Who’s Who in the Star Wars Universe? – Pote Snitkin

Pote Snitkin was a Skrilling arms dealer who worked for the Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure.

At some point, Pote Snitkin became an arms dealer and later obtained a work as pilot for one of the mutliple skiffes of the Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure. During the Galactic Civil War, Pote Snitkin piloted a skiff full of Jabba’s guards through the dunes of the planet Tatooine to the Great Pit of Carkoon, where the Hutt planned on feeding the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker and the smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca to a sarlacc in retaliation of the death of his pet rancor Pateesa.

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Tim Donaldson Interview – Jawa

Jawas were a sentient species of meter-tall humanoids native to the Outer Rim desert world of Tatooine.

What Jawas hid underneath their heavy robes was subject to much speculation from the colonists who settled on Tatooine, with rumors claiming they were giant rodents or devolved humans. Although Jawas were typically small, measuring only one meter, some of them were significantly taller than that. One of those abnormally gangly Jawas was almost as tall as a 3PO unit, a model of protocol droid measuring 1.71 meters.

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Dickey Beer Interview – Barada

The Klatooinian Barada was enslaved to the Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure four years after the Battle of Yavin. He worked as a mechanic in Jabba’s Palace on Tatooine, and was responsible for the gangster’s pool of repulsorlift vehicles, which included his sail barge Khetanna, in addition to serve as muscle. Despite his enforced servitude, Barada remained relatively content with his lot in the palace.

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Who’s Who in the Star Wars universe? – Moroff

Moroff was a male Gigoran mercenary who was active during the Age of the Empire. During that time, Moroff sought out combat zones to sell his brawn and firepower to anyone who required it.

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Who’s Who in the Star Wars Universe? – Weeteef Cyubee

Weeteef Cyu-Bee was a male Talpini who served as one of the most destructive members of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans on Jedha. The diminutive Talpini could hide easily among the taller beings that congregated in the Holy city. A sniper, Cyu-Bee specialized in explosives, and built the sticky bombs used against the Imperial patrols of AT-ST walkers and TX-225 assault tanks.

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Jake Lunt Davies Interview – Concept Artist

How did you get involved with Star Wars and concept art?

I had worked with Neal Scanlan on various projects on and off between 1999 and maybe 2005. After that our careers diverged – Neal was doing more SMUFX and prosthetics jobs and I was focusing more on storyboarding and directing in commercials. I don’t think I’d actually spoken to Neal for about five years when he called me out of the blue in early June 2013 telling me he’d got Star Wars and was looking to put together a concept design team. Would I be interested? Uh…yes, I think I would. I had to do a trial week putting some ideas together for a brief on a character that would eventually become Maz to get the job and started properly on the film mid-June.

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John Simpkin Interview – Klaatu

Klaatu was a male Kadas’sa’Nikto gambler who worked for Jabba the Hutt. He often repaired the crime lord’s skiffs. Klaatu also took enjoyment in Jabba’s executions by Rancor in Jabba’s Palace. He was killed aboard Jabba’s sail barge on Tatooine during the failed execution of Luke Skywalker and his companions.

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Martin Rezard Interview – Sculptor & Concept Artist.

How did you get involved with the Star Wars franchise?

The first time I worked on a Star Wars film was in 2001, I was living and working in Sydney at the time and was asked if I would like to join the costume props department on Ep II , Attack of the Clones, I worked on Zam Wesell’s outfit, Jango Fett’s armour, and various jewellery and head dresses for Amidala .Then, a couple of years later I was hired again to work on Ep III, Revenge of the Sith, as a part of the team who recreated Darth Vader’s outfit  , and I sculpted Mon Mothma’s head dress and other items of jewellery amongst other things. In 2013, after having moved to the UK in 2005, I received a call from Neal Scanlan asking me if I would like to join his team on The Force Awakens, I had previously worked for Neal Scanlan on Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, It didn’t take me long to give him a positive answer…

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Star Wars: Lando – Comic Book Review

Marvel’s Lando Series is set prior to the events of Empire Strikes Back, and sees Lando seducing an Imperial Governor into giving him an item that he uses to pay off some debts he owes to Papa Toren. Upon arrival to pay off his debt with Toren, only a small fraction of the debt is honoured, leaving Lando in a predicament.

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Star Wars: A New Dawn – Book Review

John Jackson Miller has provided the first official book from the new canon material. A New Dawn  gives Star Wars fans an insight into the Life of Kanan Jarrus after the events of Order 66, highlighting how he began fighting the Empire, his love for women and how he met a very special woman who would have a huge impact on his life moving forward; that of course being Hera Syndulla.

