The Walking Dead Season 4 overview: No Sanctuary Part II-Too far gone

Rick’s stable community at the prison has started to fall apart-somebody inside is tempting the Walkers on the outside (a weakening of the fence forces Rick to sacrifice his farm as a result to lure the walkers out), Carol has been exiled, and a new sickness has claimed part of the prison community, spawning walkers when the affected die, and separating others-including newlyweds Glenn and Maggie. Just when the outbreak seems to come under control, an old enemy arrives-this time, after allying himself with the Chambler family (who have no idea of his past, psychosis or true identity), and usurping through murder control of the group of his former lieutenant Caesar Martinez-partially because his group has a tank. Guns might have not broken the prison, but a tank certainly can.

He manages to kidnap Michionne and Hershel-who he still sort of has it in for-and asks that Rick surrender the prison to him, or else. Rick tries to plead to their common humanity, saying that they can come back from the edge; but as the episode’s title states, he’s “too far gone”.

Rick:Look, I fought him before. And after, we took in his old friends. They’ve become leaders in what we have here. Now you put down your weapons, walk through those gates… you’re one of us. We let go of all of it, and nobody dies. Everyone who’s alive right now. Everyone who’s made it this far. We’ve all done the worst kinds of things just to stay alive. But we can still come back. We’re not too far gone. We get to come back. I know… we all can change.

Governor: Liar!

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This doesn’t stop Herschel from having a bit of an “Obi-Wan Kenobi” moment before he’s cut down. He’s proud of Rick. But unlike Luke Skywalker, Rick sort of has a ‘way to fall’.

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Although he certainly gets a “NOOOOOOOO!” moment.

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This of course leads to chaos as the battle begins,  but the somewhat more softened Rick is no match for the governor. Only Michionne is able to bail Rick out at the end, although the injuries he sustains nearly kills him, causing him to pretty much collapse for a few days to recover once he and Carl

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While the group manages to stop the tank eventually thanks to Daryl, it’s far too late for the Prison, which is not only structurally compromised but also not swarming with walkers with the gates destroyed via tank, and the group is pretty much separated, with each group presuming the others are all dead (They aren’t, with the exception of the ill-fated bus which features most of the Governor’s surviving old citizens from Woodbury that weren’t claimed by Carol, supply runs or the Pig flu-pretty much 100% background characters).

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It’s a bit fitting, that one of the Walkers we see walking around the outside of the prison, Clara-is the woman Rick sort of tried to help at the beginning of the season, but she was too far gone (and so dirty and messed up Rick mistook her for a walker at first glance).

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But how far will Rick fall?

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Star Wars Comics History: Begun, this Clone War has-Anakin and Obi-Wan

(Thought I’d skip ahead a bit in the comics history thing, as Quinlan Vos alone is enough material for a few posts which I’ll work on somewhat later).

The Clone Wars is, of course, the three-year war that took place between “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith”, laying the seeds for Emperor Palpatine’s conversion of the Republic into the Empire and “Order 66” the purge of the Jedi Knights…..also of course, the birth of Darth Vader. It’s a topic covered in various Star Wars media, especially the “Clone Wars” animated series that ran from 2008-2013. The comics and novels paint a somewhat different picture of the war and it’s timeline, one that struggled to fit in with the continuity of the cartoon series until it was decided the CG series would be the only ‘canon’ account of the war.

The Clone Wars issues of Star Wars Republic (Which it was renamed as) mainly began with issue #50, with Obi-Wan and Anakin. (#49 is set after AOTC as well but features Quinlan Vos, which I’ll deal with in a later article) This issue, which was extra-sized and included three stories (all set during the battle) was also the debut of the elite ARC troopers, including the character “Alpha” who would later become the inspiration for Captain Rex in the CG series.

Alpha would also accompany Obi-Wan and Anakin to the moons of Naboo (Home of “disgruntled spice miners” as Mace Windu put it at the beginning of “Attack of the Clones”), where Anakin and Obi-Wan first meet Durge, who before General Greivous and Cad Bane, was considered the main major Clone Wars villain next to Asajj Ventress….and he’s literally next to her on the cover to #52.

 

Ventress, long before her cartoon appearences, first appeared in these comics, although technically her design goes back to ideas for an AOTC sith lord….a concept ultiametly realized in her commander, Count Dooku.

 

This stories’s strangest thing? Zombie Gungans (although they’re mainly just puppeted by Ventress’s force powers). They were wiped out by a deadly virus that the seperatists want to use on Naboo itself, and stopping it is of course a priority for Anakin, for obvious reasons.

