I finally stole some time and drew something for myself
Actually, I think this is the first drawing (not counting commissions) I've done this year. I'm sure I've done a couple chicken scatches but this is the first real drawing I've done.
About the Deviation:
I've made a decision concerning the American Book covers for the Star Wars novels. I am going to completely disregard them. Not only that, but I will take strides to avoid doing anything that may resemble them in the slightest. For one thing the American covers are almost always inaccurate to what is actually described in the book. And then the image of Vestara alone looks like it has nothing to do with Star Wars. If it wasn't for the lightsaber (and if you removed the "Star Wars"
) you would never guess it was Star Wars. Her clothes look too earthy, like she's going to a metal night club. And she certainly doesn't look fourteen nor sixteen years old.
Hopefully I made her look sixteen. When drawing her I relied on how she was described in the book and just tried to forget the cover image. The artwork on her skin of flowers and thorns were discribed as intricate and running up her neck and at least one cheek, I went ahead just elaborated on that making it look a little more viny. I actually drew two flowers, I gave them a kinda starfish look to them. There's one on her neck and another on her shoulder which the lightsaber is covering half of. In the book the ink on her cheek was supposed to blend in with the scar on lip (they didn't specify which side the scar was on) to hide that imperfection but I really wanted to see the scar, which is supposed to make her look like she has a slight smirk on her face. I drew her mouth first to make sure she was in no way smirking, slightly grinning, or even thinking of something funny
and then I added the scar. So if you think it looks like she's smirking, then I did my job
At this age she's described as wearing forming fitting pants and a shirt (a "shirt"?!) This is Star Wars, no one just wears a "shirt" so I spruced it up a bit and gave her a tubard like vest. The lightsaber is supposed to be at least 5 thousand years old so I gave it a arcane look, but kept it metal (I just can't abide organic looking lightsabers, just seems wrong).
And I totally went Princess Ariel on her hair, hehehe, I couldn't help it. Those who know me know I have a thing for women's hair
I started cleaning the lines for this piece when I realized they didn't need that much cleaning. I did redo some of the lines of her lightsaber hilt and did some fine tuning to her body paint design. And once I did that it fairly simple to fill in the base colors.
Now I myself haven't read beyond Omen, so I'm trying to avoid spoilers myself, so please take care in not commenting on anything that happens after "Omen", I'd appreciate that
My review for
Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Omen
*****There be spoilers ahead argh!*****
You've been warned.
Again, I have to reiterate how glad I am that I'm not getting the hardcovers for these books. The paperbacks themselves are barely worth the $8 they cost, but luckily I've been buying them at Wal*Mart which sells them for $2 less. At 270 something pages (paperback) the hardcover should barely be more than 200 pages
And it's not just the very small page number, it's also the lack of story in those pages.
Omen starts out really well. It flows very nicely from the events in the previous book (something that never happened in "Legacy of the Force" series). And it starts out with some nice action. Jysella going nuts and trying to escape the Jedi temple was much better than her brother trying to elude capture in the previous book. I haven't read any of Christie Golden's other works, but she knows how to do action, and she's not afraid to let lightsabers clash (something all the other authors seem to be afraid of doing, even Timothy Zahn's never done a real lightsaber duel).
Unfortunately, as far as action goes, it's the highlight of the entire book, and without good plot pacing non action moments in Star Wars can get really dull. The plot does have some interesting ideas and Ms. Golden does a really good job of establishing (re-establishing characters and their goals) but most of it is retreading what was in the previous book. Even Luke and Ben's quest is feeling "old hat" as they discover another location Jacen went to and Luke learns another NEW Force power.
INTERLUDE -- I also promised myself I would stop rolling my eyes at all these new, often rediculous, Force powers the EU keeps insisting on coming up with. My eyes are really starting to hurt. I mean, George Lucas made six whole movies with only a half dozen Force powers; push, pull, grip/choke - I consider the same power; jump; speed; mind trick; possible visions of the future; and semi telepathic/empathic abilities which could probably go with mind trick. Oh, and Force ghost if you want to count it dispite the fact it's supposed to be a very rare ability (all Jedi and Force sensitives and their cat in the EU being able to turn to Force ghosts notwithstanding).
After about the fourth chapter about Luke and Ben I actually started to just skim that plot line pausing whenever something interesting came up . . . . yeah, I think I only paused twice. Apparently Ben learned to flow-walk (one of THE MOST STUPIDEST FORCE POWERS EVER!!!!) and got some closure with his issues with Jacen. Thankfully, it seems like he's never going to use it again, so that's something. Now the way Jysella used "flow-walking" during her escape from the temple, that was actually pretty cool, because it was more like an extreme version of Jedi visions rather than traveling through time (hell Robert Downey Jr. did that in Sherlock Holmes,
Ms. Golden also seems to have a good handle on the characters themselves. I really liked Han and Leia taking Allana to the animal fair, that was sweet, with some cool action. Jag and Jaina do have good chemistry together I just wish they were given something to do other than sneak around to have a date
Han and Leia fell in love running away from Star Destroyers and blowing up Death Stars, they couldn't find a little Sango/Miroku-esque perilous danger to put J&J in?! Han and Leia got the cool, if meaningless, Kessel adventure in "Outcast".
Which brings us to the only other highlight in the book. The new (or would that be old?) Sith. Now that whole "Rule of Two" schtick was cool and worked for Mr. Lucas in the movies, but with how big the EU is, only having two bad guys that can wield lightsabers while you have a hundred or more Jedi can get a little hard to swallow and doesn't make for very good video games
And I like how these Sith act more like normal people. Well, normal people who are evil, hehehe. And I'm really liking Vestara. She's probably the most interesting character to come along in the EU since . . . . Thrawn and Mara?
But again it seems like they want to just have enough pages to put out a hardcover and quickly get the author started on their next book. I enjoyed those chapters of Vestara becoming an apprentice, but then they jump two years ahead and just tell us that she and the Sith have started highjacking ships and that she's now a killer. That's the kind of crap you find on a Wookiepedia entry. It would have been nice if they had at least shown us the first ship they hijacked and we can actually see Vestara become the killer she apparently is now
I guess we're just going to have to take there word for it. It's not like the extra pages would have hurt the book and it would have provided a climax to a story that pretty much has no pay off.
While there were some good things in the book, it feels like half a book. Calling this a "book" would be very generous. At best it's a novella in a series of novellas, at worst it's just a bunch of chapters that should have been included with "Outcast" or combined with the next "book" in the series.
Well I only have about three weeks to wait for "Abyss" (paperback), hopefully Mr. Denning can provide something resembling a whole book.