The Force Awakens: Vehicles and Vessels (1)

Episode VII gave us some upgraded versions of classic craft in the opening sequence as well as a handful of new designs later on.

Resurgent-class Battlecruiser

Resurgent-class Star Destroyer

Manufacturer: Kuat-Entralla  Engineering

Length: 2,915 metres

Kylo Ren’s flagship the Finalizer is a powerful battlecruiser built in secret for the First Order. While echoing the design of the Imperial Star Destroyers it is nearly double the length and with much improved armament and shielding. The warship features a tiered design, allowing for faster deployment of fighters from launching racks, but also allowed a skilled enemy pilot to manoeuvre through the superstructure of the ship itself. It is unknown how many ships of this class exist.

Atmospheric Assault Lander

Manufacturer: Sienar-Jaemus Army Systems

Length: 18 metres

A starkly practical design, the AAL allows for the rapid deployment of troops onto the battlefield. It carries two squads of stormtroopers, which are rapidly deployed from it’s forward ramp. It carries an anti-personnel blaster to protect its troops, but relies on it’s speed and armament for protection, long enough for troops to exit before returning to safety.

Upsilon-class shuttle

Manufacturer: Sienar-Jaemus Fleet Systems

Height: 37 metres (with wings extended)

An imposing shuttle/transport equipped with the latest in sensor and weapons technology the Upsilon class was reserved for the most senior commanders. Kylo Ren used a ship of this class as his personal transport

T-70 X-Wing

Manufacture: Incom-FreiTek

Length: 12.5 metres

A continuation of the T-65 model used by the Rebellion, the T-70 boasted an improved split-engine design and improved weapons. The model was widely used by the New Republic until the development of the T-85 which replaced it. The resource-strapped Resistance acquired a fleet of outdated T-70s from sympathetic senators who donated the older ships to their cause including Poe’s Black One customised ship equipped with a sensor-baffling black paint-job.

  • In Legends

Image result for pellaeon class

The Imperial remnant largely stuck with Imperial class Star Destroyers as their power base gradually dwindled, eventually upgrading to the Imperial-III class. There were individuals who carried personalised ships, but these were largely dreadnoughts or superweapons. In the Legacy comics (set 130 years after Episode-IV) the Empire used the Pellaeon-class Star Destroyer.

I couldn’t find an analogue for the AAL, apart from maybe the Y-4 Raptor, but that only really featured in one book. Again with shuttles the Imperial Remnant largely stuck with Lambda-class shuttles. Legacy introduce the Nune-class shuttle, which also doubled as a troop transport.

In Legends the New Republic introduced a variety of fighter such as the E-Wing, but also largely stuck to X-Wing designs such as the XJ series pictured here. A model called the StealthX was released with sensor-jamming design similar to Poe’s ship – this model was used almost exclusively by Jedi. In Legacy there was a model of ship called the TwinTail that featured an X design…you can start to tell I really liked the Legacy comics!!!

Destiny: The Hive

After completing a Strike I got myself some new Scalpel Wing armour and some other gear which I may show in the next Destiny post

With my ship fully functional I was called on by the Speaker to investigate Fallen activity in the Skywatch, and area that once launched colonists to outer space. Looking for an area locked down by the Fallen I found a greater threat – the Hive.
The Hive

While humanity have many enemies following the Darkness’s war with the Traveller, the Hive are one of the few races to directly serve the Darkness itself. They hate the Traveller’s Light and will do anything to destroy it, each member of their race is a screaming monster and humanity only halted their advance by surrendering the Moon…or so we thought.

Thralls

Thralls are a base form of the Hive race, the combination of a spawn from a wizard and a sentient worm. Blind and feral, they charge at enemies eager to consume their light, attacking with nothing but their claws.

Acolytes 

Thralls who destroy the Light are elevated to Acolytes, powerful soldiers of the Hive equipped with deadly weaponry. Those who don’t ascend are consumed by the worm inside them. Acolytes pin enemies down with fire while Thralls rush them.

Star Wars: What’s Canon? (1)

This series of posts is going to cover what has been added to the Star Wars Canon, either as brand new content or returning from Legends, in new media. I almost called this ‘Canon Updates’, but at the pace I’ll get through them that would be more than a misnomer!!

At the time of it’s release Uprising was the most exciting thing going in Star Wars media. With the EU (now Legends) all eradicated this was the first piece of post-Endor content to come out. Unfortunately the game didn’t perform too well, I found it buggy and slow and didn’t get past the first mission, and the game has since closed it’s servers. I’ve genuinely struggled to get much information on the story of this game but I’ll fill in as much as I can, please feel free to add anything I’ve missed or correct my errors.

Characters

Naturally the game had dozens of characters including the player character of ‘the Smuggler’. I’ve tried to only pick out the key players in the events of the game, all of whom are new characters.

