Category Archives: Star Wars

Book of Boba Fett, Ep 1 – MINOR Spoilers

I’ll discuss the episode in general but not get into any specific plot points. That should allow any readers to fully enjoy the episode.

Is it just me, or does Fett’s wrist rocket look like Rhodey’s “The Ex Wife” missile from Iron Man 2? LOL

Fans with enough time to stay caught up with Star Wars on Disney+ likely already knows that Boba Fett made his return appearance in The Mandolorian Season 2. Also that at the end of that season, Fett returned to Jabba’s former palace, killed Bibb Fortuna (Jabba’s former Major Domo who took over his operations after Return of the Jedi), then took his place as the head of what used to be Jabba’s criminal empire.

THAT is the background or set up for “The Book of Boba Fett”. The story (thus far) is a combination of Fett trying to assume true control over Jabba’s empire, and flashbacks of what happened to him between “Return of the Jedi” and “Mandolorian”.

The whole news / gossip media is in a tizzy over the “finally” revealed way Boba Fett survived his trip into the Sarlaac’s maw. It’s been a HUGE plot hole, blah blah blah…

Long terms fans know it was revealed decades ago that Fett simply burned and blasted his way out. It was in the Extended Universe books AGES ago. Well, at any rate, one of the first flashbacks we see is Fett waking up in the Sarlaac and then blasting his way out. The closest thing to a revelation in that scene was something I long suspected but never saw officially declared; Stormtrooper armor has an internal cooling system.

Why there was a Stormtrooper in the Sarlaac’s stomach is another question altogether, as there were none at Jabba’s little party in ROTJ.

Boba got his armor stolen by Jawas after escaping (thus confirming what was revealed in Mandolorian), and then spent some time with Tusken Raiders. How that came about I’ll let readers see for themselves.

The non-flashback scenes consist of Boba Fett and his assistant trying to establish their claim to Jabba’s empire. Without giving away any real plot, Boba’s main difficulty thus far is that he insists on thinking like a Mandolorian instead of a Crime Boss. He sees marching into Mos Espa on his own two feet as a show of strength, for example. He’s a Mando and doesn’t need to be pampered like a Hutt carried on a litter by slaves.

Those in the underworld see walking in on foot as not commanding enough fear and respect to have underlings carry you however. Perhaps also as having a weak power base, although that’s never outright said.

Needless to say, that’s already led to a couple of challenges to Boba’s authority. How he deals with them in the long term, we’ll have to wait and see in future episodes.

All in all, if you’re a Star Wars fan, it’s worth a look.

Side Note:

One thing I did appreciate about the episode is that it expanded upon the culture of the Sand People / Tusken Raiders. “A New Hope” really did nothing there, nor did Anakin’s prequel encounter with them. Suffice it to say that there is a tribal culture there; something akin to a Conan-esque barbarian culture. Having seen a very similar portrayal in Star Wars: The Old Republic, I was happy to see that kept as canon for the Star Wars Universe. They even kept the SWTOR idea that Sand People have pets. In the game they were called “Rill” and were basically reptilian “pet dogs”.

In “Book of Boba Fett”, the Rill were replaced with the same critters we saw briefly in Madolorian:

Same role, etc… just a different name and better appearance.

BRIEF Update and SWTOR CR8-O-M4T!!!

Otherwise known as a Czerka Corp Crate-O-Matic in Star Wars, The Old Republic.

I scored one yesterday!

What is it, you ask?!? A curiosity primarily, BUT it’s also the absolute most rare item in the game. It allows you to disguise yourself as a shipping crate, which supposedly will let you not be detected by enemy non-player characters. I have yet to verify that claim. At any rate, it’s potentially handy for stealth based characters at the very least. πŸ™‚

So yes, FINALLY a bit of good luck. If the thing was sellable, I could write my own check for an obscene amount of in-game currency via the game’s trade network. One does not simply SELL a crate-o-matic however. It’s a rare goodie.

The Actual Update:

Beyond that, there’s not much to report. We’re in a holding pattern until we talk to a termite inspector and a lawyer so we can better plot a path forward. Right now, there are so many variables flying our way from out of left field, it’s hard to formulate any sort of a plan.

