Category Archives: Star Wars

Why Jango died so easily

Jango Fett’s death has been hated by fans ever since Attack of the Clones was released. Truth is, if we’re gonna discuss lame deaths, we’d better get to Boba Fett. No matter the circumstances, its always better to be killed by a Jedi than a blind, oblivious guy with a stick.

Here I will explain how Jango Fett, Mandalorian warrior, clone template, and more than a mindless mercenary, was killed when he brought a gun to a sword fight.

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To say that Jango Fett simply stood there, ignoring the fact that he could have flew away with his jetpack, and waited to be decapitated by Mace Windu is a terrible understatement. In short, he intended to blast off, but that rhino creature busted his jetpack.

Here’s what happened.

Mace Windu dropped his lightsaber. Jango Fett leaped after Mace’s dropped lightsaber, but Mace pulls it away with the Force.Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 4.01.52 PM
Jango, unable to get up from the fall quickly enough, is charged by the reek after he faceplants. The reek broke his jetpack, so that he could not fly. Jango did not know this, and neither did Mace.Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 4.32.11 PM.png

When Mace ran toward him, Jango intended to keep shooting at Mace and than blast off at the last minute. He’d done it before when fighting Obi-Wan, he thought he could do it again. Except his jetpack was busted. Had Jango known this, he would have used a flamethrower or projectile dart, or something similar to keep Mace at bay long enough to escape by foot.

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Earlier in the movie, the trick had worked fine.

Jango tries to blast off several times, but his jetpack shuts off automatically after a fraction of a second so as not to blow up.Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 5.09.52 PM.png

After that, well, you know what happens.

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Thanks for reading this article! I hope this will help explain why the second best Mandalorian died the way he died. May the fourth be with you, and try keep your head attached to your shoulders!

Mando Beskar’gam

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Boba Fett’s armor was good, but it could have been better. There are gaping holes on his chest, arms and thighs where a single shot could do some serious damage. His jetpack is so useless it couldn’t handle being hit by a blind guy with a stick. Jango Fett had less gaps in his, but his jetpack failed him as well; not to mention the neck part. Pre Viszla  had somewhat better armor, but it wasn’t very refined. Maul beat him. While Rebels season 3 gave it some nice upgrades, Sabine’s armor is also full of gaps.

So what does the perfect Mando armor have to be?

  • It needs have full protection. Commanding it all from a capitol ship sounds like fun, but you can’t lead ground troops on the frontline if one enemy round pierces your armor.
  • It needs plenty of weapons and firepower. Flamethrowers, projectile buzzsaws, conc missile launchers, grappling hooks…walking around with a blaster just isn’t that effective.
  • The jetpack has to work. A powerful, reliable jetpack that can actually fly can come in handy.
  • It needs to be accurate. Whatever built in weapon you use, there has to be some kind of targeting system.
  • It has to be comfortable. Temp control, for example, comes in handy on planets like Hoth or Tatooine.
  • It absolutely MUST be lightweight. You can’t fight in a heavy armor. Sacrifices will have to be made.

It also has to look cool. That’s kinda the point.

Here’s what I came up with:

V1.0, made with a  Mandalorian armor designer program (http://mandalorianmercs.org/downloadables/MANDOMAKER23.swf):

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“Armor doesn’t make a Mandalorian. Armor is simply a manifestation of an impenetrable heart.” — Kal Skirata

Fun to make, but it doesn’t solve any of the problems Boba’s armor had.

V2.0, a sketch I just finished:

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Of course this isn’t perfect. There are still issues. There isn’t space under the armor for temperature control, and the sniper rifle might not fit over the jetpack. But it’s a start.

To be continued with V3…

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Why Thrawn is still the best Star Wars villain

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Mitth’raw’nuruodo, more commonly known as Thrawn, was first seen in Heir to the Empire, but has come a long way since then. He was the villain in the Thrawn Trilogy, Outbound Flight, and now Star Wars: Rebels Season 3. How Disney convinced Timothy Zahn to sell Thrawn to them after having trashed his life’s work, the expanded universe that he started–his expanded universe–by replacing it with the Force Awakens is a mystery, and a kinda pointless one. The point is that Thrawn’s here, and he’s awesome.

But why? Why is he such a good villain when he’s just another colorful alien who thinks he has a right to rule every other being in the galaxy? We’ve seen plenty of those (I’m looking at you, Jabba.)