The next arc (after a Vos issue and an Obi-Wan solo in which he’s the sole survivor of a Jedi mission) takes the two Jedi to Jaabim, where a fierce battle is being fought. The Republic however has a nice new toy:

Obi-Wan however is presumed dead during the battle, and Anakin is put in charge of a group of “orphaned” Padawans.

They fight fiercely, but ultimately all end up dying except for Anakin, who orders the Republic retreat in part to of course, save his star future pupil. As Anakin reluctantly leaves, he learns a sort of “handy” skill with the force to keep back an angry Republic partisan; one that would become one of his trademarks.

 

Anakin’s actions here would prove to haunt his son later on, in a sequel story in the “Empire” comics.

Still presuming Obi-Wan to be dead, Anakin is next teamed up with the one Jedi he’d rather not be: The one raised by the Tuskens.

For obvious reasons, of course.

After a mission, Anakin nearly lashes out at A’shared Hett. Hett calms him a bit by revealing his true face, and Anakin admits to Hett his secret about killing the Tusken village. In a haunting ending, when asked if he’d do it again, Anakin replies plainly: “Yes”.

Of course, given what happens to Krayt later on, this is kind of ironic….he pretty much revives the Sith and restores the Empire, undoing a century of peace, in the “Legacy” comic series.

The next arc features Obi-Wan and Alpha-who are actually alive, escaping from Ventress’s dungeon (Anakin in the meantime is apprenticed to Ki-Adi-Mundi, who we learn lost his family in the war). This arc also revealed much of Asajj’s backstory.

 

The next arc to feature Anakin and Obi-Wan draws closer to “Revenge of the Sith” with Anakin knighted and with new, longer hair. They team up with Quinlan Vos, (Sort of, as he’s sort of a double agent for both sides; it’s complicated) He’s also sporting the Azure Angel, the custom starfighter patterned in part on his old Pod Racer, and which also featured heavily in the original Clone Wars cartoon.

(In “Canon” Anakin would just have a yellow Jedi starfighter, both AOTC and ROTS versions, although a Jedi starfighter with a similar color scheme shows up in ROTS, but not piloted by Anakin, but by Plo Koon)

The arc also features Captain Dodonna, a character who would later give command a very critical operation (although on the opposite side of things):

The arc features the Dreadnoughts, powerful ships that play a significant role in the post-ROTJ Thrawn trilogy.

 

The arc ends with things sort of settled and everybody on Coruscant, with Palpatine gaining a new fleet of warships. However, Ventress shows up, discover’s Anakin marriage, and the two duel-with Ventress’s blade creating the scar we see him sport in ROTS.

Of course it’s the first of many, many more.

Anakin believes he’s killed Ventress after their fight, but in fact she’s rescued by Dooku.  In the series “Obsession” Obi-Wan becomes obsessed with finding Asajj Ventress. He also pretty much lands on Naboo to find Anakin and Padme, but he just shrugs it off a bit, not bothering to report it to the council (It’s sort of implied in both AOTC and ROTS he knows what’s really going on, but has enough respect for Anakin to not make a big deal of it). Smooth move Obi-Wan…and they thought Jar-Jar was responsible for the Empire.

 

In the comic Anakin also shows some more ruthlessness, by dropping the character Durge into an escape pod and throwing him into a sun, killing the seemingly immortal bounty hunter. So much for “It’s not the jedi way”.

The comic ends with a showdown on Boz Pity (Thanks to some help from Bail Organa), with General Greivous unleashed, killing Jedi council member (and star of the Jedi starfighter game) Adi Gallia. (In the cartoon, she dies at the hands of the ressurected Darth Maul and Savaj Opress; also, a look-alike character, Stass Allie, is killed during the Order 66 montage. Explanation? They’re cousins).

 

IIRC Adi Gallia was killed by Maul and Savage, so who gets gunned down by the clone troopers on the speeders in RoTS?

Eventually Ventress has a last-minute change of heart, and apparentally dies going to the light side. Plus she leaves a little hint as to the Sith’s next plot.

However, plot twist-she’s actually not dead, and commandeers a medical frigate to parts unknown, but just as far from the war as she possibly can.

What happens next in “Legends” continuity is either this:

 

or this:

As they both kind of have somewhat contradictory views of the events leading straight to Sith.

