Star Wars Hitchhikers Guide - Expanded Universe

.....A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away......
If you've never journied past the Trilogy or Prequelogy, here is your guide to the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Embracing the Dark Side or Living By The Jedi Code, the Expanded Universe has tales for the Jedi and Sith in every one. And truely learn the Skywalker history, this is my interpretation of the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Mandalore Plot - Clone Wars Season 2 Episode 12

"If you ignore the past, you jeopardize your future." 

Diplomacy or deception? The Council of Neutral Systems speaks for over 1,500 worlds who want to stay out of the war. But rumors have reached the Republic Senate suggesting that the Council's new leader -- Duchess Satine of Mandalore --  secretly building her own army to fight for the Separatist cause! Now, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi has been sent to Mandalore to discover the truth behind these claims. . . 

While investigating rumors of conspiracy surrounding Duchess Satine of Mandalore, Obi-Wan uncovers the truth about a mysterious Mandalorian plot.

This Episode was filled with Obi-Wan as we expect, getting into trouble but it's not Anakin saving him this time.  The bad ass Mandalorians give him a little more than he can handle.  Loved the black lightsaber!!  If you were like me and your DVR didn't record it when it first aired, check out it being replayed on Cartoon Network, or later this week, where you will always find the latest two episodes.  Great Episode if you're an Obi-Wan fan.

Star Wars Hitchhiker

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Return of the Jedi - Radio Drama NPR Novel

A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far Far Away....there came a time of revolution. When rebels united to challenge a tyrannical empire. Since its defeat in at Hoth and elsewhere, the rebel alliance has rallied to press the empire hard. Interstellar war hangs in the balance and all combatance feel that final decisive battle draws near.
The Return Of The Jedi Radio Drama and NPR novelization has taken the place in my heart above the actual movie itself. The late Brian Daley produced this classic after the movie's were made and truly captured the essence of the film and made each part more personal. Darth Vader's end is so much more meaningful in this version compared to the movie. Daley captures the true father and son bond that can never be broken, and earns his place as one of the greatest Jedi's with is defeat of the evil emperor.

This version features a great addition of the construction of Luke's light saber in Obi-Wan's old home, C-3PO's confrontation with Mara Jade in Jabba's palace, and a great verbal assault between Han and Boba Fett. 6 Total Episodes on audio running approximately 30 minutes each, strongly recommend picking up.

I don't want to spoil to much but I thought I would reveal my favorite parts of this breathtaking Expanded Universe story. This is only a peak at what there is hidden in this story.

Luke is being tortured by Palpatine's lightning:

Vader: (Shouting) My Son!!!!!!

Palpatine: Vader! Release me! Vader! I command you. Put me down.

Vader: I will. Down the Core Shaft. Down to your death.

Palpatine: Vader! I am your master!

Vader: Darth Vaders master, but not Anakin Skywalker!

(Presumes to throw Palpatine to his death)

Vader's Last Breath:

Vader: I'm proud that you've grown into the man....I.....once....wanted to be......

Burning of Vader's Armor

(Trickling of fire)

C-3P0: Ugh, pardon me Master Luke, but the ewoks victory celebration will be starting momentarily.

Luke: I'll be right along C-3P0

C-3P0: But first your going to light lord Vader's.....that is your father’s funeral pyre sir.

Luke: What could be more fitting? It’s a night of lights, Ewok victory fires, rebel fireworks, even the last pieces of the Death Star burning up in the atmosphere.

C-3P0: Put that way master Luke, it does sound appropriate.

Luke: I burn his armor and with it the name of Darth Vader. May the name of Anakin Skywalker ba a light that guides the Jedi for generations to come......Rest well father, the force is with you....... favorite and made the story

C-3P0: pardon me Master Luke, but may I ask why you are staring into the darkness? What are you looking at?

Luke: Not What C-3P0, Who. Don't you see them. Three comrades in arms. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Master Yoda and Anakin Skywalker.

C-3P0: My photoreceptors must be malfunctioning sir, I don't see anything.

Luke: But they're here. There fire is back in the universe. Let it burn. High and bright. To be seen by friend and foe. The Jedi, have returned.

