new invented characters.  Forbeck does an impressive job weaving these actual historical figures seamlessly into his novel.

Forbeck has a terrific way of taking the modern mythology that has developed around Vampires and taking that myth back to it's roots and then spinning it off in a wonderful new direction.  The balance of gore, suspense, and action is well balances and the carnage doesn't feel over the top in a way that would turn off the more casual horror fan.

This is a book that is simply screaming to be made into a movie, and as much as a enjoyed the book I think it would play even better on the silver screen.  In fact I would go so far to say, that there is no way that this book doesn't become a movie.

Forbeck certainly delivers a well constructed and fun tale that makes me look forward to reading his next novel.

For more information on Angry Robot Books or Matt Forbeck please visit their resepective websites:  http://angryrobotbooks.com/ and http://www.forbeck.com/

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Star Wars Upcoming Novel Updates: Zahn and Kemp

Some updates via Facebook regarding a forthcoming stand-alone novel by Timothy Zahn and Paul S. Kemp's duology.

Comments regarding Paul S. Kemp's Star Wars duology by Author Paul S. Kemp, Editors Frank Parisi and Erich Schoeneweiss:

Kemp: "SW books calls my next Star Wars project (the duology) "very ambitious." Given my stress level, I'm gonna agree. ;-)"

Schoeneweiss: "Next few weeks? What's the rush? Is Grandmaster Skywalker visiting?
We're working on some exciting ideas but aren't ready to announce them yet. As for November, we'll update you on the late 2012 calendar soon. (ES)"
Parisi: "We're not yet ready to talk about Paul's duology. What I can say is that it's a very ambitious project; the first one will not come out this year (unfortunately) as he's taking his time to construct the story (fortunately). (FP)"

Comments regarding Zahn's "Smuggler novel" by the author Timothy Zahn:


Star Wars news update! 
While most of the details (including the title) will have to wait until an official announcement is made (which I'm told will be sometime next month), I *have* been authorized to release a few tidbits concerning my now-officially-approved upcoming Star Wars novel. 
First, it will be be set in the classic movie era.
Second, it will be an Ocean's Eleven-type heist caper.
And third, it will star everyone's favorite smuggler, Han Solo. 
Further details to come.

As a fan of both authors as well as the franchise as a whole, I am pretty excited for these three books.



SOURCE: Star Wars Books and Timothy Zahn

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sam Witwer Officially Confirmed as Darth Maul for Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Actor Clancy Brown (Savage Opress) is a little disturbed by Sam Witwer's performance as Darth Maul.

Lets start with the new preview video from TCW recording sessions from MTVGeek , which includes some minor spoilerish lines from upcoming episodes of TCW.


Get More: MTV Shows

Just when you think Obi-Wan Kenobi's "Season of Pain" couldn't get any worse, now he is going to have at least half of what used to be a Sith Lord out for revenge.

There is some great snippets of dialogue in the above clip, including Darth Maul going bonkers, Darth Maul reciting the Sith Code, and what appears to be Savage Opress attempting to stoke his brother's anger to help give his broken mind something to focus on and anchor it.  The most interesting question is, does Savage Opress actually care about Maul? Or is Savage Opress just attempting to help Maul so that he can learn from him and use him and then discard him?  We are in for a wild ride on TCW.

The Sith Code for those unfamiliar with it via Wookieepedia:


Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.


Some links on how news of Witwer's rumored role first appeared:

June 22, 2011: Where we at Lightsaber Rattling let you know Witwer would be returning to TCW in Season Four in an undisclosed role, based on a San Antonio newspaper report.

September 27, 2011: The Star Wars Report Podcast's Interview Transcript with Sam Witwer from DragonCon 2011 where he first spilled the beans regarding returning to TCW.


Sam Witwer: I am currently, as we speak, working on episodes, many episodes for a character that I have not played… well… it’s… what can I say without getting fired?
Riley: We don’t want you to get in trouble or anything.
Sam Witwer: I’m told the announcement is gonna happen in a couple months.
Riley: Nice tease!
Sam Witwer: It’s an amazing character.  It is an amazing, amazing character.  I’ll put it to you this way.  I was driving over to a buddy’s house and Dave Filoni calls me up, gets me on the phone, and he says, “Listen, so we want you to come back to work and we need you to play…” and he tells me the character’s name.  And I almost had a car accident.  And he says, “Can you do it?”  And I’m like yes.  And then I worried about later whether I could do it or not.  But I was like yes, yes, I will do that.  So it is a tremendous opportunity and I can’t wait for you guys to find out about it.
October 15, 2011: Where Nuke the Fridge claimed to have an unnamed source confirming that Witwer would be voicing Maul in Season Four.


