Monthly Archives: May 2015

Adventure Hat

If my Soul gets Removed from my Body, Please, Please, Please use my Adventure Hat to get it Back

In the summer of 2009, I was going on my first geology field trip soon and I knew I needed an Adventure Hat.

The problem was, for whatever reason, it was difficult for me to find a hat that fit my head perfectly.  I remember one time I was trying on a hat and it didn’t fit me quite right, looking at the tag, I read “One size fits most.”  But after much looking around, I found one and it has been by my head ever since.

I have been with this hat longer than I have known my girlfriend, many of my current comrades, and all of my nieces and nephews.  It has been with me so long that many of my peers and acquaintances recognize me from a distance solely based on me wearing this sucker.  It has traveled with me from cities to the middle of nowhere, through rainstorms and snow, through deserts and forests, and glared by the blazing sun and splashed by a beach’s salty waves. It has traveled to Istanbul, DC, Paris, San Diego, and even the little town of Drumheller, Alberta.

Pins adorn the hat to the point that some may call tacky or compare it to a car’s bumper overfilled with stickers but I don’t care.  They are pins that describe me, or are part of my identity, or I just find interesting.  The constant exposure to the elements has made their needles rusted over time but they hold firm to the Hat.

I can’t tell you how many times I have lost my Adventure Hat.  Sometimes, I may simply have misplaced it, but other times, it will be gone for weeks at a time.  One time, I was over at a friend’s house, I was sitting on her couch and I took off my Hat and set it on top of the couch.  The Hat slid off and fell behind, trapped in the shadows of the netherworld.  I then left her place and forgot about it (I do that a lot unfortunately).  It wasn’t until I came back almost a month later that I found it again.

All of its adventures have taken a notable toll on this hat.  Its edges are frayed, the color has faded, a sweat stain spreads slowly on the brim, and holes form previous pins are scattered throughout its exterior.  And yet, I still wear it because it does its job right.

Adventure Hat

But I have grown very attached to this piece of fabric despite its aged appearance.  As such, I have a request…

If my soul gets separated from my body for whatever reason and you need a material object to bring it back, PLEASE USE MY HAT!  I can’t emphasize that enough.  It will make your life sooooo much easier if you use my hat (provided I hadn’t lost it again).  Also, if I’m possessed by some raging demon from the fifth dimension and I’m shouting how bad you smell, use the Hat.  I swear, I bet this hat is filled with some sort of luck charm or whatever based on how many times I have lost and found it.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a part of my soul is even in the Hat itself.  If I had a horcrux, it would be the Hat.  No shocker there.  The best part is that if I died, all I need is somebody to take the hat and wear it temporarily.  My soul could then slowly take over there body!  Soon they’ll be wearing socks with sandals, sing Gilbert and Sullivan, and write pointless blog articles on the internet!  The problem with that is no one would wear such a tattered thing!  You might as well just bury it with my body for all the good it will do.

This Hat means a lot to me and I still find it useful to this day.  I’m looking forward to taking it with me to Fossil Butte National Monument where I’ll be a park intern this summer.  It’s going to be so awesome wearing my park uniform with my Hat!  My Hat has been with me for many years, and I hope it will keep on, keeping on for more years to come.

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He Died as He Lived: David A. Johnston

To summarize the importance of Dr. David A. Johnston and his work on Mount St. Helens in an 1000-word blog article is a nigh impossible task given the impact he had on volcanology and the infamous volcano he studied. I always wanted to write about him ever since I wrote my first HDaHL article featuring Karl Patterson Shmidt but I struggled to do so considering this was a man whose legacy saved lives.

Let me back up, Johnston was a USGS volcanologist who had a personal history with volcanoes both active (Augustine Volcano in Alaska) and extinct (volcanoes in Michigan). His insightful knowledge in volcanology got him hired to study Mount St. Helens in March 1980.

Mount St. Helens is a composite volcano with a history of periodic eruptions. After its last few eruptions in the mid-1800s, Mount St. Helens became active again in March 27th, 1980 when steam erupted from it after a 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck it in March 20th. The volcano’s continuous activity prompted a response from the state government to close off many areas that were proximally located to the volcano.

Dr. Johnston continuously monitored the volcano for the next two months. Sometimes, he became so involved with his work that he would climb into the volcano’s active crater to perform experiments on it. Understandably, Johnston was terrified but he knew he had to risk the tests in order to learn more about volcanoes and how much of a threat Mount St. Helens was.

