Ed Op: Attack On The Death Troopers

r1I haven’t seen Rogue One as of this writing, but I’ve seen the trailers.

Can we talk about Death Troopers?

These are a variant on the black-clad ‘elite’ stormtroopers or Shadow Troopers that sprang from the EU in its Legends days and gradually grew in popularity among the 501st cosplayers at conventions, and are now about to charge full blown into Star Wars canon onscreen.

Yeah, they look really cool.

1280-deathtrooperjpg-4853ff_1280w

I’ll buy the toy for my son ’cause he likes ’em, but even Death Troopers play with the classics.

But I’m not a fan….AND I’LL TELL YA WHY!

stormswarmStormtroopers are about shock and awe. They wear this pristine white armor not because it’s practical, but because there’s something incongruous to their appearance when they kick in your door or come hut hut hutting out of a dropship.

I remember the first time I saw them blasting their way onto the Tantive IV in A New Hope. Their appearance made my brain misfire. In my kid’s mind, bad guys wore black (Zorro notwithstanding, but he was sort of pretending to be a bad guy). Soldiers are gruff, down and dirty, but stormtroopers are spotless, unblemished, and regimental. There’s something in that that gives the mind pause (and in that pause is where Stormtroopers shine).

Stormtroopers represent the Imperial notion of Order with a capital O. They’re not interested in practicality, they’re there to overwhelm you, both mentally and physically. All jokes about them not being able to hit a thing (yes yes, they don’t hit waddling 3PO and R2 in the hallway when they wander through that firefight…very amusing. But on the other side of them, a whole lot of Rebel troopers are shown getting dropped. The plain truth is…they weren’t AIMING for the droids.), it takes something to go marching into a combat zone in bright white armor. Stupidity, you may say, but I say thee nay! Discipline and fanaticism -two things you want to foment in a stormtrooper recruit.
10-tie-pilotIt’s the same assurance that puts the TIE fighter pilots (the ONLY front liners who deserve to wear the black) into the cockpits of unshielded ships. Survivability is not a concern of stormtroopers. They’re a cog in a really big, really nasty machine and they know they can be replaced. That’s why the Emperor did away with all those pretty primary colored unit designations and emblems from the Clone Wars. The New Order isn’t about unit distinction, it’s about raw power.

scoutsLook at the Scout Troopers on Endor. No camouflage seems silly, right? When the Scouts hit the ground, the Empire is sending a message. That message is, we don’t give a laughin’ fuzzball about your planet. Not about your flora, not your fauna. We’ll stomp your trees with our AT-AT’s (rhymes with Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-a-tat-like that. And I never hesitate to put a Rebel on his back). Our Scouts don’t hide. They fly by on their speeder bikes and leave you smoking.

But what about Snowtroopers (my faves), you might say? They’re all white, they buy into the appeal of camo. Nope. Snowtroopers wear what Snowtroopers wear to keep warm. Hoth just happens to compliment Snowtroopers. It’s not the other way around. That’s why they run the joint. Snowtroopers weren’t made for Hoth. Hoth was made for Snowtroopers.

snowtroopers

Only one pair of black boots on the ground.

So yeah, black-clad stormtroopers. They just go against the whole notion of crushing faceless uniformity I’ve come to love in the Empire. You wanna be a special snowflake, go be a Royal Guard. The job is cushier and you get a pointy movealong and a flashy red dress.

On top of all that….when I’m playing Battlefront I can never see the little buggers.

battlefront

I see you in the back, you jerk!

May The Force Be Witcha.

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The Day Darth Vader Came To My House

I shared this story once a lonnnng time ago on my old Official Star Wars Blog, but as all that content was given the superlaser treatment ages agone, I figured I’d rewrite it here for May The Fourth, International Star Wars Day.

It was probably my fourth or fifth birthday, as I remember it. My buddy Dave was over for the occasion an we were playing my room, probably either GI Joe or Star Wars figures, when my mom came in and said;

“Hey kiddo. Somebody’s here to see you for your birthday.”