Star Wars Hitchhiker

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Heir to the Empire - 1st Book of Thrawn Trilogy

It's five years after Return of the Jedi: the Rebel Alliance has destroyed the Death Star, defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, and driven the remnants of the old Imperial Starfleet to a distant corner of the galaxy. Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting Jedi twins. And Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of Jedi Knights.

But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor's warlords has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic. For this dark warrior has made two vital discoveries that could destroy everything the courageous men and women of the Rebel Alliance fought so hard to build. The explosive confrontation that results is a towering epic of action, invention, mystery, and spectacle on a galactic scale in short, a story worthy of the name Star Wars.

Heir to the Empire is the first book of the Thrawn Trilogy. Grand Admiral Thrawn (left) hooks up with an escaped Cloned Jedi from the the Pre Clone Wars Era, Joruus C'baoth (right)turned Dark Jedi, and plots to capture Luke, Leia and the Twins. The original Jedi, Jorus C'baoth, appeared in Timothy Zahn's Novel Outbound Flight, where the was killed by none other than Thrawn, short for Mitth'raw'nuruodo.

Most of the book takes place on the planet Mirkur, home of the force blocking creatures called the Ysalamir. Ysalamir are the only creatures identified to block, or neutralize the connection to the force.

Luke learns on this mission after being captured by Mara Jade, about her prior pursuit to kill Luke, during Episode 6, and the hardship he caused her by killing her master Darth Siddious. As previously the Emperors Hand, the relationship with his future wife is slowly being forged, but still working on separate sides of the table.

I'm not a huge fan of Timothy Zahn's Star Wars Novels but this book keeps you wanting more and move on to the next book!

There is a spy hidden amidst the New Republic and read more of the trilogy to find out more.

Star Wars Hitchhiker

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lightsaber Lost - Clone Wars Season 2 Episode 11

If you didn't watch it, check out later this week and watch it.  I thought this week was going to be a weaker episode but ended up delivering.

Anakin and Ahsoka are traveling thru the slums of Coruscant looking for a black market weapons seller.  Anakin makes the arrest but Ahsoka gets her lightsaber pick pocketed from her.  She teams up with an older Jedi Tera Sinube, looking to keep her mistake from her master Anakin.  New characters are introduced within the Jedi order, I was most pleased to see Tera Sinube, the male Cosian show at the left.  Although his character strongly reminded me of the way Yoda is portrayed in the Clone Wars, but was still very cool. 

If you know who Aurra Sing is, I was kinda worried during the episode because the image to the right is of a new character Cassie Cryar, who had possession of the lightsaber and said she had never held a lightsaber before.  Aurra Sing on the other had is an ex-Jedi Bounty Hunter bad ass and I was really hoping they didn't ruin her history, but all was fine.  Aurra is the picture on the right, I'm not crazy they do some what resemble each other.

 Ahsoka learns a valueable lesson as a Jedi, and in the end the student becomes the teacher.

Watch it if you haven't, the Clone Wars isn't for just kids.  Next week looks to promise not to disappoint, Obi-Wan and Mandalorian's brauling it out and it appears Obi-Wan has his hands full, probably another Anakin rescue for Obi-Wan.

Star Wars Hitchhiker

Did you know......Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas & General Grievous - The Old Republic

If you've watched the movies you've heard of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas and you know part of the impact on the Attack of the Clones and essentially The Clone Wars. What you may not know is why his impact with General Grievous and how the Sith Lords twisted his precognition of a great war 10 years later to their advantage.

Sifo-Dyas was a Jedi Master who had the gift of precognition and who was also good friends with the Jedi Count Dooku. Sifo-Dyas foretold the Republic would face a great war and secretly ordered the clone army. Count Dooku was no longer of allegiance to the Jedi and an apprentice of Darth Sidious, and was foretold about Sifo-Dyas and his order of the clones. Dooku would later kill Sifo-Dyas casting his allegiance to the Sith. We all know the Clones were used for the Republic for the Clone Wars and were later the Destruction of the Jedi. But......That's not all for Sifo-Dyas.