SPECULATION:

Witwer mentioned in his interview with Riley, that he was working on not just  a few episodes, but "many episodes" for Darth Maul.  This isn't going to be a villain of the week return, Maul won't be a a one arc and done character, it sounds like his story will continue at least into Season Five of The Clone Wars and possibly beyond.  To that I just what to say, Heck Yeah!

For a slightly dated speculation post on what role Maul could play in The Clone Wars,  please read this article I wrote after the Savage Opress trilogy screening last year.  The Clone Wars: Galactic Balance of Power after Savage Opress (SPOILERS) (written 1/23/11).

As always stay tuned to Lightsaber Rattling for all the latest TCW news and analysis.

Source: MTV Geek


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book of Sith Video Tour

Finally got my hands on an undamaged copy of Dan Wallace's latest Star Wars book, Star Wars: Book of Sith.

Check out the video below to see how the device works and look for a review of the book itself soon.

Please also subscribe to our Youtube Channel as we will try to bring more video content in the coming months.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 4.18 Crisis on Naboo


Oh those silly Sith, it is always wheels within wheels when it comes to their schemes.
"Trust is the greatest of gifts, but it must be earned."The Chancellor travels to Naboo to preside over a public ceremony, guarded by Jedi Knights. Dooku and his bounty hunters -- including an undercover Obi-Wan Kenobi -- launch their kidnapping plot.
Let's unpack what is going on in this episode.  We have Count Dooku is is playing both the Bounty Hunters and the Jedi.  Dooku has the Bounty Hunters and the Jedi convinced that his "plot" is for Cad Bane and his crew to kidnap the Chancellor. The reality is that Dooku knows that he has a spy in his midst and his true purpose is for the Jedi to let down their guard following the successful foiling of this diversionary kidnapping plot.

The unfortunate thing for Dooku is that once again he is being used by his Master Sidious for Sidious' own purposes.  Sidious views every single being as mere tools in his own quest for ultimate power.  It almost makes you view Dooku as a tragically misguided character who was mislead down the dark path as Sidious poured sweet nectar in his ear and seduced him to the Dark Side.  In this episode once again, we see Dooku using both the Jedi and Dooku as whetstones upon which he can sharpen Anakin's frustration and anger.

Palpatine/Sidious is playing the long game with Anakin, Palpatine sees this glorious vergence in the Force, which can be turned to the Dark Side and used as an "Apprentice" to further Palpatine's grand plan.  Palpatine however is very much aware just as Yoda said in last week's episode "Skywalker, A powerful Jedi you are, but unpredictable.  Dangerous you can be, to both your friends and enemies."  Ankin is the type of tool that if used properly could immensely beneficial to Palpatine, but one misstep and Anakin could blow up in his face.  So Sidious is meticulous, slow and calculating as he manipulate young Anakin, planting seeds of doubt in the young man, and creating situations where a wedge is driven between Skywalker and the Jedi Order, and between Skywalker and his Master, mentor and friend Obi-Wan Kenobi.

In last week's episode, "The Box" we saw Anakin get rather agitated in his discussion with Yoda, but that petulant anger that we saw in the films in Episode II and III remained contained.  In this week's episode that petulance broke through the surface in his full blown yelling at Obi-Wan.  It is this mercurial temper of his that leads Anakin in to rash actions that are ill conceived.  It has me wondering if like an abused animal that becomes hyper-violent, the abuse inflicted upon Anakin as a slave and the forced separation from his mother, created such a fundamental trauma within Anakin, that Jedi or not there was not way for him to lead a normal well adjusted life.

We also get a very curious line which sounds an awful lot like the pledging of a life debt to me as Anakin promises Chancellor Palpatine, "As long as I live, no harm will ever come to you Excellency." This line is certainly eye-opening regarding Revenge of the Sith as we know how highly Anakin values honesty and friendship.  Does this promise by Anakin force his hand in disarming Mace in the Chancellor's office?

That is what you call a tangent ladies and gents.  Back to the episode itself.  We got some really cool new technology in the show this week as the Holographic Disguise Matrix designed by the bounty hunter Sinrich was used as part of the bounty hunter teams plot to infiltrate the Naboo festival and kidnap Palpatine.  Really neat visuals accompanied the use of the Matrix.

When the bounty hunters first arrive on Naboo, they take out some cookie cutter government workers, that were the same character model's seen in Season Three's "Heroes on Both Sides" episode.  I understand the budgetary and time constraints the crew is under but it would have been nice to see a different character model used in this situation.

