Thursday, May 31, 2012

Interview With 'Star Wars Awakening' Author David Gremillion

By: Benjamin Hart

I had the opportunity to talk with David Gremillion, author of "Star Wars Awakening", an alternate take on Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Be sure to download his novel (It's a great read!) and check him out on Facebook.

Q. What inspired you to write Awakening?
A. I feel that a great number of people felt disappointed in The Phantom Menace. Not that the acting was poor or that Jar-Jar was there, but that the story itself left so much to be desired. It really brought up more questions than it answered. Sure, the CGI was mind-boggling, but even Lucas said that "special effects are just a tool" to aid the story. Star Wars fans felt they deserved more quality substance and less flash. Awakening ties the two halves of the saga closer together and answers those questions. It gives the readers a solid story with some great twists while maintaining that Star Wars “canon” feel.

Q. For those who don't know, how is Awakening different from The Phantom Menace?
A. Awakening is different on several key points. First, there is no Jar-Jar Binks at all. There is still a comedic element to it, but the humor is closer to the witty quips of Empire Strikes Back than the slapstick of The Phantom Menace. Second, Phantom Menace had Naboo, an unknown planet, with a questionable blockade. I replaced it with Alderaan, a planet Star Wars fans know and love, and bring in a stronger villain for Senator Amidala to face off against. Also, Anakin is older and a starfighter racer with dreams and ambitions of his own. He is very close friends with Owen Lars, who has dreams and ambitions of his own. Finally, I give Darth Maul the larger role that fans were looking for. The Phantom Menace portrayed him as little more than a mindless killing machine. Awakening gives him depth, motivation, and a voice (literally and figuratively) that was lacking in the movie.

Q. Do you think this re-envisioning is a more probable alternative? Do you think that this is a more acceptable plot since a large number of fans were mostly disappointed in the prequels?
A. The answer is really up to my readers. I like to think of this as a more solid foundation to Anakin and Padme’s beginning. The Phantom Menace disappointed so many and really stretched a few things to the point of disbelief. Awakening doesn’t go out on so far of a limb, but keeps the story grounded in a plausible and believable story. My characters have clear motivations and fiery personalities that you can root for. All in all, it’s a solid beginning that fans can enjoy.

Q. Obviously committing to writing, not one, but three novels is quite the undertaking. Did you have any writing experience before hand?
A. Amazingly enough, I just sat down one day and started writing. My brother and I had often complained about how disappointed we were by the Phantom Menace and my wife got sick of hearing it. “Why don’t you do something better?” she quipped one day and so the journey began. I have done some writing since then, some Star Wars, some original. I currently have a suspense/horror novel in the works that revolves around a haunted children’s hospital. Sounds like fun to me.

Q. In 'The Empire Strikes Back' Obi-Wan insinuates that he was Yoda's Padawan at one time. With the introduction of Qui-Gon in 'The Phantom Menace' we found out that wasn't the case, much to many fans' dismay. Why did you decide to keep Qui-Gon in your novel?
A. To be fair to Lucas, Obi-Wan’s exact words were “…you will learn from Yoda, the Jedi Master who instructed me.” I was right there with my hand raised saying “Ummmm, what?” when I saw Qui-Gon. As we saw in Attack of the Clones, it appeared that Yoda “instructed” quite a few Jedi. In Star Wars: Awakening, I only had a brief mention of Qui-Gon for a couple of reasons. First, to pay homage to one of the better actors in the movie. Second, to show that Obi-Wan was his own man. He had been a padawan, but now Obi-Wan is a true Knight of the Republic and stands is able to make his own way in the galaxy.

Q. Anakin Skywalker is depicted as being much older in your novel than he was in 'The Phantom Menace'. Do you think this set-up is more convincing? Do you think that him being a young adult makes him more susceptible to the temptations of the dark side of the Force?
A. I think it gives him a greater range and flexibility. Luke Skywalker in A New Hope was someone that everyone could sympathize with. We’ve all been at that age and felt trapped, wanting to break out and do our own thing. Putting Anakin older than a nine year old kid allows him to make his own choices, to feel love for Padme, and to really shine as a character. Being older doesn’t necessarily make him more susceptible to the Dark Side, but the lack of training and discipline will hurt him. From the Phantom Menace to Attack of the Clones, Anakin had roughly ten years of Jedi teachings and he still couldn’t be controlled. That seems a little odd to me compared to Awakening’s Anakin that, like Luke, is eager to flex his “muscles” and prove himself. To make him similar to his son will only enhance Luke because the son will not fail as the father did.
Q. You removed Naboo and gave us Alderaan and Cerea, why?

A. Naboo seemed to come out of left field and left us with four metric tons of questions. What did the Trade Federation get out of the blockade? Did Palpatine/Sidious promise them something for doing this? Why do they elect royalty? Why should the audience care about a planet they have little or no connection to and only see for about one-fourth of the movie? We had no connection to Naboo. Alderaan already has special meaning to Star Wars fans (Alderaan shot first!), but we didn’t spend a lot of time there. I wanted to strengthen the ties between the prequels and the original trilogy so Alderaan was the logical choice. After reading Awakening and you see Alderaan destroyed (by Tarkin himself!), the emotional connection is stronger.

Q. The Darth Maul here is different from the one you are familiar with. This one is more… conversational compared to the one in the film and the EU. His fierceness and abilities are more defined if not deadlier. What other comparison could you make out of him here in Awakening and on the film, and which one do you prefer more?
A. The Phantom Menace’s version of Darth Maul was plain, stale, and boring. “I wear black and have a red blade, so we must fight!” What was worse was that they killed him off far too soon and gave us additional villains with no background. We had Vader for IV, V, and VI. Why not Maul for I, II, and III? I wanted DM to be far more than just a killing machine. I wanted him to have purpose, motivation, and some mystery. What is he like? Why is he following Palpatine? It can’t just be as simple as “I’m Sith, you’re Sith, do as I say”, there has to be more to it. Maul was, arguably, the most underused character in the saga and he deserves more.

Q. What can you say about Major Relian Issic? Is there something more in him or is his purpose as clear as daylight?
A. This character is, by far, the most mysterious character I’ve ever written. Major Issic is cunning, ruthless, and has revenge on his mind. He’s also involved in two of the greatest twists in the entire book. As if that wasn’t enough, he and Anakin are linked in several ways that become painfully clear in Episode II. I wish I could go into greater detail about him here, but I don’t want to spoil it for the readers.

Q. Khian is this type of tempered steel, wrought to toughness and strength by the power of hardship and conviction through pain and sufferance. Do you think that his strong personality and character could prove to be a real competition, or even a threat, to Anakin Skywalker who was supposed to be the default/designated love interest of Senator Padme Amidala?
A. That all depends on a few things. Khian clearly had loved a woman before and, somehow, it all went horribly wrong. He puts on a very tough front, but that man is hurting inside. He’s strong, yet vulnerable and even he is unsure if he can love again, but isn’t Padme worth it? Meanwhile, Padme is looking for someone. She’s taking on some incredible responsibilities and no one likes doing a big job by themselves. I mention several times that her greatest fear is being alone. If Khian is always there and Anakin is off meditating…

Q. Can you give us any hints as to what's coming in the next two novels?
A. If we throw out the obvious (Jedi Order falls, Palpatine becomes Emperor, Anakin falls to the Dark Side) then I can offer up a few tidbits. There’s definitely more the Major Issic than meets the eye. My remake of Episode II will see larger roles from Jango Fett, Yoda, and I’m proud to introduce the Jedi Battlemaster Cin Drallig. As in Episode I, the sequels will take us to worlds rarely explored in the Star Wars Universe. The end of Episode II will certainly leave more than a few people breathless with the cliffhanger and I can confidently say that Episode III will not disappoint. In that novel, it’s not a question of “if” events happen, but “how” they happen.

