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Lit Abel G. Peña's "Skyewalkers" and "Lone Wolf"

Discussion in 'Literature' started by jSarek, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Hangman Host & 14X Wacky Wednesday Winner star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    I got the impression that the Silentium were created by "starfish aliens" - possibly a progenitor of the Sharu?

    The Centerpoint Station article:

    http://www.starwars.com/news/the-world-puller-the-history-of-centerpoint-station-needs-author-entry

    treats the FOTJ story about Abeloth as fact - the Ones, AKA "Celestial architects" created Abeloth - but she eventually turned on them.

    When I look up "starfish" I get this:


    so - in your theory, the Ones ultimately evolved from the Starfish Aliens, who "ascended" and achieved godlike powers?
     
  2. Darth Dreadwar

    Darth Dreadwar Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Said starfish aliens look to be the Celestials, given the connection between them, the Sharu and the aliens who frightened the Sharu into degeneration (who have been identified in various sources as probable Celestials). So not progenitors of the Sharu in the sense that they evolved into the distinctly humanoid Sharu, but they may have been precursors in the sense they created them, and frightening their own created vassals or allies into degeneration has precedent, with the Kwa being aligned with the Celestials until they incurred their wrath and became the Kwi.

    In my mind, the Celestials were a starfish shaped species which became 'Sufficiently Advanced Aliens,' passing through various stages of development, first enteching themselves into immortal machine bodies they gave form to (the Silentium), and then some of their number achieved further apotheosis through sublimation into the Force, breaking beyond the mortal coil entirely and being able to 'descend' in Stargate fashion to assume whatever physical form they desired. And ultimately, perhaps through war with darker counterparts, or the Rakata and their 'unleashed curses' of the Grey Swallowing and Eater of Worlds, they faded from power, or merely learned to cease meddling in the physical realm, leaving the Ones as anchorites (a sort of Vorlon/Shadow analogue with the Daughter and the Son), and other remnants such as the Kathol and perhaps the Bedlam Spirits and Whills.

    Have you read the cut Essential Guide to Warfare material on the Celestials and their constructs?
     
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  3. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Hangman Host & 14X Wacky Wednesday Winner star 10 VIP - Game Host

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    Sep 2, 2012
    An interesting possibility.

    I do wonder how a species as powerful as the "starfishes" could get caught out by a supernova.

    Given that Force Demons are supposedly capable of destroying entire solar systems - maybe they were the ones that caused the one that wiped out the starfishes, leaving only their ascended (and enteched) descendants?

    Star Trek novelverse had something similar - with a very powerful race getting taken out by a supernova - because godlike beings had triggered it. Q was part of the group responsible.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Q_Continuum

    Yup - mostly speculation, with Motti as the skeptical commentator on the lecture.

    http://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-the-essential-guide-to-warfare-authors-cut-the-celestials
     
  4. Darth Dreadwar

    Darth Dreadwar Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Iron_lord The Kashi supernova and destruction of Varl stand out as somewhat suspicious as well. One notes that such is more than possible with the Force, as demonstrated by Sadow's sorcery, so if you wanted to, you could attribute such to the immortal Sith deities. ;)

    And the starfish being destroyed by a supernova merely seems far-fetched when compared with the rest of the Star Wars galaxy, but only then, and the Star Wars galaxy is unrealistic enough to imply much of what we see is the result of artificial creation or influence (e.g. hyperdrives and hyperspace itself, the similarity in humanoid species, the sheer number of habitable planets, and the uniformity of climate on those planets). If you imagine a more realistic progression of a sapient species, they might become incredibly advanced while still not having left their corner of the cosmic neighbourhood, having not developed FTL (which is 'godlike' technology, and is very much incongrous in advancement compared to other Star Wars tech, like an ancient Egyptian civilisation using aeroplanes). And they develop AI and robotics and brain uploading/entechment long before they develop FTL, perhaps only developing such advanced technology when they pass a technological singularity and associated intelligence explosion and emerge the other end as superhuman intelligences. And the supernova destroys all but those who had ascended to the Silentium, some of whom go on to progress further, to sublime into the Force.

    And it'd explain cybernetics and medical technology being only a few decades (if that) ahead of current technology on Earth, yet the simultaneous use of hyperdrives, as well as the general technological stagnation and lack of scientific progress in the galaxy, if much of the galaxy actually lags far behind Earth's scientific understanding, with Star Wars science essentially being the art of playing with toys left by the Celestials (e.g. the hyperdrive) and backwards-engineering them into something usable. Until SkyeWalkers' Atha Prime - who is an engineered transhuman intelligence, essentially - we didn't even have references to the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and its implications for the survival of identity (quantum immortality).
     
