First, a little history. A long time ago on a website far, far away, I started a feature called EU Roundtable—wherein I would pick a few people from the Jedi Council Forums that I enjoyed talking to, and we would meet up in a chat room of some sort and discuss various Star Wars topics for eventual publication. Empire vs. Republic, Super Star Destroyer lengths, you know—simple stuff. In addition to being a rough prototype for this site in a way (ETE staff writer Jay was even a guest once), the goal of EU Roundtable was “to showcase the nitty-gritty of fandom – interesting, straightforward debates, typos and all”.
I was very happy with the way the roundtables turned out, by and large, but at the time I was beginning to drift away from my writing duties at TheForce.net, and ultimately the feature became a casualty of my waning devotion. While I would’ve loved to see someone else take over, alas, it was not to be, so I’ve decided to take the initiative of resuscitating the concept here at ETE—now known as Aggressive Negotiations, because let’s face it, “EU Roundtable” was hardly inspired. The goal of this first…volume? incident?…was partly to discuss the given topic, and partly so readers could get to know our staff’s individual voices (except for Ben, who is British and needed to sleep) in as raw a context as possible.
There is no spell-check here. No second drafts. And in my case, very little capitalization. What there is, on the other hand, is unapologetic adult language—so keep that in mind. As for the topic, well…
Final note: in honor of Rebels’ stated Ralph McQuarrie influence, I asked everybody to pick out a favorite McQuarrie image to include in this article. We’ll discuss our picks near the end. Enjoy!
Mike: Okay, first things first—obviously TCW was the show that launched a thousand discussion threads, but for better or worse…are we at peace with how it ended? Did it at least deserve another season to wrap up, or was cut-and-run as good an option as any?
Lucas: Kill it before it could do any more harm.
Lisa: I stopped watching when I realized they gave Kenobi a love interest. Never. Should’ve. Happened.
Jay: As awful as it was, it deserved to conclude its story. Especially since its last season — huge notable character mutations and stupid story ideas aside — did seem to be a cut above.
Mike: because he was still in love with Siri, i assume you mean, lisa
Lucas: I have no problem with the idea that it will be left to other people, hopefully, to wrap up their loose ends.
Lisa: Or me. :p
Jay: But I might be biased because the last seasons were finally showing the Imperialization of the Old Republic, and it was about darned time.
Tyler: i do think that people outside of lit would have issues with Ahsoka biting it in Order 66, so her ending made sense in that regard
Lisa: I’m ultimately disappointed that they didn’t kill off Ahsoka
Jay: I’m not. She needs to live long enough to be killed by Darth Vader.
Jay: Dying as a clone wars hero is a better fate than she deserves.
Lisa: because she’s a woman?
Jay: Is Vader particularly known for killing women? I’m not sure I understand the question.
Lisa: Or because she’s an alien? :p
Lucas: I don’t really want a Vader-Ahsoka confrontation. Not because it wouldn’t be natural, I just . . . have little faith that it would be executed well.
Jay: oh, the second one.
Lisa: Like, why doesn’t she deserve to die as a hero?
Jay: well, more that she’s a terrible character but we can go with alien too.
Tyler: I do like that by cutting the show off when they did, Filoni and co. avoided further complicating the snarl that is the last 6 months of the Clone Wars- however irrelevant the whole canon discussion may end up being in the next 2 years
Lucas: That’s ultimately my issue with Rebels. I can’t get excited about it because I have no particular reason to think it will be any good and my reservoirs of blind faith are gone.
Lisa: Can you be more specific as to why she’s a terrible character? Is it mainly because Anakin shouldn’t have had a padawan?
Jay: TCW had a tendency to have the occasional “Ahsoka saves the day” episode, probably to pander to its youth demographic, and it was increasingly tiresome to see her as the character who could do no wrong.
Tyler: Jay- that’s pretty much why I suspect that they ended her story the way they did
Jay: No, I don’t mind that part. And I actually like the way she and Skywalker interact — she’s a good mirror for him. I just think she’s unrealistically talented.
Tyler: Because I don’t particularly see Lucasfilm animation ending the series with her taking a lightsaber to the gut
Lisa: I think I’m kinda jaded from the EU killing off but not killing off characters and I think the whole thing is a cop out
Jay: She feels like more of a “chosen one” in the heroism sense than Skywalker does, and that’s wrong.
Jay: (I have similar misgivings about Starkiller, Vader’s secret yet all-powerful apprentice, and he’s neither alien nor female)
Mike: in ahsoka’s defense, i think the only time she really seemed overpowered was when fighting grievous–and that’s symptomatic of a grievous problem as much as an ahsoka problem
Lisa: So do you not like Luke Skywalker as well?
