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  • Brennan Renwick

SE Breakdown (Part 5)

Welcome back to Brennan’s Breakdowns of Joe Bongiorno’s work of high literature Star Wars Supernatural Encounters!

We have made it to chapter 3 of this work of art, which is titled Innocence and Wrath, and spans pages 31 to 35. Here’s your spoiler warning, now let’s get into a brief summary of the contents of this chapter! So in this chapter, we resume right where we left off; with Q9-X7 AKA Master Mnemom emitting a high pitched squeal that silences the yelling and arguing in the Historical Council’s debate hall. With the bickering members of the Historical Council silenced for the moment, Voren Na’al has Missus Hari Seldona continue her reading of Arhul’s manuscript. Arhul’s manuscript talks about official records, conflicting dates in galactic history, flawed and false research from other historians, sentience, and the difficulty of figuring out how to do research that is accurate in the midst of conflicting information.

This line of thinking is obviously unpopular and leads to anger and frustration from the Historical Council. We also get our first Hexnote here; and we get several more interruptions and resumes of the manuscript reading. Now that the cliff notes summary is out of the way, let’s get into specific references and connections. 

Our first reference is found in the Manuscript Reading II section, towards the end of page 31. Arhul is mentioning the numerous ancient alien races who claimed that they discovered hyperspace. The specific reference is to the Columi species, an ancient alien race that first appeared in Troy Denning’s Scoundrel’s Luck, a choose your own adventure from West End Games. The Columi would go on to appear In subsequent WEG’s material and throughout the Expanded Universe, frequently mentioned as one of the oldest sentient species in the galaxy. Arhul’s writings mention the Columbia’s racial pride and feelings of superiority, when they are related to a species that they would consider to be of lesser caliber than themselves.

The species is another reference, as the Siniteen race first appeared in A New Hope. Additionally members of the Siniteen species appeared prominently in  James Luceno’s short story, Restraint and in The Clone Wars television show. We get another mention to the Killiks right below this, which have been referenced several times already in Supernatural Encounters. On the end of page 31 into page 32 we get out first of what will be many many lists of alien species names. We don’t get as many as later on here, but we do get a fair bunch. Arhul mentions his doubt in official galactic records kept by the Hutt, Rakata, Sith, Sharu, Columi, or Bith species. The Hunts obviously first appeared in Return of the Jedi, with the mighty Jabba’s appearance. Though they were also mentioned in A New Hope (with one “t”). The Rakata first came from the Knights of the Old Republic video game, with a prominent spot in the Dawn of the Jedi comics.

The Sith species first appeared in Tales of the Jedi issue number 5, and appeared prominently in the Dawn of the Jedi comics, the other various Tales of the Jedi comic arcs, Lost Tribe of the Sith, as well as The Old Republic video game and spin-offs. The Share first appeared in Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu by the great L. Neal Smith! They would also be mentioned and depicted in West End Games Material, before going onto appear in Wizards of the Coast and Fantasy Flight Games content. After the Sharu we got another reference to the Columi from the previous paragraph. Our final species in this list is the Bith, who first appeared in A New Hope, in the Mos Eisley Cantina. 

Next we learn about a Lost Jedi named Bo-Jaccan. The concept of lost Jedi has frequently been used throughout the Star Wars EU. It was used in KOTOR II to refer to the number of Jedi who escaped the tragedy of the Jedi Civil War. Known members included Atton Rand, Brianna, Mical, Mira, Bao-Dur, and Visas Marr. The Lost Jedi is also the title of the RPG style collection of the two stories Jedi Dawn and The Bounty Hunter by Paul Cockburn. It features a “lost Jedi” of sorts named Havet Storm. There is also the Jedi Prince series’ 2nd book titled The Lost City of the Jedi by Paul and Hollace Davids.

Additionally there is the Episode 1 Adventures book Search for the Lost Jedi by Ryder Windham. The concept of Lost Jedi is a recurring one within the EU, but this specific lost Jedi doesn’t come from anywhere prior in the Expanded Universe. Bo-Jaccan’s story comes from a fan named Jacob Connor Fagg, who created the story concept for Joe to incorporate into SE., and we’ll find out a lot more about that character and his story in chapter 84. In regards to Bo-Jaccan, this is where we get out first Hexnote, which mentions Orgonon’s sentiological studies in Gamorrese Kinship Algebra, Traditional Chevin Medicine and its Transmission, Toydarian Scripture, Dathomiri Animism, The Xa Fel Ecological Crisis: And the Ithorian Response, Gungan Linguistics: Pre-Gung Slab, Trandoshan Hunting Rituals, Hutt Cosmology, and his expansive work, Species Without History .

I wondered if these could be references to read world educational Star Wars books called BrainQuest, but they appear to be original concepts to hear. Notable species mentioned there include Gamorreans from Return of the Jedi, Chevins from Return of the Jedi, Toydarians from the Phantom Menace, Dathomirians from The Courtship of Princess Leia, the Xa Fel from the Last Command Sourcebook, Ithorians from A New Hope, Gungans from The Phantom Menace, Trandoshans from The Empire Strikes Back, and Hutts from Return of the Jedi. Gungan Gung-Slabs are also mentioned here, which is a Star Wars equivalent to the real world Rosetta Stones. The Gung-Slabs first appeared in the Galactic Phrase Book & Travel Guide by Ben Burtt. 

