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

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

  1. Halagad_Ventor

    Halagad_Ventor Star Wars Author - SWRPG Designer star 4 VIP

    Jul 3, 2001
    Thank you, Csillan_girl. Glad it made an impression.

    I'm guessing we're discussing this fancy mouthful:

    Yes, this is, at once, an acknowledgment and an explicit rejection by Magnus of not just the popular science fiction trope of the multiverse but specifically the Bryce DeWitt-Neill Graham "many worlds" quantum mechanical interpolation of Hugh Everett III's original pure wave mechanics thesis. As I originally conceived of him, Magnus is "a genetics terrorist"—that is, a biologist, not a physicist. But as the character developed, he began to threaten to outstrip this original categorical limitation; he was way too smart not to understand quantum physics. This isn't meant as any slight toward biologists, merely an homage and reflection of Richard Dawkins' own humble admission in The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True (when considering why certain colors are produced by specific elements in a spectroscope): "The reason for this is understood by physical scientists, but not by me because I'm a biological scientist who doesn't understand quantum theory." That doesn't preclude the possibility of Magnus' being a cross-disciplinary scientist but, even so, Magnus would probably be a Laplacean (i.e. a clockwork universe) in spirit—a more contemporary analogue (again, in spirit more so than particulars) might be the biological philosopher Alex Rosenberg—and inclined toward a fully determinate, unmuddled and unsuperfluous interpretation of quantum mechanics: maybe pure wave mechanics, but certainly not Copenhagen or many worlds. In any case, he wouldn't deny nonlocality. Similarly, Magnus' view of "Time—infinite time" might be thought to be at odds with the general theory of relativity—though his modest nod to "tetradimensional singularities notwithstanding" suggests he may be merely speaking metaphorically; as I said, he considered Cronal an ally, after all. Or Magnus may be waiting for less theoretical physics and more empirical evidence. (You'd think they could figure out a way to do that in the GFFA given the access and proximity they have to black holes.) Perhaps Magnus is a fan of the Star Wars equivalent of Einstein's "greatest mistake."

    (And I'll just throw in the caveat that, to the degree that any of this applies to the character in a definitive sense, it's going to be, on a strict reading, to
    As I admitted earlier, I've been known to Vergere a thing or two when it fulfills the potential of a story.)

    I'm pretty sure it was a reference to serpents from the planet Gall. I think I expressly made them "cobras" as a nod to Lando's ship from the old Marvel comics.

    I actually did briefly consider using the Order of Pessimists here. I love them, but I just can't take them seriously, and I needed some gravitas in that passage.

    Yes, he's new. I gave him the last name Keeg to imply he was a Duros or, more radically, a Neimoidian Jedi -- per Chachi De Maal's alias "Baniss Keeg" -- hence the iconoclasm (and, of course, being a rare proponent of the Second Sith Theory).

    Keeg's churlish companion is something that will have to remain indefinite for now.

    Haha! With apologies to Mr. Griffith, alas, no. :)

    Very cool. I wasn't aware of the Zoroastrian parallel. My primary inspirations were Tibetan sky burials and Zeus' punishment of Prometheus.

    Yes. Actually, this reference was seriously multitasking. It is, as you point out, an allusion to Brodo Asogi, but more specifically it was naming the chopsticks this guy uses while testing Luke in the original Marvel #89, in essence simultaneously confirming him as one of the species. (And "grub" also, thus, having a double meaning.)

    Take care,
  2. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    I'll also note that I finished Lone Wolf and it was awesome. I think the prose took a step up, and I loved the material. I never thought we'd get confirmation on Desertwind.
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  3. LawgSkrak

    LawgSkrak Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 23, 1999
    Read it. Loved it.

    Then got extremely depressed again that my beloved EU was thrown out like yesterday's trash.

    This story was better than any of the Disney canon stuff combined.
  4. QuentinGeorge

    QuentinGeorge Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 12, 2003
    Saw this:

    15 (page 33) the Jedi Watchman responsible for the gaffe in protocol, Master Jorus C’baoth—dead five years now: “Jorus C’baoth’s position as Jedi Watchman for Alderaan is mentioned in the Pello Scrambas databank entry at”

    and remembered writing this while labouring under the impression that it had already been established elsewhere. Aye.
  5. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    One has had thirty years to grow. Give it time.