I figured it was some relative or something bearing gifts, but when I idly asked “who?”

She answered, “It’s a surprise.”

So I knew it wasn’t.

That got my disengaged from my toys and present company, and Dave and I skedaddled out into the kitchen to the door that led to the front hallway.

The door opened just as I got there, and I ran smack into the stomach of whoever was coming in.

vaderhelmWhen I looked up, I think I felt all the blood drain out of my head.

Darth Vader was towering over me.

Now these were the 70’s, the days before widespread costuming and fan culture so far as I know. When a ‘character’ came to your birthday it was probably gonna be a magician or a clown…maybe a guy in a Superman outfit. To have a character from a popular franchise appear in your house was unheard of.

Reality collapsed in that terrible instant. Even then, though I was a pretty imaginative kid, I mostly understood the concrete difference between fact and fiction and watched things with a hopeful disconnect; hopeful for the things in movies and books that were wonderful, and securely disconnected from the things that were dark.

VaderstrikeSo here I was looking up at Darth Vader, the Dark Lord Of The Sith (according to his byline in my well-worn Star Wars Storybook). The guy who killed Ben Kenobi and Luke’s parents, and could choke you out without even laying a finger on you. I’m pretty sure he was even doing the breathing, possibly with a tape recorder disguised as his life support regulator on his chest. The top of that shining black helmet brushed the top of the door frame so he had to duck to come in, and with those blinking chest lights and that voluminous black cape, it looked like he was stepping right out space itself.

vaderchokeSomewhere 8mm film of this encounter exists, though I don’t even remember my Aunt Barb being there with her camera.

I guess my family thought I’d be thrilled.

If it had been Han Solo, or Luke, or Chewbacca, I probably would have been. Jesus, even Hammerhead (yes yes, Momaw Nadon) would have been a treat.

But Darth Vader, he was evil.

I have never since that day screamed in fear, but I know it’s possible, because that’s what I did. I just lost it, and started shrieking and crying all at once, totally uncontrolled, just heaving, vomiting abject horror. I turned tail and ran out of that kitchen in less than twelve parsecs (yes, I know it’s a unit of measurement), and literally dove like a baseball player sliding into home plate under my bed and I stayed there for the rest of the party.

Nobody could coax me out, not even my grandfather, who once brought me home from the neighbors after I ran into their house and took similar cover in the face of my father’s terrible rage the day he came outside from lunch to find me painting the side of his 1931 Model A stark white with paint from the can that had been left next to the drying garage door.

My buddy Dave was a braver soul than I. He went out there and orbited Vader for a while (they gave him a chair in the living room) grinning sheepishly, till the Dark Lord reached out to him and tried to pick him up. I know this happened because I saw the film later.

He started whimpering in Vader’s grip, and when he was released, he scurried off and joined me under the bed.

I’m not really sure what happened next, but apparently Darth Vader went outside and walked around the block a bit (I guess just taking in the sights). I think he passed by Hegewisch Records, because when I looked out my window, I saw him returning with an army of kids of every age following him. Even teenagers.

After a bit, my mom came into my room and asked Dave and I if I wanted to come out, as Darth Vader had taken off his mask.

NO! I think I shrieked. Of course not! Was she crazy? God only knew what horrors dwelt behind those fathomless black lenses. In my mind, he looked like The Orb from Ghost Rider, that evil motorcyclist who had ditched his bike and went skidding along the pavement on his face and was no horribly disfigured behind his big eyeball helmet (see HERE).

starwars1But Dave, again, the braver of our dynamic duo, slipped out and left.

A few minutes later he came back and said;

“It’s OK, Ed. He’s just a regular guy.”

“Really?” I said.

“Yeah. He’s answering questions about Star Wars.”

