Lit The 181st Imperial Discussion Group goes Read Squadron: Tales of the Jedi!

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Grey1, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Welcome everyone to a wonderful new year, starting with something the 181st Imperial Discussion Group normally didn't do: a round of discussion of a comic book series. Old people in here may remember that there was another group called Read Squadron that did comics, and the onehundredeightyworst did novels. Without further ado, let's mix that up a bit, shall we.

    This month sees a series of comic books that hold a pretty special, if not universally beloved, place in the EU. Tales of the Jedi could best be described as an experiment that had very unexpected results. Author Tom Veitch had the idea first in 1988 and used some of the concept as backstory for Dark Empire. Based on the success of that series, he could finally begin telling his tales of Jedi living millennia before the actual SW movies - a new era was born, and with it the very idea of different eras in SW. Veitch would collaborate with Kevin J. Anderson when they found out that they could combine Veitch's ideas for the saga of Ulic Qel-Droma with Anderson's plans for a Sith spirit imprisoned for millennia in his Jedi Academy Trilogy. Anderson finally took over and brought the series to a conclusion. After that, the distant past of SW was pushed even farther back with the Golden Age of the Sith series, and Qel-Droma's story got an epilogue with Redemption. But the idea went farther, giving us first the KOTOR RPGs with Revan and the Exile, then the KOTOR comic book with Zayne Carrick, and finally the entire The Old Republic era centering on that multiplayer game you might have heard about in December 2011. OK, if you post here, you know all this, but I thought it would be illuminating to bring all of this into focus again...

    ...as we start with Chapter The First: Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon.

    - The art! I've heard a lot of negative stuff about it, but I think it brings something very distinct to the era. Including the fact that people are serious most of the time and yell a lot. There's some great ideas for panels going on here, such as the second to last panel with Ulic and Arca in profiles, not looking at another because we do not need a faithful reprensation of how people stand in relation when they talk in reality. Or the page showing the battle meditation reinforcing the will to fight. Or the young Jedi reacting to their assignment.

    - The pacing! This is only two single issues. Today, I'm sure this would be stretched over four, five or even six issues.

    - The characters! There might not be a lot of development here, but are the characters solid nonetheless?

    - The world building! We get a planet with an entire backstory going through two phases, and the Freedon Nadd backstory comes on top of that and tells us something about the Jedi Order. What do you think about the planet's unique features?

    - The designs! This is not Luke Skywalker's timeframe, It most definitely is not. But they've got lightsabers. I do love the ship designs.

    - The details! Showing Ulic's reaction to his assignment as a smug smile, seeing the armored guard's eyes through his helmet as he's overpowered. The dead droid in the secret passage, setting up the place Ulic is carrying Cay to.

    - The emotion! When I first read this, Cay's loss of his arm really came as a gut-wrenching moment. Looking at it grown up and knowing the story, it might seem less shocking and gets negated by the new arm thing quite fast. But it does set up that we are talking about stakes here - worse stuff might happen to the main characters, and it's thanks to the fact that these young Jedi aren't really ready to act as Jedi. Cay is set up as the one that doesn't pay attention, maybe as the weakest, but also somehow as the "little brother" that everyone loves to protect. What now if Ulic doesn't pay attention to his teacher, how will he end up? An interesting little scene, and still pretty powerful for the little amount of space it has.

    - The foundation: Wars not make one great! As much as Ulic is set up for his fall, his entire way of doing things is set up to take blame. Good Jedi don't kill beasts, they talk to them (hello Jacen). Great Jedi don't rush into battle, they meditate and influence the outcome (hello Clone Wars and Vong invasion).

    - The reverse grip! Okay, I'm just being silly, but seeing how the Legacy drinking game referring to the number of times a Duurseema character holds their lightsaber in reverse can be continued in Dawn of the Jedi without ever putting your glass down, I must point out how there's no reverse grip lightsaber back in 1993. But the training droid on page two has an awesome reverse grip blaster shot. Back before it was cool, people!


