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TK421 Imperial Ezine - Issue 14
Greetings loyal Imperial subject! Despite the continued oppression by the guerilla upsurgents known as the New Rebellion, we persevere to bring you all the information you need... welcome to another edition of TK-421!
Welcome to our much delayed 14th issue! One of the reasons it is so late, is the arrival of the newest Imperial subject, my daughter Gabrielle Clio. She was born August 29th at 9:35 PM. She weighed 7 lbs, 10 oz and was 20 inches long. Mother and baby are doing fine. Because the newletter is so late we have crammed two issues worth of material in here! The promised interview with R.A. Salvatore is finally here! Be forewarned, though, if you haven't read his latest novel, Vector Prime, there are some spoilers!
As I am sure nearly everyone has heard by now, Sir Alec Guiness has passed away. The British actor perfected the character of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars IV, V, & VI. Sir Alec Guiness brought life to many roles before Obi-Wan and to many after. He brought wisdom and mystery to Star Wars, introducing the Jedi and the ways of the force to Luke Skywalker. Sir Alec Guiness's passing was a great tragedy and loss for the world of film. If you are interested in reading more about Sir Alec Guiness, visit: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Guinness,+Alec
Only Then A Jedi Will You Be...Editorial by George Hatch Published 5/23/00 on echostation.comIs Luke a Jedi Master? Is he even a Jedi at all? As of late, a new controversy has been stirred up on the EchoStation message boards, attracting the collective imaginations and egos of those who reside there. Now we've all heard the controversy around the Jedi history and the Sith lords, not to mention Jar Jar.In fact, let's not mention Jar Jar again ever. But this is a question that spans almost 35 years: Is Luke a Jedi? Well, now you're probably figuring, "What's the debate? Yoda said he'd be a Jedi when he killed Vader, so he's a Jedi. Case closed."Not so fast, young Padawan. Sorry, I've just always wanted to say that. But anyway, the debate is not as black-and- white as you might think. The History Lesson The way I understand it, a potential Jedi is whisked away from his family at an early age to begin studying the ways of the Force. That was exactly what happened to farmboy, although circumstances helped that step along. Now, why Luke was given to Owen and Beru Lars, I'm not certain. Nobody is, but I won't waste your time speculating. That's for another day. Still, with not too much suitable genetic stock in the galaxy and perhaps because they fell victim to sexism, Ben and Yoda decided to keep trying with Luke instead of Leia. But Owen and Beru were very protective about the young lad, and Obi-Wan couldn't get enough time with the kid to let him know what he could do (which we all picked up from A New Hope). Skip ahead 18 years. Ben is training Luke on the Millennium Falcon, meaning that Luke has just become a Padawan and has finally gotten to the se ond stage of training. Or has he?Padawans are trained from the time they are apprenticed to a Master, and Obi-Wan is never said to be a Master. Besides, Luke should've been trained since childhood, not just when it suited old Ben. Not to mention there seems to be no Council approval. But let's assume that Luke's now in the second stage of training for the time being. It's an abbreviated training as Obi-Wan becomes a shishkabob on Vader's lightsaber. This leads Luke to try and train himself for about three years. Apparently, he has some success with Telekinesis and Lightsaber Combat, but after that it's unknown. Obi-Wan shows up in Blue Aura Club form and tells Luke to go to Dagobah and Yoda.Now, Luke is at the point where he would be hallucinating and delirious, so why boy blunder would trust a possible hallucination is beyond me. Then again, the Force is able to influence the weak-minded. So Luke goes to Dagobah and begins training under Yoda, his (for lack of a better term) finishing master. Yoda is supposed to reverse all the mistakes Obi-Wan made (fat chance) and make Luke ready for his trial to become a Jedi Knight: to confront/kill Darth Vader. So begins the third stage of training. Problem is, Luke is about as attentive as a cat preening. Thinking he's powerful enough to save his friends without any type of back-up or plan, he runs off and nearly is taken over to the Dark Side, not to mention getting his hand cut off. (For the record though, I have to