History Main / TheBlackFleetCrisis

7th Apr '13 2:23:25 PM StarSword
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[[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_Black_Fleet_Crisis The Black Fleet Crisis]] is a trilogy in the StarWarsExpandedUniverse, consisting of ''Before the Storm'', ''Shield of Lies'', and ''Tyrant's Test''. Written by [=Michael P. Kube-McDowell=], this is known to be one of the more MilitaryScienceFiction books in the SWEU, with great attention paid to ships and their positioning.

Luke Skywalker shirks his responsibilities to go on a [[HoldYourHippogriffs wild bantha chase]] to find his mother, and meets an all-female group of Force users. Han Solo and Leia, meanwhile, have to deal with the bigoted Yevetha. At the same time, Lando heads off on an even wilder [[RunningGag bantha hunt]], chasing after a wandering ship called the Teljlkon Vagabond which ends up being as essential to the plot as Luke's mother.
----

Tropes featured in this work include:

* AbsoluteXenophobe: The Yevetha are a pretty textbook example. Only a few ambassadors like Nil Spaar will permit themselves to be in the same room as 'vermin' (any other race) and immediately afterwards they will burn their clothes and submit themselves to painful water needle-spray cleansing showers.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The Yevetha, who have no consideration for other species concepts of civilians, kill everyone else living in a star cluster they consider theirs, and use captured prisoners as living shields.
* BizarreAlienBiology: Yevetha apparently have their brains in their chests. Though this is based on Nil Spaar tapping his chest when referring to his mind, so it might just be that they poetically place the seat of the mind there, like humans refer to the heart as the seat of emotions.
* ContinuityNod: At the end of the third book, [[spoiler:the computer-controlled Imperial fleet]] automatically sets course for Byss, the Emperor's secret secondary capital in the Deep Core from ''DarkEmpire''.
* CoolShip: Yevetha thrustships.
** And the ''Intimidator'', a modified version of the ''Executor''-Class Star Dreadnaught.
* CurbStompBattle: The Yevethan Genocide. The Yevethan fleet utterly obliterates the populations of over a dozen worlds in one swift attack, losing only ''one starfighter'' in the process.
* CyanidePill: Recon X-wings are equipped with a joystick device that both purges the computer memory, sets a self-destruct to a deadman switch, and has a poison needle for the pilot to commit suicide rather than avoid capture. One pilot delays this long enough for [[TakingYouWithMe his self-destruct to damage the Yevethan corvette that captures him]].
* DarkerAndEdgier: For its release date it was pretty dark and edgier than any previous EU works- the language is rougher (Han gets to drop both a "son of a bitch" and a "bastard" on the Yevetha's leadership, and neither expression had been used in the EU before this), the violence is more graphic (the first EU decapitation that actually contained blood, as well as a [[{{Gorn}} very descriptive]] evisceration), and Akanah asks someone whether they've ever had sex in hyperspace (the first use of the word "sex" in the EU that was referring to action rather than gender).
** Two words: ''Castration knife.''
* ADayInTheLimelight: Chewbacca vanishes for the first two books and the reader might think [=McDowell=] was simply quietly getting rid of him due to not knowing how to write him, the way many other EU authors do. But then he returns to have a major role in the last book, bringing his whole family with him to save Han, and even gets dialogue!