Jay: Luke Skywalker fails, and often. But more to the point, he’s either the main hero or one of the main heroes of the saga — it’s when tertiary characters, pet characters and the like, eclipse people like Luke Skywalker that I have a problem.
Tyler: Perhaps it’s because I mostly only watched season 2 and was caught up on the rest via Lit, but I do have to agree with Mike- from what I remember, Ahsoka didn’t come across as too overpowered
Jay: I do agree with Mike that there was a Grievous problem though — the guy turns from this incredibly frightening and effective threat in the Clone Wars shorts and becomes a clown in TCW.
Lisa: I feel like since she was apprenticed to Anakin that she needed to be more special than your usual apprentice in order to keep up with him
Mike: we’re coming back to ahsoka later, so what about the other giant hanging thread–maul? does anyone see that ever getting resolved at this point–in rebels or otherwise?
Tyler: Grievous’s problems started in ROTS
Lucas: I think it’s mostly the combination of spotlight-stealing (whether that means overpowered or not) and the silliness of the sassy-superkid-sidekick archetype that create the problem.
Jay: I don’t have a list — but I recall when I was going through the saga and talking to people about it, there were definite episodes that we called “Ahsoka saves the day” episodes — and each season had 2-4 of them.
Lucas: It just builds into a big eyeroll.
Lisa: but ultimately the story was aimed at kids, right?
Jay: As far as Maul goes, I’d sooner his story be done and over with. It ended up being surprisingly… OK since it led into some of TCW’s better episodes this last season, but that was probably a fluke. Best not revisited.
Lucas: If Maul makes it into Rebels, I will . . . I don’t know what.
Lucas: I will be unhappy.
Jay: Lisa, kids might also sometimes need to know that they’re not all super special snowflakes and that the rules apply to them as well. It can be a kid’s show without pandering to a childish sense of entitlement
Lucas: It’s not that his story shouldn’t be wrapped up — with ABSOLUTE finality — but he has absolutely no business whatsoever surviving the Clone Wars.
Tyler: I do suspect that Ahsoka and Maul will make some appearance in Rebels, if simply because it’s partially the same writing team and is marketed as being connected to TCW.
Lucas: If Maul is alive past ROTS, it’s just terminally stupid.
Jay: I have no problem with a kid hero — just that the kid hero should be just that.
Tyler: I’m not particularly happy with the idea either, but I don’t see Filoni and co. not revisiting the hanging threads.
Tyler: Personally, I’d be fine with Old Wounds being reinterpreted as the end of Nu-Maul
Mike: the plus side of maul being abandoned where he was is that the EU could just stick him in a lab like venamis and forget about him
Lucas: I’m sure they’ll do it, because they’re not out to please me — but it will be doubling down on the stupidity of his resurrection.
Lucas: Even the lab isn’t final enough.
Lucas: He doesn’t need to be forgotten; he needs to die.
Mike: it would explain the whole “further use” thing without having to actually DO anything else with him
Lucas: Throw him into the sun with Durge.
Lucas: Just, thematically . . . why would you want another Sith apprentice around alongside Darth Vader? How does that fit the saga? More to the point, how does that possibly end well in an EU that likes to run with Sith threats far too often?
Lucas: You stick him in a lab, and he’ll only end up unsealed in 50 ABY for the next nine-book series.
Mike: Leaving aside the looming licensing concerns, what lessons should Del Rey and Dark Horse learn from TCW in terms of tie-in material? I think we have to assume there’ll be something, so how would you like to see the tie-ins improve this time around?
Lisa: Please please please tie in some of the X-wing characters
Mike: even if tycho becomes a bothan?
Tyler: Ideally, I’d like to see them use the tie-in materials to explore topics and characters in this era that don’t really get touched on in Rebels.
Lucas: The problem with the TCW tie-ins was that nobody making the show gave a shit about them.
Lisa: I’m pretty sure he fucked a bothan so that would just be hilarious
Jay: This is perhaps wishful thinking, but one lesson I’d like Del Rey to learn in particular is that it doesn’t need to grab TV concepts just for the sake of grabbing them. I haven’t read and have no intention of reading FotJ, but anything related to Mortis is a bad idea in my book. Moreover, both Chee and Del Rey admit that the show will do what the show does and the EU folks are informed…
Jay: …afterwards. Either the EU ought to improve the lines of communication and work together, like the SotE or TFU media blitzes did, or just steer clear of that period entirely.
