Thursday, December 13, 2012

BREAKING NEWS! Star Wars Comic Launch Party and Podcast!

Hey there Jundland Wastes Travelers! It's official! The TJW Podcast is back on the road. We will be podcasting at the New England Comics store (732 Washington Street in Norwood, Massachusetts) on January 9, 2013 6:00PM - 7:45PM. We will be celebrating the launch of the new original trilogy era comic called Star Wars. In addition we will discuss how this new comic might have an impact on the new Star Wars Episode 7 movie. Plus, get some great deals on Star Wars comics and merchandise at the store! Check out the flyer and come by for a fun evening of Star Wars podcasting and partying.




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Fun and Han Solo Adventures


Hi there travelers of the Jundland Wastes! Happy holidays to everyone! The holiday season is a great time for Star Wars Expanded Universe fans. So much new offerings in books and comics. We have the Star Wars 1313 video game in the works. And who doesn't like to add to their Star Wars action figure collection?

This past week I was able to find time to switch out my new Vintage Collection figures for ones that I did not even off the card yet. I had a nice bunch going back to the Phantom Menace wave that I wanted to display. And while we know that any new Vintage figures are on hold, we do have news that some "greatest hits" will be coming back this year.

This will give some of us an opportunity to get some of those figures that have been drastically overpriced for past few months.  But what I am really looking forward to this spring is the Luke Skywalker Yavin Ceremony and the Mara Jade Skywalker figures. The pics I have seen of these figures are great. Luke will go great with the latest Vintage Collection version of the Han Solo Yavin Ceremony figure. And I am hoping my Luke Skywalker Lightsaber Construction figure will be standing next to Mara Jade. Probably the best version of Mara Jade in plastic.

But I have also been trying to catch up on some classic Star Wars tales as well. Specifically. tales of Han Solo and Chewbacca. I think the announcement of the Star Wars Episode 7 has prompted a lot of Star Wars Expanded Universe fans to revisit (or even pick up for the first time) some tales of our beloved Star Wars trio.  

I was lucky to pick up finally hardcover versions of all three Han Solo novels by the late Brian Daley. There is just something so special to have in my hands a hardcover novel that is under 200 pages and spinning tales of Han, Chewie and the Falcon. I was a big fan of the NPR radio dramas by Daley and his novels just do a tremendous job of showing us Scoundrel Solo blasting through the galaxy, smuggling stuff and hanging out with such colorful characters. And in my opinion, the art on the covers of all three books are really unique to the time period of the late 70's. I wish I had posters of these covers.

And as my children are beginning to grow an affection for the Star Wars franchise, I have started reading to them Ryder Windham's Adventures in Hyperspace from Scholastic. These novels may be targeted to children but adults will enjoy them as well. Short enough chapters to read to the kids at bedtime and yet full of action and enjoyment. These stories take place before Episode 4 and also show Han and Chewie at their best. Plus we get appearances from Jabba the Hutt, Bib Fortuna and Gamorrean Guards. The pictures in the book are great as well!

And I recently also acquired the Science Fiction Book Club version of the Han Solo Trilogy by A.C Crispin.  She was kind of enough to send me a personalized autographed bookplate. This volume collects the three novels that she penned in the late 90's. We get backstory on Han's childhood and how he became that smuggler who meets Luke and Obi Wan in the Tatooine Cantina. I have not read these novels before so I am looking forward to seeing how her writing differs from Brian Daley.

Lastly, I have started reading Tatooine Ghost which weaves a tale of Han and Leia on their "honeymoon" trip to Tatooine (some go to Aruba others go to Tatooine) :)  Some may think this novel does not fit into the genre of books I have just mentioned. But I would have to say that part of Han Solo's charm is his relationship with Leia. Some may disagree with me, but I really enjoy how the Expanded Universe developed the love and marriage of Han and Leia. They are the royal couple of the Star Wars universe. And it's fun to see how they were in that time period following their marriage. Plus, we get to revisit Tatooine in this novel and get encounters with Force ghosts of characters we have seen and read about in prior movies and novels.

So what are you reading over the holidays? Tell us what you like about the Expanded Universe! We'd love to hear from you.

And stay tuned for news about our next live podcast event!

Happy holidays!

All the best,

Mark
Co-host TJW Podcast

Friday, November 23, 2012

TJW Podcast - Super Megafest Megacast!


Hey there travelers of the Jundland Wastes! Happy holidays to all of our podcast listeners! It's a great time of the year and we hope you are enjoying the holidays with friends and family. The holiday season started a little early for us here at the TJW Podcast by our attendance at Super Megafest in Framingham, Massachusetts this past Sunday. What a great time!

We met up with some great Star Wars artists, chatted with some legends from the comic book industry, caught up with some friends in the 501st Legion New England Garrison and even had a chance to shake hands with the great David Prowse aka Darth Vader. So start off your holiday season and Black Friday with our special coverage on the TJW Podcast-Megacast!

TJW Podcast Host Mark Leibowitz and a 501st Biker Scout

TJW Podcast Host Daniel Gil feeling his Chicago roots
in front of the infamous Blues Brothers police car

R2D2 is always a hit at conventions!
The gracious and soft spoken Dark Lord of the Sith
David Prowse aka Darth Vader
Stay tuned for our next episode! And be sure to send us your thoughts about the podcast at: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com.

All the best,

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast

Friday, November 2, 2012

More Thoughts on Star Wars Episode 7


Hey there Jundland Wastes Travelers! It's that time of year when the fall starts to wind down and the Hoth-like winter conditions are just around the corner. But it is also the start of the winter holiday season which is just a lot of fun. People start to get into better spirits, lots of tasty treats seem to be in abundance at the work office and school classrooms and the first snow of the season is always exciting to see.

But for a Star Wars fan, I think it's is even a more special time of the year. For some reason, I have always associated the winter with Star Wars. With days off from work, there seems to be more time to crack open a new Expanded Universe novel, break open some action figures to add to my display case or take a couple hours to throw in a Star Wars movie into the DVD player. And of course with all the winter holidays, there are bound to be gifts from that galaxy far, far away that brighten the season for a special Star Wars fan.

Personally, I think the holidays started a little early this year with the BIG announcement made by Lucasfilm and Disney this past week. Facebook, Twitter, emails and all social media was exploding this past week with news of the acquisition as well as the numerous mock-up pictures combining our favorite themes from Stars Wars and Mickey Mouse. But it wasn't until last night that it really hit me...and I'm not talking about the head cold that I have been fighting all week either. But around 4:00AM this morning it finally sunk in that a new Star Wars movie will be out in 2015.

A new Star Wars movie! Episiode 7! A movie that will take place after the events of Return of the Jedi! I began to imagine what it will be like to stand in line at theaters on a spring afternoon or evening to get a ticket to see Star Wars again! Just imagining being there as the lights dim and the words come across the screen, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." And then hearing that booming beginning of the classic John Williams theme song as the Star Wars logo fades off into the blanket of space and stars.