  1. He’s a “friendly face.” And I don’t mean that he has a friendly-looking face. I mean that we’ve seen him before, and he’s proven himself. He has an instant reputation the second he walks onto the screen.
  2. He’s a capable commander. This one’s pretty simple. He’s been in one army or another since before the Clone Wars. He knows what he’s doing.
  3. He’s a genius. It’s obvious, but it’s important. He always seems to figure things out early. He’s always a step ahead of the rebels, as well as other Imperials.
  4. He keeps his head. Really, who prefers a bad guy who smashes machinery when he’s mad over one who can keep his head and tear his enemies apart piece by piece, even when all seems lost?
  5. He can see the bigger picture. When it comes to military tactics, he can focus on the entire war, not only the  battle at hand. He takes everything into consideration, not just what he can see.
  6. He can fight. He took down two assassin droids with his bear hands, and beat Agent Kallus in seconds. Understanding strategies is one thing, but being able to fight hand-to-hand is always good.
  7. He has a really cool voice. Seriously. Watch the show and you’ll see.
  8. He knows more than just battle tactics. He understands his enemies before he attacks them, and can use that to predict their movements and take them down more effectively.
  9. He’s original. He invents his own strategies. He comes up with new and interesting ways to crush the rebellion instead of the old “shoot and charge” approach everyone else seems to enjoy–and fail at.
  10. He knows his place. Sometimes, it’s nice to see a villain who’s not a hot-headed glory-seeker who wants to dethrone the Emperor and rule the galaxy.

Star Wars, rewritten as a TV show

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Season 1: Sidious murders Plagueis, Qui-Gon trains Obi-Wan, Maul gets more character, etc. Sith reveal themselves in the last few episodes, and the duel in The Phantom Menace happens in the finale.

Season 2: Anakin grows up, the Confederacy (Seperatists) is created, the clone army is created, Padme becomes queen and then senator, the Jedi try to track down the Sith Lord. Concludes with the battle of Geonosis.

Season 3: The clone wars begins, General Grievous, Savage Oppress and Asajj Ventress’ backstory is shown, Ahsoka is introduced, Maul returns, and the Clone Wars TV series starts.

Season 4: The good parts of the Clone Wars happen (the boring parts are left out), but in longer and fewer episodes.

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Season 5: Omega Squad and the Nulls from Karen Traviss’s Republic Commando series are introduced. The Republic Commando storyline develops.

Season 6: The Republic destroys the Separatists, General Greivous is hunted down, the Clone Wars ends, the events of Revenge of the Sith happen. Also shows Han Solo’s childhood. Ends with the final battles of Revenge of the Sith.

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Season 7: The Rebels come together, Star Wars: Rebels happens, the Rebel Alliance is formed, and the backstory of Rogue One characters is shown.

Season 8: the Rebels timeline continues and ends in the finale of whatever season will be the last.

Season 9: Luke and Leia’s childhoods are explained, the events of Rogue One and events leading up to it are shown, Obi-Wan and Yoda get attention, Han shoots first, A New Hope happens, and the Rebels destroy the Death Star the in the last episodes.

Season 10: The Empire plans it’s revenge, Rebels expand their fleet, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi happen, but with more detail about Jabba and his bounty hunters, the race for Han (why Boba was the best), how Boba lives, etc. Ends with teddy bear party on Endor.

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Season 11: Leia builds a New Republic and mops up the rest of Imperial forces, Thrawn takes control, the Empire is reorganized and makes a last stand against the New Republic, Luke forms a new Jedi Order and hunts down the last of the Sith.

Season 12: Rey, Finn, Poe are introduced, the First Order rises, corruption becomes a problem in the Republic, Snoke trains Kylo, and The Force Awakens happens.

To Be Continued…

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What do you think? Is it better like this, or will infinite spin-offs be a better way to expand the universe? Comment your opinions below!

Gurlanins

Gurlanins originally appeared in Karen Traviss’s increasingly famous Republic Commando novels, set in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. They are the only native sentient species of the planet Quilura. They are best known for their neat little feature: shapeshifting. Their natural form resembles a large, black canine, but they can morph into not only other living beings, but even inorganic substances. If they choose to, they can become invisible to infrared and thermal sensors, and can mask their Force signatures. How do they manage this? I have an idea.

As you know if you’ve read the books, Gurlanins can communicate telepathically from different sides of the galaxy. Their minds are somehow linked. When they morph into nonliving objects, they have no organs to keep them alive, but if my theory is correct, then they can use the fact that their minds are linked, and keep each other’s minds alive when their bodies are unable to support them. You can think of individual Gurlanins as cells, and the species as a whole as a multicellular being. Any one cell would die on its own, but relying on each other, they can all stay alive.

It sounds unlikely, but I can’t think of a better explanation. What do you think?

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The Best Ralph Mcquarrie Star Wars Concept Art

Ralph McQuarrie was hired by George Lucas to create concept art for Star Wars. He is responsible for the look and feel of A New Hope, but his influence didn’t stop there. The Force Awakens used many of the pieces left over from the original trilogy, and even the prequels, though Doug Chang was hired for The Phantom Menace.