On May 17th, Johnston replaced his student, Harry Glicken, at the Coldwater II outpost, located five miles north of Mount St. Helens. He thought this outpost would be safe from an eruption but unfortunately, that was not true. On the morning of May 18th, Mount St. Helens erupted and its signature lateral blast destroyed everything north of the volcano, taking Dr. Johnston’s life in the process. Before his death, he was able to contact his USGS colleagues in Vancouver and was able to utter his famous last words

“Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it!”

before his radio was cut out. His words were that of excitement and not dread and were the response to two months of anticipation to the now awaken giant. Fifty-seven people, including Johnston’s life, ended that day. It is estimated that hundreds, perhaps thousands of deaths were prevented on May 18th, due to Johnston and other scientists’ insistence in keeping the area around the volcano closed from the public.

Johnston’s work on volcanism, especially on Mount St. Helens, should not go unnoticed and there are plenty of webpages around the internet that highlight his accomplishments. Instead of talking about his accomplishments, I want to focus instead on how people remember him and the differences between him and Karl Patterson Shmidt.

Johnston is thankfully recognized on his volcanic work ranging from scholarships, to documentaries, to having the Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens National Monument named after him. One documentary, the Fire Below Us, however, barely spoke about him having instead inserted a random interview he gave to the press along with his famous last words. “St. Helens,” a movie that premiered in 1981, had him as a primary character (although he is called David Jackson) though his portrayal in that film, from what I gathered, is very poor, painting him as a rebel and not as a cautious scientist.

Now, why is David Johnston more revered than Karl Patterson Shmidt? Both are scientists who died doing the things they love and both provided life-saving information to their respective fields. Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is that Johnston’s continual persistence in keeping the vicinity closed around Mount St. Helens is the stuff history loves to tell. We love those stories of the one man who was right, trying desperately to save the people around him even when others think him wrong (similar to Jaws now that I think about it…). Johnston’s actions against the grain is a triumphant victory.

Less romantically speaking, Johnston was going toe to toe with force of nature that he knew could kill him at any moment. I can imagine only a few people who would be willing to go out to an active volcano to actively perform observations and experiments on it. Johnston once quoted that Mount St. Helens was a “dynamite keg with the fuse lit.” With that kind of analogy, you have to hand it to the guy for continuing his studies even when death was literally right below him.

Even though Johnston thought his outpost was safe, he was still killed in the blast. This is almost similar to Schmidt’s reaction to the baby boomslang snake biting him at the tip of his thumb. Schmidt thought the snake was harmless and the bite won’t kill him. Yet Johnston’s outpost was based on careful predictions on the volcano’s eruption path. If Johnston was willing to not only have himself and his student stake out this area for observation, you can be sure he was confident in his predictions. Schmidt, on the other hand, did not fully grasp the dangers of the snakebite even when his health was failing him. As such, Johnston, unlike Schmidt, knew he was in danger and was willing to face it every day.

Finally, Johnston saved lives. Hundreds or thousands of lives were saved on May 18th thanks to his persistence along with other scientists. Though Schmidt gave us crucial information on the boomslang bite, determining how many lives he saved is quite hard to gauge. What’s more, boomslang bites symptoms would have been revealed to us sooner or later if Schmidt wasn’t as unlucky as he was that day. Johnston saved lives in one geologic instant. And that instant was all that mattered.

I highly encourage you to look more into Johnston’s life as he was a fascinating man with much to contribute in volcanology. Any webpage talking about him will do but you should also visit the Johnston Ridge Observatory. I’ve been to it before and man, it’s fantastic, definitely one of the best visitor centers I have been to (and the monument is quite beautiful as well).

Evolution Flight Expansion and an Extinction Expansion Idea

As a paleontologist, I love the crap out of the board game Evolution.  Designed by a Russian biologist, you win Evolution by having the most successful (i.e., most populated) made-up species.  You can have more than one species who can even cooperate with each other to help you win the game.

A simple concept but it’s the animal’s traits that really seal the deal for the game.  Giving your animal “Horns” or “Hard Shell” can help deter would-be predators.  Giving your animal “Long Neck” or “Scavenger” can help them survive tough rounds when food supply is low.  Giving your predator “Pack Hunting” or “Ambush” can give your animal an edge over the harder-to-kill prey.  You can add or change new traits as you progress through the game providing you the ability to adapt to your opponents’ strategies.

This is a fun game to play and I know I’m not the only one who enjoys it.  Many of my friends who have played this game once or twice are immediately hooked by its simple but endearing concept.

