Thursday, May 31, 2012

Star Wars 1313 Revealed at E3: Third Person Action Adventure Bounty Hunter Game Set In Coruscant's Underworld


The video game arm of LucasFilm, LucasArts debuted it's next video game franchise at the The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

Level 1313?  I guess I know where the bad real estate is on Coruscant now.  Apparently we are getting a bounty hunter game.  From the family friendly company, we are getting a "mature themed" game, I wonder if that means lots of half-naked Twi'leks?

This is certainly an interesting pre-cursor to the Live-Action Series which is largely set in the same environment.  Any one want to bet this is set in the Dark Times or Rise of the Empire era?

In many ways this reminds me of Shadows of the Empire and the way it tested the waters for the Prequels. My belief is that this new game franchise is to create buzz and test the appeal of a more mature set of Star Wars stories set between Episodes III and IV.

I believe 1313 will be used to introduce characters and settings that we will be further developed in the Live Action Series if they can ever get that project into production.

The real test is whether fans will flock to a Star Wars game where the Force is not a real factor.

If 1313 performs well, I think we will see the Live Action Series. If 1313 is a flop, I bet we see the show tabled indefinitely.

Another thing to keep in mind is that 1313 and it's motion capture technique could be testing a more cinematic style of animation that could be used on a television series down the road.

No doubt the visuals will be incredible, but will the story and game play be up to snuff?

We have more questions than answers at this point. Stay tuned as we learn more.

From LucasArts Press Release:

LucasArts Drops Gamers into the Criminal Underworld with New Mature Themed Videogame Franchise, Star Wars 1313™
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif - May 31, 2012 - LucasArts, a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, announced today a new internally developed videogame franchise, Star Wars 1313™. The game will make its formal debut at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles June 5-7. As players take control of a lethal bounty hunter in a never-before-seen dark and mature world, Star Wars 1313 introduces an integrated development approach by bringing together great artists across the Lucasfilm organization, including LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm Animation Ltd. and Skywalker Sound. A third person cinematic action adventure game, Star Wars 1313 will bring to life the Coruscant underworld, the most dangerous place in the Star Wars™ galaxy. 
Named for Level 1313, a ruthless criminal underground deep below the surface of the planet of Coruscant, the game puts players in control of a deadly bounty hunter as he uses an arsenal of exotic weaponry to hunt down his marks and uncover the truth surrounding a criminal conspiracy. Star Wars 1313 emphasizes epic set pieces and fast-paced combat with a hero who uses human skills and gadgets, rather than supernatural Force powers, to make his way through this dangerous world. 
"We're excited to share one of the projects LucasArts has been hard at work developing," said Paul Meegan, President, LucasArts. "Star Wars 1313 dives into a part of the Star Wars mythos that we've always known existed, but never had a chance to visit. We are committed to bringing the best gameplay experience and visual fidelity to life and I truly believe the work we are showcasing at E3 will speak for itself." 
More details about Star Wars 1313 will surface in the coming months. Visit 
www.StarWars1313.com for the latest updates. 
About LucasArts
Founded in 1982 by filmmaker George Lucas, LucasArts is a leading publisher and developer of interactive entertainment software worldwide for video game console systems, computers and the Internet. With development facilities in San Francisco and Singapore, LucasArts leverages the global skills, technology and resources of the  Lucasfilm family of companies -- including visual effects leader Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm Animation and Skywalker Sound -- in addition to strategic partnerships with best-in-class external partners, to further the boundaries of game development.
LucasArts, the LucasArts logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks in the United States and/or in other countries of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © 2012 Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. or Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.


LINK: STAR WARS 1313 FACEBOOK PAGE

SOURCES: LucasArts

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Star Wars: Celebration III: Clone Wars Prelude to Landing at Point Rain Script Reading


Related to the TCW script that was mocked up for Celebration III, the cast actually read the script posted here the other day at the convention.  The Youtube channel MovieGeekFeed has posted the video of that panel in three parts on Youtube.

I thought Clone Wars fans like myself would get a kick out of this if they haven't seen it yet.







SOURCE: MovieGeekFeed

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Seven Star Wars: Clone Wars Season Five Episode Titles Revealed by Insider Magazine


The July 2012 issue of Star Wars Insider magazine features a couple Clone Wars features including the titles to the first seven episodes of Season Five and an interview with Supervising Director Dave Filoni.

Episode Titles Revealed:


  • 5.01: A War on Two Fronts
  • 5.02: Front Runners
  • 5.03: The Soft War
  • 5.04: Tipping Points
  • 5.05: An Old Friend
  • 5.06: The Rise of Clovis
  • 5.07: Crisis at the Heart


Check out the issue for a look back at Season Four and a preview of Season Five that includes mentions of Onderon, Black Sun, and story arcs for Padme and R2.

