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have I been honest and not overly critical?  

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  1. 1. have I been honest and not overly critical?

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The Most Difficult Discipline

Jest'lyn Tal


Post KOTOR on Korriban: Bastila makes her own choice


The piece is far too short to know how well it will be. Nothing more than an intro and hasn't been updated in four years. Too bad, I have liked the author's work up to this point.





KOTOR aboard Ebon Hawk: I'd say she's a bit conflicted...


After reading the blurb, I wasn't sure what to expect. But the scenes that followed were choice. Bastila stopping him from continuing a sentence, then spending the rest of the time wondering if he was really going to say that. Having a man massage you and trying not to react beyond your muscles, her reaction when he casually suggests a Jedi 'nude' day followed by changing his mind because Jolee might join in...


And it ends with her deciding 'on her own' to stay in the same uniform. But I have to agree, in that out fit she does have a nice... rear.


Pick of the Week


The Beneris Conflict

The Outlander


In the interim between the Jedi Civil War and Darth Bane: A pair of Jedi are sent on another assignment.


Remember to sight edit and rewrite. You called the Jedi High Council the High Jedi council several times. You also forgot that in common usage, it is my Padawan and I, not me and.


I was a bit confused at the start since the author give a date of 2203 years before the Galactic Empire, then in the starting paragraph a date of 3700.


Saying the Galaxy is in peace and harmony, then enumerating everything the Sith are doing in the same paragraph doesn't make sense. It would be like saying the world was at peace in 1972, if you don't pay attention to the Nicaragua, Vietnam, the constant War of Attrition between Israel and Egypt just to mention a few.


The situation on Beneris reminds me actually of the old Belgian Congo (Now renamed Zaire) except for the amount of time between the 'Emancipation' and the present. During the period between the end of WWII, and the Mercenary wars of the 60s, there was a gradual phasing out of European run businesses being highlighted by those wars I mentioned. In fact the first one in 1961 was only the second time the UN actually sent in troops; but they did it to force the breakaway Katanga province from seceding. This caused a lot of deaths when the UN then turned around and had the Congolese government tp promise no reprisals; a promse they brok immediately; But the present government sounds more like Uganda where it was almost a kleptocracy under Idi Amin.


Technical note; Since Coruscant is a city covering the whole planet, approach would not be called Coruscant Harbor, suggesting one small area. As an Example, flying in from Europe you would be passed through the varied Air Traffic Centers.


From what I can see, they are in for Interesting Times.


The Rise of Darth Revan



Pre Mandalorian Wars: Yet another lecture


A well written vignette that sets up the idea that Revan was already having issues with the dark side-light side dichotomy even at fifteen. Her reaction is what I would honestly expect from any group of young Jedi because it seems anything and everything will lead you to the dark.


A Simple Translation



Several Years post TSL: It isn't what you say, but how you say it


The piece is well written, and all the loose ends tied up. It is interesting that instead of merely repeating her own catch phrase, Visas tells him she loves him. I don't know if you meant the catch phrase to mean that, or whether she is lying. But still nicely done.


Pick of the Week


Filling in the Gaps



Ten years Post KOTOR: A well loved story from her 'aunt' Mission


The piece needs some editing and polishing, but that is no big thing.


Here we see Mission in her mid twenties, but still the same little girl inside when she tells the daughter of Carth and Revan about their adventures. However, it is a bit short and only two incidents are highlighted with any real clarity. However the recent memory was fun because it shows the little girl a little more of how their parents got together.



Chronicles From Mandalore: More than Blood



Set in the era after Republic Commandos, follow on to Chronicles From Mandalore: What it Takes


Having read a portion of the first work, I was already impressed by this kid's work. The first chapter (All I had time for) has the first of the Imperial occupation of Taris, and since it is just a change of administration, is rather mild. But the scene is set for what I expect will be a lot of problems in the future.


I wish I could read it all.


Pick of the Week


The Secret of Silence

Vayluh Arwen


TSL on Dantooine: He's attracted by what she isn't


The piece is merely a scene on Dantooine, just the two of them, but Atton learns a lesson in simple interrogation she had learned before, how to use silence to draw responses. The one very interesting idea was that she was a slave, rescued by Revan on a trip to Nal Hutta, and that even in the order, she felt as much a slave to the Jedi as she had to the Hutt.


Learning a Thing or Two



KOTOR on Tatooine: Showing Mission a trick with her blaster leads to punishment


The piece is funny because as Carth pointed out, then demonstrated, spinning you weapon on your finger is a fine looking trick, but has no real application beyond looking cool, as most such tricks done with a pistol are. The aftermath almost made me spit up my tea; a neat circle of blasts in the starboard cargo bay, ending with one right through the nose of the swoop bike.


Mission trying to explain what had happened is as funny as watching a cat try to cover up their mess on a linoleum floor, and just as efficient. The punishment definitely fit the crime.


Best of the Week


The Reason Why She Fights

Naomi Blackstar


Post KOTOR on Lehon: Revan has a place where she must go, but refuses to take anyone with her


Remember conversation breaks. The piece had everyone speaking in the same paragraph, and while I was able to follow it, it was confusing.





TSL: How Nihilus sees everything else


I had caught the thread the author later mentions about the story the Mysterious Stranger by Twain. He sees the entire galaxy as something to snack upon, and in my own work Return from Exile, Colonel Tobin commented on it, wondering if Mon Cal taste fishy, that kind of thing.


We see the world through the eyes of someone who doesn't think anything around him is quite real. Very chilling.


Oh and about a third of the piece is the suggestions as to who should get a staring role from a romance for Mission to HK threatening to visit mayhem if you don't... I wonder if the author has read my own I Know What Love Is Sorta?


Atton and Exile Short Stories

Bria Tharen


TSL after Korriban: Atton is tortured by his own mind


If you have ever read the Legacy Series in the EU, the scene where Mical kisses the Exile is reminiscent to me of a scene where Jacen Solo (Who has the ability to time walk) takes Tahiri (A young Jedi who loved his late Brother Anakin) back to the young man's death. When she regrets not kissing him then, Tahiri pushes her younger self into that embrace.


Of course, with the ongoing rivalry between the two men for her affections, it didn't take much of a nudge, and having him then dream of the lives of those two as parents fit with that thought.


Kreia's explanation of why she had done it made perfect sense. Any emotional involvement would have been disruptive since the next mission leads to the battle with the Council, Nihilus and on to Malachor.


Very well done. I wish I had time to read all three chapters.


Pick of the Week

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Coruscant Entertainment Center


The Crystal of Life

Renegade Puma


Originally reviewed 28 July 2006 Newly completed, and reviewed upon request


1000 years after TSL: The last remaining Jedi finds new purpose


Remember to sight edit, you used recurring (repeating) instead of resounding (loud) thud. Also remember to polish.


You do one thing I ding others on almost constantly; that is having the droid speak or listening to a Wookie talking, but just writing out the sounds made. As I noted in my own Return From Exile, if you have spent enough time around either one, you would have probably learned enough of the language to get by, and we honestly don't need to see the 'beep-boop' to know a conversation is going on. You see this because while the audience doesn't understand, Han knew what Chewwie was saying, and by ROTJ you knew Luke understood pretty much what R2 was saying.


The situation is grim, and I'm only into chapter two. Unless you want a personalized review, I don't have time to read it all for this column.




A Mandalorian Wanted to Cry



Post Order 66: Darman grieves for the loss of his love


A very sorrowful look at this time for him. I had never read the book where Etain died, so I don't know if the black gem is a creation of this author, or of that book, but it is an interesting custom either way,


Well done


Pick of the Week





Ten years post KOTOR: Companion piece to Filling in the Gaps, before leaving for the landing pad, Carth tells his daughter a little more about what had happened.


Again, remember my mantra; reread, edit, repeat, polish until it is smooth.


The piece has that coming home feel to it, and the two side stories, one about a married couple having a partial argument about what endearment is going to be just for her, then a nightmare she isn't willing to discuss, rounds it out.


My ex- had a friend who was constantly complaining because her husband didn't use endearments, so when she suggested maybe calling her honey, he retaliated by spending a few months calling her Bee-barf. Some people...


Distractions of a Battlefield



KOTOR on Kashyyk: Some distractions are helpful


I understand the character's frustration, though I also understand attitude of the Jedi that wrote the disturbing piece. When you write, you tend to have people think in the sex of the main character, which is why David Weber in his Honor Harrington series has his male characters comment about the actions of an officer as 'he' and his main character uses 'she'.


But when you are coming in from the outside, suddenly you wonder as she does, did the male author mean only men are capable of the job?


But first considering Carth a distraction, then using him as one is very choice.



Promised Flower


TSL enroute to Telos: The Author changes one thing...


I wasn't sure what was happening at the start, and it wasn't until the conversation in the berthing area that I figured out why. You see, I was critiquing work for over a year before I got a copy of TSL of my own, and by then the one person I loathed was Mical.


So the first mod I added even before playing was the 'get Brianna as a female character' one. I had not spent a lot of time dealing with stories with her in them, but liked what I had seen so far. So the attack and 'kidnapping' of Kreia (If it is part of the game) never happened. If you have played the game as a male, or using that mod, you get Visas instead for this discussion, and when I wrote my own TSL Novel (posted here; Return From Exile) I used it to wax lyrical about the subject of Force Bonds, and how she is a hole in the Force.


My Visas didn't decide to kiss her, but she likened the woman before her to a chess player, with the crew as her pieces. And that as they fell, she would weep for each piece, not ignore their loss.


I especially liked having Atton immediately expect booby traps, and again, I don't know if that happened in the male version of the game. I have honestly never played it as a male character, or with Mical (Yuck).


What I've Been Up To



ten years post KOTOR: Companion piece to Filling in the Gaps following Anticipating, Emi (Revan) has her own story to tell


The piece fits smoothly, and I loved the kidnapping story because not all adventures are happening out there where Emi had been. There is exactly one flaw:


Technical note, Vibroblade Damage: Lets take three different weapons, a simple broadsword, a vibroblade, and a lightsaber here. With a broadsword you can chop completely through a joint and even through the bone except through even iron armor. How often have you seen a movie where the star swings, and the man flies up with his leg flying even further? A vibroblade is a very narrow metal form that is vibrating at a high rate, like one of those electric carving knives, and to a vibroblade, the bone or armor is only slightly harder to cut. With a lightsaber, except for the idea of cortosis (Which I think was not the right mineral to use, cortosis disrupts the energy of a lightsaber making it shut down, whereas Mandalorian Beskar Iron is resistant to it) wouldn't care what it is, it will cut it eventually.


So what you actually have is a partially blocked hit, which would do the damage you described, rather than a full swing.


Tied for Best of the Week for combined work


Battlefront2: Showdown



Set in Mos Eisley during Battlefront2: Hail, hail, the gang's all here...


I expected silliness, but not this much. Take all of the 'second heavies' (Hollywood parlance for the bad guy who supports the main bad guy) from the first three movies, With Anakin from ROTS and Vader as a second instead of the main bad guy as he was in ANH, and what do you get? Better yet, what do you get if you take four Sith , a cyborg and a pair of Bounty Hunters, all of whom think think they're the biggest dog in the yard?


Well not all. General Grievous ends up in the corner whimpering that he is really scary but no one is paying attention, and the bounty hunters, father and son decide to hit the cantina instead while the Sith duke it out. What's a poor evil emperor to do?


Tied for Best of the Week


For My Behaviour

Vayluh Arwen


KOTOR on Dantooine: While helping Mara (Revan) Carth gets more than he bargained for.


Well written, and portrayed. Everything is believable.


The piece is a good view of what a Jedi Apprentice would probably go through. Like a neophyte wizard in fantasy, there are all sorts of things you might be able to do, and what you first need to do is find these out. It could be funny (The Sorceror's Apprientice comes to mind) it could even be deadly (The Witches of Karres, where using 'klatha' [his version of the force] improperly) can literally burn the person trying to death.


Considering the two options I mentioned above, this one is more middle of the road. Trying to 'see' with the force leading to reading his surface thoughts, with Mara not sure how to stop.


The Prodigal



ten years post KOTOR: Companion piece to Filling in the Gaps following Anticipating and What I've Been Up To, Emi gets a welcome home gift


The piece is a very nicely done time at home for the characters. Carth Remembering the first time his wife fell asleep in his arms, they playful mood they start with, and continue when their daughter is added to the mix, then the ever present 'close your eyes' bit when revealing the gift.


The only thing missing is Emi (Or Carth) taking her up and one of them cadging the line from the end of STIV The Search For Spock, where Kirk on the bridge of Enterprise A saying, 'Let's see what she's got'.


Tied for Best of the Week for combined work


Wishful Thinking



TSL aboard Ebon Hawk: Should he tell her?


The author's first attempt with the story line, and very well done. The author's version of Atton is chilling. There are two kinds of people most common when you find torturers. The worst is not the kind described. It is the ones who see it as either interesting, or merely business. The Nazi doctors who worked in the Concentration camps were merely doctors using unwilling subjects to test their pet ideas, or exploring conditions that the military had to deal with to discover treatments for it. As much as we hate what they did, some of their work in genetics, transplants, treatment on hypothermia and more expanded knowledge and are used today. But their common plea (Not we were only obeying orders) that other nations used prisoners for medical research, was shot down because except for the Soviets, the prisoners were also volunteers.


Here Atton is one of those who enjoyed his work, liked dealing out pain. While more common, they are also the ones who tended to kill their subjects. I can understand why he would not want her to know what he once was. And having Kreia insert the dream to make sure he delays admitting it is perfectly done.


Pick of the Week


Room for Thoughts

Shadows of the Storm


Pre TSL after being Exiled: The newly named Exile remembers her friends who did not return


The piece is interesting because as I have wondered more and more, why did she (Or he) return at all? Every author has proposed draconian punishments for those Jedi who had followed Revan, and the idea that this author's version had done so simply for closure makes as much sense as any other idea I have heard. If the Jedi Council didn't have someone to punish, they might have acted more vigorously against the ones who left, which when you think about it, is the reason for the Jedi Civil War.


The additional character inserted by this author is the middle of the road one. Revan adamant that she is right, Tyla wanting closure, and Aurali in the middle just wanting it to be over.


Well done.


Codename Starkiller: The Early Years



Set in Rebellion BBY: One of Starkiller's first missions


The primary negative I had with the piece was the timing involved. Assuming he was a year old when Vader found him not long after General Order 66 was issued, sixteen years had passed from when Vader took him in, and the mission mentioned. There should have been no old Separatist leaders still trying to rebel. It would be like WWII ending, and a New Nazi regime is planning WWIII in 1960.


The Clone Rebellion



Remember conversation breaks. Think of a story like a river. You have some chop or white water (The actual action you are portraying) but conversation breaks lets the reader know there's more than one person talking. You're adding unnecessary chop here. The piece needs to be edited and polished. The battle scenes are more confusing than the real thing would be, and having to go back to see when who is talking doesn't help.


Technical note, Training: You have Kendal wasting a lot of ammunition. The thing is this, while derived from the DNA of a Bounty Hunter who would be parsimonious with ammunition, Kendal is a line grunt. The first rule of an infantryman is the ammo you can carry is all there is, never assume resupply is right behind you. It is interesting to note that his squad took out one Geonosian with an overabundance of fire, but only he was mentioned when it came to reloading. That could be merely the exuberance of finally facing combat, but he then wastes a three round burst on his second target.


Second rule of infantry combat, if the enemy is down, he may still be alive, but you don't waste ammunition on him. As H. Beam Piper commented in When in the Course..., too many infantry commanders assume ammunition miraculously appears when you pray into your radio.


A rather confusing look at the battle, though Kendal reminds me of the stories about Jim Bowie's earlier life.


The following is a diatribe not against this story, but against the Battlefront series. They use three man 'squads' when in any army I have ever heard of, three men is a 'fire team', and a squad is composed of two fire teams. You have a team that has lost their commander bereft, but in a proper military, there is a clear chain of command. Watch the scene in Starship Troopers when the squad leader freezes in their first action. Rico gives that instruction, and whether having the authority or not, is instantly obeyed.


What the troops need is a firm command voice, and instructions. As a real-world example, Sergeant Audie Murphy did not need a lieutenant to tell him what to do; he continued leading the shattered platoon he was part of without wondering who would be in command when the battle is over.

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Starwars things arnt always what they seem



First, try not to use different forms of English when you write. I know it is fun to do so, and back during the Elizabethan era (Before codified spelling) people routinely spelled their names differently just to show off how well educated they were. But to a reader of our modern day, it's confusing.


Technical note, Timeline: The Author was trying to span too much time in the work. First, no known society on the planet has a verifiable history spanning more than a few millennia. The Old Testament for example, has the first five chapters of the work originally written by Moses starting in or around the 13th century BCE, which is less than 3400 years, and we have been able to ascertain that there were cities for the first time only as far back as the 35th century BCE, so you have a start date as it were here on Earth, of 5500 years.


Yet the author has Coruscant as a world city over 100,000 years before the Battle of Yavin, ignoring the fact that Coruscant would have needed to feed that world from other places; all before any real form of hyperspeed transport, which didn't exist (According to the Chronology) until the Raktans.


Technical note, physical and cognitive development: While I could see a race that has a faster growth rate than human, having a child go from newborn to teenaged in a about months is a stretch. Also, a child learns from the example of his elders; a kitten learns about a litter box from his mother, and how to hunt from his parent. So having him go from a month old baby to consciously trying to open cases a couple of months later is a stretch, and thinking about finance (He can sell what's in the cases) requires even more training he did not have. If I took a modern day unlocked cargo container and transported it miraculously to say a village in the 12th century BCE, it would just be a box of some strange material, and eventually (Probably a few hours to days later) someone would notice that the handles could be moved, and this would cause it to open. But if I added a lock, it never would be unless someone found a way to break the lock. We here would have the same problem with a container made by some alien race which was recovered from a damaged spaceship.


Which doesn't even include opening the contents of the crates within. Picture a case of say, canned tomatoes. Since steel is harder than just about any metal formed before it, you would have to smash a can open to even know (Beyond the label picture) what is in it.


Knights of the Old Republic III: The Dark Star

Ryuu Drake


Post TSL, approximately 100 years: The newly reformed Jedi Council send two knights to find a missing master


Remember to sight edit correct and polish. You used wined (Drank wine) instead of whined (Tone of voice) for example.


The piece is relatively well done, though it needs polishing as mentioned above.



Adam Ehrlich


Set in TOR, the aftermath of the bombing of Coruscant: A young captured Jedi gains revenge


It wasn't until the location (Coruscant) was mentioned that I figured out what era to place it in. Having the trapped young man find a link to the force he had not anticipated was well done, and his reaction afterward even better. I am willing to say flatly that almost every Jedi at one time or another had to face a situation where he can use anger to fuel his actions rather than peace, and that pretty much every one of them that did use it probably reacted the same way after the fact.


