Jab’s Builds! (Kylo Ren! Solo! The Mandalorian!)

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Darkhawk Builds! Monark Starstalker! Yie Ar Kung-Fu!)

Post by catsi563 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:25 am

Ive always been a Star Wars Fanboi I grew up on it and consumed it in every way I could up to and including the D6 WEG rpg and the eventual D20 versions which let me create some of my own iconic stories and characters which have become part of my personal canon. SW has released a huge amount of games across every genre rts rpgs side scrollers and so on.

And for the record I enjoyed both the prequels and the Sequels including TLJ and ROS. ROS for me came full circle with a lot of the story telling bringing the epic saga to a satisfactory close which leaves plenty of room for new stories to be told in all eras of the galaxy.
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Clone Troopers

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:50 am

Image
Image

CLONE TROOPERS
Role:
Semi-Elite Mooks
Group Affiliations: The Galactic Republic, The Galactic Empire
PL 5 (60)
STRENGTH
2 STAMINA 4 AGILITY 4
FIGHTING 4 DEXTERITY 3
INTELLIGENCE 1 AWARENESS 0 PRESENCE 0

Skills:
Athletics 4 (+6)
Expertise (Space Military) 6 (+7)
Intimidation 4 (+4)
Perception 4 (+4)
Technology 4 (+5)
Vehicles 4 (+7)

Advantages:
Equipment 5 (Clone Trooper Gear), Improved Aim, Ranged Attack 2, Teamwork

Equipment:
"Laser Blaster" Blast 5 (Extras: Multiattack) (15)

"Stormtrooper Armor"
Protection 2 (Flaws: Limited to Non-Laser Attacks) (1)
Enhanced Skills 2: Intimidation 2 (+4) (1)
"Survival Gear" Immunity 3 (Suffocation 2, Heat, Cold) (Flaws: Limited to Half-Effect) (2)
"Utility Belt" 5 Ranks of Assorted Gear (6)

Offense:
Unarmed +4 (+1 Damage, DC 16)
Laser Blaster +5 (+5 Ranged Damage, DC 20)
Initiative +4

Defenses:
Dodge +6 (DC 16), Parry +4 (DC 14), Toughness +4 (+6 Armor), Fortitude +4, Will +0

Complications:
Responsibility (The Empire/Republic)

Total: Abilities: 36 / Skills: 26--13 / Advantages: 9 / Powers: 0 / Defenses: 2 (60)

-So one of the major plot points of Episode II: Attack of the Clones (worst name EVER for something, by the way) was that this fabled Clone Army was being created in secret on some backwoods planet. Thousands of clones of some great Mandalorian soldier named Jango Fett are created under the orders of some mysterious Jedi, and they fly in as the Cavalry to save the day against the Trade Federation's robot forces. Soon, the "Clone Wars" begin, with these men acting as the backbone of an army led by Jedi Knights. Eventually, we figure out that the Clones were ordered by Palpatine himself, and meant to be the foundation and military arm of his Galactic Empire- the early Stormtroopers were all Clones, and many of the elites remain so as well.

-Clone Troopers are clearly MUCH better than the original Trilogy's Stormtroopers- many of them are even decked out in camouflage (poor Stormtroopers are stuck in bright white outfits no matter WHERE they are- this doesn't work out so well on Endor)! They're good enough that when the order comes, they're able to turn on and KILL what amounts to the entire Jedi Order, more or less. Basic Clone Troopers are PL 5s (one above Stormtroopers), while their bosses and Generals go from PL 6-7.
Last edited by Jabroniville on Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Monark Starstalker! Yie Ar Kung-Fu! Star Wars!)

Post by Arkrite » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:43 am

I've always liked the looks of the Stormtroopers, but on a practical level the armor does nothing.
It doesn't seem to help stop blaster bolt, it certainly doesn't do anything to stop lightsabres, and as noted by Jab it hardly seems to stop people from punching them out.
Or being bludgeoned to death by teddy bears.

And, if I'm not mistaken, Finn even indicates that the helmet doesn't even filter out smoke.

The only thing that makes any sense was that the empire was so big that they would just throw disposable forces at the enemy until they won. It would explain why the Tie fighters have no shields... and why their scary Stormtrooper armor is as protective as tinfoil ;~)

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Monark Starstalker! Yie Ar Kung-Fu! Star Wars!)