Q. Any plans for the future?
A. I am happy to have my first book signing at the Star Wars Weekend on June 8th at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Anyone can bring a copy of my book, the cover, or their favorite section and I will be glad to sign it for them. In addition, Star Wars Episode II is nearly completion and should be hitting the internet in July or August of this year. In the meantime, I have artists working on teasers for Episode II that should be hitting Facebook in the next few weeks. Stay tuned and May the Force be With You!

Fan Question From Ahsoka Tano:
Would you, David, ever be interested in sending books via mail to HUGE fans who cannot make the Star Wars Celebration?
A. An excellent question and one I've been hearing more and more! Unfortunately, CVI is too late in the summer for me to attend. However, after my book signing at the Star Wars Weekend on June 8th, I will consider sending signed copies of my cover out to fans and readers that request them. I cannot send out whole books as that would kill my poor printer. Thanks for reading and get ready! Star Wars Episode II will be coming out this summer!


Opinion: Death of Anakin Skywalker = Birth of Darth Vader?

By Dave Bouressa

“Your father… was seduced by the dark side of The Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true…from a certain point of view”. --Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi

For years, this quote from Obi-Wan Kenobi has rung within fandom, and caused many debates on when and/or if Anakin Skywalker truly and fully became Darth Vader. For those listening to “The Force-Cast”, this is a topic that has come up several times within the show, and many people have come forward with their ideas on when/if the young boy from Tatooine became the Dark Lord of the Sith. What many people are failing to do is separate Anakin and Vader as two separate personas, and not think of it as an A-> B scenario (ex. caterpillar -> butterfly). The way I see it, Anakin and Vader are two parts of the same person-much like multiple personalities. These two personalities both co-exist, and many people feel that you cannot have one without the other, and Anakin dies when Vader is born. Let us take a look at several crucial moments from Revenge of the Sith, and see where things change for Anakin Skywalker.

In my opinion, Vader is born the moment he accepts Palpatine as his new master. Yes, you could argue that Anakin’s attack on the Tusken Raiders was Vader’s birth, but I view it as more of a “conception”. However, just because Vader has been born, does not mean that Anakin is dead. Anakin is still in control and at this point, Vader is nothing more than a name and an idea-the idea that the Jedi are evil and that he must do whatever needs to be done to bring peace to the Republic.
What many people fail to do (and in some cases, refuse to believe) is that during Order 66 he is still Anakin. Granted, Vader has gained strength. However, Anakin’s march on the Jedi Temple becomes an even sadder moment in the saga when you realize that he’s only doing this because he feels that the Jedi have betrayed the Republic and what he is doing is the right thing to do. He is hurt and is trying to save one of the few things he has left (that being his loyalty to the Chancellor, and in turn, the Republic).

After his return from the Jedi Temple, he talks with Padme about how he is safe and how the Chancellor has sent him on a mission to take out the Separatist leaders. At this point, Anakin is still dominant in this person. Yes, his tone when he says “The Separatists have gathered in the Mustafar System. I’m going there to end this war” is a bit harsh, but what many people fail to realize is that there is a difference between “Vader” and “Angry Anakin”. In fact, many people seem to be under the impression that Jedi can never be angry-the point of even saying Obi-wan “tapped into the dark side” during his duel with Maul after the Qui-gon’s death, and that is a bunch of horse-pucky. At this point, Anakin is still Anakin and assures Padme that he will “not betray the Republic” and his “loyalties lie with the Chancellor, and with the Senate”.

However, once Anakin arrives on Mustafar, Vader begins to take control. His attacking of the Separatist leaders-which begins as a righteous act to end the war and suffering, quickly becomes a slaughterhouse with no survivors, bringing out the iconic yellow “sith eyes”. However, after the massacre, we see Anakin outside contemplating everything that is happening. Although we do not seeing flat out crying, we do see a close-up on his face with a tear trail. I believe this tear not only shows his remorse, but a sense that he is losing himself-and his fully aware of it. The imagery of the Sun still shining but being smothered by smoke and clouds is a perfect symbol of his internal struggle of Vader slowly taking over.

The next time we see Anakin is when Padme lands on Mustafar. This is Vader’s strongest moment. From the moment they talk, Anakin begins talking about his power and over-throwing the Emperor, to which Padme replies; “I don’t know you anymore”. At this point, Vader is 99% in charge. It is not until Obi-Wan shows up that cements Vader’s place as the dominant persona. Vader is now under the impression that two of the only 3 people left he can trust-his best friend and his wife- have betrayed him, and he cannot trust either of them. He proceeds to force-choke Padme (Vader’s signature move) and attempts to kill Obi-Wan, but not before preaching about how the Jedi turned against him and how he has brought peace to “his new Empire”.

At the end of the duel, Obi-Wan leaves Vader for dead, crippled and helpless on the side of a river of lava, resulting in Vader shouting “I HATE YOU!”, permanently ending his relationship and all sense of brotherhood to his former master. At this point, Vader is 100% in control, but Anakin still exists. As long as he has Padme, everything he is fighting to achieve is still valid and purposeful in his mind.
However, after he not only learns of Padme’s death, but is told that it is at his hands, Vader lets out a loud and saddened “NOOOOOO”. This “NO” has a lot more meaning on the surface. Not only is this “NO” a cry of pain over the lose of Padme, but it is Anakin crying out in pain that Vader has now gained 100% of him and he is lost forever, and is Anakin’s last word-both metaphorically and literally.

For the next 20 or so years during the reign of the Empire, the galaxy knows no more of Anakin Skywalker, but only Darth Vader-Dark Lord of the Sith and second to the Emperor. However, when Vader learns of the existence of his son (and in turn, him not being directly responsible for Padme’s death), people begin to argue Vader’s motives. Could this be the moment where deep within the mechanical body of Vader, a tiny spark of Anakin emerges or does he simply with to overthrow the Emperor and sees this as an opportunity to use Luke?

It is not until Luke and Vader have a one on one talk on the forest moon of Endor where Anakin comes out. In fact, during the majority of the conversation, I fully believe that Luke is having a conversation with Anakin. Even though Vader says “That name no longer has any meaning for me”, I believe that is Vader’s dying moment, and the majority of that statement is said by an Anakin in denial. After this, I believe that once Vader says “It is too late for me…”, Anakin is back-not in control at all, but the spark that was lit is now a consistent flame deep within. During the Emperor’s torturing of Luke, Vader is torn between his loyalty to the Emperor (the one thing he’s had for most of his life) and his son (the only connection to the world he once knew and everything he loved-including Padme). After a powerful inner struggle, he chooses his son and throws the Emperor into a reactor core, destroying him. At this moment, Anakin has returned and is in control. Now, I can’t talk about this point without bringing up the new “NO” included in the blu-ray edition of Return of the Jedi. Originally, Vader looked back and forth between the Emperor and his son, making the decision of his son silently and powerfully. However, in the new version, he yells “NO” as he picks up the Emperor and throws him-to many people’s dismay (including my own). Although this new addition ruins the initial emotional impact of this climax, it adds more of a connecting point. This “NO” is not only the return of Anakin Skywalker, but in Revenge of the Sith, “NO” was Anakin’s last and “dying” word, and now he says the same thing as he is “revived”. Now, throughout the saga, we are told the tragedy of Anakin, but from the Jedi point of view. Obi-wan tells Luke that a young Jedi named Darth Vader betrayed and murdered Anakin, and then we go back to that quote from Obi-Wan at the beginning of this article, and Yoda saying in Revenge of the Sith: “The boy you trained, gone he is. Consumed by Darth Vader”, which seems to point that the Jedi think in absolutes-making Obi-wan’s later statement of “Only a Sith deals in absolutes” a contradiction (aside from the fact that that statement in itself is an absolute statement).

