Species of the week: Vuvrian

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Vurdon Ka

Notable members: Wioslea

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: A New Hope

Vuvrians are a distinctive species with large oblong heads that sport two antennae and twelve assymetric eyes. Due to their heightened senses they were naturally perceptive. A number of their race became Jedi

I’ve been rewatching A New Hope and I’ve always liked this bonkers looking alien who buys Luke’s landspeeder!!!

Sluggish Reaction: Vader Immortal and Jedi Fallen Order trailers

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So we had two trailers yesterday for the second chapter of Vader Immortal and Jedi: Fallen Order. There’s a lot going on in both and I wanted to give some of my thoughts.

The Vader Immortal trailer was certainly intriguing. It’s hard to get invested in something when you can’t afford the hardware you need to play it but the fact that they’ve gone into something so rich with lore while allowing you that fun playability is really cool.

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I thought they did a good job of capturing Vader, though you can always tell when it’s not James Earl Jones. He looked significantly epic and menacing throughout and you know he’s only giving your character this power so he can abuse it. I haven’t played episode 1 so I don’t know what it’s like but I’m pretty sure meeting Vader must be terrifying!

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I LOVE this lightsaber design!! It looks ancient and weird and I’m really into it – I’m hoping this is setting up for an ancient time where lightsabers were more ornate and varied in design.

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I honestly don’t know what to make of this – visually it looks more like it belongs in The Matrix than Star Wars and I don’t get how it would work, but I’m sure the team have an in-universe explanation that makes sense. That said I am up for getting weird!!

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We see a few scenarios where you face off against the Darkghast. One one level it’s basically a four-armed Rancor and I do think there are too many rancor-esque monsters in Star Wars but the gameplay looked fun and original, particularly when it was scaling the walls like a spider. The fact that Vader seemed scared, or at least very cautious, around it makes it intriguing. I believe it may be a darkside creation but I can’t remember where I read that.

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The whole hidden temple on Mustafar is really interesting and it looks like it has some bonkers puzzle gameplay as well as lightsaber combat.

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ZOE-3 is fun and hearing her chide your character seems like a fun interaction. I do love a good droid sidekick and one that’s a bit sassy is even more fun!!


And we also got a nice story trailer for Jedi: Fallen Order. I’m really looking forward to this fun (and affordable!) game – single player Jedi action. Yes please!

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We get straight into the action with Cere rescuing Cal from Bracca. Two things stood out to me, first is the fact that she’s using a blaster. We know she’s a Jedi (you can read her backstory in the Dark Temple comic series) so to see her face off against an enemy using a blaster is strange. Has she lost hers or did she just not have it to hand?

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I was intrigued to see the Second Sister so early in the story. I’m guessing it’s going to play into Cal’s journey – at this point the best he can do is get away and survive but later he’ll have the skills to take on an Inquisitor.

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It was nice to see more of the crew. I’m warming to Greez Dritus the pilot. At first I felt that having another wise-cracking four-armed pilot would be too similar to Rio Durant from SOLO but he seems to have a different almost father-like personality from this clip. Also hearing BD-1’s ‘woohoo’ was so endearing!!

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We got to see a whole host of planets, most of whom seemed new, which is nice after having a demo set entirely on Kashyyyk. The planet with crazy weather looks like it’ll make for a challenging mission.

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I don’t know a lot about the Inquisitors but I’ve just read the first ark of the Darth Vader comic and seeing them in game looks awesome and I hope there are more enemies for Cal to fight.

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Seeing Cal’s friends get executed is heartbreaking but I’m a little distracted by the fact that one of them looks like they could be a Chiss?!!

Looks like we’ll get a load of monsters in this game, which should balance things out so you’re not always fighting guys with blasters or lightsabers. I’m wondering if this giant bat is from the Shadowlands on Kashyyyk but the weather seems to fit the planet seen earlier.

UPDATE: The giant bat is called Gorgara the Chirodactyl according to the Star Wars databank

OK, that’s what jumped out at me from the trailers. Let me know what caught your eye!