A well done piece.


Pick of the Week


Knights of the Old Republic III: The True Sith



This was the first story I have seen that suggests that the Sith were actually a society that came from another galaxy. Revan here seems to think them unbeatable, but is going to try anyway.


On Lust and Carth Onasi



KOTOR no specific location given: Thinking about Carth...


Revan here is trying to rationalize why her feelings are important without slipping into the dark side again. But it reminded me of the first rule of ceremonial magic. If you have to rationalize why you should get what you want, you are wrong...


Knight of the Old Republic



KOTOR aboard Endar Spire: A mad dash for safety


The only problems I had with the piece were technical.


Technical note, muscle memory: Having the character totally clueless about how to use a sword makes no sense. We, having been through the game gods alone know how many times know this is Revan. So picture this...


You have learned and practiced for years, and one thing you learn with such a weapon is how to stand, and how to use it. You don't just forget that, it's imprinted in you. This is true of anything you do repetitively, and the longer you have done it, the more likely that you will react properly. As an example not of muscle memory, but memory after an accident in general, consider Jan Berry.


Jan Berry was the lead singer of an early rock and roll duo named Jan and Dean. In 1966 Berry was in an auto accident, and suffered a severe head injury, he had trouble walking, and speaking. Yet in 1968 he made a come back because while he had to speak slowly to be understood, he was found to be quite capable of still singing and continued his career until his death in 2004.


Technical note, Escape pod size: Making an escape pod only large enough for two doesn't make a lot of sense when you come down to it. Having spent four years in the Coast Guard, two of them aboard ship, I know while we never had enough space for everyone aboard, we did carry two whale boats (fifteen men each) and two large life rafts (twenty each). For anything smaller, all we had were life jackets.


The piece skates the edge of being generic, but the author put enough into it to be saved from that. Trask was filled in (And made more substantial), and the main character came across as someone totally out of their depth, and struggling merely to survive.


Well done.


Panther squad



Clone Wars Era: A pair of Jedi arrive to command a special mission


The piece (What I read of it; one chapter) reminded me of a lot of the 'let's be more realistic' war movies that are usually labeled 'anti-war' movies. Not that they always were, just that instead of paeans of martial glory, they show the grunts on the front lines just surviving. Here we have a small group of troops sent just because the enemy has sent troops, and not even considered important enough to support beyond the occasional supply run.


That makes the two Jedi appear to be REMFs, and the actions of both solidify that thought. The padawan is busy whining about the conditions, and the master appeared to think he would just have to use what is available. Neither attitude would make your troops gung ho.


I wanted to read further because I know attitudes are going to have to change, and it isn't the line animals who will have to make that change.





Post TSL: Revan finally comes home


The piece is soft and gentle. The idea that she contacts the Exile before seeking out Carth makes sense. A couple of the stories of this specific period have her returning to find him married to someone else, and getting in touch with her old friend saves her from that.


I liked the crisp writing style and the subject matter was handled delicately. Very well done.


Pick of the Week


Master Vs Apprentice



KOTOR aboard Star Forge: The final battle ends for both of them


The author states that this is a first work, and also in the profile that learning to write better is a goal. So putting on my editor/teacher hat...


Remember to proofread, my mantra to all aspiring writers is this; reread, edit, rewrite, repeat until polished. You made some grammatical errors and used the wrong words sometimes, and while this detracted from the work, it is not a major problem. You said you like proofreading other authors, just extend it to your own work. If you read my own works here, you'll see that I am by no means perfect, but I try to practice what I preach.


The only negative I had was you have created a gray Jedi here, neither dark nor light, but have her acting in a lot of ways like a dark one. I never liked the 'Jedi in a bottle' concept in the game because the only options you had were to destroy the tubes, or drain them yourself; and while the 'ends justify the means' has been touted for millennia, I have never liked the concept. Either it is evil, or it is not to me. So when I wrote my own Genesis of a Jedi (Posted finally here last year) I came up with another option to not avoid it, but merely to avoid having to run around like a lunatic with a hammer smashing all of the tubes.


The piece is stark and dark, and I kind of liked it. The idea that Revan really sees no where to go from here is a refreshing change.


The author has three more for me to read, and I am looking forward to that.


Pick of the Week





Pre TSL: Atton find the remorse he didn't know he had


The only negative I had was the scene where the torture took place. Even though old taverns and bars have rooms to rent, it would be unlikely that a Sith Assassin would rent one for a torture session. A public place is conducive to a serial killer, but if torture is involved, you have the problem that someone outside will hear the moans and screams, or smell the blood.


I did like the idea that he used the word to create his name, though you would need to pronounce it differently then the game does. But that is no biggie.


Pick of the Week


Lines in the Sand

Cursed One


KOTOR aboard Endar Spire: A view of the newly assigned crewperson


Remember to proofread, my mantra to all aspiring writers is this; reread, edit, rewrite, repeat until polished. You used the wrong words a couple of time then (Instead of the) republic would fall, cloths (Usually used when meaning a small amount) instead of clothes (an outfit) there (instead of their) secrets. That kind of thing.


Also remember conversation breaks. While someone just listening in doesn't have them on paper, they would insert them automatically when they hear something. The entire commentary between the two speakers is jammed into one paragraph, and for a reader, that is confusing.


Technical note, Yavin IV: When we see the moon in the game, there is only the one small station instead of a full fledged spaceport. There are two other inhabited planets, why didn't you place it in orbit around one of them?


Technical note, reporting aboard: If you are going aboard a new ship, you don't go up to someone in a bar to tell them. For example, if you were being sent aboard say an Aircraft Carrier in harbor from a cruiser in the same harbor, you would report to the gate guard, who would call a vehicle to take you to dockside, and he would find the OOD. This goes for civilian reps as much as for crew being assigned aboard.


Technical note, threats from junior officers: You did use the one way to get away with this, but a junior officer never, never, never, threatens a superior as you had Rand do. It is one thing for a fellow captain to do it, or perhaps the exec of the other ship, the rank difference is not that great. But this is neither. If this were real life, say a junior lieutenant aboard a destroyer saying it to the captain of another destroyer, what would occur next is the captain would first move the discussion to more private quarters (You had the scene on the bridge, not in Carth's officer) and then use the same 'speaking freely' informality to rip a strip off him. The primary reason I am dinging this is Rand made it a personal threat. If he had said 'our crew would be very upset' instead of saying 'I will', it could be passed off. Watch the scene in the Original Star Trek the Motion Picture when Captain (now Commander) Decker uses this same rule to say exactly what he thinks, challenging Kirk's capabilities with a newly redesigned vessel. While acrimonious, it was within the rules.


Technical note, bridge access: A tech rep who has been aboard a ship should know that access to the bridge is restricted. Even on a carrier or modern large warship, there is not a lot of space there, and would have been told before that you request permission to enter the bridge.


The piece spans far before Taris, and does so in such a way that all of the characters we remember from the game are more clearly defined. Trask having the shakes because he's never been in combat, even the Ugly Orange Jacket becomes something he picked up on Taris rather than a fashion statement (Or as a guy I knew would have said, a fashion question).


Except for the comments mentioned above, the piece is tightly written and well portrayed.


Star Wars Republic: Commando Zero Hour

The Republican1129


During Clone Wars: The team goes from one mission to the next


The author has literally decided not to continue writing, or I hope perhaps merely not posting, and I am saddened. As someone who has been butting his head against the wall that stops an aspiring author from becoming famous, I understand the frustration.


As I don't know if this author will ever read this, I will still post the review.


My main curiosity is that you have the team facing a dark Jedi; something you would not anticipate since according to Canon the Sith have gone to the Rule of Two, and there should be no additional Sith to face. The going from one action to another is common among the Clone War stories, but considering you started with only a little over two million clones in AOTC, this is to me, understandable.

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Coruscant Entertainment Center



Chevron 7 Locke


Set in the Sith Empire: Duty, or love?


The writing is what I would expect from this old hand in my reviews, and I wasn't disappointed. The character is split for only a moment in his mind, and what will sadly occur in the following scenes after the story merely sets in stone the grip the leadership has on their followers.


Pick of the week.




Star Wars The Old Republic: Dark Pride

Leon Angealis


Set in TOR: A Jedi falls, but needs a last sacrifice


Except for the fight scenes being a bit generic, the work is well done, the idea that the Council has learned nothing it seems in the last three centuries is a slight problem, but considering how long it took the Catholic church to change the paper they were using, not too much of one. You avoided the one thing I ding, giving every force manipulation a name. The piece is almost an unrelieved darkness. Your Sith, even the fallen one, seem to revel in their brutality.


One odd note, the Jedi are paid to supply bodyguards?


Force Persuade Rampage!

Shadows Of The Storm


Pre KOTOR: I understand you are supposed to practice all of your abilities, but there are limits...


The piece amused and surprised me. The idea that Tyla (Exile) can use Force Persuade on even her classmates is fun, but how she and Revan decide to use it is a riot.


Having everyone assume the 'punishment' she is going to suffer was even more so.


Tied for Best of the Week


Your Reflection



KOTOR on Manaan: All has been lies


The piece is short, but the introspection is deep. My own version of Revan (Genesis of a Jedi) dealt with her discovery of her true identity by looking at where the new her was different from the old. Auralee's Revan is merely seeing the mirror as yet another betrayal.



Drake Michaels


At the end of TFU darkside ending: Tormented beyond reason, Starkiller seeks his revenge


Having read up to chapter 4, you need to reread and edit the work. The flow needs polishing. Remember that a specific race or nationality is always capitalized. So rodian should be Rodian.





Post KOTOR to TSL: Carth still waits


I only had a chance to read the first chapter. Pity, because what I did read made me want to read more.


This is not light and relatively fluffy as the first works I read, and the author handles it not only gently, but well. We end this first chapter with someone doing his duty, not because the Republic needs him, but because someone asked him to.


Pick of the Week


Forever I Do



Post TS: Follow on to The Prodigal, A wedding and all the memories it brings up


The piece fits well with the portions given a combined best just two weeks ago. The side stories, how both his father and Dustil proposed were the kind of cute little things that happen at weddings.


The idea of using a public meeting hall for the wedding, with a priest, is an interesting way to do it. The only thing I took as odd was the idea that on a planet like Coruscant, with it's light pollution, you're still going to have two young lovers go out to look at the stars.


Pick of the Week


Belief and Betrayal

Shadows Of The Storm


Pre-Mandalorian Wars: Tyla returns to the enclave, and receives an unexpected gift


The piece is poignant, and rather sad considering what happens after the war. Her love becoming one of her perceived enemies later.


Pick of the Week



Captain Koradis of the Empire


Pre TFU: Where Kota began


Remember to sight edit and correct. You used are instead of our, and fixated, rather than fixed for example. Don't feel to bad about that correction. If you read my works here, you will notice that I sometimes have the same problem. My mind is working so fast on laying out the scene, and my hands are running to keep up as I record it, so I will stick in the wrong word or leave them out, which you also did a couple of times.


Your battle scenes are more reminiscent of the carnage between the Napoleonic Wars and the end of the 1st World War. This suggests to me that the weaponry, lasers and blasters, are a new addition to the military of both sides. Up until WWI, the main viable enemy of the infantry was cavalry. If you read the book 1633 by Larry Flint, you have a modern day group of Americans caught in the 30 Years War where the Pike formation is still the norm, and the Americans are merely assuming that adding flintlock rifles will change the battlefield.


Yet the reenactors among those Americans, and demonstrations in live wargames set in the book shows the standard methods used in WWII; skirmishers, were being routinely run down by cavalry troops who know that even with the more rapid reloading allowed by using the Minie ball, a cavalry unit can travel fast enough for most of them to survive to reach the line of unsupported infantry. The main reason for the creation of the bayonet was because when they get close enough for that, you still needed something to fend off an approaching horseman. Armies routinely stayed in tight formations out of the previous era because a single man or small group cannot cover enough frontage.


When WWI was fought, the weapons mix had shifted enough that mass charges as you portray merely meant you had your troops killed in job lots against trenches machine guns and the newly developed indirect fire artillery the Germans had pioneered.


Darth Phobos: The Hidden Fear



3,000 years Before Yavin: The quinessential dark lord begins her rise


Having never played TFU (Not enough memory on my machine) I was confused as to why the story started three millennia previously. But considering what she could do at age seven, I could see her growing into a boogeyman in her own right. The Author is British, and I knew it immediately with the neat lift of a Black Adder quote.


I didn't have time to read it all, merely the first chapter. But it was an intriguing look into the life of a Sith Lord.





Post TSL: Revan's daughter must learn the force and complete her mother's mission


First, remember that a paragraph is usually only three or four sentences tied to one specific thought. Your very first one covers pretty much all of the lives of her parents and the sleepover in one lump. Second, remember conversation breaks.


Think of a story as a road going from one place to another. For the reader, it is supposed to take them to the world you have created, with you driving, and all they have to do is watch the scenery. What you've done is like the joking scenes they do where miles are done in an instant, the scenery flashing by at warp speed, and they are more concerned with hanging on the sissy bar beside the door rather than really seeing anything.


Technical note, Hybrids: One character is what you called a Tokra, or half wookie. This would not be as easy as you might imagine, or as Star Trek would have you believe. H. Beam Piper in his short story 'When in the Course...' said it best when a spaceship lands on a world where the inhabitants look completely human. What you have is a lock made on one world, and on another 600 light years away, you have someone making a key. Neither has even spoken to each other, so they know nothing about what the other is making, so the odds that the key will not only fit, but work is almost impossible.


This was addressed in the Book, Vulcan in the Star Wars Expanded Universe by having Vulcan geneticists creating the hybrid that became Spock in a laboratory. In the SW universe you have both the Kamino and Ithorians who could possibly handle the genetics.


Tecnhical Note, Destroying planets: Except for the scene where the Death Star destroyed Alderaan, none of the other planets 'destroyed' were actually destroyed. To paraphrase Ian Malcom from the book version of Jurassic Park, all you have done is make it difficult if not impossible for anyone to live there. Even the most virulent of radiation sources (Plutonium has a half life of over 4 billion years) would not do it. It would only cause forms of life either resistant or immune to the effects to take the stage, and considering the SW universe is far beyond such feeble weapons, I honestly don't see anyone using something so retrograde, since it would take several dozen dirty bombs to totally depopulate a world.


The primary problem I saw was you have a nascent Jedi with no training at all charging off to save the day.


Star Wars: The Shipjacker



During Mandalorian Wars: The person who stole the Ebon Hawk from Vhek had help...


For those who don't remember him, Vhek is the character the Exile meets on Nar Shaddaa who claims the Ebon Hawk was his. From what he says we know that Davik Kang had bought the ship not long before the arrival of the main character in KOTOR, and has been trying to get it back for several years. The TSL didn't really cover much about the man, only that his ship had been stolen.


This tightly written story had a unique twist at the end, and one thing I like with any author is when they surprise me. There's only one minor thing that bothered me...


Since Jabba was willing to place the bounty on Han Solo because of one cargo load of spice, how did Vhek survive?


Tied for Best of the Week


Humans are mammals



KOTOR aboard Ebon Hawk: All right, where did this conversation start?


One thing I have always loved in Star Wars is the idea that beyond what goes where and why, most of the aliens share a common sense of humor. Mission comes across as the pedantic teacher explaining why it can't be so. Revan is having way too much fun with both the placement of Carth's... fur, and why Juhani has only one set of breasts. The men are hopelessly outnumbered when these three get down and dirty.


Pick of the Week

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Kashyyyk Ghost

Lady Tragic


Five years after Order 66: Delta Squad returns to Kashyyyk hunting a ghost


This is by my count, the ninth of Lady Tragic's works I have reviewed, and I am never disappointed when I do. This piece starts where I think every special operations team does, with mental complaints about the new replacement.


Of course considering that except for that man these are clones, it's heightened. There is all of the friction you'd expect from a new operative being fitted in more by command orders than anything else. If it were merely a team, six missions would have fit him in well. But there is the fact he doesn't look like a brother, and the newer missions of course, heighten the irritation that now, as Fixer thinks, they are wearing the black hats.


I am always unsatisfied with her work... either I can't read it all, or it's not long enough!


Pick of the Week


A Few Home Truths

The Lost Minstrel


TSL After Nar Shaddaa: The Exile is sick and tired of the 'hero' everyone compares her to


The piece is a well portrayed view of the Exile's view of what had happened from Malachor on. I agreed and applauded her rant because she was right. While she was struggling to merely survive, Revan had gone from the enemy to hero while she had been roundly condemned and cast adrift.


Pick of the Week


Reversal of Roles



TSL on Malachor: Having been duped into killing the Exile, Atton makes one last attempt at redemption


Remember to sight edit and correct words, then polishing. The piece had a lot of times where the wording left me wondering, such as saying he did something to no prevail, meaning avail instead.


The piece was a bit confusing, and part of it was the mind trick Kreia used to get him to kill his leader. His method of atoning was as his battle cry would say, pure pazaak.


Telosian Festival of Fear



Originally reviewed 20 October 2006. That review is below


During interim between KOTOR and TSL: Carth finds something else to fear...


The story flows smoothly, the subject matter, a woman trying to dive in with feet first into the culture of her husband, and the ending surprised me pleasantly. It is the highest rated story I have reviewed to date. 52 thumbs up, and 21 reviews by readers.


This story went well, and as I read it, I remembered an article I did in the expert forum of Lucasforums on how to convert a holiday of ours to the genre. The idea that the costumes have to reflect heroes rather than the fears is a unique twist to the Halloween motif (Black and Orange was obvious). Changing it so that the kids have to give the history of the costume is also a nice touch.




Reprise Pick of the Week and Best of the Week



Lena Breeze


Set in Rise of the Empire:


Remember conversation breaks. It is confusing for the readers when they have to go back over a conversation to see who said what.


Why did you have it be Kushbians, but have them on Korriban? What you have here is similar to several American Indians transplanted to say 17th century England. The Wikipedia link you added says they have limited technology, so such a move would have been at someone else's choice, and having the boy's father own the landing field suggests that it was not from slavery.


The piece is a nice slice of life for the two young kits; as the blurb goes, boy meets girl.





Pre TSL: Atton finds the Force for the first time, and it terrifies him


I have to apologize to the author because I accidentally misspelled the handle, with only one 'L' the second time. So when I knew I had reviewed work before, I couldn't find it.


The idea that Atton had somehow ended up on Dantooine enroute to Nar Shaddaa is an intriguing concept, and having him realize he is feeling the Force there gives us an interesting look at the character, doing an ostrich imitation to avoid feeling what he now can.


