The Prophecy And in time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as : THE SON OF THE SUN. And he shall bring Balance to the Force. "Journal of the Whills, 3:12"
:: An ongoing episodic story of fan-fic set after Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and inspired by George Lucas' historical draft concepts :: FAQs
'Star Wars Visions' & 'Galaxy of Sounds' released on Disney+ 30th September 2021
The month of September saw the release on Disney+ of Star Wars Visions and shortly afterwards Star Wars A Galaxy of Sounds.
Visions is a collection of "nine non-canonical stories set in the Star Wars universe in the various but recognisable styles of anime". I have watched most of them, and agree they are indeed bursting with energy and panache..... and there are some stand-out episodes, such as 'Ronin' and 'Elder'.... but I was left with the impression that the animation studios were shown all the live-action material, they picked their favourite set-pieces, and then mashed them together to form a brief story : much of it seemed 'derivative', in the sense that "this mimicked the Mustafar duel" or "that was a representation of the Kylo-Rey duel on Snoke's First Order capital ship", with a story hung around those beats. It was also somewhat unsettling to be presented with a default japanese audio, and one had to reset options to provide the english dub - surely the Disney+ platform would be able to identify the player's country and auto-select the correct language, or at least make it more clear and obvious at the start with an audio menu. The series seems to have been a hit, and there are reports that a second series has been commissioned.
Galaxy of Sounds on the other hand is a more engaging and familiar presentation of a visual montage of emotional themes with the sound effects brought to the fore and the dialogue and the musical score removed : the scenes from the live-action movies and TV show may be indulgently familiar - this has no originality, like the too-brief 'Ship fly-throughs' and the 'Biomeme planetary visits' that were released a few months ago - but this new format forces and encourages the viewer to re-appraise the imagery in a fresh light. Some of the short episodes are more successful than others in elevating the recognisable image to a new evaluation, and likewise some have very clever and seamless editing across the wealth of material. At worst they are a tone-poem trailer glorifying the universe of Star Wars.
The illustrated virtual edition of Episode VII : Plague of Doom continues, and as the prisoners climb under the tarpaulins, Lando advises the others who remain how best to drive the cargo carriers unnoticed out to the Star Destroyer... !
My prose writing for virtual edition Episode X 'The Riddle of the Pirates' continues towards its epic climactic batle and conclusion, with both Han and Luke now arriving at the pirate base......
Nathaniel Reed, 30th September 2021
Han slid the Falcon over the rocky terrain, slowly closing in on the modular base that lay ahead of them on a slight ridge. Overhead, the energy shield sparkled with a purple iridescence, its colour highlighted by the flashes from the meteor impacts. They were within a relatively deep crater that also provided cover from any further surveillance from the pirates.
As soon as they had arrived, he had seen the rogue ship that had preceded them make a direct line to one of the hangar bays.
Now, several bright dots also raced overhead, and Han was able to make out the profile of one of the Jedi MPVs. He glanced quizzically at his furry co-pilot.
“Can you tell... ?”
Chewie closed his eyes in concentration, then gave a small bark.
“Master Flo-Ra, huh ? Where’s Luke then ?” he wondered out loud.
Chewie responded with a shrug.
Han stretched over to activate the internal comms.
“Fondon ! Have you got a clear line on to the pirate base yet ?”
“Yes, General, we’re interrogating it right now...”
Han looked ahead and squinted. He watched as Flo-Ra’s ship was spun around, and careened through the open door of one of the
other hangars !
The Falcon smoothly glided in low towards the pirate base that sat atop the plateau within the vast crater. From his pilot’s seat, Han craned his neck to look up at the array of hangars. One was presenting flashes of blaster fire – the hangar that Flo-Ra had entered. Chewie read his friend’s mind and harrumphed and barked.
“Well, if you’re sure she’s holding her own...” muttered Han. He gestured with his hand. “We’ve lost the element of surprise now.... I think I saw the command centre at one end of the base, and if these hangars are at this end, then I’m guessing the super-computer must be at the other point. The structure looks like pretty standard industrial modules, so there ought to be some service hatches dotted around.”
Chewie barked in agreement as he realised what Han was intending.
“Yeah, rather than go in via the hangars and fight our way up, no one will expect us to walk straight in...”
Chewie chuckled with a harrumph and a growl.
Han grinned. “Yeah, back door again...”
He commed the forward hold once more. “Fondon, do you have a floorplan yet ? I’m going to dock us to a service hatch close to the comp.”