Post by L-Space » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:04 am

I've loved Star Wars since I was a kid whether it was the movies or the books or the video games, and will probably continue to do so well into my senior years. Really looking forward to all your builds Jab.
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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Monark Starstalker! Yie Ar Kung-Fu! Star Wars!)

Post by Ares » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:38 am

Star Wars is bar none my favorite science fiction franchise of all time. There's just something wonderful about it, likely tying in my love of crossover and cross genre fiction. It basically brought sci-fi back to its fun, pulpy roots while throwing in new ideas. Lucas admitted that it was a combination of his love of old Film Serials like Flash Gordon, World War II dogfights, Spaghetti Westerns and Samurai flicks, along with some Eastern Mysticism and other fun concepts. Sword fighting, strange mental powers and weird aliens are nothing new to science fiction. John Carter of Mars has all of that in spades, but Star Wars basically took all of that, added more to it, and then went the extra mile to make it feel like a real thing on a big screen.

The setting is just incredibly versatile, allowing for any number of stories. It'd be entirely possible to tell a Star Wars story without the Jedi or Sith being involved, or even mentioning the Force, and it would work fine. The novel Scoundrels is basically a heist story where Han, Chewie and Lando work with other characters to break into an impenetrable vault to steal from a crime lord. Rogue One was largely about how non-Jedi Rebels contributed to saving the Galaxy. The Mandalorian goes hard on the Western tropes.

I'm not someone who has loved everything in the franchise, even before Disney took over, as a lot of EU stuff was crap and there's been some directions taken with aspects of it I don't agree with. But overall, Star Wars is by far my favorite sci-fi setting to visit and play around in.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Monark Starstalker! Yie Ar Kung-Fu! Star Wars!)

Post by Ares » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:00 am

Regarding Stormtroopers, I never really saw them as being as bad as pop culture has turned them into. It's basically been a meme since the 70s that they can't hit the broad side of a barn, but that didn't really become a thing until certain creators actually decided to embrace the meme. In the original trilogy, the Stormtroopers are basically super effective against anyone that isn't a main character, and even then they put the heroes in danger quite often.

The meme basically comes from the Stormtroopers not being able to prevent the heroes from escaping the original Deathstar with Princess Leia. I never got that reasoning because the movie states that the Empire let them go. Both Leia, Tarkin and Vader make it clear that they were allowed to escape, with the implications being that the troopers were ordered to put up a believable fight but to let them go. And they were convincing enough that Han Solo was fooled. When they weren't under orders to let the prisoners go, the Troopers showed that they could hit the heroes. They cut the initial Rebel resistance on the Blockade Runner to pieces despite the Rebels having a perfect choke point, they tagged Leia with a stun blast, they kept the heroes pinned down constantly during their escape from the Deathstar while letting them go, they bulldozed the Rebels during the Hoth invasion, they tagged Leia twice during Return of the Jedi, and being a Jedi was all that kept Luke from getting killed when he was deflecting blaster bolts from one.

Pound for pound it was clear that the average Stormtrooper was way more dangerous than the average Rebel soldier. And interestingly, the fact that the Ewoks gave Stormtroopers trouble never said "Stormtroopers suck", it meant that "Ewoks are dangerous". I don't know, maybe I'm the perfect target audience for Star Wars.

Regarding Stormtrooper armor, the general perspective I get is that blaster technology has outstripped armor technology by a bit. You need rare Mandalorian metals to be completely blaster proof on metal alone, and otherwise you need some kind of ray shielding to be immune to blasters. That said, Stormtrooper armor in the source material is suppose to be good, but I can't actually stop a blaster bolt. It could make a potentially lethal shot survivable and a bad injury less severe, but if you get hit it's going to hurt. It's likely that the armor works better against most civilian blasters, but the heroes gear is either military grade or the black market equivalent of military grade. It helps that it's hard to know which troopers are dead and which are just stunned or injured. The armor also comes with other features like filters and other things.

So yeah, in the games I run, Stormtroopers are actually dangerous.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Monark Starstalker! Yie Ar Kung-Fu! Star Wars!)