But unfortunately, there are a few problems with it that I feel need to be addressed.

Let me start with a problem that occurs depending on who you play with.  At the beginning of each round you add food tokens to the Watering Hole and these food tokens are what your species eat.  If there are not enough food tokens for all the species, your animal can starve and potentially go extinct.   This is determined by the cards you add to the watering hold which can range from negative to positive numbers.  The problem is that many of my friends throw in positive numbers in fear of the watering hole running out of food tokens.  As such, the starvation aspect of the game is downplayed so much that it can cause the game to be imbalanced towards already highly successful species.

But some people want to watch the world burn and purposely throw in negative numbers making for more enjoyable and competitive games.  So this is a minor issue.

An actual issue I have is the runaway success between two traits that can be exploited easily.  In the game, if one of your species has the “Warning Call” trait, it prevents another one of your species to be attacked by your predator.  If you pair this up with the “Symbiosis” trait (a species prevents a smaller species from being eaten), then you get an unwinnable combination that is hard to stop.  Sure, you can get the “Ambush” card to negate the “Warning Call” trait but you still have to be bigger than the “Symbiosis” species in order to deal any real damage to it (not to mention the “Ambush” card is an uncommon card).

There are other traits (e.g., “Hard Shell” and “Defensive Herding” in particular) that can be exploited to various degrees but none are as effective as this winning combo.  More often than not, herbivores dominate the board game landscape even when the predators get the amazing “Pack Hunting” trait at their call.  It’s rare to have a predator that is actual top dog.

From boardgamegeek.com

If you’re a reader of my site then you know that I’m a paleontologist.  As such, as I’m playing through this board game with all my friends, I keep thinking what I can do to improve it, to refine it, and to enhance the quality of the game while embracing the awesomeness of evolution.  There are so many animal characteristics out there that can be exploited that this game hasn’t even touched like camouflage or flight.

And guess what!?!?  The creators behind Evolution are doing an expansion for Evolution called the “Flight Expansion!”  Not only have they gone back and refined the original cards, they also added so many new traits as well including flight, camouflage, keen eyesight, and more!  And oh my god the changes!

Oh. My. Arceus. Yes.  All the problems I had in the first game are now being addressed.  This kind of response to balance issues in board games is simply great.  I can’t wait to get this game.  The expansion is on Kickstarter right now.  We still got two weeks until this Kickstarter is done but don’t worry as they are already well past funding!  I was very happy I found out about the Kickstarter thanks primarily by blogger http://ohjoystick.com/

Okay, so the Flight Expansion looks promising.

But I want to indulge a bit in what I think would be a great Evolution expansion.

As I already briefly talked about, there can be a runaway effect in Evolution where one person’s species becomes so large that no other animal can take it down.  They can then just up their population count and continue to eat a lot of food prompting them to win the game.  The updated “Pack Hunting” trait can solve that issue thankfully but even still, I would like to see some change on a major scale.

Evolution has been greatly affected by extinctions from a local to a global scale.  Species survive, outcompete, or die out due to changes in their environment.  The ruling class dies and the underdogs rise up to take their place as kings.  The characters may be different and the setting may be new but the plot is still the same.

And so I say, why not have an Extinction Expansion for the Evolution Board Game?

This expansion can upset the game’s foundation to the point that people who may be succeeding during the game now find themselves in a dire situation.  Those who were struggling now have the opportunity to overtake their now weakened (or even dead) competitors.  The possibility of different extinction events affecting species with various sizes, populations and traits is amazing and I feel giddy just thinking about it.

So, how would it work?  The way I imagine it is that at the end of every round, an extinction event card is drawn to determine if an extinction has occurred.  3/4th of the time, nothing happens.  However, for that 1/4th of the time that something occurs, the players have to do what the card says.  Here are the ideas I came up with (and feel free to contribute or change anything).

Ice Age: If a species has a body size>4 or if a species has the “Fat Tissue” Trait then its population size increases by one.  Climbers go extinct (no trees).  Watering Hole’s food supply is halved.

Tar Pits: Every time a species with the “Scavengers” Trait feeds in the following round, their population size goes down by one.

Meteor Impact: Body size>4 goes extinct.  Watering Hole’s food supply is halved.

Desert World: All species’ population size goes down by two except species with the “Burrowing” Trait as their population size increase by two instead.  Watering Hole’s food supply is halved.

Plague: All species’ population size goes down by one.

Invasive Species: Species with three traits are too specialized and are outcompeted (i.e., goes extinct) by an invasive species.

