Thursday, 30 August 2007

Star Wars Legacy - The Sith: Active Personnel


OK, I've finally gotten around to doing this, a set of articles covering the galaxy in the Star Wars Legacy comic series, set over 130 years after the first Death Star was destroyed. A full century after the Yuuzhan Vong war (see Species of the week 1) the galaxy has changed, though still impacted by it. The Jedi (now in their thousands) led an effort to reintegrate the Vong by using their biotech to restore barren worlds. This was sabotaged and plunged the Galaxy into war, leaving one side victorious - the Sith. This article discusses the individuals of the New Sith Order still active as of the latest Legacy issue (#15) and I'll seek to update any changes as issues are released.

Darth Krayt

Species: Human
Sex: Male
Homeworld: Tatooine
Position: Dark Lord of the Sith
First Appearance: Legacy #1 (Broken, part 1)

Darth Krayt, undisputed leader of the New Sith Order has had a long and painful history. Born A'Sharad Hett, son of a great Jedi and raised among the Tusken Raiders of Tatooine until his father was killed and he took up Jedi training. Soon after the Clone Wars broke out, quickly followed by Order 66, leaving Hett an exile on Tattoine. He survived the Jedi purge and eventually saw it as his duty to return the Sith to power, though he evidently did not want to join Sidious in this. The Vong war left it's mark on him, leaving him covered in living armour that threatens to consume him. Eventually he made his way to Korriban and there, in secret, founded a New Sith Order, made from many thousands of Sith all devoted to his vision, working as one. Through the Empire Krayt came to be ruler of the entire galaxy and strives to bring it under his rule and vision.

Darth Maladi
Species: Devaronian
Sex: Female
Homeworld: Devaron or Korriban(?)
Position: Head of Sith Intelligence and Assasination
First appearance: Legacy #1 (Broken, part 1)

Darth Maladi is cold and dark, an expert in torture and death she is also very active in directing the forces of the Empire in Krayt's commands. It was by her the Sith approached the Empire with an alliance and indeed it was her sabotage that caused the war in the first place!! She has a large laboratory in the Sith temple where she tortures captives, such as Jedi Hosk Trey'lis, and bends them to her will. She also has assumed leadership of Imperial Intelligence, though officially it is still run by Moff Calixte, and all agents ultimately report to her. She is an avid schemer and happily uses the lives of others in her own schemes, such as when she sent Darth Kruhl to assasinate Roan Fel, knowing there was a good chance he'd die.

Darth Nihl

Species: Nagai
Sex: Male
Homeworld: Nagi(?)
Position: Hand
First appearance: Legacy #1 (Broken, part 1)

Darth Nihl knew power and dominion before he joined the ranks of the Sith. Deep in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy he was a feared warlord. At some point he was found by the Sith and joined them, swearing loyalty to Darth Krayt and becoming Darth Nihl. He was intended to be the Fist of the Sith, their military leader, but instead became a Hand to Krayt when the previous hand died prematurely. As hand he served on the most vital of missions and proved his loyalty to the Sith Lord. He proved himself in combat when he lead the assault on the Jedi academy, maiming Wolf Sazen and killing Kol Skywalker as well as many more. He continued to serve his Lord on many more missions, though he has begun to found that because he was not born Sith his master doesn't always fully trust him. Notable about him are the fact he doesn't bear Red sith tatoos and that he uses a cane like lightsaber in combat.

Darth Talon

Species: Twi'lek
Sex: Female
Homeworld: Korriban
Position: Hand
First Appearance: Legacy #2 (Broken, part 2)

Darth Talon was born and raised among Sith, she has known no other life, thus she is utterly loyal, highly trained and a very powerful asset to her lord Darth Krayt. She is formidable in both combat and force techniques and ready to use them for whatever purpose her lord wishes. She proved her loyalty when Darth Krayt ordered her to kill her trainer, Darth Ruyn, and she did without hesitation. Darth Krayt then sent her to track down the daughter of original Emperor Roan Fel, she failed to capture the princess, but gained valuable information for her lord and eventually captured a bigger prize - Cade Skywalker. Krayt knows he has her complete loyalty and continues to entrust in her the most vital of assignments.