Post by Ares » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:04 am

Arkrite wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:43 am
And, if I'm not mistaken, Finn even indicates that the helmet doesn't even filter out smoke.
Sure, but aside from that one Stormtrooper that challenged Finn to a one-on-one baton vs lightsaber fight, it's pretty clear the First Order Stormtroopers are legitimately way worse than the Empire's Stormtroopers. When Han, Luke, Leia and Chewie are escaping the Deathstar, they're being allowed to leave, they take advantage of things like cover, and they flee in the face of superior numbers. When Finn, Chewie and Poe are roaming around a Star Destroyer, they're just mowing down Stormtroopers like nobody's business.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Monark Starstalker! Yie Ar Kung-Fu! Star Wars!)

Post by catsi563 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:04 am

Ares wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:00 am
Regarding Stormtroopers, I never really saw them as being as bad as pop culture has turned them into. It's basically been a meme since the 70s that they can't hit the broad side of a barn, but that didn't really become a thing until certain creators actually decided to embrace the meme. In the original trilogy, the Stormtroopers are basically super effective against anyone that isn't a main character, and even then they put the heroes in danger quite often.

The meme basically comes from the Stormtroopers not being able to prevent the heroes from escaping the original Deathstar with Princess Leia. I never got that reasoning because the movie states that the Empire let them go. Both Leia, Tarkin and Vader make it clear that they were allowed to escape, with the implications being that the troopers were ordered to put up a believable fight but to let them go. And they were convincing enough that Han Solo was fooled. When they weren't under orders to let the prisoners go, the Troopers showed that they could hit the heroes. They cut the initial Rebel resistance on the Blockade Runner to pieces despite the Rebels having a perfect choke point, they tagged Leia with a stun blast, they kept the heroes pinned down constantly during their escape from the Deathstar while letting them go, they bulldozed the Rebels during the Hoth invasion, they tagged Leia twice during Return of the Jedi, and being a Jedi was all that kept Luke from getting killed when he was deflecting blaster bolts from one.

Pound for pound it was clear that the average Stormtrooper was way more dangerous than the average Rebel soldier. And interestingly, the fact that the Ewoks gave Stormtroopers trouble never said "Stormtroopers suck", it meant that "Ewoks are dangerous". I don't know, maybe I'm the perfect target audience for Star Wars.

Regarding Stormtrooper armor, the general perspective I get is that blaster technology has outstripped armor technology by a bit. You need rare Mandalorian metals to be completely blaster proof on metal alone, and otherwise you need some kind of ray shielding to be immune to blasters. That said, Stormtrooper armor in the source material is suppose to be good, but I can't actually stop a blaster bolt. It could make a potentially lethal shot survivable and a bad injury less severe, but if you get hit it's going to hurt. It's likely that the armor works better against most civilian blasters, but the heroes gear is either military grade or the black market equivalent of military grade. It helps that it's hard to know which troopers are dead and which are just stunned or injured. The armor also comes with other features like filters and other things.

So yeah, in the games I run, Stormtroopers are actually dangerous.
Im much the same Storm troopers in my games are a clear sign the heroes are in deep doodoo.

the troopers armor is highly effective and actually does filter toxins and smoke as welll as having range finders and targeting sensors in it to improve their accuracy and squad firing capabilities.

a good example is to use the D6 version

Classic Stormtroopers have 3D dex plus 2D blaster skill
they have 2D Str

their E-11 blaster rifle is a 5d damage

their armor is +2D against physical attacks and +2D against Energy attacks normally the armor imposes a -1d penalty on dex for the wearer

but my Storm troopers have a skill that allows them to bypass that limitation since they train in the armor all the time.

So on average Stormtroopers will roll 17 which on the Difficulty table is a difficult roll and will almost always hit at short to medium range add in their target finders which eliminate cover from smoke and other impediments and you have a lethal marksmen if the pcs don't dodge

their armor gives them an average of 14 on toughness rolls which means they can survive most 4D blasters and against their own E-11s which are an average damage roll of 17 means they only fail by 3 which is a stunned result and not fatal on average.

the average ewok has a 2d str and a club does about +1-2d so figure theyre hitting for 10-14 meaning on average that the troopers armor protects them unless the ewoks dogpile them enmasse like they did or use the bolos which are dangerous even to armored soldiers today.