    I know some of you will also go for the audio drama, which should be interesting. Either way, now is the time to discuss!
    Last edited by Grey1, Jan 1, 2013
  2. darklordoftech Chosen One

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    Sep 30, 2012
    star 6
    Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon has a feeling of adventure and totally feels like Star Wars. The Force, Jedi, Sith, underdogs, a twist. All there.
  3. RC-1991 Force Ghost

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    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    :D

    Alright, some thoughts on the Beast Wars of Onderon (note that I will be listening to the audio dramas in the coming weeks):

    -First of all, the art. It's definitely not as egregiously.... TotJish in The Beast Wars as it gets during the Freedon Nadd Uprising (Vodo looks hilarious in that one). The art definitely varies throughout the run- Redemption had fantastic artwork, whilst Dark Lords of the Sith reminded me of the old Prince Valiant comics from the Sunday newspapers.

    -As for the characters themselves... Eh. Ulic is a decent character, but Cay just comes across as a one-note character, and of course Master Arca is a blithering idiot. "Let's send some green Padawans with delusions of grandeur to take care of a delicate political situation in a system that only recently joined the Republic. Yeah, that's the best way to make the Onderonians feel appreciated, resolve the conflict peacefully, and teach my students. What could possibly go wrong?" Seriously, Arca reaches Mandalorian Wars-Jedi-Council-level heights of inaction and passivity. I like to think that he was the blind Jedi Master from Jolee Bindo's parable. The crowning moment of crap is when Arca has the nerve to excoriate his apprentices in what comes across as a petty "gotcha!" moment. If there is anyone in this scenario who should have known better, it's the freaking Jedi Master. The rest of the characters in the issues never aspire to be anything other than secondary characters

    -The world-building in TotJ is probably one of the best aspects of the series. There's plenty of goofiness, of course- BEAST WARRIOR COMMANDOS (with helmets that strangely remind me of a Spartan V)!!!!! But still, great designs interesting ideas. Veitch and Anderson really seem to follow George Lucas in their ability to come up with interesting ideas and visuals while lacking the ability to fully execute those ideas on their own. Most of what I want to say about world-building goes in the design section, however. Dxun and Onderon are neat concept- I'm always up for a zany planet in Star Wars, whether it's Anoth, Iego, or Zonama Sekot.

    -There is definitely a distinct design technique to the era, which I feel does it a lot of credit. Had TotJ been made post-PT, we would likely be looking at a comic that was visually identical to TOR, i.e. carbon copies of the movie era but with a few new colors and spinning rims. I'm also noting how large personal transports are in this series, and how this is oddly mirrored in the Legacy comics at the other end of the timeline. The Nebulon Ranger has to dwarf the Millennium Falcon- or even the almost contemporaneous Ebon Hawk, yet would likely be of roughly equal size to, say, the Mynock. Though we haven't seen any fleet actions yet, I'd like to note that I appreciate the artist's decision to give the Republic fleet its own unique design aesthetic, rather than cribbing the Tantive IV or an MC-80 (though the Republic warships do vaguely resemble 20th-century cruisers). Also, I can't wait to get to the Mandalorians and how the Taung vaguely resemble the Predator. Even if we fault the writing of this series, TotJ certainly had some great ideas and visual motifs. To be honest, while I love KotOR II to death I really wish that Iziz had more closely resembled the city that we see in Beast Wars, though I can see how it would have modernized a bit under the influence of the Republic.

    However, the resemblance of Queen Amanoa's guards to Stormtroopers is obvious and annoying.

    -Don't have much to say about the details, other than to agree with what you said.

    -In terms of foundation, the Beast Wars don't set up Ulic's fall as being inevitable, but also provide some basis for it I suppose- though my reasoning for his fall has to do more with an imcompetent instructor than him being too proactive.
    Last edited by RC-1991, Jan 1, 2013
  4. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Don't have time to say much on it at the moment, and I probably won't have time to do an actual reread on it (though since we're only doing one arc at a time, maybe I will after all), but I will say this about TOTJ: I love the influence it's had on the EU, I love many of its ideas, but I find the story itself very lacking.
    Last edited by instantdeath, Jan 1, 2013
  5. TrakNar Force Ghost

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    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I need to refresh my memory of the series. The most I can discuss now would be the art and some of the design aesthetics. Mainly... Space Egypt and the bone-ships. Looking over some images to further refresh my memory, the ships aren't quite as bony as I remembered them, but they are still pretty ramshackle. I know that the designer is going for an "ancient" look, but if you look back on our own relatively-short history of space travel and compare that with conceptual designs of new ships, and then look at TotJ... you can see where it starts getting a bit silly, design-wise, to have these ships look like they were nailed together with plywood in some guy's backyard. Or, they look like they're made of bone, in some images. And don't get me started on Space Egypt.