SOURCE: Star Wars Insider via Wookieepedia

Star Wars Fan Days III: The Clone Wars: Prelude to Landing at Point Rain Script


This is posted for posterity as it is no longer available on StarWars.com after the remodel.  I went looking for a copy of a Clone Wars script and this was the best I could come up with.  It is not actually from an episode but was prepared for Fan Days III when the cast did a script reading.

Fan Days Script: A Prelude to "Point Rain"

EmailArchives
November 3, 2009
At the recent Star Wars Fan Days III convention near Dallas, supervising director Dave Filoni reunited most of the cast of The Clone Wars for a table read of a script specially prepared for the event.
Since this script serves as a prelude to "Landing at Point Rain," the next episode of The Clone Wars, we are making it available here for you to read.
You'll have to supply your own actors.

EST. SHOT CORUSCANT - JEDI TEMPLE EXT - DAY
Traffic buzzes past the towers as we push in on the temple
INT JEDI TEMPLE - HALLWAY - DAY
Obi-Wan and Ahsoka greet Padmé and Anakin in the hallway towards the Jedi war room.

OBI-WAN

It's good to see you up and about again, Padmé. Congratulations on the success of your mission.
PADMÉ

Thank you, General Kenobi. Of course the mission would have failed had Anakin -- I mean General Skywalker -- not accompanied me.
OBI-WAN

Yes, well, you're too kind. We all know you were the one taking the risk.
ANAKIN

Hey, I was taking risks.
OBI-WAN

Of course you were, Anakin. The question is how many of them were unnecessary?
AHSOKA

Well, he was only gone a day or two, so I'd guess fifty percent were unnecessary.
OBI-WAN

That's right, I forgot I asked you to start keeping track.
ANAKIN

Ignore them, Padmé, they don't realize no one else finds this funny.
PADMÉ

Actually, it's quite entertaining.
OBI-WAN

You see, Anakin!
ANAKIN

Go ahead, laugh it up, but in the end the risks BOTH of us took paid off. Lott Dod, is a traitor; everything the Jedi have been reporting about the Trade Federation and the Banking Clan is true.
OBI-WAN

And I'm certain that you never let your emotional involvement get the better of you and you brought back proof of these claims?
ANAKIN

Proof?!! Padmé was poisoned what further proof do we need!
OBI-WAN

Anakin, if the Senate or the Chancellor were willing to act based solely on the word of the Jedi, then the corporations would have been put to trial years ago.
PADMÉ

He's right, Anakin. I've seen the accusations against the Trade Federation come up in the Senate and they always fall on deaf ears. We couldn't even convict Gunray after he invaded Naboo.
ANAKIN

But Clovis admitted everything!
OBI-WAN

So naturally you took him into custody? But, no wait, you did the exact opposite of that. You left him on Cato Neimoidia!
ANAKIN

I had no choice.
OBI-WAN

I want to believe you. I really do, but sometimes, Anakin, you place your feelings ahead of the mission, and I'm afraid in this case--
PADMÉ

I'm afraid in this case Anakin might have put my safety and our friendship ahead of the mission, yes. But Obi-wan, I cannot believe, as Anakin's mentor, if put in his place you would not have done the same. After all, we are all friends are we not?
OBI-WAN

Well, yes, I guess you're right.
They all pause and smile at their odd argument

OBI-WAN

Come along now, we can not keep Master Yoda waiting. It's time to see what the Council has decided to do about the revolt on Geonosis and the new droid foundries there.
They all start to walk towards the war room, Ahsoka walks along side Padmé

AHSOKA

You're really good at defusing those two. You have to teach me your methods

PADMÉ

Most of the time I defeat them with common sense. That's your best weapon
They enter the war room where they find Master Yoda and Plo Koon waiting for them, a hologram of the planet Geonosis looms above him, and another smaller planet is on the display screens along the walls.

YODA

Welcome back from your mission, Senator. More successful than we hoped, you were.

PADMÉ

I only hope we discovered this plot in time

YODA

Perhaps answer your question, this transmission from Captain Rex can.
Yoda plays a hologram transmission from Captain Rex who went ahead to scout Geonosis.

REX

This is Captain Rex, 501st recon mission to Geonosis. Upon arrival in orbit we were unable to establish any communication with the clones on the surface. A preliminary scan indicated massive construction in both the northern and southern hemispheres of the planet. There appear to be several droid factories which are already operational, and many more in the final phases of construction. This goes far beyond a simple revolt, we are looking at a full scale invasion of the planet if we want to take it back. I shall provide a further break down of the planet's defenses that we scanned when my mission is complete. Rex out.
The room is quiet.

