Monthly Archives: January 2016

Star Wars and Female Representation – Part 3

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Since I’ve been getting a lot of feedback for my previous posts on female character-centered merchandise, I realized that I didn’t expand on the ladies of the Expanded Universe that much. I just mentioned that there were action figures of them and that’s that. Well shame on me because now I’m going to fix that by showing you which ladies got represented in plastic form and where to find them (Yes, I’ve just heard about how SW toymakers were told not to include Rey in their merchandise. Why am I not surprised? Once again, this would’ve never been a problem when Lucas was in charge.).

I wasn’t much of a star warrior in 1995-6, but I do recall seeing commercials for lots of Star Wars action figures. It wasn’t until the release of the Special Editions in 1997, that Star Wars toys really started taking off and they haven’t lost steam since. The earliest wave of EU inspired action figures was the release of Shadows of the Empire, a multimedia project that revealed what happened to Luke, Leia, Chewie and Lando between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Sadly, there were no action figures of Guri, Xizor’s right-hand, er, woman and only two figures of Leia (one in her famous Boushh disguise and the other in an outfit provided by Xizor). But in 1998, fans caught a glimpse of  an action figure of one of the EU’s most popular female character: Mara Jade, the Emperor’s Hand. Here it is. But that’s not all. In 2007, Hasbro released some two figure packs that came with a comic. One of them was Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade from Heir to the Empire. And recently Mara was included in the Black Series line. I bought mine from the Disney Store, of all places.

Speaking of 2 figure comic packs, most of them contained ladies: The Dark Woman, Lumiya (the first ever made), Deena Shan (twice!), Ysanne Isard, Darth TalonJarael and T’raa Saa. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Remember Bastila Shan, the wife of Revan, in Knights of the Old Republic? She got an action figure too. And so did bounty hunter Shae Vizla from The Old Republic.

In 2008, Lucasfilm embarked on the most ambitious multi-media project since Shadows of the Empire except this time some female characters were included. Among them was Felucia Shaak Ti (a movie character that surivived Order 66) and her apprentice, Maris Brood. Another important character was Juno Eclipse, the woman who melts Galen Marek’s heart. And as an added bonus in this TFU five figure pack is the first and only Darth Talon action figure, a long dead sith lord resurrected as a holographic figure for Galen/Starkiller to duel with.

Shall I resuscitate you now? No? Good because I’m not finished yet.

Before Rey, there was Jaina Solo, daughter of Han and Leia, niece of Luke Skywalker and “Sword of the Jedi”. In 2009 she was included in the Legacy Collection with her brother, Jacen.

And what about Asajj Ventress? Even though she became canon with The Clone Wars, she was first introduced via the EU. Her first action figure appearance was as stylized as her animated counterpart in Genndy Tartakovsky’s 2003-2005 Clone Wars series. Then there was a five figure Battle Pack set from 2005 that included her, Obi-Wan, Anakin, Yoda and General Grievous. Then in 2007 she was in the aforementioned Comics 2 Pack line with Tol Skorr.

I would mention her 2008 Clone Wars action figure, but that’s not considered Expanded Universe. 😉

For part one of this series, look here. For part two, click here.

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Book Report: Spacial Delivery

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I first heard about this title when I read Barlowe’s Guide to Extra-Terrestrials, (an artistic study of different aliens from SF literature. If you ever come across the book, check it out! It’s awesome!) and happened to stumble upon the novel at Half-Price Books in the bargain section. Previously the only work by Gordon R. Dickson I read was “St. Dragon and the George”, a short story about a man who was turned into a dragon. I had recommended it as a Short Story Worth Reading in a previous post.

Dickson once again tells a story of a young man who must rescue a kidnapped woman from an enemy but this time it’s on a planet called Dilbia, which is populated by ursine aliens, the “Buddah-like” giant Hemnoid, and human colonists, who are in competition with the Hemnoids to use Dilbia as a way station.

The young man in question is John Tardy, an athlete-turned-biologist who has been “chosen” by Ambassador Joshua Guy to find a sociologist named Ty Lamorc who’s been kidnapped by a Dilbian terrorist named The Streamside Terror and his girlfriend, Boy Is She Built.

But Dilbia has a lot of rocky, mountainous terrain and gravity that’s sixth less than Earth’s. Not too mention some dubious Hemnoids hanging around. A landscape that would be too difficult for even a former athlete to travel. Enter Dilbian postman, Hill Bluffer, who will carry John over large distances on his back on a special type of chair and has a strong commitment to delivering the “mail”, come hell or highwater. Because of this arrangement, John (like all humans that come in contact with the Dilbians) acquires a new Dilbian name: The Half-Pint Posted.

But en route to meet with the Terror, Tandy learns that not everything is what it seems: beneath the Dilbians’ rough demeanor is a cunning and duty-bound society. Ty Lamorc is not the “damsel in distress” she appears to be and The Streamside Terror’s intentions are not one of terrorism. The twist at the end may surprise you but this novella is an entertaining read from beginning to end. I highly recommend it for those of you who want to read science fiction but don’t know where to start (and may be a little intimidated by lengthier novels).

*Psssttt. It’s only 18 chapters.*

Dilbian

And here’s Wayne Barlowe’s rendition of a Dilbian for your viewing pleasure! (From ‘Barlowe’s Guide to Extra-Terrestrials’)

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