Humans: If a species has a body size>4 then their population size is reduced by two. If a species has horns then its population is reduced by one.

 

Those are all of the ideas I have come up with at this time.  I know there are some more extinction ideas out there but I haven’t quite figured out how I should use them in the game.

The best part about this expansion idea is that I can make this all by myself!  Since it’s entirely separate from the board game and does not rely on any pre-existing cards, I can just make my own extinction cards and apply it here!  I have yet to test it out but I’m looking forward to it.

Regardless, this is a fun game and if you haven’t played it, you should, it’s highly entertaining, and if you have a few dollars more to spare, you should contribute to the Kickstarter as well.  Who knows, there may even be a second expansion next year (fingers crossed for Swimming Expansion)!

The Extensive Timeline for “Tales from Jabba’s Palace”

I can’t believe it but I finally achieved what I wanted to do for almost ten years. I finally constructed the timeline in Tales from Jabba’s Palace. As mentioned Yesterday, I love this book and all its glorious characters and I even reread the novel solely so I can reconstruct the timeline. Without further ado, here it is!

Tales from Jabba's Palace Timeline, Star Wars, Jabba the Hutt, Jabba's Palace, Tales from Jabba's Palace

If you’re at this point in the article then you probably want to hear how I constructed the timeline. It wasn’t hard but it certainly took awhile.

I decided fairly early on that I wanted two things to be represented in the timeline. The first one was when each of the Tales happened and the second one, and the one I was most interested at, was when each of the major book events happened and at what order. Many times, the protagonists would meet up at crucial plot points that affected their story. I wanted to record these events and know how they fit into the overall grand story.

The first step was to, obviously, become familiar with the events that transpired in Return of the Jedi. All of the characters, with the exception of Melvosh Bloor because his Tale takes place at a completely different time than the others, reference at least one of the movie events during their respective Tales. As such, knowing the order and the relative time these events happen is quite important. C-3PO and R2’s arrival, Oola’s death, and Luke killing the Rancor are probably the most referenced movie events.

Once I got that going, I had to establish relative dates in reference to a certain event. Star Wars fans like to use the Battle of Yavin from A New Hope as a reference point for the overall Star Wars timeline. For Tales from Jabba’s Palace though, we need something more exact. Luke’s Arrival was chosen as the zero mark because the book made a special case at the beginning how

“Jabba is always on his guard, but little does he suspect that his greatest nemesis will come in the form of a single Jedi Knight, who walks in alone from the desert…”

            Indeed, many of the protagonists in the novel plot against Jabba and all fail because of Jabba’s cunningness. However, even Jabba’s intelligence was no match for the unstoppable force that was Luke that day. Jabba planned against many things but a Jedi Knight was definitely not one.

Pictured: A Thorn in Jabba’s Fat Ass. Picture from http://piximggif.com/luke-skywalker-return-of-the-jedi-wallpaper

One thing I struggled with fairly early on was if Luke came two days or one day after Leia arrives as I was initially under the impression that Luke came two days afterwards judging from Malakili’s Tale. Halfway through the novel, I realized this was not the case and I had to adjust because of which. Many of the other movie events, however, were easily interpreted time-wise and naturally built the framework for my two goals.

The protagonist’s Tales were very easy to build on the timeline as the characters would react to a movie event early on in their story and usually react to other movie events as their Tale progressed. Some adjustments were made along the way to account the major book events or if an another protagonist clarifies when that event happened. A good example of this be when J’Quille killed the monk and took the thermal detonator (TD) he was holding. J’Quille’s story ends there but we don’t know when exactly that is. Well, we know this happens shortly before Luke kills the Rancor because Bib Fortuna mentioned how he stole the TD from J’Quille during the Luke vs. Rancor commotion.

Some protagonists’ Tales, admittedly, are unclear when they begin or end and this is represented on the timeline with a question mark. For instance, Max Rebo and co. become Jabba’s Band after Carbonite Han was delivered to Jabba but other than that we have no idea when they were hired. Dannik Jerriko is another example as his POV is very hazy and time progress either very slow or fast depending on the scenario (and in general his Tale is very dreamlike which adds an extra level of confusion to the whole thing).

The book events were definitely the most difficult part of the whole thing as I had to take constant notes who was where at what time. Phlegmin’s death is probably in the top three most important book events as so many characters are affected by his death in one form or another. Hell, soooo many protagonists were present at one time or another when his body was discovered. First Dannik killed him, than Porcellus discovered the body, then Ree-Yees, and finally Gartogg comes by and takes the body to figure out who killed him. All the while, J’Quille and Bubo watch from afar as they witness this strange scenario.

