Tag Archives: Books

Everything we’ve learned about the High Republic

IGN recently gave us a surprisingly detailed except from Light of the Jedi the novel by Charles Soule that will kick off the High Republic era of publishing, set 200 years before The Phantom Menace.

I’m reading through the chapter and commenting as I go but I’m keen to share as many observations as I can about this time period.

The Republic and the Galaxy

The Republic is led by Chancellor Lima So, a visionary who plans to bring the frontier worlds into the protection and civilization of the Republic.

The Capital of the Republic is Coruscant, same as in the Prequel era

The territory of the Republic has established the Core, the Colonies and the Inner and Mid Rim, but the Outer Rim is largely unexplored space beyond Republic control. Only the Jedi can maintain order along it’s borders

Mallastare and Sullust established a joint task force, protecting their area of space. This suggests the Republic had a decentralised military at this time

There is a reference to Hutt Armadas, making the Hutts a greater military threat in this era

Ships and Technology

Starlight beacon is part of an ambitious outreach program to connect the Outer Rim with the Core Worlds.

One starfighter class of the High Republic is the Incom Z-24 Buzzbug. It’s a single seat fighter and clearly a predecessor to the Clone Wars era Z-95 Headhunter (pictured). Another starfighter class mentioned is a Longbeam – I’m hoping we get to see both these classes visualised in the comic

The Legacy Run is a Kaniff Yards Class-A Modular freight transport. Essentially a triangular prism connected to a bridge module, it was capable of hauling up to 140 cargo modules. It was used by the Byrne Guild

Droids are commonly used in this era. Functions referenced are sanitation and navigation so it would seem they are a part of every day life in this time.

The Great Disaster

We get our first hint at the events of the great disaster as the Legacy Run encounters a massive object blocking their hyperlane.

And that’s everything I picked up. Let me know if I’ve missed something. This chapter has certainly whetted my appetite for January!!

So…I watched Artemis Fowl

…and, yeah, it wasn’t great. I can’t say it didn’t live up to expectations because I hadn’t read the book or watched the trailer. I suppose it was mostly intrigue at a movie premiering on a streaming service that drew me to it

So while it wasn’t exactly disappointing it still wasn’t what I had hoped for. it had elements of a really cool Sci-Fi/Fantasy story and some really good potential but the pieces just didn’t quite line up in the end

Plot

I appreciate this film is new so I will try and keep as spoiler-free as possible. The plot centres around Artemis Fowl; a young genius who is drawn into a world of fairies, trolls and dwarves when his father is kidnapped. He crosses paths with a fairy name Holly Short who is on a quest to clear her father’s name and the two of them uncover a secret that involves the fate of both human and fairy kind

Cool Stuff

The design work on this movie was top-notch and I really loved the designs for the vehicles and technology of the fairy world. It that futuristic sci-fi edge but also a kind of strange quality that made it look not like some advanced human technology but something from a world of magic. So from that the side of things I really can’t fault the film at all I really love the the use of this kind of quirky unique technology that made the fairy civilisation distinct.

The design of the different species of the fairy wilderness also really well done each were quite visually distinct and easy to tell apart and also we got a bit of a hint of how they interacted in their underground world. That’s something I would have liked to have seen explored a little bit more

So what went wrong?

I don’t know much about film process but I’m going to blame something my guess would be editing. It just felt like there was a whole chunk missing from this film which perhaps explains it’s surprisingly short run time

Two examples would be the premise of Artemis Fowl’s father being an art thief but yet we never get any confirmation of whether he actually stole anything or if there’s a connection to the magical world. Then there’s Juliet, who was introduced as another young genius and a skilled martial artists and went on to do absolutely nothing.

Sequel?

Surprisingly perhaps I would like to see a sequel to this film. Like I said I found the world fascinating, though perhaps that is more a testament to the book, and I feel that a well done sequel could remedy the faults of the first feature.

Regardless of whether they do a sequel I am really interested in reading the book and that’s not a bad thing at all.

Final verdict

This film definitely has it’s faults but it sets up an exciting world and has some fun moments and wasn’t awkward or cringy – just…not quite right.