Lucas: So they’d say things, and the show didn’t feel particularly compelled to comply.
Jay: I don’t think Tycho ever had anything to do with a Bothan, Lisa… you might be thinking of Hobbie
Lucas: And they made a comic from a rejected script, and then hey, the script got used after all and . . . uh, look the other way.
Mike: and janson. and gavin.
Lisa: I’m pretty sure in the comics Tycho does too
Jay: that’s not a nice thing to say about Winter, Lisa.
Lisa: this was way before Winter
Tyler: I’d also like for them to avoid the pre-existing continuity snarls (which depend upon how far along chronologically the show gets)- Death Star plans, formation of the Rebellion, anything involving TFU
Jay: Speaking of way before, Tycho should still be an Imperial pilot in the time period of the show.
Jay: so you know… continuity and all that.
Lucas: No, it’s Janson and Hobbie.
Tyler: shouldn’t he be in training, at best?
Lucas: Tycho only has eyes for Winter.
Mike: tycho can be the bad guy!!
Mike: of the existing stable or authors, who would be a good pick for tie-ins?
Lucas: Well, we don’t even know the time period of the show.
Jay: yeah, and Winter was in the X-wing comics too. Masquerade, off hand.
Lucas: Most likely, Tycho will be about five.
Jay: oh, don’t we? I thought it was pre-ANH for sure.
Jay: Maybe I just imagined that.
Lisa: That’s doesn’t mean they were together
Jay: he kissed her…
Lisa: That doesn’t mean they were together :p
Tyler: it was clearly just a cover-up
Lucas: Maybe you remember the fat, pantsless Whiphip prostitute Betsi propositioning Tycho in Battleground: Tatooine.
Jay throws up hands
Lisa: I remember something
Jay: well, Lisa, I don’t know how they do it on Corellia
Jay: maybe they’re all just loose women and players over there.
Lucas: Anyway, I hope they just stay away from tie-ins until it’s settled.
Lucas: But they won’t, so it might as well be Luceno.
Jay: The choice of authors for tie-ins also depends on the subject of Rebels too.
Lucas: The era is his playground, and he’ll do his best to limit any EU damage.
Jay: is it going to be more military sci-fi style? Maybe we’d want Stackpole back (I can hear the screams from here, but I actually liked Stackpole)
Tyler: I think that it might be interesting for Rebels or the spin-off material to touch on the Reconquest of the Rim, if done properly- give it to someone like Luceno and it could help to further educate the audience as to why a lot of the galaxy bought into Imperial ideology
Jay: so long as Luceno mentions Ars Dangor for once. That’s a deal-breaker if he doens’t.
Jay: Actually that’s an interesting point — how IS the Empire going to be portrayed? A lot of the Dark Times stuff makes it seem evil and reviled from the start, whereas we were always told it was hugely popular at first and then atrocities started mounting etc.
Mike: well speaking of that, how about this–18 BBY or 1 BBY? you know it’s gonna be one or the other
Lucas: I’m not so sure.
Lucas: The whole middle has been held open for TV shows to play in.
Tyler: -18 BBY sounds more likely if they are following up TCW, but 1BBY fits the title more, given how canon has portrayed the formation of the rebellion
Lucas: I don’t think the show people will feel obligated to cozy right up to the movies.
Tyler: of course, the whole Corellian Treaty deal could get thrown out at the drop of a hat.
Lisa: I’d love to see it closer to ANH and maybe get some Han Solo action in there
Lucas: If they want to start six years in or whatever, with a twenty-year-old Ahsoka as the protagonist, they will.
Jay: the middle could be nice so as to avoid the overwhelming influence of the movies too. ROTS has a “feel” already and ANH does too. Something in between would be nice, and it would be a real transition… instead of the Empire suddenly using TIEs, stormtroopers, and ISDs right out of the gate like we’ve been seeing.
Mike: there’s one scenario where I could see it being, say, 10 BBY. and that’s if 25/30-year-old ahsoka is the mentor character
Lisa: I don’t want Jedi
Mike: speaking of…
Lucas: I don’t, either . . . but the odds are, we get them.
Tyler: that would also up the possibility of her pulling an Obi-wan quickly
Mike: Let’s get back to the Togruta in the room…Ahsoka. Let’s be realistic here. Will it be the worst thing in the world when/if she shows up?
Jay: No, because it can’t possibly be worse than TCW and I think most of us are resigned to her appearing anyway.
Tyler: I can deal with it if Ahsoka doesn’t get retconned in as a founder of the Rebellion.
Lucas: I can imagine an awful lot worse.
