Rogue One Thoughts

Rogue One is the movie I wanted to see in 1977 after I saw Star Wars. As a twelve year old kid, I was more attracted to the war in Star Wars than the Force in Star Wars. I wanted to see a war picture, instead of mystical Jedi Knights. I believe that director, Gareth Edwards wanted that movie too and it took him thirty years to grow up and make it. If you felt the same way about Star Wars, you’ll love Rogue One. It’s all that an then some.

If you prefer the numbered films with their lighter fair and their Skywalker family angst, you might not like Rogue One as much. This film is dirty, cruel and many of the stars die. Just like any good war movie, sometimes the hero’s sacrifice means more than a happily ever after ending. I loved the grit, the rain, the new planets and the confusion of battles. Set in the Star Wars universe with laser guns and starships, this kind of action is what I live for. I liked it so much, I’ve written an entire SF series of novels about military members in a galactic war. So yes, Gareth Edwards and I were on the same page for this one.

If you’ve never seen a Star Wars picture, don’t start here. This is a story set in that universe but it’s not the main story. Watch the numbered movies for that. If you don’t like war pictures, you might not care for this one either.

This movie featured more than one bad guy too. In fact two of them play each other to the death and I loved that plot aspect in Rogue One. In fact I used a similar bit of plotting in my novel, Starforgers. The two villains who are fighting each other as much as the Rebels are Krennic and Tarkin. I wasn’t bothered by the CGI for Tarkin. My mind knew it was fake, but I was vested in the characters enough to just go with it. I can’t say that for Leia though. Her CGI cameo was a bit Uncanny Valley but it was her smile that I found out of place. Knowing how many people just died to get her those plans and all she can do is smirk? She should have been pissed. That look she had suggested she knew how it would end in the next film.

I loved the Marvin inspired K2SO android too. It has all the best lines without stooping to the tomfoolery of C-3PO in the prequels. That droid’s outcome moved me more than the human’s outcome. Which is saying a lot. Probably that I’m a Vulcan.

I loved the diverse cast because once again, war movie. What foxhole doesn’t have a mix of people from all walks of life in it? I also liked that the lead was not a super likable kid coming to grips with her maturity. Again, this is not about or for kids, this is an adult Star Wars movie.

As for the battle scenes in space, I loved them. I wanted more starfighter action but this film is not about pilots it’s about special ops and ground teams, so I’ll let that slide. Loved the inclusion of Red and Gold Leaders. As for the new ships, I liked the Imperial transport better than the U-Wing. But both ship designs fit the universe. Oh, and the starship smash ’em up derby was awesome. Something they just couldn’t do with models very easily. For all the hype about the new TIE fighter, we see it in the film for like five seconds. Pity. Once again I’m showing my bias for starfighters.

Speaking of starfighters. WARNING: NERD OUT TIME – Did you see the black camouflage on the Partisan X-Wings at Saw’s fortress? They are in the Art of Rogue One book and I dearly wished we could have seen them fly. If I were modeling an X-Wing, I’d do one of those.


With only having seen this film once to this writing, I couldn’t find any gaping plot holes or things that didn’t make any sense and took me out of the movie. Solid screenwriting. I’m looking forward to more viewings over the holidays to take in more details. I’m well aware of the huge discrepancies in the footage used for the trailers not appearing in the final film and all the re-shoots that took place. All I can say is that what they wound up with was good, whatever they were going to do, would be nice to know in the Director’s Commentary track for the DVD.




All The Stories

You know the internet meme: All The Things?


Well I’m gonna talk about All The Stories! It’s been a topic of many interesting posts around the web lately. One of the best ways to build readership if you’re an author is to write a bunch of stories set in the same universe. If by some way you can make them interconnect, all the better. Well, I hate to say this but: Been There Done That. I’ve been writing short stories, novellas and novels for about a decade now all set in the same universe. I call it my Star Saga universe.

It all started with my first novel, Starstrikers. It’s set during a vast, intergalactic war between the human led Alliance and the Votainion Empire. I quickly realized that rather than just write a sequel, I was going to attempt a trilogy of trilogies. My inspiration for this was of course the Star Wars movies. But the time between the trilogies would be 500 years in my saga, not 30 years. So all of the characters in each trilogy would have to be completely different. The single thread that binds them to together would be this huge, galactic war.

I set out to write the first book of each trilogy and spent a few years writing what would be Book One and Book Seven. These are out now and together form a loose trilogy of Starforgers, Starstrikers and Starveyors. You can read each book and get a great story with a completely different cast of characters and know how the Great War started, what it was like to fight it during the middle of the conflict and how it all ends. But of course that was not going to be enough. I knew that readers would want more. I, wanted more.

So I set out to write Books 2 and 3 of the first trilogy. Before doing so, I went back in time and wrote some short stories about the main character of the trilogy, Devon Ardel. She led a pretty exciting life as a Stellar Ranger before joining the military in Starforgers. I had lots of ideas for short stories set in her Ranger days. So I wrote them. Two of the shorts were published, one on the web and one in an anthology. The rest were compiled into an anthology by me called, Tales From Ocherva, Volume One. If you join my mailing list, this is the book I will send you for free.

After writing lots of shorts I went back to the novels and wrote The Rising, Book 2 and then I wrote Counterattack, Book 3. But in telling those novels I realized there were essentially two other stories I’d like to tell in this time period. One was about Devon’s days as a starfighter pilot and the other was about the leader of the Votainion Empire, Empress Nykostra. So I added two short novellas about those characters to the inventory – Devon’s Blade and The Blood Empress. What I was left with was a trilogy that had two “tweeners” or novella’s set between them. My first trilogy had five books and an anthology. Now I see that Disney is doing this same “Tweener” story thing with it’s Anthology films coming out between Episode 7 and 8 and 8 and 9 of the Star Wars movies. I think they are going out of chronological order though.

  1. Tales From Ocherva, Volume One
  2. Starforgers, Book 1
  3. Devon’s Blade
  4. The Rising, Book 2
  5. The Blood Empress
  6. Counterattack, Book 3

In the next couple of months I will be releasing The Rising and Counterattack and all the stories for the first trilogy will be out. But of course I’m not even close to being done. I’m already writing a novella set after Starstrikers called K’nat Trap. Then I’m off and running with writing XiniX, Book 5. Here’s what the next trilogy of stories will be called, all of them set in the middle of the war or during the Starstrikers time frame.

  1. Trader Tales Anthology
  2. Starstrikers, Book 4
  3. K’nat Trap
  4. XiniX, Book 5
  5. Dark Winds
  6. NexGen, Boo 6

How long will it take me to write all of that? Probably about three years, based on my ability to write a novel and a novella in one calendar year. After all of that is written and published, I’ll dive right into the final trilogy of six books. Hopefully I’ll finish it all up before I die. I suppose if it all takes off and I develop a large following I could always quite my job and write full time. ROFL!

Star Wars Theme Park

One thing that has been remiss in all the chatter about Lucasfilm being sold to Disney is how the theme park might take advantage of the new intellectual property.

I for one, would like to see a starship parking lot. Life-sized replicas of all the cool ships from the movies; X-Wings, Walkers, the Millennium Falcon. In the case of the later, how about a full interior too! Make it like an airshow, with all the ships sitting around where you can climb inside them and walk all around them. They would have to make them as authentic as they can, using the archives, of course.

Wouldn’t that just be the coolest theme park ever?