I only read the first short chapter(Of 29), but just from that, I hungered for more.


Pick of the Week


Prove It

Val Perham


Post TSL on Manaan: The Exile demands that Atton prove his feelings for her


Remember to sight edit and correct errors. For example you had Atton ask 'why did' when you meant what did, and had her face turn as (red) as a Sith lightsaber. What I think is the problem is that your mind is running so quickly through the story you are writing that you sometimes forget to put the entire sentence down. Don't feel bad, I have been writing since I was fifteen (45 years) and I still do it on occasion as well.


The piece was fun because you have Atton spending pretty much every moment they are together trying to get into her pants, but never admits his feelings for her. Here she pretty much demands that he do so.


Star Wars: Spirits of the Old Republic



Set in the Post Yuuzhan Vong period: Luke Han and Leia head off into a different adventure


The piece had an interesting feel to it. The only negative I have is the Exile. Why is he or she still called that four thousand years later? It would be like Benedict Arnold being called the Traitor today, even though his crimes are long forgotten except to historians.


Knights of the Old Republic: Forged in Fire



PreKOTOR: Introduction to the main character


Like my own version of this work, there is little time between when Revan is found and when the story begins. Having her be Mando'a is fun, and having her wonder which side she had been on in that war what you would expect from an amnesiac. One thing I love is a fellow Mando'a-phile.


Three chapters with a prologue, I found myself wanting to hit the button and keep reading.


Pick of the Week


Taking a Risk



KOTOR on Manaan: Bastila is finally willing to say it


The piece was well done. Bastila fearing that Aeryn (Revan) is dead because of what she sees very well portrayed.


Pick of the Week


Another Sleepless Night



Starting two months post TSL: Revan departs to the Unknown Region, leaving Carth to fulfill a promise


The style is crisp and clean, laying the story out in a manner that makes you follow without effort.


The piece begins dark, shadows of her past making her more obsessed as time goes on. Yet ends with them reunited in a rather unique manner. Only one minor quibble.


Technical note Admiral Status: It is exceedingly rare for an admiral in any navy to ever directly command a single ship. Admirals command squadrons of larger combatants, be they ancient ships of the line, or heavy cruisers and battleships in more modern times. Captains command the actual warships of his command, and while in overall command, the admiral is a passenger.


The scene I loathed in the movie Down Periscope is when the Admiral seizes command of the submarine, because while he has the authority to do so, he doesn't have the right to do so. It does happen, but it is demeaning to the captain of that vessel when it occurs. Many captains through history have requested relief from duty even if it is a highly valued command because of it.


What If?



Pre KOTOR: What if the plan to capture Revan had failed?


The piece is well wrought, and the fight scenes well done. The conversion of Bastila is done off stage, but understandably so.


The only real negative is that Malak merely goes to face her knowing he is going to die, which to my mind is foolish.

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To Walk a Lonely Path



Post TSL in the Unknown Regions: Reunited, Revan and the Exile face a new battle


The piece was well written, the meeting a little bloody, though. I could see someone trying to stop her, so the carnage made sense. Their meeting is almost as if they had not been parted, and going into battle, they are content with that.





Before the Battle of Malachor: Revan mentally prepares for battle


The piece is well done and portrayed. The idea that there is really no 'side' to be on, just the Force is one I explored in the last chapters of my own Genesis of a Jedi. That is why the ending line is 'There is no dark, there is no light, there is only the Force'





TSL aboard Ebon Hawk: Night terrors stalk the crew...


The piece starts as a lot of nightmares do, with something so depressingly normal, goes through a brief period of surrealism, then into terror. The end of chapter one had me a bit shocked, though considering how the Council treated her after her return, it should not have.


Eight chapters long, I did look forward to know that it isn't only her suffering this, and I wanted to read more.


Pick of the Week


Turbulent Depths



TOR enroute to Mon Calamari: We watch two Jedi sparring


The piece ended too abruptly to get either a sense of style, or of the characters. The commentary about their styles is good, since a smaller opponent, and most women, learn early to use their natural speed to run their opponents ragged, just as the stronger knows all he has to do is match them to win out in the end.


Nowhere to Run



In the Unknown Regions: Revan's struggle finally ends


The work is step by step brutalization of the hero. The only negative I felt was having her just be killed the way they did, especially after all of the work they expended on making her last days a living hell. It's almost as if someone had decided on an act of mercy at the last moment...


The Story of Bron Avery

Connor Lonske


KOTOR Aboard Endar Spire: The adventure begins


The style is confusing from start to finish. It is far too short to give it much chance to build on, and having it start much later then flashback didn't help. Having someone come up and expect him to perform like a dancing bear was a bit odd; I can't see most people treating one of the Jedi that way.


It is court martialed (Tried before a Military Court) not marshalled (Gathered together)


Technical note blast damage: While some separation would reduce the damage, that would be in a few meters. It is unlikely with a grenade explosion that a man less than a meter away would be totally unaffected if it was powerful enough to kill the first one. Note I said unlikely, not impossible.


Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic III



11 years post TSL: Desperate, Revan and the Exile call for help.


While well written, the piece was a bit confusing to me. To explain why, imagine this scene from the never made Raiders of the Lost Ark II set after Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:


Indiana Jones, his new wife and son return to the Tanis and the Well of Souls seeking clues as to where the stone tablets of the original Ten Commandments are...


Now think of what you did from the point of Jones above. While he didn't write anything down that we know of, people who get into Archeology are noted for the voluminous notes they make about anything and everything they see. Remember his father's 'Grail Diary' and how Jones was able to use his notes alone to work out where to look ahead of the Germans.


Almost all of the data they supposedly need is already in their hands, and the locations to look if they need more as well. But the primary reason for finding the Star Maps originally was to locate the Star Forge.


Technical note, two Star Forges: While the idea makes some sense, there are four different problems.


1; Capabilities. A prototype is usually something that still needs work to go into production. A lot of times, it is not as efficient as the completed production model. As an example, the P51 Mustang began life as a simple upgrade of the P40 series, and was under engined. But two things, her design (Especially changing out the radiator) and replacing the engine with the Rolls Royce Merlin made it the premier fighter of that War. However, we run into problem two-


2; Civil War. According to the basic storyline, the Rakatans were in the middle of a civil war. Building two Star Forges would give the rebels a target worth capturing; the new and improved model. Once it was in their hands, the war is fought on equal footing, since both now have the capabilities to produced everything they need for that effort.


3; No record of the second one. The characters had access to the Rakatan computers in the Elder's settlement and the temple, then during the attack, on the Star Forge itself. Why is it that neither they, nor the Sith they faced then, didn't make a record of the fact that there were two? If the Sith had discovered it first, the war fought before KOTOR would have gone on, the enemy would have still had all the capability of the original in the second one. If the Jedi had found it, they would have either occupied or destroyed the second one just to make sure it could not be used against them again.


4; Personnel. As much as the Clone Wars leaned heavily on using droids as combat troops and ship's crews, you have two different problems with this. One, they need to be maintained, and in combat operations you either repair them, or cannibalize them. So you would need either people in the loop, or another design that does nothing but repair damaged or malfunctioning units.


If you use people, you also need crews. If the Republic is stretched so badly, part of the reason might be personnel, though it could be enough ships. After WWII, the US mothballed something like half of the ships we used during the war because of budget cuts, so it is trained people more likely.


The perfect example is the Gulf War operations. The Saudis who were our allies could not have fought the Iraqis alone; their army in 1991 was less than three divisions, facing off against 11. In the first, the US had to ship thousands of troops into the region to begin operations, and the original Desert Shield (Air attacks inside Iraq) went for five weeks before Desert Storm (Land operations) began. That was due to having to ship in the men and vehicles necessary to fight.





During the Clone Wars: A little comfort before the operation starts


One minor problem, you used waist instead of waste (as in not wasting time).


The piece rambles a bit, but the author did warn us of that at the start. It is merely a bit of interaction with people who care about each other on several levels. The biggest problem I saw was the same one we had during both Korea and Vietnam; High Command just deciding it's done and leaving, causing you to have to send in a unit yet again.


Lost Get Found

Angel of Melius Prime


Post TSL: Carth worries when Revan is missing after a bombing


The largest problem I saw was the attacker is merely a cardboard cut out. We know why he acted, and what he intends. But he is as faceless as the words 'suicide bomber'. We also don't know for sure how Revan survived, though we know the reason why.


Torment and Redemption



Post KOTOR III: Revan is still tormented by his past


The piece is dialogue driven, and rather good. The basic premise, that a warrior would back away from what he had done to succeed is well portrayed.


Star Wars Knights of the Ole Republik



KOTOR On Taris: A parody of the first segment of the game


The piece surprised me, and I found myself laughing out loud at some points. Calling the ship the Soon to Be Ended Spire was just the start of the zany action. Dennis (The main character) having a seizure from that hideous Orange Jacket(as did the Sith trying to take him captive), then Carth changing it for a pink one, acting like a jealous lover rather than a partner, and it just goes on and on.


Best of the Week


Patron Saints of Lost Causes



Set in KOTOR on Yavin IV: A padawan must protect her charge alone


The only negative I have about the story is using Yavin IV yet again.


The piece is very well done, and I wished I could read beyond the first chapter


Pick of the Week

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The Legendary Zhuge Liang



NSW Fiction: A hero faces unexpected problems


An interesting look at the genre. The basic problem is you need to find people who are into it. Having seen several of these in my life, they do. My favorite sadly is one I never learned the title of; a judge in Feudal Japan who spends time running around pretending to be a drunken Ronin and using a team of investigators when he comes into the new town on a case. I only saw one episode in Hawaii when I was on vacation, and have wished I could find it here.


Sith's War



Starting on Tatooine AU: Revan goes to become a Jedi


I only read a single chapter into the work. I will not ding you on language, as you are from Singapore, and the day I can write a grammatically correct story in your native tongue, I will consider myself worthy to critique that. However there are several other problems I see.


Technical note, Age at start: Everywhere you look in the SW universe, you have the Jedi either grabbing infants(according to several authors), to refusing to train people above a certain age, which is never defined, except for the fact that Anakin was originally rejected because he was nine, and considered too old. When we see an adult being trained, it is like in KOTOR, a special case, or in Luke Skywalker's case, because he and his sister are the last of those the Jedi can find to teach. In this case we have him starting at 17, and whether his father was an Ex-Jedi or not, at this age, and considering his actions in the chapter, I would have deemed him unsuitable.


In the EU, expanded Universe, there were supposedly only 22 Jedi that had left the order. It was mentioned that Count Dooku was among those. I will submit that statistically Revan's father could have been one of them, but if he had wanted his son raised as a Jedi, he could have sent him a decade earlier.


Technical note, action and reaction: I can understand why the boy at this point would wish to kill the men who murdered his father, but even with Anakin Skywalker's actions in Attack of the Clones, this would stop any right thinking Jedi for enlisting him. Not to mention the fact that HK47 is already there, and whether he built him as Anakin did with C3P0, or had repaired him and not returned him, using a droid to kill someone is not something you would expect of anyone with a Jedi's mentality.


Technical note, Mandalorian bad guys: From what I have read, the Mandalorians were originally mercenaries, but as much as Machievelli painted them as a horror, at the time he wrote the Prince, it was an honorable profession, closer in mind to the Spartans than their later incarnations during the 30 Years War. The author of that book wasn't stating his true purpose. Mercenaries almost always tended to stay loyal to the paymaster, whereas forming an army of your citizens means you have people you can suborn later. And since Tatooine at the time belonged to a corporation, not to the Hutt, having one send someone to collect a debt is just a setting you took from another story. Also as much as we might think badly of mercenaries or soldiers, they are not simple thugs who are going to beg for their lives when suddenly the roles are reversed. A Samurai or Spartan would spit in your eye rather than beg.


Technical note, Location: After several years (I started reviewing back in 2005, and added fanfiction to my list two years ago) I have seen so many stories with the same locations, that I finally wrote an article about why it bugs me. Please read LucasForums > Network > Knights of the Old Republic > Community > Coruscant Entertainment Centre > The Resource Centre > Same old, same old to understand why.


I did like the interplay with Bastila, and having them be at odds is natural.


The Force is Willing



During the Rebellion: Starkiller has been reborn, but he isn't the only one...


The piece is short, and the first thing I did after reading it was check the profile. You do know what some of your problems are, but one statement confused me. You don't know what a beta-reader is?


Think of it as you're doing a report for school, and you ask a friend, parent, whatever to read it and tell you what they think. If the person is honest, they will point at it and say 'you misspelled this, you used the wrong words here and here, and this sentence needs polishing'. A beta-reader is someone who will do that, taking a copy of your work, and returning it corrected, including correcting ideas that are wrong, or at least explaining why they are.


The premise is a bit off the wall, the question is, why is it only the Sith that are being resurrected?


Battle of Coruscant: Brothers in Arms



Six or seven years after ANH: Commandos go to Coruscant for the last battle


The negatives I have are few, and they are all technical.


Technical note, Pre landing inspection: Such an inspection should have been carried out before the ship launched. The reason for this is simple; you are checking that equipment is in working order, and it is easier to swap out damaged or malfunctioning equipment while still aboard ship rather than during a hostile landing. As an example, when the Allies landed at Normandy, the men were mustered and had this inspection before they boarded ship for the trip across the Channel, which was days before the landing itself due to delays in launching the operation. What you show would be like the lieutenant leading a platoon having an inspection in the boat after it has left the ship instead of when they are being mustered to load into the boats, or before they cast off.


Historically, there were a number of men who left some of their equipment behind in the rush to board the LCVPs, but once you've launched to go in, you don't have time to go back and get whatever it was you left behind.


Technical note, landing preparations: Unlike a boat landing on a hostile shore, you would not be standing when the ship lands in this instance unless you're doing the SW equivalent of a parachute drop. If enemy fire were to hit the shuttle, or the landing is too rough, your men would be injured unnecessarily. So they would be strapped in. The best action scene showing what I mean is the Movie Aliens when the Marine ship comes in to drop the squad. The instant they're on the ground, the APC drives out, but everyone is strapped down until the wheels start rolling.


For a scene where you have someone going into attack an enemy position, it is rather well done all told.



Shadows Of The Storm


Pre Mandalorian Wars on Tatooine: When you're captured, there really is nothing to do but bicker...


The piece was a riot to read. The time line (Six days) seems a bit long since all we saw was maybe the last few hours. The entire spat makes me wonder why the Sand People didn't just kill or gag them both to shut them up. We learned a lot about the pair here, and the allusions to other times and that the flirtation between them before was because neither had a clue they were flirting was a lot of fun.


Best of the Week


A Deadly Situation



A year after the destruction of the True Sith: A rescue mission is sent to Dantooine


Technical note, Mercenary combat operations; First, while a group of well trained mercenaries could carry out the operation you started with, they showed a lack of efficiency when the operation went south on them. The perfect example of a well run operation where it didn't go wrong is the Israeli rescue of the hostages at Entebbe Uganda.


But you never assume everything is going to go right. Look at Operation Eagles Claw, the failed attempt to rescue the American Hostages from Iran. That failed at the end because they needed X number of helicopters, and after the crash that also destroyed the C130, didn't have enough to carry it out, so they withdrew. Your mercenaries should have an idea of how much time they have before any relief can arrive, and the first thing a person trained in special operations learns in something is going to go wrong, so plan for it, and be gone before the enemy arrives.


On the whole it was well done. The enemy commander committing suicide was a nice touch, but I wonder why they didn't detect the lie.


Hello, Beautiful



Post KOTOR: The Dark Lord is given one last chance


The only odd note was how Carth could have survived, and how the others had been been saved. I remember a line from the Movie Soapdish when an actor is brought back to play his old role. The writer storms in, shouting about the Bible, which in this case is the collected information about the characters and what had been done to avoid repeating storylines. She screams that he can't come back from the dead because he had been decapitated.


Beyond that I thoroughly enjoyed the work, for a first time, it was very good


Pick of the Week


The Exile's Broken Hearts

A.L. Enna Breyu


Post TSL aboard Ebon Hawk: The Exile has problems with her own feeling, and dealing with the two men willing to do more, even more problems...


It made sense when Carth called her Xeile in discussions with Telos, and since Bao Dur knew her as a General, it makes sense to have him call her that. But while it makes sense for someone who doesn't know her, having her crew call her Exile is not realistic. I commented recently on a story set after the return of the Second Republic where Luke Skywalker couldn't find any record of her under any other name, and I dinged that author as well. While Benedict Arnold did betray his country, his name is still remembered, they don't just call him the Traitor.


Technical note, ship locations: While you are using a map, and on a map you have directions like east and west, a ship moves. By simply lifting off, rotating 90 degrees either left or right, and setting down, you have changed the ground direction. It's like the old Three Stooges bit where Moe complaints after Larry moves to his right, rather than Moe's, and they argue about the direction, each pointing to his right, then with the addition of Curley, now three different directions.


On a ship, an onboard location is set by a specific term instead because in an emergency, you don't want to have someone going in the wrong direction. As an example, port is to the left facing the bow (Front) of the ship. So the berthing compartment (Not bedroom or dorm) you describe is on the starboard side of the ship. When you called the viewport a space window, you reminded me of an old joke.


A new junior officer is on the bridge when a man new to shipboard life finishes his watch, snaps a salute, and says, “Request permission to go downstairs.”


After having heard him say this type of crap for the last week, the officer loses it. “Stand fast!” He storms over, and starts pointing. “That is the bow, not the front of the ship. That is the stern, not the back end. That is port, not left, starboard, not right. That is a hatch, not a door, and when you pass through it you are not going outside, you are going on deck.


“That is not a stairway, it is a ladder, and you go below when walking down, and topside when you are going up. That is the deck, not the floor, and that is the overhead, not the ceiling. So you are ordered to learn all the right ways to say it aboard ship or by god I'm going to throw you through that... little round window thingie.”


Memories of the Past



Follow on to A Deadly Situation one month later: With Revan's memories now gone again, those around him try something drastic


The piece was well done, because as much as doctors believe in being careful, there are times when you have to take a risk. The idea that the new personality is going to fight against the old permeates the entire story arc, since Revan had to do the same to continue when he (Or she) decided to finish the mission against the Star Forge rather than simply turn back to the darkness.


Star Wars The Old Republic



Set in TOR: Two Jedi struggle to save an infant


Your have to remember that some terms mean the same thing. Sweat and perspire mean the same thing, so what you did was repeat the idea.


Technical note, Stormtroopers: I have never played TOR; frankly when I wanted to as a Beta, it would not load even though I had more than enough memory, so I do not know if the term is even used in that game. But Stormtrooper has a specific meaning here on Earth, specifically the men of the old SA and SS during WWII, and in SW it was linked to the troops of the Empire.


