Reflecting on Disney's Purchase of Lucasfilm

Today has been a day of emotional turmoil for Star Wars fans. This morning the Star Wars story spanned only six feature films. This evening it is officially a nine-part saga - perhaps with many more instalments to come.

My initial reaction was anything but positive. I've spent the rest of today mulling over this news however, and you know what? I've decided to stay positive. My attitude towards Star Wars has always been the same: you're welcome to take what you want, and leave the rest. With a franchise this large there are always going to be some elements you don't agree with. The beauty of Star Wars is that you're not obliged to take it in its entirety.

After careful consideration I've decided that I should take this same line with today's news. I have the entire original saga sitting on my shelf back home in glorious Blu-Ray clarity and nothing is going to change that. If I don't like what Disney does, I'll still always have Star Wars the way it was. Maybe though - just maybe - Disney will do something truly fantastic with the franchise, providing us with more quality additions to the Star Wars universe.

For now, I'm staying cautiously optimistic.

George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy On the New Star Wars Films - Part 1

A video has just appeared online featuring George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy discussing the purchase of Lucasfilm Ltd. by Disney. It also includes a brief mention of the upcoming films:

Steve Sansweet Blogs About the New Star Wars Films

Steve Sansweet has just written a post over the the official Star Wars Blog that - I must admit - makes me feel a little better about these new developments. Most intriguingly, he has the following to say about the upcoming films:

"But after the prequels, George was very clear that his days of making Star Wars movies were over. Little did I know that, behind the scenes and very quietly, George had started to come up with some storylines for at least three new movies set in a period sometime after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. I think the fact that George found so much enjoyment coming up with new ideas for The Clone Wars series spurred him on. He just needed to find the right person – and the right set-up – to carry on the Star Wars legacy."

Does this mean we really are in for new Luke, Han, and Leia adventures?

Disney Buying Lucasfilm / Releasing Episode VII in 2015

Roughly thirty minutes ago Disney announced that they will be purchasing Lucasfilm Ltd., it's subsidiary companies, and all relevant intellectual propery for a whopping $4.05 billion. Most importantly for Star Wars fans, Disney has announced that they will be releasing Star Wars: Episode VII in 2015, followed shortly thereafter by Episodes VIII and IX and further new movies every two to three years. You can read varying reports of this story at Reuters, ABC NewsMTV, and Fox News.

I'm really not sure how to feel about this, but for now my mood is probably best described as 'devastated'. We all knew that George Lucas couldn't maintain ownership of Lucasfilm indefinitely, but the idea of the entire franchise being turned over to Disney is hard to swallow.

For now I'm hoping that reports of Episodes VII, VIII and IX are misguided. Hopefully reporters have simply counted the current films and assumed that the next three releases will follow chronologically. We don't need a continuation of the original saga. The future of those characters has already been thoroughly explored and documented in the Expanded Universe (starting the very day after RotJ in The Truce of Bakura). Any attempt to make an Episode VII would be horribly messy and, for this fan, might very well do irreparable harm to the franchise. My hope is that the films are instead side-stories. Perhaps a vehicle for the unused live-action story set between Episode III and IV, or films set in another era entirely (The Old Republic anyone?)

More information is sure to come to light, so be sure to check back here for updates.

The Hunt Is On - The Vintage Collection 3 3/4" VC116 Republic Trooper (The Old Republic) Hunt Continues

The sixteenth (and possibly final) wave of The Vintage Collection is starting to turn up in online stores. This figure includes the highly sought-after VC116 Republic Trooper (The Old Republic) - the final item on my huntlist for 2012.

(Image courtesy of

Unfortunately Wave 16 is only receiving a limited release, so it looks like this figure will be hard to procure. Currently the cheapest online price for the figure is $32.98US ($40.19NZ) on Amazon. While I really want to get hold of this figure, it's a little hard to justify paying that much for something that I'll be promptly removing from the packaging. For now, it looks like I'll have to bide my time and hope for a lucky break in-store or on the second-hand market.

The Old Republic: Revan and Scourge Paperbacks

One of the best things about Star Wars collecting in the US is the price of paperback novels. In the US they're set at a standard price of $7.99US ($9.73NZ) whereas back in New Zealand they're usually priced anywhere from $15.99NZ to $24.99NZ.

I picked up Scourge a couple of days ago while at a conference in St. Louis and The Old Republic: Revan today at my local H-E-B They should give me a nice break from school-related reading!

