ARCHIVED NEWS 2005
12/27/05 Dark Nest Trilogy Concludes
The final book in the Star Wars: Dark Nest trilogy is out today. Swarm War finds the survivors of the New Jedi Order on the brink of eternal war as the Killik attempt to enmesh all races in a single hive mind. As Luke gathers the remaining Jedi for battle, Leia's new Force skills are put to the test in a life-and-death struggle against the insidious dark forces threatening to undermine galactic peace.
12/26/05 Added essay, "The Language of Fear: Understanding the Artistic and Psychological Value of Horror in Literature and Film" to Reckoning page.
12/26/05 The Horror!!
At long last, my essay "The Language of Fear: Understanding Horror in Literature and Film" is up on the Reckoning page.
12/21/05 Posted Latest News on the new issue of The Baum Bugle. Added link to Hyperspace for the Han Solo at Star's End newspaper strip adaptation. Added cover image of Empire #38, Republic #80, and X-Wing: Rogue Leader #3.
12/21/05 Sound the Charge!
The newest issue of The Baum Bugle is out and is chock full of great Ozian stuff (kudos to editor Sean Duffley)! First up is Peter E. Hanff in-depth examination of Baum's Queen Zixi of Ix (considered by many to be his finest work) including early reviews of the 1905 serialization. Next up is Dick Rutter's exploration of Oz imagery from other lands (complete with fascinating book illustrations from around the world). Ruth Berman looks at the history of Ruth Plumly Thompson's 1925 entry The Lost King of Oz. Aside from the main articles are some great features including Oz news, a calendar of upcoming Oz events, new items and publications, a letters column and of course the Oz Bookshelf (edited by yours truly) reviewing all the latest Oz books and comics. The Baum Bugle can't be found on the newsstand, but it's a journal not even the casual fan should be without. Membership is inexpensive and gives you discount on books and merchandise as well as several other surprises. Interested ones can apply online at: http://www.ozclub.org/.
Speaking of Baum and Oz, have you visited Hungry Tiger Press' site lately. They are now taking preorders for two exciting new releases. Baum's Daughters of Destiny, a high-adventure story unlike anything else he'd written, and now illustrated by famed artist Eric Shanower! Note: This is a limited edition release! Also, the very rare 1904 newspaper strips and picture book written and illustrated by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz illustrator W.W. Denslow have been collected for the first time under one book entitled The Scarecrow and Tin-Man of Oz.
Three New Titles...
...this week in Star Wars news are: Republic #80, in which fugitive Jedi on the run from Order 66 head "Into the Unknown." This concludes the story in #79 and acts as a prelude of sorts to the upcoming Vader one-shot "Purge." Also out is Empire #38, wherein a high-ranking Imperial officer discovers he is on "the wrong side of the war." Also, X-Wing: Rogue Leader #3 is out. Fans of the old Star Wars newspaper strips will be glad to see the adaptation of Han Solo at Star's End is now online at Hyperspace!
12/14/05 Ahh, the good old days...
... of Star Wars comics! Check out this great article on the Star Wars Marvel series written by John Jackson Miller, author of the upcoming Knights of the Old Republic series published by Dark Horse Comics. You can read it here.
12/09/05 Review of Narnia
I managed to catch a midnight showing of the Narnia film. Like many others who've read them, the Narnia Chronicles is more than just a children's series of books, and for good reason are they rightly renowned as one of the cornerstones of fantasy literature. So for those of us who've read and embraced the books, anticipation and hope for the first genuine film adaptation (both a cartoon and BBC series predated it) ran as high as that for author Lewis' friend J.R.R. Tolkien's adaptations. To set the record straight, this film is not Lord of the Rings IV as some had hoped or feared it might be.... To read the rest, click here.
12/9/05 Added my review of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
12/7/05 Added link to "Kella Rand, Reporting," an old Adventure Journal now posted online at Hyperspace.
12/07/05 Time to go to the Movies!
No fan of classic fantasy literature should miss the upcoming Narnia film: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. C.S. Lewis' seven-volume masterpiece stands alongside J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as some of the greatest achievements in Fantasy Lit., and every indication is that Andrew Adamson's adaptation of the first book is superb. The film opens this Friday nationwide.
11/30/05 Added upcoming 10/06 book about Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, A Novel of the Old Republic. See Latest News for details.
11/30/05 The Coming Destruction
The Official site has just announced the release of the first book set in the ancient days of the Old Republic. The Path of Destruction, A Novel of the Old Republic, by Drew Karypyshyn. Set just prior to the Dark Horse mini-series, Jedi vs. Sith, the book tells the tale of the Darth Bane, the sole remaining Sith from the destroyed ancient order, who redefines the order and begins 'the rule of two' a new tradition that will ensure the Sith's survival for the coming millennium and the eventual rise of Darth Sidious which will bring about the final revenge of the Sith and restoration of the dark empire. Set to be released in October 2006.
11/26/05 In the Sith Era, altered dates for The Knights of the Old Republic comics and game to more accurately reflect dates in Insider #85. Added cover image of new Karen Traviss story in Insider #85. In the Rise of the Empire era, added the new Insider story and rearranged some placements following Revenge of the Sith.
11/26/05 Go Inside...
...with the newest issue of Star Wars Insider #85, which features an exclusive Vader story you don't want to miss! "Two-Edged Sword" is both a sequel to Karen Traviss' story ("In His Image") that appeared in Vader: the Guide (a great publication which you might want to grab before they're all gone) and a standalone tale that delves deeply into Vader's psyche as he is forced to confront life under the thrall of the ever-betraying Emperor and the rebellion of a half dozen Dark Jedi cloned from one of Palpatine's assassins!
11/23/05 Dark Lord!!
The must-read sequel to Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is finally out! Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader is written by James Luceno (Labyrinth of Evil) tells the tale of the transition period of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader. The story begins just as the Clone Wars end, and follows the exploits of a group of Jedi Knights and their cadre of Clone troopers and Commandos. But when Order 66 is given, the tide turns for all in vastly unexpected ways. Enter Vader as he begins his assignment of hunting down and destroying the Jedi Knights! His hatred of his former master has burned into an obsession, and the new Sith Lord will stop at nothing to discover the location of Obi-Wan's secret hideout!
