Tarkin Is Center Stage As The New Star Wars EU Expands: Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf

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This week the new Star Wars Expanded Universe opens up just a little bit more with Tarkin by James Luceno. It’s the second novel in the new EU, following on the heels of the Rebels prequel A New Dawn, which released a few months back. While that book was set during the “dark times” after the massacre of the Jedi order and the ascension of Palpatine to Emperor, Tarkin is set in the days leading up to A New Hope, with the first Death Star still under construction and Tarkin one of the most powerful men in the Empire. As for Luceno, he’s no stranger to the Star Wars universe, having penned Darth Plagueis, the Dark Lord Trilogy, and more.

Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

Tarkin“Star Wars: Tarkin” by James Luceno

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Bestselling Star Wars veteran James Luceno gives Grand Moff Tarkin the Star Wars: Darth Plagueis treatment, bringing a legendary character from A New Hope to full, fascinating life.

He’s the scion of an honorable and revered family. A dedicated soldier and distinguished legislator. Loyal proponent of the Republic and trusted ally of the Jedi Order. Groomed by the ruthless politician and Sith Lord who would be Emperor, Governor Wilhuff Tarkin rises through the Imperial ranks, enforcing his authority ever more mercilessly…and zealously pursuing his destiny as the architect of absolute dominion.

Rule through the fear of force rather than force itself, he advises his Emperor. Under Tarkin’s guidance, an ultimate weapon of unparalleled destruction moves ever closer to becoming a terrifying reality. When the so-called Death Star is completed, Tarkin is confident that the galaxy’s lingering pockets of Separatist rebellion will be brought to heel — by intimidation…or annihilation.

Until then, however, insurgency remains a genuine threat. Escalating guerrilla attacks by resistance forces and newfound evidence of a growing Separatist conspiracy are an immediate danger the Empire must meet with swift and brutal action. And to bring down a band of elusive freedom fighters, the Emperor turns to his most formidable agents: Darth Vader, the fearsome new Sith enforcer as remorseless as he is mysterious; and Tarkin — whose tactical cunning and cold-blooded efficiency will pave the way for the Empire’s supremacy…and its enemies’ extinction.


Star Wars: Episode VII’s Villain May Wield This Medieval Weapon

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Star WarsJust because Star Wars: Episode VII has wrapped up principal photography, that doesn’t mean that we’re going to stop hearing news and reports and rumors floating around the airwaves from all different directions. We just won’t see any more set photos taken from planes circling overhead or from spy drones (seriously, that’s mind boggling). In fact, another one is making the rounds and claims to offer some details about a potential villain.

There are, this should be obvious by now, possible SPOILERS beyond this point. There’s nothing too specific, but if you’re trying to maintain the mystery, maybe you should do something else. Also, these are unofficial, unsubstantiated reports, so take them with a grain of salt.


Star Wars 7: Read The Note J.J. Abrams Sent The Cast And Crew On Their Last Day

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Star Wars: Episode VIISo apparently Star Wars: Episode VII has finished shooting, or at least wrapped up principal photography—odds are that, over the next year plus, there will be the need for some reshoots pick ups or things of that nature. But for now, that side of the film is done. There’s such a veil of secrecy covering the production, if you were involved, and someone said, “Oh yeah? Prove it,” you might not be able to. Until now. J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Bryan Burke, and the rest of the higher ups, sent this sweet note out to all of the members of the “extraordinary cast and crew.”

While this is just a nice little gesture (isn’t it always pleasant to get a touch of praise from your boss? Even if you hate your job it feels good to be recognized), like I said, part of the motivation for this is so that those involved have something to show off. A piece of the letter reads: “How lovely it would be if you had, in addition to your name on the screen, some actual, real, tangible proof that you were part of it! Here, then, is that proof.”


Star War: Count Down The Saga’s Top 10 Monsters With This Video

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The Star Wars saga, like any good space opera set in a far, far away galaxy, is full of imaginative creatures, nasty little bugs, and straight up terrifying monsters. J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII is sure to continue this tradition, but for now, we’ll have to make due with our favorites from the original trilogy, and, begrudgingly, the prequels. This new video ranks all of the beasties, from the creepy crawly all the way up to the I-might-eat-your-spaceship.

This is part of the Star Wars 10, where the staff of StarWars.com gets together and compiles a top ten list of various elements within the wider universe. And this time, as you no doubt inferred from the previous paragraph, their focus is on hideous monsters. Given that Halloween just passed us by, this is a subject at the forefront of many of our minds, not to mention it’s a topic near and dear to our hearts during the rest of the year as well.


This Star Wars Costumes Book Trailer Takes You Inside Skywalker Ranch

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World building is key in films like Star Wars, and a huge part of that is the costumes. Nothing throws off a movie quite as fast as when it doesn’t look right. From Han Solo’s vest to Chewbacca’s sweet bandolier to various Princess Leia outfits, the detail and precision in the clothing goes a long way to creating the look and feel of George Lucas’ original trilogy. A book that just came out last week, appropriately enough titled Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy, digs into the aspect of the film in a way, and this book trailer gives you a good idea of what’s waiting for you inside these pages.

Author Brandon Alinger was given an unprecedented level of access to the costume archives at Skywalker Ranch, and the results looks like they’re going to be rather spectacular. As you can see here, Alinger goes into incredible detail, examining the outfits of everyone, from major players like Darth Vader all the way down to minor characters only the most hardcore fanatics can even correctly identify.


Thrift Store Paintings Are Better When Vandalized With Star Wars

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StarDestroyerStar Wars has become one of the juggernauts of popular culture, and it’s only going to get bigger thanks to Rebels, Episode VII, and the rest. Disney seems to be taking the same coordinated multi-media approach as they have with their Marvel wing, so we can expect to see Star Wars, well, everywhere in the years to come. But one place I wouldn’t have expected the galaxy far, far away to infiltrate is the canvases of second-hand thrift-shop paintings. One clever artist, however, is doing just that. Macklemore would be so proud.