Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Star Wars Legacy of the Force: Exile

written by Aaron Allston
Review by Dan Tres Omi

Omi's Note: There are spoilers in this review...If you want to read the book without any surprises given away, do not read any further. You have been forewarned.

Aaron Allston returns for his second shot at the Legacy of the Force series. Allston, a veteran in the Star Wars EU sagas, is considered to be one of the most consistent heavy hitters. Allson's strength is in his ability to mesh both the non Jedi and Jedi characters of the Star Wars EU. Some Star Wars EU writers can do well in discussing matters that deal with the Force, but fall short when non Jedi characters and situations come in to play. While other writers do the opposite. His mixture of the Force philosophy, military maneuvering, and the political jousting is well balanced.

Jacen Solo continues his foray into the Sith while the Correllian insurrection is backed by the ever deceitful Bothans. Once the Bothans enter the picture, a domino effect is created in which other systems such as Commenor join. Soon the Correllian Confederation is joined. Things begin to get nastier for our heroes. Wedge Antilles and his family have to escape Correllia once Wedge decides to resign his commission after the failed coup attempt on Tenel Ka of the Hapes Consortium in which he had no connection with. After one anticipated assassination attempt, he decides to head off planet. He encounters Han and Leia and together they decide to get to the bottom of it all.

The Solos, the Antilles, and Corran Horn and his family put their heads together to try and figure out who is behind this all. They all agree it is another shadowy Sith figure. To them, all roads lead to Lumiya. The Solos reunite with the Skywalker to see if they had any leads and the hunt is on. Meanwhile Lumiya and Jacen send Ben Skywalker on a mission to see if he is worthy of being a Sith apprentice.

Allston gets it all right. He provides enough space battles, Jedi lightsaber duels, and political intrigue without making it all confusing. It was good to see Corran Horn in action. Lando Calrissian plays another important role. Ben Skywalker figures out how to survive on his own and begins a new legacy outside of the shadow of his father.

One thing that stands out is that when one sits back to think, one realizes that the Skywalker line is really more apt to lean towards the Sith than to the Jedi Order. Ben makes many decisions that are Sith like. During the Dark Empire days, Luke worked for the cloned emperor as his Sith apprentice. Jaina Solo had her brush with the dark side during the Yuuzhan Vong war.

What is enjoyable about the Legacy of the Force series is that the good guys seem to be losing on all fronts. The political situation seems to get worse. The Jedi are again spread thin. There is ideological dissension amongst the Jedi ranks. The Sith are causing trouble. The Galactic Alliance can't seem to hold it together. Allston leaves the reader with many questions.

There are two downsides to the book. One is the fact that Alema Rar lives yet again. How crippled can someone get after several losses in lightsaber duels. After the battle in the last issue, one would think that Lady Lumiya was dead. She is almost there. Her Force powers are just too powerful. She can control and influence people from several parsecs away. Even Palpatine did not have this power. I understand her role in all of this, but I find her to be too powerful.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dilemmas and Loyalties Part XI

The LAAT/i entered the docking bay as any other ship would. There was a perimeter set up with several clone troopers lined up. Their DC 17's pointed at the LAAT/i. Some members of the crew were lined up behind them. Commander Duman Len was barely visible. Shuffle headed to the back of the gunship to find Alef Ulo standing over the body of Flinch.

“So what are you going to do?” He asked the Jedi.

“Escape,” he answered, “probably head to Coruscant to find out what happened. Maybe find some members of the Jedi Council to see what is really going on?”

“All of this doesn't make sense,” Shuffle went on. “I see nothing but other troopers armed and ready. No droids at all.”

“All of you can get up,” Alef Ulo called out to the troopers who were sprawled out on the floor.

“I guess this is farewell?” Tic asked.

“I would assume so,” Ulo replied.

“Can I give you this?” Tic raised his hand and offered one DC 15 side arm blaster. “You might be needing this when you get back to Coruscant.

Alef Ulo said nothing. He accepted the side arm. Tic handed him a holster and belt. Ulo quickly took it all.

“My last order to you three is to get off the ship first.”

“What about you, sir?” Tic asked.

“I will be okay.”

“If it means anything,” Shuffle added, “it was an honor to work under your command.”

“It was honor to work with such fine men. The best the Republic has to offer.”

It grew silent as the LAAT/i touched down. The cargo doors swung open. Mynock Squad slowly hopped out with this their weapons in a downward position. Five clone troopers quickly approached them making motions for them to stop and drop their weapons. They complied. Their helmets were removed to ensure that the Jedi was not disguised as one of them.

“Where is the Jedi?” Asked Commander Len.

“In the gunship,” Tic answered stiffly.

“Sargent, you know what to do,” Commander Len stated flatly.

“Sir!” The clone trooper replied.

He rapped on the heads of some of his troopers and provided a few hand signals. The four clone troopers formed a phalanx and quickly headed towards the LAAT/i with their sargent in tow.

“You three are confined to your quarters,” Commander Len continued.

“Since when do we take orders from non-Jedi?” Asked Tic.

“You don't question my orders!”

“Sir, with all due respect,” Shuffle interrupted, “we have not been debriefed on the current situation.”

“You will be updated soon enough. The Jedi are traitors. So we have been asked to take command of all operations until further notice.”