We did find out today that the roof on the new place is indeed older than disclosed and in worse shape than the initial home inspection said.

We’ll see how much, if any, of that is from termites.

Star Wars: How Did Grievous End Up Wheezing In Ep. 3?

One of the most annoying parts of Episode 3 for me (listening to him wheeze), and it was never explained in the movies. That got me to thinking that some folks out there might not know the whole story there…

The answer lays in the the original (2005) Clone Wars mini-series on the Cartoon Network, and how it tied directly to Episode 3.

The 25 episode series covered highlights of the time between Episode 2: Attack of the Clones and Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. During that series, Grievous is shown to be nearly unstoppable as he takes out Jedi in various outposts around the galaxy…

Then came Episode 25.

Episode 25 led right up to the events of Revenge of the Sith. The series literally ended with Palpatine’s staged abduction and the escape to the separatist fleet above Coruscant. Grievous was in command of the “kidnap” team and took out a few Jedi along the way. Then… at the escape shuttle… he met Mace Windu.

BAD things, man… BAD things:

ONE “hit”… Just one. πŸ€£πŸ˜πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ˜πŸ˜„ 😎

Which just goes to prove; there’s two people in the universe you don’t screw with: Mace Windu and the Batman.

This from a 1987 issue of Justice League comics. Blue Beetle busting a gut over it totally makes the scene. πŸ˜€

And THAT is the story of how Grievous joined Weezer and ran from Coruscant like a screaming little school girl.

That story has been “retconned” since then thanks to comic book authors at Disney’s Marvel branch wanting to put their spin on things AND Lucas deciding he could make more money with a second edition of the Clone Wars. Still, nothing else really explains the wheezing and clutching his chest in Revenge of the Sith.

Trivia Bonus:

Diehard fans know this, but Samuel L Jackson’s lightsaber had “BMF” engraved on it.

A little Pulp Fiction added to the Republic. πŸ˜‰

Spent the Day in the Vault!

The VADER’S VAULT that is!

Yes, that’s right, THE Vader’s Vault; home of some of the best custom made lightsabers on the planet.

So, cool background story… We had to run into Georgia today to take care of some other business. I’d also been gawking longingly at more lightsabers online, and found out that Vader’s Vault “store” (shop really) was only 27 miles away from where we had to go. I talked the spouse into a quick ride with the idea of checking out whatever kind of showroom Vader’s Vault had and asking a few questions.

In short, I wanted to try to get a handle on whether or not Vader’s Vault sabers are actually worth the money. Also get a look at a few sabers as well, I’d hoped. 😁

What I got was completely unexpected. Instead of a quick look and a few questions answered, we got… the grand tour!

We talked to somebody up front, and they went and got the boss (owner). He came out, gave us a quick run down of the stuff in the showroom and then asked if we’d like a tour.

The showroom included this case full of sabers and saber cases from their history:

That saber up at the top is one of only EIGHT real world copies of the “Twisted Fang” lightsaber available in the Star Wars: The Old Republic game.

A couple of other highlights from the showroom:

Their case of manufactured helmets.

More sabers, emitters and some toys on the bottom shelf. That’s a “mouse” droid in the lower right corner also.

That, unfortunately is all the pictures I got. The rear area of the shop had rooms for wiring work, CNC machining equipment, 3D printers, etc… I didn’t snap any pictures back there though because the owner was lamenting how any time he puts something online, there’s a cheap Chinese knock-off for sale a day or two later. They were also working on one completely new model and some tweaks to existing models (relocated power switches and a few other minor things). I have a sneaking suspicion that we MIGHT see that new model for a May the 4th sale too.

For any readers who may be wondering, I asked about the limited availability of sabers right now. It’s the usual supply chain issues. However, they expect to have a few models back in stock in the next few weeks. I did see them working on a batch of “Revancrist” sabers (Darth Revan’s lightsaber):

Those are one of the few sabers still currently “in stock” also.

One question led to a highlight of the tour also. I asked if their special made sabers with crystal chambers were duel worthy. The big guy brought out a Starkiller and explained in detail:

The cliff notes version is that the hilt itself is strong enough for it. The bracing rods on the chamber are full on steel. HOWEVER, their crystals are a piece of clear quartz which could break or break loose in heavy sparring. So, he advised against using such a saber for more than light to moderate horseplay.

