Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Where Are They Now...

Like a lot of the things on this blog, this post is mainly for my own benefit—though I hope it will be interesting to others, too. In creating my Star Wars campaign 'universe', I have worked to include and 'update' the many major and minor characters featured in the movies. Mostly, I just keep this information in my head, but a blog is a good spot to get some of it down 'on paper', as it were. So what follows is a list of the main characters from the movies/novels and where they are currently in my campaign set some 13 years after the Battle of Yavin (i.e. the very first Star Wars movie).

Luke is now grand-master of a new Jedi Order, with a new academy set up on Yavin. With the founding of this new order, Master Skywalker realized that many things had changed—and would have to change for it to succeed where the previous order had not. In much the same way the New Republic (in my campaign) restructured itself, this new Jedi order would have to base itself on the idealistic foundations of its predecessor, but look at new ways to uphold those ideals. Part of what brought the Jedi down in the first place was their belief in their own superiority and in doing things 'the way they had always been done' in the past. While there is much to learn and emulate from historical tradition, Luke does not want to lose the vitality the order has gained through its many non-traditionally trained Jedi.

In keeping with this new outlook, and building off his own experiences serving the Rebellion, Luke came to the realization that the security of the Republic should not be entrusted to any one particular group. It was only through the combined efforts of many beings that justice was restored to the galaxy, and it is only through the combined efforts of these same beings that it will be maintained. Thus, the new Jedi Order is now mandated to work alongside various government and civilian agencies to keep the peace.

Likewise, the isolationist, monk-like traditions of the old order have been set aside in favor of more 'grounded' Jedi who do not hold themselves apart from the people they serve. Love, family and friendships are encouraged in the new Jedi order—the emotions conjured are seen as healthy, as long as the Jedi does not allow himself to be overwhelmed by them.

Luke himself (unlike in canon) has not entered into a relationship with Mara Jade (or Callista, or any of the other women the novels link  him up with). Rather, he remains a very paladin-like figure, focused now on the order. Perhaps one day he will take a wife, but right now he has a job to do—and is able to remain strong in that task because of the emotional bonds he shares with his family and close friends. He's come a long way from the farm boy on Tatooine, and yet in a lot of ways, that remains who is is at his core: idealistic, optimistic and honest.

Leia has recently assumed the role of Chancellor of the New Republic. As Vice-Chancellor, she stepped up to fill out the remainder of Mon-Mothma's Second term after the elder stateswoman's health began to decline. Already a powerful political figure, Chancellor Organa-Solo has really come into her own—facing political and military crises with determination, compassion and reason. This is all the more remarkable in that she is also the mother of three children and a budding Jedi knight as well. Though she's had to step back from the 'adventuring' part of her former careers, she remains a vibrant and active personality who is both admired and criticized by her frank and honest approach to politics. While she is able to schmooze and diplomacize with the best of them, she has taken a firm and very public stance against corruption and self-service in her administration and in the government as a whole.

As with her brother Luke, Leia draws a lot of strength from her family and friends. Indeed, without the simple joys and deep connections she shares with them she could not maintain the outward toughness and dedication that her job demands. Despite her confidence, however, she is somewhat self-critical—often worrying that she isn't spending enough time with her family.

Han, now in his mid forties, has grudgingly come to accept the fact that he is now 'respectable'. A father of three and 'First-Husband' of the New Republic, his days of being an outlaw adventurer are long past—and actually? He only misses it a little. Oh, he makes a good show of 'chafing' at normal life, but the role of husband and father is more rewarding than he could have imagined. In his spare time, he still pursues his hobbies of tinkering with his ship and watching Swoop Races. He hasn't completely gone into retirement, however—he's much too talented for that. Apart from acting as part-time pilot and bodyguard for his wife, he has served in numerous undercover and intelligence missions. He has also taken up his military commission twice now—once while leading a task-force against the warlord Zsinj and now again in the face of the Nagai invasion. Han Solo—now Admiral Solo—took charge of the Starfighter forces at the battle of Arkanis, orchestrating a brilliant defense against overwhelming odds.

Much like Han Solo, Chewbacca's life has slowed down. Though he still accompanies his partner on many of their missions (official or unofficial) he now has the time to dedicate to his own family back on Kashyyyk (in fact, his family often spends its vacation time with the Solos). Whether he wishes it or not, Chewbacca has become a powerful political figure among his people—many of whom urge him to take a more active role in the governing of their planet under the New Republic. Chewbacca is torn between this perceived duty and a desire to lead the quiet life. The recent Nagai invasion has forced him into the front lines once more—sometimes alongside Han Solo but more recently in a position of command in the Kashyyyk military, defending the planet from an assault by their Trandoshan rivals.

Some things never change. So it is with these two. Threepio is greatly enjoying being able to indulge in his primary function of diplomatic aide and translator—and is quite puffily proud of his position working for the Chancellor of the New Republic. His role has grown beyond that, however—serving both as household droid overseer and even part-time nursemaid to the precocious Solo children (the latter role occasionally leaves the excitable droid frazzled). 

Artoo remains with Luke much of the time, a loyal companion and good listener—privy to Luke's deepest thoughts at times—especially during long journey's his X-Wing. Though he would never consider himself philosophical, the little droid's unfailing optimism and dedication always seem to bolster the young Jedi Master when he needs it most.

From outlaw to respectable to outlaw to respectable, Lando's life seems in constant flux. And truth be told, he likes it that way. Though two of his entrepreneurial operations have been destroyed by the Empire, that has not curbed his spirit in the least. Diversification is now the key as Lando sees it—plus, it keeps things interesting. Distancing himself from mining operations for a while, he now dabbles in several budding businesses. For a time, he served as chief manager and promoter of budding Swoop Racer Adrienne Olin (one of the PCs in my campaign). He went on from there to invest some of his earnings in the re-industrialization of Mandalore (thus helping its new planetary Governor, Rick Oman—another PC in my campaign). His latest moneymaker, however, was a Starfighter racing circuit—wherein pilots flew various kinds of souped-up and modified 'surplus' starfighters through obstacle-course like routes. Unfortunately, this idea was only in its infancy when the Nagai invaded. Finding himself caught up in the wake of the initial onslaught, Lando rallied many of the racing pilots to his cause—rearming their ships to intervene in several key early battles. Lando and his 'Wildcard' squadron have now been officially folded into the New Republic fleet and served with distinction alongside Han Solo during the battle of Arkanis.

So, that's where the main characters from the movie are in my campaign and where they seem to be headed at the moment as I forge my /own/ expanded universe within the New Republic Era. Hope you enjoy.

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