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Archives - April 2000

How Palpatine gains control of both the Empire AND Anakin
[Wednesday, April 26, 2000]

The Force.net had a very interesting scoop: an Episode II plot summary that is said to come from the production companies themselves! Although the person who posted the summary says "it's so sweeping and broad it could have been written by my sister", I think the summary does contain some interesting details. Let's take a look and comment:

  1. Set 10 years after Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace....
    TPM ended with Palpatine becoming Supreme Chancellor of the Senate, and he'll have had 10 full years to consolidate his power and 'control the bureaucrats'. The senate will probably be very different from the one we saw in TPM.

  2. Darth Sidious takes over the Republic....
    Pay attention here! Note that it says: "Darth Sidious takes over the Republic". Why not "Palpatine takes over"? Could this indicate that Palpatine makes it look like someone else (Sidious) takes over the Republic? Will he continue to use his double identity to his advantage? Very interesting!! I think this might be the KEY to the plotline of Episode II. Read on to see why!

  3. ...turns it into an Empire...
    This jives with what is said in the Prologue to the Star Wars ANH novel: "Aided and abetted by restless, power-hungry individuals within the government, and the massive organs of commerce [Trade Federation], the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected President of the Republic. He promised to reunite the disaffected among the people and to restore the remembered glory of the Republic. [We've seen this in Episode I ]. Once secure in office he declared himself Emperor, shutting himself away from the populace." So the throne that is being built in Australia on the set according to a previous spy report on theForce.net, could be located in Sidious' palace where he isolates himself from the world around him.

  4. ...and begins to control everything.
    I suppose he'll have used the 10 years in power to build up his Imperial army to tighten his grip on the Galaxy. And this time he'll have used better material than the clumsy battledroids of The Phantom Menace (clones perhaps???)

  5. The Clone Wars reach their pinnacle....
    What or who causes these Clone Wars? Could we find a clue in the Prologue as well? Let's read: "Soon he was controlled by the very assistants and boot-lickers he had appointed to high office, and the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears." I never paid attention to this, but it really says that Palpatine himself becomes the victim of the people around him, who control him. That's yet another reason to use his Sidious identity to carry out his personal agenda. Could these Clone Wars be started by the power-hungry "assistants and boot-lickers" that surround the Emperor and take control of the Empire?

  6. ....as the Jedi Knights struggle to defend the galaxy from the forces of evil.
    The Jedi Knights "struggle to defend the galaxy". That's a completely different situation than the one in TPM. The Jedi Council is confronted with the powerful return of the Dark Side, and they probably weren't prepared for that.. This indicates that we might see lots of Jedi Knights in action. Perhaps the members of the Jedi Council will leave their (ivory) tower and take charge of several 'armies' of Jedi, fighting in different places/planets? After all, we know that we will see Yoda fight himself, and also Mace Windu is rumored to fight in Episode II.

  7. Meanwhile, Anakin Skywalker falls in love with Queen Amidala....
    Under which conditions this will take place is still unknown. But they probably are put together in a joint adventure once again (freeing the slaves on Tatooine?), and they fall in love.

  8. ....but begins to succumb to the Dark Side of the Force."
    So already, Anakin starts to fall for the Dark Side of the Force. Will Palpatine/Sidious be involved in this? What if Palpatine makes it SEEM that Sidious has taken over the Republic, and pretends to be the victim himself? He teams up with Bail Organa (his former colleague and CO-candidate for the post of supreme Chancellor), recruits young Anakin and Obi-Wan to fight with him in the Clone Wars to regain control over the Empire. Anakin thinks he is battling for a good cause, but in the mean time, Palpatine has all the time of the world to influence Anakin and push him in the direction of the Dark Side.... In this scenario, the double identity of Palpatine is of CAPITAL importance!!

    I might be completely wrong about all this, but somehow I've got the feeling that I'm on the right track with this speculation. What do you think? Let me know in the Discussion Forum!

Roderick Vonhögen

Episode II - "The Seventh Tower"?
[Wednesday, April 26, 2000]

Lots of things happening on the Episode II rumor front. Let's take a look at the latest developments:

» "The Seventh Tower"?

Moriarty published an article on AICN in which he mentions the title "The Seventh Tower" as being the title of Episode II. How much credit should we give this title? As I posted on the Force.net, "The Seventh Tower" is the name of a series of books for kids published by Lucasfilm / Scholastic, so it's not very likely that it's going to be the title for Episode II as well... If the title is used by Lucasfilm at all (we don't know how reliable Moriarty's source is), it can only be as a 'dummy' title in my opinion, a bit like "Blue Harvest". Although... the "Blue Harvest" title was part of a cover up attempt to keep nosy fans away from the sets, which is not the case here I think...