    Great job, though, Abel.
  6. Grand Admiral Paxis

    Grand Admiral Paxis Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 2, 2012
    To be fair, even if you take them individually, SkyeWalkers and Lone Wolf were better than a hell of a lot of Legends stories combined. Although, that said, one of the things that made them so amazing was how artfully they wove and referenced a lot of Legends material, so I suppose your point still stands. :p
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  7. Zorrixor

    Zorrixor Chosen One star 6

    Sep 8, 2004
    Although I only discovered these yesterday, I've skimmed through this thread and can't wait to dig deeper into the story.

    Though I've enjoyed most of the stuff Disney has released so far, where I can still agree with LawgSkrak is the way in which Abel's prose style is able to be so... dense, without it becoming a roadblock to enjoying the story.

    I know often some people say all that stuff is intimidating and scares readers off, but... to me, I feel it's something that makes the prose feel more adult, as even I'm not understanding most of the references I've seen so far, but you just keep reading-- not like you stop watching ANH because you're not sure what this Clone War thing that Obi-Wan talks about is-- and it's something I love so much about people like Abel's prose. I feel like I'm actually being talked to like an adult, unlike a lot of Star Wars fiction, which too often remains very much Young Adult in narrative style (by which I mean, most novels are so simplistic, and too scared to do what Abel has done in this novella).

    It actually reminds me a lot of JJM's writing, as the reasons I'm digging Skyewalkers are a lot like why I loved the Lost Tribe stories too: both are just packed full of references, which don't stop you enjoying the story that's being told, but which can give it soooooo much more added depth if you do recognise them, and I can only hope we're going to see more of this lost canon find its way into the public domain now, as it's so nice being able to read these stories that never got told.
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  8. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Yeah, I love that density of referencing, because it gives the feel of a real universe. When original SF/F throws in those references, it's worldbuilding -- creating a fictional universe that has depth. We don't need to have read a story about Jaehaerys II to appreciate a reference to him in ASOIAF. But with a universe as big as Star Wars, the worldbuilding has already been done. Why not use it? It just creates so much more depth and immersion and narrative payoff when Clone Wars stories reference other Clone Wars stories -- you know, like they actually took place in the same universe. But even without knowing the stories, the references, it creates a sense that these characters, this war, this universe, have a history, that they go beyond this one little adventure. It's wonderfully immersive and I felt Abel mastered it with these stories. It drove home how much that sense can feel missing from other stories.
  9. Halagad_Ventor

    Halagad_Ventor Star Wars Author - SWRPG Designer star 4 VIP

    Jul 3, 2001
    No more ridiculous than I or any of us. Thank you for those heartfelt words, Orman Tagge.

    I had planned for the possibility of either a short story prologue or epilogue to SkyeWalkers, in the event I could write a companion piece in Star Wars Insider. A prologue would've focused on Anakin building his lightsaber and the Concordance of Fealty ritual with Halagad. An epilogue would have centered on Kharys near the aftermath of the Clone Wars.

    Regarding the resolution of the cliffhanger, I'll say this much. To the extent I would've written a sequel to SkyeWalkers, I planned it as an evilfest.

    Sidious Vs. Magnus. Two chess masters in a deadly duel of wits.

    No. Hell, if you find out, let *me* know!


    Thank you. I kept having to remind myself that Obi-Wan thought Anakin-as-Vader was dead. It was really satisfying to get into Obi-Wan's head, since even in SkyeWalkers he was the character I identified with most. My intention in Lone Wolf was very much to show how he was forced into becoming Ben Kenobi.

    Yes and yes.

    Incidentally, the name for that serum is a THX 1138 gag. I love the film, but since those types of jokes have been done to death in Star Wars, I used the designation of THX's ill-fated girlfriend LUH 3417 instead.

