Knights of the Old Replay: Taris

When I started this project, I had magical dreams about being able to use Twitch to livestream my game play and/or maybe recording videos of my playing and editing them into highlights. Unfortunately, then I remembered that I don’t actually have the technological abilities to make those things happen so uhhhh… gold star I tried?

On the other hand, it’s actually a good thing that you didn’t get to watch me play the game with the exception of those of you who tuned in for a little bit during my very early game play via Instagram. I die a lot. Now before you pull out your pitchforks, let me explain. For some reason, I like playing the game on the hardest setting which is still not terribly hard. Where I throw in the real challenge though is by leveling up my character as little as possible on Taris. What does that mean? It means that my Level 3 Kassia Ettyk dies a lot and poor Carth Onasi has to compensate by frantically shooting people and also dying a lot. (Seriously though: she’s supposed to be like a Level 7 or so by now.) Why do I do this? So I can get more Jedi powers once I go to Dantooine.

The initial levels of a game are often painfully slow no matter what but after almost a year of playing Mass Effect religiously, KOTOR’s older mechanics really suffered in comparison. (It also didn’t help that I’m switching from a PS3 to my laptop.) You’re setting up your actions about 4 moves in advance and you can also switch to actually fight as one of your crewmembers. (That last part is actually pretty nice… it helps me die a lot less.) The downside is that it feels a lot slower and less exciting. Getting off the Republic ship just made me want to take a nap until it was over. (Literally no one cares about you, Trask.)

Thankfully, things get a lot more interesting once you crash on the planet because now you and Carth Onasi (my boyfriend!) have to figure a way off Taris and then past the Sith blockade. This involves a lot of running around the Upper and Lower City levels, breaking into apartments, and either helping people or being a massive jerk to them depending on whether you’re being a light sider or dark sider. There’s approximately zero nuance involved with the light/dark choices. I think that’s why I never had a problem playing as dark side because you’re evil to such a comical extent that I never felt like a total jerk. Also the powers were cool.

Because I just wanted this planet to end, I skipped doing all the death ring battle matches this time around and I definitely didn’t play Pazaak with anyone. Instead, I just killed a Sith soldier, stole his armor, went down into the really Lower City, tried to avoid getting infected by these creepy Rakghouls, and then dived right into the sewers. Along the way, I picked up/rescued Mission Vao and Zaalbar to help me break into one gang’s base so I could steal back a prototype engine and give it back to another gang who let me ride the swoop bike so I could win a race and rescue Jedi Knight Bastila Shan. And all of that sounds way more convoluted when I actually write it out. Wow.

But wait there’s more! I also teamed up with Canderous Ordo to acquire an astromech droid (T3-M4) so I could break into the Sith base and steal codes and then we stole a ship from some crime lord and blasted our way off the planet while Darth Malak tried to bomb it into oblivion. (Nice try, buddy. Come back when you’ve got a Death Star.) Thankfully, I’m finally off Taris and have made my way to Dantooine.

One of my favorite things about this game is getting to know your crewmates and that kicks off almost from minute one. Carth has more trust issues than any one man really should but he also flirts with my player character and calls her beautiful so it all evens out really. I also love his interactions with Mission and Bastila that are randomly triggered as we run around the city. Mission and Carth clash because she’s a teenager pushing back against authority and Carth and Bastila clash because… she lost her lightsaber? Actually that last one’s just funny. If I didn’t play favorites, I’m sure that I would have encountered more of these conversations already but… well… Listen: I just know which crewmembers I really like, okay? Curse you Bioware for only letting me take two with me at a time!

Taris may have been a bit of a drag but I’m hoping that things will pick up now that I’ve made it to Dantooine and can get cool Jedi powers! I’m readjusting to the older game mechanics and the story’s more fun now. And hey! Maybe I’ll even remember to take screenshots while I’m actually playing this time…

Holonet Blast #2

Lots of news this week! New books! New The Last Jedi details! New hair! Let’s dive right in, shall we?

ARTOO-DETOO RECAST

Though rumored as early as December 2015, it’s now official; following the death of original Star Wars actor Kenny Baker, going forward (beginning with this December’s The Last Jedi) the adorable astromech will be portrayed by Doctor Who veteran Jimmy Vee. I guess this makes him R2-D2-2. (source)

via OhSoSmall.com

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Tosche Station Radio #161: A*F*T*E*R*M*A*T*H

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This week on Tosche Station Radio, we catch up on the news and prepare for Star Wars Aftermath: Empire’s End by taking a look back at the first two books in the trilogy.