* DeusExitMachina: Luke.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Some of the Imperial troops manning the Yevetha-based shipyards (and later counter-enslaved by the Yevetha) were working on advanced research projects to do with hyperspace, to see if it were possible to launch a weapon pod into hyperspace and have it come out on its own. They concluded it was impossible and the pod would be lost in hyperspace forever. [[spoiler:So guess where they fire Nil Spaar in a pod when they regain control of their ships at the end of the third book]].
* ForegoneConclusion: Anybody reading the trilogy today knows that Luke's search for his mother really is a [[RuleOfThree wild bantha chase]] from the moment her supposed name is revealed, but the books were written in 1996.
* GadgeteerGenius: Aside from their obsession with honour and blood purity, this is the Yevetha's other [[PlanetOfHats hat]], with them presented as being capable of duplicating and improving the Imperial technology they were exposed to when they were slave workers in the shipyards.
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: After three books of waiting for a chance, [[spoiler:Plat Mallar]] finally gets to participate in the final battle, and [[HeroicSacrifice saves a New Republic cruiser from destruction]] by [[RammingAlwaysWorks ramming]] an enemy bomber. However, he'd used a starfighter belonging to the cruiser's captain, so no one knows it was he who did it.
* HoldYourHippogriffs: The aforementioned 'wild bantha chase'.
* InMyLanguageThatSoundsLike: Inverted; Etahn A'baht's subordinates nickname him "Eating-A-Boat".
* LastOfHisKind: Plat Mallar is the only known survivor from Polneye, the largest of the worlds that fell victim to the Yevethan Genocide and the only one able to put up a fight, but still utterly annihilated.
* LukeIAmYourFather: Replace father with mother, and deconstruct. [[spoiler: Nashira doesn't exist.]]
* MasterRace: The Yevetha.
* MauveShirt: [=McDowell=] loves to do this with his soldiers, particularly Tuketu and Skids, the trilogy's equivalent of Wedge.
* NamedAfterTheirPlanet: Notably averted with the Yevetha, who come from the planet N'zoth.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: [=McDowel=] gave Luke super-construction powers (with intense concentration and lots of meditation). Not only was he able to find the shattered, scattered, buried remains of his father's fortress and reassemble them in midair with the Force, he was able to make broken edges fuse and shuffle the mineral content to build a tower out of those remains, and then he was able to resculpt the stone at will and play with light and gravity inside. All other EU material tends to ignore this power.
** Another example of this is Luke using the Force to mess with people's perceptions when he wants to disguise himself, in an example of WeWillNotUseStageMakeupInTheFuture. TimothyZahn delivered a direct TakeThat to both of these powers in ''HandOfThrawn'' and came up with an in-universe {{Retcon}} for why Luke was stupid to use them and Yoda never would (basically, they're so unnecessarily showy and power-consuming that they drown out your deeper perceptions of the Force and cut you off from your sense of morality).
* ObfuscatingStupidity: When he was first introduced in ''TheThrawnTrilogy'', Admiral Drayson was portrayed as a stuffy bureaucrat who, in a space battle, is merely "competent." Here, the stuffiness is revealed to be an act, and his expertise (or lack of thereof) is shown to be largely unimportant, since his real job is to head up the New Republic's intelligence division. And he's ''good'' at it, scarily so.
