Tuesday, October 23, 2012

32 BBY: Podracing Tales

As taken from Wookieepedia:

“Podracing Tales was an online comic published on StarWars.com on December 19, 2000, as "a special holiday treat" for fans, courtesy of the Official Star Wars Website and Dark Horse Comics. It consists of eight vignettes featuring the Boonta Eve Classic podracers from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.”

Written by Ryder Windham, Podracing Tales did well weaving itself into the peripheral threads of the Episode 1 comics.  Though I didn’t enjoy the art of this piece, the eight fragments were mildly enjoyable simply as bits of text supporting and referencing a larger and earlier text.  Its two major points of familiar subplot from the Episode 1 comics were its reference to the Sebulba assassination plot, and the fact that Sebulba bought Anakin’s old podracer.
In Podracing Tales the scene between Aldar Beedo and Wan Sandage elucidates a little more on the original scene of the two found in Anakin Skywalker’s Episode 1 comic.  Its purpose supports the idea that Wan Sandage is indeed a killer, and references his previous job killing Borzu Nale, a minor crime lord.  There is a disparity between the price the two negotiated to kill Sebulba.  In the Episode 1 Comic the two racers agree to a sum of 50,000 “wupiupi”; whereas in Podracing Tales the two agree to a sum of 200,000. 

Also, at the end of Podracing Tales we see Sebulba with his new podracer and his pledge to head to Malastare.  This scene links with Qui-Gon’s Episode 1 comic, where he sells Anakin’s racer to raise money for the boy’s mother.

Beyond these two aspects of intertextuality, I thought it neat that the racers of the Boonta Eve Classic were all out with each other the night before boozing it up. 

Texts influencing and referencing other texts; one of my favorite aspects of the Star Wars expanded universe. 
For my next post I’m going to take a look at Galactic Battlegrounds missions 2 and 3, thus starting a three-post video game run.  Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.

Monday, October 22, 2012

32 BBY: Episode I storybooks: Watch out Jar Jar!/ I Am a Jedi / I Am a Droid/ I Am a Pilot/ I Am a Queen

Like a lot of the children’s material I’m looking at for my PhD in Star Wars-ology, the pre-school books Watch out Jar Jar, I Am a Jedi, I Am a Droid, I Am a Pilot, and I Am a Queen are fairly insignificant bits of text in the grand scheme of my plan.
Beyond a neat cross section of a lightsaber, and a photo of Darth Sidious where you can actually see his eyes in I am a Jedi, and  a picture of Queen Amidala’s Royal Advisory Council  in I am a Queen, where we are presented with the  names and titles of her advisors, like Graf Zapalo, Master of Sciences, these books are forgettable.

There was a lovable looking droid in I am A droid named Rolo that reminded me of WALL-E (I wonder if Rolo played some inspiration in the creation of that Disney character?), but otherwise the other two books held nothing of importance.

As it is, I’m moving on to Podracing Tales next, then on to a few video games which I’m looking forward to.  I’m still here, just bogged down in teacher stuff.  Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

32 BBY: Episode I: Anakin’s Fate/ Dangers of the Core/ Jar Jar’s Mistake/ Anakin’s Pit Droid/ Darth Maul's Revenge/ Anakin to the Rescue/ Anakin's Race for Freedom

The Star Wars Episode 1 children’s books featuring the titles: Anakin’s Fate, Dangers of the Core, Jar Jar’s Mistake, Anakin’s Pit Droid, Darth Maul’s revenge, Anakin to the Rescue, and Anakin’s Race for Freedom were no more interesting than the last series of children’s books I looked at.  Of the seven I’ve just mentioned, the most interesting were Darth Maul’s Revenge, Anakin to the Rescue, and Anakin’s Fate.
The other four titles generally stayed inside the narrative of The Phantom Menace with the exception being Dangers in the Core.  It included within its pages the cut-scene of Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Jar Jar’s escape from the bongo before it fell over the Theed waterfall. Anakin’s Pit Driod contained a cute narrative of DUM-4, and Anakin’s Race to Freedom featured some good art by Jose Miralles, but that is really about it.

The only thing really interesting about Darth Maul’s Revenge was that its narrative contained the story of Maul being attacked by the Tusken Raiders found in the Journal of Darth Maul. Tommy Lee Edward’s illustrations of Maul facing off with the Tuskens was good. 

Anakin to the Rescue was the most original of all the stories.  Surprisingly, this was a touching little tale about Anakin helping a lost boy named Finn on Corusacant. Finn, a boy of about 5 or six years old, became lost because his nanny droid went haywire.  Anakin agreed to help the boy, and the droid lead Anakin, Jar Jar, and Finn on a wild chase through the streets of Coruscant.  They finally caught up with the droid wherein Anakin fixes it.  Anakin and Jar Jar make it back to the temple before the Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan depart for Naboo.  Anakin then explained to Qui-Gon where was and what he was up too.  Qui-Gon nods and gives Anakin some fatherly approval.  Chris Trevas was the artist in this story, and I always enjoy his work.
Anakin’s Fate was the most enjoyable of the seven books I looked at.  Interestingly, is that Quinlan Vos in the background on page 9?  I’ve often wondered about this.  What was Quinlan Vos doing on Tatooine when Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were there?  Someone please tell me if that backstory was eventually filled in.  Qui-Gon was steps away from Quinlan, but there was no interaction.  We know why this is; because the Quinlan Vos we see in the Phantom Menaced is not yet known to be the Quinlan Vos from the EU. The naming of the “man at the cafe with the yellow stripe across is face” came later.  But again I ask: is this narrative later addressed?

The art was great in this book.  My favorite scene was from pages 18-19, where Anakin and C-3P0 are speeding across the dessert carrying scrap to trade with the Jawas.  In the background are the scraggly cliffs of Tatooine framed by the two suns in the sky.  There are some banthas over the horizon and Tusken raiders raising their arms in protest.  In the foreground is the skeleton of a kryat dragon.   It’s a shame Marc Cerasini left out the part about Anakin helping the wounded Tusken Raider on his way back from trading with the Jawas.  In the novelization of The Phantom Menace I thought this whole scene was the best part.
Also included in this story was Anakin’s conversation with the old spacer (though in this book he didn’t look very old and he was presented differently than the “old spacer” from the Episode 1 comics) and the bit about the kids getting fruit drinks. However, there is a bit of a continuity error in this story.  As found on Wookieepedia: “This story goes over the race that Watto refers to in Episode I where he says, "He smashed up my pod in the last race!" It also contains a major continuity error. Anakin flies Watto's pod, which looks exactly like his own pod that he flies in Episode I despite the fact that his racer was unfinished and under construction at the time”. 

I’ll be glad when I can put these children’s books behind.  As I’ve said before, being a completionist is mildly insane.
Sorry for the long period between posts.  As you’re well aware of by now, when September rolls around and the new school year begins all my free time goes out the window.  What free time I do have after the children go to bed is wasted in front of the TV where I get to shut off my brain.  My ability to concentrate in the evenings is horrendous.  This post took forever to write.

As it is, I’m one step further out of 32 BBY.
For my next post I’m going to take a look at more Episode 1 storybooks.  Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.

*** Is anyone else seeing random words highligted in my post with an add?  This is not my doing and how do I make it stop?