Another new release which is also set in this period is Underworld, the 3d volume of The Last of the Jedi series which follows Obi-Wan and former padawan Ferus Olin on their quest to save the Jedi Knights from the Emperor's ruthless dark side Inquisitors!
11/22/05 Added link to Charlene Newcomb's popular Star Wars Adventure Journal tale, Rendezvous with Destiny, which is now available on Hyperspace to read.
11/10/05 Into the Unknown
Finished your Star Wars DVD and are hungry for more?! Curious what comes next? Run out to your local comic book store or Borders and grab Republic #79: "Into the Unknown" for the stories that take place immediately after Revenge of the Sith. You won't be disappointed! And don't forget that in just twelve days we'll see the release of the hardcover Dark Lord: The Rise of the Darth Vader which occurs just a month after the events of ROTS!
11/09/05 Added cover images of upcoming Star Wars titles: Karen Traviss' Republic Commando: Triple Zero, Empire Volume 5: Allies and Adversaries, General Grievous and Jude Watson's Last of the Jedi #4: Death on Naboo. Note, the latter is a prototype image and may change slightly prior to release.
11/02/05 After nearly four weeks of no phone service – hence no Internet access, I'm finally back online. Posted updated cover images of Dorothy #4 (in the Dark Side of Oz page), as well as new Star Wars titles: Clone Wars Adventures #4, Empire #36 and Republic #78. Added review and cover images of The New Essential Chronology. and fine-tuned certain dates based on the chronology presented in that back (eg., Dooku's start of training at age 13 is moved from 88 to 89 BBY; the game Knights of the Old Republic is now set at 3856 BBY; Darth Maul: Saboteur was moved to 33 BBY; Outbound Flight Project was moved to 27 BBY; dates are slightly altered in the Era of Rebellion and New Republic sections; LucasArts two Jedi Knight games were moved to 12 and 14 ABY respectively). Added continuity fix for Marvel Annual #1. Added continuity fix for Jango Fett: Open Seasons and date entry for issue 4. Added continuity fix for Marvel #68. Added continuity fix for Young Jedi Knights: Fall of the Diversity Alliance. Fixed the continuity notes for Jude Watson's Jedi Apprentice series and more narrowly delineated the time frames in the Rise of the Empire/History pages. Added link to online Planet of Kadril and Frozen World of Ota strips. As per the New Essential Chronology, the official dating system retains the BBY/ABY standard. Thus, as year designations are strongly implied, this timeline has eliminated the unnecessary abbreviation for "year" and "years" (yr and yrs) from the date entries.
Well, after nearly four weeks of no phone or Internet services, I'm back on the day after the domestic release of Revenge of the Sith on DVD! Never one to be idle, there've been lots of small changes and improvements to this site. So while you're petitioning Lucasfilm for the Star Wars Extended Edition (if you've seen the deleted scenes on disk 2 of ROTS you'll know know what I mean), check out the site and drop me a line...
In other Star Wars news, the hyperspace portion of the Official Site is finally publishing the pre-Empire Strikes Back first comics appearance of Boba Fett, Russ Manning's newspaper strip: The Frozen World of Ota! And for the first time ever, Archie Goodwin (written under the pseudonym Russ Helm) and Alfredo Alcala's Planet of Kadril is finally being reprinted! And while this bizarre story is hardly Goodwin's crowning achievement (it may be based it on work started by Mr. Manning), it's great to finally see this strip available again as it hasn't seen the light of day in twenty five years! Let's just hope Pablo and the guys over at the official site figure out a way to reprint Manning's Sunday strips (one of which has also never been reprinted)...
10/30/05 Basic Essentials
At long last, The New Essential Chronology has been released and a welcome addition to your bookshelf it will be! Much more than a guide, The New Essential Chronology recounts the thousands of years of Star Wars history as has been told through nearly thirty-years of film, television, books, comics, videogames and more. To read the rest of this review, click here.
10/20/05 The Rise of Vader
Vader fans should run out and grab the latest issue of the ongoing Republic comic. Issue #78: "Loyalties" begins a new story-arch focusing on Vader two weeks after the events of Revenge of the Sith! The new Imperial officers are in for a shock when the Emperor summons them to demonstrate how things will run in the New Order, and their first meeting with the new Dark Lord demonstrates the point ... fatally. Fans of the Empire in full swing will enjoy Empire #36, first of a five-parter called "The Wrong Side of the War." Lt. Janek Sunber begins to question the ways of the Empire as he witnesses events that challenge his conscience. At the same time, Luke Skywalker embarks on a dangerous undercover mission that will bring him deep in Imperial territory. Finally, Clone Wars fans rejoice! Issue 4 of the highly popular Clone Wars Adventures is out and features four new stories done in the style of the animated series.
Dorothy, meet the Scarecrow...
The fourth issue of the wildly controversial, yet stunningly gorgeous photo-realistic comic Dorothy is out. The frightening origin of the Scarecrow is revealed to Dorothy as the two companions journey through Oz attempting to stave off a deadly illness that Dorothy has contracted from her prior injury. For mature audiences only: contains strong language and graphic images.
10/05/05 Lord of the Soundtracks
thedigitalbits.com has just announced that Reprise Records will release a new 4 disc soundtrack The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring: The Complete Recordings on 11/22 that will contain all the music from that film. Three of the CD discs will encompass the whole of the film, while the fourth disc will be a DVD which will feature the entire 180 plus minutes in 5.1 surround sound! If this is the Extended Edition soundtrack, then it's good news indeed and it's likely we can look forward to sets for the following two films.
10/03/05 In the Royal Timeline of Oz, changed dates for Harry Mongold's Button Bright of Oz and Sawhorse of Oz. Button Bright has no specific time frame mentioned and works better prior to Lost Boy of Oz. Sawhorse was originally written in 1973 and therefore could not have occurred eight years later (as I'd originally had it).