OBI-WAN

Looks like we're going back to Geonosis.

ANAKIN

Great.

YODA

Not you, Skywalker. Master Plo Koon has a different mission for you.

PLO KOON

The planet Dorin has been attacked by Grievous. Because of Dorin's orientation between two nearby black holes, we'll need your expert space combat tactics to help guide the command ships and fighter squadrons.

ANAKIN

Of course, Master Plo. Whatever I can do to help

YODA

Kenobi, with you shall go Master Mundi and Master Luminara. Skywalker and Master Plo Koon shall aid you, if successful on Dorin they are.

OBI-WAN

Good, we'll need whatever ships of the fleet can be spared. As Captain Rex said, this will be a full scale planetary invasion. We're settling the score on Geonosis once and for all.

INT. SEPARATIST FRIGATE COMMAND BRIDGE
Grievous sits on his command ship witnessing the devastation his army has inflicted on the planet Dorin. He is gloating in his success.

GRIEVOUS

Yes, commander, press the attack. I don't want any of that Kel Dor filth to survive. The people of the planet Dorin must suffer the consequences for staying loyal to the Republic.

BATTLE DROID COMMANDER

Roger, roger. The commando droids will hunt down any survivors.

GRIEVOUS

Very good.
The doors to the bridge open and the doctor droid A-4D enters.

A-4D

Master, you have an urgent transmission on channel 5. Why have you not answered it?

GRIEVOUS

Not now, Doctor. I'm in the middle of a battle.

A-4D

But the transmission has a top level priority code. It must be important.

GRIEVOUS

Bah! What could be more important than the destruction of a civilization?

A-4D

I can compute there are several possible answers to that question.

GRIEVOUS

Silence! Who is sending the transmission?

A-4D

Asajj Ventress, my lord.

GRIEVOUS

Ventress! Dooku's play-thing? I have no time to waste on her.

A-4D

She is Count Dooku's personal assassin. I would answer her call if I were you.

GRIEVOUS

Ah, but you are not me, Doctor, for I am the leader of the most powerful droid army the galaxy has ever seen, and you are a simple servant droid!

A-4D

Doctor and advisor.

GRIEVOUS

I tire of your comical wit. Do not make me regret having you reassembled.

A-4D

Of course not, but if the message Ventress relays comes from Count Dooku, it would be wise to hear what she has to say.

GRIEVOUS

Very well, put her through. But if I miss any good destruction while I'm distracted, I'll have your head back on a platter.

A-4D

Yes, my lord.
The hologram of Ventress appears before Grievous and the Doctor

VENTRESS

Why General, thank you for receiving my transmission... finally.

GRIEVOUS

My pleasure, assassin. Now what can I do for you? I am rather busy.

VENTRESS

So I hear. It must be difficult for you to tear yourself away from all your toy soldiers.

GRIEVOUS

I do not expect a mere assassin to understand the intricate art of warfare.

VENTRESS

No, I guess not. That's best left to droids like you

A-4D

Oh my...

GRIEVOUS

I am NO DROID!

VENTRESS

Oh, that's right. My mistake, it's so hard to remember sometimes.

GRIEVOUS

The heart that beats inside my metal body is that of a true warrior!

VENTRESS

Interesting, Count Dooku seems to consider me his best warrior, and yet I have no heart at all.

GRIEVOUS

A fact that is not hard to believe, witch.

VENTRESS

You flatter me, General, but allow me to get to the point.

GRIEVOUS

Please do.

VENTRESS

Intelligence has reported a large Republic fleet leaving orbit around Coruscant. It seems the planet Dorin is finally going to receive reinforcements to counter your attack.

GRIEVOUS

A meaningless gesture. The more forces they send here, the better the diversion will work, and there shall be even less forces to raid Geonosis.

VENTRESS

I agree, except the General in charge of the reinforcements is Skywalker, and you can bet his brat went along with him.

GRIEVOUS

That changes nothing!

VENTRESS

Perhaps not, but if you fail to detain Skywalker at Dorin, Geonosis may be in jeopardy.

GRIEVOUS

I will not fail.

VENTRESS

Why General, who suggested you would? I look forward to our next encounter.
The hologram fades off

A-4D

Well that went better than expected.