So I went out there, and found all these kids sitting on the sofa and on the floor and leaning against the wall of our front room (even teenagers!). It looked surreal in there. In my mind’s eye I can see this guy with dark curly hair (my blurry memory has retroactively cast him as Eric Begosian) sitting in a folding chair, totally Darth Vader from the waist down. He was passing his helmet around to the curious kids and talking, like a strange Sermon On The Mount being related to the scruffy, long haired and bell-bottomed cast of The Bad News Bears.

The kids were asking him Star Wars questions, like what was going to happen in the next movie (there’s a next movie? How’d they know that??), what was it like on Chewbacca’s planet (I’m sure he got his answers from the Holiday Special, which I clearly remember watching, even though for years nobody believed me when I swore it existed), etc. My buddy Dave asked him how they made the Millenium Falcon fly.

To us, this guy was the first ambassador of Star Wars. He might’ve been the actor from the movie as far as we knew, and we all treated him like a visiting dignitary. He graciously answered every question, and if we ever stumped the guy, I don’t remember it. He sure sounded to me like he knew what he was talking about.

Later that week, I can remember my mother showing me an article in the local newspaper about the guy who had played Darth Vader at my party, how he went around to other kid’s parties, and movie openings, etc. I wish I still had the clipping, but I’m pretty sure it’s long gone.  I sometimes wonder whatever happened to that worthy fan. He was my earliest encounter with the extended Star Wars community, something my writing has brought me into contact with more in the last few years.

From one guy doing the rounds of kids’ birthdays, Star Wars costuming has branched out immensely, perhaps culminating in the illustrious 501st Legion, an organization which itself has evolved from a simple themed costuming club to a worldwide organization that uses its public appearances, and diverse volunteer and fundraising resources to contribute to a number of worthy charity events (check ’em out HERE).

501st-LegionI’ve seen them in action around the various Cons and parades. They’re level of quality is unparalleled (and they’re not nearly as terrifying as my first experience).

May The Fourth Be With You

 

—-

A little update. A friend who grew up in the same area as me (Calumet City, Illinois was where my house was) read this post and sent me this …..

Ed, loved your story about Darth coming to your party. I remember wanting Darth Vader to come to my party when I was a kid, but I got the magician instead. Anyway… when I was living in Homewood before I moved to NY, I was at the local target right around Halloween and I was checking out the DVDs. I am a member of the 501st and had a midwest garrison patch with a stormtrooper on it on my jacket. This guy who had to be in his 50s or 60s was checking out the DVDs as well and he kept looking at my patch. Finally, he asked me about it and I told him what the 501st was. He said that he was a huuuuge Star Wars fan and that right after the film came out, he made this pretty close-to screen accurate Darth Vader costume. He said he’d wear it and go to birthday parties and local events. He was a really cool guy and we just stood there talking about Star Wars and Halloween for a good while. Finally we parted ways and left it with a “nice to meet ya. “I’m sure I’ll see ya around.” I wonder if that was the same guy. Hahah! I can’t imagine there were too many guys from the southwest suburbs doing that kind of thing back then. hahah!

—-

Awesome. Whether it really was the same guy or not, in my mind, that was him.

 

Published in: on May 4, 2014 at 3:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Kick A Buck: Saving Throw Over At Kickstarter!

There’s less than twenty four hours left on this project over at Kickstarter.

I only just became aware of it, but it sounds like a pretty cool project -a TableTop/Mythbusters style webseries for familiarizing people with tabletop roleplaying games.

I played RPG’s for about five or six years and it gave me a solid foundation in storytelling that I really believe helped me out as a professional writer. Elements from my gaming days have wended their way into my stories and novels. The seeds of a few of the stories in my Merkabah Rider series were planted in a weird western PBEM I ran using the HERO system (in which a friend, now a World Fantasy Award nominated novelist, was a player), and  most recently, a lightsaber gimmick I came up with in a session of West End Games’ Star Wars Roleplaying game when I was about eighteen or nineteen made it into the pages of Star Wars Insider via my story Hammer.  Roleplaying foments creativity.

I hear a lot of my friends talk about how D&D was looked down upon where they came from and so they never experienced it (but they wish they had), and a good many of them say they’re too old to learn it now, or still don’t know where to start.

