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Topics - CHEWIE

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61
Saga Collection '06 / Great finds in your own home
« on: May 27, 2006, 06:50 PM »
Ever been going through your house and discovered stuff you forgot you had?  Just a few minutes ago I was cleaning out a closet, and what did I find? 

10 carded VOTC Stormtroopers
2 carded Clone Evolution Sets
6 carded ROTS #41 Clones

I had totally forgotten about these, I remember putting them away for a time when I wanted to open them.  Really happy because lately I've been trying to find some VOTC Stormies, now I can stop.   :D

Whoo - Hooo!

I thought this might be a fun topic... anyone have any similar "hidden treasures" you had forgotten about?

 :)

62
Well this one is up finally, and it's a redo of the second chapter in the Rykrof Enloe series... curious to hear what you guys think!









Hidden in the shadows for far too long, the mysterious Sith prepare to usher in a new era of Sith rule during this time of weakness in the galaxy.





Meeting with his apprentice, Darth Sidious explains that Chancellor Valorum has dispatched two Jedi to settle the dispute on Naboo, and he has little confidence in Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray's ability to prevent the Jedi from reaching Naboo's Queen Amidala.  If the Jedi get to the planet's surface they will attempt to escort the Queen to Coruscant to plead her planet's case before the Galactic Senate.





As the two prepare to make contact with the Viceroy, Darth Maul tells his master he is eager to face the Jedi.

"Good," Darth Sidious says.  "Viceroy Gunray is a coward.  It is likely he will not have the situation under control, therefore my young apprentice, your thirst for Jedi blood may be quenched sooner than anticipated," the Dark Lord explains. 





Meanwhile on Naboo, Jedi Master Qui Gon Jinn and Padawan Obi Wan Kenobi have narrowly made it past the Trade Federation's blockade...





...after the Jedi infiltrate the palace, the droid army occupying the capital city of Theed are no match for the Jedi...





...as they escort Queen Amidala to her starship and escape the planet to bring her case before the Galactic Senate!





In the days following Queen Amidala's escape, several small underground resistance cells form around the capital of Theed, including a small group led by Rykrof Enloe.





Hoping to hold out until the Queen returns with help from the Republic, Rykrof knows the chances of survival are slim with such small numbers compared to the size of the droid army.





Although the circumstances appear to be very different, he is all too aware of what the Federation did to the Abridon system.  Even if the young Queen is able to reach Coruscant safely, it may be a long time before the Republic acts on the invasion.

"Form a defensive position here," Rykrof orders his men.  "We're on our own until help arrives."





Back at Theed, several Vulture Droids patrol the skies over the conquered city.





Inside the safety of the palace, Viceroy Nute Gunray and Rune Haako prepare to meet with their master, Darth Sidious.





"Queen Amidala has indeed arrived on Coruscant.  But she is too late, the Senate is too inept to act on the invasion in time," the Dark Lord says.





Meanwhile, back on Coruscant, Queen Amidala has pleaded her case before the Senate but is stunned that it will not act on the invasion without sending a commission to the planet first.





The crisis, however has landed a golden opportunity for Senator Palpatine to become a favorable candidate for the newly vacated office of Supreme Chancellor.   

Worried about her people, Queen Amidala shows little interest in Palpatine's political intentions.





The Queen soon decides she can wait no longer for Republic aid, and chooses to return home to Naboo to face the challenge of freeing her planet without military support.  Fortunately, the Jedi are granted permission to escort her.





The Nemoidian leaders on Naboo soon learn of the Queen's intentions are are stunned she is returning.  To make matters worse, they have learned from Darth Sidious that he is sending his apprentice, Darth Maul, to join them.

Fearing Queen Amidala will attempt to rally any pockets of resistance and combine their strength before attacking the palace, Gunray chooses to act now on a group of Naboo soldiers rumored to be hiding west of the palace.

"Send a battalion of droids to crush the rumored resistance group in the western marsh," he trembles.





Soon after, Queen Amidala and the Jedi return to Naboo and rally what forces they can find before meeting with the leader of the native Gungans, Boss Nass.





They form an unlikely alliance, and Boss Nass agrees to send his army towards the city to draw the bulk of the Federation's army away from the palace, which may allow for Amidala and the Jedi to capture the Viceroy, ending the conflict.





Meanwhile Rykrof informs his men of the Queen's plan. 

