Over the years we have had the unique pleasure of speaking with various Authors and Game Designers about nebulous topics, incomplete story elements, and missing information in the Star Wars® Franchise. This page serves as a depository of behind-the-scenes information that can be used to enrich the experience of both Player and Gamemaster in adding enhanced detail to their campaigns.
In your story “The Right Place...” that was included in the 1992 publication of “The Politics of Contraband” there was a starfighter, owned by Vohrkrewel, at the very end, on the last page (p.50) that was called "The Blood Hawk". The stats for this “Mestapol Zephyr” was described as a “Light Combat Fighter”. The stats also state the length of this “Light Combat Fighter” at 50 meters.
50 meters = 164.041995 feet
That is big, about double the size of the biggest Russian fighter ever made here on 21th century Earth. So these are my questions:
Did you mean 50 feet (15.24 meters) not meters OR Did you mean 15 not 50 meters OR Is this fighter truly over 164 feet long?
We have never seen an image of this fighter in any publication, was there some earth fighter or science fiction fighter that inspired this design (what does it look like)?
Boy. I have no idea what I meant at that time. I would guess that it should have been 50' because I never imagined it being that large. As far as what it looks like, I've always pictured it as something like a Viper from the original Battlestar Galactica, but with larger “wings” and a stylized “bird” insignia painted on the bottom.
I was doing some study of your drawings from “Cracken's Threat Dossier”. The fighter I am specifically studying is the Yevethan D-Type. The ship looks like an aerodynamic atmospheric fighter. What I was wondering is if you recall anything else about this fighter when you drew it? Was this fighter inspired by some other ship or earth fighter?
I think the brief did ask for an atmospheric fighter. And I was cranking out so many illos in such tight deadlines in those days for WEG, that I'm not sure exactly what I was going for. However, just by looking at it, I'm sure I was influenced by the F-21 experimental... pics of that craft were just surfacing at the time. And I added some extra dorsal fin thingies (that is a scientific term, thingies <g>) to sci-fi it up a little.
I am wondering if you could wrack your brain and recall from days long past in 1993 two alien races you mentioned in Galaxy Guide 9?
The first is the "Agorffi" found on page 53. They were a strong race enslaved by the "The Slaver Syndicate".
The Agorffi are a throwaway race name which I've only referred to half a dozen times throughout my notes and I don't have any significant details on them. They are ape-like, slightly similar to Wookiees, but they're not as strong and they don't have climbing claws, berserk abilities or any of that sort of nonsense. They are technologically primitive (makes them vulnerable to slaving). I suppose, think roughly 'Planet of the Apes' in terms of appearance (or maybe 'Planet of the Apes' crossed with a Neanderthal).
Use the Tough Native template for typical game statistics for a player-character Agorffi, and probably Aqualish (those walrus-headed things) in terms of typical attitude, behaviour and level of sophistication. They'd be a playable race, but as they're on about the same sort of level as Gamorreans, I don't see many players being all that interested in playing them. They were intended for use by GMs as goons, thugs or spearthrowers, or as the victims of slavers or Imperial pogroms.
I am wondering if you could wrack your brain and recall from days long past in 1993 two alien races you mentioned in Galaxy Guide 9?
The Second is the "Ailon" found on page 57. They were a militaristic race idled by the Empire.
Well, when I submitted the manuscript, the 'Ailon Nova Guard' were the Thyrsus Sun Guard (or is it Thrysus? I often transpose the y and the r and I'm not sure which way round is correct.) Here's what I originally wrote:
The Sun Guards of the Thrysus system have a reputation for martial prowess exceeded only by that of the Imperial Royal Guard and the Mandalorians. For a Sun Guard, training for combat is an act of religious devotion, and is also part of a martial tradition stretching back more than 13,600 years. Indeed, the battle honors of the Thrysus regiments are so numerous that only on the most prestigious ceremonial occasions are they all brought out. In these cases, the first PLATOON, known as the Honor Platoon, carries the regimental honors. That is, every Guardsman carries one banner, and every banner has over one hundred honors displayed - at a rate of one honor for each battle the regiment has been involved in. By anyone's standards, that's a tremendous amount of martial tradition.
But under the Empire, the military activities of the Thrysus Sun Guards have been toned down a little - that's the job of the Imperials, and consequently the ceremonial side of their duties has expanded. No-one should miss seeing the annual Thrysus Military Tattoo at least once; it makes the annual Red Square military display look like a tea party. There are fireworks, laser displays, flying displays, mock battles, feasts, parades, festivals, displays - anything and everything with a military theme. This is one of the most prestigious events in the military calendar too, and the Empire always sends some of its stormtrooper legions and elite stormtrooper units as part of the display. There are always plenty of TIE fighters (and other craft) performing aerobatics too, including the galaxy-renowned Imperial TIE Interceptor display team. They ALWAYS provide a good show.