    Yeah.... Like I said, I tried to inject RL aspects of myself into Halagad's character, and some of that also served as a check against Gary Stuism. The real challenge was that the story seemed to require a Han Solo character to balance out the dynamic between Obi-Wan and Anakin -- and not only am I not the biggest fan of that archetype, but Domain of Evil really set up Halagad as a near-mirror of Anakin: brash, heroic and too serious. So I had to dig to figure out how to give Halagad a Han Solo spin ... and sometimes the most honest way to do that and give me an accessible entry point into the character became projecting onto him some of my less flattering characteristics. The way I worked it out in my head was that Halagad had suffered unimaginably already, and he covered it up with humor. I like to think that it was Halagad's personality
    (and falling out with his "blood brothers")
    that took the edge off of Anakin and Obi-Wan for their dynamic to evolve into what it did in The Clone Wars TV series.

    She was no princess, I assure you!

    She's great, isn't she? It's tricky to not overdo that voice.

    In this story, Nar Shaddaa really is the characters, and I wanted Obi-Wan's encounters to feel organic. When I decided he was going to obtain a cradleboard for Luke, the choice became obvious.

    Incidentally, on the aforeposted topic of physicists vs. biologists, xkcd had a great comic today:

  10. Halagad_Ventor

    Halagad_Ventor Star Wars Author - SWRPG Designer star 4 VIP

    Jul 3, 2001
    Hello again! I hope all you Chosen Ones had a wonderful Mother's Day.

    Me too, Shadow Trooper. Thank you for the high praise.

    This is the kind of review you long for, and you're lucky to ever see, as a writer -- when you feel that all your hopes for emotionally connecting with a reader and all your narrative intentions have been fulfilled. Well met, Cynical_Ben. Thank you for that meticulous attention.

    Beautiful, Ben. I just like to think of it as beautiful.

    They were, I believe, Brian Daley's last original contribution to the Expanded Universe, and too cool and well-formed an idea to relegate to perpetual obscurity. Note that the characters' names, Banda and Riley, are simply anagrams of their creator.

    Very good catch, my friend. Yes, that's exactly the intended implication and ties in, as you mention, to "Lord of War: The Story of General Grievous," where I initially planted the seed for "Lone Wolf" in the first place. I don't honestly know how this now squares with The Clone Wars TV series' co-opting of cyborg Maul from the Visionaries comic "Old Wounds," but my idea was, in fact, that after Maul had gotten resurrected somehow (and, as I said previously, I attributed this to Zeta Magnus in SkyeWalkers) he went out and got himself some apprentices and created a non-binary interpretation of the Force that is here expounded upon as the Ur-dreamers' philosophy (per cyborg Maul's statements to Obi-Wan in "Old Wounds").

    Yep, that's right. This Fallanassi illusion allusion (BAM!) is also a twofer: It retroactively makes Luke's facial illusion trick in The Crystal Star (when he and Han are incognito looking for Waru) an artifact of the White Current; Luke just wouldn't yet know it, of course (the novel coming, as it does, chronologically before Luke meets the Fallanassi):

    "I don't know, kid," Han said to Luke. "I still think you ought to do *something*. Shave your head, maybe? Otherwise, somebody's sure to recognize you."

    Luke gave him a quizzical glance. "I'm not shaving my head. No one will recognize me."

    Han felt dizzy. Luke's features suddenly blurred and reformed. He became, in Han's eyes, a different individual: darker hair, a handspan taller, thinner, his features ordinary and unmemorable.

    "Dammit!" Han said. "Don't *do* that to me!"

    The image shivered away, revealing Luke.

    I should also mention that while the easiest way to interpret the subplot about Luke searching for his mother in The Black Fleet Crisis is to generally dismiss everything his guide Akanah said as a lie, I think what Michael P. Kube-McDowell pulled off was far more sophisticated, particularly considering the continuity constraints he was under. What the leader of the Adepts of the White Current, Wialu, actually tells Luke at the very end of Tyrant's Test is:

    "Luke Skywalker."

    Looking up at Wialu's voice, he found her standing at the inner airlock. "Yes?"

    "There is one small service I ask of you."

    Luke cocked his head. "What's that?"

    "Tell your sister," Wialu said, "that when she is ready to follow her own path, she would be welcome among us." Then she turned away, needing no reply and inviting no questions.

    By the time a startled Luke could find his voice again, *Star Morning* was moving away from the dock, continuing its journey.

