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============================================================================= IF GUTS AND DETERMINATION AREN'T ENOUGH, YOU'VE GOT TO USE A LITTLE FORCE... ============================================================================== . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O U T . O F T H E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MMM . MMM . . AAAAA WW WWW . WW . . MM MM . MM MM . AA. AA . . WW WW.WW .WW . . . MM MM MM .MM . AA . AA . WW WW WW WW . . . MM . MM MM MM . A . . A . WW WW . W . WW . . MM . MM . MM AAAAAAAAAAAAA WWWW . . W .WW . . MM . MM . AA . . AA . WW . W WW . . . . MM . . . AA . AA . . W WW . MM . . AA . AA . . . . WWW . . . MM . . . . . . . WW . . . MM . . #################. . . . WW . . . M . . . .# . # # . . . . . W . . . . . . . #. # # . . . . . . . . . . . . # # # . . . . . . . ################# . . . . . . ========================================================================== "The thornlike form of the Sun Crusher streaked away from the cluster, leaving a trail of hot gases. A few moments later three fully armed Imperial-class Star Destroyers charged out of the Maw like Banthas on fire." --- From Kevin Anderson's novel, JEDI SEARCH. OUT*OF*THE*MAW - THE OCCASIONAL NEWSLETTER FOR THE FIDONET STAR WARS ECHO ========================================================================== VOLUME I, ISSUE #3 MARCH 1995 EDITOR - MIKE SCHWAB ========================================================================== ECHO MODERATOR: SKIP SHAYOTOVICH ECHO CO-MODERATOR: BRENT LYNCH ECHO MEMBER/NODE LISTING: MIKE FARNHAM MAIN ECHO FAQ KEEPER: KEVIN COX RESIDENT ECHO CELEBS: KEVIN ANDERSON, TOM VEITCH, L. NEIL SMITH (AND BRIAN DALEY, VIA DAVID SENTZ) ========================================================================== C O N T E N T S OUT OF THE MAW - Features for March 1995: I. Echo Announcements You may fire when ready... II. Big News For The Echo Fidonet on the forefront. III. Echo Talk for February A briefing by David Sentz. IV. Trivia Of The Month From The Editor V. Blast From The Past We've been waiting for you, Mr. Farnham. VI. Echolites Of The Month We MAKE Ben Verreault/Matt Schulz talk. VII. Echo Game Room - Review The first TIE add-on, by Jeremy Gaggins. VIII. Echo Stats Never tell me the odds... IX. Plug Of The Month Finally, The Dark Forces Demo. X. Journal Of The Whills I The Rodian Problem, by Chris Kuist. XI. Echo Comic Shop - Review Dark Empire II, by Greg Mcnamee. XII. Question Of The Month A query from Jason Leblanc. XIII. Echo History Lesson A comparison by Gord Cavanaugh. XIV. Journal Of The Whills II Stormwinds, By Jennie Jivan. XV. Echo Flashback Of Echolites Long Gone. XVI. Echo Book Store - Review Ambush At Correlia, by Eileen Bien. XVII. Closing Clear Skies from the editor. ======================================================================== E C H O A N N O U N C E M E N T S Well, I've been gone for a while, and after only two months, I managed to screw up the MONTHLY Fidonet newsletter. Rest assured that I'm back on track, and you can expect things get more regular around here! That is, if the interest continues. Hey, of course it will! At this point, I don't know if OUT OF THE MAW will continue as a monthly newsletter. It simply takes up too much of my time, and I wouldn't be able to produce a quality issue if I'm rushing to meet a deadline that's impractical. I do want the newsletter to be on a regular schedule, so I'll probably go with every other month. I'll let you know if plans change, in any case. Thanks to all for your patience, and I hope you enjoy this issue. -The Editor --- OUT OF THE MAW now has three main distribution sites: 1) wpi.wpi.edu on the Internet (/Starwars/Electronic_Media directory) 2) Star Wars Central BBS - (510) 426-0470 3) Jabba's Palace BBS - (615) 538-8916 And, of course, the most recent issue will be posted twice a month, on the Echo itself. --- Seems we have two famous Echolites as of recently. First, Mike Farnham was quoted in the most recent edition of The Topps Galaxy Magazine #2, and of course, he was pushing the Echo! :) Nice work, Mike. Also, Jennie Jivan had her letter published in the Fan Speak section of the latest Star Wars Insider, Issue #2 (although she is labeled as "Jennie Loomis"). And, we got a little bonus as well - a color picture of her! Looking great, Jennie! --- Due to the fact that Fido was down in my area for a period of about three weeks, I'm letting the honorable Mr. David Sentz handle the Echo Talk column this month. It appears that he's done such a good job, I may be out of luck for future issues! Dave's a diehard around here, as most of you know, and he's managed to sum things up nicely for this issue. Take a look. --- There will not be a Quote-Of-The-Month column this month, mainly for the above stated reason that I have been out of it for quite a while. This will return in future issues. Keep an eye out, and if you see a one- liner worth mentioning, let me know. --- Here are some of the more current SW product releases: - Roger MacBride Allen's AMBUSH AT CORRELIA is out, the first book of the Correlian trilogy. The second book will appear around July of this year, and the final installment should hit stores in October. All are paperbacks. - Dark Empire II #2 is out. - Dark Lords Of The Sith #5 is out. - Topps Widevision cards are out - this run is limited to only 48,000 boxes. There are 10 foils, not the usual 6. - The Dark Forces Demo is out, fully playable. Release date for the full version is sometime in mid March (per LucasArts). - The Action Masters are out there, but further production has been canceled. Reason is unknown, but one can assume that its due to lack of interest. --- There will be a big SW convention in Florida in early 1997. I know its a bit early to think about this, but keep it in mind all the same. If you do want to RSVP to Mike Farnham, as he will helping to organize travel plans, you can reach him via David Sentz on the Echo. --- I am hard at work on a Windows version of OUT OF THE MAW. It will encapsule all three existing issue of OOTM, and it will include a few extra features that you may or may not have seen before. Its looking great at the moment, and I'm very excited about this project. It should be out within the month. ============================================================================= B I G N E W S F O R T H E E C H O The Echo is growing by leaps and bounds. Although Fido was down in my area for about three weeks (and very irregular during other times), I have noticed that both before and after this period, the flow of messages was phenomenal. This can definitely