As for the rebels on the blockade runner youre dealing with people with more then likely a 2d str and a blast vest which is 1d vs engery for 3 dice to resist 10 on basic toughness roll on average vs an average 17 which is a fail by 7 and results in a wounded state which means they fall prone and cant take an action for the rest of the round

long story short on average the Stormtroopers are a dangerous foe to face even for heroic characters especially in numbers when they use tactics and advance like a freakin bulldozer which they do
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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Darkhawk Builds! Monark Starstalker! Yie Ar Kung-Fu!)

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:28 am

Shock wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:47 pm
Star Wars was THE thing for me when I was a kid. I had action figures (still have some), vehicles, playsets. I had an audio book (in 1980!) that was a little record that I played over and over again until I had every word memorized. I have almost every book published from the Thrawn trilogy up to the end of the New Jedi Order/Vong invasion. I was one of approximately 5 people to actually buy cards for the original Star Wars CCG.

And yet, I grew out of it in the 2000s. The prequels didn't have the same magic as the original trilogy. I think they get more hate than they deserve but plainly there was something missing. I haven't been excited about anything that's come out since Disney took over. It's been one underwhelming product after another.

The reason so many bit characters end up getting focus in one place or another is because there's so much room for them to grow. It's a less is more phenomenon. The hint of more is what makes Star Wars so fascinating. They showed just enough to spark your imagination and let each viewer fill in the rest. If you fill in too much detail, the mystery goes away and it's as exciting as a history book (apologies to history buffs). That's what drives me nuts about the "everything must be explained" culture that we seem to be in right now.

Sorry, went off on a bit of a tangent at the end there. I love Star Wars and I'm really looking forward to this set of builds.
Interesting point! The idea that we're only getting part of the story is something I found interesting about Invincible as well- it really did a lot to make the world look like a more living, breathing space. You wonder "who is that Android bounty hunter?" or "why do some Astromech droids look so different?" and stuff like that.

And yeah, adding the ridiculously huge backstory to EVERYONE kind of hurt the universe rather than helping it, in many cases.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Monark Starstalker! Yie Ar Kung-Fu! Star Wars!)

Post by Woodclaw » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:13 am

Ares wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:38 am
Star Wars is bar none my favorite science fiction franchise of all time. There's just something wonderful about it, likely tying in my love of crossover and cross genre fiction. It basically brought sci-fi back to its fun, pulpy roots while throwing in new ideas. Lucas admitted that it was a combination of his love of old Film Serials like Flash Gordon, World War II dogfights, Spaghetti Westerns and Samurai flicks, along with some Eastern Mysticism and other fun concepts. Sword fighting, strange mental powers and weird aliens are nothing new to science fiction. John Carter of Mars has all of that in spades, but Star Wars basically took all of that, added more to it, and then went the extra mile to make it feel like a real thing on a big screen.

The setting is just incredibly versatile, allowing for any number of stories. It'd be entirely possible to tell a Star Wars story without the Jedi or Sith being involved, or even mentioning the Force, and it would work fine. The novel Scoundrels is basically a heist story where Han, Chewie and Lando work with other characters to break into an impenetrable vault to steal from a crime lord. Rogue One was largely about how non-Jedi Rebels contributed to saving the Galaxy. The Mandalorian goes hard on the Western tropes.

I'm not someone who has loved everything in the franchise, even before Disney took over, as a lot of EU stuff was crap and there's been some directions taken with aspects of it I don't agree with. But overall, Star Wars is by far my favorite sci-fi setting to visit and play around in.
I'd like to elaborate a bit on this part.
I've never been that much of a Star Wars fan. The classic films were part of my childhood, but never that big. What I do recognize is that the setting has so many influences, nooks and crannies that you can really fit almost any story in it... and I think that is exactly what they should do.
What does Rogue One and The Mandalorian have in common?
I think it's the fact that they're both stories that, while recognizably part of the Star Wars narrative universe, are completely different in tone, style and content from any other part of the franchise so far. Both these stories grab the tropes of an established genre (war movies for Rogue One, Spaghetti Westerns for The Mandalorian) and work them into the SW style. Neither is a perfect fit, but they both work into expanding the narrative without going for pure shock value or taking a number two over the established elements of the franchise (save Dave Filloni making fun of Stormtroopers).
Ares wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:00 am
Regarding Stormtroopers, I never really saw them as being as bad as pop culture has turned them into. It's basically been a meme since the 70s that they can't hit the broad side of a barn, but that didn't really become a thing until certain creators actually decided to embrace the meme. In the original trilogy, the Stormtroopers are basically super effective against anyone that isn't a main character, and even then they put the heroes in danger quite often.