"We've been ordered to hold out here as a group of droids is already approaching our position and we need to keep them away from the city," he explains.  "When they come at us, they will come fast and hard."





Suddenly a laser blast rips through the chest of one of the civilian militia volunteers!





"Droids!" Rykrof yells.  "Fire at will!"





Rykrof's small band immediately finds themselves fighting for their very lives.





On the plains near the palace, the Gungan army meets the bulk of the droid force head on...





...but inside the palace, Queen Amidala and the Jedi strike force swiftly begin to take the upper hand on the droid army as their starfighters escape the main hangar to attack the droid control ship above the planet!





While the Battle Droids have a numerical advantage over their enemy, they lack the independent thinking capacity of their human attackers and struggle to defend the palace.





And with the Jedi on their side, the Naboo continue to tear through the droid defenses.





But the Jedi are then confronted by Darth Maul, who pulls them away from the main battle.





With his double-bladed lightsaber, Maul is equal to the two Jedi, who are unprepared for his powers.  Both Jedi are amazed by his mastery of the Force and soon realize they may not come out of this conflict alive.





The rest of the battle continues however, as Queen Amidala's priority is to find and capture the Viceroy, as she knows the chances of her starfighters destroying the Federation Cruiser are unlikely.





Back in the marsh, Rykrof finds himself in a struggle to survive and prepares to call for his men to retreat.





But suddenly the attacking droids begin to collapse...





"What happened, Sir?" asks one of the survivors.

"The droids... they've been deactivated!" Rykrof exclaims.





"Someone must have destroyed the droid control ship!"





Back at the palace, Rykrof learns that well known Jedi Qui Gon Jinn is among the many casualities, but his killer was defeated.

After meeting Jedi Padawan Obi Wan Kenobi, Rykrof is introduced to Anakin Skywalker, who Obi Wan claims is the real hero after destroying the Federation cruiser. 

"It's a pleasure to meet such a brave young boy," Rykrof says in admiration.  "But a boy of your age is much to young to be fighting in a warzone."

"And too old to be training to be a Jedi," Obi Wan thinks to himself.





Before the Trade Federation leaders are escorted out of the palace, Rykrof considers interrogating the Nemoidian cowards, who refuse to speak with him about their reasons for the invasion.

"Let this be a lesson to all of you," Rykrof tells them, "your greed is nothing compared to the will of the people."





Rykrof then finds himself full of an endless pool of questions, as he wonders what the Federation could have really gained from any of this, and fears this whole debacle with Abridon and Naboo could be the start of a chain of events that will impact the galaxy more than anyone can foresee.





Following a Freedom Celebration in the city of Theed, Rykrof returns to Coruscant to return to his service as a Peace Officer.





Upon his arrival, he is shocked to be approached by newly elected Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who fails to mention the events of Naboo or Abridon.

"Welcome back Officer Enloe," Palpatine says with a warm smile.  "I have heard much about you.  We are looking forward to having you back in our efforts to counter the terrorist attacks here on Coruscant by the Badoo Corba."





Later, in a dark chamber, Darth Sidious smiles as he views a holo image of a great former Jedi Master, who has left the Jedi Order in search of ultimate power...




TO BE CONTINUED...

 :)

63
Vintage Kenner / Oola
« on: May 26, 2006, 12:59 AM »


This, in my opinion is an awesome vintage custom... I thought some of you vintage collectors might like to see it.  It's on ebay right now.

http://cgi.ebay.com/STAR-WARS-Vintage-Custom-ROTJ-OOLA-Jabbas-SLAVE-NR_W0QQitemZ6060136393QQcategoryZ50277QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

 :)


64
Watto's Junk Yard / Check out this Rock Painting (Freedom Rock)
« on: May 22, 2006, 01:00 PM »
I thought this was just extremely cool.  I had it emailed to me, and thought it was just too awesome to not share with you guys here.

THIS IS TRULY INCREDIBLE AND BEAUTIFUL AND AWESOME!!!!   
 
I'm told that there is a huge rock near a gravel pit on Hwy.25 in rural Iowa. For generations, kids have painted slogans, names, and obscenities on this rock, changing its character many times. A few months back, the rock received its latest paint job, and since then it has been left completely undisturbed. It's quite an impressive sight. Be sure to scroll down and check out the multiple photos (all angles) of the rock. I thought the flag was draped over the rock, but it's not. It's actually painted on the rock too.