But we know that the usual buildup to the movie will include trailers, posters and images. And novels, comic books and new figures will of course have to be part of the campaign as well.  But what will the storyline of Episodes 7, 8 and 9 entail?

My first hope is that we get to see our heroes again. Can you imagine seeing Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher reprising their classic roles of Luke, Han and Leia? The story could easily take place at a time when their actual ages match the timeframe for a post-Jedi story. And if that were the case it would be easy to include characters from the Expanded Universe that have become fan favorites over the years.

I would love to see Mara Jade in a Star Wars movie! Her character was developed incredibly well by author Timothy Zhan. And seeing Luke and Mara together as our favorite Jedi couple would balance out the tragic Anakin-Padme storyline in a sense. How great would it be seeing a movie where true love becomes an essential component to being a Jedi!

But, the possibility still remains that what Expanded Universe fans take as Star Wars cannon may not be the vision of the writers and directors of this new set of movies. Part of me would love to see some of the Expanded Universe make its way to the silver screen. But the other part would be disappointed if I did not see something new that has not been given over in a Star Wars novel or comic.

As I mentioned in my previous post, there are just too many questions right now and we will all have to wait for the answers. But the TJW Podcast and Blog are here to stay and we are really looking forward to journey ahead! The Star Wars franchise is alive and well! Star Wars movies are on there way! And regardless of the storyline, there will be undoubtedly some great Expanded Universe tales to tell as well.

Let us know your thoughts! Email us at: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com

Keep safe on the Wastes!
Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

STAR WARS EPISODES 7, 8 AND 9 IN 2015!


The Star Wars world has been abuzz for the past 24 hours with the news that Disney has acquired Lucasfilm. And in addition, Star Wars episodes 7, 8 and 9 will be a reality in movie theaters come 2015.

I was just home from work when Dan called me with this breaking news. I was flabbergasted to say the least. I always thought that Lucasfilm would be that independent film company (granted, a multi-billion dollar independent film company) that would stay hold to the ideas that they are the only ones who know how to make Star Wars great and epic. It has been known for a while that George Lucas was planning on retiring in the coming years and his successor Kathleen Kennedy would be someone he trusts who can keep his vision of the Star Wars universe alive.

It does appear that Kennedy will be the person who will be heading up the production of these new Star Wars movies. And if there is anyone who can fill the shoes of George Lucas, I think Kathleen Kennedy is the person to do it. Her work on Raiders of the Lost Ark proves that she knows the recipe to make a good movie. And if she can do that with Indiana Jones, I am certain she will be able to step up to challenge with these new Star Wars movies.

I still am unsure how I feel about Disney taking the reigns at Lucasfilm. Granted, if any company knows how to make movies the right way, it is Disney. They have had a connection with Lucasfilm since the days they acquired Pixar and brought us movies like Wall-E, Toy Story and Cars. And from a merchandising perspective, there are many crossovers between Disney and Star Wars as well.

But the questions remains, what will be the story-line of Star Wars Episode 7? And how does this play into the exisiting Star Wars Expanded Universe stories and timeline? With Disney taking design control of all aspects of these new movies, how will that affect the final product we will see in the movie theaters in 2015?

As a host of a podcast and blog that is dedicated to the discussion of the issues, ideas and the imagination of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, it would be a little tough to imagine that characters and story-lines from the classic Timothy Zahn novels not finding there way onto the silver screen. I began thinking of what it would be like to see those Zahn novels coming together in a movie. Who would play Mara Jade? What would Grand Admiral Thrawn look like?  How would the story of Han and Leia play out? Would they in fact be married? Would the love story develop between Luke and Mara?  Or will these movies be acting as a major reboot of the Star Wars timeline as Star Wars Expanded Universe fans understand it?

This coming January we are going to see the first issue of the new "Star Wars" comic book from Dark Horse. The hype behind this comic book series is that it is set in the original trilogy era (probably between Episodes 4 and 5) and it will have all the characters we are familiar with in an era that we know well. Could this comic book series be a primer for events that are going to eventually play out in the new movies? And what about the upcoming book called Crucible that shows Luke, Leia and Han on the cover with more white and grey hair that I had ever envisioned? It obviously takes place after the events of the Fate of the Jedi series but will anything in this book have any impact on the new movies?

We have quite a long time before we have any concrete answers to these questions. We still are following the events in The Clone Wars animated series, many story-lines in books and comics are still in motion and we are not certain what other breaking news might appear in our inbox's in the coming weeks.

But I am very optimistic about this news. I am thrilled that new Star Wars will be on the big screen in the coming years. I am even more excited that my kids will be at an age that they can enjoy these movies and go with me to the theaters to see these movies. And a new movie will obviously trigger the usual merchandising campaigns that will offer fans those collectibles that make this new Star Wars experience even more enjoyable.  If anything, this announcement has solidified that idea in my mind that the ideas, moral lessons, adventures and fun that stems from that galaxy far, far away is in fact going to last forever!

Dan and I will chat more about this breaking news on the next podcast.  Let us know your thoughts! Email us at: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com

Keep safe on the Jundland Wastes! And let us know if you spot Mickey Mouse hanging out with Jawas or Tusken Raiders! :)

All the best,
Mark
Co-host - TJW Podcast

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

TJW Podcast - Episode 7


Hey there travelers of the Jundland Wastes! Darth Dan and I are back in the studio for another episode of the podcast. As many of you already know, Dan and I are fans of the tales and stories from the Old Republic days. We have both played Knights of the Old Republic, have enjoyed the Tales of the Jedi comic and have kept up with the latest offering under The Old Republic banner.

One of the biggest items to hit this year was Biowares long anticipated MMO PC game called Star Wars: The Old Republic. Darth Dan was lucky to be chosen as a beta tester for the game and has been spending some time exploring the galaxy far, far away during the times of the Old Republic with this new game.

Listen to his analysis of the game and join us as we get a taste of the Old Republic here on episode 7 of the podcast! Let us know your thoughts on the game as well as the comics and books from this time period! Send us your email at: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com 

All the best,
Mark and Dan
 Hosts of the TJW Podcast

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

TJW Podcast - Episode 6


Hey there Jundland Wastes Travelers! Darth Dan and I are back in the studio for another episode of the Traveling the Jundland Wastes Podcast. While we are not going to be at Star Wars Celebration 6 in Orlando, Florida this week, we are still excited about all the happenings in the Star Wars universe.

In this episode we discuss Expanded Universe titles we are reading, the great Star Wars Celebration 6 art prints and Dan shades some new light on how to watch all six Star Wars movies. And who would have thought that this revelation would have occurred while recovering from lyme disease (you'll have to listen to the podcast to understand what we mean :)

Let us know if you're going to C6! And we would love to hear your feedback on the podcast!  Send your comments to: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com

And stay tuned for our in depth podcast analysis of The Force Unleashed! We will be discussing both video games, the comic trade paperbacks and the action figures that were all part of this amazing chapter in the Star Wars Expanded Universe!