be attributed to the fact that there have been a lot of new users on the Echo in recent months. For more on that, check out the Echo Stats column this month. As I've just said, there are also a lot of new faces in the Echo lately. That's great. We seem to be getting a lot of attention recently, and I'm sure its only going to get better as time goes by. There is a rumor going around that this Echo will be featured in a future edition of the Topps Galaxy Magazine, but this is unconfirmed as of yet. We even have some of our own Echolites appearing in major publications (see Echo announcements). OUT OF THE MAW has managed to reach beyond the Echo. Its available on the above distribution sites (Again, see Echo announcements), and I've been told that its available on America Online and Prodigy as well. Given that, I offer a warm welcome to all of OOTM's non-Fido readers. Welcome to the Echo, and I think y'all should stick around. This is without a doubt, the best area for Star Wars information and general discussion. There's more to come, and OUT OF THE MAW will grow along with the Echo. I have received countless requests from users on the Internet inquiring where they can connect with The Echo. One thing I do not want to do (that I have admittedly done in previous issues) is cut on some of the other SW online areas. That would be pointless. I enjoy these areas also, but the Echo is my choice for general Star Wars fandom. And the best thing about it is that its free! :) So, tell your friends, and spread the word. As 1998 draws closer, this area will be huge. And the more members we have, the more news, trades, information, and discussions will be available to us. If anyone needs to find the closest place to connect with the Echo, contact myself via E-mail (schwbnhs@earth.execpc.com), as I have a current and up- to-date node listing. Simply give me your area code, and I will check out the closest BBS to you that carries Fidonet, and specifically, this Echo. This list is also available on Jabba's Palace BBS. I imagine Mike Farnham will be reclaiming his role of handling the nodelist, if he ever gets back from his hibernation somewhere in the Dune Sea. :) Maybe then we can actually get our hands on those Echo T-shirts! =========================================================================== E C H O T A L K - D E C E M B E R T H R O U G H F E B R U A R Y A summary, by David Sentz To say the Echo has been busy in the last two months would be an understatement at best. Although the end of December and early January were relatively slow, (and that can be attributed to the holidays) the message traffic recently has been higher than I've ever seen. There has been a huge influx of new users and Echo has become an extremely popular place but unfortunately for me, this means that I no longer have the luxury to read in-depth every post I see. So for the first time since I've been reading the Echo I find myself skipping topics that don't necessarily interest me. Speaking of unappealing topics, I noticed that a number of Echolites have been partaking in threads that are banned on the Star Wars Echo. Specifically any 'Star Trek vs. Star Wars' thread and the name of Endor's moon debate. Since these are banned I won't waste anymore space here with them except to remind everyone not to partake in them and to please read the Echo rules and FAQ's before posting. Ah yes, the FAQ's. January was the official kick off month for the new FAQ schedule and I must say that the new and improved FAQ's that have been posted look very good. Kudos to Kevin Cox, Matt Schulz, Benoit Verreault and everyone else who has contributed to the new FAQ's. Some of the other ongoing threads that we've seen lately are: --Boba Fett-man, woman or alien? I found this particularly interesting to read and for what it's worth, I don't care if (he/she/it) is a female Ithorian with a nose job. Boba's still one cool character. --Dark Forces demo/game. Yes, the demo is cool but easy to beat. No, the game's still not out. --Lightsabers & blades. Do they have mass? Why not apply the technology to every other weapon imaginable? Can you get me a real one for $19.95? --Tie Fighter(the game). It's too hard. It's too easy. What is this Defenders of the Empire add on? What's your favorite ship? --Action Masters by Kenner. They're out! (Dec) They're canceled! (Feb) Has anyone even seen the 4-pack!? And if so, can you get me 2 or 3? --Fall of the Republic and Shoes in ROTJ. Yeah, these two were back to haunt us for a while. Again, please read the FAQ's. They're most helpful. --Luke's sexual preference. Can't seen to shake this one either. Oh, well. There have been some new topics pop up and some have led to good conversation and wonderment. Such as the speculation on the Star Wars: Special edition release and the talk about Luke and Leia's origins and possible connection to Dagobah. There has also been some positive feedback on new products such as the Widevision Cards and the Ambush novel. Some negative feedback on Crystal Star. I've also noticed that people who were asking trivia questions got a lot of response especially from people who normally don't post. And last but not least I've noticed a resurgence of RPGr's and RPG questions. Some of you may not know it but there was an on-line SW RPG game going on in the Echo for a while. It's good to see those people participating again. The Star Wars Echo is a diverse place. Find your niche and enjoy! ============================================================================ T R I V I A O F T H E M O N T H OK, with the lapse of issues here, I've misplaced any responses I received to last issues trivia question by Rob Dennis (What kind of person does Han Solo hates with a passion). Sorry 'bout that - some things can't be helped. As with the Question of the Month, I'll be keeping a keener eye on the results this time around. Oh yeah, the answer to last month's question? Slavers. In being faithful to my original intention, the first person to get me a correct response to this month's question is invited to provide next issues Trivia Of The Month. I hate writing these, so somebody come to my rescue! :) Anyway, here goes: ** Q: Name the only person (that we know of) to beat Han Solo in a blaster duel. ** Again, send 'em to me here on the Echo, or over at my Internet address at schwbnhs@earth.execpc.com. Good Luck! ========================================================================= B L A S T F R O M T H E P A S T Focus On John Dykstra By Mike Farnham --- Greeting, fellow Echolites! I am still alive and well - keeping tabs on the Echo till my return, which should be shortly. Thanks to Richard Plenger