    The unexpected invitation of Leia into the secrets of the girls-only Fallanassi sisterhood, combined with Luke's shock at this, is clearly a clever literary workaround intended as a last-minute reversal confirming for the reader that Luke's mother was -- in some way at the time inexplicable, for how could it be prior to the prequels? -- in fact connected to their sisterhood and the Force manifestation called the White Current. Without this moment, Luke's entire search for his mother in those books is robbed of emotional content ex post facto (and for those who missed this pivotal cue, that was precisely the predominant complaint). And it is this subtle detail that Vima's "white current" line and baby Luke's illusions in "Lone Wolf" were intended to corroborate and preserve.

    Bpfasshi and Jensaarai tag team actually goes back to my work on the early Star Wars Fact Files. In the Dooku cards, I mention that the two dark side groups collaborated during the Clone Wars, which I thought was appropriate seeing as how Timothy Zahn and Michael Stackpole liked to work together. They never did anything with it, though, or it simply went below the radar. Per "Lord of War," I wanted cyborg Maul somehow implicated in this story, just not directly, and I didn't want the enemies Obi-Wan faces to come completely out of the blue at this late juncture in the war. So I ran with the Bpfasshi/Jensaarai thread myself.

    Four for four, Eyrezer.

    Yeah, it was counterfactuals like that I hoped would give deeply immersed fans an extra bit of satisfaction to milk. (The big one is where the shady Dressellian mechanic offers Obi-Wan -- in exchange for Grievous' starfighter -- the wreckage of the Millennium Falcon, which is in Nar Shaddaa's orbit at this time according to James Luceno's novel. Missed it by *that* much! ;))

    Ah, see. You just made my day.

    Thank you, my friend.

  11. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Feb 17, 2004
    Is "Obi-Wan" the canonical version of the verb "Vergere"?
  12. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Loving Tyrant of SWTV, Lit, & Collecting star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008
    I did notice the clever mention of the stellar YT-1300, since its name at the time was Stellar Envoy. But I was like. "heh, Obi-Wan wasn't impressed at the prospect of a YT-1300 here and he won't be later when he meets Han either".
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  13. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    For that cartoon above:

    The Chemistry guy's answer?

    "All I can say is, guys, I'm the most likely of the three of you to be disgustingly rich."

    Re: The White Current

    I always found that scene terribly hilarious because Luke Skywalker is a great lover of peace and casting away his sword--while Leia is a committed revolutionary guerrilla. One of the twins might fit in the White Current but it sure as hell isn't Leia.
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  14. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord 23X Wacky Wednesday Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner

    Sep 2, 2012
    I remember Akanah criticising Luke's use of illusions as invasive - and inefficient.
    Jedi Knight Fett likes this.
  15. Eyrezer

    Eyrezer Jedi Master star 3

    Aug 4, 2002
    Huh... This one I missed. That would indeed have mixed things up in the Original Trilogy!
  16. Halagad_Ventor

    Halagad_Ventor Star Wars Author - SWRPG Designer star 4 VIP

    Jul 3, 2001
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  17. Halagad_Ventor

    Halagad_Ventor Star Wars Author - SWRPG Designer star 4 VIP

    Jul 3, 2001
    Ever? I suppose never say never, but I'm personally not betting on it.

    Broadly speaking, SkyeWalkers takes place after almost all Clone Wars stories published before The Clone Wars TV series restructuring -- except possibly Obsession (which SkyeWalkers indirectly gives space to remain in its relative original chronological placement) and Jedi Trial, which would slot between SkyeWalkers and The Clone Wars movie.

    Lone Wolf, on the other hand, technically takes place during the denouement of Revenge of the Sith.

    [YJK]Ah. Aha![/YJK]

    Thanks, JTS. SkyeWalkers had to be dark because it was setting up the the moral turbidity of the Clone Wars. "Lone Wolf," on the other hand, coming at the tale end of the war, had to be uplifting because it was casting a lifeline meant to carry readers through two decades to A New Hope. It would've been cruel to write an Obi-Wan and Luke story in the shadow of Revenge of the Sith without throwing a frog-dog a bone.