Here are the 12 best pieces of Ralph McQuarrie concept art:

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12: Ewok village (I’m making these names up. McQuarrie didn’t name them).

Apparently this…monster…inspired Yoda’s look. It’s hard to tell whether the ewoks are small or the monster is big, but it’s cool either way.

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11: Imperial Walkers

This is not the first drawing McQuarrie made of ATAT walkers, and probably not the most iconic either, but it really captures the feel of the walkers. The unused creature is a bonus. The rocks to the right are in a shadow–maybe there is a cave. It would make sense to run into a cave where the walkers can’t follow.

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10: Original Millennium Falcon

The cockpit was the only part used in the film. The design may have inspired the Tantive IV.

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9: Cloud City

Despite what they did to it in the movie, this picture makes it seem like a architectural wonder and a really expensive high-security capitol building. Maybe it would be if Vader and his sadistic thugs hadn’t holed up there.

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8: Millennium Falcon 2

this is the version McQuarrie made after Lucas told him what he liked and didn’t like about the old one. It really captures the feel of the scene where it’s introduced.

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7: Snowspeeder

This was before the harpoon idea, apparently. The AT-AT looks even more menacing now that there is nothing else in sight.

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6: Luke vs. Vader, version 2

This is easily the most iconic Star Wars scene. It’s also a pretty convincing futuristic alien cityscape given that it was made in the ’70s. And it’s just as dizzying as it was in the movie.

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5: Mos Eisley Cantina

C-3PO and a short version of R2 (inspiration for Chopper?) can be seen at the far left, along with a Tatooine sandtrooper. In the center, what would later become Han Solo is facing an idea for Greedo with Nightcrawler’s triangle shaped* tail, holding Padme’s gun. There is also a creepy owl sitting at a table.*

*   /\ Illuminati confirmed. Whoever they are, McQuarrie knows something.

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4: C-3PO

It’s hard to imagine that 3PO was ever this graceful, or that R2 walked instead of rolling (look at the footprints. They’re not continuous). But apparently Tatooine has two moons as well as two suns.

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3: Mos Eisley Lookout

This drawing inspired the landspeeder, C-3pO, Zam Wessel’s sniper rifle, the dual sunset scene and the Mos Eisley spaceport, while setting an empty, desolate scene with seemingly little of interest. It makes a good desktop wallpaper on a computer.

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2: X-wing vs TIE fighter

In one picture, McQuarrie invented the two most iconic starfighters and the Death Star trench run. The design for the original X-wings were slightly altered because of the limited budget for the film, but The Force Awakens incorporated it for the new T-70 X-wing.

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1: Starkiller vs Vader

This is one of the first drawings McQuarrie made for Star Wars. It’s also one of the most famous, as it inspired Darth Vader’s look and invented the lightsaber.

Based on the pictures above, can you tell which one of these is from Ralph McQuarrie?

The answer will be in next week’s post.

Comment if you think you know!

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How Much Did Jango Know?!

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I recently finished reading Karen Traviss’s famous Republic Commando novels, and the fourth book, Order 66, raised an interesting question: how much did Jango know about what was behind the war when he sold his genes to the Kaminoans?

Attack of the Clones fooled fans into thinking that Jango sold his gene template solely to collect his five million credits and Boba Fett, then betrayed the Republic by working for the Seperatists. We all thought that he was a money-motivated rascal who valued cash over culture (the correct Mando’a term would be dikutla shabuir, I think. Comment if you know what that means…) But did he know something more? More precisely: did he know who Palpatine was?

Mandalorians and Jedi don’t have a very good history together. They worked better with Sith, and regarded Jedi as arrogant scumbags. Jedi slaughtered True Mandalorians in the Battle of Galidraan, leaving only Jango alive, so he has plenty of personal hate for the Jedi as well. So he wouldn’t even have flinched when he discovered that the Republic had a Sith mastermind at its head.

If Jango had known the whole story all along–Palpatine arranging the war and controlling both sides anonymously–he probably wouldn’t have had any objection to selling his genes for a low price. He would have known that Palpatine would use the army to get rid of the Jedi at some point, and being a Mandalorian, that gave them a common enemy. Thus, it would be his interest to help create an army powerful enough to take down the Jedi Order.

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The death of the Jedi by a Mandalorian army, even if they are only clones of a Mandalorian, would the ultimate way for Jango and the entire Mandalorian culture to get its revenge on the Jedi for what they did on Galidraan. In fact, that may have been another reason he trained the original one hundred Alpha ARCs–the most lethally trained men in the entire army–himself, and hired 90% Mandalorians as Cuy’val  Dar (“those who no longer exist,” the Mandalorians who trained the clone army). We don’t know a lot about most Cuy’val Dar, but Jango, Kal Skirata, Walon Vau and Rav Bralor trained their men as Mandalorians, and the others probably did, too.