Why quartz? Disney has “cool” πŸ™„ colored epoxy chunks that they sell for ONLY $30, you say? Well Vader’s Vault sabers have the ability to change blade colors, and the Starkiller will actually shine the same color as the blade into the quartz to make it look like that color Kyber Crystal. It will always match the blade no matter the color.

More importantly (lol) for a couple of moments, I got to hold a $2600 Vader’s Vault masterworks Starkiller in my hand. 😁 Well, minus it’s outer cover anyway.

We briefly talked about the differences in blades also. Plecter Pixel blades are just as combat worthy as the old LED tubes. Both are polycarbonate, and will eventually break at some point while dueling. The Pixel blade gives a much better and even light quality and is capable of producing effects that an LED “flashlight” type design can’t. All this at a higher price point, of course.

Personally, I’d probably save the Plecter Pixel blade for “show” sabers and use an LED one for dueling. We’re talking $30 vs $130 for a replacement when it finally breaks.

Bottom Line:

Are they worth the price and increased wait time?

I went in a little wary. Half of me was looking to rationalize buying elsewhere. They really are absolutely worth it in my opinion though. Here’s why:

Better Grip, Weight and Balance: The balance on every saber I got to handle was extraordinary. My two black series sabers (Dooku and Mace) and my Ultrasabers “Fallen” saber:

are just plain stout. They’re like wrapping your hands around an old “D Cell” battery Maglite police flashlight. The Count Dooku saber is majorly off balance as well. I got to hold a Vader’s Vault copy of that same saber. The hilt is slimmer, more in line with what a real sword might have, the finish was brighter too. The machining was done so well that it was hard to see where the parts of the hilt actually connected together.

Better Sound Quality: I’ve heard people complain about Ultrasabers and Saberforge being bad in poor quality or muffled sound. My Black Series sabers are fair in this regard. Not great, but fair. Every Vader’s Vault saber I heard sounded like I’d just stepped into one of the movies. Crystal clear quality with sound effects for everything from swings, blade clashes and defected blaster bolts (all of which a plexer pixel blade’s light will respond to also).

Massive Customization: Vader’s Vault has features that Ultrasabers and Saberforge don’t even offer; hilt lighting and illuminated power buttons for starters. Some of their options they don’t advertise on their site. I suspect that has to do with variable costs involved. I saw sabers that were mirror polished, powder coated, weathered, acid etching engraved, inlaid with wood, leather wrapped… you name it.

THIS, I found out today, was done in the owner’s garage when it was just him and his wife. Imagine what they can do now!

Good Company Working Environment and Customer Service: Why is that important? Because even if you don’t care about the workers’ conditions, a happy staff is highly motivated to excel at their job. That means you get a defect free product.

Customer service should be self-explanatory in importance. If you have any doubts about Vader’s Vault though… Keep in mind they COULD have just run me off, or spent a couple minutes answering a few questions and then politely said they had to get back to work. Instead we got treated to an almost hour long tour with Q&A, looks at all their work areas, a demonstration of all a plexer pixel blade can do, peeks at several models in various stages of manufacture or remodel, and even a sneak peek at a pre-production prototype of an upcoming release.

How often do you see that nowadays in ANY sort of business?

Bottom line, you’re going to get a better saber made of higher quality materials and machined to tighter tolerances, better electronics, more bells and whistles, made almost any way you want, and better customer service.

What you’ll get elsewhere is poorly fit together sabers that can’t even hold up to a Disney toy:

My Other Collection:

Something a little lighter to finish out the day’s blogging. πŸ™‚

During the time I was physically down, I became a pretty avid gamer. It didn’t help that eventually a few games came out that used comic books as a subject matter. DC (Comics) Universe Online being one of them.

brilliant concept so poorly executed as to defy description

Side Note: The game turned out to be absolutely terrible in terms of game play, so I can’t recommend it, (Sony screws up everything they touch) BUT the graphics were stunning, and it had voice acting from many DC Animated Universe actors, including Mark Hamill as the Joker, and Kevin Conroy as the Bat(man).

