Archived News and Website Updates for 2010 to 2013
(The former has titles, the latter does not)
Just wanted to note that from this point forward all updated will be listed under Latest News. In a few weeks, I'll discontinue this page and save the contents found here under the individual year for past years' "latest news."
No major updates, but I did add the upcoming Ewoks: Shadows of Endor to the timeline at 3 BBY. The continuity notes here detail how the various Ewoks stories were rearranged to accommodate the author's admirable efforts to bridge the cartoon series and the TV movies.
Speaking of maintaining continuity, from this point forward The Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline will no longer accommodate stories from authors who purposely ignore continuity, even if the licensee and LFL approve it. This leads us specifically to discuss the current ongoing Star Wars series, written by Brian Wood, who has publicly and on numerous occasions stated that he is ignoring all continuity (which is obvious in the story). This series is essentially a "soft" reboot, an Infinities story being promoted as an authentic extension of the saga. It is not. Unless efforts are made to reconcile the various contradictions that this story contains, it will remain in the Infinities section of the timeline. I would also suggest that fans who are concerned with preserving a reasonable sense of continuity vote with your dollars and don't support stories that openly violate continuity.
Just wanted to give a shout out to Michael Rhodes and Brian Custer for pointing out a few things that needed immediate attention (e.g., broken links and the Dawn of the Jedi series). Thanks guys!
1/28/13 J.J. Abrams Director of Episode VII
After the news leaked a week ago, LFL/Disney confirmed that Super 8/Star Trek director J.J. Abrams, a longtime Star Wars fan, will be helming episode 7 based on a script by Toy Story 3 screenwriter Michael Arndt. While the 2015 released date may be up in the air at the moment, what many expanded universe fans are still wondering is if the story will jettison the decades of books and comics that have come to fill in the gaps before, during and after the six films. Chances are that unless an announcement is made stating otherwise, fans won't know for certain until days before the film is released (when professional reviews start coming out).
If Disney and LFL choose to go down a dark path, that doesn't mean that the expanded universe dies, but it does create a split, with one universe containing episodes 7-9 and the other with the current EU and no films past episode 6. It also will create a lot of ill-will amongst long-time fans. Hopefully, such an unpleasant and messy scenario won't come to pass, and the powers-that-be will recognize and respect the contributions, legacy and importance of Star Wars, not just as a film series, but as an amazing long-running literary series.
Hey all, just wanted to add the Celebration IV audio-drama to the Infinities section, although don't let that designation prevent you from listening to it. It's quite fun. The script, however, doesn't take into account the events in the Era of Rebellion, e.g., the Goodwin/Williamson newspaper strips.
Next update should add the recently discovered Spanish Droids and Ewoks comics, and a translation!
Good to be back, if only for the moment. I wanted to add a location for the new Star Wars (2013) series. Because Han is still wanted by Jabba, but Vader doesn't know Luke's name, that places this (internally dated at 2 months ABY) before Marvel #28, where Han rescues Jabba (thereby temporarily canceling his debt until issue #37. I also added the recent and upcoming Clone Wars episodes, and spaced out a few older episodes. Obviously, there's still a lot to do in this time-period, but for now this will keep.
I have an end-date in site for my book, which is the summer, after which I'll be free to return to this site, which is badly in need of updates! Look forward to getting back to work on it!
11/12/12 New Star Wars Trilogy/Disney Buys LFL for 4 Billion
Coming out of hurricane Sandy (after 13 days without power) was this bombshell that most of you have by now been speculating about (either with joy, anger, skepticism or cautious optimism.) Few would complain about getting three more Star Wars films, particularly with the return of Hamill, Fisher and Ford to their much-beloved roles, and with such a luminary as Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) writing an original screenplay based on Lucas' early notes. But there are not a few fans of the expanded universe concerned that the new trilogy with erase 20 years of continuity in the books and comics (as well as ancillary concerns about Dark Horse Comics losing the license). As with most early announcements, there's still too much left unsaid to comment one way or the other. In his interview with Kathleen Kennedy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyqlTi7lkhY), Lucas mentions the thousands of stories included in the books and comics, which may indicate that Disney, while creating a new series, will not throw out what's come before. And given the ages of the actors reprising their roles, a trilogy set after the recent Fate of the Jedi series would appear to work time-wise. But all this remains idle speculation. We will be watching this development with great interest.
Sorry, no major updates. Just wanted to add a few Star Wars PSAs from back in the day before I forgot them. The three are in the N/A section at the end of the History section of the timeline.
2/26/12 An Actual Update
It has been an interminable long time since I've done an update, but thanks to the encouragement from you guys and a free day, I've decided to add some entries. Apologies to those who've been checking in regularly, and thanks to Chris Matz for the recent list of updates. I do intend to be done with my book by year's end, so that will free me up to get back to these sites with regular updates. In the meantime, Darth Plagueis is up! I appreciate all your continued patience!
9/30/11 The Dissolution of Starwars.com
For years, EU fans became subscribing members to a content-heavy portion of the official site called Hyperspace, which featured in-depth articles, comics, webstrips, short stories, etc. Even the non-paying portion of the site had years of articles and features, including an extensive databank of characters from the films, books and comics. Those who didn't get a chance to copy and print the material have now been left in the lurch, as the new site has jettisoned all of it for a site with big pictures and few words that can accommodate even the most illiterate of second-graders.
Minor update: Rearranged the order for the start of the Clone Wars animated series.
Added the short stories from the last two issues of the Insider (which is back to publishing short fiction, thank the Maker), Christie Golden's "First Blood," a tale of Vestara Kai (from the Fate of the Jedi series) set in 41 ABY, and Tim Zahn's "Buyer's Market," a story that deals with the early stages of his plans for Nkklon (in Heir to the Empire) set early in 5 ABY (or late 4 ABY). As Lando's a former general, it has to be after Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, but not too far afterwards as the New Republic is still waging mop-up battles with the former Empire, and the Lady Luck is "new."
