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Topics - brianakarobin

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Wampa Cave / Star Wars Celebration 7
« on: August 24, 2013, 12:27:35 PM »
I just realized there hadn't been a post about this.  I am not sure how many troopers saw this, but they announced the next Star Wars celebration, which will take place in Anaheim, California in April 16-19, 2015, leading up to Episode VII.  For some reason, the tickets already went on sale, so the VIP tickets (Jedi Knight and Jedi Master) are all sold out. 

Any troopers thinking about going?  I think there is a fair chance I will go, but not absolutely sure at this point.  Although, I do have the Star Wars Galactic Trivia Championship title to defend... :P

The website can be found here

Wampa Cave / Bad news for EU fans
« on: June 12, 2013, 09:15:58 PM »
This is from rumour crap, so take it with a grain of salt...however, if this guy is half as good as he thinks, then the EU is basically being ignored for the new films.

Wampa Cave / May the Fourth be with you!
« on: May 04, 2013, 08:27:35 AM »
The heading says it all - happy Star Wars day, fellow troopers! 

Wampa Cave / Yoda statue at Lucasfilm
« on: April 12, 2013, 09:56:08 PM »
I am in San Francisco for work this week, and had some time today so I went to the new home of Lucasfilm, LucasArts (whatever they will do now :confused0024:), etc.  Unfortunately, you can't go in and get a tour or anything, but I did get a picture of a little green Jedi.  I posted it on FB for anyone who wants to check it out.  It was almost like being on holy ground! :love0030:

Expanded Universe - Legacy & the New EU / Scoundrels
« on: February 06, 2013, 11:26:55 PM »
Hardcover by Timothy Zahn

Plot Summary
This book starts off in space around the planet Wukkar.  The Imperial Star Destroyer Dominator and its Captain, Worhven, have arrived as babysitters, essentially, for Lord d'Ashewl, who Captain Worhven thinks is a spoiled idiot.  In fact, he is with Imperial Intelligence, and his “servant” is in fact another Imperial operative named Dayja.  They are following Qazadi, a Falleen and one of the nine Vigos of Black Sun, who has left Coruscant and they are therefore hoping to bring him in.

Elsewhere on Wukkar, Han Solo is sitting in a Cantina awaiting a contact who apparently has a job for him.  While he is sitting there, he is accosted by an old acquaintance, Falsta, who has become an assassin and is looking to cash in on the reward Jabba has on Han.  Han ends up shooting and killing him, and as he is leaving, he is approached by someone named Eanjer Kunarazti.  Eanjer explains that he needs someone to help him steal back some money from someone.  He explains that his father was a successful shipper, and Avrak Villachor killed him and stole 163 million Credits from him, leaving Eanjer for dead in the process.  Eanjer survived, but half his face and one arm are badly misshapen and covered in medseal.  The stolen money is in Credit chips, and so it cannot be cashed for the full value without Eanjer.  However, a slicer could access perhaps 800,000 Credits, and Eanjer needs to get the chips back before that happens and the rest of the money is lost.  After seeing Han dispatch of Falsta, he thinks Han is the person for the job, and offers an even split of the 163 million Credits to Han and whoever else he may need to help him.  Han agrees, and with the help of Rachele Ree, an old acquaintance who is an upper class female on Wukkar and is a fountain of intel, he puts together a crack team – Chewbacca, of course, with all of his talents; Rachelle as the information expert; Bink and Tavia Kitik, twin female humans who specialize in break and enter (Bink doing the actual work, Tavia an electronics expert behind the scenes); Dozer Creed, master ship thief and initially pegged as front man, but later used for miscellaneous functions, including expropriating vehicles; Zerba Cher’dak, master illusionist and pick-pocket; Winter, life-long friend and associate of Princess Leia and Rebel Operative, with a perfect memory; Kell Tainor, explosives and droid expert; and the one and only Lando Calrissian, brought on board without Han’s approval (although Rachelle thought Han had asked for him), who usurps Dozer as front man.

The group is unaware that Villachor is sector chief for Black Sun, and that Qazadi is there paying Villachor a visit.  The visit has two main purposes – for one, Prince Xizor needed a new place to hide some top secret files that Black Sun use to bribe and extort high ranking officials, and for two, they set up meetings with officials on Wukkar (on whom they have dirt) to extract some favors. 

Han and his group initially set up a base in a hotel across from Villachor’s mansion and observe the comings and goings.  This leads them to another hotel, where a group is staying that have been visiting the mansion several times a day.  It turns out to be Lord Aziel, a Falleen and high ranking Black Sun official who is there with Qazadi (although Qazadi is staying at the mansion) and his body guards.  Han’s team get a hotel room that overlooks their’s, and set up a plan to break in and steal the valuables in their safe.  The plan works, although requiring a diversion where Dozer acts as a delivery man and a bomb goes off (and Dozer gets interrogated by Aziel, much to his horror), but the safe contains only a “datapad” that turns out to be a Cryodex.  The Cryodex was a special encryption device created on Alderaan that is unbreakable.  Only 200 or so where made, and almost all were destroyed when Alderaan was blown up by the Death Star.  It turns out Black Sun has one, and their secret files are encrypted using the Cryodex, and can only be read with it. 

A plan develops where the group create a fake cryodex and some disks, and plan to try to sell it to Villachor, mainly in an attempt to get inside and see the vault they need to break into.  Conveniently, the group are there during the Festival of Four Honorings, a week-long celebration on Wukkar that has one day each to honor earth, air, water, and fire, with prep days between each one.  Villachor’s estate has always hosted events for each of the days, so anyone on Wukkar is allowed on the grounds to see the festivities those days.  The group use this freedom of movement for reconnaissance, and Lando does get an audience with Villachor which allows him to see the mansion, but he does not get into the vault.  However, on his second meeting with Villachor, he brings the fake cryodex and demonstrates its effectiveness by decrypting one of Villachor’s files (really just info stored in the fake Cryodex, not an actual decryption) and Zerba (who is there as Lando’s assistant) swaps the disk with a fake one they made that has espionage equipment built in, which allows them to get information about the vault.