Technical note, traffic: Even six months after occupation, traffic would not be back up to even a tithe of what it was before. Look at any German city bombed during WWII, where almost a year after the occupying forces moved in, over 90% of the vehicle traffic was military transports and officers using captured vehicles. Partly it was damage, but it was also travel restrictions; local not being allowed to use their vehicles without permission.


Technical note, Unit size: I know from seeing the Battlefront games that the designers have little or no knowledge of actual combat and unit sizes, since a squad in the game is what would be called an understrength fire team in our world. You call the formations facing the two jedi at the end regiments, but a regiment (In our world) is 1500 men. Using 3,000 men to assist in restraining one, even a Jedi, is like driving finishing nails with a ten kilo sledgehammer.


The basis of the story was a bit confusing. You merged titles from one into the other for example. Having your 'dark jedi' be someone the Jedi knew before made some sense. Had time to only read one chapter, but it was interesting.


Carry On



During the end of the Clone Wars: What if Etain had a premonition of death?


The only negative I had with the story is how well developed the child is. Most children don't start talking until they are almost a year old, yet it would have been next to impossible for them to have concealed the birth (and the several previous months with obvious physical changes) from the Jedi unless they are not only completely clueless, and haven't even bothered to speak directly to her for a year or more.


It was a light piece with just a touch of darkness, the foreboding mellowing into just a couple and their child.





KOTOR AU: What if Revan loves Carth, but he doesn't return the feelings?


The piece is short and sweet, and from the comment at the end, she obviously doesn't know she was Revan before.


The one thing I hate about both of the KOTOR games is the 'you're automatically going to have a love interest'. In fact there is a thriving band of Mods out there creating some beyond the M/Bastila F/Carth ones to include F/Bastila and Revan/Juhani ones. When I wrote my own Genesis of a Jedi I did my own version, having Bastila become a female Revan's wife, but when I did my version of Return from Exile, (With the Get Handmaiden as female) Brianna became not her wife, but her sister of battle, and adopted sister.


Not bad, just too damn short.


Pick of the Week


Diplomacy of a Jedi



Following Memories of the Past: Cade is being judge as to his worthiness as a teacher


The primary problem I had with the piece is the idea that you are going to trust someone to teach, who sees only one way to handle things. The attitude is quoted as 'If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail'. It is attributed to both Abraham Kaplan and Abraham Maslow two years apart, though the Term 'Birmingham Screwdriver', meaning a hammer predates them by a century.


As much as the old saying goes that a good teacher learns from his student, it is not always the case in reality. Many of the academic arguments in sciences boil down to 'it isn't what I want to believe, so it's a lie', which goes both ways. Even when you have proof that your contention is accurate, there are those who still will not believe.


What you have set up is a situation where Cade is going to go to the dark side just to prove his worth. It happens a lot in fiction where you have someone who has a specific skill set (As a warmaster his skill set is obvious) with nothing to do, and being looked down of because of it.

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My favorite sadly is one I never learned the title of; a judge in Feudal Japan who spends time running around pretending to be a drunken Ronin and using a team of investigators when he comes into the new town on a case. I only saw one episode in Hawaii when I was on vacation, and have wished I could find it here.


I do not know which one this is, but if you like Wuxia series, I can give you some links or names of those series.

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Revan and Bastila Manaan



KOTOR orbiting Manaan: Revan and Bastila have to face their emotions, and it does not go well


The only real negative I have to say is why are they just orbiting, looking for a spot to land? A world with a civilization would have beacons to direct you as to where to land, so Ahto City would be broadcasting so traders can find it.


I was looking at it, and thinking they were both fools. But after thinking about it, I had to admit any pair of young teenagers would go through the same thing. Face it, while the Jedi could have implanted memories of all sorts, the one thing they could not implant would be emotional responses. Every kid who ever had their first kiss only had examples, parents, older siblings, and of course movies in our day. A lot of kids kiss for the first time just to see what it is like.


So they are acting like someone four or five years younger than Bastila's given age of nineteen, and trying to be 'adult' about it at the same time. That means Revan's 'oh she doesn't love me' is true to form for that age, though his anger after she rejects him at the end is a bit over the top.





KOTOR on Lehon after the Star Forge: The survivors of the assault receive their medals in bitter silence.


The piece was perfect in it's hauteur. The one who is thinking of this ceremony is coldly furious at the publicity of the act, and mourns the losses. Every man who has ever had to stand there in the spotlight after a horrendous battle would understand exactly what she feels. The most tragic thought is that until the end, you don't know who she is, and that I will leave to you to find out.


You have got to read this.


Best of the Week


Uh Oh



KOTOR aboard Ebon Hawk: It's not what you think!


The piece is very short, and the situation something you can see happening without a problem. It's just the perceptions of it. I just wish we'd seen what Zaalbar was going to do about it.


The Hunt for the Masters



TSL on Nar Shaddaa:


The logic that each of the Masters had handled part of the removal of her powers originally does make some sense, but you've set up a situation like the old story the Four Feathers here. I don't know if you have ever read it (They did make a movie in 2002 based on it) but when a British officer resigns before a battle, he receives a white feather from three of his friends and his fiancee, the symbolism being that he was a coward. The story is about his proving to each that it isn't true, so they will take back their silent condemnation.


Considering two of the masters; Vrook and Atris as she is shown at the start, the chances that they will admit they are wrong are somewhere around no way in hell. The other three, Vash, Zez-Kai Ell and Kavar at least seemed sympathetic.


Yet your Exile is going about it the wrong way if she is going to stay on the Light Side, and if she is supposed to be a Dark Jedi, she's being a bit too timid about asking.


The idea of using the Force of the Moon itself as a weapon was an interesting touch.


One thing, why call your Exile by that title? Benedict Arnold may have been America's first traitor, but he didn't spend the rest of his days announcing himself by the title.


Is This Our Farwell

Minion of Sehkmet


TSL on Onderon: Kavar says goodbye to Talia


Remember to sight edit, even if you have a beta reader. The word 'be' was left out of the sentence, 'Kavar didn't seem to (Be) at all like', then again the word 'a' in 'it is also (a) lightsabre crystal'.


The piece had a really fun point, Kavar talking about doing a 'Bindo', because of that old man's stance about emotional involvement, which I used in my own Genesis of a Jedi, because he was right. The only real surprise in the piece was at the end.


Pick of the Week


Fall of a Jedi



Follow on to Diplomacy of a Jedi: When Cade finally admits his intent, there is blood and pain


The piece pulls you through the scenes, splashing the occasional blood trail to keep you interested, and I will admit, I followed that scent with interest.


I can't remember the name of the style, but in one of the EU books, Mace Windu used a style like Revan's at the end here, where you use all of those negative emotions in combat.


The villain unlike a lot of them at least started out rationally, though by the end he was too busy rationalizing why he was right. The 'show trial' is a nice touch, from Arianna telling him when he asks if he is a liar, 'If you say I said something I did not, then yes', to Revan's refusing to accept the authority of the 'court'.


The only negative I saw was the same one I have for every bad guy who goes to the Dark Side; that plaintive cry at the end 'I am so much more powerful now, so how can you beat me?'.


Very, very good


First Combined best of the year


Always My Sister



Pre KOTOR on Taris: Love blooms for Griff, but what about Mission?


The piece is a bit of fun because we get to see a snippet of Mission's early life, before being abandoned by her brother, and before Zaalbar. Having been an elder sibling in a household with revolving door 'stepfathers', I know the feeling of clinging to your brothers and sisters because they are the only stable thing in your lives.


The only negative I had was with the Character of Griff, but we all share that. The glib liar who will say what he thinks will make the person he is talking to happy, but never reveal his real feelings.


A nice bit of fun. Like a dessert, something to make you feel good.


Gray Harbor

Axia West


Pre TSL: Carth is reunited with his brother, though that is not a happy event


The idea that Carth had a brother makes sense, though it is a bit stereotypical for it to be good boy/ bad boy. I was immediately caught up in the idea of Carth having a drinking problem after Revan left, and running up debts because of it, though the idea that he's run up enough to cause the old debt collector breaking your kneecaps in a short time is a bit of a stretch. The problem with any military is that as long as an officer doesn't do anything stupid in public to blot his copybook, it's ignored.


But having the government commission special teams to find Jedi? Considering the situation we face at the beginning of TSL, that makes a lot of sense.


Eight chapters long, but just the first was enough for me to recommend it.


Pick of the Week


Spies of the Old Republic



AU on Dantooine: Revan, Just Revan


The intro was a bit trite, but fun anyway. I had wondered if the man was Rahasia's father, but maybe it's because the name is almost spelled the same. The only negative I see is that a scan for weapons should have detected the lightsaber as well, unless he had something to conceal the power cell and metal. But that could be covered in a later chapter.


The piece is a lot of fun, with the villain one of those urbane bad guys the Bond Genre is replete with, and the end comment, repeated above, made it very interesting.


Pick of the Week


I Don't Care

Cally Starkiller


Three years post TSL: He says he doesn't care, but...


The piece is a nice little slice of Atton's life. His wandering around, being at odds with the new Jedi council, and his old shipmates is perfectly portrayed. I liked it except for the brevity of his time in the places he was. The girl carrying the drink he had bought was choice, because in most cases, the bartender would merely palm it off on the next customer, so we know what she had in mind chasing him down.


Now the character name... I have spent 45 years honing my craft and hoping to sell something, so I know how hard that can be sometimes. An author needs more than a description, and so do we as your readers. As an example when I wrote Genesis of a Jedi back in 2005, I just used the first name of Dannika Patrick, and made up a last name (Wordweaver). When I wrote Return From Exile a year later, I just felt that Marai Devos was good. Both are here if you want to see what I did with them, you may. (Try full novelizations before they had decided on 'Canon' for Revan's sex, and the comments about the Echani race [Which in my version includes Revan, but with red hair] in the Wookiepedia which I denigrated because I'd created all of it long before the entry was ever created, and my version of them is nothing like the 'oh let's make them exact duplicates' crap.)


If you really want help with this, PM me after you read the review, and we'll brainstorm. As for Songs, how about Bring Me Back to Life from Evanescence if their love goes well? And if you want to have their love end badly, you could use What a Fool I am By Lou Bonnevie.


Pick of the Week


Clone Enlistment



Post TROS: You should really read the sign before you sign anything...


All right, basics. Remember to sight edit. You had several confusing sentences, such as 'something has to make with our lives'. You also forgot conversation breaks, where the speaker is a different person. Also remember to check grammar, there are four different ways to spell the word 'to' from the one used which is merely a bridge, to the start of the word Tuesday. If you use the wrong one, it causes the reader to go back and read the sentence again.


Think of a story as a river. You have white water sometimes, which is the action happening fast and furious, but mostly you just have placid water flowing from here to there where the people in the boat, on the raft (Readers), ETC are watching the scenery flow by. The problems I addressed in the comments above are unnecessarily white water, distracting the reader from the scenes you are creating


Don't feel too bad about the things I have dinged you on. When I write, I sometimes use what I call 'flow of consciousness', letting the scenes play out in my head, and I have forgotten words, made confusing sentences, forgotten conversation breaks, even used the wrong word. Even professionals make these mistakes. That is why my standard mantra is 'reread, edit, repeat, and polish until smooth.


The scenes where one of the character went to the wrong place to 'enlist' caused me to remember the darker side of it from a Japanese Anime series (With two movies) named Area 88, when the main character signs a form while drunk, and finds himself enlisted in a Foreign Legion when he sobers up. The two clueless boys end up joining up to be stormtroopers, and the only negative I saw was that they received no training at all before they end up on the Death Star. It reminded me of a story I read back in my first year as a critic where a pair of young boys break into the Imperial Navy's bureau of design, and add things like deep pits for no discernible reason, which we see in all the original movies.


Very funny


Pick of the Week


The Final Journey



Follow on to Fall of a Jedi and concluding chapter: With his love dead, Revan must now find a way to go on.


The piece is poignant and sad. The idea that he blames himself makes perfect sense, as the author pointed out, if he had not been so busy taking revenge, she would have lived. His actions in a way, reminds me of the end of the book Kahless in the Star Trek Universe where the Klingon hero leaves his capital alone rather than merely dying in his bed.


First Combined best of the year

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  • 2 weeks later...

Coruscant Entertainment Center


The Legendary Zhuge Liang II



Continuation of the previous piece: The troubles are only beginning.


Worries quite a lot Zhou Yu is disordered, it should be worries Zhou Yu quite a lot.


Unless something changes, don't bother to repeat descriptions; as an example, you have the main character carrying a fan, and later with the same fan. Unless it is a different fan, it is just extra unnecessary words. Remember the axiom is use small words instead of long words, and few words rather than many.


Killing the suborned body guard made sense, but wouldn't it have been better to put him in Zhuge Liang's bed so they stab the body? Also, even though he knows of the plan, would it not make more sense to capture at least one of the Assassins so that he has physical proof of the plan for a later use?


A perfect example of this is an old episode of the TV show the Untouchables named the Masterpiece where a professional killer named Pittsburgh Phil comes to town with orders to murder a gunsmith. Ness warns the man that the killer has come for him, and the gunsmith makes a silencer which he demonstrates to Phil as to how silent it is. Then a bit later, gives the killer a copy of the silencer.


However the silencer is just a hollow tube, and when the Phil decides to use it to kill his target in a crowded speakeasy with Ness observing, the noise is not muffled, so Ness literally catches him in the act killing his target with the gun in his hand.


Of course the episode ins pure fiction. Pittsburgh Phil, better known as Harry Strauss was executed for an entirely different crime.


The Legendary Zhuge Liang III



Continuation of the previous piece: The final battle approaches, and more than military skill is needed.


Again, confusing sentence structure. 'the beautiful and skilled in swordsmanship and zither, Xiao Qiao' would make more sense written with her name in the previous sentence, as follows using just what has been clipped, 'Xiao Qiao. Not only beautiful but skilled both in swordsmanship and zither.'.


The piece is confusing. You're going from actual military tactics (The chain link makes sense in creating a bridge); the Romans who were excellent infantry but only mediocre sailors used the same basic presence by mounting ramps on the bows of their ships that slammed down and immediately created a bridge to attack across. But then you devolve into magic and mysticism. The main character is going to save the day and his mortal enemy.




Endings and Reunions



Side story to the story arc from last week: Revan and Bastila reunite in the Force


One thing, pirates live by their profits not only from cargoes, but also ship itself, if they can man it. So any shooting they do would be to disable so they can board. In the SW universe, they would have been using ion cannon more likely to temporarily disable the systems rather than turbolasers.


The only other negative was also the cutest part, that in the Force it's a lot like the Christian version of Heaven.


It reminded me of a joke. A lawyer dies, and goes to heaven the same day the pope does, so he's standing behind the late Pontiff. Both are escorted to a huge hotel, and the pope gets a little room like you'd expect in a nice hotel. The lawyer is led back to the elevator, which shoots up, and here he is ushered into one of those Penthouse suites you sometimes see.


“Wait,' he asks. “The Pope got some little room, and I get all this?”


“Sure.” His guide replies. “Just about every pope ended up here, but so far, you're only the third Lawyer to make it.”


Very nice ending


Pick of the Week





TSL on Dantooine after the death of the Masters: Eleima has some quiet time with Atton


For a first ever fan fic, it's very well done. A slice of life most don't even consider. In my own Return From Exile they were too busy getting ready for the run to Telos, so taking just a moment to look at the stars never even occurred to me.


Pick of the Week



Knight of the Old Republic: The Dark Lord

Kianda Daemon


Beginning at Malachor V: Revan prepares for the new war


The piece is a bit confusing because Revan appear to be just on the cusp of becoming the dark lord at the start. His intent to slaughter all of the enemy troops remaining even after killing Manda'lor doesn't make a lot of sense.


When I review, I use what I have learned, and one of my special studies through my life is military history. While just about everyone remembers the quote by William (Bull) Halsey from Tora! Tora! Tora! where he says 'when this war is over, the only place they will speak Japanese is in hell', that was at the start of the war, and he didn't order Caedite Eos (A portion of a phrase from the Albigensian Crusade. Better remembered for the American version a reporter claimed was used during Vitenam; [Kill them all] and let god sort it out) during his campaigns in the Pacific.


His actions crippling all of the remaining enemy warships makes even less sense. As my name sake (Properly spelled Machiavelli) said, 'never do your enemy a minor injury'. All he would have done is assured that a century or so later the Mando'a would return to get even. It is unthinking actions like this that create slogans for war such as 'remember the Maine!' or 'Remember the Alamo!'.


I used the same premise, albeit in reverse in my Family of Choice, where after the fact, Revan discovers that the atrocity she used to convince her followers was one committed by her own side, then blamed on the enemy.


Juhani and Belaya



Post KOTOR: Two friends reunite, and decide what they mean to each other


The piece covers one possibility few had thought of. As the author pointed out, there is no list of who did get killed when the temple of Dantooine was destroyed, and since we only know of the ones dealt with directly, such a list would not be hard to work out. But those few would not be the only Jedi, even masters, assigned.


As for the interaction between the two, I understand both sides of the discussion, and have always wondered why they hadn't 'pulled a Jolee' as Bradwart, one of the authors I have recently reviewed called it.


Celibacy makes sense for a priest as with the Catholic Church because after a certain point, you have to remove countervailing responsibilities. But it isn't the norm if you consider every modern codified religion. Considering just the Roman Catholics it has been where you can't be married, but having mistresses has been winked at through history.


So the bar is primarily because it is against their teachings, which Belaya uses as an excuse, and Juhani's master (Revan) saying never take the first no as an answer, is hers. So they do find a middle ground at last.


Revelations and Realizations



Companion piece to Endings and Reunions: Cade goes through the same process


My primary disagreement is with the idea that joining the Force is like heaven and hell, with Cade going to Limbo.


I am not a Christian, (a choice I made for myself over 35 years ago) because the entire cant of most organized religions is pretty much 'do it our way or go to hell'. Since every religion except for my present one seems to follow this, I have been unwilling to join a mainstream church. So their ideas of what comes after death are tainted by that.


If you are a Christian, my question is (And I am not the only one to ever ask the question) why does a god you claim loves all of his children create a place of eternal torment? Especially when the church itself is constantly changing what is defined as right and wrong? As a simple explanation of that argument, the Catholic Church of the 11th Century would try and convict you for heresy if you said a witch had magical powers, and less than a century later, would try you again for the same crime if you said they didn't?


So stripping him of his Force connection, then blinding him makes no sense.





Ten years Post KOTOR, follow on to the previous story arc: A gift for their daughter


The piece, like all of this author's work to date, has been well done. The idea that they are talking about letting the girl enter the order was fun, and the only thing I really wonder about is how close her version of the Exile (Teren) got to Visas...