Update 9/13/11: As of a month prior to release, the Lucas corporation finally released detailed specs. Head over to the official site to see them. This specs review that I'd written in May was based on the purported "reveal all," which was designed to hype fan interest and obfuscate certain facts that Star Wars purists, blu-ray purists and others might not like. This revised "review" is a more balanced look at this set. Once it's out in a few days, I'll post an updated review.
1. I wasn't expecting the original version of the classic trilogy. That it wouldn't be included was made clear in an obscure interview, which most fans didn't read. Thus, I understand fans' ire that it's not being made available in anamorphic widescreen, I've always thought the Special Edition versions had more going for them than not. So I can't in good conscience say that I'm missing the originals. But I am disappointed for those fans who are, and that this isn't the Ultimate Edition box set that so many were hoping for, and expecting, which, like the Blade Runner (or Aliens) set, contains different versions of the film via branching technology. That would've been, IMO, the right way to go.
2. This set is based on the inferior 2004 transfer. THAT is disappointing. It means the films will look great, but not be presented in the best high-definition quality that's currently available and in use by practically every film that's been released on blu-ray for the last few years. It will still have crushed blacks and other issues present in the old 1080 transfer. What does it mean to most people? Probably not much. It will look better than the DVD versions. But not like it should. It could and should've looked spectacular. But, taking advantage of the fact that only the videophiles know what it means to do a proper 4k transfer, it wasn't done this time 'round.
3. Based on the wording of the press release, the deleted scenes, alternate scenes, and extended scenes are NOT incorporated into the films, but available only on separate discs. This is a bone of contention, as the films could've been reworked into extended editions (ala the hugely popular The Lord of the Rings EEs). For fans who had been looking forward to the "ultimate editions" even before 2004, this is disappointing. While getting to finally see these scenes, is great, most have not been cleaned up (which is egregious), and many of the deleted scenes from the prequels are merely animatics.
4. Lightsabers have been corrected, as well as other color timing issues. Additionally, Lucas has continued to tweak, not only with special effects (e.g., giving Ewoks blinking eyes), but with iconic moments, such as Vader's redemptive act, where he now utters a howling "Noooo!" as he pitches Palpatine over the edge. Needless to say, this has caused a huge uproar from fans around the web.
5. The surprisingly worst feature of this set is the documentaries. Of the 100 hours of new documentary footage that Rick Macallum excitedly talked about in 2007, there's six hours of footage broken up into numerous categories, interesting, yes, but a far cry from what had been promised. Of the documentaries, there's 25 minutes about TESB, 84 minutes about the 501st (the group that dresses like stormtroopers and other armored characters from the films). "Spoofs" is 91 minutes of clips from some of the spoofs that have been available online (or officially released). The other two useless documentaries are "Anatomy of a Dewback," which is about the special effects that went into making the '97 Special Editions. Considering that some of those effects were later redone for the 2004 version (Jabba specifically), this is a bit pointless. The other documentary is Star Wars Tech, which is the shorter of the two History Channel specials that aired a few years back. Oddly enough, the lengthier and far more interesting one (The Legacy Revealed) isn't included.
On the positive side, there's:
1. The original documentaries from '78, '80 and '83, namely The Making of Star Wars; The Empire Strikes Back: SPFX, and Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi. If you're like me, these hold a special place in your heart. I'm glad to see them confirmed on here, as they'd been expected. I just didn't think they'd be the sole documentaries (not counting the new short on TESB) of the films. Keep your DVDs, however, folks. There's no "The Beginning," no "From Star Wars to Jedi," etc. There's far more that's not included than is.
2. DTS 6.1. I've heard great things about the soundtrack, which has been done from scratch, so no missing cues or reversed channels as with the DVDs.
5/1/11 Mark Your Calenda... ahh, forget it!
Apparently details about the upcoming Star Wars blu-ray sets are being released on the 4th (get it? May the Fourth be with you), the 34th anniversary of the first film. As many of you know, I want to be excited about this. I've been talking about the "ultimate editions" blu-ray set for years now, and while this isn't being billed as an "ultimate" edition, it has the potential to be quite promising, what with tons of rediscovered footage from the classic trilogy.
Only problem is that I don't believe Lucas bothered to reincorporate them into the films themselves. And that just bugs me. If Blade Runner could offer five versions of that film, I don't see why we couldn't have a proper extended edition version of these. Now, I could yet be wrong. Perhaps they did, in which case, you'll see an exuberant and joyful post on the 4th!
Either way, it'll still be nice to see those scenes, but outside of the context of the film itself, it doesn't have the dynamic and narrative context. Yeah, we know all these films by heart, so we can easily imagine the latter. But I'm a firm believer that if you've got good scenes, and an opportunity to create a different cut of the film, do it. It would require Williams to recut and/or add new music to the score, but that's a good thing!. More John Williams' Star Wars music?! Uh, yes!
Not to beat a dead horse, but I'm also concerned that part of the reason they held off releasing info on these discs is to forestall criticism on the high-def transfers themselves, which are likely older upgrades (see the 1/6/11 article). While most people won't know the difference, or be distracted by all the good stuff on this set, it is a disappointment for those of us who will know the that the quality of the image is not what it could've/should've been. It's not just that Star Wars isn't the cutting-edge, state-of-the-art series it once was, or that even non-genre and mediocre-genre films are getting proper HD transfers, it's that Star Wars deserves to be given the royal treatment; so, if they didn't do a new master, it's a shame. But again, I'm happy to be wrong if such is the case.
You won't need me to post the info, as it'll be everywhere on the 4th, but you'll get the pertinent stuff and my response to it.
