Latest Updates: Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The first four episodes of The Clone Wars will be released on DVD March 24th.
The price will be $19.98 and a second four episode compilation will also be released later on in the year, projected for the summer. LucasFilm also plans to release a boxed set of the complete first season later in the year that will be available in blu-ray, and that includes quite a few bonus features including behind the scenes making of the series.
Source: Starwars Official Site
Latest Updates: Friday, January 9, 2009
Reviewed by Andrew Liptak.
Review: Clone Wars: Wild Space
Karen Miller's introduction to the Star Wars universe comes in the form of Clone Wars: Wild Space, the second book based off of the television series. While it is fairly well written and engaging for a Star Wars novel, it is unfortunately a fairly lackluster read as far as Star Wars novels go.
The book opens shortly after the Battle of Geonosis, and we see some of the repercussions of the battle when it comes to the Jedi. After a short introduction, the novel progresses onwards to shortly after the Battle of Teth, during the time that the TV series covers. (Most of the timeline here covers the period around episodes 6 and 7) This novel mainly follows Obi-Wan Kenobi while he attempts to track down a Sith Holocron in a plot that is put together by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine with the intent to remove Obi-Wan from the war in order to further Anakin Skywalker's path towards the Dark Side.
This novel does succeed in several areas. The first is an attention to detail that helps to pull a number of details together. I found myself referring to the Star Wars encyclopedia a number of times for some of the more obscure references that Karen refers to, such as Qui-Gon's apprentices and some of Obi-Wan's earlier years and several other items throughout.
Wild Space also fills a void that we had in the chronology, with the months right after the battle of Geonosis and with some of the repercussions that the Republic, Senate and Jedi order went through as the war began, as well as some discussion to some of the actions going back to The Phantom Menace. Additionally, we see quite a bit of Anakin and Padme and just how their relationship developed over the beginnings of the war. Finally, as this is an Obi-Wan centered-novel, there is quite a bit of action with Senator Bail Organa, which further links to A New Hope, and we see just how Obi Wan and Organa served together during the war.
Unfortunately, the story is where the book falls short. While there are a lot of details that do make this an interesting read, the story largely revolves around the plot that Palpatine cooks up, which is a disappointing and repetitive section of the story. Obi-Wan is turned largely into a rather unlikable character who seems to have been holding a grudge for anybody who is not a Jedi. The last half of the book places Organa and Kenobi, and features argument after argument between the two men, and when they finally reach the (another) Sith Planet, Obi Wan is affected by the holocron they've gone to the planet to destroy, an effect that we've never seen before - compelling Obi-Wan to black out and turn very violent at points. It would have been more effective had this section of the book been shorter. The journey across the planet motif has been done before and better, and reminded me a lot of Lord of the Rings at points.
Another problem with the book here has little to do with the book itself, but its source material that the book is based off of. The Clone Wars series, while enjoyable at points, has a number of flaws that unfortunately translate into the book. This is a show that is intended for a younger audience, and the book is written up a couple levels for an older audience.
Ultimately, this book is a light, fun read, and a good introduction to Karen Miller. Longtime Star Wars readers should at least enjoy the book for what it is. While not a spectacular entry into the Star Wars lit world, I am anticipating Miller's upcoming books. Hopefully there'll be some more clones though.
Latest Updates: Thursday, December 4, 2008
Actively looking for volunteers, please read more.
The clonewarz.net is not updating as often as it would like, do to many of the current talent being very busy. As such, we will be trying to update again soon, but would certainly be grateful to accept the volunteer work of anyone interested in having their name on a well known Star Wars site, and contributing their work to the SW fan universe.
We are looking for people who want to write database entries, about characters, vehicles, organizations etc. We are looking for people to write reviews, battle summaries, mission summaries, help us update the timeline, write fanfiction, etc. etc.
Please feel free to contact at email@example.com
Or simply post a comment to this post.
We will be updating the site's layout over Christmas break, and will be trying to update the site with more content in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned. And if you would like to contribute to the site, please let us know..
Latest Updates: Thursday, November 20, 2008
TUCWS recently had a chance to sit down and speak with Wild Space author Karen Miller about a variety of topics. Read it here.
TUCWS: Hi Karen, thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
Karen Miller: No, thank you. This is so much fun!
T - First things first, you're a newcomer to the Star Wars universe - the obvious first question is when did you first become acquainted with Star Wars?