GRIEVOUS

Recall the troops and prepare the fighters. We must prepare for Skywalker's arrival.
--END--



SOURCE: Web.Archive.Org & StarWars.com

Clone Wars Season 5 Trailer Speculation: Darth Maul & Savage Opress Arc

Sith, Bounty Hunters, Jedi, oh my!

We have already taken a look at two of the three story arcs previewed in the Disney Star Wars Weekends Season Five Trailer.  Now lets dive into the Sith.

We all know that Savage is the less chatty of the the duo, so it is fitting that all three lines we get in the trailer from the pair are spoken by Darth Maul.  In the order that they appear in the trailer, Maul says:
"We are brothers, true Lords of the Sith." 
"I serve no one." 
"Our combined strength will be rewarded when Kenobi, that Sith pretender Dooku, and all our enemies will fall."
We have a number of distinct scenes involving the brothers in the trailer, no doubt they are greatly out of order.


Scene 1: Opress and Maul descending landing ramp on a planet with smoke billowing in the background.  Next we see the pair involved in a battle either inside a ship or inside a building where Maul force chokes and throws a Twi'lek.

Scene 2: Maul speaking line #3 followed by a lightsaber duel of Maul and Obi-Wan on what looks like the Lion King's Pride rock on an unknown planet with smoke (presumably from a ship/speeder crash) in the background.

Scene 3: Dooku at his mansion on Serenno, Opress slashing his lightsaber in the dark, then Maul and Opress dueling some unknown Jedi on the same planet where Maul and Obi-Wan dueled in earlier clip.

Scene 4: Followed by shots of Sugi and Dengar blasters firing and Maul and Opress deflecting blaster bolts.


Scene 5: Next we have a scene of Anakin on the back of a speeder on a snow covered planet protecting two dark haired humans from Embo, who is snowboarding using his hat.  This scene is the one that may not be part of the overall Maul/Opress arc, the reason I include it is that Embo is in both clips and while I wouldn't be against it, I would be a bit surprised if Embo features prominently in two separate story arcs.  The other reason I include it is that it is an odd clip that doesn't seem to be connected to either the Mandalorian arc or the Ahsoka/Lux/Onderon arc.

Scene 6: Obi-Wan wielding two blue lightsabers, followed by a quick cut of Maul toying with a fallen enemy using lightsaber slashes against the floor around what looks like Sugi. Why do I get the feeling that the unnamed Jedi dueling Savage Opress above loses that battle and Obi-Wan ends up with his/her lightsaber? I certainly hope Sugi survives.

Scene 7: We then see Embo engaged in hand to hand combat with Savage Opress until Opress caches him with a force punch to the helmet that sends him across the room.




Scene 8: Opress igniting his double-bladed lightsaber as a trio of aliens are at a table, one of them begins to rise and Opress throws his saber at the central alien.  Maul's face is superimposed between the appearance of Opess igniting the saber and throwing it. Over at the Star Wars Report, I had a post speculating on the direction Darth Maul's story arc would take in Season Five of The Clone Wars.  This speculation was based on the description for a Scholastic book, "Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy" written by Jason Fry.  The description of that book states:

"For the first time ever, Scholastic is publishing Star Wars Clone Wars... based off the hit Cartoon Network TV show, viewed by over 2.4 million every week! 
Our story will follow the highly anticipated return of Darth Maul--the infamous villain of Episode I: The Phantom Menace--whose popularity rivals that of Boba Fett. When Darth Maul reunites with his brother, Savage Opress, can even Obi-Wan Kenobi stop him before he rallies the criminal underworld to his cause?" ~ Edelweiss Link
Based on the fact that we are dealing with the criminal underworld and the fact that the three characters clothing is vaguely similar to Prince Xizor's robes, I have been speculating that these are the new heads of Black Sun that replaced Alexi Garyn whom Darth Maul hunted and executed on Darth Sidious' orders in the Dark Horse Comic Darth Maul #3 and #4. I would also note that the pattern on the wall is vaguely similar to  the Black Sun logo inverted.



It would make sense that if Maul is trying to gain control over the criminal underworld that he would go after the biggest criminal organization, i.e. Black Sun.

What do we make of all this?

Maul and Opress certainly know how to pick their enemies.  Both the Jedi and the "other" Sith, Dooku and Palpatine will be gunning for them in Season Five.  For the Jedi the motive is obvious, they need to stop these two monsters.  For Dooku and Palpatine, the motivation is to remove these destabilizing forces from the chess board. The Chancellor and the leader of the Separatists are playing a very delicate game with the Clone Wars and the fact that their is this now alternate branch on the Banite Sith tree poses a risk to that balance and a threat to the Grand Plan.