Pick of the Week


Ambushed on the Landing Pad



TSL on Nar Shaddaa: The outnumbered crew faces their biggest challenge


The piece is short and sweet. The only negative I would have is having them meekly surrender, though having not only people on the ramp but also in the air forcing the issue made sense.


A Space Heater?



KOTOR aboard Ebon Hawk: The heating system is down... Whatever will we do?


The piece snuck up on me and smacked me upside the head. The one thing I enjoy is when that happens, which is why Josh Whelan is one of my favorite writer/producers at the moment. The scene was a lot of fun, and having the author's idea that Carth is now Helena's 'space heater' was just icing on the cake.


Tied for Best of the Week





KOTOR Starting on Endar Spire: The main character struggles to survive and escape


Technical note, Grenades: Modern grenades still do have pins, but as more than one author has pointed out, it's a movie affectation to pull the ring with your teeth. The cotter pin that holds down the safety lever is bent far enough to assure it will not be pulled accidentally. In real life, you'd probably break your teeth doing so.


A better design (and after 25000 years, there would have been) is to use a small knob factory set at a safe mark that is first turned to a timing mark, then depressed so that you have a delay you choose, since the only reason for the pin is to assure the striker doesn't hit the blasting cap and arm it. A grenade as I have described with a dial and timer has been a staple of science fiction for about thirty years.


There was actually an impact fused grenade tested by the Americans during WWII where a grip safety was part of it, and it was shaped like a baseball because of our love of the game. Since it was lighter (About the weight of a softball) and would be easier to aim, it could be thrown accurately through a window or open door for example.


The safety kept the grenade from arming for three seconds, and unless it was released for that full time, it didn't arm. Unfortunately the man demonstrating it was a semi professional pitcher who had a habit of tossing the ball in the air and catching it. As the reps for the manufacturer were explaining what he was going to do, he was tossing it higher and higher, until the grenade activated before he caught it, with predictable results.


The main character was an interesting contrast in herself. A scout logically would feel more comfortable with an edged weapon considering the specialty, after all, the job is to get in, get the information, and get back out unnoticed if possible. But having her also like to make things go boom was an amusing quirk. A pity I couldn't read further than chapter one, it was getting interesting when I find she's almost as paranoid as Carth.


Follow your bliss and destroy the beauty



Rewrite of TSL: A returning Revan finds that things have not gotten better since she left...


The primary negative I had (I was only able to read a chapter in) is that all this does at the start is follow the basic story of the original TSL with Revan instead of the Exile.


Admittedly, there isn't a lot of choices the character would have beyond following through that same basic story until the escape to Telos, so this is not a ding on the style or subject, just a comment.


It would get really interesting once they do leave Peragus, since Carth would know who she was, as would Manda'lor.


The one thing she would have that the Exile did not would be she is already fully connected to the Force, and doesn't need to be as tightly linked to Kreia, since Force links were not (according to the story so far) something she was renowned for.


No Matter What

Val Perham


TSL on Dxun: Sometimes you need someone to talk to


The piece is heavy with bad old memories. The Exile (Deirdre) comes across as a bit sarcastic, but when someone describes you as Bao-Dur did, it makes sense, and his explanation is very well done.


The Other Perspective



KOTOR: Seen from Malak's POV


Since it is so short, I read it all. My question is this:


Why haven't you continued it? The version of Malak here is deliciously evil, and his punishment of the spy choice. I especially liked his comment that he had only asked Bandon's opinion.


The only negative I had was calling his ship a star destroyer.


Brava! Encore!


Tied for Best of the Week

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The piece is confusing. You're going from actual military tactics (The chain link makes sense in creating a bridge); the Romans who were excellent infantry but only mediocre sailors used the same basic presence by mounting ramps on the bows of their ships that slammed down and immediately created a bridge to attack across. But then you devolve into magic and mysticism. The main character is going to save the day and his mortal enemy.


About the use of Taoist Magic, this is how the Three Kingdoms novel depicts the battle. While I can change some things, Zhuge Liang praying for the Eastern Wind is one of the most famous stories of Zhuge Liang, seen in countless movies, comics, novels, TV series and video games (like Dynasty Warrior), as well as a central part in the victory of the Allies over Cao Cao. So, I cannot change it without distorting the story upon which my story is based.


But do not worry. Zhuge Liang does not uses real magic. As you will see in the next part, Zhuge Liang has a reason for saying that he knows magic.


Also, even though he knows of the plan, would it not make more sense to capture at least one of the Assassins so that he has physical proof of the plan for a later use?


He does not want the plan to leak out, in fear that this would break the alliance. That's the reason why Zhuge Liang never shows that he knows that Zhou Yu wants to kill him.

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The Legendary Zhuge Liang IV



NSW in Ancient China: Continuation of the series The main character has to flee after doing everything he had said he would do


It is a circle, not a cycle.


The basic problem I have had with this entire series so far is the unreasoning hatred and continuing machinations of Zhou Yu. I know such things really happen, and that actually makes it worse. Since you have an army outnumbered by 16 to one already, being willing to murder the man you hate before you have won it is right up there with the idea a lot of the other writers (Doing Star Wars stuff set in KOTOR) have that Revan murdered the bulk of her (His) surviving Jedi to get them out of the way without knowing if the Republic could be beaten.


Note that Emperor Palpatine, even being a Sith, waited until the Separatists had sued for peace before giving General Order 66.


The Legendary Zhuge Liang V



NSW in Ancient China: Continuation of the series, Help arrives from an unexpected source


While describing someone the first time he is seen is important, you have it reversed; it should be 'this is so and so, and this is how he is dressed'. Also, asking an herbalist if he has herbs is like going into a gun shop and asking the owner if he has any guns.


The explanation of the Ying-Yang is too long and convoluted. It would be simpler to say it balances slow and fast, soft with hard, and while it did no external damage, the force of the blow caused internal damage. As anyone who knows anything about injury (And a martial artist would) it is unnecessary to go on and say they are harder to deal with.


Again you have described his fan more than once. The picture shows it, and repeatedly describing it just drags the story away from the scene being described. In the same fight you have the sequence wrong again, when Chan slices nine times Ma instead of slicing ma nine times.


Later when you have Chan try to kick Fong, you have Chan's attack after the block again. Remember a sentence is subject then action, not the other way around.


Considering all of the duplicity shown in this story, the end was not a big surprise. My only question is who will end up being betrayed.


Darth Stitch

Female meatbag


Originally reviewed 5 October 2007 Where it was posted at Kotorfanmedia under the title 'Darth Gizka and Author name was Jadesfire. That review is below:


A year after TSL: Just when you thought they were gone…


Between a squeaky toy in the form of Canderous, Carth’s life hanging in the mouth of a Gizka, and the Gizka’s commentary, it was a choice piece of fun. One of the two best I have read about the little critters.


Didn't tag it as a pick then, but it's such a cute story, I gave it my first retroactive Pick ever. Tied for Best of the Week


Coming Back



Post TSL: She's finally come home


The piece was what you would have expected, including breaking into his apartment to wait. A nice bit of fluff.


Mando Tal



Post order 66: A Hamlet style ending.


The one part of the Prequel series I liked the least was the Clones blindly obeying orders to this extent, right from when Padme orders one to accompany her, and he does it merely because she is a senator.


But if the squad had run into her alive right after the order was given, this scene could have easily occurred.


Quick Learner



KOTOR aboard Ebon Hawk: Well, it is simple mechanics and instinct...


My primary reaction was, 'she's a virgin? That's a big surprise'. Beyond that it was pretty much what I expected.


First Impressions



KOTOR on Korriban: You only get one chance to make a first impression


In one of the Companion volumes to the Honor Harrington Series(Crown Of Slaves), you see an adult version of this, which the authors described as an intellectual ritual of symbolic bloodletting. I remember another version on the same age level in Terry Prachett's Mort. Anyone who has dealt with children (Try seven siblings I actually got to know, one I didn't) you see it all the time at first meetings, and each here gave as good as they got.


Knights of the Old Republic: Chaos Rises

Dragon Ace


Post KOTOR: The crew needs to mend, but some new evil moves in space they must deal with.


One question, why do you have such a long delay after the battle? No one is looking for the Ebon Hawk for ten hours, and the ship appears to be drifting for seven of those hours. If they were limited to even modern day equipment it would make sense, but in Star Wars their equipment is several millennia more advanced. And as much as I dinged you on this, you at least consider the actual travel time from a close solar orbit to the planet.


My one real negative is why did they go back to Dantooine? Rakata Prime is in grid 11G of the galactic map with Coruscant in grid 10K and Dantooine in 4L, meaning the capital and main temple are closer.


The new menace is a lot like a number of the stories, vague feelings that something is not right, and they must find the problem. But not today.


As a first work, there isn't a lot to complain about. Remember to sight edit and polish. Other than that, good work.


It All Goes Downhill From Here

Shadows Of The Storm


Pre Mandalorian Wars: A supposed undercover investigation goes very wrong


The piece is as good as the work the author has done before.


Having read a number of other works from the author, I am wondering how many of their problems are linked more to Revan being a party girl, and not being willing to run out and party on her own?


The Gamble For Home



The Conclusion of General Order 66: The way it should have been...


The piece is well done, and I loved the subject matter. As a writer, I hated the idea that the clone army could be so completely programmed that every unit would automatically slaughter the Jedi on command. I especially enjoyed having Etain survive it.


Five chapters long, I wished I could read further.


Pick of the Week


Jedi Code

Torrent V


Mandalorian Wars and Aftermath: How the Code changed in his mind


The piece was short enough that I read it all, and I was glad I did. Merely repeating the code, and looking at the inconsistency with the reality of war made perfect sense. Every step, as with any fall from grace, made perfect sense.


Pick of the Week


A Field Trip to Revan's Datapad

Cally Starkiller


Post TSL: A student finds an interesting gift for Carth Onasi.


The piece is cute and a bit of fun. The incoherent explanation was something you'd expect. As much as movies and television shows have 'regular' people running into famous ones and astounding them with their acumen, sadly the fan squeal 'Oh I loved you in...' is a lot more common.


The only thing I would have suggested is having the kid find it in a second hand shop instead, with the owner claiming it was Revan's pad.


Don't Worry, Everyone Crashes on Taris



KOTOR on Taris: Follow on to Just Another Crazy Beginning, the situation hasn't gotten much better...


Having reviewed the author's previous piece, I had expected zany, and wasn't surprised, though writing comedy is hard as I well know. But FreeSourceFull does it in an almost effortless manner, from leaving the fresher Nar Shaddaa style, figuring ways to dump Captain Tighty-pants, to going over every way they can die in the next few days, and huddling on the floor using him as a meat shield during the first fight in the hall.


And that's just the first chapter!


Tied for Best of the Week


The Encounter



Post TSL on Nal Hutta: Mira meets someone that brings hope of escape


The piece was smoothly written. The view of what is happening, like a lot of slave-master situations, is clearly defined, and the idea that the Hutt in charge thinks he has to take a vacation from being a putz an interesting addition.


The biggest problem I had here was somehow I missed the story between this one and Caught, which I reviewed in December of last year. It means I am going to have to go to the profile, and read it to fill in the blanks.

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The basic problem I have had with this entire series so far is the unreasoning hatred and continuing machinations of Zhou Yu. I know such things really happen, and that actually makes it worse. Since you have an army outnumbered by 16 to one already, being willing to murder the man you hate before you have won it is right up there with the idea a lot of the other writers (Doing Star Wars stuff set in KOTOR) have that Revan murdered the bulk of her (His) surviving Jedi to get them out of the way without knowing if the Republic could be beaten.


Note that Emperor Palpatine, even being a Sith, waited until the Separatists had sued for peace before giving General Order 66.


That is what a logical man would do. Zhou Yu has pretty much a psychopathic hatred for Zhuge Liang. He hates him more than his other enemies, because he knows that Zhuge Liang is better than him and he cannot accept that. He blames everything wrong to Zhuge Liang. In the novel, his final words (before his death) were cursing Zhuge Liang.

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The Legendary Zhuge Liang VI



It is Cao Cao defeated, not defeat. Owes it, not owns it. It is set fire to, not put on fire,


The only part I cannot accept about the battle scenes is the utter rout of the enemy. Historically it has happened, but the times it happens it is such a rarity that the names are part of modern memory, Gideon's Band, Marathon, Plataea and Lepanto. Most of the time it would be about two or three hundred thousand in this number escaping via desertion without a strong cavalry force to keep up the skeer as Forrest would say. Not to mention an unbroken shield wall would not simply fall over dead. They might be pinned down unable to move, but they wouldn't be slaughtered. So you have about 300,000 captured, and unless they now join your army or you kill them after they surrender, you have to detail enough guards to watch over them. But an army of only 50,000 doesn't have enough to guard them and at the same time launch a massive offensive.


As for the escape of the enemy commander, that I can accept because they are as well known for their blood feuds as the Irish and Scots are.


Reaching Out



Six plus Months Post TSL: Still trapped as a slave, Mira learns more about the littlest of her companions.


Remember to sight edit. There were a couple of places that needed polishing.


After reading the sequel to his last week, I promised to go back and review this one.


The piece flows pretty well, but there are unanswered questions, one of which was asked in the story itself, was the Jedi she saw briefly her father. The other ones are more germane to the narrative.


First, how did the Jedi know the attack was coming, and why didn't he do more to warn Telos? It has been described in the first game as a sneak attack. Yet you are not going to evacuate people unless there is a recognized threat.


Second, having one of the Hutt merely decide to snatch people off the street to enslave them doesn't make a lot of sense. It happens occasionally today, but that is in a world where chattel slavery is very uncommon, while the Hutt seem to keep it going even against the laws of the Republic. There are people enslaved today, but the 'owners' aren't showing off their prizes except to others of their ilk. They are more like what they call in the world of art theft, 'gloaters'; people who pay for stolen works of art just so they can look at it, and never show it to anyone else.


It was curious that the Zeltron woman was merely sent off to be hung, yet Shayla was executed in front of the others. I know more that I would really like to know about not only torture, but about executions as well, and both should have been killed in front of the others merely, as the french would say, 'pour encourager les autres', where they would take every tenth man in a unit that refused an order or broke during a battle, and execute them in front of the others.


The one torture scene you did have was lackluster. You don't just have a couple of guards slice her up, even if it is just to show the daughter what can happen to her. A slave is, to an owner, a valuable piece of property, and when the Inquisition used the Auto-da-fé, it was done by people who were trained in torture. It is too easy unfortunately, for an untrained person to merely kill the victim, rather than to make the torment last.


KOTOR The Power of Choice

Sith Lord Darth Revan



Beginning Pre KOTOR AU: What if Revan remembered everything?


One minor note, having different type faces for the different modes of speaking makes sense, and is used by a number of authors. Yet you do not need to separate the words from the speaker. You have a tendency to make the statement, then begin a new paragraph where you have the person. It might merely be the system, since I have posted sections of my own work where it suddenly creates a paragraph break for no reason.


The piece is harsh and graphic, but except for one point (Revan taking a stance) very well done. The negative about the stance is merely that except for game references, you never see them. The best way to understand what I mean is to find the original movie pilot of the TV show Kung Fu. In one section of scenes, the master is explaining to the young Kane the different styles, and as he is, a teacher is showing them off by taking on students. Watching the scene, you understand how they are different, something the Games never actually showed.


A friend I had at the Renaissance Faire joked about the movie the Princess Bride where Inigo and the masked man were fighting, and name dropping at the same time. The names used were actual fencing schools of the 16th century, but unless you happened to go to the schools in real life, you would not understand the different style



Brynn Dharielle


Post TSL: Something you do for others, rather than yourself


The author has English as a second language by admission. However I saw only one flaw in the entire work, and that was merely background.


We know from the Exile's reminiscences that his companions died, but there is nothing beyond that. No mention of any survivors, or how. Just 'they died'.


I liked the attitude that the world was playing a joke on him; his old commander will be his commander again, missing falling to the dark only because of a major loss, and finally learning why you smile.


StarWars Remnants of the Old Republic: Bloodline



New Republic Era: A young student joins the Academy


The piece comes across as a bit hesitant. I only had time to read the first chapter, but your character comes across as a bit too good considering the situation.


Every Jedi would know that the Force is strong in family lines, and that would include both Palpatine and Vader. It is highly unlikely a child of such a line would not have been investigated, and dealt with. He should have been checked out even as a baby. Considering the premise behind TFU, he would have been suborned or killed.


Note that Jaden's primary reason for being asked to join the Jedi originally was that he had made his own lightsaber, which shouldn't have been possible. Having a new student capable of reading his own master's mind is right up there in the unlikely category, and if I were Luke Skywalker, I would have decided to teach the boy myself instead.


An Exile's Tale

For Love of Sunflowers


Post TSL and into the future: The Exile's career continues four millennia later


Remember to sight edit. The piece needs serious sight editing. There are a number of cumbersome sentences that slow a reader down.


The biggest problem is because of the cumbersome sentences and a tendency to ramble, the piece doesn't read well. The best way to explain it is to picture a river. It goes from here to there, just like a story, and the idea is that the reader should merely go with the flow. Cumbersome sentences and scenes are like sand bars that catch the reader and stop their progress. If the action hangs up for too long, you end up trapped unable to go further.


It was interesting that Manda'lor would use something so common for a marriage proposal. In my mind, I can see him coming to her, and saying, “I claim you. Do you disagree?” Instead.


The byplay is a lot of fun; Bastila blowing Revan through the door of Dex's diner, Revan commenting it's a 'monthly' thing, then Scorch worrying about hormonal women





Post TSL: The thing she hates is saying goodbye


The piece is nicely done, the emotional overtones underscored by Atton hiding out so he can play Pazaak in peace well portrayed. Better yet, her admitting she loves him, but mainly to convince him to stay where it's safe.


I would have dinged the prosthesis except for Atton still having problems with it and an indeterminate time on planet. It isn't something that can just be cobbled together out of spare parts after all.


Darth Revan: The Begining of the End Book One

J R. Jenkins


Pre TSL: The exile begins


The first problem I had with this was the term revanchist. The ideal of it is what drove France into attacking Germany at the start of WWI, and the same attitudes later caused the German People to back Hitler's snapping up all of the lands stolen by the Treaty of Versailles.


But if you applied it to the US in either war, it would have fallen apart. We did not get into either war because we wanted revenge (What the term means) for past losses, though Remember Pearl Harbor is by definition a revanchist term. So the Jedi that went to war were not by definition revanchists.


Second was the comment that only four Jedi went. Having one person literally throw an entire campaign to the underdogs is so rare that there is only one person who can make such a claim. That would be Joan of Arc. Four men in a space measured in hundreds if not thousands of cubic light years, and armies in the millions would as the old sarcastic term, be like trying to stiffen a bucket of gelatin with as many buckshot.