The meme basically comes from the Stormtroopers not being able to prevent the heroes from escaping the original Deathstar with Princess Leia. I never got that reasoning because the movie states that the Empire let them go. Both Leia, Tarkin and Vader make it clear that they were allowed to escape, with the implications being that the troopers were ordered to put up a believable fight but to let them go. And they were convincing enough that Han Solo was fooled. When they weren't under orders to let the prisoners go, the Troopers showed that they could hit the heroes. They cut the initial Rebel resistance on the Blockade Runner to pieces despite the Rebels having a perfect choke point, they tagged Leia with a stun blast, they kept the heroes pinned down constantly during their escape from the Deathstar while letting them go, they bulldozed the Rebels during the Hoth invasion, they tagged Leia twice during Return of the Jedi, and being a Jedi was all that kept Luke from getting killed when he was deflecting blaster bolts from one.

Pound for pound it was clear that the average Stormtrooper was way more dangerous than the average Rebel soldier. And interestingly, the fact that the Ewoks gave Stormtroopers trouble never said "Stormtroopers suck", it meant that "Ewoks are dangerous". I don't know, maybe I'm the perfect target audience for Star Wars.

Regarding Stormtrooper armor, the general perspective I get is that blaster technology has outstripped armor technology by a bit. You need rare Mandalorian metals to be completely blaster proof on metal alone, and otherwise you need some kind of ray shielding to be immune to blasters. That said, Stormtrooper armor in the source material is suppose to be good, but I can't actually stop a blaster bolt. It could make a potentially lethal shot survivable and a bad injury less severe, but if you get hit it's going to hurt. It's likely that the armor works better against most civilian blasters, but the heroes gear is either military grade or the black market equivalent of military grade. It helps that it's hard to know which troopers are dead and which are just stunned or injured. The armor also comes with other features like filters and other things.

So yeah, in the games I run, Stormtroopers are actually dangerous.
Yeah, Stormtroopers are more or less the biggest memetic victims of the entire franchise, which is kind of funny when you consider that in every RPG incanation of Star Wars they were depicted as a real threat. In actual fact, during one of the few d20 games I've been able to play, our team was pinned down by a Stormtroopers squad and when our tank (a Wookie soldier) tried to rush them, he was riddled with blaster shots and the player went (I quote): "WTF!!! They can shoot straight?!"
In my mind, one of the biggest problem with the Ewoks is that we (as the audience) can't understand what they're saying. In many ways, the Ewoks taking down the Imperials reminded me of "The Scouring of the Shire" in The Lord of the Rings, when the Hobbits drive the Chief's Men out of the Shire. Up to that point in the story, there was no indication that the Hobbits would be able to pull such a stunt, if anything there were many indications of the opposite and that Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin were an exception. Still, through the careful us of dialogue, we (as readers) can see what is going on and why the Hobbits were brought to the boiling point.
With the Ewoks we can't understand them and we see no sign that the Imperials have mistreated them in any way, making their desire to take up arms and face these strangers quite surprising. Also the combination of small size, inability to understand them and cuddly appearance make hard for the audience to consider them anything but childlike. Some hints here and there suggest that they might very territorial, but this was never explicitly stated. It's pretty clear that the entire battle of Endor was built on a situation similar to what the U.S.Army faced in Vietnam, but when you saw it as an adult it plays somewhat more similar to the final battle of Hook, with a bunch of children taking down adult trained fighters by the sheer power of comedic effect.
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Grand Moff Tarkin

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:07 pm

Image

Hm, I wonder if this is the bad guy.

