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Only Sith Deal In Absolutes!
date posted: Sep 24, 2006 7:55 PM  |  updated: Aug 09, 2010 12:24 PM
The Emperor's Pawns Endnotes, Part 1: The Emperor's Courtesan
As part of the five-year commemoration of my first official Star Wars project, The Emperor's Pawns, I'm putting together a special series of endnotes. While this series retains the obsessive detailing of sources used in the Droids and the Force and Story of General Grievous notes, I figured I'd spread my wings a little and get into some of the behind the scenes action that went into writing and getting the piece published.

I suppose it makes sense to start with the credits in this case. The article is said to be written by myself and Juan Schwartz with Pablo Hidalgo, and illustrated by Joe Corroney. Besides Joe's name, this was a surprise to me when I received my copy, because I'd actually written the article alone. However, due to various reasons, my original write-up for the character Blackhole was completely supplanted (save for the fact that he held the station of Emperor's Hand) with another written more or less simultaneously by Pablo for the Rebellion Era Sourcebook (2001, Wizards of the Coast). Meanwhile, I believe Juan Schwartz wrote the roleplaying "adventure seeds" for the characters Sarcev Quest and Maarek Stele, which, for eclectic reasons, I did not provide in my originally submitted manuscript.

There's also an additional "Special Thanks" given to the Star Wars Fanboy Association in recognition of all the conversations we had in the years prior to this publication, influencing my thoughts and confidence.


Introduction

"Mara Jade could barely contain her rage... He said I was the only one, the extension of his will." So begins the opening vignette for "The Emperor's Pawns." Originally titled, "Jaded Perceptions," here appears the first reference to the, at the time, second most famous Emperor's Hand, Roganda Ismaren, who was introduced in the novel Children of the Jedi (1995, Bantam), with which this vignette shares its chronological placement. Mara's recollection of Grand Admiral Thrawn's taunt about additional Emperor's Hands not known to her is from Dark Force Rising (1992, Bantam). The character Lumiya, original appearing as Shira Brie in the Star Wars comic Star Wars #56, "Coffin in the Clouds" (1982, Marvel Comics) and reprinted in Classic Star Wars: A Long Time Ago Vol. 4 (2003, Dark Horse Comics) reappears here in the Star Wars universe for the first time in many years. Both this confrontation and the second future one alluded to between these two women are new. Mara's residence at the site of the second encounter, however, the planet Caprioril, comes from Dark Force Rising (1992, Bantam).

The "disaffected Jedi" Jerec and Adalric Brandl are characters from the video game Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (1997, LucasArts) and the short story "The Final Exit" from Adventure Journal #4 (1994, West End Games), respectively. The reference to Palpatine's dark side adepts as "beings of great intelligence" is a slightly modified quotation from the essay "From a Time of Peace... to a Time of Darkness," included in the first and second editions of the Dark Empire trade papberback (1993-1995, Dark Horse Comics).


Roganda Ismaren

Most of the particulars from Roganda Ismaren's bio come directly from the novel Children of the Jedi (1995, Bantam), including the fact that she once had a brother named Lagan. The Inquisitor Ameesa Darys is newly created, as are the details of her murder of Lagan and the trauma it caused Roganda.

Already established as one of the Emperor's concubines, Roganda's backstory is rather lascivious. I wasn't sure how blatant Lucasfilm would let me get, so I was forced to get creative with my descriptions. Some of the more subtle rhetoric includes references to Roganda's "endowments," "mastery of carnal intrigue," and "seductive faculties." The text also reveals that Roganda earned her position of Emperor's Hand "through great resolve and persuasion." I'll let folks figure that one out.

Roganda's son Irek Ismaren and his posturing as Palpatine's son is also from Children of the Jedi (1995, Bantam), though his pre-adolescent age at the time of the Emperor's death in Return of the Jedi is newly established. Reference to Palpatine's other fake illegitimate child Emperor Trioculus is a nod to children's book The Glove of Darth Vader (1992, Bantam), while Roganda's retreat to the planet Belsavis sets up the character's debut in Children of the Jedi (1995, Bantam).

In Roganda's accompanying adventure seed "The Lost Art," intended for roleplaying gamemasters, reference is made to the Sith technique of "mechanical manipulation of the Force," and given the name mechu-deru. A version of this concept is first seen used by Jedi Master Arca Jeth in Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith #3 (1994, Dark Horse Comics). The name, however, was borrowed from Daniel Wallace's ill-fated Essential Guide to Episode I.

The Eye of Palpatine battlemoon as well as the subelectronic converter device are plot elements from the novel Children of the Jedi (1995, Bantam). Finally, the allusion to "mythological half-being/half-mechanical" monsters is a modified quotation from the Tales of the Jedi Companion (1996, West End Games), and ultimately served as the jumping off point for the creation of the Sith Technobeasts in Droids, Technology, and the Force: A Clash of Phenomena (2005, StarWars.com). ~ Abel G. Pe´┐Ża

Continue to The Emperor's Pawns Endnotes, Part 2: Dark Lady of the Sith


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