Travel safely friends!

Mark and Dan

Hosts of the TJW Podcast  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Post Star Wars Celebration 6 Thoughts

Hey there Jundland Wastes Travelers! Star Wars Celebration 6 is in the books! For those who were able to make it to Orlando, it seems like it was a blast! The news coming off Star Wars fan sites, podcasts and social media has been fast and furious. It seems like it was the best Star Wars Celebration yet! And it seems like the party is going to continue next summer in Germany for Star Wars Celebration Europe II.

For the TJW Podcast, it looks like we will have to wait a couple more years for C7. But all of us here at the podcast are determined to make it happen the next time occurs.

Even though I was disappointed in not going, I was able to bring some of the convention home with the help of many dedicated Star Wars fans who were in the convention hall. 


My biggest score of the convention was getting two autographed bookplates from Star Wars authors Timothy Zahn and Drew Karpyshyn. In addition, my self addressed stamped envelope came back to with an official USPS time stamp made specifically for Star Wars Celebration.  Thanks to fellow podcaster Jay Shepard of Jedi Journals on the Forcecast who took the time to make these great bookplates and got them signed by the authors!

Other items I am awaiting to see come through my mail box are a Chris Trevas autographed C6 badge, a great 4 card postcard set from the guys at Jedi Temple Archives, an autographed 8 x 10 photo of Garrick Hagon who played Luke Skywalker's buddy from Tatooine Biggs Darklighter and a gorgeous 11 x 14 black and white 3 shot photo of Ian McDiarmid as Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine. One day I will have to get this autographed.  And I think I may even have a C6 patch to add the offical TJW Podcast jacket as well.  All in all, not a bad catch for someone who had to miss the convention.

We are busy preparing for our special The Force Unleashed analysis podcast! So stay tuned! Plus, Dan and I will be back on the road in November for Super Mega Fest in Framingham, MA! We cannot wait to meet the man who played Darth Vader....the one and only David Prowse.

Plus a lot of expanded universe to discuss as well. Stay tuned for more updates and more shows!

Travel safely on the wastes!

All the best,

Mark and Dan
Co-hosts of the TJW Podcast

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Heat and Star Wars

Hey there Jundland Wastes travelers! It was so hot today here in south eastern Massachusetts! I am sure it's not as hot as it will be in Orlando for Star Wars Celebration 6 in a couple weeks...but I can imagine the heat and humidity will be there for the convention. As I was trying to cool down last night I decided to take out my sketchbook and draw another Jundland Wastes picture. I decided to go with Ben Kenobi for this sketch. I recently just picked up his 2004 Vintage Trilogy figure and was rereading the first part of Ryder Windham's The Life and Legend of Obi Wan Kenobi.

I love stories about Ben/Obi Wan Kenobi during the time of his exile on Tatooine. I always imagine stories of his training by Qui Gon Jinn's spirit, his telekinetic communication with Yoda on Dagobah or his task of watching over Luke Skywalker from a distance. I do hope we get a chance to see some of these stories come to life in the Expanded Universe.
And if you want to see a great Expanded Universe/Infinity story that includes Ben/Obi Wan Kenobi, pick up The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition video game for Xbox 360. There is a story called A Fragile Hope in which we see what might have happened if Starkiller AKA Galen Marek defeated Darth Vader on the Death Star and became apprentice to Darth Sidious.  The story takes place on Tatooine. And it is about the best Tatooine has looked on a video game. Ben/Obi Wan makes a a very important appearance in the game. It is also the best rendition of Ben/Obi Wan on a video game as well!

Email us if the summer heat is inspiring your fandom in your reading, video games or any projects.

Stay tuned for our next podcast!

Mark
Co-host TJW Podcast

Monday, July 16, 2012

Not Going to C6? No Worries! There is Still Lots of Star Wars Fun to Have!

Hey there Travelers of the Jundland Wastes! Yes, it has been a while since I last posted a blog or a podcast episode. I am hoping that I will be able to post more as the summer ends and the autumn season begins. Life tends to be pretty "non-routine" during the summer and I hope to have a more consistent routine as it regards the podcast by the time the leaves begin to change color.

But it is the summer season and it means going out and enjoying the weather, maybe going to the beach, getting a good swim in and having some tasty summertime treats like ice cream and lemonade. But it is also the prime season for comic conventions! This past weekend was the ever famous San Diego Comic Con. I watched some footage on G4 thus past Saturday night. It really is one of those experiences that needs to be tried even once. The panels, the costumes, the comic book culture and the general fandom cannot be duplicated anywhere. It is the grand-daddy of conventions and I do hope to make it there one day.

And in a couple weeks, Star Wars fans will be flocking to Orlando, Florida for Star Wars Celebration 6. The TJW Podcast really wanted to find a way to be there this year. But it is an experience that will have to be put on hold at least for this year. Perhaps when Celebration 7 is announced in two years or so the TJW Podcast will have a better opportunity to attend.

This got me thinking about fans who (for whatever reason) are unable to make it to a convention this summer. Granted these events do require some financial planning and family coordination which can make it impossible at times. But just because one is not able to attend a San Diego Comic Con or a Star Wars Celebration does not mean that a devoted fan of the franchise cannot have some "geek" fun.  Here are some suggestions that I have done in the past month or so to cure those comic convention doldrums.

Podcasts - It is probably not a big surprise that I would list this as my first choice. While podcast have exploded in the last few years, I think the fandom community has benefited most from the democratization of blogging and podcasts. There are more first hand reports compiled on blogs and podcasts that take us right into the convention hall. As fans, we get to hear the background noise of the convention and the ambience of the event. Actors, artists and fan interviews on podcasts have connected us more with the conventions then any other medium in my opinion. Yes, you can find news about these on G4 or E! but there is a sense excitement balanced by the normalacy of the everyday fan logging his or her journey at a convention.  Do a websearch or search through iTunes and see what podcasts are available for comic con fans! And then pour yourself a tall glass of lemonade, plug in your Mp3 player and pretend you are at the event.

Virtual Artist Alley - One of the best times I had at the Boston Comic Convention this past spring was getting to spend a LONG time walking through the artist alley. I met many artists that have inspired me to draw again as well as those that I have admired over time. And while nothing replaces the experience of being there, the internet has allowed us access to see (and order) great pieces of art from some very talented artists. Check out the official Star Wars Celebration site (www.starwarscelebration.com) and see who has a print for sale. Then go to the artist website. You get to see many prints from past conventions and celebrations. There is actually a print from a past convention that I am planning to purchase. The great thing about this is that I can budget for a print because I am not attending the celebration where I need to pay for hotel and other expenditures. So it is sort of a consolation to be able to get a fantastic work of art.

