Roderick Vonhögen's Virtual Edition ~ THIS SITE REQUIRES POP-UPS ENABLED ~ Roderick Vonhögen's Virtual Edition ~ THIS SITE REQUIRES POP-UPS ENABLED ~ Roderick Vonhögen's Virtual Edition ~ THIS SITE REQUIRES POP-UPS ENABLED ~
Episode I
The Phantom Menace
  The Virtual Edition
Episode II
Attack of the Clones
  The Virtual Edition
Episode III
Revenge of the Sith
  The Fans' Virtual Edition
  The Spies' Virtual Edition
Episode VII
Plague of Doom
  The Virtual Edition
Episode VIII
Title tba
  The Virtual Edition
Episode IX
Title tba
  The Virtual Edition

Map of the Star Wars
Galaxy Click to go to the Virtual Map of the Star Wars Galaxy
  The Virtual Map
by Nathaniel Reed,  9/2005

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The Prophecy
And in time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as : THE SON OF THE SUN.
And he shall bring Balance to the Force.
"Journal of the Whills, 3:12"
Welcome to
Roderick Vonhögen's
Virtual Edition
November 2006
Drama and Theatre and Celebration-Europe !
25th November 2006
Illustrating the Virtual Edition Sequel Trilogy has been slowly but steadily progressing. Our artwork this month flits about some of the major locales that our heroes will visit in Episode VII Plague of Doom.
Leia escorts her brother home to Aquilae, the hidden base on Mon Calamar, with a good-natured chase through the labrynthine coral. Luke's starfighter carries cargo important to the future of the new Jedi Order, and whilst he's been away, Leia has been practising her abilities in the Force.
Leia leads her brother through the labrynthine coral tunnels inside the Mon Cal island Aquilae, artwork by Scott
Later, on Nal Hutta, a spy spots an aged Toydarian in a close huddle with the Jedi who had earlier challenged Barrola the Hutt's authority. Fearing the worst, he opens fire to silence the sneak ... only to find that the Jedi "fire" had not gone out of the galaxy ! Luke expertly deflects the laser bolt back at the assassin, and saves Watto's life.
Master Jedi Luke Skywalker saves Watto's life, artwork by Nat
Meanwhile, deep within the Kessellian castle, Imperial Commander Kane comes across the incumbent Hutt, Weesla, listening at a door. The Hutt is anxious by what he hears, providing Kane with an opportunity to remind him where his loyalties should lie.
Kane and Weesla in the Hutt castle on Kessel, artwork by Scott
This new artwork can be seen in full size in the recently unveiled gallery section of the VE-ST, found here, under 'Mon Cal', 'Nal Hutta' and 'Kessel' respectively.
Scott has also been producing a 'script' treatment for Plague of Doom. It's amazing how on reading the story in this format it quickly feels like a feature production ! It will also help us identify more efficiently scenes that require illustration.
And over the Christmas - New Year period, we're hoping to bring you artwork showcasing the villains of the Sequel Trilogy !
My wife and I recently went to London and watched Charles Ross' ONE MAN STAR WARS SHOW at the Garrick Theatre ! We both thought it was very funny and very clever, and this fan was not a little ashamed to recall that he too had mimicked the characters and scenes of the films .... but not to the full length of each episode ! Ross also included some wry commentary, such as Alec Guiness referring to "that scottish actor" and Luke's father as the "canadian actor", as well as Luke's surpise, on removing Vader's helmet, that he WASN'T black ! :o)
Ross obviously presented a very energetic performance, with, for example, him as both Luke and Vader in the Cloud City revelation scene. He captured the voices and nuances of the characters perfectly, even Artoo's recriminations and 'swearing', and for Jabba, Ackbar, and Nunb, he utilised his arms and hands to portray wide mouth, blinking eyes, and downward jowls respectively.

Of course, there were chunks missed out - each episode was about 20 minutes long - some of which I had been hoping to see (the Han-Leia interplay on Hoth, Chewie's howl in Echo Base, the speeder bike chase and ewoks), but he retained the plot gist, and, as a fan, I found I was picturing the film play out in my mind's eye whilst it was being performed before me.

Oh, there were two stormtroopers and Boba Fett hanging around the theatre entrance, so Joanne and I just had to have our photos taken. Click to open a larger version !
Recently, 'Entertainment Weekly' put out a request for 'Star Wars virgins' following the television release of the films in High-Definition (Digital HD). They found an individual in Canada who had been 'aware' of the Star Wars cultural phenomenon, but who drew a blank on the specifics. So the brave soul sat down to his six episode view-a-thon late on a friday afternoon, and, other than some short breaks, didn't rise until the early hours of saturday !

Surprisingly - unsurprisingly ??! - he was somewhat critical of The Phantom Menace citing the initial confusion over terms like 'Jedi', 'Sith', and 'The Force'. But then, A New Hope was similarly criticised for "coming into the middle" of a fantasy story. The viewer also noted that the script was "weak, vague and childish", but found a greater confidence and assurity with the next two episodes. And the digitising of the Original Trilogy meant that the appearance between the two trilogies was less jarring and contrasting. In turn, he nodded his acknowledgement at the clearly limited creativity of this chronolgically earlier trilogy.

Interestingly, the viewer found he "missed" the vast breadth of the galaxy's imaginative locales as the episodes moved on in order and focused on specific geography. He found that the 'revelations' from the Original Trilogy were clearly not surprises as seen by those watching the films in release order, yet he found he was still "sucked into" the magic of this fantasy.

How one watches the Star Wars Saga now is an intruiging question to pose. The argument that the "I am your father" revelation is lost if one views the episodes in order is one I don't subscribe to, since we have been watching Empire countless times and our joy-surprise is now tempered with knowing irony as we watch Vader play his gambit and Luke respond : we enjoy it in a different way that is equally intense.

Just before my wedding in April I watched the two trilogies in order over two consecutive saturdays, and, other than tiring ;o), I found it fun, imaginative, and engaging. However, there were weaknesses in plot and direction, but this isn't surprising considering these films were not made back-to-back, allowing for consistency in presentation, writing, or direction. Elements of all the films were exposition-heavy and a little 'plodding', while the 'Original' Trilogy was probably the most 'edgey' and sharp ; yet, I'd agree with the 'Star Wars virgin' in that this trilogy lacked the sparkling breadth and the breath-taking duels of the 'Prequel' Trilogy. Still, time will tell how the Saga is ultimately viewed, for both order and story ! recently announced that 2007, the year marking the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, will see, for the first time, a 'Celebration' type convention in Europe, hosted in London. Interest has been so high that the venue has been upgraded from 'Earl's Court' to 'ExCeL'. Further details are promised by the end of december !
Nathaniel Reed, 25th November 2006
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