    Honestly, a more probable "ancient history" design would be to take a cue or two from our own history. Incorporate some retro-futuristic design aesthetics with some Saturn 5 chemical rocket models. We didn't start out building our starships from bone, so why would they?
  6. RC-1991 Force Ghost

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    star 4
    Interesting that you mention that- Hoggon's vessel in Redemption somewhat resembles a satellite from Earth.
  7. TrakNar Force Ghost

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    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Looking it up... it does. And that has a better look to it than this thing:

    [IMG]
  8. Havac Former Moderator

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    TOTJ is in the odd position of having most of the right ideas, but getting them wrong.

    A Jedi Master with a gaggle of apprentices, wandering the starlanes, righting wrongs and engaging in diplomacy and negotiations? It's a great concept for golden-age Jedi, combining the monastic and knight-errant elements to give you something new and exciting, the right sort of outline for the Jedi. But the execution of those ideas, the specifics assigned to those concepts . . . silliness. Arca is supposed to be wise, but comes off as an overly passive dumbass. The Jedi being sent into the diplomatic situation are a bunch of callow apprentices in over their heads. Insofar as it's clear what Jedi wisdom is supposed to be here, Jedi wisdom is stupid as hell.

    The idea of setting apart the design to look like something from another era is good . . . the execution is too primitivistic for what's supposed to be a twenty-thousand-year-old galactic society. Medievalist concepts like kings and queens and princesses in love with raiders and evil viziers and the queen's secretly a witch -- all that works to set the atmosphere without overtly primitive design touches. Though, admittedly, it's not all that bad here; it's the GAOTS stuff that's super-egregious.

    But overall, I think it's a collection of general concepts going vaguely in the right direction -- which is far better than you'd expect from Veitch's DE work, which is uniformly conceptually bankrupt, but the execution is just not there and the end result is a set of comics that's kind of dumb, but so well remembered for the boldness of its very existence and the concepts it established that the terribleness of its execution is all too often overlooked.
    RC-1991 likes this.
  9. RC-1991 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    Agreed. Like I said, Veitch and Anderson are very much like Lucas in how they have some great ideas but lack the ability to execute them, at least without help. It's interesting to see how later authors did just that- JJM, Karps, and Avellone all inherited a lot of the motifs from TotJ when they worked on their iterations of KotOR, yet they made them work better than Veitch and Anderson did (artwise in particular- compare the TotJ flashbacks in the last arc of KotOR to their counterparts in TotJ, and of course there's the timeline videos).

    I think that the medieval aspect has become more ridiculous over time- since the publication of TotJ we have pushed the timeline back farther and farther, and had some fantastic visuals of the pre-TotJ era in the Essential Guide to Warfare. It will be interesting to discuss the visuals associated with the Mandalorians once they pop up- I personally enjoy their designs in this era, and enjoy how those designs were carried over into the KotOR comics (particularly Flashpoint). Also, TotJ gave us this:

    [IMG]

    Via the New Essential Chronology. It's like all of the scenarios I dreamed up with my Star Wars and Lord of the Rings action figures/ the mods I used on Galactic Battlegrounds, canonized.
  10. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    What I love about the designs is not the fact that it's a believable world set 4000 years before ANH, or that it's realistic Egypt or the realistic Middle Ages of SW. Which wouldn't have starships in them. What I love is that it's a pretty weird world that has just enough SW hooks in it to make the connection, but other than that is a pretty weird SF comic book world with Beast Riders next to starships, with tribal warriors living next to quasi-stromtroopers. And a pretty cool kind of weird.

