The EU (not the European Union)

Some Things About the Star Wars Expanded Universe That Suck Ass

- The “NJO”

They kill off Chewbacca in the first book, and it’s all downhill from there. These books were the last nails in the coffin of Star Wars novels for me.

- “Ewok Adventures”

Mediocre animation by Nelvana and writing so bad it would insult the intelligence of a six-month old. The less said about this hideous abomination the better.

- “Lusanka”

A super star destroyer “prison” hidden in the streets of Coruscant. A planet of 20 billion and they somehow manage to “hide” a super star destroyer on it? Uh, I think not. Other than that, most of those Rogue Squadron books were half decent.

- “Planet of Twilight”

I saved the worst for last. Force sucking bugs, Princess Leia kidnapped AGAIN, and a whole lot of suckage. Its hard to believe the powers that be let Barbra Hambly anywhere near the Star Wars Universe after the fanfic crap that was “Children of the Jedi,” but here it is in all its ass-sucking glory! The writing is poor at best, and the story makes any Michael Bay flick look like Hamlet by comparison. Without a doubt the Worst Novel In The Entire E.U.

Some Things About the S.W. E.U. That I Like

- “Clone Wars”

Slick, sharp, and fun animation from Grenndy Tartakovsky, combined with good story telling. This IS what Star Wars on TV should be! I can hardly wait until the new series comes out next year.

- “Droids – The Animated Series”

Mediocre animation from Nelvana, and somewhat hokey, but decent storytelling, and the fact that it felt like it belonged in the Star Wars Universe is its saving grace.

- “The Republic Commando Novels”

Karen Traviss puts a gritty military realism to these Clone Wars era books that is a welcome addition to the Star Wars Universe, and her expansion of the Mando Mythos is awesome. The first in the series, “Hard Target” renewed my enthusiasm for the E.U.

- “The Thrawn Trilogy”

Even though some of the things in these books have been proven wrong by the Prequel Flicks, this three-book cycle single handedly brought Star Wars back from the depths of pop-culture obscurity in the early nineties. The story was solid, interesting, and it felt like it could have been episodes 7, 8, and 9.


The Official Star Wars Celebration IV Blog III


Day 2

May 24, 2K7

I wandered about in a daze for what seemed like hours, but was in reality maybe twenty minutes, my optical nerves in overdrive as my brain-meats attempted to take in and make sense of the visual noise caused by thousands of filthy humans, and EVERY Star Wars item, from vintage to modern, that one could possibly imagine. And I can imagine quite a bit.

I caught up with Kris a little while later at the line-up to see the artist Dave Dorman. He bought a couple of items and had them signed, as well as getting an original sketch done. We wandered over to the artist alley and checked out some of the work for sale. I was tempted to buy something until I found out from one of the artists that we weren’t allowed to just give them the money for pieces.

“What’s the dealioo?” I axed, and she pointed me towards YET ANOTHER HUGE LINE of geeks, three deep, that led from one end of the alley all the way to the exit, where one person at a cash register slowly rang people through. NO. No more fucking line-ups today thank you very much! I turned around and found that I had lost Kris somewhere within the thick mass of humans.

As they day continued I caught up with a few of me Fan Force buds once or twice, but never for more than a few minutes at a time.

I made my way over to the Droid Builder’s room and checked out the Astromechs, and other robots, (there was even a Tom Servo!) and met Will O’Neil from Attack of the Show. He was in between set-ups for the Star Wars at 30 special for G4TV’s Attack of the Show that was to be shot live from Celebration IV on Friday.

Fighting my way through the crowds I found my way to the Lucasfilm archives and drooled over all the cool stuff. From the original Boba Fett costume, to the parka worn by Harrison Ford during filming of The Empire Strikes Back. Wheeee! There was so much cool stuff, I had to walk around twice just to take it all in.

Near the end of the day I found myself at the Celebration Store, and there was (prepare yourself) NO LINE UP! So I just walked in, grabbed the convention exclusive McQuarrie R2-D2 and C-3PO exclusive figures (one set to open, and one to display), a set of CIV dog tags.

Before taking off I decided to head back to the Main Hall for one last spin and ran into Olivia Munn and an Attack of the Show film crew shooting an insert scene for Friday’s program. Olivia was dressed in the Slave Leia costume and striking down some hooded choad with a Force FX light saber, over and over, and over (seven or eight takes) until it was right.

Mere minutes passed before I ran into Chapter Rep Ryan and we grabbed the #4 shuttle back to the Sheraton.

The total after one day: $150 on toys and crap, $30 on foodstuffs (a weeks worth of Beef Jerky and Red Bull).

