Jedi

Top 10 Lightsaber Hilts in Star Wars Movies and TV

“This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster, an elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.” Obi-Wan Kenobi introducing Luke Skywalker to his father’s lightsaber.

This quote has stood with Star Wars fans ever since the first movie premiered in 1977 and we saw a lightsaber for the first time. From that day forward every kid and a lot of adults wanted a lightsaber of their own. To this day, that testament remains the same. Now of course in this day and age we can’t have a real one, at least not yet. But what I love most about the lightsabers in the Star Wars movies and TV shows are how unique every single one of them is. That comes down to the hilt design more so than the color of the blade. Each hilt of a lightsaber is unique and built by hand by the various Jedi or Sith that wield them, or is passed down from person to person. This is my top 10 list of my favorite lightsaber hilts from the movies and Clone Wars/Rebels animated series.

Number 10 Lightsaber Hilt

Mace Windu’s HiltScreen Shot 2016-01-13 at 4.36.04 PM

This purple-bladed saber was used by the second greatest Jedi on the Jedi Counsel. This sleek and elegant blade was plated with chrome and gold finishes to represent his senior status on the Jedi Counsel. A thinner hilt than some, but it suited Mace well with his style of fighting called Form VII or also known as Vaapad. He sadly lost it, along with his life while dueling Darth Sidious.

Number 9 Lightsaber Hilt

Sidious's hiltDarth Sidious’s Hilts

Little is known about these hilts created by the famed Sith Lord. But what is known is that both of them were constructed while he was still an apprentice to Darth Plagueis out of a nearly indestructible metal. These are also the same blades that killed his former master in his sleep. Most people did not know he created two hilts and was trained in fighting with two lightsabers at once, as seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars when he fights Darth Maul and his brother Savage Opress.

Number 8 Lightsaber Hilt

Lukes lightsaberLuke Skywalker’s second lightsaber

This famous hilt was constructed after Luke lost his first lightsaber (his father’s before him) to a duel with Darth Vader on Cloud City in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. This particular hilt is reminiscent of Obi-Wan’s third lightsaber that Kenobi constructed during the beginning of the Clone Wars in honor of his late mentor. It now emitted a green blade instead of a light blue, and was used by Luke throughout him teaching a new generation of Jedi, until Ben Solo betrayed him and became Kylo Ren which forced Luke into exile. Little is known what happened to his lightsaber after these events, but it is believed that when he went into exile, he threw away his hilt to forget his past.

Number 7 Lightsaber Hilt

Savage Opress LightsaberSavage Opress’s Hilt

Following in is brother Darth Maul’s footsteps, Savage wielded a duel saber staff during the final years of the Clone Wars. This staff was much thicker than Maul’s to accommodate the new Zabrak’s enhanced skills and size thanks to the Nightsisters. With this lightsaber he killed many Jedi and practically anyone who got in his way. He would also use the hooks on both ends to impale his enemies before igniting his blade and running them through.

Number 6 Lightsaber Hilt

Askoha RebelsAshoka Tano’s second lightsabers

These two lightsaber hilts replaced the ones Ashoka used before leaving the Jedi Order during the Clone Wars. Thin and curved in design, Ashoka used these during her adventures with the Rebel fighters as they fought against the might of the Empire. Her blade color switched from green to a pure white, symbolizing her non-affiliation to the Jedi. Ashoka most notably used these lightsabers to take on two Inquisitors, The Seventh Sister and The Fifth Brother respectively. Although Tano left the order when she was still in training as Anakin’s Padawan, she showed exceptional skill and control while fighting the two Dark Side users.

Number 5 Lightsaber Hilt

Dooku's hiltCount Dooku’s Hilt

This curved hilt was used by Darth Sidious’s second apprentice Count Dooku. Dooku not only had a curved hilt during his apprenticeship with Sidious, but while he was also a member of the Jedi Order. Dooku favored the design over a traditional hilt because of his title and strength as a duelist. He dueled and killed many Jedi with this blade until his demise at the hands of Anakin Skywalker on board General Grievous command ship during the Battle of Coruscant. It is presumed that the hilt was destroyed along with the ship as it broke apart during the battle.