    I wanted the setting, Nar Shaddaa, to be a driving force in this story. It's a sandpit that just keeps sucking you down deeper and deeper the longer you're there, the more you struggle against the environment. Under normal circumstances, sure, Obi-Wan could've handled it without a problem. But in the immediate aftermath of the death of Anakin, the Jedi and the Republic, carrying around baby Luke no less, he's the most vulnerable we'll ever know him to be.

    Thank you for those very kind words, Cynical_Ben. When I first outlined the story, it really was much less of Obi-Wan struggling with his moral compass and much more just chopping fools up with Luke strapped to his back. But then you start writing the story, and the more I tried to understand what Obi-Wan would genuinely be feeling at the end of Revenge of the Sith, the more Lone Wolf became an exploration of his deep vulnerability -- his guilt at having failed everyone he's cared about. His entire sense of self and purpose is at stake, and Mei becomes the symbolic manifestation of everything wrong with Obi-Wan's old way of doing things finally catching up with him.

    (Incidentally, "Mei" and "Fomadu" are again one of those little nods to Lone Wolf and Cub, the combination of their names being the term for at least one Buddhist equivalent of hell -- the "path of damnation" that is the code of honor to which the vengeance-bent protagonists Ogami Itto and Daigoro willfully commit themselves.)

    Me too. And thank you again for these scrupulously considered and eloquently articulated reviews.

    Take care,
  18. Halagad_Ventor

    Halagad_Ventor Star Wars Author - SWRPG Designer star 4 VIP

    Jul 3, 2001
    Thank you again, Darth_Dreadwar. In a very profound way, I owe the accumulation of my deep appreciation for science directly to Star Wars -- first and foremost in writing for the franchise, because when you write about space you're forced into researching astronomy and physics. But the influence extends all the way back to my ravenous consumption of West End Games sourcebooks, especially those on alien species which introduced me at a young age to concepts of evolution.

    I think I inadvertently addressed at least the quantum mechanical aspects of the Interludium you refer to in one of my more recent posts. Regarding Magnus' specific references to DNA as deathless, I was certainly influenced by Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene as well as William R. Clark's Sex and the Origins of Death (a book nowhere near as lascivious as the title suggests) and the phenomenon of "immortal" HeLa cancer cells generally. Here we maybe return to the discussion of the law of identity, and whether self-cloning constitutes immortality. But, at the very least, when Magnus says...

    ...he is here referring to the fact that if DNA molecules may be "immortal" in the sense of persisting through replication, the bodies that carry those genes (which, whether we consider consciousness in an Cartesian mind-body-problem dualistic sense or as a "mere" supervenience on physical mental processes) are thus superfluous -- relative to traditional concepts of identity or essentialism -- resulting in the brains/minds/consciousnesses "anchored" to those bodies (what we traditionally think of as being most essentially our "selves") being subsequently ancillary as well.

    As far as the midi-chlorian aspects, I have to give the disclaimer upfront that I am a fan of midi-chlorians if for no other reason than they point fans to the beauty and importance of mitochondria to our existence at the cellular level. Most of the stuff I write about them in SkyeWalkers and Lone Wolf is about reclaiming their relevance and showing that they can be cool. On the one hand, using them to explain why Obi-Wan would find annihilation so heinous was precipitated by a conversation with jSarek, who felt I needed an explanation as to why Obi-Wan thought death by annihilation was especially more reprehensible, which led to me singling out the midi-chlorians' annihilation (though whether its the mode or totality of their annihilation that is expressly heinous is relatively ambiguous). Later in the story, using them to explain the "weird buzz" experienced by "originals" meeting their clones was a natural outgrowth of considering what could be the cause of that phenomenon first described in Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy. The situation was similar to this for Lone Wolf; NJO: Traitor goes a long way toward undoing strict bifurcation of Force powers into "light" and "dark" -- a complication I welcome as a philosopher, but bulk at as a long term fan of the EU. When Lone Wolf says that the midi-chlorians "never fail to protest" the use of the "strong" version of the Jedi mind trick, i.e. the memory wipe, this is an homage to the traditionally (superficial) clear cut moral division of the Force, while leaving open the question of whether it's the power itself or its invasive use that is really what makes the midi-chlorians protest -- and intentionally echoing some of The Black Fleet Crisis's criticisms of Luke's blunt use of the Force from a White Current perspective.