I believe that Dooku, who we have seen deal with the bounty hunters directly in Season Four will be hiring the bounty hunters based on Palpatine's orders to hunt down Maul and Opress. At the same time we have Obi-Wan hunting after the pair. My best guess is that both Obi-Wan's Jedi shuttle and the bounty hunters led by Sugi are in pursuit of Maul/Opress' turtle-ship, all three ships are damaged and crash land on a planet or one ship is damaged and believed destroyed and the other two ships arrive in close proximity to each other.

Could this planet be one of Black Suns Outer Rim hideouts?  It would seem to make sense if Opress/Maul where intercepted on their way to decapitate Black Sun's leadership.  Perhaps what we see happen is that in a multi-part battle first the unknown Jedi is killed and Obi-Wan is injured.  Maul and Opress head towards their targets, while the bounty hunters continue pursuit and engage them.  This is it ends up with Sugi vs. Maul and Embo vs. Opress.  Opress incapacitates and possibly kills Embo, while Maul is about to kill Sugi when Obi-Wan shows up with his two lightsabers.  Obi-Wan engages Maul in battle and forces him out of the hideout onto the rock outcropping in an epic duel.  Meanwhile Opress continues to his targets and is successful in eliminating them.  Opress then commandeers a vehicle and hovers over the outcropping as Maul leaps into the vehicle and the escape, leaving Obi-Wan looking up impotently.

I am still not sure how the Anakin-Embo scene fits in or even if it does.  It is also possible that the Obi-Wan vs. Maul and bounty hunters vs. Maul/Opress are from separate episodes or arcs, but I think my theory works overall.

What do you think?





Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hughes the Force: Watch and/or Download Now




In all seriousness I have been looking forward to watching this film since it was announced.  Now you have the chance of watching it yourself via Youtube's seesmod channel or downloading it on HughestheForce.com.

Spread the word and help inspire the next generation of Star Wars fans turned filmmakers.  Also stop by J.C. Reifenberg's (@Reifenberg) Twitter feed and let him know what you think of the film, and "LIKE" Hughes the Force's Facebook page.




VISIT: Seesmod on Youtube and HughestheForce.com



Star Wars Publishing News: Knight Errant Nomination and Riptide Second Printing


Good news around the Star Wars publishing world as two authors have recieved good news.

John Jackson Miller has received a 2012 Scribe Nomination by The International Association of Tie-In Writers.  Miller is in the running against Erin Evans, Christa Faust, Marshiela Rockwell and A.C. Crispin in the category "Speculative Fiction/Best Original Novel."

SPECULATIVE FICTION/BEST ORIGINAL NOVELSTAR WARS: KNIGHT ERRANT by John Jackson Miller
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS – FORGOTTEN REALMS: BRIMSTONE ANGELS by Erin M. Evans
SUPERNATURAL: COYOTE’S KISS by Christa Faust
DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS: THE SHARD AXE by Marshiela Rockwell
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE PRICE OF FREEDOM by A.C. Crispin 
Best of luck to Mr. Miller, though we will always have a soft spot in our hearts for Han Solo Trilogy writer A.C. Crispin.

In other good news, author Paul S. Kemp's third Star Wars novel, Riptide has gone into a second printing.  Once again proving the viability of a well written Expanded Universe novel that doesn't star film characters.


@Paulskemp
Just learned that my latest Star Wars novel, RIPTIDE, has gone back for another print run. Thanks, all. Force Lightning for everyone!



SOURCES: A Writer's Life and Paul S. Kemp's Twitter

Clone Wars Season 5 Trailer Speculation: Mandalorian Death Watch Arc


DEATH WATCH IS BACK!

Pre Vizla, Bo-Katan and the rest of Death Watch is back for TCW Season Five.  

Clone Wars Supervising Director Dave Filoni made some comments regarding the Mandalorian story arc in Season Five on his Facebook page a while back:

Q: Pavel Klimeš
Hi Dave, I would like to ask if we are to see a revolution on Mandalore. The Essential Atlas mentioned AWOL ARC trooper Alpha-02 "Spar" being the one who returns the Mandalorians to their warrior ways. Are we going to see this event AND more importantly Satine's faction fate? Yes or no will do ( :-) ) Thanks for answering.

A: What you saw in Season 4 with the Death Watch was just a small taste of what is to come. I think the Madalorians are involved in one of the best story arcs next season. A great deal is at stake and big things happen. As far as Spar, the clones and the Mandalorians go, you have to understand that in the film saga, and the TV series, clones don’t really identify with Mandalorians. The vast majority of clones never met Jango Fett, and the series has focused more on the clones having their own culture, rather than adopting a culture that they never really came in contact with. Satine will be returning and I promise you she will have bigger problems than tainted Moogan Tea this time.
Based on Dave's comments what can we assume about the Mandalorians and Death Watch in TCW Season Five?

