Knights of the Old Replay: Homecoming through Nights of Anger

The Awful Adventures of Zayne Carrick continue and, well, we actually get a really neat mixture of stories and character backstories. I might be doing this whole thing backwards though because I’m pretty sure I wrote the most about the shortest arc this time around. Oh well?

On with the KOTOR!

Homecoming
Script by John Jackson Miller, Art by Brian Ching, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler

Homecoming is really the only thing that this standalone issue could have been called. Lucien and the other Masters return to Coruscant to report back to both the Jedi Council and their manipulators: Lucien’s own mother (Krynda) and Haazen (a failed padawan.) We get a hell of a lot of backstory and our very first encounter with the person who will become Revan! Continue reading

Knights of the Old Replay: Commencement and Flashpoint

And so the KOTOR project actually begins! Interestingly enough, we start with that I remember least. Despite making it my goal to get all of these comic omnibuses as Dark Horse released them, I haven’t actually cracked them open yet so it’s been a very long time since I’ve read these comics. Essentially, I remember the first arc and that’s uhhh mostly it. (Look, it’s hard keeping so much Star Wars in your brain when you read almost everything regardless of era.)

Point is… this is going to be fun!

Commencement
Script by John Jackson Miller, Art by Brian Ching and Travel Foreman, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler

When you make a list of the Jedi that you don’t want to be, the first name on the list should probably be Anakin Skywalker. The second name on the list should be Zayne Carrick. There are a lot of different ways that you could subtitle this first comic arc. Zayne Carrick: Not Great At This Jedi Thing. Zayne Carrick: Having A Really Bad Day. Zayne Carrick: Doesn’t Deserve This Crap. Zayne Carrick: Proud Member Of The You-Try-So-Hard Club. Somehow, they’re all accurate. That poor boy.

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Knights of the Old Replay: Bria Takes On KOTOR

darth revanA long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… a girl got a bad idea.  Or perhaps it was a good idea.  Honestly, it depends on your point of view.  Today is a grand tradition in Tosche Station history.  Back in 2012, this marked the start of the Waru Express and in 2013, it marked the start of the Hondo Caravan.  I took two years off but this feels like the right time to start another big project.  2016 just feels like the right time to embark on a reread and replay of the Knights of the Old Republic comics and games.  

How’s this going to work?  That’s an excellent question!  I’ll be covering the comics a few arcs at a time in a similar method to what I did with the Waru and the Hondo.  There will likely be squeeing and snark and also gifs.  Definitely gifs.  For the games, well… I’m still working on that part but there will probably be a post for every planet.  (Honestly, this part is up to you guys! I’m going to look into livestreaming my game play and maaaaaybe figuring out how to put together a short little highlights video for every post too.)

visas-marrThere is one twist for this particular project: cosplay.  I’ll be working on a Visas Marr costume for Celebration/Dragon Con next year and it seems appropriate that I include any updates about the costume’s progress as this retrospective moves along.  (It also has the side benefit of publicly shaming me if I don’t get any work done on it.)

Knights of the Old Republic is one of those games that I adore and will always adore until the end of time.  I’m genuinely excited to reread the comics because it’s been a few years and even more excited to play through the games again because R E V A N <3  This will also be the very first time that I’m playing through the second game with the cut content restored thanks to mods.  I look forward to having my heart broken.

If you’d like to follow my progress on Twitter, I’ll be using the hashtag #HKExcursion.  The full list is below although the order of the planets for the games is subject to change depending on what I decide on playing first.   Continue reading

Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Dark Force Rising Chapters 1-3

DarkForce_RisingWe start our tale, as we always do, on an Imperial Star Destroyer. Pellaeon, in command of the Chimaera under Grand Admiral Thrawn, is preparing to coordinate an assault on Myrkr. Specifically, coordinating an assault on Talon Karrde’s former base. Thrawn is certain Karrde crossed them by not handing over Luke Skywalker, and he isn’t having any of that.

Because Karrde is smart, he’s already abandoned his base, and Thrawn, of course, knows that. Because he knows everything, apparently. But he still wants to attack Karrde’s base, both to give the ground crews much-needed combat practice, but also to see if any of Karrde’s contacts in Hyllyard City attempt to get ahold of Karrde and, in turn, lead the Empire to his new base of operations.

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Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Dark Force Rising Introduction

Dark Force Rising was published in June 1992, an entire year after Heir to the Empire and a mere month before I first saw the Star Wars Trilogy in its entirety. As soon as I finished HttE I rushed to the bookstore and purchased my very own copy of the new Star Wars books. I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t have to wait a year to find out what happened next. (I wasn’t so lucky when it came to The Last Command, but that’s another story.) DFR might even have been the first piece of Star Wars merchandise I purchased all by myself, even before getting VHS copies of the films. (While HttE originally belonged to my father, it soon “magically” made its way onto my bookshelf.) And thus my status as a SWEU follower first and foremost was solidified early on in my fandom.

