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What's your Star Wars Universe?
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:37 am    Post subject: Gungans and Aqualish Reply with quote

Boss Nass was originally designed to look a lot more like Jar Jar, but in the interest of making him a more unique character he ended up looking very different from Jar Jar. WotC introduced into the EU there being two different races of Gungans.

In my SWU, the more common Otolla Gungans (Jar Jar) and the less common Ankura Gungans (Boss Nass) are not two different races of the same species. They are way too different morphologically for my ability to suspend my disbelief of them being the same species. So in my SWU, they are two different species that have formed an amalgamated society. They may have evolved from a common biological ancestor, but the two species would have had to diverge a very long time ago.

~

Since Lucas can't alter the films anymore and it would be a PR nightmare for Disneyfilm if they did, I have to accept the reality that all the things Lucas never got around to fixing now never will be. In the anti-purist section of my Star Wars Blu-ray review, I pointed out that the fin-cup hands of Walrus Man (Ponda Baba) remain uncorrected (and are now even more clear in the HD version). WEG introduced the Aqualish species as having two different races, one with the fin-cup hands and the other with the furry five-fingered hands like the one that Obi-Wan cut off. That's fine and dandy, except for the fact that that still doesn't explain Ponda Baba's sudden transformation in the cantina from fin-cupped hands to furry five-fingered hands!

I've read that the EU solution was to introduce another Aqualish character also being in the cantina, one that wore the same jacket and looked identical to Ponda Baba except that he was the of the fin-cupped race. IMO, that's just stupid. We already have a resurrected Greedo, I mean other Rodians dressed like Greedo, walking around in the background of a few shots in Moss Eisley. Another Aqualish in the cantina dressed like Ponda Baba is just pushing that too far.

In my SWU, Ponda Baba has both: furry five-fingered hands, and retractable fin-cups that can come down over the back of his hands. The fin-cups could serve the purpose of making it easier to swim, but could retract into his wrists/lower arms when he needed to do something more manual that required the hands to be free (like shoot a blaster). It could be that the fin-cups being down could be a natural default state that wouldn't interfere with wrapping his hand around a bar mug to drink, or perhaps they have a tendency to come out when Aqualish are under the influence of alcohol and/or otherwise relaxed.

And of course the Prequels introduced different Aqualish, the creepier-looking 4-eyed Aqualish with 3 fingers on each hand (the original concept for Walrus Man was a multi-eyed alien). Now, with my retractable fin-cup race described in the previous paragraph, is there a need for two different 2-eyed species of Aqualish? Not really. But there still could be Aquala and Quara. Aquala could have fin-cups without hands (like in the EU) while Quara had hands with retractable fin-cups (Ponda Baba still being Quara). Or Aquala could be the one with both (Ponda Baba now being Aquala) while Quara has only hands (like in the EU). Out of those two options, I think the fin-only race is silly so I'd prefer the latter where they both have hands but only one race has retractable fin-cups. Since 1999, any Aqualish NPCs I've created for my game are of the prequel race (Ualaq), so I probably will just have the two races (instead of three). And in my SWU, no Aqualish can breath underwater. I just don't think a species based on aquatic mammals and spiders have any need for that.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Boss Nass solution (since I thought the whole two different races thing was crap) was this: one Gungan race whose skeletons continually grow over the course of their lifetime. Young Gungans have visible eyestalks, but as they age, their skulls grow and the eye stalks do not. Truly ancient Gungans would look big and bulky with no eye stalks, yet still be the same species.
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Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.
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griff
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have midicorlines (if that's not how you spell them, I don't care) in their Star Wars Universe? Anybody? Anybody at all? Somebody? Anyone?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but the first rule of midichlorians is that you do not talk about midichlorians. The second rule...never mind.

I've come up with a few uses, apart from the obvious blood test to determine degree of Force sensitivity. First, as part of a cyber punk wetware concept drawn from Peter Hamilton's Mindstar trilogy, the Empire experimented with bio ware gland implants that produced elevated levels of midichlorians in a subject's bloodstream, artificially inducing Force sensitivity. Subjects had to be very strong willed to resist being mad by the experience.