Chris Matz gave me a nudge in the right direction, so I placed the last few TCW episodes, except the Citadel trilogy. Far as I know, Piell died after Order 66. Everything else is hearsay until they figure out how it makes sense. I also added the recent and upcoming Lost Tribe of the Sith ebooks (to 3900 and 3000). Additionally, I added TFU II, though that's subject to change as I go through that period again, and Darth Vader and the Lost Command to the end of the 19 BBY period. Finally, I added Karen Miller's Clone Wars books (Stealth and Siege) in 21 BBY right before episode 17 of Season 1.
Finally, I have to thank Luke again for his tremendous help going through Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, and providing dates and page numbers for me, and creating a far easier system in which to add the remaining dates from the book to the timeline! Cheers mate!
Added The Old Republic: Revan to 3956.
Drew Karpyshyn's new novel will pick up where KOTOR (the video game) left off. Called The Old Republic: Revan, it will span five years, and continue his tale during the period of KOTOR II. For more info, go here.
While this is certainly exciting news for fans of KOTOR, what I'd like to know is when they're going to commit the story of that game to a novel/comic for non-gamers. It was once thought that the Dark Horse comic series would catch up to that time-period, but that doesn't seem to be happening. So far, we have a prequel and a sequel committed to text, but not the actual story that sparked them. Ah well, I guess us non-gamers will just have to watch the fan-made movie version on Youtube (of which a Special Edition is apparently in the works).
4/21/11 A Note of Reassurance
It's been interesting days since our petition took off! We've had extremist far-right opposition in the form of theforcecast, who've called the EU "crap" and labeled EU fans "kooks" and "fanatics," who amount to a tiny minority. Yet, they've felt so threatened by this tiny minority that they amusingly set up an anti-EU Facebook page! This last bit of hilarity has amounted to all of 43 "likes" from theforcecast's devotees. Compare that with the now 1,000 signatures on our petition, and we see who the "minority" actually is. But the controversy, as all controversies are, was good for us, as it increased our visibility and intent to let all 100,000 EU fans (a number based on Del Rey's recent statement that of the six Fate of the Jedi books in print, there are over 660,000 copies in print! No small army are we!) know that we have a voice, and that voice is saying, politely, to keep the past stories relevant and in harmony, as they've been for 30 years! This is in no way to suggest that Lucas should "curb his vision" as the detractors claim, but rather to recognize that because these stories were commissioned and approved by Lucas and his team, and sold to his supportive fans as the legitimate history of the people, places, things in his films, they deserve consideration as such. And to the extent that changes are required, which they sometimes are, Lucas' stalwart team (Sue Rostoni, Leland Chee, Pablo Hidalgo) will find ways to make it all work in the end. A good long-running series employs retcons as the backbone of its operation, and Star Wars has successfully done this for decades. From 1978 to today, retcons have made accidents, incongruities, contradictions and other mistakes from story to story work, and, in fact, new stories have sprung from the need to create retcons (e.g., the Jedi vs. Sith and Darth Bane series to explain how the "rule of one" came about, which was initially a contradiction between the ancient Sith from the Tales of the Jedi era to the new Sith of the prequel trilogy.)
To that end, those of us on the Dark Horse message boards got some encouraging news from Leland Chee (which I hope he doesn't mind my posting here), which is a bit of reassurance that many of us were hoping to hear from LFL for some time. I had asked him, jokingly, if he'd signed our petition, to which he responded:
"While I am humbled by your passion, I strongly believe the Expanded Universe should always strive to adhere to George Lucas's vision of the Star Wars universe. When discrepencies arise, we've always made every effort to adjust the EU to adhere to that vision while at the same time, preserving as much of the existing EU as possible. We did this when new films came out, we will continue to do this with The Clone Wars series, and we will do this with anything else that stems from George's vision of Star Wars. Given it has been over 30 years since the release of the first sequel, I think we've done a pretty good job of holding together the EU so far.
me baby? Hold together!
" (You can find the
source of this
The Star Wars community has lost some long-time members due to the recent spate of contradictions to the EU, and no doubt there will be more, particularly with Henry Gilroy and Catherine Winder no longer working for The Clone Wars team (they now have a head-writer and producer who know nothing of the EU and seem as if they could care less about it). Leland's note is great news, but that doesn't mean that fans shouldn't continue to voice their concern, and this petition allows them to do so in a way that's communicative, not argumentative or demanding. People don't listen when they're being attacked. And Lucas, as much as many people have been angered at his decisions and flaws, is still a human being deserving of respect on that level.
So, keep signing, and hold on to your fandom!
3/29/11 The Rebellion Has Begun!
As you may have noted above, a petition has been started—written by Matt Kay and yours truly—to preserve the integrity of the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
If you're a reader of this site, and a fan of the books and comics, this petition needs your support. Please sign it and send it to your friends to sign. We can make a difference!
Just adding the Knight Errant info to 1032 BBY.
Thanks to Simon Elvis, I got some dates for the all the Old Republic titles that are currently (or soon to be) out there. Nice to see this segment of the timeline filling in nicely with various books and comics, and, of course, the upcoming game.
3/3/11 Mark Your Calendars... or not: February 10, 2012
Not sure how many of you care about this, but The Phantom Menace will be re-released in theaters in 3D on 2/10/12... It's apparently to be followed by the other films in the series. I might check it out. But to be perfectly honest, Jar Jar in 3D is not exactly something I'll be lining up for. If the film has significant changes made to it, then my curiosity will be piqued. I think a lot of us recognize that TPM needs work. Not sure at this late game if it's going to get a "Special Edition" type treatment, but it undoubtedly needs it. I don't think it's a terrible film, just a flawed one that was rushed, and particularly its screenplay, which Lucas never should've tackled on his own (you'll recall that ANH and TESB were written by others).
