Tag Archives: Star Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – 3 Episode Review (The Citadel, Counterattack, Citadel Rescue)

The following is a review of a three episode story arc including the episodes The Citadel, Counterattack and Citadel Rescue. So, obviously, there will be spoilers.

I loved the recent Citadel arc of episodes. As I mentioned before in an earlier article, the first half of the season seemed a little stale, and even boring at times. It wasn’t until after the show’s winter break that it was back with a vengeance. Beginning with the Savage Opress trilogy, followed up by the Mortis episodes, and now making a dash towards the finishing line with the Citadel three episode arc.

The scheme of ‘episode trilogies’ has definitely paid off. I, like so many other watchers enjoyed the show, but thought that some stories felt rushed trying to fit into a 22 minute show. Having three episodes with a continuous story just makes it have that much more impact. In season 2 there were four episodes that interlocked to deal with the second invasion of Geonosis, and it paid off well.

Now to the Citadel. The Citadel is a heavily defended prison on the planet Lola Sayu (think what you will of that planet name) that specializes in imprisoning Jedi. It is run by the sadistic and butt ugly Warden Osi Sobeck and is boasted to hold no escape for any prisoner.

The newest residents at the Citadel are none other than Jedi master Evan Piell and Captain Tarkin. The two hold information that the Separatists desire, which are the space lane codes for the core worlds of the Republic, known as the Nexus Route. Of course this aggression will not stand man – So the Jedi council dispatches a strike team to rescue Piell, Tarkin and the codes stowed away in their brains. The method they used to infiltrate the fortress prison is a familiar one, borrowing from both Return of the Jedi and the Clone Wars digest titled Shipyards of Doom.

A team made up of (surprise!) Anakin, Obi Wan, Rex and Cody have themselves frozen in carbonite to avoid detection by lifeform scanners, while R2-D2 leads a squad of re-purposed battle-droids to fly a captured Separatist shuttle onto Lola Sayu. The animators for the Clone still continue to outdo themselves. The environments and visuals throughout the story arc are breathtaking. Lola Sayu is an impressive sight when seen for the first time. The purple hued planet looks it had a bite taken out of it by something, it’s core completely exposed and chunks of creating a debris field above certain parts.

The fun starts as the Jedi infiltrate the planet and free the captives, Tarkin having one half of the codes and Master Piell the other. The episodes go very fast because of all of the action occurring with our heroes throwing down against shield wielding commando droids, crab droids, STAPs and Anoobas (tracking animals).

A very hungry Anooba

Besides all of the action, there were nice interactions in between to sort of foreshadow the future relationship between Tarkin and Anakin. Tarkin makes it clear throughout all three episodes that he doesn’t approve of the way Jedi are handling the war. He believes that peace keepers cannot lead a war effort because they don’t have what it takes to make certain decisions that go against Jedi teachings. Anakin agrees with Tarkin, stating that sometimes the Jedi code inhibits their efforts to do things that are sometimes necessary. And as we all know, Anakin has certainly skirted the edge of the Jedi-Code. In the season 2 when he choked out ‘Poggle The Lesser’ in Jack Bauer fashion to get information. Not to mention his Padawan days, spent slaughtering families of Tusken Raiders. They both also make clear to one another their personal relationships to Chancellor Palpatine which makes the three of them standing before the Death Star at the end of Revenge of the Sith all that more powerful.

Tarkin’s character model itself definitely did Peter Cushing justice and the voice actor, Stephen Stanton did an admirable job of portraying a young Grand Moff.

Tarkin and the Jedis…

Jedi Master Evan Piell was a very welcome addition to the Clone Wars, he was stern and a little grumpy most of the time which only made me like the diminutive Lannik (species) even more. It was also interesting to hear him speak with a thick Russian accent, which I think fit the character well.

The whole time these episodes went on I thought there was nothing to worry about in regards to the Jedi characters, except stowaway Ahsoka, since they all survived through the Clone Wars. But in a glaring snub to Expanded Universe continuity, Master Piell ends up getting killed in the last episode. I was very disappointed by this, not only because Master Piell was a kick-ass character, but also because that ruins continuity for the Coruscant Nights trilogy of books following Master Piell’s Padawan Jax Pavan. In the first book Master Piell is taken down fighting against Clone Troopers continuing their execution of Order 66. Sure the Clone Wars death scene was far more dramatic and touching, but I hate when they screw up established continuity. They did the same with the Mandalorian episodes last season. I suppose it is a sign that Lucas and Dave Filoni, the Clone Wars director, are becoming less and less worried about the Expanded Universe. So unless they retcon the whole issue, and Evan Piell is lava proof, fans of the books will just have to bite the proverbial bullet.