The second, which I haven't used yet, will come into play if I ever run a zombie campaign, in which the virus that causes the zombie plague will attack and corrupt a victim's midichlorians, causing death and reanimation through the corrupted connection to the Force.
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Ral_Brelt
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No no no. If they existed, the Sith would come up with a vaccine for it and purge the Jedi that way.
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griff
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imperial uniforms and rank insigna.

I was watching episode IV last weekend with my twenty month old son, trying make a list of all the different uniforms, rank squares, and code cylinders that I could see. There were a lot. Three different uniforms; Tarkin's dark gray, the detention block officer's black, and some other's light gray top and black pants. And all the different rank badges, to mention one the officer that Vader tells to send a scanning crew aboard the Falcon had a,single line of six squares all yellow. There were a lot of different numder and combinations.

Now in episode VI the rank bagdges only have two colors, blue and red, and always there is a blue on top and red on bottum. I've told myself that was there were more services abord the Death Star, while in ESB, we are only in the fleet.

Does anyone descripe their imperial officer NPCs with any of the ranks from ANH, or just keep with the ESB ranks.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 1977 George Lucas wrote:
It is said that certain creatures are born with a higher awareness of the Force than humans. Their brains are different; they have more midi-chlorians in their cells.

"The Force" is short for "Life Force".

griff wrote:
Does anyone have midicorlines (if that's not how you spell them, I don't care) in their Star Wars Universe? Anybody? Anybody at all? Somebody? Anyone?

They exist in my SWU as well. Here we go again...

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us.
Yoda wrote:
Life creates it, makes it grow.
Luke Skywalker wrote:
The Force runs strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And my sister has it.

A father passing on his (Life)Force potential to his biological offspring... The biological basis for the potential to be powerful in Force-use has existed in Star Wars since the classic trilogy. Midi-chlorians are just a part of that biological aspect that already existed. What is the purpose of bringing the "Midi-chlorians" level of detail into TPM?

Explicitly, they are a mere plot device to provide an objective measure for Anakin's potential to become powerful in the Force. The fact that Anakin has a higher number of Midi-chlorians than Yoda or any Jedi is a concrete fact. Period. What exactly that means, is not. The morality of training Anakin was still debatable. The possibility of Anakin being the Chosen One of prophecy was still debatable (and still is). The Force and the prophecy were vague and mysterious and subjective - Even the Jedi had conflicting interpretations. I've posited elsewhere that in the time of the Empire Yoda and Obi-Wan still did not even agree in their respective interpretations of the prophecy of the Chosen One who will bring balance to the Force (whatever that means).

The other biological aspect of the overall mystery of the Force that Midi-chlorians serve in the plot of the TPM is to provide a sci-fi basis for the possibility of Anakin's virgin birth. Throughout the history of our real world, virginal and otherwise miraculous birth is a common characteristic of divine/heroic savior-figures of mythological and religion. But this is sci-fi so this biological aspect of the Force is one possible explanation for how virgin birth could really exist. Qui-Gon believed Shmi that Anakin had no father, so he may have been conceived by the Midi-chlorians which somehow refers to the prophecy of the Chosen One. This is the biological aspect of the Force tying in with the mysterious and spiritual aspect of the Force.

RotS adds a little to this when Palpatine says Darth Plagueis (and presumably also his apprentice to whom he taught everything) had the power to manipulate the Midi-chlorians into creating life through the Dark Side. That is the power of the Force controlling the Midi-chlorians, not the other way around. Did the "will of the Force" cause the Midi-chlorians to create Anakin to be the Chosen One to bring balance to the Force? Did Plagueis and/or Sidious use the Force to control Midi-chlorians to create a Super Sith being? Could Plagueis and/or Sidious be considered Anakin's father? Were Plagueis and Sidious used by the will of the Force to bring about the Chosen One all while they thought they were serving their own evil purpose? Do things just have a way of working themselves out in the universe? The presence of Midi-chlorians as plot devices in two Star Wars films only deepen the overall mystique surrounding the Force.