Additionally, there is something of a leaning in worldwide geekdom toward non or mildly interactive gaming, something I kinda find troubling when it comes to my own children and the children they interact with. I love my Xbox, but the anonymity of online gaming can be isolating and a bit troubling sometimes. I really think that nothing compares to the thrill of face to face RPG’ing. It’s a healthy, fun way to pass the time, and if you’ll pardon while I wax lyrical a bit, I believe it links us directly to the far flung past of our furthest ancestors, who probably crouched around a fire as the light danced on their painted cave walls, and they entertained each other with dynamic, evolutionary make-believe.

So unplug a bit, and help take some of the ‘video’ out of gaming, and kick these guys a buck. They’re already making it happen. Help make it even better.

-Hasta pronto!

Published in: on March 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Part 2 of Slugthrowers: An Overview Of Popular Music and Musicians Up At Star Wars Dot Com

In the immediate wake of my story Hammer in Star Wars Insider #147, look want else got published today…more Star Wars! Part 2 of my article Slugthrowers: An Overview of Popular Music And Musicians In A Galaxy Far Far Away is up on Lucasfilm’s Star Wars (dot) com.

Click here for part 1.

And here’s part 2….

http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/2014/01/21/slugthrowers-part-2/

ewokdrum (Medium)

Published in: on January 22, 2014 at 8:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Hammer Time! Star Wars Insider #147

hammerMy first short story of 2014 premieres today in Star Wars Insider #147, marking my fictional return to the Star Wars Galaxy! Yep! Me! On actual, physical newsstands! Run out and grab it.

I’m always excited by the opportunity to add a bit of original fiction to a universe that’s been such a huge part of my childhood.

Hammer, which takes place in the final days of The Clone Wars, follows Telloti Cillmam’n, a troubled, envious Padawan washout regulated to the Jedi Explorer Corps who discovers an ancient Sith relic resting in a mysterious structure on the far-flung, ammonia-washed world of Nicht Ka. It also sees the birth of Malleus, an heir to the power of the glorious Sith dynasties of the past and the armor of a forgotten dark warrior called Warb Null.

Taking a page from some of my favorite fellow Star Wars contributors, Jason Fry and Dan Wallace, I thought I’d devote the old blog today to a couple of the in-universe Easter eggs and behind the scenes stuff for Hammer, and at the same time, showcase some of the awesome art Joe Corroney and Brian Miller did for the story.

nullFirstly, Warb Null was the corrupted persona of a Naddist cultist named Shas Dovos on the planet Onderon 4,000 years before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope.  He appeared in the Tales of The Jedi comic ‘The Freedon Nadd Uprising’ written by Tom Veitch for Dark Horse, and was further expanded in the West End Games RPG supplement for Tales of The Jedi. I always liked the design of the character as a sort of primeval proto-Vader in gleaming, almost Satanic black armor with a huge two handed lightsaber. Yeah he looks a bit like Sauron now, but remember, this was before the LOTOR movies so actually, Sauron looks like him. He gets taken out pretty quickly a la Darth Maul in the comic, but he stuck in my mind over the years, and I was always looking for an opportunity to do more with him.

George C_ Scott PattonPart of the inspiration for Telloti’s personality was, believe it or not, George C. Scott’s portrayal of George S. Patton in the titular movie, Patton.  There’s a quote in it that sums up Patton’s character – “There’s only one proper way for a professional soldier to die. That’s from the last bullet, of the last battle, of the last war.”  This mantra is fortified when, after a political faux pas causes Patton to be removed from his battle command, he reacts to news of the Allied D-Day invasion by storming at his stoic valet, “The last great opportunity of a lifetime – an entire WORLD at war, and I’m left out of it? God will not permit this to happen! I WILL be ALLOWED to fulfill my destiny!”  That last bit sort of became the springboard for the character for me. Telloti’s frustration at having failed to become a Jedi and being, in his mind, shuffled off to a harmless profession under the direction of a warrior who has lost the will to fight. Telloti wants glory, and all around him, his opportunities are passing him by. This mindset of course, combined with his temper, wind up making him fertile ground for the corruption of the Sith.