On the Star Wars Timeline, added an essay and continuity note on the unpublished Russ Manning newspaper strip posthumously titled, "The Depths of Kashyyyk." Added the proper title of the one-shot comic "Star Wars: A Valentine Story" to the entry; it's actual title is "Breaking the Ice." Several changes in the Era of Rebellion have taken place. I've moved "Weapons Master" to just before Splinter of the Mind's Eye. Moved "River of Chaos" #1-4, the newspaper strips, "The Depths of Kashyyyk," and "The Constancia Affair," along with The Holiday Special to after Star Wars Missions #8. Moved Tales #8: "Captain Threepio" to after Devilworlds #2: "The Pandora Effect." Moved Marvel #38: "Riders in the Void" to before Star Wars 3D #3: "The Dark Side of Dantooine." These changes and more were necessitated by Lucasfilm's mandate that the Rebels departed their Yavin 4 base in six months. While they were not able to settle on Echo Base on Hoth for many months to come, the Rebels kept their fleet in space in the Hoth system or hidden in temporary bases while Luke, Han, Leia and company continued to go on missions. Thus, fewer time is available for stories to have taken place in the six month timeframe following the destruction of the Death Star. Any appropriate story that does not specifically state the Rebels' base is on Yavin 4 has been moved to the post six month time period after the departure of Yavin 4. Likely more changes are in store as I continue to research this period again for the best possible placements.
9/26/05 Added cover image of Star Wars Tales vol. 6 (which will include Tales #21-24). Added correct date for upcoming Legacy series and title of second book in the trilogy (thanks to Karen Traviss!). As of yet, Lumiya cannot be discussed.
Added new upcoming title by Mark E. Haas in the Upcoming Releases section. Updated info: A Million Miles from Oz is now available to order from TOTLAF. Added J. L. Bell's new short Oz tale to the 1916 period of the mainline timeline. Changed a few lines in Time Travelers and Lost Boy to make them better fit with established continuity, and added to the notes. Added rough history of the Phanfasms to Appendices page.
Updated Reckoning page.
9/26/05 The Unseen Queen
The second book in the Star Wars: Dark Nest trilogy is officially being released tomorrow. The Dark Nest series details the years in the aftermath of the sanguinary Yuuzhan Vong war. A new threat emerges from the Unknown Regions which finds the Chiss, a bizarre insectoid race and a familiar but altered Jedi at the heart of a dangerously chaotic and quickly unraveling situation that threatens to engulf the galaxy and the Jedi in civil war!
9/22/05 Second Oz story up!
The Lost Boy of Oz is up! The sequel to Time Travelers of Oz, Lost Boy picks up where the last left off as a lonely Button Bright takes off to discover his true origins at last. The magic umbrella brings him back to his old home in Philadelphia where his uncle's astounding revelations lead him on a wild journey to the top of the Rainbow, gloomy Mt. Phantastico, distant Ev, and finally back to Oz and the soul-scorching truth that will change Button Bright's life forever!
9/15/05 Added new page to the Royal Timeline of Oz: New Tales. Uploaded to this page is the first of Paul Dana's two linked novellas, Time Travelers in Oz which deals with the pre-Dorothean history of Oz and Lurline's enchantment.
9/15/05 New Page, New Stories!
After much deliberation, I've decided to add a new page dedicated solely to new Oz stories! New Oz Tales will feature well-written, high-quality Oz stories that fit in with established continuity. I'm pleased to announce that the first entry is Paul Dana's Time Travelers of Oz, a novella that uncovers the heretofore untold story of the enchantment of Oz! Join Button-Bright and Ojo as they travel back into the mists of time to meet up with Lurline and her fairy band who's plans may have unusual consequences. Trouble is soon to follow as the rapacious Ugu teams up with the shape-shifting Yookoohoo Mrs. Yoop who has set her sites on conquest!
9/12/05 Death in the Stars
Star Wars fans may be happy to note that there will be an upcoming novel in 2007 detailing the origins of the Death Star penned by Steve Perry (Shadows of the Empire) and Michael Reaves (Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter). For more information, check out the article at Theforce.net and the official site. Likewise, fans of Dark Horse's Clone Wars Digests can look forward to TWO more issues of that renowned journal!
9/9/05 Changed and updated the essays in the Oz Appendices. In Reviews Archive page, added continuity fix for Star Wars: Marvel 28: Whatever Happened to Jabba the Hut? Added placement of upcoming ROTS follow-up, Purge!
9/6/05 Added Latest News regarding new online stories for Star Wars, Oz, and a link to preorder the upcoming X-Files trade paperback.
9/6/05 The Reading Hour
8/29/05 Added the Oz story An Ozian Odyssey by Richard Paul Smyers to the mainline timeline of The Royal Timeline of Oz. The story is of some significance as it shows the connection Oz has to all other Fantasy universes, including J. M. Barrie's Neverland, Tolkien's Middle-Earth, and even George Lucas' Star Wars Universe...
8/31/05 Apologies in Order...
...to anyone who sent me an email addressed to email@example.com, an address I've never used until today! I discovered your emails and attempted to write back to you, but some of them are so old, you're no longer at that email address. My apologies all around. Please write me back here. And to Anthony Illot, the picture is from the 45 inch Buena Vista record/cassette, Planet of the Hoojibs, which was an adaptation of the Star Wars Marvel issue #55: Plif (which has since been reprinted in A Long Time Ago... Volume 4).
8/21/05 The 1980 Star Wars comic strip "As Long as We Live" is now available unformatted online at Hyperspace.com. Added new online comic strip, "Evasive Action: Recruitment," to History and Rise of the Empire sections.
8/10/05 Posted link to Hyperspace Fiction section of the official Star Wars site regarding the Adventure Journal story Turning Point being made available to read online. Updated Royal Timeline to include cover images of the new and old printing of Ted White/Marv Wolfman book, The Oz Encounter and Ken Romer's Dorothy and the Wooden Soldiers. Updated My Missing List page (thanks Steve Teller!) and Acknowledgments.
8/04/05 Added entries and covers of the upcoming Last of the Jedi books. Added mention regarding the short story "Ylesia" (formerly an e-book) which has been reprinted in the new Troy Denning book, Dark Nest I: The Joiner King. Added link to new webstrip on the Official Star Wars site Hyperspace, Russ Manning's 1980 classic "Bring Me the Children"...
8/01/05 Oz Convention Weekend
This Saturday I'll be at the Munchkin convention in Princeton, NJ. There's little time left to get tickets, but if you're interested, it's Friday to Sunday and here's the info: 609-883-3906.