for the 14,400 modem he's getting me so I can connect once again. I realize a lot of you "old timers" miss getting a good 30-40 messages a day from me, so I don't want to disappoint you too much longer. :) Anyhow, I thought I'd contribute another of my "famous" BLAST FROM THE PAST articles, so here we go (paraphrasing, of course)... --- John Dykstra started his career studying at Long Beach State as an industrial designer. He was kicked out of school four points short of a degree and went to work for Doug Trumbell (Wizard of Oz, 2001, and Close Encounters special effects). George Lucas and Gary Kurtz came to Dykstra in 1975 (June), asking him to handle photographic effects for a film called Star Wars. Dykstra immediately set up an "in-house" special effects shop in San Fernando Valley, CA, and called it The Industrial Light and Magic Corporation. Dykstra and his crew expanded the state-of-the-art in special effects through their endeavors in Star Wars. Dykstra used a computer controlled camera (for the first time) and was able to make a complicated mixture of models, matte paintings, and back projection "slotted" together to form one single awesome picture. Dykstra said of his effects - "It was 25 percent of the magic of Star Wars, and its becoming increasingly obvious that effects are the key to making many films. Source: Star Wars "Official" Poster Monthly #8, 1977 --- BTW, please E-mail (or post here on the Echo) to David Sentz, and give him your node, address, BBS name and phone number, sysop name, and your Internet address so I can add you to the list of both nodes and members. Thanks for your time, and I'll be back soon - with my new items lists! - Mike Farnham, The "Jedi Master" ========================================================================= E C H O L I T E S O F T H E M O N T H This month, we have two of the Echo's more seasoned veterans with us. I think Benoit Verreault and Matt Schulz have been on the Echo longer than just about anybody. They were posting when I first connected here about two years ago, and they're still around. Let's chat with them: OOTM: Give us a quick bio on yourselves (age, occupation, status, etc.). Ben: Name's Benoit A. Verreault, was born of the fourth of July 1974. I am a full-time student at Ottawa University working on a double major in Communication and Arts. I just got engaged with my high school sweetheart, Melissa, this past Christmas. I am beginning to have quite a collection of SW books and collectibles. Most of the stuff I have is from the early 80's though it seems now that the new stuff is starting to take more and more of the available shelf space. Matt: I'm a 19-year old graphic artist, not married. I was born in the Bronx, NY, but moved here to Minnesota when I was two. It was also at this time that I saw ANH in the theater, which is why I'm writing this now. :) OOTM: To what extent do you enjoy participating in the Echo? Ben: I've been on the echo for 3 or 4 years now. I used to run a local BBS a couple of years ago called R2d2's BBS. Yep, it was a Star Wars themed board. Got hooked on the echo as soon as I discovered it. I found that locally, there weren't many SW fans and that this medium was exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for. I currently receive a few Fido echoes directly at home through a point system I've set up with a BBS here in town. To me the echo is an excellent source to find accurate information on the hobby that I cherish the most. I've made quite a few connections through the echo and I regularly correspond through email with many Echolites and ex-Echolites. Matt: Well, I have been active on the Echo for just over two years. I really value the Echo. Its great having such a SW fan base available to you whenever you want to talk SW, or conduct a trade of SW items with another fan. I've found it very valuable in the latter respect, not to mention all the great people I've met. OOTM: Personally, what scene from the trilogy stands out the most in your mind? Ben: This one's easy. To me, the most riveting scene in the trilogy is when Luke gives in to anger and yells his classic "NOOOOOO!!!!" The music behind that scene is awesome... Matt: Nothing comes to mind immediately, because of the size and scope of the trilogy, but I particularly like the images of Boba Fett and Darth Vader in the carbon-freezing chamber on Cloud City, as well as that whole segment of ESB. The space battle in ROTJ will always amaze me, also. OOTM: Name your favorite alien from any form of Star Wars literature, and why. Ben: Favorite alien is undoubtedly Yoda. Many times, have I imagined how this little guy has had an impact on the whole galaxy. He is a creature that has had his own problems in the past and in my opinion, the reason he is on Dagobah is to, not only hide from possible Dark Force Jedi, but also to hide some of his own past actions... Matt: Well, if you mean non-human, I'd say Chewbacca. He's one of my favorite characters overall. You can't get past that great growl and his undying loyalty to his friends. :) OOTM: Any fond remembrances of Star Wars from your childhood? Ben: I was 5 when I first saw Star Wars. I don't fully remember the experience, but I DO remember being there. SW is the first movie I actually remember seeing. I saw it at a Drive-In and I remember being in the back seat of the car staring at the line of cars in front of us as the traffic leading to the drive-in was completely to a stop. I was so scared that there wouldn't be enough room for us to get in. My first figure was bought at Sears, and i remember choosing C-3P0. That little guy was so beat up by the time ROTJ came out that all his limbs fell apart. I remember putting him back together and replaying the ESB scene where he gets blown to bits by a Stormtrooper. I don't know if anyone ever did this, but I used to cut out all the little pictures on the backs of the Kenner Figure Cards and play with these tiny cardboard players. Give a kid a huge toy in a box and he'll probably have more fun playing with the empty box instead of the toy itself. Matt: Are you kidding? My whole childhood is one big SW memory! From that first Star Destroyer roaring overhead, to the toys, to the underoos, to the birthday parties, to the toys... Well, I'll pick one. I guess actually seeing the film in the theater when I was two was the ultimate. It also helped that it was the first movie I ever saw in a theater. I didn't even know what was going on, I thought I was in a spaceship or something... :) Anyway, getting the Death Star playset AND Millennium Falcon for Christmas in '78 was great, too, and that was just the beginning. Thanks, Mom! OOTM: What are your