Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars’

ChewieDear readers,

I’m just pausing in my regular postings to mention a short story that I wrote with a StarWars twist. The theme is Halloween, and the competition is for the Ethereal Tales, fantasy fiction zine.

Please take a few moments to vote for this story on the Ethereal Tales Web site (see details below.)

Here is a teaser:

As if in reply the bed shook again, harder this time. Nathaniel grabbed his blanket and held it tight—the image of Luke Skywalker wrinkled under his firm grip. If only he could pull the lightsaber out of the blanket and use it to defend himself. That would be a sight to see. No one would dare threaten him then.

A sharp pain pierced the back of his neck. His heart stopped. Something was behind him. Perhaps it was a creature from another world, a fuzzy furball, similar to the ones from movies such as Critters and Gremlins. It would chew off his fingers and his mother would find his bloody corpse in the morning. Did he dare turn around and look? Another sharp pain jabbed into his neck and then vanished. Nathaniel’s hand instinctively grasped at the wound. At this rate he was going to die, and slowly, so what difference did it make?

He turned his head and gasped. The end of a tiny crossbow was pointed strait at him, and behind it, the face of a small wookie.

“Wrrrrrrooooow,” it growled, as if taken directly from a Star Wars soundtrack.

This wasn’t his imagination anymore. It was for real. Of all the times he pretended the action figure of Chewbacca was alive, never once did he imagine it would actually happen.

Continued . . .

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theforceunleashedMost everyone has heard the name Star Wars. Some people know more about the saga than you’d think possible while others have a limited awareness. But from the utmost fan to the novice, The Force Unleashed aims to please.

This story takes place between “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” and “Episode IV: A New Hope.” Launched as a video game by LucasArts this Novel adaption was written by Australia author Sean Williams, who has also co-written three books in the New Jedi Order series (which I have yet to read.)

Story overview:

One fine day as Darth Vader was out frolicking on a foreign planet, he kills countless Wookies while making his way to the home of a Jedi. The original Star Wars movie indicated this time in history–when Vader tracked down all the Jedi and slaughtered them–which is why Yoda was in hiding. At any rate, Vader succeeds at killing the man, but to his surprise a little boy (the dead man’s son) summons the very lightsaber out of Vader’s hand. Rather than kill the boy, he takes him in as his secret apprentice.

In the game this scene was shown in the beginning, but in the book we don’t learn about it until later when the boy–now grown into a young man–experiences visions from the past. It was at this time he was searching out people who opposed the Emperor. Unlike before, he wasn’t there to kill them, but was on Vader’s orders to rally them to start a rebellion. Yes, that rebellion. Why? Vader said it was so he could overthrow the Emperor and take his place, with Starkiller at his side.

With Starkiller’s attractive pilot, Juno Eclipse, they travel the stars in order to fulfill his mission. We come across some familiar characters, such as Leia Organa, and get an earlier glimps of the Death Star. Starkiller finds himself torn between his loyalty to Vader and his love for Juno, and in the process we are wonderfully exposed to many twists and turns.

My thoughts:

The story was much better than I thought it would be. Aside from the clunky action scenes–that sounded like a summary of the video game–I found myself getting into the tale. As a video game (which I’ve only partly played on the PS3,) and a book, I think the best adaption of this story would be in a movie format. I can see this being a hit on the big screen as it almost seemliness intertwines into the original franchise. I give the story four out of five, and am filled with a new desire to give the video game a second chance. That, and it’s important to note that the story has a lot of heart.

Things to consider:

I would age rank this in the early teens. There are no inappropriate sexual references or foul language, but there is a considerable amount of violence that could be disturbing to some children. And being Star Wars, this would definitely appeal more towards boys, but it isn’t limited to them by any means.

Opportunities for discussion:

Much like the original Star Wars theme, this story is a great opportunity to talk to your teens about redemption. The main difference here is that, unlike Vader who turned from the force, embraced the dark side, and then came back again; Starkiller only ever knew the dark side and was raised to believe it was right. It is common today for people to think they are “good people” and to “justify” their actions based on what they believe to be right, as is what Starkiller thought, but even in this tale Juno pointed out how [Starkiller] needed to be saved. Ask your teens if they think being a “good person” in their own definition is good enough. Then share with them your thoughts on the matter.

EragonI’ve caught up on all three of the current Inhertitance cycle books, but I hate to post reviews of books out of order. So let me share with you the story of Eragon.

When I stumbled across this book, I was surprised at how much I liked it. In fact I liked it so much that I did research on the author, Christopher Paolini, just to see what I could learn about him. What I discovered truly amazed me, as he was only fifteen when he started writing. This encouraged me to get back to writing for myself, as I had started “A Wizards Tale” when I was thirteen. The challenge was to improve my writing skills, and Paolini’s personal story talked about how he tackled projects by educating himself. This motivated me to acquired the same books on the craft that he read, but it didn’t stop there. Since then I have greatly expanded my studies on the art of writing, and now I have even published my own book as a result. Thanks Chirstopher!

One final note: I thought the movie version of Eragon was awful. It had none of the complex character dynamics that I liked so much in the book; such as the tension between Eragon and Arya. I do not recommend the movie.

Story overview:

Fifteen-year-old Eragon, who lives with his uncle Garrow and cousin Roran on a farm, finds a polished blue stone, which appears right in front of him one day as he wanders in a wilderness called the “Spine”. To his surprise, several days later a dragon hatches from it.

Eragon learns that the dragon, Saphira, has chosen him to be her rider, and Eragon’s uncle gets killed because of it. He travels with a man named Brom to a place called Teirm in order to find the murderous Ra’zac who did the deed. Along the way Brom trains Eragon in magic, sword fighting, and the Ancient Language.

After many events, he discovers a captured elf, Arya, and frees her. They flee to the Varden, which is a group of people forming a rebellion against the tyrant Galbatorix. The Varden is invaded and Eragon finds himself fighting alongside them.

My thoughts:

I know that this story is not particularly original, in fact there are many elements of “Star Wars” and “The Lord of the Rings” used here. However, the situations and characters kept me wanting to know more. At first I didn’t like Eragon, but as he grew so did I grow to like him, and I particularly liked the werecat, Solembum, who is an extremely interesting character.

Things to consider:

There is a lot of violence in this story, however the language and any sexual situations are very tame, if not totally non-existent. My thought is that this is more of a boy’s story; though, I do understand that a lot of girls like it too. I would age rank this one into the early teens.

Opportunities for discussion:

You can explain to your children that, even though unpleasant, difficult situations are what mold a person’s character and helps them to grow up. You can explain to them that in the Bible, God often allows things to happen so that good will abound in the end. Another good point to bring up is the importance of companionship, as Eragon and Saphira become closer and more dependent on each other. I should point out too that, this is a good opportunity to share your thoughts on fortunetelling.