Archive for March, 2008

In their pursuit of the Murr Talisman, Celeste Morne, Zayne Carrick and Marn Hierogryph find themselves aboard the Mandalorian freighter Mar’eyce, en route to the Mandalorian-held world of Jebble. When the team of scientists disembark from the Mar’eyce, the troops start to burst into Rakghouls, which rapidly start to infect and feed of the Mandalorian shock troops stationed on Jebble. If anything can seem to get worse, the plague has evolved since it’s epidemic in the underlevels of Taris, allowing the mutated victims to use weaponry.

While fending off hordes of the ferocious beasts, Celeste and Zayne come to the horrible conclusion that Jebble is a staging area for the Mandalorian army,a place that thousands of soildiers are stationed, ready to deploy in the planned invasion of Aldeeran. Unless Zayne and Celeste stop the Rakghouls from infecting the armies, it seems now that the disease will now be spread across the galaxy by plagued Mandalorian Warriors.

I thoroughly enjoyed this issue. It’s interesting to see the war from the Mandalorian perspective, as we see a group of soon-to-be Mandalorian troops undergoing initiation. My only gripe with this arc of Vector so far is that it doesn’t tie up many things the last arc, Knights of Suffering, left open. Where are Jareal and Alec, who were stuck in orbit above Taris, awaiting Zayne’s request to be picked up from the surface? Where is Shel, who they built up in the last issue of Knights of Suffering to be another romantic interest for Zayne?

While at first I griped about Scott Hepburn’s cartoony style, I thoroughly enjoyed his art in this issue. I think his style’s perfect for this part of Vector. His portrayal of Zayne and Gryph are great, and I really enjoy his awesome Mandalorian armour designs. I also really like the cover art for this issue by Dustin Weaver, the artist who recently pencilled issue #22, #23 and #24 of KOTOR.

This issue was great, and if you’ve been following or are planning to follow the twelve-part Vector crossover, this issue is a must.


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Things continue to get worse for the Rebel strike team infiltrating Bannister Station in the second issue of Small Victories. Following the scuttling of the Rebel Oneand the death of Tungo Li, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and a group of rebel commandos are captured attempting to place bombs on Bannister Station’s large fuel containers. After Luke sacrifices himself so Deena Shan can escape a squad of stormtroopers, Shan is tasked with bringing down the station single-handedly. This task is cut short when Shan is captured by the Imperial officer Rishyk.

In my opinion, this issue faltered a little bit in quality. And while I still like the overall premise of Small Victories, this issue seemed to just be a string of very unfortunate events that our writers will have to work to correct in the following issues.

While most of the time I do thoroughly enjoy Colin Wilson’s art, and I absolutely love the first two cover art pieces he’s done for this series, this issue didn’t hit the mark. What was with Admiral Ackbar wearing a skirt?

Overall, this was not very good as a stand-alone issue, but I’m guessing hoping that the next two issues make up for how this issue of Small Victories faltered. As I said before, I like the premise of Small Victories, but I don’t necessarily like how the story’s being portrayed.

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The expanded universe has become a large expanse of novels, comics and games. It’s some times hard to keep track of what comes out and what’s going on in the four time frames being portrayed in our comics and novels. But that, in my opinion, is not reason to wipe everything already established clean off the slate and re-boot the expanded universe.

I write this post mostly because of some comments made by the hosts of the Force-Cast, Jacen Swank and Pete Nadel. They say that the expanded universe has become too big to follow, has too many canon mistakes and was soon to be re-booted much like Marvel does with their comics every few years.  It also seems that some sect of Star Wars fans agree with them; many of the people calling into their live show agreed that a re-boot was in order.

The hosts  go on to ridicule the recently released synopsis of Invincible after admitting that they’ve only read the first two books in the nine-part book series.  What grounds do they have to base their critical remarks off of if they’ve collectiveley only read the first two books in the series? Much has happened in the series since then. In the following week’s episode, Swank and Nadel defend their ground after receiving a barrage of angry emails from people like me who disagree with their grounds, saying that there is an elitism between people who read everything that comes out and the people who don’t.

What do I think? I’ll use the old phrase that people fear what they don’t know. Casual expanded universe fans like the hosts of the Force-Cast fear the EU because they don’t know much about it. Swank and Nadel call for a re-boot of the expanded universe because it would be much easier for them to start over new than to have to go back and read all the material already out there.