Autograph Hunting - Just as one has a little more to budget for an art print, the same can be said for those who are looking to get an autograph. Conventions and celebrations are famous for the meet and greet opportunities.  These lines can be long and it can sometimes take a big chunk of time out of the convention depending on the actors fame. So another great consolation is the fact that many conventions have mail in or ordering services so you can purchase an autographed photo and at times even personalized autographs. There are a couple I am looking to get from the C6 show and it never fails to put a smile on my face when I get them in the mail. Plus, it is a good time to find those actors who will sign autographs for free through the mail (as long as you have enclosed proper postage and a self addressed stamped envelope). Do some research and you will find that many actors who you would suspect are "too famous" will in fact take the time to sign an autograph.

Crafts and Cooking - This might sound a little silly but there can be a lot of fun had with making Star Wars art crafts and cooking. I have always been a big fan doing dioramas. And if you have children they will also delight in being able to transform an ordinary shoe box into a great scene from the movies. And by all means, USE YOUR LOOSE ACTION FIGURES! They are meant to be played with and look great as part of a diorama. The possibilities are endless and if you are doing this with your children you will see their eyes light up when you can put together the Battle of Hoth, Yoda's swamp home, the famous Lars Homestead or a speeder bike chase through the forest of Endor. And if you do a web search you will find many resources for Star Wars fans who like to make dioramas. Some even include cut out templates which can really make your diorama stand out! And don't forget to check out many Star Wars themed recipes that can be great to make and delicious to eat. My kids love making giant Death Star cookies and get a kick out of these 6 inch cookies!

Expanded Universe Titles - As a podcast dedicated to exploring the issues, ideas and the imagination of the Star Wars Expanded Universe it should be no surprise that I list this as a way to cure the blues of not attending a convention or celebration. In addition to the many titles out there, you can also catch up on Star Wars video games that might have fallen through the cracks and were missed. If you are looking for a great game that does not take a long time to play, try The Force Unleashed 2. It is an older game but the graphics are incredible and it is a good story. Even for those who have played it, the fun is still there!

Have a Mini-Con - You can't possibly be the only guy or gal who did not manage to make it to a convention or celebration. A great way to have some fun this summer is to have a "Non-Con" party. You can easily mention this to people on forums in places like www.rebelscum.com and see if anyone is interested. Have an informal gathering at a beach, a lake or even a nearby park. Make it pot luck and share in bringing snacks and drinks. And then the skies the limit to what you can do. Maybe you want to have some things to trade from your collection. Perhaps bring the DVD's of the movies to watch together on a laptop or portable DVD player. If there are any 501st member in the area ask them if they would like to "troop" at your party.

These are just a couple of ideas. But I would love to hear your ideas as well. Send us an email with your ideas to: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com.

Stay tuned for another episode of the TJW Podcast!

Mark
Co-host TJW Podcast

Monday, June 25, 2012

Marion Ravenwood, Indiana Jones and the Blurays!

Hey there Travelers of the Jundland Wastes! I know it has been a while since our last update. The spring and summer around the headquarters of the TJW Podcast has been mighty busy. But we do have shows coming up so stay tuned!

Without a doubt, everyone is in full comic con mode with the summer season. And to add to it, Star Wars Celebration 6 will be taking place this August in Orlando, FL. It doesn't look like the TJW Podcast will be in Orlando for this event. But we are hopeful for Star Wars Celebration 7 in another 2 or 3 years.

And while it might seem a little early to be looking towards autumn, I have to say that I can't wait until the cool winds of the fall are upon us. Why? Because the Indiana Jones saga will be released on Bluray this fall! I am really excited about getting this set. I don't think it's possible to be a fan of Star Wars and not be a fan of the Indiana Jones franchise as well.  I have been catching up on some great Indiana Jones expanded universe titles as well the classic Marvel comics The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones.

But my most recent Indiana Jones collectible to hit my shelf recently was an autographed photo of Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood signed by actress Karen Allen (AKA Marion Ravenwood). I love this classic shot of her and Harrison Ford from Raiders of the Lost Ark. (All I need to track down Harrison Ford for his autograph and my photo will be complete :) See the photo at the top of the post.
 
It actually got me thinking which couple I like better: Han Solo and Princess Leia or Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood. Both couples have great banter and I just love listening to the dialogue with these characters.

Stay tuned for more Star Wars Expanded Universe conversation to hit the podcast very soon! And let us know what you are thinking about these days! Email us at: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com.

Stay safe on the wastes!


Mark
Co-host TJW Podcast

Monday, May 21, 2012

Behold...the Mighty Chewbacca!

The sketch book was open again yesterday and this time I wanted to draw the one and only Chewbacca. Maybe it is not the best Chewie I have done but it does give that "Wookie rage" that all Star Wars fans enjoy! More to come soon about our next podcast!

All the best,

Mark - Co-host of the TJW Podcast

Wookie Rage on the Page!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sketching Star Wars and a New Logo

Imperial Sandtrooper by TJW Podcast Host Mark
Hey there Jundland Wastes Travelers! Last night I was on my couch having a lemonade and sketching some Star Wars art in my sketchbook.  Here is the latest entry to the sketchbook.  Maybe we will use for the TJW Podcast patch and logo? It does show an Imperial Sandtrooper traveling across the sands of Tatooine and the Jundland Wastes with the twins suns beginning to set in the horizon. And I also threw in a couple moisture vaporators.

I actually have a couple ideas I am playing with for a patch and logo. Some of these ideas include Jawas, Tusken Raiders, Banthas and Dewbacks. But I also have ideas that would include old Ben Kenobi, the Lars homestead and of course Imperial Sandtroopers. I'll post more pics as I complete sketches. But if you have any ideas be sure to send them to us here at the Traveling the Jundland Wastes headquarters: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com

Anakin Skywalker by a friend of the TJW Podcast
I have not been the only one who has been sketching Star Wars lately. A good friend of the podcast and blog sent me this sketch of Anakin Skywalker! She is a great artist and we look forward to posting more of her work here at the Traveling the Jundland Wastes blog.

And stay tuned for another podcast episode! Travel safely along the Jundland Wastes!

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast and Blog

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Official TJW Podcast Denim Jacket!

Hello Jundland Wastes Travelers! So what does a podcaster like myself prefer to wear at live shows and comic conventions and celebrations? The answer is my favorite Levis denim jacket with some great Star Wars patches and pins!

Some may think I am stuck in the 1980's but I will always believe that the Levis denim jacket is a classic and will never go out of style. It is comfortable and perfect for patches and pins.

At Boston Comic Con this past April I actually had people checking out my jacket and asking about the patches and pins that I had on it. I was proud to show my jacket and get word out regarding the podcast and my admiration for the Star Wars franchise.

I thought it was about time to take a couple pics of the jacket and let everyone in on the official jacket of the TJW Podcast! 

Jedi Starfighter Patch (from The Jedi Path by Dan Wallace) and a Droids Pin
Biker Jew Crew Patch and Star Wars Celebration 5 Pin
Star Wars Celebration 5 - Five Piece Boba Fett Patch

Do you have a denim/jean jacket that you have updated with some fantastic Star Wars patches or pins? Send us a pic and we will post it to the blog!

