Archive for March, 2012

Review: Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual

Unlike Master Optician, I’ve never been a DIY kind of guy. The only experience that I’ve had with these kind of manuals is another fake repair manual (the Enterprise Haynes Manual). When this manual came out I was interested but not terribly anxious over it. References books are fun but I usually prefer a novel or a graphic novel any day (The Essential Guide to Warfare is a major exception). That was until I actually got a copy and started to flip through it.

This book is really well done. I loved the pictures spread throughout the book, as well as the diagrams and schematics.  It’s a visual feast to pour over the diagrams of the Millennium Falcon and learn about the various systems of the ship, though there is more than just that to this book. The book details the history of this legendary ship, as well as the history of the YT-1300 Light Freighters.  It’s a lot of fun to read about the origins of the Millennium Falcon. With this kind of detail the Millennium Falcon, always a constant presence in the films and EU, becomes a kind of character itself.  There are flaws in the book, including some typos, but really nothing major. The book is a terrific reference guide for those of us who love the ships of Star Wars (my X-Wing model when I was a kid was one of my most prized possessions).

There are plenty of things here for everyone. The detail oriented fan and the casual fan will love it equally (I’d especially recommend it for fans of James Luceno’s novel Millennium Falcon). I don’t think that this book is an essential buy but there’s no denying that it’s a lot of fun. The range of this book is impressive with all kind of details (weapons & engineering, crew facilities, etc.) included. If you’ve got the money and the inclination, then this is the book for you.

Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual  receives a 4 1/2 out of 5.

SEE ALSO:
Review: Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual by Master Optician
The Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual

The Essential Guide to Warfare Book Preview

Random House has posted a new Insight Book Preview, this time for the upcoming The Essential Guide to Warfare. Link

Click on the image on the product page, wait for the pop-up, then enjoy 22 pages of Warfare! (Preview includes cover and front matter)

SEE ALSO:
Review: The Essential Guide To Warfare
The Essential Guide To Warfare Cover
Del Rey Facebook Page
(The Essential Guide To Warfare Concept & Approved Images)

The Essential Reader’s Companion Blurb

Random House has posted the blurb for the upcoming The Essential Reader’s Companion by Pablo Hidalgo, due out October 02, 2012. Link

THE DEFINITIVE WORD ON STAR WARS FICTION

The legendary motion picture Star Wars: A New Hope has spawned five big-screen sequels—and decades of bestselling fiction. From the original movie tie-in novel through the monumental Fate of the Jedi series, legions of devoted readers have helped expand science fiction’s most celebrated film saga into a page-turning print sensation. Now, for the first time, a comprehensive overview of these sweeping Star Wars adventures is presented in one beautifully illustrated volume.

Star Wars: The Essential Reader’s Companion spans the entire galaxy of published Star Wars fiction—movie novelizations, original stand alone and series novels, short stories, eBook novellas, young adult titles, and comics—and features

• a concise synopsis of each story, including key characters and planets
• exclusive behind-the-scenes facts and anecdotes about authors, plot and character development, continuity notes, and significance in the Star Wars Expanded Universe
• details on which novels are linked to Star Wars comic books from Dark Horse and Marvel
• a chronological listing of titles, spanning the 25,000-year history of the Star Wars universe and placing each story in its proper context
• more than one hundred full-color original paintings throughout by some of fans’ favorite artists

Whether skimming through fateful eras from the Old Republic to the New Jedi Order; delving deep into the ancient history of the Lost Tribe of the Sith or the tumultuous Clone Wars; crossing paths—and lightsabers—with Dark Lords such as Plagueis or Bane, Sidious or Vader; helming the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo; or mastering the Force with Luke Skywalker, this one-of-a-kind, one-stop reference is a must for fans looking to maximize their knowledge of the sprawling Star Wars Expanded Universe.