K - Okay, outing myself here as no longer a spring chicken. *g* I saw the original film when it was first released in 1977. I was in high school, and the son of a family friend was back in Australia after being in the US. He started talking about this amazing film he and his girlfriend had seen, it was opening in Australia, and they'd take me to it because they thought I'd love it. Nobody knew anything about it really in Australia, then. So we went into town, into the big Hoyts complex in George St Sydney, and -- this was in the days when there was a short film in front of the feature --we sat through the short film (I'm telling you, I got so sick of that film. Let's just say I went back and saw Star Wars a lot!) and then ... bang. That magnificent explosion of John Williams music ... the title crawl ... the rebel blockade runner coming overhead ... and then, holy moly, the star destroyer. It was a defining moment in cinema, and it was a defining moment in my life. I fell in love, head over heels, jaw-dropped to my knees in love. And *then* we got the cantina sequence, and the introduction of one Han Solo. Harrison Ford all smartmouthed and sexy, lounging in that booth ... I whispered to the friend's girlfriend -- 'Now he's a bit of all right' and really, that was it. I was a certified Star Wars fan from that moment in 1977 and I've never stopped being one. Some stories are timeless. Some true loves never die.
T - What was it like to be asked to write in George Lucas's sandbox?
K - Exciting, and terrifying. It's a huge compliment. Having loved the Star Wars story for so many years, being given the opportunity to play in that sandbox, to actually contribute to the extraordinary tapestry that is Star Wars ... I'm not even sure I can articulate how privileged I feel. But the flip side of that is, oh dear lord, I'm writing Star Wars. And being a fan, I know how passionate fandom can be, and how unforgiving. So I'm kind of girding my loins right now. I have no idea what's going to happen next. Really, at the end of the day, I consider myself one of the luckiest people writing.
T - Karen Traviss's The Clone Wars was the first step at bringing the Star Wars Clone Wars series to prose - how does your book follow with the series? Is it an adaptation from the series, or is it an original work with the same constraints and inspiration?
K - Wild Space follows on from Karen T's Clone Wars novel, in so far as it -- broadly speaking -- picks up after the events of the film/her novelisation. But having said that, there are some flashbacks to Attack of the Clones too, which I had the most fun writing, I can't begin to tell you. Anyhow, what I've done is weave a new adventure for Obi-Wan -- and Bail Organa -- in and around a pivotal event in the tv series -- namely, the loss of Artoo in the field. The folk at Lucasfilm and Del Rey have been so wonderful -- I asked if I could get a bit creative, and they fully supported me. So there are some scenes from the tv episodes that I retell from a different point of view, that tie Wild Space in with the series but leave me free to tell a new story. If that makes any sense. *g* As for the next two I'm writing, well, they're bubbling away in the back of my mind right now. No spoilers!
T - Have you seen the Clone Wars series? Any thoughts on its execution as compared to the films?
K - I saw the theatrical release when I was in New York in August, but nothing beyond that. I have read the scripts for the first season, though. I think, given the format that's been chosen to tell these stories, the guys are doing an amazing job. Visually, the work is just beautiful. But I have to confess, my first and last love will always be live performance. I can appreciate the artistry and expertise of the animation -- and I do -- but I love actors. I love the human element. I love watching Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen bring such heart to their characters.
T - Any favorite moments or characters that you've come across while writing the books?
K - Well, for one thing I've fallen madly in love with Bail Organa. *g* See, when it came to writing Wild Space, I was looking for a way into the Clone Wars saga that expanded the story a bit, and gave me room to play. And I noticed in the episode 'Downfall of a Droid' that Obi-Wan appeared in a couple of holograms, and that was it. And Obi-Wan's my favourite character, I'll admit it now, with Anakin a close second. And I wondered -- hmm, what's Obi-Wan up to while Anakin's off doing his mission with Ahsoka? And *then* I got to thinking about Bail Organa, because we know so little about him. We got that cryptic line in 'A New Hope’, about Obi-Wan serving him during the Clone Wars. We met him briefly in Attack of the Clones, where it was clear he had an important government role but was a bit in the background. And then, in Revenge of the Sith, we saw that Yoda and Obi-Wan trusted him with their lives. When everything was falling apart, he helped save them and they never once doubted him. And to top it all off, he took Leia. They gave him the child of their greatest hero, and failure. So I was thinking -- hang on, how did we get from there to here? And it seemed to me that this first novel was the perfect chance to explore the beginning of that journey. After all, Bail's a good guy but he's also a politician. Obi-Wan's default setting is don't trust any of the bastards. I wanted to play with that dynamic. So of course I threw them together in a mission that goes horribly wrong, and let the sparks fly. Which they do. *g*
The surprise for me was how much I loved writing Ahsoka. Like most of fandom, I suspect, I was bit taken aback when I learned that Anakin was getting a padawan. Didn't see that one coming! But she turned out to be such fun. Karen [Traviss] wrote her so brilliantly in her first book, which I read before seeing the film, and really helped me get a sense of who she was. And when I started writing her, something just sparked and I found the dynamic between her and Anakin to be enormously entertaining. Plus, she's really useful because she lets me look at Anakin from the outside, in ways that he doesn't look at himself. The same with the dynamic between Obi-Wan and Anakin. She's the outsider in that relationship, she's the observer, so I've been able to look at their tragic friendship from a slightly different perspective. The other thing I had enormous fun with was looking at Obi-Wan and Padme, as well as Anakin and Padme. I find those two dynamics intriguing. I love her, she's such an interesting person, with so many facets. So I was really happy to have the chance to play with her, as well.