It depends on your expectations. If you’re expecting the next big hit teen fantasy blockbuster you’ll be disappointed. If you’re looking for a fun way to pass an hour and a half on a streaming service you probably have anyway then it’ll do that no problem

Species of the week: Fyrnock

Fyrnock

Designation: Non-sentient

Homeworld: Anaxes

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: Rebels

 

Fyrnocks are silicon-based creatures capable of living in the vacuum of space. They are fierce predators about the height of a human but with a larger mass and equipped with sharp claws and teeth. Female ‘mother’ fyrnocks are larger and significantly more dangerous. Ezra Bridger used the force to influence a group of fyrnocks into attacking Imperial forces.

I’m reading an advance copy of Poe Dameron: Free Fall (spoiler-free review incoming) and fyrnocks were briefly mentioned. I hadn’t heard of them before so I looked it up and they seem like a pretty cool creature.

My Two Credits: Is Revan fully Sith now?

revan-game-3

Chances are you already know that Revan, the protagonist of the fan-favourite game Knights of the Old Republic is Canon again thanks to a reference in the Visual Dictionary for The Rise of Skywalker. And we know for sure that in the new Canon he was Darth Revan, Lord of the Sith.

Revan Legion

So the Sith Troopers are divided into legions named after ancient Sith. Some of the names are new, but others like Andeddu and Tenebrous are returning from Legends and a few other references to ancient Sith and Jedi alike are made throughout the book. But Revan is a standout fan-favourite and it is exciting to hear the name in Canon again.

Now before I jump in with my speculation I’ll be clear that I believe this is just a chance to give a cool nod to fans and it is likely that we won’t hear anything more or Revan, at least for some time especially with the shift in focus to The High Republic (a good move in my opinion).

Revanlight

But with Revan being the name of a Legion of Sith loyalists comes a potential change to his story. The main revelation in the game is that your character was Darth Revan, leader of the Sith whose memory was erased by the Jedi. He embraced the light once more and vanquished his former ally Darth Malak, bringing an end to the Sith Wars…then fending off the True Sith Emperor for 300 years…then returning and going a bit weird (I haven’t played TOR much!)

The point is that the return to the light is the pivotal moment in Revan’s storyline but for him to be the name of an entire Legion of Sith soldiers, does that mean his story has changed? What is now Revan is truly a Sith who, at one time, conquered the galaxy with the aid of Rakatan technology (the Rakata, we know, are also Canon). This is very interesting to me and a story featuring Revan the conqueror would be exciting to watch or read!!

Revan Sith

Of course another possibility is that the Sith never knew about his return to the light. He might have always been masked and therefore when an unmasked Revan turned on the Sith no one knew who he was and assumed he was just a powerful Jedi and therefore Revan’s legacy, to the Sith eyes, remained untarnished.

Perhaps that’s more likely but I’ve said before that if they do reintroduce the character I don’t want it to be in a KoTOR adaptation (see my opinion on that in the video linked below) but in something new. Perhaps in the way they brought Thrawn back, but in the Imperial era instead of harassing the New Republic, they could find a creative way to introduce the character into a new story.

What do you think? Will we see Revan anytime soon? Will he stay a Sith Lord or still return to the light?

Species of the week: Bith

Bith Jedi

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Bith

Notable members: Fig’rin Dan

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: A New Hope, The High Republic

 

The Bith are  humanoid species hailing from a planet of the same name, also known as Clak’dor, in the Outer Rim. They are hairless and lack eyelids and noses, using sensory glands under their skin folds to smell. Due to their sensitive and acute hearing many Bith are known as talented musicians, scientists and engineers. 

I was encouraged to see a Bith Jedi in the concept art for The High Republic along with a few other classic and new species taking up the blade – seeing this reminds me of when Legends was at it’s best and I’m really hopeful for this project.

Sluggish Reaction: Star Wars The High Republic

The High Republic

Last night saw the long-awaited reveal of Project Luminous a crossover story for books and comics and possibly more in the future. The idea of the High Republic had been circulating for a while but this is the first official reveal and it looks incredible!!

 

All this buzz has got me excited and gave me the same kind of feel I got when Legends series like The New Jedi Order, Legacy or Dawn of the Jedi were announced. Honestly I’ve not been interested in any of the novels or comics published in the new Canon. I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve read and heard good things about others but with the films taking centre stage and with most literature being tie-in none of it has felt like essential reading to me.

Until now.

concept-high-republic

So this news came out while I was fast asleep and I’ve been scrambling to keep up with the news. I’m not going to break down everything just give my reactions and gut feeling to the information that has come out. If you want a detailed breakdown of all the news I’d recommend Star Wars News Net’s article which I’ll link to HERE

Three novels have been announced aimed at different age ranges; Light of the Jedi (Charles Soule) Into the Dark (Claudia Gray) and A Test of Courage (Justina Ireland). All these authors have received high praise so I’m confident they’ll produce something high quality.

