Sunday, December 25, 2005

More on the Clone Wars

You can't say I don't love you all.. Check out this link... Pretty dope and like ours, it's not an official joint. It's interesting. There is a section that contains essays on the actual Clones and the battles they faced.

Andrew Liptak, in his The Downfall of the Jedi and Public Opinion, discusses something that we have gone over between comments on this blog. The public opinion towards Jedi can clearly be seen in the books more so then the comic books. The comic books show certain people's attitude towards the Republic more so then that Jedi.

The Emperor would never have gotten away with the Jedi Purge if the sentiment towards the Jedi was positive. Of course there were quite a few influential people who felt that the Jedi were on the side of good and that Palpatine was taken too much control over the Senate but they did not have the Holonet to control the images. Thus, the media played a major role in their downfall.

There were some Jedi who were forced to neglect their moral ethics to obey the wishes of the Republic government. The Battle of Jabiim and The Battle for Thrusta (where Yoda was forced to bust a cap in an old homie of his) were prime examples of this. Due to what happened on these planets, entire systems gained a new hatred of the Jedi.

My partner in rhyme, Billie Wheelz, always made a dope analogy of the Jedi. he compared them to the purge of the Knights Templar, the warrior monks who made their appearance during the Crusades. The Catholic Church under Pope Clement V and the guidance of King Philip IV of France used public sentiment and false accusations to destroy the Knights Templar. The same thing happens.

Just something to think about

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Haruun Kal Crisis: Questions about the Clone Wars




We discussed the Haruun Kal Crisis before in a previous post. It was a mission that Mace Windu was sent to in the Shatterpoint Novel. It is actually Mace Windu's homeworld. He comes from a race of force sensitive colored folks. It's indigenous people are called Korunnai or uplanders. It translates to "above the clouds." They reside in the jungle thus their force sensitivity. They pretty much live in hostile rainforest and have to rely on the force to survive.

The city dwellers and offworlders are called Balawai or downfolk. There has been a series of conflicts between both groups. As the Balawai try to take up more and more land, uprooting the Korunnai. Right before the onset of the Clone Wars, the fighting has intensified. The Upland Liberation Front (ULF) was formed to fight off the Balawi. The Republic has pretty much ignored the conflict in Haruun Kal until the Separatist eyed it. Depa Billaba, a former padawan of Mace Windu and a member of the council was sent to help the ULF fight against the Separatists and the Balawai. She cuts off contact with Coruscant and is assumed that she has turned to the dark side. Windu is sent to recover her.

It's a good book, but this is no review. There are several things that need to be discussed. First, we learn that Mace Windu feels no solidarity whatsoever with his people. He is an uplander and one of the only few remaining members of the clan Windu. As a matter of fact, the only other surviving member runs the ULF. He refuses to take sides even though his people are suffering. I find this to be a flaw Jedi's are trained for. Several Jedi come from warrior races but feel no solidarity to them. Of course, a jedi is supposed to have no attachments. Yet this is unrealistic and unhuman.

The conflict reminds me of what is going in Africa. Arab muslims and their African agents are swooping and taking the resources, as are their European counterparts. I must mention the Africans who are doing it to their own people. The conflicts are devastating the people. There is a scene in Shatterpoint that reminds me of the stories I hear from people who have survived those conflicts. It's frightening and disheartening.

The Republic is a bureaucracy. They cannot handle every problem that comes their way. It becomes understandable to see several systems join the Separatists since they feel that the Republic has ignored their problems. The conflict on Haruun Kal is reminiscent of several conflicts in developing countries where the outcome does not help the people who need it the most. The republic may not have done much, but the Jedi could have. I don't mean go in there doing aggressive negotiations but trying to peace it all out.

What do you guys think....?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Heads up

Upcoming Noticias (news)

Dark Lord -- The Rise of Darth Vader is out. you can read an excerpt here.

There is an unofficial Clone Wars site that's better than the real one.. check here. Also Karen Traviss will be coming out with Triple Zero... Here is a timeline as well. So we haven't had enough of the Clones.

We will be updating some more. School work and watching the babies has got me bogged down...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett/Clone Troopers)

Before Episode II hit the screen, I was delighted to learn that Temuera Morrison was slated to play Jango Fett. You all know him as the fearless bounty hunter who led the Mandolarian warriors before their disbandment. He is also the father of Boba Fett. I first watched Morrison play Jake Heke (pronounced Ke-ke) in the Aotearoa (New Zealand) classic "Once were Warriors." His acting was superb. I have followed him since. Unfortunately, it was not until Ep III, that Morrison saw any success in the United States as an actor. He played in several b movie bombs such as "Barbed Wire" and "Speed 2."

He hails from the Maori tribe. A strong tribe that survived European oppression in Aotearoa. What's dope is that this tribe considers themselves Black. Morrison's heritage dates back several centuries and there are even legends about some of his ancestors in Maori mythology. He is a cultural advisor and performer. He maintains his tribe's heritage by performing kapa haka (dance and chants that retell ancient Maori myths) . He has been doing this since the age of ten. He is a member of the 40-strong cultural group Ngati Rangiwewehi.

I know there are plenty of fans who dislike the fact that Lucas has voiced over all the old Boba Fett voices with Morrison's. I say to them "always bet on black.."

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Star Wars Manga


I just put down Star wars Manga: A New Hope. I enjoyed the black and white comic book very much. It took some time getting used to the action. The scenes were cut differently and there were many blurs. So it took time to figure out what happened despite the fact that I have seen the movie so many times.

the story does follow the movies closely. The artwork is real dope. Then again for all of you Japanimation fans, this is the one for you. It's ill to see how folks from other countries view the SW universe. Online you can get several book covers from various countries. Of course the images of the movie figures look the same but the way they flip the vehicles and EU characters is much different.
I enjoyed the fact that they put in Biggs Darklighter into the storyline. You learn more about the relationship between Luke and Biggs. They start the story with Luke looking into space using binoculars and he watches Darth Vader's Star Destroyer attacking the Vantive IV. They drew Obi Wan like an old samurai. I thought that touch was real tight.

Overall, it is rather expensive to cop. Although I enjoy it, and i know it will cost loot in the future, I don't think its a MUST HAVE...

enjoy

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Chosen One

On the latest Ep III DVD, there is a second disc with several documentaries. One of them is called the Chosen One. We discussed the topic of Anakin being the Chosen One in this entry. Lucas confirms that Anakin is the Chosen One since he does kill Palpatine in Ep VI. In the process, he helps to destroy Darth Vader and himself at that. Thus the prophecy, which I think was installed by the Sith but that is another debate for another entry, is fufilled.

I think that the Jedi of the Old Republic had to be purged for several reasons. I hate to sound like a Sci Fi Hitler when I say that. There were plenty of Jedi who i felt should not have been killed (such as Mace Windu, Luminara Unduli, Barriss Offee, Plo Koon, and a mob of others). Let me rephrase that: the ways of the Jedi during the Republic should have been rehashed. THey had too many rules. They did many things that were unethical whether they were forced to or not. They took sides and definitely worked for the Republic. So I should be saying that many of their ideals and decisions should have been purged.

I think many of their training methods should have been discarded as well. In a way, I think its a good idea that much of the information from the Jedi Temple was lost so that Luke could pretty much re-think the strategy and methods to train the Jedi (and if Book I of the Joiner King series demonstrates -- it's a dope concept). The idea of taking babies away from parents is borderline kidnapping (I know some of the Force sensitive infants were saved from a life of squalor and hunger). Luke revamps this by allowing the parents to work in the new Jedi Temple so that they can see their child often.

What do you guys think?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Preguntas de Guerra de las Estrellas

Amadeo asked: I was playing Star Wars Battlefront 2 and between the missions one of the troopers speaks about some of the events. After the fall of the republic he talks about the Kaminoins created more clones to resist with and afterwards the Empire started using different templates (people) to clone from. My question is this did they document the shift from clones?

Our response: This is a tough one for real. We tried to touch on it here. Before the second trilogy came to the theatres, Lucas did not want to let anyone in on the Clone Wars situation. In the Dark Empire series, Palpatine clones himself and pours his essence into them. Everytime he is killed he does the same thing. Luke goes and allows himself to fall to dark side. He enters Palpatine's facilities and destroys it all. We do know that was not where he created the clones from the Jango template after the movies came out.

In the Thrawn series, we are introduced to Jorus C'baoth, a Jedi from the Old Republic era. What we learn is that he is a clone since the real C'baoth died in the Outbound Flight Project (the book will be coming out real soon on this one folks). We do not know however, how he was cloned. We also learn that Admiral Thrawn finds a clone facility on the planet Wayland. C'baoth actually guarded it. C'baoth was cloned but somehow went mad because of the flawed cloning process. In the Thrawn series we learn that the Emperor frowned on cloning for two reasons: the accelerated cloning process had too many problems and if the information fell into the "wrong" hands someone else could build an army. The latter is the reason why Palpatine banned droid armies.