I bought into the hype at first, and even bought a few of the collectible figurines that were offered as part of the initial launch and first year hype. Now that we’re in a bigger house, I finally have room to display them:

Green Lantern, Flash and Wonder Woman are the ceramic figurines. Batman is PVC and came with the deluxe version of the game. The Avengers thing is a metal popcorn bucket that was released at the theaters during “Endgame”.

Wonder Woman is the absolute centerpiece of the collection. She was probably the best done figurine in the series:

Despite ordering a month or two after actual release, I still managed to score figurine number 18 out of 6000, which significantly ups her collector’s value.

When the Wonder Woman movie was released, this figure was selling for over $500 in mint condition. The price has dropped since then, now that the hype has passed AND there are so many companies now making licensed figurines. The market is saturated with dozens of different Wonder Woman statues.

OH, and I didn’t forget my newest arrival (today actually):

I guess I’m a victim of the hype, but I couldn’t resist grabbing him. I won’t be collecting any other Star Wars figures though, with the possible exceptions of Ahsoka, and Mara Jade, IF they ever come out with a Black Series 6″ figure of her.

We’re trying to cut back on clutter though, and if I’m going to collect anything overpriced, it’ll be lightsabers. πŸ˜€ Din Djarin in his Beskar armor just looked too good to pass up though.

Yes, everybody is staying in the box also, just in case they somehow get knocked off the shelf or something. Collectors also judge value nowadays based on discoloration caused by dust, etc… I’m not planning on selling them, but you never know. Since all the DC figurines have gone up at least 3x in value since I bought them 11 years ago, it pays to be careful with them.

Yes, the running gag continues…

World’s First Working Proto-Lightsaber

Yes, officially. Per the Guinness Book of World Records no less:

Hacksmith is the same group that invented the other lightsabers I posted about ages ago. This has a fully retractable “blade” though.

OK, it’s really an insanely hot oxy-propane cutting torch with a LONG flame. Still… They’re getting closer.

I figure we could all use a little fun and geeky coolness right about now also. πŸ™‚

It got them to 10 million YouTube subscribers also, and earned them the coveted Diamond Play Button award from Google / YouTube… Which they promptly cut in half. O_O

A Couple of Canon Star Wars Cannons

Yep, bad puns and Star Wars… Life is good, lol. So I was talking with Jacob over at the Sandcrawler Blog about how Disney is being a bit… random regarding what is currently ‘official canon’.

The video games are a contentious subject with a few fans but there’s multiple examples of things being cherry picked from them. The infamous TIE Defender seen in Star Wars: Rebels was first seen ages ago in the 1994 TIE Fighter: Defender of the Empire flight sim by LucasArts.

For all of those confused here… Don’t panic. This is called a floppy disk. Younglings… *headdesk* LOL

Anyway, here’s the 1994 version, launching from a Star Destroyer:

Anyway, that’s one example.

Knights of the Old Republic 1’s Jedi turned Sith turned Jedi (identity crisis anyone?) Revan has also all but been confirmed as canon in Rise of Skywalker.

Yes, he turns up in SWTOR also. πŸ™‚

Let’s get to the headline though. What I found interesting and had forgotten about is that Star Wars: The Old Republic also had two different beam weapons that likely inspired the planet busting cannons attached to Sith fleet Star Destroyers in Rise of Skywalker

Nerd Rant: She wasn’t a Skywalker, and trying to tie her to that legacy at the end doesn’t make the sequels any better. πŸ˜›

OK, now that THAT is out of the way… First, I give you “The Gauntlet” super cannon that the Republic Trooper destroys as part of their class story line:

And secondly, “The Silencer” which the Sith Inquisitor helps complete as part of their class story line.

Both those pictures from my own in-game knowledge database.

As can be seen from the first picture, Dreadnaughts (the SWTOR version of Star Destroyers) had a split nose design, so the weapon was stuck in the nose in both cases instead of underneath.

I haven’t heard it confirmed officially, but it’s a pretty safe bet that those cannons inspired the ones seen in The Rise of Skywalker.