1) The Mandalorians/Death Watch will be getting an entire story arc, not just a stand-alone episode like Season Four's "Friends and Enemies." 

2) There will be a lot of breaking with established Mandalorian continuity and lots of RETCONs to come.  Of course we already knew this.

3) In addition to Death Watch returning, Obi-Wan's ex-girlfriend and Duchess of Mandalore, Satine Karzi will be returning and having a very rough story arc.  

4) The return of both Death Watch and Satine and her New Mandalorians would imply that both are involved in the same story arc, which logically involves Death Watch returning to Mandalorian space. 

To me it is clear that Death Watch is going to be targeting Karzi.  The question is how?  Is it simply another assassination attempt? Is it a kidnapping attempt? Or is it all out Civil War and regime change? 

 Season Five trailer images with further analysis:



In the Teaser trailer we see three Death Watch Kom'rk class fighters.  These fighters could easily accommodate up to four passengers each (according to the Wook) and are vessels we previously saw in TCW in the Season Two Mandalore arc. 


We also have a scene with Pre Vizla giving a speech that is evocative of Hitler's large public speeches in Germany.  In his speech Vizla says:

"We are the Death Watch, Strong! Feared! Descendants of the true warrior faith all Mandalorians once knew...It's time we rise and reclaim our birthright as warriors.


Vizla is speaking to what looks like a very, very large group of Death Watch.  This looks like an army, and not like the small band of Death Watch we have seen previously.

This large group of warriors doesn't seem to fit with what we are seeing with three small fighters above.  Is this a large scale invasion or a smaller surgical strike?  

Lets look at some of the other images:

We have Vizla wielding the Darksaber in what looks to either be a cave or underground location.  

Looks like Vizla using his flamethrower in battle.

Bo-Katan leads helmetless Death Watch into battle on what looks like Mandalore given the windows.
Vizla, Bo-Katan, and another possible Death Watch Lieutenant in the Duchess' Throne room, notice the orange lights in the back ground.  They are also on either side of Duchess' throne. 

Duchess on her thrown surrounded by guards
My theory on this part of the story is that the three ships we see landing on Mandalore are full of Vizla and his small commando team.  The team attempts to access the palace by means of a subterranean or sewer system incursion.  Along the way running into some resistance in the lower levels.  The survivors of the team then storm the throne room.  From here the story could go into a number of directions, but if Satine survives, I think at best she is forced to flee Mandalore quickly.  

In addition to these fairly straight forward images we have a few rather curious ones involving Death Watch.

1) Three Death Watch commandos led by what looks like Bo-Katan shooting off their rockets at an unknown location.

2) Death Watch using their jet packs at a volcanic location.  What you are suppose to think is Mustafar, but I suspect it is actually Tracyn.

3) I have no clue who these aliens are, the head looks like a helmet, each carriers a blaster on their hip and the hands clearly mark them as non-human.
What are we to make of the three images above?

1) The image involving the rocket firing Death Watch could be set on the planet in the Mandalorian system Kalevala, which is primarily composed of toxic deserts.  This is Satine's home world and would make sense that she might flee their with Death Watch in pursuit.  The yellowish-greenish mist suggests a certain toxicity in this image.

2) Is this the planet volcanic planet Tracyn, third in orbit around the Mandalore system's primary star?  Description from the Wookieepedia entry on Tracyn.

Tracyn was a planet in the Outer Rim Territories' Mandalore sector. Located within the Mandalore system, Tracyn occupied the third orbit around the system's star, Mandalore, between the orbits of Akaan and Kalevala. A world of significant volcanic activity, a total of four moons surrounded Tracyn. After the Taung forces of Mandalore the First journeyed from Roon to conquer the uninhabited planet that became Mandalore, the newly renamed Mandalorians spread out to conquer the worlds of the surrounding system, including Tracyn. The planet's name came from the Mando'a word tracyn, meaning "fire."
The appearance of a volcanic planet it the Mandalorian system would certainly make more sense then the inclusion of Mustafar making an appearance in a Mandalorian story arc.  But what would Death Watch be doing on this planet? Is it a base? A source of resources? A recruiting stop?

3) This is probably my wildest speculation and the least likely to be correct.  I have been scouring my brain and the wookieepedia trying to figure out who these aliens are.  I cannot find an obvious existing species that they fit, so either they are a completely new species or a drastically different interpretation of an existing minor species.  