    The thing is, this comic shows me beyond a doubt that what I see happened much earlier than Luke's story. It's not earlier versions of the X-Wing, it's another era. And most importantly, it's not what I would have imagined. And that's the important part: This is not an era that is easily put into chronological reference to the usual SW world. 4000 years means "really a lot of time", and illustrating that with strange ships that aren't just recycled, and with weapons and iconography that might make us think of "the past" in a very non-specific way, is a visual treat for me. It's not the best art there is; but at a point in time when we hardly had visuals (especially not correct ones) for Kenobi's Old Republic, it's a bold move to make everything so ancient that it's not just a scientific, rational approach to the idea of 4000 years of history, but a visual design that shows you instead of telling you that this is the distant past. There will be no crossovers, save for a strange Sith ghost in those temples that look like ancient Earth culture.
    Zorrixor and RC-1991 like this.
  11. JediAlly Force Ghost

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    Oct 31, 2000
    star 4
    When this came out, I bought the first releases on QVC - the ones with the Star Wars logo in gold. I thought I was getting the stories of the very first Jedi. Granted, I was disappointed, by that, but I liked them. I agree that we got a lot of detail in the history of Onderon.

    As for the characters, I see a case of poor judgment. Granted, the situation was more dangerous than the three Jedi could have expected, but at the same time, I don't think they were ready to be sent on a mission. Ulic was too cocky. Cay seemed to be more interested in being a mechanic than a Jedi. Tott seemed to have been the only one among them who was really ready to be sent out on a mission.
  12. TrakNar Force Ghost

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    Space Egypt doesn't bother me as much as bone-ships do. I'm fine with feudal systems and medieval style of dress... but unless you're going for a reedpunk feel, hyperdrive in a ship that looks like it's made from bone and animal hide simply is forcing the issue. For the ships, at least, some cues could have been taken from vintage sci-fi designs. Throw in some steampunk aesthetics, design the ships so they have this Byzantine quality to them, slap on solar panels and sensor arrays that hearken back to those giant structures seen on old issues of Amazing Stories, make a few look like they were cobbled together from carriage parts in someone's garage, and don't forget the chemical rockets. Launch some from giant cannons! But... bone-ships?
  13. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Why bone-ships? OK, I'm basing this simply on the first arc, but all I see are ships that clearly show hull plating elements and pretty traditional engines. I have no problem whatsoever seeing them as classic metal constructions. Of unusual design, yes, but that's the cool thing about it. Will they look more bony in later issues? I'm not that far yet.
  14. RC-1991 Force Ghost

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    The pic that Trak posted looks like one of the Mandalorian vessels from The Great Sith War- in fact it looks a bit like a Basilisk, only Basilisks are cool. The egregiosity of design comes into play most during GAotS.

    IIRC there might be a really funky ship or two in the Nomi Sunrider arc, however. Which, btw, the specs for some of the ships are quite interesting, as quoted in the original Guide to Vehicles and Vessels.
  15. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Ah, okay... well, there's tons of possible designs, and seeing how it really looks a bit bug-like... why not have exo-skeletons of extinct space bugs that get turned into ships by one culture? I like weird. I'll readily admit that the art is generally getting worse before reaching Redemption, which looks as if had been commissioned five or ten years later, with enough time passing to establish new art styles in comic books.


    I'll also go out of my way and justify Arca's behaviour. First of all, let's just assume that he didn't expect the dark side to be such a huge facor in this. This was supposed to be run of the mill stuff. Next, let's just assume that capable young Jedi do this kind of stuff all over the galaxy every day, and only when scary old mother queens turn out to be crazy force witches are they in over their heads. Notice how Ulic et al do exactly what every TOR player and Qui-Gon in Jedi Apprentice do: Talk to all characters, decide which dialogue option will give the most light side points. But when the queen gets crazy, there's some really weird stuff happening, the Jedi are in over their heads (maybe even influenced by the panic that gets poured over everyone), a bad call is made - fighting on a scale that these Jedi weren't supposed to fight at. Third, let's assume that the group is a fairly good group of apprentices. Tott is so capable he's almost boring. Cay gets distracted by the stuff he excels at, but he's got a heart of gold. Ulic has the potential for greatness, but he's not there yet. Sometimes he wants too much. There is, however, no reason to think he will always act like a punk; if inside a comfort zone, he will act reasonable. He knows that there's a difference in fighting training droids and real opponents, and he gets cocky when in training, so maybe he usually has better judgment when his life is truly at stake. Onderon pushes him out of this zone, however; he can solve a petty little civil war just like a petty little family feud, but he can't handle Sith yet. Finally, let's assume that Arca watched them to see how they were doing and went to Onderon immediately when he realized that something had hit the fan. Until he arrived, there was nothing he could do to stop the Sith element that nobody foresaw.