Obi-Wan wrote:
You and the Naboo form a symbiont circle. What happens to one of you will affect the other. You must understand this.
Qui-Gon Jinn wrote:
Midi-chlorians are a microcopic lifeform that reside within all living cells. ...and we are symbionts with them... Life forms living together for mutual advantage. Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist
George Lucas wrote:
...And it's really a way of saying we have hundreds of little creatures who live on us, and without them, we all would die. There wouldn't be any life. They are necessary for us; we are necessary for them. Using them in the metaphor, saying society is the same way, says we all must get along with each other.

An implicit meaning of Midi-chlorians in TMP is a metaphor for society. This is also a minor point in the film, and really would be extraneous if the highest count and virgin birth purposes of Midi-chlorians didn't exist. It's just a simple statement made by the way, but it is relevant to the Naboo and Gungans working together for the sake of their planet and mutual home.

What else?

Qui-Gon Jinn wrote:
Without the Midi-chlorians... we would have no knowledge of the Force. They continually speak to us, telling us the will of the Force.

Midi-chlorians are not the Force. They are not even the source of the Force. They communicate.

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
...the Force is what gives a Jedi his power.

Midi-chlorians do not give the Jedi their power. The Force does.

Midi-chlorians changed absolutely nothing about the Force. Midi-chlorians do not quantify the Force. They only quantify someone's natural biological potential in developing the power to use the Force. An individual with a high count may or may not live up to that potential. A person with a low count could still possibly be powerful in the Force. Midi-chlorians don't tie anything down. But if you have the highest number of them in your cells ever recorded in the history of the Jedi order and they may have conceived you, then you may or may not be the Chosen One who will bring balance to the Force.

Midi-chlorians were not mentioned in the classic films because they had no point in the plots of those films. They had a point in the two prequels they were mentioned in. Do you need Midi-chlorians to exist in your game world? No, not at all. In Star Wars, Midi-chlorians are really only relevant to the character Anakin. They served their purpose as plot devices in 2 films, but in most of our game worlds they would just be an unnecessary level of detail of the biological aspect of the overall view of the Force. If they serve no purpose in your game then ignore them.

However I cannot comprehend all the intense hatred of Midi-chlorians (and for Lucas for finally entering them into film canon at least 22 years after he made them up). Midi-chlorians don't take anything away from the Force. If you feel that Midi-chlorians somehow ruin the Force for you, then you really must not have a very deep view of the Force to begin with.

Whill Earl Jones wrote:
THE EXISTENCE OF MIDI-CHLORIANS IN STAR WARS IS INSIGNIFICANT TO THE UTTER MYSTERY AND POWER OF THE FORCE.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was the rational explanation I have ever heard about midi-chlorians, I have had misgivings about them, mainly is that without them there would be no knowledge of the Force, are they cause of the light and dark side, a or are they amoral, does the person cause the midi-chlorians to unlock the dark side. I thought there could be interesting if th. Midi-chlorians had a home planet, would that be where the first Jedi came from and how would being on that planet effect a force sensitive character. I don't need answers to all these questions, but I would like to hear how others have used them beyond the blood sample count.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I generally didn't like the concept of the midi-chlorians, but only because I liked everything about the force being left "terribly mysterious" (vague and undefined). That said, though I don't really ever acknowledge them in my game, I would have no serious problems with their existence, viewing them in the way that Whill describes them (good job, sir!). Like Whill, I am a fan of the entire saga, and enjoy the prequel films. And viewed from your perspective, it's not very much unlike the various microscopic critters that exist within our own bodies.

I also like what you guys have come up with regarding Aqualish and Gungans, though I have to admit that I didn't know of the controversies with either of them (I've never noticed Pondo Baba's hands being different/changed).
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crmcneill wrote:
My Boss Nass solution (since I thought the whole two different races thing was crap) was this: one Gungan race whose skeletons continually grow over the course of their lifetime. Young Gungans have visible eyestalks, but as they age, their skulls grow and the eye stalks do not. Truly ancient Gungans would look big and bulky with no eye stalks, yet still be the same species.

I do like that idea better than the two races, but they are still too different for that to work for me. Frogs are very different from tadpoles, but I just can't rationalize that extreme of a transformation closer to the end of their life (and any significant biological advantages that would come from the particular transformations). Thanks for sharing your alternative though - Whatever works for you may work for someone else. I'm just too much of an armchair evolutionary biologist for my own good.

DougRed4 wrote:
I also like what you guys have come up with regarding Aqualish and Gungans, though I have to admit that I didn't know of the controversies with either of them (I've never noticed Pondo Baba's hands being different/changed).

I don't know if these are really "controversies" or not. Many fans are in such an uproar over Jar Jar that they probably never stopped to even think about the two very different kinds of Gungans.

And Walrus Man's hand change isn't Greedo getting off a shot at Han when he hadn't fired before. This is just the opposite. It's not something done correctly the first time then unnecessarily changed - This is a mistake in the original release that has still never been corrected. In the Blu-rays Lucas made some utterly inconsequential changes like adding more rocks where Artoo was hiding in the desert when the Sand People attacked instead of fixing stuff.

I guess I should have provided a bit more background. If you look closely in the cantina and even when Walrus Man is pushing Luke, he has these fin-cups in place of hands (it is easier to see in hi-def). Back when Lucas first filmed the shot with the severed arm on the floor, the original footage was the same fin-cup. But then Lucas thought, no one would even know what Obi-Wan had cut off, so he replaced the shot with a severed arm with a furry fingered hand but without reshooting the other shots of Walrus Man. I can understand why that was done in 1977, but even after 3 major revisions of the film ('97/'04/'11), he couldn't fix the fin-cups?

Another thing in the cantina is the two Duros talking to each other still have different hands. One has the long tentacle fingers similar to Greedo's, and the other has normal human-looking gloved hands. Lucas ran out of money and time so only one of them had the "alien" hands instead of both. Still not fixed! In art I've seen them represented both ways, so I guess there has to be multiple races of Duros out there with hand-differences in my SWU.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

midichlorians...

I roll with the PINK FIVE SAGA being cannon and their stance about midichlorians... "That's just something we used to tell people"

My Stars Universe includes the movies, everything WEG ever put out, Dark Horse Comics, any EU book I've ever read, the Pink Five Saga, Robot Chicken's Boba Fett talking to Han in Carbonite, and maybe even the Clone Wars Cartoon.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DougRed4 wrote:
Like Whill, I am a fan of the entire saga, and enjoy the prequel films. And viewed from your perspective, it's not very much unlike the various microscopic critters that exist within our own bodies.

Yep. This is an interesting article: Midi-Chlorians: Physiology, Physics, and the Force

DougRed4 wrote:
I generally didn't like the concept of the midi-chlorians, but only because I liked everything about the force being left "terribly mysterious" (vague and undefined). That said, though I don't really ever acknowledge them in my game, I would have no serious problems with their existence, viewing them in the way that Whill describes them (good job, sir!).
griff wrote:
That was the rational explanation I have ever heard about midi-chlorians

Glad to help.

griff wrote:
I have had misgivings about them, mainly is that without them there would be no knowledge of the Force, are they cause of the light and dark side, a or are they amoral, does the person cause the midi-chlorians to unlock the dark side... I don't need answers to all these questions...

Sounds like you still have plenty of mystery in your Force even with the existence of Midi-chlorians. Nice.

griff wrote:
I thought there could be interesting if th. Midi-chlorians had a home planet, would that be where the first Jedi came from and how would being on that planet effect a force sensitive character... I would like to hear how others have used them beyond the blood sample count.

