Archive for Tyler Williams

Jedi and the Rebellion: My Objection

As we all know, Lucasfilm Animation is going to be releasing a new cartoon, Star Wars Rebels. It has a lot going for it, even to someone who mostly avoided The Clone Wars– a diverse cast, an exciting time frame to play with, and the lessons of TCW to build off of. However, there is an element that gives me cause for concern. The protagonist, Kanan, is a Jedi who survived Order 66 and is training an apprentice in the ways of the Force. Couple this with the title- Rebels– and the setting- circa 5 BBY or so- and there’s a decent chance that this show will depict the founding of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. And likely as not, in such a scenario, the show’s Jedi protagonist will play some role in that founding. I’m not a fan of Jedi being heavily involved with the Rebellion at all, particularly in founding and leading it.
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Everything is Interconnected and Interdependent: KOTOR II and the Religions of India

In Knights of the Old Republic II, a motif of echoes and vibrations is woven throughout the narrative, particularly with regard to the Force, and to the actions of an individual. Many of the characters, from the fallen Jedi Kreia to the adorably psychotic assassin droid HK-47 voice notice of how the actions of an individual, a group, or something more metaphysical can create a cascade of after-effects- ‘echoes’, or ‘resonance’, as they are termed in the game.

HK-47 comments upon how, by mistranslating a single word, an interstellar war between several insectoid species was instigated, and through this war the Republic was able to gain influence over an entire sector, shoring up the rapidly failing galactic government. Visas Marr, in her first scene with Darth Nihilus, mentions that she can “hear” the echoes of the Exile’s actions against the background noise of life in the universe. Kreia draws the Exile’s attention to the background hum of the Force itself on Nar Shaddaa, by listening with her heart- a method the Exile later uses to open the bounty hunter Mira to the Force. Many of Kreia’s lessons utilize the imagery of echoes and resonance to teach the Exile about the long-term, often unintended consequences of actions and ideas. Indeed, Kreia’s ultimate goal is to murder the Force itself through some complex utilization of echoes- to create an echo that would drown out the Force itself, to at last break its seemingly fickle will.

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Star Wars in Five Seconds

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I know I’ve expressed disdain with what you might call “Buzzfeed-style” articles here before, but let’s be honest—who doesn’t love a good animated gif? A few properly-chosen seconds from your favorite piece of media can be like a little fortune cookie that allows you to reconnect with it for just a moment; in service of a larger point, to illustrate recurring imagery, or just for the fun of it.

I recently asked the staff to share their quintessential Star Wars movie moments; not just cool stuff, but the moments that spoke to them deep down, that encapsulated everything they love about SW in just a few seconds. On a whim, I then set out to track down an appropriate gif of each moment to go along with their responses. That part was a lot harder than I’d expected. Let’s see how I did.
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Escape Pod: Matthew Stover

There are few Star Wars authors (none, actually) more universally revered than Matthew Stover, the author of Traitor, Revenge of the Sith, Shatterpoint, and Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor. Stover writes his novels with moving prose, fantastic characterization, snappy dialogue, and generally an inspiring passion for the Star Wars universe. Some of the most memorable entries in the Star Wars Expanded Universe are the product of Matthew Stover, and Disney would be making a grievous mistake in not inviting him to play a role in any sort of EU 2.0. Throughout his involvement with the Galaxy Far, Far Away, Stover has demonstrated a fantastic capacity for utilizing the Star Wars setting to its utmost potential, and for crafting stories that inspire the fandom.

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Our New Year’s Resolutions for Star Wars in 2014

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Welcome to 2014! After a bleak Christmas with no new articles for a whole week, one could be forgiven for submitting to the doldrums. To liven things up and kick off the new year with a bang, I asked the gang to share the resolutions they’d like to see the Star Wars franchise adopt in 2014.

Jay Shah: Don’t Force the Storytelling

Star Wars may well be part fantasy, but the mystic aspect has dominated in the years since the prequels. Whether we’re looking at the books, comics, games, television shows, or even the movies themselves, the Jedi and Sith loom large over Star Wars. Lightsabers and magical powers may well be iconic, but one could be forgiven for imagining that they were the only thing Star Wars was ever known for. Stormtroopers? X-wings? Smugglers? Eh, not a big deal.

There are a handful of releases these past few years that have kept things diversified. Fantasy Flight Game’s Edge of the Empire RPG materials are the best example, as they practically avoid most mentions of the Force except as a fleeting whisper, a myth given credence by rumor more than observation, which fits the game’s OT setting. The Old Republic has multiple character classes as part of its game system, meaning that players are free to diversify, but is dominated by the titanic struggle between Jedi and Sith in the pre-movie eras. As we approach the inauguration of the Sequel Trilogy and Episode VII in particular, the Force will have to play a large role in events: we’ll doubtless see the reëstablishment of the Jedi Order in some fashion or another and we’ll probably see the continuation of the Skywalker story. This is well and good, but Disney mustn’t forget that a large part of what made the OT great was that it featured political struggles — Rebels versus Imperials — or the heroism of the everyman in response to the calling of destiny.
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