Mike: also keep in mind that filoni isn’t the only one running things anymore
Tyler: It’s already bad enough with Starkiller and Kota.
Jay: That said, if they confound expectations and do something clever instead of riding TCW’s coattails, that’ll be nice too.
Lucas: Especially if she’s older . . . now that we’ve got her, the damage is done.
Lisa: I just think the continued use of Jedi in that era completely cheapens Luke’s story
Lucas: Having her adventure around during the Dark Times isn’t going to kill anything.
Jay: that, I agree with (cheapening Luke’s story)
Jay: way too many Jedi running around as it is
Tyler: I’ve never had a big problem with a handful of Purge survivors, personally.
Lucas: The greater danger is if they start running roughshod over everything.
Mike: and a post-O66 ahsoka is bound to be much more tempered compared to TCW, which is essentially her heyday
Jay: it makes it feel less like Luke was this great savior, and more like he was this dirtclod they found after all the real Jedi were killed
Jay: and that’s really harmful to the whole saga
Lucas: I think the worst it’s likely to do would be to rewrite the Rebellion’s history entirely and/or rewrite Han Solo’s history entirely.
Lisa: Lucas – run roughshod over what?
Lucas: Those are the two worst-case scenarios we really need to worry about.
Tyler: you bring up an interesting point about Han- while the Atlas did its best to integrate Lucas’ comments circa 2005 about Han’s backstory, Rebels could take those and run in a completely different route
Lisa: Ok but what if this is our reboot? We’re going to get it anyways for the ST. This could be the beginning of the next gen of Star Wars
Lucas: Well, a reboot is the worst-worst-case scenario.
Lisa: Is it? Is it really?
Tyler: I’d rather Disney Wars have a reboot than a Frankenstein-continuity
Lucas: If there’s going to be one, they might as well say “screw it” and start fiddling with whatever they want and jump aboard the new-EU train.
Lucas: But I’m sure as hell not going to call it a positive development.
Lucas: Lisa: Yes.
Mike: it occurs to me that, without the pressure TFU had to make a BIG EVENT, it’s possible rebels could take its time with the EU and clean up the whole corellian treaty situation
Lisa: How many of us are really happy with the current time EU?
Jay: being happy with it and dropping a reset bomb on it are two different things
Jay: a reset kills everything: including the good, and including the mediocre
Lucas: I’m not happy with the 30-45 ABY stretch of EU . . . but that’s no reason to throw the entire 25,000 years of stories I’ve invested in away.
Jay: when someone finds a grey hair, they don’t shave their head to get rid of it.
Lisa: Actually, people do that
Mike: yeah, just because i don’t like a lot of the decisions in the post-NJO era doesn’t mean the potential doesn’t still exist for good stories there
Jay: when someone who’s not insane, then
Tyler: or pre-NJO
Tyler: god knows what I would do for an Early Republic anthology
Lisa: Mike – but the potential would still be there in the new universe
Jay: I think we all would like better stories in the future, but I don’t want to see all these real-life decades worth of stories completely destroyed.
Lucas: Yeah, but it would potential I wouldn’t particularly care about, Lisa.
Jay: Yes, potential. Or they could go crazy without the discipline of having continuity to bind them, and make TCW look tame by comparison.
Lucas: I’ve spent over half my life investing in this universe. All the details, all the characters, all the stories.
Jay: More to the point, the big thing about EU is investment — this huge, mammoth universe. Destroying it for convenience…
Jay: doesn’t sit well with me
Lisa: I have too
Lucas: Take them away, and you’ve got . . . the movies, and the hope that the stories they make in the next five years will be better than the stories they’ve made in the past five years, without any real evidence that that would be the case.
Tyler: I’m torn- I would hate to see the old EU nuked, but I do feel that I would at least take a look at the EU Novum
Mike: frankly, unless guillermo del toro has an awesome DOTJ brainstorm in the near future, I think 90% of the OR timeline will be fine no matter what happens. it’s safe the same way reti and sev are safe–nobody gives a shit anymore
Lucas: I mean, it’s essentially saying, “Because the people making the EU right now are sucking at it, they should take away all the old EU I love, so that the people making the EU right now can create the same shit on a clean slate.”
Lucas: Congratulations, now it’s 100% shit.
Lisa: It isn’t taking it away, it still exists
Lucas: It’s gone insofar as I can ever hope to get new stories exploiting it.
Lisa: just in an alternate universe or whatever you want to call it
Jay: But it’s sort of irrelevant.
Jay: We post on a Star Wars Literature discussion forum — how much urgency, how much relevance, will the old EU have anymore?