Third, unless you are going to keep someone imprisoned, there is no way you can enforce the 'wander forever' bit. As an example is the old story 'The Man Without a Country', the prisoner was moved from ship to ship for almost sixty years. What you have done with the mark they put on him is just a retelling of the story of Cain, with the mark telling those who see it he's condemned by god, but you are not allowed to kill him.


Back during the dark Ages, they did have a similar punishment, however removing her force powers is an extension of that.



Bazylia de Grean


TSL on Dantooine: Vrook prepares for his last stand


The piece was written by a Pole, and I am not saying that to excuse anything. The one or two mistakes I did see (Improper words usage) were overridden by the command of the story itself.


We see Vrook here looking back with regret. That his relationship with Kreia ended badly, that his stand here is because he knows how much support Adare needs. We get the view of a man who is going to do his duty, no matter the cost.


Pick of the Week


Let Me Go



End of TFU, and to Endor: Only now does he come to ask her


As I have mentioned before, I do not have enough memory on my computer to run TFU, and because of that I only know the story of it from what I have read when fan authors have done them.


The one thing that has bothered me reading them is simple. Why brute force against brute force? When Mace Windu dealt with the emperor before Anakin's betrayal, he used his light saber to drain the attack which caused Palpatine's later disfigurement. Yet when we have Vader and Galen fighting, why not go for something more subtle? He has three prosthetic limbs, and a respirator (More because his lungs aren't working to full efficiency, and needs a higher partial pressure) so why not just cause one of the limbs or the respirator to shut down?


No one for some reason has tried that.


The piece is good because you're getting a lot of Galen's inner thoughts. Should he kill Vader at the Emperor's command? Should he save the Rebel leaders? Then when he defeats the Emperor, should he kill him?


I just wondered why he waited seven years to come and ask her to let him go. It should not have had a lot of effect on how Juno worked for the Rebels, and knowing he is watching over her would have given her some comfort.


KOTOR: Trails of Deceit

Danye Rowil


KOTOR on Coruscant: Some padawan are sent to shadow the Ebon Hawk


The piece needs sight editing to repair some minor flaws, then polishing. Other than that not too bad. One thing, Vandar does not speak like Yoda.


Now, my question is the same the main character voiced. Why would they trust four untried padawan more than they trust Bastila? And considering the caliber of people they are following, how do they think they can succeed? You have two serious force users (At the moment, Bastila and the newly reminted Revan) and two officers who are trained for combat, meaning they are going to be watching for something like a shadow.


Unless you know where they are going (Which you wouldn't, Revan has all those clues in memory, but they come out as it progresses) you can't very well follow far enough back to be unnoticed. The biggest problem in modern day surveillance is how easy it is to spot a tail; without using satellite surveillance, or a high flying drone, you have to be close enough to see using whatever sensors your ship possesses. This means they can also see you if you make a mistake.


What this means is for example using the path my Revan took 'Go to Yavin, as you leave, you see a ship coming in. Go now to Kashyyyk, As you leave you see the same ship lifting off as if to follow'.


A Journal of Exile



Pre TSL: Looking into the Exile's mind, step by step


The piece was well done, the 'pissing and moaning' as she called it nicely private. Her own realization that people cling to her counter pointing the comment later in the game by Vrook.


Considering the way she ended up in the orphanage, I wonder why the Jedi even chose her to raise. Her own 'relationships lead to the Dark Side was amusingly counter pointed it with her brief sexual relationship with Revan.


The only negative I had here was again Revan is jumping the gun on eliminating his Jedi. The battle might crush the Mandalorian fleet, but will it guarantee victory? I am reminded that Palpatine had a peace overture in his hands already when he gave Order 66, and only then did he give it. Once the Jedi on Coruscant was dead, he sent Anakin to slaughter the leaders, and could claim victory.


Only had time for the first chapter, and that's a pity. This one is worth reading all the way through.


Pick of the Week


Dream of a Lifetime: A KOTOR Parody

Kawe N' Wessie


KOTOR Aboard Endar Spire: May the zaniness begin!


I was only a few lines into this when I began to chuckle. Part of it reminded me of a story I reviewed years ago (Also silly) where the main character convinces Carth to run around the ship, watch a movie, play a few games of Pazaak, all because as we know from playing it, the ship doesn't explode until you have escaped.


From the first moment, you have everything silly you might imagine. One girl stumbling around because she hasn't had her morning coffee, another waking up at the words 'I have chocolate', and automatically devastated when there isn't any. Trask singing the worst song imaginable... On that note, I hope I get a comment on this review. The song My Trask would have used would have been 'Tomorrow' from Annie...


Best of the Week

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The Legendary Zhuge Liang VII



Continuation of the Saga: Chan trains, and yet more assassins are sent after the main character


You have a sentence out of sequence. Since there is only one person on that side, he of course would have to attack that one person; you didn't have to say who the thug was attacking, merely that he attacked again. And when Chan intervened, he would kick him twelve times in the face, not kicked twelve times the man's face.


When it now becomes a duel between Chan and the old man, it is in the face, not on the face. And it is lets go of his leg.


As for boiled water, that is what you do to purify it. It is not the temperature when you encounter it, so it should be boiling water. It would be sweating, not sweat. And it is hard to find, not found. It is to extraordinary heights for a human. And 'rare herbs' cannot train anyone, they merely aid in healing and toughening up the muscles.


It is not except for his teacher, it is someone with his teacher.


For someone who is apolitical, the Abbot's reaction doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If a target ends up killing his assassins, it is not usual for the organization to hold a grudge. As I pointed out in another work, if the old KGB had gotten into revenge for actions by another government, or a specific agent's work, the number of people dying in any given year would increase dramatically.


And unless he has the larger army, throwing in with Zhou Yu who was leading an alliance of 80,000 men doesn't make sense from the 'you are stronger' cant of the monk.


There was only one time, Berlin during the mid 60s, that different espionage agencies got into a direct feud almost like a gang war, and that was ended at the executive level because of the number of field agents that had to be replaced on both sides.


The situation is sometimes confusing, and I think it is the version you watched and are novelizing. It is a stereotype of Kung Fu movies to have a bunch of random thugs attack some old man in the street who turns out to be some super Kung Fu master.


The Legendary Zhuge Liang VIII



Continuation of the Saga: Chan helps foil an assassination attempt


'Except for me, and other people witnessed what happened last night' doesn't make sense. It would read better to cut out the first phrase entirely, and merely say 'that there were other people who witnessed what happened last night'.


The problem I had with the scene it is such an obvious ploy that the Abbot would probably not be taken in by it.


For someone as apolitical as Chan is supposed to be, having him decide to follow the assassin because he knows Zhuge Liang's history with the Taoists doesn't make a lot of sense. After all, with thousands of followers, he'd have nothing else he could do in his life.


Also, you do not need to mention the courtesy name of a character every time he is introduced into a new work. As an example, if I were writing a series of scene where I meet the president, I do not give his given name, then add (The President). I would give his title and name the first time you meet him, and use either the title from that point on, or the name, not both. So if I wrote something as long as this has been so far, I would merely say the president each time he pops up again unless someone speaks to him directly using the other name.


It is dodges his attacks again and again. And when Jing is kicking, you don't need to say he tries to kick him, merely that he kicks with his right leg the number of times. And it is a lot of blood.


The primary negative I have with the chapter is that the main character is automatically going to accept the word of someone he knew for only a few hours. Servants tend to work for people for months if not years, and he would be suspicious. Of course on the balance, he might accept his word because he knows the younger man constantly avoided political entanglements, and having someone assassinated is almost automatically a political act.


The Legendary Zhuge Liang IX



Continuation of the Saga: Preparing for the next campaign


It is he had arrived, and was sent. Also if the readers had kept up with you so far, you do not need to repeat how important the next campaign is. You do not need to enumerate every ploy the spy is using to be able to wander about as he wishes.


'in the barracks soldiers come out from down in the ground onto the surface' should be in the barracks, trapdoors open, and the hidden soldiers in the secret tunnels come out. Also siege engines unless dismantled and stuck in hidden caves or concealed in say a large supply of firewood, are something any veteran soldier would recognize. Until the invention of cannon, Most armies didn't transport the entire siege engine, they transported the metal parts, and used local lumber to build the weapon on site. And Cao Ren will crush Zhou Yu once and for all.


Again I think it is the version you are using to novelize. Like the '80,000 against 800,000 but the smaller force wins' it is totally unrealistic.


Here, you have supposedly 120,000 men inside the city, against only 30,000. There has never been a battle during history I can find where such a force defeated one of superior numbers.


Also no force even if sure of their security would not have scouts out to watch for enemy forces. You have two different armies so clueless that they do not spot several thousand men camped less than ten miles (The distance an army can force march in two hours) away. The failure of the Confederates at Gettysburg was because JEB Stuart was too busy showboating to do his job.


The Good News and the Bad News



Post TSL: With no sequel in sight, everyone in that universe is now really ticked off


The piece was funny almost from the start. Having seen TV shows suddenly drop off the air, and especially for a time there when the average new show lasted barely six episodes, I can understand why everyone is upset.


Some of the comments were really funny. Atton being added to the game because all of the female players would nod off if Mical was the only love interest, that no one can beat him at Pazaak except for the Female Exile, but she never plays for money, and Kreia becoming more and more cranky that people keep asking about their personal futures.


They did explore the options that might get them back into the game, from time travel to sending HK47 into our world to eliminate the writers of TOR so they could get their own stories to finish.


Having never actually read the book, it reminds me of the comments made about Turlough O'Brien's At Swims Two Birds, where the characters in the book want to circumvent the writer to finish the bloody thing, even up to sending an assassin if necessary to keep the meddling SOB from working on it.


Pick of the Week


Turning Back



Pre KOTOR: The choice to go back and start over is still there.


Remember to sight edit. You have some words and phrases that don't really work, and that is what a sight edit is made to correct.


Minor continuity problem; you have the admiral as a member of Leviathan's crew, then turn around and have him glad he isn't aboard Malak's command ship, which was Leviathan.


The piece was very, very interesting. The idea that Revan had started to feel that she was going about it the wrong way, and knowing that she has too many subordinates who would play dog in a manger rather than admit they can't win is a refreshing change. Revan doesn't really give up, she's decided to use a different tactic instead.


Pick of the Week


A Voice Heard



TSL Aboard Ravager: Visas begins her mission


The piece almost slipped by me. We all remember when she reports the Exile's Force presence, and by starting before it, having her literally revel in the life beyond the ship is an interesting touch. Having her hold that feeling from the Exile as if it were a cherished pet rather sad.


The only negative I had was that you had Nihilus actually speak, but that is very minor.


Six chapters, and I wish I could read them all.


Tied for best of the Week


From the Beginning



Pre Mandalorian War AU: There's more to fight about than just who's is the best with a weapon


A very interesting take on the characters. The only problem I had with it is that according to the dialogue in KOTOR, Bastila is nineteen. The Mandalorain Wars once the Jedi entered it lasted about four years, and segued with about a year hiatus into the Jedi Civil war, which lasted two and a half.


With those figures, and assuming this happens right before they left, it would make Bastila eleven. A little too young to have hormones running amuck.


Journey to Darkness





Remember to sight edit, you used and instead of an, and nit instead of knit. Also, even the most mountainous terrain would have more than four clearings, especially across something the size of an inhabitable planet.


Technical note, fighters: Until ANH, fighters were too small to have hyperdrive. Remember that during the prequel trilogy, fighters used a hyperdrive ring, so having Bandon hyper out at the end of the first chapter shouldn't happen.


The Jedi characters at least come across as clueless, right down to the Council. If say the Union Corse (French mob) or say the Colombian mob had placed a contract, you wouldn't go to one of their bases to discuss having the contract voided. After all, everyone there would have the equivalent of dollar signs dancing in their heads when a Jedi arrives. Then contacting the ships in orbit without bothering to even maneuver to keep your distance, or prepare to put up shields.


For an example of what you would do instead, read the Story 'Salamander Four' from the book Pieces of Modesty. The main character confronts one of the heads of a super crime organization in a restaurant. She then uses language in a hyperbole, since both she and the man know what he is, explaining why if he knows this mythical Salamander four (Then naming each of the men in it) he should really warn them that they have gotten her angry at them.


She then describes a few methods for killing all four of them, down to locations and how if the contract on one man is not removed very soon, she will be forced to take steps... All the while to someone who might be listening just having a polite conversation with someone she had just met.


In fact I used the same basic scene pared down in my own work We Need a Hero(ine) over at Lucasforums, post #8. If you search for it using Google, remember to tell it again when it shows heroine instead that you want it as I typed it above.


Knights of the Old Republic: The Leviathan

Princess Fawna


KOTOR aboard Leviathan: The final battle between Saul and Carth


Remember to sight edit and polish. You had phrases that need polishing. As an example, 'Carth would have his revenge, or die trying to get it' doesn't need the last three words.


Two other things. First, Saul has plenty of time to prepare for the arrival of these three, so he shouldn't have to tell his people to attack, he would have added a comment that told them to. In fact if three armed people burst onto the bridge of a ship, the crew would have pretty much started firing unless Saul had ordered them not to. Ending his last line of dialogue by having him say 'sad' could have been enough to start the fight.


Second, with a Force Bond where you are sharing emotions and memories, Bastila would not have to cross the room physically in the middle of a battle to warn Mara. Just a soothing thought sent along it would do all of that without the enemy even knowing something is wrong.


Technical note, weapon effects: You have two shots hit Saul in the heart, yet have him still alive to tell Carth the truth. Even if these were merely bullets from a modern weapon, this wouldn't be the case. With blasters it is worse. A blaster uses tibanna gas, and unlike a laser, creates a packet of plasma that impacts on the target. Picture a pea from a peashooter, but with a temperature of several thousand degrees. It would convert the surface into a slightly cooler form on impact.


As Tom Clancy pointed out in Cardinal of the Kremlin, a laser, (Or blaster) with that much power causes an explosion instead of burning a hole. In this case about as big as a piece of C4 the size of the pea, or taping a crimped down .22 caliber bullet casing and setting it off from a distance. It would shatter the bones of the ribs and sternum, and drive the fragments back into the body with predictable results. And no amount of training is going to keep you alive with a ruptured heart. Making it one shot, and moving it a small distance (about two inches to either side of the heart itself) would have left him alive enough for the climax of the scene.


I liked the scene except for the flaws mentioned. They did not detract as much as this review might make you think. I just try to strive for reality when it is ignored.


A Journey of Two



Pre-Mandalorian War: Two young Jedi begin their first real quest


The piece was short enough that I read it all the way through. The situation is not at the stage yet where even the Republic is actually involved. According to my memory, and the article Mandalorian Wars in the Wookiepedia, the conflict went for almost ten years before the Republic was even threatened. This like WWII was followed by a Phony War period of about one year, then the attacks into Republic Space began.


While the unaligned planets outside might have asked for aid from either the Jedi or the Republic itself, this was not forthcoming. When the Republic finally was attacked, there were still several years where the Jedi had not been involved; either had not been asked, or the Council decided not to act.


So what we have here is Ravan and Malak getting ready to get involved against the dictates of the Order. A well done, albeit short piece.


Project Twilight



Right after the final battle on Malachor V: What does the Exile do now?


This is a first work, and as it stands, not too bad. I never played the game with a Dark Side character, but I could see it coming as you would have anticipated. I didn't have time to read further than chapter one, but so far, so good. My only complaint; alter means to change. The word is altar.


KOTOR: The Fall Of Light

Lord Noctis


Three months Post KOTOR: As problems begin, Revan is unable to help


The author has been away for a while, and somehow I have never reviewed the previous works. I will correct this in my next posting.


Remember to sight edit. As an example. You misspelled Consular. Also, you've created cumbersome sentences by having someone talk, and only then giving their names, with the descriptions separate.


Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II



Post TFU: The character returns to this world in his own mind


Since I couldn't play TFU on my machine, I had not even bothered to follow it, and likewise for TFU II. So I actually had to find the intro you used (I went through two before I did) to see it.


The author has never written a fan fic before, and it shows. Oh not negatively except for what I said below; but at my age (61 in July) seeing the first efforts is in a way cute and painful. Cute because they are trying, and painful because you know they are going to make some of the same mistakes you did when you started.


The main negative I have for this is all you did was follow the dialogue. When I say a work is 'generic', that is what I mean. They aren't putting themselves into it, they are merely repeating rote dialogue.


The only part that was you was the mental anguish he was going through, and that was well done. But even watching the trailer I could see ways to expand it, make it more you. A large part of that, on my side, is almost 45 years of writing experience, and getting my inner child to work with me. I don't do it often, but if you want some advice, PM me.


So my request, is give us more of your own voice.


Memories of a Stranger

Avid Reader403


KOTOR on Taris: The person he once was begins to show through...


The piece is well laid out, and Carth's confusion matches what I wrote in my Genesis of a Jedi which is posted here.


In this version, you have someone who had commanded for years, so naturally falls back into that pattern. Few explanations, merely a 'wait, I've got it'. Attitude. In my own version, I had my character (Who has memories of only a sergeant) used the logic that they were in her environment, a ground combat and scouting situation, rather than a naval one which meant she was more experienced.


As much as the US Navy technically is in charge of the Marines in a ground operation, since they are two different skill sets which I expanded on in my Return From Exile and Memories of Dxun) the one with the most experience should be leading.


Very well done. If I had time I would read it all.


Tied for best of the Week


Shattered Destiny



A repost of a previous review given on kotorfanmedia (28 April 2012) which went belly up over a year ago. I didn't know if the author had read that review, so I am posting it here, as it was a Pick of the Week


Post TSL: A young Mandalorian warrior gets a chance to become a Jedi


The piece is excellently done, both from the technical view, but from characterization view as well. I always love a story where the Mando'a are represented not as thugs, but as honorable peoples.


First Reposted Pick of the Week from kotorfanmedia

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For someone who is apolitical, the Abbot's reaction doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If a target ends up killing his assassins, it is not usual for the organization to hold a grudge. As I pointed out in another work, if the old KGB had gotten into revenge for actions by another government, or a specific agent's work, the number of people dying in any given year would increase dramatically.


For someone to kill members of a sect, it is a very serious insult because it shows disrespect for the leader of the sect. Fong Yuen is furious because when even the Emperor does not dare to kill his members, Chan and Zhuge do so. It also depends on the character of leader. But, you are kinda right, however I need this "revenge plot" to move forward the plot, as pretty much half of the story as I have planned it has something to do with the "revenge plot". This revenge plot is something usual in Wuxia (Kung Fu) stories and since much of the plot I have already constructed is based on that plot, I need it.