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Star Wars: Thrawn – Comic Book Review

As the Imperial crew of the Strikeforce investigate an uncharted planet, they are attacked, and a lone Chiss warrior infiltrates the ship before being captured. The Warrior is Mitth ‘Raw’ Nuruodo, or as he prefers to be called, Thrawn; he is brought before the Emperor where Thrawn asks for a position in the Imperial Navy in exchange for his knowledge of the unknown regions of the galaxy.

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Star Wars: Beckett – Comic Book Review

The Beckett comic series brings Star Wars fans three mini stories about a series of jobs Tobias Beckett, Val and Rio Durant encountered prior to the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

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Star Wars: DJ Most Wanted – Comic Book Review

Most Wanted shines the spotlight on DJ, the scoundrel played by Benicio Del Toro in The Last Jedi, exploring what he was up to not long before Rose and Finn find him in a prison cell, in Canto Bight. The comic sees DJ weave his way through different conflicts, putting himself before anyone and sticking to his own set of rules.

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Star Wars: Han Solo – Comic Book Review

Han Solo is by far one of the most beloved characters in Star Wars as well as film in general, so it comes to no surprise that the character has had several comic book runs over the years. In 2016, Marvel launched the 5 issues Solo series, focusing on the events that take place after the Death Star is destroyed when Han has returned to his smuggler roots.

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Star Wars: Mace Windu: Jedi of the Republic – Comic Book Review.

Star Wars comics are great as they offer readers the chance to delve deeper into the lives of some of their favourite characters from the franchise; this is the case for Mace Windu, despite not being the strongest of the comic series’, Jedi of the Republic offers readers an insight into some of Windu’s actions during the Clone Wars.

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Star Wars: Vader Down – Comic Book Review

Vader Down starts with Luke Skywalker as he finds his way to an old Jedi temple on Vrogas Vas; Doctor Aphra informs Darth Vader of Luke’s location and decides to go after the Jedi.  Vader’s ship flies into three Rebel squadrons in which he attempts to wipe them all out, managing to kill the majority of them until Luke shows up causing them to both crash land.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Book Review

When I read a film novelisation, I look for things that may not have featured in the film, or scenes that have been expanded on to further enhance the story; Alan Dean Fosters provides readers with some extra scenes, more character insight as well as answers several questions asked after watching the The Force Awakens.

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Frank Henson Interview – Scout Trooper

Scout troopers, also known as biker scouts and Imperial sharpshooters, were specially trained stormtroopers of the Imperial Army’s Stormtrooper Corps. They were used by the Galactic Empire on a range of missions, which mostly involved reconnaissance. They had lighter armour than standard stormtroopers, much like their urban counterparts, patrol stormtroopers.

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Book Review

When writing a review for a film novelisation, I look for things that may not have featured in the film, or scenes that have been expanded on to further enhance the story; Alexander Freed’s second book in Star Wars Canon “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was full of extra moments that have complemented my views on the film.

Readers will find out the motivations behind some of the characters actions, connective scenes that are useful with regards to continuity, as well as interactions from the movie that are expanded upon. Freed emotionally dives into the minds of some of the key characters throughout, and provides further insight into some of their actions and the resonance behind them. Jyn’s internal struggle about feeling abandoned by both her father Galen Erso and Saw Gerrera, Cassian’s conflict as he contemplates his orders from General Draven to kill Galen Erso, and also Mon Mothma’s feelings about the path the Rebellion is currently on.

The book allows readers to spend more time with some of the characters that only featured briefly in the film, take Lyra Erso for example. During the first few scenes in Rogue One we see Lyra stand up to a group of Death Troopers whilst aiming her gun at Orson Krennic, despite knowing she could have run away with her daughter Jyn. It turns out that she had misjudged Krennic, expecting him to surrender in fear. With regards to the Empire, readers get more of an insight into how Tarkin took over the Death Star and Krennic’s thoughts as he discovers how easily he was played by Tarkin.

As mentioned above, readers get to delve deeper inside the head of Jyn Erso, understanding her coping mechanisms with feeling rejected from Galen and Saw, and also how she came to trust and love the Rebel Alliance despite her rough introduction to the cause. There are also more conversations between Jyn and Mon Mothma that would have been great additions to the film.

