Tosche Station Radio #144: Caf Talk with Pablo Hidalgo

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This week on Tosche Station Radio: The network launches a new podcast, Nanci’s busy writing books, Brian’s busy reading books, THIS IS MADNESS returns, Bob Iger confirms water is wet, and Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo joins us to talk about the finer points of coffee (and The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, a look back at sixteen years at Lucasfilm, and more).

You can find Pablo on Twitter and hear him on the all new podcast IT CAME FROM THE DEPTHS OF NETFLIX. Be sure to grab your copy of the excellent Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary.

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of Majestic Giraffe Productions. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store. 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!

Millicent the Cat Has a Secret

Millicent the Cat

Despite dozens of people saying otherwise, the theory that Snoke is actually Darth Plagueis continues to live on even though so many of us wish it would just die. Fear not! I come before you with a new theory… one far younger and more powerful. Per interviews with Andy Serkis, we know that Snoke is actually a brand new character for the Sequel Trilogy. Thus far, most of the Snoke Theories have ignored this.

Star Wars fans were recently alerted to the existence of a new character this weekend… Millicent the Cat. Millicent is a bit of an oddity. Not only does she belong to General Hux but she also has a litter box in Kylo Ren’s torture room. This is no mere kitty. She is Millicent, Daughter of… some other cat. You owe her your allegiance. Therefore, I feel that it is my obligation and my sworn duty to present to you a theory backed by what I consider to be irrefutable evidence: Snoke is actually Millicent the Cat.

Fact: No one has ever seen Millicent and Snoke in the same room.
This is indisputable. Throughout the entire film, Snoke and Millicent the Cat never appear in frame together. Now, of course, one might argue that Millicent never appears in The Force Awakens period but that certainly does not take away from the fact that you never see them together. There’s definitely a reason why.

Fact: We’ve only see Snoke as a hologram.
Millicent is one smart kitty. She knew that she’d never have a chance for galactic domination as herself so she found another plan of action. The giant Snoke hologram on a throne is merely a digital projection created entirely by computers that Millicent is clearly controlling. (Pay no attention to the cat behind the curtain.)

Fact: Cats are assholes. Just like Snoke.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a cat, when given the opportunity, must be in want of being an asshole. What could be more asshole-ish than corrupting a kid to the dark side and encouraging him to kill his father?

Fact: Kylo Ren puts his helmet in Millicent’s litterbox.
Do you think the Master of the Knights of Ren would put his helmet just anywhere? Of course not. Obviously Millicent is no mere cat and Kylo should feel lucky to temporarily place his helmet where Millicent’s *ahem* business also goes. And honestly, do you think that any mere cat, even one owned by General Hux, would have a litterbox in such an important place?  (Although I suppose there’s room for an argument that this is just another way for Millicent-Snoke to exert her dominance over Kylo.)

Fact: Neither Hux nor Kylo appear to have any cat hair on them.
As anyone who owns a pet or has spent any time around hairy mammals can tell you, this is impossible. I don’t care how many lint rollers you have or how religiously you use one, some hair will always escape your efforts. Millicent must have supernatural powers if she’s able to keep her two humans and their very dark clothing from perpetually having orange hair on it.

Fact: Snoke intends to complete Kylo Ren’s training.
This entire line is a bit of misdirection on Millicent’s part. She orders Hux to go collect Ren from the blood and snow heap because she wants her humans in one piece but she also tells them to come to her. She doesn’t want to let them on the secret just yet so this is her keeping up the charade. The hologram can still be used wherever Hux and Ren have to go. She’s clearly very serious about training Ren though. His temper tantrums keep destroying computer consoles and do you know what warm and lovely spots those are for sleeping? Especially in freezing cold space? He must be trained to stop such destruction. Plus, every credit redirected towards repairs is another credit that won’t be buying her treats or catnip which is just rude.

Fact: Supreme Leader is exactly the smug sort of title a cat would come up with.
“Emperor” is just so three decades ago. Also, Supreme Leader is gender neutral and Millicent is all about gender equality. Species equality will be at the top of her list once she achieves galactic domination.

You may laugh but prepare yourself to be astounded and amazed when this theory is revealed as fact in Episode VIII or Episode IX. Or perhaps Pablo’s Twitter. The ramifications of something like this may be too dangerous and blow theatregoers’ minds if seen on the big screen. Just wait.

Hail Supreme Leader Millicent!

Art by coattailsofdoom on tumblr. That is the face of a cat with an evil plan and a mission.

What Celebration Taught Us About Rogue One

rogueOne of my biggest regrets of Celebration Anaheim is being unable to attend the Gareth Edwards panel on Sunday morning. As everyone who’s ever attended a large convention knows, the schedule is a fickle goddess, and I suffered her wrath when she decided to place the “standalone” panel opposite Tosche Station’s live podcast recording. Thankfully, Twitter is a thing that exists, so I was able to learn about the panel as it was happening as well as from recaps on other sites. We didn’t learn a whole lot about Rogue One, but it was more than I was expecting at this point in time.

Continue reading

Disney planning on large Star Wars presence for D23 Expo

Disney certainly isn’t waiting to integrate Star Wars within the Mouse House’s promotions and events. The company is planning for a major Star Wars presence at the popular D23 Expo.

For the first time at the D23 Expo, Star Wars fans can have access to experiences created for them by Lucasfilm and Disney. Darth Vader: The Evolution of a Villain, located in the DCP pavilion, showcases the development of the iconic villain from early concepts to striking realization. Crash Course in the Force: Star Wars Saga 101, presented by Lucasfilm’s resident authority Pablo Hidalgo in Stage 23, will give Star Wars newbies and experts alike a thorough grounding in all matters of the Force and the Star Wars legacy.

