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Episode VII
Plague of Doom
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by Nathaniel Reed,  9/2005

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And in time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as : THE SON OF THE SUN.
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"Journal of the Whills, 3:12"
Welcome to
Roderick Vonhögen's
Virtual Edition
September 2007
"The Plague of Doom concludes !"
27th September 2007
The final section of Act III of Episode VII Plague of Doom has now been published !
Will Leia succeed in leading 'Devil Group' in their attack on the Imperial Gas factory on Kessel ? Will the heavily outnumbered Galactic Alliance fleet hold their own against the Imperial Star Destroyers, and what new threat lies waiting in the wings ? What will Luke discover in the halls of the Imperial Palace on Coruscant, and will the mystery be resolved or deepen ? Will the Skywalker Twins learn more about their tragic heritage ?
The genesis and writing of POD has been a challenge, but also enjoyable fun nonetheless. Scott and I have attempted to 'spring' directly from Return of the Jedi, drawing upon existing apparently unresolved elements from the Saga, as well as mythic motifs and Lucas' structural pattern of the episodes.
For example, not only did we want to know what happened with such powerful characters as Mas Amedda and Sly Moore, we wanted to explore the restraints and consequences unwittingly imposed by the Sith when they revelled in the 'liberty' that "absolute power" gave them. In turn, why had Lucas retained the old Jedi Temple building for the celebrations at the end of Episode VI ? We have assumed that Palpatine would have triumphantly entered the headquarters of his deadliest foe, to crow over their demise by taking their throne of power.
We wanted to deepen the romance between Han and Leia and the concerns they now have, as well as investigate how Leia feels towards her father, the erstwhile Sith Lord Darth Vader. Would she ever reconcile herself with this knowledge, and how could this be brought about ? The Force moves in mysterious ways, and we find that by stumbling across Watto on Nal Hutta, a portal is opened to the past for the Skywalker Twins. Yet we will discover that the aged Toydarian is not the only one who has memories of Anakin and Padme.
Where the Prequels followed the story of young Anakin Skywalker, and the Original Trilogy focused on his son, Luke, we knew that his daughter herself had a story waiting to be told. Where father and son had faced a morally dark path, the sister would surely also be affected.
Likewise, we were aware that Lucas opens each film with an establishing shot in space, develops the story in three acts (sometimes cliffhangers within), and has an overall tone of brightness in the first instalment of each trilogy. The existing episodes' duration all take place over a matter of days, depicting human dramas played out against tumultuous events. We utilised unused names and plot concepts from the original drafts, for where Lucas incorporated aiwhas and Breha, ideas from the early 1970s, for inclusion in 2001 and 2005, we knew that he would continue to draw upon this rich pool for future story-telling, such as Kane, Alana, Aquilae, and Kyber.
And this is how we have approached the Virtual Sequel Trilogy - as if Lucas himself was continuing the story of the Skywalker Saga, having deliberately left seeds of plot to germinate and grow at a later date.
Here's a presentation of this month's artwork, illustrating various points within the story of Episode VII Plague of Doom.
With Luke having revealed the Toydarian by using the Force to topple the vendor's wares, Leia steps up and successfully attempts a mind-control. The two Jedi manage to spirit the aged Watto away from the altercation to a quiet alleyway where they can question their pursuer further.
Leia calls upon the Force to calm the enraged vendor, allowing them to remove Watto for questioning in a side alley. Artwork by Nat.
On Kessel, Luke has defeated the antique Droideka at the top of the castle tower, and has entered the chamber where Princess Seren is being held captive. The Jedi gathers her up, and, securing her across his back, boldly reviews his escape from the high window.
In this image by Nat, Luke takes Alana Seren in her arms and reviews his escape from the tower window.
Luke skillfully rappels from the high chamber, and as Alana awakens, he introduces himself with a grin !
In this great piece by Nat, Luke abseils down the outside of the tower, and wryly introduces himself to the waking Princess !
They reach the foot of the Tower just as Imperial stormtroopers appear at the wondow above, and rain laserbolts down upon them. Luke takes Alana's hand and races back into the hole he had cut earlier !
As the two escapees land at the base of the tower, Imperial stormtroopers appear high above, and Luke leads Alana back inside through the hole he had cut eaarlier. Artwork by Nat.
Deep underground, the two fugitives are intercepted by more troopers, but, without hesitation, the Jedi Master pushes out his palm, and the soldiers are thrown back against the wall.
In this detailed picture by Nat, Luke Force-pushes the troopers away, as the two of them continue to flee deeper underground !
As Alana grabs a blaster, she gasps in amazement and hurries after Luke. "I told you I was a Jedi !" he replies, briefly forgetting Han's advice, "Don't get cocky !".
Alana comments with amazement upon Luke's handiwork. Artwork by Nat.
Much later, on Coruscant, Luke encourages Alana to call upon the Force to help him and the GA marshalls to defeat the stormtroopers guarding the Imperial Palace.
A superb close-up of Luke and Alana, by Nat, as the Jedi encourages the woman to feel the Force !
Trusting her senses, Alana stretches out with the Force and 'feels' for the troopers. A push and a tug later, and the guards are sent sprawling !
Calling on the Force, Alana pulls the troopers down the Palace steps, in this thrilling artwork by Nat.
As we continue to create illustrations in the months ahead, all the artwork can be seen within the scenes that unfold the story, and in the VE-ST Gallery too. Let us know what you think of our instalment to the Saga in the forum here.
In official news, has recently unveiled articles on the making of the forthcoming projects, the 3D Clone Wars TV series and the game, 'The Force Unleashed', that follows the adventures of a Sith Apprentice with increased Force skills. Both ventures have received direct input from George Lucas, which bodes well for content and canon continuity ! The game even has a novel scheduled for co-release !
Meanwhile, Lucas has been interviewed by 'TV Guide' regarding these projects and the Live-Action TV series too, and some great insights can be learned for the latter : a hundred episodes each, minor characters' showcased and likely no Jedi for the live-action series.
There will also be a new soundtrack compilation release in a few months time, though it's a re-release of Original Trilogy music, with a (separately available) CD of music from both the Original and the Prequels. I'm still (im)patiently waiting for a full soundtrack release for Clones and Sith ....!
Nathaniel Reed, 27th September 2007
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