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Favorite Villain

Posted in Challenges with tags , , , , , , , on 4 April 2013 by Megan

All right, Star Wars Librarian, let’s not overanalyze this question. It’s tempting, I know. Villainy gets to be one of my favorite subjects, so I sit here and think, “Who’s really villainous? Who’s really evil? Who do I love who is really evil?” I must rein myself in, or never answer the question, and settle frankly on what the creator of the challenge meant by villain — antagonist — and what Star Wars fans and creators alike consider when they think of villain — empire. So even though I do not consider this man villainous, I love him and am satisfied to make him my answer.

Veers

General Maximilian Veers

I love the Empire. I love a man in uniform, and I love Imperial uniforms. General Maximilian Veers is first seen in Empire Strikes Back as the leader of the Imperial forces. He is present on Vader’s command ship, and leads the AT-ATs in the ground assault on Hoth. In many respects, he is quite safe from Vader throughout the film because he is not in control of any situation on board the flagship. A good soldier, he follows orders and tells his superior what he wants to hear — but nevertheless he sounds tense during the Hoth battle because he knows Vader has a sharp temper and is easily displeased even with good news.

Veers-hd

Veers reports to Vader

I have no idea why General Veers is the one who reports to Vader about the fleet coming out of hyperspace. However, you can tell he dislikes and disagrees with Ozzel, and is not much perturbed at his demise.

Veers, portrayed by the handsome Julian Glover (he of the velvet voice), is a very expressive character, and you can tell he is a good military leader. He has a great backstory as well; he rose quickly in the ranks as a young officer, fell in love with a beautiful woman, and had a son (Zevulon) with her before her unexpected death. Devastated by the loss, and not having access to a convent offering the services of flighty would-be nuns for governesses to fall in love with and repair the wounds of broken hearted military men, Veers sent his son to a military school and thrust himself into Imperial service with a vengeance. He invented the AT-AT, as a matter of fact — although I experience disgust with the would-be chronicler who tries to claim he subversively murdered another soldier who pointed out the weakness with the legs — Veers would not commit an honorless murder like that! Get with the program!

Anyway, tragically, his son turned to the rebellion, never appreciated, knew, or loved his father, and pretty much set out to destroy everything he believed in because he felt rebellious. So many people involved in the Rebel Alliance have so much more convoluted or mistrustworthy motives! It just goes to show you that things are not often wholly black or white in a conflict. Yes, okay, Death Star, WMD are evil and a bad idea, but I mean in general, the Empire was just an organization of law more efficient than the Republic had been or could be, and what the Rebellion should’ve focused on was getting a more appropriate leader on the throne. But I guess they all believe the myth that “absolute power corrupts absolutely,” which is just nonsense.

I was talking of Veers. Well, he’s a great man.  I think I have no reason to find conflict with the comic that kills him off six years after ROTJ. He was involved with Thrawn’s alliance, but gets killed in the rising of the Emperor Reborn. A tragic figure, but my favorite Imperial of all time.

(I could not with conscience choose Boba Fett for a “villain” because he just . . . it doesn’t work. I love Boba Fett, too, but he’s just too lawful neutral to even begin to fit in this category.)

Spotlight: Mon Mothma

Posted in Questions, Spotlight with tags , , , , , , on 24 February 2013 by Megan

The question for this day of the Female Awesome challenge was to answer what character I think needs more screen time. Seriously, I barely like any women characters, and then now you want me to find one who wasn’t around long enough for me? Normally I can’t wait for the chicks to get out of the way! Or I like someone who is a background character and, seriously, there is nothing to do with them even if you did give them more screen time. Take Lyn Me, for example, a Twi’lek dancer in Jabba’s palace. I think it’s annoying that a race as cool as the Twi’leks were brought in and then abandoned as far as (canonical) main character appearances were concerned. However, what would you do with a white-skinned Twi’lek dancing in Jabba’s palace and crushing on Boba Fett while attempting to find her long-lost sister? Make her part of a subplot of their escape? Clearly, it complicates things beyond Lucas’ ability.

I used to have an instant answer to this question: Mon Mothma. When I first saw Return of the Jedi, for some reason, I thought she was the flipping coolest. I mean, look at her in the rebel command center, this lone redheaded female surrounded by men, many of which are Mon Calamari. (How Mon Calamari and humans came to be the driving force behind the rebellion . . .)

"The Emperor's made a critical error and the time for our attack has come." Admit it, you read that in her voice.

“The Emperor’s made a critical error and the time for our attack has come.” Admit it, you read that in her voice.

And she really just never got any attention anywhere. Somehow I knew her name was Mon Mothma, and there was the impression that she was in charge of the rebellion, but you never saw her again after that quick little introduction to their attack on the second Death Star. There was a powerful sort of grace to her, and I thought it was interesting the highest command positions went to women. She had a firm, commanding tone, and expressed concern for her people.

