Author Archive

Happy Rancor: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II — Rogue Leader

Dan Brooks | March 28, 2013


With Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles battling it out last week in This Is Madness: The Star Wars Character Tournament, I was reminded of Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II — Rogue Leader, a video game that stars them both.

I couldn’t believe early images of Rogue Leader. It was one of the few third party titles developed for the September 2001 launch of the Nintendo GameCube, and previews began popping up in gaming magazines and online well in advance of the system’s release. Exclusive Star Wars games on Nintendo systems had become something of a tradition at that point: Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back on NES, the Super Star Wars trilogy on Super Nintendo, and Shadows of the Empire, Star Wars: Episode I — Racer, and the first Rogue Squadron on Nintendo 64. I loved them all, but the advance screenshots from Rogue Leader looked more detailed than any previous Star Wars game. It was clear that there was something special about Rogue Leader — and when it finally came out, it actually lived up to expectations, garnering critical acclaim and becoming a hit with fans. Years later, it’s still a dazzling Star Wars experience.


Happy Rancor: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi — Manga

Dan Brooks | February 7, 2013


Welcome to the first installment of Happy Rancor, my new column here on the Star Wars Blog. My goal with Happy Rancor is to explore some hidden gems in and around the orbit of Star Wars — from innovative levels of old video games to underrated novels — that have maybe been forgotten, but deserve a little more consideration. Today, I’m going to take a look at the manga adaptation of Return of the Jedi, a beautiful interpretation of the classic film, and one of my favorite Star Wars comics.


Interview: Dawn-Lyen Gardner — Steela Gerrera on The Clone Wars

Dan Brooks | October 25, 2012


As the story of the Onderon rebellion in The Clone Wars reaches its conclusion this weekend, the character of Steela Gerrera has emerged as a breakout star. Evolving from green rebel-in-training to full-fledged, inspiring leader, Steela has earned a place in the pantheon of classic Star Wars heroines. (Don’t be surprised to find a Steela or two ringing your doorbell this Halloween.)

A lot of the credit for the believability of the character’s rise — and her overall likeability — goes to Dawn-Lyen Gardner, the voice of Steela. recently caught up with Gardner over e-mail to chat about taking on such a big role, what it means to play a Star Wars heroine, and why being identified with Steela Gerrera for life isn’t a bad thing.


Interview: Andrew Kishino – Saw Gerrera on The Clone Wars

Dan Brooks | October 17, 2012


Andrew Kishino has been many things in his life and career, from hip-hop artist to Transformers video game voice actor. Now he can add something else to his impressive list: Star Wars hero.

As the voice of Saw Gerrera on The Clone Wars, Kishino brings to life one of the key figures of the current Onderon story arc, and in a sense, the larger Star Wars saga. Saw is one of the founders of the Onderon rebellion against the Separatist occupation; the Onderon rebels’ tactics and formation, supported by the Jedi, will go on to lay the groundwork for the Rebel Alliance from the classic Star Wars trilogy. It’s a strong link from the prequel era to the original films, and with Saw at the core, his significance is larger than it might initially seem. recently caught up with Kishino to talk about the special meaning Star Wars action figures have for him, getting the part of Saw and why he originally thought it was for a show on The CW network, and how his experience as a rapper informed his portrayal of the Onderonian rebel.


Secrets Revealed at Special Fan Screening of The Clone Wars

Dan Brooks | September 25, 2012

clone wars

Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, “In my experience, there’s no such thing as luck.” Maybe he was wrong. The Clone Wars Season Five doesn’t begin until this Saturday, but some select fans have already seen the first two episodes—on the big screen—and had the opportunity to ask the show’s creators questions about the series’ past, present, and future. Sounds pretty lucky.

On Friday, September 21, a small group of Star Wars fans were invited to Lucasfilm’s Premier Theater and treated to a special screening of the first two episodes of the upcoming season of The Clone Wars, ”Revival” and “A War on Two Fronts.” A post-screening Q&A moderated by Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo followed, featuring supervising director Dave Filoni, producer Cary Silver, and actress Ashley Eckstein, who portrays Padawan Ahsoka Tano on the show; the talk covered everything from stories about the show’s production to the themes of Star Wars, but the group first discussed what it was like seeing the episodes in a theater with fans.