Oh yes, and can I just say I had way too much fun crawling into Palaptine's head? I love me a good villain, and he's so - so -- appalling. But in a good way!
In case you hadn't caught on by now, for me, it's first and foremost about the characters. *g* The space battles are fun, the lightsabres are fun, but for me the heart of Star Wars lies in those people whose lives are so battered by the dreadful events around them.
T - Most authors who come to the Star Wars universe have a fairly extensive bibliography behind them, and I've seen some of your books before in stores - how did you get into writing in the first place?
K - I have wanted to be a writer all my life. I loved composition class in primary school, and on into high school. Professional Writing was one of my majors in my first university degree, a BA in Communications. I have had a love affair with story ever since I could make sense of my first story, in print and on TV. Story is my ruling passion. Being able to tell stories full time now is so surreal ... absolutely the hoary old 'dream come true' cliché.
T - What can you tell us about your other books prior to the Clone Wars series?
K - Well, because I am the most useless person in the multiverse when it comes to maths and science, plus I am a passionate history buff, my mainstream spec fic work is fantasy. My first duology, Kingmaker, Kingbreaker, was published in Australia in 2005/2006. It then came out in the UK and the US in the last year. That was followed by the Godspeaker trilogy, which is completely released in Australia, and finishes releasing in the UK/US in January. As well, I have a fantasy series under a pen name, K. E. Mills, the Rogue Agent series. It's a bit different -- continuing characters having stand-alone adventures, and the cultural background isn't epic historical, but slightly more modern. Think late Victorian/early Edwardian England. The first book, The Accidental Sorcerer, is out in Australia now, with bk 2, Witches Inc, out next April. Accidental Sorcerer releases in the UK/US in January. I've also done a couple of Stargate novels, and am currently working on the sequel to the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker books. And of course, there's the next Star Wars novel which I'm due to turn in next year. Basically, it's a good thing I don't have a life. *g*
T - Earlier this summer, it was announced that Karen Traviss had to drop one of her entries in the Clone Wars series, which you in turn picked up - was the shift into writing an entirely new novel a difficult one?
K - Oh no. I mean, I haven't started writing it yet. I'm still thinking about it. But saying yes was a no-brainer. I just love Star Wars, and in particular the prequel era. It's such a rich source of great stories, great characters, epic and sweeping tragic backdrop, heartbreak, honour, courage and sacrifice. All the themes and elements of story that make me weak at the knees, really. I've always thought Star Wars was one of the most human stories ever told in spec fic, so the chance to play in the sandbox again was thrilling. Of course, I'm sorry Karen [Traviss] had to step aside, because she's brought such an important and unique perspective to the game. But on the other hand, she's done me a huge favour!
T - How has the fan reception been thus far for the book after it was announced that you were penning three novels?
K - Pretty subdued, and I'm not surprised. I'm barely a blip on the radar, really. I've had some success with my original work, but I really am still a very, very new writer. What I have noticed, though, is a really encouraging willingness for the fans to give me a go, and I appreciate it enormously. There's so much emotional investment in Star Wars, all around the world. Really, at the risk of sounding silly, this is a sacred trust I've been handed. So I am very conscious of not screwing it up for people who love these films as much as I do.
T - Some of your other novels have been original, that is, not in an established franchise - what differences do you see in prose between an 'original' novel and a 'tie-in' one? Some authors tend to look down on such work, while others praise it - what are your thoughts here?
K - Differences? None. First and foremost for me, it's about story, story, story and characters. There are differences in the approach you take, writing your own created world and writing in someone else's, but the idea of writing less than your best work because it's 'just a tie-in' is beyond abhorrent to me. It's insulting to the people who created that world, and insulting to the people who love that world. Not that I think the folk who specialise in tie-in fiction think that. I know a few of them, and they are hands down as dedicated and committed to their craft as any mainstream writer. But it's true some other writers like to point fingers and look down their noses and bugger them, I say. They are speaking from a place of ignorance, as far as I'm concerned. Oooh, see, you pressed one of my hot buttons! *g*
Tie-in work is not peculiar to spec fic. They do it in literature all the time -- The Wide Sargasso Sea, anyone? And the work is treated with respect. So the idea of sneering because it's spec fic, well -- get over it. I'm not interested in all the artificial barriers and hierarchies and crap that get perpetuated in the world of literature. If it’s good story it's a good story, and that's all that matters.
