Thursday, March 30, 2006

Vergere/Jacen's view of the Force...

Amadeo asked... How do you guys hold with the Theory of the force that Vergere espoused to Jacen Solo..

Our Response... Amadeo did bring this up before. We explain that we would hold back since many people did not read the Yuuzhan Vong Series and many did not know the fate of Jacen
Solo yet. We debated on whether we should discuss this now or wait. We felt that folks could just go to to get the background on her.

Vergere was a Jedi who was sent on a mission before the Clone Wars to find the "Living Planet" Zonoma Sekot. Her species is Fosh and when she appears again, folks don't know what she is. THis took place in the book "Rogue Planet." While there she was kidnapped by the Yuuzhan Vong and taken outside of the galaxy . She comes back to the fore almost forty standard years later. She is now a "familiar" of the Vong priestess Elan. THe Yuuzhan Vong studied her but had no idea she was a jedi.

WHen she encounters the Jedi, they have no idea what to make of her. SHe does not exhibit any force powers at all. Her "tears" save the life of Mara Jade Skywalker. Later she encounters Jacen during the Myrkr mission and captures him (this is done in the phenomenal "Star by Star" and is one of the most memorable Star Wars Jedi missions ever). In "Traitor" (which in my opinion is the best Star wars book on the Force, ever), Vergere "tortures" Jacen and takes him on as an apprentice. She escapes the Yuuzhan Vong occupied Coruscant with him.

Vergere's approach to the Force is radically different but makes perfect sense. She claims that there is no dark or light side but the Unifying Force. She claims that a jedi can use Force lightning for good as an example. The Force doesn't cause anyone to be good or bad, that choice is left to the individual. People can be light or dark . the FOrce just is. This is where the similarities between the Force and Chi or Ase can come in. The Chi or Ase (in west africa) just is. It does not make anyone bad or good, that choice is left up to the individual.

Jacen introduces this concept to Luke. He is very skeptical since the Force concept he teaches has been around for thousands of years is all he knows. All of a sudden, this alien being with questionable motives appears. Yet when you look at the history of the Force, there have been several Jedi, most recently Kyp Durron, who have used the Force in questionable ways to beat evil. Some have become dark jedi because they could not control their emotions or became too selfish and wanted to serve self.

I don't want to get into detail into what Vergere taught Jacen but later on this concept serves Jacen very well. Luke eventually accepts this doctrine. He removes the Jedi Code and allows Jedi's to work according to their own conscience. However the Jedi runs into many problems.

I find this concept advantageous for several reasons. One is that the Jedi are not bogged down by some strict Code. That was the problem with the Jedi who lived during the Republic. It forced them to serve a corrupt Republic. This concept of the Unifying Force also allows the Jedi to recognize other ways to use the Force. During the Republic era, if you did not adhere to the JEdi Code one was considered Rogue and was hunted down. The Unifying Force embraces all ways except the Sith. Another reason is that it allowed everyone to develop on their own speed. No one is abandoned and anyone is free to come and go as they please. IN other words, no restrictions. You serve the Force and no one else. Another dope reason its great is that the Jedi are allowed to marry, have children, and have contact with their families instead of allthis detachment stuff.

However, this concept can cause problems if you have thousands and thousands of Jedi. They would have to kept in line. Luke experiences this later on.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Questions and Things

First, I want to apologize. We have been slacking on the Q&A. We also promised that my son would be making entries. Well, he sort of SNAFU'ed that when we got his report card. It was not good. So we had to remove the fictional books and make him refocus. He is back on track. We spoke over the weekend and he will have something ready for April, so stay tuned.

SOme of you asked questions, so we will answer them...

KG asked:
Question, did Vader kill Roan Shryne? When they are on the platform fighting it doesn't say he finishes him off (even though he's beaten into pulp).

Our reply:
It's one of those dramatic action scenes that are built up in a book and then never really finished but is assumed that it happened that way. Shryne, even though he was a minor character in the SW universe, played a big role in keeping Darth Vader in the Dark Side. You can say he was the tipping point. BUt yes, Vader merced him.