While the information gathering is taking place, Dayja surreptitiously meets with Eanjer and the two agree to work together, Dayja feeding info to the group through Eanjer, and Eanjer in turn will get the data cards to Dayja.  The Imperial Intelligence officers want this to help bring down Qazadi and Black Sun.

After one of his visits with Villachor, Lando and Zerba are kidnapped by people working for Qazadi to find out what he is up to.  Han sets up a bold but, in the end, successful rescue mission which frees Lando and Zerba, but which infuriates Qazadi.

As the information roles in, they set up and execute a daring plan on the last night of the festival.  During the action, several group members are captured at one point or another (including Han and Tavia).  Bink, Kell, and Zerba get into the vault, where Bink successfully cracks the lock and they get the credit chips and the data cards.  Bink is supposed to wait around to blow some explosives in the chamber (Kell and Zerba are to hide in the essentially indestructible safe when they go off), but she rushes off to rescue Tavia, who has been taken by Qazadi.  Han instead is left with the detonator, and as soon as Villachor gets the vault open and rushes in with his guards, he sets off the explosives, setting the safe rolling which crushes several guards and sends the rest running.  Unfortunately, the safe busts through the wall and into the courtyard, nearly killing innocent bystanders before finally stopping.  A woozy Kell and Zerba exit with the stolen goods.

Meanwhile, Bink has gone through the tunnels made for a dumbwaiter to Qazadi’s suite, where she kills his guards but, unfortunately, gets too close to him before pulling the trigger, and his pheromones get her under his spell.  Chewie and Lando, along with Eanjer, manage to break through resistance to get to the chambers, but Eanjer rushes ahead and kills Qazadi before the other two can get there.  They all leave then (although Eanjer has stayed behind to take pictures of Qazadi’s body).   Much of what has taken place was witnessed by Dayja, who had also been captured but escaped and was watching from the roof.

Part of the team meet up, where Lando asks for his promised reward (he wanted the data cards, and not the money).  Han gives him the box containing the data cards, and Lando leaves.  However, when he leaves the planet, he is pulled in by the Imperials, who have already confiscated the real Cryodex (which Winter and Dozer had first stolen from Aziel).  They want the cards, but when they try to take them, the box is empty.  Lando figures Han has stiffed him, but Han knew what would happen and never gave him the cards. 

Eanjer was supposed to meet Han in his docking  bay, and was waiting there to ambush him.  Han, who had smelled a rat, never arrived – one of the jobs he had Dozer do while the group was working was steal a YT-1300, swap docking bays, and Eanjer was therefore waiting in the wrong place.  It turns out the real Eanjer actually died in the same explosion that killed his father, and this “Eanjer” was actually none other than Boba Fett working for Jabba the Hutt to collect a bounty on Qazadi, but thought he might get Han Solo at the same time.  While he was annoyed to miss out on Solo’s bounty, he collected the reward for Qazadi.  Because Eanjer was dead, the reward was only 815 000 credits instead of 163 million, a big disappointment to the group.  It was especially disappointing to Han, in particular when he found out Jabba had increased the amount Han owed him to 500 000 Credits (and Han’s share was only 81500 Credits, as he is going to give everyone, including Lando, a tenth, since Lando didn’t get the data cards).  Han then offers to give everyone his share in exchange for the data cards.  He figures they could help the Rebel Alliance – and maybe old General Dodonna would even give him a reward for them!

Wampa Cave / Spin off Star Wars movies
« on: February 05, 2013, 07:02:19 PM »
As originally mentioned by Napseeker in another thread here,Disney has confirmed that there will, indeed, be some soinoff movies focusingon certain characters, although whether Yoda will be one ir not is not confirmed.  You can read more (and see a news clip about it) here

Wampa Cave / Episode VII and 3D release news
« on: January 29, 2013, 01:10:24 PM »

Bad News - Episodes II and III will not be released this year as originally planned.

Good news - based on this article, we will be seeing Episode VIInext year, not 2015!

Star Wars Movies & TV shows / Clone wars season 5
« on: November 03, 2012, 01:36:33 PM »
What do people think of his season so far?

Did other people have an issue with the episodes last night as well?  They had one episode on listed as episode 49 and mentions something about Padme getting help from an old friend or something, but the episode had nothing to do with that.  In fact, I had seen the episode before at SW Celebration 6 - it is a 4 episode story arc called "Young Jedi"

So, the announcement of new Star Wars movies thanks to the acquisition ofLucasfilm by Disney has raised many important questions such as "what about EU continuity"?  However, another big one that I just thought of...  Disney so owns Marvel, so are the days of Dark Horse numbered when it comes to a Star Wars license?  I don't know how long there current license runs, but it seems to me Disney will hand the license back to Marvel, where it started, as soon as it can to keep everything in the fold.  What does everyone else think?

