Tag Archives: Star Wars

Species of the Week: Aqualish

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Ando

Notable members: Ponda Baba

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: A New Hope, Rogue One, The Mandalorian

Aqualish are a humanoid species of arachnids from the planet Ando. They had a number of subspecies, one of which had an additional paur of eyes, but all had large dark eyes, fur and facial tusks. Their planet Ando was an aquatic world covered in islands which were contested between different Aqualish tribes. Aqualish were spread across the galaxy and were politically divided with representation in both the Senate and the Seperatist Council. A number of Aqualish were involved in criminal enterprises which gave the species a negative reputation.

I’m enjoying seeing more and more Cantina species in The Mandalorian, though I’m glad they’re balancing them with a handful of new species (as soon as I have the guidebook I’ll be posting about them don’t you worry!)

Sluggish Reaction: The Mandalorian (Chapter 12)

The Mandalorian continues to excell, blowing my mind with every new episode. While Chapters 9 and 11 brought in some insane connections and characters this chapter felt like the nerdiest, like I was replaying a level of a Dark Forces game in live-action.

While other episodes have been more satisfying in and of themselves this one has definitely got me the most excited to see what happens next!!!

The opening sequence with Baby Yoda was a fun intro, it felt very reminiscent of Baby Groot trying to set off the bomb which is no bad thing as both little squirts are adorable and hilarious!

It was a delight to see Greef Karga and Cara Dune again. I was expecting this episode to be a quiet detour with a bit of fun, similar to Chapter 4 but I was not expecting the setup for the future of the show to be so big. It was really nice to see the impact of Din’s presence on Nevarro and the removal of the Empire and the Bounty Hunters allowed the place to settle and become more peaceful.

I don’t know if it was intentional or not but when I heard this Protocol Droid’s voice I thought it sounded like the Armourer and had a mental picture of her teaching a bunch of foundlings. The seqience was really fun, especially with The Child using the force to pinch some snacks, but the highlight for me was hearing the major trade routes said out loud on screen. If anyone’s interested the Aurebesh here reads ‘Gravitational Vector’

It was cool seeing the Mythrol back and he worked really well as a comedy foil in this episode – I just wish they’d call him by his name instead of his species! The infiltration of the Imperial base felt appropriate and a reasonable way for Mando to work off the cost of his repairs. There were a lot of subtle call backs to A New Hope, and the quote about guard rails was hilarious!

And here’s the moment where it changed from fun side quest to major event. I feel like I’m going to spend a long time staring at this image trying to work out just what is in that tank. It clearly is the result of an experiment gone wrong. To be clear I think this has absolutely nothig to do with Snoke and is Gideon’s own project

We get confirmation that this experiment is directly connected to the Child as Dr Pershing talks about the amounts of blood and the “M-Count” of the sample, clearly a reference to midichlorians. A while ago I wrote a theory about how Moff Gideon might be trying to artificially infuse the force into his soldiers (Read HERE) and it looks like I was on to something!

The escape sequence was classic Star Wars at it’s best. I was grinning the whole way through it. Scout Troopers are great, and seeing the Outland TIEs in action again was really fun. My wish is that they give the transport to the Mythrol and he works off the rest of his sentence driving it as the new Nevarro school bus!!

I was so glad to get a ship-to-ship battle and this sequence really brought it. I’m hopeful the scale might open up and we get Mandalorian stuck in the middle of a larger-scale space battle.

It was so amazing to see a full-on capital ship, I really wans’t expecting it! I know it’s an Arquitens-Class ship but seeing this ship really reminded me of the Doomgiver from my favourite Star Wars Game Jedi Knight II: Jeid Outcast. Which is very fitting considering what we see next.

If all these reveals weren’t enough we end on Moff Gideon surveying rows of elite troopers in armour. What’s more is it’s been confirmed that these are Dark Troopers!! This blows my mind, facing off against Dark Troopers in the classic Dark Forces game is one of my most treasured Star Wars memories.