Also? What do people think a scriptwriter is? Show writers who are on staff for a tv drama they didn't create are writing in other people's created worlds every day of the week -- and they are lauded for the work they do. But it's not original, is it? Who wants to call Harlan Ellison a hack? Or Ronald D Moore? Paul Cornell? Steven Moffat? Tim Minear? Sera Gamble? Jane Espenson? David Mamet? These are writers who have produced some of the most brilliant, searing scripts in tv -- for worlds they did not create. And you’re going to tell me they're second rate? I don't bloody think so!
T - Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
K - Well, it's about a million times harder to do than it looks. So be prepared for a long apprenticeship. Be prepared to get a lot of knock backs. Leave your sense of entitlement at the door, and focus on making yourself the best writer you can be. Too many aspiring writers get caught up in the idea of being published, instead of keeping their focus on the work. And the work is all we have - it's the only thing we as writers can control. And it all starts and ends with the work. You have to love story. You have to love the act of creating, even when it's killing you. And truly, it is often heartbreaking. You have to immerse yourself in words, and ideas, and learn to read analytically. I love the internet, it's brilliant, but the downside is that anyone can write anything and put it on the net ... but without rigorous critical analysis and feedback, you'll never develop your writing skillset to a publishable level. Also, publishing is very competitive. So while you should never give up, and always strive to grow and improve, be aware that the odds are stacked against you and that if you don't love the actual process of writing, as opposed to the idea of being published, you probably won't make the distance. Commitment to excellence, perseverance, passion for story and a willingness to surrender ego in the pursuit of improvement -- you need those things. And bloody truckloads of luck.
Finally -- and I know this isn't a popular thing to say -- you need the spark. You need the talent. At the end of the day, while some things can be taught, the facility for storytelling is a gift. A great singing voice is a gift. You can't teach someone to sound like Josh Groban, he was born with that voice. You can't teach someone to paint like Picasso or Caravaggio, or sculpt like Rodin. You can't teach someone to swim like Ian Thorpe, or Michael Phelps. Those gifts are inborn. They can be honed, they can be polished, but they can't be taught. Writing is one of the arts, and that means there's an element of mystery. One of the greatest disservices done to young people these days is the idea that's pushed on them that they can be or have or do anything they want. It's a lie. Nobody can. I can want to be a prima ballerina until my eyeballs bleed, but it was never going to happen. I can want to be a supermodel -- and again, dream on, cupcake. Not in this lifetime. So I think people who want to write for publication need to be brutally honest with themselves about whether they have that indefinable something that marks them as storyteller. But the flip side of that is -- hard work and dedication count in the end far more than talent. A lot of people are talented, but for whatever reason they never follow through and they never achieve their potential. A spark can't grow into a flame without nurturing. So if you believe you have that inherent spark, keep working. Talent gets you started, but it doesn't get you over the finish line. The rest of it's just bloody hard work.
T - Any parting thoughts?
K - Well, firstly, thanks for this chance to talk about writing and Star Wars. At the end of the day, I've just got my fingers crossed that the fans enjoy the stories I'm telling. I hope they believe me when I say that I really do love this world, and that if I've missed getting it right for them, it was never because I didn't love it, or didn't try my hardest to tell a great Star Wars story.
Latest Updates: Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Reviewed by Andrew Liptak.
Review: The Clone Wars, 105: Rookies
The Clone Wars series has gotten far more impressive than I thought that it could be. This latest installment has proven to be one of my favorite episodes yet, and easily the best of the series.
In the preamble that precedes every episode, we're informed that the war in ongoing, and that many clones are rushed to the battlefield. In this instance, a group of new clones are stationed on an outpost, where they are to protect an outpost at the edge of Republic territory. While there, a meteor shower brings in a group of commando droids, who take control of the base, killing the station's commanding officer and forcing the four survivors to flee the base, while the droids make preparations for an invasion of Kamino. In a short scene, we see that Ventress has infiltrated the water world and is expecting the droid army.
At the same time, Commander Cody and Captain Rex are on the move, inspecting these outposts and come under fire when they attempt to enter it, and link up with the clone survivors. Once together, they retake the base, only to defend it as a Separatist fleet arrives and drops in reinforcements.