Relics of the Force Contribution to Episode I Pizza Hut Promotion Article on SWNZ

A few months ago I had the privilege of contributing to a Star Wars New Zealand article by MattG on the Episode I: The Phantom Menace promotion at New Zealand Pizza Hut restaurants. As always, Matt did a fantastic job of researching and reporting on another one of New Zealand's unique Star Wars promotions. You can read the full article here.

(Image courtesy of
Star Wars New Zealand is a great resource for all Star Wars fans - not just those in New Zealand.  If you haven't already, be sure to check out the site. You'll also find a great community of friendly, like-minded Star Wars fans on the Star Wars New Zealand Message Boards.

The Old Republic Free-to-Play Preview #1

Lucasarts and Bioware are now beginning to roll out information on the upcoming Free-to-Play option for The Old Republic.  Today they released the first in a series of preview videos outlining what features (and restrictions) the Free-to-Play option will have.

Early announcements indicated that this would be going live in November. Now, however, publicity for the game seems to be referring to a more general 'fall' release - which could be as late as December.

Regular visitors to this blog will have seen me testing out the trial version of SWTOR in preparation for the Free-to-Play release. You can read about my adventures - and first impressions of the game - here.

The Old Republic: Episode 7 - Strength in Numbers

Having maxed out the amount of XP and credits I can earn on the trial version, I've turned my attention to improving other aspects of my character. I've now taken my crew skills (Information Gathering, Treasure Hunting, and Underworld Trading) up to their maximum on the trial (level 40), and got my hands on some shiny new gear in the process. As far as I can tell, I'm now about as kitted out as I can be without exploring more of the galaxy.

I usually run the game at the lowest graphic settings to spare the processor on my notebook, but I turned them up to 11 for this particular shot.

I've also been having a lot of fun teaming up with other players to complete the Heroic quests. The game makes forming a group relatively easy - even for trial players who don't have the option of using General Chat. Working as a team allows you to explore a lot of content that's unattainable on your own, and also provides social points (which apparently opens up the availability of unique gear later in the game).

Coruscant is pretty much done for me now, so it looks like I'll be putting SWTOR on ice until it goes free-to-play in November.

The Old Republic: Episode 6 - Onboard the Esseles

This evening on SWTOR I had the good fortune of running into MattG and Anaria from the SWNZ Message Boards. They graciously teamed up with me and helped me through my first flashpoint - The Esseles.

(Image courtesy of Anaria)

It was a lot of fun, and I must say that the social aspect really adds to an already amazing game. The mission was also a great chance to upgrade some of my gear.

If you're ever looking to team up for a flashpoint, be sure to email me at and let me know your player name!

Shadows of the Empire Soundtrack

I've been using my my time in the US as a chance to fill several select holes in my collection. Up until now I thought I'd managed to secure all of the Star Wars soundtracks (Episodes I through VI and The Clone Wars). It turns out that I'd made a glaring omission however: the soundtrack for Shadows of the Empire. Today I was able to fill that gap.

I managed to pick this up from Amazon for only $12.06US ($14.74NZ). In my estimations Shadows of the Empire remains the crowning jewel of the Expanded Universe. While it was Timothy's Zahn's Heir to the Empire trilogy that reintroduced us to the Star Wars universe, SotE is what truly made us feel at home again. Even more incredible was the marketing attached to this multimedia release. The release of SotE included a novel, comic series, Nintendo 64 console game, action figures, Micro Machines, Action Fleet, and, yes, even a soundtrack. SotE really was everything but the movie.

SotE was released the very same year that I was first introduced to the original trilogy, and for that reason will always hold a special place in my heart. I couldn't be happier with this purchase!

The Old Republic: Episode 5 - Trial's End

This afternoon I finally completed the last of the solo quests on Coruscant. I'm now 1 XP away from level 16 (which is as high as the trial will allow you to go). I've also acquired some great new gear and managed to save up 20,000 credits (again, the maximum allowed on the trial).

Captain Revuge - kitted out and ready for action!

Now all that's left to do is await the free-to-play option so I can blast away from Coruscant and get on with exploring the rest of the SWTOR galaxy. There's no confirmation of the exact date for the switchover yet, but I'll be sure to keep you posted as soon as news comes to light.

The Old Republic: Episode 4 - Revenge of the Ship

Having returned to Coruscant several levels higher than when I departed, I decided to press on ahead with my class storyline in the hope of finally recovering my ship. Things were going well until I reached the lower docking bays of Coruscant and ecountered a pesky Bith that I simply couldn't overcome. Faced with this hurdle, I did what any self-respecting Republic citizen would do: I enlisted the aid if a couple of Jedi.