    Now, Arca tells them that they should have used meditation when they obviously hadn't learned that yet. Heat of the moment? Hope that Ulic et al weren't just good Jedi, but great Jedi that adapted and managed when under fire? However, he realizes that the task was probably too big for the young Jedi. And indeed it was, since hefty Sith artifact sorcery stuff was part of it. Compare this to Qui-Gon's run of the mill boring negotiation mission that turns into a huge escape, a fight for life, and finally a kind of war that results in the Sith openly appearing again and a lightsaber through the stomach. Well, maybe that task was too big for Qui-Gon, but maybe the council was incompetent for sending him when it was so clear that the Sith would come back during that backwater planet blockade negotiation?

    While Arca of course takes blame for screwing up with Ulic (although his fall will have a lot of outside influence), it's the same situation as with Ben Kenobi and Anakin. There's just so much you can teach them before they decide to do everything their own way.
    Zorrixor and RC-1991 like this.
  16. RC-1991 Force Ghost

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    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    Oh hey look, it's time for another one of my pale imitations of Havac and R1.5's brilliant review threads Radio Drama write-ups! It's time for... TALES OF THE JEDI

    -Opening crawl, yadda yadda yadda.

    -These tales of the JEDI!

    -oh god Cay's voice is unbearable already and I'm barely two minutes into this.

    -Tott Doneeta: full-name ALWAYS.

    -So we open up with Ulic's training session. This is adhering to the comic so far. Note that each episode is about 35 minutes long, and that there are 8 episodes, meaning i get to suffer listen through 4.5 hours of this.

    -Ulic gets shot in the back because he's overconfident/ Arca has this overwhelming need for a Gotcha! moment. Which is funny, because that's exactly how Arca dies.

    -Arca lectures Ulic on overconfidence.

    -"You're right- as usual, Master Arca."

    -sorry, I can't stop laughing.

    -Wait, so we are listening to a story about someone telling a story. How meta.

    -Also, we must listen "as a Jedi listens". So, based on the behavior of most Jedi protagonists, we are meant to let this story go in one ear and out the other. Got it.

    -Man, they are really really adhering to the comic so far. The Dark Forces Radio Dramas at least added some details in.

    -"It's disrespectful to fix your lightsaber when a Jedi Master is talking to you!" out of context quote for the day.

    -"I'm not fixing it, Ulic, I'm tuning the blade!" Cay really is a one-note character.

    -"Open your thoughts to me. Let my words become images in your minds." Or we could just look at the images in the comic, since there's absolutely no deviation from Veitch so far.

    -And now Arca is cribbing Yoda's line about using the Force to see other places, the future, the past... It would be a neat movie callback, only it's Veitch and Anderson, and that's the only trick in Anderson's writing.

    -How is Onderon desolate, Ulic? It's a jungle. It's not like the illustrator from Dark Empire drew TotJ as well.

    -Monsters with wings as big as skyhoppers live on Onderon. Quetzelcoatlus?

    -Arca suggests that the crossing between Onderon and Dxun only happened eons ago. This is interesting, because later canon suggests otherwise. Then again, that later canon is Drew Karpyshyn's Rule of Two, so Arca may very well be right.

    -"Arca may very well be right." I can't believe that I just said that.

    -The primitive Onderonians are so uninspiring, it's unbelievable.

    -"Creatures! They're coming out of the clouds!"

    -"Mah baby! It's got mah baby!"

    -"The gentle Onderonians were forced to develop weapons of death." Yes Arca, that's usually what weapons are for. Though some in the JCC Gun Control thread might dispute that.