“Calling it up now, General,” confirmed Fondon. “You should have it now...”
Han glanced at a second readout montor, and grinned when he saw his assumption was correct. He pointed to the left.
“Okay, Chewie, keep us low and take us around to that far corner. I’ll start the docking cycle.” He flicked the comm switch. “Fondon, get your team to the port-side corridor.” He jabbed another switch, this time patching the comms through to the Jedi team in the rear hold. “Alana, we’re going in on the port docking ring.”
De-activating the comm, he commenced the docking procedure from the board beside him.
“I’ll go wake up Leia, and finish this at the hatch,” he confirmed to the Wookiee.
He lifted himself out of the pilot’s seat and past the centre console, and then made his way through to the rear of the cockpit and out into the corridor.
“There’s the shield !” confimed Spikey, the Devaronian co-pilot in Luke’s MPV.
“Re-route power for maximum gunfire,” instructed the Jedi Master, his eyes aready searching the ground for any natural dips and depressions under the shimmering purple wall.
“There !” he announced, pointing at a broken ridge that ran along the edge of the large crater. “Target that gap, repeater fire !”
Spikey nodded, and, locking the targeting computer, held the gun trigger.
Green canon fire lanced out from the MPV and pounded the edge of the crater. As the wall disintegrated, the continued laserfire reduced the debris into smaller and smaller pieces.
“Increasing forward shields,” confirmed Luke as he dived the ship lower.
“It’s going to be tight !” cried Spikey, bracing himself.
The Jedi ship slid through the new opening and dropped smoothly towards the crater floor.
Luke flashed a grin at the Devaronian, who was laughing with relief.
The MPV accelerated across the pock-marked terrain towards the rocky promontory ahead.
As it approached the pirate base, Luke spotted the Falcon nestle into position beside one large structure.
“Han’s going in with the docking ring... Something’s happened to prevent him from landing in a hangar,” Luke mused to himself. “We need to regain the advantage...”
The Force came to him with an idea. He quickly ran a planetoid diagnostic at his console, and scanned the read-out.
“Spikey, get us in close to the corridor section over there,” he pointed again. “There’s enough atmosphere and gravity on this rock to hold us down, and we have breathing masks on board : let’s cut our way in !”
The Devaronian co-pilot nodded. “Those modular units will have auto airlocks on the bulkheads that will re-pressurise once we’ve moved beyond the breach point. We can exploit their safety feature.”
“Exactly !” confirmed Luke.
“Third invader, Cap’n !” announced Jenna, staring intently at the scopes. “Looks like another gunship type similar to the one that’s in Hangar Two.”
Yuide pointed to Zaavu. “Track it !” he ordered. “Where are they
Zaavu glanced across a cluster of screens now showing the external views from the maintenance cameras.
“Staying low.... not going for the hangars...” he reported. “Looks like they’re setting down near the dorm section.”
He tapped a command call, and some of the screens changed their views.
“Oh, and I see the other guy : he’s using a docking ring against a maintenance hatch on the super-comp module !”
Yuide’s eyes narrowed in anger and frustration. “They know of the comp and they’re going for it ! Over my dead body !” he hissed. “I ain’t lettin’ anyone take that ! It’s our doorkey in an’ out o’ this place !”
He whipped the light-tekken from his belt and thumbed it alight. Three angry shorts stabs of red energy crackled into life.
“Monitor what’s going on and co-ordinate with Chekk and the others,” he ordered the command crew on duty. He directed his attention to the remaining pirates waiting expectantly around the room. “All of you, come with me !”
He strode out of the command centre, and the last of his soldiers followed in his wake.
Han entered the wedge-shaped crew cabin where the bunks were held, and stepped over to his wife’s sleeping form that lay on his bed. Her eyes were shut, but her face looked peaceful and at rest, there was no tension or alarm in her features. She looked as beautiful and enchanting as when he had first met her all those years ago in the Death Star detention centre. He stretched out and laid his hand on her shoulder, and gave a gentle squeeze. Leia’s brow furrowed slightly, and then she smiled. Her eyes slowly opened and focused on her husband leaning over.
“Han,” she murmured warmly.
He mirrored her smile, and then his face became serious.
“We’re docking next to the module holding their super-computer,” he explained. “Are you okay to join us ? We could do with your help.”
Leia nodded, and eased herself up, swinging her legs over the edge of the recessed bunk.
“They’ve deployed their men to the hangars to repel the Jedi team,” she announced, “but expect some down here too.”