Here's the artist Ray "Bubba" Sorensen.



I just think seeing this type of patriotism is great to still see, and what an artist too.  Very cool in my book.

 :)

65
Saga Collection '06 / 2006 Wal-Mart OT DVD 3-Packs
« on: May 17, 2006, 10:34 AM »






$10.00 each?  Count me in, I can use extras of a lot of these for customizing fodder... look it's a VOTC 3PO in the Jedi set... and I love that Obi Wan being repacked!

 :)

66
Saga Collection '06 / 5 most wanted repacks
« on: May 16, 2006, 11:29 PM »
I thought this might be a fun topic, I used to love trying to come up with "what if" discussions...

So, play along if you dare...

If you could pick 5 figures to be repacked onto SAGA cards, and easily available, what would they be?

For me - here is my list.  I'd have to go with army builders.

1 - VOTC Stormtrooper
2 - SAGA/OTC TIE Fighter Pilot
3 - ROTS Battle Droid
4 - SAGA Imperial Officer
5 - ROTS SA Clone Trooper w/ interchangeable AOTC helmet

Anyone else care to play?  Or add why they want particular figures repacked?  Or why you may be against it altogether?

 :)

67
Ok!  Finally able to get this first photonovel completely revamped.  The storyline is the same as before, with small tweaks here and there and all new pics.  The whole reason I'm going back and redoing these is for a feature at www.yakface.com, and since the originals were shot so poorly I wanted to give them a more consistent look/format with the newer stories (which are still coming with new installments).

So I hope you all enjoy this look back at the orginal story where Rykrof's saga begins...










A world enveloped in a single city, Coruscant is the home of galactic government and the effective center of the known universe.  Although the Republic has prospered for ages, the forces of darkness have begun to gather strength.  Emerging from the shadows, a mysterious terrorist organization known as the Badoo Corba has become a clear threat to the Republic.  However, a far more sinister force remains hidden, patiently awaiting the opportunity to gain control of the galaxy.




In the bowels of Coruscant, Republic Peace Officer Rykrof Enloe enjoys an after hours drink with fellow officer, Tylin Gere, to discuss the grave situation with the Badoo Corba.
 
"Without the Jedi Council's involvement, we seem to have our hands tied behind our backs.  And I don't like how we've lost communication with Abridon, that's too close to Naboo," Rykrof says to his friend.  "Something big is happening."




"I know," Tylin replies as a blue skinned Dug walks past the two.  "But the thing that really bothers me is how little we actually know about this Badoo Corba group.  All we have to go on is rumors of their involvement with the Trade Federation and the Techno Union."

"And both of those organizations have been known to hire bounty hunters to do their dirty work," Rykrof says.  "Maybe the rumors that the Badoo Corba are behind the attacks is just a distraction to keep us from finding the real killers?"



"Seems like everyone hires bounty hunters these days," Tylin says, as he eyes a group of shady patrons.




Suddenly a laser blast from and unknown source tears through the chest of a senator in the corner of the bar.




Rykrof is first to draw his blaster as both officers begin to search the crowd, who erupt in a mad frenzy.  They are unable to locate the shooter and quickly tend to the fallen victim.




"Oh no," Rykrof says.  "It's Senator Tash... he's dead."
 
"Tash was pushing legislation to approve the Jedi Council's involvement in the Badoo Corba investigation," Tylin says softly.




"We need to inform Chancellor Valorum," Tylin says.




Hoping to learn the source of the attacks and the identity of Senator Tash's assassin, Chancellor Valorum informs Rykrof that his team is to be sent to the Abridon System to investigate the situation there.  They are also to locate Ambassador Tame Heem, who recently left Coruscant to meet with the leaders of Abridon, as the ambassador has not returned and all communications with the planet have been lost.




Two days later, Rykrof's small team approaches Abridon.




The group takes a drop ship to the surface and lands in a swamp on the outskirts of Abridon's capital city of Mull.  Before departing, Rykrof informs his pilots to guard the ship and to be ready to pick them up if needed.




As they enter the outskirts of the city, the group finds the massive destruction they had feared would await them.  It occurs to Rykrof that the scale of the attack is too massive for terrorists.  Only a well equipped, organized army could be capable of such an immense attack.




They soon discover the rotting remains of a humanoid.  The crew then agrees that the sooner they find Ambassador Tame Heem and leave the system, the better.