Expanded Universe - Legacy & the New EU / X-Wing: Mercy Kill
« on: October 01, 2012, 10:36:33 PM »
Hardcover by Aaron Allston

Plot Summary
Mercy Kill picks up the X-wing: Wraith Squadron series, but definitely does NOT pick up where Starfighters of Adumar (the previous book in the X-wing series) left off.  It actually takes place about 30 years later.  And in fact, Starfighters of Adumar was not a Wraith Squadron book, so this is well over 35 years after the last Wraith Squadron book (Solo Command)

Chapter one does jump us back to the timeframe of Starfighters of Adumar, but shows an encounter where the Wraiths set up Admiral Teradoc.  They pretend they have come across a long lost treasure, and bring a valuable-looking statue to a meeting with Teradoc to try to partner with him.  They seemingly have the statue verified as authentic by Cheems, a scientist working with Teradoc, but he was in fact in on the plan, thanks to a tiny communications device fired from Wraith Squadron’s sniper, Bettin, into Cheems’ back from over a kilometer away.  He tries to double cross them, and a fight ensues in which Teradoc escapes with the statue.  Unbeknownst to him, the statue is really a cleverly made bomb, and Wraith Squadron used it, rather than trying to sneak into Teradoc’s very secure base, to get a bomb inside.  Their plan works, the bomb goes off, and they set off into the sunset on Teradoc’s fancy yacht that they have stolen, bringing along Cheems with them.

There are a few other flashbacks in the book, including one where Hohass “Runt” Ekwesh and Estoric Sandskimmer are attacked by Yuzzhan Vong.  Sandskimmer is killed, and Runt is mortally wounded.  Piggy manages to kill the Yuzzhan Vong, but he has to escape, and cannot carry Runt, so he has to shoot him to save him from the torture of the Yuzzhan Vong – a “Mercy Kill”.

We then jump ahead 30 years, and Voort “Piggy” SaBinring, a genetically modified Gamorrean whose extreme intelligence is belied by his outward appearance, is walking home from the university where he works as a Mathematics professor.  He is intercepted by Garik “Face” Loran, his old comrade and onetime leader of Wraith Squadron, who wants to recruit him back to a new Wraith Squadron – unofficial, as Face no longer has a position in GA Security.  Piggy is against the idea at first, as he still has not gotten over the loss of most of his squadron mates, but eventually agrees to join.

When they arrive on Coruscant, Face and Piggy split up, and Piggy goes off with Myri Antilles, daughter of the famous Wedge Antilles, and they meet up with Trey Courser, a young, blonde, well-muscled human male.  They stage a fight (Piggy supposedly threatening Myri) to bring in a truck with Gallactic Alliance soldiers that is carrying weapons.  They subdue them and steal the weapons and manage to escape.  The plan is that they will eventually be found, but in the meantime, they swap out the power packs and replace them with ones that are actually a kind of spy droid that can collect some intel for them.  When the GA come for the blasters, they fight back to make it look good, and then retreat, letting the GA take back the weapons.
By this time, we have met several more of the new Wraiths, including Jesmin Tainer (an Antarian Ranger and daughter of former Wraith Kell Tainer), Bhindi Drayson (a Wraith during the Yuzzhan Vong invasion), Turman Durra (A clawdite and former Actor), and Viull “Scut” Gorsat (A Yuzzhan Vong and adoptive son of Cheems, who the Wraiths rescued in 13 ABY).  Voort, Myri, and Trey are assigned to go to Vandor-three, a planet on the Coruscant system with a military base headed by General Stavin Thaal, the target of their current operation, as he is felt to be corrupt.  They are going there to track the spy droids.  While there, they cause some trouble with some fake domestic disturbance calls where they ambush the soldiers responding, and this leads to an increased state of alert, which means more patrols, so more soldiers needing active weapons, which means the weapons with the spy droids are pressed into action.
Myri is left behind to continue to monitor the droids communications, which are doing a nice job of mapping out the GA base, while Piggy and Trey are sent to the Si’Klaata cluster to meet up with the rest of the group.  They board a luxury liner, the Bastion Princess, cause it to drop out of hyperspace into Imperial space, and then drop out undetected in escape pods where they wait to get picked up by an Imperial Ship.  The plan works, as they are picked up by the Imperial ship Concussor.  Some well done recon and a well-planned and executed mission lead to the Wraiths taking control of the vessel.  They use it, and a disguised Turman (as an Imperial Lieutenant Commander Hocroft) to call General Thaal to a meeting.  They hope they can get him to incriminate himself.  They are not so lucky – he suspects a trap, and sends a GA ship to destroy them.  They manage to escape.

Meanwhile, Face has been busy, as well.  He went to see a contact in the GA and pretended to be looking for some information on some pirate activity, and managed to find out that all of the hijacked ships had equipment on board from HyperTech Industries.  This was a bonus, as his main reason for going was to steal some pass codes for the system, which he did.  He then planted some info about an Imperial Commander Hocroft, which was meant to allow Turman a credible story.  However, as Face left, he was attacked by a group of 3 people – one human in charge, along with an Aqualish and a Sullustan.  Face managed to kill the Sullustan and Aqualish, but when he went to take off in his speeder, it blew up.  The human, convinced he had killed Face, went off to kill his wife and child.

The Wraiths head back to Vandor-3 together.  Myri’s surveillance of the spy droids has revealed a secret base that seems to be promising, so they plan a mission to go check it out.  While there, however, things are going fine until they run into Sharr Latt – it turns out Face has TWO Wraith Squadrons on the go, and they unfortunately came to do some reconnaissance of the same base at the same time.  The confusion leads to them being discovered, and the two groups have to try to make an escape, but they are followed by the Pop Dogs, and elite group of soldiers under General Thaal himself.  They hole up in a mountain complex, and manage to get out only because Myri has called in her Dad, and some aerial support gets them free while they are picked up by Kirney Slane (AKA Lara Notsil, another former Wraith) and escape.  Unfortunately, Bhindi is killed in the mission, but her death is not in vain – not only did they get some incriminating evidence against Thaal, but they also freed an identity expert who was preparing false docs for Thaal, so they have an idea of his plans, and they rig up Bhindi’s body to explode, so when they Pop Dogs go to try to see who is trying to spy on the General, when they go to remove the mask the Wraith’s placed on her, the whole place explodes, killing the Pop Dogs.