And stay tuned for news about an official TJW Podcast patch that you will be able to own!

Stay safe on the Jundland Wastes!

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast and Blog

TJW Podcast Interview - Star Wars Artist Katie Cook


Hello Travelers of the Jundland Wastes - Here is the other interview we did while at Boston Comic Con this past April. We were honored to have a moment to speak with Star Wars artist Katie Cook! She is also doing an art print for Star Wars Celebration 6 in Orlando, Florida this August. Katie has worked on many comic books, the Star Wars Galaxy series sets and has her own original comic called The Gronk. Check out our interview with her and we hope to speak to her again before Star Wars Celebration 6!

And be sure to check out Katie's website at: http://katiecandraw.typepad.com/

Stay tuned for more podcasts and blog posts!

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast

TJW Podcast Interview - Star Wars Artist Doug Cowan


Hello Travelers of the Jundland Wastes! The TJW Podcast was on the road last month for Boston Comic Con! As you can see from previous posts it was a lot of fun for both Dan and I. We had a great time roaming Artist Alley and getting to meet many comic book artists and illustrators.  We got a chance to chat with Star Wars artist Doug Cowan. Doug has done many Star Wars illustrations including work on the Star Wars Galaxy card sets and prints for Star Wars Celebration. And yes, Doug will have a new print for Star Wars Celebration 6 in Orlando, Florida this August. We hope to chat with Doug sometime after his Star Wars Celebration 6 art print is revealed. Stay tuned for updates!

Click here to listen to our interview with Doug Cowan!

And be sure to check out Doug's website: http://dougcowan.net/

Stay safe on the Jundland Wastes!

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast and Blog

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Star Wars Mini Spring Celebration!


Hello Jundland Wastes Travelers! I hope everyone was able to celebrate "May the 4th Be With You" Day last week. For a Star Wars fan it was a bit of a mini celebration complete with some great deals on Star Wars products throughout the weekend.

Probably the best deal of the weekend was a free Star Wars comic book given out for Free Comic Book Day on May 5th (or for hard core fans it was "Revenge of the 5th" day). I was not able to attend the celebration at my local comic book store but a good friend of mine stepped up to the plate and brought me back some great comics including the Star Wars issue with Han and Chewie on the cover.


But there were some other great deals that I spotted as well. Official Pix, the premier internet store for officially licensed Star Wars photographs and autographs, were offering 40% off photographs. Williams Sonoma had a discount on those awesome Star Wars cookie cutters of Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Stormtrooper and Yoda. Amazon.com had tons of discounts on various Star Wars Expanded Universe books as well the Star Wars Bluray collection. In a nutshell, it was pretty easy to find a great price on some Star Wars gear and collectibles! I hope you were able to find something special!

In the past week or so I was able to find a couple treasures on the vast landscape of the Jundland Wastes:

Star Wars Galaxy 6 Reflections on Endor card signed by Doug Cowan
Ben (Obi Wan) Kenobi - 2004 Original Trilogy Collection

Star Wars Celebration V Badge

NOTE: I am searching for the following badges to complete this set: Luke, Lando, Grevious, Han and C-3PO. If you have any extras and would like to trade/sell, send me an email here at the Traveling the Jundland Wastes Podcast!

* The conclusions to Star Wars Dark Times and Crimson Empire III comic books
* The Empire Strikes Back Punch Out and Make It Book

Have you found a Star Wars treasure that you have been looking for? If you have, let us know here at the Traveling the Jundland Wastes Podcast!  Email us: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com

I am hoping to post audio from the Boston Comic Con very soon! Stay tuned and thanks for listening!

All the best,

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Fun Month for the TJW Podcast!

Greetings Fellow Travelers of the Jundland Wastes! This has been a pretty fun month for us here in the Jundland Wastes. So many new Expanded Universe titles and a couple fun events.Back in March we had our first live show with Star Wars author Ryder Windham. We also had some of the troops from the 501st Legion New England Garrison present as well. It was a great evening. We chatted with Ryder about his latest books and Star Wars in general. And we had some great fans of the podcast in attendance.

Ryder Windham on the TJW Podcast
The Traveling the Jundland Wastes Podcast also inducted Ryder and the 501st Legion New England Garrision as Honorary Travelers of the Jundland Wastes for their contributions to the Star Wars universe and their fans. We presented certificates of honor to Ryder and the 501st and are proud of their efforts and support for our podcast.

Ryder named an Honorary Traveler

Tusken Raider John Dressel
After the interview, Ryder signed autographs and met the fans. And the 501st troops stuck around to take pictures with our fans as well!Everyone had a great time and I cannot wait to do another live show. Stay tuned for details about our next appearance!

Ryder signs autographs for Star Wars fans

TJW Podcast Hosts Dan and Mark with the 501st Legion New England Garrison

501st Sandtrooper at Boston Comic Con 2012
And this past Sunday, Dan and I were on the road again as we traveled to the Boston Comic Con at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts! The first table we saw at the event was the 501st Legion New England Garrison who had a "Shoot-a Trooper-For-Charity". Fans delighted loading up Nerf blasters and taking their best shots at Stormtroopers, Snowtroopers, Sandtroopers and Biker Scouts. The 501st raised $1700 for Shriners Hospital! Gotta love these guys! It was great seeing many of the troops who came to the podcast event last March. We are proud of the 501st and look forward to doing another event with them!

We spent a lot of time in artist alley. My only regret is that we did not have enough time to meet every artist in attendance. So many great artists, illustrators and members of the comic book community were in the house giving the fans a great opportunity to meet with them. I was even able show my sketchbook to many of the artists in attendance and received some very valuable drawing advice. My dream is to find myself in an artist alley alongside many of the friends I made at Boston Comic Con.

Star Wars Artist Doug Cowan - www.dougcowan.net
We interviewed two Star Wars artists making their mark in the Star Wars universe; Doug Cowan and Katie Cook. Audio from these interviews will be posted soon! Both Doug and Katie have done prints for past Star Wars Celebrations and will have new prints for Star Wars Celebration 6 this August in Orlando, Florida. In addition to being great artists, Doug and Katie are some of the nicest people you will meet. Be sure to take the time to meet Doug and Katie at C6 and purchase their prints! 

Star Wars Artist Katie Cook - www.katiecandraw.typepad.com
And you cannot go to a Comic Con without purchasing something special. I bought a great set of postcards from Doug Cowan, a sketch card from Katie Cook and a great drawing of Darth Revan and Bastila Shan from artist Taylor James. Stay tuned for pics of these great works of art. And stay tuned for a regular edition of the podcast coming soon. We have a lot to discuss. Revan! The conclusion to the Fate of the Jedi series! Comics such as Crimson Empire III, Agent of the Empire and the upcoming Boba Fett and Darth Vader comics. Let us know if you were at our podcast event with Ryder and the troops or if you went to Boston Comic Con! We'd love to hear from you.