If they did re-boot? I’d be outraged. I’ve spent a lot of my time reading and reviewing books and comics. Will it ever happen? No. There’s really no problem with the expanded universe, because Star Wars has an infinite time frame in which authors and artists can create story’s in. Advise for people who want to re-boot the expanded universe: go read some of the books and comics that are already out before you call down hell on it all. You might be pleasantly surprised with what you find if you stop listening to the haters that want to start all we’ve worked on over the years over again.

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Legacy #14 was the beggining of the highly anticipated Claws of the Dragon six-part story arc, in which we were to learn all about Darth Krayt’s secret path. This first issue is more of a set-up than anything else, preparing us for the next five issues in the arc.

After evaiding some tie fighters while entering Corascant airspace, Cade makes his way down to an undercity cantina named Rik’s Cantina. There, he gives the pass codes to the Mynock to a hutt named Jool and tells her to give them to Blue and Sin should he not return from saving Hossk Trey’lis from the Sith Temple.

Cade infilrates the new Sith Temple, which has been built on the foundations of the old Jedi Temple. How many times has that thing been knocked down and rebuilt now? After finding Hossk, Cade is ambushed by both Darth Talon and Darth Nihl, who fight him to a standstil and knock him out before dragging him off to Darth Krayt.

While Jan Duursema’s art is always superb, I don’t think this issue was a particulary good individual issue. It was more of a set-up for the rest of the series.

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The explosive Legacy of the Force series continues in it’s amazing, high-paced eighth book, Revelation by Karen Travis.

Darth Cadeous and Admiral Niathel, in the wake of Cal Omas’ death, have effectively seized control of the entire Galactic Republic by appointing themselves joint chiefs of state. Cadeous, on a mission to smash the Confederacy’s defenses, plans to attack the shipyards on Fondor in an attempt to bring it back into the Galactic Republic.

Jaina, set on ending her Darth Cadeous’ dark reign, travels to the planet Madalore to ask Boba Fett to train her to capture her corrupted brother. Jaina walks in on the Fett clan during a family crisis, as Boba Fett has just found his ex-wife frozen in carbonite. Fett, along with the help of mando swordsman Goran Beviin, begin to train Jaina while Fett’s ex-wife, Sintas, recovers from being frozen in carbonite for thirty years.

 Ben, still reeling from the death of his mother, is on a mission to gather evidence linking Jacen and the death of Mara. With the help of GAG Captain Shevu, Ben recovers stands of Mara’s hair from the inside of Jacen’s personal StealthX. Afterwards, while wired with a recording device, Captain Shevu witnesses Darth Cadeous confessing about the death of Mara.

In a desperate grab for more power, Darth Cadeous cordially invites the Imperial Remnant aid in the conquering of Fondor in exchange for two planets. Former admiral Gilad Pellaen and his group of Moffs agree to the deal. Pellaeon, still wary of Colonel Solo, contacts the elusive Admiral Dalaa, who is in command of an antiqued Imperial emergency fleet. She pledges to join the battle if or when Jacen Solo decides to back-stab Pellaeon.

Early into the battle of Fondor, the president of the planet offers his surrender to Admiral Niathel. After a long debate, Darth Cadeous refuses to acknowledge the Fondorian’s surrender, planning to use the Anakin Solo to make an example out of the confederate planet. The Galactic Alliance fleet is split in half, with some forces joining Niathel’s command and a handful sticking it out with Jacen.  

When Pellaeon refuses to comply with Solo’s orders to continye the attack on the Fondorian fleet, he threatens to pull the Imperial’s fleet out of the battle. Tahiri, aboard the Imperial’s flagship Bloodfin, shoots Pelleaon, hoping to seize controll of the fleet for Cadeous. A mutiny immediately breaks out on the Bloodfin. Tahiri and the moffs barricade themelves inside the inner corridors of the ship.

Dalaa, after receiving the message from the now deceased Pellaeon, contacts Boba Fett on Mandalore and asks him to seize controll of the Imperial Remnant’s flagship, Bloodfin. Fett,  Jaina Solo and thirty Mandalorian commandos board the ship and join the bloody corridor firefight between the the Pellaeon supporters and the troopers under the treacherous Moff’s banner. While the Mandos secure the Bloodfin, Dalaa enters the fight with her fleet of antiqued star destroyers and fights the Anaking Solo to a standstill, causing Cadeous and his small number of supporters to fall back and retreat.

