Friday, April 30, 2010

3956 BBY: Payback

Revan and Malak’s victory over the Mandalorian forces shattered the Mandalorian war-machine, but more importantly to the Dark Jedi’s cause, their victory decimated the Mandalorian culture. Now scattered throughout the galaxy as mercenaries for hire, the Mandalorians want to avenge their destructive loss. Though unable to confront the new Sith Empire in large scale, the Mandalorians have moved to guerrilla warfare, and attack the Sith in small controlled skirmishes.

Payback, a minatures scenario by Wizards of the Coast, is the story of a small band of Mandalorians taking the fight to the Sith on the planet Taris. As the adventures reads: “a small group of Mandalorian mercenaries trapped on the planet take it upon themselves to exact a little payback on a newly established Sith outpost”. Using the element of surprise, the Mandalorians ambush the Sith outpost. The Sith however, are ever prepared, and thus the stage is set for this particular piece of Star Wars history.

As with all stories of an RPG miniatures nature, it is not the outcome of the events that are important, but simply that the events themselves took place.
Moving away from the source text itself though, I want to comment on this particular pieces' placement in Star Wars chronology

In Joe Bongiorno’s chronology he has placed this miniatures RPG scenario after the KOTOR video game, but since I have become more intimate with the KOTOR game, I think Payback should go before KOTOR, because in this particular piece of historical record the planet of Taris is still standing.

At the end of the first act in KOTOR, Malak maliciously destroys Taris, along with all of its inhabitants, in a fearful attempt to prevent Bastila Shan from escaping the planet’s surface. Since in this RPG scenario the Mandalorians are taking the fight to the Sith on the planet of Taris in revenge for their defeat by Malak and Revan’s forces, I think it should be placed before KOTOR.
As it is, I was biting at the chomp to get a post in before the end of the month, and Payback was a small bit of chronology I could easily post on.

This bit of text aside, It still might be a while yet before I write a post on my reactions to the KOTOR video game. I’m nearing the end of the Tatooine segment, and it’s the first time in a while that I’ve felt like the there is light at the end of the tunnel. Video games will defiantly be the most difficult challenge for me in the Star Wars chronology project. With a source like this in front of me, I wish I were an irresponsible teenager with tons of free time again, but alas, I’m not.

No bother though, as a few more sources have surfaced which I will be able to engage with while I crawl my way through KOTOR’s content. As Plaristes has pointed out to me, the fourth installment of the Lost Tribe of the Sith e-books, Savior, has been recently released. There are some chapters in the Star Wars novel Crosscurrent I can look at, and Hyperspace just released an exclusive called The Secret Journal of Doctor Demigol. I also just read on that a novel set in the time of the Old Republic called Fatal Alliance has been scheduled for release in July, (and yet another novel about the enigmatic Darth Malgus has been scheduled for release in late December – but I’ll probably have to backlog that one) so hopefully I’ll be able to read and report on it as I begin playing my way through KOTOR 2.

With all that being said however, video games will defiantly be the most challenging media I come across in my pursuit of this PhD.

Before I sign off I just want to share with you, my reader, some of my own Star Wars thoughts, hopes, and dreams, and what I would love to do with Star Wars when I’ve finally completed this little project of mine.

I would love to help resurrect the Star Wars Adventure Journal again. I know that Wizards of the Coast has chosen not to renew its license with Lucasfilm and produce RPG texts, so I wonder now where that leaves the Star Wars role-playing game. I would love to see Star Wars RPG go back to the D6 system, but ultimately, I really don't care if it stays in the D20 realm, or moves on to some other incarnation. I don’t even play the game anymore; I just love the books the RPG genre produces.

So here’s my idea, and where I daydream my role in it: I would love to edit the second edition of the Star Wars Adventure Journal, which would be made up of mostly good fan fiction, and the work of professional writers. I think Hyperspace and the short stories it produces fills this Star Wars short story niche to some extent, but recently I’ve read some really good fan fiction, and my first thought was, “man, it would be awesome to have these writers work’s canonized somehow”. Specifically I’m thinking of a story I read on the swtor forums called An Unexceptional Jedi which I really enjoyed.

Imagine a bi-monthly or tri-monthly publication featuring the work of amateur writers (and professionals), who get to add to the universe they love. This would be coupled with art and RPG stats of the main characters at the end of the story. I know that this was basically the idea of the Star Wars Adventure Journal to begin with; the new element to this idea being that the bulk of the work came from fans, with the submissions being peer edited by those at Lucasfilm who have every intent of keeping continuity intact.

I would love to be one of its editors. Basically I’d love to have the job where I get to read fan fiction and add it to the giant mosaic that is already the Star Wars universe. Make sense? Or am I just sounding like a true Star Wars fanatic?

Anyway, I think it’s time I ended this post.

My next post (if it’s not KOTOR) will most likely be my reactions to the fourth part of the Lost Tribe of the Sith series. I’ve given up on the idea that I can keep my chronological study of Star Wars completely inline, so for the next little while I’ll be doing some time-travel across a galaxy far far away. Until next time my friends, May the Force be with you.


  1. Yeah, when I sent the info about Payback to Joe, I indicated that I thought it took place before the game, too. I guess Joe must think it takes place during the very first part of the game.
    On a different note, you can keep at least this next interruption to chronological order itself consistent by reading the relevant parts of Crosscurrent, then Savior, then the Secret Journal in that order.

  2. I'll be picking up a copy of Crosscurrent this week.

    I just read on that Hyperspace is being cancelled. What are we Star wars literary and chronology fanatics to do?

    This news is irksome.

  3. No posts for May. :-( Oh well, I hope you're able to say something about Crosscurrent sometime soon.
    The Hyperspace news is irksome. More irksome is that Wizards of the Coast have taken down all of the SW content from their site (not to worry, almost all of it is still available through stuff like the wayback machine, but it's still very not cool).

  4. May was way too crazy. The good news is that the rugby season finished on Saturday, and there are only 2 weeks of classroom instruction left. I can now focus my attention on the pile of essays on my desk, and of course the SWCP. I just finished the Kashyyyk section of KOTOR last night, and I’m moving on to Manaan.

    When this week is done, there will defiantly be an increase in productivity. I've really missed writing.

    What's the wayback machine?

  5. The wayback machine is one of several sites that allows you to find stuff that used to be online, since it takes pics of webpages and stores them:

  6. Another item has just been released that takes place prior to the first KOTOR game. The 8th timeline entry for the upcoming TOR mmo, titled "The Jedi Civil War," covers events taking place between the end of the KOTOR comics and the first game: I guess I would suggest covering this after you've done "The Secret Journal of Doctor Demagol."

  7. I know! Darth Revan as an apprentice for the Sith Emperor...highly intriguing! It colours the events of KOTOR in a new, very interesting way.

    Lately I've been pouring all of my extra time into finishing KOTOR instead of reading new material. It's my intent to finish the game by the end of the month (*hopefully*), rough draft out my post for it, and then jump head-first into all the other material leading up to KOTOR and make a bunch of posts on them.

    I'm on my way to Korriban now, and I think in a few more weekends I'll have this game finished.