Dooku kept Sifo-Dyas' body frozen for many years and was put to use to construct the abomination of half sentient and half cyborg creator that is......General Grievous. A blood transfusion was needed to keep what was known original as Kaleesh General Qymaen jai Sheelal alive and turned into General Grievous. An early experiment similar to the construction of DarthVader.

Grievous was in a shuttle that was sabotaged and exploded almost killing Sheelal. Dooku and Sidious commissioned the transformation, that took place on Geonosis, from the Kaleesh General to the wicked General Grievous.

Although I have not found it questioned by any one, I have always wondered, General Grievous states that he has been trained in Jedi Lightsaber combat but knows nothing of the force, baring no force connection. But if it was Sifo-Dyas' blood, and midiclorians are found in the blood, should Grievous had a force connection???

This can be found in the Expanded Universe Comic - The Eyes of Revolution - a short 14 page comic but very important to Star Wars History.

"Back away! I will deal with this Jedi slime myself!"

Star Wars Hitchhiker

Tatooine Ghost - Novel - New Republic Era - Post Episode 6

Tatooine Ghost is an astonishing "home coming" for the Skywalker heritage. Leia and Han's journey on her father Anakin's home planet hit home for me and was a great adventure and a great place to start reading Expanded Universe novels post Return of the Jedi.

Leia, Han, Chewbacca, and C-3P0 being their journey to Tatooine to purchase by auction an important piece of Alderaan's legacy, Killik Twilight. Leia is pregnant with their twins and has not started her Jedi Training and still learning the ways of the force. Thru this story, Leia is learning about her fathers past history as a legendary pod racer, her fathers past friends and family, and for the first time seeing her grand mother. They acquire more on this mission than just of Alderaan's past, but more of Leia's.  The items they acquire on this mission are to good to speak of and must be read to appreciate the greatness of this novel.

There is no shortage of fighting with Han Solo and Chewie, but the story is more about Leia's learning and accepting of who she, who her family was, and learning that what was behind Darth Vader's mask was really her father and how great of a person Anakin Skywalker was.
Check out the Clone Wars tonight with me at 9 on Cartoon Network and I'll be talking more about it later.
Star Wars Hitchhiker

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dancing with the Star Wars Stars

I'm a little ashamed to say I've watched this twice.....Chewbacca and the Jawa dancing to Foot Loose, really funny......Padme, Leia, Zam, A Gamorean, and a Ewok dancing to Girls Just Want To Have Fun, still funny.......Vader and a bunch of Storm Troopers Dancing to Thriller, Hilarious!!  Enjoy!! 

Star Wars Hitchhiker

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Darth Bane - Hitchhiker Spotlight

"I am Darth Bane, Dark Lord of the Sith. I will survive. At any cost"

Darth Bane, referred to by Darth Siddious as the creater of the rule of two, is probably the greatest Dark Lords to date, and is under my spotlight today. Bane had reinvented the Order of the Sith and has a large impact on the Main Star Wars story line as in many Expanded Universe novels. From being Dessel,  miner on Apatros, to his reign as the Dark Lord of the Sith, this is Hitchhiking with Darth Bane......

"Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody the power, the other to crave it."

The beginning of Bane, or his birth name Dessel, starts off on Apatros.  Told in 2 different stories, the Comic "Jedi vs Sith" and the novel "Darth Bane - Path of Destruction".  Bane is a cortosis miner who has an exceptional command of the force, with no knowledge why he has these secret skills. He was early to accept the path to destruction from killing his own father to killing a Republic crew member. His brutality and rage ends up with him escaping the hands of Republic forces, and ends up joining the low ranks of the Sith Army. He defies his commanding officers orders during battle to ultimately save his team from ultimate defeat, and ends up arrested and sentanced to death.

Instead of death, his powers are recognized and he is transferred to the Sith Academy on Korriban. He takes on the name Bane upon his journey thru the ways of the Sith. After much treachery, death, and defiance in the academy, Bane becomes the black ball because he challenges the leaders of the Sith who are called the Brotherhood of Darkness, a democratic society of Sith Lords. Bane studies the ways of the ancient Sith and discovers secrets, and ways of the Sith from long ago, and attempts to recreate the Sith based on his learning’s from Darth Revan, as found in Knights of the Old Republic Video Game.