expectations for the new movies? Ben: Expectations is such a big word! I won't get into the plot stuff as I'm sure I'd get it all wrong. I will say that I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Lucas and that I'm positive he will blow us away with the prequels. The Special Effects of SW still stand out some 15-20 years later, but to me, it's the story that has always done it. I'm sure the next movies will work in the same way. Most movies today lack that basic storyline, it's all glossy pages and slip covers, no real content. Matt: I can't even begin to expect anything about it, all I know is what I hope for. I'll say this - I definitely have faith that Lucas & friends CAN make it everything we hope for. I hope they are done with style, quality, talent, and everything that made the middle trilogy great. Some specifics? I think Lucas directing the first one is a must, as is John Williams score throughout, as is a central theme, backed up with the greatest special effects ever seen, that will not be surpassed, well, for at least a couple of weeks! (computers these days...:) Thanks a ton to both Matt and Benoit for taking the time to answer all my questions. If you are interested in participating in an Echolite of the Month interview, just contact me on the Echo, and we'll see what we can do. ========================================================================== E C H O G A M E R O O M - R E V I E W Defender of the Empire, by LucasArts Review by Jeremy Gaggins Defender of the Empire... This is the first of two planned add-ons to the game TIE FIGHTER. Three new campaigns and a number of new ships have been added, as well as a new craft that can be flown by the player... The Missle Boat. Those of you who wanted to kick around some Rebel butts, you will be unduly disappointed with DOE. Your main threat is of Admiral Zaarin, who as TIE players know, narrowly escaped capture at the end of TIE. Rebels are few and far between... very few... When Zaarin defected, he must have taken half the Empire with him, 'cause this guy is loaded to bear... Interdictors, Star Destroyers, unlimited fighters, including a number of Advanced and Defender class TIEs. A force to recon with, no doubt, but missions were still quite tedious and easy. The missions lacked a lot of variety, as entire campaigns circled around the protection of manufacturing facilities. Capture, then defend a base, only to have it destroyed so you can do the same with another... repetitive, and not all that entertaining. The few cinema scenes, however, were done much nicer than the previous ones... The new ship, the Missle boat, lacked in many areas. It's load of missiles was overly exaggerated, and with only one laser, quite weak in close combat. The SLAM engines, a type of afterburner that feeds off laser power, was a fun addition, although many pilots will be left longing for their trusty TIEs... Overall, Defender of the Empire is a decent addition to the SW Space Combat line of SIMs. If you enjoyed TIE FIGHTER, it is a save bet that you will like DOE. Hopefully, when the second add-on comes out, the traitors will be eliminated, and the Empire can be finally get to the task at hand... the destruction of that pesky Rebellion! ========================================================================== E C H O S T A T S Well, as I may have mentioned, Fido was down quite a bit in my area recently. I wasn't even going to do the Echo Stats column this time around, but this list does show us one important thing - we've got a lot of new users around here. This list is again, per The Exec-PC BBS in Milwaukee, WI, and covers roughly the last 10-14 days of February. Due to the irregularity of Fido, however, I would suggest not taking it too seriously. OK, enough talk! Here are the top twenty posters for the last half of last month: 1. Asa Jay Laughton 41 2. James Pancoast 36 3. Greg Muir 33 4. Paul Hanna 25 5. John Woods 24 6. Ian Ford-Terry 23 7. Brandon Wolgast 22 8. Skip Shayotovich 21 9. Cheryl De Luca 20 10. Kristoffer Larsson 20 11. Oliver J. Hanau 19 12. Brandon True 15 13. Rob Dennis 13 14. Carey Angeconbe 12 15. Lisa Ramaglia 12 16. Benoit Verreault 10 17. Ted Stoilov 10 18. Eric Nelson 10 19. John Raptis 9 20. Scott Reed 8 20. Tommy Watson 8 Hopefully for the next issue, I'll have some better readings for you. Until then, keep those posts coming! And remember, I'm watching... ========================================================================== P L U G O F T H E M O N T H Dark Forces Demo, by LucasArts Review By Mike Schwab Most of us have had our shot at either DOOM, DOOM2, Rise Of The Triad, Heretic, or even Castle Wolfenstein. For years, Star Wars fans have asked when we would get our chance at this current style of gameplay. We received a small taste of it during the CD-ROM game Rebel Assault. It palled by comparison, being very predictable and limited. But the graphics were great, and one could only dream of what might be on the horizon. Well, along comes Dark Forces (or at least the demo of it), LucasArts' newest game. It seems the rumors DID have some foundation, and now the expectations are high. What many see as a DOOM-meets-Star Wars hybrid has actually surpassed anything ID software ever did with DOOM or DOOM2. Although at the moment, we only have the demo to play with, it certainly does an adequate job at teasing us for the real thing. The demo is fully playable, and displays many (but probably not all) of the features the actual game will contain upon release. The graphics? Well, what can you say? They are phenomenal. Crystal clear, and much richer and detailed than anything you see from those other guys. The main program of the game, otherwise known as the Jedi Engine, is fluid and perfectly seamless. I have heard of players who have clocked hundreds of hours on DOOM, yet after playing the Dark Forces demo, actually experienced the classic "motion sickness" from the dazzling realism of Dark Forces. Next comes the sound. Well, its OK. Actually, it seems to be a flat out copy of the MIDI music from X-wing thus far, although we might actually hear new harmonies once the real game is released. In my opinion, the sound could be better, and does not size up to the outstanding graphics the game has to offer. Sound Effects are a different story altogether. The voices are very clear, and the blaster sounds pound right through your speakers. The mechanical sounds of the elevators are eerily accurate. Where the sound falls behind, the sound effects seem to make up for it. Then, there is difficulty. Its not very fair to judge a game from its demo, but I will say that the actual game better be more difficult than