Later on, Palpatine slowly recruited and drafted born humans into Storm Trooper ranks on the planet Carrida which Kyp Durron destroyed using the Sun Crusher. But before he did this, he did use clones from other templates after all the Jango Fett clones died from old age or went into retirement (quite a few of them did). Yet these batches also had flaws (see the Star Wars insider #84 for more info on the GAR-- Grand Army of the Republic ).

A main problem was keeping them sane. Many clones went beserk. The Kaminoans were able to narrow this down to affecting only 1% of their clones. The acceleration process and the "downloading" of information into a clone brain caused many of them to go insane.

In Ep II, we learn that the Kaminoans are the best cloners in the galaxy. And now we know that in Battlefront, Palpatine sends the 501st led by Boba Fett to destroy the clone facility on Kamino. I am sure this is where all the clone templates are kept and destroyed.

We hope that answers your questions.

Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Alien Species by Ann Margaret Lewis

My Review (Dan Tres OMi)

editors note: even though the book was published in 2001, right after Episode I and during the Yuuzhan Vong War, we felt it was important that we cover it.

First, I must commend anyone who sits down, consults, researches, writes, consults again, and puts together an essential guide on a universe that continues to grow. Even when it was published, I am sure it was outdated the first day it arrived at the bookstore. So much has gone on since then, that Del Rey is bound to update this one. So, this book will fall in value when the new one is announced. Still for any SW fan, this book is a must.

Did you know that the Bith (we all remember one during the Mos Eisley Cantina scene in Ep IV) have lost the ability to reproduce and do it via artificial insemination? Or that the Falleen (remember Xisor from Shadows of the Empire?) rarely travel outside of their home system? Did you know that Hutts are amongst the longest living species in the galaxy living up to 1,000 years? How about the idea that Toydarians (remember Watto from Eps I & II) fly at birth? All these little tidbits of information are found here.

What makes the book work is that they are tied into histories that transpired before Ep I. So you learn how it all ties together. There are species that are shown in the movies, comic books, RPG (role playing games), video games, and books. So everyone gets a chance to see the connections.

Its amazing how these authors come up with these stories. This is what makes the SW universe wonderful. It is books like this one that bring that out. The book is highly recommended and can help those SW buffs build up their trivia knowledge.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Where did it all begin?

(here is my mom and I. This was taken when i was about 3. Notice my mother using some invisible force lightning to get me to chill)
Good question... right?

It started way back in '77. I attended El Concilio Puertoriqueno Day Care Center in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. A very good program for children of immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Someone decided it would be a good idea to take us to see a movie. Thus, at age four and a half this would be my first movie. I remember standing under the marquis on 42nd Street (way before crack -- big up to Jamel Shabazz).

After the release of the movie, i was caught up in all the hype. I wanted to be a jedi and i wanted the Millenium Falcon. My mom thought i was just following the fad so she got me a few figures on her meager salary. I remember her rocking this very thin jacket she got from Chinatown. She rocked that one for many years.

My mother, as usual, was right. I forgot all about Star Wars until Episode V was released. I was open. Personally, I felt that was the best movie I saw in my life. The good guys losing? when does that happen? I thought Boba Fett was the man. I wanted to know who this Jabba the Hutt guy was. Plus I learned about the Force!

I remember getting the Star Wars twin bed set. I also had that Darth Vader carrying case that my dad got me. He said he found it in the trash. But my prize possession was a metal Star Wars lunchbox and this Lukey Skywalker figure that had a hidden lightsaber built into his arm. I loved those two things. My mother would beat me for just walking around with my lunchbox after school. But I loved that damn thing.

When Episode VI came out, I did not want the story to end. Rumors of a Episode VII coming out kept me up at night. I was never able to afford to be a collector. So I disappeared from the SW Universer altogether. It was not until I was discharged from the Navy and I came across the Admiral Thrawn series. I seen the books in the stores before that but ignored it. Once I read the Thrawn series back in 1997, I was hooked. I started reading anything I could find on the EU. I was open.

Been here ever since...

Labyrinth of Evil by James Luceno

(picture taken from Starwars.com -- from Cartoon Network's Clone Wars)

Review by Dan Tres OMi (your friendly neighborhood Afro Latino Jedi... go figure!)

Labyrinth of Evil by James Luceno was released earlier this year (2005) as a hardcover. It was sold in book stores months before the final installment of SW hit the theatres. Del Rey finally published it in the paperback edition. For those of us who are fans of the SW universe but have to watch our pennies during the Bush II regime (I had to throw that in there, huh?), the paperback came at the right time.

Luceno is no stranger to the EU. He has written a few New Jedi Order books and is slated to pen the upcoming
Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader . Lucas was in his right mind in booking Luceno to author this prequel.

The story starts a few weeks before the events in Ep III and end right before Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker fly into the battle over Coruscant. It flows well and leaves the reader waiting and wanting for the movie. Luceno reveals so many things that were a mystery to SW EU fans. He really sets us up for the movie.

We learn more about General Grievious and his hatred of the Jedi. We also learn about Sifo Dyas and his relationship to Count Dooku. Palpatine's plot continues to unravel as the Jedi start catching up to him. Before they can finally get the drop on him, Palpatine makes his move. This provides us the backdrop to why the Separatists played their big card and tried to invade Coruscant. When Palpatine realizes that his cover is about to be blown, he convinces Dooku to launch an attack (something not explained in the Clone Wars cartoon series).
We also learn that the Separatists were really on the run during the entire war. It is true that many systems rallied to their cause and they did invade several others, the Separatists never really had a chance of winning. Dooku had hoped that the Republic would split with several factions fighting against one another. It did not work that way. This shows how clever Palpatine's plot really was. It truly was a Labyrinth of evil.
The book also demonstrates the growing resentment and suspicion that people have of the Jedi. While Anakin soaks up all of the publicity, the other Jedi are either kept out of the holonet news or someone is railing against them. By the time Palpatine has the Senate in the palm of his hands. Despite this, he plays the innocent executive power who is forced to do some unethical things.
The highlights are the fight between Mace and General Grievious and Kenobi and Skywalker fighting some murderous bounty hunters on a snow covered planet. We see some real martial arts in those scenes. Unfortunately, some of the scenes were done in the Clone wars cartoon and seem to conflict. The book loses some continuity. It leaves the reader wondering who is right and who is wrong. Overall the book gets 3.5 out of 5 stars. It is a must read since it connects a few dots.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Bringing Balance to the Force

Mas Preguntas... (I wish i can say that in Huttese)

Amadeo asked: Bringing Balance to the force. The Jedi believed that Anakin was chosen to do this, however, at the same time they were just finding out that there was a living Sith Lord. They believed them to be extinct. It stands to reason that bring balance to the force during this time would have meant bringing forth the Sith or diminishing the Jedi. In essence, didn't Anakin fulfill the Prophecy?

Our response: The Jedi never believed the Sith to be extinct. After the final Jedi/Sith War about 2,000 BSW, Darth Bane was the only surviving Sith lord. He took one apprentice. Darth Bane understood very early that there was just too many Sith. They could not get along and were always fighting amongst themselves. The Jedi knew that Darth Bane still lived and had an apprentice but could not find him.

For the last 1,000 years before the Clone Wars, it seemed like the Sith just removed themselves from the galaxy. It is not until the near conclusion of the Clone Wars, did the Jedi realize the peril they were in. Unfortunately, the movies did not give the full prophecy. In The Labyrinth of Evil by James Luceno, the prequel book to Episode III, Yoda states on page 64:

"The larger prophecy: that unfold the dark times would. Born into their midst the Chosen One is, to return balance to the Force."

In the book adaptation of EP III, there is even a hint that the prophecy may have been planted by a Sith lord. It definitely begs the question. During Ep III, Mace Windu finally realizes what's going on. He and Yoda realize that the entire Clone Wars was a set up to bleed the Jedi dry and make the public suspicious of them. But it's too late. The damage was done. The things were already set in motion.

Anakin did bring balance to the Force because he purged the Jedi. That's why the new series is called the New Jedi Order. Here they are allowed to marry and have children. They are allowed to study and travel as they please. We will learn that the Jedi of the Old Republic were flawed in several ways. many of you noted the concept of detachment and how terribly imperfect this is. If you read some of the prequel books and comics, you will note how the Temple seperated itself from the rest of the people. They ignored poor folks throughout the galaxy. This leads to our next question....

Michelle Pessoa stated: I’m troubled by the clones in the prequel movies. Simply put, the clones of Jango Fett are slaves. They were purchased from the Kamino government, they were bred to fight and they didn’t get to decide what they want to do with their lives.That’s the definition of slavery.If the Galactic Republic was worth fighting for, free people should have been fighting for it, not people who had been enslaved.Why was this okay with the Jedi? How come they didn’t object to becoming generals leading slave armies? Shouldn’t they have found that repugnant?

Our response: First, when Obi Wan "found" Kamino and stumbled upon an order of clone soldiers, it just does not seem like a coincidence. So we have to go over that. Master Sifo Dyas did order those clones. Sifo Dyas and Dooku were very close friends. Both knew that the dark side was growing and were upset at the fact that the Jedi did nothing but wait around for this Chosen One (this is explained in Luceno's "Labyrinth of Evil" which is now on paperback).

