Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The New Clone Wars

Like most SW fans, I await the premiere of this exciting new series. Many readers of this blog have asked us several questions about it. I know we have waited far too long to answer some of them but as most of you know, I am looking forward to it. I knew it would be on Cartoon Network (probably the only place where one can find the freedom needed to really put out a quality cartoon – just look at the Justice League Unlimited which pretty much has forced me to even look at the DC line again). Here we go.

a. For those of you that don't know, GL has allowed the production reins to Dave Filoni. Filoni is like many of us, a hardcore fan who enjoys dressing up as Jedi Master Plo Koon. He will be working as the Supervising Director. This is seen as a good move by many since Filoni follows the EU closely. However, I must point out that GL still makes the final decision. GL has stated that they will be introducing new characters and new storylines. So don't expect to learn more about the campaign at Boz Pity or more about Quinlan Vos.

b. GL and Filoni have both stated that you will see the Jedi and other characters that are in the movies. So of course you will see stories with Plo Koon, Adi Gailla, Mace Windu, and Ki Adi Mundi. So that should be good.

c.No one has come out to say this, but the implication is there, but many of the stories will be considered canon and may not contradict anything in the EU. I guess that is the reason why Filoni was chosen.

d.Of course, you all know that I have issues with Anakin having a padawan. There just wasn't enough time. We have to consider so many issues if he had a padawan. I know that several masters were killed leaving their padawans in a state of limbo. Yet the Council did not wily nily hand out padawans to folks just because.

e. the artwork is just too awesome.

f. Filoni explained that there will be a lot of clones. He will introduce some new commanders and see a better relationship developed with some clones and Jedi.

I hope this helps.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Star Wars: Fury

Fury (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, Book 7)
by Aaron Allston

This is the seventh installment in the Legacy of the Force series. Things are all coming to a head as the Jedi under Luke Skywalker finally decide that they have to move aggressively against Jacen. At this point no one, not even Luke, believes that Jacen could be brought back to the light side. Jacen/Darth Caedus has passed the point of no return by torturing Ben Skywalker and killing Mara Jade Skywalker. However, no one suspects that Jacen/Darth Caedus is the one behind the murder of Mara. Everyone continues to think it is Alema Rar.

As the Jedi begin to search for a new place to move their academy, Jacen/Darth Caedus along with Admiral Niathal are looking for that one battle that would turn the tide and win the war. Ironically, Jacen/Darth Caedus is losing allies from within and without the Galactic Alliance as planets continue to claim their independence or join the Confederation under Corellia.

Jacen/Darth Caedus decides to kidnap his daughter Allana from the Hapes Consortium due to the betrayal of Tenel Ka. When he successfully accomplishes this, Tenel Ka approaches Luke Skywalker and comes clean about their child. The Jedi decide to get Allana back and confront Jacen/Darth Caedus.
Meanwhile Admiral Niathal begins to realize that Jacen has always been acting in his own interest. Jacen continues to overstep his boundaries and make decisions without consulting her. Admiral Niathal decides to wait awhile partly because she feels that the war would come to its climax soon.

The Confederation decides to approach Jacen to sue for peace. Jacen and Admiral Niathal quickly understand that it is a trap even though intelligence demonstrates that the Confederation fleet is in dire straits. Both joint Chiefs of Staff, set up a plan in case the trap is sprung. Jacen/Darth Caedus decides to keep Allana near him. The Jedi learn about the peace “summit” and make their plans. When Jacen/Darth Caedus arrives, the Confederation springs their trap and Jacens calls in his fleet from hyperspace. That is when the Corellians use Centerpoint Station to destroy the Galactic Alliance Fleet. At the same time, Leia, Han, and several others are successful in their attempt to rescue Allana.

Despite the defeat, Jacen/Darth Caedus and Admiral Niathal decide to counter attack the Corellians at Centerpoint Station. This idea was put together to let the Confederation believe that the Galactic Alliance is no where near defeat. Of course, the Jedi learn about this attack and make their move as well. They plan on sending a team to destroy the station from within. Meanwhile, the Corellian Confederation is slowly falling apart as factions begin to upset the balance of power.