DFR is my least favorite book of the series, and the installment I’m least familiar with. I’ve read HttE more times, and I’ve skimmed TLC more times than I can count because of all the Luke and Mara stuff. But there are parts of DFR I really, really love. Garm bel Iblis is a great character, and while 11-year-old Nanci didn’t go quite so far as to ship him with Mon Mothma, 34-year-old Nanci totally picks up on that implication (and kind of wants to write a tragic fanfiction about them). I love that Mara Jade is willing to drop everything and ask for help from Luke kriffing Skywalker, the man she’s sworn to kill, in order to rescue Talon Karrde. I love Leia Organa Solo being the badass Lady Vader on Honoghr.  And I love that by the end of this book, Luke is absolutely despondent at the idea of losing Mara, so much so that Han picks up on it. (Like I said before, Han Solo was the first L/M shipper.)

There’s not much else I can tell you about the book. I remember the basic plot beats, and being really interested in the Katana fleet mystery, but I can’t recall much more than that. Other than I liked it a lot and waiting several months to read TLC was absolute torture.

I’m really looking forward to revisiting DFR and seeing what I remember and the parts I’d completely forgotten. I hope you’ll enjoy the ride!

 

 

The Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Wrap-Up Post

Mara threatens Luke's life...again

My re-read of Heir to the Empire has come to a close, putting me 1/3 of the way done with my Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective. It’s been a hell of a ride. Let’s discuss further, shall we? 

The last time I read Heir was in 2011, when the 20th Anniversary Edition was released, so I’m not as far removed from this book as I am the others in the trilogy. Still, it was fun to revisit the novel that sparked my love of the Expanded Universe and solidified me as a Star Wars fan, and not just someone who saw the movies once or twice and enjoyed them.

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Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapter 30-32

200px-HeirToTheEmpireThe bad part about having finished the Hyllyard City scenes is that the Hyllyard City scenes are finished. No more Luke and Mara. Sad face.

Time for another confession. I really don’t care for the end of Heir to the Empire. The battle of Sluis Van, even though it features Wedge being awesome, seems very tacked on. And it’s very convenient that Luke, Han, Lando, and Wedge all manage to wind up there. Maybe that’s just my bias coming through, because I’ve been so focused on Luke and Mara and Karrde over the past several chapters. I know that Thrawn’s been preoccupied with Sluis Van and there’s still a lot of mystery over what the plan entails. Still, it does seems like a bit of a letdown after the book moves off Myrkr.

Which is exactly where Chapter 00 begins. Karrde is amazed that one man, without the Force, managed to defeat so many stormtroopers. Get used to it, Karrde my dear. We learn that Lando needs medical attention, and that Aves was close to shooting him for his supposed betrayal, but he’ll be okay.

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Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 27-29

200px-HeirToTheEmpireWe’re nearing the end of the retrospective with only 6 chapters and 2 posts to go. In our last installment Leia left Kashyyyk and Luke learned about Mara’s past as the Emperor’s Hand. They’re running out of forest–what happens next? Onward!

Chapter 27 begins with the Chimaera testing cloaking shields, and by golly, they work. Pellaeon is worried about sending ships into enemy territory without communications. Thrawn says that’s how cloaking shields work–nothing gets in, nothing gets out. I like this bit of scientific world-building, as it keeps the Empire from getting overpowered. Pellaeon thinks they should use C’baoth for this operation, but Thrawn says all they need is careful timing. They can’t risk using C’baoth too much or too often, as they might grow dependent on him. Once C’baoth has Leia and her twins, his jaunts out with the fleet will just be momentary distractions for him. The test of the cloaking shield works…I guess? Nothing happens to it, but Thrawn is pleased and says the Sluis Van shipyards are theirs. Okay then.

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Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 24-26

200px-HeirToTheEmpireWhen we last left our heroes (because Mara is a hero whether she knows it yet or not), Luke and Mara had just started trekking across the Myrkr forest. Let’s find out what’s going back at the base, shall we?

Chapter 24 starts with Karrde returning to Han and Lando and apologizing for rushing out so quickly. He’s always the consummate host. Han isn’t impressed, and asks if Karrde is working directly with the Empire now. (Next time you’ll know not to leave Ghent in charge of controversial guests, won’t you, Karrde?) Karrde reassures Han that he doesn’t want to work for either side, and explains that the Imperials have been harvesting ysalamiri for weeks. Han isn’t pleased by this and threatens to leave, but Karrde convinces him it won’t be safe with the Chimaera in orbit.

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Jedi Apprentice Reread 1 — The Rising Force

JA 1 Rising_Force_coverThe Jedi Apprentice books hold a special place in my heart.

Released between 1999 and 2002, the series is comprised of eighteen regular books and two “special edition” books chronicling Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon’s adventures and relationship from its start until shortly before The Phantom Menace.  While I was already a big fan of Star Wars by the time the first one came out and had already been introduced to the Expanded Universe through reference books like the Essential Guide to Characters, the Jedi Apprentice books were the first Star Wars novels I read and, more than that, they were some of the first books that got me excited about reading.

While later the post-Return of the Jedi books became my main focus of interest is the Expanded Universe, this series and its characters remain very important to me. As this series now falls under the Legends banner and a new trilogy of Star Wars films looms on the horizon, it’s been over a decade since I last picked up a Jedi Apprentice book and my perspective has changed quite a bit in those years.

It seems about time I reread these books and see how well they hold up.

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