SEE ALSO:
Review: The Essential Reader’s Companion by Bry Dean
Megan’s Review: The Essential Reader’s Companion
Preview 28 Pages of The Essential Reader’s Companion!
Sneak Peek: The Essential Reader’s Companion Images 2.0
Sneak Peek: The Essential Reader’s Companion Images
The Essential Reader’s Companion Cover Art
The Essential Reader’s Companion Preliminary Cover

The Ultimate Action Figure Collection

Here’s a look at the upcoming The Ultimate Action Figure Collection by Steve Sansweet, due out October 17, 2012. Pre-order today! Link

Here at last is the complete and definitive collection of the more than 2,500 Star Wars® action figures produced over the last 35 years. Fans and collectors can finally trace the evolution of each character in toy form from the time of their first appearance through the designs of today, with pages of amazing and inventive variations crafted to tell the stories of Luke Skywalker, Darth Maul, and literally hundreds more. Compiled by Stephen J. Sansweet, owner of the world’s largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia, the book also showcases and details the rare, popular, forgotten, and beloved figures coveted by fans the world over, drawing figures from the feature film, video game, and cartoon realms of the vast Star Wars universe.

New X-Wing: Mercy Kill Cover Art

Del Rey has posted an image of revised cover art for the upcoming X-Wing: Mercy Kill, due out August 07, 2012. Link

We made a few small tweaks to the cover. This is now the final version. (ES)

Here’s a look at the former cover art…

SEE ALSO:
X-Wing: Mercy Kill 35-Page Excerpt!
Star Wars: X-Wing: MERCY KILL Blurb
Star Wars: X-Wing: Mercy Kill Cover and Blurb
Star Wars: X-WING: MERCY KILL

Review: The Essential Guide To Warfare

The Essential Guide To Warfare is the first Star Wars guide to focus solely on the armed conflicts and skirmishes from the galaxy far far away. Reading this publication marks the first time that I thoroughly enjoyed and wore out a history book.

Want detailed information on many of your favorite warships? Check. How about learning more about key campaigns and engagements? Check. Want to read more about wars during the Old Republic, the Clone Wars, the Yuuzhan Vong Invasion and many more? Check. Interested in knowing just what went down with Lord Hoth, Sifo-Dyas and Grand Admiral Osvald Teshik? Gotcha covered.

But it’s not just the extremely informative chapters that kept me going back for more. This book is packed full of stunning pictures created by a team of talented illustrators. Words really can’t describe how utterly satisfying it is to finally visualize the conflicts and characters that we’ve read about for years. Indeed, this book seems to provide a sense of depth and realism to the engagements all across galaxy, from the Expanded Universe, comics, The Clone Wars and even video games.

Do you like maps? I mean, really awesome maps so detailed that they literally hypnotize you? You’re in for another treat, then. The Essential Guide To Warfare provides several galaxy maps, just like you’d see them in real life history books. Each galaxy map shown is different to show territorial changes and the reaches of various campaigns.

There is no question: The Essential Guide To Warfare is a must buy. Buy it if you want to enrich your understanding and enjoyment of Star Wars 100 fold. Buy it if you want to reward truly talented writers, illustrators and publishers. Most of all, buy it because it’s just so darn fun.

SEE ALSO:
The Essential Guide to Warfare Book Preview
The Essential Guide To Warfare Cover
Del Rey Facebook Page
(The Essential Guide To Warfare Concept & Approved Images)

Blurb…

THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO THE ULTIMATE INTERGALACTIC BATTLEFIELD

Like many a great epic, Star Wars is rooted in a rich history of armed conflict. Now, for the first time, the facts, figures, and fascinating backstories of major clashes and combatants in the vast Star Wars universe have been documented in one fully illustrated volume. Extensively researched and inventively written, Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare combines action-filled narrative with encyclopedic knowledge that:

• explores notable military units and groups
• traces the development of significant armaments and technologies
• profiles key warship classes, ground units, and manufacturers
• provides capsule biographies of great military leaders
• presents eyewitness troopers’ accounts of combat
• plus—enough additional profiles, intel, history, and lore to span the cosmos!

Encompassing all of the Star Wars media, including the legendary films, the hit TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the bestselling books, comics, and videogames, and packed with original full-color artwork, Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare is a conquering achievement.

Read 27 Pages of Star Wars: Scourge Now!

Random House has posted a nice Scourge preview on their product page. Link

To view, click on the Scourge image after the Browse and Search feature loads. A pop-up will appear with the excerpt. The excerpt content includes the cover art and front matter (note that an excerpt from X-Wing: Mercy Kill will be included in the final edition). Afterwards, several chapter pages are shown. Enjoy! Star Wars: Scourge is due out April 24, 2012.