The situation is sometimes confusing, and I think it is the version you watched and are novelizing. It is a stereotype of Kung Fu movies to have a bunch of random thugs attack some old man in the street who turns out to be some super Kung Fu master.


You are half right about this. The "Three Kingdoms" novel and TV series have nothing to do about Chan and So or the Taoists. Those were created by me. But you are right when you said that it "is a stereotype of Kung Fu movies". When I was constructing the plot of the story, I was influenced by old 70's Kung Fu movies such as "Drunken Master" and "Snake in the Eagle's Shadow", all of which have an old beggar being a Kung Fu master and teaching a young man. My idea was to combine the epic/historical "Three Kingdoms" romance with the old 70's Kung Fu movies, as well as with Wuxia tales. About the plot with the Taoist Priests and the various Sects, I was influenced by Wuxia novels such as "Return of the Condor Heroes".


For someone as apolitical as Chan is supposed to be, having him decide to follow the assassin because he knows Zhuge Liang's history with the Taoists doesn't make a lot of sense. After all, with thousands of followers, he'd have nothing else he could do in his life.


Friendship is valued quite a lot, especially in Wuxia tales where heroes are willing to die in order to protect people they know only for a few days but they are admirable to them. Chan, as a friend of Zhuge, is willing to help him. It is not like he is the kind of man who keeps out of all worldly affairs. While he does not want to get involved in politics, when there is injustice or when his friends are in danger, he will intervene. And having a friend like Zhuge Liang, wanting it or not, he will eventually be dragged in politics and war.


The primary negative I have with the chapter is that the main character is automatically going to accept the word of someone he knew for only a few hours.


Again it is all about friendship. Zhuge Liang is admiring Chan because of his skills and the integrity of his character. Also Chan had already saved him once. So, Zhuge Liang owes his life to him.


Again I think it is the version you are using to novelize. Like the '80,000 against 800,000 but the smaller force wins' it is totally unrealistic.


Here, you have supposedly 120,000 men inside the city, against only 30,000. There has never been a battle during history I can find where such a force defeated one of superior numbers.


I will have to agree with you on this, but the "Romance of the Three Kingdoms", my source material, exaggerates quite a lot the number of troops for dramatic effect. While I could change the numbers, I have decided to keep the ones used in the novel because it makes the story more epic and dramatic. While it is unrealistic, it is quite epic to have 30,000 men to battle 120,000.


Also no force even if sure of their security would not have scouts out to watch for enemy forces. You have two different armies so clueless that they do not spot several thousand men camped less than ten miles (The distance an army can force march in two hours) away. The failure of the Confederates at Gettysburg was because JEB Stuart was too busy showboating to do his job.


Agree with you, but I decided to follow the novel in this case because the arrow which injured Zhou Yu when he entered the trap is vital for the plot.

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That last comment was about the fact that you have a city besieged, an army besieging it, and another army (Liu) less than ten miles from the city, yet neither notices them.


Stuart at Gettysburg was remiss in his duties because while the Confederates knew about the Union force, they did not have locations on General Buford's cavalry that held them off Seminary Ridge long enough for the infantry fast marching from the south to take over and allow the Union forces to occupy what is now called Cemetery Ridge.


The distance your Liu occupation force has to march to bypass the ongoing battle is the same.

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I guess they were too focused on each other and had a false impression of the Liu forces as untrained peasants, to notice them.


Ain't gonna happen. Watch the original 300 Spartans (Done back in 1962) http://viooz.co/movies/9371-the-300-spartans-1962.html where the scouts saw the Spartans, and reported that they were sharpening their weapons and braiding their hair. Xerxes assumed they were just screwing around. Demaratus, the deposed king of Sparta told him he was wrong. That the Spartans were ready to fight even if Greece did not.


Assuming an even remotely competent observer (Try about a month of training) they are not going to take armed warriors with cavalry as a bunch of ill trained peasants.

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The Legendary Zhuge Liang X



Continuation of the Saga: Preparing for the next campaign


It's this man is, not is this man, into the Southland, not in the Southland, it is block his attacks again and again, it is with speed, not fastness, it should be let's fight unarmed, not bare arms, it is tries to kicks So thrice, and kicks him in the head, not on.


Again we have the problem we have faced through this entire piece. First, marching 40 armed men through any early civilized society is going to noticed by peasants and peasants will warn the government. Killing any witnesses along the way will also be noticed, before you suggest it. As much as this 'Taoist' organization might be feared, it will be reported anyway.


The idea that the Abbot won't merely announce himself (If they are so well known, it would make more sense) and instead attack a General and slaughter his troops will also not go unnoticed.


The escape started well, but again, falls apart because as gifted as the combatants are, the idea that 40 trained warriors cannot deal with a mere three men is again not really within the realm of possibility. For such a small number to fight such a large one, either you need an area where they cannot bring their full weight to bear (A narrow place where one or two can face an equal number) or literally as I once joked, 'they won because the writer was on their side.


The plot to kill Liu is the only part that makes sense, except for the fact that doing so violates diplomatic procedure, since you are not going to get him to enter your area of control without solemn promises of safe passage.


The Legendary Zhuge Liang XI



Continuation of the Saga: Protecting Liu


'Following in secret Liu Bei' should be 'following Liu Bei in secret', 'Kwonk, furious that the woman refuses to sit with him, shouts'. Should be 'Kwonk, shouts, furious that the woman refuses to sit with him', 'givers her a slapping', should be 'slaps her', should be grabs the man 'by' the hair, (minor note, a stomach wound, even if it eviscerates the target is not going to be an instant kill) then throws the knife imbedding in the head not on the head, it is have his father kill you not to kill you, have got to help, steals from the poor, it is you are under arrest, attack the soldiers with the tables, the villager are killed before the number is mentioned, you keep tend to hit people on the head and face or stomach rather than in, then grab from the hair rather than by, and kicking by the face than in the face.


As much as it is a common stock in such movies, training does not give you skin capable of turning a weapon blade.


Considering the king is ignoring his people's needs it isn't surprising that there is an almost instant revolt. What is surprising is that he can A: succeed in getting enough tax money to pay for his military, and B: is even considered someone worth negotiating with. It was said best in Utwarerumono, a government is there for their people, not the other way around.


Star Wars: Another Choice

Chevron 7 Locke


Continuation of the Author's previous work: His choice is made, and he is content.


The piece is a lot more soft edged than before. The man once a Sith and his wife/apprentice have sent their daughter away to save her.


Pick of the Week


Taking the Galaxy

Darth Noot


During Mandalorian Wars: Following Manda'lor as he seeks out the Jedi General


The piece has an interesting flavor to it, looking deeper into the Mando'a psyche than most will try. Having Manda'lor go hunting for his prey alone, because he doesn't need to show off his skills, or bodyguards to cover his back.


When the surrender demand comes it is the General who tells Vaklu that the word doesn't even translate, they won't understand. This version of her, as my own Exile, knows her enemy.


My only confusion is how she could be on the captured ship, fight and die, yet be standing before Manda'lor at Dxun. It isn't a matter of 'you all look alike'. Except for the few Mando'a who are of the old Taung race, they are as human as the Republic troops.


Apprentice Days



Pre Clone Wars: A pair of Jedi are sent on a mission.


Editing point, I don't know if maybe it was an error in your word processing program, but having everything underlined and bold face soon becomes a minor irritation. Let your words sell your story, not the fancy emphasis caused by this. That way when you wish to be more emphatic, you can poke the reader with just enough to get the point across.


The scene didn't fit with the time period you set it in. The Sith are supposedly extinct (Though the Jedi Council knows about the Rule of two, and think they are ready) So having a bunch of Dark Jedi running around doesn't make sense. It would be like a modern day pair of cops being sent to capture a bunch of renegade hostile Indians today.



Raven Studios


Pre TSL: Jaq gets more than he bargained for


The primary negative is that someone who is going to torture someone is going to rent a room in what sounds like a common bordello doesn't make a lot of sense. Where you do have repressive regimes, they would start their own places for such things, and have clean up crews for afterward.


The last negative is that Jaq would be housed in the Academy. If the Jedi are the equivalent of the officers, the Assassin would be their version of senior enlisted men. And they are not housed in the same quarters.


As a character study it is well done. Going through the events that caused the change, seeing him sliding further and further from the Sith worker drone mentality to the extent that people who might consider him a friend might notice. And we're there to watch it behind his eyes.



Mark Ryan


Pre TSL: As the purge of the Jedi Begins, a slaughter occurs.


I didn't have time to read more than the first portion, but I was left with more questions than answers. First, why run to a place where you have known resources? The first actions that follow a purge is to destroy those sanctuaries. In ROTS the instant the Emperor gave General Order 66, the Clones began liquidating Jedi in the field, and Vader as he had just been dubbed led the attack on the temple on Coruscant. No doubt units stationed on other worlds with known temples were also taken under attack at the same time. I can think of a half a dozen reasons for them to be stationed there as Foghorn Leghorn would have said, 'for just such an emergency'.


In actual real life purges, the ones who survive are those who have not yet reached the known strongholds, or have fled to places that are not considered in that plan. Yoda for example, goes to Dagobah, which is not on that list, as Tatooine where Ben Kenobi went was not. All you have the Jedi do, is round themselves up to save them the trouble of finding you.


And why does the planet's surface even bother to change? If I could literally kill everything in place with say a high speed neutron cannon from orbit (Which is what would happen when everything dies) the buildings would still be there, trees would still be standing, crops would be in the fields, only the life has been removed. With no microbes remaining to cause rot, the only remaining effects to be noticed would be withering from lack of water (Plants pump the water up, if they are already dead, they will wither) bodies would mummify rather than bloating. If you came back in say a year, the bodies would still be there, the trees would be be barren stalks devoid of leave, with only the sound of wind and water to even suggest that life had once been there.


In fact after such an expedition left, there would be life again, at least from the germs and microbes left by the people who visited.





TSL on Malachor V: Sion has to admit that he hates what he loves


Of the three Sith villains of the piece, Sion comes across as the saddest of the lot to me. Kreia gets the whip hand and the ability to drive others mad with their own fears. Nihilus is as i called him an omnivoracity that eats everything he comes across. Sion? He is functionally immortal and indefatigable, but looks, as Atton said, like he sleeps with active vibroblades.


But he wishes it were not so, and she is the living embodyment of everything he has lost.


In my own version, Return From Exile, I have him break that taciturn shell to give all of it to the Exile, who in that work knew who he once was.





Five years after KOTOR, a year post TSL: Revan finally returns, and the greeting are... mixed


Historically, it is always easier to put responses to a threat into place after the fact. With us now in the 12th year after 911, just decide to fly somewhere if you don't believe me. So having security as tight as this makes sense, and while extremely oppressive, having a squad ready to blast the occupant if she makes a false move would make sense if the 'bad' Revan is aboard.


I especially liked the offhand comment that Kreia had lied to her, which caused her to leave on what might be an unnecessary mission.


As you might have noticed, it is rare for me to read something, and immediately curse that I can't read further. 7 chapter, 14,000+ words, and all I get to read is the intro? (Whine).


Tied for Best of the Week





Drabble based on TFU II: All right, let's get silly.


I was chuckling before I finished the work, and being less than a page, that's hard to do to me. The plaintive 'who turned out the lights?' when he uses force lightning was to me a 'you did, putz' moment, and the comment, 'Screwed you are' set me off.


Glowsticks of death...


Tied for Best of the Week


My AngelCarth One Shot

Jedi Padme


AU Set six months to a year after KOTOR: Carth vows to change


Not really long enough to comment on style. Like every father through history, Carth is making promises he might not be able to keep. But let's leave him that illusion...


Freedom Is a Lie



During TOR about a decade after fall of Coruscant: A Sith goes to Rhen Var to collect a prize


Being a bit confused by what I, after 45 years of honing my craft, would call obvious errors, I check out the author's page for information. Since she is a college level student, admits she is primarily self taught, and asked for feedback, I will put on my 'English teacher' hat.


Remember to sight edit. You used words incorrectly that would pass a spell checker, so you had the character felt instead of fell, and wasn't phased (Changed) by using an acquired skill when it should be fazed (Bothered), shear (cut) instead of sheer (Steep or difficult) used twice, led (Completing the act) instead of lead (guide), loose (release) instead of lose (fail to control). You also have the opposite pole of a problem I have. I tend to use punctuation badly by using too much. You seem to do the same by not using enough.


Technical note starfighters: I don't know if the game designers for TOR made a serious continuity blunder or not (I never played it. Was selected for beta, downloaded the game, but it would never play) but the canon has fighters using hyper rings rather than internal hyperdrive capability until the Empire was forged after (Don't get angry, I dislike the way it is portrayed as well for technical reasons) the Clone Wars.


Old WWII cruisers had hulls inches thick while a destroyer of the same era had one of about half an inch. A fighter doesn't have the space or mass to put in several inches of metal. The average modern combat plane for example has hulls of a few millimeters.


Technical note, Dealing with Sith: For someone who appears to be a Jedi, having Alapus just knuckle under doesn't make sense. Consider the Canon on how the average Sith acts. You see a spoiled brat who thinks the rest of humanity is there for their amusement. The Sith students in Korriban in KOTOR come to mind. If that is how they treat other hopefuls, what do you think they do to the 'lesser' classes? Once you are of no use, you are expendable. If you did something stupid like attack them (As he did), you're just trying to talk the guard into letting you go on the way to the gallows.


The basic story and adventure was very good, and I followed it to the end, even if it was over 11,000 words. The scenes were well laid out, though the time line was as confusing for me as it was for the character. The fight when her parents died didn't help because the blades (Indicating the sides) were too confusing to keep track of. A blue blade kills her mother, a gold blade defends her father, and pretty much everyone ends up like a Shakespearian Tragedy with her alone and unconsious.


The Doashim Chronicles



During TOR after fall of Coruscant: A young boy's trip to visit his parents takes an unsuspected turn


Technical note, hyperspace navigation: You shouldn't need to maintain a set course and speed to return to hyperspace. In ANH Han Solo first went into pursuit of the TIE fighter, was carried some distance aboard the Deathstar, and turned and burned during the escape.


Technical note, The ambush you described: In the example above, the TIE fighter was detected by the sensors before it passed by, and the sensors should have detected the 'black ship' without the use of the Mark One eyeball. The use of light and sound to keep the flight crew occupied long enough to allow you to board unopposed was excellent.


The shoot out was well done, though I have a thing about personal shields, since the only time you see them through the entire Genre is only during TPM, meaning they wouldn't be possible (Or inexpensive enough even for military use until then.


The story is much more tightly written than the last piece. The attitude of the Twi-Lek woman to her comrades death pretty much told me if the well laid ambush did not that, this is a pirate vessel. So it is obvious what's in the crate is some kind of booty, and the captain allowing her to live because she's a reliable witness, what any reasonably intelligent team of pirates would need. Since there is a lot of supposed undiscovered such caches, it says a lot about the mentality of those who buried it and died before recovering it.


As for the boy's survival, making him the bad guy in the loss of three men only makes sense if he is going to become a member of the crew...


Pick of the Week





Post KOTOR Durin Revan's time away: Two different planets, two different weathers. And both are upset because it reminds them of what they had together


An intriguing little piece. Revan loving rainy days and dragging Carth out for force assisted picnics in it, Revann remembering how on bright sunny days it was Carth dragging her out instead.


Now, separated, they are each living through a moment the other loved more. I liked her reaction to the plank falling on her, using force lightning to fry it until the hut collapses.


A simple aside of my own interest. Nike. After the missile series? Or the Greek Goddess?


KotOR III The Rescue of the Republic

Nocturnals Warrior


Mandalorian Wars at Malachor V: The plot is set


As the writer is Dutch (Can't tell if that means National or just lives there) and might be ESL, I will only make the following comment on style:


Remember conversation breaks. Think of a story like a river flowing smoothly from here to there, and your reader is just drifting along with the flow. Having to mentally keep track of who is talking causes the reader to stop drifting and pay attention, and not in a good way. You should not have to work and puzzle through a fiction piece.


The problem I always have with most of the stories about Malachor V is the idea that Revan intentionally arranges to pretty much massacre off all of her followers. Having the SMG be too powerful, that I can accept, that it was a last ditch attempt to destroy the enemy, that I can accept.


But a 'miilitary genius' does not just slaughter off everyone until he's positive he won't need them. Remember, the Mandalorians are beaten, but if they do not submit, it will have to descend to Genocide. Look up the operations starting with Coronet for the invasion of the Japanese home islands. And the estimated civilian casualties. Try half a million Americans per Island, and 70% or more of the Japanese dead.

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The Tools of the Hunter

Darth Insidious


Post Imperial era on Coruscant: We don't need no stinkin' tools


An interesting concept, that by being in the right location, a Sith could hurt every Jedi on the planet...


The Legendary Zhuge Liang XII



Continuation of the previous piece: Beggar So has some problems.


We're still having word usage problems. When the confrontation with Tang's man begins the entire paragraph has to be rewritten so:


The man tries to kill So with his sword, but So blocks the sword with his pipe and then punches the pipe into the man's face thrice. He then gets up and gives two powerful back kicks to the man's stomach. The man tries to attack again with his sword, but So jumps in the air, dodging the sword attack, lands behind the man and hits him very hard on the head with the pipe, causing him to fall on the ground. The man tries to get up, but So grabs him and throws him into his house. As the man's body hits the wooden wall of the house, he loses his consciousness.


You strike a man in the part of the body, and throw yourself into the air, not on it.


I am unsure what you mean when describing Magnayara's robe. If it is layered, you mean tiered, and if it is ripped you mean torn. You also mean kick into stomach, since you left that out. You also slash a person thrice, not slash thrice person. You also kick a person twice, not kick twice a person. When he kills Omar, he should throw a powerful kick in the throat, not on it. You punch into a man's chest, not on it. And it is dodged his attacks with great difficulty, not with great difficulty his attacks.


Describing the sword makes some sense, but you are using uncommon terms, so the reader is forced to look back to see what portion of the sword is being used. The same is true with a European sword, but you don't describe a sword fight by saying his foible (edge between the tip and the forte, or strong portion of the blade) was caught by the man's forte, since you block with the strong portion of the blade automatically.


Also, a sword made of a crystal sounds good, you have the problem of harder things being brittle. A diamond, which is very hard is cut using a simpler softer tool to facet it. A properly made combat worthy sword, is much softer than a diamond, yet only shatters if it is hit at the wrong angle.


The piece doesn't appear to have anything to do with the basic storyline. It is like following say the old movie Magnificent Seven, and having some man who wants to prove he is better challenging one of them after they arrive at the village. Also, all the kid Tang proved was that he was better than any of his men in single combat, yet needed all three of them to soften up the old man and still failed.