Adelhard (Human Male)

A rare example of a Stormtrooper rising up the ranks Adelhard became military leader and governor of the Anoat Sector. Upon hearing news of the Emperor’s demise he locked down the sector forming the Iron Blockade to prevent the news getting in and used extreme measures to try and maintain order. Eventually his methods led to an organised uprising my members of the criminal underworld. An attempt was made to capture him during the liberation of Bespin, but he escaped capture.

Brahg (Human Male)

Recruited to the Stormtroopers from a life of crime Brahg excelled in combat and enjoyed inflicting misery on others. He became leader of the Purge troopers, tasked with rooting out and destroying those reporting the Emperor’s death

Shortpaw (Chadra-Fan Male)

Publicly known as a junk trader, Shortpaw was in fact leader of the Trade Spine League a union of smuggler and privateer vessels. He partnered with the gangster ‘Happy’ Dapp to find a weak point in the blockade. During the mission evidence of the Emperor’s death was uncovered and he and his organisation became targets for the Purge Troopers. Seeing that fighting back was the only option, he leant his ship to the newly formed Uprising.

Her Majesty (Nothoiin Female)

The nobility of the Anoat sector had long been deposed by the Empire, but still held considerable influence in the sector. The nameless ruler, upon hearing of the truth, pledged her forces and her Throneships to the Uprising’s cause.

Voras (Hutt Male)

Voras led the Ivax Syndicate criminal organisation, based in Cloud City. He too joined the Uprising.

Deathstick (Dathomiri Female)

The leader of the Kouhun group of elite assassins, Deathstick lived by a code of honour. The Kouhun reluctantly allied with criminals and nobles alike to overthrow the Empire hold on their system.

  • In Legends 

The Anoat sector was under the control of Moff Rebus, a brilliant but arrogant weapons designer. He lived in a base in the sewers of Anoat City until his involvement with the Dark Trooper project led to his capture by Kyle Katarn

I think that’s enough for this post – if I’ve missed out anyone important let me know

 

Halo 5: Characters (1)

I considered adding ‘Guardians’ to the title, but that’s just too many colons!! Now that I’ve finished the campaign I’ll start by looking at Fireteam Osiris.

Jameson Locke 

LOCKE 2.png

Homeworld: Jericho VII

Occupation: Spartan-IV Supersoldier, former ONI agent

As an ONI aquisitions specialist Locke worked on behind enemy lines missions and specialised in assassinations. He profiled the Arbiter during the war and recommended his assassination, even volunteering to complete the mission himself. After the war he led the mission to Sedra and later Alpha Shard to stop an anti-human weapon.

Locke went on to undergo augmentation as a SPARTAN-IV and after several high-profile missions was given command of Fireteam Osiris. He led them into battle on Kamchatka, personally assassinating Covenant leader Jul M’dama. After the battle he was tasked with hunting  the Master Chief, who had gone AWOL on Meridian, narrowly escaping the activation of a Guardian.

In his pursuit he was assigned to Sanghelios to gain the help of the Arbiter, his former foe. He aided the Swords of Sanghelios in liberating Sunaion from Covenant control. Pursuing Master Chief to Genesis he allied with him to try and stop Cortana, rescuing his team and regrouping on Sanghelios following the Guardians deployment.

You can see more about Locke’s time with ONI in Halo:Nightfall

Edward Buck

H5G-Render-Buck-head.png

Homeworld: Draco III

Occupation:Spartan-IV Supersoldier, former ODST

An experienced ODST he participated in the battles of Reach and Earth as well as many other campaigns. Following the war he continued as an ODST alongside his squad, continuing his relationship with ONI agent Veronica Dare on their shore leave. After a tragic mission to his home planet he eventually decided to sign up as a SPARTAN alongside the rest of his squad.

Following the betrayal of Mickey and Dutch’s decision to retire Buck was reassigned to Fireteam Osiris. During their missions Buck was vocal about his misgivings in taking down a hero like the Master Chief but remained commited to the team and the mission.

You can read about Buck’s transition to Spartan in Halo: New Blood

Holly Tanaka

Waypoint - Holly Tanaka.jpg


Homeworld:Minab

Occupation:Spartan-IV Supersoldier,f former Army engineer

As a child Tanaka survived the glassing of her homeworld, due to being on a remote part of the planet. She and her father banded together with other survivors to make a living on their ravaged world, eventually being rediscovered by the Covenant and repelling an attack. After the war she joined the UNSC as an Army Engineer. Her service record gained her enough attention to be recommended for the SPARTAN programme, participating in the battle to prevent Jul M’dama accessing the ultimate record. She served as technical expert for Fireteam Osiris.