So did Anakin ever really die? Was there a small spark of him during the Empire? When was Anakin beginning to take shape in that dark cold shell? We’ve been shown in the Clone Wars television series that Vader exists within Anakin, but does Anakin exist within Vader? And if so, when and for how long? Anakin’s story shows how even the kindest of hearts can make poor decisions that you have to live with for the rest of your life, however, there can be light in even the darkest of days, and there can always be redemption for those who seem lost in the dark and are unable to find the light-sometimes all they need is a little help.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Season 5 Details from Star Wars Insider

By: Dominic Jones
The upcoming issue #134 of Star Wars Insider has appeared online, including the interview with Supervising director Dave Filoni. In that interview many new details about season 5 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars were revealed. Here are some of the things we can expect this season: 1) The death of an original character. That's right season 5 will feature the death of character introduced to the galaxy for the series, but who could it be? Hondo? Cad Bane? Savage Opress? Captain Rex? Or could we finally see the ultimate fate of Ahsoka? 2) Criminals and The Underworld. The Black Sun crime organization, featured frequently in the EU, will be making an appearance. In addition Hondo Ohnaka will be returning along with other "rogues". 3) An R2-D2 Adventure! This will be "Artoo's biggest contribution to the war effort" according to Filoni who also said "it's definitely not a fairy tale" referencing las season's poorly received duology Mercy Mission and Nomad Droids. 4) More Embo action. We see Embo a c ouple of times in the leaked season 5 trailer and Filoni confirms that we'll be seeing more of him as well as his pet Marrock, who made a cameo in the season 4 episode Revenge. 5) Onderon! That's right the planet from the Tales of the Jedi comic series will be visited at some point during season 5.

In addition we also learned the titles for the first seven episodes:
  • A War on Two Fronts
  • Front Runners
  • The Soft War
  • Tipping Points
  • An Old Friend
  • The Rise of Clovis
  • Crisis at the Heart
For even more info on season 5 look to Star Wars: Insider #134 which hits shelves July 2012.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Billy Dee Williams to Play Role in Annoying Orange TV Show

By: Dave Bouressa

“The Annoying Orange”, the viral Youtube show that just recently passed it’s one billionth view, makes it’s TV debut on May 28th 2012 on Cartoon Network. The show will star such popular youtube “celebrities” as Dane “Daneboe” Boedigheimer, Kevin Brueck, Robert “Bobjenz” Jennings, Justine “Ijustine” Ezarik, and Toby “Tubuscus” Turner. However, the facebook fanpage for The Annoying Orange recently revealed a celebrity voice that will be starring in the show.

As of now, the character is unknown, but it is verification that Billy Dee Williams will be on the show. However, judging from the list of characters given, and due to the fact that mouth tracking is used to create the characters, and mustaches are hard to edit out, it would be surprising if he weren’t playing Samuel Jackfruit-however, there is always the chance he shaved for the role. The Annoying Orange has made it a point in its 3-year run to have celebrity guests in each show to star along side it’s main cast of Daneboe, Bobjenz, Kevin Brueck, and iJustine. These celebrities usually range from fellow youtubers, to actual Hollywood celebrities such as John Leguizamo and James Caan. Billy Dee Williams is also not the only Star Wars name said to appear in this show. It has been rumored that Dee Bradley Baker will also make an appearance in the series. Whether or not Baker’s role is a cameo or full cast role is still undetermined-the same going for Williams’ role- but judging from both of their respective voice acting careers, it is safe to assume that Baker will be playing a fairly frequent role, while Williams’ will be making a few cameos. Check out a preview of the coming series here

The series will be making a sneak preview of the series on Monday, May 28th on Cartoon Network at 8:30/ 7:30 Central.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

5 On 5 Roundtable: The Clone Wars

Welcome to the 4th edition of the “5-on-5” Star Wars Roundtable! This crew features Daniel and Ben from the Star Wars Underworld . Joining them is Shanna, Charles, and Brian from the massive “Star Wars Geeks” group on Facebook. This week’s topic is the Clone Wars animated series. Enjoy!

1) What role do you think the Mandalorians will play in upcoming seasons?
Daniel: From what I have seen in the Season Five’s leaked trailer, it seems that we do not need to worry about the Mandalorians and Death Watch. We have seen how Death Watch-heavy is the Season Five trailer and it seems that the story they are involved in is coming to an end. Pre Vizsla seems to have reached his goal. Personally, the show has dragged the Death Watch/ Mandalorian storyline enough and I think that it is better to end it now with a blast! So I think that Death Watch will not return for another Season!
Charles: Seeing the trailer, you can tell that they will have an important role in this season, at least at first. Deathwatch has a huge beef against the Republic and the Jedi right now. I think Dooku is gonna try and use that to his advantage and continually hire them to be assassins and bullies. They are also gonna try and take control of Mandalore. I wonder if they'll end up destroying the planet and scattering the few remaining citizens on both sides?
Shanna: I am not sure about this. At first I was upset with how the Mandalorians were portrayed in The Clone Wars, but now I am not certain about them at all - how they are portrayed, what role they will play, etc. I believe that overall, they will side with the Republic, but beyond that I cannot be specific. I was surprised how peaceful most of them were in the TV series. They seemed to be out of Mandalore character. They did not fit the "mold" that I had already been presented in the Commando series (Karen Traviss), and that mold being one of a people with great strength and ready to fight for what they believe in. They prefer to be left alone, and I guess that is in the series as well. If they have their way, the Mandalorians would not be involved at all. I had a difficult time reconciling the series with the books so I didn't pay much attention to them.
Benjamin: From the looks of the recent Season 5 trailers there will indeed be a battle on Mandalore. Satine will most likely die at the hands of Death Watch. Why? Because she's Pacifist, she won't put up much of a fight will she? After that we can only assume Mandalore will return to its warrior ways and join the war on the side of the Separatists. I think we could easily see Death watch Troopers commanding the Droids armies in the future, perhaps to the equivalent of the Jedi to the Clones.
Brian: I hope the mandos play a big part in it but i doubt we'll see much other than deathwatch! The mandos haven't been portrayed well in the clone wars anyway, really a female queen, no Mandalore? Kind of a joke if you ask me anyway!! But I’d love to see Anakin give the deathwatch leader a nice ass kicking!!

2) Fact or Fiction: Ahsoka Tano will die in combat? If Fact, who will end her life?
Daniel: Fiction. Back in the day I really wished for Ahsoka to DIE painfully! Today Ahsoka has become her own thing rather than just an extension of Anakin and TCW crew is putting a lot of effort into her and I doubt they would just kill her off after all the effort! So I think she will live through the War. One other reason is Lux Bonteri who allows for Ahsoka to get more character growth. But if she is to die in combat I wish it to be from only one person to do it: Dooku
Charles: Fact. But with whom, I have two main theories: 1. She gets killed off in a freak accident or while battling Dooku, Maul or Opress. This will happen at the beginning to the middle of the final season. Anakin is going to be rightfully pissed off by this and he will need time to cool off so he can be somewhat sane for ROTS. 2. Because of her continued popularity with the younger crowd, the production team along with Lucas will keep her alive throughout the series. Lucas will then digitally add her to the Order 66 sequence in ROTS 3D. She will then be shot down by members of Anakin's own 501st that have been working under her up to that point.
Shanna: I do not care how Ahsoka dies as long as she just dies. I detest Ahsoka/Rex fandom, and because it exists, she must die a terrible death - without Captain Rex. I hope he kills her, and I hope he is happy about it. Seriously, I do believe that she will die in combat. She is not seen or mentioned in any of the film episodes. Skywalker would not have killed her unless she turns, and I cannot see that happening. With her conviction and quickness to action, I believe that she will jump to someone's aid, maybe coming to Obi Wan's aid against Maul, without any thought. Opress will jump in, and they will shred her. I think that she will kill one of them first. Just die, Ahsoka. No more Rex fandom for you.
Benjamin: Fiction: It would be too easy and predictable for her to just die at the hands of a random enemy. She has begun to mirror her master in many ways, whether that means she will soon start down the Dark path is uncertain. She doesn't have a troubled past like Anakin, besides the way she has conformed to his ways she's lived a basically normal Jedi life. But another factor to consider is the recent introduction of her love interest, Lux Bonteri. I believe he will play a pivotal role in her fate, whatever that may be.
Brian: Fact, Ashoka can't die any other way! I would like to see Anakin do it, but i think it will be either deathwatch or maul/ savage! But then again I keep tossing the vision she had on mortis around in my head, maybe she turns, maybe she just decides to leave the order all together, that's what I'd like to see but I see her dying to one of the two groups mentioned. I just don't want to see Grievous do it!!