It is reiterated here how many dates that are established in Star Wars may be erroneous and inaccurate, as for hundreds of year since the Old Republic it is said that historians just slapped a general date on certain events. We have a mention to the planet Jerrilek here, which appeared first in Adventure Journal number 4’s article by James L Cambias called Loyalties. The planet Goroth Prime is also referenced here, which is a planet that is also known as Celleballen. Goroth Prime appeared first in Goroth Slave of the Empire as well as the article Forbidden Fruit from Adventures Unlimited 2. Our final reference in this paragraph is to the Tyberious Institute, which is a xenobiology institute that first appeared in the in-universe West End Games sourcebook Creatures of the Galaxy. 

The Manuscript Reading is once again interrupted on page 32, as angry grumblings once more stop the manuscript from being read. Voren and Godalhi try to silence the frustrations from the council but to no avail. Tem Eliss enters the fray with his many appendages and makes out next reference as he jokingly says that by the time they finish arguing Coruscant Prime will have gone nova. Coruscant Prime, also called the Coruscant Sun first was mentioned in The Last Command. It is the only star that Coruscant orbits and at the center really of the Star Wars galaxy as shown in The Essential Atlas. Tem Ellis also makes mention of a moon freezing over.

This moon is Hesperidium, which is a reference to Planet of Twilight, where it was first mentioned. Hesperidium is a resort and luxury moon and it appeared in SWTOR, Coruscant Nights, and Legacy of the Force previously in the EU. Always nice to get these various deepcut references. 

Arguing continues until midway through page 33 when our next character from a previous source makes an entry. As a character named Meela adds her voice to the matter at hand. Meela comes from Adventure Journal #6 in an article from George R Strayton called Relic. Meela is given the surname Stryton. Which I think is an obvious homage to the creator of Meela, as the surname Stryton for Meela emulates the surname of write George R Strayton. Meela speaks into a microphone droid. Microphone droids first appeared in Star Wars issue number 48 on the planet Aargau. A very cool blink and you’ll miss it reference.

Meela mentions her father Oron, who she mentions has passed on. Oron also first appeared in the article Relic. He is said to have died on Delari Prime, a planet that also comes from Relic and was reference in the Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. Oron’s passing is new information from Supernatural Encounters, I love how this book will subtly advance so many obscure characters and stories histories. I live for stuff like this. 

Meela gets into a bit of a row with Abric Hanapen who continues to be shown to be abrasive and testy. More references to the Relic article are presented in the first paragraph on page 33, as we get references to the planet Tuulab of the Triitus System. Both Tuulab and Triitus originated in Relic but would go on to appear in the Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia and The Essential Atlas before popping up here in chapter 3 of Supernatural Encounters. We get a reference to the Corva Sector which also comes from Relic but first actually appeared in the Old Republic Rise of the Cartel expansion.

In this background lore dump the Gotal species is mentioned which first appeared in A New Hope. The specific Gotal crime lord mentioned here, Mahk’Khar and his palace also originated in the Relic story. Though they also showed up in the article Counterstrike from Adventure Journal number 8. The Kaarenth Dissension splinter faction from the Empire is mentioned too, which comes from Relic, Crimson Empire III, and Counterstrike. 

Tem Eliss graciously hears out the points Meela raises and in a classy manner seamlessly transitions the room into the 3rd Manuscript Reading at the end of page 34. Arhul’s next two paragraphs he had written down are incredibly dense and just packed with lore. Arhul mentions following the trail of the Firstborn alien species, an illustrious ancient group we’ll find out a lot more about in later sections. Arhul mentions that he deciphered pictographs made by the Alashan in the City of Forever. The Alashan planet first appeared in World of Fire from Star Wars Weekly number 107. While the City of Forever is reminiscent of the famous Star Trek episode, this concept also first appeared on Alashan in the Weekly comics dealing with the planet.

The comics established the city as an abandoned archaeological dig, so it fits perfectly into the threads of Arhul’s research. Arhul mentions being in the far-off Phosphura Nebula. The Phosphura’s Belt Nebula first appeared in the article Zirtran’s Anchor from Adventure Journal number 5. It was there on the Zirtran’s Anchor that Arhul heard whispers of the Kalai species. Both the anchor and Kalai people also trace their EU origin back to the Adventure Journal number 5 article. Arhul mentions that he climbed the stairs of the Temple of the Elders. The Temple of the Elders also called the Temple of the Ancients is located on the planet Leon and is an ancient Rakatan temple that first appeared in the Knights of the Old Republic video game. He also visited the hexagonal chamber at the Pelgrin Oracle.

The Oracle located on the planet Pelgrin first appeared in the Power of the Jedi sourcebook. Arhul also plumbed a Codex of the Precursors. The Precursors are sometimes what the Sith species are referred to and in the SWTOR video game we are told that several Sith had Codex’s. So perhaps that is the reference here. Or maybe it is to the Kathol species who are also called the Precursors. He also witnessed the Empyrean Wars achromatic fugue. Fugue is a form of music, and another fugue previously appeared in the EU in Planet of Twilight.