The clones, outnumbered and out gunned, rig the base to blow, and escape, save for one, who stays behind to hit the switch, destroying the base and alerting the Republic that the base is under attack. The republic swoops in and the four survivors are carried off to safety.
This episode worked well because it has almost all of the elements that have shown to be successful in the episodes, and that's the Clones. They dominate the episode, at the expense of Jedi and the dim-witted battle droids. Along with this is dialog that is a bit better than some of the prior episodes.
What was also nice to see was a reintroduction of popular characters from the pilot movie that was released to theaters - Rex and Cody. In my mind, these two guys were the absolute highlights of the film, and I was wondering if and when they would be making a reappearance in the show. Like the film, the episode also brought in another element that worked, and that was the action that has been lacking a bit in a couple of these episodes.
The thing that really made me excited was one of the last lines in the episode: "You're exactly the type of men I need in the Five-Hundred and First. " This is the first time that the unit, named for the 501st Legion, has been spoken in a high-level canon feature. While the group was featured in Revenge of the Sith and in numerous books, it's never been explicitly said, and it's really cool to hear, and to see just how this group of fans has impacted the universe that helped create it.
This episode isn't without flaws, however. Some of the main elements, such as the use of a passive signal to the Republic to let them know that everything is all clear is a bit simplistic and illogical, as is the lack of urgency to which the Republic officers and Jedi react to their soldiers falling out of contact. The droids make their own reappearances with irritating dialog, (although the commando droids are a bit more intelligent) which shows that there is work to be done on the series.
But, it is to be remembered that this series is aimed towards children, and not necessarily the generation that first saw the theatrical release thirty years ago. At the Woburn parade, I could see that there was still a lot of enthusiasm from the kids wearing the numerous clone trooper, Darth Vader, Commander Cody and Captain Rex costumes. This episode just helps remind me that I can enjoy this as well.
Latest Updates: Monday, October 20, 2008
Reviewed by Andrew Liptak.
The Clone Wars series has finally reached a level where it is not only tolerable, but fairly good, meeting my somewhat higher expectations.
Up until now, I’ve been disapointed by some of the more juvenile attempts of humor and more illogical points in the story. This third episode has restored my confidence somewhat. While this episode is not perfect, it is by far the best episode of the series thus far.
Episode 103 takes place shortly after the events in Episode 102, which was a nice surprise, as there seems to be some effort at continuity between the episodes. Grievous’s ship is still on the loose, destroying battle groups, and after recieving new intelligence, towards a vital Republic medical station. At the same time, Anakin and Ashoka are tasked with taking out Greivous, and take a small task force of Y-Wing fighters against the ship in an effort to destroy it, passing through a nebula along the way as a shortcut. In the ensuing battle, they are able to drive the ship away, saving the medical station.
Like the Star Wars movies, the real strength here is the space battles. From the opening moments of A New Hope to the final space battle in Return of the Jedi, these have been some of the more exhilerating moments of the Star Wars Saga, and this episode certainly goes a long ways towards proving this point. There are some breathetaking scenes here, and some real attention to detail as far as tactics and fighters go. Additionally, there are a number of subtle nods to A New Hope, in the dialog and camera movements, which looks very good. There are also a couple of scenes that are very majestic looking, combining some of the better moments of the series score and camera work. At other times, the battle scenes are exciting and energetic, seeing the battle from the cockpit.
Even some of the more annoying aspects of the show didn’t surface to their more annoying levels - the battle droids don’t talk as much and the dynamics between Anakin and Ashoka, while there are a couple painful moments, have improved much since the initial episodes.
There are some other little things here and there - the notion that the Republic would only have one vital medical center being the first and foremost, but also that ships are being crewed by Clone Troopers - given how few clones there were at the onset, it seems weird that they’re not on the front lines, with non-clones working on the ships, but overall, these are minor problems.
There are times when I really want to dislike this series, but this episode has really made that hard - there are some very good moments here that make the show worth watching.
Latest Updates: Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Review by Andrew Liptak.
The review can be found here.
Summary of the battle of Rugosa by Andrew Liptak.
The battle summary can be found here.
Latest Updates: Thursday, October 9, 2008
Upcoming Clone Wars novelization Clone Wars: Wild Space, by Karen Miller, has been given a cover and a blurb.
They've also provided a cover blurb:
The Separatists have launched a sneak attack on Coruscant. Obi-Wan Kenobi, wounded in battle, insists that Anakin Skywalker and his rookie Padawan Ahsoka leave on a risky mission against General Grievous. But when Senator Bail Organa reveals explosive intelligence that could turn the tide of war in the Republic's favor, the Jedi Master agrees to accompany him to an obscure planet in the Outer Rim to verify the facts. What Obi-Wan and Bail don't realize is that they're walking into a deadly trap concocted by Palpatine... and escape may not be an option.