* OlderThanTheyThink: These books introduced several concepts that made their way into books set chronologically earlier, such as the Recon X-wing or 'snoopscoot' which was then used in the XWingSeries.
* ProudWarriorRace: Not like the Wookiees, this PWR is evil.
--> "Your wars are decided by the death of a tenth of a population, a third of an army. Then the defeated surrender their honor and the victors surrender their advantage. This is called being civilized. The Yevetha are not civilized, General. It would be a mistake to deal with us as though we were."
* RecycledInSpace: The main plot is very much that of a Tom Clancy-style political/military techno-thriller InSpace. Arguably a lot of the continuity issues with the books stem from the fact that this didn't mesh well with the status quo of the StarWarsExpandedUniverse.
** In particular, the Yevetha are reminiscent of how the Imperial Japanese were viewed by American eyes in WW2: their obsession with honour, refusal to surrender, and their ability to rapidly understand and copy technology from a more technologically advanced enemy (in this case the Empire).
* {{Retcon}}: Quite a lot of the books were obsoleted by later decisions in ordering the Expanded Universe chronology, though this mostly isn't [=Kube-McDowell=]'s fault as it was still very vague when he wrote the books:
** There is said to be no single Imperial government anymore, only minor warlords, and the Republic has been officially at peace for nearly three years. Later books would introduce the idea of a continuing Imperial Remnant and indeed the Republic is still fighting it throughout the timeframe of this book.
** When the Yevetha are revealed to have an ''Executor''-class Super Star Destroyer, it's said that the Republic has nothing of the same size to counter it with. Later books would introduce the SSD ''Lusankya'', which the Republic did have access to at this point.
** The government of the New Republic is described in detail, but bears no resemblance to what appears in books either before or since. In fairness, this is a problem with pretty much every EU book from this era.
* ScaryDogmaticAliens: The SWEU tends to have three broad categories which enemies fall into: 1) Imperials, 2) Sith, and 3) evil alien hordes. Guess which one this is.
* SingleGenderRace: A [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal single-sex sect]], subverted because they allow men in.
* SlaveRace: Tarkin enslaved the Yevetha. On top of destroying Alderaan and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking cheating on his wife]].
* SpheroidDropship: The Yevetha's thrustships are spherical, based on the surface area argument quoted on the trope page.
* StatusQuoIsGod: These books attempt to move on from the status quo by suggesting technological evolution, saying X-wings have become outdated and even Luke now flies an E-wing, and introducing a whole host of new ships. This is ignored by later books, though there are sometimes justifications used, like an upgraded model of X-wing being produced so it regains supremacy.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Nil Spaar manages to maintain this for a while.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Chewbacca's son Lumpy accompanies the crew of the Millennium Falcon so he can prove himself to his father.
* XDaysSince: The Republic has a counter saying how many days the galaxy has been at peace. In a poignant scene, they are ordered to take it down when the fight with the Yevetha begins. This doesn't fit with the later timescale of the ExpandedUniverse, but it's a nice idea.