Just wanted to add the upcoming miniseries Old Republic: The Lost Suns to 3600 BBY. I figure it's probably better for me to try and post new info when it arrives rather than pushing it off and adding it to the growing pile of items that need updating/posting. It will all get done at some point. Positive thinking: "I will be Supreme Chancellor." I also added Blood Ties, at least the flashback section. I've not read it yet, so I'm not certain where the frame story occurs.
No major updates (though the site needs them). I updated the URL for the short Zahn story, "Judge's Call." I also finally updated the Legacy comic-book series. No added images yet, but the text is there. In addition, I added the most recent Old Republic timeline entry, The Great Hyperspace War to 5,000 BBY.
Thanks to my main-man, Luke, for straightening out some of my recent updates. Apparently, things have jumped ahead in time on the Clone Wars. I'm not willing to go too far ahead just yet. Truth be told, the whole thing is a puzzle to me, as I'm sure it is to my fellow timeliners. Hopefully, it will all, at some point, be resolved by Filoni & Chee. So take everything with a grain of salt until then. I should probably include a short review I wrote of the recent episode, "Overlords," as it has potential for some very bad philosophical/theological implications for the universe, but I'll hold off until I've seen the third episode.
Nothing major. Just added the recent Clone Wars episodes.
1/6/11 This Will Be a Day Long Remembered... Or Not.
Well, after years of speculation and rumors, the Star Wars Saga box set set has officially been announced for September. First off, here's the official press release. Then we'll discuss:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release Star Wars in three
distinct sets to meet the needs of every Star Wars fan:
So, as far as announcements are concerned, this is a pretty shabby one. We already knew, via Sansweet and others back in April, eight months ago, that a blu-ray set was being prepared for this year, and that it would contain "lost scenes" and new documentaries. The promo-video for this set is also pretty lackluster and doesn't do much more than show clips from the six films. I'd have wanted to see some of the deleted scenes and documentary footage, but no such luck. All we learned is that this is a three-tier set, and that fans of the originals who hate the prequels can just get a set of the "original" special edition versions, and skip the prequels (and, apparently, the bonus 30 hours of special features). We already know that the original theatrical releases will not be included, as Lucas has said that it's too cost-prohibitive at this time to restore them (the '95 "restoration" was actually a revision process that created the '97 special editions, which were then upgraded again for the 2004 DVD set).
The news has generated some excitement in as far as the films are coming out in high-def, but there's not even any word as to whether or not they did a proper high-def transfer (the 2004 transfer was a subpar 1080p transfer. Most HD transfers are 4k). Frankly, the way this press-release is worded makes it sound like they didn't do anything but upconvert the old one. (For more info on this whole process and what it means, see: http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/savingstarwars.html under the subheading: "Further Changes and into the Digital Realm")
Stay tuned, as I'm sure over the next few months they'll divvy out crumbs of information to keep the faithful in perpetual salivation at the heel of their master.
Lance Henriksen narrates another entry in the great Galactic Timeline series. The new date: 4904 BBY.
11/29/10 RIP Irvin Kershner
So that it doesn't get lost, I've made a notation on the Reviews page to the story behind the original version of "The Dreams of Cody Sunn-Childe," including a link to Eddie's page which has a comparison of the four pages that LFL changed.
11/15/10 Quinlan Vos Hits the Small Screen
EU readers (meaning any of you reading this) will be happy to note that Quinlan Vos survived the Clone Wars animated series relatively unscathed from how he appears in the comics. His voice might throw some, but overall no damning changes were made to him, and even his specific force talents were kept for the character. Actually, the episode where he appears, "Hunt for Ziro" is one of the best ones that have appeared in the series, and demonstrates that a show could be excellent, surprising and faithful to the stories that came before. But, of course, we already knew that. Nitpickers who played the game Bounty Hunter take note: The Krayt Dragon found Gardulla the Hutt indigestible.
More tweaks to yesterday's Clone Wars chronology--once again thanks to Luke for the corrections and sharp eye!
I've updated the Clone Wars animated series chronology--thanks Luke for the heads-up--according to the notes provided on the official site. It really does underscore the anthology nature of this show. It also helps to demonstrate that much of this series takes place within a relatively close period of time, rather than sprawled all about the three years of the Clone Wars (though, of course, later episodes and seasons may do that). As of now, however, there remains plenty of time for the earlier books and comics to fit. There's also been some some surprisingly faithful EU nods, though by this point, after the Mandalorian mess, I'm sure there are plenty of EU fans feeling less-than-charitable. Nevertheless, it's a move in the right direction, if in fact, it's indicative of a direction rather than just a fluke.
With the recent realization that J.M. DeMattias' original ending of "The Dreams of Cody Sunn-Childe" (known to US readers in Marvel's Star Wars #46) was actually published in Marvel UK #141 back in the day, I'm happy to eliminate the fascist version and restore DeMattias' intended pacifist one. If you don't know what I'm talking about, or are thinking, "some guy named Wally Lombego wrote that story," follow the link first here, then here, and finally with DeMattaias' response to the discovery here. Thankfully, you don't need to own Marvel UK #141, as the original page in question was reprinted on both sites.
In brief, DeMattias' original version allowed Cody's pacifist stance to remain an equally valid one alongside Lando's more violent response. Lucasfilm, however, felt that Cody's opinion threatened the Star Wars heroes by placing them in a bad light by contrast, and ordered Marvel to rewrite it. In other words, the non-violent stance of one fictional character (who's viewpoints echoed men like Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Nelson Mandela) was deemed inappropriate for a series where the main characters engaged in violent revolution on a regular basis!
