The establishment of the Galactic Empire following the end of the Clone Wars brought with it an age of draconian censure to the music of the galaxy. The Imperial Board of Culture was founded, whose purpose was to foment pro-Imperial thought and limit or outright ban any message contrary to the New Order in popular entertainment. The board reviewed all holo-films, novels, and sound slugs prior to their uploading to the galactic distribution nets, and issued them one of three ratings. Pro-Imperial or totally innocuous works, such as “The Mantooine Minuet” (a personal favorite of Emperor Palpatine), the Navy’s imposing parade anthem, “Imperial March,” the neo-waltzes and ganther dances of Nabicci Futana, and the ballads of the Ho’Din diva Annadayle Fayde were passed outright. Works deemed worthless or mildly offensive received a scarlet rating, such as mainstream Core World band Starburst, the track listing of whose second release Only In Your Dreams was deemed offensive and possibly political in nature. Scarlet releases were issued with a warning message, but more significantly, possession of scarlet material could be considered a misdemeanor offense at the discretion of Imperial officials, leading to artists and consumers being conveniently arrested or penalized as subversives (like the Alderaanian band Red Line who disappeared entirely after their vocal condemnation of the Ghorman Massacre at a live performance). The third action of the Imperial Board of Culture was to outright ban politically charged, anti-Imperial works, fining artists and consumers alike up to 1000 credits and imprisoning them. The rowdy scrak band Billi B And The Paradise Gang were early victims. Anti-Imperial group Deeply Religious dutifully submitted all three of their albums, Deeply Religious, The Emperor Of Air And Darkness, and Advanced Explosive Handbook, to the IBoC. All three were banned and subsequently released and distributed on the black market.
Archive for ‘Books and Comics’
When Star Wars fandom was preparing itself for the start of the long awaited Clone Wars in the upcoming movie Attack of the Clones, publisher DeAgostini released its very first issue of The Official Star Wars Fact File on December 27, 2001. Fact File would eventually run for 140 issues, filled with Star Wars lore about characters, ships, locations, technology, and much more. Now, Fact File has returned for another series of 120 issues!
For those of us who were there in the beginning (myself being a member of the “age seven in ’77″ club), Ralph McQuarrie’s Star Wars Portfolio holds a very special place in our hearts. And yet as familiar as Star Wars fans have become with the 21 paintings within the portfolio, few know that many of them had gone through numerous revisions during the film’s production. In the 16 years I knew Ralph, and particularly during the period when we were working on The Art of Ralph McQuarrie (Dreams and Visions Press, 2007), we had several opportunities to speak at length about those original paintings, and the Ballantine portfolio that introduced so many of us to Ralph and his work.
As beautiful as Ralph’s paintings are, he was always quick to point out they were never intended to be seen by anyone beyond those involved in bringing the film to life. He often said that had he known, he would have tried to put more of a polish on them (as if they needed it). But the success of Star Wars, and the resulting clamoring from the fans for any and all Star Wars merchandise they could get their hands on, would ultimately change Ralph’s life.
Judy Lynn Del Rey, who had been with Ballantine since 1973, saw Ralph’s art early in the negotiations to acquire the film’s publishing license, and recognized its potential as commercial art. She hired Ralph to paint the cover of the Star Wars novelization released in fall 1976, launching a relationship that would result in Ralph’s providing 22 additional cover paintings for Del Rey books from 1978-1987.
The first printing of the Star Wars novelization sold out its entire run prior to the film’s release (one can safely assume in some part thanks to Ralph’s amazing, evocative cover illustration). Once the film was released and an unparalleled success, Del Rey had further plans as how to capitalize on Ralph’s art.
Did the Rebels truly defeat Palpatine’s Empire at the Battle of Endor? The deep roots of the Star Wars mythos continue exploring that subject with tremendous zeal. In the literature of the galaxy far, far away, the conflict between the Alliance to Restore the Republic and the crumbling Empire has played out in a multitude of wars for years beyond Return of the Jedi. Though the Galactic Civil War finally came to an end with the signing of a peace treaty almost two decades after the desolation of the second Death Star, this no-holds-barred primer profiles the most memorable and powerful Imperial renegades of those intervening years, the so-called “Warlords,” who fought valiantly, viciously and fanatically for the scraps of the once-glorious First Galactic Empire and whose selfishness ultimately brought about its self-destruction. (In case you missed them, you can also read part one and part two in the series.)
The Nihilism and Artistry of Lord Shadowspawn (~0.3-11 Years After Endor)
Who, or what, is Lord Shadowspawn? The answer to that is a riddle wrapped in a Lodi mystery inside a Rakata mind trap.
In our last installment, we discussed what makes Mandalorian characters and culture so attractive to Star Wars fans. If we dive further into the culture as it’s written in the Expanded Universe, we find that Mandalorians attach great significance to the icons and imagery of their culture. From the first Mandalorian Crusades to the resurgent Mandalorian Death Watch, events and changes in Mandalorian culture were marked often times by specific symbols and icons. Come take a journey with me as we investigate some of the more well-known Mandalorian icons.
Did the Rebels truly defeat Palpatine’s Empire at the Battle of Endor? The deep roots of the Star Wars mythos continue exploring that subject with tremendous zeal. In the literature of the galaxy far, far away, the conflict between the Alliance to Restore the Republic and the crumbling Empire has played out in a multitude of wars for years beyond Return of the Jedi. Though the Galactic Civil War finally came to an end with the signing of a peace treaty almost two decades after the desolation of the second Death Star, this no-holds-barred primer profiles the most memorable and powerful Imperial renegades of those intervening years, the so-called “Warlords,” who fought valiantly, viciously, and fanatically for the scraps of the once-glorious First Galactic Empire and whose selfishness ultimately brought about its self-destruction. (In case you missed it, check out part one of “The Imperial Warlords: Despoilers of an Empire.”)