Review: Star Wars Extended Universe
I love star wars which is to say not only the 6 movies but that also includes the Extended Universe. Many are familiar with the Star Wars movies. A lot are also familiar with the Clone Wars TV show. There is so much more to Star Wars and the setting then just what is covered in the movies. That is where the Extended Universe comes into play. Did you know that Clone Wars the TV Show is actually part of the Extended Universe? The Expanded Universe is the ever unfolding and continuing story of the Star Wars universe. It covers all of the official and even some unofficial fictions set in the Star Wars setting. The expanded universe includes books, comic books, video games, movies, television shows, toys, and other media.
- Get so much more detail for the universe
- Find out what happened before there was a Yoda, Palpatine, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.
- Find out what happens to the beloved heroes from the movies like: Luke, Leah, Han Solo and Chewbacca and what happens to the rebels after they win the day.
- Learn so much more about the force philosophies behind it and the real differences between the Light and Dark side.
- Fresh and new stories with different heroes, villains, and sometimes even different struggles.
- The universe is constantly growing and evolving.
- In the early days of the Extended Universe the fiction was very formulaic and had a lot of what is worse about franchise fiction.
The Eras of the Extended Universe
The Extended Universe is broken up into several eras. The date structure for the Extended Universe is all set to BBY which is the Battle at Yavin that happened in Episode 6: Return of the Jedi.
I’ve also included several really good works to check out from the Extended Universe.
- The Old Republic (25,000 BBY – 1,000 BBY)
- The Rise of the Empire (1,000 BBY – 0 BBY)
- The Rebellion (0 BBY – 5 ABY)
- The Truce at Bakura: Book
- The New Republic (5 ABY – 25 ABY)
- The New Jedi Order (25 ABY – 36 ABY)
- Legacy (40 ABY – 137+ ABY)
Getting into the Expanded Universe
There are several great ways to get into the Expanded Universe.
For those who want to pick up right where the movies leave off there is The Truce at Bakura. For me I would recommend either starting with The New Jedi Order series for what happens after the movies this is when the stories got great and broke from the usual formulaic nature found in most franchise fiction.
For before the movies the Knights of the Old Republic period is awesome. I got into this period through the amazing game Knights of the Old Republic. There is also a great series which I have started reading The Old Republic series.
How did you get into the Expanded Universe?
Camile Wray rules Stargate Universe
I was more than a little concerned when I heard Ming Na's character Camile Wray on Stargate Universe was going to be a lesbian. The instant homophobic reaction was not a surprise but the way SGU handles not only her character but the topic of sexuality in general is fascinating.
Sexuality on SGU
The Destiny is millions or billions of light years from Earth, so the crew has to use the Ancient Communication Stones to talk to their loved ones. As a result, the crew are not in their own bodies. This raises some interesting questions about fidelity, since one of those intimate encounters lead to an affair between Everett Young's estranged wife and Colonel David Telford (whose body he used).
But as she always does, Ming Na's Camile steals the show. Her relationship is one of the realist and most touching on the series thus far. I can only assume this is a result of the acting and the fact the writers knew everything Camile does would be scrutinized by people like me.
Camile Wray is probably one of the best written GLBT characters on TV since Queer as Folk or Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air.
Camile's World View
Camile like so many of my GLBT sisters and brothers has a skepticism about anything people say in front of her, and she doesn't feel included in the heterocentric world she finds herself trapped in.
She has learned how to stand up for herself and follow the path she believes is best, not the path given to her.
Camile will not be excluded
I am not sure if it was intentional or just the lucky happenstance of plot, but Camile's main struggle on the Destiny is to make sure her voice is not only heard but respected. This is a struggle not unfamiliar to the GLBT community. We are used to being patted on the head like a good pet and ignored when the time comes.
The IOA may have introduced a request that will make this internal fight and overt one when they asked Camile to insinuate herself as the voice of authority on the Destiny.
This is something that would have happened whether or not the IOA asked. Young is a weak, ineffective, and compromised leader. Sooner or later, someone would have risen up to fill the void. That would have been either Camile or Rush, but with him out of the picture, Camile's only real rival is Eli unless Yong really steps it up,
Finally someone like me
I am so excited to finally see someone like me in a Scifi show. One good GLBT character is a start. (I know some of you probably just screamed out Sam Adama from Caprica... but that is another post)
Camile Wray is the character to watch on SGU. I expect to see her try to win Eli over to her camp soon, and set everything in motion for the crew to see her as the rightful leader of the Destiny. She is the kingmaker, she might even get Young to see her as his best choice to build morale among the crew. She has something to lose if she doesn't get home, and she will focus on that goal and find a way to make it happen.