Sifo Dyas went ahead and ordered a clone army in preparation for this. By this time, Dooku was working for Sidious. Sidious asked Dooku to kill Dyas to prove that he was ready to come to the dark side. In doing so, the order of clones remained a secret until just the right time.

Now in Ep II, the Jedi were forced to use the clones. At the end, you can tell by Yoda's reaction that the first battle was actually a loss because the Jedi became something they were not. Mace Windu even states that in the Ep III book adaptation. We do learn that several Jedi left the order because of the stance that the Jedi took. Some felt that they should remain neutral. Many agreed with Dooku that the Jedi were just mercenaries for the corrupt Republic. Quite a few joined the Separatists whose argument was that the Senate was too corrupt. Of course, the Separatists had their own agenda but some systems joined for this reason alone.

Several of the Jedi who left the order survived the first purge. The later issues of Star Wars: Republic and the book series Coruscant Nights will deal with several Jedi who left the Order. Ferus Olin is a good example of a Jedi who disagreed with much of what the Jedi's were doing.

On the slavery question, I wholeheartedly agree. Clones are still sentient beings with feelings. They think, suffer, feel joy and pain. We see several Jedi creating lasting bonds with them (go figure). Some considered them flesh droids because they were programmed to do one thing. I think it's a tragedy that they only live for half the time that normal humans do. Just imagine knowing that you will die within 30 years and all you do is fight. Then again, they were not programmed to even think outside of that.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Battle Meditation

The art of jedi Battle is a Force ability that allows a Force user to change the outcome of an entire battle (as in, war kind of battle, involving thousands or millions of soldiers) through his or her will alone. What it actually does is strengthen will and coordination in friendly forces, while doing the exact opposite with your enemy forces. An army with someone using Battle Meditation boosting it is almost impossible to beat, even when outnumbered. Very few Force users can use this ability for the most part, jedi in the old Republic receive more training in this technique than in the days of the clone wars due to fact that one of the bad things about war is that you lose focus on learning because of the need to just survive.

Generally, strong minded or Force-using opponents are not affected by the negative effects of Battle Meditation, but the positive bonuses to friendly troops make it worth using anyway. (Ex: Oppio Rancisis Battle Meditation would not have worked as well against the Chiss or Mandalorian army as it would against, say, Republic soldiers, because Mandalorians are generally strong-willed, strong-minded people. However, it would still be worth using, as the army facing said Chiss or Mandalorians would become a much more dangerous fighting force.)

During the time of the Clone Wars Jedi Master Oppio Rancisis was the Master Battle Meditation, Master Yareal Poof was also gifted in this art this is one of the reason that they were early targets and skillfully taking out. Palpatine was also gifted in the art of affecting Battles. A little known fact is that he had a force user during the battle of Endor named Grand Admiral Nial Declann that was gifted with this ability but when vader threw the emperor down the shaft Declann lost concentration due to his connection to the Emperor Palpatine and thus the rest is history.

The first mention of this Force power was in Tales of the Jedi, Jedi Master Odan-Urr Jedi Master Thon who taught perhaps the greatest Jedi in this field Nomi Sunrider (what a dope name) also the great Nubian Jedi Dace diath and Oss Wilum was also gifted with this gift. One thing that I must mention is that a jedi can not physically be in battle and use this gift as he or she must be in meditation hence the name, and also while they are in Battle Meditation they are vulnerable to attack.

I have not read of any gifted New Jedi Order in the art of battle meditation but Princess leia has used the technique in the dark empire comics and the jedi in the NJO series used a Battle Meld not to be confuse with this force power as a meld is similar but you are in battle and it affect a group of force users (by letting each other in one another mind) and not the enemy.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Answering Questions (well one actually...)


Primero:

Jedi Consular (Billie Wheelz) and Jedi of the Old Republic (Brother Omi), apologizes for falling behind on our updates. As you can see we are finally catching up.

Segundo:

We want to thank those readers who hung on and stayed on board. Thank you so much. We also have some new readers. Thanks and if you can, spread the word.

here we go...

Our Favorite Nubian Jedi...

KG, asked: Word on the street is that it's an uncertainty if Mace Windu actually died? I was discussing with some cats in class (this blog has got my SW IQ up!) last week and they were buzzing that thier may be a project in the works about this possibility. Have ya'll heard any such rumors too?

Our response: First off, Michelle Pessoa gave a good answer: KG, Obi-Wan and Anakin both survived falls from ridiculous heights and being blasted with Force Lightning in Episode II, so Mace could have survived getting sliced, blasted and thrown out of a window.But I doubt it. *SIGH*There are two Star Wars TV series in the works. One is animated and one is live action. What I've heard is that Quinlan Vos, the white Jedi with dreads, will be featured in one of those series.


Our response: Pessoa is correct. Obi Wan and Anakin survived several falls from ill heights and were blasted with Force lightning. They were saved by the force of course (hey that rhymes). Now with lightning, it works with any form of electricity. It depends on the severity of it (in our respects, amps) and the length of time you are in contact with it. I have met several people who were electrocuted by the third rail in the New York City transit systems. the power there can flow between 50,000 volts to 600,000 volts.

In Mace Windu's case, he was fried before he was let go. Here is the scene from the book adaptation:

"Before he could follow through on his stroke, a sudden arc of blue plasma sheared through his wrist and hsi hand tumbled away with his lightsaber still in it and Palpatine roared back to his feet and lightning speared from the Sith Lord's hands and without his blade to catch it, the power of Palpatine's hate struck him full-on.

He had been so intent on Palpatine's shatterpoint that he'd never thought to look for Anakin's.

Dark Lightning blasted away his universe.

He fell forever." (p. 335)

Pretty much, he was gone before he fell. If he were alive, he would not have been strong enough to use the Force to save himself.

But Pessoa does mention a TV series. That is very correct. Rick Callum, one of the producers for the second trilogy of Star Wars mentioned way back in May 17th, that they would be working on a TV series. Goerge Lucas went on to say that they will be doing a live active series on Boba Fett. YOu can read it here and aqui. Lucas has admitted that he does not have a script and a 2006 release is definitely not in the plans. They are, however, looking for writers.

There are plans for a 3D animation of the Clone wars. So we may see a pre-Ep III Mace Windu there. So stand by ...





Thursday, October 27, 2005

Knowledge of the force

I am always amaze at how people miss the big picture of myth and therefore miss out on some of life's jewels. When we look at the star wars universe you see the jedi order in all it's glory and we learn about humanity quest for power over each other. We are introduced to self absorbing jedi Freedom Nadd, Exar Kunn and the tragedy of Ulic Qel Dromma who killed his own brother, if you have not read the sith wars and Tales of the jedi and Knights of the old Republic, these are must read comics, very talented jedi and in a way more powerful than there latter counterparts ( I will deal with this at a later date.) and we are shown the jedi in the episode 1 era we learn of the Respected Count Doodu and last but not least Anikan.

My point is these jedi we read about are obsessed with control of the force because they are gifted and like life, gifted people often fall short of there gifts and lose focus because of this flaw, we forget to learn about ourselves and the limits of One self and the fact that what may be a weakness for one is not for another and that you should never lose sight of who you are only then will you become a true Master and that was the true test all alone.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

the Clone situation








Let me get this straight: So Emperor Palpatine continued to use clones? I was led to believe, from reading the Admiral Thrawn series, that Emperor Palpatine banned the use of clones and droids on a mass scale because someone might get the grand idea of making an army.

After reading Karen Traviss' Hard Contact (which is a good book by the way), we are told that all of the Clone Troopers will be dead or in a retirement home by the time SW: A New Hope comes into play. This makes sense because the clones were designed to age twice as fast as humans. If one does the math, in Ep II, Obi Wan flies to Kamino and learns that Master Sifo Dyas ordered a clone army ten years before he got there. So the 200,000 some odd clones that were ready to go were 20 years old (10X2). Ep III happens about 3 years after Ep II, making the older batch of clones 26 years old. SW: A New Hope (Ep IV) comes 18 years after the events in Ep III. So the survivors of the older batch of clones would be around 62 years and definitely not able to fight. The younger batches would be out of commission as well.

So i am reading the latest Star Wars Insider. The main piece was on the Clones. Here I learn that the Empire gets its clone templates from other sources. I thought that Carrida was the system that trained the StormTroopers (it was destroyed by the Jedi Kyp Durron and the Sun Crusher). We also know that the Empire had academies throughout the galaxy for pilots and technicians.

I guess I need to write to Lucas and his crew about this mess up. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Force

To answer Amadeo's question...


“The Force: Not Just Science Fiction”
Dan Tres Omi

Most can agree that what attracted a great number of people to the Star Wars (SW) universe was the concept of the Force and its adepts, the Jedi. Even Darth Vader, in his calm and dark demeanor, carried a certain confidence about him. Despite the evil path he took, his movements and reactions were smooth and confident because of his immersion in the Force. As we watched Luke Skywalker come of age in Return of the Jedi, we see his character grow in stature as he faced down Jabba the Hutt and his notorious crew. He did not even flinch when he faced the rancor. As he stood on the plank overlooking the Sarlacc pit and his friends were helplessly frantic, Luke turned around and asked Jabba to reconsider his decision or face doom. Again, his strength in the Force made him as hard as stone. George Lucas did not make this idea of the Force out of thin air. According to the interview he did with Vanity Fair shortly before the release of Revenge of the Sith (ROTS), Lucas was inspired by The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. Campbell published the book in 1948 and it was welcomed with much praise. Campbell through extensive research discusses the similarities found in the myths in hundreds of the world. He demonstrates that all myths pretty much follow the same pattern. After reading this book, the two SW trilogies are understood from the standpoint of modern mythmaking.