3) Before TCW came out, Anakin never had a padawan and Jabba didn’t have a son. What character would YOU like to see added that we never considered?
Daniel: I would go with Obi-Wan’s family. I think that would be interesting to visit his home world of Stewjon and meet some kind of family like a brother or sister. It would be really odd but it would add to his character a lot because nothing builds a character better than seeing where a character came from. Like with Ventress!
Charles: With the rather loud voice of the fan base saying they don't want to see a young Han Solo, but still wanting to somehow get him in the series, the new character would be Han's dad. They could have him working with Hal Horn in Corsec for one episode. He gets killed protecting Garm Bel Ibis and at the end of the episode Horn mentions that Solo's wife is dead but he does have a son who will be taken care of at a local orphanage in Coronet.
Shanna: I would have liked to have seen the diabolic Ventress not fudge just about everything she put her hands on because she was far too intelligent for that. If her character had been developed and allowed to blossom, then we would have had an AMAZING villainess.
Benjamin: There are so many possibilities! I would love to see Garven Dreis, a.k.a "Red Leader" in ANH, who is said to have fought alongside Anakin and Obi-Wan in Battle of Virujansi. Or future Imperial admiral Kendall Ozzel, who has already appeared in a Clone Wars comic book. Besides that there are TONS of Jedi out there that deserve more screen time. And one Jedi in particular is at the top of my wish list: Rahm Kota. Need I say more?
Brian: I would like to have seen or see a'sharad hett / future Darth Krayt, it's the perfect time to show his missions in the outer rim and why he isn't around during order 66, and the sith structures and beings he meets. Why the Jedi send him to Korriban and other known sith worlds!! Plus it would be nice to see another Jedi who didn't agree with Yodas order and its doctrines. But then again wouldn't it be cool if Lucas decided to throw a few episodes in about the lost tribe? That’s what I’d like to see!!

4) It’s pretty clear that Darth Maul and Savage Opress will have quite the impact. If you were Maul, what's the first thing YOU would do to exact your revenge?
Daniel: If I was Darth Maul and I wanted revenge my first and most important task will be to kill everybody that Satine, Anakin, or Ahsoka cares for! Basically taking away anything that made his life brighter in this time of war. Many say that the Jedi do not grieve but everybody grieves… even Jedi. Clearly exampled by characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ki-Adi Mundi! In the end I will not kill that person but rather I will leave him to live out his days knowing that he is alone in the galaxy!
Charles: Get back in touch with Sidous, pretending to be the loyal apprentice. Meanwhile plotting his demise because he didn't come to rescue me since he should have sensed that I wasn't actually killed on Naboo. You look at what he did for Anakin. He sensed that Anakin was in trouble and rescued him. Maul was nothing more than a pawn and I'm sure he figured that out during his insanity. Palpatine will of course string Maul and his brother along too for his own ends.
Shanna: The character I would have liked to have seen in The Clone Wars would have been a Sith villainess that was not the bungling idiot that Asajj Ventress was: A seductive, smooth talking, red light saber wielding, evil Sith Mistress. Not only can she scheme an evil plan, this diabolic Lady could also execute it with sleek precision. Strong in the dark art of the Force, she would have been a formidable opponent against Kenobi and Skywalker.
Benjamin: What is it that Sith crave the most? Power. Who holds the most Power? Sidious. If I were Maul I would be going after Palpatine... But not right now! When referring to the Clone Wars, Maul said in Revenge, "So it began, without me." He knows of Sidious's plan. Why try to take on Sidious and the Jedi yourself when you can wait a few years and let Sidious do all the dirty work for you?
Brian: My first step as maul would be to let my presence be known to Sidious, taunt his power and reach, then I’d focus on Obi-Wan and seek out the Jedi he cares the most about, not hard info to find, and personally kill them and send the holo-vids to the Jedi order, all the while, continuously drawing the Jedi to worlds where I’m not at, confusing and frustrating them, lead them on a goose chase as I pick off the stragglers, Then I’d focus all my attention on Anakin and Ashoka, the two people closest to Obi-Wan and force him to choose between the two as I pit Ashoka against myself and tie Anakin up with savage!! Obi-Wan would jump to help Ashoka and I'd kill her in front of him, cutting her in half!! Then take my revenge and battle Obi-Wan to the death, Anakin, beats Savage though, and then stops me from killing a helpless Obi-wan!!

5) Over or Under: The three year war of TCW will have seven seasons in it.
Daniel: Over. I personally think that the show must have more than seven seasons. Even after five seasons it has barely scraped the surface of this awesome period in Star Wars! This is a war spanning three years; a lot of things happen in just one day and this is a huge galaxy! So many stories can be told from many different points of view and not only from that of the main cast! And until I get every single CIS Council leader to appear on the show, I will continue wanting more seasons. So keep the seasons coming…
Charles: Over. This of course depends on how well the ratings go. It's not really that much of a kid’s show anymore and that is the major fanbase for this series. Maybe it will be continued with a spinoff cartoon. The clones that refused to carry out Order 66?
Shanna: Under. Although my desire for The Clone Wars is for it to last for as long as possible, I don't believe that it will. We are entering the fifth season, which is a long time for a Cartoon Network series. The animation and stories are top notch, but I don't believe that the general public will keep enough interest in the series for it to go past season six. Possibly, it may go to seven seasons, but I do not believe that it will go over that many. Once the interest of the general public begins to wane, corporate sponsors, thus funding, will begin to shrink. I do believe that the story line could easily give us another three years, but to be honest, I don't know how many more years/seasons could be squeezed out of the writers without making up completely ridiculous scenarios.
Benjamin: Over: I'll agree that they're pushing it, but a lot of stories could be seen as going on at the same, if they both don't involve the same characters that is. We must also consider that the show could continue into Revenge of the Sith, telling the story behind the story and possibly following Ahsoka and Rex's path. And you never know, The Clone Wars could morph into another series set in the Dark times... Just sayin'.
Brian: Over. Since I can't pick 7 lol I'd have to say over at 8, this season will bring us pretty close to the events of EP III, and I see season 6 as the final touches and a fair well to Ashoka, but honestly Lucas will stretch it out another year and give us some pointless few episodes about jar jar or something like that! I'd like to see some more about mortis and the celestials, if Lucas does that then I’ll be happy with a season 8 lol


Friday, May 25, 2012

Spike to Unveil the Next Star Wars Gaming Fanchise!!