As I noted in last week's review, I simply love Palpatine scenes.  The nature of the character and his duplicity allows the writers and actors to imbue his lines with double meaning and foreshadowing that is very enjoyable to see.
Yeah! Mas Amedda

I particularly liked his exchange with Mace Windu on the landing platform from which it is clear Mace wants someone around Palpatine at all times.  Is this because he is growing suspicious of the Chancellor or is it simply because he knows the Chancellor's value to the Republic?  I wonder what you think, personally I don't think Mace trusts Palpatine at all.
Lee Harvey Kenobi

After the Jedi foil the bounty hunter's plot, once again arresting Cad Bane and Moralo Eval (How will they get out of jail this time?) Anakin and Obi-Wan get into their argument and this leads Obi-Wan into some deep thought that sends him back to the Naboo Book Depository to inspect his sniper's nest and his sniper rifle and case.  Obi-Wan discovers that Dooku planted a listening device in his rifle case, which leads him to the insight that Dooku knew the Jedi where on to him the entire time and must have had another plan to get after the Chancellor. Obi-Wan rushes off to find Anakin and the Chancellor only to arrive after Anakin has been bested by Dooku.
"We would be honored if you would join us"
For a change this season it is Anakin and not Obi-Wan that really takes the beating in this episode.  Shades of Empire Strikes Back as Dooku assumes the role of Darth Vader and Anakin assumes the role of Luke.  We have Dooku sitting down at the long table much like Vader's suprise appearance on Cloud City.  Then the lightsaber duel between Dooku and Anakin, we have Dooku using the Sith technique of throwing everything that is not nailed down at your opponent.  Of course because Dooku is such a refined aristocrat, he only hurls the finest of china and upholstered furniture at Anakin.

Anakin and Obi-Wan once again prove what a formidable team they form when they work together, while Anakin distracts Dooku, Obi-Wan is able to rescue the Chancellor.  The episode ends with Palpatine praising Obi-Wan and Anakin, and Obi-Wan once again declaring what the Jedi's specialties are.

One of the more interesting aspects of this week's episode and is really brought to the front in the StarWars.com episode guide is that we get some real continuity back story on Naboo.  We learn in the episode that Naboo joined the Republic 847 years before the events.  We also get further details on Naboo's plasma production, while giving his speech Palpatine mentions that this area had not to long ago been covered by plasma mines.

In the episode guide we get the a history of the founding of Naboo with (1) the crash of the Grizmallt colony ship on Naboo, (2) Kwilaan's discovery of the world, and a nomadic tribe venturing into the Gallo mountains (3) nomadic tribe arriving at the Dee'ja peak, settling there and developing a farming community on that land and (4) the growth of Theed.


Rating: Crisis on Naboo gets a 9.0.  It had cool toys, lots of action and loads and loads of Sith machinations.

Direct Link to Watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars 4.18 Crisis on Naboo

Next Time on Star Wars: The Clone Wars 4.19 Massacre

We are in for a couple weeks off as TCW will return with Episode 4.19 Massacre on February 24th.  This will be the first episode of the four-part season final, the arc will featuring the debut of Darth Maul on TCW and the returns of Savage Opress, Asajj Ventress, and the Nightsisters.


Link to EW.com to watch a Darth Maul preview clip

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Grocery Store Star Wars Episode I 3D Brisk Display



Headed to my local grocer, Ralph's (owned by Kroger) and ran into a life size R2-D2 with some special Brisk modifications.

Sadly the display will be sent back to Pepsi-Co so I couldn't finagle my way into acquiring R2, if only there were some Jawas around to negotiate with.



Monday, February 6, 2012

TV Guide Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Massacre Description

Image Source: Star Wars Canada

TVGuide.com has a very brief description of TCW episode 4.19, Massacre which will be the first of the four-part season finale arc.

Not only will we be getting Savage Opress and Darth Maul in this arc, but also the return of the Nightsisters and Asajj Ventress.

Count Dooku vows revenge on Ventress and the Nightsisters; Grievous attacks Dathomir.


Source: TVGuide.com

TCW Crisis on Naboo Preview Image echoes Episode III






Source: Star Wars.com 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 4.17 The Box


So if this episode taught me anything, it is that I would make the worst bounty hunter ever, I have the athletic ability of Dengar after an all night Whyren's Reserve bender, plus I am as lazy a Hutt on a hot summer's day.


"The strong survive, the noble overcome."
The disguised Obi-Wan accompanies Cad Bane and Moralo Eval to Serenno, where they enlist in a brutal competition with other bounty hunters from around the galaxy to determine who will participate in a plot to kidnap the Chancellor.

It's almost time for Super Bowl commercials, did tonight's episode make anyone else think of Apple's 1984 Macintosh commercial with the giant video screen?

