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The Critic returns
Posted By machievelli- 02/24/12
Another week and another column. As you might have noticed, this seems to have come early, because I actually got off my butt and did it on time. Just heard they're changing our schedule as of next month, so I will have Tuesday and Wednesday off instead of Tuesday and Thursday. Great in a way, that I will have two days to veg in a row starting next week, but at the same time, I donate plasma at a local center, and I need a minimum of two days between donations; great on a work/off/work/off schedule, but with the new one that means donate/veg/work, run like a lunatic to donate/then pick up two checks because I didn't have time to either pick up or cash one check.

Such is my life, and as James Thurber said, This is my life, and welcome to it.

But let's go in to the review”

From Coruscant Entertainment Center we begin our volkswandrung with Msficwriter who scores not only a Pick but a tie for Best with SW: TOR: Trials of a Sith Thrall: Pact

Then we wander over to kotorfanmedia where we begin with Tatooine92 who score a best with Dark Day followed by Shadow Rise (Who would have been best who scores a Pick with Emotions: One: Nostalgia: then a Best tie with The Lack Thereof

Then over to Fanfiction.net where Sandra Evans (Better known as Amintae Jae over at kotorfanmedia gave us
I Will Not Forget then Url=http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2989036/1/We_Change_for_Those_We_Love] We Change for Those We Love[/url] Followed by Lizard King 13 Capture the Flag and the last with Darth Yakhana with Kotor 3: Following Revans Path

So at this point we reach the end of my work, and I go back to expanding Wrath of The Witch Maiden into section 7 which will give everyone a chance to see more of that world based on David Weber's work. Can I keep it up? Let's see together!

Signing off...

Coruscant Entertainment Center

SW: TOR: Trials of a Sith Thrall: Pact
Msficwriter

TOR chapter 8 in an ongoing series: Five days after her transformation, our Heroine finds an ally, and a purpose

The ongoing work is outstanding, and the thoughts now reach deeper into her soul.

As the Trandoshan says, every warrior knows that death is on the field when they fight.

As much as I enjoyed the games, there have been things that appalled me in them. First the treatment of the Mandalorians who go from honorable warriors to mere thugs. There is only one Mandalorian in the first game you feel any sympathy for, and even then Canderous still comes across as an old warhorse that can't get away from battle.

If you have read my own KOTOR excerpts, I see them as the quintessential warriors, the ones who see battle as the great leveler, where even the best can still die, and as they said in 300, seeks a beautiful death. If I were the only one who saw them so, I'd know I was the aberrant one, but to my mind the best of the EU are the books of Karen Traviss, who makes them real people who see no other purpose to life.

A true warrior feels contempt for those that shield themselves with innocents, and scorn for those of their own who treat the defeated with anything but acceptance. Having a sword in your hand and striking down an unarmed opponent is not battle, it is hubris.

The other is that the Jedi Council in the games are not acting as Jedi in my mind. I am a child of the last generation before our own X generation, who see only what they can grab from our society, not the effort and blood that has been spilled to make our lives possible. So are the authors of that game. I have had people spit on me and call me names because I felt I owed my country a service during Vietnam. I didn't go and fight; I felt the war was stupidly fought, and more for political gain than real values. So I served in the Coast Guard, and spent my time protecting those who needed help. Yet scorn was heaped on me as well.

Yet if you were raised with the slogan, 'My country, may she always be right; but my country right or wrong' how can you spit on those that took that to heart, and died living up to it? They made a choice as much as those that spat on us did. One to accept it, one to denigrate it.

In my own Return from Exile, I expanded the original confrontation between the Exile and the Jedi Council to point out that as much as the Council did not want them to go to war, the Jedi who did lived up to the ideals of 20,000 odd years of self sacrifice in service to the Republic. That they paid 'that last full measure' defending what they had been taught was right, regardless of what the present Council thought. In return the one who did come back to take her medicine was ridiculed as those of my era were. The explanation of why the Council didn't want them to go to war in the second game came too little, too late.

In my pep talk to the troops on Dantooine I made a comment reminiscent of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men when she said 'Except to those that survive, this battle will be a footnote in history. We will fight and die, and a hundred years from now some fool will make it a punch line for a bad political joke'.

So here, our heroine sees what I meant when I wrote the proceeding paragraphs. That there comes a time when you need to put away the plowshare and pick up the sword, because your enemy leaves you no other real option.

Pick of the Week and tied yet again for Best of the Week

kotorfanmedia

Dark Day
Tatooine92

KOTOR on Korriban: An accident leaves one of the crew badly wounded

The piece is well wrought, the tension clear, and the accident perfectly done. The reaction of the wounded man is also perfect.

Pick of the Week

Age of Darkness Part One
Gyrogia

Mandalorian War era: A commander has to report after a battle

The piece is as confusing as a real battle would be, the aftermath as stark. The interplay between Roland and Malak is perfect because as Roland said, while those men were dying, Malak wasn't there. Worth a read.