In the end, the Jedi are rescued and Osi Sobeck is chest stabbed from behind by Ahsoka. Osi Sobeck was definitely a sadistic character who despised Jedi. (What Star Wars villain doesn’t?) It was ashamed that he did not survive for another story arc in the future. And let’s face it he didn’t have a name like ‘Veryevil Badguy’ or something to that effect like most of the Clone Wars villains.

After such a good arc, it will be hard to follow up. But I’m sure with the finale next Friday Chewbacca will be up to the task to keep us entertained. Stay tuned for my review of the finale!

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Game Trailer

For those of you Star Wars fans who don’t know about The Old Republic, it is the newest upcoming alternative to the ultra popular World of Warcraft.

World of Warcraft is a MMORPG you’ve probably at least heard of, plenty a virgin has wasted their life on it, and many a marriage has been annulled because of it. Could Star Wars fans now be heading in the same direction? Will it matter if the game is as good the rumors say?

I’ve said since it was announced nearly three years ago that I would never play it due to time consumption exhibited by the World’s of Warcraft (or WoW) masses. After seeing the newest trailer however, which features actual game-play and voice over scenes, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to resist. At least I already accomplished the virgin part some years back, and I don’t have a marriage that can be annulled if I do become addicted. Check out the trailer below:

Fighting as Jedi or Sith?
Starship combat?
Multiple planets to explore?

Yes Please.

Depending on the price, they’ve already won half the battle with me. Plus, my boy Darth Malgus is in there. It will be interesting to see exactly how in-depth and immersive the game is given how long it has been in development (2008 to be exact). The voice over work may have something to do with it according to an article at Joystiq in 2009. 100 voice actors have performed for the game with over 1,000 four-hour sessions between them. Apparently every character in the game will have plenty to say.

That is one big pile of Sith

I am also very interested to see the story progress, as everything in the Old Republic comic books and novels is taking place either way before, or during ‘The Treaty of Coruscant‘, which is a cease-fire between the Republic and Sith Empire. We all know when this game becomes available the cease-fire will have been broken.

Star Wars: Deceived – Book Trailer

Deceived is the newest Star Wars novel to be released on March 22nd 2011. It is by Paul S. Kemp (Michigan resident! Whoo Hoo!) who has already written two other Star Wars Novels so far: Crosscurrent and the forthcoming Riptide. Deceived takes place in the Old Republic era to coincide with events that will take place in the soon to be released MMORPG. Check it out below:

The trailer seems to be a couple of clips from the first two ‘Old Republic’ trailers, while the last clip is entirely new to me. The story focuses on Darth Malgus, who is a pretty big bad ass, and based on an excerpt I read from Deceived, may have a bit more to his character than just a mindless Sith warrior. The video below is how the novel begins:

And here is yet another trailer for the Old Republic starring Darth Malgus. This guy can really take a beating. What happens to him at the end is why he has to wear his imitation Darth Vader mask in the Deceived trailer.

I can’t wait for the book to come out because Paul S. Kemp is a brilliant writer, especially in the Star Wars world. He has already shown that he can write a Sith character well beyond the generic bloodthirsty killer role they play in a lot of stories. Don’t get me wrong, Sith are bloodthirsty killers, but they all have a past. Kemp touched on this in his Crosscurrent with the Sith Lord Saes Rrogon. In one of the preview excerpts from Deceived, Malgus’s past life is delved into briefly, hopefully we get to see more in the rest of the book.

Star Wars Comics Aplenty: Knight Errant/Invasion/Dark Times

You will be happy to know, unless you hate Star Wars, that Darkhorse is set to continue three story arcs on three titles coming soon according to TheForce.Net.

Knight Errant

Let’s start with Knight Errant, my least favorite title out of the three, but still a good bit of Star Wars, opening up the time period between Knights of the Old Republic and the rise of Darth Bane.

Darth_Bane

This title features a strong female lead named Kerra Holt, a Jedi Knight who is forced to wage war alone against the Sith Lord brothers Odion and Daiman after her master is slain. To add to the drama, Sith Lord Odion is also the one responsible for attacking Kerra’s home planet and killing her parents. Talk about having a grudge against someone.