ekimAs a reader of wookieepedia, I’m a little obsessed with seeing unnamed background characters get an official moniker. The maimed Jedi master in the story, Ekim Ryelli, is meant to be the mulleted guy pictured in this still from Episode II: Attack Of The Clones.  On wookieepedia he’s been called ‘Unidentified Balding Human Male Jedi,’ since the movie’s release, which is really a bit of a mouthful and not a very impressive name for a Jedi. So I asked Joe Corroney if he could use the guy in the arena in Episode II as a character model, if Leland Chee was OK with it, which I guess he was, ‘cause that’s him.

lumas

Lumas Etima front and center

For Ekim’s padawan, I needed another combatant in the Petranaki arena on Geonosis from Ep II, in this case, one that hadn’t made it back. I found Lumas Etima in one of Leland Chee’s blogs on the Geonosis battle, and in Pablo Hidalgo’s Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. He’s another guy with an on screen appearance, but he one-ups his master as Hasbro made a figure of him at some point (this and bounty hunter Bane Malar make two Star Wars figures I’ve written backgrounds for – coolness!).

tellotivisionsAt one point in the story, Telloti’s mind is flooded with visions of the ancient past, in which he sees another armored Sith warrior, and hears his name chanted. This is King Adas, an ancient overlord of the Sith stronghold world Korriban. The spirit which inhabits the spellbook which Shas Dovos uses to craft the Warb Null armor is never named, and I don’t name him here, but I can’t help but see an aesthetic allusion to Adas in the design of Null’s ebony armor…

The last points are mainly trivia. Since my first contributions to Star Wars in the old Database and my story Fists of Ion, I’ve always played around with portmanteaus in my character naming, as a lot of authors I know do. I don’t feel a Star Wars piece is complete till I’ve included the name of a loved one, in particular, my children, who have become the main driving force between any ambitions I have as a writer since they’ve come into my life.

Wollwi Enan, the girl padawan who Telloti mentions as having defeated him during the Apprentice Trial, is named for my middle daughter, Willow Anne, and the Givin astrogator (Givin are my favorite Star Wars alien species) Staguu Itincoovar for my son, August Victoriano.

Welp, that’s all folks. Hope you enjoy the story.

May The Force Be With You!

Art imitates life

Art imitates life

Slugthrowers: A Look At Popular Music In A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Part 1 of Slughtrowers – my article on popular in-universe music in a Galaxy Far Far Away is up over on Lucasfilm’s official Star Wars site, so go give it a look here…

http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/2013/11/21/slugthrowers-an-overview-of-popular-music-and-musicians-in-a-galaxy-far-far-away-part-1/#more-25293

skawn

Published in: on November 22, 2013 at 8:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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So Uncivilized Part 2 Up At The Official Star Wars Website

Part two of my roundup of the fastest blasters in a Galaxy far far away is up at the official Star Wars website.

It features my personal favorite expanded universe character, Gallandro, the Corporate Sector assassin from Brian Daley’s excellent Han Solo Trilogy books from the early days of Star Wars pastiche.

If you want a good Star Wars read, I can’t recommend these books enough.

So check out this –

http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2013/10/03/so-uncivilized-great-gunslingers-in-star-wars-part-2/

And then DEFINITELY check out this –

 

SoloTrilogy

http://www.amazon.com/The-Han-Solo-Adventures-Revenge/dp/0345379802/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380828806&sr=8-1&keywords=brian+daley+han+solo

Published in: on October 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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‘Great Gunfighters Of The Star Wars Galaxy Part I’ Up At Star Wars Dot Com

I’ve got a new article up at Lucasfilm’s Star Wars website, about the top gunslingers in a galaxy far, far away.  Check it out here –

http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2013/09/19/so-uncivilized-great-gunslingers-in-star-wars-part-1/

solo

The one that’s still around is the one who shot first.