You can read about Holly Tanaka’s early life and missions in Halo: Escalation

Olympia Vale

VALE 2.png

Homeworld:Luyten

Occupation:Spartan-IV Supersoldier, former anthropologist

From childhood Vale had a gift for languages, wishing to impress her parents – a weakness Cortana later tried to exploit. During the war she quickly picked up the Sangheili language and even spend time on a Sangheili world after the war. Her expertise drew the attention of ONI who requisitioned her for missions to build contact with the Swords of Sanghelios and she was also deployed to the Ark to prevent the Halo array reactivating. Having proven herself capable in combat she was recommended for the SPARTAN programme and joined Fireteam Osiris, her Sangheili expertise aiding them in their joint mission with the Arbiter.

You can read about Vale’s mission to the Ark in Halo: Hunters in the Dark

Star Wars posters, box art and cast photo!!

A slew of small, but significant images have been released recently, no doubt you’ve already seen them but here’s my take on it all. 

Foreign posters for The Last Jedi(s)

The plurality of the word Jedi gave the film some ambiguity – but in the words of Raj Koothrapali “now it’s biguous, what’re you gonna do about it?!” In a way I preferred the thought of it just being about Luke but then I do want the Jedi to continue so it’s cool either way.
Force Friday box  art 

The next image that’s hot people buzzing is this year’s box art revealed on Force Friday. The image seems to have added to the Rey must be Luke’s daughter theory. To my mind this doesn’t prove anything, barring Rey’s hair these images could all come from Episode VII and the fact that she has Luke’s saber doesn’t prove anything – he has his green one so naturally she would use Anakin’s, at least until she gets her own. With the film’s title I think there’s more strength to my belief that Rey is Luke’s last surviving apprentice and he abandoned her on Jakku after the other Knights were slaughtered.

Han Solo movie cast photo 

Not as much to say about this except it’s happening!! Alden is definitely looking the part here, hoping we’ll get more of a tease at Celebration soon.

Watch “Halo Wars 2: Official Launch Trailer” on YouTube

Runnin’ ’em over!!!

I’m really looking forward to this game, though I must admit to finding the trailer a little bewildering – not that having a little mystery is at all a bad thing!!! 

The trailer makes it clear that the  Spirit crew shouldn’t stand a chance, do I’m guessing some interaction with the Forerunner tech is going to tip the balance.

Not long to go…

Achievement Hunting (6)

I completed a playthrough of Halo 5 and really enjoyed the campaign and I’m really hoping it sets us up for a more epic future for the franchise. My big hopes for Halo 6 and more Chief and definitely getting to play as the Arbiter – a longer campaign would be good too.

I’m going to leave out the level complete achievements as that would make this post extremely long and dull.

Raise your Banner

Changed your Emblem in the Spartan Hub

With this being my first achievement my guess is I didn’t like the emblem I was given as default and needed to sort that out before going any further!!

Your Style

Changed your Spartan’s gear in the Spartan Hub

I got this when I equipped the NIGHTFALL armour set that I got from watching the series on the Halo Channel.

Your Team is Your Weapon

Commanded your team of Spartans in Osiris

I got this one almost straight away, heroically commanding me team of Spartans to get me back on my feet after getting mowed down like a rag doll!

Conspiracy Theory

Found and claimed one piece of Intel

I got this one on the Argent Moon level, where intel was placed on conveniently accessible computer terminals, I haven’t had much luck finding other intel, I’ll probably go for it on my Legendary replay now that I’ve finished the campaign on Heroic.

Waiting on You

Killed an enemy that’s had its armour repaired in Unconfirmed

Not entirely sure how I got this one as my main policy when engaging Prometheans is to take out the Watchers first to stop them doing exactly that!! Shooting at the glowing shoulder parts on a Knight will cause any nearby Watchers to scurry to it’s aid – then repeat and kill the thing to get this one.

Make your Mark

Changed your Service Tag in the Spartan Hub

No idea why I’ve got this one as I don’t really play online anymore – I obviously got bored at some point!!

Icy Cool

Used a Ground Pound on an exterior power core in Guardians on Heroic difficulty

Apparently this is a Rare achievement, though I don’t really know how as it was quite easy to get. One of the Cores is in a cave guarded by two Hunters. At the back of the cave is a small ledge with a turret. Take out the Elite manning the turret then Ground Pound off the ledge onto the Core to take it out instantly.

And that brings me to the end of Halo 5, like I said I will replay on Legendary at some point so expect to see more achievements, plus I will be covering the game in a series of posts starting soon.

Watch “The Avengers Project Announcement Trailer” on YouTube

I have mixed feelings about this – there are so many positives, especially the developers with proven track record meaning this won’t be some cheap toe-in game

On the downside it doesn’t look like this game will tie in at all to the MCU (unless there’s some drastic fallout from Infinity War, though there’s no way they’d lst it conclude in a game) but rather be it’s own thing.

I think that this will give the game scope to be original, and the setting has a lot of promise, but I had hoped for a game that was a real part of the MCU with the universe ties that the TV shows have, but it looks like that’s not to be.

There’s a long time till this game is out and I’m sure they’ll win me over by then!