KING REVIEW: RICHARD I

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I have continued to study the history of English kings and queens in order to draw inspiration for characters in my fantasy book. Among these monarchs was Richard I or Richard the Lionheart. Richard was a very intriguing king for a number of reasons. He was the son of Henry II and older brother of John I. He and his brothers was raised by his mother through her idea of what chivalry was. As a result, Richard saw himself as a storybook hero and he expressed this through either tournaments or during his exploits during the Crusades. Still, his chivalrous behavior ultimately made him naive and reckless because since he saw himself as a storybook hero he thought he would always have a happy ending. After the Crusades, Richard attempted to turn the journey back to England into an adventure by traveling alone and in disguise. Eventually, he was found and arrested by the Duke of Austria and he was held for ransom for 100,000 pounds of silver, which was eight years worth of taxes and nearly bankrupted England. Then things went from bad to worse for the Lionheart. On the way to England, Richard participated in an irrelevant siege, where he was shot with a crossbow that left an infected wound. Chivalrous to the bitter end, Richard had the man who shot him brought to him then pardoned the man and gave him money before dying. However, the man was rearrested and flayed alive afterward. Due to his recklessness and idealistic mindset, I think Richard’s character would be a good model for the main character during their early conquests.

STAR WARS: CAN KYLO REN BE REDEEMED?

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After murdering Han Solo, many people think that Kylo Ren cannot be redeemed. However, there are some things to consider before reaching a final verdict. There were other dark side practitioners in the Star Wars Universe who found redemption despite all the evil they had done. The most famous example is Darth Vader, who had killed countless people in the Galactic Empire’s name. Also, Kylo Ren may have killed his father, but let’s not forget that Darth Vader did bad things to his family too. He strangled his wife with the Force (which led to her death by childbirth), he blew up his daughter’s adopted world, he froze his future son-in-law in carbonite, and he chopped off his son’s hand. Despite all of that, Darth Vader found redemption by sacrificing himself to save his son from Emperor Palpatine. Plus, Kylo Ren has shown great conflict within himself so there is still a chance he could find redemption like his grandfather did. So, I would not count Kylo Ren out yet in terms of redemption.

STAR WARS: PHASMA SURVIVES

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Some people have wondered if we would see Captain Phasma in future Star Wars films. The last time we saw her, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Finn dumped her into a trash compactor on Starkiller Base. After Starkiller Base exploded, some of us wondered if she escaped before the planet’s destruction. I learned that it was confirmed that we will definitely see her in The Last Jedi. However, how did she escape the trash compactor and escape Starkiller Base? Did she call a platoon to rescue her before she was crushed to bits? Did she climbed out of the compactor? If she escaped the compactor, did she gain access to a TIE fighter or shuttle that got her off the planet before it exploded? I hope we get answers in The Last Jedi. I like Captain Phasma because she is similar to Boba Fett in that she had a small supporting role but a powerful presence. I hope she will be elaborated more as a character in future films.

STAR WARS: SNOKE IDENTITY DEBUNKED

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After reading Aftermath: Empire’s End, I have learned that Imperial Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax is not Supreme Leader Snoke. The reason for this is because he died during the Battle of Jakku. So if Rax is not Snoke then who is? The book also revealed that Darth Sidious sensed something ancient and dark calling him from the Unknown Regions. He seems to believe that this presence is the source of the dark side of the Force. Apparently, the dark presence was calling Sidious alone because not even Darth Vader could sense it. This could mean that Supreme Leader Snoke is a reimagining of Abeloth, who was a being of pure dark side energy so powerful that not even Luke Skywalker himself could defeat her on his own. Now that I think about it, Snoke does somewhat look like the Son from The Clone Wars show. Even though we clearly see the Son die in the show, but since he is an incarnation of the Force it is possible that he cannot truly die. Perhaps the Son was resurrected but in an extremely weakened form. Hopefully, we will find out either in Episode VIII or IX.

POSSIBLE KAIJU DESIGNS

In the possible Kaiju battle in my future works, I wonder what kinds of Kaiju I should model these new Kaiju after. Some Kaiju are reptiles like Godzilla, cyborgs like Gigan, parasites like the MUTO, insects like Mothra, or something else like Cloverfield. I already have an idea on one of the Kaiju, but I am having difficulty deciding which kind of Kaiju the second one should be. What do you think? What kind of Kaiju battle do you want to see most? Please let me know and place it to a vote.

WRITING UPDATE: SUPERVILLAIN SHORT STORY COMPLETE

I have just finished writing the new short story that talks about the supervillain Cyber Shadow. It has been a gritty experience and I have elaborated his return with nightmarish details. I promise that there will be some sections that will haunt you. Still, even though it is done, I might tinker with it here and there before making it public.

STAR WARS: RISE OF THE FIRST ORDER

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After reading new Star Wars books in detail, I realized some connections between the First Order as well as the Old Expanded Universe and the New. The First Order’s rise to power reminds me of the rise of the Separatists of the Clone Wars and the resurrected Sith Empire in The Old Republic. In the book, Bloodline, it was revealed that some senators of the Galactic Senate planned to secede from the New Republic and join the First Order. This was similar to how the Separatists were formed before the Clone Wars. After the Old Empire was defeated at the Battle of Jakku, the remaining Imperials fled into the uncharted Unknown Regions of the galaxy, where it slowly rebuilt its strength and started an invasion of the larger galaxy. This is similar to how the resurrected Sith Empire was created in the aftermath of the Great Hyperspace War in the Old Expanded Universe. I am loving how Disney is drawing inspiration from all of these past storylines to create the First Order. I look forward to finding out what other references they will use in the future.