----

to:

[[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_Black_Fleet_Crisis The Black Fleet Crisis]] is a trilogy in the StarWarsExpandedUniverse, consisting of ''Before the Storm'', ''Shield of Lies'', and ''Tyrant's Test''. Written by [=Michael P. Kube-McDowell=], this is known to be one of the more MilitaryScienceFiction books in the SWEU, with great attention paid to ships and their positioning.

Luke Skywalker shirks his responsibilities to go on a [[HoldYourHippogriffs wild bantha chase]] to find his mother, and meets an all-female group of Force users. Han Solo and Leia, meanwhile, have to deal with the bigoted Yevetha. At the same time, Lando heads off on an even wilder [[RunningGag bantha hunt]], chasing after a wandering ship called the Teljlkon Vagabond which ends up being as essential to the plot as Luke's mother.
----

Tropes featured in this work include:

* AbsoluteXenophobe: The Yevetha are a pretty textbook example. Only a few ambassadors like Nil Spaar will permit themselves to be in the same room as 'vermin' (any other race) and immediately afterwards they will burn their clothes and submit themselves to painful water needle-spray cleansing showers.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The Yevetha, who have no consideration for other species concepts of civilians, kill everyone else living in a star cluster they consider theirs, and use captured prisoners as living shields.
* BizarreAlienBiology: Yevetha apparently have their brains in their chests. Though this is based on Nil Spaar tapping his chest when referring to his mind, so it might just be that they poetically place the seat of the mind there, like humans refer to the heart as the seat of emotions.
* ContinuityNod: At the end of the third book, [[spoiler:the computer-controlled Imperial fleet]] automatically sets course for Byss, the Emperor's secret secondary capital in the Deep Core from ''DarkEmpire''.
* CoolShip: Yevetha thrustships.
** And the ''Intimidator'', a modified version of the ''Executor''-Class Star Dreadnaught.
* CurbStompBattle: The Yevethan Genocide. The Yevethan fleet utterly obliterates the populations of over a dozen worlds in one swift attack, losing only ''one starfighter'' in the process.
* CyanidePill: Recon X-wings are equipped with a joystick device that both purges the computer memory, sets a self-destruct to a deadman switch, and has a poison needle for the pilot to commit suicide rather than avoid capture. One pilot delays this long enough for [[TakingYouWithMe his self-destruct to damage the Yevethan corvette that captures him]].
* DarkerAndEdgier: For its release date it was pretty dark and edgier than any previous EU works- the language is rougher (Han gets to drop both a "son of a bitch" and a "bastard" on the Yevetha's leadership, and neither expression had been used in the EU before this), the violence is more graphic (the first EU decapitation that actually contained blood, as well as a [[{{Gorn}} very descriptive]] evisceration), and Akanah asks someone whether they've ever had sex in hyperspace (the first use of the word "sex" in the EU that was referring to action rather than gender).
** Two words: ''Castration knife.''
* ADayInTheLimelight: Chewbacca vanishes for the first two books and the reader might think [=McDowell=] was simply quietly getting rid of him due to not knowing how to write him, the way many other EU authors do. But then he returns to have a major role in the last book, bringing his whole family with him to save Han, and even gets dialogue!
* DeusExitMachina: Luke.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Some of the Imperial troops manning the Yevetha-based shipyards (and later counter-enslaved by the Yevetha) were working on advanced research projects to do with hyperspace, to see if it were possible to launch a weapon pod into hyperspace and have it come out on its own. They concluded it was impossible and the pod would be lost in hyperspace forever. [[spoiler:So guess where they fire Nil Spaar in a pod when they regain control of their ships at the end of the third book]].
* ForegoneConclusion: Anybody reading the trilogy today knows that Luke's search for his mother really is a [[RuleOfThree wild bantha chase]] from the moment her supposed name is revealed, but the books were written in 1996.
* GadgeteerGenius: Aside from their obsession with honour and blood purity, this is the Yevetha's other [[PlanetOfHats hat]], with them presented as being capable of duplicating and improving the Imperial technology they were exposed to when they were slave workers in the shipyards.
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: After three books of waiting for a chance, [[spoiler:Plat Mallar]] finally gets to participate in the final battle, and [[HeroicSacrifice saves a New Republic cruiser from destruction]] by [[RammingAlwaysWorks ramming]] an enemy bomber. However, he'd used a starfighter belonging to the cruiser's captain, so no one knows it was he who did it.
* HoldYourHippogriffs: The aforementioned 'wild bantha chase'.
* InMyLanguageThatSoundsLike: Inverted; Etahn A'baht's subordinates nickname him "Eating-A-Boat".
* LastOfHisKind: Plat Mallar is the only known survivor from Polneye, the largest of the worlds that fell victim to the Yevethan Genocide and the only one able to put up a fight, but still utterly annihilated.
