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Invasion #1: Refugees, part 1 (of 5)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Xicer, Apr 7, 2009.

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  1. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Tom-- *cough* Mr. Taylor was kind enough to take a few more questions. Doubtless the preoccupations of our little community here are starting to come into stark focus.

    I'll start with a pretty general comics question - how does the process of generating the covers go, from your end? Since Jo Chen, I'm assuming, isn't in the loop on story development to the extent that Colin Wilson is, do you (or does Randy) pass along specific ideas, or does she see scripts and pick something herself?

    This is Randy's call. He'll tell us what he's planning but it's all him. I think he's done a great job so far. I'd guess he shows Jo some of the script and Colin's visuals but I don't think he's too specific, so Jo has quite a bit of artistic license. One of the great parts of my job is seeing these (and setting them as my desktop wallpaper) before anyone else. The cover to issue 5 is my wallpaper right now; it's awesome.

    While reviews of the first issue have been largely great, the revelation that the Galfridians are Artorias' royal family has provoked a bit of debate. What led you to go in that direction, and what do you see as the perks of dealing with royalty as opposed to the proles?

    First up, they're not your average royal family. They're not pomp and ceremony. When Caled says "THEY may need them." He's saying that the people may need to see a crown, that, in times like these, people need leadership. One of the reasons I wanted them to be royalty is so they could have more of an ownership of Artorias, more of a reason to fight for their home and, maybe one day... if any of them survive, come back for it.

    On a scale of Gwen Stacy to Jean Grey, how not-dead-yet can we assume King Caled to be?

    Are we talking Spiderman or Ultimate Spiderman? ;) You can get all of your spoilers one issue at a time by reading the issues.

    A lot of us obscure continuity guys were thrilled to see the C-3 passenger liners from the X-wing games appear at the end of the issue - how exactly does something that specific that come about? Your call, or someone else's?

    That one was my call. I literally went sifting through space ships to find something that could carry a whole lot of people. They did the job well. And yes, I have played some of the games; as will be confirmed in the next issue. There are some other ships coming up soon that were Leland Chee's suggestion though. That guy knows everything. One day I'm going to email him and ask him where my keys are... and he'll tell me.

    One more continuity question - how precisely are you plotting the timeline in relation to the novels? I've been impressed by how much you're willing to allow in the dialogue that people are at least somewhat aware of the Vong already, but just how far into the invasion we are at the moment has been tough to gauge.

    All we can say is this is very early on. It's a really fine line to walk. If we get too specific, then continuity trips us up to the point where we can't use any of the established characters. We don't want to nail ourselves into a place where "Luke can't be there. He's on Belkadan!"

    While, if we're too vague, then it's not true to the great work that has come before. We are probably going to have small continuity problems at times. They're inevitable. People make mistakes. But our aim is to tell the best Star Wars stories we can and satisfy all readers, new and knowledgeable alike.

    While you admittedly didn't have a lot of time for subtlety in this issue, I think that the "reality" of Luke Skywalker came across very effectively in his brief screen time. Can you talk a little about your take on who he is at this point in time? Is he the wizened old Master yet? Has being married changed him?

    Luke Skywalker kicks ass. Next question.

    One last thing, because the forums'd kill me if I didn't ask - what species is sassy blue miniskirt girl - sorry, Panha - intended to be? Chiss? Ferroan? Pantoran? There's a lot of blue people, is what I'm saying.

    I've seen the boards. We read the boards
     
  2. kecen

    kecen Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 12, 2005
    My Chemical Romance, loi. "Helena" is a pretty good song for Qymaen jai Sheelal's funeral. Long story. I pray the creators have been browsing the Yuuzhan Vong fanthread for my half-cuckoo letter. I love the art anyways (but the cover to issue #3 is disturbing in a bad way because the warrior has too much muscle mass). I envy Mr. Taylor for being able to see the cover art to issue 5.

    To add something positive, I did like the art. Er, read my post in the Yuuzhan'tar thread for details (or wait until my letter to the editor gets published).
     