GRAND MOFF TARKIN
Role:
Evil Dick-Knocker, The Unlikeable Villain
Group Affiliations: The Galactic Empire
PL 6 (67)
STRENGTH
1 STAMINA 1 AGILITY 1
FIGHTING 2 DEXTERITY 4
INTELLIGENCE 4 AWARENESS 3 PRESENCE 2

Skills:
Expertise (Military) 9 (+13)
Expertise (Survival) 4 (+7)
Insight 3 (+6)
Intimidation 2 (+4)
Perception 2 (+5)
Persuasion 2 (+4)

Advantages:
Benefit 5 (Rank- Grand Moff), Equipment 3 (Blaster +5), Ranged Attack 2

Offense:
Unarmed +2 (+1 Damage, DC 16)
Blaster +6 (+5 Ranged Damage, DC 20)
Initiative +1

Defenses:
Dodge +5 (DC 15), Parry +3 (DC 13), Toughness +1, Fortitude +2, Will +6

Complications:
Responsibility (The Empire)- As Grand Moff (hee hee), Tarkin is in charge of a huge portion of The Empire's holdings, including the first Death Star.

Total: Abilities: 36 / Skills: 24--12 / Advantages: 10 / Powers: 0 / Defenses: 9 (67)

-Grand Moff Tarkin is actually kind of a brilliant concept, when you get down to it. He's an utterly-uninteresting, completely-generic villain. He doesn't look cool, has a stupid name (seriously, was Grand Vag Tarkin deemed too silly or something?), and dies in the first movie, AND he really doesn't matter to the plot one way or the other (you could have replaced every seen with Vader in his role). But really... THAT'S the brilliant part! See, DARTH VADER is the villain everyone likes! He's cool, intimidating, bad-ass and matters to the overall plot. So including a douche like TARKIN as the "Boss Bad Guy" in the first film allows the heroes to succeed, kill the bad guy dead, and have this great victory lap... while leaving the COOL villain a vital part of the story, allowing him to be the main baddie of the second film! It's really smart writing, actually (and something missed in the Prequels, which offed the Cool Bad Guy right away).

-Tarkin is of course a giant dickbag, as he oversees the operations on the Death Star, threatens to blow up Princess Leia's homeworld unless she gives him information, and when she names some OTHER planet, he blows up Alderaan anyways, just to be an asshole! I remember BatgirlIII even being impressed by how blase and "by the book" he was about it, acting like it was just some random thing he had to do today. This act, the slaughtering of BILLIONS of people, makes him thoroughly unlikeable in a way that left Vader innocent of those crimes, which AGAIN only helped make Vader more cool (Vader didn't fire a Death Weapon from space at helpless worlds- he killed good guys ONE BY ONE. Like a BOSS).

-Tarkin, like a lot of Star Wars guys, has zero backstory in the movies, beyond just "the head bad guy" (he even gives orders to Vader!). I read through a recent comic that indicates he came from a low position on a backwater world, having to fight for everything he had, and he's a legendary hunter and survivor. But ultimately in the films he's just some guy.

-Tarkin isn't an elite fighter, but instead wields high military rank, making him just as dangerous as high-powered baddies. I'd imagine he can still shoot semi-accurately, though we never see it. He successfully threatens Princess Leia's homeworld (it helps that he wasn't kidding), but fails his Insight role more than a few times (the Clone Wars cartoon has him blame Ahsoka Tano for crimes of which she is innocent, and Leia bluffs him as well).
Last edited by Jabroniville on Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Monark Starstalker! Yie Ar Kung-Fu! Star Wars!)

Post by Ares » Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:37 pm

Woodclaw wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:13 am
In my mind, one of the biggest problem with the Ewoks is that we (as the audience) can't understand what they're saying. In many ways, the Ewoks taking down the Imperials reminded me of "The Scouring of the Shire" in The Lord of the Rings, when the Hobbits drive the Chief's Men out of the Shire. Up to that point in the story, there was no indication that the Hobbits would be able to pull such a stunt, if anything there were many indications of the opposite and that Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin were an exception. Still, through the careful us of dialogue, we (as readers) can see what is going on and why the Hobbits were brought to the boiling point.

