Tag Archives: Rise of Skywalker

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. 🙂

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. 😛

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.

What Writers Can Learn From Star Wars’ Mistakes

I just got done responding to another person who felt Rise of Skywalker was lacking because it pandered to fans too much. So, it seems a good time to step back and take a look at the general errors that have so much of the fan base annoyed. Not surprisingly, many of the errors are the same as ones I discussed in an old post on mistakes comic book writers are making. It could also be said to apply to Star Trek, as it’s writers have made nearly identical mistakes with “Discovery”.

Change With No Real Logic Behind It.

Even with canon or lore that may only be one book old, if you’re doing to turn it upside down, there’s a right and wrong way to do it. Most readers want to see a logical progression of events and character development. The longer standing the canon, the more this is going to be true. Two examples from the Disney Star Wars movies are the change to the nature of the Force, and the character assassinations of Han and Luke.

In the case of there now being no light or dark side to the Force, Disney just decided to push Hollywood moral relativism on people with no real logic to it in the film. There was no great “enlightenment”, nor did the Force turn out to be sentient and simply shift it’s own ideals. We’re simply left with Yoda going from spending 2/3 of Empire Strikes Back lecturing Luke about the perils and pitfalls of the dark side, to his ghost talking to Luke about how idiotic the Jedi principles were. You know, the same principles that per lore defended and guided the Republic for a thousand years… Yeah, let’s just flush that.

Character Assassinations of Existing Characters:

Character assassination of existing characters is getting to be a widespread problem as newer writers take over franchises and want to spread some sort of message or just make their own mark. Captain America was turned into a Nazi to justify giving his role, title and shield to the Falcon. Thor lost his role and Hammer to Jane Foster, Tony Stark was replaced by a black teenage girl. In Disney’s Star Wars, Luke went from ultimate idealist who willingly risked all to redeem his father, to somebody who would kill his twin sister’s son with barely a second thought. Again, with no natural progression to sell it to fans. Han basically went from rogue with a good heart in the original canon to a complete bum in the newer movies. He had a great backstory as an Imperial officer who threw it all away and became an outlaw to rescue a freighter full of slaves, including Chewbacca. He volunteers to lead the ground team in Return of the Jedi, risking himself to help others and a greater cause, then Disney comes along and he abandons his family, friends and the new Republic.

Mark Hamill read the script to The Last Jedi and said “I fundamentally disagree with everything you’ve done to this character BUT it’s my job as an actor to bring your vision to life”. Ironic that he can’t get roles beyond voice work due to a facial scar while primadonna actors fight with producers and directors every day.

The Mary Sue:

This ALWAYS seems to follow the trashing of old characters nowadays. Insecure writers seem to feel it’s necessary to build up their own characters. Dislike for Rey is one of the biggest gripes I hear from fan bashers. Well, she uses the force and a lightsaber with no training, and manages to beat Kylo Ren in a dual the first time she really holds a lightsaber. Luke and Anakin were Marty Stu for sure, but even they required training. Luke couldn’t defeat the Emperor, neither could Yoda. Rey can do it even after he drains the Force from her. 90% of fans don’t care that she’s a woman, or what her sexuality might be. They care that she’s poorly written and developed. Daisy Ridley’s acting is the only thing that saves the character.

Again, follow a logical progression of character and power level development. If there’s a sudden growth in power, have the character struggle to learn the control and self discipline that’s needed to harness the power.

Poorly Defined New Characters:

A cardinal sin among comic book authors. Never throw in a new character just because you need another woman, or a Muslim, you have a flashy new general concept, or whatever. Inclusiveness is great, BUT have some depth to the character beyond that label. Think about why they’re in the story, What role will they play in the conclusion? What connection do they have with the heroes and/or villains? What unique role do they fill on a team? What makes them unique personality wise and what other characters would that lead to them bonding with instead of others?

Weak characters make for a poor story. The audience won’t feel any real connection to them. Rose from Last Jedi is a good example here. She seemed to serve no real role other than as a tag along for Finn while planetside. Would anything have changed if she was never in the movie? Not much. She needed to be better developed.

Poorly Thought Out Plot Ideas and Twists:

Rise of Skywalker excelled here. Most of it due to not thinking out the hows of trying to make the movie appeal to the core fan base. Net result: Things feel fake and contrived. The Emperor is back! How? WHY did he hide his presence at all, esp after Luke’s reborn Jedi Order collapsed? Why the obsession with super weapons beyond creating terror? We know it’s the writers being fixated on MacGuffins but put some logic behind it at least. Even going back to the original trilogy, the whole Luke and Leia and Vader all being related felt pretty contrived until the prequels put things into a better historical perspective.

Attack Your Critical Fans:

All over the blogisphere, there’s advice about taking criticism graciously. Apparently this goes out the window when you’re a “famous” Hollywood writer or director. THEN when your fans object based on the items above, you can turn around and call them ignorant, narrow minded, bigoted, homophobic, etc… Both the Star Wars and Star Trek Discovery development teams made this mistake, and made the criticism they took 50 times worse than it had been. And of course having viewership fall off because of it.