The Empyrean Wars is a very broad topic which will be a throughly explored era in this book, which I can’t wait to get to. Arhul mentions being at a Threllan Church, I could not find any mention of Threllan’s prior in the Star Wars universe. I found some information online on DeviantArt about a sci-fi concept called Threllan Lions. Threllan Lions are Also Known As The Winged Warriors Of Thallos and they Aren't Lions At All. They Are Humanoid Beings That Bare A Resemblance To The Lions Of Earth And Just As The Lions Of Earth Are One Of The Fiercest Beings One Can Encounter. There is a complex backstory to these sci-fi space faring semi-mythological concept.

Perhaps Joe Bongiorno interpreted these Threllan Lions as being a concept within Star Wars. They certainly seem to be an ethereal concept that could potentially be worshipped by numerous species, and the artwork is reminiscent of Catholic paintings from our world. The Threllan Church that Arhul visited is located on Mimban, a planet that first appeared in Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and went onto appear pretty prominently throughout the Expanded Universe. 

Arhul then mentions Pomojema, who also comes first from Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. Pomojema who goes be several names will serve basically as the primary antagonist of this book. And next Arhul mentions an entity known as Ooradryl. Ooradryl is tied very deeply indeed to Waru from The Crystal Star. Very closely indeed. As we will learn later on in the book. 

Hanapen proving to be ever irritable interrupts, basically calling the writing fictional. He says it is poetry and not science. He says Arhul is channeling Bleys Harand. Bleys Harand being a in universe writer, philosopher, and Ximologist who first appeared in Geonosis and the Core Worlds sourcebook from Wizards of the Coast. He also showed up in Force and Destiny from Fantasy Flight Games. 

Ron Tenne from the Obroan Institute adds to the fire, pointing out that the Pelgrin Oracle has been destroyed for 7 decades. However, this point is refuted by Mammon Hoole who points out that things that are supernatural in origin will do unbelievable things. He suggests that a supernatural area such as The Oracle could indeed still be visited. He punctuates this by showing off his Shi’ido shapeshifting abilities. He turns into a Chubbit, which first appeared in The Return of Ben Kenobi comic strip. Then he turns into a fierce Lepi like Jaxxon, the Lepi first appearing in Marvel Star Wars number 8.

Mammon Hoole next appears as a Sikurdian, a species that first showed up in Marvel Star Wars number 7 and the Skyewalkers novel from Abel G. Peña. Finally he transports into a Gigoran that came from West End Games with Adventure Journal number 4. This magnificent display leaves several gawking and several amused. Mammon mentions how most people in the galaxy thing Shi’ido only exist in holovids. Holovids of course being basically Star Wars’ version of movies. Holovids popped up numerous times in the Star Wars EU, firstly in Han Solo’s Revenge. 

Hoole is contested by the bold Muun Hausen Graf-Well, who was mentioned in a prior chapter. He mentions Heavy Isotope music, which is a play on Heavy Metal music, that first appeared in Medstar 1: Battle Surgeons. Next Hausen Graf-Well says there are 4 contributions the draft gives, he labels these as Wutzist which I believe refers to Wutzek, Tilonist, which refers to Tilotny, Celestial which refers to the Celestials, and the Horlist which refers to Horliss-Horliss.

All supernatural entities and deities which will be fleshed out much later on. Graf-Well’s ideas are cut short by another character who enters to debate floor. The man is an Artisian military historian. Atrisian’s were humans from Atrisia, that first appeared in the Dark Forces video game and The Imperial Sourcebook. Chen Ming-di is the Atrisian in question here, who along with his famous work mentioned here, Imperial Atrocities and Other Noble Pursuits , first appeared in The Force Unleashed II video game. Supernatural Encounters establishes some of what the contents of the in universe work were, and it says it detailed the Empire’s brutality on several planets. Including on Telfrey which comes from Marvel Star Wars number 74, Belassa, which is presumably a reference to the Bellassar System which comes from Jude Watson’s Journal: Captive to Evil, Dalron Five which comes from Galaxy Guide 1: A New Hope and Voyages SF magazine number 13’s article called Twinkle Twinkle Little Star How I Wonder Where We Are, Rhador from The Force Unleashed II, Gholondreine-β from KW Jeters Bounty Hunters Wars Trilogy Book 2 Slave Ship, Ferrix from Andor, and Lothal from Rebels. It should be noted that all planets referenced here as places where the Empire was brutal were also depicted as ground zeroes for horrible Imperial occupations previously in the Star Wars EU. 

Graf-Well mentions that Arhul has passed so unfortunately can’t answer the many questions that the council would have to ask him. Eliss shut him up with a simple look before Graf-Well could say anything even more disrespectful. And then the room quiets down leading to what will be the 4th manuscript reading in Chapter 4. But that is where our breakdown for chapter 3 ends. Make sure to tune into the next episode, as I delve into breaking down Chapter 4. Fugitives in Space. 



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