A Thought on Alderaan

I want to take a moment and share a couple thoughts I’ve been having about the fateful planet of Alderaan.

Alderaan Star Wars

When we are first introduced to Alderaan (in Episode IV: A New Hope) it is the home world of the one and only Princess Leia. Which in and of itself is enough of a reason for us to care  about it’s fate, but beyond that we know nothing. We don’t know what it looks like, whether it’s a rocky planet or a lush planet, whether the people get along on Alderaan. Do some people side with the Empire and others with the Rebellion? The fact is, in those early moments of A New Hope, we know so little about Alderaan. Therefore, the fact that an entire planet is destroyed is tragic, yes. But we are not deeply invested in Alderaan itself.

Jump ahead to the prequels and the Clone Wars and Rebels and the comic books and the many novelizations both canon and legend that are out there. Some are chalk full of information about the mysterious planet of Alderaan. And just like that, years later…posthumously, we come to care for it quite a lot.

A Thought on Alderaan blog post Star Wars

We see what it looks like in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. We know more about Bail Organa and the upstanding man he is. The kind of man who would take an orphaned Leia and raise her has his own. The kind of man that believed in the Jedi to the bitter end. The kind of man that died on the planet of Alderaan that sad day when Governor Tarkin chose to use it as an example to keep the galaxy in line.

Bail Organa a Thought on Alderaan Star Wars blog post

It’s no longer a mysterious planet, it’s a tragic, ill-fated planet. Obi-Wan sensing that not only an entire planet full of people had been killed, but an old friend as well means that much more when we start to see the whole picture.

In some story telling, we may be treated to the whole picture from the get go. Like say…starting at the beginning and working through to the end, but not with Star Wars. No, we start in the middle of the story. Not knowing about Darth Vader and his past as Anakin Skywalker, hero of the Clone Wars. Not knowing about Alderaan, the peaceful planet with the beloved Bail Organa on it.

The more the picture broadens, the deeper we understand. The more we care. It’s what I love so much about Star Wars. It’s what keeps the expanded universe going. It’s what makes it so interesting.

Catalyst STar Wars book club December 2016

I’m currently reading Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel with my Goodreads book club, in preparation for Rogue One’s release on Thursday night. It deals directly with the creation of the dreaded Death Star and we learn that there are other planets that were sacrificed in order to create that monstrous weapon. Another poignant reason to remember poor Alderaan. I went back and watched A New Hope with this brand new information on my mind and it made the destruction of Alderaan so much more tragic and unbearable.

Alderaan…you went too soon. And we didn’t understand at the time or care as deeply as we do now…in the aftermath. But yes…now we know!

The more you know gif

8 Months Till Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Yes, the waiting is getting harder and harder. Especially with the new trailer out this week. Which, if you haven’t seen yet, must mean you are living in a cave on a desert planet far, far away. For those of us who aren’t a crazy, old man, take another look:

Yeah, so patience isn’t exactly my strong suit. But I’m trying really hard to bask in the pre-Force Awakens world of Star Wars. There are so many wonderful stories to read and watch in the waiting. So while I’m working on my patience, I will be doing these things.

Star Wars Digital

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Show of hands, who will be purchasing both Star Wars trilogies on a digital platform regardless of whether or not you own DVD versions of the films. Count me it. Not only is this the most everlasting version of Star Wars available to us, there are also brand new behind the seasons featurettes available. And if you are anything like me, you consume new Star Wars information like a ream of frozen Thin Mints.

Star Wars Expanded Universe: Legends

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By now we all know that the entire Expanded Universe has been relegated to Star Wars Legends to make room for all the new stories as well as the story line of the new films, but that doesn’t diminish the amazing work of all the authors who penned the Legends. Like Timothy Zahn and James Luceno and Drew Karpyshyn and John Jackson Miller and many, many more. So in the ether of the waiting zone I will be diving head first into the Expanded Universe starting with Timothy Zahn’s epic Thrawn Trilogy! And hopefully getting through as many as I can. Because after December I will be focusing on…

New Star Wars Expanded Universe

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All of the new novels that are now considered canon. Not to say I won’t return to the Legends, because, as I said, they are amazing stories that deserve to be read. But I want to fully immerse in what Lucasfilm and the Disney overlords are considering part of the official Star Wars Universe. There are many new titles coming out not only this year, but in the works in order to start making use of the word Expanded. Right now the timeline is a little thin, especially given how long the previous Legends timeline is. But if I start soon, then I won’t be as behind as I am with Legends. So there’s no time like the present. The only current canon novel I’ve read so far is A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller. Which leads me to…

Star Wars Rebels

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The explosive Disney XD cartoon that is not just for kids takes place in the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It is a great way to stay connected to the Star Wars Universe in the space between big budget films and the story being told is very strong! If you don’t want to watch week to week, go ahead and start with…

Star Wars Clone Wars

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If you don’t like to wait for new episodes to come out, then Clone Wars is what you want. This is what I’m currently watching. And as sad as it is when a great show ends, I love being able to just power through and fully immerse in the experience of a show. And Clone Wars is truly a wonderful show. The Cartoon Network series takes place, obviously, during the Clone Wars in the space between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. It does an amazing job of bridging that gap, not only by giving us actual stories from the legendary Clone Wars, but also in Anakin’s decent and temptation towards the Dark Side of the Force. Something believed to be missing from Revenge of the Sith for avid Star Wars fans. Clone Wars boasts of strong villains like Asajj Ventress and Savage Opress, new heroes like the young padawan Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex as well as all the characters we love from the prequels, Obi-Wan, Anakin, C3PO, R2D2, Padme.

Star Wars Comics

Marvel

Star Wars comics are returning home to Marvel Entertainment. From 1977-1987, Marvel held the property. Dark Horse got a hold of them after Marvel and they have been responsible for all the modern Star Wars comics that we know and love. But this is the year that Star Wars returns to Marvel, where it always belonged (not to belittle the amazing work Dark Horse did for the comic universe.) With Disney owning both Marvel and Star Wars, it makes sense to keep it all in the family. Now, all the comics coming out of this Mavel/ Star Wars partnership are considered current canon so this blurb could technically belong in the New Expanded Universe column. But comic books are an entity in and of themselves. I love comic books, but have a hard time keeping up with weekly serials. I tend to gravitate towards books or graphic novels. But if comics are your thing or you want to expand your knowledge of the SWEU, then you should start with Lando #1 which hits the racks in July.

There you go. Plenty of Star Warsian things to do while we eagerly (and patiently) wait for December to roll around.

What will you be doing while you’re waiting?