admit that in the same situation, I would have run off to save my friends at any cost, although I would have tried to come up with a plan. Not saying it's the right decision, just saying it's the one I would have taken.) Well, after that debacle, Luke runs off to Tatooine instead of Dagobah, because he knows that's where Han will eventually show up, and starts training himself again. Silly boy, he still hasn't learned from his past mistakes. Anyway, after constructing a new lightsaber, he saves Han (with what looks to be something of a plan, no less), and goes back to Dagobah. The Controversy Here's where it really gets sticky. When Luke returns to Dagobah, he finds Yoda dying. Well, the Jedi Master decides to go with no secrets on his lips.He confirms to Luke that Vader is his father and says, "You must confront Vader. Only then, a Jedi will you be." Yoda then fades to nothingness. Notice he said confront. Not kill, confront. But when Luke starts talking to old Obi-Wan, he's made the leap to kill. And of course, Ben doesn't try to correct him at all, since he wants to see Vader dead. But Luke doesn't want to kill or confront his father. Perhaps because he wants to have a daddy around, perhaps because he had his behind handed to him on a silver platter the last time, I can't say. Instead, he runs to the Alliance and tries to avoid the issue by taking place in the run on the new Death Star. Oh yeah, that's much safer. Anyway, Luke starts to realize that he can't avoid this confrontation and abandons his friends (apparently, Yoda's teachings got through) to get captured by the Imperials, who bring him to Vader. One untouching attempt to return Anakin Skywalker to the galaxy later, Luke stands before the Emperor (who bears absolutely no resemblance to Darth Sidious whatsoever) and proceeds to start his fall towards the Dark Side. He battles Vader once again, which by Yoda's definition means he is a Jedi. By Obi-Wan's, he's still a farmboy with delusions of grandeur. Wait, that's mine. Either way, though, he's no Jedi. Messier and Messier At the end of the battle, Luke is using the Dark Side of the Force. I already said that he was a Jedi according to Yoda, so now he would be a fallen Jedi. But before he can strike Vader dead, which would make him a Jedi according to Obi-Wan, he turns off his lightsaber, unwisely tosses it away, and tells the Emperor he is a Jedi, before being bar-b-qued like an Ewok. Is he?Well, it all depends on whom you trust more: Obi-Wan, already dead and one with the Force, but whose perceptions on Vader are understandably skewed; or Yoda, the last remaining Jedi Master who has set the final trials for many Padawans to become a Jedi. I'm inclined to side with Yoda on this matter, meaning Luke is a Jedi Knight at the end of Return of the Jedi. At that point, he is the only one in the galaxy, and he must decide on how to proceed. To make a long story short (too late), he goes off in search of any materials relating to the Jedi. After about five years and one very dangerous (yet cool) Imperial Grand Admiral later, a reborn Emperor turns Luke over to the Dark Side. Eventually, Luke is returned to the Jedi path by Leia -- which is when he starts calling himself a Jedi Master. Uh'kay? Thank you, Mr. Anderson. A brick will be dropping by shortly. Final Analysis In this writer's not-so-humble opinion, Luke Skywalker is a Jedi Knight. Nothing more, nothing less. He successfully passed his trial set by Yoda, whose job it actually was. He also set in motion events that led to the termination of the first Emperor and Darth Vader, which earned him points towards Master status, but has acquired more negative points for falling to the Dark Side and errantly calling himself a Jedi Master. Heck, he said so himself at the end of "Visions of the Future". Worse yet, he's unleashed upon the galaxy a bunch of half-assedly trained Jedi Knights, such as Kyp Durron. Still, he has learned much through his trials and errors (and errors, and errors, and errors). But, as Lord Vader might say, "He is not a Jedi Master yet."©2000 George Hatch skylar(a)coruscant.netGeorge Hatch assumes the guise of Skylar Raeseti on the Echostation message boards and fights a never-ending battle for truth, enlightenment, and sarcasm. This mild-mannered vigilante poses as a ticket seller at Space Center Houston during the day. He's easy to find, he'll be the one reading the Wraith Squadron books while he's supposed to be working.
Everything I've Ever Needed To Know, I Learned From Star Wars
Continued from last issue.