Odion and Daiman are an interesting couple of Sith Lords, despite being brothers they have been at war with one another for years and are a total antithesis to one another. Odion promotes only death and destruction to his followers, while Daiman believes that he is the creator of all living things in the universe. Daiman is a little more interesting to me, seeing how much he changes to make himself believe that he is a God. Everyone in his service addressed him with “As my Lord already know” before telling him something and he even has all written text changed to his own alphabet. Freakin’ nutjob.

The first story arc Aflame started off strong and maintained it’s momentum throughout until the very last issue, though seemed a little abrupt for my taste.  For anyone unable to wait for the next arc titled Deluge, which sees Kerra returning to her homeworld, then I would suggest picking up the novel Knight Errant. The book takes place after Aflame, but before Deluge. The book is a little less action packed than the first comic arc but definitely adds great insight into the current Sith Empire’s goals and power structure.

From left to right: Kerra Holt, Lord Daiman, Lord Odion
From left to right: Kerra Holt, Lord Daiman, Lord Odion

Invasion

The next series, Invasion, takes place 21 years after Return of The Jedi, in between the 19 novels of the New Jedi Order Series. The New Jedi Order chronicles the Yuuzhan Vong War, an invasion from outside the Star Wars galaxy by a race of aliens sharing the same name as the war. The Yuuzhan Vong are undetectable through the force, have highly adaptable biotechnology, and a high tolerance for pain. Understandably this makes for a good time in the comics and gives the Jedi a challenge trying to slice and dice the Vong. Invasion which is now coming up on its third story arc, begins with the Vong invading the peaceful planet of Artorias. At this point the war is only in its beginning stages, but the first battle and the death of our beloved Chewbacca has already come to pass.

Chewie’s last stand

From that world comes our protagonist in the form of Finn Galfridian, son of the king of Artorias. Thankfully he isn’t the spoiled annoying kid you would imagine of a royal offspring, instead he is a Jedi in training who has a score to settle with the invaders who destroyed his home. Plus he has a cool droid name Prowl, who can act as Finn’s eyes and ears through a pair of nifty data goggles.

Finn and Prowl along with some really pissed off Yuuzhan Vong!
Finn and Prowl along with some really pissed off Yuuzhan Vong!

And no, Data Goggles with a programmable floating droid are not real.

Dark Times

The third and last series to continue is the depressing but awesome Dark Times, which of course refers to the events following Revenge of the Sith. In this time period star systems are savagely oppressed by the Empire, and remaining Jedi and being purged from the galaxy. Our main character is Jedi Master Dass Jennir once again. Jennir is a Jedi who has crossed the line a couple times, acting very un-Jedi and blasting a couple unarmed bad guys directly in the face. Sure they deserved it, but the whole ‘Dark Side’ thing is still in effect. After being in the first story arc of Dark Times, on the run from the Empire, Jennir sat out the second arc before returning to the fray in the excellent Blue Harvest storyline.

Wait, not this one…

In Blue Harvest Jennir is roaming from place to place while keeping a lid on his Jedi identity. He passes time by taking up bounties that do not conflict with the Jedi code and trying to stay alive. Then a bounty takes him to a planet where he plays two rival gangs of slavers against one another to meet their mutual destruction. [Ed. – Much like in the 1927 novel ‘Red Harvest’, which inspired the movie ‘Yojimbo’. That was directed by Akira Kurosawa, who also did the movie ‘The Hidden Fortress’ which was later ripped off remade into ‘Star Wars’ in 1977. ‘Yojimbo’ also has a few remakes – ‘A Fist Full of Dollars’ starring Clint Eastwood and Bruce Willis’ ‘Last Man Standing’ ]

The story arc had a very ‘Clint Eastwood/Western’ feel to it, and Doug Wheatley’s art is once again rich in detail. It seems as if in the next arc (coming in August) that Jennir will draw the ire of none other than Darth Vader. I’m hoping this won’t be the end of the road for him, but with Darth Vader coming after you the odds don’t stack in your favor.

The many looks of Jedi Master Jennir
The many looks of Jedi Master Jennir

It’s going to be a good summer with these three titles starting up again following the now ending Star Wars: Legacy comic book. I fully expect them to exceed the previous arcs and add to the ongoing space opera that is Star Wars.

Everything Is A Remix: Tarantino, Bruce Lee, and a whole lot of fake blood…

New York filmmaker Kirby Ferguson has begun a project that he entitles Everything is a Remix. He examines popular culture and it’s influences, and does so in a pretty interesting way. He has created a series of videos where he points out examples.

Continue reading Everything Is A Remix: Tarantino, Bruce Lee, and a whole lot of fake blood…