    I actually touched on this briefly in the most recent set of editorial footnotes. I definitely thought it would be at least an alternate title for Vitiate. The specific callback I was making, though, was to my own work in the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide, specifically the Darth Malak biography. In the Sith chapter I wrote, I gave all the characters different descriptive titles in their respective subheadings, such as "Dark Lord of the Sith" for Exar Kun, "Shadow Hand" for Darth Bandon, and "Prodigal Knight" for Darth Revan. For Darth Malak, that title was "Sith Magnus."

    It was also intended to drive home the point that Zeta Magnus has been harping on. The character forthrightly proclaims at the end of the Interludium "I am not Zeta Magnus" ... and this after having previously broadcast to the galaxy that "I am—in a Republic of a thousand-thousand worlds—no one." Magnus is not his name, but an alias, and he revels in his indefiniteness down to his biological sex and gender. This expression is then made literal in the Postludium. He takes the alias of Sith "Magnus," in my opinion, to not only throw the Jedi off the scent but to subtly mock Sidious -- just as he facetiously proclaims, "praised be the space-gods." He is disdainful of everyone and everything save his own intelligence.

    No, it's a fair question. Some of this has to do with how the story of Halagad and Everen's investigation into Outbound Flight would have played out. Let's say a degree of ambiguity would have been injected into actual knowledge of the events where the Jedi investigators are concerned, and by extension, perhaps Obi-Wan.

    The cheat, on the other hand, is that the information concerning C'baoth is in the narration, not in dialogue, so Obi-Wan doesn't necessarily know.

    ("Yeah," you might say, "but isn't that narration written in a close-third-person perspective rather than an omniscient one?" C'mon, brother.... [face_dunno])

    Don't sweat it, Cheerios4u98. While these stories will reward a close eye for continuity, I went out of my way to make them accessible to Star Wars fans with only the most basic of familiarity by running them through test readers with various degrees of Star Wars acquaintance -- from next-to-none to super-hardcore. "Already know you, that which you need." [​IMG]

    As if I haven't gabbed about it enough by this point, the answer is yesYESYES! [​IMG]

    Your words, even in jest, mean more than you can know, Darth_Dreadwar. Thank you, my friend.

    Take care,
  19. arctrooper84

    arctrooper84 Jedi Knight

    Jan 16, 2009
    I have always been under the impression that Zeta Magnus/Atha Prime would have a big end game in mind toward the end of the clone wars. It was once mentioned in the "power of the force" toy line from Kenner that he was considered to be the architect of the clone wars, and that he did have a role to play with the clones and the Sparti cylinders mentioned in the Zahn novels. There would also have to be a reason why the empire would keep him isolated after his defeat instead of killing him. It is the last piece of the puzzle with regard to the old continuity that I would like to see resolved one day.
  20. sidv88

    sidv88 Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 22, 2005
    I've just flipped through the new novel, 'Star Wars: Dark Disciple' by Christie Golden, and noticed some interesting points that may have import for this 'Legends' story (for those of us old-school geeks still trying to see which 'Legends' stories can fit into the new canon). Spoilers for 'Dark Disciple':
    The entire Dark Horse 'Clone Wars' run (pretty much what is covered in 'Star Wars Omnibus: Clone Wars' Volumes 1-3) is almost completely thrown out of canon. Vos has never met Ventress before the events of the 'Dark Disciple' novel, meaning his undercover work with her under Dooku and all associated events like 'Dreadnaughts of Rendili' no longer fit in the new canon. What's the good news in regards to this story? Well...

    If Ventress scarring Anakin on Coruscant no longer fits, we need a new explanation on how Anakin got his TCW and 'Revenge of the Sith' scar. And 'Skyewalkers' offers a great explanation that Anakin got it in the Battle of Skye. So every time we see Anakin's scar while watching an episode of 'The Clone Wars' or 'Revenge of the Sith', fans can remember that he got it during the well-written story 'Skyewalkers' that Abel wrote. And that story doesn't contradict anything in the new canon (yet). :p

    Great job on the 'Skyewalkers' story!
  21. Darth_SHOT

    Darth_SHOT Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Sep 11, 2004
    Sorry to necro the thread, but i just got around to reading Skyewalkers and... HOLY SPACEBALLS! That was beyond awesome!

