Archive for characters

Prequel Appreciation: Favorite Side Character

Posted in Opinion, Questions with tags , , , on 3 August 2015 by Megan

Day 3 of the Prequel Appreciation Week.

Which has immediately launched me into trying to determine what constitutes main characters, side characters, and background characters . . . I am instantly thinking of a lot of background characters I love. Aayla Secura, Eeth Koth, Twi’leks, people with no lines. Those have to be background and they can’t possibly count.

So a side character is a non-protagonist who has lines. That narrows it down. I love Dexter Jettster so much, but I’m really not wanting to do another post about him. I know it’s been like three years and I said it’s not redundant but there are so many characters . . . surely there’s someone else.

You know who is cool? Captain Panaka is cool.

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I tend to forget how much I like him because I get distracted by how much I dislike his stupid nephew Typho. But Panaka is great. Out of place, an oddity, he is a real warrior and a patriot on a pacifist planet. He understands that pacifism is all well and good, but it can’t be practiced without soldiers — a contradiction his contradictory soul can be at peace with.

He wants what’s best for Naboo and is willing to do anything for the Queen. I don’t know what kind of seedy underbelly stuff is going on where pacifist Naboo trains body double guards for its ruler and keeps handguns in the throne, but Panaka is definitely no rent-a-cop. He’s one of the few people in the movie who has a backbone, and he’s not awed by Jedi reputation into accepting their word as law. Hugh Quarshie, who played Panaka, gave this telling insight into his character portrayal:

“I figured the tougher I was, the tougher it would make the Jedi seem to be. Obviously nobody out-toughed the Jedi, but Captain Panaka was going to give them a run for their money!”

Qui-Gon earns his respect, or he never would have let his charge wander off with him alone into a gangster-controlled slaver world.

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In a lot of ways, he reminds me of General Veers. He lost his sister and became dedicated to soldiering as a result. He later turned more to politics, becoming a sector Moff. His loyalty and dedication to Palpatine never wavered, and he considered that his compatriot held the galaxy together and brought order from Separatist chaos.

So you see, in the end, while he was wrong about Palpatine, Panaka becomes one of those near and dear to my heart — EMPIRE FOREVER!

Prequel Appreciation: Favorite Main Character

Posted in Opinion, Questions with tags , , , , on 2 August 2015 by Megan

Day 2 of the Prequel Appreciation Week.

Let’s just accept that 1) favorites generally don’t fluctuate; 2) challenges focus on favorites; 3) there is going to be a certain degree of redundancy; 4) it is OK to talk about the same person more than once; 5) when it’s been two years since I posted about something, it’s not redundant, not really.

That’s more for my benefit than yours because I guarantee you don’t care. My apology stated, let’s move on to the fun stuff.

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And what could be more fun than the legendary Qui-Gon Jinn? I listed some points in this post from 2013 — mostly, that I was entraced by this guy the moment I first saw him on the movie poster and was not disappointed by his appearance. Liam Neeson’s own personal core of awesomeness helps keep Qui-Gon a sustainable favorite even as we near the two decade mark.

Yes, he’s only in one of the three prequel films, but his shadow is over them all. Qui-Gon Jinn, like another favorite of mine, Cadfael, is a warrior/monk/teacher/detective/all around amazing and awesome guy. He’s been a role model to me since I was 14, which was made even cooler by the fact that Obi-Wan was 14 as his apprentice. I could basically step into Obi-Wan’s shoes and be mentored by this great man.

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It’s because of Qui-Gon Jinn that I think stubbornness is a virtue. He never accepts what authority tells him because, even if Yoda is 800 years old, Qui-Gon is confident enough in his own experience and knowledge to believe he just might know better than the little goblin. He tests each situation for himself and draws his own conclusions. Nothing shakes him from his beliefs. He’ll take rebuke, shame, even physical assault, but he will not change his position and he will not compromise on what he knows is right: “I will do what I must.”

