Monday, April 17, 2017

Hints and Allegations, Part 2

In a previous post (linked below), I speculated about some of the possible connections between kyber crystals, the planet Ilum and the group of beings known as the Whills. Now that the trailer for The Last Jedi has been released, I have a few more ideas.

Hints and Allegations

1. I finished reading Ahsoka. While it provides a little more information about Ilum, there's not a whole lot of detail with which to work. It seems that the Empire stripmined that planet, but we still don't know with any certainty if it was converted into Starkiller Base. My gut tells me yes, but my brain can't corroborate that.

2. Do we finally see the Journal of the Whills in the trailer for The Last Jedi? A couple of different articles online tipped me off to that possibility. Given the reference to it in the novelization of The Force Awakens, and the fact that Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus are described as former Guardians of the Wills in Rogue One, my money here again is on yes.

3. The end of the novel Aftermath: Empire's End introduces a big, fancy computer in a hidden facility on Jakku that the Emperor was using to plot expeditions into the Unknown Regions. What is more, the beings who seemed destined to found the First Order were headed into that area at the end of the novel. It seems clear that this is where we'll see the base of operations to which Supreme Leader Snoke orders General Hux and Kylo Ren to return. It's curious that we don't see any of them in the new trailer, though.

4. What's not so clear is the possible connection between the Chiss species in general, and Grand Admiral Thrawn in particular, to activity in the Unknown Regions. Timothy Zahn explored that in his novel Outbound Flight, so I wonder if the creative team from Lucasfilm is bring back some of those elements along with the blue-skinned, red-eyed, art-loving officer.

5. In Aftermath: Empire's End there's also a reference to a ship called the Eclipse. This seems like a throwback to the old Dark Empire comics, in which the Eclipse was a Star Destroyer that put even Super Star Destfoyers to shame.

6. Finally, the new trailer includes Luke's line about the Jedi needing to end. Could this be a reference to the Jedi Order's old rule of celibacy that caused so much trouble for Anakin Skywalker? That may be a stretch, but it could be his intention to create a new organization in which Force-users are more integral parts of their communities. Could that, then, be the notion of bringing balance to the Force?

I'll add: One of the biggest questions about Episode VII is that of Rey's heritage. Maybe the "New Jedi Order" will be one in which Force-users can raise their own children, instead of turning them over to a monastic order?

This is all, of course, speculation. If you have feedback or ideas of your own, then please share them as comments.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Last Jedi

Things have been a little slow on this blog for a while. Part of that is due to school, and part of it is from me focusing more attention on my nautical/space fantasy blog. Another factor, though, is the fact that I'd like to focus more on the Awakened Era of Star Wars, and that's been slow in developing.

We finally had the first trailer for Episode VIII, and it has me excited.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Legends of the Galaxy

For those who are interested in organized play--that is, finding places to play where there are regular RPG events, steady groups of players and GMs, and an ongoing storyline--you should check out the group Legends of the Galaxy. The website has rules for playing in the campaign, an event calendar, resources for players and GMs, a messageboard, and more.

Legends of the Galaxy

I'll add a shoutout to Nicholas J. Montgomery for putting in a lot of work to start this organization.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

No Disintegrations (P)review

I know it's a bit late, but here's a preview of what people can expect from No Disintegrations


No Disintegrations (P)review

Page 1: Crawl

Page 2: Credits

Page 3: Table of Contents

Page 4: Fiction

Pages 5-6: Overview of what to expect from the book

Pages 7-11: Description of different types of bounties and some rules regarding them

Pages 12-41: New backgrounds and obligation information; three species—Clawdite, Devaronian and Kalleran; three new specializations—martial artist, operator and skip tracer; new motivations; two signature talent trees, Always Get My Mark and Unmatched Devastation

Pages 42-65: Five new ranged weapons, micro-rockets, two melee weapons, four suits of armor, new armor attachments, nine equipment items, some drugs and poisons, seven new starships, new ship attachments and rules for space mines

