The blogside. Over at Tosche Station, Brian has a two-part retrospective of Fate of the Jedi. The series has garnered some mixed reviews, but overall I have to agree with some of Brian on this one, particularly regarding Luke/the Jedi, the arc-welding in Abeloth’s backstory, and the overall issues with Denning. Brian’s also revised his review of Apocalypse.
Warfare fallout. Jason Fry has posted his endnotes for The Essential Guide to Warfare in three parts, while his co-author Paul Urquhart writes (naturally) about the wackier side of the book at Suvudu.
Interviews. EU Cantina talks to comic writer Tom Taylor about his upcoming Darth Maul mini-series, Invasion, and Boba Fett is Dead. Meanwhile, Newsarama has John Ostrander to discuss Dawn of the Jedi in some detail.
Whoops! I caught the release date change for Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories last week, but not that it had changed formats from paperback to trade paperback. Guess someone likes the Sith…
WTF of the week. Kevin J. Anderson invented the Killiks. Of course he did.
Reviews. James enjoys the unexpected trickery in Knights of the Old Republic – War #4 and is satisfied (sort of) by the big ending of Agent of the Empire – Iron Eclipse #5.
Chat season. Troy Denning will be chatting Apocalypse tomorrow afternoon on the Star Wars Books Facebook page. (He’ll also be at San Diego Comic Con in July… A behind-the-scenes FOTJ panel, perhaps?) Also chatting, on the 11th, will be Essential Guide to Warfare author Jason Fry. We’ll likely be recapping both.
Scoundrels. Del Rey editor Frank Parisi was on last week’s ForceCast where he revealed two of the established characters that will be on the team. (If you want the fairly minor spoilers, highlight this: Kell Tainer and Winter. If Kell means nothing to you, he’s in the X-Wing series.)
Upcoming. We can expect news on something post-Fate of the Jedi what’s next “sometime this summer, if not sooner,” Erich Schoeneweiss said in response to a fan question. Not at SDCC, I hope.
Blurbs. Knights Archive spotted a longer summary for Pablo Hidalgo’s Essential Reader’s Companion in the Random House online catalog.
Interviews. Roqoo Depot talks to Matt Stover – mostly about his new book, Caine’s Law, which was out in stores yesterday – but they also touch on Star Wars. Meanwhile, Angela Slatter interviews Karen Miller and Sean Williams about working in franchises.
IGN’s Eric Goldman talks at length witb Dave Filoni on season 4, including this season’s movie (and Star Tours influences, quadruple decapitation, the brouhaha over casting Simon Pegg and more. Including this interesting bit from where he talks about adapting Slaves of the Republic and the tweaks that had to be made to get it to fit where it does in the show:
…I think it really clearly illustrates the difference between the EU material and what makes it up on the screen as George wants it. Which is that in the end, the comic books are a great place for ideas and creativity by many, many really talented artists and writers. But when George is gonna bring it into his universe, a lot of times it’s going to need tweaks. Some things are really similar, but they’re not exactly the same, which isn’t that strange when you think about it, when you consider anything that’s adapted from one medium to the other. A lot of things change, whether large or small, all the time.
On continuity issues and things like the undeath of Maul:
I’ll even take stuff and ask George, “Hey George, would this work out? It’s not going to be in the show, but just to keep this all together.” There’s a very coordinated effort going on to keep things moving forward all together in the right way. So it did come up, how does he get there, and why don’t the Jedi find him or his body, or what’s going on with that? And that’s been discussed in some detail actually.
There are even a few tidbits about season 5: Apparently, it’s going to be a big year for Ahsoka.
Be sure to check back in the morning for our own roundtable discussion of S4!
Author Troy Denning goes into detail on Abeloth, Ben, Allana, tying into the Legacy comics, and all that other spoilery stuff we read in Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse in an interview with Suvudu. He also talks about working with multiple authors, like this interesting bit from the New Jedi Order:
…When I was writing Star by Star, I got the manuscript for Balance Point and saw that Kathy Tyers had followed the outline exactly. She did exactly what the outline had called for, but it was all about fifteen percent off of what I thought she meant. I was 400 pages into Star by Star and I thought, “Oh my gosh, I have slightly different interpretations of these characters than Kathy does!” So I had to go back and rewrite the first 400 pages before I could go on.
He also talks about the differences in Fate of the Jedi and Legacy of the Force, the ‘Jacen Solo saga,’ the last words of Apocalypse, and leaving things open-ended.
Meanwhile, Rooqoo Depot talks to Lucasfilm continuity guru Leland Chee.