The Wraiths, with Voort now in charge of the combined squadron (much to Scut’s dismay, at least at first – the two have a strong mutual dislike of each other) then set in motion a plan to capture General Thaal.  Through Intel and detective work, they work out the planet where he is going to be going into hiding, and they set up a base there.  They lure Thaal into a trap with the promise of some valuable jewels, bring down the GA navy by getting some Pop Dogs to fire on the navy installation while trying to fire on two of the Wraiths flying X-wings, block Thaal’s escape route, and eventually capture him.  In the end, they actually have him imprisoned for “impersonating” a GA officer, as he is dressed and looks like Thaal, but he is wearing make-up (he has undergone some genetic modification as part of his plan for jumping ship, so his skin color, hair color, etc. are all modified, as is his DNA structure).  So, even though he is the real Thaal, the easiest way to get him imprisoned for a long time, rather than trying to pin all of the other things on him, is to say he is impersonating Thaal, as he cannot now prove that he is, in fact, General Thaal.

The book ends with Face Loran going to meet with General Borath Maddeus, Head of Galactic Alliance Security, to tell him what happened, and also that General Thaal has escaped.  However, he also confronts him about also being a traitor, laying out all of the evidence he has accumulated.  Maddeus admits it, and when Face says it is over, because he can draw his blaster much quicker than the General, the General says he already has his drawn – it is not really, his, but instead, a noise of a clearing throat comes from behind Face, and it is General Thaal!  Just when it is looking bad for Face, we find out that it is a trick – General Thaal never escaped from prison – it was a made up story, and it is actually Turman dressed up to look like Thaal.  The two arrest Maddeus and take him into custody.

In the end, Face is elevated to Head of Galactic Alliance Security and he keeps the group on to continue as Wraith squadron.

41 news / Clone Wars cartoon now available online in Canada
« on: October 01, 2012, 05:56:41 PM »
I have not seen any official announcement about this, but I went online last night and watched the newest epsiode of the Clone Wars on the official Star Wars website.  I am assuming it was not some weird mistake, and that we are now going to be able to watch the epsiodes from ongoing.  If others could please post their experiences, so we can see if this is for real, that would be great.

We have reports in pretty much from one coast to another, so it looks like The Clone Wars is now available online in Canada!

Expanded Universe - Legacy & the New EU / Red Harvest
« on: July 01, 2012, 03:05:25 PM »
Hardcover by Joe Schreiber

Plot Summary
The book starts on Odacer-Faustin, a harsh planet with a Sith Academy, where a group of students are gathered for a lightsaber sparring session.  One of the most powerful students, Lussk, challenges a weaker student, Wim Nickter, and in the duel, he basically uses the Force to compel Nickter to do certain things before eventually defeating him.  After the defeat, Nickter disappears, and when he is next seen, he is in a cage with tubes coming out of his back.  The head of the academy, Lord Scabrous, is doing some strange experiments, and he is using Nickter as a guinea pig. 

Soon after, a couple of bounty hunters show up, a human named Dranok, and a Nelvanian named Skarl.  They have brought an Orchid for Lord Scabrous, the head of the academy, which they believe is a special orchid.  Dranok leaves Skarl below and takes the orchid up to Scabrous.  Unfortunately, it is not the Orchid Scabrous wants, and he is not pleased.  He makes Dranok sits down, and he brings him a plate of food – the steamed head of his Nelvanian partner.  He can either eat it, or die. 

On the planet Marfa, somewhere in the core worlds, the Jedi Agricultural Corps had a facility where they had a number of plants, including the Murakami Orchid, a very old and special orchid.  It was being tended by a Jedi named Hestizo Trace.  A Whiphid bounty hunter, Tulkh, shows up and steals it, along with Hestizo, as the Orchid cannot survive without her.  He takes them on his ship, the Mirocaw, to Odacer-Faustin.

Back on the Sith planet, Lord Scabrous takes Hestizo and the Orchid, and he puts the orchid in a solution that is then run through the tubes into Wim Nickter.  Nickter dies, but then comes back to life as some sort of Ghoul.  He attacks Scabrous, who fights him off, then attacks Jura Ostrogoth, another student who was hiding in the shadows watching.  Hestizo escapes in the confusion. 

In the ensuing chapters, Nickter and Jura, who now is also a zombie-like creature like Nikter (it is some sort of virus that Scabrous has created, that grants a kind of eternal life, but in this diseased state) slowly begin turning all of the other students and masters in the academy.  As they are all getting turned, Scabrous, who has been infected when Nickter attacked him, is being kept from turning from a kind of portable hemodialysis machine he has.  Hestizo has teamed up with Tulkh, and they are trying to escape, but it is difficult.  Finally, Hestizo’s brother, Rojo, a Jedi, has come in search of her. 

In the end, Scabrous lures Hestizo into a Sith Temple underground below the academy, where he is going to use some Sith magic, along with a Sith Sword, to kill Hestizo and grant himself immortality without any sickness.  Rojo arrives to foil his plan, but unfortunately he is killed by Scabrous.  Hestizo, however, manages to free herself and finish off Scabrous, but she is swarmed by the zombie things when she tries to escape.  Just when it seems that all is lost, Tulkh shows up to rescue her.  He is escaping along with an HK droid (that was being used by Scabrous as a protocol droid before Tulkh removed it’s restraining bolt) and Pergus Frode, who had been a mechanic at the Sith Academy. 

The group are trying to escape, but some perimeter blaster cannons start firing at them.  The only way to escape is to disable them from the central tower of the academy.  They return, and the HK droid goes to disable the guns.  They then are attacked by a swarm of the zombie-like creatures, and have to escape without the droid. 