Looks good. Stay turned for more from TUCWS and Karen Miller! Wild Space is due out on November 25th, 2008. Preorder the trade paperback here.
Latest Updates: Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Clone Wars television series will be available starting October 4th on iTunes.
Each episode will become available every week starting on the previous date of October 4th (it has already started). Episodes will be available for $1.99 for each episode or 39.99 to subscribe for all episodes of this season. The episodes will become available the day after they are shown on Cartoon Network.
Starwars.com will be posting a regular online comic written by Pablo Hidalgo, we have already written a short article on the first one, go check it out! Episodes will also be available on October 10th streamed on Cartoonnetwork.com and Starwars.com and there is a free half hour behind the scenes special on iTunes.
Sounds awesome, the comic especially is really cool.
Sources: iTunes store, Starwars.com, Cartoonnetwork.com
Check it this online Clone Wars comic from Starwars.com
Starwars.com has a really cool online comic set during the Clone Wars that you can read here. http://starwars.com/clonewars/comic/ the online reader program they have for the comic is easy to use and makes the comic surprisingly easy to read. It's really good, go check it out.
Reviewed by Andrew Liptak.
Karen Traviss’s four book series based off of the Republic Commando video game came to a close with the publication of her latest Star Wars novel, Order 66. The book is a slightly uneven affair, with a number of story lines coming to a close in a quick, complete fashion. The book is by no means a bad or uninteresting read, but it’s not the best of the four.
I came across Karen Traviss when I was in High School, when I began to read Asimov’s, a long-running Science Fiction magazine. Karen had published a couple or short stories through them, and I had found that I enjoyed them very much. When it was announced that there was to be a tie-in novel about the Republic Commando game, I wasn’t all that interested until I heard that it was Traviss who would be writing it, and the first book didn’t disappoint, introducing readers to a series of new characters and a moral element that has largely been lacking in a number of the Star Wars books that have come out recently.
Order 66 picks up where True Colors leaves off- Jedi Etain Tur-Mukan has had her child, Jusik has left the Jedi Order, Fi has been brought to Mandalor, the ARC troopers are working on infiltrating the computer systems of the Republic and Skirata is working to find a way to reverse the rapid aging in order to give the clones a full and normal life after the war is over.
One of my main concerns with the series as it’s progressed over the past couple of books is the vast complexity that they have come to. There are a number of very diverse story lines that have largely taken away from the main focus of the original novel - Delta Squad, with Niner, Atin, Darman and Fi. The cast of characters has been expanded, and that goes for the story lines as well. To some extent, this is a good thing, and it falls in with what Karen has done with her other, non-Star Wars books - they’ve become extremely rich with plots and characters, turning them into books that really make you think. In the Star Wars universe, this is a rare thing, and Order 66 stands as one of the better books in the series for this trait. On the other hand, it feels somewhat overburdened at times. The first half of the book starts off fairly slowly, and its not until the last half in which the action really picks up, where Karen shows once again that she’s one of the better writers when it comes to combat situations - Clone operations here are possibly the most realistic and logical than in any other book series, save for the X-Wing Series by Michael A Stackpole and Aaron Allston.
What also sets this, and her other Republic Commando books, apart is the care and devotion that is paid to the Clone Troopers. I’ve made this point in other reviews - the clones might be genetically the same, but Karen has expertly crafted numerous characters that are wholly different from one another in different situations and in the way that they approach problems. This comes particularly at the end, when one of the team members is left behind in a battle and presumed killed. Karen doesn’t shy away from making the characters really hurt when she needs them to be, and the book ends on somewhat of an unclear and unresolved note, which seems very fitting, given how this book ends around the time of Revenge of the Sith.
The absolute strongest point is the morality of the characters, and constant questioning of right and wrong on the part of the Clone Troopers and the Jedi and Republic that brought them into battle. The reactions of many of the Clones during the order to kill the Jedi surprised me, given where I was thinking the story was going and the attitudes of the Jedi up to that point, and it makes me re-think some elements of the movie - the clones weren’t mindlessly following their orders to kill their Generals - they had legitimate issues with the way that they were treated and used in the war, and genuinely saw the Jedi as a threat.
One of the big sticking points that I found in this was not the overall complexity, but the Mandalorian subplots that Karen has worked into the series. While it was running full tilt by the time this book came around, the plot took up a lot of the book in places, where it didn’t really seem to need to. Karen pulled it out and made it a fully-formed and well realized idea, but at points, it seems a little out of place. This was one element where I wished that the sequels were a little more in line with the first book, in that they focused a bit more on the combat actions of the Clone Commandos.