Boba Fett at the Boston Comic Con with TJW Podcast Host Mark
Send your emails to: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com Stay safe on the Jundland Wastes!
All the best,

Mark Co-host TJW Podcast



Friday, March 30, 2012

TJW Podcast Archives - Episode 5


We're back in the studio chatting about Star Wars and the Expanded Universe! We have headlines, an update on what we are reading these days, a discussion of lightsaber duels, a quick review of a Ryder Windham title and another one of Dan's Star Wars revelations! Stay tuned for show notes and our next episode!

TJW Podcast Archives - Episode 4


We're once again traveling the Jundland Wastes! It has been a while since we did our last podcast. But we're back in the studio and getting back into the groove. This week we chat about the latest in Star Wars comics including Knight Errant and Darth Vader and the Lost Command. We touch upon some ideas concerning the original trilogy and the Star Wars EU. And we both discuss some not-so-recent EU titles that have caught our interest.

TJW Podcast Archives - Episode 3


Mark and Dan are back in the studio and chatting about some new and not so new Expanded Universe titles that they have read over this long and cold winter. So get a hot cup of coffee, fire up the converters and get ready for some Star Wars EU chat!

TJW Podcast Archives - Episode 2


Mark and Dan chat about some Star Wars EU game titles including The Force Unleashed 2 and the upcoming RPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. Plus other ideas and insights into the Expanded Universe.

TJW Podcast Archives - Episode 1


Our first podcast recorded back in August 2010 is now available to download. We are going to try and get more episodes up as soon as we can. And while our previous posts mentioned that we were going to be talking about the character of Mara Jade and the novel Allegience by Timothy Zahn, we decided to put this on hold until later this year as the 20th anniversary of the Zahn trilogy approaches.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

TJW Podcast - An Evening With Ryder Windham


Hello Travelers of the Jundland Wastes! Here for your listening pleasure is our interview with Star Wars author Ryder Windham!

Stay tuned for pictures of the TJW Podcast staff and our guests from our first live event!

If you were at the event last night let us know what you thought of it! Add a comment below are send us an email.

All the best,

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

TONIGHT! COME TO THE TJW PODCAST EVENT! WITH RYDER WINDAM AND THE 501ST LEGION!

Hello Travelers of the Jundland Wastes! Tonight is the night! Our live podcast event with Star Wars author Ryder Windham and joining us will be members of the 501st Legion New England Garrison!

The podcast interview will start at 6:15PM and be about 35 - 45 minutes. Ryder will then sign autographs for our fans! And you will be able to meet members of the greatest Star Wars costuming group of all time, the 501st Legion!

Here's the info you need to know!

March 27, 2012
6:15PM - 7:45PM
Sharon Public Library
11 Main Street in Sharon, Massachusetts

Please keep in mind that books WILL NOT be sold at this event.

See you there!

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast

Friday, March 16, 2012

Have You Ever Heard the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?

...Yes I have!

Hello Travelers of the Jundland Wastes! I just finished listening to the Darth Plagueis audiobook by James Luceno (read by Daniel Davis). What an amazing novel! It is a must read for any Star Wars fan and, im my opinion, one of the top five Star Wars novels of all time.

We first learned about this Sith Lord back in Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith. While watching a Mon Calamari water opera, Chancellor Palpatine aka Darth Sidious has a private conversation with Anakin Skywalker in which he gives a brief overview of this Dark Lord of the Sith who had the ability to control midi-chlorians to the point that he could create life and keep those he cared about from dying. And in an ironic twist of fate, he is killed by his apprentice in his sleep. I remember being in the theater listening to Palpatine and wondering if there was ever going to be an official history about this Sith Lord in the Expanded Universe.

There were rumors a couple years ago about this novel but we were told that Del Ray had decided to put this project on the backburner. And as it is for most releases at Lucasfilm, timing is
everything. With the re-release of Episode 1 The Phantom Menace in 3D, the timing could not have been better to release Darth Plagueis.

A Star Wars Expanded Universe novel works best for me when the author takes the times to consider previous storylines that have touched on the subject as well as how it can affect the way in which it impacts the six movies as a whole. Darth Plagueis is a novel which accomplishes all of this and more! James Luceno, who authored other Star Wars titles including Cloak of Deception and Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, did a tremendous amount of research for Darth Plagueis. He weaves together other established storylines and characters from other novels while at the same time providing the reader with a rich and chilling account of the rise and fall of the Sith Lord that opened the door to the entire Sklywalker storyline throughout all six movies.

The story at times can seem a bit heavy on the reader when it discusses the political climate in the Republic, the players and the ramifications of actions that Darth Plagueis sets into motion. After listening to the entire novel, I can see why such detail was placed on describing these scenes. But even if you are not so interested in the politics, there is plenty of good old fashioned dark side Sith action and dialogue. There are some pretty jaw-dropping chapters and brutal events which do justice to the nature of these Sith Lords. And it can be argued that Plagueis and Sidious were possibly the most brutal of Sith Lords we have learned about in the Expanded Universe.

The story picks up a lot after the first 100 pages. More information comes to light which gives us a new perspective watching Episode 1 The Phantom Menace. In fact, I think the events in Darth Plageuis will also give a new perspective on how we watch any of the movies. I am really looking forward to taking a couple hours to watch my bluray version of Episode 1 and seeing how these events from Darth Plageuis change the way I view this movie.

So many characters appear in this novel that give us a better understanding of why they have made certain choices in the movies. Plus we get to see the origin of one of the most popular Sith Lords of all time, Darth Maul. With the reappearance of Darth Maul in The Clone Wars animated series and the recent release of The Wrath of Darth Maul by Ryder Windham, the storyline we see in James Luceno's novel gives a deeper look into this mysterious, double-bladed wielding Zabrak. Now that's some real bonus material in a novel!

Be sure to come to my interview with Ryder Windham on March 27 from 6:15PM - 7:45PM at the Sharon Public Library as I ask him how his novel ties into Darth Plegueis.

And possibly the best part of the novel is the detailed description of how Darth Plagueis meets his fate at the hands of Darth Sidious. Do yourself a favor and listen to that scene on the audiobook! Daniel Davis is a great voice talent and gives such a powerful performance throughout the novel. But this scene will knock your socks off!

I highly recommend reading or listening to this Star Wars title! It is a must for any Star Wars Expanded Universe fan and should be required reading for any Star Wars fan! I am hopeful that the success of this novel will prompt Del Ray publishers to seek out more powerful storylines in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

See you all on March 27!
All the best,

Mark
Co-host TJW Podcast

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Revan - TJW Book Review

Ever since I began playing the Knights of the Old Republic on my original Xbox, I became fascinated with the characters that were introduced into this time period of the Old Republic. And anyone who knows me, has listened to the podcast or read my posts on the blog, know that I am intrigued with the characters of Jedi Knight Bastila Shan and former Sith Lord Darth Revan.

