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– by Kyle Malone

Welcome to The Cantina where we definitely server your kind. I’m your bartender Kyle Malone and I’m serving up tall glasses of nothing but Star Wars.  By now you know I am the dedicated, well versed in the EU, experienced gamer, and open-minded fan this world needs. I see the flaws in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, but also the great moments too. I know the importance of The Empire Strikes Back but see how strong Return of the Jedi is. I see that the prequels… well… we’ll get there. I love Star Wars and I want more! More books, comics, games, and movies that take place in a galaxy far, far away. Raise your lomin ale, slam it down fast, and let’s do this…

Recent News

The New York Comic-Con has come and gone and with it came very little in the form of exciting news for our beloved galaxy far, far away. That doesn’t mean you have no reason to be here at The Cantina, we always have something to discuss. There are yet more rumors about Episode IX so of course, there may be some spoilers here and a slew of comic and novel announcements that were made at NYCC.

 

First up is a rumor from sources via the Express. They’re claiming that Kylo Ren will use his cross lightsaber to enter a vault on a jungle planet (I wonder if it’s the same Rey is supposedly on when she meets her parents) and will find a box that projects a life-sized image of good ‘ol Papa Palpatine. The Emperor’s hand will be raised showing Kylo some sort of blueprints, possibly for a new weapon. Oooohhh… Aaaaahhhh… Blah!

I can’t be the only one not wanting someone else to be leading Kylo. I like the idea of Ren being the big bad. I want him to be the biggest bad since Vader, and I don’t even want him to be redeemed. I understand this could be a simple recording for some weapon, but I worry that Palpatine will also impart training or wisdom to Kylo. I worry that they may be trying to replace Snoke. Then again, it could be simply some sort of Sith weapon Kylo is seeking and this is more of a cameo for fan service.

This does feed into my fear that a lot of time in Episode IX will be spent “fixing” stuff from The Last Jedi. There are enough people upset that NONE of the fan theories about Snoke, Rey, Luke, or Kylo panned out that LucasFilm could be looking to patch the relationship up. There are things I wish were different, but I think we should lean into what they did and complete a story. That’s the biggest problem with the Sequel Trilogy: it’s painfully obvious there was no overarching plan or story. So, let’s actually continue on from TLJ and tell a cohesive story to finish up the Skywalker Saga.

 

Back in September, it was announced that Marvel would be publishing a 30 book series that covers each of the three eras of the Star Wars movies. At the NYCC we learned a little more about who would write and when these books would be hitting. Additionally,  Age of Republic will be written by Jody Houser and hits shelves this December. Age of Rebellion begins in April 2019 and is written by Greg Pak. Finally, Age of Resistance by Tom Taylor is coming July 2019. We also know that Darth Maul, Obi-Wan, and Qui-Gon Jinn will each get a #1 from Age of Republic and Leia and Vader will receive #1 books from Age of Rebellion.

Not much else was mentioned but I am actually interested in these. Mostly to fill the holes left by the erasing of the Expanded Universe. I thoroughly enjoyed the first Darth Vader book and I still get Star Wars every month, so I know that Marvel can turn out fun books. I do worry that, much like many of the new canon novels, these books will be vague and include adventures that have little to no impact on other stories and movies. the one thing I really loved about the EU was the fact that history was created, referenced, and events had repercussions throughout the entire story.

I have said before, and stand by it, that Disney is too worried about saving events for a movie or a TV show than to let the novels, games, and comics truly flourish.

 

A new novel was announced too, Alphabet Squadron by Alexander Freed. It is set after the Battle of Endor and follows a squadron of mixed ships attempting to end the Galactic Civil War. Firstly, I think the name is ridiculous. Yes, I get it they are flying A, X, B, Y, and maybe even U- Wing crafts, but “Alphabet Squadron is ready sir” sounds so lame. I am slightly excited because of how much I loved the X-Wing novels from the EU. I am hoping we get a good look and feel for the life of fighter jockeys and their struggles. I also hope it is a smaller story that allows us to see a more personal struggle. That was something I always enjoyed about stories not involving Skywalkers or Solos, we got to see more personal and focused stories. I will be picking this up in June of 2019 and will give you the run down as soon as I finish it.

Armchair Director: The Mandalorian

We know there are a lot of names on the list of directors for episodes of The Mandalorian, such as Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, Bryce Dallas Howard and Taika Waititi. Well, add yours truly to that list… as a matter of fact, I’m doing the first episode… In my mind. My focus is on introducing The Mandalorian character. This first episode will serve to show off his skill sets, ship, and hint at his overall mission. I guess this means I’m projecting my idea for the entire series through this… Oh well.