7/30/05 Added link banner to several Oz pages. Added plot synopses of the Star Wars Tales of the Jedi series: The Golden Age of the Sith and The Fall of the Sith Empire. Plot synopses provided by Karen Libsman.
7/26/05 The Force is on DVD
November 1st marks the debut of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith on DVD. Not much is known on specs (such as if any extra scenes will be included) other than, like prior releases, it will be a 2-disk set with special features such as Deleted Scenes, a brand-new full-length documentary, featurettes on the prophecy of the Chosen One and the other on stunt work; also included will be the 15 part web-documentary, Making Revenge of the Sith and the Battlefront II demo. You can also expect a Lucas commentary. Star Wars DVDs are known to be among the best presentation disks on the market, so you can expect amazing picture and sound quality! Note: The six-DVD box set which was expected will in fact NOT be released this year according to the recent announcement made by Steve Sansweet at Comic-Con. Tweaks and changes will likely accompany that release but it will be some time before we hear word on any major changes or additions.
7/24/05 Verizon put me back on line so you can finally check out all my latest updates for the past week! Added listing for the upcoming trade: Clone Wars Volume 6: On the Fields of Battle in the Rise of the Empire and History sections. Added some cover images and did some retooling to my new Reckoning page.
7/22/05 Well, you guys still aren't seeing my updates, but I just keep adding them anyway. Let's see if Verizon shows up tomorrow to fix the phones! I finally added Reckoning (which replaces the lamely titled 'Personal Thoughts' page which shows just how rushed I can sometimes be). Reckoning is my "recommended reading" list (focusing appropriately on Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror/Gothic/etc.). It's also the place where I'll put my miscellaneous reviews, essays and various musings. As I'm not prolific enough to keep a blog, it's a non-blog blog. Or whatever. It's what it is. It's Reckoning. To celebrate Reckoning, I've completely overhauled my AboutTimelineUniverse page. It's less-than-satisfactory presentation (which has always plagued me despite minor changes) has been entirely redone, and I've even rewritten a large portion of it.
7/22/05 The Day of Reckoning has Arrived!
Not surprisingly, I'm often asked to make recommendations on good books I've read. So for some time now, I've wanted a page for just that; and at last it's here. Reckoning will be a growing effort that lists my favorites and recommendations in the Fantasy (fantasy, sci-fi, horror) field, with a proclivity towards the masters... Reckoning has also replaced my personal thoughts page, so it will also contain occasional essays, reviews and other dark matter... It's what my blog would be if I had the time, energy and effort, and was prolific enough to have one.
7/21/05 Trouble with Verizon phone lines prevented my recent two updates from appearing on the dates updated. Let's hope it's cleared up soon. Posted covers and titles for the upcoming Star Wars: Dark Nest books II: The Unseen Queen and III: The Swarm War.
7/16/05 Updated The Sith Era and History sections of the Star Wars Timeline to include the upcoming series Knights of the Old Republic. Archived news from 7/04 to 12/04. Updated Star Wars Adventure Journal stories that were printed in Tales from the Empire and Tales from the New Republic.
7/16/05 New Plans Unfolding for Star Wars!
Star Wars is finished now that the final film has been released? Think
again. At the recent Comic-Con, Dark Horse finally announced their
plans for a major revamp! First off, the one-shot Purge will deal
with the aftermath of Order 66 and Vader's hunt of the Jedi. Next up,
Rogue Squadron returns with Luke at the helm in X-Wing: Rogue Leader.
Finally, Dark Horse's long-running series Empire, Republic and
Tales all come an end! But before you mourn their passing, in their
place will be a new batch of series: Knights of the Old Republic takes
place in the ancient past, 4,000 years before the film series and will bridge
the gap between the excellent Tales of
the Jedi series and the highly acclaimed computer game of the same name.
Never read these or played before? Fear not! The new series won't
leave you in the dark as new fans can jump right onboard with no prior
knowledge... Next up: Rebellion takes the place of
Empire spanning the years leading up to The Empire Strikes Back.
Once again, new fans are not left out and need no prior knowledge of Empire,
the Classic Star Wars or A Long Time Ago... series which precedes
in this era to enjoy these stories. And these are just the beginning!
To quote Jeremy Barlowe (Dark Horse editor/author) "No era will be left
untouched, no theme left unexplored, and no matter your level of Star Wars
fandom, be you casual or hardcore, you'll find something to stimulate your
imagination and remind you why you first fell in love with that galaxy far, far
away. 2005 may signal the end of the Star Wars film series, but for Dark
Horse and the rest of the Expanded Universe, it's only the beginning..."
For the complete story, go
7/14/05 Updated OzTimeline and cover gallery to include Einhorn's new book The Living House of Oz. Added upcoming Star Wars: Empire story-arch ("The Wrong Side of the War" and "A Model Officer") in the History and Era of Rebellion sections. Added upcoming Star Wars: Republic story-arch, "The Hidden Enemy" to the History and Rise of the Empire sections. Added upcoming "Clone Wars Vol. 7: When They Were Brothers" trade paperback to Obsession and 2005 Free Comic Book Day titles. Added links to all the short fiction available on the online Star Wars Hyperspace site (which has been reprinting old Star Wars Adventure Journal stories as well as short stories that have appeared in the Insider magazine and elsewhere).
7/8/05 Updated "Latest News" section to indicate exact date of DVD release of Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, The Wizard of Oz, and the third X-Files Mythology arc.
7/8/05 New DVD's
Oz: Reuters has posted information on the 10/25 reissue of MGM's classic The Wizard of Oz which may please some fans of L. Frank Baum and Oz film historians.
"Oz" will be available both as two- and three-disc sets, the latter boasting a new documentary about "Oz" author L. Frank Baum, Warner Home Video said Wednesday. They will be priced at $26.99 and $39.92, respectively. The film was originally released on DVD in October 1999 as a single disc.
Both versions of the upcoming "Oz" DVDs will include a new digital transfer of the original movie using Warner's proprietary "Ultra-Resolution" technology. The soundtrack has been remastered as well. Special features include a new commentary from historian John Fricke; four documentaries, including one on the restoration process; outtakes and deleted scenes; home movies made on the "Oz" set by composer Harold Arlen; and an "Oz Jukebox" of recording session materials, radio shows and promo spots. The three-disc edition also includes four hours devoted to Baum; five pre-1939 "Oz" movies, the earliest of which dates to 1910; and reproductions of the invitation and program for the film's premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
Star Wars: November 8th will see the release of the Revenge of the Sith as well as the 3-disk and 6disk box set. No specifics as of yet, but stay tuned. Update: The actual street date, as announced by Lucasfilm is November 1st.