  3. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Up, damn it. [face_plain]
     
  4. Jedi Trace

    Jedi Trace SouthEast RSA star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 15, 1999
    "Luke Skywalker kicks ass. Next question."

    Best interview answer ever! :D

     
  5. Thrawn McEwok

    Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    May 9, 2000
    Yeah.

    My thoughts on the interview:

    A. The Galfridians' royal status: this fitted right in with the resonance of the names Tom (I assume) chose, and I loved the subtle way that it was hinted in the "THEY may need them" scene. I'm impressed by the narrative logic Tom revealed here, the investment it gives the characters in the situation - a sense of responsibility that's thoroughly real without being naive or cold, as one would get with simpler forms of patriotism or duty. And hey, this is Star Wars. Stuff like this is part of what makes it fun!! :D

    The juxtaposition of "royalty" and "Hoth Rebel trooper" in Caled's character is also very expressive as a shorthand characterization, making him FAR stronger and more three-dimensional in a couple of lines than either point alone would do. :D

    B. Continuity problems - never easy, especially with fans like us (picky, and often wrong, to boot! :p). I thorughly sympathise with Tom's comments, in my fannish, watching-from-the-boundary way - and I should get on with the next part of my [link=http://ewok-and-typewriter.blogspot.com/]insanely detailed NJO timeline[/link] (latest observation: now Tahiri's sixteen in Allston's duology? Back to a long-chronology Star by Star!! :p), but I keep making extensive tech/visual notes (latest observation: [link=http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/File:Anakinsolo.png]Anakin Solo[/link]'s [link=http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/File:ASbS.jpg]leather jacket[/link] has the same shoulder/arm detail as the one Luke wears when he gets his medal after Yavin; that's someting that the Japanese cover artist seems to have thought up himself as thematically appropriate, and continued from one cover to another... impressive! :D).

    And no, it's not that I'm overobsessed. My brain does this on EVERYTHING. :p

    C. Pahna = Chiss. :D :D :D This should lead to "is there subtext there about those devious dudes in the Unknown Regions?!" speculation. Even if/though none was intended. :p

    ***

    My thoughts on #1: solid story, deep characterization roots already; and lucious visuals, with eyewatering details.

    Things I loved: the detail lavished on Artorias in a single issue; the diversity of the inhabitants, with at least two ethnicities, plus some aliens; the architecture, rising from a ground-level classicism to the modernism of the communications towers, with all the history and development encoded in that unexpectedly harmonious combination; and the alienness of the creature that got squelched on page two - this is, or was once, a colony world, tamed by these people.

    The glimpse of an exploding bug close-to-frame when the YV attack begins. Just a hint, knowing for the fan or the re-reader, of what's attacking.

    The panel with Kaye and the group of Yuuzhan Vong: it took me several re-reads to notice the background - a line of captured prisoners being led to a tube on the beach; and then I saw that the tube led up to a Yuuzhan Vong ship hanging low over the tideline. The reveal, within one panel, really worked awesomely here for me.

    The extensive echoes of The Phantom Menace, in the opening. I'm stunned this hasn't been picked up on more, because it's in everything, from the slow, inexorable advance of the invasion, through the architecture of the capital, and the "royal" POV on the invasion, to the appearance of a Jedi hero to rescue everyone via the hangar. And yet, this emphatically isn't a self-consciously "safe" kids' movie. The Yuuzhan Vong are sneaky and dangerous in a way that Nute Gunray just isn't. :p This is so much meaning imbued into this story, all without saying a word, or making a statement: but the meaning is clear - it's Star Wars, and it's dangerous again. :D :D

    Seen in that coontext, "Skywalker!" and the understated appearance X-wings on the final page... need I say more about where this twenty-four page comic has taken us? :D :D :D

    This is ****ing awesome, but it's a species of awesome that's also deep, sneaking up slowly and
     
  6. Point Given

    Point Given Manager Emeritus/Baseball Draft WINNA star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Dec 12, 2006
    The keys are on Dagobah, where Yoda has never been before.