Even trickier to figure out was Leia’s TD. That weapon jumped from person to person and weaved an unclear mesh on who has what. Though it’s not 100 percent confirmed, I believe a monk steals Leia’s TD shortly after she’s unmasked and gives the weapon to J’Quille. I again believe this weapon was stolen by Bib Fortuna but I’m unsure as Bib only said he stole it off of a Whiphid guard. But considering we’re only familiar with one Whiphid, we can assume that was J’Quille.

Even more confusing is the second bomb that was planted on Jabba’s Sail Barge. Tessek gets Barada to plant a bomb on Jabba’s Palace but we’re unsure if this is the same bomb that the Weequay people find in their Tale. Their “God” Quay said it was a bomb planted by J’Quille but we know that’s not true because Bib Fortuna stole it, right? And it also can’t be the same bomb because Bib planted the bomb shortly before their attempted execution of Luke and co. and the Weequays had already found their bomb by then. I thus assume this was the same bomb planted by Barada then.

One thing I realized as I was finishing up this timeline was that a certain degree of interpretation has to be made in order to fit everything as best as it could. Unfortunately, not all of the Tales perfectly line up with each other and may even have some slight transgressions from the movie itself.  For the most part though, things lined up easily enough

In the end, I’m pretty happy with the end result as I think the timeline looks good, albeit amateurish, but it gets the message across well enough. I can finally check this off of my bucket list and now get back to my life…this took too long to make…haha

If you have any suggestions or improvements to the timeline then I will be more than willing to hear them!

My Love for Tales from Jabba’s Palace

Happy Star Wars Day everyone!

The Star Wars’ anthology novel, Tales from Jabba’s Palace (TfJP), is probably one of the most underrated stories ever to be produced in the Star Wars’ universe.  So many funny, clever, and important stories happen in this oft-forgotten book that I wonder why it’s not discussed more often.  I daresay, this is the book that help got me into Star Wars back when I was in Junior High (a time that I hardly ever read to begin with).  After reading this book, I read the other two Tales books (Tales from Mos Eisely Cantina and Tales of the Bounty Hunters) and played great Star Wars video games.  TfJP was my definitive first look behind the movie’s curtains and peer into the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

Why?  Why did this book capture me and drive me towards my eventual Star Wars obsession?

Well, remember in Return of the Jedi when Luke killed the Rancor and while he was hustled away, a chubby, shirtless guy ran forward to the now dead Rancor and begin crying?  That scene, both humorous and poignant, spoke volumes about a character, about a history, that we as an audience have not been nor will ever be exposed to.

It is this character’s history, Malakili, whose tale we read first (aptly titled “A Boy and his Rancor”) in TfJP.  A strong story to start on, we are given an in-depth look at Malakili and his developing friendship with his Rancor.  The story, one of the longer ones in the book, takes its time and shows how Malakili and the Rancor eventually trusted each other as more than just a master and his pet but as actual friends, as comrades.

As a reader, we are hooked into this story and empathize with Malakili.  He is a likable character that has goals and feelings.  All of our admiration with him, and even his Rancor, culminates in the end as the Rancor’s death leaves us even sadder than if we had only see the movie.  After reading his tale, you want to learn more about the tales that this anthology has to offer.

*sniff*

Malakili and his Rancor’s tale establishes the foundation that the rest of the anthology builds off of.  Not only do we have a good reason to hate Jabba (besides all the stuff he did in the movie) but we are exposed to the variety of characters whose journey we’ll also follow (e.g., Gartogg the Gamorrean and Porcellus the chef) later on.  Through these interactions, we realize that there is so much more going on in Jabba’s Palace than we realize and that Malakili’s tale is only a part of it.

Indeed, as you read through the anthology, a feeling of unease begins to creep into you as you read each of the characters’ tales.   The protagonists might run into a dead body with an unknown murderer or find out that their plot has gone awry by an unseen force.  Many of the questions we faced during their stories are not answered until much later in the novel though hints are certainly sprinkled here and there on who (or what) are the actual puppeteers.

Generally speaking, as you progress through the novel, the protagonists’ tales usually start or end later compared to protagonists near the beginning of the book.  Hell, many of the protagonists’ stories that make up much of the latter half of the book end with Jabba’s Barge blowing up or shortly thereafter.  Even the last two stories (Boba Fett and Yarna) take place after Jabba’s death and a majority of the time spent with these two characters does not even take place in Jabba’s Palace.  As such, the editor’s deliberate action in placing all of the tales in certain sections of the anthology give a sense of an overarching story in the novel that would seemingly be lost if the stories were randomly distributed.  The result of which is quite amusing to me.

