Thursday, April 18, 2013

Star Wars - A Humanistic Vision in a Technological World

Hey there Travelers of the Jundland Wastes! Check out this link to a fantastic article by TJW Podcast co-host Dan. It is a new fresh look at The Empire Strikes Back and how this will tie hopefully into the success of Star Wars Episode 7!

Stay tuned for a new episode of the TJW Podcast and look for us at this years Boston Comic Con on April 21, 2013! We will be walking the convention floor and doing some on-the-fly podcasting as can only be done by the podcast that is committed to exploring the issues, ideas and the imagination in the Star Wars Expanded Universe! If you see us, please say hello! We would love to chat with you.

All the best,

Co-host of the TJW Podcast

Friday, April 5, 2013

What is Going to Happen to Star Wars EU?

Hey there TJW Podcast listeners! I know it has been a long while since our live show at New England Comics in Norwood to celebrate the release of the original trilogy era Star Wars comic by Dark Horse. Needless to say Star Wars news has been coming in fast and furious over the last few months. And this past week was no different. Just on the heels of the announcement that The Clone Wars animated series was cancelled, we learn that Disney has shut down Lucasarts and layoffs are in the process not just for the video game company but also for Industrial Light and Magic.

Is it me or has Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm gone a little sour on the taste buds of Star Wars fans like me?  I have no doubt that forthcoming Episode 7 movie will be spectacular especially since it seems likely that the "big three" will be reprising their iconic roles. But it seems that ever since the acquisition of Lucasfilm, Disney has been "cleaning house" and getting rid of several high profile Star Wars projects.

I am not going to get into the cancellation of The Clone Wars. Unless you have a very different way of looking at the Star Wars universe, I can safely say that the majority of Star Wars fans are very disappointed that the show will not be returning next fall and many questions still remain unanswered regarding some key story lines in the show.

But the bigger question for me is how this is going to affect the Star Wars Expanded Universe. I know there are many great Star Wars fans who prefer to keep the Star Wars universe contained to the six movies of the saga and the upcoming movies scheduled for future release. But for many Star Wars fans like myself, we take a lot of pleasure in the known Expanded Universe that has been developed over the last 30 plus years as well. 

So many great stories and characters have emerged from novels, graphic novels and the video games. And this past weeks announcement means that a great story and what appeared to be a great video game is no longer going to happen. Star Wars 1313 has been sadly scraped and will be nothing more than a bunch of great trailers left to fester on You Tube.

I am not sure if the closing of Lucasarts means the end of Star Wars gaming. It is hard for me to imagine that with an Episode 7 release that some form of video game will not be in the works. But what bothers me the most is that game titles and series such as Knights of the Old Republic/The Old Republic, Battlefront and The Force Unleashed will probably no longer be part of the larger Star Wars saga. These titles and series do not seem fit the into Disney vision of that galaxy far, far away.  And it's hard for me to believe that the novels and graphic novels that are currently in play will be spared from Disney's version of Order 66.

I suppose it's a little early in the game to spell out gloom and doom for the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Especially when we are still very early in the production of this new movie. But when I think back on the resurgence of Star Wars in popular books and video games that coincided with the prequels in the early 2000's, I can remember feeling elated about finding my way back into Star Wars fandom. 

So many great novels filled in the spaces before and after the movies. Seeing familiar characters from the original trilogy in the New Republic and the Legacy of the Force series. Discovering that stories existed from the Old Republic era and getting to know Jedi such as Bastila Shan and great Sith such as Darth Reven and Darth Malak. And possibly the best Expanded Universe story to hit in the last couple of years with The Force Unleashed saga. Starkiller, Vader, the Emperor, Juno Eclipse and others gave us a story line that, in my opinion, enhances the movies when it picks up in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

Star Wars is about as popular as any big fan franchise today. And I do think that the future of fandom is bright and is going to go on for as long as I can see. But it would be a sad day if the efforts put forth by previous authors, writers and artists are left to side of the road in a cloud of spacedust as we blast off into a new era with the upcoming movies. And it would be equally tragic for those fans who have invested the time, dollars and fandom into these stories to see them written off from the timeline.

Dan and I will speak more about this on our next podcast. But we are also going to recommit ourselves to spending some podcast time discussing some of our favorite Expanded Universe tales and delving into the those areas that make the Star Wars Expanded Universe a great place to explore and enjoy.

Stay tuned and let us know your thought. Email us at:

All the best,