Lisa: not really, it is just its own wrapped up story
Jay: how invested will we be in our endless arguments about it?
Jay: it will never matter anymore.
Lucas: The stories are always going to be “there.” The issue is if we will continue to get new stories joining them.
Lisa: I’m still going to reread my favorites
Jay: no more retcons, no more sourcebooks, nothing.
Mike: i really don’t think this is a binary keep everything/lose everything situation–even if everything post-RotJ goes, the rest could all be akin to late Tales stories–assumed canon until and unless contradicted
Jay: Yes, but that’s a passive act. What happens to the community we’ve built around it?
Lucas: It’s like saying, “Why complain about Firefly being canceled? The fourteen episodes are still there!”
Lucas: It misses the point.
Lisa: We build a new one
Lisa: I’m not saying you can’t complain about it
Lucas: Mike: I agree that there may be a sort of new S-canon.
Lisa: but it still exists
Lucas: But . . . I’m not sure that it really makes a difference.
Jay: You’re acting as if it’s desirable.
Jay: if it happens, sure, we’ll have to deal with it
Lisa: To me it is
Tyler: a new S-Canon sounds like the kind of Frankenstein I was alluding to earlier
Jay: but your argument is that it’s a good thing, and that’s where we disagree.
Lisa: I’m so excited about the prospects of completely new stories
Jay: look, I like the idea too in theory.
Lucas: “This story is sort of assumed canon, until someone overwrites it . . . oh, and all the stuff it was setting up or referencing doesn’t exist anymore.”
Jay: There could be a fresh take on things — I’d love to see a more sensible take on the fall of the Empire than the cobbled together illogical mess we have now.
Lucas: Like, okay, Daala is in Death Star . . . but there’s no JAT.
Jay: BUT there’s no guarnetee we’d get a better one, and I don’t want to risk it.
Tyler: “here’s Thrawn, only Thrawn is now a 7-foot tall ewok and was actually fighting for Robert Baratheon”
Mike: i think even the least EU-friendly disney would be shooting themselves in the foot to come out and declare EVERYTHING IS GONE!! when they could just let it sit there and make no promises. which is unfortunate, but not “ultimate star wars” unfortunate
Jay: I mean, I don’t know that they will do a reboot
Jay: Star Tours used EU heavily in its materials
Lucas: Lisa, I’ve learned not to be excited about “prospects” anymore.
Lucas: Prospects are great, but they exist only in our heads.
Jay: and what’s-his-face mentioned drawing on the entire Star Wars tapestry, including books and games
Lucas: If I’m going to be excited, it’s about hard evidence that something is good.
Jay: they wouldn’t have said that if they were doing a blank slate.
Lisa: I endeavor to never lose my optimism
Lucas: Not my empty hope that it will be.
Lisa: except about Ben Affleck as Batman
Jay: Optimism is one thing though — destroying in the faith of that optimism is another. It’s a reckless bet.
Mike: Beyond Ahsoka specifically, is it a mistake for a show like Rebels (to the extent we even know what that means) to include Jedi at all? As something that’s ostensibly a kid’s show, would a young Jedi be better or worse as a gateway character for 12-year-olds than a smuggler or a soldier? Or even worse—a politician?
Mike: lisa, clearly you’ve answered this one already
Jay: I’m with Lisa — fewer Jedi, the better. Star Wars is about more than Jedi.
Lisa: I’m an overachiever
Lucas: Look, optimism is great . . . but do you really want to throw away thirty-five years of storytelling and an entire universe on unfounded hope that the handful of new stories will be good?
Tyler: I can deal with runaway Jedi occasionally showing up, as long as it’s rare and they don’t overwhelm the narrative
Lisa: I don’t view it as being thrown away
Jay: and kids should be able to think of characters as cool who aren’t Jedi — they did so during the original movies
Lucas: You have to consider the size of the gamble.
Lisa: it it just cataloged and ended
Tyler: so have one show up a few seasons in to aid a nascent rebel group, only to either A) get killed by the Empire and/or B) accidentally draw the Empire’s attention to that group
Jay: it’s not just the stories that are ended — it’s the universe. the little details we’ve built into it.
Lucas: Then say “end” instead of “throw away.”
Lucas: It’s still entirely the same point.
Mike: i would be happiest with Jedi occupying a “sweeps week/season finale” level in the rebels narrative, but once they bring one in, i have a hard time seeing them write the character back out again
Lisa: I also don’t think my hope of better stories is unfounded, but I’ve also read Kenobi so perhaps I’m just really optimistic that JJM could be the one to take the reins
Jay: they can perhaps find some old, dying Jedi or something
Lucas: I really don’t want a Jedi protagonist.
