Novels

The Return of Thrawn

thrawn-rebelsWhen contemplating what my first post should be now that I’m back from my hiatus and there is nothing more exciting and appropriate right now than the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn. They have danced around similar themes lately in Star Wars but to see the return of the Chiss can be interpreted as a step in the right direction for bringing a lot of die-hard fans back into the fold.

When I first discussed characters I’d like to see cross over into Rebels, Thrawn was always at the top of my list. I remember discussing with friends how incredible it could be to see the Grand Admiral analyzing Sabine’s “art.” By that I mean two things, first of all we have always known that Thrawn has a great appreciation for art and the connection between the viewer and their favorite works of art. If you like a certain artist’s style it may be indicative of your own tendencies. So to see Thrawn now be analyzing not only the fan of the art, but the artist themselves may be very interesting and telling. Just as Kanan has endangered the rebels at times with his presence, could her involvement and Thrawn’s familiarity with her jeopardize them all. Secondly, we have seen Sabine express herself artistically through explosions and other attacks, how will she react when she meets someone that appreciates the beauty of her work. Someone who doesn’t see them merely as an attack, but as part of a more beautiful pattern.

I’m very excited about Zahn’s involvement as I have always been a fan of his work. The book aptly named “Thrawn” will take place before Rebels starting with the Empire’s discovery of Thawn and ending just before Season 3. I really like the fact that they are tying it in so closely to the show as this is one of the best examples of the Story group making something connect across the board. As we have seen with other big villains in Star Wars Rebels, they have been good at sacrificing minions while the boss gets away, so I believe this is the beginning of our tie with Thrawn and wouldn’t be surprised to see him cross over to other stories Post-Return of the Jedi.

All in all I am very excited to see this and the other hints of the EU that they sprinkled into that Teaser. The dam has been broken, time for more to come out.

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Spoiler Free Review of Star Wars: Crucible by Troy Denning

A year ago when I first read about Crucible, my anticipation was born. I took that word and analyzed the hell out of it. I looked at this cover art and the bar was raised higher and higher with every announcement and promise. The book had promised to focus on the relationships of the Big 3 (Han, Luke, and Leia), give us a glimpse of the new era for Star Wars and reveal who the enemies will be for the upcoming books. I’ll avoid spoilers but when you open the book, it lists characters that are in it so instead of telling you what each character did I’ll only evaluate the way the characters were written and portrayed.

In recent years, many people have complained about the change in Han Solo’s attitude over the years. With his loss of Chewbacca and his sons, modern Han Solo has often been described as whiney and dark, this interperatation of the iconic character reads a little bit more like the young Han Solo, a little romantic, but strategic and bold. This attitude doesn’t always work out for Solo as he struggles to keep up in a young man’s game.

Omad Kaeg on the other hand reads just like a young Han. This young pilot often acts with more courage and stupidity then the mature Han Solo. Omad is an interesting character with some interesting bad habits and develops interesting relationships with several of the characters that are important in the Expanded Universe. I think we can expect him to be in the books and possibly even the new movie.

Luke Skywalker and his sister seemed to be pretty standard portrayals. Both of them have been more philosophical in their latter years and the book acts as a good learning process for them as they learn to allow the younger generation to have more control. Personally I think Luke’s most personal moments are with his son, Ben, and sadly this book doesn’t show much of that relationship.

Though Ben, Tahiri, Jag, and Jaina are in the book, they don’t play that much of a role in the book. I would complain about that, but one of the major reasons for this book is to help transition the focus of the Star Wars books onto the next generation, so I suppose we can expect more than enough of them to come. (Please Episode VII!) The book also mentions several Jedi in training, so it will be interesting to see if they play a part in things to come.

Lando is the man. That’s always beent he truth and always will be. Nothing else can be said about that.

I have mixed feelings about the villains in this book. They present the main villains to be Craitheus and Marvid Qreph, Columi twins that run a massive galactic corporation that is incredibly corrupt. For those of us that don’t think about Columi often, they are a species of little green men that are brilliant strategists. They’re resume is impressive but their actual behavior and responses don’t display the level of incite that they’re suppose to. My favorite scene of theirs involved a very interesting game, you’ll see. The real villains in my opinion are their hired help, Vestara Khai and Mirta Gev.

Vestara Khai returns as Ben Skywalker’s former girlfriend and member of the Lost Tribe of the Sith, it seems that since the Fate of the Jedi series Khai has managed to work her way up the criminal/corporate ladder. She understands the way the Jedi operate by now and provides interesting incite as an advisor, without being afraid to get her hands dirty.

Though they work together, Mirta Gev is often pitted against Khai due to their conflicting styles. Gev is a true Mandalorian, leading the charge while her grandfather, Boba Fett, remains out of the picture for this novel. With Fett growing old it is very likely that Mirta could be next in line to be Mandalore, so these early glimpses of her commanding her own troops give us an exciting look at the new wave of Mandalorians that may rise again as a threat in future novels/films.

The book references a good bit of everything and does a good job of presenting an exciting threat without trying to out-do any previous threats. The book felt exciting and gave me a very optimistic look at the next series of novels. This book gives me hope that the Star Wars timeline that we know and love will stay consistent in Disney era, because it feels like they are starting to build towards something exciting! I highly recommend this book to Star Wars fans of all experiences, as it does a great job catching the reader with the current state of affairs in the Star Wars Universe and acts as a great self contained story without having to be part of a 13-book arc.