61. Wading around in a pool of garbage is infinitely more preferable to getting killed.
62. Electricity really *hurts*.
63. The most important part of your spaceship is the hyperdrive.
64. Maybe we SHOULD listen to the protocol droid just this once. . .
65. Pay your debts on time, you can't always kill the bill collector.
66. Walk in single file to hide your numbers.
67. When buying used appliances make sure they've been totally mind wiped. . . er. . . reconditioned.
68. When wearing stormtrooper armor, remember to make sure the door's completely open before going through it.
69. Trust yourself.
70. Never tell someone the odds!
71. Never allow yourself to become as clumsy as you are stupid.
72. It's not wise to upset a Wookiee
73. Always accept apologies.
74. Sometimes it's better to fly into an asteroid field.
75. Hokey religions just might be a good substitute for a blaster at your side
76. Never let your friend know if you're having problems with your droid.
77. Never assume that carbon freezing someone is "all too easy".
78. Never tell strange creatures in a bar that you'll be careful.
79. Just when you think you're ready, you hit your head.
80. When you protest about the terms of an agreement, the terms might be altered further.
DARKSIDE's DIATRIBEIn a recent issue of RebelPilot there was a humor piece entitled 'Did you ever wonder' in which the RebelPilot editor worried the hellout of me about how much he read between the lines on any given Star Wars movie."Did you ever wonder if the lasers were set for stun or kill when Han and Luke called up TK421 and his buddy?"And may I respond Mr RebelPilot? :)Fact is, the laser must have been set for stun. Or else there would have been a gapping burn hole somewhere in the armor. And as all knowledgeable TK421 ezine readers know, Mr TK421 survived the encounter. We have documented proof. As fate would have it the incident might have caused him to be demoted and transferred off the Death Star for a stint as a stormtrooper prison guard on Kessel but at least it turned out all the better for him. A few days later the Death Star wasn't a happening place to be.But now let me ponder this point:Did you ever wonder if TK421 was embarrassed about being found unconscious with nothing on but his underwear?DarkSide, over and out.You can see RebelPilot's long list of 'Did you ever wonder?' ponderous points at http://rebelpilot.sweeetnet.com/humour.htm
Open For Business
In what must be a first for the Star Wars fan community there is now a brand spanking new site that gives visitors easy access to downloading Free Star Wars Clip Art.
In conjunction with firstname.lastname@example.org the site taps straight into the eGroups archive where you can pick and click on the downloadable zip files.
You'll find this unique fan initiative at http://www.geocities.com/starwarsclipart
Log on and go wild.
This is a VERY WELL DESIGNED shrine site. The graphics are nice, clean, and load quickly. The navigation is superb when compared to like-sites. Unfortunately it hasn't been updated in about two months. The site has all the info you could ask for about our favorite blue-skinned leader (well, next to Papa Smurf), and has some okay Thrawn-related humor. I cannot stress how well designed the site is. I wish more character-shrine sites were this good.
Well, at the very least give this site a visit, as it's patronage seems a bit low.
First, let it be known that your lovable Ewok King has ALWAYS wanted his very own Stormtrooper suit. I mean they are just sooooo cool! And, if I had upwards of $2000, time, and the inclination, I'd make me one. But alas, I'm in high school, so I don't just have that kind of change lying around. Apparently, the fans at this site do. They have all either purchased, made, or had someone else make them Stormie armor. Along with the occasional Vader armor. Unlike some other sites, Fan Garrison doesn't offer up the detailed instructions and schematics necessary to make your own set of armor. Instead, they just have pictures and stories from people around the world already have their own.
The site isn't too flashy and loads quickly. Personally, I think the design could be a little better. It's easy to navigate and all, but it just doesn't look clean. Stop by this site if you want to see some Star Wars fans who have gone beyond collecting action figures.
Another page for people who make their own Stormie armor. The difference between this page and Fan Garrison is that White Armor gives you DETAILED instructions on making your own custom fit set of, well, white armor.
They also give you lots of information on BUYING your own armor.
Well, there isn't much else to find here, but there is A LOT on the subject of white armor. So if you want to look into your own suit, give this site a visit. Be warned though that the graphics won't do too well on a slower modem.
An Ewok Favorite: I put this site in my favorites folder because their estimated price is less than a grand, compared with two grand at another site I visited. I may seriously look into trying this out.