Thankfully, Marvel UK, apparently running on a tighter schedule, already had the original ending going to press (their hardcover reprint in The Empire Strikes Back Annual #2 utilizes the rewritten version seen in the US version), which allows to see exactly what DeMattias' (who had changed his name on the issue to Wally Lombego in protest) vision originally was.
Ok, I finally figured out a way to salvage The Force Unleashed. If you recall, the latter storyline contradicted (among other things) the Radio Drama segment, "Points of Origin," by having the existence of the Death Star revealed to Bail Organa and Mon Mothma in a way that was completely different, and two years earlier, than how they learned of it in that story.
Rather than pop TFU in the Infinities bin (where some have argued it belongs), I found out a way to move the earlier part of the "Points of Origin" segment (which, if you recall, was also adapted in Dark Horse's Empire #5: "Princess... Warrior.") What helped was the fact that we have the Radio Drama's script (in Star Wars: The National Public Radio Dramatization), which gives us page numbers, allowing a far easier way to separate the storyline into portions.
Thus, from the portion on Raltiir (where "Points of Origin" begins) to the moment Leia and Bail learn of the existence of the Death Star now take place before the 2nd part of The Force Unleashed novel. (That will, of course, mean ignoring the dated entry at the beginning of Empire #5, but nowadays, ignoring a book or comic's timeline date is more common than not.) The Radio Drama's concluding portions (which I've dubbed "Dinner with Tion," for lack of a better description) takes place where I originally had the entire segment, in the time immediately leading up to A New Hope.
It's not ideal, of course, but it's a way to reconcile the disparity between the two sources without having to sacrifice the integrity of either (which cutting segments out of it would have done.) The only real change it means is that it took much longer for Tion to set up a dinner date with Bail and Leia. We have to assume that he's either unaware of Bail's treason (another flub of TFU), or just so enamored of Leia that he doesn't care.
10/22/10 In unrelated, but exciting news:
Peter Jackson has just announced that Martin Freeman is set to play Bilbo Baggins. "There has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us," Jackson explained. "There are a few times… when you come across an actor [who] was born to play a role, but that was the case as soon as I met Martin. He is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave - exactly like Bilbo… he is our Hobbit."
I could not agree more! Check out theonering.net for further casting news!
Thanks to the heads-up from Brad Berg, the link in the Secret Journal of Doctor Demagol is now fixed!
Ooh, another update! Not really, just a minor addition of the latest Knight Errant tales (including the Hyperspace one -- apparently they really like JJM over there, since they've published quite a few of his stories in recent days).
I've also edited (finally) and expanded, and moved my contentious article ("Who is the creator of Star Wars?") to a more permanent location. Let me know your thoughts.
I had some spare time, so I added the last two Old Republic Galactic Timeline entries (3964-3960 BBY, 3956 BBY and 4000 BBY). Good stuff on that timeline page, perfectly narrated by Lance Henriksen. The timeline date listed for the latter entry places the events of Tales of the Jedi at 4000 BBY (at least as a starting point), rather than the 3998 date I'd had it at. So, I bumped it up to years back to 4000-3998 date. Since I was in that era, I also added the new Hyperspace exclusive, The Secret Journal of Demagol, which takes place before and during the first nine volumes of KOTOR in 3964. Finally, I added all the "news" articles that appeared exclusively in certain issues of KOTOR, but were never reprinted for the trade paperback editions. So, phew! I was busy tonight! (Thanks to Luke for reminding me about the latter items).
10/4/10 Who is the Creator of Star Wars?
Just two news items ago (see 9/18/10: Clone Wars Season 3), I said I wasn't going to rant about anything that happened on the Clone Wars animated series, but simply bide my time until the end of the Clone Wars series, and then, after seeing LFL/Filoni's timeline, determine what stays and what goes. But after seeing the last episode featuring a Rodian named Greedo whom Lucas is insisting, despite no conclusive evidence from the episode, is THE Greedo from the Cantina (hoping we'll forget that the film-Greedo had to speak Huttese to Han, or that Greedo's back-story determines that he wasn't even born), the idea for this article popped into my head. Hopefully, you'll find it's at least something to think about.
This article has been edited and expanded, and moved to here.
9/26/10 Star Wars Timeline Network
The ever-reliable Jim Lehane (of Dinojim.com and the Star Wars Expanded Universe Chronology Checklist Database) has put together a Facebook page that will present updates from various timelines, including my site, Nathan's, Eddies and his own). Pretty cool, huh? (Now, I just need to make sure I make updates -- a task I know James is happy to assist me with). You can check it out here.
Thanks to eagle-eyed Luke VanHorn, we now know that Star Tours was intended to take place about six and a half years ABY. I'm also debating its canonical status. Could 3PO, during a short period when no major conflicts are occurring, have temporarily assisted with the Star Tours program? Possibly. Let me know your thoughts.
I posted the two new Clone Wars episodes early on at the 7 month ABG period, since they detail the first meeting between Grievous and Asajj. While they technically "met" in Clone Wars Adventures: "Rogues Gallery," we're going to have to argue that it wasn't a formal introduction (and since Grievous basically just beat Asajj to a pulp, it's technically true.)
While I can't personally promise lots of updates in the next few months, you may, however, be getting updates from my new assistant James Cox, so you won't be left in the lurch! Check out the new Legacy page to see what I mean!
I also want to take this moment to send a big thanks to everyone who's been keeping me abreast of Star Wars news, info and stories, Luke Van Horn, Eddie van der Heijden, Simon Elvis, Chris Matz, Jacob Cook and others who've sent me comments and questions. I'm storing them up so that when I get back into updating full-time, I can reference your emails and see what needs work. Thanks guys!
Also, big thanks is due to a man named James Cox who's been directly helping me update the look and functionality of this site. You can check out his work on the new Legacy page! I'm pretty excited about these developments, and I think you'll be too!