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Which is not to say he’s never known failure, even deep, biting failure. He never stopped blaming himself for the fall of his second apprentice, Xanatos; nor did he ever recover from the death of the love of his life, Tahl. He held himself responsible for that, too. But he was tough in the face of his mistakes; they never introduced self-doubt, and he carries the entire plot of Episode I, and, arguably, the prequel trilogy, on his shoulder as he charges ahead. The Force could not be clearer: he has found the “Chosen One” and the Jedi must train him.

While some of his in-film behavior is inexplicable — I simply can’t believe a man who has been betrayed in the past, even betrayed by Obi-Wan, would ever backstab his apprentice before the Council the way Lucas’ Qui-Gon does. But there are times I genuinely believe George Lucas doesn’t know as much about his own characters as I do.

Qui-Gon is proud and stubborn but also gentle. He has an innate knowledge of what people need, what people will respond to, what will cause them to stretch and grow. Obstacles don’t ruffle him as long as he knows he’s in control — watch his temper flare when Watto shoos him out of the shop, for example — and while he doesn’t believe the Council could find the will of the Force with both hands and a flashlight, his trust in what he calls “the Living Force” (the Force of right now, this minute, not the dusty past or the shifting future) doesn’t waver at any point.

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In 1999, when I carried the Visual Dictionary everywhere for months because I couldn’t see the movie until a month after it came out, I drew the inevitable conclusion that Qui-Gon had to die in Episode I. There was no getting around it. I still cried when it happened. Actually, it just made me like him more; I was really infatuated with dead people back then. Sometimes I still am, as long as the death is pointful (not profitable), in character, and, most important of all, not Pyrrhic. Sidebar.

Qui-Gon’s life and background remains shrouded in mystery to me; honestly I have never been able to bring myself to believe that Dooku was his master. His death also has some mystery, in my opinion, because I find it a little overly convenient that when he falls in love a second time, he instantly dies. I’m inclined to think he faked his death so he could run away with Shmi, not allowing the Jedi to derail his heart a second time; but that’s a conspiracy for a different day (1)(2). He’s cool and he’s awesome and that’s all there is to say.

Announcing the Winner!

Posted in Announcements, Fun with tags , , , on 28 March 2015 by Megan

And the votes are in! They have been counted and weighed and the winner has been found.

Thanks for joining me on this learning experience as I tried out the brackety thing and ran a contest for who fans would choose for their favorite! Out of a very tricky to choose 64 characters, we made it down to two. These two. These TrEU two whose legend cannot be made legendary, even by a mouse army.

(PS, anyone knows who originally did that image, I love it and want to credit them.) And now, to find out who the winner was — by eight votes —

Continue reading

Final Battle!

Posted in Fun with tags , , on 24 March 2015 by Megan

Okay, whew! It’s been a long, strange trip, guys! I thank you all for playing . . . and now there is one last task you must do before we part ways (until my next bracket challenge). While I consider this final match up a little cliche, most people seem to agree that it’s interesting as well as fitting. These two characters sprang from the same mind, after all, the mind that gave us the EU in 1991 . . .

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MARA JADE VS. ADMIRAL THRAWN

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You must vote . . . for the top True Expanded Universe character! Who will be the TrEU Champion?

TrEU Round V!

Posted in Fun with tags , , , , on 20 March 2015 by Megan

This has been a very fun journey, to be sure! And my stats are booming. I’m already planning to do more brackets in upcoming months, because I don’t see why they should be restricted to March! That being said . . . let’s take a look at the board!

It was dang close this time through. I actually had to resort to a tie breaker. And with all homage to our EU pioneer Timothy Zahn . . .

herovillains5That’s right! It’s boiled down to a face off of his three most popular characters . . . and that guy from our favorite computer game!