Number 4 Lightsaber Hilt

Darth Maul's SaberDarth Maul’s Hilt

Used by the Sith Lord Darth Maul during the occupation of Naboo, this uniquely designed hilt was actually two separate lightsaber hilts constructed into one long staff. Darth Maul was a force to be reckoned with when he was dueling someone because not only of the twin blades but because of his furry behind each strike to an enemy. Eventually it was cut in half, along with Maul by Obi-Wan Kenobi after the death of his master at the hands of Maul. Darth Maul survived however, and continued to use the severed half of his original blade during the Clone Wars and to duel against his former master on the planet Mandalore.

Number 3 Lightsaber Hilt

Rebel's Inquisitors Inquisitor’s ringed Hilt

Much like Darth Maul and Savage Opress before them, the Inquisitors used duel bladed lightsabers to hunt down remaining Jedi Knights during the years following the formation of the Empire. The one difference when comparing the hilts are that these were one spinning rings that could spin clockwise and counter clockwise depending on how the user wanted it. Very fast and hard to use, the Inquisitors were trained on how to use the ringed blades to not only fight, but to intimidate their enemies as well, making them feared across the galaxy to all who came across them.

Number 2 Lightsaber Hilt

Luke's hiltAnakin Skywalkers Hilt

Possibly one of the most famous hilts within the Jedi Order was used by Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars. This hilt was silver in color with black finishes and a bright blue blade. After the fall of Anakin to the dark side, it was taken by his former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi and eventually given to Anakin’s son, Luke Skywalker, and from Luke it was passed onto a young force-sensitive girl by the name of Rey 30 years after the Battle of Endor. While this hilt won many battles during the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War, along saving countless numbers of people, it was also used for terrible deeds. Most notably during the Jedi purge and attack on the Jedi Temple at the end of the Clone Wars, where it was used to slaughter countless Jedi and younglings.

Number 1 Lightsaber Hilt

Asajj VentressAsajj Ventress’s twin Hilts

These twin curved blades belonged to Count Dooku’s most trusted assassin and Dark Side user Asajj Ventress. This former Nightsister and Sith warrior acquired them from Count Dooku as a gift after she showed him her skills in a fighting arena. These blades, however, belonged to Dooku’s first apprentice before her, Komari Vosa, and when her death came at the hands of Bounty Hunter Jango Fett, Dooku kept them until he found a new apprentice to use them. Asajj was extremely skilled in using two sabers at once in either separate forms or formed together in a saber staff., she battled numerous Jedi, most notably Kenobi and Skywalker, and killed countless Padawans and Jedi Knights. What was most unique about these hilts is that at any moment during a battle, Ventress could attach them to form a saber staff to duel her enemies much like Darth Maul. Her’s however, was much harder to handle because of the curved shape. Eventually these hilts made there way to the fallen Jedi Barriss Offee when she stole them from Asajj to try and set her and Ashoka Tano up for sabotage and murder.

Did your favorite lightsaber make the cut? Sound off bellow with what your favorite lightsabers are.

Top 10 Lightsaber Hilts in Star Wars Movies and TV

Star Wars: A Ranking

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens crushing every box office record in sight, I believe it’s time to set down a ranking of the seven existing Star Wars Saga films before we begin the Star Wars Anthology. I’ll be ranking from worst to best based on my personal opinion. There will be spoilers, so you have been warned. One thing I want to note is that I am ranking these films off of their original theatrical releases. I am NOT including Special Editions or Blu-Rays releases.

7. Star Wars Episode I: A Phantom Menace

Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace poster tall

As the only film left out of the infamous Machete Order, is it any surprise that the first of the Star Wars  prequels would land last on my list? Let’s give the film its due though. The “Duel of Fates” song from legendary composer John Williams was superb and the villain, Darth Maul was intimidating and flat out cool. But a single song cannot save a movie, especially one in a franchise as beloved and successful as the Saga and killing off a brand new and exciting villain so fast is plain disappointing (and yes, I know the character returns in the cartoon). The overall story is boring and unnecessary. Jake Lloyd’s Anakin Skywalker was a cute kid but nothing more and the odd relationship with Padme (Natalie Portman) just did not work for the characters’ ages. Now, the saving grace of Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn was another positive but the character is killed off almost as quickly as his foe, Darth Maul and while Qui-Gon does return in the officially canon TV animated series The Clone Wars, we do not see him again in a Saga film. I think my biggest problems with this film revolved around the style and tone of the movie. Everything is shiny, pretty, and nice. The environment felt too sterile for Star Wars. Sterile is for Star Trek. Star Wars is supposed to be on the frontier of space.