Jay: make an arc around it or something
Lucas: Jedi are overexposed.
Jay: but not a protag — not even a recurring character
Tyler: Mike: well, them writing the Jedi right back out would make perfect sense, given the setting
Jay: maybe a rare, once-in-a-series thing
Jay: like we used to think of Jedi, before the PT
Lucas: And Jedi shouldn’t be surviving the Jedi Purge anyway . . . is a character that has to die kid-friendlier than a smuggler? I don’t know.
Lisa: We’re kidding ourselves about there not being a Jedi as the protagonist
Jay: it’s a different era. It’s “Rebels”
Lisa: Any that survives cheapens Vader’s story too
Lucas: The fringe aspect is obviously tough for a kids’ show, but I would hope we could at least see freedom fighters rather than Jedi.
Mike: i agree with lisa–i’m playing devil’s advocate
Jay: the little art we’ve seen is very OT-esque
Tyler: I wouldn’t go so far to say that one is going to be the protagonist, but occasional supporting character is likely
Jay: it’s entirely possible they will do the right thing and avoid Jedi
Lucas: Ordinary people fighting the Empire rather than Jedi.
Lisa: but Star Wars is about Jedi and Sith
Jay: No it’s not.
Lisa: sure there is politics and space ships
Lucas: I wrote an article about this!
Jay: the word Sith was never used in Star Wars until 1999 — at least not in a film.
Lisa: but ask anyone what they remember about Star Wars and its totally gonna be the lightsaber or Vader
Mike: what i’d really like to see is a character like Zao–an old retired master who can help them out now and again but knows better than to get too involved
Tyler: eh, the idea that Star Wars is all about Jedi and Sith is part of how we got Starkiller Sue shoehorned into the Rebellion
Lucas: Luke didn’t even USE his lightsaber in ANH!
Jay: Jedi and Sith are iconic, but iconic does not mean “Subject of the saga”
Lisa: wait, what?
Lucas: Vader was a villain because he was an Imperial, not a “Sith,” whatever that was at the time.
Lisa: he practiced with it
Lucas: Yeah. He practiced with it.
Lisa: that counts as using
Lucas: And it NEVER APPEARED IN THE MOVIE AGAIN.
Jay: well, technically he wielded it twice
Lisa: and to be fair Obi-wan’s lightsaber did
Tyler: Ordinary people need to be emphasized. Using Jedi constantly sends the message that you have to have superpowers to make a difference in the world. Utilizing the ordinary folks helps to show that anyone can make a difference in fighting tyranny
Lucas: Yeah, but you’re missing the point.
Lisa: Tyler’s getting kinda deep there
Lucas: Luke used a blaster and an X-wing to fight the Empire.
Lisa: He used the force in the X-wing
Lisa: he couldn’t do it on his own
Tyler: Lisa– well, its the core of why i disagree with Starkiller- or any jedi- being involved with founding the actual Rebellion
Lucas: Yeah, the Force was there.
Lucas: But it’s not the focus of the story.
Lisa: I disagree
Jay: the Force is in everyone
Jay: even if they’re not Jedi
Lucas: He couldn’t do it without Han, either.
Jay: destiny affects everyone
Jay: heroism and destiny are a big thing yes
Jay: and you can have those without being a Jedi or Sith
Tyler: in my mind, the whole idea is that it was fundamentally a bunch of ordinary people- who had some idea that they were going up against Force Users, per Bail’s knowledge as of ROTS- and deciding to forge ahead anyway and try to make a difference
Jay: Han, Wedge, even the droids.
Tyler: Starkiller and Kota fundamentally cheapen that
Tyler: and its the same reason that I can deal with occasional Jedi, provided they die quickly or somehow accidentally make things worse for the proto-Rebels
Jay: it was never even a revolt of ordinary people against Force users
Tyler: fine, Senators
Jay: most people had no idea that the Emperor was a Force user, only that Vader was. But the Empire was more than just force users. It was the system. It was a regular person trying to change the galaxy.
Jay: heh, that too. But I thought the point about nobles less relevant.
Lisa: So did regular people not know about Vader?
Jay: I said that Vader was the exception.
Tyler: keep in mind most ordinary folks had no first-hand experience with Jedi
Tyler: plenty had never even heard of them
Tyler: so it’s not unfeasible that many had no idea of Vader’s powers other than “Emperor’s right hand”
Lisa: Mike – when is this going up?