Suddenly a raging creature emerges and races toward the group.  The officers form a defensive perimeter and retreat into a nearby warehouse, lucky to escape unharmed.




The group is surprised to find a civilian hiding in the warehouse.  He introduces himself as Ran Ceyh, and informs Rykrof that several weeks earlier an army of droids took over the city.




Ceyh had heard rumors that the planetary government had plans to severe its ties with the Trade Federation, and that the Federation Viceroy did not want the Republic to learn of the planet's political intentions.

After hearing the civilian's story, Rykrof decides to allow Ran Ceyh to return with the team to Coruscant.  The group agrees that his testimony could be vital in the Republic's investigation of the events taking place.



Meanwhile, Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray updates his master, Darth Sidious, Dark Lord of the Sith on the current situation on Abridon.
 
"I don't want the ambassador bringing any evidence before the Senate of your involvement in the attack," Sidious warns.  "It is imperative that the Senate is not prepared for our next move.  I will see to it that the Badoo Corba are held responsible for what has transpired on Abridon."




"And the investigation team?  What are we to do about them?" Gunray asks.
 
"Find them and kill them before they have a chance to locate Ambassador Heem.  Report to me once you have accomplished this task," Sidious replies.




Meanwhile, the ambassador is escorted by a group of Battle Droids to a waiting transport.




Suddenly the group is assaulted by a barrage of laser blasts.




The startled Ithorian watches as each droid is destroyed in a matter of seconds.




"Ambassador Heme, I am Peace Officer Rykrof Enloe.  We were sent here by Supreme Chancellor Valorum to rescue you."
 
"Thank you, thank you," Tame Heem says.  "It's a miracle that you found me!  I have information that I must get to the Senate!"
 



The ambassador tells the group that he has learned that the Trade Federation has plans to form a blockade around the planet Naboo due to a tax dispute.  He says the government of Abridon had decided to bring this information to the Galactic Senate before their planet was invaded.
 
After hearing this information, Rykrof immediately relays their position to the pilots to get the team off the surface before more Battle Droids arrive.




As the drop ship relays with the command cruiser, Rykrof contemplates the scope of the events he has witnessed and finds he has more questions after his mission than before... 
 
"What are the goals of the Trade Federation?"
"What is the Badoo Corba's role in all of this?"
"Would the Senate act on a blockade of Naboo in time when they took weeks to send a team to Abridon?"

 



Two days later, Rykrof meets with key members of the Senate but is denied access to meet with Chancellor Valorum.  Rykrof is outraged to learn that the Senate must complete a further investigation before it will act on charges facing the Trade Federation.
 
"Then I'm leaving," Rykrof says.  "I request a leave of absence to return to Naboo.  And Mas Amedda, I suggest in the future, you expedite bringing important matters before the Chancellor."



"The testimony of Ambassador Heem and of the Abridon citizen will be heard by the Chancellor as his time permits," the Chagrian replies snidely.  "In light of your service record, I will see to it you are granted your leave. 

"However, at this time we have little reason to believe the Federation would dare blockade your home planet.  This blockade rumor must not be made public or there will be a mass panic," he insists.



That evening, Rykrof informs his friends that he will be returning to Naboo for the time being and attempt to warn Queen Amidala of the chance of an impending blockade.
 
"I have a bad feeling about this," Tame Heem says. 
 
"Hell, I have a bad feeling every time Rykrof tries taking matters into his own hands," Tylin laughs.
 
"Nice," Rykrof says.  "I'll be back in no time; I'm sure it's nothing to worry about.  You just keep working on the Badoo Corba investigation."




Meanwhile, Wat Tambor of the Techno Union informs Viceroy Nute Gunray that he will not support the recent bold moves of the Trade Federation. 
 
"Your timing is terrible," he argues.  "In years to come, support for our cause will grow.  We feel your proposed blockade is too early and will do nothing but bring you trouble with the Republic."




Nute Gunray knows his master will not be pleased and swallows hard before contacting him.




"First you allow the ambassador to escape and now you lose the support of one of our potential allies," Sidious hisses at the Nemoidian viceroy.
 
"But now is the appropriate time for the blockade," he snaps before Gunray can reply.  "I will keep the Senate bogged in procedure and see to it that terrorists are blamed for the attacks.  Now, proceed as planned with the blockade of Naboo and be prepared to land your troops."



TO BE CONTINUED...