When they get in space, they realize that Tulkh, unfortunately, had some zombie spit on him that got in his eye and infected him.  He chains himself up before he fully turns, and asks Hestizo to send him out the airlock.  She is then attacked by one of the creatures that has stowed aboard, and manages to jettison both Tulkh and the creature, leaving only her and Pergus Frode aboard.

They arrive back on Marfa, where it turns out there is a new Murakami Orchid, a sibling to the former one, and Hestizo is asked to look after it.  However, she has decided she is going to return to the Jedi Academy and train to be a Jedi Knight.  The book ends with Hestizo about to set off on her new journey.

Expanded Universe - Legacy & the New EU / Old republic: Revan
« on: July 01, 2012, 03:00:42 PM »
Hardcover by Drew Karpyshyn

Plot Summary

The book starts off on Coruscant.  Revan wakes in his apartment after having a nightmare – in the dream, he sees a planet that is covered in Darkness, lit only by flashes of lightning.  After waking, he tries to figure out if he has ever been there before.  He is quite sure it is some sort of a warning, and thinks it also is a connection to his past.  Unfortunately, his memories were stripped from him by the Jedi Council, and he is still trying to piece them back together again.  Basically, at present, he knows he was once a respected and powerful Jedi Master, but he defied the council to lead a Republic army against the Mandalorians along with his apprentice, Darth Malak, and many others, notably Meetra Surik.  The Mandalorians were defeated, and to break their spirit, Revan hid the mask of Mandalore so they couldn’t find it and continue the fight with a new leader.   He is not sure what happened next, but eventually he and Malak returned, along with the titles Darth, to try and conquer the Republic.  Revan was captured, and the Jedi used him to help bring down Malak and save the Republic, making Revan a hero throughout the galaxy.  Now, however, he is allowed to keep his title of Jedi Master, but is not truly accepted by the council and many of the Jedi because of some of his ideas about the Force.  In addition, he is now married to Bastila Shan, which is against the code.

In Sith space, on the original Sith planet of Dromund Kaas, newly anointed Sith Lord Scourge has returned.  He is of the Sith species, one of the true Sith, and has been trained in the ways of the Sith, and was then sent to some outer systems where he has gained quite a reputation.  He is one of the more promising young Sith, and he has been recalled to Dromund Kaas to the palace of Darth Nyriss.  She is one of the twelve Sith on the Dark Council of the Emperor. Apparently, someone has been trying to assassinate her, and Lord Scourge thinks he has been recalled by her to help.  However, the Emperor himself made the suggestion, and Nyriss doesn’t really want him there.   She tries to have him killed when he first arrives, but he manages to defeat the assassins.  He suspects it is either Nyriss’ advisor, Sechel, or her security chief, Murtog, who is trying to kill him.  Nyriss, however, admits to him that it was her, but that she will now use him to help her.  He is sent off on several missions with Sechel, where at times Sechel seems to be trying to leave him to be killed, but he survives, and they find some information that seems to suggest that a pro-human group is attempting to assassinate Darth Nyriss and overthrow the Emperor.

Back on Coruscant, Revan meets one of his old comrades, Canderous Ordo, in a cantina.  Canderous is a Mandalorian, and after the Mandalorian defeat, he became a mercenary, and wound up fighting alongside Revan when he battled against Darth Malak.  During the meeting, Revan tells Canderous about his nightmare, and says he is wondering if Canderous can help him by reaching out to his Mandalorian contacts to see if they can find out why Mandalore attacked the Republic, as he thinks that may be a key to helping him unlock his memories, and figuring out what the vision means.  Canderous agrees to do it, despite the fact that he has been trying to stay away from other Mandalorians since they were defeated.  He says he has been waiting around to team up with Revan again.

While Canderous is off doing this, Revan decides to put his time to good use by going to the Jedi Archives to see if he can find out what happened to his friend, Meetra Surik.  He is able to find out basically what he already knew: that after the battle over Malachor V, where she had, along with Revan, unleashed a new prototype weapon that wiped out most of the Mandalorian fleet, along with a large chunk of their own, she had returned to the Republic, where the Jedi Council made her the Exile and banished her from the order.  While researching, a Jedi Librarian named Atris showed up, taunting Revan.  Revan finds out from her that Meetra cut herself off from the Force in the aftermath of the Malachor V disaster to avoid feeling all of the deaths.  Revan assumes this is why he cannot feel her anywhere, and is not sure if she is dead or not, but suspects he will not be able to find her to see if she can fill in the gaps in his memory.

When Canderous returns, he has some information for Revan.  While he hasn’t found the answer, he has found out that the Mandalorians are gathered on the planet Rekkiad in search of the Mask.  On hearing the name, some memories stir for Revan, and he knows this is the right place.  They agree to team up and go there and see what they can find.  Canderous suggests putting the whole team back together, but Revan disagrees.  Juhani and Jolee are still Jedi and answer to the Jedi Council.  Mission and Zaalbar have just started up a business, and he doesn’t want to mess that up.  HK is too trigger happy, so it will be Revan, Canderous, T3-M4 (Revan’s astromech), and Bastila.  However, when Revan goes to tell Bastila the news, she has bigger news – she is pregnant!  This changes everything, so after much discussion, it is decided that she will stay behind to protect the child, and Revan, Canderous, and T3 will go and try to stop this threat, whatever it is.

Back in Sith space, Lord Scourge leads another successful mission on a facility owned by the pro-human separatist group, and this time, they find a transmission from Darth Xedrix, a human Sith Lord on the Dark Council, who is plotting with the group.  When they return, Scourge gets his next mission – to defeat Darth Xedrix.  They set up a meeting, where Xedrix thinks he is meeting with the Separatists, but Scourge is there instead.  He defeats the two Sith Acolytes who accompany Darth Xedrix, and then he is attacked by some vicious Force Lightning from the Sith Lord.  Xedrix then tries to talk him into joining him and fighting against Nyriss, but Scourge realizes that Xedrix has used all of his strength in the first attack, and he attacks and defeats him, bringing his severed head as proof.