“It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening
through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour
into human cultural manifestations. Religions, philosophies, arts,
the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries
in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil
up from the basic, magic ring of myth.”1

It is no lie that Lucas used many concepts from several myths spanning at least half a dozen cultures. The actual idea of the Force is similar the concept used by several Asian based martial arts “chi.” In Taoism, chi is described as the “breath of life.”2 In Taoism, it is understood that natural forces, not the gods, generate the chi that fuels creation and causes all to come to birth.3 In The Phantom Menace (TPM), we learn about the midichlorians. These are microscopic beings or in our case, the natural forces, that generate the energy (chi) that fuels the universe.

Chi is not a concept that is central to just Tao. It is also found in other cultures. The Japanese called it “Qi.” The Yoruba of West Africa call it “Aşe” (pronounced Ah-shay). They consider it the energy that permeates everything much like the Force 4 The Ancient Egyptians called it the “Ba.”5 Even though Campbell does not discuss the concept of the energy force found in several belief systems throughout the world, his book encourages the reader to do the research. Many have stated that the Jedi have reminded them of the Samurai or the Knights Templar. Both groups were warrior monks who studied not just martial culture but the arts and promoted the spread of knowledge. In India, “guru” can be broken down into two parts: “gu” means to dissipate, while “ru” is darkness. One can equate a Jedi to an Indian guru.

This is only scratching the surface. There are several movies that deal with many of these concepts. We are hoping that as followers of the SW universe, one can do further research on this topic. It explains how Lucas completed his vision of a modern mythology. Several critics of SW have made this assessment and this description cannot be disputed. There are several people who are baffled at the reason a person of color is remotely interested in these trilogies. It is much deeper than cool lightsaber scenes and fly ass spaceships.

1Campbell, Joseph, The Hero With A Thousand Faces: 3.
2Simpkins, C. Alexander & Simpkins, Annellen, Simple Taoism: A Guide to Living in Balance: 85.
3Palmer, Martin, The Elements of Taoism: 5.
4Capoeira, Nestor, Roots of the Dance-Fight-Game: 53. Actually the fonts on the United States microsoft office software does not allow one to write the “s” with an accent on the bottom. It has been written as “ashe” in English since the Yoruba do not have a “h” in their written language. It has also been written as “axe” in Brazilian Portuguese. For our purposes, it will be written “aşe.”
5Akbar, Na'im, The Light from Ancient Africa: 10.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Otro Book Review from the the BX Jedi


Star Wars: Dark Nest II, The Unseen Queen
by Troy Denning

Four and a half out of Five Stars.

Troy Denning continues the post NJO/Yuuzhan Vong saga with much more mystery and more characters. In the first installment of the Dark Nest saga , we are reintroduced to several characters from the original Star Wars trilogy and the ones we have grown to love from the NJO series. Even though Denning left Part I of the Dark Nest trilogy in a nice and tight manner, the Killiks and the Chiss continue to make aggressive moves towards one another. The Galactic Alliance is once again caught in the middle and this time, Cal Omas, Galactic Alliance Chief of State is forcing the Jedi's hands.

The Killiks are in a bad situation and they blame the Jedi for "tricking" them. So they proceed to send their colonies near the Chiss borders. This infuriates the Chiss who start to amass their military along the border. In the meantime, the Killiks are shipping out dark ambrosia, an alcoholic type elixir that has many of the insect species throughout the galaxy addicted. To make things worse, the Killiks are giving the galaxies pirates and smugglers safe haven in their new found galaxy. Remember that after the war with the Yuuzhan Vong, the galaxy is in shambles with several criminals taking advantage of the situation.

Luke, Han, Leia, Mara, and a few other Jedi decide to head to the Killik's new homeworld to investigate. Raynar "Unu" Thul, accuses them of tricking them into a disaster. Luke and Han decide to stay as "hostages" as Leia and Mara try to alleviate the situation with the Galactic Alliance (GA). What a bad move.

Several things happen such as Leia getting arrested by the GA military. The Jedi pretty much setting off a war between the Chiss and the GA. Jacen Solo causes much more trouble. The Jedi Council is forced to take a new leader in the absence of Luke, and the Jedi Order splits.

Overall, the book is great. Denning really makes a mess of things and forces to reader to impatiently anticipate the third installment. Cal Omas really shows his ill political side. It's interesting to see how Jacen continues to push the idea of how the Jedi now view the living Force. He also does some pretty interesting things.

The highlights are watching the Jedi fight off the GA and then turn around and aid them in fighting the Killiks. We also really see the extent of Luke's jedi powers. We have not seen this much of Luke at work since the Grand Admiral Thrawn days. He is not only powerful in the raw sense but he can perform several actions at once. Ben Skywalker is now an "apprentice" to Jacen Solo and it gets real interesting. He is finally opening up and using the force and it seems that he will grow up to be the most powerful Jedi ever.

Alema Rar also returns to cause much havoc. Raynar Thul however is reduced to an idiotic joiner who keeps getting duped by the Dark Nest. We are introduced to Nek B'wathu, a Bothan admiral, who immediately takes a dislike to the Jedi. Much of this is probably due to the friction between the Jedi and the former Bothan head of the Galatic Senate who blamed the Yuuzhan Vong invasion on the Jedi. The Bothans seem to look forward to conflict and are always vying for positions of power. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

I was really amped to see Gavin Darklighter return. He is forced to arrest the Jedi and even gets a star destroyer stolen from him. Man, I can't wait to get the next installment.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Another Book Review

Review of
Star Wars: The Last of the Jedi, The Desperate Mission
By Jude Watson


Warning: There are spoilers in this review. If you do not want to know what transpires in this chronicle please do not read any further.

To be honest, it was our resident Jedi Consular who convinced me to read the SW young adult novels. Before that, I refused to read them. Yet I learned the error of my ways after reading the Young Adult novels that happened before Episode I. I was able to learn much about the Jedi temple, the padawans, and the Jedi Council that the other EU novels or DH comics did not cover.

When I learned that there were going to be Young Adult novels that take place right after Ep III, I looked forward to reading them. When I realized that Jude Watson, who authored the post Ep I Young Adult novels that focused on Obi Wan and Anakin Skywalker as a padawan, I knew I would be in for a treat.

The story takes place a few months after the events in Ep III. We are reintroduced to a solemn yet frantic Obi Wan Kenobi who is now known as Ben Kenobi to the inhabitants of Tattoine and the revelers in Mos Eisley. Every day he pretty much stays outside of the Lars home (Owen and Beru, who take Luke Skywalker in at the end of Ep III) watching over Luke from sun up to sun down. Then he returns to his desert hovel in the Jundland Wastelands.

While making his occasional excursions into Mos Eisley to keep tabs on the Empire, he overhears a discussion about a former padawan who quit the order named Ferus Olin (who were introduced in earlier Jude Watson novels) who is wanted by the Empire. After conferring with the astral form of Qui Gon Jinn, Kenobi heads to Bellassa in the Ussa system.

Bellassa is a planet that originally refused to conform to the Empire's new order. So the Empire decided to make Bellassa an example to any who would defy the Emperor. Due to the military takeover, removal of the elected governor, and the replacement with an Imperial officer, a small rebel faction is created spearhead by Olin. Ironically Olin, who is an inspiration to those who are openly supportive of the rebellion and does who aren't, has "forgotten" his Jedi ways. Kenobi ensures that he "remembers."

The book demonstrates Kenobi's strength in the Force and also gives us a glimpse of the SW universe directly after Ep III. The clone troopers are now known as Stormtroopers. The Jedi are hunted and their contributions are pretty much forgotten. What makes this story important is the fact that Olin with the help of Kenobi, helps to plant the seeds of rebellion that would later become the Alliance in SW: A New Hope.

I also like the fact that Obi Wan Kenobi continues to blame himself for Anakin's road to the darkside. It shows that Kenobi has a concious and is very strong. He feels that everything that is happening in the galaxy is a result of the decisions that he has made. People suffer because of hise heartfelt duty to his former master to train Anakin. Even though Qui Gon tries to convince him otherwise, he takes the burden anyway. It's ill to see this conflict and it shows us that he is not the invincible Jedi we come to love. He is a human being. To compound this feeling, we are re-introduced to Olin, a person who left the Order because of Anakin and even warned Kenobi about the path that Anakin would eventually take several years before his fall to the dark side. So Kenobi is faced with this memory again. When Olin asks where Anaking was, Kenobi bends the truth and says he died in the purge.