Sky Blue Memories
Ghostie

Pre KOTOR: The Genesis of the ship that would one day be the Ebon Hawk

It's landing gear, not land gear

The piece has an interesting subject reminiscent of the Novel Millennium Falcon, but unlike that later ship the Sky Blue as she was originally named was a once off from a small private yard.

It makes me wish I had time to read the rest

Two, Prologue
RainPool

KOTOR on Taris, with memories of the past: Two young girls wait for the Jedi as in their future one wakes up as our heroine

A mixture of both new work and well established scenes, looking back into their past is done sometimes, but rarely well, like this is. Even with only the basic descriptions, I can visualize the girls (The village was not so well visualized; after all there are only so many ways to build a home) and the mother's worry about rain comes across as if just that word means serious danger.I even have an inkling of who that second inner voice is, and wish I could follow the work to the end just to find out.

Emotions: One: Nostalgia:
Shadow Rise

KOTOR Aboard Ebon Hawk after Taris: Revan speaks of her past, and what she yearns for.

Technical note: A bunker is a partially buried armored structure. Aboard a ship, where this is placed, of course, you cannot have a bunker, so when I got far enough to realize that, I labeled a 'bunk room' instead. That makes the window a port, unless it is round, in which case it's a porthole.

A slice of memory that gives you a deeper insight into the main character. Joining the military to gain stability actually makes sense, since between wars it gives the 'three hots and a cot' that are what you need to survive, but at the same time, the realization that war is a messy business. The author draws 'Eve's' world like a minimalist, and you can picture her parents as shadows of her past that she wishes were still there.

Pick of the Week

The Lack Thereof
Shadow Rise

KOTOR on Taris: When you lack the money...

The piece didn't sneak up on me, I had anticipated what would happen every step of the way. Normally that is not good, I usually hate when authors give me a flat generic scene.

But Shadow Rise gave me those scenes, and let them come alive. Having Mission run all her words together as if saying it fast will be like ripping the band-aid off; less painful, balanced with Carth first being upset that he had been left out, when he realizes the situation that maybe he should have just stayed out of it, and the scene in the back room to round it out.

Excellent work

Pick of the Week

Fanfiction.net

Two Exiles A Story
Mister Frodo

Post TSL after Malachor V: The parting of the Exile and Brianna

The piece flows very well, the emotions constrained but there. Their parting has to happen, but part of you wishes that wasn't the case.

Only You
DoseOfReality

KOTOR on Dantooine: The team discovers the first Star Map

Basically a generic retelling of the scene with a few additions to perk it up.

Technical note: As much as the game designers loved stealth and defensive force screens on the personal level there is no sign of them in the movies except for the ones used by the droidikas. This detracts from the enjoyment for a reader who had not played them, and for those readers that know what I have just said.

As I said, generic. The piece has some fun scenes, Carth enjoying the interplay between Bastila and Revan

I Will Not Forget
Sandra Evans

Originally reviewed 8 March 2007 over at kotorfanmedia, that review is below:

Approximately five years after TSL: With both of their men at war; Revan and the Exile receive the worst news any woman in that position can receive. Companion piece to we change for those we love.

The style is excellent, the scene crisp and clear. The reaction by both women and children as clear as if they were our own families. This piece cannot be praised enough.

Reprise Pick of the Week

We Change for Those We Love
Sandra Evans

Originally reviewed 8 March 2007 over at kotorfanmedia, that review is below:

Approximately five years after TSL: Before their final battle, Carth and Atton reminisce about the women in their lives. Prequel to I will not forget.

Some word usage problems ‘him’ instead of his. The interplay of the relationships is well delineated, and the scene, which is a common one for those going into battle is almost perfect. Good work.

Reprise Pick of the Week

Capture the Flag
Lizard King 13

Set in the Battlefronts era: Talk about a sore loser...

Remember to sight edit. Some incorrect word usage, it's pale (lose color) not pail (vessel to carry water)

A game of capture the flag, with casualties yet. The comment by the captain about why Vader isn't smiling struck me as odd. Under that visor, who could tell?

The end of the game was so choice. 'We lose so blow everyone to hell, and let's get out of here' was pure Vader. A lot of fun.

Pick of the Week

Kotor 3: Following Revans Path
Darth Yakhana

It is en route, not any route when discussing where you are going. 'problems it occured' should be either 'as they occurred' or 'problems it detected'. The phrase 'improving the computer to heal faster' suggests it is the computer that is healing, even if it is in the medbay. It should probably be 'improving the diagnostic computer to help him'.

Technical note: The Ebon Hawk is too small a ship to have a bridge. It would have a cockpit instead. A window on a ship is a port or porthole.

The piece is a 'relaxation afterward' work, but doesn't fit the last line. Everyone is still too busy working.


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