You can see how much that has been changed (and added to) in what was published. If I needed some cannon fodder alien soldiers, I might use the Ailon Nova Guard more or less as published (once I'd chopped out the Thrysus-bits given above). If I wanted some /elite/ alien soldiers, I'd use my version of the Thrysus Sun Guard. Note also that I didn't provide any game stats, so what's published is entirely West End Games' invention.
What can you tell me about the alien race known as the Drell? We know they are a race of shipwrights who build well-armed starfighters and military-grade space cruisers for piracy and other shady businesses. But what of these Drell? What do you know about them your curious readers do not know? I would love to know.
Regarding the Drell, I can't remember exactly what I created about them at the time I wrote those passages. Obviously I visualized them to some extent, but I mostly created them probably because I was too lazy to look up another race in the references that built ships. It was easier to think up a new one!
(I did a lot of research for those books, but most of what I learned has faded in the decade or so since I wrote them.)
Who is Xendor and why are his minions so terrible or despicable as to be considered a curse or explicative?
Insofar as Xendor was concerned, I couldn't have Star Wars characters cursing in the "normal" words we'd use, so I thought up some curses that wouldn't be anachronisms by being too earthlike, and used them. I never developed a history or background for Xendor.
Have a great day, enjoy!
-Ann C. Crispin
P.S. Look for my next novel, to be released May 17, 2011.
I am wondering where the “Grenna Base” that Bria Tharen spoke of actually is???
This was the secret facility used by the Rebel Alliance you mention in “Rebel Dawn”. Doctor Daino Hyx used it as a treatment center for slaves rescued from Ylesia during a raid by Red Hand Squadron.
If by some miracle can you recall this secret base, and where was it located??? Did you have a specific planet in mind or was it a free-floating space station in deep space???
At the time I wrote those books, there was no official "map" of the Empire or the planets there. I knew that Alderan and Coruscant weren't too far apart from each other, but other than that, the only way they referred to journeys was by time "three days to get to X."
I think I envisioned Grenna as a big Rebel facility in space that could be moved if the Empire zeroed in on them.
Other than that...I don't have a clue.
Sorry I can't be more helpful.
I am aware of the stock stats for the Stalwart-class and the "silhouette" of the freighter in "Pirates and Privateers". I have the book and "Alliance Intelligence Reports".
The Nightcast is described as 19.7 meters long on on page 28 of "Alliance Intelligence Reports". On the same page it claims the freighter has a cargo hold big enough to house Callandri's vintage Jadai Q-6100 Ground Vehicle. The Q-6100 is listed as being 8.5 meters long. It's essentially a stretch-limousine if its width and height is that of an automobile. I suspect the Q-6100 is massive in all proportions based in its descriptions (reminds me of a 1959 Eldorado) thus it may be as huge as a bulldozer or tank. The problem is how do I shoehorn a 8.5 meter speeder in a 19.7 meter freighter that also holds 2 crew, 2 gunners, 11 passengers, and all the necessary mechanicals to fly and travel through hyperspace? By any chance did you mean 91.7 m, 79.1 m, or 71.9m? I suspect the length of the ship is incorrect or the ship is much wider than long by a factor of two.
The "silhouette" on page 59 of "Pirates and Privateers" resembles a swept-wing assault fighter or gun-boat but not a light freighter. When you overlay a 8.5 meter stretch limo over the "silhouette" scaled to 19.7 meters long, you don't get a very pretty sight. I get the impression Tim O'Brien did not consult you on the shape and proportions of this ship. My other suspicion is that the artwork was mislabeled and it's not the Stalwart-class we see on page 59 of "P&P".
Thus this begs the question, What did Callandri's Nightcast really look like in your opinion? If you can't describe it, was it inspired by some other space ship or aircraft from some other story? Whatever minute detail you can recall will be helpful. Lastly the name "Stalwart-class" is a model name like "Camaro" or "Mustang" not a manufacturer name like "Chevrolet" or "Ford" respectively. The descriptions of Callandri indicate she worked for Kuat Drive Yards and she also had her ship modified with military components by KDY. If I had to guess on a make and model, I would guess Callandri's Nightcast was a "KDY Stalwart-class Light Freighter". Is this a correct assumption or was the ship made by another company and retrofitted with KDY components?
I envisioned the Stalwart as, yes, much wider than it was long. The silhouette from P&P was way off, and looked like a gunship more than anything. I had always thought of it as a triple-wide Firespray (a post-Imperialization KDY enlargement of the old-school KSE designs), somewhat similar to how the T65 was the new-gen Z-95. Cargo was loaded perpendicular to how we see the Slave I loaded in TESB, and because the holds ran along the long axis, there was plenty of cargo space. The lift/mass ratio was intended to be high, as I further envisioned something of a jump-jet takeoff akin to the Firesprays.
Some of the history I remember including was that it was designed by Selen Ventroni, who later defected to the Alliance, and that he was also building post-Longshot Lantillian prototypes for Alliance SpecForce teams (including the Bain IV, which used modified AT-ST hydraulics in its landing assembly).