And do I even need to mention the Midi-chlorians? I’m sure glad J.J. Abrams chose not to.

6. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones poster tall

Only slightly better than Episode I, Attack of the Clones speeds things up which makes the relationship between Anakin and Padme less creepy but nonetheless, the movie still falls mostly flat.  While we do get more action and a lot more Jedi fighting with lightsabers, we still get a lot of political talk that slows down the action, again, something for the Trek and not the Wars. The CGI effects in this film are borderline awful. George Lucas used blue screens so much, I seriously doubt that anything in the movie is real at all. The movie is the most forgettable of the franchise, which is why I don’t have much more to say about it. But, since I also don’t have a lot of bad things to say, it does edge out the one with the random and unnecessary podracing (though that did spawn a pretty cool video game for my N64).

5. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith poster tall

Enter emo Anakin. While the Peter Parker in Spiderman 3 became more emo than evil, Anakin did the same but on a significantly more whiny level. Seriously, it got annoying and it got annoying fast. Hayden Christensen’s character was creepy and irritating throughout BUT we get a ton of very important information that leads to the events of the original trilogy. We finally see how everything comes to be, how the Empire is born, so to speak. We also get that intense fight scene between Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin. While the end of that fight is pretty messed up, it’s a great fight scene that took better advantage of the CGI technology. The darker tones worked well, especially with the death of Padme and the birth of Vader. Now, I don’t like the whole Frankenstein’s Monster moment but I do appreciate the show of Force power Vader has and how Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) put Anakin back together. I will say that Yoda’s big moment against Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) is absolutely epic and fantastic until the actual lightsaber battle starts.

4. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Star Wars Episode VI Revenge of the Jedi poster tall

Ewoks aside, I always loved this film. As a kid, it was my favorite of the Star Wars films mainly because it had more space battles and action. As I grew up, I did notice its short-comings which is why it falls to fourth on my list. The story is a significant rehash of A New Hope which a larger Deathstar (something you only know from material external to the films) but this time is has a shield!  I do enjoy Luke’s story which shows him on his journey to actually giving into the Dark Side for a short time. I am, of course, referring to when he uses the Force to grab his saber from the Emperor’s chair arm. I also like the redemption of Anakin by saving his son, defeating the Emperor, and finally becoming a happy Jedi Force ghost with Obi-Wan and Yoda.

3. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

 

The film that started it all is truly a fantastic one. Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope poster tallA New Hope  is one of my favorite movies of all-time and to this day is still considered one of the most successful by number of tickets sold. The story was new, bright, exciting, and fun. The scenes, alien puppet characters, and practical effects were monumental in enhancing the field of special effects. George Lucas’ accomplishments with this film are unparalleled and the film holds up. I still love watching our young heroes thrust into their perilous journey together, so many one-liners, so many references. There are too many iconic things about this film to put in a ranking article such as this but needless to say, I love this movie through and through even with its dated technical problems.

2. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Yes, I fell into the hype. I was pumped for this film. Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens poster tallIt’s been so long since we had a new Star Wars movie and even longer since we had a new one that truly fit the bill. I was able to attend opening night with several friends. I even made some purchases that my AMC theater had available for the “Galaxy Premier”. Call me a sucker if you want but damn did I have a good time. What a fun and exciting movie. The newest Star Wars film was everything I wanted it to be. Nothing more and nothing less. I left the movie feeling perfectly content. I was happy and had very few complaints. If you’d like my full details and thoughts on the film, please listen to Episode 07 of our podcast series Grid Talk available here and on iTunes here.

1. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

The darker, more serious Saga film is still my overall favorite. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back posterThe story is compelling, the action is purposeful, and the practical effects are still great. Our characters are more seasoned and more sure of themselves. Han is quick to fire on Vader which makes Solo even more heroic in the face of danger. And what has ever topped the big reveal of Vader being Luke’s father? We get our introduction to Yoda, the most power of the Jedi. We learn of the Force ghosts with the return of Obi-Wan and the movie ends on an open note with things not going particularly well and Han frozen. The Empire Strikes Back’s job was to take the bright and heroic tale we had already seen and bring it crashing down to reality. Our heroes are not without weakness and are not untouchable. We had no idea if Han Solo was even alive or would ever return and for those who were alive when the film first came out, it was possible he would never return since Harrison Ford wasn’t sure if he’d come back for a third film. Overall, the movie is deeper and more sophisticated than A New Hope without all of the random merchandising issues of Return of the Jedi.