 :)

68
Saga Collection '06 / Pride Displays Sith Set
« on: May 1, 2006, 12:52 AM »


So who is planning on ordering this when it comes available?  I am going to order at least on of them, perhaps two.  Even at the pricetag of $60 or whatever, it seems worth it to me to have a good environment to display figures.

 :)

69
Saga Collection '06 / Hasbro 1st Quarter Losses
« on: April 24, 2006, 10:25 PM »
Sorry of there is already a topic on this, I looked and didn't see one...

Mon Apr 24, 11:17 AM ET
 
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hasbro Inc. (NYSE:HAS - news), the No. 2 U.S. toy company, on Monday said its quarterly loss narrowed as strong sales of board games and its products such as Playskool, Littlest Pet Shop, Nerf and Transformers offset slower "Star Wars" toy sales.

ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
But Hasbro warned the second quarter will be difficult compared with a year ago when its earnings jumped on strong sales of "Star Wars" merchandise ahead of the May 2005 release of the movie "Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith."

"The second quarter will be challenging," President and CEO Alfred Verrecchia said on a conference call. "We shipped $147 million of 'Star Wars' product in second quarter of '05. Even if our first-quarter trend of an approximate 50 percent fall-off continues, we will have to make up over $70 million in volume."

"Star Wars" products, which include lightsabers and action figures, accounted for 16 percent of Hasbro's revenue in 2005. But with no new movie release set for this year, sales of "Star Wars"-related items are expected to drop.

Hasbro shares fell 2.6 percent to $20.37 in morning trading on the     New York Stock Exchange.

FIRST-QUARTER LOSS

Hasbro posted a first-quarter loss of $4.9 million, or 3 cents per share, including a stock-based compensation expense of 2 cents per share. On the same basis, the year-ago net loss was $7.2 million, or 4 cents per share.

The company was not required to report its earnings including stock compensation a year earlier. On that basis, excluding the stock-option expense, its year-earlier net loss was $3.7 million, or 2 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, expected a loss of 2 cents per share, including stock-based compensation, according to Reuters Estimates.

It is not uncommon for toymakers, who ring up the bulk of their profits during the fourth-quarter holiday shopping season, to post losses in the seasonally slow first quarter.

Hasbro's revenue rose 3 percent to $468.2 million, beating analyst targets of $427.3 million.

Revenue in its North American segment rose 7 percent to $310.3 million, boosted in part by sales of board games such as Candy Land and Scrabble. International segment revenue fell 5 percent to $145.5 million, hurt by a foreign exchange impact of about $10.4 million.

Hasbro said shipments of "Star Wars" products in the first quarter were $51 million, down from $101 million the prior year's first quarter.

Toymakers have been suffering from an industrywide slump as electronic gadgets including video games and digital music players pull away once-captive young consumers, and rising costs and cutthroat competition eat into margins.

Hasbro's results came a week after larger rival Mattel Inc. (NYSE:MAT - news) reported an operating loss in its first quarter and forecast a challenging 2006.


After reading this article they released, how can anyone who really feel sorry for them that collects Star Wars stuff?  They've made so many bone-headed decisions for the 2006 lineup that I think it's hilarious.  How about these total bomb ideas (that most collectors knew were horrible ideas) -

- Force Battlers
- Unleashed Mini Figures
- Choppers
- Transformers

What am I forgetting here that was a dumb idea?  Why couldn't they just stick with the regular line?  Focus 90% of the work on the 3-3/4" scale, not the other way around Hasbro. 

I get the feeling that Hasbro is saying Star Wars isn't popular anymore... if that's the case someone over there needs a slap in the face.  They're just making horrible decisions with the line right now.  Some good ones with the basic line, but they've concentrated too much on other sublines (that take up more retail space) that fewer people care about. 

 :)

70
Watto's Junk Yard / JD and Yak
« on: April 15, 2006, 11:20 AM »
I just wanted to say that I think it's very cool to see a banner exchange between JD and Yakface.  Very nice to see that happened, especially considering my two favorite sites.   8)

 :)

71
Saga Collection '06 / Best Army Builder Ever
« on: April 8, 2006, 04:16 PM »
I received three VSTC Scout Troopers today... and holy freaking hell.  This really is quite possibly the best Star Wars figure I've ever seen, and is definitely the best army builder.  I loved the preview pics here (they were awesome) but no pics can do this figure justice.  I don't think you can really appreciate it until you have one and pose it in different positions yourself.