After his return, he decides to have a private chat with Sechel to confront him about some of the things that have been happening, to see if he is trying to kill him.  After torturing him for a while, including cutting off two of his facial tendrils, Darth Nyriss arrives and puts an end to it.  She takes Scourge away and admits to him the truth – that she is part of a plot to try to overthrow the Emperor.  At first, Scourge is dismayed at this treason, as the Emperor has brought prosperity to the Sith, when 1000 years ago they were on the brink of extinction.  Nyriss tells him that the Emperor is mad, and is planning on leading the Sith against the Republic and Jedi again.  Scourge agrees that would be madness, but is not convinced.  Nyriss says that she and many on the council are working to stop the Emperor, and the assassination attempts were ordered by her to distract the Emperor.  Xedrix was also working with them, and she had him killed because he was a weak link, and it might buy them more time by distracting the Emperor.  She says she will take Scourge to Nathema, the Emperor’s homeward, and then he will know for sure that the Emperor is mad.

On Rekkiad, Canderous and Revan find Clan Ordo.  They pretend Revan is just some normal person and friend, as the Mandalorians hate Jedi, especially Revan.  They get a warm reception once the group knows it is Canderous, until their new leader, a female named Veela, shows up.  She seems quite harsh, and after she leaves, Revan learns part of the reason – she is Canderous’ wife, and she is not happy that he left.  However, they let them stay, and they even later follow Revan’s advice about where to find the mask – after arriving on planet, he had some memories return showing him where he hid it, at the top of a spire where there was a secret tunnel.  It is in the territory of another clan (clan Jendri), so when they are near the spire, they are attacked.  They manage to win, but the only way is for Revan to create a distraction, which involves using his lightsaber.  Only a few of the group, namely the Basilisk pilots, see it, and they do not tell the others.  However, Veela (who is one of them) is not happy with Canderous for not telling them that Revan was a Jedi.  They soon get to the spire, and a group of 8 of them climb (in teams of 4) the outside and reach the top.  Revan, Canderous, and their group get to the top first, and they find the cavern.  Revan and Canderous go in first, and leave the other two to wait for Veela.  They go in and find the tomb of a dead Sith Lord.  More of Revan’s memories come back, including the fact that Mandalore had been prompted into action by the Sith, a fact that Mandalore had told him right before he died, which led Revan and Malak on a search for the Sith.  When they open the Sarcophagus, Mandalore’s mask is still inside.  When Revan pulls it out, Veela and the other 5 mandalorians arrive.  Veela is very upset that they went without her, and that the Revan the Butcher is even touching it.  She has figured out exactly who Revan is.  Canderous tries to talk her down, but she says he can either join the other 6 against Revan, or die with him.  A fight breaks out, and Revan and Canderous kill all 6 Mandalorians – with Canderous dealing out the death blow to Veela himself, much to his chagrin.  They then leave, with Canderous taking the mask to become the next Mandalore, and Revan deciding to head to Nathema, the world that the dead Sith Lord had come from.

On Nathema, Scourge finds a dead world.  Not only is it dead physically, but it is dead in the force – there is no force here.  It is an abomination.  The Emperor performed a Dark Side ritual here that sucked all life from the planet to give him power, and left it an empty husk.  This convinces Scourge of the Emperor’s madness, and he agrees to help Darth Nyriss.  As they are leaving, Revan arrives.  When he sees the planet, he is bombarded by more memories flooding back.  While he is thus distracted, Scourge and Nyriss attack his ship, and it crashes on the planet below.  Before he can recover, he is taken prisoner by the Sith, leaving T3 behind in the broken ship.  They try to interrogate Revan, as Nyriss recognizes him and realizes he must have valuable information, but they cannot break him.
The story then jumps ahead several years.  Bastila is still back on Coruscant, raising her son.  A rogue Jedi, initially named Kreia but who took the title Darth Traya, turned on the Republic and ended up defeating many of the Jedi and weakening the Republic before Meetra Surik came out of hiding and led an army to defeat her.  Meetra found T3 along the way, and brought him to Bastila.  He plays a recording that shows that Revan was taken by the Sith, so Meetra decides to try to go and find him.  She initially goes to Nathema, and eventually finds her way to Dromund Kaas. 

Meanwhile, Revan is still in custody and kept drugged so he cannot escape.  Scourge visits him weekly to see what he can learn from him, as he has discovered that Revan is very powerful in the Force, and wants to see what wisdom he can get from him.  Revan is also using the meetings to learn what he can, and also build some trust with Scourge so he can hopefully help him escape.  He decides to try to trick Scourge into thinking he has had a vision that someone was going to help rescue him.  Scourge leaves in anger, and interestingly, right after, Revan has a vision of Meetra, and assumes she must be coming for him.

She poses as a mercenary, and while there, hires someone to find Scourge, as she has a picture from the Holo T3 made with Scourge’s face in it.  Unbeknownst to her, the contact she was given was Sechel.  Sechel tells Scourge someone wants to meet him.  Scourge assumes it cannot be anything good, and Murtog and 3 of his security people accompany him to the meeting.  When Meetra kills them all with her Lightsaber, Scourge is in awe, not so much of her fighting skills, but that it seems Revan’s vision was true.  He tells her about it, and they decide on a plan to try to free him and team up to take down the Emperor.  Part of the plan is to tell the Emperor that Nyriss is plotting against him, as are many on the council.  He goes quickly and sets up a meeting with Sechel, pretending that he is Murtog.  Murtog was going to be meeting with Sechel that day to report what he had found about the meeting between Scourge and the mysterious woman with his picture, but Murtog was, of course, now dead.  When Sechel shows up for the meeting, he finds Scourge instead.  Scourge gets him to reveal where he keeps his secret files of information on Darth Nyriss, then kills him.  He then goes to the Emperor’s palace and takes the information directly to the Emperor. 