X-Files: The third volume of the X-Files Mythology episodes will be released on 9/27.
7/5/05 Classic Children's Fantasy Returns
For the first time in a long time, a major publisher has released a new Oz book by a famous author that is also approved by the Baum Trust. Sherwood Smith has penned the excellent The Emerald Wand of Oz, the first in a new series of illustrated novels that builds on the Oz books of old. But you don't have to know the old Oz stories to enjoy this refreshing fantasy about two opposite siblings who get whisked away to a far-off land just as the witch-usurper Bastinda has enchanted its rulers, Ozma and Glinda, and Dorothy is missing! Whether your an Oz fan of old, or a new fan looking for something good to read this summer, pick up The Emerald Wand of Oz!
6/29/05 The X-Files are Back!
Checker Publishing has been kind enough to send me a review copy of their new trade paperback collection: The X-Files: Volume One. This nicely-designed book picks up where Topps left off, collecting the chilling standalone-stories that start with issues 13-19, and the adaptations of the pilot episode and Squeeze. To read this review, click here.
6/28/05 Added quote from OzSquad author Steve Ahlquist and links to his published work online. Added OzSquad cover images and corrected issue numbers and author info. Posted review of The X-Files: Volume One by Checker Publishing.
6/27/05 Added several entries for The Seven Blue Mountains of Oz: Book 3: Zim Greenleaf of Oz on the mainline timeline of The Royal Timeline of Oz. Added footnotes and a cover image for this book as well.
6/22/05 Website Updates
Thanks to the advice of Eddie Beiles, I've added a page strictly for updates to this site. This way, besides important news, regular visitors can see exactly what's been added or altered and go right to it. This should hopefully keep me more diligent in actually updating on a timely basis! You'll find the link to this page right on this page, above the words "Latest News" and on the index page.
6/20/05 New website updates page added. Added cover images of General Grievous #3 (in CovergalleryClones) and Republic #76 (in CovergallerySith). Added Dorothy comics entry on Dark Side of Oz page. Added cover images of Dorothy 1-3 on Cover images 4 page. Coming soon: X-Files Season II plot summaries.
6/15/05 Lost in Space anyone?
The fortieth year anniversary of Lost in Space is upon us and to commemorate the event is the long-awaited publication of Bill Mumy's (that's right, Will Robinson himself) Lost in Space: Voyage to the Bottom of the Soul. This is a 360 page graphic novel detailing the further adventures of the Robinson family years after the events depicted in the highly-popular TV show. Mumy's work had originally started to appear in the early 90's in the pages of Innovation publisher, but halfway through the story-arc, the company folded and the story (like the original TV series) ended without resolution. But the original team has been gathered again and the story is complete! Due to hit the presses in July of this year, you can order an advanced copy at the new publisher's site here!
In further non-Star Wars news...
...for a change, I've began updating the X-Files portion of the site to include brief (as in one paragraph) plot synopses of each episode as an aid to readers/viewers needing to recall which show is which. I've also finally begun to include some cover images of of book adaptations and such. This is all still in its early stages with much more to come.
6/13/05 Boba Fett? Boba Fett? Where
On TV, if everything goes according to plan. George Lucas announced recently that the much beloved anti-hero (as portrayed by Daniel Logan in Attack of the Clones) may be one of the major players in the upcoming live-action TV series. Before that show airs in 2007, however, there will be the 3D animated Clone Wars series. All that's known thus far is that this will be a half-hour show that takes place some time in the 3 years leading up to Revenge of the Sith, but details as to its creators and network remain as yet unknown.
6/09/05 New Books
OZ: At long last, Melody Grandy's third and final volume of the Seven Blue Mountains of Oz series is out. Subtitled, Zim Greenleaf of Oz, this large volume continues the adventures of Tip and Zim, and also concludes stories from some of Melody's other works including Thorns and Private Files in Oz. Illustrated by Grandy as well as Marcus Mebes and Luciano Veccio.
Star Wars: Fan-favorite Karen Traviss has written a sequel to the highly popular Republic Commando: Hard Contact to be released in the Spring entitled: Republic Commando: Triple Zero. And keep your eyes peeled for her short Darth Vader story entitled In his Image which will appear exclusively in the upcoming magazine: Vader - the Definitive Guide (published by IDG Entertainment). Note: Quantities of this publication are limited!
6/07/05 DVDs Coming
Update: Expect the DVD release to be on November 8th... No word yet on special features. :
Expect Revenge of the Sith to be released individually on DVD in November of this year. Also expect, the following: a three film Prequel Trilogy DVD box set; and a six-film DVD box set of the complete saga. All three releases will be available as widescreen as well as fullscreen (WHY do they feel the need to keep releasing fullscreen versions!?!). Nothing is yet known about these sets in terms of whether or not these will be the Definitive releases or what (if any) extras will be on them. Keep your eyes here for future updates on this!
6/05/05 How many times?