I used to think the VOTC Stormtrooper or the ROTS SA Clone was the best... but now I feel this is the new standard.  Anyone agree/disagree?

Edit - Now in July, I am beginning to like the VOTC Stormtrooper again.  Look at me flip flopping on this.   :P

 :)

72
Saga Collection '06 / How many times have you...
« on: April 6, 2006, 04:20 PM »
...seen Commander Cody?

...seen Scorch?

...seen Utapau Clone?

Just curious.  I haven't seen Cody yet, the others just a couple times each.

 :P

73
Watto's Junk Yard / An Opinion on RE Photonovels
« on: April 5, 2006, 10:27 AM »
Usually I wouldn't ask a question like this, but after receiving an interesting email from someone named _______ regarding an issue here at JD, I would really like to know if he is a member here?  His email is ____________.  I assume he is a member here and would be interested to know who I am talking to when I receive an email of the nature that I received.  If anyone knows and wants to PM me, I would appreciate it.

Thank you,

Justin

 :P


*edited out sender's name and email address since there's no mystery anymore.

74
Photonovels and Movies / RE #21 - The Chancellor's Gift
« on: March 16, 2006, 02:52 AM »







As a new day begins on Coruscant, Republic Commander Rykrof Enloe's medical treatment begins its final stage.






Back on the planet for several days since his narrow escape from the Badoo Corba, Rykrof has undergone extensive medical treatment to heal the wounds inflicted upon him during his imprisonment on Yinchorr.






The next days seemed sort of a dream, a phantasmal prison from which he would never awaken.  During this time Rykrof remembered how until recently the Republic had glittered, been the centerpiece of hope and prosperity… before the dark times, before the Clone Wars.






But even before the war he had fought the Badoo Corba for the better part of a decade.  With the war effort now being concentrated against the Confederacy, the Badoo Corba had become an afterthought to the military; free to gain strength and no longer vulnerable.






After his final treatment, rest and debriefing with Republic Intelligence, Rykrof receives news that the Supreme Chancellor has requested his presence at a social gathering with some of the most influential political and military leaders in the Republic.






Eager to see their friend, Freelo and Ralbarr greet Rykrof as he is cleared to leave the facility.






"I'm alright guys," Rykrof says to his closest friends before explaining that he is scheduled to meet with Chancellor Palpatine. 






After Ralbarr grunts his disapproval, Rykrof assures his Wookiee friend that there is no reason to fear Palpatine.






In a nearby Senatorial drink lounge, several elite Republic Senators enjoy a late beverage that evening.






Nearly everyone has the same topic in mind for conversation this evening; the progress of the War.






"The entire process is a tragedy," Senator Nuros says sadly.  "This entire war could have been avoided through understanding the enemy."

"That way of thinking only makes the Republic weaker," Niris Cellin replies.  "We must support the Chancellor on all fronts.  Only once the Separatists are defeated can we have peace."






Meanwhile a military officer approaches the bar for a drink.

"What will it be," the sultry bartender asks.

"Make it a double shot Correlian whiskey-bomb," he says with a grin.






"Wait, I recognize you," she says.  "You're that commander who was on the holo net!  You were captured by terrorists!"






"Thanks for the reminder," Rykrof says as he turns away.

Rykrof then is escorted by the Chancellor's assistant, Mas Amedda, to a dark guest room.






“Commander Enloe,” Palpatine says with a grin.  “How good of you to join us on such short notice.  I trust you have fully recovered from your injuries?”

“Yes, I’m fine Chancellor,” Rykrof replies as he receives an interested look from Palpatine’s guest. 






“Tell me,” Senator Orn Free Taa says in a bubbly manner, “How in the Force did you manage to escape from the Badoo Corba?”

"More information will be made public for the media soon," Palpatine says before Rykrof can reply.  "I need to speak with Commander Enloe alone.  Leave us."






Once secluded from the crowd, Palpatine turns to Rykrof to speak in private.

 “The public does not need to know every detail in military matters.  I understand you had help on the inside on your escape.  Is this true?”

“Actually it is.  And I didn’t handle the situation properly,” Rykrof suggests.  “One of them helped me escape.  He was killed in the process.”






“Tell me what happened,” Palpatine says.

“We had the chance to get out together.  But I wanted to find Mubaas Fuuda… because of my actions, the one who helped me was killed.  It was my fault,” Rykrof laments.






