The ORIGINAL Knights of the Old Republic: Ulic Qel-Droma

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A hero. A brother. Adventurer and peacebringer, determined to save the galaxy from darkness. A fall to the dark side. Redemption brought by a new generation. This is the story of Ulic Qel-Droma – this is the story of a Jedi. 

Recently I did a video about Knights of the Old Republic (watch HERE) and how it’s cultural impact has overshadowed some of the great stories told in the Tales of the Jedi comics. Well I’d like to address that balance – not by tearing down what I hate (because I don’t – KotOR is a great game!!) but by saving what I love. SPOILERS AHEAD

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Ulic’s journey began 4000 years before the battle of Yavin when he was apprenticed to Master Arca Jeth of Arkania. In a different time many Jedi set up their own training centers around the galaxy and, along with his brother Cay and friend Tott Doneeta, Ulic was trained as a Jedi. When his training was complete his master assigned his three students to be the Watchmen of the Onderon system, which had recently joined the Republic.

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They arrive to find a world in conflict. The mighty beast riders clash against the fortified city of Iziz.  Ulic arrives in time to fight a raid on the capital but too late to stop the princess Galia being kidnapped. Ulic followed his instincts and realised the kidnap was a ruse. Galia was in love with the prince of the beast riders and sought to unite the two factions through marriage. He attempted to bring the couple back into the city but war broke out through the Queen who was possessed by the Dark Side. Master Arca returned to end the conflict, praising Ulic for his skill in battle but chiding him for not sensing the presence of the Dark Side.

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Not long after Ulic returned to Onderon when a new war broke out. It was discovered that the spirit of Freedon Nadd, a Sith who was once king of that world was influending events on the planet. When Master Arca was captured Ulic wisely sought the help of the Republic and the Jedi who sent a task force including new Jedi Nomi Sunrider, who Ulic fell in love with. The Jedi ended the war and banished Nadd’s spirit for good.

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Before long a new threat emerged – a dark site cult called the Krath who waged war on the Jedi, killing Ulic’s master. Determined to avenge his master Ulic infiltrated the cult, against the wishes of the Jedi. Over time he fell to the dark side and was later declared a Lord of the Sith along with Exar Kun, another fallen Jedi. They conquered the Mandalorians and waged war on the Republic with Ulic falling so far as to kill his own brother in rage.

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After this act the Jedi brought their might against him and his forces. Nomi used her great power to sever his connection to the Force. Without the influence of the dark side Ulic was filled with remorse and aided the Jedi in overthrowing Exar Kun’s forces on Yavin 4. He planned to live the rest of his days in exile on Rhen Var but he was sought out by Vima Sunrider, the daughter of his former love, who asked him to teach her the ways of the Jedi. Though he was tragically killed shortly after, he died in peace at last.

 

I love Ulic’s story. I think particularly the setting of frontier worlds and a fledgling republic is what makes it great. The idea that Jedi Masters train their apprentices on their own worlds and Jedi act as watchmen for different system rather than operating from a centralized temple really appeals to me.

I also like the idea of a time where force users remained hidden or others set themselves up as Kings or Warlords. I hope that when we do get into the Old Republic in movies we see a wilder story with threats like Sith Kings or cults like the Krath. I also think Ulic’s story – his belief that he could live in the dark without succumbing to it – would make a good basis for the story of an ancient Jedi.

 

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Species of the week: Shrike

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Designation: Non-Sentient

Homeworld: none

Fandom: Marvel [MCU]

Appearances: Agents of SHIELD

The Shrike were a parasitic race of bat-like creatures created by Izel in her attempt to conquer our dimension. They were capable of inhabiting other beings and controlling them according to Izel’s wishes. They stored and release energy, creating harmonic crystalline growths from their hosts bodies.

I’ve just finished watching season 6 of Agents of SHIELD and I thought the Shrike made an intriguing and credible threat. I’ve looked and as far a I can see they don’t have a counterpart in the comics, which I found strange given their prominence in the plot.

Species of the Week: Asari

Asari

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Thessia

Notable members: Liara T’Soni, Samara, Lexi T’Pero, Peebee

Fandom: Mass Effect

The Asari are a blue-skinned humanoid race native to Thessia. They are distinct from most other races in two ways, firstly they are all female and secondly they have a lifespan averaging 1000 years. They were highly empathetic, making them skilled diplomats and influential in galactic politics. Their unique physiology meant they were capable of breeding with any species. They were all naturally gifted in biotics, the manipulation of forces through mass effect fields, a trait rare in most other species. 