In “Heir to the Empire” you make reference to the "Paonnid" or "Paonidd" alien race. Two questions:
What is the correct spelling?
What do they look like?
1. Paonidd 2. No idea. :)
I have a question regarding “Enemies for Life” from “Star Wars Adventure Journal” No. 4.
In said article you created a huge 50 meter (164 foot) Interceptor. The model was Corellian Engineering Corporation INT-66 and the ship was called “The Gorgon”. The ship's stats appeared on page 202 but there was no artwork for the ship.
What did the "The Gorgon", the INT-66 look like?
As for what she looked like... urmmm.. the closest image I can conjure for you is a Gunstar from Last Starfighter or a Starfury from Babylon 5 (four engines toward the rear, spaced out for rotational thrust). Measuring at 50m, however, the INT-66 is certainly larger than both other vessels.
You're right about the ship being huge. In fact, I'm going to call my younger-self out on its classification. In modern military parlance, it's fair to say the INT-66 was really a gunship, not an interceptor, despite my use of the word "heavy".
Hello again Mr. Carey,
I was reading through the Star Wars Adventure Journal #11 and saw your article "Cracken's Rebel Operatives". On page 266 is a light freighter called "The Agent" which is a Anxarta-class light freighter. This 28 meter ship has no artwork and I was wondering if you have any recollections what this ship might look like. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you in advance for any help you can give us.
Frank V Bonura
Hey Frank, good to hear from you again. We never got around to fleshing out specifics for the Anxarta, but its basic shaped was intended to be similar to a Death Star Gunner's helmet, with the turbolaser mounted near the chin and the twin cannons mounted starboard and port, about 1/4 back from the viewscreen (which was a 180-degree wrap-around, again, borrowing from the helmet).
Landing gear was recessed and similar to the Lantillian-style. Boarding ramps aft and fore.
It's been so long, sorry I don't remember more about it. Cheers
There is an reptilian alien in Star Wars® #84 — Seoul Searching:
"Ualp Xathan" if you scramble the first name and change the "X" to "N" spells Paul Nathan.
My question is, who was Paul Nathan and was "Ualp Xathan" an homage or memorial to a real person? I suspect there is some interesting backstory here.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Thanks for asking. There is a back story, but it's not what you think.
That whole issue is an homage to sci fi writer Andre Norton, who had a race of reptilian aliens in her books called the Xacathansa.
They were scientists and historians who were also pacifists. They spent most of their time as supporting characters known for exploring alien ruins.
If you are unfamiliar with Norton's work, I would recommend checking out "Zero Stone," it is one of her best, out of a career that saw her write over 300 books. I read Zero Stone in the 4th grade, and most of her other books over the years. Many old time science fiction readers feel that George Lucas owes her a nod for a lot of what is in Star Wars.
Thanks for your interest,
I was wondering what more you could tell me about the pilot Durquist's race the furry starfish-like sapients, the "Conjeni"?
As to the Conjeni, I'm afraid they were altered a bit for the adventure. The characters were part of a larger campaign that I ran at SUNY Binghamton back in the day. That's how I met Bill Smith! They wanted the adventure to be a bit more smuggler/pirate related so I took a few characters and tweaked them.
Originally Durquist and Morph were a bit more like Han Solo and Chewbacca. Durquist's fedora was actually a nod to Indiana Jones. Morph was the last of his species and had a revenge arc going on in his story. Without digging out my old notes (I don't remember where I put them, but I do have them) I will tell you what I remember about the Conjeni. They were mechanically advanced for sure. They especially had a fondness for advanced weaponry. Durquist would travel with Morph finding antique artifacts and selling them for a profit - typically to a museum run by Skikki, a Rurrian. Since he was so far out from his homeworld, I never actually gave too much more thought to their species. I do recall they were unusually stubborn though!
LT-9000 Rendilii Interceptor painted a light blue. The pink lettering on the side of the ship declares it to be the Tasty Acorn.
I know this ship has a hyperdrive and a backup hyperdrive. Is there anything more you can tell me about the LT-9000? Was the ship inspired by a science fiction or real-world spacecraft / aircraft?
The LT-9000 was something that I came up with to fill a need for a campaign I ran. Plako was a mechanic for Boyd and Foop (who never appeared in "Treasure Hunt") who owned "Boyd's Be There In A Minute Delivery Service". It was an older model pursuit vessel that had a crew of 3 to 4 along with some small storage space. A bit smaller than the Millenium Falcon.
I have a question about the West End Games publication “Pirates and Privateers”. On page 44a you mention a "Deck Clearing Blaster", model: DL-87 Firespray. This powerful and lethal weapon is listed at only 100 credits. Was this a typo or perhaps the prices were somehow swapped with the less-than-lethal Merr-Sonn Deck Sweeper Stunning Blaster from page 42 (listed at 500 credits)?
I'm sure that's an error, and probably a typo. It is in the original text, so it's my mistake. That 100 credits should probably be 1000 credits.