While the original Dark Troopers were droids, I suspect that these are more like Shadowtroopers (who were based on the Doomgiver), soldiers with specialised armour who were artificially infused with force powers and equipped with lightsabers. I’m guessing this series will have something in between, maybe Cyborgs with some limited force potential, sort of boss-level enemies that can outmatch Mando one-on-one, perhaps requiring the help of a Jedi or other Mandalorians to survive the conflict.

What’s exciting is that from now on we have no clues from the trailer for what’s to come. Bring on Friday!!

Species of the Week: Quarren

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Mon Cala

Notable members: Tessek, Darth Azard

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: Return of the Jedi, Clone Wars, The Mandalorian, Legacy

The Quarren are a humanoid aquatic race native to Mon Cala. They have squid-like faces with tentacled mouths and are capable of spitting ink. They share their homeworld and also colonies, such as the estuary moon Trask, with the Mon Calamari. They have coexisted for centuries, though the Quarren are more isolationist and live in the depths of the ocean while the Mon Cala built settlements near the surface and developed a bustling starship building business. During the Clone Wars tensions between the two species were stokes with the Quarren siding with the Seperatists while the Mon Calamari stayed loyal to the Republic. Despite their aquatic nature Quarren have been seen on environments as diverse as frozen Maldo Kreis and the hot desert of Tatooine.

It was so cool to see so many Quarren and Mon Calamari in the latest Mandalorian episode. It made the galaxy feel so rich and the quarren are such a cool design – it reminded me of the two awesome Quarren Sith, Darth Meleval and Darth Azard from the Legacy comic series.

Sluggish Reaction: The Mandalorian (Chapter 11)

Wow!! What an episode! My expectations of this chapter was ‘there’s gonna be a boat at some point’ so I didn’t spoil it for myself by expecting certain things to happen, which is good because the whole episode was full of unexpected surprises!!

The whole landing sequence was great fun, especially the hilarious twist with the Razor Crest tumbling into the ocean!! I really liked getting new vehicles and ships. The walkers look like an updated version of the OI-CT walkers seen in Solo and Scout on Twitter pointed out that the ships in the background are civilian versions of the Zeta-class shuttle barges from Rogue One.

As well as vehicles it was so cool to see so many aliens on screen. I’m guessing Trask is a colony planet as it’s inhabitants are mostly Quarren and Mon Calamari but it was really satisfying to see so many of them in live-action. The reunion of the frog family was so sweet!!

We’d already seen it in the trailer but it was so cool to see a boat in Star Wars! What’s cool is that it seems to use repulsors to float just above the water. The whole sequence with the Mamacore was just nuts!! I want to know what they were doing feeding it, or whether the whole thing was just a trap – bring on the visual guide!!

And then we get Bo Katan!! I haven’t watched her episodes in Clone Wars or Rebels but I know of the character and it is so cool to see characters make the jump to live-action from any medium. I think the strength of the series is how it handles these connections in a meaningful way even for fans like me who haven’t got an attachment to the character or for casual viewers who haven’t heard of her before. It didn’t matter – Mandalorians showed up and everything they said and did was relevant to Din’s journey

Axe Woves and Koska Reeves were great as well. It’s a major uplifting moment every time we see other Mandalorians on screen, especially as it’s so meaningful for Din to meet others of his kind. Seeing his shock when they took off their helmets and her revelation that Din’s clan are an extremist splinter group was huge. Maybe we’ll get to see more Pedro in future!

The Mandalorian seems to be the ‘say Star Wars names out loud’ show!! It was satisfying to hear ‘Gozanti-class’ said out loud and seeing the craft in glorious detail was a besutiful sight and as much as I love the gritty western vibe I’m a sucker for a good spaceship sequence.

The action onboard was amazing!! I love seeing how the Mandalorians are handled. Fierce fighters that demolish their opponents but at the same time aren’t invulnerable. I was grinning the whole way through the fight sequences. Titus Welliver was brilliant as the Captain of the ship and it was so cool to see him in Star Wars

I loved the move where they opened the airlock on the stormtroopers. It reminded me of Jedi: Outcast where that was a preferred trick to get out of a big fight.

I liked seeing The Child grow in this episode. It was heartwarming to see him see the eggs he’d been scoffing in the last episode grow into living beings and his reaction to seeing the little one hatch was adorable. I think it will be a point for him to grow up and have more respect for life which, considering his strength in the force, is important.