This overarching story works really well for each of the protagonists’ tales.  The best example of this I would say is Ephant Mon’s Tale.  There seems to be a shift in our overall mood towards this novel as we read his tale.  Not only do we progress further in the timeline compared to the protagonists beforehand but we get to confront Jabba through the eyes of a friend, something that no other protagonist can claim.  It’s a different side of Jabba that we rarely see and really hones in how unique all of the characters are in this book.  More importantly, Ephant Mon’s Tale hints that the Force was acting very strong in Jabba’s Palace for the past few days.  Major events, whether seen or unseen in the movie, transpired in the awful establishment and it’s hard to believe they happened purely by chance.

Speaking of chance, I want to talk about one of my favorite protagonists, Gartogg the Gamorrean.  God, this guy is great.  He means so well but he’s just so stupid, haha!  He has this uncanny ability to stumble upon a freshly murdered body with maybe even the murderer to boot.  He’s so good at this that he found the crime scene for all four murders in Jabba’s Palace!  But everyone always tricks him for the sole reason that they don’t get into trouble with Jabba and he believes them!  And he’s just so cheery about it and wants to please his boss and oh my gosh this guy is hilarious.

One of the underlying themes in TfJP is that not everything is as it seems.  Characters that the protagonists perceive as incompetent or inconsequential are actually quite formidable or intelligent.  Ree-Yees is an interesting example of this as he disguises his competence with his alcoholic tendencies and plays the fool most of the time.  Even though he’s an idiot, his plot goes unnoticed by many people, including the conspiracy-sniffing Ephant Mon.   Bubo is probably the best example though as even the reader does not give Bubo two cents until we realize he is a sentient being!

I have to talk about the B’omarr monks as they are definitely an important part in the anthology.  Though none of the protagonists are monks, quite a few of them interact with the monks to some degree such as J’Quille, Bib Fortuna, Bubo, Tessek, and Ree-Yees.  I think because we lack a monk POV we find them unsettling as we know little about them.  Even Bib Fortuna, who arguably is the most familiar with them out of anyone in the Palace, did not foresee the Monks takeover when Jabba was killed.  When we are revealed the fate of Jabba’s Palace, there is another uneasy shift in the novel as we wonder if the next protagonist will be able to survive both Jabba’s barge blowing up and unwanted removal of their brains in jars.

At least, that’s the way I feel, especially for the last Tale involving the fat dancer, Yarna, and the hunter, Doallyn. Just as we begin TfJP with a strong story starring a likable pair of protagonists, we end it once again with two protagonists only this time, the game has changed.  We fear that Yarna and Doallyn do not have much time in the Palace as they could easily be killed by Dannik Jerriko or operated on by the creepy B’omarr Monks.  What’s more, there is an actual risk for the two that we do not experience often in the previous Tales.  The previous Tales take place (mostly) during the events of Return of the Jedi.  As such, we know who may succeed and who may fail.  Yarna and Doallyn’s Tale, however, takes place afterwards, and therefore we venture into completely unknown territory with them.  Without the movie tying them down to any plot specific requirements, the author goes all out in making their tale stand out from the rest.

And what’s more, unlike Malakili and his unfortunate pet Rancor, they succeed, ending the dour novel in a heartwarming light.

Now…

Ever since I first read this novel, I was mesmerized and impressed on how every Tale matched the other Tales almost perfectly.  The protagonists meet each other constantly and as such, the exact same interaction can be found in two different chapters.  So many of these events, which go unnoticed in the movie, are of such importance to the characters that I’m willing to bet that someone made a grand, master timeline of the events and gave it to all the authors in making sure they follow it.  The fact that these interactions happen at all always surprises me.

But as far as I know, no one has recreated this timeline.  It’s quite daunting, that’s for sure, as you would have to be a big nerd to do that.  And guess what?  I did just that!  Tomorrow, I’m going to release my interpretation of the overall timeline of Tales from Jabba’s Palace!  Check it out because I’m super proud of the end result!

If you had read the novel, I would like to hear your opinion on it as I know only a few people who have.  Who are your favorite characters and Tales?  If I were to pick my favorite Tales/Characters it would Ephant Mon, Gartogg, Malakili and his Rancor, and Yarna and Doallyn.