I played a bit of Mass Effect: Andromeda last week and came across Peebee, who looks like a fun character and I was reminded of how complex the stories of the Asari are. I remember playing Mass Effect 2 and listening to a Salarian trying to buy a memorable gift for his Asari wife, knowing she will outlive him by centuries.

Sluggish Reaction: D23 Rise of Skywalker trailer

I’m sure I’m the last person in the world to comment on this (I’ve been busy okay?!) but nonetheless I wanted to process my thoughts on the Rise of Skywalker trailer shown at D23

It’s great to see the gang together at last. I think this scene on Passana is going to be fun. The green chalk reninds me of the Hulk parade from Thor: Ragnarok and I can imagine the heroes trying to find their contact and getting separated during whatever festivities are going on, maybe picking up a new ally on the way.

We see a ragtag Resistance fleet here. I like the idea that it’s the Tantive IV that we’re seeing here, alongside a cool new ship. While I was excited to see B-Wings and Y-Wings I’m not sure how I feel about reusing Original Trilogy fighters. Personally I always prefer to see original designs, something the Sequel Era has been lacking

My guess at the moment is that the fleet is after this bunch of Imperial-I clas Star Destroyers. My thanks to Adam Odle on Twitter for clarifying which type as I’ve always struggled to tell the difference – link below if you do too.

Finn and newcomer Jannah onboard a Resistance ship, possibly that new design, looking at the Star Destroyers. My guess is that the Resistance are trying to capture them as they look hidden or abandoned. They reminded me of the Katana fleet from Legends. Ekharts Ladder did an excellent video about this which I’ll embed at the bottom of this post.

I don’t know what to make of C-3PO’s red eyes. I’m inclined to think that it’s a red herring but part of me wants to see threepio go all killer droid or something!!

I like this scene of Rey training, very likely with Leia as the background matches the brief shot of Carrie Fisher. The red tag thing looks very cool but I doubt it means anything (remember her staff, which was just a staff).

This shot hadn’t been talked about much but I find it interesting. I think it’s unlikely they’ll introduce a new superweapon but this is a beam not a bolt like most turbolasers, even the Dreadnought, so I’m interested to see what caused this

Rey fighting Kylo on what is almost definitely the Death Star II is awesome!!! The fight looks raw and epic like their battle on Starkiller

We fade out to Palpatine’s words “you’re journey nears its end.” My guess is this is another misdirect and that he is speaking to Kylo not Rey.

And finally the image that took the internet by storm even before it was released. Every theory under the sun is out there. A vision seems the obvious answer but I think it could be real. My current theory is that Rey is infiltrating a First Order base by stealing the cloak and saber – once she’s rumbled she lights up and fights her way out.

And that’s it. If you have any thoughts about my thoughts drop me a comment.

My Two Credits: Why I DON’T want a KoTOR movie

 

Something I hear a lot, especially about the Benioff/Weiss Star Wars project is that people want it to be a ‘Knights of the Old Republic’ movie. While I really want the ancient Jedi to be explored I don’t want a remake of this game, no matter how good it is, and I think there is plenty of potential to explore in this era beyond just this one story.

Anyway, there are some of my takes on the idea of a KoTOR movie – I’d love to hear yours in the comments!

Species of the week: Vurk

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Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Sembla

Notable members: Coleman Trebor

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: Attack of the Clones

 

The Vurk are a reptilian species with a large distinctive crest on their heads. They were thought by some to be primitive but were highly empathic and were skilled at inter-species mediation. Jedi Master Coleman Trebor was the only known Vurk to join the Jedi Order

I’ve been rewatching Episode II and I enjoyed revisiting this Parasaurolophus-looking Jedi. I remember thinking he looked cool and getting excited to see him draw his lightsaber only for him to be immediately gunned down by Jango Fett!!

The 100 – series 5 review

Well we finally have an air date for Season 6 in the UK and it’s pretty soon so I thought I’d try and get this review out before it starts.

The 100 is one of the few programmes to maintain (and I would argue improve) quality over it’s runtime, especially as it strays further from its original premise. The showrunners consistently find ways to keep each series fresh.

Clarke and Madi

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Clarke has always been pushed to her limits and this series was no exception. But this time it was motherhood that pushed her to extremes.

Having found Madi, and some peace following Praimfaya, Clarke was pushed to take drastic action to keep he safe, first from the prisoners then from her fate as nightblood and Heda, making her a rival to Octavia’s throne.