Conclusions and Thoughts

Star Wars The Force Awakens Wide Poster

I love Star Wars, through and through. I am invigorated with the addition of The Force Awakens and cannot wait for Rogue One, the first of the Star Wars Anthology films, let alone Episode VIII which is set to begin production very soon. While I know the prequels have their downsides, they are, for the most part, important to the franchise. They provide characters and context that expand on and enrich the Saga’s universe. With that said, given my reflection here, it might be time to finally get the prequels on Blu-Ray. Right now I’m sitting on a VHS of Episode I, a DVD of Episode III, and I don’t even have Attack of the Clones.

But hey, maybe one day, Disney and FOX can come to some agreement and we can get the theatrical cuts of the original trilogy on Blu-Ray. If that day every comes, I’ll be there.

What about you? How would you rank the seven Star Wars films? Let me know in the comments!

Star Wars: A Ranking

Top 10 Star Wars Video Games

Due to the release of The Force Awakens, I decided to take a look back at the Star Wars video games I had played in my formative years. I believe it can certainly be said that Star Wars video games are some of the greatest and richest parts of the Star Wars Expanded Universe (now Star Wars Legends).



10. Star Wars: Episode 1 RacerStar Wars: Episode I Pod Racer

Many rail on this game as being an example of what was wrong with The Phantom Menace however, I always found the podrace scene to be rather enthralling and intense. Inspired by the chariot race from Ben-Hur, the podrace scene was instantly captivating and spectacular save for the rather bad performance by Jake Lloyd. Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer successfully replicated the fast-paced feel of that scene with its supremely fast gameplay and quick reaction times in order to stay on the track. With a variety of tracks and playable racers, this game marks one of the few racing games I have ever enjoyed.

9. Star Wars: Shadows of the EmpireStar Wars: Shadows of the Empire

Often hailed as the first of the “good” Star Wars games, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire was the game in Lucasfilm’s attempt to cr eate an entire multimedia lineup for a movie that didn’t exist. Following Dash Rendar, a mercenary turned Rebel sympathizer, as he engages in an adventure to save Princess Leia from Prince Xizor, leader of the Black Sun crime syndicate. Featuring more immersive gameplay than any Star Wars game before it, Shadows of the Empire remains a time honored classic.

8. Star Wars: Dark ForcesStar Wars: Dark Forces

Following in the footsteps of Shadows of the Empire, Dark Forces was another early game that sought to set itself apart from the film saga. Set before A New Hope and following Kyle Katarn, a former Imperial-turned-Mercenary, as he embarks on his Rebel-sponsored job of recovering the first Death Star plans. Once complete, Katarn is hired for a second job to uncover the hidden plans to the Dark Trooper project before they can be used to wipe out the Rebel Alliance. Whilst the gameplay is certainly inspired by the Doom franchise, there is enough differences in gameplay, along with an unmistakable Star Wars style, that makes this game still entertaining although immensely difficult.

7. Lego Star Wars: The Complete SagaLego Star Wars: The Complete Saga

While much can be said for Traveller’s Tales’s entire lineup of Lego games, none could surpass the nostalgia and general fun that came with Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. Following fairly closely with the plots of the six main films, Lego Star Wars provided brick building fun along with general entertainment and silly references that would make even the most hardcore fan chuckle.

6. Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds

Taking the engine from Age of Empires II: Age of Kings, Galactic Battlegrounds is the Star Wars RTS to end all. Several attempts at Star Wars RTSs have been made with Empire at War or the much derided Force Commander but none could match up with the simple goodness that appeared in Galactic Battlegrounds. Certainly not the best RTS and certainly no where near the level of Starcraft, Galactic Battlegrounds still provides a good strategy experience to those looking for it.

5. Star Wars: BattlefrontStar Wars: Battlefront

While many point to Battlefront II as thebetter of the two games, I always preferred the first since it was always truer to its premise. Battlefront II introduced too many mechanics I thought betrayed the original idea: lots of normal troops fighting it out on the battlefield. The original Battlefront didn’t feel the need to add pointless space combat or the inclusion of over-powered Jedi to still feel incredibly fun and immersive. While certainly not the best Star Wars game, Battlefront is still one of those games that knew what it was trying to do and accomplished it incredibly well.