    Mr. Taylor seems like a great guy, and I like his candid answers (especially the Luke Skywalker kicks ass one.)
     
  7. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2005
    =D=

    I agree in full. Funny, to boot.
     
  8. kecen

    kecen Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 12, 2005
    The Predator cover = CLASS. Whoever is making the art on that series is doing a great job.
     
  9. Grey1

    Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 21, 2000
    I totally agree. We already had Queen Amidala and Princess Leia, so I don't see how royalty in a SW story takes away from anything. Also, the core idea behind Luke's (movie) story is not that he's the normal kid in outrageous adventures, but that he's a kid who thought he was normal until destiny showed up at his doorstep. He's as much a Chosen One as the explicitly stated Anakin, and with being chosen, a character isn't just "one of us" anymore.

    A story about totally "normal" characters in a refugee situation would, of course, not have been any worse, it would just have been another story. And as an added bonus, the first time it came up, I immediately though "Jedi Prince" :D

    Well, I don't really get the Chiss-in-Invasion's-prologue-anxiety, to be honest. It might have been a "continuity mistake", and it most probably won't be explained in-story as the character herself most probably won't reappear. But just like The Clone Wars showed us a pudgy, scheming Trandoshan, why not have a loner Chiss who's doing stuff totally outside of her home space? The way things get retconned, she might have been Thrawn's niece who was also exiled because of her uncle's actions. [face_thinking] :p

    And it's far better than the Chiss bartender in Jedi Outcast. Is he still a Chiss, or has that been retconned...?

    You're right, I got that vibe to a degree, but I can't say that it was really obvious to me. The Jedi/hangar bit is really a great detail, I agree with that. Thinking about it, I guess the Droid Invasion music might also make for a good "soundtrack" to this issue. [While reading, I listened to the soundtrack of 28 Days Later, which also worked quite well in that regard, by the way].

    And I'd like to add that while Episode 1 is very kid-friendly that the beginning of the movie with the whole invasion thing is quite intense (as in "excellently made"). Even if the Neimoidians come across as a bit goofy, they also come across as quite alien (especially with the Flash Gordon viewscreen), and they have The Emperor behind them, who's quick to order murder and invasion. OK, there's nobody wanting to get stabbed all the time, but that's the Vong for you...
     
  10. darthadimentsu

    darthadimentsu Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Jan 24, 2007
    You can never beat Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the Kyle Katarn of music...

    More to the point, this was fantastic, quickly jumping from domesticity to Vong, with Luke turning up (roughly between Helska 4 and the Jedi Missions of Onslaught?) in an appropriate way, waiting for some more of the Pendragon imagery to come out as well as the tie-ins with the other key events of the period. What will Finn's sword in the stone will be I wonder?
     
  11. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Heh. Luke gets to be the Merlin at long last, years before the 'present day' in the novels. :p

    (Wait, and Finn's got a sibling called KAYE!? How did I not see this before?)
     
  12. The Loyal Imperial

    The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Overall, liked the issue. Not all that fond of any of the characters seen so far, but I'll wait and see who else turns up later on. As an introduction: very good. Did a nice job of introducing the characters and setting up the past, present, and immediate future. Vong look a little off from how I imagined them, but that might just be me. Solid issue.
     
  13. kataja

    kataja Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 4, 2007

    I just pop in here to second that! :p
     
  14. SithStarSlayer

    SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Good Call, Thrawn McEwok...
    This issue mirrors TPM in such a cool way... I'm glad you spelled it out ahead of me because I would have lamed it up, BIGtime. The triple stab was funny in a twisted way, and Luke's intro was Uber-bombad. Nice to see Vader's son being portrayed in the right light. Luke did to those YV, as Maul did to Black Sun. Loved it.
     
  15. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Mr. Taylor(via Cooper) posted:I've seen the boards. We read the boards. Every bad word is like a slap in the face. We read what you write, people. Actually, we tend to gloss over the nice things you say and focus on the negative.