    The story had a wierdness to it that is sorely lacking on the more recent star wars books. It reminded me of shadows of mindor, my favorite book from the last years. And all those references everywhere... My of my.

    Great job Mr Peña! Starting Lone Wolf now...

    Sent from my TF300T using Tapatalk
  22. Halagad_Ventor

    Halagad_Ventor Star Wars Author - SWRPG Designer star 4 VIP

    Jul 3, 2001
    Hey friends, it's been a good while.

    I was teased back into the Lit forum by another post, and I apologize for not getting around to finishing our discussion here. (Or the footnotes updates ... I'll get on that.)

    Did anything ever come of this, gentlemen? Just curious.

    Yeah, I had in mind specifically a Wutzek-like being, hence the additional Lovecraftian descriptor "of amoral affinities." But it was a simultaneous nod to the more general term "Force demon" within Kharys' biography in "Aliens in the Empire" that I applied to the "Smoke Demon" from Star Wars Annual #1. (Luke does after all say there, "That demon was a creation of the Force.")

    So, to be specific, the reference was meant to be taken to provoke precisely the question you posed.... And that's a Derridean handshake across the chasm of meaning. (In general, a reader-response textual approach to SkyeWalkers would certainly pay large dividends.)

    Heh, you're right. The "trans-dimensional gamester of life-and-death" was my reference to "Tilotny Throws a Shape" based on my interpretation of Alan Moore's deities.

    But since you brought it up, by way of Joe Bongiorno and Rich Handley's "Cult Encounters," my specific choice of "trans-dimensional" as a modifier was meant to point in one particular direction.


    I actually did put this on my Netflix, but it hasn't come yet. (I still only subscribe to the delivery service -- there just ain't time for film consumption like there used to be.) Thanks for the rec, Onderon1.

    Ah yes, I do remember that. Maybe I had it in the back of my mind when writing that scene with Obi-Wan and Vima.

    I don't mind exploiting ambiguity, as you well know. But in this case, it was actually an oblique reference to this Wookiepedia BTS (or if you wanna stay in-house):

    Yeah. I'll get on that.

    Yes, well.... [face_blush] Frankenstein is one of my all-time favorite novels.

    FTR, the other literary predecessor that informed Magnus was Conan. It was perhaps the outline of the anti-philosopher of "Queen of the Black Coast" that I kept nearest to mind:

    I have known many gods. He who denies them is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply. I seek not beyond death. It may be the blackness averred by the Nemedian skeptics, or Crom's realm of ice and cloud, or the snowy plains and vaulted halls of the Nordheimer's Valhalla. I know not, nor do I care. Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

    (Hannibal Lector was something of an afterthought, but I couldn't deny the strong parallels once I'd fleshed Magnus out. I finally embraced it and ended up throwing the doctor a meaty bone in one homage.)

    Take care,
  23. Halagad_Ventor

    Halagad_Ventor Star Wars Author - SWRPG Designer star 4 VIP

    Jul 3, 2001
    Nor I. [face_thinking]

    I *tend* to bite the bullet on this in the GFFA too, though I don't deny that @Darth_Dreadwar raises excellent points.

    Damn straight.

    The original was relatively short, so I was able to bear it. The new one felt even shorter. :cool:

    It's a great one! I hope you pulled it off, whiskers!

    These are good points. I'm unsure whether brain trauma technically discounts the idea of "soul stuff." One explanation, however unintuitive, might be that such physical trauma effectively shrouds the outward expression of consciousness, "altering" it only superficially to outside perceptions but not constitutionally. There's an argument about whether or not that's the same thing FAPP, but in Star Wars we can imagine a Force spirit providing a reliable first-person refutation (if any is to count as such). Indeed, the resurrected Palpatine of Dark Empire essentially does that in his "Surprise! I'm alive!" exposition to Luke. And when the Dark Empire backpages tell us, "As conscious Dark Force he was translated across the Galaxy," the first part of that statement strongly suggests something soul-like ... even as the "translated" part leaves the door open to a "Force-as-computational-substrate" interpretation. It may not be an accident that the dichotomic phrase "Science of Darkness" was coined in the same essay.