And, just to explain myself a bit, I'll clue everyone else in on my rating system. You may see me give a very pretty site a low score, and a somewhat-ugly site a high score. This is usually based on content. A site can be pretty and have bland, un-original content and I'll never visit it again. However, a site can be minimal, text-only, or even ugly, but if the content is orginal and interesting, I may visit it quite a bit. The best sites usually have a good combination of both. In the case of a fan site like Thrawn.com, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on content (it's original, there's simply not a lot of it), as just seeing such a well-designed site is refreshing.
However, when it comes to a news-type site, it can be as pretty as you like, but the field is pretty much saturated. The only news sites we need are TF.N, JediNet, NewsDroid, and maybe a few others like Prequel Watch and (the immortal) Virtual Edition. So sites of the news variety will be graded on a tougher scale.
Well, I hope that made at least a little sense.
More of Everything I've Ever Needed To Know, I Learned From Star Wars
81. You never know what a day is gonna bring. . . .
82. When in doubt, follow the garbage
83. Size matters not
84. Even if it's a great shot, don't get cocky.
85. Don't intimidate, annoy, or otherwise molest any old man who has what appears to be a flashlight hanging from his waist.
86. Never build a secret base without a redundant power supply
87. Be prepared for things to go wrong
88. Never let a protocol droid try to fix your ship!!!!
89. Never trust a strange computer.
90. You'll always have a bad feeling about somethiing
91. Don't park in asteroids
92. Bacta cures all
93. Don't try to make friends via the Death Star com-link
94. Never proclaim your "moment of triumph" before it actually happens
95. If "the Force is strong in this one" and you're not, BACK OFF!
96. The targeting computer is really a worthless piece of junk compared to the Force
97. The Dark Side is never irrevocable
98. Never say "watch this" when dealing with a hyperdrive
99. Always change the negative power coupling before going on long space voyages.
100. Remember to TURN ON YOUR COMLINK!!!!
The TeeKees are here! Due to popular demand, the nominating has been extended! Now is your chance to nominate your favorites for the 1stannual TeeKees! The categories are:BEST OFFICIAL STAR WARS FILMBEST NON-OFFICIAL STAR WARS FILMBEST STAR WARS NOVELBEST IMPERIAL ACTORBEST PERFORMANCE BY AN IMPERIAL ACTOR IN A NON-STAR WARS FILMBEST BOUNTY HUNTERWORST BOUNTY HUNTERFAVORITE STAR WARS WEB PAGEBEST IMPERIAL UNIFORM OR TROOPER ARMORBEST IMPERIAL DEATH SCENEBEST NON-STAR WARS MOVIE WITH THE WORD 'EMPIRE' IN THE TITLEBEST ACTOR/ACTRESS FROM A NON-STAR WARS MOVIE WITH 'EMPIRE' IN THE TITLEBEST IMPERIAL INSPIRED THEME MUSICFAVORITE SITH LORDBEST IMPERIAL STARFIGHTERBEST LINE UTTERED BY AN IMPERIALSend your nominations to teekees(a)esweeet.com Deadline for nominations is September 18th 2000.
This is it! Your last chance to sign off if you haven't read Vector Prime! The interview contains spoiler information to the book. You have been warned!
Star Wars: Vector Prime is the first novel in a sweeping epic called the New Jedi Order that is re-defining the Star Wars universe. Vector Prime introduces a new threat to the New Republic: the Yuuzhan Vong, an extra-galactic race of beings who are immune to the Force. The novel received quite a bit of publicity when it was released because of the death of one of the core figures from the trilogy: Chewbacca.