Drew Karpyshyn Responds to One of My Children of Fire Questions

I recently tweeted a question to my absolute favorite writer, Drew Karpyshyn, and he responded.

It’s always exciting to get a response from someone that you admire, but looking back on some of his books it makes sense. If you consider Darth Bane or Revan, they both are capable of power that would literally break the system. I don’t think its unreasonable to consider to possibility of a movie or game being created if the book does well.

Recently there has been a movement of fans pushing for Knights of the Old Republic to be made into a spinoff movie/series. Of all of the topics that fans have been pushing for, none have gotten the support  of Kotor, which is being campaigned for by fansites and bloggers almost daily.

As a fan of Karpyshyn’s, I would love to see any of his work get adapted, and am very excited to see what comes of the Mass Effect movie.


Drew Karpyshyn Reveals Cover and 13 Page Excerpt From Children of Fire

Random House has recently released the cover and about 13 pages of Drew’s next book Children Of Fire. It is the first book in his new fantasy trilogy, The Chaos Born.

Here is the official synopsis;

Drew Karpyshyn has made his mark with imaginative, action-packed work on several acclaimed videogames, including Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, as well as in a succession of New York Times bestselling tie-in novels. Now Karpyshyn introduces a brilliantly innovative epic fantasy of perilous quests, tormented heroes, and darkest sorcery—a thrilling adventure that vaults him into the company of such authors as Terry Goodkind, Brandon Sanderson, and Peter V. Brett.

Long ago the gods chose a great hero to act as their agent in the mortal world and to stand against the demonic spawn of Chaos. The gods gifted their champion, Daemron, with three magical Talismans: a sword, a ring, and a crown. But the awesome power at his command corrupted Daemron, turning him from savior to destroyer. Filled with pride, he dared to challenge the gods themselves. Siding with the Chaos spawn, Daemron waged a titanic battle against the Immortals. In the end, Daemron was defeated, the Talismans were lost, and Chaos was sealed off behind the Legacy—a magical barrier the gods sacrificed themselves to create.

Now the Legacy is fading. On the other side, the banished Daemron stirs. And across the scattered corners of the land, four children are born of suffering and strife, each touched by one aspect of Daemron himself—wizard, warrior, prophet, king.

Bound by a connection deeper than blood, the Children of Fire will either restore the Legacy or bring it crashing down, freeing Daemron to wreak his vengeance upon the mortal world.

Click here for the excerpt

Click here for Drew Karypyshyn’s official news blog

 


Mass Effect Writer Drew Karpyshyn gives advice to makes of new Mass Effect Movie

Kotaku is providing us with alot of great stuff as Mass Effect Week continues! Drew Karpyshyn is one of my favorite writers, not only for his video game work with Kotor, Mass Effect, and ToR, but also for his Mass Effect, Darth Bane, and Darth Revan Novels. He is one of the best fantasy/Sci-Fi writers alive and everyone should definitely check out his stuff. The following is an exerpt from an interview that the man made with Kotaku;

“I think taking a video game and putting it into another form—book, movie, or whatever—is very complicated, especially a BioWare game. We have 30 hours of content!,” Karpyshyn noted. “Obviously, you’re going to have to define Shepard, which is going to annoy a lot of the fans. ‘Hey, my Shepard was female.’ ‘Hey, my Shepard was Paragon.’ Or ‘my Shepard was Renegade.’ ‘My Shepard didn’t have a romance.’ That is something you just can’t avoid as a film. You just have to bite the bullet and realize that’s going to happen.”

Follow the link below for more information on their interview with the amazing Drew Karpyshyn: Full Article at Kotaku

Or Check out his personal website for more information on his work and his new series coming up; Children of Fire


New Excerpt from Dawn of the Jedi- Into the Void

Random House has released quite a long excerpt from the upcoming Dawn of the Jedi novel. You can read it at their website

I’m very excited to see that they are continuing this era and would be very interested to see if they spread it into any cartoons or video games. It would be very interesting to see a game taking place when the Jedi split between light and dark, where you get to choose sides, but that is just my rambling again.


New Blurb for Star Wars: Crucible

They have recently released on the Random House website describing the latest Star Wars novel, one that will supposedly have major implications for the next series of Star Wars novels and probably the movie. Here it is;

“Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo, and Luke Skywalker return in an all-new Star Wars adventure, which will challenge them in ways they never expected—and forever alter their understanding of life and the Force.

When Han and Leia Solo arrive at Lando Calrissian’s Outer Rim mining operation to help him thwart a hostile takeover, their aim is just to even up the odds and lay down the law. Then monstrous aliens arrive with a message, and mere threats escalate into violent sabotage with mass fatalities. When the dust settles, what began as corporate warfare becomes a battle with much higher stakes—and far deadlier consequences.

Now Han, Leia, and Luke team up once again in a quest to defeat a dangerous adversary bent on galaxy-wide domination. Only this time, the Empire is not the enemy. It is a  pair of ruthless geniuses with a lethal ally and a lifelong vendetta against Han Solo. They will stop at nothing to control the lucrative Outer Rim mining trade—and ultimately the entire galactic economy. And when the murderous duo gets the drop on Han, he finds himself outgunned in the fight of his life. To save him, and the galaxy, Luke and Leia must brave a gauntlet of treachery, terrorism, and the untold power of an enigmatic artifact capable of bending space, time, and even the Force itself into an apocalyptic nightmare.”

You can see it for yourself here