Bane creates the thought bomb to entomb all the Sith Lords so he is the only heir of the Sith. Although he is poisoned by former partner and seeks guidance from the only healer, Caleb, on Ruusan who will not heal any Jedi nor Sith for the Invasion of his home world. Bane will die with no healing so he threatens to kill Calebs daughter (Serra) and he ends up healing Bane. Bane finds force sensitive young girl named Rain and starts training his first apprentice, Darth Zannah.

Thru the Rule of Two and Dynasty of Evil novels, Caleb will end up dead at the hands of Zannah for no longer being of use to the Sith. Serra will seek out Bane with a bounty hunter. Bane will have expected Zannah to attempt to remove him from his title as Dark Lord by battling to death, but hasn't, so seeks a new apprentice as well as the knowledge from Legendary Darth Andeddu for the secret to eternal life. Sorry, I don't want to spoil to much of the story yet.  Really, really good reads!

Darth Bane is mentioned in Episode one for the creator of the rule of two. Luke Skywalker and Kyle Katarn, ultimately release all the souls entombed in the thought bomb during Dark Forces: Jedi Knight. Bane is also featured as one of his holocrons that was accessed by Darth Kryyat during the Legacy of the Jedi Comic.

For more on Bane, check out the full novels. Remember, the dark side is strong here.

Star Wars Hitchhiker

Monday, January 18, 2010

Legacy of Jax Pavan - Hidden Star Wars EU Gem

I've nicknamed this the Pavan Hexology, as author Michael Reaves has hooked me on his Star Wars novels and has created an epic 6 story journey into the life, and death of Lorn Pavan. Lorn Pavan life did not succeed farther than his first novel, but he's dying wishes and son's legacy carried on past order 66 and has yet to end. As the 3 Coruscant Night Novels and the Death Star Novel (bonus Reaves Story) are like the Original Trilogy, Shadow Hunter, Medstar 1 and 2 are like the Prequalogy, although I must say for this set you must read the Prequals first, unlike the movies!!

Lorn Pavan starts off as an information broker with his long time, partner in crime I-5YQ. A very similar model to C-3PO, but with a little more kick ass, and a little less eccentric! With in the story, you find out Lorn gave up his only son to the Jedi because he was found force sensitive and Lorn was later exiled from his duty as a worker at the Jedi Academy. The motley crew as informationists came a crossed a deal that resulted in a death wish from Darth Sidious. Lorn was hunted by Sith Apprentice Darth Maul, and regretfully he had help from a few late Jedi that changed his vision on the Jedi but ultimately met his fate from Darth Maul. His last wish was for I5-YQ to seek and protect his only son, Jax Pavan.

I-5YQ thru his journeys joins us next in the Med Star 1 and 2 novels, after his memory was almost completely wiped. He is joined by Jedi Barriss Offee, jedi healer, on planet Drongar working as a medical assistant during the Clone Wars. Working with many misfits I-5YQ finds companionship with the others in the Rimsoo (hospital), he finds a way to make his self "drunk" and finds a wookie really can rip his arms off (we've all heard the warning). I-5YQ ends his time on Drongar and leaves with his Sullastan friend Den Dhur to leave for Coruscant to find Jax, but smuggled the wonder drug bota for examination at the Jedi Temple. Thru his journey 1 & 2 he regains his knowledge of his former master Lorn.

The Coruscant Night series was epic for me as it included Vader, Black Sun, the search for Jax Pavan and conversion of Jax from Bounty Hunter back to Jedi. He survived order 66 and lived in the underbelly slums of Coruscant but was actively hunted by Darth Vader, Prince Xizor, and Aurra Sing (who was eventually killed by Jax), until his final encounter and battle with Vader.  Jax Pavan discovers his father and his true calling as a Jedi thru these three incredible stories.

Death Star is kind of an addition to the Reaves lore of his stories but really only contains one of the characters from the first 6 novels. He has many stories lines telling the story from the inside of the original Death Star, from construction to destruction.