    -Then there's a transition scene where tribes develop into civilization. It's kind of like on National Geographic where they show a clip of a seed sprouting into a sapling, then into a mighty oak. Only Star Wars.

    -Note that Arca pronounces "Iziz" as "iz-iz", as opposed to "EYE-ziz" (via Mandalore in KotOR II). Moving on.

    -Cay freaks out as the beasts attack the city. Man, this must be a really vivid story for them. I don't know how, because Arca definitely is not the most inspiring orator. Perhaps Arca slipped his apprentices some peyote beforehand?

    -"Ouuuut you goooooo, lawbreaker!" The Onderonian voiceovers are just the tops.

    -And then Arca explains that some of the outlaws tame the beasts and form beast armies, which sounds like something out of Power Rangers, to be honest.

    -The vision begins to fade as they reach the present/ the peyote wears off.

    -And now Arca informs Ulic that the Three Caballeros are heading to Onderon in place of Master Incompetent. @ makes a good point about how this was supposed to be a routine mission, although if Arca was a halfway responsible Jedi he would have at least reconnoitered the system to check for anything out of the ordinary like, I don't know, the ghost of an ancient Dark Jedi that continues to exert an influence over the populace. But yeah, now that I look at it, on the face of it sending Huey, Dewey and Louey wasn't a bad idea with the intelligence that Arca had.

    -Ulic excitedly explains to Cay that this is their first real mission, and then there's this weird swishing sound which I assume is meant to be some sort of transition.

    -Arca asks Ulic to use his weapon only as a last resort, and intimates that this is Ulic's Jedi Trial.

    -Why is Cay so urgently telling Ulic that they are about to reach Onderon? They aren't even getting shot at yet.

    -Even Ulic tells Cay that he's wound a little too tight.

    -Ulic and Tott have a discussion of Twi'lek culture and history, and Ulic mentions Twi'leks forming alliances with the Hutts, which is presumably meant to presage the introduction of slavery to Ryloth. It's interesting to see how the canon of this changes; IIRC Tales from Jabba's Palace suggested that it was Bib Fortuna who introduced slavery to his people. Of course, this has all been changed by the post-1999 EU.

    -the proximity alarms on the Nebulon Ranger are the exact same alarm that I use on my iPod when I need to wake up at 7:30 in the morning. They seriously made me jump.

    -The Three Caballeros choose to fly through the swarm of Terrorsaurs, rather than shooting at them, which actually is the proper Jedi way to handle this, so props to them.

    -The Iziz ground control officer has a weird French accent.

    -"AN ALIEN LIFE FORM? GUARDS, SEIZE HIM!"

    -I don't quite get what the Onderonians would interrogate Tott Doneeta about.

    -And Ulic and co. whip out their lightsabers. Well, the whole "we won't take out our lightsabers" lasted a long time.

    -The Onderonian officer makes some noises about political repercussions. Really? And seizing a duly appointed Republic representative because he's an alien *wouldn't* have some sort of repercussions?

    -Another weird swishing sound brings us to the throne room.

    -Princess Gallia observes that the Jedi look like untutored youths, which is probably quite an accurate gauge of Arca's teaching abilities.

    -So technically, at this point Onderon still hasn't formally joined the Republic.

    -Cay whines about being made fun of by the Onderonian royalty.

    -Instead of holograms, the Onderonians use viewscreens, which is very 50's sci-fi.

    -And the beast riders burst into the throne room. The Queen tries to escort her daughter to the royal chambers, but Gallia is reluctant to go. Man, it's almost as if not everything is as it seems.

    -Ulic decapitates a drexl, and gets a verbal high-five from Cay.

    -Tott is the only one to notice that two beast riders slipped through to the throne room.

    -yeah, Tott must have initially trained with some other master. He's way too competent to be a product of Arca's tutelage.

    -Amanoa calls down the power of Freedon Nadd upon the beast riders in the royal chambers.

    -Man, when you say it out loud like that, I have to agree with @ : Freedon Nadd is a really dumb name.

    -Nothing happens.

    -"i guess Freedon Nadd must be nadding off, ha ha hah!"

    -......

    -um.

    -Please tell me that there aren't any more "jokes" like this for the rest of the series.