By: Dominic Jones
Spike TV revealed today that on Thursday May 31, 2012 they will be unveiling the next big franchise in Star Wars gaming. The reveal will be made during Spike's GTTV special pre-E3 program. During GTTV fans will be taken behind the scenes at LucasArts , with Spike's Geoff Keighley, to witness the production of the game. “I am blown away by both the caliber of the team on this project and their bold vision for this new ‘Star Wars’ title,” said Keighley “I can’t wait to introduce our viewers to this game and show off the footage that left my jaw on the floor when I first saw it.” In addition fans can expect more information as well as a first look at the gameplay during Spike's “E3 All Access Live” special which airs June 4th at 10pm ET.

Could this be Star Wars 1313? Or is it something completely different? Either way, fans have a lot to look forward to on May 31!


"Hughes The Force" Free To Watch & Download Now!

By: Benjamin Hart
The highly anticipated John Hughes/Star Wars fan film Hughes the Force is now available to watch and download completely free! You can watch the full film on YouTube or head over to their site where you can download the film in several different formats for PC/Mac, Tablets, and mobile devices. Also availble are a ton of bonus features, including: commentary tracks, outtakes, deleted scenes, a popup video version, Cast and Crew Q&As from Fandays and the Hollywood premiere and many more!

Check out the film below:


"Annihilation" Cover Revealed

By: Dominic Jones 

The cover for Drew Karpyshyn's upcoming novel Star Wars: The Old Republic: Annihilation has been revealed over at the official Star Wars: The Old Republic website. The cover features Theron Shan peering around a corner and the back cover reveals what he's looking at, a lightsaber duel between Jedi Master Gnost-Dural and who we can assume is Darth Karrid. The website also featured an interview with author Drew Karpyshyn as an accompaniment to the reveal. Check it out here.

Publisher's Summary: Annihilation is set right after the events of Star Wars: The Old Republic. The Emperor is believed dead and the Sith Empire prepares a massive counter-attack against the Republic spearheaded by Darth Karrid, the former apprentice of Darth Malgus. The instrument of her vengeance is the Ascendent Spear, a devastating warship augmented with the dark side of the Force. Republic agent SIS Theron Shan, his Twi'lek smuggler compadre, Teff'ith, and Jedi Master Gnost-Dural are joined by Jedi Grand Master Satele Shan and Jace Malcom in a fast-paced, tension-fraught thriller.


CVI: Robot Chicken and T-shirts!

By: Dominic Jones
The Star Wars Celebration VI website was updated today revealed two new pieces of cool information. First, Robot Chicken creators and Star Wars: Detours producers, Seth Green and Matt Senreich will be in attendance as "Spotlight Guests" and will be making appearances on the Main Stage during the event. Second, Star Wars Celebration VI T-shirts are NOW available for pre-order from the Celebration store. The t-shirts feature a Yoda silhouette will the Celebration VI logo over top. You can pre-order the shirts here.



Thursday, May 24, 2012

5 On 5 Roundtable: Darth Vader

Welcome to the 3rd edition of the 5-on-5 Star Wars Roundtable, brought to you by the Star Wars Fanbase! This crew features Brian, Admin of the “Star Wars EU” Facebook group. Mark, author of Artoo Detoo: Droid of a Kind. Shelly and David from the “Star Wars Geeks” Facebook group, And Cris, creator of the documentary “The Force Among Us”. Our topic this week is Darth Vader