I remember as a kid going on vacation to Deadwood, South Dakota with my parents, and picking up an illustrated book called The Gunfighters by Lea Mcarty, which had these cool paintings of guys like Doc Holliday, Joaquin Murietta and Clay Allison, with about a page of text on their careers.

gunfighters

That book enamored me. I still have it. Great, flavorful text and awesome, mythic-quality paintings.

There’s always been an element of the Old West in Star Wars, and I wanted to point them out in the article, so I took McCarty’s book as inspiration and wrote up a brief colorful bio for ten Star Wars characters from the movies, comics, books, and video games who I thought were most obviously meant to be transplanted gunfighters.

So head over to Star Wars.com and take a look at part one. It was originally meant to be a top ten ranking, but the powers that be decided to eliminate the ranking system (but on the side, the first five up now were originally #’s 10-5.

So whether you’re a Star Wars geek or a western fan – or both, as I am – go give it a look. Tell me if you agree with my ranking, or go and read some fine books referenced within.

jessejames

Published in: on September 19, 2013 at 4:34 pm  Comments (2)  
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Star Wars: Fists Of Ion Returns!

As part of the release of Star Wars: The Essential Reader’s Companion, Star Wars Books has reposted some of the long out of sight Hyperspace stories from Star Wars.com to suvudu, including my own Fists Of Ion, which is the quintessential story about boxing (known as shockboxing) in A Galaxy Far Far Away.

Set in the New Republic era (not long after Return Of The Jedi), Fists Of Ion is about how an up and coming shockboxer took down the oppressive Imperial-backed criminal government on a backwater industrial world with one punch.

You can read it abso-smurfly free here –

http://star-wars.suvudu.com/2012/10/star-wars-shorts-fists-of-ion.html

Art by Cat Staggs, logo mockup by my buddy Greg Mitchell

And for my fellow hardcore Star Wars fans, after you’ve read the story, here are the little easter eggs, which I originally posted on my now defunct Star Wars blog (taking a page from author Abel Pena).

Lobar’s race, the Calians of Shiva IV, their former enemies the T’syriel, their battle madness, and references to the destruction of K’avor (Lobar’s hometown, bombed out by Imperial General Bentilais san Sk’ar) originally appeared in Marvel Comics Star Wars issues 53-54.

The Rebel Alliance: Where everybody knows your name.

Major Bren (“Cliff from Cheers”) Derlin’s background details all come from West End Games’ The Star Wars Movie Trilogy Sourcebook, his entry in Alliance Intelligence Reports, and The Last Command Sourcebook.  I took the liberty of making his mission to Reuss VIII the one that earned him his promotion to Colonel. My big regret is not finding a way to work in the line “Who are three people who’ve never been in my kitchen?” Just couldn’t fit it in, though…

The plucky Alderaanian slicer Corporal Beezer is from the old Star Wars Customizable Card Game, and appears in the Endor Limited set where she’s described as part of Derlin’s commando strike force. Her first name, Dransa, is the author’s invention (my wife’s name tuckerized). The promotion to sergeant seemed like a logical progression after her work on Endor.

Torel Vorne

Torel Vorne, Deral Reiko, the Rust Rats, Moff Ammar, and Reussi VIII (as well as some of the details of Vorne’s organ donation trade and the Reuss Corporation’s hold on the populous) come from my favorite SWRPG book, West End Games’ Star Wars Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments From The Rim.Stitchy having once been court physician to Queen Apa-something, is a reference to Queen Apailana of Naboo, assassinated by Vader and the 501st for harboring Jedi in the Lucasarts video game Star Wars: Battlefront II.

“The Galaxy’s original talent free band” Boba Fett And The Assassin Droids, TriNebulon News, and Grada, an expensive brand of Cassandran Choholl are also from West End Games’ Star Wars Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments From The Rim.