Monmothma

Conveying the burden of leadership with fortitude and grace.

Of course that was before I eventually learned that Bothans were the spy equivalent of mercenaries, that the Alliance paid them buckets of money for the information, and that the selfsame Bothans probably told the Emperor the Alliance was coming for the showdown, thus allowing him to make it part of his final plans for crrrushing them with one ssswift sstrrroke.

But I did spend many years wishing she got more attention. She came up loosely in the books here and there. I found out she was from Chandrila, that she had been a senator in the Old Republic, that she and Garm Bel Iblis were two of the founding instruments in the rebellion. Later she became the Chief of State and was clearly grooming Leia, the only other female around, as her successor; this stood in the way of Leia’s and Han’s relationship and really kind of wrecked Leia as a character for me. What a creep! Anyway, Mon Mothma never got enough attention in the books, little references here, scenes there; no one was interested in developing her character.

When it came time to the prequels, it seemed to me inevitable that she’d turn up. Bail Organa was there, why not Mon Mothma? In fact, in a deleted subplot to Episode III, Mon Mothma did appear in a handful of scenes where a group of senators were forming a petition against Chancellor Palpatine to get him to step down and end the war.

Where we learn she’s been wearing that shirt necklace for 25 years. Respect.

The scenes aren’t well developed, either because they were abandoned right after filming, or because they were only filmed for DVD extras, or because Lucas grows more and more incompetent with age. Padmé is reluctant to join their petition, and then she’s suddenly all over it. Mon Mothma appears with a kicky translator earpiece and really one of the most adorable hairstyles in the entire prequels.

Maybe that is why I like Mon Mothma. She does stand out among the women of Star Wars in that she dresses and coifs herself plainly; she’s an effective leader, stubborn, and determined to see that right is done. And shouldn’t she really be around throughout the end of ROTJ? At least put her in the background during the big battle. Ackbar’s still there; where did she disappear to? The Ladies’? The whole freakin’ battle? Yet I think this question literally intends me to be asking for more than 10-25 seconds of extra screen time.

Day Seven: A Female Character Who Needs More Screen Time via Hundredaire Socialite.

Dexter Jettster

Posted in Fun with tags , , , , , , , on 23 September 2011 by Megan

Dexter Jettster, the diner’s second owner

I just thought I’d start this fun Friday off with a bit of a character sketch on Dexter Jettster. Why? Because it’s never too early to start planning your Star Wars extravaganza, and next May is Episode II’s 10th birthday. Obviously I’m already working on my party–actually have been since May–and, if you paid attention to my last Star Wars party, you know that the cake is the centerpiece, and the cake obviously has to be related to E2 somehow.

In conferring with my primary co-planner, whose blog you should read, we searched a great deal and finally settled on Dex’s Diner, which has an epic cake shape already. Since I’ve already done all this research on Dex, I thought I’d do a character spotlight for this Fun Friday. So here goes with a quick bio of one of Coruscant’s well-known restaurateurs!

Dex is a Besalisk, a four-armed sentient hailing from the world of Ojom. Ojom is not in the Republic, and Dexter is more adventurous than many others of his race, who generally stay settled on their homeworld.

Take a seat! I’ll be right wichya!

Dexter has quite a varied past, having been part of oil-harvesting expeditions all over the galaxy. The work he did with these crews ranged from technical work to bartending, cooking, and brawling, to the shadier work of selling contraband and running weapons. The diner is essentially his retirement, a clean start for a life haphazardly lived before. Of course, his previous experiences make him an ideal contact for a Jedi like Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Coruscant’s CoCo Town

The Diner is located in the Coruscant neighborhood of CoCo Town (sometimes CoCo District, for the Collective Commerce District). There are lots of old-style diners in this area, hearkening back to the Republic’s Golden Age; and while the district is Upper-Level, traditionally indicative of high class luxury on Coruscant, but the eateries in this district cater to those who work for the Senators and other upper-class gentlebeings of Coruscant, and therefore offer more affordable options.

The window sign for Dex’s

Obi-Wan first gained familiarity with the restaurant in his Padawan days with Qui-Gon; back then it was owned by a friend of Qui-Gon’s named Didi. Following his Master’s penchant for keeping friends and informants at all levels of society, Obi-Wan made friends with Dex and depends on his valuable insights and observations. At the same time, Dex recognizes a great friend in Obi-Wan, knowing he is neither judgmental nor high-minded like some other Jedi.

The Diner

Here’s the diner itself. You can see how the shape really lends itself to being “en-cake-ified.” It has an oblong shape, achievable by taking two rectangular layer cakes and cutting them in half, then stacking them and carving to shape. We plan to use red velvet cake. While we do have Obi-Wan action figures in droves, we don’t have a Dexter, so that might have to be remedied in the coming months.

Sources: the Databank entry (here) and The Ultimate Visual Guide as well as the Wookieepedia.