1) Darth Vader is probably the iconic figure for Star Wars. The breathing, the helmet, the attitude, all makes him instantly recognizable. If Vader isn’t the icon for the saga, then who would be?
Brian: If Darth Vader wasn't the Iconic figure for Star Wars, then it would have to be the Force itself. Reason being is no other character set, is capable of holding the main title, Sidious is a shadow most of the movies and while Yoda and Obi-Wan are popular and have screen time, neither are iconic alone, even with Yoda's famous backward talking. The Force is set as the key to everything, Return of the Jedi, Revenge of the Sith, both smaller aspects of the force. The tools used by the students of each teaching, the lightsaber, the clothing and personas, even Hans luck, wink wink lol, are aspects of the force. To me the Iconic role in this saga as well as all of SWEU is the Force! Probably more so the Dark side of the Force lol
Mark: I would have said Luke Skywalker but he wasn’t in the PT (not counting him as a baby). Yoda might fit the bill but I just can’t shake one name out of my head in terms of Star Wars icon: R2-D2. He was there from Episode I to the time of Cade Skywalker.
Shelly: I think that Yoda would be the icon that stands for Star Wars, second to DV. Yoda's vast experience as a Jedi, his non-humanoid physical presence, his odd linguistics and outlook on life in general makes him a stand up classic GOOD GUY. Yoda gets a lot of fun lines, which really help to cement him into the hearts of the fans. How can one not LOVE the smart aleck, funny sounding little green dude? He waxes all philosophical and makes us all strive to let the Force be with us.
David: If Darth Vader was not the iconic figure, I would have to say Obi-Wan Kenobi. We are all facinated with evil and darkness sometimes do I think thats why Vader is iconic..... but if Vader wasn't there, I think we'd all be facinated by the mysticism of the Force, as explained enigmatically by Obi-Wan.
Cris: Luke Skywalker. In my opinion the Original saga is a story about a father and a son. It is ALL about Luke’s journey and how good prevails. Luke Holding up the lightsaber to me is more "Iconic" than Vader. Besides the Original Trilogy is not about Vader anyway...or is it? So to be an Icon - one would have to be a positive image - not a dark sinister one like vader - Luke is the perfect image (icon) to represent the original films - positive and prevailing! What the OT is about.
2) Fact or Fiction: Vader’s an okay Sith who just got lucky during duels and had Palpatine to back him up more often than not. 
Brian: Fiction: How many times did Sidious actually help Vader out? Once in the movies and 3 times in the EU, compared to the hundreds of times Vader fought to the last circuit lol against overwhelming foes. Vader had to relearn how to fight, adapt and change lightsaber forms to fit to his new body and movements, and most of this came while battling Jedi and other foes. He was capable of being a Jedi Master when he turned, his 'luck' was more a combination of years of hardened battle experience and raw talent. By time Darth Vader masters his own style, there were no more jedi or equal warriors to fight. Vader showed that the force and his use of the darkside and his ability to create fear and intimidation, ture sith traits, were even more powerful than warriors who at the time held a greater advantage in skill and numbers! What more could you want from a sith!! Darth Vader was a great Sith indeed!!
Mark: Fiction. As Anakin he was already one of the greatest Jedi in his time, his achievements and victories grew in numbers especially during the Clone Wars. He was a Hero of the Republic. As a Sith, he became the second most feared being in the time of the Empire. He started out as the Jedi slayer, became the Emperor’s iron fist and even the spirits of the ancient Sith honors him more than Palpatine as depicted in Empire’s End.
Shelly: Fact. Vader was a good Sith. He had MAD FIGHTING SKILLS and he used Palpatine and every advantage Palpatine could provide to his best advantage. Every good businessman uses every tool available to him and Vader's business was taking over as ruler of the Empire. He didn't always make the best business decisions, but he stayed true to his goal.
David: Fiction...I think he was a great Sith....but a terrible Jedi. Anger and pain gave him more passion and aptitude to inflict misery on others. We see that every day in THIS world...where people are so damaged they set out to hurt people...and succeed. There is more power in the Dark Side, but only in the sense that there are more ways to inflict damage AND kill.
Cris: FACT. This is a hard one to answer. On the big screen we see Vader as "old" and not so strong compared him to Maul and Sidous - he is stronger in the mind but not with the moves. But then this leads us to the extinction of the sith. So does it really matter if he was "ok". The era of SW universe is not about Jedi Vs. Sith like the old days. So to be the last...might be more than just ok. Again, this is hard to answer and would be easier if discussed verbally and not through typing.
3) Was Anakin’s transformation to Vader more physical or psychological? 
Brian: Well we know from the EU, that the transformation from light to dark is at a cellular level, so i'd have to say a combination of both, but in Anakins case, being the chosen one, I believe he always possessed both dark and light abilities within him, so his personal transformation was at a deeper psychological level than any other Siths, except for maybe Jacen. He more so didn't feel a greater sense of strength but like he tells Obi-Wan and Padme, his 'new powers' kinda hinting at just a broader range to draw on. Dooku had said a few times how the darkside had made his older body feel younger and stronger, faster even. Vader never says anything about this, but he also doesn't really get the chance to as he immediately gets sent off and hours later lost a majority of his body! But in my opinion Vaders transformation was definitely more psychological, as might be the case with any of the Skywalker bloodline...
Mark: It’s more psychological, he became Darth Vader before the armor came in the picture. His struggle for the right path was entirely emotional, the pain and fear gnawed at him right from the beginning, from missing his mother to her death, to fearing for Padme and her life. He was so unstable that Darth Sidious had easily brainwashed and manipulated him all those years.
Shelly: Anakin's transformation into Vader was 95% psychological, 4% physical and 1% just plain pissed off. How could anyone fault him for turning to the Dark Side after all that poor Anakin had been through starting at such a young age? Seriously, the story of Anakin's life is a textbook case for how serial killers are made. Mom killed, wife kidnapped and pregnant and then reported dead...those things pissed the guy off and all Jedi goodness was squashed.
David: Both have merit.....equally so. Some might think that becoming more machine might make him souless. Losing one’s humanity has always been associated with physical and psychological changes. So, with his absolute petulance and with his fear of not being powerful enough to save the people he loves (Re: His Mother)....drove him to make all the choices that led him to the lava! His body being shattered ensured and embedded the hatred he felt for Anakin (I'm sure he felt that was the last straw, "betrayal" wise) but most importantly, the hatred he felt for himself.
Cris: More physical. The 1st thing he asked for when he was transformed in ROTS was "where is my wife" - even at the end of the film when is looking at the creation of the death star - in my opinion he is sad, lonely, and felt betrayed. In episodes 4-6 he is on a quest to find his son, he wants to be connected to his "family" and have someone join "his empire" - like he asked padme to in ROTS. He had plenty of opportunities to kill both Leia and Luke, making this the good person that Shmi and Padme had mentioned several times. In my opinion vader is more like young Ani and was most evil during the battle of Mustifar.
4) What kind of hold did Tarkin have over Vader…I didn’t see the leash Leia was talking about. 
Brian: Tarkin had great control over Darth Vader, Tarkin reported Vaders every move to the emperor, and was tasked with keeping him in line, which meant making sure he cleaned up after Vader if he couldn't control him. I remember one comic where Sidious punishes Vader for disobeying Tarkins orders on a planetary battle. Sidious did this to create contempt and anger within Vader, There was always something holding a foot on Vader, the emperor never trusted him, something Sidious saw when anointing Vader may have prompted this.. And I think Leia did this to jab at Vader. Darth Vader, Lord of the Sith, second only to the Emperor, and yet he was a puppet, and a mere man, Tarkin, could task him at his own bidding and tell him when he could or could not do something! His personal attack dog lol Leia was her mother’s daughter lol
Mark: So I far I couldn’t find any specific connection why Leia think of it that way. As close as I could surmise, I think it was because of Tarkin’s closeness to Darth Vader, a relationship that no other Imperial Officer has with the Sith aside from the Emperor himself. Tarkin is a trusted friend of Anakin during the Clone Wars and even though Tarkin had never confirmed that Vader is Anakin, he still suspected they are one person.
Shelly: Tarkin's "hold" over Vader was political adeptness, nothing more or less. Vader knew that Tarkin could get things done in the political arena when Vader himself had no interest in procuring for himself and so he allowed Tarkin to believe that he had power over Vader and did occasionally pretend to bend to Tarkin's will. Vader only allowed such embarrassments to happen when said embarrassments would further Vader's own cause.
David: They co-operated mostly because of Vaders help with speeding up the Death Star project (Vader invaded Kashyyyk and enslaved many Wookies to serve as slave labour)....but mostly Tarkin suspected that Skywalker and Vader were the same person and I think Vader knew that he knew. Takin was very close to killing Tarkin would have been "problematic". Anyway, I think Leia was trying to promote discord by impling that Vader was somehow subservient to any good secret agent would do once caught.
Cris: I agree. - I have to admit, I have yet to read a book about this relationship - I am sure it is explained. As Governor, Tarkin was in control, not a sith. And like in question 1 - this is an era more about the rebellion and the empire. In ANH - Tarkin would have appear to be more of a leader and in control, if Vader stepped out of line, Tarkin's Empire could easily have taken down Vader, who was just a washed up has been sith lord.
5) True or False: If Yoda had gone to Mustafar instead, Vader “walks” away from that fight as the winner.
Brian: True, Yoda had some respect for Sidious power, but he would have had none for Vaders, and he would have greatly underestimated Vaders skill as they did Anakins the whole time. Anakin would not have become so emotional with yoda and would have been able to focus. Where Obi-Wan was able to match his physical speed, strength and endurance, yoda would have had to draw on the force the entire time, by time he had come close to the end yoda's power would have been greatly over used. Yoda would never have felt the need to put himself in the force trance Obi-Wan did to match Vader, and the situation and environment would have forced yoda to change forms, and yoda would not have done the smart tactical choice in leading or forcing him outside to fight as Obi did, yoda would have tried to keep him confined where yoda felt he had the greater advantage and i think Vader would have worn him out and killed him!

Mark: False. Yoda was explicit about their goal, destroy the Sith. Regardless of Anakin’s new found ‘powers’, a real fight to death against Jedi Master Yoda would be very short. Anakin is impulsive and emotional, a disadvantage that Yoda can easily exploit, not to mention Anakin has no match to Yoda’s skill with the lightsaber and knowledge in the Force.
Shelly: False. As with most all of the battles in a fight between Good and Evil, if Yoda had been on Mustafar Vader would have lost the fight. Yoda would have ensured that Vader was actually dead thus ending the Saga on Mustafar. Obi-Wan should not have taken the light saber and walked away without verifying the true death of Vader. It is yet another case of Good allowing emotion and cockiness to get in the way of ensuring that what is "right" has been secured.
David: I think that might be true....the fight between the "brothers" is very important for the saga. Anakins hatred and Obi-Wans passion and sadness was why that outcome happened. Yoda didnt have the same sort of "emotional investment" that Obi-Wan has in that fight....I'm sure we've all fought with people we’s far worse BECAUSE of that.
Cris: FLASE, so untrue. One of the best battles was between yoda and sidous - It showed the power of Sidous but even Sidous could not have taken down Yoda. And Ani was not even close to that level. Not even Vader was that strong. And Obi Wan would have lost the battle between sidous.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The SWU Podcast Episode 37 | 5/22/2012

In this episode of the SWU Podcast, hosts Chris, Jordan, and Savanna are joined by Savanna's brother Chase. They give an in depth report on Star Wars Weekends and Chase introduces his new history of collecting segment. Also listen for the latest news and a special interview with Disney castmember Patrick.

» Right click here and select save link as to Download MP3.
» Patrick's blog » This Is The Blog You're Looking For
» Pandas, Lightsabers, and Cameras, oh my!
» Fangirls On Felucia
» Empire Fails on Youtube

Monday, May 21, 2012

Live Action Series NOT called "Underworld"

By: Dominic Jones
Rick McCallum spoke with IGN at Kapow and covered many topics from the upcoming Live Action Series to Star Wars 1313. When speaking about the live action McCallum revealed that "Star Wars: Underworld" is NOT the working title for the series, however the series will take place in the Coruscant underworld. He also re-iterated the fact that they had 50 1-hour scripts that had more digital effects and animation in them than any of the films, as well as the fact that the series is on hold due to budget concerns.