With the Ewoks we can't understand them and we see no sign that the Imperials have mistreated them in any way, making their desire to take up arms and face these strangers quite surprising. Also the combination of small size, inability to understand them and cuddly appearance make hard for the audience to consider them anything but childlike. Some hints here and there suggest that they might very territorial, but this was never explicitly stated. It's pretty clear that the entire battle of Endor was built on a situation similar to what the U.S.Army faced in Vietnam, but when you saw it as an adult it plays somewhat more similar to the final battle of Hook, with a bunch of children taking down adult trained fighters by the sheer power of comedic effect.
To play devil's advocate for the Ewoks:

- Their desire to take up arms against the Empire was due to the stories C3-PO was telling them. The Ewoks, while willing to eat the heroes on capturing them as part of a hunt, were seemingly swayed by the stories of the Empire's evil and how Han and Luke had suffered at the hands of Darth Vader. They adopted the heroes into their tribe, and any enemy of the heroes was now an enemy of their own. It might have been a cultural thing, it might have been a pragmatic way to get some clearly evil a**holes off their world, or it could speak to something universal about a people being willing to rise up against evil and tyranny. Whatever the reason, the Ewoks had a vested interest in taking on the Empire after a certain point.

- The Ewoks were relatively primitive, but not stupid. They could climb well enough to build these fairly expansive treetop cities, they created the trap that caught the heroes initially, they had figured out technology like gliders and catapults, and they're apparently some combination of incredibly industrious and REALLY strong. They were, after all, able to tie up two adult men and a Wookie to poles and then walk them back to their base and up into a tree village. And over the course of a day or two, they were able to set up some fairly complex traps designed specifically to deal with the weapons and vehicles they had witnessed the Empire using, including moving massive trees into place to crush an Imperial Walker's cockpit. They also clearly made use of home field advantage, attacking in ambush and using every available resource to counter the Imperial's superior numbers and technology. These little guys were very adaptable, clever, industrious, sneaky and could be downright mean. Remember, they were going to EAT Luke, Han and Chewie if Luke hadn't convinced them not to (with a little help from a bewildered 3PO). As Yoda says, judging someone by their size is a mistake.

Overall, fighting an Ewok Tribe is apparently like fighting a small army of Aragorn-style Rangers who are very strong for their size, not unlike chimpanzees.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Monark Starstalker! Yie Ar Kung-Fu! Star Wars!)

Post by Ares » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:04 pm

The original Star Wars film is an amazing example of world-building, and there's all kinds of things you miss on the first viewing that you only catch on repeat watchings that paint this larger picture of the setting.

Just take the meeting with Tarkin, Vader and the rest of the Imperial High Command regarding the Death Star. We have a large round table where all the Imperials are seated . . . except for Vader. And not because their isn't a spot for him there's an empty chair for him to sit, but he instead stands, making it clear that while he is a part of the same organization, these people are not his peers. He doesn't care about the Death Star personally, and frankly finds it unimpressive, calling it a "technological terror" that the Imperials shouldn't feel too proud of. This why he defers to Tarkin in all matters regarding the Death Star itself: the Death Star isn't Vader's concerns, recovering the plans are. Vader is very willing to let Tarkin do whatever and not interfere so long as it doesn't jeopardize his own mission.

To further demonstrate the difference between Vader and the Imperials, we get that interaction the Moff who is mouthing off about how great the Death Star is. Vader, as stated, doesn't care about the Death Star, and chides the man about his arrogance. When the guy has the balls to insult Vader directly, Vader makes the first overt showcase of how the Force can directly affect another person physically, choking the man from across the room and delivering the amazing line of "I find your lack of faith disturbing". He only relents and lets the idiot live at Tarkin's order, though the manner in which he does so prevents Vader from looking weak. Vader basically dismisses the guy, having made his point, and again, because Tarkin is in charge of the Death Star itself.

I always get a chuckle out of that scene, as in my mind I hear Morgan Freeman saying, "Let me get this straight. You're talking to Darth Vader, one of the most powerful, feared and influential people in the entire galaxy, who is also a 7 foot tall cyborg who can outmuscle Wookies, and who you've heard rumors wields a laser sword that can cut through anything and who can move objects with his mind . . . and your plan is to INSULT this person? . . . Good luck."