The series ended with some direction as Bo Katan name-drops Ahsoka Tano and sends Mando in her direction. I said in my review for the first chapter that I didn’t want any more cameos but as long as they handle it like this I’m all for it!!

Bring on Chapter 12!!

So…Who is Darth Talon anyway?

Darth Talon, a character from the Legacy comic series has been in the news again after a recent article uncovers more details about George Lucas’s early outlines for a sequel trilogy which featured Talon working under Maul.

If you want to know more about this story head to Star Wars News Net

To be fair this was only an early idea and Lucas had only pinched the look of the character as there was about a 100 year time gap between the proposed trilogy and her appearance in comics. In fact I think all this reveals really is that Lucas had a thing for lightsaber-wielding Twi’leks, after all Aayla Secura was borrowed directly from a comic series and brought into the movies because George liked the look of her

So who is she?

Darth Talon is from Star Wars: Legacy a comic series set 137 years after the battle of Yavin. She was born into the One Sith, a rebuilt Sith Order led by Darth Krayt (the guy in the coral armour). These Sith were built on an ancient philosophy from before Darth Bane founded the Rule of Two – rather these sith are many but one, all acting out the will of their leader.

(I am going into full details on this character so I want to pause at this point and recommend reading Legacy instead of listening to me ramble – it’s an incredible comic!)

Talon was raised from birth to be Darth Krayt’s ‘Hand’ – a personal agent of his will who didn’t answer to Sith or Imperial hierarchy but only to Krayt himself. She, like the other Sith, was covered in ritual tattoos. In a final ritual she was commanded to kill her teacher Darth Ruyn – she obeyed without hesitation.

To take over the galaxy the Sith had allied with the Imperial Remnant, but after their conquest the Empire was divided with most accepting Darth Krayt on the throne but with a portion following the Emperor Roan Fel who was in hiding. For her first mission Talon tracked down and attempted to capture Princess Marasiah, the Emperor’s daughter.

Talon tracked down the princess but she was rescued by Cade Skywalker, great-grandson of Luke, who had been hiding as a bounty hunter since the Sith takeover. Talon hunted them down but her attempt to recapture her was thwarted by the arrival of Jedi Knights and the Emperor’s force-sensitive Imperial Knights.

Some time later Cade attempted to infiltrate the Sith Temple on Coruscant to rescue a Jedi he had captured when working as a bounty hunter. Talon captured him and brought him to Krayt who wanted to use him for his powerful healing abilities. Talon was tasked with training Cade in the ways of the Sith and seduced him to form a closer bond between them. When Krayt murdered the Jedi Cade had come to save Cade struck out and struck a near-fatal blow to Talon, incapacitating her for some time.

When she recovered she helped her master track Cade down again. Desperate to capture him because of his ailing health Krayt led his Sith into a trap. He was betrayed and believed killed, so another Sith claimed the throne. Talon guarded his mausoleum on Korriban until she discovered the truth – Krayt was alive and ready to unleash his true will on the galaxy!

Talon followed Krayt to Coruscant where he unleashed a hidden fleet of warships and warriors. Talon eliminated any Sith or Imperials who had swayed their loyalty and set about on conquering the galaxy once and for all.

She went on the hunt for Jedi and discovered their hidden temple, leading a Sith assault and inflicting heavy losses on the Jedi. But the galaxy had had enough of Sith oppression and rose up against them. Cade Skywalker again was the thorn in their side as he brought an alliance of Imperials, Jedi and citizens of the galaxy to bear on the Sith. He bested Talon in their last duel and went on to destroy Krayt once and for all.

One of a handful of Sith to survive, she went into hiding, biding her time until the Sith could rise again.

And that’s Darth Talon in a nutshell . I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the character but like I said I can’t do the character, or the comic she comes from, justice and I highly recommend reading the full story for yourself.

