The Saga Continues: A Commemoration of the Star Wars Mythos: #14 Emperor Palpatine

Forty minutes into the original Star Wars movie, viewers receive the first whispers that there is perhaps someone more powerful then Darth Vader when it came to the hierarchy of the Empire. The opening credit crawl already establishes that Vader is leading the sinister agents of the Empire in pursuit of the Rebels, and it is during a conference meeting held by several high ranking Imperial officers on board the Death Star that we learn who is pulling all of their strings. They are discussing the current situation and how the Rebellion would continue to gain support in the Imperial Senate as the Empire had attacked and taken hostage a ship heading on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan, a peaceful planet in the Empire.

This is the kind of behavior that will not sit well with the Senate, and Princess Leia even says as much when Vader has her arrested for treason. One of them officers, Admiral Tagge realizes that the Station is not fully ready, and that the Rebellion is too well equipped. There is concern that this act will cause many senators to develop sympathy towards the Rebellion. At that moment Grand Moff Tarkin enters the room and makes a stunning announcement, one that leaves many wondering just how the Emperor will maintain control of the galaxy,
Tarkin announces,


Emperor Palpatine

“The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I’ve just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away… The Regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.”

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The Saga Continues: A Commemoration of the Star Wars Mythos: #13 Darth Maul

Following the end of Return of the Jedi, some of the remaining questions fans had about the Star Wars Saga surrounded the mysterious order to which Darth Vader and the Emperor belonged. We knew they carried red lightsabers, tended to Force choke people, and had the power to shoot lightning from their finger tips. They seemed like evil Jedi due to their affinity for the Force, but inquisitive fans knew there had to be more to them then all of that.

The mystery would begin to unravel in The Phantom Menace. The title for the first Star Wars prequel alludes to many things, among them the return of this ancient Sith Order, lead by Darth Sideous, better known as Emperor Palpatine. Hidden deep within the shadows of the Republic this order is rising again, ready to take control. Having failed him in killing the Jedi, Sideous informs his pawns in the Trade Federation that he will be dispatching his apprentice, Darth Maul to track down the Queen’s ship.

Maul appears in the hologram, malice burning in his eyes, the two of them looking like specters from Hell. Scholar Bill Moyers noted in “The Arts of Myth and Men” in Time Magazine from May 1999,

“The mesmerizing figure in The Phantom Menace to me is Darth Maul. When I saw him, I thought of Lucifer in Paradise Lost or the devil in Dante’s Inferno. He’s the Evil Other–but with powerful human traits.” Continue reading

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The Saga Continues: A Commemoration of the Star Wars Mythos #12: Ahsoka Tano

Note: This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: Rebels Season 1 Episode 13 “Fire Across The Galaxy”, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5 Episodes 17-20 “Sabotage”, “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much”, “To Catch a Jedi” and “The Wrong Jedi”. If you wish to remain spoiler free until after you have viewed the episodes for yourself, please stop reading now.  Consider yourself warned.


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Update on Blog-Series IV

Hey, everybody! I hope you’ve been enjoying my blog-series on the Star Wars saga. It’s great to see how many people have been reading the series thus far. I have only four posts in that series left, so keep your eyes open. You won’t want to miss them!
As I’ve been putting a few finishing touches on the series I came upon a new title for the blog series. truth be told, I felt that Blog-Series IV sounded too bland next to “Countdown to Avengers: A Celebration of the Marvel Universe”, “Road to Rises: Adventures in the DC Universe” , and “ An Unexpected Blog-Series: A Celebration of the Hobbit.” I just went with “Blog-Series IV” because I couldn’t think of a better title at the time. It’s funny what several months to think can do.

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The Saga Continues: A Commemoration of the Star Wars Mythos #11: Qui-Gon Jinn

A look at the Essential Guide to the Star Wars Universe can reveal an endless cast of characters as numerous as the stars in the sky themselves. Some appear only in Expanded Universe novels and comic books. Others, like some of 90 % of X-Wing pilots seen in the original movie have no more than five minutes of screen time only to die in a blaze of glory in a battle only to have their story embellished in those same books. Yet no matter how small their role, they can still get a name, an action figure, and a trading card.