Delving into Mandalorian history, the people that we now know as Mandalorian's where not the original Mandalorians.  The culture began with the alien Taung species.  Now the Taung species has been interpreted a few different ways in the drawings that I have seen.  One commanality is that the Taungs appear relatively similar to the masked version of the Predator species from the Predator and Alien vs. Predator franchises.  If Lucas did see the species in comic form it is possible that he would want to alter the look of the species to make it feel more original.  If you look at the claws/hands in the claws would fit with the aliens that we see in the Season Five trailer.  The head/helmet is the issue.  If the alien in the trailer is wearing a helmet than it could simply be that over the millennium the Taungs developed a different helmet style than the Mandalorians or made an intentional alteration to hide their identity.  The Taungs were largely believed to be extinct at the end of the Mandalorian Wars, but what if a small group survived and settled on the inhospitable planet of Tracyn.  The Death Watch in their effort to recruit go to Tracyn and find the Taungs and convince them to join forces against the pacifist New Mandalorians.  

Conclusion:

I expect that we will see a full scale assault on the Duchess Satine and her government and that in Season Five the Mandalorian Civil War will kick off. I think that the Death Watch will gain the upper hand, but that Satine will flee into exile and that her supporters will still pose a threat as Death Watch fights to establish control over the system.  Hopefully at some point we get to hear Dha Werda Verda being sung on the show.

That is my best speculation at this point for how the Mandalorian story will develop in TCW Season Five, what do you think?


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic Annihilation Cover Art


Drew Karpysyn's next Star Wars book now has cover art, released on SWTOR.com.

The Old Republic: Annihilation is due out November 13, 2012 in Hardcover.

SWTOR also has an interview with Drew discussing the book.  Here is an excerpt:


Q: Drew, can you tell us what Star Wars: The Old Republic fans can look forward to in your new book? 
A: Annihilation gives readers a closer look at several characters that will play important roles in future updates for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Satele Shan, head of the Jedi Order; Jace Malcom, the Supreme Commander of the Republic military and Darth Marr, senior ranking member on the Dark Council are all featured in the novel, along with Jedi Master Gnost-Dural and of course Theron Shan, Satele's secret son.  
Q: The main protagonist of your novel is Theron Shan, who was featured in the comic book series, Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Lost Suns. Can you give us a bit of background on him and his relation to the rest of the Star Wars: The Old Republic universe?  
A: Theron is Satele Shan's son, though she gave him up at birth to be raised by her Mentor, Ngani Zho. He's also a descendant of Revan and Bastila Shan from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic game. However, Theron isn't attuned to the Force and he isn't a Jedi - he's actually one of the top field agents for Republic Strategic Information Services. This gives him a slightly different perspective on the galaxy and life in general.

SOURCE: SWTOR.com

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Is Onderon the location for the Ahsoka/Lux story arc?

UPDATE: A clearer audio version of the Season Five Trailer as well as issue #134 of Star Wars Insider confirm that the planet in this arc will be Onderon! 
Onderon and it's moon Dxun

I cannot take credit for this one as I saw it posted on Facebook by Star Wars Underworld and it was produced by YouTube user dangrievousreturns . But I thought that this theory was to well thought out and explained to ignore.  Plus I am a Clone Wars junkie so any news or rumor is fun.

Dan proposes that the clips in the Season 5 Trailer are of the planet Onderon.



Dan goes on to point out the fact that Lux Bonteri is actually from the planet Onderon.

Onderon first appeared in comics in the old Tales of the Jedi series and is the location of the stories surrounding Freedon Nadd.

Later in the EU Onderon is again a major location for Darth Bane, where Bane rides a Drexl beast from Onderon to it's very close moon Dxun.

Onderon is very famous for it's beast riders and the clips that we have seen certainly look like they could be TCW animated spin on the Drexl concept and the planet of Onderon.

The problem with the theory isn't so much a problem as a story telling choice.  If Mina Bonteri was the Separatist Senator from Onderon, then why would the natives of Onderon be under attack from Separatist forces.  Theoretically Onderon should still be a Separatist aligned world.

There are two possibilities in my view that make logical sense if this planet we see is Onderon.  The first is that the battle we see is Dooku taking belated revenge against Bonteri's betrayal by battering her home planet and subjugating the population.  The other possibility is that there was always a Separatist military presence and that either through internal revolt or diplomacy from the Republic an uprising forms around Lux and the other two characters shown in the trailer.  Ahsoka comes to the aide of Lux and the Onderon resistance.  This second concept would seem to fit best with the fact that Hondo Ohnaka is smuggling weapons into this group.  Either way, after last we saw Lux, the idea that he would return home makes some sense, the idea that he would be involved in a local resistance to the Separatists makes even more sense.
Starwars.com Encyclopedia Entry: Notice the "Homeworld"

The idea of using Onderon has some very interesting possibilities and the idea that they might animate a Onderon-Dxun atmospheric crossing during the story arc has me eager with anticipation.