4. Star Wars: Rogue SquadronStar Wars: Rogue Squadron

Featuring what I would call the best in Star Wars fighter combat, Rogue Squadron starred Luke as he commanded the titular Rebel fighter unit on several missions against the Empire. While certainly appearing with dated graphics and control scheme, Rogue Squadron still features the most impressive variety of ships which vary in flight and combat abilities. This is also one of the few games to feature an accurate portrayal of using a speeder’s tow cable to take down an AT-AT.

3. Star Wars: Republic CommandoStar Wars: Republic Commando

Possibly the best Star Wars FPS ever made, Republic Commando lets the player take on the role of Delta-38, the leader of a clone commando unit during the Clone Wars. The first mission, taking place during the Battle of Geonosis, follows Delta-38 as he assembles his team and attempts to eliminate high priority targets and silently aid the entirety of the Clone Army in unexpected ways. Featuring a variety of enemy types, weapon types, and the most brilliantly simplified squad combat I’ve ever seen, Republic Commando is an instant favorite for those wanting a more modern and more complex FPS take in the Star Wars universe.

2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicStar Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Often hailed as one of the greatest Star Wars stories ever told, Knights of the Old Republic presents one of the most expansive and complex storylines not often seen in a Star Wars game, due to their often smaller focus and self-containment. Knights of the Old Republic, however, gives players a look at what the galaxy looked like four thousand years before the films take place with the rise of the Sith Empire and the struggling Old Republic attempting to maintain control over a tense situation. Politics, intense character development and an in-depth look into the nature of The Force are all major aspects of this game and coming from Bioware, the studio that brought us the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series, one can expect deep character interaction and a plot on a scale not known in Star Wars at its time. With its turn-based combat, attribute leveling system, and morality infused dialogue, Knights of the Old Republic is a true Star Wars gem and remains one of Bioware’s legacy gems.

1. Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi OutcastStar Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast

The ultimate Star Wars experience. Jedi Outcast, the second sequel to Dark Forces, again features Kyle Katarn, this time as a Jedi, as he attempts to stop the Imperial Remnant from gaining another foothold in the galaxy. Led by Dark Jedi Desann, his apprentice Tavion and Imperial Admiral Galak Fyyar, as the Remnant attempts to create Reborn, Dark Jedi soldiers artificially infused with The Force. The player as Katarn, starts off as a non-Jedi, having given up The Force after the events of Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, but he soon realizes that The Force will be needed to defeat Desann. While certainly dated since its release in 2003, Jedi Outcast features the most immersive and most accurate portrayal of Jedi combat not seen in any game of its time or in any game since (aside from its sequel/spin-off Jedi Academy). As the game progresses, more Force powers become available to the player including neutral powers like jump, push, and speed but also features four powers split between the Light and Dark side with force heal and mind trick belonging to the Light and lightning and grip belonging to the Dark. As the game progresses more, these force powers begin to manifest in stronger forms giving near unlimited power to the player if used wisely. By the end of the game with a full arsenal of weapons, force powers, and lightsaber fighting styles, playing as Katarn feels like the truest form of playing as a Jedi in any game along with a good story and impressive level design that makes this game the best Star Wars game ever made.

Top 10 Star Wars Video Games

The Force Awakens, a new hope for Expanded Universe Fans

I am a Star Wars fan.  In junior high, it would have been difficult to find a shirt I owned that didn’t reference Star Wars in some way.   We had the prequels releasing throughout that time, but with those being huge disappointments, I had to get my fix of a galaxy far, far away somewhere else.  Thus, I turned to the EU (Expanded Universe, which consisted of novels, comic books, and video games).

It wasn’t Qui-Gon or Jar Jar that made me happy to be excited to be a fan, it was Kyle Katarn, Mara Jade, and Darth Revan.  Games like Knights of the Old Republic,  Dark Forces, and Masters of Teräs Käsi  (don’t judge me!) were my jam.  I read Timothy Zahn’s novels between classes in school. I wasn’t very popular, as you can imagine.  You nerdy kids today have it so easy!

So when Disney purchased Lucasfilm and announced that the whole Expanded Universe wasn’t canon in any way, shape, or form, I was crushed.

Fast forward a bit, and I watched The Force Awakens, and my opinion has changed.