9/18/10 Clone Wars Season 3
Minimal issues coming back online, which is great news, so I figured I'd post a small update. Many of you have no doubt seen the first two episodes of the third season of Clone Wars. The animation continues to improve on this series in tandem with the contradictions with the greater EU, as noted recently at Celebration V (where, for example, it was said that Asajj Ventress was to be shown as a Nightsister from Dathomir). Some of you have asked about my thoughts on the re-working of Asajj's backstory. Plainly said, I'm not thrilled, though I must admit there is a certain irony here. Haden Blackman (creator of The Force Unleashed) wrote her back-story in the pages of Dark Horse's Republic comic. Recalling his utter disregard for continuity in TFU, it is somewhat amusing to see him get a taste of his own medicine. A bit of poetic justice perhaps? At any rate, rather than rant and rave about the show's contradictions -- which you guys know I've done at length -- I'm simply going to try and figure out how it all can work to a greater or lesser degree. There is fluidity with the Clone Wars episodes, as they're not being aired in chronological order, and we don't have a fixed timeline as of yet. When the show is complete, I'll go over everything to see what stays and what goes, and what can be made to fit. There's a lot that creative writers can patch up once the storm that is George Lucas is no longer doing damage. In the end, I do think it will be determined that the series was worth it -- despite the problems and headaches it caused -- but that's a forecast for a future day. For my part, I am enjoying the show.
9/17/10 Back Online
After losing my hard-drive, I'm back online with a new computer (and new version of FrontPage). Just testing this out to see if there's any conflicts with Windows 7 (or rather, what specific conflicts I'm going to encounter).
8/14/10 It's Official!!! STAR WARS on Blu-Ray! And a New Scene from Return of the Jedi!!
After years of fans talking about it, George Lucas has just announced at CV (that's Star Wars Celebration 5) that Fall of 2011 will see a "Star Wars Saga" box set on blu-ray with deleted scenes! As you know from the news posted on 4/19, there are going to be a LOT of new scenes! These guys have gone into the dailies from all six films and pulled out things that not even Lucas has seen since the day they were shot! As of yet, there is still no word on if or how many scenes are being reinserted into the film, and let's face it, while individual deleted scenes are cool, they're oftentimes academic, divorced as they are from the context of the film itself.
But there is one new scene that's just been released! If the additional "lost" scenes are half as good as this one, the Star Wars films may get the kind of increase in quality that the extended editions of some of the Lord of the Rings films got! Check it out:
8/10/10 Exclusives and Upcoming Season date announced
Head over to Starwarsshop.com for Tales from the Clone Wars, Vol. 1 (click on the link to go right there), an exclusive trade paperback of the Clone Wars webcomics from the official site. These take place before and in-between episodes of Season 1's Clone Wars animated series. And speaking of which, they just announced that Season 3 will debut on September 17 at 9PM (Eastern) with a one-hour special.
Just a minor update. "Full of Surprises" is now in the Infinities section at 22 BBY. (Thanks Luke!) I may have more updates to come.
I've written a little blog-type entry on the Latest News page as to what the hold-up has been with me making updates like I'd been doing. I appreciate all your terrific patience with me during this time.
7/14/10 What's Happening?
The following is more of a blog type entry than proper "news," but it's a bit overdue, and is something I'm writing (albeit with variations) on most of my sites. I wanted to address my ever-lengthier spans of time between updates, what that's all about, and when we can look forward to getting back to normal. As most of you know, I've been working on a book (www.blacksabbathlyrics.net) that I hope to see published this year or next. It's been a lot of work, more than I'd anticipated, which continues despite my two trusty editors currently going through it. Despite this, I had been managing to make periodic updates on this site from time to time, even if just to rant about something or other. Why did that dry up?
Well, the bottom line is that I had to get another job, two in fact! While I don't begrudge webmasters, who like PBS stations, need to ask for money from their visitors, I'm personally loathe to do that myself. I feel that as Star Wars fans, we spend more than enough money on books, comics, magazines and other ancillary items. In addition, this isn't a job for me. This is my hobby, something I get a lot of enjoyment from, and which helps keep me sane. If Lucas or LFL want to pay me to do something for them, that's fine. But I won't be asking for money for something I'm voluntarily offering. I'm grateful to have found several jobs that will keep me afloat. Many haven't been able to find work despite trying, which is why I don't judge any webmaster who asks for contributions. But I don't need to.
All well and good, you say, but when am I going to get back to regular updates? It's a great question and one that I don't have a definitive answer to. Roughly, I'd like to say within a year's span. When the edits on my second draft is complete, I'll need to do a third and final draft. I continue to search for more artists and photographers. And I need a publisher (else I self-publish, which will mean considerably more time and effort). But the book will be complete and I will return to my favorite brainwork, which is this and my other sites. As it stands, I haven't even had time to complete the latest Legacy of the Force book (which I'm thoroughly enjoying, but it's the longest I've ever taken to read a book).
This may be a bit of a tangent, but it bears stating. Having entertaining and thoughtful literature to read/watch/study is important to many of us, and there's a reason for that. Because of the nature of my book, I've recently had to immerse myself in hardcore reality (specifically I'm speaking about history and current events, for the two are intertwined). That's not a bad thing. In the past, I think I shied away from that too much . I've learned a lot as a result, for instance, I've seen how even well-meaning individuals and institutions (be they political, commercial or religious) can cause tremendous suffering and damage in this world when people blindly place their trust in them. I've seen how there's no end to man's capacity for brutality and evil. With knowledge comes power, particularly over one's own life, but also as a means to lend assistance to the powerless, those without voice (which can mean our animal neighbors who share this planet, as well as the disenfranchised, the poor, the exploited, women, children and minorities, any who are excluded from the powerful and wealthy elite of this world.) But as valuable as that knowledge is (and will continue to be), a balance must be struck. Feeling the effects of what's essentially post-traumatic stress from the many things I've seen, I can state more forcefully than ever the importance of the Arts, music, literature, illustrative works, film and others, to provide emotional equilibrium. The Arts, when done with honesty, care and creative skill, can bring a bounty of pleasure and wisdom, truth and strength. It's a worthwhile goal to keep these things intact and within harmony alongside the day-to-day realities (and, indeed, horrors) of this world...