KG also asked:
what became of Quin Lon Vos (<-spl?). I read in the comic book of how he survived Order 66, killed some clones, then reunited with newly born child. What becomes of Vos and his child?

Our Reply:
To be honest, i am behind on the Republic comic book series. My co-blogger, Billie Wheelz the Jedi Consular, has kept up with it. I will make sure he does an entry on it. BUT there was a comic book published by Dark Horse way before the Ep III was put down on paper. It was Star Wars Tales: Ghost and it featured a young Han Solo who meets Quinlan Vos. For more info check here...

KG asked us as well:
Did you guys get to read Outbound Flight yet??

Our Reply:
We gettin' there brother, we are...

Don't Forget to scroll down and read the other new entries.
THanks again...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It's Only Right...

I know this is supposed to be a blog about Star Wars but I felt that as a person of African descent, it was important that we paid homage to Octavia Butler. Personally, it is a tremendous loss for me. I really admired her work. It was top notch. But other folks had better things to say about her than I did. I decided to post them here.

But Dream Hampton (remember her?), wrote a nice piece on her in the Village Voice. I particularly love this part:

Like most science fiction, hers was primarily concerned with the master-slave relationship. She hated the idea that her Xenogenesis trilogy, the story of generations of Earth's refugees who "pay the rent" with their reproductive systems, could be read as an allegory of the psychosexual torment of plantation life. The Patternist series, which culminates in the 1980 magnum opus Wild Seed, features one of literature's most terrifying villains, the body-snatching Doro. He tracks Anyanwu, a shape-shifter and healer hundreds of years old, to 18th-century Africa. There he forces her to spawn his progeny. She becomes his great love and the only protection her generations of children have from his merciless appetite for fresh flesh. Anyanwu, most at home in her early-twenties body, is beyond fierce: Imagine a Pam Grier who makes the middle passage both as a slave and a dolphin.

NPR has an interview clip of her from 2004. It's real dope. check it aqui...

Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu stated about Butler: Octavia’s fiction contained a lot of firsts for me: Black people and people of color featured at the forefront of stories set in well imagined strange worlds and situations. Stories where race and gender were thoughtfully factored and woven into the type of fiction that I’ve loved since I could read. The most memorable characters I’ve ever read.

On Amardeep Singh's site, she quotes: What good is any form of literature to Black people? What good is science fiction's thinking about the present, the future, and the past? What good is its tendency to warn or to consider alternative ways of thinking and doing? What good is its examination of the possible effects of science and technology, or social organization and political direction? At its best, science fiction stimulates imagination and creativity. It gets reader and writer off the beaten track, off the narrow, narrow footpath of what "everyone" is saying, doing, thinking--whoever "everyone" happens to be this year. And what good is all this to Black people? ("Positive Obsession" 134-35)

The seattle Times wrote a nice piece on her. they interviewed the right folks and just really showed her genius.

Keep Shinin', sister.

Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader Review by Dan Tres OMi

It's very easy to assume that after the events of Episode III that Anakin Skywalker had no qualms about being Darth Vader. After betraying the only real family you had after the death of your mother, leaving your wife for dead, and killing babies, Anakin fought to suppress the demons that were consuming him. It's also easy to assume that for 18 years after those events in Episode III, that Anakin Skywalker simply forgot those things.

James Luceno does a wonderful job describing the torment within Darth Vader. For those of you familiar with his work on The Unifying Force and The Labrinyth of Evil (a Episode III prequel that is a must read), will understand that Luceno provides a vivid background before giving the reader the meat of the story. He does the same in Dark Lord...

The first 50 or so pages takes us to the outer Rim world of Murkhana, moments before Order No. 66 where we meet Jedi Master Roan Shyrne, a Jedi who lost a padawan and has become disenchanted with the Clone Wars and the Jedi Order. He questions his committment the Republic and approaches his situation from a pessimistic fashion. He is working with Jedi Master Bol Chatak and her padawan Olee Starstone. Once Order No. 66 is given, all three Jedi must make a decision that will change their lives forever.