Much like the Han and Leia in the Original Trilogy, Darth Revan and Bastila Shan are that couple that play off each other so well in their dialogue. Just when you think these two characters are going clock the other with a gaffe stick, you find these special moments in the game (if you are basically playing the light side path) that remind you of those moments that Han and Leia had with each other throughout the three original movies.

In the novel Revan by Drew Karpyshyn, we see a little less banter between Bastila and Revan but a lot more emotion and seriousness in their dialogue. Without giving away the plot and circumstances of these two characters in the novel, I will say that there is a feeling uncertainty between Bastila and Revan.

We know that the canonical story of the original Knights of the Old Republic video game shows the redemption of Revan and his ability to redeem Bastila after she temporarily goes the dark side. The second installment of the Knights of the Old Republic known as The Sith Lords, includes cameo appearances of Bastila, Malak and Carth Onasi. And even though Revan is mentioned throughout the game, he never makes an appearance. At this time, we are uncertain of what happened to Revan and Bastila following the events of the first game. There is a lot of speculation as to his fate. Mystery shrouds the main character of this second game and we are uncertain what connection this character has with the Revan and Bastila story line.

While we have all been given the opportunity to do our own bit discovery in the new Star Wars The Old Republic video game, for those that want a clearer understanding of how the loose ends are tied up from the first two video games, I highly recommend reading the Revan novel. It is one of best expanded universe novels I have read!

Drew Karpyshyn knows how to write Star Wars and is, in my opinion, the best expert of the Old Republic era. He has proven it not only through his scripts for the Knights of the Old Republic video games but also with his Darth Bane trilogy of novels. And Revan is the best example of bringing this era of the Star Wars Expanded Universe to life. The novel is enhanced even more with a new Sith Lord named Scourge as well as meeting some old buddies we know from the video games such as Canderous Ordo.

This book is a page turner all the way. The descriptions of battles, environments and interactions between the characters are solid! It is a great book and one that needs to be on bookshelves of Star Wars Expanded Universe fans!

Let me know what you think of the novel! Or let us know your favorite characters from the Old Republic era! Email us at: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com

See ya on the Jundland Wastes!
All the best,

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast

Friday, March 2, 2012

TJW Podcast Event Flyer!

We look forward to seeing you at our podcast event!



See ya soon Jundland Wastes travelers!

Mark

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Breaking News! Live Show Info!

Hello Travelers of the Jundland Wastes! The Traveling the Jundland Wastes Podcast will record a live show with a public audience on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 from 6:15PM - 7:45PM in the Cynthia B. Fox Community Room at the Sharon Public Library, 11 North Main Street in the center of Sharon,MA. TJW Podcast host Mark has the honor of interviewing New York Times best selling Star Wars author Ryder Windham.

This will be Ryders first appearance on the podcast. He will discuss some of his more recent titles such as The Wrath of Darth Maul and the upcoming conclusion to his four part Secret Missions series titled Star Wars The Clone Wars: Guardians of the Chiss Key. We will also discuss his phenomenal reference books The Complete Vader and The Millennium Falcon Owner's Workshop Manual.

In addition, the TJW Podcast will also welcome members of the New England 501st Garrison! We are thrilled to have the support of these Stormtroopers and I cannot wait to see them at the event! Come and celebrate the Star Wars expanded universe at this live event!

Please take note that books will not be sold at this event.

Stay tuned for more updates!

All the best,

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Favorite EU Characters, KOTOR and Revan

Favorite Expanded Universe Characters
Have you ever found yourself wondering who your favorite Jedi or Sith is from the entire Star Wars universe? It seems like a question that is not answerable. Depending on what movie was coming out (or being re-released) or what Expanded Universe literature I am currently reading seems to influence my decision. But after some deep thought on the matter I think that Qui Gon-Jinn is my favorite light side wielder of the Force from the movies.

And if I had to choose an Expanded Universe character, I would have to go with Luke's sexy red-headed gal pal and wife. Mara Jade Skywalker is number one on my list. And it seems appropriate that if Luke Skywalker is our hero of the original trilogy, his Jedi wife deserves the title of number one Expanded Universe character...at least on my list. Interestingly, I just learned that Hasbro will be making a Mara Jade figure for the Vintage Collection line in 2013.

I have a theory that the character of Mara Jade was the key influence that changed the Jedi and Sith from being an "all boys club". The prequel trilogy has a number of prominent female Force users and the Expanded Universe is ripe with adventures of Jedi and Sith gals.

Knights of the Old Republic, Revan and Bastila
Since 2003 I have been so enthralled with stories from the Old Republic era. The Knights of the Old Republic video games was my entry into stories that took place a couple thousand years prior to the Skywalker story line. The Tales of the Jedi series also gave me a chance to see events which highlighted the adventures of Jedi and Sith like Ulic Qel Droma, Exar Kun and Naga Sadow.

If Mara Jade has the gold medal on my Expanded Universe list, then Bastila Shan and Darth Revan are tied for the silver medal. If you have not tried Knights of the Old Republic video game then you are missing out, in my opinion, on one of the best Expanded Universe stories. Who would have thought that the best story would come out of a video game and not one of the hundreds of books or comics?

The story of Bastila Shan and Darth Revan is a grand story of struggling to stay on the light side of the Force, redeeming oneself from the dark side of the Force and finding the key to defeating evil. The story somewhat continues in the Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords but if your time is short you can skip this game. The third part of the story of Revan and Bastila is chronicled in the recently released novel titled Revan by Drew Karpyshyn.

This novel is my number one pick for 2011 (or maybe 2012 if you have not read it yet :). Karpyshyn's writing style is true to the genre and he knows how important a strong story, engaging characters and keeping that special Star Wars essence flowing throughout the pages. I know a Star Wars novel is working for me when I can almost hear the John Williams score playing in my head while reading. Or even the music from the KOTOR video game. I had always hoped that the story of Revan and Bastila would be released as a role playing game similar to the first two games.

But the novel is a great read and stands well as the third part of this story arc. We are reintroduced to characters from the video games and meet some great new characters as well. We see some new planets and systems as well as those that we have become familiar with. Revan is such a deep character and his struggles and triumphs are examined closely in this story.

Karpyshyn, who authored the Darth Bane trilogy of novels, is one of those special authors who is able to bring the magic and majestic lore of the movies onto the printed page of a novel (or the spoken dialogue of a video game). He knows what makes a good Star Wars story and he does not disappoint in his latest novel.

So get to the library, go to your bookstore or order your copy of the novel from Amazon.com. It is a must read for Expanded Universe fans. Are you a fan the Knights of the Old Republic? Did you play the video game or read any books or comics that have made you a fan of the universe dated a couple thousand years BBY? Let us know! Email us your comments to: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com.

Keep traveling the Jundland Wastes with us!

All the best,

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast/Blog

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Wrath Of Darth Maul - TJW Podcast Review

FYI: This is a spoiler free review of the novel!