Not bad, but the best was yet to come…


The Official Star Wars Celebration IV Blog II


Day 1

May 23, 2K7

I got back to the hotel and switched on the MotoRazer™. It searched, and roamed for only a few second before finding Cingular and locking on. There were a couple of messages on the voice mail, one from The Grrl, and one from McBain. I listened, answered, then checked through the swag bag to try and get an idea of what would be in store for my funny-book makin’ ass at this, the biggest convention of my life.

I highlighted various panels I wanted to make sure not to miss and checked the TV. Alas! No G4! Bastards!

I wandered across the street to the Rite Aid and bought me some Jerky, Buffalo Chicken chunks, and a case of Sugar free Red Bull™, the Official Convention Diet of Jaeger. Returning to the hotel, I stashed my bag of crap next to my luggage and wandered downstairs to the bar.

I order an Anchor Steam form the bartender and relax for a moment. Behind the main serving area on the right hand side is a framed print of that Guy in the Hat Smoking a Cigar. The same print that the Grrl has in the frame store back in cow town. It amused me, and I am not easily amused!

I watched a bit of the Baseball playing of the 32” plasma in the corner and my eyes drifted down to a curious sign: “WARNING Chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm may be present in foods or beverages sold or served here.” WTF???!!!?? Do they mean the booze? Or the free peanuts? What an odd fucking sign!

Day 2

May 24, 2K7

The next day I woke up to the giggles and snickers of Jay and Nicole in the other bed. Kris is still asleep, so I crawl off the bed, having slept above the covers to stay cool. Even though the AC is blasting, it’s still boiling fucking hot in the room for some reason.

After getting ready, Jay, Nic and I hopped on the shuttle and headed down to the Convention Center. We arrived at about 9am to find the line for admission stretched from the main entrance all the way to Cherry Street. Jay and Nic took off to do the volunteer thing and I wandered up and down the huge crowded line up of geeks until the familiar voices of my Calgary Fan Force compatriots roused me from my walking stupor.

It was a who’s who of Fan Force regulars: Chapter rep Ryan, The Dooks Boys (Ryan and Stacy), Yrol, Neil, and 501st Legion boys, Roger, Scot, and Dave. We scoffed and joked, and shared tales of our flights, and arrival as the time grew nigh to the twelve-noon opening.

At nearly ten to twelve, Tony Daniels was driving past (well, riding in the back of his car past really), and decided to step out and walk the line and pose for pics and stuff. Dooks the Younger jumped out when Tony was near and shook his hand. Within minutes, the line began to crawl forward, and no sooner were we actually moving at a decent pace, did hoards of orange vested Line Nazis begin screaming at us and cracking their imaginary whips to keep the line “orderly.”

Just before entry, Kris showed up and we all entered together, then seconds after breaking through into the huge glass foyer, we split up to obtain the various CIV exclusive toys, maquetes, etc. My first order of business? Hasbro, and their excusive McQuarrie Concept Luke. So I got into the main dealer room, and… got in line. Again. This time more shuffling awaited me, only inside, on a carpet. Waiting. Shuffling.

The freaking line wrapped all the way around the booth, and then when I finally arrived within eyesight of The Prize, the real line started. Just like the queues one finds in Disneyland, you get within sight, only to see another line, this one just as long if not longer, except this one twists and turns like a twisty-turny thing in a roped off maze of which the Minotaur himself would be proud.

When I finally got to the checkout it was another hour and forty-five minutes gone from my life, but the Prize was MINE. Along with a couple of sets of the figure stands to boot.

But this was merely the beginning...

To Be Continued...


The Official Star Wars Celebration IV Blog

Day 1

May 23, 2k7

The initial approach in to LAX was a little dicey as a police chopper off the starboard side of the aircraft forced us to peel off and give it another try. It wouldn’t be a trip to the states without a little drama I suppose…

After picking up my bag at the carousel, I find myself on the SuperShuttle™ flying down the freeway towards downtown LA, chatting with a pair of Star Wars fans from Denver. The Shuttle was packed with Fanboys (and girls) who have arrived for the same reason I have; Star Wars Celebration IV.

I gazed in silent wonder at the palm trees (my favorite kind of the trees), and the vines growing on the freeway retaining walls before coming to my senses. This is got to be my fifth or sixth time down here, and still I stare? I shook it off and enjoyed the rest of the ride to the hotel.

Checking in was a breeze and I found myself not hating Los Angeles so far… but the trip was still in it’s infancy, there was still plenty of time for this town to show it’s true colors as I know them.

After dropping my crap off in the room I did what I always do upon arrival in a different town: I sat down in front of the hotel for a few minutes and watched the people, observed them, the way they walked, their mannerisms. The best way to go unnoticed is to act like everyone else…right as I was standing up to walk, the shuttle to the convention center had arrived.

I picked up my badge at the Will Call, bought a FanClub membership, grabbed my bag o’ swag and wandered about the convention hall for a bit trying to get my bearings, breathing deeply, knowing that the real line ups start tomorrow!

To be Continued…

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