The only flaw is that the Stormtroopers are relegated to being dumb ass flesh droids. During the Clone Wars, we learn to see them as more than clones. They are seen as professional and efficient soldiers who can not only follow orders but can improvise and think creatively. In this book, we see them as bumbling idiots who stumble all over each other like keystone cops. One would think that after ridding the galaxy of almost all of the Jedi, capturing or killing, heck even hurting, one Jedi Master and a washed up one would be a cinch.

Overall, the book is worth reading. This is the first in a series so there will be more revelations to come.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sci-Fi, Jedi's and White Lies

Here is a piece I recently wrote as Dan Tres Omi. You can pass it on and post it where you like just give me credit. Thanks for the love...


Sci-Fi, Jedi's and White Lies:
My Beef with George Lucas, etc.
by Dan Tres Omi

In the seventh grade, I was introduced to Frank Herbert's Dune. Before that, I never heard of this trilogy even though the movie adaptation was playing in theaters. I was immediately engrossed in the story of Dune and the Fremen or Free men of Arrakis. Here was a group of a hardcore warrior people who endured the hardships of a terrible desert. Like the Kushite Arabs discussed in Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire by Drusilla Dunjee Houston, I imagined the Fremen being the same way. I understood that their eyes were blue because of their heavy consumption of the wonderful and life enhancing melange or spice, but I envisioned them to be a dark-skinned people because of the harshness of their sun. When I watched the movie adaptation, I found pale skinned white folks dominating the entire movie. I reread Dune and noticed that I glossed over how Herbert described his characters. All of the characters that were born and raised on Arrakis were pretty much of European stock. I read the rest of the trilogy and found the same thing. I was in shock. I don't really understand how I missed this when I watched Star Wars: A New Hope. Then again, I was only 4 years old. I forgot that Tattooine, the home world of Anakin and Luke Skywalker, has twin suns. Ironically, in either of the movie trilogies, expanded universe (EU), or Dark Horse comics, there is no mention of a dark skinned people inhabiting Tattooine. Okay, Lucas gave us the Tusken Raiders who wear masks but we know they are not human. We are not told whether they are dark skinned or fair skinned. They do grunt, huff, and make a bunch of noise. They also seem hostile to outsiders. The EU does get into their culture but most fans don't read past the movies. Yet I digress. We have to ask, why don't we see people of color in places like Tattooine?

Lucas gave us Lando Calrissian and later Mace Windu so maybe as fans who happen to be people of color, we should be grateful. Lucas, however, almost performed cinema genocide by introducing us to Jar Jar Binks played by Ahmed Best. Even white folks were offended by this character but to black people, Binks was sheer buffoonery. Binks was a throwback to Stepinfechit or a futuristic Mantam. Afrocentrists/Black Nationalists like Del Jones would say that Lucas is a “cultural terrorist.” Surely, folks like Lucas and Herbert seem to avoid the race issue entirely. Directors such as Steven Spielberg take it step further by making movies such as “Minority Report,” where a chocolate city such as Washington, DC is completely devoid of black folks. In my opinion, that is much more damaging. So a second question we have to raise is why is it that white writers create a future where those of European stock continue to dominate and people of color play second fiddle?

Some will argue that this is changing. Yes, there are a token few directors and writers who are producing forms of entertainment that give characters of color more light. Normally, the writers and directors who are people of color themselves so it would make sense that they would do this. The Wachowski Brothers are an example of “affirmative action” at work. Yet we have learned that they may have stolen that script so they may not be an exception but candidates by default. This idea would lead to an answer for the questions we have already asked.
Some would argue that a writer will write about issues that are near and dear to him or her. It's no lie that most science fiction writers and movie directors are white. So their heroes would look like and act like them. Contrary to popular belief, much of science fiction is based on science. There are a few glitches here and there such as explosions and noise in outer space but most of what we see or read is based on the same universal laws followed by scientists. With this in mind, wouldn't it be scientifically correct to see more people of color than whites? In several European countries, they are seeing a zero growth rate. This means that they are having just enough babies to make up for people who pass away. In the United States, more and more people of color are being born as compared to white people and the waves of immigrants are coming from non-white countries. Soon those of European descent in the U.S. will be the minority. The growth rate in Africa and Asia is not slowing down. I am not hinting that white folks will soon be extinct but I am pointing out that the idea of Europeans still running things in outer space is just not realistic. Sure, the United States and Russia are ahead of everyone in the space race, but countries like China, India, and Nigeria who have just started their space program are not far behind. There are quite of few people who are betting on China to surpass the United States in every corporate sector. Not to mention the fact that engineers who work for NASA and continue to innovate in almost every scientific field are coming from Asian and African countries. With all these trends happening for the last 30 years or so (let's not even talk about the Bandung Conference of 1955) one would think that sci-fi writers would be getting with the program.
Others would argue, with some merit, that this is just another form of white supremacy rearing its ugly head. In Demolition Man, we find Los Angeles dominated by white folks again and the only major black character is a villain. What is this movie implying? Others would say that it is white skin privilege since those who do write sci-fi tend to travel in circles with other white guys. They rarely hang with anyone outside of that group. Let's get even more technical. If a blonde haired, pale skinned and blue eyed boy grew up on a desert planet with twin suns, wouldn't we see some problems develop? I am sure that thousands of years into the future there would be some cures, but wouldn't people complain. We always hear Luke Skywalker and other characters in the Star Wars universe complain about Tattooine being a backwater planet run by the gangsta Hutts as if it is literally the Third World. So Lucas, what gives?

Thankfully, there are writers both white and non-white who are keeping it real. The Sci-Fi channel when it comes to its senses and uses its budget to make some movies, has several shows that put people of color in the front. Writers like Ursula K Le Quin, Octavia Butler and Steven Barnes are being offered more gigs as writers and producers on TV shows. So we will see some change. Yet it is still happening to slowly. Until then, Lucas I got beef with you, son!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Jedi spotlight/Adi Gaillia

Jedi Master Adi Gaillia is a member of the Jedi Council who is mostly used as negotiator which is what she specializes in and gathering information. Adi was born to wealthy Corellian parents, and traveled to Coruscant to begin her training in her infancy, She has an vast knowledge of the workings of both Republic and Jedi affairs, and has developed a vast information network, with most of her contacts concentrated on Coruscant, but we are told in the obsession series she also have connection amongst space pirates and was hanging with them, as you can guest she is Corellian (Han solo is corellian and was often called a pirate) .

It was this sister who set off the phantom menace Episode I, it was her who warned Chancellor Valorum and the Senate of the Trade Federation's blockade of Naboo, and urged him to request aid from the Jedi Council. In addition to her investigation skills, she was a master of form six, but a modified version, a unique lightsaber combat style, which holds the weapon with the blade pointed towards the ground, held at the side and angled slightly to the rear, facilitating long, sweeping strikes.

She was strong in the force and feared for her use with a blade, when the jedi was sent to hunt aurra sing down mace windu gave her props for her skill and her smarts, in the last days leading up to revenge of the sith. she faced general grievous and became one with the force. A lot of star wars fan confuse her with her cousin who was also promoted to the jedi council during episode III but Adi died in obsession series comics by dark horse, it was her cousin who was in revenge of the sith and her name was Stass Allie, I guess even in Sci Fi we all look alike, they were both known for there beauty and piercing blue eyes and dark exotic skin, Oh well, I don't know what they were thinking with the blue eyes...

About the Sista that played her in the movie:

Gin Clarke was first spotted by French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier whilst on a trip in London. Soon her tall athletic figure and beautifully shaped bald head were gracing catwalks all over Europe. Her look was copied by a number of young, black models, especially in the UK where many bald black women modeled for UK shows in the mid-90s.She no longer does but has appeared in the movies , the latest Star War films and music videos. She still rocks the Bald look, man he should have let her rock it for the movie...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Q & A Wednesdays

Sorry, we are behind on the Q&A's. We had technical difficulties and family business to take care of. We promise it won't happen again. Remember, ask anything you want and we will research it for you and try to answer it by Friday (saturday morning the latest).

KG asked..

I heard Chewbaca dies in one of the books, how does that happen?

Our response:
In the words of the Almighty Billie Wheelz " they dropped a moon on him. He got to be a brother!" Which of course is very close to the truth. During the early stages of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, while the New Republic Senate pussyfooted around the issue and actually blamed the antagonism of the Yuuzhan Vong on the Jedi, Han Solo, Chewie, and Anakin Solo headed to the planet of Sernpidal to help out. The Yuuzhan Vong used a "device" that would take a planet's moon and smash it against it. So literally, a moon was dropped on Chewie. Solo went into a state of depression afterward and blamed Anakin Solo for Chewie's death (Anakin was flying the Falcon and did not go back for him). Chewie went out like a trooper saving total strangers and defiant until the end.


Jdid asked:

oh just realized i had another question. drop some science on this whole 'lost twenty' business

Our response:

The Lost Twenty were Jedi who left the Order voluntarily. They did not do it because they went to the Dark Side but because they were dissatisfied with the Republic Senate and the Jedi's subservience to them. Dooku was one of them. The others have yet to be revealed. We do know that they were all highly respected throughout the galaxy. Check "Jedi Rendezvous" to see how Dooku was highly respected throughout the galaxy.




Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Star Wars: The Joiner King by Troy Denning Review

WARNING: there are SPOILERS in this review. If you do not want to know what goes on, PLEASE skip this review...

Four and a half out of Five Stars...

Troy Denning, the author of the Star Wars novels Recovery, Star by Star, and Tattooine Ghost, delves further into the New Jedi Order with Star Wars Dark Nest: The Joiner King. Denning is already familiar with several of the major characters outside of Luke Skywalker, Leia and Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, Wedge Antilles, and several other of SW fan favorites.

The story takes place 35 years ASW, and 5 years after the war against Yuuzhan Vong. Ben Skywalker, Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker's first son, is now 8 standard years old. There is a new Jedi Council consisting of Luke Skywalker, Kenth Hamner, Corran Horn, Kyp Durron, and the Jedi healer Cilghal. Jacen Solo, one of Han and Leia's twins, is a traveling Jedi hermit who is studying with various Force sensitive adepts around the galaxy. The galaxy is in shambles after the war. Several races have been displaced because of the destruction the Yuuzhan Vong have caused with their terraforming.

The story focuses on the survivors of the ill fated Myrkr mission in which several young Jedi headed by the late Anakin Solo plan a suicide mission on a worldship (sort of like a Yuuzhan Vong capital ship) orbiting Myrkr to destroy a labratory that creates the Jedi killing Voxyn. Several Jedi including Anakin are killed in the process. In the beginning of Joiner King, several of the survivors are summoned via the force to the outskirts of Chiss space. Jaina Solo, Alema Rar, Lowbacca, Zekk, Tekli the Chandra Fan, Tezar (one of the few surviving members of his race), Tenel Ka (the current queen of the Hapes Consortium) and later Jacen Solo all head out to the Chiss border withouth consulting the Jedi Council.

There is a race of insect like beings, the Killik, who are infringing on the outskirts of Chiss territory. So the Chiss, who are a military race of beings which the infamous Admiral Thrawn hailed from, are forced to push the Killiks back. The Killik are joined as one by a Jedi thought killed during the Myrkr mission. There are also dark jedi who were thought dead after being rescued by Anakin and the others. This leads to the discovery of a Dark Nest. Luke, Mara, Saba Sebatyne, Han and Leia all head out to the Chiss frontier to investigate. They later return with several members of the Jedi council to avert a war with the Chiss.

The book is well written by a veteran of the SW Expanded Universe (EU). Unfortunately, a reader unfamiliar with the New Jedi Order series, particularly with the Myrkr Mission, would be lost. If one did not read Survivor's Quest by Timothy Zahn would be missing out in certain cultural tidbits about the Chiss. So it is important that they read at least a few books centered around the Myrkr Mission and the last few books of the New Jedi Order.

Denning throws several surprises at us like the re-emergence of Raynar Thul, a jedi knight who was kidnapped by two dark sider Jedi's during the Myrkr mission and many thought was shot down. Ben Skywalker is strong in the force but because of the trauma he felt during the Yuuzhan Vong war, he has cut himself off worrying his parents. Luke Skywalker gives a delegate of the Chiss a tour of the new Jedi temple which has been relocated to Coruscant (which still shows evidence of the Vong terraforming). This gives insight to how the Jedi run things much differently than the Jedi of the BSW era. Jacen Solo's concept of the force continues to develop.

The only reason why the book does not get a full 5 stars is because much of what happens to the galaxy after the war is left out. The Yuuzhan Vong destroyed several worlds, killed billions, and displaced billions more. Denning does discuss the plight of the Ithorians, one of the first race of beings to lose a planet to terraforming but thats about it. He also leaves out characters such as Lando (even though his company, which is raking in millions of credits is mentioned several times) , Wedge Antilles, and Gavin Darklighter. Yet it is only part one of a three part series. The Jedi are also grappling with thier new approach to the Force. People are beginning to notice. I have no beef with the latter part but the Jedi are slipping into the same problem their predesscors did in the Old Republic era. That's wack

Overall the book is a dope read.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Q & A Fridays

Jdid asked:

Is that what Mara Jade 'The Emperor's Hand' was when we first meet her in that series with Admiral Thrawn after episode VI?

Our response:
Jdid was referencing the part about certain Dark Siders not being Sith. She worked for the Dark Side but she was brainwashed by the Emperor to assasinate Luke Skywalker. We also learned that the Emperor had several Dark Siders who worked for him who were not Sith. During the Dark Empire days (Dark Horse comics had a series called Dark Empire (holla at a scholar if you want a copy or two) we learned that Palpatine really mastered the Force. He was able to transfer power to jedi sensitive adepts who were not that strong. Kam Solusar was a dark sider who worked for the Emperor. Luke was able to turn him back to the light side and currently Kam Solusar is active in the New Jedi Order series (we will be giving spoilers away if we went further). We also learned that Vader has his own Dark Siders as well.

Jdid also asked:
Oh and whats Vaapad did I miss the explaination of this?

Our response:
fortunately we did go over that. We also gave a link for it. But for more information read Star Wars: Shatterpoint. You will learn more about Windu and his former padawan Depa Billaba who is the only other master of this form.

Amadeo asked:
Jedi create their lightsabers in a way that reflects themselves...yet they frown on ownership (or rather attachment) to the point that they weren't happy that Anakin made so many modifications to his fighter to improve it. It made it more "his" so why wasn't this a big deal with the lightsaber.

Our Response:
A lightsaber, like a samurai's sword, is a an extension of yourself. As a padawan, you have to use to force to create your own lightsaber. Notice, that no lightsaber is the same. A padawan has to gather their own parts and crystals. Many make them with parts they may find in the trash. Where as Anakin's fighter was donated to the Jedi. When he created modifications to HIS OWN fighter, instead of making suggestions to the company to make modifications to ALL of the fighters, he was creating an attachment.

KG asked:
1 Was Count Dooku Darth Sidous's apprentice while Darth Mahl was alive? If not, when did he get his Sith membership?

Our response:
No, he was not. Darth Maul was taken as an infant by Palpatine and trained in the ways of the Sith. As Jedi Counsular noted, Dooku was never seduced, he chose the path of the Dark Side. All Sidious had to do to Dooku was "reveal" himself (but as we learned in EP III, Dooku was suckered as well, in the book adaptation of EP III and Jedi Rendezvous, you can learn much more about Dooku and his situation). Also this is a timeline issue. From Ep I to Ep II, 10 years pass. From Ep II to Ep III, 3 and a half years pass.

KG asked:
2 Who was the head of the Jedi Council before Yoda?

Our response:
This has yet to be answered but before the Jedi vs. Sith War, there was no council. In the Old Republic era Jedi Masters usually had more than one padawan and had attachments. The Jedi Council is a very recent thing. We know that started right after the Jedi vs. Sith War and began 1,000 BSW . We know that Yoda is over 800 years old and we don't know when he actually became head of the Jedi Council.

KG asked:
3 How do the Jedi use Shatterpoints?

Our Response:
Only Mace Windu had that gift. We learned that many Jedi get "gifts from the Force." For example, Master Yarell Proof, was a master illusionist. He can take your biggest fear and bring it out. Master Corran Horn, a Correillian, could make illusions as well (Ironically, we learned that his lineage had this power but did not have the power of telekinesis). We also learned that your "gift" is also dependent on what planet you were from. We learn that many force adept Correillians did not have telekinesis. Another example of gifts were Master Saesee Tiin who was a telepath and so was Master Plo Koon. Also Quinlan Vos was a telemetric, where he can "read" objects. Only force sensitive people from Vos' planet had this gift.

KG asked:
What novels can I read that tell the story of Darth Vader directly after Anakin crosses over to the dark side and Jedi fall?


Our response:
They have not come out yet. You can however purchase comic books from Dark Horse called Vaders Quest (holla at a scholar if you want a copy or two). But some new books are coming out about Vader after Ep III. you can also check out Jude Watson's books on "The Last of the Jedi." It's not about Vader but it does discuss his actions. Also on Starwars.com Hyperspace, there is a comic strip on some padawans who are chased by Vader. We do know that there will be books called "Coruscant Nights" about the Jedi who survived Order 66. We hope this answers your questions. We will be reviewing some of these books on here.

Jdid asked:
if Dooku is so racist whats he doing working with the trade federation dudes?

Our response From the Ep III book adaptation:
Pg. 51 -- "They wanted a government clear, pure, direct. None of the messy scrabble for the favor for ignorant rabble and subhuman creatures that made up the Republic he so disposed. The government he would serve would be authority personified: human authority. There was no accident that the primary powers of the Confederacy of Independent Systems were Neimodian, Skakoan, Quarren and Aqualish, Muun, and Gossam, Sy Myrthian and Koorivar, and Geonosian. At war's end, the aliens would be crushed, stripped of all they possessed and their systems and their wealth will be given into the hands of the only beings that can be trusted with them, human beings. Dooku will serve an Empire of man. He will serve it as only as he knew as he was born to do. He would smash the Jedi Order, create it anew, not shackled by the corrupt narcisstic, shabby little beings who called themselves politicians, but free to bring true authority and true peace to a new galaxy that badly needed both. An order that would not negotitiate, not mediate. An order that would enforce. The survivors of the Jedi Order would become the Sith Army. The Fist of the Empire."