What do you think of Dan's Theory?

SOURCE: YOUTUBE Dan Grievous Returns

New Course of the Force Co-Host: Ashley Eckstein


The Course of the Force charity lightsaber relay has a new co-host, Her Universe founder and Clone Wars actress Ahsley Eckstein.


Ashley Eckstein to Co-Host Course of the Force Lightsaber Relay


SANTA MONICA, CA (May 23, 2012) –Star Wars™ fans everywhere have yet another reason to be excited about the inaugural Course of the Force lightsaber relay. Ashley Eckstein, voice of the characterAhsoka Tano in the hit television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, will team with Nerdist Industries’ founder Chris Hardwick and the Nerdist Channel’s Alison Haislip to lead legions of Star Wars fans from Santa Monica to San Diego and into San Diego Comic-Con International ®. The Course of the Force is a five-day relay, July 7-11, forStar Wars enthusiasts to celebrate their love of the Saga. The event is held in partnership with Lucasfilm, Ltd., Nerdist Industries and Octagon to raise proceeds for Make-A-Wish®.  


“I am so excited to be a part of such an amazing event,” said Eckstein.  “When Course of the Force was first announced I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of it. I am honored to be working with Chris, Alison and Nerdist Industries, and I ask my fellow Star Wars fans to join me for this worthy cause.”


Eckstein currently stars as the voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. She is also the founder of Her Universe™ which is the first merchandise line exclusively for female sci-fi fans. Her Universe products includeStar Wars and Syfy licensed apparel and accessories. 


“Ashley is a glorious addition to the Course of the Force. She is not just an important character on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, she is also a true follower of the Saga. I am but a mere Padawan in comparison to her Jedi mastery,” states Nerdist Industries founder and Course of the Force host Chris Hardwick.


Giving the event a true fan’s touch, Eckstein, Hardwick and Haislip will follow the action from the Course of the Force lead vehicle each day, broadcasting live to fans across the world onStarWars.com  and the Nerdist YouTube channel (youtube.com/nerdist). They will be joined by special guests from the Saga and pop-culture to put on an epic celebration for both the fans in attendance and watching online. 


In addition, Eckstein and Hardwick will run quarter-mile legs of the relay. They will be joined by celebrity guests, Make-A-Wish kids and over 300 fans who register online atcourseoftheforce.com/registration. One hundred percent of runner proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish chapters of San Diego, Greater Los Angeles, and Orange County and the Inland Empire.


At quarter-mile markers, participants will hand off the official Course of the Force lightsaber to the next runner as they begin their leg of the journey. On July 7, Course of the Force will kick off with an event at the Santa Monica Pier at 10:00 a.m. The relay will start later in the day and end that night at the Redondo Beach Pier. Other planned stops include Huntington Beach Pier, Oceanside and Crystal Pier at Pacific Beach. Instead of running, Monday, July 9 will feature special sponsor promotions, to be announced at a later date. The final day of the inaugural Course of the Force will conclude in San Diego at the Balboa Theatre, with entertainment to cap off the epic journey.


*All times approximate and subject to change. The concluding event at the Balboa Theatre is a ticketed event. All other events mentioned in schedule are free to the public.


RESOURCES

Website – CourseoftheForce.com

Facebook – facebook.com/courseoftheforce                    

Twitter - @CourseOtheForce

Google + - plus.google.com/103291298159790820268

Pinterest – pinterest.com/courseotheforce/

YouTube – youtube.com/nerdist

TWITTER SHARE
@Heruniverse joins @nerdist & @alisonhaislip to co-host @CourseotheForce lightsaber relay July 7-11 before @Comic_Con http://bit.ly/KdBrXT 

ABOUT HER UNIVERSE

Ashley Eckstein launched Her Universe in 2009 to directly address the expanding market of female fans by entering into its first agreement with Lucas Licensing to develop and produce a line of female-centeredStar Wars apparel and accessories. The success of that line was followed up with a collection for the Syfy network. You can learn more about Her Universe by going to its website atwww.heruniverse.com and by following Eckstein on Twitter athttps://twitter.com/HerUniverse and visiting the Her Universe Facebook page athttp://www.facebook.com/HerUniverse.
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