To be honest, Fury is overwhelming. So many things happens but it makes sense. In this book, everyone even Admiral Niathal loses faith in Jacen/Darth Caedus. Being the seventh book, things will be moving pretty fast to wrap things up. Unfortunately, when everything is said in done the galaxy will probably return to its former position right after the Yuuzhan Vong war. This explains how the Empire takes over before the time of Cade Skywalker.

In this blog, we have covered the idea of how an Imperial government seems to “govern” a vast galaxy in a much more efficient manner. The lights stay on and folks get to eat. The Republic or the Galactic Alliance just never seems to do it right. As the action unfolds, we see the Galactic Alliance (GA) crumbling. Of course, Jacen and Niathal led the GA to it's breaking point even though both of their intentions were supposedly for the good of the galaxy.

Jacen (which is why I switch back and forth between Jacen and Jacen/Darth Caedus) still has not come out of the closet as a Sith. Ironically, none of the Jedi have admitted to this as well. A few suspect but overall, the feeling is that Jacen is nuts instead of a Sith lord. As a reader, we have the benefit of knowing the plot but Jacen is compared to Darth Vader so many times one would think that someone would say “hey, dude is a Sith.” Is this the same pattern from what happened in Ep III?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Star Wars: Honor and Duty Graphic Novel

Honor and Duty (Star Wars)
by John Ostrander, C.P. Smith, Luke Ross, Jasen Rodriguez, and Steve Firchow

This graphic novel covers 3 issues in the Star Wars: Republic line. All three cover the story of Sagoro Autem, a Republic Senate Guard two years before the onset of the Clone Wars and the events shortly after Episode III. It is stories like that of Autem that keep me glued to the Star Wars EU.

Autem is third generation Senate Guard. He is a by the book family man who finds that the Republic is the next best thing since the Holonet. Like Jedi Master Mace Windu, Autem believes that the Republic is the only thing that keeps the galaxy from falling into chaos. Like Windu, Autem does whatever it takes within the guidelines of the Republic to maintain that order. So he makes sure that he gets his man.

Like all ordinary people, Autem does have his problems. His brother, Venco, is a former Senate Guard who was fired due to his corrupt deeds. Venco continues to visit his brother's protest. His son Reymet, who is currently a student at the Senate Guard academy does not share in his father's view of the Republic. If anything, he is carefree and wants to venture outside of Coruscant to learn about the outside world. Autem's married life is strained at best. Yet he continues to punch the clock each day to earn his pay and get the bad guys.

Everything changes when Autem and his partner are asked to investigate the murder of a Senator right before the passage of an important Senate bill. The new Senator is assigned two Jedi, Obi Wan Kenobi and the young Anakin Skywalker. Autem is distrustful of the Jedi but decides to keep them in the loop. Soon Autem discovers that Venco is involved in the plot and his son has unknowingly assisted his brother in his criminal activities.

Autem's fate is set when he kills his brother and learns that he would be put under investigation when the Senate Guard realizes that Venco had paid Autem and his family several visits. Autem decides to leave the Senate Guard when he learns that his family has fled the planet. Fast forward until the events after Episode III where Autem is a celebrated war hero due to the siege of Saleucami. He learns about the Empire and Darth Vader and quickly realizes that again, he has bought into the wrong system. Somehow Vader takes a personal vow to kill Autem himself, yet in the end the hero escapes.

What makes the story so great is that we see what happens to the little people in the wake of the Clone Wars. We see how the Republic and it's corrupt bureaucracy runs over the powerless. It makes one understand why so many planets decided to become independent. Autem and several like him throughout the story struggle with that idea. Unlike the other characters, it takes much for Autem to realize that the Republic has failed him.

Again, I enjoy the story line but I was frustrated that the other stories of Autem and his encounters with other Jedi, his return to the Republic, and other battles are left out. I understand that in several of those stories, Autem was a background character and the other stories would not have centered around him. For those not familiar with the EU, it may seem rather confusing. Overall, it is nice collection of good writing and great artwork.