Darth Wyrrlok the third

Species: Chagrian
Sex: Male
Homeworld: Korriban(?)
Position: Lore Master
First appearance: Legacy #1 (Broken, part 1)

The third Sith to take on the name of Wyyrlok, he is Darth Krayt's most truested advisor and friend. Krayt confides in him more than any other Sith and Wyrrlok is his advisor in seeking help with his ailment. Wyrrlok guards his lord while he is in stasis or healing and gives his complete loyalty to Krayt. Wyrrlok is the Sith who is most knowledgable in the force, studying ancient techniques and collecting Sith artifacts, making him very wise and also very powerful. He continues to serve diligently at his master's side, seeking a way to preserve his life and keep his vision for the galaxy alive.

Darth Stryfe

This Dark Lord is a human male who is one big ball of Sith empowered rage ready to explode at his master's will. He has yet to be seen in galactic events, but no doubt he will have an impact when he does.

Darth Wyyrlok the fourth

Though she has yet to assume that title it is intended that Wyyrlok's daughter will fill his place when he is gone, she is currently in training on Korriban.

Cade Skywalker

He has not joined their ranks, but Cade has been captured and is held at the Sith temple on Coruscant and judging from the cover of an upcoming issue he may at least join them temporarily, though his motives remain unclear. Cade has a place in many other articles and is Legacy's central character so expect to hear much more about him.

The ranks of the Sith number in their thousands and include acolytes and field agents with minimal force powers. Several Sith have fallen and the dead say as much about the group as the living so the next article will cover the inactive personell of the Sith Order.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Species of the week #2 - Transformer

OK, I'm slipping behind already, but I'll try and catch up with some more species found in the wide worlds of science fiction. This week's article could be technically be noted as not an alien since the species in question are of course machanical in nature, but since they are alive, intelligent and independent I think I'll let them get away with it, oh and they are also undeniably cool!


Designation: Sentient
Homeworld: Cybertron
Average Height: Varies on an individual basis

I can't claim to be a long time Transformers fan and readily confess that my enthusiasm for this species comes almost solely from the new film. The notion of a living species with mechanical components instead of organs is a fascinating one and gave the film a strength that carried over from the former cartoon series and popular toy. The transformers have a diverse and wildly varying continuity which I'm going to mostly skirt around, though I will try and avoid making direct claims based on the film as they may differ from older continuity and inevtiably annoy someone.

The Transformers are a living mechanoid species from the planet Cybertron. How they came to be is a mystery even to the species themselves as it is long shrouded in their past. Some believe they were formed from a natural interworking of cogs and levers, eventually developing into full mechanoids. Others believe that they were created by God like beings to serve in their battles, still other that the life giving Allspark provided them with life. However it happened the Transformers are most definitely alive.

They are gifted with the most incredible abilities. They processors can handle information at incredible rates and their weapons far surpass the most advanced of Earth's technology. Their most amazing ability is to change shape to attack or disguise themselves. All they need is an image of a construct (say a car) vaguely similar to themselves and instantly transform into an exact replica of it, perfectly disguised. When not in this they reside in "protoforms" often vaguely humanoid, but still clearly mechanical and clearly alien.

The history of Cybertron and it's inhabitants is a long and tortured one with multiple accounts and histories branching far and wide. But the central core of their lives for many millenia has been the two factions of the Autobots, led by the benevolent Optimus Prime and the Decepticons, led by the power hungry Megatron. This war has ravaged their world, flung them accross space and eventually lead them to Earth where they have often carried out their war hidden among the humans, this war has defined Transformers for a long time and will for years to come.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Species of the week #1 - Yuuzhan Vong

Well here I am, venturing out on a new weekly article covering the different alien species that inhabit the myriad worlds of Science Fiction, we'll see where it takes us eh? First to answer a question post by a comenter concerning doctor who:

Sam, I'm not exactly sure of the answer since I can't remember the incident exactly, but I'll try my best to answer. In general it seems that seeing yourself, or anyone who you shouldn't really see, doesn't actually mess about with the timeline too much. If you remember Rose was able to see her younger self and family, it was only when she touched them and changed their story that things got messed up. I think that because seeing something only impacts one of you it doesn't distort the timeline - if you see yourself in the past then that doesn't affect you in the past only you in the present, the only thing it changes is that you now know what you looked like in the past. However if you had a conversation with yourself that would really mess things up because it would then mean that you should already know about that conversation because you'd heard it in the past - which would really mess things up. Time travel is generally messy and probably shouldn't be attempted under any circumstances, but a general rule would be "look but don't touch" and that would seem to keep you alive and stop you destroying the universe in most cases. Anyway - back to the matter at hand eh?