the sample we've been playing. Just about any knucklehead could finish the demo on ANY level with only one hand on the keyboard. Yeah, its easy, but maybe that's what LucasArts wanted so we, as the consumer, could experience the entire demo and see all of the features. Given that, a review of the gameplay at this point is incredibly unfair. As a general assessment, this game is great. I mean, you get to blast stormtroopers and Imperial guards. Could there possibly be anything better in the entire world? The game has ten different weapons, and all do a wide variety of damage. There are secret areas, and the game allows for multi-level buildings. You can look up and down, and you can crouch and jump. Also, there's a plot here that isn't as simple as flipping switches and finding keys. There's an actual storyline, which really adds to the game. There isn't any graphic violence like we've seen in DOOM, but that type of thing has never been a part of George Lucas' world anyway, and this game proves that it is not necessary to have blood and guts to have an entertaining game. Most of all, its Star Wars. This demo blows me away - I know it inside and out, and I keep playing it. And its likely that the full version will contain some incredible surprises. I believe any true fan of the galaxy far, far away will be extremely pleased with LucasArts' latest endeavor, and I'll say that this is going to be one $60 check that I will be VERY happy to write. The latest word from LucasArts is that the full game will be released in mid-March. And don't forget - this game REQUIRES that your computer have eight (8) megabytes of RAM. Also, it will, at least initially, only be available on CD-ROM. ========================================================================= E X C E R P T F R O M T H E J O U R N A L O F T H E W H I L L S - P A R T I The Rodian Problem By Chris Kuist The Unknown Regions. They were a group of planets scattered out on the feathery edge of the galaxy like bits of sand cast carelessly into the distant winds of space. Beyond them in one direction tumbled the very depth of the void, in the other the known galaxy beckoned like an inviting, stately home on a cold winter's night. Naaro stood at the transparasteel window starring the latter direction now, and as he gazed across the russet sulfur flats of Vvrytu, he felt as though he'd been languishing in the servant's quarters for too long. His meditations were interrupted by a chime at his office door. Annoyed, not so much at the interruption itself, but rather at the fact he was HERE to BE interrupted, he barked a come hither in his native Rodian tongue. As the door slid aside there was revealed the trembling form of a native Vvrytuian, a tallish female named Hillu. The people of Vvrytu had been, prior to their encounter with Grand Admiral Thrawn, a gentle, creative race. Their single gender related dimorphisim came in the form of a long, flowing russet mane possessed by the females of the species. It served both practical function as camouflage against air-borne predators, for the females were the hunters, and culturally as a mark of beauty and social standing. The mane of a female Vvrytuian her statement of pride, of strength, and of independence. She grew it from childhood and it was only when it had grown as long as she was tall that was she considered to have made the transition to womanhood, when she could hunt and assume the duties of matriarch of her family. As Hillu stood shaking in the doorway, Naaro remembered that at one time she had one of the longest and deepest russet manes he had ever seen on a Vvrytuian woman. And he remembered the day that he had ordered her held down as he took the clippers in hand and shaved her mane off himself. That day she had been angry and proud, cursing his name as he cut. Grand Admiral Thrawn had given this planet, these people, to him and his squadron of Rodian hunters, and his Noghri had taught them how to rule in his name. As Hillu stood before him now, head bald and scarred, her eyes cast down, he knew that Grand Admiral Thrawn had taught him well. He had tasted power, though, and he longed for an excuse to leave this place in search of new outlets for these skills, new trophies to hunt and peoples to conquer. "What do you want, stupid creature, why do you disturb me?" His bulbous eyes glared at her down his pea-green snout. She stammered, half out of sheer terror, "Th- there is a, a mem- message on deep space frequency, sir. Some, something about the Grand Admiral Thrawn being d- dead." For just a moment Naaro thought he saw a glint of pleasure in Hillu's eye's, but his anger at that passed in a flash of light of an insight of his own. It couldn't be true, certainly. This stupid creature must have gotten the message wrong. They never could quite learn Basic. Still, if this WAS true, his chance to leave this backwater and find new pleasures may have finally come... To be continued... =========================================================================== E C H O C O M I C S H O P - R E V I E W Dark Empire II - Tom Veitch/Cam Kennedy A review by Greg Mcnamee A TALE OF TWO VEITCH'S The Dark Empire comic series was one of Darkhorse's most successful series, so it should come as no surprise that there would be a sequel, Dark Empire II. The first two issues of this six part series have been released, and they couldn't be more different. Where issue #1 is a pure rehash of the original series, with more battles between war droids, more darkside warriors, more superweapons, and yes, the return of the cloned Emperor, the second issue, focusing solely on Han and Leia's pursuit of the fallen Jedi, Vima Da-Boda from the first series, is original, fast-paced Star Wars fun. In the opening scroll of Issue #1, we learn that before his death in Dark Empire #6, the Emperor initiated a group of dark Jedi, who are lead by Darkside Executer Sedriss, a man who, as rendered by Cam Kennedy, bares a striking resemblance to Dominic of MTV's The Real World. Sedriss leads his fleet to the planet Balmorra, whose Governor Beltrane is a suspected rebel sympathizer. When Beltrane refuses to surrender, war breaks out. The ensuing battle would look more at home in a Robotech comic, with giant war droids fighting for control, a new type of molecular supershielding, and most ridiculous of them all, robotic attack fighters that are "empowered by the dark side." Apparently it is not enough that the Imperials have ten mile long Star Destroyers and flying space factories that "eat" worlds, now they can power machines with the dark side of the Force. What's next, a starship that multiplies itself when exposed to water? And