In closing, I want to thank yet again the many of you who've taken the time to email me with updates! You guys rock! I may not be able to get to those updates right away, but know this: I'm saving them in a special folder so that when I do have the time, I'll be going through each one to make sure I've gotten everything. I'll also be adding your names to my permanent list of Thank You's (if I haven't already) because your help is immeasurable. In one month's time, a lot of material can be released, which makes it a challenge when trying to play catch up. Your efforts make things a heck of a lot easier! So thanks! Well, I'm off to see the Wizard! Till next time...
5/16/10 Harmonizing Sites
As many of you know, my site, Eddie van der Heijden's timeline, Nathan Butler's Timeline Gold and Rob Mullin's Expanded Universe Chronology represents the longest running, still-extant Star Wars timeline sites on the net. Thanks to Eddie's suggestion, we've all decided to harmonize our efforts by providing prominent links on our front pages to one another's sites so that we're all better connected. Nathan, Rob, Eddie and myself will still maintain our sites individually, and continue to develop our unique interpretations, presentations and approaches to the chronology of this growing body of lore known as the Star Wars expanded universe. But I think there's something celebratory in our standing side-by-side and publically recognizing each other's works as valuable contributions to the Star Wars fan community, new and old. No doubt, Star Wars has presented each of us with a LOT of challenges in the last few years since the start of the Clone Wars animated series, and I've no doubt there will continue to be challenges to overcome. But I know that we'll overcome them as we have in the past, and perhaps even more successfully into the future as we strengthen our bonds of communication and resources. Thanks to all of you who've supported us over the years, and if you haven't already, take a gander at Eddie's Once Upon a Galaxy, Nathan's Timeline Gold and Rob's Expanded Universe Chronology. (Of course, there are even more Star Wars timeline sites out there just as enjoyable as ours, and worthy of spending time with. Check out my links page for some of these.)
Thanks for the heads-up from Lucas Geurts, I shifted the Tales from Jabba's Palace story, "A Boy and His Monster" to after chapter 16 of Rebel Dawn. Maybe now, poor Bidlo Kwerve can rest in peace.
Thanks to the intel brought to me by Plaristes, who noted that Wild Space only leaves a week from the time of TCW film to the latter novel (and that time spent on Coruscant), I've moved Shipyards of Doom out of that period to just before The Malevolence trilogy (which the end of Shipyards leads into anyway.)
The new Old Republic webcomic is up, and it looks good. This time they're doing a whole issue instead of just two or three pages at a go. I've added it to the year 3678.
After a bit of a hiatus, I finally added Crosscurrent to the 5,000 BBY mark, setting it where it properly goes, in the midst of The Fall of the Sith Empire series. I added a piece of news on the soon-to-be-announced Star Wars blu-ray boxed set.
I also added all the recent and upcoming Clone Wars episodes, including putting back the three Mandalore episodes. With an official retcon being worked on and likely to appear in the forthcoming Imperial Commando book, there's no real reason to keep them in Infinities. But it felt good for awhile! ;)
Also, once again, I shifted things a bit so that no one month is so jam-packed it stretches credulity. True, Star Wars is fantasy-based and these characters have a storehouse of energy most of us could only dream of, but I still think its best to keep things as close to our human reality as possible. After all, there are still days of the week and hours of the day, and these guys need to sleep just like everyone else (true, Jedi can get by on meditation techniques, but you get my point). Once Filoni and Chee settle on an official timeline, we'll arrange things again, but for now this will do.
I also added the two latest Galactic Timeline entries for The Old Republic, which is proving to be rather interesting. Keep your eyes open for an upcoming trade paperback collection of the online comics, and two companion novels to the game! Also, check out the official site for the excellent short story, "Smuggler's Vanguard" about a young Hylo Visz (which I've placed at 3667). Thanks to Mike Brennan for the heads up!
Obviously, there's still more updates I need to make, and Luke and a few of you have been keeping me covered and motivated. I have a small window of time which I'll use to at least bring things up to speed before I have to stop and let them all slip by me again. But hey, that's life! Unless life throws me a happy surprise, I don't expect to be writing any books after the one I'm currently doing (and yes, that would be famous last words).
4/19/10 Blu-Ray on the Near Horizon
Consider this rumor, but a pretty strong one. The Star Wars six-film saga box-set may be heading to Blu-Ray as early as October! Steve Sansweet, at C2E2 in Chicago has recently announced "We have been at work for a couple of years working on– I won't call it the Ultimate Set because we keep finding stuff – but, a very full set of all six movies on Blu-ray with lots of extra material. We're finding all kinds of scenes from dailies that have never been seen before. Beyond all of those things that you know about... there are some real treasures." Head over to thedigitalbits.com for more info.
On theforcecast, Steve Sansweet said there's still work to be done, and as to the newly rediscovered scenes, some were synched to sound, some are things fans have heard about for years, and there's no word yet as to whether they'll be presented as deleted scenes or even part of a new cut of the film (via branching technology). This is all amazing news! The fact that they're going through the actual dailies to pull out "lost" scenes that Lucas hasn't seen in decades is incredible! There's going to be a lot in this set. So stay tuned for information, as I'm certain there's a ton of news that will be coming out in the weeks and months to come.