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  5. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2013
    I thought the Kashi Mer supernova was all but explicitly stated to be somehow triggered by/through the dark side?
     
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  6. Darth Dreadwar

    Darth Dreadwar Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Indeed. Implied to be a result of the Kashi Mer talisman, a dark side artifact stolen by Reda Jalooz (who returned to Kashi just before the supernova).
     
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  7. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2000
    When I saw the article I was like "I remember reading about this but not actually reading this..." and had kinda wondered.
     
  8. LelalMekha

    LelalMekha Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Coming back to SkyeWalkers, there a few references that didn't ring a bell when I read them. I wonder if those are indeed references to works so obscure that I don't know them, or if they are in fact new inventions.

    Page 9: Then, three shafts of brilliant light—blue and green and blue—stabbed from the wrecks like the inquisitive tongues of hatching Gallian cobras.

    ---Any relation to Gallia, the city on Prakith? Or perhaps Gall, the terrestrial moon of the gas giant Zhar?

    Page 11: The invention of “absolute” disruptor technology, by the mysterious fatalists of Plootark IX, introduced a form of pure death so unique in heinousness the alien science had been outlawed the galaxy-over.

    ---The fatalists of Plootark IX? Are they rivals of the Order of Pessimists or something?

    Pages 74-75: The claim [that a Sith controlled the Senate] was, of course, absurd. Save for the likes of the hardboiled Master Vos or the iconoclastic Gokim Keeg and his churlish companion, most Jedi logically considered Dooku himself the primary suspect of his own questionable revelation.

    ---Is this Gokim Keeg a new character? Why is he/she iconoclastic? What kind of "companion" does Keeg have, and why is he/she "churlish?"
     
  9. Darth Dreadwar

    Darth Dreadwar Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 26, 2010
    My first thought was that it was referring to some snake-like species that appeared in some work featuring Gall, perhaps SotE, and it was just giving a name to that. Or the creatures could be entirely original.

    I think it's a reference to the philosopher Plutarch, and his stance on Stoic fatalism. He (for once) adopts the stance of fatalism in Lives Volume IX as I recall.

    He is a new character.

    It *could* be a reference to the rapper Mike G (Mike Griffith), who uses "#gomikeg" on Twitter... But that's very unlikely. :p
     
  10. LelalMekha

    LelalMekha Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Why yes of course. I should have gotten that one right. My philosophy teacher back at the university wouldn't be proud of me. [face_blush]

    Now, when it comes to Gokim Keeg, yep, he does sound like a new character. But the passage in which he was mentioned sounded so... specific, you know? As if we were supposed to know who that churlish companion is and all that.

    (On an unrelated note, I can't state of much I like the idea that the dead S'kytri are subject to a form of ritual excarnation. It has a cool Zoroastrian vibe.)
     
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  11. LelalMekha

    LelalMekha Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Another stray observation; page 177 mentions "a pair of Asogian grub-sticks"...
    Asogian, eh? As in Brodo Asogi?
     
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  12. Halagad_Ventor

    Halagad_Ventor Star Wars Author - SWRPG Designer star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2001
    Guys, forgive me for not popping in sooner. I’m a little overwhelmed by the positive response.

    I set out to do something special with SkyeWalkers. Not being able to talk about it for 7 years (3 writing it, and 4 sitting on it) was difficult to say the least. I wanted to write the kind of Star Wars story I’d always wished to read—specifically, something in the vein of Traitor, The Last One Standing and Dark Empire. Except with the kind of celebration of continuity—the textural glory of the galaxy far, far away—that I’ve always loved and aimed for.

    With SkyeWalkers, I wanted to capture the Clone Wars of my imagination, something more psychologically chaotic and disturbing than anything I'd seen. (In that respect, I was very grateful to have "Lone Wolf" work as a hopeful bookend and counterpoint.) Many of you know my special relationship over many years with both Halagad Ventor and Atha Prime. (He’s been "Zeta Magnus" to me for almost a decade now.) I wanted to do both characters justice. I knew this might be my only chance. And seeing that obligation through to completion unexpectedly bled the Clone Wars into my reality in an unnerving metafictive way. Somewhere between these two characters lies something of my self. In this way, the work transformed into something intensely personal.

    In the end, I was satisfied I accomplished what I intended to. I only needed you to see it.

    So, thank you. Thank you for sticking with me for 15 years since "The Emperor's Pawns." And thank you so much for your enthusiastic reactions and kind words for this labor of love. If you have any favorite parts, questions or criticisms, let me know ... or just any favorite continuity shout outs. Because as I said on SkyeWalkers’ Acknowledgements page: “This story is dedicated to the fans … always.”