That sums it up right thur...

Jdid asked: who were these mandalorian army guys.

Our response :
The Mandolarians were a race of warriors from the planet Mandalore who had a strict warrior code. Later on they allowed other races to join their ranks. Their first well known leader was Amandalore. They had several wars against the Jedi often siding with Sith Lords and usurpers to do battle.

BSW , Jasper Mareel was the head of the Mandolarians. He was also Jango Fett's adopted father, remember Jango was an orphan. Mareel was betrayed by someone in his camp. THen Jango Fett assumed the duties of the Amandalore. Many had problems with this because of his age. A team of Jedi lead by Dooku, ironically, defeated many of the last Mandolarians headed by Fett.

Fett was sold into slavery, for the rest you can read Open Seasons, another Dark Horse series. Also read Star Wars Insider (we forgot the number) which gives a timeline of the Mandolarians. Some Dark Horse comics also discuss some of the wars between the Jedi and the Mandolarians. Also read Hard Contact which really gets into the clones and how many mercenaries had respect for Jango Fett.

Jdid asked:
In Episode II, the cloners on Kamino said that Jedi Master Cypadias was the one who commissioned the army. not questioning your comments on Dooku selecting janga as the template but I was wondering what can you tell me about this jedi master cyphadias

Our response:
You know just as much as we know. It is spelled Sifo Dyas. We don't know how he was killed but we know he ordered the clone army during the time around Ep I. As usual, more will be revealed in time to all of us. We did figure out that Dooku may have had a hand in his death, but we have not proof of that.

Again thank you for the questions. It keeps us on our time. May the Force be with you all

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The trappings of a Political idealist

Once a Jedi Master of great repute, dooku's departure sent a shock threw the Jedi order and across the galaxy. He is the most recent of the so-called "Lost Twenty," the only Jedi in the history of the order to voluntarily renounce their commissions.
Citing disillusionment with the Republic and the Council, And the fact that he was a racist against people who were not human. Dooku left Coruscant for his homeworld of Serenno. He was so wealthy he could have simply purchase the republic but he wanted more, he wanted to remove non human control and to have a republic run by man, and create a sith army, it's ill and if you read the books you understand when jedi Ki adi munda says he is a political idealist

His long standing tradition of independence, is indeed unusual for a Jedi. Dooku was a strong proponent of the living Force, He was Qui gon jinn master, so hence Master jinn school of Jedi thought, You can tell a lot about some Jedi Masters by there style and he was a Master of form two/makashi, which is perfect for blade to blade contact and fighting alone, and for going against a jedi this was a perfect style because most jedi had but all but abandon this technique when the blaster became the weapon of choice. He was one selfish mofo, to dooku most people was boring.

The former Jedi Master was responsible for selecting jango fett for cloning, the ironic thing is he led the jedi team that destroyed Jango and the Mandalorian army, only jango survive but many jedi died, which led to jango being sold into slavery. The thing that separate dooku is the fact that he was not seduced by the dark side like some star wars guru say, he chose the dark path in hoping to establish his political ideals. Kind of like my man Brother Omi says when people say I will take the lesser of the two evils, thankz for that jewel cause as you can see Dooku and his master sat down and plan it out that know matter what the jedi do, they will lose as soon as they join either side, separatist or republic, I guess because he was so arrogant he actually believe old Palpy. Palpatine is like a lot of tyrants, they realize what dooku/people wanted and played into it until he could get his prize which was anakin and the republic in time.

The thing to remember is when old faithful himself Obi wan Kenobi killed Darth Maul, palpatine needed a temporary apprentice, Dooku was perfect choice, powerful and frustrated that the council did not agree with him and his agenda plus already train in the jedi arts, (peep dude is 83 years old when he is in revenge of the sith). what some did not know is that He disliked anakin, he wanted Obi Wan to join them but he did come to see why palpatine wanted Skywalker/vader.

The funny thing, I never looked at dooku as being evil, he had issues like a lot of people I know, One he was into himself so much that it blinded him and he look down on people who was not on his level, the sad thing is jedi master yoda and other jedi looked over these flaws and did not correct them because he had charisma and he was very powerful and respected jedi, his peers made excuses for him Mace Windu thought dooku was a friend he could not see that dooku could commit a crime like murder and mace never wanted to bring up the battle of genosis where he saw the shatterpoint around dooku and he did not act upon it, Dooku was one of the finest the order ever produced, so thus began his decent.

suggested readings
Attack of the clones novel
Open season Jango Fett 1-4
dark horse comics Dark Rendevous(the paperback with yoda on the front. Novel)
labyrinth of evil,
novel Revenge of the sith novel

Monday, August 01, 2005

Terms and concepts...


Before we go any further, Billie Wheelz and I felt it was important that we go over some terms. Of course, we will explore many things outside of the six movies. The movies will be our reference points.

SW -- Star Wars
ASW -- After Star Wars: A New Hope, or Episode IV
BSW -- Before Star Wars: A New Hope
SE -- Sith Era, takes place 5,000 BSW
RE -- Republic Era, begins 1,000 years BSW and ends in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
NJO -- New Jedi Order, many argue when this happens but in our case, it begins 30 Years
ASW
Jedi vs. Sith -- a battle between the Jedi and the Sith... it began 1,004 years BSW
and ended with the destruction of the Sith except for Darth Bane and his apprentice. Here is
where Darth Bane began the concept that there should only be one Sith Lord and his/her
apprentice.

For more information, you can check Dark Horse comics for a timeline. You can also check The Force.net, they have a timeline as well.

Force Sensitive -- someone who is sensitive in the Force. this may not mean that they are learned. There have been incidents of people who could feel the force but not 'utilize' it in anyway. Some races are force sensitive due to evolution such as the indigenous people of Haruun Kal or some folks from Kiffex.

Sith -- Dark sider Jedi's that study Sith lore. Not all dark siders are Sith. One of Dooku's henchwomen, Asajj Ventress, was a dark sider but not a sith. Sith magic was kept a secret when Darth Bane came to power.

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Primero: big up to Jdid... that brother asks some really good questions. Thanks for the love. What we decided to do with questions is to handle them on Friday night. So that way, EVERYONE will see the answer and won't ask the same question twice (as a veteran blogger, I realized that heads don't read comments...). Plus, it gives us more ideas. THanks Jdid, for being a true Jedi.

Here was his question:

how many lightsaber forms are there or rather are there more than 7?

at this point just 7... i am sure that in the future, heads will make more and say its always been that way. FOr more information check here on the 7 lightsaber forms. We hope that helps.

KG asked :

My only question is was he really whippin Darth Sidious ass, or was Sidious just bluffing so he could get Anakin to get closer to the dark side. The three Jedi who accompanied Mace should have been working in the Jedi mail room becasue they didn't get a whiff of action before they got chopped up.

Our initial response:

Mace Windu was really giving sidious a beat down, what the movie does not tell you is that vaapad is not just a lightsaber style, it is a state of mind, so when sidious is attacking, mace is absorbing his dark side enegy and throwing it right back at him, this is one of the advantage of vaapad. A person has to have the discipline of the highest level, so far there has been only one to master vaapad and as for the other two, vaapad mastered them.

Our update:

About the other Jedi Masters that accompanied Mace Windu: Kit Fisto (the green one with all the brain tails), Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin (with the two long horns on the side of his head). Kit Fisto is a formidable fighter with the lightsaber. Of course, he should not have been taken out. Master Tiin is a telepath and he could not even read Palpatine. Yet the former Senator turned Emperor was able to kill them with ease.

As Billie Wheelz discussed before, the dark side (which we will discuss later) was clouding everything. Even Yoda could not see the paths the future laid for them. Since Episode I, he made references on how the Sith had clouded everything (actually since the Stark Hyperspace War which took place about 40 years BSW). So that coupled with the element of surprise was how Palpatine was able to defeat at least one Jedi Master with one swipe.

Remember that Palpatine/Sidious is very powerful in the Force. There have only been a handful of Jedi/Sith throughout the entire history of adepts who can actually 'remove' themselves from the Force meaning they can not be detected by Jedi/Sith as 'Force sensitive.' One would also have to be very powerful to do this. THe most recent has been Vergere, an Old Republic Jedi who lived well up until the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. He actually lived and worked a few kilometers from the Jedi Temple. So that says alot.

He watched the Jedi for decades and probably knew what forms each of the Masters he fought knew and practiced. The only one he did not know much of was Vaapad, which we peeped in Star Wars: Shatterpoint. We also know that Sith such as Dooku master Form II which is used to battle other lightsaber wielders. That can explain more.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Jedi spotlight/Luminara Unduli

Jedi Master Luminara Unduli was a trusted advisor to the Jedi Council and the Galactic Republic. A fearless leader within the order without being a Member of the Jedi Council, what made her dope was the fact she turned her body into a living weapon so you can imagine how she was with a lightsaber. They say her skills with a saber was on the level and grace of count Dooku, she preferred form III/Soresu technique for she believe if one mastered this style you could become unbeatable. She was accompanied almost everywhere by her loyal Padawan Barris Offie, and while in battle they move together, synchronizing every attack.

for More info on this jedi master read the paper back novel The approaching Storm and she was featured in Star wars Republic series comics and in clone wars cartoon series. She was from the cold Desert planet of Mirial, note her padawan was from the same planet hence this is why they shared similar tattoos which is native to there planet's customs.