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store and Google Play. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Nanci and Brian are the co-founders and writers of Tosche-Station.net. You can find Nanci on Twitter with the handle @Nancipants and you can find Brian with @LaneWinree.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and your support on Patreon!

Of Dice and Droids Episode X: With or Without You

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THE END OF ALL THINGS

EPISODE X: With or Without You

The Cast:

  • Tom the GM
  • Jin played by Saf
  • Percival played by Jay
  • Shoto played by Sho

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and your support on Patreon. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes/Google Play to hear all of the adventures! You can also subscribe to the Tosche Station Radio master podcast feed  (iTunes/Google Play) for even more great Star Wars  and geek culture content. 

Western Reaches #23

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This episode we talk about China Miéville, science fiction books, co-operative games and violence in games, with our main topic focusing on Giant Squid’s first game, Abzû
 
Games: 
  • Neighbor (Triennale Game Collection)
  • Zero Time Dilemma
  • Banner Saga 2
  • We Were Here
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
  • Abzû
Books: 
  • Looking for Jake – China Miéville
  • Kaddish – Leon Wieseltier
  • Universal Harvester – John Darnielle
  • Ninefox Gambit – Yoon Ha Lee
  • Altered Carbon – Richard K. Morgan
You can find Megan on Twitter with the handle @blogfullofwords and you can find Saf with @Wanderlustin. Be sure to subscribe to Western Reaches on iTunes/Google Play and subscribe to the Tosche Station Radio Mega Feed for more great shows, discussion, and commentary. This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and your support on Patreon!

Review: Poe Dameron #11

Okay can we please start by discussing how drop dead gorgeous this cover is? Phil Noto is rarely anything but excellent but this is another level. I want this framed on my wall.

But about the actual content of the issue… Oh Terex. You’re certainly not going to win First Order Officer of the year and frankly, I’m increasingly concerned about your contining existence. (It’s shocking that Phasma hasn’t broken his spine already.) That said, Charles Soule is presenting us with an interesting comparison with our two sides. Leia formed the Resistance because the New Republic was blind to the threat and now Terex is using his own private army to strike against the Resistance because the First Order can’t. It’s a thought-provoking contrast especially since the First Order is so focused on….uhhh…order. It’s surprising that they’d bring Terex in at all and now that he’s in and pushing back so strongly against Phasma… how long will he stay a part of the First Order especially if he loses to Poe?

We still don’t know who the spy is for sure and it’s driving me insane! While Poe comes to the same conclusion that I did several issues ago, I have a feeling that there’s going to be a twist. This is comics: there’s always a twist and I can’t wait to read what it is.

Sidebar: If someone doesn’t pull together a Lord-General of the Rancs of Kaddak cotsume soon, I’m going to be very disappointed.

Poe Dameron #11: Charles Soule/Writer, Phil Noto/Artist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

ThrawnCast 3.1: A Very Special Clone

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This week on the ThrawnCast, we kick off reading The Last Command with chapters 1-4.

The ThrawnCast is a part of the Tosche Station Radio network. Be sure to subscribe to the ThrawnCast on iTunes or Google Play. You can also subscribe to the Tosche Station Radio Mega Feed in iTunes or  Google Play for more great shows from our podcast network. 

This podcast was brought to you by Her Universe and your support on Patreon.

Holonet Blast #1

Welcome to the first edition of something new we’re trying here at Tosche Station: the Holonet Blast. Over the last year or so, we’ve gotten away from being primarily a news blog but we don’t want to completely ignore it so we’ve found a solution with this once weekly round up of all the Star Wars news that hits the internet! As a note, we’ll be dealing with confirmed news only and not rumors because if we did rumors, we’d be here all year. But hey! We did learn things this week so strap yourselves in and let’s blast off!

Celebration is less than two months away and we’re finally getting some news about guests! If you’re an autograph collector, start saving now because Felicity Jones, Ian McDiarmid, and Jeremy Bulloch will all be at Celebration Orlando! Hopefully more guest announcements will be made soon so people can try and budget accordingly.

The Marvel comics will be kicking off their next crossover in May! Titled ‘The Screaming Citadel,’ the story start with a one-shot by Kieron Gillen and then go back and forth between the main Star Wars book by Jason Aaron and the new Doctor Aphra book by Gillen. Per the official site, “Luke reluctantly team[s] with the shady-but-cool archaeologist to investigate the Screaming Citadel, an infamous castle located on the edge of space.” Given how well Vader Down went, Screaming Citadel is definitely something that fans are going to want to pick up. You should also give the interview with Aaron and Gillen a read because holy crap am I excited for this story!