Darth Vader realizes that he has made some bad decisions. He continues to blame Obi Wan Kenobi and the Jedi Order for his predicament but he realizes that Palpatine has not come through on several of his promises. He realizes that he is just a lap dog that Palpatine sics on his enemies. Palpatine has not taught him any Sith secrets. Vader also realizes that his suit hinders him and that the raw power he once wielded is spent just keeping himself alive.

What makes the book work so well is the confusion that is sown after Order No. 66. No one except Vader and Palpatine seem to know what's going on. Many Jedi (more are introduced throughout the book) assume that Darth Vader was the Sith Lord who manipulated Palpatine and the Senate. No one knows that Vader is Anakin. The Jedi also have no clue that the Jedi Council has been wiped out. They get the transmission to return to the temple and while enroute are told to escape and hide (as shown in Episode III). The confusion created by Palpatine demonstrates the genius of his plan.

Luceno offers the reader more surprises throughout the book as more background information is provided to fill in the holes left by Episode III. We learn that there are clone troopers that refuse to carry out Order No. 66. This brings more realism to the story. Several clone troopers grow to respect the Jedi and refuse to kill them.

To be honest, the only beef with Dark Lord is the fact that Vader realizes he is being used but does not act on it. Instead, he chooses to assume the Darth Vader persona and completely forget about Anakin. Luceno provides several reasons for that but one would think that with all that anger, he would immediately turn on Palpatine (which happens 21 years later in ROTJ Ep VI).
Overall, the book is a must have.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Noticias and a point to make...

If you can, pick up the latest Star Wars Insider. They have a great article on Mandolarian culture AND a nice piece on what audiences will see now that the saga is complete. It's an ill piece that makes you think. What made the original trilogy so dope was the fact that there was so much mystery and Lucas held back much information. It made the prequels exciting for us when we watched it. but what about people who were born after the original trilogy? Or those who saw the prequels first (I know folks like that).

I can't count my son because his mother, his uncle, and I kind of like conditioned him to be a Star Wars fan from our perspective. So like us, the mystery kept him hooked. BUt it's an ill take. What do you think?

Update on TV series :

From, ( interview with Lucasfilm's Steve Sansweet over at )

Steve Sansweet: We're doing it in two phases. The first is Star Wars animation, which is CG 3-dimensional animation, like a Toy Story, that takes place during the period of the Clone Wars that takes place between Episodes 2 and 3. And that we're setting for Fall of 2007. Preproduction is underway, we're doing animation test, people are working on initial scripts. So we're well under way on that. And George is very much taking hand and is very much part of the whole process. I know some people thought maybe he would just hey "hey, go do it," but George is Star Wars and he's always gonna be very closely involved in this.The other project is live action, and the live action is going to take place between Episode 3 and Episode 4. We're looking at a 1 hour show and [Producer] Rick McCallum has said the ideal would be to come up with 100 hours to really get into the story line and characters, and that's the direction we're going in. So that is really targeted more towards the end of the decade."

It's on!!!!


Revisiting Jar Jar Binks....

Unfortunately, white SW fans don't get our beef with Jar Jar Binks. Of course, they agree that his character was plain wack but they don't get the idea that for us, it's a throwback to minstrel shows. the white SW fans didn't peep that his accent was West Indian. Lucas, who considers himself racially sensitive and he does his thing, couldn't understand it either. Of course, he was trying to make a cute hero for the kiddies but the true fans of SW who are mostly parents now would have taken to see their babies ANYWAY.

the other day I ran into this white SW fan and he brought up the Jar Jar Binks situation. I tried to convey to him the racial implications of it but he did not get it. I left forced to being satisfied that we both agreed it was wack and a huge mistake that Lucas made (he is human right).

THe crazy thing is that he is played by Ahmed Best who is now playing lead for a jazz fusion band. I feel like booking his band, then getting the entire audience to just boo him....