Sadly, she was killed brutally by a AT-RT on the Wookiee world of Kashyyyk, when Order 66 was executed in the movie Revenge of the Sith. What many people do not know is that she was portrayed by a Woman of Color
Mary Oyaya (name means joy in Yoruba) who is from the town of Mombasa Kenya, sista is a model and has two Master Degrees in international relations, She aspired to be a Diplomat like her parents who work for the UN as diplomats, instead she played a jedi known for her diplomatic abilities, she also studied martial art of Chinese sword fightin....

Oh by the way hit up her website www.maryOyaya.com

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Mace Windu

Unfortunately for the average Star Wars (SW) fan, the movies do not have the time to really get into the characters who are important but only play in the significant background. For our blog, it is important that we discuss Mace Windu, who under Master Yoda, is pretty much the head of the Jedi Council. Matthew Stover in "Shatterpoint" does a wonderful job of covering the melinated and feared Jedi Master.

Master Windu hails from Haruun Kal, a jungle planet that pretty much makes up the Al' Har system located in the Mid Rim territories inbetween Malastare and Sullust on the Gevarno Loop. just off the Rimma Trade Route. Due to the harsh jungle environment, Windu's people, the Korunnai (uplanders) are force sensitive. The Korunnai travel in small nomadic bands called ghosh. This has allowed them to adapt to the jungle and form a symbosis with several fierce creatures for protection. Before the Clone Wars, several offworlders began to encroach upon their lands causing several on and off conflicts. The revered Jedi Master also hails from the clan Windu and is one of its last descendants.

Master Windu and his former Padawan, Deepa Billaba, are the only masters in Vaapad, or form 7 of the lightsaber. There are a few who have studied it but only two have mastered it. It is the most dangerous because it leans towards the Dark Side. Oh, i forgot to mention that Master Windu created it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The truth about Endor

The forest moon of Endor, also known as Sanctuary Moon, is a moon which is home to the Ewoks when the second Death Star was constructed in Return of the Jedi. The planet Endor was destroyed and now the Moon Orbits a star, so it could have actually be labeled a planet.

Endor itself is not the moon, but instead the planet which the moon orbits (or orbited). The planet Endor is never visible in the film, a fact which the novelization explains by asserting that it was destroyed some time earlier and that the moon now orbits its star in a planetary orbit of its own. It should be noted that in two scenes in the film, a pinkish planet can be seen in the background, in the vicinity of the forest moon, though the two bodies are never seen at the same time. This, coupled with the fact that a moon without a planet should itself be defined as a planet in its own right, has caused some fans to speculate that this pinkish planet is in fact Endor.
The moon resembles Earth in many ways; however, it seems to have more landmass than oceans. The landmasses are primarily covered with thick forests of massive ancient pine trees, and it has at least one desert region. Endor does not appear to have polar ice caps and may have a temperate climate around the globe.

The Star Wars planet is named after J.R.R. Tolkien's Endor in Middle-earth, probably an allusion to the similarity between Ewoks and habit's.

This should clear up the endor error, peep the way Lucas pay homage to tolkien's story by the name.

The truth is, next to Jar Jar binks, I would have loved to see these creatures killed and there Forrest moon destroyed but star wars lore says after the death star blew up the rebels stop the debris from hitting the surface of the planet/Moon, dam rebels.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Lando Calrissian debacle

Someone asked about the Lando Calrissian deal. Let me say this, as a "unconscious" 10 year old, I was happy to see a brother in a Sci fi movie especially Star Wars. It was messed up that white folks still assume that a brother would be in outer space in the future still wearing a conk and a cape a la Dolemite style. What made it worst is that Lando Calrissian (played by none other than Billie Dee Williams aka the Colt 45 poster boy) sold out his homie Han Solo to Darth Vader AND Jabba the Hutt.

Looking back, I am like WTF was I thinking! But let's probe deeper. Lando Calrissian, like Han Solo, was a well known smuggler with a heart. He built his reputation on his word. He was also a well known and successful gambler. Unlike Han Solo, Calrissian was able to flip his money and invest in lucrative ventures. Thus, he was able to maintain a lavish lifestyle and get out of the smuggling business way before Han Solo joined the rebellion. Heads also forget that Calrissian later became a general in the rebellion and like Han Solo gave up his commission. He also helped destroy the 2nd Death Star at the Battle of Endor. Not to mention that Calrissian was vital to that campaign that was put together by the renowned Mon Calamarian Admiral Ackbar. Many Imperial capital ships were lost and many infamous Imperial commanders were captured or killed (especially when that Super Star Destroyer the Executor -- which was Vader's flag ship -- crashed into the Death Star) at that battle.

What heads also forget, or did not know, is that Calrissian was the original owner of the Millenium Falcon, the old Corellian YT-1300 freighter flown by Han Solo and Chewbacca.
He lost the freighter to Solo in a game of Sabacc.

Throughout the timeline after Star Wars: A New Hope, Calrissian continued to invest in ventures that the Rebellion and later the New Republic continued to SNAFU. But Calrissian continued to support them. Take for example Cloud City in Bespin. Bespin is a gas giant that contains Tibbia gas (did i spell that right?). It's a gas used to power blasters and rifles. Being the hustler he is, he was able to get in on it. What happens? Han Solo brings the rebellion to Cloud City. Vader, through Boba Fett, was able to track Solo, Princess Leia and crew over there. So Calrissian was forced to do what he had to do. Folks don't know that Vader eventually destroyed Cloud City for Calrissians transgression.

Didn't Calrissian help Luke save Solo? Isn't that redemption enough?

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By the way, the entry posted before this one (the second one), was done by the master himself, Billie Wheelz.. I just wanted to make sure he got the props for it. We are still working the kinks on this thing. He is unfamiliar with the blog world. But we got this...

P.S. big up to Jdid for finding an error on here ... what you are reading now is edited.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Your Father wanted you to have this when you were old enough

Jedi Holocron entry July 14 2005 Subject
What better way to start this blog off with this line.
Star wars is American Mythology at its best!
The statement above is what Obi Wan said to Luke in a new hope when Luke was learning more about his father, it is not the truth in the physical sense because Jedi during this era were not allowed to have children they would have been considered attachments. (unless you were from a planet short on males like Master Ki adi mundi who was from cerea which we will discuss at a later date) . That's what makes Obi Wan a great Jedi his definition of truth from a certain point of view, anakin would have not talked to his master about having kids, so the question is why would he tell him this and it is simple, while in hiding Obi Wan started to understand the living force during the jedi purge, Qui Gon Jin Became Obi Wan and Master yoda Teacher, also he may have also taught the Dark Woman. Obi Wan knew he had to give Luke bits and pieces about his father, he was the best pilot and a cunning warrior and good friend and saying that Anakin/Vader killed him was pure genius because not only did Luke develope love for his father and hate vader but when Luke finds out the whole truth which Obi WAn knew would happen, Luke would not give in completely to his hate because of the man his father was, in the end one emotion won and that is love and that was the lesson, so you see by Obi wan picking up that lightsaber and keeping it for Luke who was the new hope, Obi Wan was the Messenger, saved the galaxy. The real jewel here is one need not tell the whole truth about someone, in time you will learn, my nephew father died from gun violence on the streets of Detroit and he always asks me about his father and I have been giving little bits here and there for example I would say he was a good dancer and my nephew became a good dancer as a matter of fact he plays capoeira and I told him his father was the best mechanic I have ever met and it is the truth, he was pimping rides before the show, the dark side to this was he was a drug dealer and he starting being violent. So you see what if I told him the bad attributes about his father first like some people say like your daddy is not nothing you are not going to be shit, I remember my friend Roger mother telling him that and right now he has life in prison. She never had anything good to say about his father. How we tell the truth is important indeed.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Beginning...





I always wanted to do something Star Wars based for those of African descent. My partner in the Force, Billie Wheelz aka Quilan Vos, and I always throw ideas around. It seems like once a week we come to the conclusion that Lucas, despite all of his finite wisdom (i said finite), really neglects his fans of a darker hue.

After posting a few entries on my first blog, I realized that we needed to do something from that angle. On my first blog, whenever i posted an entry on the Star Wars (SW) Universe, I alienated my other readers. I also ran into another blogger who posed as Darth Vader. His posts were very good but I felt we could do much better.

Between Billie Wheelz and myself, we are some hella SW historians. We kick mucho ass when it comes to building on SW. For our readers, we hope that you join in our building sessions. We want to hear your criticisms, questions, and kudos. We doing this for you.

On that note, I hope my partner in the Force goes ahead and posts something right after this. Please pass the word out to your cronies, ya'll. Let's make those connections and may the Force be with you.