» The Castle rumor

T'bone posted a report on his website recently in which there's mention of an attack on a castle on a mountaintop during the final battle of Episode II. Some people continued to speculate about this rumor and said that this could be Vader's castle as shown in some preproduction art for The Empire Strikes Back. Personally, I don't think the rumor is legitimate. But people already start to add up the AICN title and this rumor and before you know it, the whole thing will be mentioned in TV shows and magazines as 'fact'. :) Oh well, I guess that's part of the fun!


Roderick Vonhögen

A brand new Discussion Forum!!
[Sunday, April 23, 2000]

Hello everybody! I wish you all a happy Easter Holiday! What's new? I've posted another Flash movie; it shows the rumored 'assassin' character receiving his orders from Darth Sidious on Coruscant.

Nathaniel Reed wrote me to tell me that the old discussion forum was down again, and I decided that this might be the right moment to introduce the NEW Discussion Forum I've been setting up for you during the last couple of days.

The Forum has always been a very important feature of the Virtual Edition. It enables you to talk about the latest rumors, launch new Prequel theories and ideas or just chat and meet other Star Wars fans who visit the Virtual Edition.

» The old forum

The old MVP forum, although equipped with some great features, also had some MAJOR draw-backs: it only had one general discussion section, it was impossible for me to have any administrative control at all over the forum (and we've had our share of trouble-makers in the past!), and the MVP server was not very reliable and could suddenly die for several days. At one point, the forum even went down for SEVERAL months!

» The new forum

That's why I've worked hard to set up this new forum, which is much more user-friendly and has some very cool options (you can include your personal photo or picture, you can use emoticons, html and even voice-snippets!) I also have much more control over it's content (I can move messages, ban trouble-makers and introduce new discussion categories). The only (small) effort that is asked of you, is to register again. I suggest you hurry before your favorite nickname is taken by someone else! :)

Enjoy the new forum!

Exciting rumors from Australia
[Friday, April 21, 2000]

The Force.net posted some very cool rumors yesterday. According to an unconfirmed report, "Slave-1's cockpit interior has been built at the Sydney Fox Studios in preparation of Episode 2 filming" !!! And that's not all: construction workers are also working on the Emperors new "throne"!

If this report is legitimate -and I must say that I think it sounds like real old-fashioned reliable spy-material :) - this gives us some very important information about the plotline of Episode II.

» The Slave-1 ship
First, let's look at the implications of the "Slave-1 cockpit" being constructed. This could be THE Slave-1, Boba Fett's ship, or it could be a Slave-1 'type' of ship. It's even possible that the cockpit will be used for several ships, just like they built only one Starfighter cockpit for all the interior shots of the yellow fighters in The Phantom Menace.

» The Emperor's new Throne
And what about the Emperor's throne? Ten years have gone by since The Phantom Menace. Ten years during which Palpatine has been able to strengthen his power as Supreme Chancellor. The use of a throne might indicate, that he's already seeing himself more like an Emperor, than as the Chancellor of the Senate (we didn't see Valorum sitting on a throne). In the mean time, Palpatine might have constructed a palace for himself (I haven't read Kevin J. Anderson's history of Coruscant -perhaps there already was a palace on Coruscant). Will this throne be the same one he used in Return of the Jedi? That would be a great way to introduce some continuity between the prequels and the existing episodes.

As you can see, the news about the Slave-1 returning in Episode II has inspired me to make a Flash-movie that shows the Slave-1 departing from Coruscant. If Boba Fett appears in Episode II as a bounty-hunter, he might get his orders directly from Palpatine...

Visit the Discussion Forum to add your speculation and thoughts!

See you next update!


Roderick Vonhögen, the Netherlands

Some thoughts about the rumored 'assassin' character
[Thursday, April 20, 2000]

Some more speculation about this assassin/thief character mentioned on Harry Knowles' site. I'm still unsure whether or not the information is legit. Let's take a look at some possibilities:

  1. the information is false - very well possible. For TPM, most of the actors didn't have any information prior to the actual filming; the most they'd get were a few pages of script or "you'll have to shave your head" (Ray Park). Here, there is said to be a whole portfolio of sketches and character descriptions. And even preproduction art with written comments! ("hologram in Jedi Council room"). That's a lot of (pretty sensitive) information. Too much information perhaps?