Not long after Scourge and Meetra get back to Nyriss’ palace, while they are deciding their next move, the Imperial guard attack.  It is much quicker than Scourge thought.  They escape into the basement where Revan is being kept.  Meetra gives him a gift from Bastila – his old mask, which she has had all these years.  As soon as he puts it on, he collapses, as all of his memories come flooding back – everything.  While this is happening, Darth Nyriss comes down and attacks Scourge and Meetra, but just as she is about to blast them with Force Lightning, Revan comes out and blocks it, redirecting it at her and reducing her to a pile of ashes.

The group then plot to overthrow the Emperor, and the sooner they do it, the better.  Before they leave, Revan watches a recording of Bastila and their son – who he finds out is named Vaner.  He watches it several times before the attack.  They then head to the Emperor’s palace, and Scourge gets them admitted.  Just before they get into the throne room, the Captain of the Guard, Yarri, who had met Revan when she was a young guard during his previous visit to Dromund Kaas, recognizes him and realizes it is a trick.  They attack, but Revan, Scourge, and Meetra, along with T3, get into the Throne room and seal the door.  Scourge and Meetra finish the guards while Revan heads for the Emperor.  Despite his power, Revan is overmatched by the Emperor, and is nearly killed.  Scourge and Meetra join him when they have killed the guards, but just then Scourge, who has been having numerous visions lately, decides the only way to defeat the Emperor is to pretend he is still on the Emperor’s side, and stay close until a better chance arrives, as his vision showed another Jedi defeating the Emperor, not Revan or Meetra.  To convince the Emperor he is still loyal, he kills Meetra, and Revan is captured again.

The book ends with Scourge being made the Emperor’s Wrath and being made immortal.  He is going to stay in his post and bide his time until the time is right to throw in his lot with someone to defeat the Emperor.  Revan is in custody, and the Emperor is trying to pry secrets from his mind, but the street goes both ways, and Revan is learning what he can of the Emperor.  And in the Republic, time passes, and Vaner has become a man and is married with children, and is very respected – in fact, some people think he should run for Supreme Chancellor.  But none of them know what has become of Revan.

Expanded Universe - Legacy & the New EU / Riptide
« on: June 17, 2012, 03:37:37 PM »
Paperback by Paul S. Kemp

Plot Summary to follow...

Please feel free to post your thoughts

Expanded Universe - Legacy & the New EU / Scourge
« on: June 04, 2012, 09:28:43 PM »
Paperback by Jeff Grubb

Plot Summary
The book starts off in a rooftop restaurant on the planet Makem Te, where a young Jedi Knight named Toro Irana was waiting to meet his contact.  He was drinking a local alcoholic beverage, along with a bottle of wine that was brought to him by a Rodian, said to be a gift from the person he was waiting to meet.  Unbeknownst to him, the wine was spiked with Tempest, a hard spice that causes severe anger issues, especially in addicts.  He ends up starting a barroom brawl of sorts, and battles a large number of the native Swokes Swokes before inadvertently lunging after his own reflection and falling out of the window, plunging to his death.

Shortly after, his former Master, Mander Zuma, arrives both to investigate, but also to conclude the business that Toro was there for in the first place, which was to negotiate for the purchase of a hyperspace lane through the Indrexu Spiral.  He examines Toro’s body, and sees blue crystals crusted at the corners of his eyes, and purple veins in his skin.  He also sees the same crystals in the wine bottle, and concludes that Toro was poisoned.  He does not find his lightsaber, as it has been taken by the Rodian who gave him the wine.  Mander is able to find out from someone in the restaurant that the Rodian, of the Bomu clan, gave Toro the wine, and so Mander heads to the Bomu clans funeral business.  It is mostly abandoned, but he finds some of the blue spice on the ground before he is attacked.  It turns out that it is Toro’s sister, Reen, and they decide to team up, but are attacked by the Bomu clan in the warehouse.  They fight their way out with the help of Eddey Be’ray, a Bothan friend of Reen.  They decide to go together to meet with Popara the Hutt, who is the leader of the Anjiliac clan, who have the coordinates for the hyperspace route.

They first meet with Vago, who is essentially Popara’s executive assistant, and then meet Popara and his oldest son, Vonnos.  His youngest son, Mika, who is considered very much like his father (and not very Hutt-like – honest and fair, but intelligent), is lost on the planet Endregaad.  A mysterious plague has been discovered on Endregaad, and the whole planet is under quarantine – no one allowed in or out.  Mika was there on business, and Popara is not sure if he is dead or alive.  He tells Mander he will sell the coordinates for the price he had negotiated with Toro, and that as part of the deal, he wants Mander to find out about his son, and in return, he can keep the ship that they will be using.  Mander and his two new friends agree, and they re-christen the ship the New Ambition (Reen’s last ship, now mostly destroyed and essentially impounded for overdue docking fees, was the Ambition).  Before they can leave, Vonnos brings Mander aside and tells him he won’t be upset if they can’t bring his brother back alive, suggesting there is no love lost between the two.

Behind the scenes, we see that there is a mysterious Spice Lord, who has an operative known as Koax the One-Eyed Klaatooinian, who has been overseeing the trade in this new spice, called Tempest.  Koax kills the Rodian who obtained the lightsaber, and also riles up the Bomu clan, who are out for vengeance against those who destroyed their warehouse and killed so many of their kin, by giving them information on the culprits. 