I'm at five and counting and have decided to proffer forth a second review to examine what I think after having seen it multiple times. For my original review, click here. I have to say that this film is so densely layered, it requires at least a second viewing to appreciate, but besides that it easily bears the brunt of multiple viewings which is not a boast many films can make. It's the kind of film that simply keeps on giving (especially for fans). Seeing it with different people, fans and non-fans alike, however, also sheds an interesting perspective, namely, just how well constructed REVENGE really is. Even those who haven't paid all that much attention to Episodes I and II (or have missed one or both) are able to follow the complex and quickly-moving storyline. And yet the plot is never sacrificed for the sake of newbies. In fact, REVENGE is chock full of plot (with several nods to older and EU fans). More importantly, it's chock full of emotion. Don't believe the naysayers: the cast really do some excellent work here, and they deserve the praise for it. And with the exception of one very short scene, the dialogue is very good, particularly Palpatine's, Obi-Wan's and Yoda's. There is complex material here, with characters that are flawed and issues that aren't always clear cut. While the original trilogy was pretty straightforward in terms of its heroes and villains, that is not the case here. Sure, Palpatine is the Satan of the entire mythology, but aside from him, everyone is unwittingly cast in gray, made so by the deceptive shadow Sidious spreads over everything and everyone. This in turn allows for some very interesting multiple-perspective POV's on nearly every character and group: The Jedi, the Sith, the Senate, and the Separatists. No wonder the Force is clouded! And although we know a lot has been cut out (particularly some crucial development regarding the Rebellion), the picture never suffers as a result (as say the LOTR films did). The film moves in three distinct acts, and each one plays a crucial role that builds to the climax of the overall story-arch. While I look forward to seeing the extra footage (preferably reinserted into the film), REVENGE does stand on its own. And as dark as the film gets in its final act, all of the elements that fans of the original trilogy have come to love are here, namely genuine humor and a sense of fun and adventure. Lucas has always been a master at distilling classic film influences into his vision, and this one is no different, containing some great horror movie elements and archetypes in the forms of Sidious, Grievous (who I like more and more) and Vader. The final battles with Yoda and Sidious and Anakin and Obi-Wan are some of the most thrilling scenes in movie history! They just deliver in spades. REVENGE is also gorgeous to look at and a powerhouse of a listen. William's score runs the gamut from frenetic to downright heartbreaking. Truly a triumph of a picture, the keystone to the saga, and a film Star Wars fans can be very proud of. Each Star Wars film has its own unique feel and fans will debate endlessly about which one is their favorite and why. After five viewings, Revenge of the Sith remains my favorite. Still, it's a moot point for the overall saga remains one of the greatest cinematic epics ever made, but beyond that, Star Wars has achieved the status of modern mythology, something scant few others (such as J.R.R. Tolkien) have managed to attain and deserve.
5/21/05 Revenge of the Sith Reviewed
At long last, the final Star Wars film debuts and Lucas sends the saga out with a huge bang and a surprising amount of grief! Note: The following is spoiler heavy, so don't read if you haven't yet seen the film. Click here to read on...
5/18/05 Well, it's here...
Right now, the final Star Wars is debuting all over the Easter Coast and the excitement is rather palpable among the million faithful. Even the TV news, the acme of mediocrity is showing newsclips of rabid fans lined up for what will likely promise an exciting and truly climatic two-and-a-half hours detailing the choices and consequences of a young man desperate to do what's right but ultimately failing in the end. Yet sitting here writing this now, still several hours from seeing the film (tomorrow evening at 7PM), I can't help but think about the issue of choice and consequence and feel a somewhat bitter pang of disillusionment. No, I'm not talking about the played-out fanboy vitriol regarding disappointment over the prequels and nonsense about raped childhoods. I'm not even talking about the films, per se, but rather what they represent in the cultural milieu in which many of us grew up... To read the rest of this essay, click here.
5/16/05 Life after Revenge of the Sith
Scott over at Theforce.net has written an encouraging article about life after Star Wars. Check it out here.
5/11/05 New Interview and an Interesting Petition
Check out a brief interview from MTV.com where Lucas discusses the link between Stormtroopers and Clonetroopers, the rumored nine-film saga and the fate of Jar Jar.
Also, there's an interesting new petition up that actually seeks to get a million signatures to ... thank George Lucas for Star Wars! Novel concept and a refreshingly positive on! Click here or on the Yoda box to the right (Sign or sign not...)
5/9/05 Set your Calendars!
Mark off December 9th for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe! Not yet convinced that this may well be the next Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, check out the trailers now at http://www.narniafans.com/. For those who aren't yet aware, The Chronicles of Narnia is a seven-book fantasy series written by Tolkien-friend and fellow don and Professor (at Cambridge University) C.S. Lewis. The books were published in the mid 1950's.
In other minor movie news, 10 days until Revenge!!! Reviews have been highly positive and excitement is running very high for the final Star Wars installment which may prove to be what long-time fans have been waiting for since 1983.
5/5/05 Two Weeks to Go!
And don't forget this Saturday is Free Comic Book Day, so head on down to your local comic book shop and grab your free Star Wars comic!
5/4/05 New Page Debuts
Well, it's 5:00 AM and the much-anticipated (and asked about) page is here: Reviews and Recommendations. At long last, Star Wars fans old and new (but especially new) can attain help in figuring out what books and comics they should pick up to begin their Star Wars journey with! No doubt, some of my choices will be viewed as controversial, but with a list of 101 must-read Star Wars titles, I'm sure there's something for everyone to love and hate. So, by all means drop me a line and let me know your top ten titles (and why) and maybe I'll post it at a future date!
Also check out a snippet from Wired Magazine's recent interview with George Lucas concerning a topic that is near and dear to a particular theme of this site: The Truth behind Fantasy.
4/27/05 Star Wars DVD news...
Expect the Revenge of the Sith DVD to hit us in the Fall, which is a very early release date for a film of this nature! Special FX for scenes not in the theatrical release are still being completed. Whether these will appear as separate "deleted scenes" or integrated into the films (which let's face it is where most of us want them) is as yet unknown. Finally, we will be getting a 6-film DVD box set with likely an additional disk for deleted scenes and other miscellanea. Lucas has been quoted at CIII as saying he's happy with the films as they "are now". Speculation on what exactly that means is rampant as his phraseology may mean either the versions we've seen on DVD or later changes that he's made which we've yet to see. There has long been speculation on altered scenes and additionally filmed ones for all six films; and recent confirmation that Yoda has been changed from the hideous puppet seen in Episode I to a much more accurate version via CGI seems to confirm the latter of two interpretations. Time will tell...
4/24/05 CIII Expanded Universe News! A New Star Wars Era and The Return of Lumiya!
4/23/05 Lucas Appearance at CIII and news on the upcoming TV series!
Update 4/24/05: Great news on the TV show front! the upcoming live-action TV series from Lucasfilm.
See below for more!
George Lucas made his first appearance at a Star Wars convention today and had the following exciting news to report about the upcoming TV series:
Lucasfilm is now going to move into television. The first
series is 3-D animation, a regular series that will last 1/2 hour per episode
(this appears to be a continuation of Clone Wars stories).