One of the interesting parts is how the issue of only a couple million Clones has been resolved, and by doing so, ties in her novel with several other pieces of Clone Wars fiction, most notably Timothy Zahn’s short stories, Hero of Cartao and his Heir to the Empire trilogy, with the use of the Spaarti cloning technology. Throughout the events of this novel, it’s clear that a vast wave of Clone Troopers, including elements of the 501st, were a much larger, quickly grown generation of Clone Troopers, coming in during the months leading up to the final battle over Coruscant. This has been a sticking point for Karen and has caused some trouble for her on message boards by irritated and annoying fans. Despite the troubles that have been caused, it is nice to see that this issue is somewhat resolved, and it is fantastic to see mention of the 501st, of which Karen is an Honorary Member, and a group that she looked at a lot in her novelization of the Clone Wars. The 501st Dune Sea Garrison is honored with a thanks in the beginning of the book.
(This should have been the cover…)
Order 66 is a fine installment in the Republic Commando and Clone Wars series, and I’m sad to see it go. It is a rich and complex read, one that is far superior to most of the novels in the Star Wars line for its stand on moral issues, its writing and genuine care that makes me remember that these books are leaps and bounds above most of the tie-in novels that are on the market nowadays.
While the book is not a perfect read (or cover, for that matter. Side note - I’m not sure who thought that the current cover was a better one than the original, but it’s not, and should be changed back. Like right now. Ahem.) but it’s a superior one that stands out from the rest of the books out there.
Review by Andrew Liptak.
Star Wars has officially broken into television with the Clone Wars animated series that started on Friday. The end result is an enjoyable, if very mixed.
In this episode, Jedi Master Yoda arrives to the planet Toydaria in order to negotiate a treaty with the local government. Arriving under fire, Yoda lands on the planet with a trio of Clone Troopers. Once on the planet, they must run from a Seperatist battle group, before reaching the planet's King, and negotiating a treaty.
I found this first episode to be very mixed, and aimed primarily towards a much younger demographic. A 7 or 8 year old will approach this much differently than someone who was the original in 1977. Political negotiations are reduced to a contest, and the Battle Droids have taken on their own personalities, which is nothing short of irritating for anyone over the age of 8.
From my viewing of the movie and the first episode, I have a couple concerns about the continuity of each episode - thus far, there doesn't seem to be any lasting connection between each episode, and there doesn't really seem to be any overall storyline that'll overarc the episodes and fit better with the rest of the Clone Wars series, which includes the older cartoons, short stories, novels and comic books.
The episode does have some of its good parts, which make this slightly better than expected. As someone who pays attention to armor, the creators have a very good eye towards the clone troopers, given them unique personalities and appearances, which is to be expected with a cloned military. The production team should be credited for this attention to detail, because it's what is going to make or break the show in my eyes.
I found the first half of the episode to be much more annoying than good. Once the action in the episode picked up, it became much better - the Clones did what they were supposed to do, and the episode progressed with much more logical sense than. Several moments were paticularly well done, such as when Yoda and the three Clones huddled in the cave and spoke.
Additionally, the visuals are nothing short of stunning. There are a number of fairly complicated scenes, which are all extremely well done - space, battle scenes, faces - if there's anything that George Lucas is very good at, it's giving their productions a very, very good look, whether it's animation or CGI.
If the screenwriters could match the animators, this could be a very promising start. As it is, I suspect that this will be very appealing and popular for the younger generations, but so far, it's a far cry from what the franchise should be.
Starwars.com has announced the long awaited return of the Holonet news, in a new format - audio.
The Holonet news previously appeared online and in the Star Wars insider, and has proven to be an interesting source of information and background resources for some of the larger elements of the Clone Wars books and stories.
In this latest installment, the ion cannon that the Seperatists used in Clone Wars Episode 102 is featured prominently.
You can subscribe to the Holonet News via iTunes as a podcast, or visit here (http://www.starwars.com/theclonewars/hnn/001.html) for more information.
Latest Updates: Friday, October 3, 2008
The Clone Wars TV series will be beginning tonight with two episodes - Ambush and Rising Malevolence, starting at 9 pm on Cartoon Network. There will be repeats on Sunday, October 5th.
By all reports, the TV series will be better than the movie, which I'm really hoping for. According to Theforce.net, the episodes will also be up on iTunes, with a free special to be uploaded today.
Latest Updates: Saturday, September 27, 2008
Release date for Star Wars the Clone wars announced!
Star Wars the Clone Wars will be released on DVD November 11th, both as a single DVD, and as a 2-disc release with bonus features. Their will be a third format for it's release in the form of a Hi Def, Blu-ray! This will be the first time a Star Wars movie is released in this format. The Blu-ray also has an exclusive feature-length video commentary. Exclusive packaging versions will be found at Best Buy and Target. For more information, follow the link here: http://www.starwars.com/theclonewars/news20080925.html#rss
Latest Updates: Friday, September 12, 2008
Latest Updates: Tuesday, September 9, 2008
There has been quite a bit of news today regarding the upcoming Clone Wars novels by Karen Traviss and Karen Miller. Karen Miller will be taking the reins with the fifth and final book, due to scheduling conflicts, while Karen Traviss will remain the author for the third book.
The first bit of news is from Karen Miller's livejournal page, where she states:
Because she's such a great writer, and so insanely in demand, Karen Traviss has found herself up against horrific deadlines that can't be switched around. As a result, I've been asked to take on the fifth of the Star Wars Clone Wars novels ... and have said yes. So now I'm writing #s 2, 4 and 5. Wheee! Also, yikes! Have I mentioned how scary this is?
Karen Traviss's page also has the following notice:
Folks, I have to apologise - I've hit yet another log-jam of books, and that means I need to drop something. Schedules change, deadlines shift, and I had to make tough choices, because my diary now says I can't do it all. So I've pulled out of the fifth Clone Wars book to accommodate other novels. My good friend Karen Miller - who's already writing the other two books in the series - has stepped up like a good 'un to take it on. So that's one more beer I owe her. (Thanks, mate!)
So, Karen Traviss is slated for books 1 and 3, while Karen Miller is slated for 2, 4 and 5. Karen Traviss is certainly busy, with her next book being released in a week's time, Order 66, which is the final installment of the Republic Commandos series.
Finally, The official Star Wars site has also announced the shakeup, and also some tidbits regarding the next book, by Karen Miller, entitled Wild Space:
Following the New York Times-bestselling Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Karen Traviss novel that brought the animated movie of the same name to the printed page, Del Rey Books will publish four more Clone Wars novels to tie-in to the forthcoming animated television series. Beyond novelizations, these books will serve as companion adventures, featuring new stories set against the backdrop of the television episodes.
The first of these new adventures, The Clone Wars: Wild Space, is due out in trade paperback format this December. In this tale by Karen Miller, Senator Bail Organa has received some explosive intelligence that could turn the tide of war in the Republic's favor--if his information is legitimate. While Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano embark on a risky mission against General Grievous, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi accompanies Bail Organa on a journey of discovery... and deadly danger.
Karen Traviss will return to pen the third book, The Clone Wars: No Prisoners. While it was originally planned that Traviss would also write the fifth book in the series, she's had to pull out because of clashing deadlines. Karen Miller will continue the series with the remaining two Clone Wars novels.
With the television series being released on October 3rd, I'll be interested to see just how these five books follow the action - Karen has been noted to saying that the books are loosely based off of the movie, which, in my opinion, was a step up. Hopefully Miller will be able to carry on the action and prove to be another fantastic addition to the Star Wars lineup.
Latest Updates: Wednesday, September 3, 2008
The name of the third novel of the Clone Wars series has been revealed on Amazon.comAmazon.com has listed the release of the Audiobook of the third novel in the Clone Wars series by Karen Traviss as being released on May 19th 2009. The title is listed as "Star Wars: Clone Wars: No Prisoners". The title is pretty cool. We will continue to inform you about the new series as more information becomes available.
Source: Star Wars: Clone Wars: No Prisoners
The Clone Wars television series debuts this October on Cartoon Network! If you want to find the original source check out Scifiwire
The new Clone Wars series will air first on Cartoon Network on October 3rd at 9:00 PM ET/PT, the first episode will last one hour. For more information on the coming series and the first couple episodes check out the link provided above.
This is very exciting, in a way the recent Clone Wars movie was just an advertisement, a teaser, of what was to come. The new episodes are looking to be a lot of fun, with much more about the relationship between Anakin and Ahsoka and their time together as master and padawan. It also seems that we will get to see a lot more of Master Yoda and even get to see an episode involving Plo Koon, who happens to be one of my all time favorite Jedi.
This new series is going to be really cool. The animation is pretty neat, and so far I think that the relationship between Anakin and Ahsoka was one of the more interesting aspects of the series so far (from what can be gleaned from the movie, which was basically an advertisement for the series). I think that the series will be prove the quite exciting, and it finally gives me reason to watch Cartoon Network again. We will continue to post more information on the new television series, stay tuned!