“It’s what I’d do in their place,” agreed Han. “I’m just hoping that they’re not expecting us to come in through the back door ! Come on !”
He turned and exited the room, Leia close on his heels. As they turned left, Alana and her team joined them from the rear hold behind them. Fondon, Harker and the three other technicians were waiting ahead of them, as were Threepio and Artoo. The little blue droid beeped happily, and Threepio waved his arm in clarification.
“Oh, General Solo, here we are, ready and waiting for your next instructions !” the golden protocol droid announced. “Oh-ohh !” he added, unable to hide his trepidation.
Han pushed through the crowded space and tapped a sequence on the docking port control, completing the command he had initiated in the cockpit. A flashing red light settled to amber, and, with an audible hiss beyond, then steadied to green. He jabbed a finger at the activation stud, and the airlock door slid open.
He drew his DL-44 hand blaster and raised it high, and then stepped into the docking chamber. Crossing the ribbed tube he glanced back at Leia, who briefly closed her eyes and then nodded. He tapped at the generic activation controls to open the module’s service hatch, and the door irised open.
He stepped through with his blaster raised, and Leia and Alana, lightsabre hilts at the ready, followed behind. As they fanned out into the module’s chamber, the rest of the Jedi team and the PA technicians entered behind them.
In the centre, surrounded by a cluster of power cables and data relays, sat the huge super-computer. One side presented an interface, while the remaining three sides were a smooth dark glass, faint and distorted glows of coloured lights flickering within.
Han glanced at Fondon and jabbed with his thumb over his shoulder.
“Fondon, get to work ! We don’t have much time !”
Fondon nodded, and he and Harker hurried over to the interface, while his colleagues began to set up a remote device to the side.
Meanwhile, on the far side of the complex near to the command centre, Luke’s ship had settled on the rocky terrain. The boarding ramp was open, and Luke and his Jedi team, wearing breathing masks, were assembling next to the outer wall of a corridor section. Three Jedi stood close by, while the remaining seven waited next to the commando team.
His voice muffled and electronically distorted, he indicated the part of the wall that would be cut. The three Jedi next to him nodded, and ignited their blue and green swords. Luke thumbed his own lightsabre handle, and its green energy blade thrummed into life. Raising his sword high, he plunged it into the exterior of the module. The other Jedi did likewise, stabbing into the wall at different points. Slowly and steadily they drew a connecting circle, the cut edges glowing a fiery orange.
Within moments the incision was complete, and they stepped back. As one, the four Jedi raised their palms and the weakened wall crumpled and, with interior gas escaping in a dusty white cloud, the metal blew inward. Alarms could be heard, and the bulkhead doors slid shut to seal the compartment.
Luke stepped inside and the remaining Jedi followed, the commandoes making up the rear.
The Jedi Master orientated himself and stepped over to the bulkhead controls. He tapped a sequence on the emergency panel, and a re-pressuriation diagram for the next corridor unit along was displayed. He remotely closed the next blast door, and the atmospheric levels were reduced. He cycled the blast door next to him and the hatch slid open.
“Inside, quickly now !” he instructed, and the teams stepped swiftly into the next corridor. Luke slipped in behind them, and, closing the blast door, re-commenced the re-pressurisation. As soon as the section’s levels showed a green light on the display, he pulled the face mask off and took a deep breath.
“Okay,” he announced, as the others all removed their re-breathers too. “The command centre is ahead of us. Expect resistance !” He took a small comlink from his belt and flicked it on. “Spikey ! We’re in. Take the ship around to the hangars and try and get in !”
“Will do, Master Skywalker !” came the co-pilot’s reply.
Luke returned the comlink to his belt, and then stretched his arm out towards the far blast door and gestured with his fingers. The heavy door slid open, and, there in the next corridor beyond, were five pirates running towards them, brandishing hand blasters and lightsabres ! Another three brought up the rear. With a yell, the defenders ran full pelt towards the invaders, blaster bolts ricocheting off the walls.
Luke and the other Jedi ignited their own swords and took up defensive stances to parry the incoming fire. The commandoes fanned out behind them and shouldered their assault rifles.
Luke could sense the fiery emotion of fear and anger rage around the attackers. As he had suspected, what they lacked in formal training and nuanced skill, the raw power of the dark side of the Force propelled them forward. In seconds, the lead pirates had engaged the Jedi, and some of the commandoes had swapped their rifles for energy batons to support the defence.