A lot of the new canon book feature several interludes and Rogue One is no different. One of the interludes reveals how Galen’s revenge on Krennic and the Empire is nearly discovered. Supplementary information like this is always good for a story and it adds another layer to everything viewers see when they sit down and watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Movie novelisation’s are usually good for looking at scenes that weren’t featured in the movie, Freed provides and intimate look at Jedha as a whole, moments before the Death Star Strikes as well as an up close view of Pendra Siliu’s death when Jedha is destroyed (Pendra was the little girl Jyn saves when Saw’s Partisans attack an Imperial fleet).

To conclude, Rogue One is a book that enhances the story rather than just giving readers a like for like printed account of the film. I would consider this book required reading as it provides a clearer and more insightful look into the events of the film, as well as showing the moments that weren’t actually captured on screen. For an even better experience with the book, read “Tarkin” and “Catalyst” both written by James Luceno that give background to Tarkin’s rise in the Empire ,as well as the beginning of Galen Erso and Orson Krennic’s relationship and how that lead to Galen joining Krennic on his project.

Star Wars: Aftermath Life Debt – Book Review

Aftermath saw Temmin “Snap” Wexley, his droid companion Bones, and his pilot mother Norra Wexley make their names in what was the first story in the Aftermath Trilogy. Life Debt sees Norra and her group of rebels set on a mission to locate rebel hero Han Solo, who is on his way to Kashyyyk to help liberate the planet from under the ruling of the Empire.

Han’s first attempt didn’t go as planned, resulting with Chewbacca being captured and the Imperial council finding itself under the leadership of Gallius Rax, a mastermind with links to the planet of Jakku. One of Rax’s first actions is to appoint Grand Admiral Rae Sloane as the face of the Empire.

There is a deep underlying theme within the Imperial side of the story surrounding Rax and Sloane. Sloane finds herself feeling like an errand girl delivering Rax’s orders to the Empire, even when she doesn’t agree with them. What Rae Sloane wants for the Empire and what Rax wants are two completely different things which lead to Sloane taking matters into her own hands.

The book is essentially broken down into three main stories, the search for Han Solo, the liberation of Kashyyyk, and the birth of the First Order courtesy of Gallius Rax. Despite being a great start to the trilogy, the plot for Life Debt is leaps and bounds above Aftermath’s packed full with humour, heartbreak, violence, romance and mystery; things that readers expect from a Star Wars story.

With regards to the original characters from Aftermath, Chuck Wendig doesn’t waste any time giving readers a clear picture of where Norra Wexley and her group of ragtag Rebels are after the conclusion of Aftermath. The group find themselves on a crusade hunting down Imperial war criminals and bringing them to justice for their crimes before being tasked with the search of Han Solo.

The introduction of characters from the Original Trilogy added another robust layer to the story with Han and Leia anchoring the story for the heroes whilst Rax and Sloane do the same for the Empire. In parts Leia seems vulnerable; her husband is missing, the New Republic is immovable and she is connecting to her unborn child with the force. She also sees her personality clashing with Mon Mothma because of her idealist approach to the world and believes in doing good for every inhabitant of the galaxy, whereas Mothma has a realist approach to her methods.

We argue, about whether it is the time to build up military or to dampen its effect. And all the while we forget that we have the privilege of arguing from comfortable chairs many parsecs away. We argue about what’s prudent or what’s practical while people suffer. Do you know what people want to see from the New Republic? Do you, truly? They want us to be heroes. – Princess Leia’s argument against Mon Mothma.

Han solo’s relationship with Chewbacca is captured beautifully in Life Debt. In one of the interludes from Aftermath, the pair is preparing to travel to Kashyyyk with intentions of liberating Chewie’s home planet from under the clasp of the Empire, leading to the Wookiee being captured. Han’s loyalty to Chewbacca is evident as he decides to leave his wife and unborn child as well as resigning his commission with the New Republic in order to locate his friend.

Similarly to Aftermath, Life Debt features interludes that give a wider perception of the galaxy. It seems as if the Empire has been dragged down immensely after its defeat during the Battle of Endor, offshoots of the empire are resorting to suicidal tactics against the New Republic, an Imperial Super Star Destroyer finds itself being hijacked by pirates and the entire fleet abandons its post on Ryloth. Maz Kanata features in an interlude where she is enforcing laws in her Takodano castle, and law and order has returned to Tatooine after the demise of crime lord Jabba the Hutt and his criminal organisation.

Wendig’s second entry to the Aftermath Trilogy promised higher intensity leading up to the events of The Force Awakens and it certainly delivered with an engaging plot, a strong, developing chemistry between Aftermath’s original characters as well as the additions from the original trilogy. There are also a lot of details provided to help fill the gaps between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.