At the same time, there are some major characters that appear in just one film for a

Qui-Gon Jinn

Qui-Gon Jinn

significant amount of the story, and yet still make a profound impact on the Star Wars Universe. For example, Grand Moff Tarkin in A New Hope demonstrates in that one film, just hold cold, uncaring, and draconian the Empire has become. Jango Fett only appears in Attack of the Clones but he serves as the template not only for the Republic’s Clone Army, effectively setting the stage for the Stormtroopers of the Empire, but is the father of the notorious bounty hunter Boba Fett. However, among these “one and done” characters no role was more pivotal than that of the renegade Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn. The mentor to Obi-Wan Kenobi, he was also instrumental in finding Anakin Skywalker, an act that would change the fate of the galaxy forever. Continue reading

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The Saga Continues: A Commemoration of the Star Wars Mythos #10: Mace Windu

There are only two characters in the Star Wars saga that saw a debut in action figure form long before a movie would hit the big screen. The first was the fan favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett. The second was Mace Windu, who was a mail in offer in 1998 as a special sneak preview for The Phantom Menace. Like Boba before him, Mace Windu would become a fan favorite character, largely due to actor Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal of the esteemed Jedi Master.

Unknown to most casual fans of the saga, the name Mace Windu was always part of the

Mace Windu

Mace Windu

Star Wars universe. Mace Windu, Chewie, and Anakin Skywalker existed in George Lucas’ earliest version of the Star Wars saga, or as it was called at the time “The Journal of the Whills.” At that point they were known as Mace Windy , Chuie ( also known as C.J. Thorpe) and Annakin Starkiller. Only the names Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Owen Lars, and Chancellor Velorum would carry over to the final films intact. Mace was even meant to be a main character, as is noted in the rough story out line, reprinted in the book The Making of Star Wars,

“This is the story of Mace Windy, a revered Jedi-Bendu of Ophuci; as related to us by C.J. Thorpe, Padawan learner to the famed Jedi.”

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“Roads? Where we’re going we won’t need roads” Celebrating 30 Years of Back to the Future

Back when I was in fourth grade my school had an all school writing contest. It goes with out saying that when it comes to a 4th graders writing project they are, at best “real-life stories”, or not-so-thinly disguised fan factions or assigned topic stories. My story was something different, and had it not been for the intervention of my parents, it would have been a cut and paste version of Star Wars. Mom had suggested I do something with going back in time to witness events of the past, and dad had mentioned a movie called Back to

Back to the Future poster

Back to the Future poster

the Future.

Save episodes of a short lived animated series based on the films and a few clips on TV here and there I had never really seen Back to the Future before that time so I set my story aside for a while as my family went for a trip to the mall. Back then I loved visiting one of my favorite stores, the now long defunct video store known as Suncoast. Looking through the racks I found a VHS copy of Back to the Future. We took it home and popped it in the VCR, and the minute that DeLorean time machine rolled out I was hooked. No, I didn’t rewrite the movie, but I was inspired to write my own time travel stories because the concept was just too much fun to pass up.

The Back to the Future Trilogy is perhaps one of the greatest modern time travel stories to grace the silver screen. Director Robert Zemeckis said that he felt that the three best time travel tales were HG Wells The Time Machine, Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol and Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. I humbly submit that  the duo or Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, together with producer Steven Spielberg managed to craft a story worthy of being listed in the same breath as those three time travel luminaries of Wells, Dickens, and Capra. It almost didn’t happen as a number of studios took a pass at it, but Spielberg believed in the project, even going to bat with Universal Studios over the title, and helping to negotiate with actor Michael J. Fox’s agent and the producers of Fox’s show Family Ties to get Fox to star in the film.

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