    -Anyways, Gallia puts on a totally convincing show of being kidnapped.

    -Amanoa just kind of gurgles on the floor.

    -Amanoa excoriates the Jedi for not stopping the kidnapping of Gallia.

    -And then as the Jedi run off to be all heroic, the queen cackles "excellent, excellent", in the most pitiful imitation of Palpatine ever.

    -Anyways, the Jedi jet off in the Nebulon Ranger.

    -Boom! Torpedo!

    -The sound effect, by the way, is a generic explosion followed by what sounds like a cooking pot falling on the floor.

    -Ulic asks Cay if he's in one piece. Man, I hope Cay never loses a limb or anything.

    -Cay gets left at the ship to fix it, because mechanical stuff is all that he is good for.

    -Tott and Ulic mindtrick some beast riders just to ask for directions.

    -They are informed that Gallia is about to marry Oron Kira. Oh noes! They've kidnapped the maiden and are going to marry her off to the evil beast man!

    -There's this weird chanting in the background at the wedding ceremony. At first I thought it was some malfunctioning AI on the Nebulon Ranger. It's that mechanical sounding.

    -"WHo DARES interrupt the binding ceremony?" You make it sound like you are enchanting a Daedric warhammer, not performing a marriage ceremony.

    -Oh yeah, Ulic and Tott burst in to "save" the day.

    -And yet another swishing transition as Gallia informs the Jedi that the marriage is her idea.

    -And now Huey Dewey and Louey are eating at the marriage feast. Cay is confused.

    -Oron and Gallia explain how they met, how they fell in love, and how they plan to invade the city.

    -Apparently the Onderonian soldiers who died during the raid on the Throne Room were cruel/evil, so killing them was fine.

    -And then Gallia drops the whole "My great-great-great-great-grandpa was a Sith wannabe" bomb.

    -The Jedi try to lobby for a peaceful solution, to their credit. See Arca, they actually did try to engineer a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

    -The Jedi try to return to Iziz to negotiate, and get fired on for their troubles.

    -Amanoa informs us that all Jedi are fools and that Gallia is a traitor.

    -Amanoa starts summoning the power of Freedon Nadd. Gallia is somehow surprised by this, despite her earlier statements about Nadd's influence on the Royal family.

    -Guards pour in as the room darkens.

    -"Three Jedi are worth a hundred men with blasters!" Depends on the situation, kid.

    -Ah, the soldiers are Dark Adepts.

    -And Oron Kira launches the attack.

    -Gallia leads the merry band of heroes out of the throne room. Cay decides to play Horatio at the Gate.

    -Ulic goes back in to grab Cay, who "fights like a demon".

    -.....what good are ion cannons going to do against beast riders?

    -And the queen leaves us on an ominous note- she's going to go prepare a "more powerful weapon".

    Tune in later this week for more TotJ radio "enjoyment".
    Gorefiend and Grey1 like this.
  17. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Well done. Since I'm apparently such a huge slacker that I'll never post again, I could use some "pale imitations." :p
  18. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    There's a TOTJ radio drama too? OMG!

    Why don't they rerelease these things!
  19. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    They did. At least at one point they did. I need to listen to them again, but once you brought up Cay's voice, I remembered how annoying it was and how a number of scenes were hard to follow because they weren't adapted to audio very well.
  20. RC-1991 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    In a way, the whiny voice perfectly fits his role as a one-note character.
    TrakNar likes this.
  21. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    EEP! Wrong! We can blame KJA for almost every pre-Luceno movie callback, but not for this one. He only hijacked this train later on.

    [face_laugh]
  22. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    And while we're waiting for the next 45-minute-write-up of a 35 minute audio drama episode:

    Chapter the second: The Saga of Nomi [CENSORED]! No, not what you think. It's a tale of love lost, of strength found, and of trademark infringed.

    - Much is to be said about Nomi, her destiny, her cultural background, and her peculiar hairstyle that loses its "edge" when she's on a desolate dark side planet with two aliens and no razor/scissors. And about the probability that she was meant to be "the first female Jedi". Anyone got details on that? Also, could we get a retcon that in her culture Bod means Sun and the construction with Da -a means Riding On?