Intelligence agents Resik, the Jillsarian bartender, Mygo Skinto, Ytavarg Aleema (the famous shockball player and secret Rebel sympathizer who lends his name to Lobar’s running shoes), and Colonial News Net reporter Fionna Flannis all appear in West End Games’ Cracken’s Rebel Operatives.

The Broken Tusk and the Dool Arena, including references to the vengeful Tolanese bounty hunter, the Jedi (Norrin Vaxx) beaten by Tull Raine, and the previous owners are all detailed in the last WEG supplement published, Wretched Hives Of Scum And Villainy.  The story behind that is The Broken Tusk was actually built out of the remains of the ship (The Tolan Tusk) of a bounty hunter named Var’rotha Fin’rotha, whose two Gamorrean slaves revolted on him, shoving him into an escape pod and inadvertently crash landing it on Reuss VIII.  The Gamorreans established The Broken Tusk and the Dool Arena, and operated a successful business for some years. One of the included adventure seeds was the return of Fin’rotha. I inferred its outcome, and that Torel Vorne would have jumped at the chance to take over the lion’s share of the Tusk’s profits and maybe legitimize the place (as far as somebody like Vorne could legitimize anything).

Zzip Product Concepts Ltd, makers of luxury speeders, are mentioned as one of the signing companies in the creation of the Corporate Sector Authority in The Han Solo And The Corporate Sector Sourcebook.

Micromite pate is listed as a Kubaz delicacy in the article “A Free Trader’s Guide To The Planets” from Star Wars Adventure Journal #10

The following terms and entities are my inventions –

bouncewire – Conductive, wire-wrapped syntherope strung around a shockboxing wedge.

Boz – The Calian creator deity.  Did the religion of the Calians somehow spread to or from Boz Pity?

Electrolast – Top of the line brand of shockboxing equipment.

glunked – A Chevin past tense version of ‘crapped,’ as in, ‘to crap out’ or fail in function.

GolanGear – Golan Arms’ floundering athletic equipment division and a brand of shockboxing equipment. You can bet their stocks went up after the Tull Raine fight.

gug – The Star Wars equivalent of a pug, or a broken down, past his prime shockboxer.

Kubindi mudbugs – A Kubaz delicacy consisting of succulent bottom feeders.

Qee-Zutton Booksellers – Purveyors of fine reading, the SW version of B. Dalton, of course. Possibly the Snivvian author and Chalmun’s Cantina patron had a bit of good fortune in later life…

ryastraad – The Calian word for their battle madness tradition. Actually derived from ríastrad, the ‘battle-distortion’ or berserker rage of the Irish folk hero Cú Chulainn.

Sha-nag! – A Chevin interjection equivalent to “bullsh_t!”

Tuffweave – A brand of pliant canvas material used in wedge flooring.

The idea of shockboxing was conceived by author Wayne Humfleet for the old West End Games RPG, I just expanded on it.

Star Wars esoterica aside, Fists Of Ion came about from my love of all things boxing.

Lobar Aybock is a tuckerization of ‘Rocky Balboa,’ and Lobar’s alien cornermen, Stitchy and Eedund Cus’ names come from Jacob ‘Stitch’ Doran, Muhammad Ali’s great cornerman Angelo Dundee, and Mike Tyson’s legendary trainer Cus D’amato, respectively.

You can read a little more about how I came to write Fists Of Ion here – https://emerdelac.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/happy-star-wars-day-may-the-4th-be-with-youze/

 

 

 

Fantasy Book Review Talks Up Merkabah Rider 2

Josh and Ryan over at Fantasy Book Review over in the UK (though they sound like Australians or New Zealanders to me so maybe I’m just going by the UK in the web address) talked up the Merkabah Rider series on their podcast, as a prelude to Ryan’s review of Merkabah Rider 2: The Mensch With No Name.

You can give it a listen over here – my bit starts at 56:28.

http://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk/fbrblog/fbr-cast-002-pirates-ahoy/

Hasta pronto,

Ed