“Sir.” Tic responded. All three Clone Commandos walked to their quarters.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The X Man innerview

How old are you and what grade are you?

Twelve years old and in 7th grade.

How did you get introduced to Star Wars?

I saw the movie a long time ago because my uncle brought the box set of the original trilogy.

What is your first memory of Star Wars?

When I saw the AT ATs getting blown away by the snow speeders. It was cool. The little guy was taking out the big guy using brains and not firepower.

What do you enjoy the most in Star Wars?

I enjoy reading it more because it gives more insight. I like the conflict because it's so much like real life. It's not about good and evil. People act differently.

Who is your favorite characters?

I like Ben Skywalker and Jacen Solo. I like Solo because he is trying to prove that what he does is for the greater good and that he is selfless. I like Ben Skywalker because he is a little kid but he has to grow up. He actually realizes that and thinks about what he is doing.

What do you dislike about Star Wars?

The fact that people try to make it all good or all evil and they won't be open minded. In the movies I disliked how the Emperor did things. He failed to realize he was still Sith and they always do betrayal.

What is your favorite EU book? Why?

It would have to be Star Wars: Rogue Planet. I liked it because it had Vergere and Anakin in it.

What is your favorite Star Wars movie? Why?

Episode III or V. I like III because it shows Anakin's conflicts more. I like V because they had the AT Ats and they went to Hoth.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What to do at home while Celebration IV goes on in the land of Hollywood....

(or things to do while I am with your girl...always wanted to say that...)

If you have not been living under a rock or stuck in Guantanamo Bay with no writ of habeas corpus, you know that the Thirtieth Anniversary of Star Wars will be the center stage at Celebration IV in sunny Los Angeles. I am sure that like myself, many of our readers can't make it for several reasons. So in support of the Force Cast's “No Fan Left Behind” program, we here at Star Wars for Colored Folks would like to give you some ideas and also offer some content. So here we go:

1.First, check out the Force Cast latest mega cast. I say mega cast because it is over four hours long. You will NOT be disappointed. They interview several artists who will be at Celebration IV. Show them some love and tell them Brother Omi sent you.

2.Then check out the Republic Heads at Voice of the Republic (VOR) for their last two podcasts. In the podcast dated May 14th, they interview a member of the 501st Legion (Vader's Fist, bro). In the podcast dated May 15th, they attend the premiere viewing of Heart of An Empire, a movie about the 501st. Enjoy it.

3.Tomorrow, I will post a story about seeing Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope when I was a youngblood.

4.The next day, I will post an interview with my oldest son, X Man, focusing on Star Wars.

5.Don't forget on Monday, memorial Day at 9pm EST , the History Channel will be showing Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed. They interview folks like Newt Gingrich! Do you believe that? He is a Star Wars fan. WTF....

6.Finally check out the trailer for The Force Among Us...

See you manana!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Star Wars Podcasts

I have to big up my sister from the same mother, Claviticus, for coping an Ipod Shuffle for me. Thank you so much. Now I can download all of the Bush administration scandals right into my Ipod.... sorry wrong blog and not my joke. Yet I can download all of my favorite joints. Of course, some of those are Star Wars podcasts. Here we go...

The Force Cast – this one comes from theforce.net. It covers everything from collecting to the books from Del Rey. They have the best interviews. They even upload a segment on music that is inspired by the Star Wars saga. There is not much commentary on particular topics. They usually go at it for an hour but it covers pretty much everything on the website. Hands down they have the best show notes with the links. My favorite are the Star Wars tales from listeners. Sometimes they are funny and at times they bring a tear or two.

Voice of the Republic – I really enjoy this one. They have a good time on this one. They have several discussions that I think everyone else has when they are with their friends. They get into discussions about the problems with continuity, the flaws in the storyline, the EU, etc. It is by far my favorite. What's cool is if they don't finish the discussion, they continue it into the next show so you don't miss anything.

Bonus: This is not really a podcast but it is very thorough (as we said back in the day). Someone took Karen Traviss' short story “Omega Squad: Targets” and made it into an audio drama. I think it is worth it. It is really dope.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

National PKU Awareness Month

This is a joint effort between 501st Garrison Tyranus and the Hampton Roads Rebellion FanForce. You need not be in costume to participate. You could come in and just help out as a volunteer or just walk and show support. If you're 501st, we got a fellow member member - Owen Morgan (TK & TD) - , who has the PKU disease; he plans on making the trip down from Culpepper, VA and be there with us!

What is PKU?

Phenylketonuria. An inherited metabolic defect in protein metabolism. In PKU, the liver is unable to convert phenylalanine to tyrosine, resulting in a buildup of phenylalanine in the blood, which eventually passes into the brain, causing mental retardation and other neurological problems.

Here is how you can help....



When: Saturday, May 19, 2007 from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm
Where: Mount Trashmore Park, Virginia Beach, VA

10:00-10:30am Check in & turn in donations
11:00-12:00pm Walk for Research
12:30-2:00pm Kids Activities, Low Protein Vendors available, Low Protein Snacks and cooking demo by
Malathy Ramanujam
2:15-2:30pm Speaker from Biomarin Pharmaceutical Company
2:30-3:00pm Prizes awarded/raffle

Contact: Mike and Oanh Foust (757)558-1980
email: Ryanspkufoundation@verizon.net