    - What I find interesting is that the way the story is told - with lots of introspection and very little action (and even the action that does happen is pretty understated) - is somewhat close to the cliché of "women's literature". Pride and Prejudice-against-Lightsabers. I wonder if this was a conscious decision by Veitch, to have the male and female heroes coming from very different stories, or if it was cliché thinking that gave the woman the emotional role.

    - Maybe even emotional trainwreck. While the three caballeros (thanks, RC) go straight to the action, bypassing their brains because the story drops the clues at their feet anyway, Nomi is busy being damaged goods. She has a backstory (and a third issue) that the others are lacking. This makes her a potentially different kind of Jedi for story purposes; but I guess the other three would have benefitted from a backstory take just as much. Why is Ulic so cocky? Why is Cay so one-note nice-and-mechanical? Who is Tott? As it stands now, those three apparently had perfect, boring lives and only now happen to have something interesting coming along. Nomi is set up as a character that knows loss, hates violence, hates killing, has a family etc.

    - Three issues is still a bit much, probably, since this arc sits awfully quiet between the two Onderon action arcs. Not that it's wrong, but it's a bit too much of ooooo-Jabba-stand-in-wants-shiny-crystals. And a bit much of "well, will you take a lightsaber if I get an eon-old-Jedi-hologram to tell you to? No? What if I get myself killed? I'll do it!" Well, since I mentioned it, Bogga is probably the first clear-cut carbon copy from the movie trilogy.

    - Thon is a pretty interesting idea, but only a Yoda after all, and one who's relying on lightsaber training a lot. A LOT. Seeing how Nomi can improvise battle meditation, something that goes over the head of the three caballeros and their lightsaber skills... one might question this approach. But Thon Boka will do anything to make you pick up a lightsaber. Anything.

    - It's interesting to note that the Jedi in this era are a pretty proactive bunch, maybe because they live in "wilder" times? More probably because Veitch wants an action comic, or only understands Jedi as great warriors, but let's remain IU for a moment. I know that all assumed short-comings of any given Jedi Order - be it proactiveness/aggressiveness, arrogance, reluctance - is always seen as the trait that helps create the huge conflict of the era in the first place. I think it's a bit more interesting to accept that we're only going to see the moments of conflict in history anyway, and that for every negative trait of the order there's enough positive to counterbalance, so we can't simply see rising dark Jedi as products of that predominant fault in the order's overall bearing.

    - Oh, and bonus points if you can review an actual Sunrider. Or will that get us sued?
    Last edited by Grey1, Jan 8, 2013
  23. Lugija Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2009
    star 4
    Faces in the first Nomi issue... the horror!

    Interesting that while Nomi gets much more development than the Three Caballeros, she is still a very one-note character. Her saying again and again that she won't touch lightsabers and Thon's insistence that she has to doesn't make either of them look good.

    The bug-ship looked cool, though. I have no problem with pirates making a ship out of one, and would think that there could be many such luxury cruisers in later times.

    Considering Bokka, when was it established that Hutts are all gangsters that rule a big portion of the galaxy? Or did that come after (and because) the novels and comics were filled with Jabba copies?
  24. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    I actively wonder why Nomi was designed with what could best be described as a punk hairdo. Seeing how the other artist (Roach?) turns her into a classic beauty almost drawn in a Prince Valiant style, I wonder if the first artist (Johnston?) just didn't manage to pull the design off. It does look a bit otherworldly, and it would be okay to have a non-WASP protagonist, but the very next issue the hairstyle is revealed to be an on-and-off design choice instead of a racial marker. I think it's a very odd choice for a protagonist's design, especially since she'll have to carry most of the "romantic interest" responsibility in the series. Ulic only starts looking strange once his skin colour changes, but if I'm not mistaken, Cay looks as boringly "regular handsome" as can get. Whether you think that the artist didn't put enough time in, Nomi's culture is less mainstream than your average mainstream protagonist, or she just didn't have a shower on the ship - it's a strange choice. I wonder if it was a bold one, or just one that didn't turn out like it was meant to.
  25. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    I wish there'd been more SW work for David Roach, the imagery he does for those two issues is brilliant.