* LukeIAmYourFather: Replace father with mother, and deconstruct. [[spoiler: Nashira doesn't exist.]]
* MasterRace: The Yevetha.
* MauveShirt: [=McDowell=] loves to do this with his soldiers, particularly Tuketu and Skids, the trilogy's equivalent of Wedge.
* NamedAfterTheirPlanet: Notably averted with the Yevetha, who come from the planet N'zoth.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: [=McDowel=] gave Luke super-construction powers (with intense concentration and lots of meditation). Not only was he able to find the shattered, scattered, buried remains of his father's fortress and reassemble them in midair with the Force, he was able to make broken edges fuse and shuffle the mineral content to build a tower out of those remains, and then he was able to resculpt the stone at will and play with light and gravity inside. All other EU material tends to ignore this power.
** Another example of this is Luke using the Force to mess with people's perceptions when he wants to disguise himself, in an example of WeWillNotUseStageMakeupInTheFuture. TimothyZahn delivered a direct TakeThat to both of these powers in ''HandOfThrawn'' and came up with an in-universe {{Retcon}} for why Luke was stupid to use them and Yoda never would (basically, they're so unnecessarily showy and power-consuming that they drown out your deeper perceptions of the Force and cut you off from your sense of morality).
* ObfuscatingStupidity: When he was first introduced in ''TheThrawnTrilogy'', Admiral Drayson was portrayed as a stuffy bureaucrat who, in a space battle, is merely "competent." Here, the stuffiness is revealed to be an act, and his expertise (or lack of thereof) is shown to be largely unimportant, since his real job is to head up the New Republic's intelligence division. And he's ''good'' at it, scarily so.
* OlderThanTheyThink: These books introduced several concepts that made their way into books set chronologically earlier, such as the Recon X-wing or 'snoopscoot' which was then used in the XWingSeries.
* ProudWarriorRace: Not like the Wookiees, this PWR is evil.
--> "Your wars are decided by the death of a tenth of a population, a third of an army. Then the defeated surrender their honor and the victors surrender their advantage. This is called being civilized. The Yevetha are not civilized, General. It would be a mistake to deal with us as though we were."
* RecycledInSpace: The main plot is very much that of a Tom Clancy-style political/military techno-thriller InSpace. Arguably a lot of the continuity issues with the books stem from the fact that this didn't mesh well with the status quo of the StarWarsExpandedUniverse.
** In particular, the Yevetha are reminiscent of how the Imperial Japanese were viewed by American eyes in WW2: their obsession with honour, refusal to surrender, and their ability to rapidly understand and copy technology from a more technologically advanced enemy (in this case the Empire).
* {{Retcon}}: Quite a lot of the books were obsoleted by later decisions in ordering the Expanded Universe chronology, though this mostly isn't [=Kube-McDowell=]'s fault as it was still very vague when he wrote the books:
** There is said to be no single Imperial government anymore, only minor warlords, and the Republic has been officially at peace for nearly three years. Later books would introduce the idea of a continuing Imperial Remnant and indeed the Republic is still fighting it throughout the timeframe of this book.
** When the Yevetha are revealed to have an ''Executor''-class Super Star Destroyer, it's said that the Republic has nothing of the same size to counter it with. Later books would introduce the SSD ''Lusankya'', which the Republic did have access to at this point.
** The government of the New Republic is described in detail, but bears no resemblance to what appears in books either before or since. In fairness, this is a problem with pretty much every EU book from this era.
* ScaryDogmaticAliens: The SWEU tends to have three broad categories which enemies fall into: 1) Imperials, 2) Sith, and 3) evil alien hordes. Guess which one this is.
* SingleGenderRace: A [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal single-sex sect]], subverted because they allow men in.
* SlaveRace: Tarkin enslaved the Yevetha. On top of destroying Alderaan and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking cheating on his wife]].
* SpheroidDropship: The Yevetha's thrustships are spherical, based on the surface area argument quoted on the trope page.
* StatusQuoIsGod: These books attempt to move on from the status quo by suggesting technological evolution, saying X-wings have become outdated and even Luke now flies an E-wing, and introducing a whole host of new ships. This is ignored by later books, though there are sometimes justifications used, like an upgraded model of X-wing being produced so it regains supremacy.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Nil Spaar manages to maintain this for a while.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Chewbacca's son Lumpy accompanies the crew of the Millennium Falcon so he can prove himself to his father.
* XDaysSince: The Republic has a counter saying how many days the galaxy has been at peace. In a poignant scene, they are ordered to take it down when the fight with the Yevetha begins. This doesn't fit with the later timescale of the ExpandedUniverse, but it's a nice idea.