of course, there's the last page. By now it should come as no surprise that the Emperor has once again returned. The evil Emperor Palpatine has been reduced to a comic book villain. Luke had his battle with the dark side and the Emperor in ROTJ, and it should have been left at that. And what's worse, Tom Veitch has already told us that the Emperor won't be truly destroyed until, you guessed it, Dark Empire III. That's too bad, because Vetich's Emperor is one of the least compelling Star Wars villains to emerge from the post-Return of the Jedi fiction. In short, Dark Empire II #1 offers few surprises, few thrills, and lacks originality. Those who disliked the original Dark Empire series will find little to smile about with the sequel. But just when it appeared that dark times were ahead for the Dark Empire, along comes... Issue Two... How can you not like a Star Wars story whose last line is "Scratch one Star Destroyer...PUNCH IT, CHEWIE!" The second issue of Dark Empire II proves that if he stays away from impossible war machines and ridiculously massive Jedi powers, Tom Veitch can write a wonderful Star Wars story. This issue focus' solely on Han and Leia's trip to the smuggling world of Nar Shadda in search of the fallen Jedi, Vima Da-Boda from the original Dark Empire series, and what a trip it is! Not only do they have to evade Imperial starships, small time bounty hunters, ex-friends looking to do them in, stormtroopers, and the Darkside Executer Sedriss, but also Boba Fett! Their journey eventually leads them to the depths of Nar Shadda, a place most humans wisely avoid. Little do Han and Leia know they are being followed by Fett. They finally find the old Jedi, but before Fett can capture Solo and Leia, he is jumped by Chewbacca, who rips his helmet off and ignites his rocket pack, sending him straight into the roof of the abandoned warehouse. With Vima in tow, our heroes board the Falcon and head for home, but not before Han nicely disposes of an Imperial Star Destroyer. Dark Empire II #2 is quite simply one of the best Star Wars comic books I've ever read. Since he's not juggling storylines, Vetich turns his full attention to Han and Leia, and the quality of work is obvious. The characterizations are right on the money, and instead of introducing more and more powerful machines and Jedi powers, Veitch lets the characters become the focus of the story, which George Lucas would tell you is what Star Wars is all about. It is unclear what path the series will follow from here, but lets hope Veitch keeps the Emperor, dark side machines, etc., in the background and focus' on the plot and characters. Dark Empire II #1: D- Dark Empire II #2: A+ ========================================================================== Q U E S T I O N / P O L L O F T H E M O N T H Well, it looks like last issue's hardball tactics worked! I got quite a few responses to last month's question (your favorite secondary SW character, not including Wedge), both here on Fido and through E-mail. Thanks to all that took the time to respond. In any case, the winner was... Boba Fett - of course. Other answers included Yoda, Lobot, and the Mouse Droid. I plan on paying more attention to this section in future issues, and actually tallying the results. That is, if the responses keep coming in . Anyway, this months question was provided by Jason Leblanc quite a few months back (I'm not even sure if he remembers!), and its a good one, so here we go... *Q: What is your favorite blooper/cut scene from the Star Wars trilogy?* Now, write up a response, and send it to me here on Fido, or via the Internet at schwbnhs@earth.execpc.com, I'll keep track and post the results in the next issue. If I get some interesting responses, I'll print excerpts of them here as well. Hope to hear from you, and good luck. ========================================================================== E C H O H I S T O R Y L E S S O N The Battle of Britain/The Battle of Yavin - A Comparison By Gord Cavanaugh We have come to know the Battle of Yavin as the first major standoff between the Rebels and the Imperial Empire. It was also the first major victory for the Rebel Alliance and "A New Hope" was felt all over the Galaxy. If Lucas considered it or did it purely by accident he almost copied the Battle of Britain in this scene. The Battle of Britain doesn't seem to be taught extensively in American schools, as they didn't get involved in Second World War Europe full force until it has half over. However, to millions of people in the British Empire, know that a few years before American Bombers would fly out of England, a few brave pilots from Britain, Canada, several countries actually, defended the small island country and literally saved the entire world. For a bit of back ground information, after the Fall of France and the Miracle at Dunkirk, Britain was the only country in Europe that had not fallen in Hitler's Blitzkrieg. The Royal Air Force as well as the Royal Navy being too strong, an immediate invasion was not possible. So Hitler and Goering started sending raids against British airfields and airplane factories in July of 1940. Although outnumbered 3:1, the RAF, RCAF, and others fought back the enemies fighters. They owed their success to pure bravery and a new secret weapon, radar. Frustrated, Goering sent all he had on September 15th, 1940 to wipe out the Allies. Outnumbered 4:1, the RAF still won. Realizing their first failure, the Nazis had to turn to night bombing. If Britain would have fallen, Russia would have soon fallen. Japan would have started their attacks, as the Americans could no longer get involved in Europe. The whole world could have been theirs. What does this have to do with Star Wars? As mentioned before, it was a first major victory against a seemingly unstoppable force. It involved a few brave pilots being outnumbered 3-4:1. If the Rebel pilots would have failed, they would have lost a world (Yavin) and the entire Galaxy would have be in the hands of the Empire. Also the Rebels had "secret plans" of the Death Star to help them. Also it is well known that Lucas used RAF vs. Luftwaffe footage to base his X-Wing - TIE Fighter battles. Even if you don't agree with the comparison, you can't help to have learned something! Until next time, may the force be with you. ========================================================================== E X C E R P T F R O M T H E J O U R N A L O F T H E W H I L L S - P A R T I I Stormwinds By Jennie Jivan He found it in the garage that day. He was supposed to be looking for one of the tools his Uncle needed for the vaporator at the near ridge. Instead, here he was staring at a medal. A