THE HEROES

THE VILLAINS

I’m still hoping folks will keep it more interesting than Zahn vs. Zahn, but can the great Kyle hold his own against the Emperor’s Hand, either in pitched combat, hand-to-hand melee, or the Star Warriors’ heart? I guess we’ll find out. I guess I’m not supposed to be influencing votes!

So go ahead and make your vote, tell your friends, and come back on March 24 to see who has survived to the final two, and your chance to vote for which favorite hero will stomp (or be stomped by!) which favorite villain!

Round Four!

Posted in Fun with tags , , , on 16 March 2015 by Megan

Now here are some interesting matchups. With about double the votes from Round 1, the fight for top character has really taken some interesting turns. I’ve decided that next year, I’ll have the top half be Force-users and the bottom half be non-users, and maybe try to play up the “who would win in combat” side. As it is, we’re solidly running on popularity right now, and it’s not a bad thing.

Click the bracket to view full size and download if you want.

herovillains4No clean sweeps here! Still, the top 8 did for the most part all command an impressive lead over their opponents. Here’s what we’re down to . . .

THE HEROES

  • Kyle Katarn vs. Tycho Celchu — two former students and soldiers for the Empire who graduated into the service of the Rebel Alliance. Katarn also has training as a Jedi Knight, while Tycho Celchu’s reputation as a crack fighter ace means these two won’t be evenly matched in the sky or with a saber.
  • Mara Jade vs. Jaina Solo — specially trained Force sensitive private assassin to the Emperor vs. . . . erm, a 14-year-old girl. You know what, you’ve been voting for Jaina for your own reasons; I’ve established I don’t NJO/Legacy, so just you keep doing your thing.

THE VILLAINS

  • Darth Bane vs. Thrawn — one of the most boring popular Sith lords against arguably the EU’s most popular, most recognized, and most genius characters.
  • Pellaeon vs. Darth Zannah — the coolest badass in all the galaxy vs. somebody . . . I don’t know who she is. Maybe this was more successful without my trying to comment on the fights.

Well, there you have it! The top 8 contenders for title of Favorite TrEU Character. Put in your votes here or on the Facebook page, let me know some way or another! The final four will face off Friday! Woo hoo!

Madness Round III

Posted in Fun with tags , , , on 12 March 2015 by Megan

Whew! I’ve learned many things in completing round two. First of all, I’ve learned a lot about how to construct the bracket when I do this again next year, ha ha. I apologize both for the clumsy voting mechanism (if it’s any consolation, it was as awkward to tabulate as it was to vote) and also for the clumsy organization that put Corran and Wedge against each other in Round II. By the time I realized how the second round might fall out, it was really too late to edit. (This thing was a pain to edit. Are there like official bracket building programs out there?!) Seriously, though, I have already learned a ton about how to set these up, so thanks for the constructive and less than constructive criticism.

Second of all, there were quite a few interesting surprises. There was a sweep on both sides: Mara Jade joined Pellaeon as the only two characters every person voted for. Thrackan Sal-Solo and Teneniel Djo were the unfortunates who could not garner even one vote. Also, out of the 32 men and 32 women I started off with, the women have been surprisingly resilient — it’s still at halves with 8 ladies against 8 men. And what men and ladies! Whew. There are some fights on here I’d pay to see, though I was very sad to have lost Exar. Still, Aurra Sing gutting that wench Erisi was nice to see. Okay, right — who is ready to vote in TrEU Round III!

Click the bracket to view full size and download if you want.

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It is really heating up now — 4 heroes against 4 heroines fighting it out for the dubious privilege of duking it with the top villain. Pick 8 characters you think would win in a fight or in combat, or choose your favorites. Tell me who wins!

(Once more for the broken record: no NJO/Legacy eras or TCW. It’s my website and I’ll shun if I want to, shun if I want to, shun if I want to.)

And for the third — you have four days to put in your votes — March 16, I will announce the winners of Round III! To find out more about your fighting characters, follow the links — for your convenience, they go to the Wookieepedia articles.

THE HEROES

THE VILLAINS