Masters Jorren and Vagens generously came to my aid and helped me take down my foe. Upon his defeat I was granted access to the docking bay he guarded - and finally discovered my ship.

Isn't she a beauty?

Words cannot describe how ecstatic I was to finally have her back. It may sound unusual, but the narrative was so engrossing that our reunion was a real moment of triumph. I love this ship - particularly the way it seamlessly blends elements of both its predecessors (see the Ebon Hawk) and descendents (see the Milennium Falcon)Unfortunately, in a cruel twist of fate, it turns out that trial players are unable to use their ship. This means I'll have to wait until the free-to-play option kicks in this November before I can take her our for a spin.

This is fine with me though. For now, it seems that the best plan is to spend my time on Coruscant levelling up and scraping together as many credits as possible. Then when I do finally leave, I should be in the best possible position to take everything the galaxy has to throw at me.

A ship-side selfie.
I simply cannot express my the depth of my gratitude to Jorren and Vagens. Without them, my ship would still be locked up and in enemy hands. Unfortunately another downside of the trial version is the inability to send message mail and items. This will change with the free-to-play transfer, and as soon as it does they'll be receiving a fat wad of credits in gratitude.

I'm rather looking forward to living the smuggler's life...

The Old Republic: Episode 3 - Return to Coruscant

Another day, another couple of levels higher. I've now exhausted the quests available on Ord Mantell, earning enough commendations in the process to buy myself a snazzy new Taloran jacket.

Looking rather dapper if I do say so myself!

Having gained four levels since returning to Ord Mantell, I've packed my bags and jumped the first transport back to Coruscant. This time I don't plan on leaving until I'm on my own ship!

The Old Republic: Episode 2 - A Minor Setback

After another couple of hours I've reached level 10 and been given the opportunity to choose my advanced class. Although the Scoundrel comes with some cool stealth abilities, the chance to duel-wield and wear a duster as a Gunslinger was just too tempting.

Unfortunately I've hit something of a snag. Obsessed with having my ship returned, I've been pushing ahead in my character's story without placing a lot of focus on side quests. It turns out this isn't the smartest idea as these side quests are a necessity in order to level up at the appropriate rate. As a result of this, I soon found deep in the underbelly of Coruscant going up against foes more than twice my level. Things got hairier than an unkempt Wookiee.

Air taxis - my main mode of transportation for the foreseeable future.

Fortunately for me an incredibly helpful Jedi Knight intervened. After rescuing me from a rather sticky situation, she suggested I retrace my steps and spend some time honing my skills before forging on ahead. It's a difficult pill to swallow, but one I'll have to accept.

Yes, I frequent the cantinas more than most. But knowing what goes down in those joints, wouldn't you too?

After spending some time training on the Republic Fleet, I'm now back on Ord Mantell helping fight the good fight against the Separatist forces. Once I've completed the quests there, I should be in much better shape to head back to Coruscant and get my ship back!

The Old Republic: Episode 1 - Every Journey Has a First Step...

After a four-hour exam this morning I decided I wanted to spend the rest of my day doing something rather less grueling. Finally installing my free trial of The Old Republic seemed like just the ticket.

It was after a great deal of deliberation that I finally opted to go with the smuggler class. The character seemed to encapsulate all of the things I love most about Star Wars. It also means my progression will fit in perfectly with a few other Star Wars fiction projects I've worked on over the years.

I've spent a couple of hours playing now, and I must say the game is everything I'd hoped for. It's incredibly immersive and the locales are breathtaking. There's been a fair bit of run-and-fetch action so far, though this is due in large part to the fact that I've been ignoring side-quests and interactions with other players. For now, my main focus is on recovering the ship which was regrettably stolen from me in the opening moments of the game. At the moment I'm at level 8 and hanging out in a seedy cantina on Coruscant. Pretty soon I'll be heading to Black Sun's stronghold to search for clues regarding the whereabouts of my ship.

Hanging out in yet another wretched hive of scum and villainy.

The free trial will let me play up to level 15. After this, I'll have to wait until the game goes free-to-play in November before levelling any higher. I'll be posting regularly about my SWTOR adventures, so look for a new tab under the 'Holonet Index' on the left.

My character's name is 'Revuge', so if you too are a SWTOR player then feel free to add me as a friend and say hi. Maybe you can even show a newbie around the galaxy?