Best laid plans... There's still much more updating to do, and as y'all can see, I'm a bit behind. I expected to do a part 2 to that, but was waylaid by losing heat in the house until a little earlier today. Thankfully, we're all warm again! :)
Updates to come...
Well, it took a little longer than anticipated, but I've made some minor updates, including an addition to Infinities (see N/A), and covers from the latest Clone Wars issues, the latest Lego Clone Wars magazine, the recent KOTOR issues, Crosscurrent and even Blood Oath (for posterity's sake). I've added links to the latest Lost Tribe of the Sith shorts in 5,000 BBY. The Colossus of Destiny is up at 6 months ABG, so placed by me (since there's no internal indicator except "in the first years" b/c I think it's plausible that Mace's behavior (and the way Yoda speaks to him) is a direct result of his ordeal on Hal Karuun (in Shatterpoint).
I also added the Diplomatic Corps Entrance Exam to 17 ABY (appropriately after the Exam author's novel, The New Rebellion.)
There's a few people to thank for keeping me up to date: Travis Smith, Barb Natividad, Eddie Van Der Heidjen and last, but not least, Luke Van Horn. Thanks guys!
Since I'm up and fooling around, I put the fourth Xim piece back at 671 BBY when it was performed. The other three I've left in their respective locations as they more closely approximate historical aspects of Xim's life. I also added Star Tours to Infinities, and the Star Wars Intergalactic Passport to 4 ABY.
There's a lot to update, but fear not it'll get done. I've been fortunate enough to have been given some help from a few dedicated fans (thanks guys) and have saved their emails for when it's time. We're supposed to get a foot of snow tomorrow, so perhaps then. I might need a short break from my book anyway to clear my head.
2/10/10 "Fear Not for the Future, Grieve Not for the Past"
With cooler heads prevailing, there are some who think the recent disruptions of continuity over the issue of Lucas' rewrite of Mandalorian history can and will be fixed by LFL and the writers. We shall see. Perhaps they will. If so, then there's no cause for storming Skywalker Ranch with torches ablaze, tempting though that might seem. The fact is that LFL should have been apprised in advance so that at the very least they could have done damage control and begun preparing a continuity fix. Be that as it may, it's not my company. It goes without saying that I would have handled matters a lot differently. After all, there's enough things in this world to upset people without adding art/entertainment to the list.
So, I'm going to take a wait & see attitude and try and enjoy some of the recent SW books/comics in the meantime. I'm hearing very good things about Crosscurrent, and of course some of what Dark Horse is doing is pretty brilliant as well.
Episodes 12-14 of the Clone Wars animated series have been moved to Infinities.
1/30/10 "When You Ignore the Past, You Jeopardize the Future"
That was the ironic tag-line for last night's continuity-destroying Clone Wars episode. By now, most of you have heard the news and seen last night's "The Plot to Alienate the Core Fanbase" otherwise known as "The Mandalore Plot". The response has been overwhelmingly negative. Even non-Star Wars message boards have been writing about the death-knell of the SW franchise. It's no exaggeration either. Lucas has singlehandedly put a giant hole in the EU. Yes, singlehandedly, as Dave Filoni explained in the Insider #115 of March 2010, Henry Gilroy had submitted a continuity-friendly script that Lucas rejected because he wanted to write his own history of the Mandalorians and ignore 35 years of continuity in the process (except for one or two things, like the DeathWatch, that he could use out of context).
I won't get into a long diatribe here. There's no point and I've spent a lot of my disappointment and anger on the official message boards. In choosing to contradict the recent bestselling series of books (which itself builds on 35 years of continuity), Lucas has not only invalidated the events of those books, but any story that touches on them. With the EU functioning as a living history, it's interconnected like a web. The Republic and Imperial Commando books have a major impact on other titles, including the nine-book Legacy of the Force series, and everything those touch on, including the still ongoing Fate of the Jedi series, not to mention many of the comics, old and new, which are affected in small or large part by Lucas's utter disregard for the Expanded Universe.
What Lucas has basically done in this decision is send a message to the core fans: "I don't care about your interests. I don't care about the authors who've worked tirelessly to create a good story within continuity. I don't care about the editors, including my own at LFL, who've spent months and years ensuring a single functioning continuity. I only value my stories and the money you send me."
What motivated such a response, I don't know. Jealousy, envy, bitterness, arrogance? I won't pretend to be in his head, but his message is clear.
To that end, I've needed to figure out how to approach the future of this site and my involvement with the EU, which I still enjoy. Do I get rid of it all and walk away from a megalomaniacal corporate emperor who rewards his supporters with a smack in the face? I certainly have no intention of giving him any more of my hard-earned cash. He's proven he no longer deserves it.
My decision for now is this: This past episode of the Clone Wars and the following two (which form a trilogy of episodes about Mandalore) are Infinities. Any story that follows on a Duchess Satine, or a pacifist Mandalore is Infinities. I've been debating doing this with the abysmal The Force Unleashed, but in this case, it's required. In order for me to continue moving forward as a fan of the EU with this site, there is no other choice.
That means, folks, that the story you saw last night (and will see in the next two weeks) did not happen.
But it also means that from now on, I severely curtail my expenditures. I'll buy the books from a second-hand merchant. Not sure yet what I'll do about the comic, but I may go that route as well and just buy second-hand trades. I like my collection, but I don't like giving my money to an impertinent ingrate who's forgotten that we the fans are the one who put him where he is.
Some minor updates: KOTOR 46, 47 covers are up. Some of the Clone Wars covers are up (my local comic shop missed one!), the recent Purge, FOTJ: Imprint, Legacy and Invasion covers. Added The Essential Atlas to 41 ABY and its epilogue to 137 ABY. Added The History of Xim and the Tion Cluster to 10 ABY (and pages 8-10 to 137 ABY).
Thanks to Simon and Jim for their help, and everyone else for their patience!