----
[[redirect:Literature/BlackFleetCrisis]]
1st Nov '12 6:53:53 PM Thande
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* NamedAfterTheirHomeworld: Notably averted with the Yevetha, who come from the planet N'zoth.

to:

* NamedAfterTheirHomeworld: NamedAfterTheirPlanet: Notably averted with the Yevetha, who come from the planet N'zoth.
1st Nov '12 6:52:27 PM Thande
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Added DiffLines:

* ContinuityNod: At the end of the third book, [[spoiler:the computer-controlled Imperial fleet]] automatically sets course for Byss, the Emperor's secret secondary capital in the Deep Core from ''DarkEmpire''.


Added DiffLines:

* FateWorseThanDeath: Some of the Imperial troops manning the Yevetha-based shipyards (and later counter-enslaved by the Yevetha) were working on advanced research projects to do with hyperspace, to see if it were possible to launch a weapon pod into hyperspace and have it come out on its own. They concluded it was impossible and the pod would be lost in hyperspace forever. [[spoiler:So guess where they fire Nil Spaar in a pod when they regain control of their ships at the end of the third book]].


Added DiffLines:

* HoldYourHippogriffs: The aforementioned 'wild bantha chase'.


Added DiffLines:

* NamedAfterTheirHomeworld: Notably averted with the Yevetha, who come from the planet N'zoth.
1st Nov '12 6:43:57 PM Thande
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Added DiffLines:

* AbsoluteXenophobe: The Yevetha are a pretty textbook example. Only a few ambassadors like Nil Spaar will permit themselves to be in the same room as 'vermin' (any other race) and immediately afterwards they will burn their clothes and submit themselves to painful water needle-spray cleansing showers.
1st Nov '12 6:42:34 PM Thande
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* BizarreAlienBiology: Yevetha apparently have their brains in their chests.

to:

* BizarreAlienBiology: Yevetha apparently have their brains in their chests. Though this is based on Nil Spaar tapping his chest when referring to his mind, so it might just be that they poetically place the seat of the mind there, like humans refer to the heart as the seat of emotions.
17th Oct '12 4:13:57 PM Thande
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* CurbStompBattle: The Yevethan Genocide. The yevethan fleet utterly obliterates the populations of over a dozen worlds in one swift attack, losing only ''one starfighter'' in the process.

to:

* CurbStompBattle: The Yevethan Genocide. The yevethan Yevethan fleet utterly obliterates the populations of over a dozen worlds in one swift attack, losing only ''one starfighter'' in the process.process.
* CyanidePill: Recon X-wings are equipped with a joystick device that both purges the computer memory, sets a self-destruct to a deadman switch, and has a poison needle for the pilot to commit suicide rather than avoid capture. One pilot delays this long enough for [[TakingYouWithMe his self-destruct to damage the Yevethan corvette that captures him]].


Added DiffLines:

* OlderThanTheyThink: These books introduced several concepts that made their way into books set chronologically earlier, such as the Recon X-wing or 'snoopscoot' which was then used in the XWingSeries.


Added DiffLines:

* {{Retcon}}: Quite a lot of the books were obsoleted by later decisions in ordering the Expanded Universe chronology, though this mostly isn't [=Kube-McDowell=]'s fault as it was still very vague when he wrote the books:
** There is said to be no single Imperial government anymore, only minor warlords, and the Republic has been officially at peace for nearly three years. Later books would introduce the idea of a continuing Imperial Remnant and indeed the Republic is still fighting it throughout the timeframe of this book.
** When the Yevetha are revealed to have an ''Executor''-class Super Star Destroyer, it's said that the Republic has nothing of the same size to counter it with. Later books would introduce the SSD ''Lusankya'', which the Republic did have access to at this point.
** The government of the New Republic is described in detail, but bears no resemblance to what appears in books either before or since. In fairness, this is a problem with pretty much every EU book from this era.
17th Oct '12 4:06:28 PM Thande
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* GadgeteerGenius: Aside from their obsession with honour and blood purity, this is the Yevetha's other [[PlanetOfHats hat]], with them presented as being capable of duplicating and improving the Imperial technology they were exposed to when they were slave workers in the shipyards.



** In particular, the Yevetha are reminiscent of how the Imperial Japanese were viewed by American eyes in WW2.

to:

** In particular, the Yevetha are reminiscent of how the Imperial Japanese were viewed by American eyes in WW2.WW2: their obsession with honour, refusal to surrender, and their ability to rapidly understand and copy technology from a more technologically advanced enemy (in this case the Empire).
17th Oct '12 4:03:54 PM Thande
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Added DiffLines:

** In particular, the Yevetha are reminiscent of how the Imperial Japanese were viewed by American eyes in WW2.
17th Oct '12 4:01:30 PM Thande
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Added DiffLines:

** Another example of this is Luke using the Force to mess with people's perceptions when he wants to disguise himself, in an example of WeWillNotUseStageMakeupInTheFuture. TimothyZahn delivered a direct TakeThat to both of these powers in ''HandOfThrawn'' and came up with an in-universe {{Retcon}} for why Luke was stupid to use them and Yoda never would (basically, they're so unnecessarily showy and power-consuming that they drown out your deeper perceptions of the Force and cut you off from your sense of morality).
10th Aug '12 2:13:33 PM StarSword
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* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: Chewbacca's family from the Star Wars Holiday Special gets ADayInTheLimelight, and a particularly badass one.
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