That sound you hear is collector's geeking out for more new TCW bounty hunter action figures.  I enjoyed tonight's motley crew of bounty hunters, even though I was a bit disappointed in the direction the Box itself went.

I was kind of hoping that the Box would be much more like a Gladiatorial arena with the Bounty Hunters having to fight to the death.  Of course it would have been much harder if not impossible for Obi-Wan to maintain his cover in that situation.  In the end we got a very cool if deadly obstacle course and the introduction of a few interesting new bounty hunters.

There were a number of challenges in the Box 1) Poison Gas/Dioxis, 2) Attacking Walls with lightsabers, 3) Ray shield squeeze, and 4) Sniper testing.  Tests 1-3 must have reminded Obi-Wan as his time as an Apprentice, avoiding dioxis gas on the Trade Federation control ship, dodging Darth Maul's lightsaber blades, and avoiding the ray shields in the plasma power core on Naboo.  While the forth and final challenge made me think of Obi-Wan's use of the inelegant blaster to finish off General Grievous in RotS.

As it was Obi-Wan performed a little to well in the Box, raising Dooku's suspicions regarding Hardeen's true nature.

Cade Bane is a cold blooded dude, wasting an Ithorian simply for a hat upgrade.  The weird thing was, I didn't even think it was that nice of a hat.

It was cool to see the return of Embo, who even got a few Dave Filoni voiced lines, but hopefully Embo plays a larger role in next week's episode because he really didn't do to much this week.

It was interesting to see Moralo  Eval's demeanor and behavior change when around Count Dooku, it makes one wonder just how much of Dooku's true power Eval is aware of.  He was very submissive when they arrived on the planet.

I loved the  hand to hand combat between Obi-Wan and Eval surrounded by fire with the ten-story video screen of Dooku watching.  It looks like Obi-Wan got a little to into his role as a hard as nails bounty hunter as he came pretty close to ending Eval's life and only held back at the last instant with Dooku trying to urge him on.  On one hand I would have enjoyed seeing Obi-Wan deal with the guilt of killing an unarmed and vulnerable Eval, on the other hand it would have been very out of character for the Jedi Master we know and love.

One story-line that is often explored in these kind of undercover stories is that idea of the undercover agent going "native" when they start to actually enjoy the role they are playing or lose their own identity in that of their created identity.  It would have been interesting to see this occur with Obi-Wan, but short of Dooku finding out who he was and figuring a way to dominate his will with the Force, I am not sure that this would have been possible.  Usually when this happens in the Star Wars universe it involves a Jedi pretending to be Dark (see Quinlan Vos or Luke Skywalker in Dark Empire) where even though they think they are pretending to be a Dark Side Force user, their choices and actions lead them to actually fall to the Dark Side even if it is only temporary.  It would be interesting to see Obi-Wan fall into darkness even if it is for the briefest of moments.  Perhaps it is better storytelling to keep Obi-Wan as the exemplar of what a Jedi is and should be, even if he has his own non-Dark Side flaws.

It will be interesting to see how far TCW takes the plot to kidnap Palpatine, the obvious outcome is that the plot would be foiled, but it would certainly throw a monkey wrench into what we thought we knew about TCW if Palpatine had been kidnapped before the events of Episode III.  I  kind of hope the creative team does have the kidnapping come off successfully.  It would be an interesting cliff-hanger subplot going into Season Five.

Rating: The Box 8.0.  Once again this "kid's show" takes it up a notch with some very mature writing and a lot of deaths.  TCW is the kind of cross-generational entertainment that every kid's show should be.  Challenge kids give them stories that challenge their minds, their imaginations and present them with moral questions and make them try to understand and arrive at the answers themselves.

Direct Link to Watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars 4.17 The Box

Next Time on Star Wars: The Clone Wars 4.18 Crisis on Naboo




"Trust is the greatest of gifts, but it must be earned."
The Chancellor travels to Naboo to preside over a public ceremony, guarded by Jedi Knights. Dooku and his bounty hunters -- including an undercover Obi-Wan Kenobi -- launch their kidnapping plot.


Link to Watch Crisis on Naboo trailer on Starwars.com




Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Box's Bounty Hunters

This is just a great image featuring the characters from this week's TCW Episode "The Box" written by Brent Friedman.


SOURCE: StarWars.com

Listen to me on Star Wars Beyond the Films Episode #5: Darth Plagueis Review Part 1


I join hosts Nathan and Mark of the Star Wars Beyond the Films podcast to discuss James Luceno's recently released Darth Plagueis novel.

I had lots of fun chatting with Nathan and Mark and you can look forward to two more episodes featuring my dulcet tones.

LINK
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