Monday, October 31, 2005

Answering Questions (well one actually...)


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.


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.