Star Wars comics history-Phantom Menaces

In 1999, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace arrived, and of course Dark Horse got on board with their own adaptation. Written by Henry Gilroy-who would later work on the Clone Wars and Rebels cartoon series. It was also inked by Al Williamson, giving it a sort of similar look to the ESB and ROTJ adaptations Williamson penciled in the 80’s

 

 

In additon to the adaptation, Dark Horse also published a series of one-shots focusing on four characters from the film: Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Anakin and Padme/Queen Amidalia. Obi-Wan’s story is mainly a ‘debriefing’ to Yoda, and is largely just a retelling of the film. The other one-shots mainly take place on Tatooine.

 

By far the largest spin-off for the film came out a year later with the Darth Maul miniseries. The popularity of the character would of course inspire future comic and novel series, and a ressurection in the Clone Wars comic series, as well as Rebels.

The Darth Maul series-one of many Star Wars comics illustrated by Jan Duuresama-has the Sith lord commanded to take down the criminal organization Black Sun. It also ties in with the Shadow Hunter novel as well.

It also notably has Maul face off with a “Nightsister”, a dark-side force witch (Although the Witches debuted in a 1994 novel, “The Courtship of Princess Leia”, many depictions of them post-1999 were based on concept art for Maul). In a funny twist, Maul was revealed to be from Dathomir himself in the Clone Wars series.

 

Darth Maul’s mother in particular was revealed to be one, based on the same concept art no less! Awkward…. (This following panel is from a later comic series, Son of Dathomir).

Although Mighella is of course, no longer canon, and Tamzin still is….

Star Wars: What’s the third spin-off?

Since 2012 Disney has owned the rights to Lucasfilm’s Star Wars franchise, and have pretty much dedicated themselves, since the release of “The Force Awakens” in 2015, to releasing at least one Star Wars film per year, similar to their pattern with Marvel Studios (although now Marvel studios is moving much faster with the films since their initially slower roll-out). In addition to finally releasing the sequel trilogy of films, Disney also has started working on “Spin-off” films. While not necessarily 100% new in Star Wars-there were two TV movies featuring the Ewoks in the 80’s, and the pilot of the CG-animated “Clone Wars” was released in theaters in 2008, these films are intended to be more ambitious.

The first two spin-offs are already underway-of course, there’s the recently released “Rogue One” which dealt with the theft of the Death Star plans:

 

….and the upcoming Han Solo film which will tell of the younger years of the Smuggler hero…. (as well as his friends Chewbacca and Lando)

 

However, Disney has largely remained silent on what the third spin-off will feature. Will it follow the trend and be sort of a prequel like Rogue One and Han (although set much closer to the films than the prequel trilogy), or will it deal with something else entirely?

Here’s some speculation-shared by others on the internet-about what exactly this mysterious spinoff will feature.

Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi

A lot of people are fairly interested in a film featuring the time when Obi-Wan was a hermit living on Tatooine, protecting Luke and hiding from the Empire and his former student, Darth Vader. While this might sound a bit boring, there’s a possibility Obi-Wan could get into scrapes on Tatooine that could provide some sort of story-perhaps a showdown with Jabba the Hutt? Or maybe a mission that, for some reason, takes him temporarily off Tatooine. By the time of the OT, Obi-Wan’s certainly a more seasoned Tatooine citizen, well-aware of the dangers of Tusken Raiders and Mos Eisley spaceport, while in the PT he only spent a brief time there. Ewan Mcgregor has expressed some interest in playing Obi-Wan again (Indeed he did a small voice-over as Obi’s force ghost in “The Force Awakens”, a role that some feel that-although one of the highlights of the prequel trilogy-was let down by George Lucas’s directing and writing.

 

Yoda

Yoda is of course the old Jedi Master who was pretty much one of the leaders of the Jedi during the Clone Wars-and later of course trained Luke, but he was already a Jedi by the time of the prequels. It could be interesting to see his younger years, how he became a master himself. Such a film might be a bit effects-heavy though due to Yoda’s nature, and I imagine a whole movie revolving around him would be quite difficult to write giving how he tends to talk in backwards sentences.

 

Boba Fett

The bounty hunter is of course one of the most iconic OT characters, although one with a small amount of screen time and dialogue. Part of his backstory-that he was a clone of the bounty hunter Jango Fett, something he shares in common with the Clones from the Clone Wars (although he is not as enhanced as they are)-is revealed in “Attack of the Clones”, and he took up his father’s profession and a similar armor to embark on a similar career, some of which is brought up in the Clone Wars TV series. Some people are hoping that this will be the third spin-off, but arguably Boba was most effective wearing the mask, and with little backstory, and for an entire film to focus on that, surely some of him being unmasked-and the AOTC backstory brought up-would have to be addressed. Perhaps he’ll appear in the upcoming Han Solo film as well, but we’ll wait and see.