The Legendary Zhuge Liang XIII



Continuation of the previous piece: A chance meeting may destroy the Southland plot


First, you have it listed correctly (City, capitol of location), then in the very first line reverse it. The city is the scene, not the country it is in. It would be like me starting with Nevada, in Las Vegas rather than in Las Vegas Nevada.


You throw at someone, not on them, unless it is liquid or able to move fluidly, like a net, when you would throw it on.


One question, companies of what? If it is a martial arts bar, don't you mean dojos? And in that case, why don't you have them fighting over which school is best? If you walk through a Navy port town, you will find service men of different services drinking in different bars to avoid bar fights.


And no one in their right mind simply draws a weapon to end what is in this case, a simple refusal to pay. Picture this from the Old West:


Joe Blow, who thinks he is tough because he carries a six gun tells the waiter he won't pay. John Q Public who is at the end of the bar walks over, and draws down on him.


What is wrong with this picture? John has taken a simple disagreement and made it a confrontation with possible lethal results. If I were a deputy on the scene I would be aiming at John first, since he is the one who is escalating the violence.


It is an interesting situation. Two people who do not know each other meet, and find an attraction, yet they don't know the woman is promised to the same man.


I am going to stop correcting improper usage simply because we're at episode 13 and you are ignoring my corrections. As I have said too many times to count; find a beta reader.


The Legendary Zhuge Liang XIV



Continuation of the previous piece: The plot goes awry


The Forbidden City in Beijing is only 7,800,000 sq ft, less than one third of a square mile with a wall 2mi 198.00yd long. The Imperial city which also includes the Forbidden city has a wall of only 14 miles in length.


Again with courtesy titles. When writing, you have to remember that the reader doesn't like having to go back and find out what a term means. I know and understand that they are a part of life in a lot of societies, but people who live in those societies are used to it, like a man who is an officer in the Service is used to being called either by his family name or rank by those above him in the chain of command, his given name in close company, and by his rank alone by his subordinates.


As an example, Marshal Matt Dillon from the old Gunsmoke television show would be called Marshal, or Marshal Dillon by most of the people in town, but Matt by his friends.


While getting into the palace is an important mission, don't you think Sun would wonder why his soldiers were killed, and their armor taken?


The attack in the throne room makes no sense unless the general is not only in on the plot, but also completely incompetent. As an historical example, when Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury was assassinated, the reasoning given in historical record, is two drunken knights heard Henry II say what we now repeat as 'will someone rid me of this troublesome priest', and proceeded in carrying out what they took to be a command. This is from their own liege lord, not some guest who also happens to be in on the original plot who say, 'we must attack now'. It would be like having a summit meeting between Barak Obama and Vladimir Putin where the British Ambassador tells the head of the Secret Service detachment to assassinate Putin, and the man obeying.


Except for the meeting with Wong, there is no rhyme nor reason to the bar fight that ends the piece. The thugs may think they are tough, but I doubt the two heroes and Wong are the only ones there, and they are obviously too stupid to know who they are facing. It is like the scene from the Chuck Norris movie Code of Silence where two thieves bust into a cop bar and try to rob it.


An interesting twist having the guest order the attack, then cover his own butt by pretending to assist.


The Legendary Zhuge Liang XV



Continuation of the previous piece: The heroes are set up in an assassination


The biggest problem I had with the assassination plot here is that it is obviously contrived. Even with Wong escorting them, there is no way the bodyguards would have allowed two unknown men to enter and meet their leader without a search, and getting in secretly in a society where assassination is the norm would require efforts they would have obviously have noticed. The weapon that inflicted the injuries was Wong's own weapon, or one he had concealed. Furthermore, an assassin would have killed Wong first, then their target, or one would have killed him as the other carried out the assassination.


Look back where I pointed out the situation with the Secret Service. If someone they didn't know were to be escorted in to see the President, they would be cleared for a week or more in advance while the Secret Service and FBI ran full background checks. When you actually walk into the building, you have to pass through a metal detector, and one of the scanners they use in airports to look for non metal items that can be considered weapons. So even a plastic 'CIA letter opener' would not get through.


While I have never seen Olympus Has Fallen, it boils down to replacing people with identities already cleared, (which is not as easy as it sounds) who then arm themselves by taking out the close detail on the President to arm themselves.


The End of the Road

The Angel of Melius Prime


Post KOTOR: Her legacy


It is rare for people to end KOTOR with Revan among the dead. Except for one possible ending, the game really doesn't give you that option. But if she had died heroically on that last mission, I could see the events proceeding as we see here.


Dancing in the Strobe Lights

The Angel of Melius Prime


KOTOR on Taris: A different take on the Sith Party.


Remember conversation breaks,


The piece was amusing with a different twist on what happened at the party. But karaoke? Shades of the Dark side! I suddenly pictured Darth Vader standing on stage, and doing one of those interminable monologue 'songs' William Shatner is well known for.


Journey to Exile



Pre Mandalorian Wars: Revan decides coming to the Council was not why she was on Dantooine...


Minor technical note, Blba trees have thorns to keep the carnivorous slugs as bay.


Technical note, Exile: From what I have read, the Jedi order can best be explained by looking at the Jesuits, originally formed by the pope of that time, and swearing allegiance to each succeeding pope. But following that analogy, threatening exile for anything and everything makes no sense. For a simple breaking of the rules (Falling in love for example) would be like the Jesuits threatening excommunication because you talked back to your superior.


If they exiled you for every jot and tittle, there would be more than the 'lost 22' to count.


Technical note, The Dantooine council's authority: Following the analogy above, you have to remember that the Father General of the Jesuits has offices in Rome even today. Since it is a worldwide organization, just as the Jedi are galaxy wide, it would be the equivalent of a Jesuit in New York flying not to Rome, but to Omaha Nebraska to argue with the senior Jesuit there.


Having her be there to meet the person we will know later as the exile made sense.


A Sticky Situation

Shadows Of The Storm


I originally reviewed this 20 March of 2009 at kotorfanmedia. But it was only a teaser there, so I am reviewing it again here.


Pre Mandalorian Wars: Some fun with crystals...


The piece starts out funny, and I honestly wish I had time to read it all. Having a Padawan and master literally stuck to each other is amusing in it's own right.


The only negative i have is the Arkanian Offshoot business. Someone made a denigrating comment on my Genesis of a Jedi siting the Wookipedia article about the Echani. All well and good, if there had been such an article when it was written back in 05. The explanation of the race used there to me is so much BS. Primarily because an entire race that looks exactly the same works for clones, but not for normally reproducing species. If anyone wants to hear my version of the race, read my works Genesis of a Jedi, and especially the end of chapter 30, where I address it here at fanfiction.


On Being a Sith Lord



KOTOR Aboard and after Leviathan: How do you deal with being an ex-Dark Lord?


The piece has some angst, but you spend more time snickering at the Darth Revan in her head. Giving a slight 'come on' growl when they happen to see Canderous's chest, telling the out person to cry if she wanted Carth to forgive her. And one of the most logical comments about falling to the darkside I have yet heard. 'If love causes you to fall, may all of us fall. But despair is a much quicker path'.


Best of the Week


Starkiller's Rebellion



After TFU I: Seriously injured, Starkiller still has some things to try


The basics are good. The idea that the Jedi and Sith are two sides of the same coin something I explored in my own Genesis of a Jedi. The primary problem with the author's premise that there are things you don't learn because they are more easily abused is that as F Paul Wilson mentioned in his book the Keep, if you don't know what is evil, you will miss it when it returns.



Y St Ace


Post Mandalorian Wars: The mother of the Handmaidens decides


The author posits some interesting views of the Echani society. Wearing red for mourning for example, a will being pretty much a blank document because it is the surviving partner who makes all decisions.


The idea that she notes the half sister because she was not trained as early as her own daughters makes sense in a warrior society.


Eternus Lux AtrumAnimus



Co authored with Ellagne


AU beginning on Taris: Jarah must find Carth and Bastila, and they need her to find their way off planet


It was a unique look at the situation, with Jarah (Who could be Revan, but with another loose woman in it, we're not sure) stuck in a lifepod in the Underlands, and the other being collected from Forn's body and fender shop in the upper city.


A pity I didn't have time, I would like to read chapter two.


Star Wars: The Force Uncaged

Spike the Magic Dragon


TFU II intro: Starkiller's thoughts


This is by my count the third time I have seen these scenes reproduced. You added some of your voice to it, his thoughts hitting as it were the low spots in his life. I would like to say you could have done better, but the problem is, I honestly can't think of how.


Saving Face: Seba Edition



TSL AU aboard Endar Spire: Well that's one way to distract them...


The piece was a bit confusing. I do know that whichever of the guys your female Exile ends up with, there are going to be bad feelings. So getting some alone time, especially aboard ship, is a serious pain in the butt.


Seba succeeds in distracting them. How you may ask? Read it and see.


Saving Face: Mira Edition



TSL aboard Endar Spire: Well that's one way to distract them...


The same scenes, but with Mira instead of an OC.


Pick of the Week


Why Bastila Does the Shopping for the Ebon Hawk



KOTOR About Ebon Hawk: Primarily a list


It isn't really a story, as I mentioned, but the list itself was fun in it's own way.

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The Legendary Zhuge Liang XV



Continuation of the previous piece: The heroes are ambushed by an overwhelming force


Saying X number of groups will send men, you do not need to add the total number twice. Since most inns have rooms above them, it is not necessary to say they are upstairs. Also, your reputation to one small group (The pugilistic world) is incidental. It would be like saying that Jesus was important to the Zealots; those who wanted to overthrow the Roman occupation, and ignoring those who were not actively belligerent.


When introducing a character, you do not give his description, and only later give his name in the manner you did. And if you're going to list the sects, you should do that when the original messengers were sent. Not that you would not do it this way, merely that you are forcing the reader to work.


During the fight, you have the man from the 9 swords sect draw and wield multiple swords, while it might sound good, you have to remember that the average sword weighs over a kilo, meaning he is supposedly whipping around a combined 9 kilograms of weight. It doesn't sound like much until you remember that simple Indian clubs used in juggling were used during the Second World War for strength training, and it took weeks to build up enough strength to wield them for any period of time. If you don't believe me, take two modern hand weights of the size you mention (one four kilo and one five), and try something as simple as shadow boxing.


Also, you, throw something with immense speed not throw with immense speed something.


The entire fight would be a foregone conclusion because of the numbers until your mystery woman arrives. Again, you have her doing the impossible, right up to having an 18 year old woman carry three full grown men off to safety.


One reason I am not a fan of Wuxia is that most of the 'magic' is linked to martial arts I am not interested in. Except for some of Jackie Chan's movies, the only movie of this Genre I have seen and enjoyed in the last three decades was Jet Li's Hero, and that was because of the storyline rather than the Martial Arts.


Knights of the Old Republic: Maya Narr



Starting at her Exile Pre TSL: The Exile remembers it all


The piece starts with a montage of memories, and up to the scene in the council chamber, is an interesting look at the character and her surroundings. Having her be Atris' younger sister is a different approach, but considering that no one can hurt you more than family, is expected.


However the meeting with the council itself is generic. That is not a complete negative, it means only that instead of putting your own voice here, you used the rather badly written scene we were given. As an example, in my own Return from Exile, Chapter 9, I did the same scene with the addition of her thoughts as it was occuring.



Wings of Dawn


TSL on Korriban: The Exile deals with her memories of the tomb


The piece is an interesting look from her perspective of the event. I had her consciously making changes after the confrontation with Malak there. My version of her had been unconscious from wounds when the minefield killed so many for example.


An interesting take on events


The Last Handmaiden



With some name changes, set on Telos: The Exile and his old friend finally confront each other.


Mainly negative about attitudes shown. First, having them all speak in unison only makes sense if you accept the Echani comments made in the wookiepedia. When I wrote my KOTOR and TSL works back in 2005-06, there was nothing in that record at all about them, not even a listing of the race. But having the sisters wait until here to kill her doesn't make sense. Among the Arabs for example, if a woman had been raped, and can't prove it in a court of law (You need four male witnesses, or eight female ones) they simply label you a harlot and kick you out of your home. You're supposed to kill yourself, or eventually you will be stoned. If their society had allowed them to kill her before, why not have done it?


Tecnical note, Poison: It isn't logical that your 'priestess' would try poison on someone she knows is trained to the same standard. It's like a Martial Artist facing someone they know is as well trained, yet assuming that he could use a simple strike you taught a new student to defeat your opponent.



Life of an Exile



Pre TSL: The Exile goes about a job, and faces some unexpected problems


Technical note, Criminal organization protocol:When they arrive for the proposed job, it stopped being realistic. Since Vogga runs a criminal cartel, let's take this as an example:


Smuggler Ima Mule is told that a Columbian Cartel wants him to take a load of product into the US. He arrives at the druglord's supposedly legal bar, the bouncer gets uppity, and Ima draws his knife to threaten him.


Right off the bat, it's wrong. You have taken what would be a simple 'who's got the biggest' situation into a life or death situation. The bouncer has his own machismo to deal with, and isn't going to back down from this threat. The actual verbal threat makes some sense. But drawing first does not.


Having his friends attack them outside fit what you had done, but having them say aloud 'we're going to kill you' does not. If she were to suddenly end up dead, Vogga would have a good idea of who arranged it, and if his best smuggler is killed, will do the same for the bouncer, and after interrogating him, his friends. If she survives, their life expectancy is even shorter.


Second, the bouncer would have been told she was expected. It wouldn't do for just anyone to walk in. When Leia pretending to be a bounty hunter brings in Chewie, she would have been introduced first. Using ROTJ as an example, using a Force choke on the Gamoreans as Luke entered made sense, and mind control on Fortuna also made sense. But these are underlings who are not just going to step aside for an unannounced guest. Note that until Jabba decided to kill him, Luke made no obvious threatening moves toward him.



Catiel Winree


A repost of a previous review given on kotorfanmedia (31 march 2012) which went belly up over a year ago. I didn't know if the author had read that review, so I am posting it here, as it was a Pick of the Week. That review is below:


KOTOR aboard Endar Spire: Told as a story to a grandchild years later, the old woman spins the first webs of the tale we know so well


As another reviewer commented, 'Kitty' sounds very juvenile compared to her partner, and that reviewer's suggestion as to how to repair it was well thought.


This isn't the first story of paired heroes at the start, but it was an interesting version. Considering the size of the escape pods seen in the game and in the animated series, it should have been possible to fit in one more person easily, but that is just a technical observation.


Reposted Pick of the Week from kotorfanmedia


Fluff bunnies torturing carth



No specific period during either KOTOR or post KOTOR given: Just when you thought it couldn't get sillier...


A very short piece, but highly amusing. It's like having all of the plot gizkas attacking you at the same time...


Pick of the Week



Knights of the Old Republic III A Different-Path



2 years Post TSL: A new threat is ready to strike


Remember to sight edit. You used improper grammar and wording several time, and because of it, the piece is confusing.


Technical note, Intelligence Analysis: The problem I saw here, is the Jedi present are trying to do all of their own analysis of the enemy objectives, but with little or no data. There is no statement as to where this force is, and that is necessary to judge a response. It is like the War Warning sent to Pearl Harbor that mislead the commanders there, because it gave a list of where the Japanese might attack, but none of the locations were within 6,000 miles of the Hawaiian Islands. The Jedi are merely looking at the two most important targets they can see, and ignoring a lot of other possibilities.


Technical note, Decapitating strike: While an Attack on Citadel station might kill the senior commanders in one shot, it is a tactical advantage if they succeed, not a strategic one. As an example, if an enemy were to find a way to totally destroy the Pentagon a lot of staff and support structure would be destroyed or confused. But a fleet commander would have left someone in charge of his units, and even his death is not going to delay a response for that long.


Read the battle scene from David Weber's Short Victorious War. At a point where they feel all is lost, support arrives, and they only have to maintain their course for fifteen more minutes. But the Admiral is wounded almost immediately after. As his tactical officer, his flag captain does not transfer command immediately as would be standard due to damage to other ships. Instead she waits the necessary time, trapping some of the enemy fleet, and only then does so.


The story runs quickly, but as I mentioned above, having an unpolished piece slowed the read down.


Kotor III: Return of the Sith



A week after the destruction of Malachor V: More problems emerge


As I said before, remember to sight edit and in this case, polish the flow. The problem is that you are jumping from place to place and making the reader make the jump with you. This bothers the average reader, and if you do it often enough, they will simply put the work down and find something else to read. You also burned several hundred words on the meeting when the Jedi decided to send someone after Revan, but most of it was unnecessary.


Technical note, Communications in hyper: When you go into hyper space, you are in your own self contained bubble outside of N (Normal) space. A communications system would not be able to penetrate into it. If it could, a location wouldn't help. It's like sending a morse code message to a man in an old space capsule. He's completing an orbit about every 80 minutes, so if you sent it, the man in the capsule could see it, but would be past too quickly to respond. Also, you plot a course into it, and are pretty much stuck until you arrive, though a gravity well will drag you out.


Minor note on weather: Unless Atris had relocated the Academy, you're talking artic conditions, so going 'outside' to talk doesn't make a lot of sense.


And why find the Star Maps yet again? You know where the Rakatan homeworld is, so this portion makes no sense.


Also, one last question: with a party of over 20 people going, why are you using the Ebon Hawk? If you count all the berthing spaces, the medical bay, and the one compartment that seems to be there only so you have it to ineract with, there is room for only eight. So you're not only hot bunking, but having to find space for a lot of others. Think of the old stuffing students in a VW gig.


KOTOR in 60 Sec



KOTOR in one long blast: Maybe a little longer...


The piece was a bit funny, and the scenes chosen for expansion do keep it moving.





KOTOR on Rakata Prime: Revan must choose victory, or the death of his love


The piece is well and tightly written, which is not surprising, since it has been beta-ed. In fact the only negative comment I have is this:


Unlike the warp drive used in Star Trek, hyperdrive is used between systems, not in system. Using it to go from a planet (Say Earth) to inside the orbit of Mercury would be like strapping on an F35 and flying at full Mach 2+ to go to the corner 7-11.


Best of the Week


The Search for Revan



Post TSL: Both crews get together to find and rescue Revan


Remember Conversation Breaks. Think of your story like the locks on a canal, since it too is manmade. No conversation breaks means you have forgotten to link the locks up to allow a smooth flow from point A to point B, making it unnecessarily difficult for your reader.


The primary problem I had with the premise is they are called the Unknown Regions for a reason.


Faith In Their Hands

What Ithacas Means


Post KOTOR: It's never really over


The piece has a lot of truths no one really admits. That one war always leads to yet another, because people aren't willing to admit their wrong on either side. And removing one empire leaves a lot of little nations now scrambling to grab the pieces.

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