SEE ALSO:
Review: Scourge by Master Optician
Star Wars: SCOURGE Cover Art
Star Wars: SCOURGE Blurb Now Online
Star Wars: SCOURGE

Star Wars: Scoundrels

The upcoming Timothy Zahn book now has a title, cover and larger description. Current release date is still December 26, 2012. Source

The Death Star has been destroyed. The Rebellion has had its first big victory. And Han Solo, newly conscripted to the Rebel cause, is on the run from the Empire and the bounty hunters eager to turn him in for the huge reward being offered by Jabba the Hutt. Now a mysterious stranger offers Han the resources to execute a daring robbery from a major crime lord. The mission is impossible, but the prize will make Han a free man. With no choice but to accept, Han Solo and his Wookiee partner, Chewbacca, set out to assemble a cast of rogues, knaves, and cons with the right combination of wits, skills, and derring-do to pull off an operation of this complexity and scale — the best scoundrels the galaxy has to offer. And then the game is on: a rip-roaring, intergalactic, Ocean’s Eleven-style heist adventure starring Han Solo, Chewie, and Lando Calrissian, written by #1 New York Times bestselling Star Wars author Timothy Zahn!

SEE ALSO:
Megan Sits Down With Timothy Zahn
Knights’ Archive Exclusive: Timothy Zahn
Novel Review: Scoundrels by Bry Dean
Megan’s Review: Scoundrels
38 Pages of Star Wars: Scoundrels Now Online
Star Wars: Winner Lose All: A Lando Calrissian Tale
Star Wars: Scoundrels Cover Blurb
Star Wars: Scoundrels Full Cover Art
Star Wars: Scoundrels Excerpt!
Untitled Star Wars Stand-Alone by Timothy Zahn Blurb

Star Wars Celebration VI Stage Hosts

We’ve received an awesome email announcement: James Arnold Taylor will be hosting the main stage at Celebration VI! He’ll join fellow hosts David Collins and Pablo Hidalgo:

Star Wars Celebration VI, the ultimate fan experience and the biggest Star Wars party ever, will feature three stages of programming offering hours of exclusive entertainment and fascinating information focused on the past, present and future of Star Wars. The stage hosts for the four-day event, held August 23-26 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida are James Arnold Taylor, David Collins and Pablo Hidalgo.

James Arnold Taylor will host the Main Stage, site of the biggest shows and the must-see events being planned for the convention. Taylor is the extremely talented actor whose versatile vocal range has given him success in every facet of the voice-over industry. Star Wars fans know him as the voice of the venerable Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and he has performed celebrated roles in animation and video games, as well as exacting voice-doubling for such stars as Christopher Walken, David Spade, and Michael J. Fox. Taylor debuted his popular, high-energy one-man performance “Talking to Myself” in 2011.

For more information about the hosts, check out the official Star Wars Celebration site. Link

SEE ALSO:
Star Wars Celebration VI News

Untitled Star Wars Stand-Alone by Timothy Zahn Blurb

Random House has posted its Fall catalog online, and among the entries is the upcoming standalone novel by Timothy Zahn, which currently has a December 26, 2012 release date. Link

Ocean’s Eleven meets Star Wars in this classic adventure set just after Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. From #1 New York Times bestselling author Timothy Zahn.

The Death Star has just been destroyed and Han Solo still needs the money to pay off the bounty on his head. Now the opportunity to make that money and then some has walked into his life in the form of the perfect heist. With nine like-minded scoundrels, he and Chewbacca just might be able to pull it off and live to tell the tale!

Also noteworthy are these descriptions…

WRAPAROUND ARTWORK ON THE COVER featuring the “scoundrels”

PERFECT ENTRY FOR CASUAL FANS: If you’ve seen the very first Star Wars movie, A New Hope, you’ll “get” this book. Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian at the heart of an impossible heist make this a totally accessible adventure.

SEE ALSO:
Megan Sits Down With Timothy Zahn
Knights’ Archive Exclusive: Timothy Zahn
Novel Review: Scoundrels by Bry Dean
Megan’s Review: Scoundrels
38 Pages of Star Wars: Scoundrels Now Online
Star Wars: Winner Lose All: A Lando Calrissian Tale
Star Wars: Scoundrels Cover Blurb
Star Wars: Scoundrels Full Cover Art
Star Wars: Scoundrels Excerpt!
Star Wars: Scoundrels

The Clone Wars Review: Revenge

The Clone Wars
Episode 4.22: Revenge

SPOILERS!