While all forces are still reeling from the three-way battle, Cadeous manages to fly a medical skipper into the Bloodfin in an attempt to save Tahiri. Meanwhile, Tahiri is fleeing from the Mandalorians when Fett’s daughter, Mirta, stabs her in the leg. Tahiri and Cadeous manage to make it back to the docking tube connecting the medical skipper to the star destroyer, in which Cadeous battles two Mandalorian commandos for his life while trying to carry the near-fatally wounded Tahiri up the vertical tube.

In the aftermath, the Galactic Alliance is effectively split into two separate factions, with Jacen retaining control of Corascant and Niathel creating a splinter cell of the former republic on Fondor. Jaina, now back on Mandalore, realizes that she must set aside her feeling for Jacen and kill Cadeous before things get more out of hand. These events will no doubt lead to the ending of the series in Invincible.

I thought this book was great. Karen Travis brings her knowledge and love for all things Mandalorian into this book, portraying Jaina’s training on Beviin’s farm. We get to see a cameo appearance from Venku, Darman’s son from Republic Commando: True Colors. Travis does an excellent job portraying the entire Battle of Fondor, which turns into a dramatic four-way battle in the end of the book.

The only thing that really made me mad in this book was the death of Gilad Pallaeon. For such a distinguished character, it was sad seeing a little brat like Tahiri taking him out with a blaster bolt to the chest. I was genuinly sad when this happened; Pallaeon has been one of my favorite characters since the Zahn’s first trilogy.

Overall, I thought this was an amazingly good book. I’m a little sad how fast this great series is coming to an end, though I can’t wait to see how it concludes in the next chapter.

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I’ve been waiting to do this a long time, but I recently created a survey using Survey Monkey to poll you readers on what you do and don’t like about the site, and what you’d like to see. The survey won’t take more than about thirty seconds to complete, and I’d really appreciate it if everyone visiting would participated. A link can be found in at the top of the right sidebar.

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The Fanboys Dilemma

Star Wars fandom seems to be cursed with projects that never come out when or how they’re supposed to.  In the beggining, the origanal cut of Fanboys was held back several times because of production difficulites. When footage was shown at Star Wars Celebration 4, the reaction from fans was promising: For the first time in history, the general population was going to be laughing with us in a movie about us.

The plot focused on a group of friends who plan to steal a copy of Episode 1, all for friend who has been diagnosed with a type of terminal cancer and won’t live to the release date. They set out on a slapstick road trip to get to Skywalker Ranch, on the way encountering Trekkie fans, William Shatner and Carrie Fisher.

After Fanboys re-entered production after Celebration 4 to add more content to the initial cut, the Weinstien Company took the movie out of Kyle Newman’s hands and assigned it to a new director. This new director cuts out the cancer plot, as well as adding offensive language and sexual inuendo. It began to seem as if the origanal movie we all loved at Celebration 4 was gone and we were now being fed some run of the mill PG-13 comedy that would take it the extra mile and make fun of Star Wars fandom.

Without the cancer plot, there’s no real reason for the group of fans to steal Episode 1 from Skywalker Ranch. Sure, I’d bet that some of us have thought about doing just that, but this movie is going to make create stereotypes that pin Star Wars fans  to be an extremist group of sci-fi geeks that will go to crimanal means to obtain a movie.

Fans went wild; spamming every email address they could find linked to the Weinstien Company, creating MySpace campaignes to bring down the project and much more. Podcasts, forums, fansites and blogs exploded with chatter concerning the film. To say the least, the fans weren’t that happy with the changes made to the origanal concept.

The Weinstien Company for sure isn’t going to get the support from the fan community it was initially going to get. Personally, I’m at the point of not caring. This film was supposed to be out in early 2007. I’m through waiting. Now with these changes, I’m not going to support this film with a dollar of my money.

My best advice about this dilemma is the speak with your money. Let’s not all go and bash this film and then see it on opening day. What kind of message would that be sending to the Weinstien Company? All I can really say at this point is I’m thouroughly dissapointed.

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