“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
Posts Tagged ‘Expanded Universe’
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.
There’s an old crime lord saying that goes, “For every bounty hunter that can do the job, there are a thousand more who think they can.” The names Boba Fett, Cad Bane, and Aurra Sing fill the galaxy with dread and menace, but what of the washouts who failed to live up to the glory of their more deadly peers? These are the stories of seven bounty hunters who strove for greatness in the annals of galactic history, but came up short, falling prey to their own targets or wasting away in bitter obscurity. Just in time for the upcoming The Bounty Hunter Code. You know of the greatest bounty hunters in the galaxy…now it’s time to hear about “The Not-So Magnificent Seven!”
When I first developed the story that became Star Wars: Kenobi, my new novel releasing from Random House in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook on August 27, I knew what I wanted. Instead of a star-spanning space opera, I intended something much more akin to a western, telling the story of recent arrival to Tatooine Obi-Wan Kenobi and how the locals — settlers and Sand People — reacted to him.
Set in the days following Star Wars: Episode III, the story does all that, while depicting the urgency of Kenobi’s mission to go underground and his pain over the events that have befallen the galaxy. It also depicts how his presence affects the world around him, as it certainly must. A body in motion tends to remain in motion, and Obi-Wan cannot resist the drive to help people in need. Even here, at the farthest place from the bright center of the galaxy!
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 it, check out part one of “Barely Tolerable: Alien Henchmen of the Empire.”
The question: Are Tusken Raiders a form of animal, mineral, or vegetable? The answer: No one in the Empire gives a womp rat’s tail.
Anti-alien discrimination ran rampant within Imperial ranks and society. In some instances, such as that of Grand General Malcor Brashin, whose family was murdered by Rodian thugs, this prejudice was understandable, if misguided. But, for the most part, it was humans’ irrational fear of the unknown, coupled with the power-idolizing influence of Palpatine, that spiraled this instinct into an out-of-control xenophobia. Nonetheless, while Imperials were fond of instituting their bigotry into law, one maxim proved the proverbial Thorn of Ryloth in their sides: good help is hard to find.
When the Special Edition of Star Wars was released in 1997, my wife and I went to the cinema to see it. I hadn’t seen the film for a few years, and it seemed like a great opportunity to view it again on the big screen.
The opening music brought a tingle of delight.
And when the Star Destroyer appeared above us on the screen, got bigger and bigger, and just kept…on…coming, I realized I was sporting a huge, goofy grin of delight. I hadn’t expected this reaction. It took me back 20 years to when my brother first took me to see Star Wars on its original release, and for the following couple of hours I was that eight-year-old boy again, marveling in wonder as I watched something that became a part of history.
Neither that eight-year-old boy, nor the 28-year-old man who felt like a boy again, could have imagined that one day he would be playing in the Star Wars universe himself.
In the landmark Star Wars novel Heir to the Empire, published in 1991 and written by Timothy Zahn, the character Grand Admiral Thrawn gained infamy as an alien who not only excelled in the xenophobic military of Emperor Palpatine, but even succeeded him as ruler. Historically, Thrawn has been perceived as something of an enigma — the lone alien of the Galactic Empire. However, the brilliant, red-eyed Chiss strategist was neither the only nonhuman to serve Palpatine, nor even the first.
We were lucky to have four talented and versatile authors on our Star Wars Books panel: novelist Troy Denning; novelist and comic book writer John Jackson Miller; writer and illustrator Jeffrey Brown; and nonfiction writer (and Lucasfilm editor) J.W. Rinzler. Frank Parisi from Del Rey and I represented for the editorial side, and the panel was moderated by the Keeper of the Holocron himself, Leland Chee. Leland kicked things off by pointing out that Lucasfilm has been undergoing an exciting period of change, and due to so many things developing right now (always in motion is the future), we couldn’t really address much about where Star Wars fiction is heading. But we can talk about the great releases we have coming up! Troy Denning talked a little about Crucible, which is on sale now, while John Jackson Miller talked about Kenobi, coming in September. Kenobi, John explained, is basically a western set in space, and I commented on the brilliant approach John took of showing us Obi-Wan through the eyes of strangers who have no idea who this mysterious newcomer is. Frank and I took turns talking about the forthcoming Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells, which focuses on Leia and how she reacts when she meets up with a crew of Alderaanian pirates; Maul: Lockdown by Joe Schreiber, which is an intense, violent thriller with ties to Darth Plagueis; and Honor Among Thieves by James S.A. Corey, which I boldly proclaimed as a possible successor to the Brian Daley Han Solo novels.
I sometimes hear writers whine about questions they hate to answer.
For example: “If one more person asks me where I get my ideas, I’ll scream! (I’m gonna say they’re delivered by stork.)”
Or: “I’ll strangle the next fan who asks ‘Why did you have your character do X? (Blame it on my unhappy childhood.)”
Or: “How am I supposed to describe my writing process? It’s ART, for criminy sake! I sacrifice a fatted reader to the gods of creativity and Snoopy dance under a full moon.)”
I am puzzled by this whining because these are all questions I’m perfectly happy to answer. Repeatedly.
I’ve never been very good at jigsaw puzzles.
It’s a skill I’ve just been unable to master. I can’t see where a given piece fits into the picture on the box; sky and cloud pieces completely baffle me; and the red blob that has to be on the piece I’m looking for (because it extends from the red blob on this piece) is always smaller and more inconspicuous than I expect it to be. Generally, once any pieces with words had been connected (I’m pretty good with the word pieces), my job at family jigsaw parties was cheerleading for the others and making sure there were plenty of snacks.
But I do like jigsaw puzzles. So if I can’t put them together, maybe I could try creating one.
How do I start?