While the characters I love may not exist in name anymore, many of their stories are set up to play out in the movies.  I am going to cover where I think the similarities lie, and maybe some of where they might be heading.  From here on out, there will be MAJOR SPOILERS for The Force Awakens (TFA) and the Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) games.  You have been warned.

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Still here?  Good. Let’s get into some references to the Expanded Universe.

So to start, Rey bears a pretty major resemblance to Bastila Shan from KOTOR, as well as her daughter Satele from SWTOR (Star Wars the Old Republic).  Coincidence?  Maybe.  Also take into account that they both use staff type weapons (Bastila uses a yellow bladed saberstaff).  Not only that, but Rey’s grey outfit at the end of TFA looks very similar to many old republic styled outfits.

Expanded Universe Bastila Shan KOTOR Rey The Force Awakens

There were some new Force powers introduced in TFA.  Remember when Kylo used the Force to stop Rey in place so he could capture and interrogate her?  That is called “Force Stasis”, and was introduced in KOTOR in a very similar way.  Darth Malak used the same move to capture Bastila Shan.  Kylo using the Force to interrogate Rey and Poe is also very similar to another KOTOR force power called “Mind Domination”.

Just like Rey in TFA, Bastila is captured by her Sith enemy and locked into a partially reclined torture device, and subjected to Dark Side probing.  Do these screenshots look familiar?

Expanded Universe Bastila Torture KOTOR Expanded Universe Bastila Torture KOTOR

When Finn and Rey meet, he intends to try and save her, but she saves herself, beating up a slew of attackers in the process with her staff.  This is very reminiscent of this scene in KOTOR (even a similar weapon!):

Expanded Universe Bastila saving herself KOTOR

Remember Finn and Rey having to escape a planetary attack in the Millennium Falcon?  Bastila and Revan have the same situation happen, except the ship is the Ebon Hawk instead of the Falcon.

The plots of TFA and KOTOR II both revolve around finding the last remaining Jedi by chasing down incomplete maps of the galaxy and following them into uncharted systems.  In TFA, the last Jedi was Luke who left the map with R2-D2, in KOTOR II it was Revan who left the map with T3-M4.

There are also some pretty large similarities between Revan and Kylo’s mask design.

kylo ren Expanded Universe Darth Revan KOTOR

That planet the Luke is on at the end of the movie could easily be Rakata Prime, which was a planet that was covered in ancient stone structures that are strong in the force, and was first mentioned in KOTOR.  Those stone structures could easily fit the bill for what Han says Luke is looking for. It just so happens that this planet was shown on the newest, official, canon map of the Star Wars galaxy.

Star wars Map

Speaking of planets from KOTOR, Malachor V is a planet introduced in KOTOR II that is full of ancient Sith temples and teeming with Dark Side energy.  In the visual dictionary released for The Force Awakens, Kylo’s saber is described as “an ancient design, dating back thousands of years to the Great Scourge of Malachor.”  The book is canon, as is Malachor now.

Visual Dictionary TFA

KOTOR had a super-weapon called the “Star Forge” that siphoned power from the sun, the same way that the Starkiller base did.

Pretty striking similarities, in my opinion.

So onto some speculation, because why not?

Maz Kanata mentions something about history repeating itself. Could Kylo’s more primitive clothing and weapon and Rey’s resemblance to Bastila be attributed to that?  Could history repeating itself be a reference to KOTOR’s story repeating itself?  Could Rey be from Bastila and Satele’s bloodline??!?!

I don’t think the mentions of Malachor and Rakata Prime are just nods to the fans.  I think that Snoke is probably living on Malachor, and that’s where he is summoning Kylo to to finish his training.

What do you think?  Coincidence?  Something more?  Did I miss some Expanded Universe references?  Will we see Rey wielding a yellow bladed saberstaff soon?   Let me know in the comments.

The Force Awakens, a new hope for Expanded Universe Fans

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Review with Spoilers

Before I begin, this review DOES have SPOILERS from the film.

Ten years ago, I walked out of the theater convinced I had seen the last Star Wars movie. The Skywalker saga was complete and George Lucas had pledged no more movies. However, on this Thursday, I found myself in a theater for yet another Star Wars viewing. And so, after ten years, it would seem my Star Wars journey had come full circle in seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. 