In news much further in the future, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced on a call that the Star Wars Lands in Disneyworld and Disneyland will open in 2019. From what everyone’s saying, that’s a fairly aggressive build schedule. As a note, Iger didn’t say when in 2019 they’ll open. Some folks are speculating that it’ll be in time for Celebration (so hypothetically April 2019) but it could also easily be later in the year. And let’s be honest… they’re going to get our money either way. Personally, I’m guessing it’ll be later in the year because why not (hypothetically) get our money from park visits around Celebration and them again when the new attractions open? Again, that’s just speculation and we don’t know anything for sure except that we’re getting it in 2019. (For now.)

The New York Times ran a nice profile piece on some of the women help create the Star Wars universe, specifically those at Industrial Light & Magic. It’s definitely an interesting read if you have a few minutes especially since most of these mainstream “Women of Star Wars” pieces tend to focus on either the characters or Kathleen Kennedy.

And as always, the Star Wars Show is a delight! This week, they chatted with Laura Jane Grace, Pablo took us to the Rogue One creature shop, and Andi went skateboarding?

But most importantly… February 6th marked the first birthday of Millicent Hux. For those of you who somehow aren’t aware, Millicent is Hux’s ginger cat imagined by Pablo Hidalgo and she uses Kylo’s vat of ashes for her litter box. Needless to say, fandom (including myself) took the concept and ran with it and basically she’s canon now. All hail Millicent!

Ace Space Episode 3: Revenge of the Unnecessary Romantic Plotlines

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Welcome to Ace Space, a podcast about being ace and loving space! In our Episode 3 we welcome our new host, Nic! We also talk about the Drowning In Moonlight gala (it’s going to rock), discuss unnecessary romantic plotlines we dislike and the exhalation of romance over other types of relationships in media, and talk about Cole Sprouse’s comments on Riverdale‘s version of Jughead. Are there any romantic plotlines that you find get in the way of storytelling? What are your thoughts on Jughead? And Riverdale? And, continuing from last time, we still want to know if you have a favorite Pokemon region or type or character or whatever. Let us know in the comments below or on our twitter, @AceSpacePod!
 
The intro music is ‘Goodbye Moon’ by the esteemed Marian Call and the outro music is ‘Stars’ by the excellent Seth Boyer.

You can find Sho on Twitter with the handle @ryorin and you can find Nic with @nicolecieux.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and your support on Patreon. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes/Google Play! You can also subscribe to the Tosche Station Radio master podcast feed  (iTunes/Google Play) for even more great Star Wars  and geek culture content. 

Review: Doctor Aphra #4

My favorite new comic continues today and uhhh yeah. It’s not looking great for Team Aphra. (It’ll be fine! It’s only issue #4 of an ongoing series, after all.)

Surprisingly, while Aphra continues to be awesome, she wasn’t my favorite part of this issue. That honor goes instead to our antagonist. Despite debuting so recently, Captain Tolvan is already turning out to be a lovely surprise and seems to be a character who’ll be sticking around for a little while. She’s good but she’s not perfect and, were this her story, she’d be working through a personal redemption arc. On a related note, it seems that Marvel’s previous references to events in Rogue One weren’t throwaway lines and I sincerely hope we get more of this.

I mentioned this during the last review but I sincerely love that this is first and foremost the story of a rogue archaeologist that just happens to be set in the Star Wars universe. It gives the book such a distinct feel from any other Star Wars stories we’ve gotten in recent memory. There are familiar locations and characters of course but it all just feels so fresh. I’m almost as invested in finding the Ordu Aspectu as Papa Aphra is. (Side Note: Does anyone else think of Wesley the Rogue Demon Hunter from Buffy the Vampire Slayer every time they read the opening scroll? No? Just Me? Okay never mind.)

Actually, I take back what I said earlier. My favorite part of the issue is a panel of the murderbots a few pages in because it made me laugh so damn hard. I won’t spoil it for you but I promise you’ll know it when you see it.

Doctor Aphra continues to get a “hell yeah!” from me and I would really like Issue #5 in my hands already, please and thank you.

Doctor Aphra #4: Kieron Gillen/Writer, Kev Walker/Pencils, Marc Deering/Inks Antonio Fabela/Colors, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor