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Old 11-24-2013, 10:08 AM   #1369
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A Good Man
Chevron 7 Locke

No specific era or location given: A Sith hopeful makes a choice

The piece is interesting in three ways. First, the idea that someone was going to get away with claiming to be a higher station (His master claiming to be the Emperor's Voice) That he was allowed to not take his revenge, letting the Council he was before to do it instead, and lastly, that an act of what might be called mercy went unnoticed.

As Vette said, there is always that one point where you stop being a good man, and become a bad one. While I don't agree with the 'Strike me down and your fall is complete' attitude, it is well portrayed here. He doesn't take that last step.

Too often, people who write from the Sith viewpoint make them as monstrous as possible. It is like the old war movies where every soldier for the other side routinely commits atrocities because as Igor says in Van Helsing; 'It's what I do'.

But no society can be fully atrocious, or few would live there. That was why the Berlin Wall originally went up. Compared to even Nazi Germany, a lot of people would have rather died than live under Communist rule. That was also why the wall came down, because after trying and failing, the people said enough. All within 28 years if you start when the wall went up, 71 if you count from when the Communists took over Russia.

So I applaud a slightly gentler form of the Sith portrayed here.

Pick of the Week

Knight Watcher

KOTOR Aboard Endar Spire:

The writing is confusing from the start. You left out some words. As an example Leviathan was the cause of (the) hyperspace cut off. The exterior battle is confusing because while the assault shuttles breakthrough the snub fighters sights makes sense, it is confusing to a reader. It would have been better to say that since Leviathan had more fighters, the Republic fighters were too busy to stop the shuttles from breaking through.

Then paragraph three seems to go back to when Revan was captured, since there is no way the Sith would know he or she was aboard the Endar Spire. It should be moved down to the section where you have Bastila boarding Revan's ship.

The section where she spends a week as a captive was even more confusing because you have her remembering what had happened to Revan in the middle without a break to explain to the reader that the scene has shifted. It might be, as I have noticed, that the fanfiction site removes most usual ways a writer might make such a division, but there is no space where such might have been.

Technical note Ship classes: Leviathan is described in the canon as a cruiser. While her armament is greater than her opponent, it is not the difference you describe.

The best description in history that comes to mind would be if USS Olympia, the flagship of the American Asiatic Fleet at the Battle of Manila bay with her modern 20cm guns and armor had fought one on one with the Spanish flagship Riena Christina 16 cm guns and no armor.

Technical note boarding actions: In a space to space battle, while your marines will be ready to assault board at the airlocks and landing bays, it will not be your main thrust. If you read my own Return from Exile, you will note that to stop the HK50 unit from following her, my exile jammed open the exterior door of the airlock. The way an airlock works is you equalize the pressure between the lock and the exterior, open it, close the door, and then equalize the airlock with the interior.

If either door is jammed open, you are unable to move the hatch. In the case of HK above, he's dealing with a lot of pressure. 14.7 lbs, or about 65.4 N per square inch. Measure the door to your room, multiply it's height by it's width in inches, then multiply by 14.7. The result is the amount of weight you are trying to move by hand.

But both landing bays and airlocks have another problem for an attacker. They are chokepoints or killing fields. Either the enemy has to enter on a narrow front, or they are in the open and can be attacked from everywhere around them. While they used this in ROTS when Anakin and Obi-Wan boarded the enemy flagship, the primary reason it worked was the writers were on their side. The bays should have been closed, or enough security to deal with an assault boarding should have been there.

In ANH they used the airlock, but as I pointed out in an article back in April 2006 over at Lucasforums LucasForums > Network > Knights of the Old Republic > Community > Coruscant Entertainment Centre > The Resource Centre #11 Boarding Actions; The Few, the Proud; the assault didn't hit just that one airlock. The advantage they had was that they had boarding tubes attached to the lock, so the pressure is equalized. The hatch was blown to stun and confuse the enemy when they boarded.

Again, referring to my Return From Exile, you will note that she boarded the enemy ship by instead ramming then blowing off the armored cap on her bow, allowing her men to board where ever they could find enough space to ram in. While it has the idea that you can choose where to hit, it does have a flaw, it's not like you have bow caps up the wazoo when you go on to your next target. In the Tenchi Muyo GXP series the pirate used the second option, ramming in, but having the assault ship seal itself to the hull, and then open a ramp or tube.

But one of the best I have seen is a scene in the Book Honor of the Queen By David Weber where it's the Marines who designed the equipment. They used emergency portable airlocks (Nothing more than a very heavy duty plastic bundle with a basic airlock built into it. You plant the breaching charge, marking an area large enough for a man in powered armor to pass through without too much difficulty, seal the portable lock around it, then trigger the charge. It blows into the ship, and the escaping air fills the airlock you have attached. You then send your men through it, and they are now in the ship and most of the air is still there.

My suggestions are as follows; first, sight edit and reread to make sure you didn't forget words. This is not a major ding, as I sometimes will do the same when a story is flowing well. As you do, polish the scenes. The mention above about the fighters is an example. Picture a story as a section of a river, and what you want the reader to do is merely float along watching the scenery. You have it so choppy, it's more like rapids. Again, I sometimes do this.

Last, experiment until you can find a way to break the scenes that the site doesn't remove. I am still doing this, but patience is a virtue.


During the Clone Wars: If it's not one thing...

On the whole, you did good work, but there are technical problems.

Technical note, passage of time: Why jump 4,000 years? While Revan assumed he would be doing it alone, why would he also assume the Jedi (Or Sith) would not reconstitute in four millennia? I am not the only writer who suggested that either Order had been badly wounded and believed destroyed several times. Then you start off the segment after Geonosis saying 11 years have passed, but Canderous reflects on only eight.

Technical note, Corellia isn't strategic?: You know the old Real Estate comment about value, Location, Location, Location? In trade, this is not only true, but it is a reason for fighting if one nation blocks it. As an example, the Axis powers (And the Central powers before them) were blocked by sea because England held Gibraltar and the Suez Canal. The same was true in the Baltic before 1907 where the German High Seas Fleet Kaiser Wilhelm had built would have had to thread the Skaggerak to reach the North Sea, meaning that the blockade could start at that choke point. To avoid it, the Germans used the old Eider Canal, and expanded it into what is now known as the Kiel Canal. This allowed everything except the larger warships to pass through directly into the North Sea saving 460 kilometers distance. In 1907 the Imperial government widened it enough to allow even the largest battleship of the day to use it.

But that still meant the Germans had to face the British Grand Fleet to break out of the North Sea, yet another choke point.

The Battle of Jutland (Which is still debated to this day as to who won it) was because both fleets came up with the same plan. Once the British knew the German fleet had sailed, they wanted to nip in, draw off a portion of it, lure it into an ambush and smash it. The German plan was exactly the same.

They both got what they wanted, in a way. The German Battlecruiser squadron lured the British Battlecruiser squadron into range of the full fleet, and they promptly ran away with the entire German fleet chasing them, managing to lure that fleet into proximity of the British Grand fleet.

In the running battle from first shot until darkness ended it, 25 ships were lost, and 8600 men died.

Technical Note, going home: From what I saw of the Clone Wars series, I don't know exactly how happy he would be. Think of a man from Frederick the Great's time suddenly seeing the modern day German Army. You have a military in Germany now where noncoms have little recourse to discipline, and a draft system where the person drafted can opt for what is called a 'social year' instead of uniformed service, serving instead in the hospital system for that year. Manda'lor is not only a neutral, Satine (Whom ObiWan knows) makes her nation sound like the modern Japan or maybe Sweden in their dialogue.

[Url=]No man's land[/url
The Red Feather

Post TSL: A break for memories

The piece is short, but on the whole I liked it. There is always that moment for a soldier where they have time to reflect.

Her Silent Wings

KOTOR Vignettes: She's a hard habit to break

Seen through the eyes of the closest followers during the two wars, and her old teacher, each comments that Revan is like a drug that addicts you. Bastila of all I think seems to see her through the darkest glass, as in her opinion, the last battle with Malak is more vengeance than necessity.

Peek A Boo
Rae-Vann Chan

KOTOR aboard Ebon Hawk: You just had to be there

The piece started off amusing, went to zany, then to the point where you wish the parents would come in to break up the fight. It is written oddly, the actual end being followed by the beginning, but how she ended up playing peeek a boo with the gizka is fun, and the first part suddenly not only makes sense, but is even funnier.

She blames it all on the coffee, and her falling asleep in mid-sentence was a riot because of her musing about how it ended up here. As a pot a day man (One of those twelve cup ones, drunk in a pint coffee cup) I can understand why you want to blame the caffeine. Having her throw things and not even bother to find out what it is before she does is choice, especially the blaster almost killing Mission.

Pick of the Week

What Revan REALLY did after KOTOR

Post KOTOR: Why did the invasion wait for so long?

The piece was interesting. Regardless of the author's plaints that it is only a rough draft, I saw little that needed editing. That is because no matter how good an artist is, they can always see the tiny flaws, even though no one else does.

Having Revan running around like a one man liberation army is an interesting way to start it too.

Had time for only one chapter. But since there are only two, I may have to sneak back and read the other...

Pick of the Week

K2: Shades of What Might Have Been
Jen DeClan

TSL AU: The Exile rescues an old friend we all know

The piece is interesting in where it starts, the Exile suddenly hearing Visas screaming for help as her planet dies. The one odd note was Gunner consistently cursing without swear words. It sounds like he was raised by Maiden aunts. I'm surprised he didn't say 'sugar' instead of the four letter word.

One flaw, at least to me, aboard ships, you do not have the regular names you're used to as a landsman. Check out my article over at Lucasforums> Knights of the Old Republic> Coruscant Entertainment Center>The Resource Center>Ship nomenclature, or; It's not a door, it's a hatch blast it! To get what I am pointing out.

My main interest; what did Carth do in the intervening time that was so bad they'd literally expunged his record? Even Benjamin Arnold has exploits recorded before his attempt to give West Point to the British.

Ashes of Redemption

Ten years post KOTOR AU: Bastila seeks Revan, but doesn't realize what she faces

Remember to sight edit. As an example, you used loosing instead of losing, which is what the context of the sentence implied.

You had the officer making an accurate determination of Bastila's age, but how? You had stated before that he had seen few humans, and it is experience that tells you the age of something. A person who had never seen a kitten would know it was a child because of the way it acts, but when it reaches maturity, a cat still acts a lot of the time like it did as a kitten. It isn't until they reach their first heat (As a female) or starts spraying, that you would notice the difference.

If you see an animal rarely (Think of dolphin or say a tiger) you would recognize the difference between child and adult mainly by size I.E. a kitten is small and clumsy, an adult cat instead gives you that 'I meant to do that' look when it does something stupid. The perfect example in in the Movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen where Quartermain meets the Siberian tiger. He (As a big game hunter with a lot of experience) recognizes it is not only an adult, but an old one, perhaps looking for a final confrontation; something the rest (Except for perhaps Nemo and Sawyer) might not have recognized.

So he would have known she was an adult human female, but not a lot else. At the end of chapter one you realize this is the case when the alien 'child' speaks telepathically with a mental voice that sounds more like an old man.

While good, you are describing more like the post war chaos of the middle ages, and one thing that is always curtailed during such periods are such things as passenger transport. After all, a ship owner is not going to want to risk valuable assets (Ship and crew) on transporting what sounds like a Viking horde merely enroute to their next raid no matter what they are paying. During such chaos, only the rich can really afford to travel unless necessity (As in fleeing such a horde) and that would be limited, but still operational.

The ending actually saved it from being mediocre, because now I wish I could read further.

A Dance For You

TSL on Nar Shaddaa” It's only when she dances that he realizes

First, I have an apology to the Author for the previous reviews. When I posted your previous works, I added 17, not 7. Sorry, my bad.

The piece was not only amusing, it was fun. The one thing that has always bothered me about the SW universe was the idea that a giant hermaphroditic slug would be turned on by humanoid dancers. When they originally shot the scene where Jabba and Han have it out in the docking bay in ANH, they used a man, and if you think of it that way, Hutt might have been merely a national name, like having an American arguing with a Czech.

When I first saw the scene in ROTJ where Jabba was watching the first dancer, I was reminded of an old story I read back in the late 60s; an alien race has been reading our science fiction, (where aliens stealing then raping women was not always the norm, but happened often enough) and decide to test it by abducting a pair of people off a street.

The one who is in charge of the experiment reads an excerpt where the alien who has a chitinous exoskeleton is holding the quivering captive woman, commenting that his own slimy skin might not have the same affect, and of course the woman is not only terrified, but disgusted. Part of it I really liked was how the scientist was himself disgusted because she didn't have the proper physical equipment for him to carry through. So what they know about human sexuality is still nil. So they return them to Earth, and the pair not only remember, but are so relieved by their escape that they run off to do the nasty.

It is at this point that the scientist happens to look in and see them, but before he can tell his superiors, the ship warps out.

As for your concentration; remember that dance originally started as a mating ritual, then into a prayer to the gods; as if 'I am going to seduce the god into giving me what I want'. So having him watching her with a lusting eye is just two people going through what leads to what is called the Oldest Dance. That last line pretty much was the cherry on top.

Pick of the Week

Thoughts on a Scoundrel

Post TSL: During a battle, her thoughts are of Atton

While I did read the Avatar, it wasn't until the end that I realized how deeply the author feels it; saying the sex of the Exile is ours to choose. The piece was actually pretty good, even if written at a late hour.

Pick of the Week

Star Wars: Jedi's Return

Several Years ABY AU: Some Jedi hopefuls are delivered to their training facility.

Remember to sight edit. You forgot the possessive, as in ship's hull, then used they're instead of their followed by picking sleep out of there (Again, should be their) eyes.

As for the selection process, considering you have a group of survivors winging it, there is no negative to be had. In the books where Luke is reconstituting the order, he's alone, so it's like any 'wise man' situation where you honestly don't have anyone else to trust. In Jedi Academy II the method you used was what Luke was using because now he has other people to help train them.

As for grammar, I mentioned it because if you look at other reviews I have posted (The entire set is at Lucasforums under the Critic's two cents) I treat this as if I were a teacher, and you the student. To repeat a comment I made months ago to another author here; to quote Elizabeth Moon from her book Change of Command when talking about making bread, 'you don't get good by making a loaf of bread, you get good by making a lot of bread'. It's the same with writing. To get better, you do a lot of writing.

It's a pity it is so short, only three small chapters. An even bigger pity that it hasn't been updated in four years, because it was frankly pretty good on the whole.

Red Snow

Pre-Mandalorian Wars: Three refugee siblings are rescued. Who would know who they are without the author telling us?

The piece is well done, the scenery stark and unrelieved. The only thing missing would have been for them to motion to a dead body to explain what they are doing in the middle of nowhere alone. Or the wreckage of a house.

Making the three characters all siblings was an odd touch, and having the one boy either a mute or unwilling to talk an interesting touch.

As much as we the readers might be glad they have been rescued, Revan's retort is logical. All he sees happening is they might be going to yet another hell. Especially when Kreia suggests that Dantooine might be too hot for them.

'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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