medal with his father's name engraved on it. Luke couldn't imagine what it was doing in the garage mixed in with these old tools. He kept staring at it. His blue eyes bright with longing. His Aunt and Uncle always told him they had nothing of either of his parents to show him, not even any holos. He'd learned early not to ask questions. Neither of his guardians would answer. He ran his finger over the etched name of Anakin Skywalker. His father. Luke turned the medal over to read the back. For heroics in the Clone Wars. Strange. Uncle Owen told him his father worked on a spice freighter. Could there be more to this story? He heard his uncle then yelling from upground about the tool. "I can't find it." Luke replied. With much grumbling, Owen went down into the garage to get the tool himself. Something made Luke shove the medal under his tunic and down into his pants pocket. "Not down here day-dreaming again are you Luke?" Luke said he wasn't, and followed his Uncle upground. After Owen finished his lunch the next day, Beru reached into her pocket and silently handed him the medal. Owen recognized it as that medal Ben had brought back with him when he showed up with Luke. "I found it when I was cleaning Luke's room this morning." Owen tightened his mouth. "Where could he have found this?" Beru shrugged. "I thought everything was packed up. I wonder how long he's had it?" "He shouldn't have it at all. He's too much of a dreamer. He'll be asking questions again." Owen muttered. Beru got up and took the medal from Owen. "I'm going to put it back." Owen's eyes followed his wife as she went down the hall, but he said nothing. Luke arrived home later that day with two of his friends from school. Beru hurried in from the courtyard, offering snacks. "We'll grab something later, Aunt Beru. I've got something to show them." Beru was afraid she knew what it must be. there was silence from Luke's room for a moment before Luke's voice could be heard clearly. "I know it's here somewhere." "Yeah sure Wormie's father was a hero in the Clone Wars." "Yeah." another young male voice joined in. "Nobody from this planet fought in that war." Beru heard Luke speak again. "I know it's here. Maybe it's in another drawer." Beru felt an urge to go to Luke's defense, but knew she could not. the danger of the truth far outweighed the hurt Luke was feeling. Leaving the kitchen, she went out into the courtyard. It felt cooler, and there was a breeze flowing down into the compound. Looking up into the sky, Beru saw a brown haze slowly making its way closer. A dust storm was coming.. Returning inside, Beru heard the boys still arguing in Luke's room. Well, there was one way to put a stop to this. "Better head home boys, there's storm winds coming." she said from the doorway. The boys filed out, and Beru's heart contracted as she noticed Luke just sitting there on his bed lost in thought. Beru sighed again, and went to see if Owen was headed back home. Those winds could get very dangerous. She met him coming across the courtyard. "You shouldn't have taken it. He needs something of his Father. Heaven knows you won't let us talk about him." She hadn't meant to say anything, but somehow seeing Owen made the words burst from her. "You know as well as I do that Luke is as good as dead if anyone makes the connection." "Well, other than Ben, who knows that Anakin is Darth Vader?" Owen grabbed Beru's arm. "Don't even speak that name, Beru." he was almost shouting. "You can try to hide all you like. But sooner or later, Luke is going to know. How will he feel when he realizes we knew the truth and never told him?" "There's plenty of time. He's only fourteen." "And you know he should have started training by now. It's a wonder he hasn't figured out himself that he has the Force." Owen shook his head. "I renounced it." "That was your choice. Why don't you let Ben come around?" "I just don't want anything happening to that boy." Owen said quietly. He turned and headed into the compound. Beru came up behind her husband and put her arms around him. "You're thinking of Ned, aren't you?" She didn't have to wait for an answer. She knew Owen often thought about that young friend who had followed Ben and Anakin, and never came home. "You can't hold Luke back, Owen, anymore than you could him..." "Maybe I can't stop Ben's plans, but i can slow them down." Owen replied. Beru patted his shoulder as she went off. Owen wiped the tears he had not allowed Beru to see. He headed upground to check the progress of the storm they knew was coming. Luke passed by his Uncle and slowly headed towards the garage. Owen could see the hurt in Luke as he shuffled over the sand. "Better go land mark that terrain or you'll have to fix all the vaporator locations without a map." Owen said gruffly. Nodding, Luke continued on down into the garage. Yes, Owen thought, as he turned back to watch the dark sky. Storm winds were coming, and just like the storms of nature, there was nothing he could do to stop them. ============================================================================ E C H O F L A S H B A C K Let's take a trip down memory lane, again. Shall we? For all you old fossils, here's a list of some Echolites you may or may not remember. When I first connected with the Echo, I could only do so from my workplace. Usually, I printed out tons of messages so I could read them later at home. Whoa, those were the days! Anyway, I saved all those old pages, and after digging through them recently, I saw some names I have not seen in a long time. A long time. So, here they are. These Echolites were the big time posters about a year and a half to two years ago: Iain Twolan Michael Machado Talon Karrde (Robert) Rand Wacker Beaker Wiskman Naomi Novik David Kerr Erick Tadefa Jason Paterson Dylan Wagner Adam Tembreull Dan Sheehan Darien Allen Charyl Perry Chuck Kahn Jerry Vasilatos Recognize any of them? I'm not saying they aren't around anymore, I'm just saying that they haven't POSTED in a while. Well, anyway, to finish this section off for the month, I'll give you a little treat. This is an actual post between two Echolites that you just MIGHT be familiar with: Date: 7:00 pm Mon Sep 6, 1993 Number: 452 of 500 From: Kevin Anderson Base: Echo: StarWar's To: Tom Veitch Refer #: None Subj: Re: TERMINAL GREETINGS Replies: None Stat: Sent Origin: 01 Sep 93 Tom! You promised not to tell anybody all those secrets about me! I kept my end of the bargain by not telling anyone you really made all your money writing scripts for ARCHIE comics, which you still consider to be your best, most creative, most artistically satisfying work to date. And you did claim that your