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  • Scott Johnson

The Star Wars Customizable Card Game Part 7: Endor and Death Star II Sets

Welcome back SWCCG enthusiasts and hard-core EU fanatics alike! While we are getting towards the end of this series, these final few issues will be covering some of the most important sets because from here on out we will be focusing on the more valuable sets in the game. Today I will cover the June 1999 release of the Endor expansion and the July 2000 release of Death Star II. Both sets covered the tail-end of the Return of the Jedi film and to this day remain some of the most sought-after sets containing tons of very playable and meta-defining cards. Endor contained 180 cards including 90 light side and 90 dark side cards while Death Star II contained 182 total cards consisting of 91 light side and 91 dark side cards. Death Star II, not only offered 9 card booster packs, but also premiered with 60 card preconstructed starter decks for both the light side and the dark side.

Both preconstructed starter decks contained one exclusive rare only obtainable in the starter decks, those cards being Admiral Piett and Admiral Ackbar. While Piett was previously available in the Hoth expansion, this was Ackbar’s first and only inclusion in a game card. Both Admiral Ackbar and Admiral Piett’s abilities allowed to search the deck for an admiral’s orders card, which was a new mechanic in the game that expanded space combat. Besides the exclusive cards, the preconstructed starter decks contained some additional rares including General Solo, Moff Jerjerrod, Chewbacca of Kashyyyk and the Tempest 1 AT-AT. Moff Jerjerrod had the useful ability of being able to search out Death Star II sector locations from the deck allowing the dark side players who played Death Star II to power up it’s superlaser quicker fulfilling the “That Thing’s Operational” Epic Event card. General Solo had the “scout” keyword and was a versatile card that was a great pilot as well as being able to cancel an opponent’s battle destiny when at a site with other scouts.

The Endor set featured mainly character cards from the ground battle on Endor such as the ewoks, rebel scout units, imperial biker scouts, and troops and commanders from Tempest Force, the units defending the second Death Star’s shield generator. Chase cards included the Daughter of Skywalker, Leia card and General Crix Madine. The Death Star II set also had some characters from the Endor ground battle but it’s focus was the space battle above Endor and the attack on the second Death Star. Consequently, Death Star II’s set had more capital ships and starfighter cards than any other set, prior or future. Death Star II had Mon Calamari Cruisers, Star Destroyers, frigates, corvettes, A-wings, B-wings, TIE Defenders, as

well as TIE interceptors from the 181st squadron including the very popular EU character, Baron Soontir Fel. Supplementing the multitude of starships, there were also many pilot and starship commander cards including Tycho Celchu, Turr Phennir, Colonel Cracken, and Colonel Salm all of which have significant appearances throughout the EU. Death Star II was also the first set to feature ultra rare cards, the two being Emperor Palpatine, and Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight. These ultra rares were possibly the best cards the game ever printed and are staples in competitive gameplay, each fetching over $200 each on the current market.

Background characters from the film that were first named by Decipher in the Endor set included:

· Captain Yutani, rebel present in the Home One briefing room prior to the Battle of Endor

· Corporal Janse, rebel sharpshooter on the strike team to deactivate the shield generator

· Corporal Kensaric, rebel strike team member and anagram of Decipher employee John Sarnecki

· Rabin, ewok beast tamer and hunter

· Sergeant Bruckman, rebel strike team member

· Wuta, ewok tracker

· Wallen, stormtrooper

· Tarl, stormtrooper (interviewed by Cindel Towani in the endnotes to the Essential Guide to Warfare)

· Irol, imperial biker scout

· Elsek, imperial biker scout

· Barich, imperial biker scout

· Vesden, ISB agent

· Fenson, imperial navy trooper

· Marquand, AT-ST driver (named after RotJ director Richard Marquand)

· Hewex, imperial navy commander

· Watts, AT-ST driver

· Renz, imperial navy commander

· Grond, imperial scout

· Arnet, AT-ST driver

· Oberk, imperial biker scout

· Misik, imperial biker scout

· Drelosyn, imperial biker scout

· Drazin, stormtrooper

· Avarik, imperial biker scout

· Igar, imperial army commander

· Dyer, imperial army commander (played by sound engineer Ben Burtt who also worked on the Droids TV show)

Characters in the Endor set that were originally from other EU sources:

· Brooks Carlson (WEG Galaxy Guide 5)