Disney, Star Wars, and notorious wit Pablo Hidalgo all at one event? Sounds like a good time to me.

Star Wars Books hosting a Facebook chat with Pablo Hidalgo

Clear your Friday afternoon, Lucasfilm brand communication manager, Essential Reader’s Companion author, and superior wit Pablo Hidalgo will be holding a Facebook chat over at the Star Wars Books page on May 3rd at 3PM ET.

Hi folks. Some great news to share! Author and resident Star Wars expert at Lucasfilm Pablo Hildalgo will be stopping by the page next Friday, 5/3 at 3pm EST for a little May the 4th primer chat.

Understand that, as Yoda said, “always in motion is the future,” so he will not be able to go into detail on future projects, including the new movies coming from Lucasfilm.

That being said he is a treasure trove of knowledge on the books and can’t wait to chat with all of you.

We hope you can join us!

Get your questions ready, but do remember that he doesn’t know when Karen Traviss is coming back. Or when Battlefront III is coming out.

Mythbusting: Did George Lucas order Anakin Solo’s death?

The myth: George Lucas feels that there would be marketing and brand confusion to have two heroes named Anakin at the same time, one in the Prequel Trilogy and one in the Expanded Universe. Because of this, he orders Anakin Solo to be killed in the New Jedi Order books. Troy Denning is given the instructions from Lucasfilm itself to kill off Anakin.

Murdered by George Lucas!?

The investigation: To get to the answer, Nanci went to the Twittersphere and all-around-awesome Lucasfilm person Pablo Hidalgo dug into his notes to get to the bottom of the issue.

The reality: It turns out that George Lucas and Lucasfilm itself didn’t order that Anakin Solo be killed. Rather, they stated that he couldn’t be a prophetic hero and that role should be changed up to someone else. Hello, Jacen.

It appears that the decision to kill Anakin was made somewhere lower on the chain, perhaps the editors and/or authors working with Del Rey at the time. Whoever made the call, what’s clear is that there wasn’t a directive from on high to off Anakin Solo. The decision to kill him rather than change his role or put him on a bus appears to have been made by the people actually producing the books. 

Busted

On Long Books, Short Books, and Impatience: Why I Refuse to Read Doorstoppers

When I was younger, I used to love getting my hands on long books. A long book was always better than a short book, because there was more story to tell. And as a practical matter, long books were always worth the money, especially if it was a hardcover. Short books just couldn’t be as interesting; not only that, they were a waste of money. Why should I spend my hard-earned cash on a 200-page book when I could spend the same amount of money on a 500- or 1000- page tome?

(Ignore the fact that storing and carrying around doorstoppers could get old pretty quickly. Thankfully, with the advent of e-readers, I can carry around the entire Harry Potter series without breaking my back.)

As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve stopped caring how long books are. Actually, that’s not true. Continue reading

Tosche Station Radio #34: Illustrated

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On this week’s episode of Tosche Station Radio, Nanci and Brian are joined by blog writer Bria to discuss the latest Expanded Universe novel announcements as well as the Essential Reader’s Companion.

Since the last time we podcasted, Bria reviewed the Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. Nanci started her Jedi Prince retrospective. Emily went to New Mexico and explored some geeky sites. Brian looked at X-Wing’s impossible mission. Bria and Brian wondered who should play Carol Danvers in the Marvel Film Universe.

In Fixer’s Flash, Brian’s been busy reading both War of the Sasons: The Human and The Price of the Stars. He’s also been knee-deep in comics, reading through Captain Marvel #5 as well as Hawkeye 1-3. Nanci’s kept herself busy re-reading the Jedi Prince books for her retrospective as well as the fifth book in the Mageworlds sreies. To complete the trifecta, Bria has also been reading Mageworlds. She’s also found time to get through Vortex and Stephen King’s The Long Walk.

Deak’s Dirt is covering nearly three weeks worth of news, so listen in for a discussion of all things Marvel. The hosts also discuss the Expanded Universe book announcements from San Diego Comic Con, Celebration VI, and New York Comic Con. Everyone seems excited for the John Jackson Miller Kenobi novel as well as the Rebels books.

This week’s Camie’s Concerns dives into The Essential Reader’s Companion by Pablo Hidalgo. Brian, Nanci, and Bria discuss the content, the artwork, and share their impressions of the book. Should you buy it? Listen in to find out!

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of the Solo Sound network. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store or the Zune Marketplace. We can also be found on Facebook, Google+, 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.

Review: ‘The Essential Reader’s Companion’ by Pablo Hidalgo

It’s been a banner year for Star Wars reference books. We got Book of the Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side that chronicled various Dark Lords and their teachings. A few months later we got Essential Guide to Warfare, a dream for Star Wars and Expanded Universe military buffs.

Today perhaps the crown jewel of Star Wars references hit bookstores: The Essential Reader’s Companion by Pablo Hidalgo.

Just about everyone who has gotten their hands on the ERC has made this very comment, but it really can’t be said enough. This book is big. It’s nearly three pounds and nearly five-hundred pages of summaries, art, and analysis. That said, the dimensions are actually quite nice. This is a book that fits well on your bookshelf or would serve as a brilliant coffee table reader. But enough about the aesthetics, how does the content stack up?

To the jump!

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Pre-order the ‘Essential Reader’s Companion’ for $20

While at Celebration VI, Erich Schoeneweiss of Del Rey was kind enough to show Nanci and myself a laser print of the upcoming Essential Reader’s Companion by Pablo Hidalgo. I’ll just get right to the point: this book is an absolute must buy for any Expanded Universe fan. The art is gorgeous and plentiful. Pablo’s writing is fantastic. This is a book that needs to be on your bookshelf.

Need a little more incentive? If you pre-order ERC now, you can get it for only $20.