I haven't really used Midi-chlorians in my game so far but I have no problem with their use in the films and their mere existence in my SWU. I do however have a legendary lost planet that will be a focal point in my next campaign, rumored to be the homeworld of a mysterious species that somehow had a interstellar society with only archaic technology. The species suddenly disappeared with barely a trace a thousand years ago, but it is believed some of them may still be alive on their home planet, wherever that is. When this planet is found, it will be suggested (but not explicitly revealed) that this planet may also be the origin of three or four other original other species, Humanity, the near-human Bimms, Wookiees, and Yoda's species! I like epic.

This planet will have the earliest known evidence of Midi-chlorians existence (but of course that doesn't mean this planet definitely is the first place they evolved). It will be suggested that the Midi-chlorians may have evolved independently on many different planets as life evolved, suggesting not only a pre-existing "force" that caused their parallel generation, but also that the Midi-chlorians may have in turn been used by this "force" to further guide the evolution of life on countless planets across the galaxy. The campaign also deals with the Celestials, the Whills, and lots of other deep stuff. Exploring these mysteries will uncover new mysteries as much as it answers questions. But honestly Midi-chlorians play an almost throwaway-line role in the campaign.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
DougRed4 wrote:
I also like what you guys have come up with regarding Aqualish and Gungans, though I have to admit that I didn't know of the controversies with either of them (I've never noticed Pondo Baba's hands being different/changed).

I don't know if these are really "controversies" or not. Many fans are in such an uproar over Jar Jar that they probably never stopped to even think about the two very different kinds of Gungans.

And Walrus Man's hand change isn't Greedo getting off a shot at Han when he hadn't fired before. This is just the opposite. It's not something done correctly the first time then unnecessarily changed - This is a mistake in the original release that has still never been corrected. In the Blu-rays Lucas made some utterly inconsequential changes like adding more rocks where Artoo was hiding in the desert when the Sand People attacked instead of fixing stuff.

I guess I should have provided a bit more background. If you look closely in the cantina and even when Walrus Man is pushing Luke, he has these fin-cups in place of hands (it is easier to see in hi-def). Back when Lucas first filmed the shot with the severed arm on the floor, the original footage was the same fin-cup. But then Lucas thought, no one would even know what Obi-Wan had cut off, so he replaced the shot with a severed arm with a furry fingered hand but without reshooting the other shots of Walrus Man. I can understand why that was done in 1977, but even after 3 major revisions of the film ('97/'04/'11), he couldn't fix the fin-cups?

Another thing in the cantina is the two Duros talking to each other still have different hands. One has the long tentacle fingers similar to Greedo's, and the other has normal human-looking gloved hands. Lucas ran out of money and time so only one of them had the "alien" hands instead of both. Still not fixed! In art I've seen them represented both ways, so I guess there has to be multiple races of Duros out there with hand-differences in my SWU.


You've got me intrigued enough that I want to go plunk the movies back in, to see this stuff I've missed during my countless viewings. My Blu-Ray version is currently with a friend, though. I'll be checking this out soon, though!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the years lots of stuff has appeared in my star wars universe. From video games like Final Fantasy and anime like Outlaw Star. Currently, I'm trying to blend elements from the rise of the empire era into my stories. Similiar to the Dark Times era except my current game is now begining the New Republic era. I explain most of the stuff as military surplus or separtist survivors on an unknown planet, etc.

As far as the star wars canon back story...
Have you seen What if the prequel films were good? on youtube?
My players and I are using the ideas presented in those videos as the background. It doesn't change to present and future stories, it just gives us peace of mind that star wars makes sense.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last night I "borrowed" my EIV Blu-ray from the friend who is currently borrowing/watching them, and we put in the Ponda Baba scene. I could totally tell the difference (and as I said before it's a detail I'd never noticed before, despite the fact this is the movie I've seen more than any other!).
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