Mike: two weeks
Lucas: The Rebellion wasn’t against the Sith. It was against the Empire. Against tyranny. Against the Emperor and Vader . . . and Tarkin, and Ozzel, and Thrawn, and Isard, and everything.
Lisa: cuz one tie-in I’d love to see comes from Kenobi
Lucas: There happened to be Sith involved.
Lisa: but that’s prolly not a good idea to include then
Lisa: I’ll comment later on it
Mike: here’s a thought–what about a rebel character who discovers he’s force-sensitive? better or worse?
Lucas: And the Rebellion was ordinary people fighting about that. They happened to have a Jedi named Luke involved.
Lisa: depends on the timeframe
Lisa: 1BBY – ok
Tyler: How does said character follow up on it?
Lucas: It would be better, honestly.
Lucas: Because at least the character would be coming from outside the Jedi box.
Tyler: If he decides to use it in his/her own manner, rather than deciding to become a standard Jedi, then that would be ideal
Lisa: yeah and we know Luke found people who would’ve been around during that time
Tyler: Corran pre-I, Jedi, as an example
Tyler: or even Kyle Katarn pre-Mysteries of the Sith
Lucas: Ideally, the character wouldn’t find out right away.
Lucas: That would be too much of a Luke retread.
Lucas: But finding out two seasons in? That could work.
Lucas: The character we thought is Han turns out to also be Luke.
Lucas: He’s Lone Starr!
Lisa: or Corran Horn…
Mike: lone starr, corran, same difference
Jay: I’d rather it not happened at all still.
Lucas: Agreed, Jay.
Jay: I don’t know why we can’t have small-scale, everyday heroes in Star Wars anymore
Lucas: But it would be better than yet another leftover Jedi.
Jay: not big galaxy-shaking epic ones all the time
Jay: some guy who fights his whole life to liberate his pissant Rimkin planet has just as interesting a story as the guy who saved a galaxy
Jay: moreso perhaps because we don’t see that as often
Jay: which defies sense.
Lucas: Yeah, I’d much rather read that story.
Lucas: Or see it.
Jay: SW is a galaxy where big, galaxy-spanning heroism is routine
Lisa: I don’t think the gen pop would agree with you
Mike: i think it could be cool to see someone akin to kajin savaros–he’s got no interest in becoming a jedi, but holy shit he just mind-tricked that stormtrooper by accident, now vader’s looking for him! dun dun DUN
Lucas: The galaxy thing has been done to death, at this point in time.
Jay: gen pop?
Lisa: general population
Jay: yeah, took a second
Lucas: Gen’dai populace.
Jay: anyway, I care little and less with those people think
Tyler: gen pop at Oovos IV Penitentiary
Lucas: General Popovich.
Lisa: General Pop – haven’t you heard? He’s the main character!
Jay: they can have their Hollywood superhero nonsense all they like
Lucas: Gentle popstar.
Jay: Gene’s Pop? I heard he passed away.
Lisa: we’re a little ADD…
Lucas: Genevan Pope.
Jay: Genovese Pope is more likely.
Mike: if everybody had to pick one EU character to feature heavily in Rebels–including the attendant continuity risks—who would it be?
Lucas: There’s probably been one by now.
Lucas: COLE FARDREAMER.
Jay: Ars Dangor.
Jay: why not? might as well dream big.
Tyler: Cody Sun-Childe
Lisa: Garm Bel Iblis
Jay: oh go for the low-hanging fruit
Mike: i’m with lisa. all he needs is “corellian” and “goatee” and i’m happy
Lucas: I would totally take Cody Sunn-Childe.
Mike: better yet, jedidiah
Lucas: But I’ll say Xizor, for the sake of diversity.
Mike: “there–you wanted a jedi in the show!”
Mike: lucas, we already got xizor in TCW. like ten of him
Lucas: It’s unlikely they’d screw him up terribly, they have room to tinker with him, and he’d make a great fringe antagonist.
Tyler: I could also get down with Jorg Car’das setting up his smuggling empire
Mike: ooh–young karrde, rising through the ranks
Mike: now THAT’S a gateway character
Lucas: I almost said Karrde or Car’das.
Lucas: But I’m more worried about continuity danger with them.
Jay: oooh ooh
Jay: Adar Tallon
Tyler: well, Car’das’s career has had little enough elaboration aside from the tail ends of it that it wouldn’t take too much damage
Lucas: Yeah, but I’d care more if there is damage.
Tyler: fair enough
Mike: i’m down with car’das just to get us a goddamn bothan. hell, fey’lya
Tyler: isn’t Car’das human?