Species of the week: Killik

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Alderaan

Notable members: Gorog

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearance: ‘Count to Three’, The Dark Nest Trilogy, The Old Republic

I chose the Killiks for two reasons

  1. I love Dr. Mandible, I’m not sure if he is a Killik but it reminded me of them anyway
  2. The Killiks recently gained Canon status

I’ve made a video explaining their history which you can watch below – enjoy!

I’m playing around with a new format so let me know what you thought of the video…and of the Killiks!

Sluggish Reaction: The Mandalorian (Chapter 10)

I liked this episode but I think I’m going to have to watch it again to fully appreciate it. The opening entry set such a high bar that it was ridiculous to expect the second episode to hit that same level.

I think I also spoiled it for myself by going into expecting certain things to happen which I’ll get into now. But I think a second viewing will reveal it as a fun story about travelling in dangerous space, finding somewhere to hide and being attacked by monsters – a bit like the second act of Empire!

The fact that it stayed on Tatooine for the opening half threw me a bit. The first season jumoed around a lot so a direct continuation was a surprise. Maybe it was just me but I was expecting Boba to show up after we saw him so when he didn’t I was a bit disappointed but that’s on me.

The fight sequence was really fun and learning a bit more about Mandalorian gear – specifically that Din can remotely control his jetpack was a fun detail and a nice way out of the situation he was in. I wonder if this feature will be used again. Also it was cool to see Scrapjaw Motito’s design return – I always like that background character in The Force Awakens.

It was really fun to see the cantina again and ‘Dr. Mandible’ is my new favourite side character – I can’t wait to find out more about him in the guidebook.

When frog lady showed up my mind jumped to the scene with them from the trailer on the boat. Clearly now that scene is from Chapter 11 but the whole episoiode I was thinking ‘get to the boat already!’ and it spoiled the pacing a bit for me because I had a ticking clock in my head expecting them to get offworld and clearly that wasn’t going to happen. Again this was my fault but I do feel the episode could have had a clearer sense of direction which might have helped me let go of my preconceptions

OK I’ll take a moment to address the Child’s erm…eating habits. I think perhaps too much has been made of the little scamp eating the spawn. I took it as it was delivered, I think the theme was about Din trying to teach right and wrong to a child who hasn’t had chance to learn better. But I think it is thought provoking, particularly as I am pro-life to see all the outcry against the termination of imaginary unborn young.

Seeing Trapper Wolf again and the X-Wings pulling Din over for a chat was hilarious mixed with the tension when the S-Foils went into attack position

The whole spider monster sequence was a lot of fun. I loved the twist on the Aliens facehugger with the Child eating the spider and it was so cool that they lifted the design straight from McQuarrie’s unused concept art. I thought they handled the action well as Mando kept his cool while you could tell he was sweating under that helmet!

Seeing Frog Lady (we need a better name for her!) use her tongue to fetch her clothes and scramble along on all fours was a great touch and the stakes were very high throughout the whole sequence. I had no idea how they were going to get out of there then hearing the sound of X-Wing blasters at the end was so sweet!!

This felt like a bit of a detour but I think that is Din’s story. Finding the Jedi or the Child’s species or even his first step of finding more Mandalorians shouldn’t be easy, he shouldn’t just get from A to B, that wouldn’t be a story worth telling and seeing someone who has lost his centre has lost his guidance and yet carries on but it’s the right thing to do even when he gets knocked off course over and over again.

That’s a story I want to watch.

Species of the week: Massif

Designation: Non-sentient

Homeworld: Tatooine

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: Attack of the Clones, The Mandalorian

Massifs are squat, reptilian quadrupeds favoured as guard animals by the Tusken Raiders of Tatooine. The creatures had armoured hides and good night vision which made them excellent sentries. As well as belonging to the Tusken Raiders the creatures were used on other arid worlds by pirates, smugglers and even the Clone Army.

I really enjoyed seeing these creatures in The Mandalorian, it was a nice moment as I didn’t clock what they were at first but as soon as the Tuskens appeared I recalled their guard dogs and it was a nice moment of connectivity – one of many in the episode.

Sluggish Reaction: The Mandalorian (Chapter 9)

Well it’s finally back and I’m here to talk through the mind-blowing start to the new season of The Mandalorian. This episode blew past all expectations and really set a high bar for the second run of the series.