“You had good intentions Rykrof,” Palpatine smiles.  “We all know the threat the Badoo Corba bring.  In some ways they may be a bigger threat than even the Separatists.  They abide by no laws; there are no limits to what they will do to accomplish their goals.  Because of this they are very dangerous.”

“I do wonder what you were thinking in trading yourself for your wife on Kobridor however,” Palpatine inquires.

“I’m not sure I understand what you're getting at,” Rykrof says.






“I apologize for being so forward,” Palpatine says.  “But what did you hope to accomplish?  Don’t you think it would have been wiser to try and draw the Badoo Corba leadership out into the open?  You know very well that your mission on Korbridor was not to participate in a personnel exchange.”






“What else was I to do?” Rykrof asks in a bitter tone.  “Getting my wife killed is not what I consider an acceptable option.”

“Even if it meant costing your life?  You know the policy of the Republic is to not negotiate with terrorists.  And that is exactly what you did on Kobridor,” Palpatine says darkly.






“I’m very sorry for that Chancellor,” Rykrof replies as he looks away.  “But I had no choice.  It was a field decision and I stand by it.”

“Yes, I’m sure you did what you felt you had to.  I hear your wife was not very accommodating in her interrogation after your capture, but what you shared with intelligence has been helpful.  While you were in recovery your friend Admiral Gere led a raid of the abandoned facility you were held at on Kobridor.  This base was however not one of the stations listed on the data cylinders you brought back months ago from your mission to Dathomir.”






“Well they have more terror cells than any of us thought,” Rykrof says.  "I still think it would be best to follow up on the leads we have."

“Rykrof my friend, I know you have your reasons for hating the Badoo Corba as much as anyone.  But you will find that the choices we have to make in this war can not always be driven by personal interests.  It’s possible you have been through more than any other officer since the onset of the war.  You’ve been through so much …just speaking with you has turned into much more than I had anticipated.  I should have expected as much, as you’ve become quite the celebrity.  But this is not why I wanted to speak with you,” Palpatine says.






“Then why did you call me here?” Rykrof asks.






“I wanted to tell you in person that you are being granted a leave of absence.  Go home to Naboo.  It’s what you need.  You will be notified when I need your assistance.”

"I don't know," Rykrof says.  "I am beginning to think I need to be here right now."






"This isn’t a request, Commander.  It’s an executive order.” Palpatine says.  “Arrangements have already been made for your departure in the morning.  Just remember that the time will come when the Republic needs you again.  Enjoy your time off."

"Now if you'll excuse me, you are not my only guest.”






As one of Palpatine's admirers enters the room, Rykrof makes his way back to the crowd in the main hall.  Although he feels a sense of guilt for being granted an extended leave, he feels the Chancellor is right and is relieved for a true break from the war. 






After all, the taste of quality beer can make any man want to head for the mountains of Naboo.






As Rykrof heads back into the gathering, he sees his good friend, Senator Tame Heem of Ithor.

"Rykrof," the mild mannered Ithorian says, "It is so good to see you.  I have been praying for your recovery since your escape."

"Happy I'm here," Rykrof says with a grin.  "Nothing beats the free life."






"Have you been granted your leave of absence?" Tame asks.

"Actually, more than that.  Sounds like I'm inactive for a while.  I guess at least until the the Badoo Corba resurface."






In the corner of the room, Senators Bail Organa and Mon Mothma listen in on the discussion.

"That's Rykrof Enloe," Mon says.  "I've heard very good things about him."






"From what I hear he's the luckiest officer in the Republic," Bail says.

"We should make contact with him," Mon suggests.  "To get to know where his true loyalties lie; with the people or with the current leadership."

"I don't think the day he gets out of rehab is the day for it," Bail replies.  "But soon."






Meanwhile, Tame Heem and Rykrof continue their conversation.

"When are you departing for Naboo?" Tame asks kindly.

"Tomorrow at 0800 hours, and not a moment too soon!" Rykrof laughs.






Listening in on Rykrof's conversation, the bartender attempts to overhear what is said between the two.






"It's been a long day," Rykrof says as he leaves.  "I'll be in touch with you Tame."

"Yes, I understand of course," the gentle Ithorian replies.  "Have a safe trip and enjoy your time with Alyssa and Caldin."






The following morning, Rykrof and his Wookiee ally, Ralbarr, prepare to depart as they fare goodbye to their friends Kala Mly Shundi and Freelo.