blacklist in the comics world had *not* in fact come from your too-graphic script for JUGHEAD'S SEXUAL ADVENTURES. But seriously, folks, no matter what you all have been saying, Tom Veitch does NOT prattle on about his fantasies about Ewok women. He's better now. We're having a lot of fun developing the Dark Lords of the Sith and Old Republic history for our new Dark Horse comic series. We hope it all ties together and you all enjoy reading the stuff as it comes out -- make sure you read TALES OF THE JEDI when it comes out in another month or so. The artist, Chris Gossett, is one of the most talented new artists you've seen in a long time ... and they guy who wrote the scripts does a pretty cool job too! Kevin --- TBBS v2.1/NM * Origin: Home of the StarWars echo - Pleasonton, CA (1:161/42) :) =========================================================================== E C H O B O O K S T O R E - R E V I E W Ambush At Correlia - Roger MacBride Allen Review by Eileen Bien The newest installment of the Star Wars saga, Ambush At Correlia, might be the best addition to the SW universe in several years. In the first of the Correlian trilogy, Roger MacBride Allen begins with a powerful and intelligent version of what he thinks may have happened 18 years into the Skywalker adventure. While it maintains the high level of energy and plot intrigues as the other licensed novels, what distinguishes Allen's effort is the maturity of his vision. While SW brings out the child in all of us, many grown-up fans have been given very little to be excited about. Specifically, the novels have lacked the ability to age our favorite characters well and to come up with new and interesting adventures. Allen's work is not flawless, but it does fill the gaps left open by the other books in an exciting and innovative manner. The characterizations of all of our favorites, most notably Han Solo, fells accurate and familiar. Han is what we have always know him to be - adventurous, enigmatic, and brave. Yet he is also 18 years older, devoted, responsible for his family, and reflective on his past. Leia, while not given quite as broad of a role as she should, is at the epitome of her distinguished career as beautiful leader and crusader. Couple these attributes with her new roles as Jedi and head of her family, and we see that Allen has allowed Leia to grow into her potential. Luke, Lando, Chewbacca, Mara Jade, and the rest of our heroes are just as fleshed out as Han and Leia. It is refreshing to see these likable characters finally being written like 30 to 40 year old adults. Luke and Lando are not neglected. While Lando is searching for a rich wife, Luke is going through a search of his own. Prompted by Mon Mothma, in a scene of true SW brilliance, Luke ponders the idea of entering into politics while running around the galaxy with Lando. They conveniently wind up outside the Correlian border right before it closes off communications and transportation from other worlds. The sub-plot that follows Luke, Lando, and the droids seems a little unrelated and boring, I must admit, but it has potential to work into the future books in the series. Even more refreshing than the characters is the fun and politically topical plot. While preparing for a trade convention (and a family vacation), Han, Leia, and their children find themselves in the middle of an erupting civil war on Han's homeworld of Corellia. After reading, I could not help but relate all of Correlia's political history with that of our modern world in the 1990's. In this way, Allen keeps true to George Lucas' original intention of having SW not only be a fun family fantasy, but a veiled political commentary on government and corruption. If you think the idea of a "space fantasy" filled with politics seems dry, you are wrong. Allen gives us all the intrigue of a spy novel, and combines them skillfully with a few dogfights, new ships, and a plot twist at the end that invites the next book. With the characterizations accurate and the plots innovative, what could possibly be flawed in this latest SW novel? Allen is overly verbose. In fact, it often seems like he drags dramatic and fascinating scenes into infinity. Not only do we get the brilliant and well-worded scene, but we get extra dialogue and extra details - often to the point that it ruins good drama and action. This problem might be due to the fact that Allen is an enthusiastic writer, and has perhaps too much to say about the SW universe. Or perhaps the problem is that Bantam Publishing is contracting talented writers who should be writing one good hardcover, to write substandard paperback trilogies, in order to keep our interest in SW alive. With or without Bantam's marketing policies, and few flaws of Allen's style, on the whole Ambush At Correlia was one of the most interesting and well written SW novels that I have read since Timothy Zahn's Empire trilogy. Allen is innovative in the sense that he uses politics and relationships to enhance rather than remove from the action. When reading Ambush At Correlia, you will feel like SW has finally grown up with you. I cannot wait until the next installment of the Correlian trilogy, and neither will you. ======================================================================== S U B M I S S I O N S / C L O S I N G Join the friendly and talented staff of OUT OF THE MAW, and achieve instant fame, glory, and fortune! Eileen Bien Gord Cavanaugh Cheryl De Luca Rob Dennis Mike Farnham Jeremy Gaggins Keith Jakubowski Jennie Jivan Chris Kuist Jason Leblanc Vincent McConnell Greg Mcnamee Eric Nelson Lisa Ramaglia David Sentz Or, apply for a Echolite Of The Month Interview, and join these proud and prestigious folks... Skip Shayotovich Brent Lynch Mike Farnham David Sentz Benoit Verreault Matt Schulz OR, simply read OUT OF THE MAW, and enjoy yourself to no end. For anyone interested in submitting articles for future issues, please E-mail me at schwbnhs@earth.execpc.com, or post a message to the Echo. We have a lot of new folks around here, and I'd love to see something from you. No previous writing experience needed or anything like that. Contact me, and we'll see what we can do. Thanks a lot! I hope you enjoyed this edition of OUT OF THE MAW. As always, mail me with any suggestions, ideas, modifications, enhancements, revelations, or, just to talk. :) May The Force Be With You, and... Clear Skies The Editor ===================================================================== THE WARS BEGIN 1998 ==================================================================BL= L O O K F O R W I N M A W , C O M I N G S O O N ! ! ! ! !
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