    For I am one of you.
     
  13. Orman Tagge

    Orman Tagge Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Halagad_Ventor All I can really say is that you succeeded in the utmost. In a way, I'm glad that this came after the Legends announcement, as I think this story tied together continuity in a way that no other author - not even Luceno, not by a long shot - ever accomplished. I suppose I'm a little ridiculous in how much stock in put in the EU, but having this story from the Clone Wars told in such a fantastic way, incorporating characters like Ventor and Zeta Magnus...it was simply beautiful.

    A few questions, for when you get a chance. Any particular reason Atha Prime became Zeta Magnus? Any conclusion to the cliffhanger at the end, even if it's only imagined or planned, where Magnus releases a toxin (I imagine it as the gas we see affecting the gungans in Republic, although I forget exactly how that arc panned out so that may not fit continuity wise) and is revealed to be still alive? I'm expecting a cliffhanger on that.

    Also, on a slightly more far fetched note, any chance there exists a pdf I could put into Lulu to get a hardcover copy of this? Do you (or anybody else) know if the existing pdf from the website will do the trick? I just don't really understand how to do the cover of the book.

    Again though, what an amazing job. Top 10 EU stories of all time, easily.
     
  14. Halagad_Ventor

    Halagad_Ventor Star Wars Author - SWRPG Designer star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2001
    Awwww... you.

    jSarek, thank you again for your feedback on the story and kicking off this thread. I deeply appreciate it.

    I currently don't have plans on doing an "Endnotes"-style blog for SkyeWalkers like I did for some of my works in the old days ... the story's just too darn massive. But what I could do is possibly post the margin notes I passed on to LFL. They won't cover every single bit of continuity that's alluded to, but there are a lot of them.

    I would go so far as to say Galaxy of Fear is pivotal to the plot. ;)

    :cool:

    Thanks, Todd. As I mentioned in the summary in part 2 of "The Other Lost Missions," that result was pretty fortuitous.

    Regarding “Lone Wolf,” its genesis and objective was more modest than SkyeWalkers. The short story was green-lit for Star Wars Insider under IDG Entertainment as (you guessed it) a Lone Wolf and Cub-style story celebrating the 30th anniversary of A New Hope. On that score, you should spot several subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) homages to both Episode IV and the famous manga (one of my favorite works of literature) throughout. Unfortunately, by the time I finished the story, Star Wars Insider was bought by Titan Magazines and a moratorium on all fiction in the magazine was put in place—the effects of which some may yet remember.

    Take care folks,
    Abel
     
  15. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Treasure Lover of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Yeah, I've read Lone Wolf since that comment and really enjoyed it. As a big Obi-Wan fan, I thought you captured his personality and inner struggles at that time really well.
     
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  16. LelalMekha

    LelalMekha Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Halagad_Ventor Just to be certain I'm not making gratuitous associations: the "largest annual gathering of Alderaanian aristocrats, intellectuals, scientists" is the Grand Alderaanian Gathering mentioned in Zahn's Vision of the Future, right? Also, the 3L41UH7 serum is the one responsible for mutating the Nelvaanians?

    (Also: “At least this head isn’t losing its hair, old man.” You're tough on poor Halagad! :p In fact, the story often goes into the self-deprecation territory. I do hope, however, that you didn't abandon a princess after getting her pregnant at age fifteen.)

    (Oh, and... old Vima! [face_love] Thank your, Abel. Thanks for her.)
     
  17. Shadow Trooper

    Shadow Trooper Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 18, 2013
    I just finished reading Skyewalkers and Lone Wolf. These two stories were excellent, probably some of the best bits of Star Wars short fiction that I have read. I am so glad these stories were finally released.
    I second this. Vima's appearance was the highlight of Lone Wolf.
     
  18. Cynical_Ben

    Cynical_Ben Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Just finished Skyewalkers and, I have to say, it's fully deserving of all of the praise being rained on it. Orman Tagge is right, this is the perfect capstone story to the Legends EU, wrapping up almost too many references, plots and stories together while still telling an intense, visceral and emotional story of its own. Zeta Magnus is a great villain, one of the most abhorrent and evil in any Star Wars media I've encountered, and watching Hal, Anakin and Obi-Wan slowly crumble to pieces as they try to fight through his machinations and bring him to justice is of the same intensity and dark pathos as Traitor and Shatterpoint before it. And the ending... I'm not even sure what emotion it evokes. Sadness? Anger? It's sure not happy or optimistic. Given what we know of the future for Halagad, Anakin, Obi-Wan, Kharys, even Skye itself, it's safe to say that this is one of the more dark and depressing endings to any Star Wars story, if not the most. Wow.