By the way… Grand Admiral Thrawn’s first appearance may have been in Timothy Zahn’s awesome “Heir to the Empire” trilogy, BUT he was also in TIE Fighter: Defender of the Empire long before appearing in Rebels:

The game explains why he wasn’t front and center during the original trilogy: He was off fighting a large group of renegade Imperials on the edge of the galaxy, including the scientists who developed the TIE Defender. Only fitting that he was involved in that as part of Star Wars Rebels also.

The only thing we really haven’t seen out of TIE Fighter yet as part of canon is the infamous Missile Boat:

My friends and I considered the Defender to be a pocket Star Destroyer, given it’s firepower and shields. But if the Defender was a pocket Star Destroyer, then the Missile Boat was pocket Death Star. Shielding equal to a small capital ship. A full power turbo laser in the nose, and the ability to carry and launch more photon torpedoes than a couple of squadrons of X-Wings…. oh and it had a starship equivalent of an afterburner as well for sudden lightning acceleration. I literally wiped out an entire fleet single-handedly with one (NO wingman) in the last mission of the game.

Bad Things, man… BAD things!

The thing is so overpowered, I’d be surprised if it ever becomes official canon.

Getting back on track…

It’s hard to say what’s officially canon out of the games. The storyline from X-Wing and X-Wing Alliance already contradicts canon, so they’ll never be official. Battlefront 1 & 2 are just shoot ’em ups. Starkiller from “The Force Unleashed” is so overpowered that he makes superweapons like the Death Star obsolete, so I doubt those games will ever be canon without some major dialing back.

Still, bits and pieces of Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and the Jedi Knight series are slowly becoming official. Kyle Katarn is official now I believe, and the jet pack troopers seen in Rise of Skywalker were first in the Dark Forces / Jedi Knight series also.

Looks like Rise of Skywalker borrowed alot from video games, lol.

So yeah… Star Wars canon is evolving. At first, the entire Extended Universe was cut out, but we quickly saw Thrawn added back in to start, and it’s been growing since, with bits of EU and game canon added to the (Marvel – no Dark Horse) comics and movies.

This Party’s Over, Count.

Like heck it is. It’s after midnight, so I can show off my birthday present:

Seems appropriate, since I feel about as old as Dooku anymore, lol. Still, this party is just getting started, despite Mace’s protests. πŸ˜€

I got this thing over a month ago also, but had to be good and keep it boxed up until today. Unless you are one, you have NO idea what it’s like asking a redhead to be good that long, lol. It was ordered before it sold out or the price went up though. My Mace Windu one has already gone up $50 in value since I got it. Oh, and YES, I took it out of the box:

Running gag now I know, LOL. As I said last time, a true fan HAS to take it out of the box.

As with the Mace Windu saber behind it, the detailing and construction are fairly nice. With the shape of the hilt requiring the speaker and battery pack to be in the butt end though, the balance is not as nice as the other saber. It’s tail heavy… alot.

The blade isn’t as vibrant a red as I’d like either, BUT it’s better than the Windu’s lavender, trying to be purple blade, lol:

I’m going to have to find a different place to display it. The stand does have tabs in the back to wall mount it, so that’s a possibility.

The iPhone 11’s camera night optics made for a funky darkened room picture also:

NOW, that despite the blade looking perfectly red to the naked eye, LOL. In “Star Wars: The Old Republic” that would be a ‘hot orange or fire orange’ kyber crystal. My Sith Assassin uses one in her double bladed lightsaber:

One of my favorite blade colors also, BUT definitely not authentic Dooku.

Overall, it’s an awesome new toy / display piece. I just wish the balance was better. Dooku’s hilt is designed after a modern competition fencing foil (which has actually evolved even further into a ‘pistol grip’):

While that may look awkward, it actually provides less wrist strain and quicker reaction times than a traditional straight handle. Between that and Christopher Lee’s lightsaber style as Dooku being very crisp and smooth, I had high hopes for this lightsaber. It’s still very nice, it just didn’t quite meet my very high expectations. It’ll still be a wonderful addition to the collection however. πŸ˜€

OH yes… For those of you who wondered why Anakin REALLY killed Dooku:

As for the rest of the day… Garth said it best: