It’s been gratifying to see Star Wars: Kenobi by John Jackson Miller succeed on a critical and commercial level, especially since this book is a perfect example of how it sometimes takes a village to deliver a successful Expanded Universe novel. I thought I’d give you a little peek into how Kenobi arrived at its final form.
Archive for September, 2013
“The fast draw is a bit overrated…sure it sells holoflicks, but in real life? I’ve seen more go down that way than just about any other. Sure, speed counts, but so does accuracy. It doesn’t do you any good if you shoot the floor five times while your opponent puts the bead on you for good…the real test is the look before the guns come out. When you look someone directly in the eyes, that’s what really separates the professionals from the amateurs.” — Han Solo, to historian Voren Na’al
It was Labor Day weekend in 1998 and I was off to my very first convention as a Stormtrooper. The Detention Block 2551 site had been up for a year. Over a hundred other Stormtroopers had joined the newly-anointed 501st Squad. We had an insignia and a backstory. All that was left now was to form up as a club in person. I e-mailed everyone from the website and boldly announced the Fighting 501st was going to take the con by storm!
That was all tough talk. I was terrified. I’d never been to Dragon Con in my life and from what I heard it was huge. I was barely able to get around an air conditioned movie theater in my armor, so how would I get around downtown Atlanta in armor that barely fit me? (We didn’t cut our armor down back then; we didn’t know we could!) On top of that, I was still getting used to being an amputee. And who were these people coming to meet up with me? I barely knew them. Would they rally to a banner I’d raised on the Internet? Or would they just bail on everything and go party?
I don’t have the world’s longest fingernails, shortest dog, or largest collection of vacuum cleaners. But, according to the globally-recognized authority on such things, Guinness World Records 2014, I have amassed the “Largest Collection of Star Wars Memorabilia” in the galaxy. But who knew that would be such a big deal?
For a series with the word “war” in the title, it’s no wonder that war movies and Westerns would have an influence on the stories told inside the Star Wars universe.
We talk about the influence of films on the Star Wars movies and the cartoon so much, I thought it would be a nice break to discuss a few books in the Expanded Universe and the cinematic forces behind them.
Ever since I received my first Star Wars figures in 1981 I have always been an avid fan of Kenner’s vintage line. It brought me a lot of childhood memories and it has taken a prominent place in my collection. One of the charms of the Kenner line are the “naive” names given to a lot of the figures. I’ve always embraced and loved more realistic names like Ponda Baba and Momaw Nadon, but I keep calling the Kenner figures Walrus Man and Hammerhead. Lucasfilm rarely named background characters during the production of the classics so Kenner didn’t have much of a choice but to use the production names or a few monikers given in the novelizations or the comics.
What if Lucasfilm had already given all those characters their names when the figures were released? Let’s have a look at the contemporary and alternate names of the Kenner action figures.
Aliens are one of the most fascinating aspects of the Star Wars saga. They look strange, sound strange and act strange — all things at odds with another iconic element of Star Wars: the martial order and perfect conformity of the Galactic Empire. This series sheds a light on some of the most notorious alien henchmen of the Empire to straddle these worlds, drawing upon the films and the Expanded Universe. In case you missed them, please read part one and part two.
Given the many aliens who worked alongside Senator Palpatine during his rise to power (Sly Moore of Umbara, Mas Amedda of Champala, Onaconda Farr of Rodia, and Kashyyyk’s Yarua, among others), few could have foreseen the ideological changes that would accompany his assumption of the Imperial throne. Palpatine’s true beliefs became evident only after it was too late for anyone to stop his sinister plans.