Darth Maul is back in a big way this year. More then any other Expanded Universe story, the return of Darth Maul is probably the biggest Star Wars story arc for 2012. The 3D version of the Phantom Menace is hitting theaters this week, we know that Darth Maul is returning to the Clone Wars animated series later this year, the Expanded Universe is ripe with Sith titles in a big way this year (check out my previous blogpost about some of these Sith titles) and our first look at a post-Episode 1 Darth Maul appears in Ryder Windham's latest installment in his Star Wars biography series with The Wrath of Darth Maul.

Unlike his other biographies of Anakin, Obi Wan and Luke, this is a much darker tale that gives the reader a glimpse into the infamous Rule of Two relationship between Maul and his master Darth Sidious.

While reading this novel I kept thinking back to when Sidious/Palpatine retold the story of Darth Plagueis to Anakin in the opera house in Episode 3. I always felt like I was eavesdropping on their conversation. And I still get chills when Sidious/Palpatine tells the tale of how his master failed and died at the hand of his apprentice.

There were times in The Wrath of Darth Maul that I felt like I was that unseen witness during those interactions between the master and apprentice. The Darth Plagueis novel by James Luceno (which I have only started this week) and the Darth Bane novels by Drew Karpyshyn also give us great insight into the Rule of Two. But I think the difference with Ryder's novel, is the fact that we start out knowing both the stories and fates of Sidious and Maul from a plethora of Expanded Universe material as well as the movies. So it would only make sense that we are more connected to these characters and can feel the greater impact of tales woven within this novel. There are hints and subtleties throughout the story that made me say, "Wow! Now that sheds a whole new light on what happens later on!"

The background of Darth Maul from a young child, through adolescence and to his ascension as a Dark Lord of the Sith gives the character depth and added dimension that cannot be comprehended from just watching Episode 1. Like Darth Vader, Maul can be seen as the end product of manipulation, abuse and hatred (all good prerequisites for becoming a Sith Lord). At the same time, he is not just a mindless monster or guard dog for Sidious. He has doubts about his training, his required obedience and I believe he despises Sidious on an unconscious level (and even on a very conscious level as well at times) for turning him into this double bladed lightsaber wielding weapon of destruction. And believe it or not, you might even feel a sense of empathy for Maul by the time you finish this novel.

As with the previous biographies, the book is a work of art on its own. The image of a hooded Maul appears on the slipcase. You take the slipcase off and you see Maul in all his glory complete with spiked horns and a gruesome smile of sorts. The backcovers shows Maul with his double bladed lightsaber ready for action. I am sure the softcover version will be released later this year at a lower price point, but I would encourage everyone to spend the extra couple dollars and get this hardcover version. I still go back to the previous novels and go back and forth looking at the art on the covers.

Stay tuned for my reviews of Revan by Drew Karpyshyn and Darth Plagueis by James Luceno. The Sith Lords invade this year and the Traveling the Jundland Wastes Podcast and Blog will have analysis of these great titles! I am awaiting the arrival of my Sith holocron with Daniel Wallace's Book of Sith which goes on sale tomorrow, February 10, 2012. The pictures and videos of this Sith holocron and book looks fantastic. But I am sure it will be even better when I can open it up myself. Stay tuned for more on this title as well.

And we will have more information coming soon about our live show in March! We would love to meet you! And let us know what you think about any of these new Sith titles coming out this year. Email us at: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com.

The sands of Jundland Wastes have mysteries ready to be discovered! Join us on our journey!

Mark
Co-host of TJW Podcast

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Live Podcast Show Coming Soon!

Hey there Jundland Wastes Travelers! Stay tuned for information regarding are first ever live show! Well, it's not going to be a live streaming podcast but it will be a live event that you will be able to attend. We will record the show and post it on iTunes and on the blog.

I am really excited about doing this show and our special guests who will be in attendance for it. Keep checking back for more information!

All the best,

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast

A Little Bit of Tatooine on my Wrist

Hey there Travelers of the Jundland Wastes! Yesterday I opened the mailbox and found my Save the Lars Homestead limited edition watch. This watch was made as part of the fundraiser to help restore the actual "igloo" Lars homestead as seen in Episodes 2,3 and 4. This watch has the iconic "igloo" along with a moisture vaporator and the binary suns. And the coolest part of the watch is the capsule behind the timepiece which contains actual sand from Tatooine,uh,er, Tunisia. And to cap it off, I have my name engraved on the back and am listed at an "Expedition Colleague".

Of all the locations in the Star Wars universe, I have to say that Tatooine has always been my favorite. Perhaps it is because that is where the saga started back in 1977. And who can forget that iconic image of Luke standing outside the homestead staring off at the binary suns-set and wondering where life was going to take him.

And I just love the special edition version of Episode 4 and how Tatooine is enhanced. The sandtroopers on their dewbacks looking for the droids, Obi Wan's homestead and the approach into Mos Eisley is just spectacular. And for the first time this month, we are going to have the opportunity to see Tatooine in 3D with the re-release of Episode 1.

If you are looking for a great Tatooine Expanded Universe title, check out The Life and Legend of Obi Wan Kenobi by Ryder Windham. There are some awesome scenes from Tatooine that tie in many of the events from the movies as well as expand on some secrets hidden in the sands of Tatooine.

I am very honored to have my name attached to the expedition that will be restoring the Lars homestead. As a fan of the saga and the Expanded Universe, I think it will be fun knowing that the "igloo" was restored with the help of fans who find so much enjoyment from the stories taking place in that galaxy far, far away.

Keep traveling with us on the Jundland Wastes! And if you have received a watch, let us know and we'll mention it on the podcast!

All the best,

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The First Snow and Some Action Figure Fun!


Hello Travelers of the Jundland Wastes! We had some snow this past weekend here in the northeast. This is the view from the Jundland Wastes headquarters (I admit it looks a little more like Kyshyyk in the winter rather then the dry sands of the Dune Sea and the Jundland Wastes).


So after I finished shoveling my driveway I was inspired to rearrange my current Vintage collection figures in my brand new APEX display case. This is a great case to display figures! Just be sure to get some figure stands so your action figures can have action poses without falling down all the time.


And this being a blog and a podcast dedicated to the Star Wars Expanded Universe, I just had to display a battle from my own personal expanded universe (almost bordering on an infinities storyline). I thought it would be great to have two of my favorite female Jedi Knights, Bastila Shan and Bariss Offee, battling Darth Sidious and dark side Anakin Skywalker. And you will see Luke trying to get his shot in from the back of Sidious.

And check out this birds eye view from the top of this display case. You really get a lot of figures in here and can see them from different angles.

Stay tuned for my review of some great books that have recently hit the bookstores! I have a lot to say about Revan by Drew Karpyshyn, Vader 3-D Reconstruction by Daniel Wallace and The Wrath of Darth Maul by Ryder Windham!

Stay safe on the Jundland Wastes!

All the best,

Mark
Co-host of the TJW Podcast