McCallum was also asked about Joe Johnston's proposed Boba Fett movie saying that it was unlikely to happen in the near future but was always a possibility down the road, should George Lucas want to. As a final question the interviewer also asked about Star Wars 1313 to which McCallum did not answer and jokingly got up an walked away.

Check the entire interview with McCallum below:


Friday, May 18, 2012

Ian McDiarmid Confirmed for CVI!

By: Dominic Jones
It was announced today that Emperor Palpatine himself Ian McDiarmid will be attending Star Wars Celebration VI this August 23-26 in Orlando, Florida. This is McDiarmid's first US convention appearance Celebration appearance (he made a brief appearce in 2007 at Celebration Europe) and he will be signing in the Autograph hall and will be on hand to give fans a rare account of his time on the set of the Star Wars films.

To purchase tickets for Celebration VI click here.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Holographic Lego Star Wars Display

By: Dominic Jones
A toy store in Steinkjer, Norway features a very cool display in their window. In the display there are two Lego Star Wars sets positioned to simulate a battle, but that's not all! The display also features holographic lasers and characters as well as a holographic display advertising the sets. Check out the video below and watch for the holographic Geonosian and commando droid! 

Hopefully we'll get to see more of these displays all around the world soon!!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Support "The Force Within Us"!

By: Dominic Jones
Now is your opportunity to support a brand new Star Wars fan-made documentary. Cris Macht, director of 2008's "The Force Among Us", is backing and making a sequel to the highly acclaimed film. The second film, titled :The Force Within Us" is scheduled for a release later this year and now you can help support the film by backing it on Kickstarter. You can pledge any amount of money you see fit and there are some great incentives to do so. Everything from a special thanks in the film, to autographed pictures from members of the return of the Jedi crew, to vials of sand and dirt from Star Wars locations, to T-shirts, to an appearance in the film!

You can support the film here.

Check out the teaser trailer for the film below:

About The Force Within Us

The Force Among Us II is not a "fan film" - It is a highly produced film with a budget of over $20,000.00 made by very passionate star wars fans - it is the sequel to the highly praised The Force Among Us. It will be release this year.
The Force Within Us, the sequel to the highly acclaimed and sold out documentary “The Force Among Us”, takes us deeper into the Star Wars experience than just the obsession of collectibles and costuming. Exploring how and why this epic saga has the ability to possess and alter lives, “The Force Within Us” centers on Star Wars as a catalyst for spiritual rebirth… finding personal meaning in life… and inspiring positive change. Filmmaker Cris Macht takes you on a journey revealing that Star Wars is more than just another sci-fi film to watch or convention to attend. It exposes personal connections that are developed through the sagas good versus evil storyline, and the hope that good ultimately triumphs in our world as well as in a galaxy far, far away. Also featured are thought provoking stories from Star Wars celebrities and how being a part of the phenomenon has changed their lives. Familiar Star Wars locations, like the Death Valley (Tatooine) and the Redwood Forest (Endor), add to the deep, emotional journey that is “The Force Within Us.”


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The SWU Podcast Episode 36 | 5/15/2012


In this episode of the SWU Podcast, hosts Chris, Jordan, and Savanna are joined by SWTOR expert Martin from The Old Republic Cantina. They discuss the status of the MMO and its latest updates, read this week's Star Wars headlines, and give a comprehensive preview of Disney Star Wars Weekends.

» Right click here and select save link as to Download MP3.

» The Old Republic Cantina

» This Is The Blog You're Looking For

» Pandas, Lightsabers, and Cameras, oh my!

» Fangirls On Felucia

» Empire Fails on Youtube

» The Star Wars Talk Show

» One Man Star Wars Rants Podcast

» Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.


Monday, May 14, 2012

New Season 5 Image Revealed

By: Dominic Jones

Clone Wars Supervising Director Dave Filoni posted a brand new picture from season 5 on his Facebook page today. The image is of clone trooper Thorn. Here's what Filoni had to say about the trooper and the origin of his name: 

"On behalf of the Clone Wars crew, we would like to congratulate Marvel Studios and Joss Whedon on the incredible release of The Avengers. We’re also very proud of the team at ILM who made the effects and action scenes beyond spectacular. There are many fans of Marvel comics on the Clone Wars crew, and the biggest fan of all has to be episodic director Steward Lee. Knowing what a fan he is, I sketched up a special Clone Commander for an upcoming episode of Season 5. Clone Commander Thorn is obviously our homage to “Thor, the god of thunder.” Commander Thorn even carries a Z-6 blaster canon named “the Hammer.” Enjoy this sneak peak at a new clone from Season 5."

This is comes just days before the full season 5 trailer will be revealed at Disney's Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. A preview of the trailer was released on May the 4th and can be seen here.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

CVI Updates: Collectors Showcase, Vader Car, and Tom Spina!

By: Dominic Jones

Over the last few days there have been several new updates on the highly anticapted upcoming Star Wars Celebration VI this August 23rd-26th in Orlando, Florida.

First it was announced that Tom Spina will be attending the event. Spina is an expert on all things mos Eisley Cantina. He has studied the history of the scene as well as the artist and designers who worked on it, and he designed the set and the costumes for this years Volkewagen Superbowl commercial. He will be taking part in a special panel will Pablo Hidalgo to reveal all kinds of new secrets to fans about the iconic scene.

Second, Inside West Coast Customs' Ryan Friedlinghaus, has designed an officially liscensed custom Darth Vader Volkswagen Passat that will be on display at the convention this summer. Check out the car below:

Lastly, a cool opportunity for Collectors was unveiled. The collectors showcase will offer Star Wars collectors to display their colections for 30 000+ fans. Here's what the offical Celebration website says about it:

Each Star Wars collection is as unique as the people who assembled it. Whether your collection fills a single shelf or a full house, the Celebration VI Collecting Track will show what sets your collection apart. Maybe you have the weirdest assortment of t-shirts, or posters from every country where Star Wars movies were shown. Maybe you just have a flair for displaying your stash in ways that even non-fans can appreciate. The Celebration VI Collector Showcase is your chance to provide fellow collectors with ideas on how to make their own collections shine. Select images from those submitted will be displayed in the Collectors' community area at Star Wars Celebration VI.

To have your collection considered for the Showcase (you may enter as an individual or a family), send no more than eight images to Todd Chamberlain no later than June 8.
Please include:
  • Full name(s)
  • City, state/province, and country
  • 400 words or less about what makes your collection unique in terms of content, focus, or presentation. Tell us how your collection developed.
  • High-resolution images will be needed (4256x2848 at 300 dpi or greater) for the final product, but lower resolution images may be submitted initially
We will be looking for a variety of content and display styles, so if you have a larger collection, be sure to include images that focus on smaller groupings of items (i.e., a particular shelf or display case), not just wide angle shots. Photo submissions may be posted on the official Star Wars Celebration Web site and affiliated promotional Web sites, publications, or on posters and slide presentations at Celebration VI.


5 On 5 RoundTable: Han Solo

Welcome to the 2nd edition of the 5-on-5 Star Wars Roundtable (and first to be featured on the SWU!), brought to you by our friends at the Star Wars Fanbase! This crew features Darryl, Shanna, and Troy from the massive "Star Wars Geeks" Facebook group. It also features Mark, author of the newly published Star Wars novel: Artoo-Detoo, Droid of a Kind and the SWU's very own Ben. Our topic this week is Han Solo.