I liked Madi and thought they developed her character well. She wasn’t the typical petulant teenager (when Clarke told her to stay in the car she did) but when the fate of her people was at stake then she stepped up even when it meant defying her adoptive mother

Blodreina and the Dark Year

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Things are even more intense for Octavia. After uniting the clans to form Wonkru she was forced to create a brutal regime to survive and became Blodreina – the Red Queen.

The show delivered on all the hints to ‘the dark year’ it dropped, showing what pushed them over the edge and why they were so fanatical in wanting to leave the bunker behind and reclaim the earth.

The Elegius mining crew

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And things might have gone smoothly if it weren’t for the arrival of a group of prison labourers who’d been in cryo and weren’t aware of what had happened to the Earth? One of the best moments was when they asked Clarke how the world ended and she replied “which time?”

Their leader Dyioza was a mirror of Ocavia, forced to be a strong and brutal leader to protect the people she was protecting. Sadly the more violent and unstable members of her group drove the two factions to war.

Bellamy and the space gang

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Not to be forgotten are the rest of the main cast who had remained in space for 5 years. They were well placed as the wildcards, not tied to either faction and seeking to fund a better way.

Particularly moving was Bellamy’s reunion with Octavia. The roles were reversed after Bellamy’s fall under Pike’s sway now it was his turn to forgive and restore his sister.

Monty, Harper and the new book

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In the final scene came the shock revelation that, after McCreary bombe shallow valley, Monty and Harper had stayed out of cryo in orbit and realised the Earth would never recover from this final blow. So they chose to travel to a new planet and, 125 years later, their son woke up Clarke and Bellamy to see it, ending Book 1 of the series.

There’s so much else I could talk about buy think I’ll leave it there. I can’t wait to watch the new series. If you liked the Trigedasleng – I’ll be posting a word of the week on my Twitter page during the run of the 6th series.

Sluggish Reaction: The Mandalorian trailer

My mind is still reeling from all the revelations at D23 but I’m going to try and process some of my thoughts, starting with the Epic trailer for the new live action Star Wars tv series.

The opening scene set the tone well, emphasising a time after the Empire, though Imperials are still a clear threat. I really liked the Music, it felt fresh but still seemed to fit in the Star Wars setting.

I’m liking the Razorcrest more and more every time I see it. This background ship looks cool, it seems to be a bit like a U-Wing but I’m pretty sure it’s a new design.

I really like this planet design. It’s such a simple idea to take something small like cracked sand on a hot day and blow it up to create a new environment. Also the sun glinting on the Razorcrest is sweet!!

Looks like we’re getting a while host of alien side characters, which is great!!

Moff Gideon just looks scary. Maybe it’s the Death Troopers flanked by him. I’m guessing Werner Herzog’s character is a lower down the food chain leader under the Moff’s command.

Quite a few shots of people in danger. I’m guessing these people are the Mandalorian’s target who he then saves. A lot of this trailer had a Rogue One Jedha conflict-vibe to it, which isn’t a bad thing but I hope it stands on its own in terms of style.

Space chase!!!

This fight is epic!! I was a little disappointed that we weren’t getting IG-88 in the show, but hearing Taika Waititi (who is directing and also voicing this character) say that IG-11 has to deal with being mistaken for the more famous bounty hunter looks to be a potentially hilarious plot line. I also really like that he’s an ally not an antagonist as I’d initially presumed.

Ok those were the main standouts for me. Let me know what caught your eye and what you think of my takes.

The series looks polished and if movie quality and I can’t wait to get into it in November!!!

Species of the week: Blurrg

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Unknown

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian

Blurrgs are large bipedal reptiles used as mounts and beasts of burden by beings across the galaxy, including combat in the Clone Wars during the liberation of Ryloth. Blurrgfire was a popular drink in many cantinas.

I loved the trailer for The Mandalorian and seeing this brief scene was so cool. I hadn’t made the connection with Clone Wars initially but when I did I was even more excited. Seeing something transition from animation to live action is always cool!!

Species of the week: Nuknog

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Designsation: Sentient

Homeworld: Sump

Notable Members: Ark Roose

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones

 

The Nuknog are a reptilian species native to the planet Sump. They are short in stature and have smaller brains relative to their heads than most species meaning that many struggle in civilised society and are often short tempered. The Podracer Ark ‘Bumpy’ Roose was a successful member of their species who competed in many races.

I’m rewatching Attack of the Clones at the moment and I enjoyed seeing all the background races of Coruscant. I clocked one of these guys hanging out with a bunch of Dugs at Dex’s Diner