Sunday, August 23, 2015

Great Pictures, part 2

I just finished reading "Tales from the New Republic", a collection of EU short stories published in December 1999 (after The Phantom Menace came out). This is the cover art for that nice book. The more I think about it, the more I am disturbed by the rumors and snippets of "fact" I've heard concerning The Force Awakens.

One such gripe: the entire first two trilogies are essentially about an ultra powerful Sith lord who comes to rule an empire via direct personal intervention: threats, political maneuvering, sabotage, etc. Those opposed to his tactics, once they learn the full extent of the Sith lord's evil, openly rebel. That is the grand backstory: the personal level story is one of a father and son, caught up in this Sith lord's web--a story of failure then redemption, a story of the son not falling down the same dark hole as his father. And saving the galaxy in the process. In this narrative package, neatly tied with a bow, I can't believe that 30 years after the spider in the center of the web is killed that the web itself hasn't decayed completely. I like the EU idea of Imperial Remnants, Moffs and Admirals trying to keep it going here or there, etc. I do not like the idea of essentially the same conflict lingering on. The Force Awakens is almost the same distance away from the Emperor's death (~34 ABY), timeline-wise, as the first overt moves in the Sith lord's original plan (~32 BBY). The Empire was the Emperor, and vice-versa. I would envision a rapid deterioration of Imperial forces after Endor, followed by a slow grinding out of the last points of conflict. Maybe 10-15 years. Perhaps as many as 20, to pacify far-flung, out-of-the-way places. Certainly not the implied* idea of 30 years later the conflict is not resolved. 

*Disclaimer: I do have to admit that I have no idea where the names "First Order" and "Resistance" come from, and what the history from Endor to The Force Awakens entails. It is entirely possible that somewhere in the details I will become a fan of the idea. I am merely stating that, in the Space Opera genre like Star Wars, when the main bad guy is killed, the rest is just mopping up and detail work. The Empire died above the forest moon of Endor. (Almost) end of story.

J. J. Abrams
I am not saying that I won't like The Force Awakens (I dearly hope I love it), but I am bracing for impact, just in case. I don't think his Star Trek movies were in the true spirit of Star Trek, for instance. One talisman I have picked up, just in case, is the funny (and hopefully not needed) appellation Jar Jar Abrams. Let's just hope we don't need to use it.

Fan of EU (mostly)
I guess it's nostalgia, but I would rather have the shared Zahn/Stackpole/others EU (the good stuff, carefully done, with certain wild ideas/concepts edited out--I'm looking at you Suncrusher and Yuuzhan Vong) than a re-boot of all that material. Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, Rogue Squadron, Corran Horn and others are too precious to toss onto the scrap heap. 

X-Wing Miniatures Game
Another reason this picture is so cool, in my mind, is that I recently obtained the CR90 for the X-Wing Miniatures Game. Thus, this picture is of a fleet I could field, if I were to get one more Y-wing (my fleet is larger, of course!).

I have not yet flown the Epic ships in combat. I hope to remedy that problem soon.

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