He's also working on a spinoff TV series for characters that have appeared in
the films. It will be live-action, and based on what he called a "really great
idea." It will be structured much like Young Indy.
know we're doing a pilot television series now called Clone Wars," said Lucas.
"Well we're going to take that and turn it into a 3-D animated version full
series." Lucas described the episodes as being 30 minutes in length.
4/22/05 The Episode III/EU Connection
As if fans of the Star Wars Expanded Universe needed any further convincing that Lucas considers the EU (short for Expanded Universe) part and parcel of his epic film series, the identity of a character from the EU has been discovered in Revenge of the Sith...
Very Minor Spoilers
If you've read Timothy Zahn's "Thrawn Trilogy" (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command), you might recall Chewbacca's childhood friend Salporin. Well that very same Salporin makes his debut alongside Chewbacca in Revenge of the Sith! This marks the third direct EU tie-in to the films thus far. TPM saw the use of the name Coruscant (although the planet had long before been conceived it was Zahn who had the honor of naming it in the aforementioned 'Thrawn Trilogy'); AOTC borrowed Jedi Twilek Aayla Secura, a character created by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema, from the Dark Horse ongoing Star Wars series, Republic. But the use of Salporin marks the first time a non-film character was utilized based solely on a history devised from the EU. And Revenge of the Sith may yet have more EU references to come. It is rumored that darksider, Asajj Ventress will be mentioned by name (from the Clone Wars cartoons and Dark Horse comics), and of course, Episode III was directly planned with the lead in EU stories Labyrinth of Evil and Reversal of Fortune in mind.
4/15/05 Tickets Anyone!?
Long Island fans, want to see the Star Wars film in the digital format? Well you can't, not unless you trek into Manhattan that is. And with 22 guests and counting, that's not going to happen for me. So if you'd like to meet the webmaster of this site (that would be me, Joe), head on over to the Westbury UA theater in Westbury, NY. I'll be the first in line for the 7:00 PM show. Come and say Hi!
UA Westbury Stadium 12
7000 Brush Hollow Rd.
Westbury, NY 11590
4/9/05 Visions of Revenge
If you haven't yet, run out and pick up Star Wars: Visionaries. Ten stories written and illustrated by brilliant minds of Lucasfilm's art department and ILM are contained in the book detailing the origins of General Grievous (by the man who first conceived him), Durge, the return of Darth Maul and much more, including events leading up to the final conflagration in Revenge of the Sith! Gorgeous art in wildly varying styles accompanies these excellent and occasionally bizarre tales that hearken back to the classic works of Moebius, Marvel's Epic and the glory days of Heavy Metal magazine.
4/2/05 How broke are you?
So, how much did you spend on all the new actions figures (they look great don't they?), toys, books and comics?! Staying spoiler free? Reading ahead? Either way, it's an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan again! EU fans, heads up: the bookstores aren't too swift with cross-merchandising, so be sure to locate: Star Wars Visionaries and the first book in Jude Watson's new The Last of the Jedi series. Visionaries is written and illustrated by the very co-creators of Revenge of the Sith. That's right, the art department at LFL got the opportunity to tell (and illustrate) new stories set in the SW Universe and the results are astounding! The Last of the Jedi is the first story to take place after the close of Revenge of the Sith, and it centers on Obi-Wan. Definitely check these two out!
3/31/05 Saturday is Star Wars Day
Just a reminder: Head to your bookstores and toy stores this Saturday for Star Wars day. In particular, check out Walmart, Toys R Us and Target for exclusive Star Wars merchandise. Borders and Barnes and Noble will feature all of the newest Revenge of the Sith material, including Matt Stover's adaptation (click here for a great interview with him), the Making of book, and much much more...
3/27/05 New Server
Apologies for being down for a day, I just transferred to a new Linux server (which affords me a lot more space) and thanks to the helpful guys at www.Successfulhosting.com, all has gone smoothly.
Fans of the Star Wars Expanded Universe have had a lot to say for the last few days regarding the third season of Clone Wars cartoons (known as Clone Wars: Volume II), and much of it bad due to major continuity discrepancies with both the lead-in novel (Labyrinth of Evil) and the online comic strip (Reversal of Fortune). What are your thoughts? Do you have a fix? Or is it just Infinities? Write to me and let me know what you think.
3/18/05 Revenge of the 3D!
At ShoWest in Las Vegas yesterday, George Lucas announced plans to re-release all six Star Wars films beginning across theaters in 3D beginning the summer of '07 (the thirty year anniversary of Episode IV: A New Hope, known to non-fans as 'the first Star Wars film')! The interesting thing is that this isn't your father's 3D. Lucas has been watching the evolution of 3D digital technology for years now and Texas Instruments DLP prototype is the first one to meet his high standards. According to Lucas, the 3D digital conversion actually outshines the original film! On board with this idea are James Cameron (of Titanic, Aliens and Terminator 2 fame), Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future trilogy) and Peter Jackson who is also hoping to see Hobbits in 3D!
Update 3/21: Reuters posted these quotes that should say a lot about the commitment being put towards this new process:
"It's really a beautiful system, and one of the reasons I'm promoting it today is I'm extremely anxious to reissue that old group of films I did so long ago in a galaxy far away," Lucas said. "When you see some of this test footage, it's shockingly good, and you can see how people would want to go see it. It means we can repurpose a lot of old movies, and at the same time it really gives a whole new dimension to the movies we're making now."
Jackson joined the others to lend his support to "one of the most exciting developments in cinema in a long, long time. It's not just the use of digital projection, which we all know is on the horizon," Jackson said. "But that the particular technology can be used to create three-dimensional movies that go far beyond the quality and the spectacle of anything we've ever seen before. Forget the old days of wearing the red and blue glasses and the eyestrain. All of that is behind us now. These new active glasses that you're wearing and seeing 3-D with are a breakthrough in technology."
Jackson screened remastered portions from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy that featured a looming Gollum and battle dust that virtually fell onto the audience.
"I'm a man on a mission when it comes to 3-D," Cameron said. "I will be making all of my films in 3-D in the future. We need exhibition to come in to own a big chunk of the (emerging 3-D) market."
3/17/05 Is the wait grievous?