"Freelo, now you know that if the Republic wants to you to assist on the Rhen Var research project, then you'll end up on that planet in the middle of a war zone," Rykrof laughs.

"Behind the front lines, this scientist hopes," Freelo replies, trying unsuccessfully to hide his fear.






A dark hooded figure then approaches the group.






Worn and tattered, Finis Valorum, former Supreme Chancellor of the Republic stares Rykrof in the eyes.






"Rykrof, I'm embarrased to have to appear this way.  But I can't risk being recognized by the wrong people these days.  Not Palpatine, not even by most in the military."






"I sense you have great fear in the the direction the Chancellor is leading the Republic," Jedi Master Kala Mly Shundi says.  "And with good reason."






“Yes, and I wanted to tell you before you left Rykrof, I am ever grateful that you escaped the Badoo Corba.  But beware of Palpatine.  I don’t know what he’s telling you but don’t trust him.  He’s not your friend,” Valorum says.  “He will say and do things to manipulate you, to gain your trust.”

“Lines have been drawn,” Valorum continues.  “Separatists on one side, and the Republic on the other.  This line is drawn in blood.  And Palpatine is very careful to ensure whose blood the line is drawn from… once this war is over, the victor will emerge as a tyrant.”






“We understand your concerns as much as anyone,” Rykrof admits, motioning towards Freelo.  “But the Chancellor has ordered for me to take a leave of absence for the time being.  There’s not much I can do.”






Suddenly Valorum’s eyes turn cold.  “And you know why he’s sending you off, don’t you?”

“Because I need it,” Rykrof answers.

“No, because he needs you out of the picture.  You’ve garnered too much attention lately Rykrof.”






“I’m friends with a celebrity,” Freelo says with a smile.

Ignoring the stupid comment by his friend, Rykrof continues.

“Ok… contact me on Naboo on a secure channel,” Rykrof whispers.  “We can discuss it then, but now isn’t the time for this.”






“Expect to hear from me soon,” Valorum says as he abruptly walks away.






"Keep your mouth shut when these troops pass by Freelo," Rykrof says.






Rykrof then keeps a close eye to make sure the troops don't follow Valorum.






"Be safe on your trip with Ralbarr," Kala then says.  "I will keep a watchful eye on Freelo.  He will be safe here on Coruscant."






“Very good.  Ok, ready?” Rykrof asks Ralbarr, who replies with a low pitched growl.  “We’ll keep in touch my friends.  Contact us if anything comes up.”

Soon Rykrof and Ralbarr depart the planet, destined for Naboo.






The following day, several Separatist Battleships encirle the battle torn planet Yeb VI.






Following a decisive victory, General Grievous relishes in adding a fallen Jedi's lightsaber to his growing collection.






But his enjoyment is cut short when informed to contact his master, Count Dooku.






"Count Dooku," Grievous says in a mechanical voice, "The planet is secure.  There are no Republic survivors."

"Well done, General.  One by one each system the Republic holds in the Outer Rim will soon be under our control," Dooku replies. 






"Now, contact General Snodd to prepare for the assassination on Naboo."






"Droid, ready my ship for immediate departure.  I will meet with General Snodd myself," he says.






Meanwhile, Rykrof's ship exits hyperspace into the Naboo System...





 :P

75
Saga Collection '06 / Army Builder of the Year
« on: February 27, 2006, 05:20 PM »
I thought this might be a fun topic.  Something I don't think has been done before... Army Builder of the Year... going back from 1995... what do you think was the BEST army builder each year and what will be the best for 2006?  Here's my choices... excluding the VOTC or other "premium" figures -

1995 - POTF2 Stormtrooper - what else could you even choose from
1996 - POTF2 Jawa 2-pk
1997 - POTF2 Snowtrooper
1998 - POTF2 Death Star Trooper
1999 - POTF2 Commtech Stormtrooper
2000 - EPI Battle Damaged Destroyer Droid
2001 - POTJ Imperial Officer
2002 - SAGA Clone Pilot
2003 - CW SA Clone Trooper
2004 - SAGA TIE Pilot
2005 - ROTS SA Clone
2006 - SAGA2 AT-AT Driver

Again, I didn't include VOTC or Evolutions figures in the mix. 

I'm really excited about the possibilities of that Death Star Gunner later this year though... hopefully it will be as good as I'm hoping and maybe even better than the new AT-AT Driver.

 :P

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