 

Darth Vader

Now, technically we’ve already had three Darth Vader films which flesh out his backstory-the prequel trilogy, but there’s still a little bit that can be elaborated on, such as his early years helping the Empire ‘hunt down’ the rest of the Jedi Knights after Order 66. Certainly, his brief appearances in Rogue One were considered the highlight of those films. However, while I’m sure Vader will have some role in future spinoffs, I’m not sure how much further they can take his story.

Emperor Palpatine

Although he’s of course the ‘true’ villain of the franchise, Palpatine’s origins before the Phantom Menace-when his evil plan to control the galaxy are already underway-remain shrouded in mystery, except that he was once apprenticed to Darth Plageuis  and then killed him. A novel, “Darth Plagueis”-revealed more of his backstory, but that novel is now no longer canon. Could Palpatine have been, like Anakin, sort of good and then corrupted? How did he meet and train Darth Maul, or corrupt Count Dooku or Darth Plagueis? Not necessarily a great idea-the political machinations of the Prequels many thought were boring (although Palpatine himself is considered a highlight), but just kind of throwing this one out there.

The Old Republic

Since the 90’s, there’s been a fascination with the ‘ancient’ Star Wars universe-the time when both the Jedi and the Sith were at their peak and locked in a series of wars, and the Republic was otherwise flourishing. This subject, in addition to some comic series, also became the focus of the “Knights of the Old Republic” game series (Worked on in part by the company Bioware, which would later work on the “Mass Effect” series using some of the tools learned from KOTOR), as well as the still-running MMORG, The Old Republic. Many fans are really hoping that this type of story could be made into a movie, although with some modifications to fit in with the new timeline.

Poe Dameron

 

Why not someone from the new Trilogy? Although Rey’s pretty much the lead, and Finn seems pretty much the co-lead, Poe Dameron was sort of a distant third, and kind of vanished for most of the middle of the film. Nevertheless, the character’s backstory and character have been heavily fleshed out by Marvel comics in both the Shattered Empire and his own titled series, and seems like he’d be the most “spin-off ready” characters, depending on how the sequels utilize him. After all, we’re getting a Han Solo movie, and he was one of the main characters of the OT.

 

Star Wars-Those we’ve lost-Part one

Star Wars has spanned several decades, and unfortunately, some of the actors have passed on over time. Carrie Fisher is the latest, and perhaps the most noticeable, as she was one of the lead actors in the film series. Her influence on film, as well as her personal influence as a writer and activist cannot be underestimated.

 

Here’s a look at some of the other Star Wars actors who have unfortunately passed.

 

Kenny Baker passed away in August 2016 at the age of 81. He operated R2-D2, although in later films a lot of his work was sometimes replaced by remote control, he still served as a consultant for the character up until The Force Awakens. He also starred in several other films, such as “Time Bandits”.

Christopher Lee played Count Dooku/Darth Tyrannus, the Sith Lord leader of the Seperatists-and Darth Vader’s predecessor-in “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith”. Lee had an extremely diverse career, appearing in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies as Sauromon, the James Bond film “Man with the Golden Gun” as Scaramanga, and in several Hammer horror films as Dracula, in addition to many other roles.

 

 

Peter Cushing, who also starred in a great number of Hammer horror films,  passed away in 1994. He also played Sherlock Holmes, and a movie-only incarnation of The Doctor in Doctor Who, in two films based on the TV show’s Dalek stories (but outside it’s continuity)

Sebastian Shaw played the unmasked face of Darth Vader in “Return of the Jedi”, as well as the force ghost of Anakin Skywalker (prior to the 2004 DVD release). He passed in 1994. In addition to numerous TV and film roles, he was in a lot of plays in Britain.

 

 

 

Alec Guiness of course originated the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi survivor who helps lead Luke toward his destiny. Guiness starred in many films, such as Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations, Our Man in Havana, and Lawrence of Arabia.

 

Irvin Kershner was the director of The Empire Strikes Back, and a mentor of George Lucas. In addition to Empire, he directed many other films, such as A Fine Madness, Never Say Never Again (A Bond film) and Robocop II.

 

Richard Marquand was the director of “Return of the Jedi”. He also directed a few other films, such as Jagged Edge and Eye of The Needle. He also has a cameo in the film, as an AT-ST driver who gets tossed out by Chewbacca and the Ewoks.

Michael Sheard played Admiral Ozzell, the ill-fated commander of Darth Vader’s imperial fleet at the start of The Empire Strikes Back. Sheard appeared in many British productions, including several episodes of Doctor Who as various characters, the British drama Grange Hill, and the Indiana Jones films Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as two separate characters.