Lucas: Yeah, he’s George Lucas in space clothes.
Tyler: I could have sworn that one of the covers of OBF had him look like a young Lucas
Lisa: not fey’lya
Lisa: I hates him
Mike: …oh, shit, that’s right
Mike: remind me to punch zahn for naming him that
Mike: well, fey’lya it is then
Tyler: Zahn does love his hyper-apostrophed names
Mike: and he’s the one who established bothans that way in the first fucking place
Jay: Yeah, but look at all the other names he created. Like, C’baoth
Tyler: Bothans have it easy compared to Chiss
Lucas: Car’das really should have been a Bothan.
Tyler: Thrawn’s brother
(editor’s note: at this point, Lucas had to run a couple minutes early. I’ve added his response to the final question below)
Mike: didn’t OBF actually address the name thing? like people IU were always expecting a bothan when they spoke to him? or am I thinking of koth melan?
Tyler: Koth Melan
Mike: Okay, to wrap this up, in honor of Ralph McQuarrie, whose work is the closest thing we have to a sneak peek at Rebels’ look, I asked all of you beforehand to pick a favorite painting of his for inclusion in the final article. Please explain your choices.
Mike: you will be judged
Jay: I picked the Imperial Palace because.
Mike: not you, jay, we know why YOU picked it
Lisa: I like the Hoth one but since I’m pretty sure you like that one too I also submitted this one (above – Mike)
Lisa: but I don’t know what it is
Mike: actually i was expecting monument plaza though
Tyler: i think that’s yavin iv
Lisa: to be fair I just uhhh hate art
Mike: which hoth one?
Jay: Although in point of fact, McQuarrie did establish the iconic look for Coruscant for YEARS until TPM gave it to us on video. His art has been used everywhere, from the game Rebellion to SW Monopoly.
Tyler: looks like the lookout tower that they super-glued to a Mayan pyramid
Mike: did you just say “hate” and “art” in the same sentence?
Lisa: I did
Jay: I didn’t pick Monument Plaza for the second reason I picked the Palace — Monument Plaza was used in TCW
Mike: no, mine’s the “speeder flies over AT-AT” one
Lisa: I do’nt think I’ve seen that one
Tyler: the flaming speeder?
Jay: it was a combination of two McQuarrie sketches for the Imperial capital: a set of high class restaurants, nicely lit at night, as well as Monument Plaza itself, with its unique architecture and the summit of Umate — Coruscant’s highest mountain — sticking out.
Mike: actually, looks like lucas picked monument plaza anyway (I was wrong; Lucas’ is three images up – Mike)
Lucas: I like this one because I’ve always had a thing for wild cityscapes, and this is a great cityscape full of diverse architecture that still manages to fit, and it gives a really unique sense of place with the amphitheater effect stepping down to this incredibly vast plaza celebrating the existence of actual natural surface. It’s a really striking image, accentuated by the sunset/sunrise lighting.
Lisa: this one?
Tyler: I picked proto-“Luke and Obi-wan look out on Mos Eisley, minus Obi-wan”:
Jay: That was my favorite scene in all of TCW because we finally got to see his great art on screen, and so I picked the Palace this time because the Palace is a building that has a bewildering array of alternate designs in the EU, but none of them have bettered McQuarrie’s original sketch. Since Filoni’s already used McQuarrie’s stuff in TCW, and since it’s a big influence in Rebels, and…
Jay: …especially since the Empire is now rising… now is an ideal time to see the Imperial Palace in its definitive McQuarrie style, in high quality animation. The show can give it the grandeur it deserves, like it did with Monument Plaza.
Mike: Tyler, yours reminds me–tatooine in rebels, yay or nay?
Tyler: nay, ideally
Tyler: it’s as overexposed as a planet baked by two suns
Mike: hokay, always good to leave on a pun, so why not call it a day
Mike: (well, that’s not technically a pun, but shut up i don’t care)
And that’s that! Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the next installment of Aggressive Negotiations, which if everything goes to plan will be all Brits rather than sans Brits. Speaking of which, I asked Ben to submit a McQuarrie image as well; ‘ll end with his response:
“Everyone remembers the trench run sequence. It’s a stunning piece of cinema but how do you even begin to create such an iconic work? With stunning design work to frame ideas and guide development and this image by McQuarrie does all of that. You get the incredible sense of movement, of an future fighter hurtling down a narrow, yet vast, trench. There’s the arsenal of defenses in the distance, laser bolts flashing, tracking the fighter’s movement. It is a perfect start point for what we know the sequence became, but it all starts in earnest with McQuarrie’s image.”