    As one of maybe two posters in this thread who has been openly critical of what appeared in Invasion #1 I'm not really sure what to make of this comment.

    Certainly my intention is not to "slap" the creative team in the "face". I didn't enjoy the comic, most posters did, but I didn't. I stated what I had issues with and what I would have liked to seen done differently.

    As a fan of the Yuuzhan Vong I didn't enjoy what was presented. Thats not to say that I will not like what comes in the future, but this was not to my tastes. That said I think there is a big difference between honest criticism and open bashing. I would hope my views would be taken as criticism, as I don't like to bash anything and do not feel I did that here.

    That said this is an internet forum meant to allow people to discuss likes and dislikes in a polite manner amongst E-friends:p. Frankly I'm spending $$$$ on these products and would hate to think that the creative team is only looking for applause instead of honest feedback.

    Look, I work with the public and deal with complaints all the time. While I'm sure what I do is not identicle to the comic industry some of the same principles must apply. Complaints and criticism are not meant to be taken personally, but are hopefully considered in some fashion. At that point a decision is made.

    Perhaps the criticism has some basis and changes could be considered. Or perhaps the criticism is not valid to what your trying to accomplish and needs to be put aside to continue to get the results one's self, or one's company, wants.

    And yes sometimes criticism unfortunatly becomes bashing, at which point it should be completely ignored as hard as that may be.

    I think its great that the writers and artists check out the fan forums, its something that makes TFN special really. But I also don't want to be frightened to say "I didn't like this and here's why" because it might hurt feelings. I'm sorry if that happens, or if that happened in this case(if the interview is even referencing TFN or the negative posts in this thread).[face_peace]
     
  16. Drewton

    Drewton Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2009
    I agree with you completely. It didn't sound too professional and I was really surprised by it. I liked the issue for a pilate, wasn't the best, but I'll still be buying the next issue. I've been working hard on a photonovel for three years and I honestly prefer criticism over praise because it helps me improve my work.
     
  17. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    I don't think he was really equating anything said in here with bashing or unfair criticism - just pointing out that it's still tough to hear, which any creator would agree to.
     
  18. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Wow.

    Am I the only person who read that particular comment, you know, as a freakin' joke. It had me giggling like a schoolgirl.

    P.S.
    For future reference, guys, "Then we drape ourselves in black, lock ourselves in cupboards and listen to My Chemical Romance" was probably a hint that Mr Taylor's tongue was firmly in cheek.

    Americans. :p
     
  19. FireJade

    FireJade Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2005
    You aren't. :p
     
  20. SithStarSlayer

    SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Firestarters...
     
  21. scnjedi

    scnjedi Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Sadly, the art inside isn't as good.

    As for Invasion #1, it's interesting, if a bit fast paced. NJO is my favourite SW era, so I'll probably be getting the trades of Invasion.
     
  22. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Hey, I got it, tea-boy.:p
     
  23. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Where?o_O

    I really don't think the statement was meant as a joke, despite the line that came after it. It may have been a criticism of internet boards in general, but I suspect it wasn't a tongue in cheek message.
     
  24. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Ah, my apologies for tarring you with the brush of stars and stripes. [face_flag]

    Even so, I disagree with your assessment. If anything, I see what Tom said as indictive that he doesn't give a baboon's arse as to what bad things people say... which is sign that he won't let them get him down and that he's not going to run away from the boards crying if people are negative about his work.

    That's a good thing in my book.

    EDIT:
    Tea? That's an excellent idea, Hav! I'll go do that now.
     
  25. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    See, I saw that as his paying attention to criticism, but he's obviously mocking the idea that it would really get to him. He reads criticism, is attentive to it, but he doesn't panic over it or frantically start rewriting the next issue to make every complainer on the boards happy.

    In other words, he's a good creator. He'll be alert to criticism without giving it undue weight. The idea that he's serious in his statements about taking this uber-seriously is kind of baffling.
     
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