Well, it’s the final Fate of the Jedi release day, and thus comes a few more links – and one discount offer. I’m not really a fan of how Barnes & Noble only offers coupons on certain books, but today they’ve included Apocalypse for 40% off, which puts them on equal ground with Amazon. The online coupon code is C8M3R4E, but I believe it will only work if you have a membership with them. (It’s 33% off cover for non-members.)
And yes, there are more reviews, and they do contain spoilers. Roqoo Depot has two more: One from Lane Winree and another in round-robin form. NJOE’s Chris Carey has also reviewed.
Roqoo Depot is on a roll: They have an interview with Troy Denning, too.
Meanwhile, here’s a brief profile of Keltie Cochrane, the firm that designed all the Fate of the Jedi covers.
Ewan McGregor spoke to /Film about his latest movie, Salmon Fishing in Yemen, his Oscar-winning Beginners co-star Christopher Plummer, the upcoming Jack the Giant Killer and, of course, the prequels:
Well I like them. I mean I saw them when they came out and I haven’t seen them since, but I was happy to be in them. I felt that it was great to be part of that huge legend of STAR WARS and you know I never involve myself in the discussion about it or the criticism of them or not. They are what they are and fortunately to the moment they’ve re-released the first one and there’s a whole generation of kids now who weren’t around when we released them before. Children love them, regardless of what the die hard STAR WARS fans from the 70’s think, kids love them to bits and I’ve always really enjoyed that with my discussions with them, you know when people’s kids who I haven’t met before come up and they see Obi Wan Kenobi. They’ve always got nice questions to ask and stuff.
He hasn’t seen The Phantom Menace 3D due to filming on The Corrections, but he hopes to go soon – and “take my kids along.”
Attention TK-Mart shoppers, there’s a special on Star Wars: The Clone Wars this Friday: the first part of the two-part season finale featuring the return of the warrior who’s half Sith Lord.. and half not, Darth Maul. Stock up now on the following voice actor goodies as you prepare for the end of season four:
- UGO chats with Sam Witwer, the voice of Darth Maul, on how charming Maul is, and what Maul’s return means for fans and Obi-Wan
- James Arnold Taylor, the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, shares with Newsarama his experience with Darth Maul, as well as voicing Rako Hardeen, flirting with Asajj’s Nika Futterman, and being a voice actor
- Ashley Eckstein shares her experience donning the Ahsoka Tano costume and her experiences in cosplay as a guest blogger for CNN’s Geek Out!
- Two-for-One villain special! Daniel Logan talks about returning to voice Boba Fett, and Nika Fetterman discusses bringing Asajj Ventress to life both for last week’s episode, ‘Bounty’, with Eric Shirey.
And remember, when shopping at the Darth Mall, all prices have been slashed in half!
The Phantom Menace is coming upon us yet again, and the press has been piling up. We’ll have more of a roundup tomorrow, but for this afternoon let’s start off with The Hollywood Reporter’s feature on Star Wars George Lucas. In it, we learn the franchise raked in $3 billion in licensing revenue last year. (That’s a lot of lightsabers – in the accompanying photo gallery, they say the franchise has raked in $20B in licensed goods alone.) Overall though, the feature doesn’t hold much for informed fans – merchandising rights, The Clone Wars, etc. So what’s really making waves among the geeky internet is a Q&A sidebar, where Lucas talks reaction to his Star Wars tweaks (“…when I make the slightest change, everybody thinks it’s the end of the world.”) and Han not shooting first:
Well, it’s not a religious event. I hate to tell people that. It’s a movie, just a movie. The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.
He also talks about CGI Yoda, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and SOPA, but you know what’s getting passed around the internet for the rest of the evening…
Oprah.com has posted several clips up from last night’s episode of Oprah’s Last Chapter, including: On directing Star Wars and how he never got to see it with the rest of the world. (You might recognize that from the preview clip.) He also discusses Red Tails, his visionary process, his career, the George Lucas Educational Foundation, his relationship with Mellody Hobson and his near-death experience. There’s also a clip where Oprah sits down with Red Tails actors Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard.
This Sunday at 9/8c, George Lucas will be appearing on Oprah’s Next Chapter on OWN. (There’s a channel finder on the page.)
The series features hour-long classic Oprah-style interviews with people she finds interesting. They usually feature behind-the-scenes glimpses of their home life, pretty straight-forward questions about things most people want to know (well, most non-geek people) and an interview with family. The teaser shows George’s girlfriend Mellody Hobson will be included.
It also looks to include a nice tour of Skywalker Ranch. And the OWN question for the week asks about places that inspire you. So hopefully it will be an extensive tour!
(And if you get the chance, the interview with Steven Tyler is really interesting.)