Saturday, May 4, 2013

May the 4th Be With You

When it comes to the Great Space Opera Debate, my heart has always been with Trek over Wars. In large part this is probably because when I was growing up Trek was new, and Wars wasn’t. In fact, for the majority of my life I have had new Trek to enjoy. It’s only in this last decade that the Trek options have declined, and the Wars options have returned.

There’s also the fact that for me Trek was always more cerebral than Wars. In Star Wars there’s the central good vs evil story - Jedi vs Sith, all wrapped up around the Skywalker family. Only in the expanded universe do you really get to see other aspects of Lucas’ creation. In Trek you get a wide mix of stories right from the first season. Some are silly, some are thoughtful, and by virtue of the medium of TV over movies they can explore more.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy Star Wars. There have been some great movies,RPGs, video games, books, etc. all to come out of that universe. I really enjoyed Knights of the Old Republic and all the books I’ve read, and the d6 and d20 games that I’ve played.

Aside from the books, I can’t really say the same thing about Star Trek games. I’ve never had anyone willing to run or play in a Trek RPG, and aside from the video game that came out for the Sega Genesis, Trek games tend to be terrible at actually capturing what it is that makes Trek Trek.

However, since today isn’t about Trek (that’s not for a couple of weeks) I want to tell you about one thing in particular about Star Wars that I love.


Timothy Zahn wrote a trilogy of books, set about 5 years after Return of the Jedi about Grand Admiral Thrawn who unites the fractured imperial generals and admirals (who had become local warlords in the absence of the Emperor and Vader) and takes on the New Republic. The books came out in the early 90's, and I can't express how bummed I am that Lucas decided to do the prequels instead of the Thrawn trilogy. It was a far superior story.

If you haven't read any star wars books, I highly recommend you pick up Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command. You'll be glad you did!

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