As a result, when the New Ambition exits hyperspace in the Endregaad system, they are quickly attacked by a ship of the Bomu clan.  They may have been defeated, except that the Force directs Mander towards an area in space where they are then intercepted by a Corporate Sector Authority (CSA) ship, the resolute, which destroys the Rodian craft, and then brings them on board.  They have brought a shipment of medicinal spice to help the inhabitants of Endregaad as a freewill offering, and hope to use it to curry favour to allow them to get Mika.  However, despite several days of negotiating with the Lieutenant Commander, Angela Krin, she refuses to let them go to the planets surface, as she has been given direct orders.  The three leave in the ship, now repaired, and when they get far enough from the Resolute, they veer off towards the planet.  They are pursued by CSA ships, but lose them temporarily in a sandstorm.  By the time the CSA fighters find them again, enough time has passed that they have to retreat to space.  It turns out that there is a maintenance regulation that states that they have to pull out after a certain time in a planetary envelope to prevent damage to the space faring vessel, a rule that Mander learned during their days on the CSA vessel.  As such, the group are able to escape and land.

After some searching, they manage to find Mika at a large ship crash site.  While there, they are attacked by a swoop gang, and fight them off.  During the fight, Mander notices that Mika seems to anticipate an attack without seeing it, suggesting he may have some force power.  Shortly after the fight, the CSA show up and bring them all, including Mika, to the Resolute.  Angela Krin is quite taken with the young Hutt, and she lets them all go so that they can return Mika to his home, and also continue the search for the Tempest.

When they get to Nar Shaddaa, an assassin attacks them, although whether Mika is the target or not is unknown.  The group stay around for a few days, and then one day there is a dinner that doubles as a number of separate business meetings for Popara.  He brings groups in one at a time while others are eating.  When he brings in Mander, Reen, and Eddey, he somehow starts to puff out and then literally explodes, his guts flying everywhere.  It seems that someone spiked perhaps his Hookah pipe and the worms – a binary vector, each component being benign and therefore not detected by scanners, but together lethal.  Vonnos cries out for vengeance on the Jedi and his compatriots, as they were the ones with Popara at the time.  Mander uses his lightsaber to cut and escape whole, and they get away.  Popara had given them some leads on the Tempest before he died, and they start following them.  They get some info that turns out to be a dead end (literally, as the Trandoshan they were lead to is dead), and on the way are attacked by a bounty0hunting Hutt, with essentially impervious armour, who Mander disposes of by chopping the supports of a bridge they are on, and the Hutt plummets to his death in the depths of Nar Shaddaa.  They are later attacked by the Bomu clan, and escape with the help of Angela Krin, who has come here as well tracking the Tempest.  She takes them to her contact, which was the last one on their list – and turns out to be Mika.  They are heading towards the CSA safe house when Mander hears a child being attacked by some native creatures, and rushes to the rescue.  They defeat the beasts, and at one point Mika uses the force to hurl away one of the beasts attacking him (which Mander again sees).  The child turns out to be Evocii, a species conquered and nearly exterminated by the Hutts.  A small group of them thank the Jedi and his comrades, and then diaspppear. 

Soon after, the group is contacted by a droid of Vago’s and told to go to a platform to take a ship to Nal Hutta.  When they arrive, it is a trap by Vonnos, and to make matters worse, the Bomu clan comes and blocks their retreat.  Reen is captured, as is Mika, and the others barely escape with the help of the Evocii they had saved earlier.  A message is broadcast saying that one of the murderers of Popara has been caught, and will be publicly tried and executed at noon.  The group stage a rescue, during which they smash into the Anjiliac’s tower where the trial is, killing the guards, at which point Vonnos uses Reen as a hostage/shield, holding a gun to her.  Mander acts on instinct, and shoots Reen (with a stun blast, of course) and then uses his lightsaber to kill Vonnos.  Mika then arrives, and declares that Vonnos was the murderer of Popara, but that Mander, Reen, and Eddey have brought bad luck on the Anjiliacs and must leave.  They do, as does Angela Krin.

The investigation into the Tempest takes them on several missions where they work up the supply chain and disrupt and destroy the shipments of Tempest.  Eventually, it leads them to Varl, the original Hutt homeworld.  They capture a ship on its way there to deliver some regular spice, and fly in on the ship – Reen, Mander, and Angela on board, with Eddey flying behind in the New Ambition.  Eddey stays at the outskirts of the system in a support role while the others fly in.  They find a large ship converted into a factory which is taking normal spice and converting it, using the polluted green water on Varl, along with its native radiation, into tempest.  They fight there way through the factory, including fighting some old Hutt war droids, to the control room.  On the way, they encounter Vago and some of Popara’s Twi’lek servants.  It is meant to make them think that Vago is the Spice Lord, but Mander figures it out, and they defeat the Twi’leks, and then he tells Angela and Reen to get Vago to safety while he goes after the Spice Lord.

In the control room, Mander comes face to face with the Spice Lord – who is none other than Mika.  He learned some force tricks from Toro, and used a mind trick to get Angela Krin to help him.  He also got Toro addicted to Tempest.  Mander has to fight one of the Tempest-addicted Twi’leks, who has Toro’s old lightsaber, and then battles Mika.  In the end, Mander defeats Mika with Toro’s blade.  The group then try to escape the ship, which Mika had launched during the fight, but which is now plummeting towards the surface to crash.  Eddey gets to them just in time, and they all get away.

In the end, the Anjiliac clan is destroyed, and Vago takes over their operations.  Angela Krin resumes her duties with the CSA, and Reen and Eddey escort Mander back to Yavin IV

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