1) Fill in the blank: Without Han Solo, Star Wars would be _________.  

Mark: Entirely different, and most probably lose most of its unforgettable lines and scenes unless of course a different character but with the same personality would be put in his place, but without Han, there’s no Chewie and the Millennium Falcon which would practically ruin everything that has transpired on the OT. But if they put another pilot in the story that Obi-Wan would hire, things might still transpire but not like that way with Han in the picture. So basically and essentially, Star Wars without Han Solo will never be the Star Wars we have all come to know of and loved.

Ben: Flat. He added a lot of wit, cynicism and realism to the story, countering his more straight laced comrades. For some, the absence of Han, or a character like him in the Prequels may have rubbed them the wrong way. He's just a super fun character that everyone loves, Star Wars wouldn't be Star Wars without him.  

Troy: Without Han Solo, Star Wars would be not interesting. In every great movie, they have the character that doesn't fit the mold. Han Solo is the awesome gunslinger that gets the job done every time and saves the day.  

Shanna: The story would not be complete without Han Solo. His character, regardless of name, is needed to make the plot interesting. He adds comedy, toughness, and love to Star Wars. His character plays an integral role by facilitating the story's ability to unfold and move forward.

Darryl: In desperate need of another anti-hero. He's almost a stereotype, but in a good way. Perhaps archetype is a better word. The classic "good guy gone...bad?" Not bad, but selfish. We know that he had some background as an Imperial Officer. His disillusionment lead to a personal, self-centered rebellion. His story is one of a "mini-redemption," foreshadowing, in some small way, Anakin's eventual redemption. Han showed that the most selfish can come around with the right motivation.  
2) Fact or Fiction: Han Solo would take Boba Fett in a straight-up fight, no armor, no weapons.

Mark: Fact, Han will definitely have a fair chance on that kind of a straight-up fight against Boba Fett. Although if Boba’s fighting skills are that of his ‘father’ then Han is in big trouble. Boba can be cunning so Han must watch out on that part very closely and as for Boba, if Chewie would be watching that fight he might get a little distracted, or even nervous. Should the Wookie lose control and intervene then he’s done for.  

Ben: Fact. Even though it would be hard to watch Solo whoop up on one of my favorite characters, Fett just wouldn't know what to do with himself without his equipment. He's always had them to rely on, while Han would be much more adept in using his bare firsts.  

Troy: Fact, Han Solo would take Fett in a straight-up fight, no armor, no weapons. Even though Fett looks cool with his armor and weapons, that is just it. Han Solo has survived with his fist and his pistols, while Fett has his walking tank. Han is also younger than Fett.  

Shanna: No way. Solo prefers not to fight eventhough he will. He seems to want to escape getting hurt where Fett is ruthless in pursuing his bounty. I believe Fett must have fighting skills that he can employ without his armor and weapons because I see him as a man that will accept nothing less than a win. I would imagine he would use his strategic skills to plan for all possiblities, including having to fight without armor and weapons.  

Darryl: Fiction. Han had some training and experience, as well as skill and native cunning. But Boba Fett was a highly trained, disciplined warrior. It would have been a battle, for sure, but barring some stroke of luck (which Han seemed to have in spades) I'd have to give it to the Mandalorian, all things being equal.

 3) You get one guy to fly into a hopeless combat situation with you. Are you taking Han Solo or Luke Skywalker?

 Mark: Han Solo of course, his reputation speaks for himself and the combination of him and the Millennium Falcon is nothing short of legendary already. But if we are talking about Luke Skywalker the Jedi Grand Master of the Expanded Universe then I’ll go with Luke, a little help with Force always turns the table.  

Ben: Han would would come in handy but I pick Luke. He's a skilled and cunning pilot, and if you happen to crash land, he's a freakin Jedi! Case closed.  

Troy: If I could take one guy into a hopeless combat situation, it would be Han Solo, because Han Solo has more experience in a fight and he knows a lot of stuff and people.  

Shanna: Han Solo. If the question were comparing Han and Anakin, then no contest. It would be Anakin because we know without a doubt that Anakin is one of the best human pilots. On the otherhand, I'm not positive about Luke, whereas we know that Han makes his living with his flying skills - evading those in hot pursuit. Then again, a hopeless situation.... the force may could be used to your advantage. Maybe I'd choose Han but hope for Luke to be a co-pilot.  

Darryl: If you asked who I'd rather be buddies with, Han Solo, hands down. But in this scenario, hokey one-liners and ancient Corellian freighters are no substitute for the Force by your side. Gotta be Luke.

4) Did Chewbacca persuade Han to go back and save Luke in “A New Hope”? Or do you think Han talked himself into it?  

Mark: A bit of both, Chewie’s been convincing Han to stay and since Chewie is a Clone War veteran he’s not new on rebelling against the Empire. Han is not entirely that all-for-himself type, in his days after leaving the Imperial Academy, he has proven himself a natural hero, one who’d die for his friends and would fight for a noble cause. He just hid his hurt in a mask of uncaring and selfishness, but it doesn’t work always, the biggest proof was when he helped Luke.  

Ben: It could have been some of both. His strong "May the Force be with you" when Luke is walking away shows he was beginning to have a change of Heart. And as close as Han was to Chewie I think he would have caved had Chewie said, "Arrrrrg!"(We should go help Luke!)  

Troy: I think it was Chewie and Han's conscience that persuaded him to come back, 'cause maybe he was thinking how could I leave Luke and them to be massacred, when I could do something.  

Shanna: Han serves as Chaotic Good. He may have used Chewie as a sounding board, but he knew he had to go back. He may be a rogue, but he is a good guy.

Darryl: I think Han was already struggling when he decided to leave. He seemed uncomfortable, awkward, and probably felt guilty, which I doubt was a terribly common thing for him. Chewie apparently commented on it as the prepared to depart - ie., Han's "I know what I'm doing!" - but Han was already feeling it a bit. If I can speculate, a part of him probably knew he couldn't really leave them even as he was leaving. I doubt that Chewie had a long, drawn-out "heart-to-heart" with him about it, but his Wookiee buddy had to have been an influence on some levels. So, was it Chewie or was it Han? We'll never know, but I suspect a combination of the two.

5) True or False, Han Solo is the greatest non-Jedi or Sith character in the saga…PT, OT, EU included.  

Mark: True and if I have to explain this then you are not a Star Wars fan at all.  

Ben: True! He's a highly influential character, both in and out of Universe. He's one of the most quotable and recognizable of the Saga. He looks epic, drives a bad ass Ship, shoots first (Sometimes), gets Chicks, and just straight up knows how to be awesome. Try and top that!  

Troy: True, Han Solo is the greatest non-Jedi or Sith character in the saga (all timelines included). Without Han, Luke probably would have been shot down by Vader in the Death Star's trench run. I think any other smuggler would have taken the credits and leave.  

Shanna: False. I think he is at the top of the list, though. Top Three. Captain Rex is the greatest. (Just Kidding) While his character is needed and is definitely a great character..... Wait. I don't think I've ever thought about this before. It's difficult to say he is the greatest, but I have no reason for that. I do like him a lot, and I also can't think of other characters that are "The Greatest." I would say that Han Solo is ONE of the greatest characters of the Star Wars saga.  

Darryl: True. It was a tough choice, especially when comparing him to such stellar characters as Jar Jar and Wicket, but....okay, okay, sorry. As a OT purist, and being far less knowledgable in the other categories, I can only address what I am familiar with. The guy flat out rocks, and I can't think of a single other character you could compare him to. I'll throw in a wrench, however...I have often wondered if he didn't have a bit of unknowing sensitivity to the Force as well...all that luck, those mad flying makes you wonder a bit.

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