The ORIGINAL Knights of the Old Republic: Nomi Sunrider

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Widow. Single mother. Jedi Master. Skilled in the most powerful Jedi arts but a reluctant hero. Bringer of peace to the galaxy but a life of tragedy. This is the story of Nomi Sunrider. 

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Nomi fell in love with and married Andur Sunrider, a Jedi Knight. Her husband told her he sensed the force in her but she refused to believe she too held that power, wanting to live a simple life. They had a daughter, Vima, together and travlled the galaxy as Andur was called to different worlds to help them.

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But tragedy changed Nomi’s life forever. On a mission to deliver lightsaber crystals Andur was killed by a Hutt gang wishing to steal the crystals for themselves. Encourgaed by the spirit of her husband Nomi picked up his lightsaber and called on the force to defend herself and her daughter.

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Nomi completed her mission and met the unusual master Thon, who agreed to train her in the ways of the Force. Nomi was reluctant but again called on the force to protect herself and her daughter and uncovered her talent for Battle Meditation, influencing the outcome of a conflict through the Force. She eventually accepted her destiny and was trained as a Jedi Knight.

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Later, when Ulic Qel-Droma called for help on Onderon (read about him HERE) Nomi was selected as part of a Jedi Strike team to solve the conflict on the planet. Nomi demonstrated her talents with a lightsaber and the force and helped to finally bring peace to the planet. Afterwards she returned to the Jedi Stronghold on Ossus and spent more time refining her abilities.

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Shortly after that battle the Krath conflict broke out in the Empress Teta system. Nomi’s skills were influential in winning the intial battles but the Republic suffered heavy losses. She and Ulic grew close at this time and she opened her heart to love again. Sadly their meeting on a Jedi conclave would be their last happy moment as the conclave was attacked by the Krath, killing many Jedi and Ulic left to try and infiltrate the Krath.

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After losing contact Nomi led a strike force to rescue Ulic, however, it turned out that Ulic had fallen to the Dark Side. Nomi returned to Ossus to defend the Republic against Ulic, who was now declared a Lord of the Sith. She studied and learned and ancient but powerful Jedi technique.

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As the Sith waged war on the galaxy, Nomi and her talents were called upon to drive them back from Republic space. In a decisive battle she used her secret knowledge to strip Ulic’s of his connection to the force. This action caused Ulic to recant his actions and he led them to the Sith stronghold. Nomi channeled the power of hundreds of Jedi to create a wall of lightside energy that purged the planet – ending the conflict.

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Her role in the conflict and her wisdom meant she rose quickly to Master and within a few years was made Grand Master of the Order, While she was recognised as a wise leader she struggled with her daughter – reluctant to train her as a Jedi. Her daughter ran away to train under the fallen Ulic, ultimately bringing him back to the light before he died and bringing peace to Nomi. She continued to lead the Jedi, and Vima after her, for many years to come.


 

I think Nomi’s story would be a great template to follow for an Old Republic story. First off the story of the spouse of a Jedi would be really interesting whther they had force powers or not. But someone wanting to live a peaceful life but then accepting a great destiny even though it brings them pain is a powerful thing to read or watch. Plus I’d love to see battle meditation on screen!!

Species of the Week: Izel’s species

Izel

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Fear Dimension

Notable members: Izel

Fandom: Marvel [MCU]

Appearances: Agents of SHIELD

 

Izel and her species come from another dimension dubbed the ‘Fear Dimension’ by SHIELD. Existing without corporeal form they nonetheless manifested as humanoid beings. Through the Di’Allas Izel was able to escape the dimension and sought to bring her people through and give them corporeal form by inhabiting victims with Shrike to make them easy hosts. While in Earth’s dimension Izel was able to use harmonic resonance to phase and move between bodies at will, possessing her hosts and controlling their abilities. She was killed with a sword that blocked her abilities and her people were stopped from crossing over. 

I enjoyed the latest season (review coming soon) and I like the consistent buildup of the threat and  it payed off pretty well. Again I was surprised that Izel wasn’t based on a comic book villain but then again I quite like it when SHIELD create their own stuff.

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.

 

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!