Although attachment is forbidden in the Jedi Order, Reaves creates a real connection with is characters and the story lines they possess. The whole time I was reading Coruscant Nights I was rooting for the underdog Jax to defeat Vader, but we know he isn't going to completely defeat Vader, but he keeps it interesting and hopefully we will see more of Jax Pavan in his future novels. I'm going to review each in the future, but these are all worth reading, Michael Reaves does a killer job with his Star Wars novels and I'm hoping for more!

For next time, remember..........Peace is a lie, there is only passion......

Star Wars Hitchhiker

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Always in motion, the future is...

What is as good as watching Star Wars??? Playing Star Wars!

Late 2010 we are anticipating the release of 1 epic game and one awesome sequel.

The Old Republic - Deceived Trailer - Set in the Star Wars timeline over 3000 years before the destruction of the first Death Star, is the sacking of Coruscant. Most of the Jedi are lured off planet for Sith negotiations as the Sith have deceived the Jedi and are attacking Coruscant.

The Old Republic is an MMORPG, like WOW, where you create your own identity and create your own story in Star Wars, from Jedi to Sith, to Smugglers and Bounty Hunters, this game for PC is going to be as legendary as the movies themselves. Enjoy the trailer.

The Force Unleashed II, really no details on plot other than Galen is back, we thought he died in the first (sorry for the spoiler) but this one hopes to fulfill as the first......

Thats all for today......

Star Wars Hitchhiker

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dark Lord - The Rise of Darth Vader - Novel - Post Episode 3

Best place to start your journey in the expanded universe. Story starts shortly after the effects of Order 66 and the transformation of Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader.

Darth Vader is struggling with his new identity from not just his transformation from the Jedi to Sith, but his new body functionality, and mentally the struggle of his loss of everyone he loved. Palpatine's is showing his new apprentice the ways of the Sith, and what it means to be a Sith Lord.

Most of the story takes place in similiar planets that most fans are familiar with Alderaan, prior to being subject to the technological terror of the Death Star, and the Wookie World of Kashyyyk. James Luceno does a great job introducing new characters to the story as well as interpreting characters that are the back bone of the story line. Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan and Chewbacca have very small parts in the story but have large impacts on laying the foundation for readers to tell how they became who they are in New Hope.

Obi-Wan's part was very minor (but very important) and pretty much a bonus part of the book for me. If you connect Episode 3 and 4, Obi-Wan would have believed Anakin / Vader to have died on Mustafar and no longer a threat to his hidden children. Obi-Wan questioned his duty on Tatooine, and was reminded by a familiar voice his true responsibility. No more spoiling Obi-Wan's part.....

The Jedi that, are one of the multi story lines, are only mentioned of this book and don't have any depth past this story, but Luceno leaves some of their legacy's open for continuation. You see traces of the beginning of the Rebel Forces and one of our favorite Wookie's is thick in the middle.

The Rise of Darth Vader brings the best of light saber fighting, Jedi hunting, smuggling, rejoining of long lost family, Sith deception, Wookie Fighting, and brutally hardcore Darth Vader. Should be purchased in the Dark Lord Trilogy, with includes also Labyrinth of Evil and Revenge of the Sith.

Enjoy the journey, until next time, may the Force be with you!

Star Wars Hitchhiker

There are things about the force they are not telling me.....

So first, who is the hitchhiker? I was introduced to the Star Wars Movies 1 year ago; seriously I was 27 years old and never exposed to the Star Wars movies. Few friends at work were talking about the movies and felt out of the loop so I watched all 6 movies, in the order they came out.

A year later, I've read almost 80 total books, played many of the video games, reading the comics and become consumed by all that is Star Wars. Now I want to share my journey because the expanded universe that Lucas has created with the help of so many brilliant people creates so much more depth and meaning to the story lines that can only scratch the surface of who these characters actually are. The veterans that experienced the movies and like the movies don't get involved in the EU because it can be very intimidating because of the overwhelming amount of content, and not knowing where to start.
I've started at the beginning, I'm walking the timeline and enjoying almost every story and will provide my thoughts, interpretations, and suggestions to how to start, what to leave out and what is remarkable.

Watch for some new stuff and as one of my favorite EU authors says "Embrace the Dark side"!

Star Wars Hitchhiker