· Corporal Beezer (WEG Galaxy Guide 5)

· Corporal Delevar (WEG Galaxy Guide 5)

· Lieutenant Greeve (WEG Galaxy Guide 5)

· Lieutenant Page (Heir to the Empire and tons more)

· Kazak (Ewoks comics)

· Logray (Ewoks comics and Caravan of Courage)

· Lumat (Ewoks TV and storybooks)

· Orrimaarko (WEG Galaxy Guide 5 and 12)

· Paploo (Ewoks TV and comics)

· Sergeant Junkin (WEG Galaxy Guide 5)

The lore section of many of the Endor cards that were part of the shield garrison references something called the Emperor's Demonstration Team which is a special forces section of the Imperial military structure of which many imperials strive to become a member of. Not much is known about the Emperor’s Demonstration Team in the Expanded Universe outside the context given in this game. Additionally, many cards that are part of Tempest Force mention in the lore that they participated in the subjugation of Kashyyyk, which at the time was not completely fleshed out in the Expanded Universe other than what was mentioned about the imperial occupation and enslavement of the wookiee population.

Background characters from the film that were first named by Decipher in the Death Star II set included:

· Marmor, rebel mechanic

· Midge, rebel scout

· Thaneespi, Mon Calamari officer

· Karie Neth, Rogue Squadron pilot

· Keir Santage, Rogue Squadron pilot

· s'Too Vees, rebel mechanic

· Telsij, rebel pilot

· Haash'n, Mon Calamari engineer

· Olander Brit, rebel officer

· Panno, rebel commando

· Sim Aloo, imperial advisor

· Myn Kyneugh, imperial royal guardsman

· Rhymer, TIE Bomber pilot

· Mianda, TIE pilot

· Hebsly, TIE pilot

· Endicott, imperial officer

· Janus Greejatus, imperial advisor

· Merrejk, imperial officer

· Jendon, TIE Defender pilot

· Davod Jon, imperial officer

· Yorr, TIE Defender pilot

· Sarkli, imperial spy

· Jonus, TIE Bomber pilot

· Godherdt, imperial officer

· Chiraneau, imperial officer

Characters/Ships in the Death Star II set that were originally from other EU sources:

· Verrack, Mon Calamari captain (X-Wing Wraith Squadron)

· Cracken, rebel intelligence officer (West End Games materials, X-Wing comics, and a few novels)

· Salm, rebel pilot and officer (X-Wing novels and comics)

· Walex Blissex, rebel engineer (West End Games materials)

· Kin Kian, Rogue Squadron pilot (X-Wing comics)

· Tycho Celchu, Rogue Squadron pilot (too many to mention, seriously you guys don’t know Tycho?)

· Independence, Mon Calamari Cruiser (X-wing comics and X-Wing computer games)

· Liberty, Mon Calamari Cruiser (X-Wing computer games)

· Defiance, Mon Calamari Cruiser (X-Wing computer games)

· Turr Phennir, imperial pilot (a re-occurring Aaron Allston character)

· Baron Soontir Fel, imperial pilot (X-wing comics, many novels)

· Judicator, Star Destroyer (Thrawn Trilogy, Tatooine Ghost)

· Chimaera, Star Destroyer (many novels)

· Accuser, Star Destroyer (renamed Emancipator by Alliance, Dark Empire, some novels)

· Thunderflare, Star Destroyer (Operation: Elrood RPG)

Well, there you have it. Not only was there a significant number of characters from the films that received their official name from these two sets, but also there was quite a bit of collaboration between these sets and the rest of the EU, particularly when it came to the X-Wing comics, novels and computer games.

It’s worthwhile noting Walex Blissex which is a significant character in the West End Games RPGs has many parallels to Galen Erso from Rogue One. Blissex’s daughter’s name, Lira, is even phonetically similar to Galen’s wife, Lyra Erso. Many characters first named by Decipher not only retained their name throughout other Expanded Universe material but also in the new canon. However, in the new canon, the character’s lore that carried over is extremely limited because they did not retain much of the history and minor bits and pieces of development the character received not only from this game, but other EU sources. Today for example, you can still find Star Wars X-Wing and Armada miniatures still using some pilot names from these sets even though the games are unrelated.

Be sure to stay tuned to for my next article covering a set that consists entirely of EU characters, Reflections II. See you next time!

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