The staff at TK-421 recently had the opportunity to sit down with the New York Times best selling author of Vector Prime, R.A. Salvatore.TK421: How did you end up writing for LucasBooks?RA: Basically, DelRey bought the license when Bantam's license expired. I work for DelRey; they thought my style and their new license would match well, so they asked.TK421: Is it true after you learned that the folks from LucasFilms wanted you to kill off Chewie, you had serious second thoughts about writing the book? If so, why?RA: Absolutely true. I want to be remembered, if I'm remembered at all, as the guy who did DemonWars and the guy who created the dark elf, Drizzt Do'Urden [editor's note: Drizzt is the main character in R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms books] . I don't want to be remembered as the guy who killed Chewie, traumatizing a significant portion of America and the world. I wanted out of the project, but when I listened to them and their reasons, I came to understand that this was much more than a marketing stunt -- it was a way to breathe life into a galaxy going stale.TK421: If not Chewbacca and you had been given the choice of characters to kill off, who would it have been?RA: None of them. Seriously, it hurt so much to do that. But It's George Lucas's galaxy, and if his people want it done, it's done. Saying that, I also don't disagree with the decision -- they had to put some tension back into the novels, and that's a good start. Also, I doubt that Chewie will be the last to go, though I could be wrong.TK421: How much latitude were you given in killing Chewbacca?RA: I've said that I won't take credit/blame for making the decision to kill him, but I will take responsibility on how it was done. That was my choice -- after much arguing, I might add. They let me do it my way, but watching over me very carefully.TK421: If you had to, could you come up with a plausible plot to bring him back? =)RA: No way! Don't cheapen it.TK421: How much freedom did you have in creating the Yuuzhan Vong? What were your inspirations?RA: The basics of the Vong were decided upon by the editors from DelRey and Lucasfilm, along with a couple of authors. I was given that sketch to run with, a little bit at a time, and with continuing approval. I did most of the specifics -- dovin basals, ooglith cloakers and masquers and the like.TK421: Timothy Zahn wrote the opening books and the closing books for the era between ROTJ and New Jedi Order. Having written the first book, are there plans for you to write the closing book to NJO?RA: No plans as yet, but I haven't ruled it out, and I'm pretty sure that DelRey would let me back in. We'll have to see how my schedule goes, and how their schedule goes, and whether they would even ask. I originally had ruled it out, after taking so much garbage for Vector Prime, but hey, that's behind me. I'm in a better place now. So we'll see.TK421: You did a great job capturing Chewie's character. In one of our staffer's opinions, you handled Chewie better than any other previous author. What is your opinion of how Chewie was handled?RA: I really don't know how Chewie was portrayed in the previous SW books, since I haven't read many of them, honestly. I am a fan of SW, but I simply didn't have the time (trying to keep up with Forgotten Realms is enough).TK421: You were recently chosen to write the novelization for Episode II. What did it feel like being chosen?RA: It was pretty cool. It took a while to sink in. The final decision goes to George Lucas for novelizations and to think that George Lucas even knows my name is completely mind-blowing to me. My favorite movie of all-time is American Graffiti -- soon I'll get to meet the man (I hope) who did it!TK421: Will you be seeing clips of SW Episode II while you are writing the book? Or working strictly from the script?RA: I don't know exactly how it will be done. I'll read the script, talk to a few folks from Lucasfilm, come up with ideas to expand, be offered some ideas on how to expand the story, and maybe see some clips. I just don't know the process yet.TK421: Will we be seeing any other Star Wars novels from you?RA: You never know. At first, after what I consider the darkest time of my life, I was reluctant to even discuss doing another Star Wars' book with DelRey (and they have asked many times). Now, though, I'm enjoying the way New Jedi Order is progressing, and the thought of jumping back in has indeed crossed my mind.TK421: Who is your favorite Rebel? Imperial? Bounty hunter?RA: Rebel? Han Solo. Imperial? Darth Vader. Bounty Hunter? None of the above. I never saw enough of any bounty hunter to get emotionally attached, and didn't look any deeper than the movies. (Although I have to admit that Mara Jade is pretty cool.)TK421: Taking into account both magic and the force, who would win: Darth Maul vs. Drizzt? Vader vs. Drizzt?RA: Am I writing it? Drizzt, of course. Really, though, how do you answer a question based on fictional characters of different races in different galaxies?TK421: True, but it would be an epic battle. Which Star Wars ship would you most like to fly?RA: An X-wing. Simply too cool.TK421: OK, one last question. Any advice for aspiring writers out there?RA: If you can quit, then quit. If you can't quit, then you're a writer. Writers write because they have to. It's not a choice. If I'm not writing, I'm not happy, and since I am writing, I might as well try to sell it! It's that simple.R.A. Salvatore is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Crystal Shard, Demon Awakens, Demon Spirit, Demon Apostle, Halfling's Gem, Sojourn, Legacy and Starless Night.
Over And Out
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