Oh by the way if you're a bit behind on Star Wars literature there are major spoilers here!!

Yuuzhan Vong

Designation: Sentient
Homeworld: Yuuzhan'tar
Average Height: 1.9 metres

I guess a sensible thing to do would be to pick a species that appeared in the Star Wars films and that everyone would know about and could relate to - however this is my blog and this blog is about getting downright geeky so if you've never heard of this species prepare to learn!! The Yuuzhan Vong were the main focus of the groundbreaking New Jedi Order book series. With the Empire defeated and now at peace with the New Republic and superweapons, rogue Imperials and dark Jedi becoming old news, something new was needed to shake the Star Wars galaxy up - that something was the Yuuzhan Vong. As a species this race had more impact on the galaxy than any other, with the possible exeption of humans! As worlds fell, along with troops, ships and even Jedi, the galaxy suddenly became a whole lot darker.

Yuuzhan Vong was a strange alien name that soon burned itself permanantly into the minds of all galactic citizens. This terrifying race from another galaxy stormed across the galaxy wiping out everything in it's path. The 'Vong (an abbreviation that was in fact highly offensive to the species) were a species that in general frame were not too different from humans. They were taller and bulkier with sloping foreheads that had bony ridges - they also had sacks under their eyes and were generally terrifying to behold. They also pierced and mutliated themselves as part of a religion of pain and they clothed themselves in armour that was in fact a living creature known as a Vonduun crab. In fact all of their "equipment", from clothing to starships, was living in some way or other. Because of this they despised the artificial technologies that populated the galaxy they sought to conquer - nothing more so than droids, a mockery of life in their eyes.
Perhaps the most intriguing thing about them was that they were completely absent from the force all that could be sensed of them was an absence. This coupled with the fact that their armour and weapons were resistant to lightsabers gave them and edge of their most fearome opnonents - what they termed as Jeedai. Many Jedi fell to the Yuuzhan Vong and many of the galaxy's inhabitants turned on the Jedi in the hope that they would be spared. The invasion carried itself all the way to Coruscant, erradicating whole worlds such as Ithor that stood in it's way. They devastated Coruscant and remodeled it after their former homeworld and began to push further outward to secure the galaxy as their own. But, regrouping at Mon Calamari and securing alliances with Hapes and the Empire, the New Republic reformed into the Galactic Alliance and started to strike back. While they did Luke Skywalker led a mission to find an alternative solution to the war - the sentient world of Zonama Sekot who was connected to the Yuuzhan Vong's ancient homeworld, which was also a living world. After defeating the Yuuzhan Vong forces in orbit of Coruscant with a final push the Vong who surrendered were relocated to this mysterious world where they began the slow process of learning to live in peace.

OK, you may have caught up on the NJO, but if you haven't read the Star Wars Legacy comics you'll still find spoilers here.

Even a century after the invasion, the Vong were still not ready for reintergration, though they did make a valiant effort that might eventually have succeeded had it not been for the Sith. They mostly remained in seclusion, but a few were brought to the new Jedi Academy on Ossus, where they were accepted despite the painful memories still harbored by Jedi. They began work on a project to use the biotechnology of the vong to reinvigorate barren worlds. This was eagerly approved by the galaxy, but sabotage produced terrible results, causing the galaxy to despise the Vong once more and ultimately plunged the galaxy again into war, with the Sith and Empire coming out as victors.

Well there we go - more to come I hope, I'm getting quite excited by the new program Heroes (BBC2 Wednesdays @ 9pm) it certainly looks promising though I haven't quite made up my mind yet. Anyhow - enough from me for now i think.