Page 66-95: Ideas for using bounty hunters in campaigns, conducting investigations, spending dice pool results, sample bounty hunts and campaigns, suggestions for bounty hunter rewards, a new mechanic called Exploits that reflect on a bounty hunter's reputation throughout the galaxy

Page 96: Ad

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hints and Allegations

It's been a little slow for the Awakened Era. After the initial burst of material that was released around the same time as Episode VII, there hasn't been much story development in this time period. (An exception is the aforementioned Poe Dameron comic, which remains a favorite of mine.) Even so, some of the elements from Rogue One seem to combine with others from The Force Awakens to hint at elements that might be important for Episode VIII. In particular, I'm thinking of kyber crystals and that mysterious group known as the Whills.

Here are a few observations.
  1. The prologue to the novelization of A New Hope includes a brief history of the Old Republic and its downfall. It is attributed as “From the First Saga, Journal of the Whills.”
  1. According to the Star Wars Annotated Screenplays, George Lucas originally thought of the Whills as “...somebody watching this whole story and recording it, somebody probably wiser than the mortal players in the actual events.” He goes on to add, however, that “I eventually dropped this idea, and the concept behind the Whills turned into the Force.”
  1. At the start of the Episode VII novelization, Alan Dean Foster includes a bit of poetry: “First comes the day, then comes the night. After the darkness shines through the light. The difference, they say, is only made right by the resolving of gray through refined Jedi sight. --Journal of the Whills, 7: 477.”
  2. In the movie and novelization of Rogue One, the characters Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus are referred to as “Guardians of the Whills.” They guard (or used to guard) a holy city with a temple in it, the place from which the Empire is taking kyber crystals for use in the Death Star project.
  3. It's well established that, in addition to being used in the Death Star's superlaser, kyber crystals are also a necessary component in Jedi lightsabers.
  1. In the Clone Wars episode “The Gathering,” a group of Jedi younglings goes to the planet Ilum in search of crystals for their lightsabers; there they are tested by the caves in order to prove their worthiness.
  1. Apparently, in the novel Ahsoka it mentions that the Empire quickly despoiled Ilum after Palpatine established the New Order. I need to finish reading that novel. 
  2. Here's an interesting development: On the map that comes with the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Beginner Box RPG, the planet Ilum is not listed; in its place is the origin point for Starkiller Base.
I don't know just what these details imply. Maybe it's an important plot point for Episode VIII; maybe it's not. Whatever the case, it struck me as curious.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Star Wars: Poe Dameron Comic Review

Since the initial surge of new material surrounding Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that era in the Galaxy Far, Far Away has been slow in developing. That makes sense, too, given that work on Episode VIII is proceeding toward the film's 2017 release. It's still frustrating, though, since this time period has a lot of exciting potential. One exception to this slow pace, however, is the Star Wars: Poe Dameron comic.

There are a lot of things that I like about this comic.

  • For one thing, Poe's dialogue feels like how he talks in the film; it catches his sense of humor and bravado nicely. 
  • It does a good job of introducing and then building up an interesting villain, Agent Terex. He's a good foil for Poe, since he has lots of the same personality traits--paired with ruthless support for the First Order, of course. 
  • There's a good blend of action and plot development. 
  • There series is ongoing, rather than a limited run. This means that it'll help fill the void between now and December 2017. 
  • The comic also provides an interesting model for a Star Wars RPG campaign, much like the Rogue Squadron novels and comics did back in the day. I can imagine a party of characters like those in Black Squadron, ones who have a variety of specialties, but all of whom are talented pilots. Their adventures, then, entail a combination of ground-based missions and starfighter combat. 

All in all, this has to be my favorite of the new Marvel comics so far.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sources of Inspiration: Artwork

My apologies for the recent lack of posts; I've been busy with the start of the school year.

While I frequent a number of websites and forums seeking inspiration for Star Wars RPG-related material, a relatively new one for me is the DeviantArt website. This is a place where enthusiasts can post their work, some of which you'll recognize from the Fantasy Flight Games sourcebooks. Here's a link to the Star Wars category there.

Star Wars on DeviantArt