Oh and apologies to anyone who’se been following my re-watch but life caught up with me and I ran out of time and it feels a bit redundant to carry on now, but I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on Chapters 1-3

Ok, I don’t want to start negative but I found the opening sequence pretty boring. I think it’s mainly because all the key moments had already been revealed in the trailer. I knew Din was going to be betrayed, get into a fight and string that guy up from a lampost so none of it felt that exciting. But if you’re going to give stuff away, giving away the opening sequence is a solid strategy because the rest felt fresh

While we’re on the negative I do feel The Child was a little sidelined in this episode, like there was so much else going on they didn’t know what to do with him

This episode was heavy on the references to other material and I loved it!! This series handles it in a way that doesn’t feel like fan-service but rather you can feel the enthusiasm of the creators for Star Wars and their eagerness to reference the parts they love about it. We’d already seen R5-D4 but seeing that he was with Peli Motto made me smile.

The second I saw the Chapter Title I knew the rumours about Timothy Olyphant playing Cobb Vanth were true – but it din’t make the reveal any less epic!! (If you didn’t know Vanth was first introduced as a minor character in the Aftermath trilogy who came upon a suit of Mandalorian armour.) Seeing the ill-fitting armour over his clothes was such a cool look and finally getting it confirmed that it was Fett’s armour was a cool payoff.

Anakin…Podracer…speeder!! At this point my nerd brain was overloading. I’ll wait for the Visual Guide but my bet is this is 100% Annie’s pod converted into a sweet speeder bike. I wonder who owns the other engine though – maybe we’ll find out in season 3!!

I loved the reveal of the Krayt Dragon. It did feel very Dune (maybe it’s a good thing the film got delayed to next year!) but the later battle sequence definitely had a Star Wars feel to it and it was just incredible. I really enjoyed how it was visually distinct from the EU/Legends version of the creature yet retained key elements from the old version i.e. the pearl

I think this is the approach I want from Star Wars – forging something new while honouring the past. I love the EU but I don’t want to see it re-told, I’m always after soething new from Star Wars

Also I like the idea of the cave as a Sarlacc nest, I imagine tentacles coming out of that dark hold, pulling unsuspaecting victims in before it came across and was devoured by the Krayt

The whole sequence with them taking it down was phenomenal from start to finish. The acid breath made it truly terrifying, seeing both of them using their jetpacks and Vanth using the rocket pack was so cool – I hope we get to see more Mandalorian gear get used as the series goes on.

And as if it wasn’t enough we see Boba stinkin’ Fett at the end of the episode!! That was so cool, to see him unmasked was unexpected and I can’t wait to see what his journey will be throughout this season. In Legends he was eventually re-integrated into Mandalorian society and even became Mandalore. I wonder if Din will be the catalyst for him becoming a true Mandalorian – or something else entirely!!

That said, personally, I’m done with in-universe cameos for now (looking at you Ahsoka!) but I’m sure whatever stunt they pull next will be amazing and equally mind-blowing!

Bring on Chapter 10!!!

The Mandalorian re-watch: Chapter 3

I watched this again and, while opinions may change by the time I go on, I think this is my favourite. The twists and turns of what Mando would do with the Child, learning more about the Mandalorians and top-notch action make this one the most memorable for me

I’m still shocked when Din gives the Child over to the Imperials. I noticed the little creature’s subtle motions more this time around and seeing it get carted off was just heartbreaking.

Maybe it’s the grittier tone or maybe I’d just been watching too much Clone Wars but I remember genuinely thinking “wow, live action battle droids!!

Seeing vibroblades shimmer on-screen is such a nice touch and the whole confrontation between Din and Paz was great especially when Paz comes out of the sky to save him at the end.

Seeing Mando use his gadgets in combat to rescue the child was awesome!! The stealth parts made me think how great an Arkham-style Star Wars game would be!!

But the shootout at the end was the icing in the cake. The stakes were so high with that little bundle and even this time round my heart was in my mouth. Seeing him take out do many only to be cornered and then see the Mandalorians raining death down from the sky was the most uplifting moment and I could watch it over and over (I have!)