Stargate Universe Season One
Two part premier airs October 2nd
SGU follows a band of soldiers, scientists and civilians, who must fend for themselves as they are forced through a Stargate when their hidden base comes under attack. The desperate survivors emerge aboard an ancient ship, which is locked on an unknown course and unable to return to Earth. Faced with meeting the most basic needs of food, water and air, the group must unlock the secrets of the ship's Stargate to survive. The danger, adventure and hope they find on board the Destiny will reveal the heroes and villains among them.
An ancient's ship, the Destiny was to follow a pre-programmed mission to explore these galaxies until the Ancients ascended and left the ship unmanned. The Destiny was the second ship following after the first ship which was sent to seed the galaxies with Stargates.
A series of concept art, technical specs and set pictures that give us a closer look at the Destiny.
- Get your copy from Amazon or .
Watch it streaming online
SF TV Series To Watch This Fall
With so many Speculative Fiction shows and new shows coming out this fall I thought I could help sort them all out.
- Eureka (Syfy): A fun sci-fi show. Love it, watch it on Hulu
- Ghost Hunters (Syfy): Fascinating exploration of U.S. ghost stories and haunting investigation. Love it watch it on Hulu
- Warehouse 13 (Syfy): A fun sci-fi show that adds a dash of paranormal into it. Love it, watch it on Hulu
- Glee (FOX): loved the pilot, a nice feel good musical tale with a dash of fantasy.
- Destination Truth (Syfy): Loved the previous seasons can’t wait to see what Josh and the gang get into this season. Hopefully nothing from Chernobyl bit Josh.
- The Vampire Diaries (CW): A vampire is in it so I have to check it out but I don’t have much hope. I realize it is not a Twilight clone (I have been schooled on that subject, lol) yet I can only hope that it is way better then Twilight.
- Supernatural (CW): I’m a sucker for a paranormal show involving demon hunters so this is on my check out list because I also realize there are a lot of bad ones out there as well.
- The Forgotten (ABC): I don’t have much hope for this show, mainly I’m concerned this will turn out to be yet another show for people who don’t like sci-fi to watch.
- Eastwick (ABC): The trailers looks really good, they captured the essence of the movie so well in the promotional material I’m looking forward to watching it.
- Dollhouse (FOX): Season one rocked!!! A must see
- Smallville (CW): I could appreciate the concept behind Smallville but until this season just didn’t care enough bout the show to want to watch it but with Callum Blue joining the cast this year I think I may start watching it.
- The Simpsons (FOX): If you don’t know then I’m at a loss for words.
- Stargate Universe (Syfy): I started out not caring much about this show, but as more came out and especially the latest trailers I’m excited to watch it.
- Clone Wars: Rise of the Bounty Hunters (Cartoon): Season two of George Lucas' animated Star Wars tales covering the era of the Clone Wars. The animation style is a unique style that has been difficult for some to get into but worth it. The story is really good though lighter because the show is marketed more towards a kid audience I have hope that the second season will get better.
- Ugly Betty (ABC): What an amazing retelling of the classic fantasy tale
- Sanctuary (Syfy): The original web series was good. The first season was awesome so of course I’m looking forward to season two.
- V (ABC): I enjoyed growing up with the original show V and it is one that could use a retelling, plus Morena Baccarin.
- Legend of the Seeker (syndication): Season one was so good I can’t wait to see how season two unfolds.
I find it interesting that all of the speculative fiction programming out there are on either sy-fy, Fox, CW, or ABC.
Stargate Universe: Take a Tour of the Destiny
Thanks to Joe Mallozzi for sharing a bunch of concept art and set pictures of the ship Destiny which is the ancients ship that the crew get stranded on in the new show Stargate: Universe. Stargate Universe debuts on October 2nd with a two-hour premiere at 9 p.m. The regular episodes will air Fridays a 9, starting on October 9.
Lets begin our tour with the control room. I'm excited with the look and feel that they are going for with the control room. There is a nice blend with elements that we are familiar with from Stargate SG1 and Atlantis. They incorporated a more circular feel to the layout which helps set it apart from the typical human box like interior ship design.
Control Room concept art
Control room set pictures
From the control room lets take a walk down some of the corridors of the Destiny and head to the gate room.
concept art and set picture
The concept art is fun, when zoomed in on the text is readable and it explains what the different lights and parts resembles.
The Gate Room
Concept art: I like having it in a bay with all of the windows around it giving the gate room high visibility and a vast open feeling. Plus the tunnel effect caused by the long room adds to the experience of passing through the wormhole.
Picture of the Gate Room:
unfortunately it looks like they went with a more shallow depth to the room hopefully that is altered with movie magic. They still have what looks like windows or open areas around the main structure and a door behind the gate this should add for more gate room variability. What is really interesting is the chevrons around the gate look different.
A closer look at the gate with a fun explanation of the difference in the chevrons.
Concept art of the gate explaining how it looks when operating
Lets head down a few more corridors to our last stop on our tour, the living quarters.
I love the use of an ancient's french press coffee machine in the middle of the table. Joking aside it's really neat looking, I wonder if it's some kind of lantern.