Those intrigued by the upcoming new villain in Revenge of the Sith can have there palettes' whetted by the release of Dark Horse's first issue of the four part General Grievous... 2 years after the Clone Wars have begun, several Jedi disobey direct orders from the Jedi Council to track down and assassinate the mysterious and deadly General Grievous, a Jedi killer with the blood of over 100 Jedi at his hands. But the General has plans of his own and has just captured a most valuable prize, a cache of padawan younglings!
Queer Visitors Among Us
Few fans of the Wizard of Oz are aware of the wonderful book series that L. Frank Baum began in 1900. Even fewer are aware of the fact that Baum also wrote a successful ongoing newspaper strip involving his creations called Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz that ran from around 1904 to 1905. Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion and the Wogglebug (from Baum's second Oz fantasy) decide to pay a surprise visit to Dorothy in Kansas, but trouble abounds as the American public is not quite ready for these bizarre visitors from Oz! Now everyone can enjoy these rare and exciting adventures again as Hungry Tiger Press' famed author and illustrator Eric Shanower (Age of Bronze) has illustrated and reformatted these strips into a new book entitled Visitors from Oz! Available in hardcover and trade paperback editions with separate covers, this new title contains all of Shanower's prior illustrations (from the long out-of-print editions of The Third Book of Oz) as well as many new ones, and also includes the rare Wogglebug Book from 1905, Baum's sequel to the Queer Visitors strips and completely unedited for the first time (note: as was common during this era, unpleasant racial slurs abound, and have been kept intact, preserved for historical purposes). While both editions of these gorgeous volumes include the complete text, the hardcover is limited to 250 and contains an additional 20 pages of material, including publicity articles from 1904 and an informative afterward by Oz scholar, David Maxine. Reserve your copy today by clicking here!
3/13/05 How many times?
The new Star Wars trailer is causing quite a buzz among SW fandom, raising expectations to heights not seen since before The Phantom Menace rolled out six years ago. Fans have cited not only stunning visuals and stylistic camera-work, but arresting dialogue from Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (played by Ian McDiarmid) as he subtly lures Anakin to the dark side, intense glimpses of lightsaber and space action, and a much darker tonal palette which sees many formerly disenchanted fans of the epic series returning back to the fold with high hopes that Lucas will see through on his promise to make the final part of the prequel trilogy more for adults than prior episodes have been. And indeed, his interview on 60 Minutes seems to confirm this as Lucas indicates that the film may in fact receive a PG-13 rating. The 60 year old director mentions as well that he would not bring his 5 or 6 year old to see it (a bold statement in and of itself) and that he could trim some of the darker elements back, but he doesn't want to. Kudos to that! For those who haven't seen it yet, the trailer will appear before the film Robots in theaters as well as on www.StarWars.com in a few days...
3/1/05 More Star Wars dates for you:
Starwars.com for details
on the upcoming trailer for Star Wars: Episode III.
Check out all the important Star
Wars dates below...
2/23/05 Rats in a Maze: No escape from The Labyrinth of Evil
"The Board is set; the pieces are in motion." Gandalf's line from that other final entry in a major blockbuster trilogy is apt to describe the lead-in novel to this May's final entry, Revenge of the Sith. James Luceno's Labyrinth of Evil describes the diabolical machinations of dark lords, Darth Sidious and Darth Tyrannus, aka, Count Dooku, as the final part of their plan is set into action. Those who have been sleeping through the last two Star Wars films are unlikely to recognize these characters and probably don't even know what a Sith is... Click here to read the rest of this review.
Not enough Star Wars for you... Check out Jude Watson's Secrets of the Jedi...
Three Generations of Jedi: Three Untold Secrets! Journey back in time to Qui-Gon's apprenticeship of Obi-Wan as Qui-Gon tries to heal from the loss of a Jedi he forbiddingly fell in love with. Then jump ahead to the end of the Clone Wars with Anakin who's own secret love may prove his undoing...
2/20/05 Less than 3 months till the final Star Wars film, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith!
1/20/05 You might notice some minor cosmetic alternations to TimelineUniverse.net. It's all part of the general overhaul this site is getting which should please some of you. And yes, you likely noticed that Timeline X: The X-Files Chronology is on board with Seasons I, II and III (which I'm still at work on). Just thought you'd all like a peek. There's a lot more ahead including Seasons IV to IX and cover galleries. What with every episode on DVD (including Lone Gunmen next month) and a new X-Files film in the works, what better time to re-open the X-Files.
1/18/04 Ok, here's some important Star Wars dates you need to jot down on your calendars:
1) March 10: A new full-length trailer debuts on the Fox Network at 8PM (check your local
listings for the times in your area) during the show, The O.C. After which you can head to
Hyperspace to catch it there.
2) March 21: The first new episode of the Clone Wars cartoon, Season 2 on the Cartoon
3) March 22: Head to your favorite DVD store (or preorder on Amazon) the first season of
Clone Wars Season One (episodes 1-20)! (Incidentally, The Phantom Menace and Attack
of the Clones DVDs will also be available again on this day)
4) April 2: Head to your bookshops, comic book stores and toy shops for all the new
Revenge of the Sith books, comics, toys and action figures! You want specifics: The
novelization of ROTS by Matthew Stover, the Making of ROTS, Art of ROTS, Visionaries
(which includes new illustrations and stories from the concept artists who made Episode III),
the Visual Dictionary, Cross Sections, junior adaptation, graphic novel, Jude Watson's Last
of the Jedi (the first book to take place after ROTS!) and much, much more!!!
5) May 7: Free Comic Book Day! Go to your local comic book store (or click on the link on
the right to find your local comic book store) to pick up a free Star Wars comic. Note: This
will be a new previously unpublished story set right before Revenge of the Sith!
6) May 19: The big one! Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith at a theater near you!
1/08/04 Breaking TimelineUniverse.net news!! At the advice of my publicist, excuse me 'media relations' (thank you Carl) I've decided to let all of you know of my latest project for this site: The X-Files Chronology! Armed with nine seasons of DVD's, and every book and comic published, I'm close to completing the timeline of Season One. To my knowledge, no other online timeline has dealt with the literary media in terms of its place within the structure of the show. As there are numerous episode guides available online and in print, I won't be doing yet another summary of each episode's plot points. Instead I'm looking forward to providing you X-Philes with an accurate and comprehensive chronology that will let you know what to watch and read and when. Stay tuned here for further information...