Reality is you have to pick your battles on this kind of thing. You can’t spend all your time explaining your thinking to fans. You’ll also never make everyone happy no matter what you do. If you’re trying to turn a profit from your work though, the worst thing you can do is insult your customer and tell them to piss off.

Pushing Social Issues TOO Hard:

I’ll probably get some pushback on this idea. There’s a popular school of thought that fiction has to have some underlying social message to it. Pure entertainment is somehow a waste. I disagree there.

None the less, there’s a right way and a wrong way to push the social issues thing also. Most folks today only understand yelling and bludgeoning. Try a gentler sell with social themes. Let’s say we go back to introducing a lesbian character for example because you want to promote acceptance. You can pummel people over the head with her gender identity and make it the center piece of her character, OR you can create a character who is three dimensional, has real life struggles like everyone else, and also happens to be a lesbian.

Or let’s take something completely different. Say you want to spread religious ideas. You can either hammer people with a “you’re all going to hell” approach, or you can sell the upside of how it’s benefited you in your life.

If your story reads like a twitter flame war… Well, readers have Twitter for that already, right?

Want to know why almost everybody likes “Rogue One”? It didn’t do any of the things above. Good story, all the characters were well defined, as were their roles, no Mary Sues, etc… OK, it had the obligatory MacGuffin, but it still did everything right otherwise.

Rise of Skywalker Predictions

I’ve been meaning to write this one since I read the leaks for the movie. A few sources on the other side of the international date line confirm that the leaks were largely true also. I’ll try to avoid major spoilers here, but let’s face it, the trailers have already given away ALOT of the movie.

First, I’m predicting a rather weak story wrapped up in a YT-1300 load of nostalgia, much like The Force Awakens. Trailers already show Rey training at the site of one of the two Death Star’s crashes. Apparently Leia is playing Yoda for her.

Side note here; it will be interesting to see if it’s Yavin 4 or Endor. Yavin 4 was the site of a huge ancient pureblood Sith colony. The Temple seen in “A NEw Hope” was Masassi; the warrior caste of the pureblood red skinned Sith.

Leaks say that Disney has decided to explain away Rey’s mary sue status by saying that Force skills are almost entirely intuitive and don’t require training. If only… LOL.

Lando is back also. I presume to do a hatchet job on his character and kill him off like they did with Han and Luke. Guess we’ll know officially in under 12 hours.

No, I’m not a fan of what Disney did to Han Solo either. EARLY on, it was established that the character seen in A New Hope was somewhat jaded guy who has had to watch his own back for too long. Early on he was an Imperial officer that gave up his career and became an outlaw to rescue a group of slaves that included Chewbacca. Beneath the gruff exterior, he was always a good person. Yet when The Force Awakens comes out, he’s abandoned his son and Leia, couldn’t hold onto the Falcon, oh and can’t fly it as well as Rey either, LOL. Then he dies a stupid death too. It doesn’t even serve to snap his son back out of his Sith behavior.

Yes, I know it seems like I’m going off on a tangent here, but there IS a point: This is how Disney has treated legacy characters since they took over the franchise. They play lips service to the franchise and play on sentiment and nostalgia as only Disney can, but if you look beneath the distractions, the Disney run has been a train wreck. I’ll make exceptions for Rogue One, Star Wars: Rebels and Mandalorian.

I think we can expect more of that train wreck with The Rise of Skywalker. Bits and pieces of Empire Strikes Back and (mostly) Return of the Jedi repackaged to make Rey the ultimate Star Wars hero. They did much the same with A New Hope and The Force Awakens after all. People were so nostalgic to see A New Hope recreated that they didn’t care it was a lousy story that butchered a few Legacy characters.

The final battle, per leaks, is rumored to pit Rey against a reappeared Emperor Palpatine. He’s reappeared before BTW… Decades ago, there were two highly rated graphics novels called Heir to the Empire 1 & 2 that had him reappear using cloning technology and transferring his spirit into a cloned body. Given what happened in the prequels, I think it’s safe to say it was the same technology that was used to create the clone troopers. So, no real issue with Palpatine’s reappearance.

What I do take issue with is reports that Rey will single handedly defeat the Emperor (something even Yoda wasn’t able to do when the Emperor had less experience), AFTER Palpatine has drained the Force out of Rey and Kylo Ren (Ben) to rejuvenate his physical form. That’s got to be the ultimate mary sue act in the history of story telling IF true.

Rumor also has it that Rey is going to turn out to be the Emperor’s daughter. It’s part of the whole explaining away the mary sue-ness of her. Of course she can beat a Sith Lord with no training, she’s Palpatine’s daughter. O_O

One thing I haven’t heard, assuming the good guys are supposed to win, is how the hidden Imperial fleet is going to be dealt with. The Resistance has almost literally no ships at all as of the end of Last Jedi.

Maybe Rey will pull a Starkiller from the game “The Force Unleashed” and just use the force to crash all the ships into each other.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a strong female protagonist. Rey is just horribly developed and written. I don’t think she’d be half as liked if Daisy Ridley wasn’t such a good actor. Between that and Disney turning the franchise’s canon upside down and character assassinating Han and Luke, yeah I’m not looking forward to this one. I just hope Disney can do a Mandalorian level job on the next trilogy that will be set in the Era of The Old Republic,