  2. the information is legitimate - possible too. The character could be a good follow-up for Ray Park's Darth Maul. Just as dangerous and evil, but still very different. A stealthy assassin working for Palpatine to eliminate his political adversaries. The contract signed by the actor is said to be for both Prequels; which would imply that the character is pretty important.

  3. the character is the new Sith apprentice of Darth Sidious - likely, but not 100% sure. It's nowhere mentioned in Harry's report. It could be just one of the bounty-hunters working for Palpatine. If he IS Sidious' apprentice, he'll probably be killed by Anakin, because Anakin becomes the new Sith Lord. "Always two there are"...

  4. the character is Boba Fett - hmm... an unmasked Boba Fett. I don't know. Somehow I don't think that's very likely. However, Boba Fett will be in Episode 2, and we also know he survives Episode 3. But Boba Fett without the armor wouldn't really be Boba Fett. I guess Fett will be a rather minor character in the Prequels.

  5. What about the "Hologram in the Jedi Council chamber" text on one of the sketches? - I don't know. That particular detail sounds really fishy to me. Remember those rumors about preproduction sketches of battlefields on "Concord Dawn"? This sounds like the same kind of bogus information - it's just too detailed.

  6. "There was this folder with this character in many settings and also in other costumes". His appearance seemed to change like a chameleon" - Hmm. Pretty vague from someone who has actually seen the sketches. Why not give us more details?

  7. "Weapons : Sorry... didn't see. But I was told they would all be made with CG" - again, sounds really fishy. Who told him this? Someone from ILM? Not really.

To conclude: I'm still very skeptical about this rumor. Several elements of the report don't ring true to me. I'm curious to see if there will be more 'scoops' about this character soon. In case it's a bogus rumor, the person who makes it up is usually encouraged by all the attention on the Internet to come up with even more (fake) details. But perhaps I'm wrong, and the character DOES exist. You can show your opinion by voting in the poll on the right side of this page.

Palpatine's new apprentice?
[Wednesday, April 19, 2000]

I've made a picture of Palpatine's rumored new apprentice, based on the description on Harry Knowles' Ain't it Cool News:

  1. Face : dark gray
  2. dark horizontal band from one ear to the other "that makes him look like that girl robot in "Blade Runner." (no horns)"
  3. Body = Also Dark gray, covered with small sigils/marks
  4. Eyes = solid black (i.e. no white parts, like "Hellraiser")

According to Harry's alleged spy, the character in the screen tests wasn't like Darth Maul, but more of "a thief/assassin character. His on screen time will be in the shadows killing various characters quickly and silently." One of the test lines was 'Failure is not allowed..' "This was said as he approaches a character (don't know who) from behind to kill him/her." Harry's report also contains a description of pre-production sketches: "One sketch had text on the bottom, and the part that stands out most to me was "Hologram in the Jedi Council chamber".

What do we have to think of all of this? It's a pretty big scoop if it's the real thing. The character could fit in pretty well with one plot-element we already know: Palpatine's rise to power. I can imagine Palpatine getting more and more power as supreme chancellor in the Galactic Senate, while -as Darth Sidious- he orders his bounty hunters to kill his political adversaries...

However, no one else has confirmed this rumor yet... so unless the Force.net or some other site comes up with some more 'evidence', we'll have to wait for the official casting announcements to know wether or not this information is true. Until then... LET'S SPECULATE!! :)

As always, the Discussion Forum is the place to be!

Happy days are here again!
[Wednesday, April 19, 2000]

Hi everybody! It's been a long, long time ago since I last updated. The only activity that has been going on all these months has been the Discussion Forum, thanks to all the people hanging out there.

The last few weeks, we've seen a steady increase in Episode II news on the Internet. Lucas says the script is finished, the casting is underway, the artists are busy working on pre-production art, Natalie Portman has already gone through 10 hours of costume fittings and even Harry Knowles is reporting about mysterious oriental Sith Lords... It's just like the old times again!

It's high time to jump in again, and get this Virtual Edition back on the road! As you can see, the lay-out is being updated (it's far from being completed though), and 'behind the scenes' I'm transforming the site into a database-driven website (I learned how to work with PHP3/MySQL during the last few months). When principal filming will begin, the Virtual Edition will hopefully be fully functional again :)

All original content © 2000, Roderick Vonhögen - The Netherlands