    Onward to Lone Wolf.
     
  19. Grand Admiral Paxis

    Grand Admiral Paxis Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    At the risk of sounding like an idiot, it only just dawned on me that Zeta Magnus' throneworld of Rennek is Kenner spelled backwards.

    Easter eggs! Easter eggs on everything you love! :D
     
  20. Eyrezer

    Eyrezer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Chiggnash. :D
     
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  21. Eyrezer

    Eyrezer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2002
    I have to echo what others have said about these two stories. A brilliant homage to the Expanded Universe that for me, is a rousing farewell. I'll highlight a couple of things from Lone Wolf that I enjoyed.

    The Chiggnash. Well this was a treat for me, as I "discovered" the one reference to them several years ago while scrutinizing old sources for the Essential Atlas appendix, and added them to the Wook. I never imagined they'd see the light of day, but it comes as no surprise that someone of Abel's calibre would be the one to do so.

    I'm not up-to-date with what The Clone Wars did to Darth Maul, but a subtle reference to "old wounds" makes me suspect that Darth Maul is the master of Mei and Formadu referred to in Lone Wolf. He's apparently also a cyborg...

    I also appreciated the white current reference. Although the whole Fallanassi thing is just a red herring in regard to Luke's real mother, I like the way that it was played here. Infant Luke made a Fallanassi illusion, right? Wonderful to see the Bpfasshi, Jensaarai and Fallanassi all referenced in a single source.

    Also have to call out how Lone Wolf also ties into your other work Lord of War: we now know how the Soulless One makes it into the underworld, where it will eventually end up with N-K Necrosis.

    Fun to see Vima here. Seems like a good thing that Obi-Wan didn't take that lightsaber. Otherwise Leia may have been in a sticky spot a few years later.

    References aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the pace of the story. I have a friend that is just starting to be exposed to the EU and this is a story I will certainly recommend for the narrative alone, notwithstanding the richness added through familiarity with the rest of the EU.

    Thanks Abel.

    ~ Eyrezer
     
  22. HEDGESMFG

    HEDGESMFG Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 20, 2010
    No chance this will ever be considered canon, is there? Is it definitively legends?

    I'll have to read it and determine just where it sits on my timeline. One of the very, very few post ep II, pre-TCW EU pieces we've gotten since the show started, so I'm very interested in how this fits into things.
     
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  23. Cynical_Ben

    Cynical_Ben Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 12, 2013
    From what I can gather, it slots either in before TCW entirely, or at least before Ahsoka's introduction with the Christophsis arc. But it's definitely after Anakin and Ventress' first encounter and the events of Shatterpoint at the very least. You'd probably be able to pinpoint it better than I would.
     
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  24. JoinTheSchwarz

    JoinTheSchwarz JC Head Admin & Community Manager star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 21, 2002
    “Strong as a white current. Like his mother.”

    [​IMG]

    I liked Lone Wolf much, much, much, much more than I liked SkyeWalkers. Nicely done there, Abel.
     
  25. Cynical_Ben

    Cynical_Ben Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 12, 2013
    I just finished Lone Wolf myself on my lunch break. And JTS isn't entirely wrong, I did like it better than Skyewalkers. Not because I didn't like Skyewalkers, my comments above should show that I did. But I love Lone Wolf. It's like Kenobi crossed with Traitor, and packs a lot into a rather short page count. Seeing Obi-Wan's depth of despair, his grappling with what he's done, what he's had to do, the state of his soul and his new reality in having to care for Luke, was effective and intense stuff. I thought for a moment, "Hey, didn't he just kill that Bpffashi almost the same way Jacen killed Mara? Isn't that a little dark for something Obi-Wan would do?" And then, it turns out, it is. He recognizes the slippery slope he's stepped onto, doing whatever it takes to protect Luke, and though he almost dies for it (as does Luke) he manages to climb off and save both of their lives.

    The way he confronted Mari at the end was probably the best confrontation between a Jedi and a darksider I've read since Jacen going against Onmi in The Unifying Force. It's that good, that true to the Jedi ideal. This isn't a story about Obi-Wan going around killing people with Luke strapped to his back, it's a story about Obi-Wan being forced to come to terms with the fact that his life is radically different now, but the ideals of the Jedi, the ideals that he's clung to all his life, are still there. Jedi serve life, and they serve the Force. And Luke is something he's never permitted himself before: an attachment, something to care for, protect and even love. Watching him wrestle with all of these things is some great stuff.

    Fantastic work, Able, on both counts. I'm very glad both of these stories finally had a chance to come to light.