    An appeal to epiphenomenalism does seem a potentially clever way of having our cake and eating it too in this case. I am cautious of pushing the idea too definitively because I think we do have Legends-canonical references that are highly suggestive of "soul stuff": from the on-the-nose discussions and technical explanations surrounding Ssi-ruuvi entechment to Palpatine's blatant assertion in Dark Empire: "After all, I live primarily as energy ... formlessness ... and power." Physical terminology like "energy" and "force" are imprecise and poetical/metaphorical among Force users, if Ben Kenobi's introductory speech on the nature of the Force is anything to go by, so whether this state was physical or non-physical is up for grabs. But it does suggest Palpatine believed his disembodied "being" contained the bulk of his consciousness, and it would seem that if anyone was in a position to speak on that, it would be a deeply intelligent individual who directly experienced it (unreliable narrators and Cartesian failures of first-person authority alike notwithstanding, naturally).

    As you suggest, what's required at the most basic is some theory of transtemporal identity ... which we haven't even been able to convincingly cook up IRL except by appeals to intuition. I can recall one instance in Star Trek (the novel Federation by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens) in which the teleportation-death problem was handwaved away by some vague tongue-in-cheek reference to quantum tunneling. So the flexibility of pseudo-science jujitsu can't, in fairness, be underestimated -- it's just more satisfying, IMO, when it corresponds to our deepest thinking on matters. That said, it may very well be that "normal" identity (as traditionally intuitively construed) would similarly persist through a Gree hypergate or Rakatan teleporter along similar lines.

    Ah, here it is:

    Cochrane was appalled. Had human life become so cheap? So meaningless? 'Each time you're converted to energy, you're killed,' Cochrane said. 'What comes out the other end is just a duplicate that thinks it's the original.'
    "The ensign gave him a wide-eyed look that she might have reserved for a child. 'You're thinking about old-fashioned matter replication, sir. In replication, the original is destroyed so that duplicates can be reconstructed at any time. But the transporter process operates on a quantum level. You're not destroyed and re-created; your actual, original molecules are tunneled to a new location. You're still you, sir. Believe me. We do things differently these days.'"

    Above all, though, it's maybe most important to remember that I said Magnus is *conceivably* able to replicate a mentally identical clone. Whether he has, has the means (and literally the time left) is an open question, as his "deal with a Dark Lord" implies. When Magnus says "Identical to me though it may be," the ambiguity of meaning is in his use of "may," for it is unclear if this word is used in confirmation of an underlying assumption of realization or in a purely speculative sense. At any rate, I don't think Magnus aimed to achieve 100% fidelity with pseudo-Magnus, and I don't think pseudo-Magnus aimed for it with his Jedi clones.

    But, yes, definitions of "identicalness" do come strongly into play, here. If we mean down to the exact duplicate configuration of identical fermions and bosons ... that's a tall order. This kind of "identical" resembles the kind of dilemma one generally only finds, say, on some formulations of a many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, in which case a theory of trans-branching identity across splitting worlds would be needed -- and likely found wanting, in which case the temptation to reduce identity to match practical "realities," as it were, would certainly be tempting. That's still FAPP, though, and I think while Magnus (or at least pseudo-Magnus, who is the one musing on these matters) is willing to bite the bullet on first-person authority, ego is alternately the reason for or the by-product of that. In either case: there's room enough in the galaxy for only one Magnus.

    Take care,
    Darth Dreadwar likes this.
  24. LBT-00

    LBT-00 Jedi Knight

    Jan 7, 2016
    How does Incognito tie into Lone Wolf exactly? They both have Obi-Wan heading to Tatooine, but Incognito has him seemingly travelling from the Core on a passenger shuttle. While in Lone Wolf he seems to have travelled on Grievous' fighter to Nar Shaddaa and then get a transport directly to Tatooine from there.
  25. LBT-00

    LBT-00 Jedi Knight

    Jan 7, 2016
    Somebody? Anybody?