So Jango walks away with a bit of cash and a cloned heir, after single-handedly catalyzing a war and producing an army to kill the Jedi. He was patient–even after he died at the hands of a Jedi.

Boba was furious when Mace killed Jango, but he after Order 66, he must have realized that his father didn’t fail, but instead had had his vengeance and achieved what no other Mandalorian had ever done.

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What If Grievous Killed Obi-Wan?

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Many people complain about Boba Fett or Jango Fett dying too easily, but General Grievous died when Obi-Wan shot him with a standard blaster. It makes sense that after Obi-Wan cut his hands off, depriving him of his lightsabers, a blaster finished him off, but he was carrying a MagnaGuard staff when he got shot. Was he really taken off guard that much, and how could he be killed by a blaster if he’s a cyborg and can modify himself to be indestructible? Instead of explaining that, which a bit of research could probably do, I will just point out that Obi-Wan’s lightsaber wasn’t that far from becoming just another trophy in the clash of the generals. Which brings up the question:

What would have happened if General Grievous had killed Obi-Wan Kenobi in their duel in Revenge of the Sith?

Obi-Wan couldn’t have gone to Mustafar, and Anakin would have strangled Padme on the spot. Luke wouldn’t have been born, so Vader would have ruled unchallenged for a while (below the Emperor). Leia wasn’t born, so 3P0 and R2 wouldn’t have escaped with the Death Star Plans, and all those people in Rogue One would have died for nothing. Grand Moff Tarkin wouldn’t have died, and would blow up many more rebel planets with his Death Star that didn’t get destroyed.

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Han and Chewie would remain smugglers and never become rebel heroes. Jabba would hire Boba to catch them and Han would become a decoration–permanently. Boba wouldn’t die in the Sarlacc pit.

Darth Vader would have no need for prosthetics as no one cut all his limbs off and burned him alive and would have become an even more powerful Sith. Since Luke wouldn’t thwart him and Obi-Wan is already dead, Yoda would have to come out of hiding and challenge him openly.

Yoda would kill Vader, because even with natural limbs Vader isn’t powerful or experienced enough to win, and from this point on there are a few ways the timeline could go:

Yoda might challenge the Emperor and lose, in which case the Emperor would find a new apprentice and the Sith would rule supreme over the Galaxy. Or, Yoda wins and helps the Alliance defeat the remaining bad guys and create a New Republic and New Jedi Order. The third possibility is that he doesn’t challenge the Emperor in the first place, but instead tries to raise more youngling Jedi and take on the Emperor with a team (maybe Ezra and Kanan, if they survive, or Ahsoka–we didn’t see her die, so she might be back).

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If the timeline goes the third (and most likely) way, the New Jedi Order would probably not win if they attacked right away–we all saw the Emperor slaughter experienced Jedi Masters like Kit Fisto and Saesee Tinn. Yoda would need highly skilled Jedi, and that would take time. In the meanwhile, the Emperor would destroy the Alliance with the Death Star and hunt Yoda down, bringing the fight to him. In addition, he would probably train more Sith, bring Grievous along (he never died!), and recruit Maul (assuming he survives Star Wars: Rebels). That would give him a huge boost and make the fight fair.

So the final fight is Yoda, Ezra, Kanan and the New Jedi Order vs. the Emperor, Maul, Grievous and the New Sith Order. Who would win? Decide for yourself.

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The Disneyfication of Star Wars

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Disney owns Marvel. Marvel has made over thirty films, with fourteen in the shared universe, and it won’t stop. It works out. Disney gets an insane amount of income, and the fans get a diverse, unpredictable, never-ending universe.

Now Disney owns Star Wars. Until now, Star Wars was a finite series beginning with the return of the Sith and ending with the return of balance. But their never really is balance without darkness. Disney brought about it’s own darkness, and not only in the plot. Predictably, it’s started Marvelifying/Disnifying Star Wars by turning it into an ongoing universe with an untold number of sequels, prequels and anthology films.

Is that a bad thing? Probably not. In the following years, Disney will make a Han Solo solo movie, a Boba Fett spin-off and a Yoda anthology film–and those are only the ones we know about. The crew of The Force Awakens knew it would happen for thirty years prior to its release, so we can only speculate what else there is in stock. People may doubt Disney, but when there’s a new Star Wars movie, they watch it, and Disney will not stop making more.

Both The Force Awakens and Rogue One were hits, but they can’t keep it up for every movie they make. There will be bad movies. But as a whole, Disney can’t harm Star Wars. They know what fans want, and they give it to them (although we’re still waiting for a Mandalorian movie…). Fans have more power over Star Wars than Disney does. Disney is on a short leash, expected to be perfect, and it’s only getting shorter. In the meantime, Star Wars is expanding. So in a way, Star Wars owns Disney.