Overview

Following Luke Skywalker’s disappearance, the First Order (or the new Empire) has made a bid to take over the galaxy and squash the Resistance. One thing stands in their path, the last of the Jedi. Both sides scramble to find the last piece of a map that will lead them to the infamous Jedi Master.The Force Awakens: Rey and BB-8

The Force Awakens: Good

1.I was honestly expecting the first scene of The Force Awakens to be reminiscent of the 2009 Star Trek movie. However, this was not the case. The pacing was actually slower than expected. Nevertheless, it was fitting for the movie. After all, A New
Hope 
started off a bit slow. Rest assured, The Force Awakens has its fair share of action sequences but it does not sacrifice story and character development in favor of said action.

2. The movie nostalgia did not flaunt itself in the viewer’s face. There were plenty of callbacks to the previous movies, but they made room for the new as well (albeit new characters and plot points).

3. The lightsaber battles were messy. This may seem like a bad thing, but all lightsaber wielders were actually quite inexperienced. It took a lot of work to make the battles engaging and realistic to the skill of said force users. It was actually refreshing to see a grounded, realistic battle instead of a choreographed, over-the-top battle.

4. Although we do not have confirmation that the new darkside users are Sith, they definitely follow some of the same rules. In particular, the sacrifice. All Sith must make a sacrifice before reaching their true potential in the darkside. This was a philosophy that was shared in The Force Awakens.

5. John Williams’ brilliant music shined throughout the film. He brought in plenty of new themes, as well as some well-timed older themes from the original movies. It was certainly a treat to hear John Williams Star Wars music again.

6. All of the new characters are well developed and relatable. Rey proves to be an ideal female protagonist. Finn is a character who is scared and uncertain. As for Kylo Ren, he is an enemy of unrefined and unfocused power. All characters have their flaws, and they are better for it.The Force Awakens: Kylo Ren

 

The Force Awakens: Bad

There is little to complain about in this film, but I was a bit wary of the many references to A New Hope. A droid with important information… A deadly weapon of destruction… I admit that these plot devices worked well for this movie, but the parallels are hard to ignore.Star Wars: The Force Awakens X-Wing and TIE Fighter

Conclusion

This was certainly the movie that Star Wars fans were expecting in 1999. It is sure to please both old and new fans alike. The Force Awakens could’ve easily trudged down the action-ridden path that has made Star Wars famous. However, it holds back the action, which makes it more meaningful. Character development, in the form of all of the leads, are excellent. And the ending of the movie was nothing short of perfect.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Review with Spoilers

Smuggler’s Bounty Box #1 Unboxing

Smuggler’s Bounty is finally here! From the company that brought us the Marvel Collector Corps subscription box, Funko now enters the Star Wars universe with their Smuggler’s Bounty box. This month marks the first of the bi-monthly subscription service. While it was announced that it would include a chrome Captain Phasma Pop Vinyl, everything else is more or less a mystery. We know it’d be similar to the Marvel Collector Corps including a pin, patch, Pop stuff, and t-shirt but we don’t know what they are. So, I sat down to unbox our first Smuggler’s Bounty box to see what was inside! Take a look at the video below and then let us know in the comments if this is a subscription box you’ll be signing up for.

What did you think of the first Smuggler’s Bounty box? Did you like it? Did it meet or fall short of your expectations? Which Pop TIE Fighter Pilot did you get? Which t-shirt? Let us know in the comments below!

Smuggler’s Bounty Box #1 Unboxing

Grid Talk: 05 – Dark Skywalker

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens just over a month away, we break down our thoughts and expectations for the iconic character, Luke Skywalker. Due to his absence in any promotional material, trailers, posters, etc. many think that there might be a twist on the origin trilogy’s hero. Has Luke Skywalker turned to the Darkside in the events after Return of the Jedi? He has gone into hiding as the only known trained Force user left in the galaxy far, far away? Perhaps he has become the new Lord of the Sith, since the only way to become one is to kill the previous. We discuss all of these possibilities plus a few more including a dive into his father, Anakin Skywalker and how his turn away from Vader at the end of the trilogy might affect his son’s choices. So sit back, grab some blue milk and enjoy the ride.

Dark Skywalker Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Timothy Jackson
Zachary Story

Special Guests
Nic Story

Executive Producer and Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

iTunes Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/grid-talk-sci-fi-frontiers/id1057992963?mt=2

RSS Feed
http://thegridscififrontier.com/feed/podcast/gridtalk

Social Media
@GridTalkTweets

Email
contact@thegridscififrontier.com

Grid Talk: 05 – Dark Skywalker