Synopsis:

Together again, the brothers Darth Maul and Savage Opress go back to find Mother Talzin on Dathomir. Once there, Talzin lures the mad Maul out of the ship with a glowing green orb and sets him to sleep as she operates on him, ridding Maul of his spider legs and creating two more practical robotic legs for him. She finally returns Maul’s memory and sanity which had both been lost over the years in hiding, with her dark witch magic. Once replenished to a greater state, Maul states that he wants nothing more than to kill Obi-Wan Kenobi and the have his revenge. In order to do this, Maul and Opress go to planet Raydonia and slaughter innocent people in threat that Obi-Wan must come to them, but come alone.

Obi-Wan decides to go alone, even after Windu suggested to bring a Jedi force with him. Windu, whilst expressing his concern for Obi-Wan’s decision, was reassured by Yoda that Obi-Wan wouldn’t fight alone. Sure enough, he wasn’t. On Tatooine the bounty hunter Ventress takes a large mission to kill Savage Opress.

Obi-Wan arrived at Raydonia and was soon caught by Maul and Savage who took him on board a freighter ship in order to be killed slowly. As the ship was taking off though, Ventress found them and snuck inside the ship. She provoked the brothers before they could do any more harm to the unconscious Obi-Wan, causing them both to leave the room in search for her. She woke up Obi-Wan and lent him one of her lightsabers, and after a brief moment to banter, the brothers came back to battle. The two fought together but were soon forced to escape in the ship’s cockpit that could come apart from the freighter ship, leaving Maul and Opress alone to discuss what they would do next. Maul states that he’s counting on patience and the fact that the Jedi will come after him.

This episode was the last episode for season four, and the first season finale to end on an episode that hasn’t got a set ending, rather, it left it wide open. This made me think the episode was short, and was missing something, but in actual fact, it wasn’t. We got to see one of the most bizarre pairings under the most bizarre consequences there could be in the show so far. It was interesting to see that Ventress and Obi-Wan could banter themselves into fighting side by side for once, even though the brothers were too strong for them to kill. The very fact that Obi-Wan was in this episode was exciting. It felt for me that we were waiting forever for Maul and Obi-Wan to meet again, probably because of the advertising for the arc.

Mother Talzin was in the episode again which is great to see, but a part of me wants her to die next season, simply because she’s helping all the bad guys all the time. Ventress on the other hand, I’m beginning to like. Not only is she pairing up with Obi-Wan and doing good things two episodes back, but she’s still cracking jokes. (My favorite was when she called Darth Maul half the man Savage was… how funny is that??) To wrap up, when watching the episode you couldn’t really not get happy to see a sane, Sith apprentice-like Maul longing for revenge battling it out with his old rival who left him for dead… all in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was wizard!

Star Wars: X-Wing: MERCY KILL Blurb

Random House has posted what will likely be the cover text for the upcoming X-Wing: Mercy Kill by Aaron Allston, due to be released on August 07, 2012. Link

The intrepid spies, pilots, and sharpshooters of Wraith Squadron are back in an all-new Star Wars adventure, which transpires just after the events of the Fate of the Jedi series!

Three decades have passed since Wraith Squadron carried out its last mission. Taking on the most dangerous and daring operations, the rogues and misfits of the elite X-Wing unit became legends of the Rebellion and the Second Galactic Civil War, before breaking up and going their separate ways. Now their singular skills are back in vital demand—for a tailor-made Wraith Squadron mission.

A powerful general in the Galactic Alliance Army, once renowned for his valor, is suspected of participating in the infamous Lecersen Conspiracy, which nearly toppled the Alliance back into the merciless hands of the Empire. With orders to expose and apprehend the traitor—and license to do so by any and all means—the Wraiths will become thieves, pirates, impostors, forgers . . . and targets, as they put their guts, their guns, and their riskiest game plan to the test against the most lethal of adversaries.

SEE ALSO:
X-Wing: Mercy Kill 35-Page Excerpt!
New X-Wing: Mercy Kill Cover Art
Star Wars: X-Wing: Mercy Kill Cover and Blurb
Star Wars: X-WING: MERCY KILL

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