Something all these stories have in common in their descriptions is a disruption in Hyperspace and an event called the Great Disaster. Charles Soule mentioned that the villains can use Hyperspace in a unique way which I think must be connected to this. They speak of a Wild West feel where the Jedi move from the civilized galaxy to patrol the wild frontier – this whole premise is really exciting as it gives scope for adventures on big and small scale as the adventuring Jedi set out to bring peace and justice to the lawless frontier. Yes please!!

Speaking of villains we got some information about The Nihil, described as ‘Space Vikings’ they are a multi-species group out to pillage the galaxy for themselves. They feature front and centre on the cover for the Marvel comic, I doubt it’s written from their perspective but it looks like we’ll get to see the Jedi tangle with these which should make for some fun visual battles. There is also a High Republic Adventures comic for younger readers.

And this is just the beginning, called the first ‘phase’. There are rumours that this era will feature a video game and even a film down the line but I’d be happy if it just carries on as a publishing era.

concept-art-2

The visual look of these Jedi and the citizens around look amazing with concept artists from the films like Ian McCaig and Doug Chiang producing concepts for the look and feel of the Jedi. I’m particularly enjoying the gilded robes and cool crossguard style lightsabers wielded by some of the Jedi. Again it just screams of a different time, a time of peace and opulence. I think the team have captured this visually so well as well and there are some concepts of some creepy and whacky things out in the galaxy.

Creepy Concept

This is just so exciting and really reminds me of the EU Days when writers first started to explore the past and far future of Star Wars and it felt like anything was possible. I wasn’t sure if books and comics could fill the void till 2022 but this has given me a real buzz. One of the most intriguing statements I heard was that the story features ‘what the Jedi fear the most.’

ProjectLuminous

I think it ties into this early teaser for the project teased last year. I think the thing the Jedi fear the most is losing the Force and this might happen, which could make the threat of the Nihil even greater if the Jedi are forced (pun intentional) to work without it for whatever reason.

Whatever direction this takes it’s going into new territory and I can’t wait!!

Ossus: The ORIGINAL Jedi Academy

Ossus.jpg

From the rise of the Jedi of the Old Republic to their fall at the hands of the reborn One Sith, Ossus has been a key world for the Order and widely regarded as their true home by the Jedi for many centuries.

tython invasion.jpg

After the Rakata invaded Tython the ancient Je’Daii left their world of seclusion and joined the wider galaxy around 25,000 years before the galactic civil war. They settled on a number of worlds, including Ossus but it was on this world that they established what would become the Jedi Order and eventually allied themselves with the growing Republic. While they established a centre on Coruscant their home as an order was Ossus for millennia and they established many centres of learning including the great library and many of the great Jedi of old were trained there including Odan-Urr, Nomi Sunrider and Shaela Nuur.

exar kun1

Ossus’ time as a prime location came to an end with the rise of the Sith Lord Exar Kun, who waged a brutal war against the Republic and the Jedi. He triggered a supernova in the nearby Cron system which sent out a shockwave that devastated the Ossus system, making it an inhospitable wasteland.

Ossus ysanna

The planet quickly fell into obscurity, though it was not completely abandoned. The Neti Jedi Ood Bnar completed his life cycle and became a tree in order to hide a great cache of lightsabers. A handful of Jedi survived and their descendants became a primitive tribe of force-sensitives known as the Ysanna. They were rediscovered by Luke Skywalker during the Dark Empire crisis and a handful of Ysanna joined his fledgling New Jedi Order, wielding the lightsabers protected by Ood Bnar.

ossus legacy

Decades later the planet would once again become a centre of Jedi learning. While Luke’s first Jedi Academy was built on Yavin 4, this base was attacked by the Yuuzhan Vong, forcing them to abandon their first home. After the war the Jedi settled on Ossus and built a new home on the wasteland planet. A century later a thriving Jedi Order operated from the Academy on Ossus and championed a new project, using Yuuzhan Vong biotes to bring life to Ossus once more. However this act of reconciliation was poisoned by the Sith, plunging the galaxy into war and once again the Jedi were forced to abandon their home.


For anyone interested in the Legacy comic series I thought this primer on Ossus might be a helpful bit of backstory