When Tarkin enters, he mentions how the Emperor has officially dissolved the Senate, removing "the last remnants of the Old Republic", and when asked how the Emperor will maintain power without the bureaucracy, Tarkin states that it will be done by the regional governors loyal to the Emperor and fear of the Death Star. With a few lines of dialogue that don't come off as clunky, they establish quite a bit. They establish that the current government is ruled over by a single Emperor, that it use to be a Republic governed by the people before the Emperor came to power, that the Emperor is a really evil bastard and finally, it establishes the importance of the Death Star. It sets the stakes of why the heroes need to destroy it, because it is now the major method by which the Emperor will control the galaxy. It needs to be taken out if there will be any hope of the Rebellion to succeed.

The fact that the one rational Imperial is worried about the Death Star plans also should have been sufficient to excuse the idea about the Death Star having such a vulnerability. The only way to even find out about the weakness in the Death Star is with an entire technical readout of the station, and the only weak point is so heavily guarded and hard to exploit that you needed not only the best pilot in the Rebellion, but he needed to be Force Sensitive to boot. And much as I love Rogue One, I don't think they needed an entire film to explain away that weak point. Cars weren't designed with a flaw about how if you get a lit flame down this one small hole the entire car will explode, it's just there and you need to know about it to exploit it.

We get an amazing amount of info in a natural and entertaining way. However clunky some of Lucas' dialogue can be, the man knew how to world build and how to get that info across without disrupting the flow of the story.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Monark Starstalker! Yie Ar Kung-Fu! Star Wars!)

Post by Shock » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:11 pm

The Empire’s strategic philosophy definitely adheres to “quantity has a quality all its own.” Stormtroopers, TIE fighters, all of that stuff is cheap and numerous. You can see how the military organization eroded from the Clone Wars to the Rebellion era. Elite troops have been replaced with mooks. Highly trained, well-equipped troops are a threat to a top heavy power structure so you make sure that individuals have little power of their own.

But how cool were the specialized clone troopers? You had heavy weapons guys, lightly armed scouts, grappling hooks, jet packs. The game Republic Commando (which predates the Clone Wars cartoon) probably inspired some of those designs.

I have to disagree about Tarkin. He was a badass. In A New Hope, he was clearly above Vader in the chain of command. As Leia pointed out, he was "holding Vader's leash." He broke Leia (sort of) when Vader's torture couldn't. He then saw through her deception and followed through on his threat to destroy Alderaan when Leia likely thought he was bluffing.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Monark Starstalker! Yie Ar Kung-Fu! Star Wars!)

Post by Ares » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:32 pm

Technically Tarkin didn't see through Leia's deception. When he was told that the planet Leia gave them was an old, abandoned Rebel outpost, his response was, " . . . she lied . . . SHE LIED TO US!" to which Vader smugly says, "I told you she would never willingly betray the Rebellion". Tarkin believed her when she gave up another planet, and made it clear that the reason he was blowing up Alderaan was because the planet she gave was too small and insignificant. Blowing up Alderaan was to be the Empire's declaration that if you step out of line, your entire planet will die. It's also why Tarkin ordered her immediate execution afterwards, he was angry that she had deceived him even as he had lied to her about sparing her planet with that smug "You're far too trusting" line.

As for Tarkin holding Vader's leash, that was also clearly more Leia just being Leia and insulting as many Imperials as she could in as few sentences. "I should have recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board". In practice, it's clear that Tarkin is in a position where Vader will respect his authority so long as he wishes. When it comes to the Death Star and the people on board, Vader will follow Tarkin's commands within reason. When it's discovered Obi-Wan is on board, Vader makes it clear to Tarkin that he (Vader) will be dealing with the Jedi alone, and that Tarkin is not to interfere. Likewise, following the Rebels via a tracker was clearly Vader's idea, to which Tarkin admits that he was "taking an awful chance" doing so. When it's revealed that the Rebels are trying to free Leia, Vader notes that she "may still be of some use to US", implying more a relationship of equals. Basically, Vader was someone technically higher up on the food chain than Tarkin, but who let Tarkin take the lead in matters relating to the Death Star. When Vader's own missions and agendas took priority, he stepped in and Tarkin did what Vader told him.

It was a nice way to showcase that Vader respected competent leadership and was willing to work with them, and also helped demonstrate a trend of the Imperials officers that Vader Force Choked. Those men tended to be arrogant, incompetent, and in one case, outright disrespectful to Vader. The exception was poor Admiral Piett, who gets Force Choked because the guy just happened to fail in a matter Vader was suicidally passionate about.

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