Crawl (If they use one):

It is a period of restlessness in the far reaches of the Galaxy. The Emperor is dead, and the New Republic is trying to legitimize it claim to power. As the Republic fights the remnants of the Empire, the Outer Rim is filled with Imperials fleeing Republic justice and those looking to take advantage of the turmoil. Among this chaos, THE MANDALORIAN seeks his target and moves a step closer to his ultimate goal…

I would open in space with his ship, which would look NOTHING like Slave I, as it heads to a planet. I want to show a different type of ship than Boba and Jango used to create a more aesthetically diverse universe.  Inside the ship, we will get a bit of a tour while we hear a news report that will give us a sense of galactic politics. As we close in on the cockpit we can see Chief of State Mon Mothma giving a speech about the New Republic’s efforts to sweep up the Imperial remnants. The ship will land and we will get to see a vibrant spaceport and nearby marketplace. Here we will see and hear aliens and humans engaging in conversations in Basic (English) and a myriad of other languages including Huttese. There will be new aliens never before seen but also familiar ones like Rodians, Ithorians, and Bothans. This is where we learn the name of the planet and hear about how Imperials have sought refuge there. The Mandalorian will have several interactions with locals who will sell him items and information. Then we will see him setting up some objects around the spaceport.

In a café, we would see a middle-aged human male enjoying a drink and a conversation with an alien. They will be discussing a recent battle between the Empire and the New Republic. He is telling the alien that the battle was over a planet with something valuable on it when he spots The Mandalorian approaching. At first, he remains seated as the Mandalorian demands that he come with him, after refusing, the Mandalorian reaches for his blaster but is caught by a stun blast from a weapon the other man had hidden in his sleeve. As he begins to run away through the marketplace, the Mandalorian recovers and we go through an exciting chase scene that sees the Mandalorian use the urban terrain, the traps he set up, and some nifty technology to catch his prey.

I am thinking of a drone-type droid that is able to track the man and feeds information to the Mandalorian’s helmet. Once caught the man begs for his life and offers our supposed protagonist a bribe. The Mandalorian responds with something like “Your Emperor is dead, and your credits are worthless” before he stuns the man and renders him unconscious. As a crowd stares, The Mandalorian brings his quarry back to his ship where he makes contact with a figure via holo-communication. There’s a conversation about payment and some information the Mandalorian is seeking. The other figure tells him he will receive his payment at the drop-off and sends him the coordinates. As we see the ship take off we will hit a series of flashbacks.

The flashbacks would give us some insight into the Mandalorian’s past. I would like to connect him with a sense of morality but still be very driven for personal reasons. I want to avoid the cliché of him searching for a lost or captured loved one and don’t really like the idea of simple revenge against the Empire. I am thinking he may be looking for someone or something that can help restore Mandalor and its people to former glory. The flashback sequence would likely go through two or three scenes that build his character and loyalties as well as explain some of what he is after. I would want to hold a significant portion of the specifics back in order to develop him and his mission over the first three episodes. After this sequence, we will see the Mandalorian from behind removing his helmet and setting it on his console as his ship enters hyperspace.

As the Mandalorian approaches his next destination it will be revealed that he was followed by an Imperial craft with four to six TIE Fighters pouring from it and flying towards his craft. An Imperial will communicate that he his holding an Imperial Admiral and demand his return. A space fight will ensue and show that the Mandalorian is quite adept at piloting and fighting in space. After his success against the TIEs, the Imperial ship’s captain transmits something about revenge and Imperial Pride before jumping to hyperspace. I think we’ll see him again in the future.

Our hero(?) lands on this new planet where he meets his mysterious contact. The New Republic is mentioned and we get the sense that this contact may be working for them. The Mandalorian tells the contact that his politics don’t matter and it’s just a job. He asks for his payment and is given a case and told that money has been transferred into his account. The Mandalorian returns to his ship and takes off. Inside the ship, we see him take his helmet off again, but this time we get to see his face. He opens the box and smiles…Roll Credits.

So that’s how I’d start this new TV show. Personally, I wanted the first live-action show to follow a squadron of pilots and their lives both in the cockpit and out of it. I do think The Mandalorian has potential and I really think they can make it feel like part of the Star Wars universe. I want connective tissue to be in the background and feel natural, such as having familiar aliens or ships. I also don’t want too much never before seen objects either. I have hated how Solo and Rogue One both had new creatures and ships that weren’t seen in the Original Trilogy. Especially the new ships both sides used, or the radically different Falcon. It’s painfully obvious they did that to sell toys.

So what do you think about the new books, comics, and Palpatine rumors? Are you excited for any particular Age Of Star Wars comic era? What would you do for the first episode of The Mandalorian? Let me know in the comments below!

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SOURCES: Express, NYCC, Star Wars

Kyle is a business school graduate who loves movies, comics, and video games. He shares his passions with his wife and is raising a next generation geek.