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January 30, 1997 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-30

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128 -The Ahigan DailyWeeken ,AL e Thursday, Janu*30, 1997

F . .

The Michigan Daily eeken Mag

IJ State of the Arts

'Star Wars' books satiate hungry
fans with accurate, frequent books


I hate the names
used to label my
g e n e r a t i o n.
There's the most
horrendous of
them all -
"Generation X;"
"The MTV
Generation" (any
label that associ-
ates me with
Alanis Morissette
and Kurt Loder

Wars" was the defining moment of
my generation. Other generations
have wars or political motifs to char-
acterize themselves. But with the
lack of any great national tragedy to
shape our lives up to this point, we
need to find a label for
ourselves other than the
apathetic Generation
While my parents'
generation vividly
remembers where they
were when JFK was
shot, my generation has
no single event of the
same caliber. I remem-
ber where I was when I
heard the Gulf War had

By Bria.A. Gnatt
Daily Arts Editor


honestly say any of these events had a
significant impact on my life, or bet-
ter yet, defined my generation.
But I do remember when, where and
who I was with when I saw the "Star
Wars" films. To my generation, noth-
ing we have experienced
Veekend together has been as
AeeAkd huge a phenomenon as
"Star Wars." Luke
Skywalker and Han Solo
are more than household
names - they will be
ingrained in all of our
memories until the day
we die.
Are there any teen-
agers or 20-somethings
who haven't seen the

about which everyone has an opin-
ion. We can argue how the Ewoks
ruined "Return of the Jedi"; what an
evil man Billy Dee Williams is for
giving up Han Solo in the "Empire
Strikes Back," a career move that
sentenced him
to a life of Colt
45 commer- Areth
cials. We can
argue about the SOmethii
point in time

fight with wrapping paper or paper
towel rolls?
Categorizing myself as a member
of the "Star Wars" Generation
explains a lot about my peers. We care
more about the entertainment indus-
try (and pay
more, too) than
any 20- any generation
before us. We
'S Who care more about



should be considered abhorrent) and
the dim "13th Gen." Despite my hatred
for all of these ridiculous identifica-
tions, it wasn't until recently that I
found a label for my generation that I
agreed with - a label I could relate to.
I'm proud to be a member of the "Star
Wars" Generation.
It may sound petty to define tens of
millions of people by a Hollywood
film and its two sequels, but "Star

when Luke and
Leia figured
out they were
brother and sis-
ter, and most of
all, we can
debate about

haven't se,
"Star War

begun. I remember Panama and
Grenada. I remember seeing the
space shuttle launches and the
Challenger's demise. I also remember
Reagan being shot, but I couldn't


If You Lik

e Chicken, Ti

"Star Wars" movies? Maybe a few shel-
tered souls who stay home on weekends
listening to ABBA. But most of them
have probably seen "Star Wars" numer-
ous times.
The "Star Wars" Generation knows
more about the Sarlacc Pit than the
Secretary of State. Shunning the films
could be seen as more anti-American
than criticizing the president. I'd even
go as far to bet most of the "Star
Wars" Generation could name more
crew members of the Millennium
Falcon than they could name mem-
bers of Congress.
Have you ever noticed how our
generation can argue for hours about
the movies? "Star Wars" is a topic

which was the best film of the trilo-
gy. (I vote for "Empire.")
What was it about "Star Wars" that
made it such a phenomenon and set it
so far apart from the rest? Aside from
being excellent films, there were the
action figures, the X- and Y-Wing
Fighters, the Millennium Falcon, AT-
ATs and other toys. There were the
trading cards, the iron-on T-shirts, the
books, the board games and as we got
older, the CD-ROMs.
The Rebels vs. the Empire was a
game that could be taken to the play-
ground at recess, or to the Oval Office
with Reagan's proposed nuclear
defense system in space, "Star Wars."
And who hasn't had a mock lightsaber

Beavis and
en" theButthead than
Bosnia and
Chechnya. We
are more likely
to fight over
McDonald's and
Taco Bell than
being a Democrat or a Republican.
And we are probably more likely to
go to tomorrow night's premiere of
George Lucas' revamped generation-
defining masterpiece than read
tomorrow's newspaper.
Is this acceptable behavior?
Probably not. But for better or worse,
this is my generation. While today we
are seen as apathetic and disinterested,
maybe one day we'll wake up and
make the "Return of the Jedi" transfor-
mation from the heartless and cold
Darth Vader back to Anakin
Skywalker. If only we all believed in
The Force.
- Brian A. Gnatt can be reached via
e-mail at bgnatt wnich.eda.

Journey into the world of Star Wars with action-pac

By Elizabeth Lucas
Daily Books Editor
As audiences left theaters at the con-
clusion of "Return of the Jedi," few of
them realized that the suspense wasn't
over yet.
The three "Star Wars" films that have
been released are parts four through six
of a planned nine-part series. Until
recently, no one knew how long it
would be until the saga was continued.
As it turned out, they only had to wait
until 1991.
Although the first new "Star Wars"
movie is projected to be released in
1999, books detailing the further
adventures of Luke, Han and Leia have
been in print for six years. Though not
widely publicized, these books consti-
tute a quiet publishing phenomenon.

"Star Wars" novels are, book for
book, the single most valuable active
franchise in publishing," said John
Seabrook in the January 6 edition of
The New Yorker. There are some 25
titles in print, and many of these have
been bestsellers.
"There's always a lot of interest when
a new book comes out in the series,
Borders employee Jean Moseley said.
"All kinds of books on the (Star Wars)
movies are popular, too."
The series really began with tie-in
books, released at the same time as the
movies; these were later reissued as a
one-volume trilogy. However, Timothy
Zahn's "Heir to the Empire," published
in 1991, was the first sequel.
Since then, there has been a vast
increase in the variety of "Star Wars"

titles available. Many are novels by well-
known science fiction writers like Zahn
and Kevin J. Anderson. These are mostly
in paperback, but Steve Perry's
"Shadows of the Empire" and Kristine
Kathryn Rusch's "The New Rebellion"
have been published in hardcover.
.For those who like a thematic approach
to "Star Wars," some books focus on one
character, such as "The Han Solo
Adventures" and "The Lando Calrissian
Adventures." There are also anthologies
like "Tales.of the Bounty Hunters" and
"Tales from Jabba's Palace."
One of the more interesting varia-
tions on the "Star Wars" theme are the
National Public Radio dramatizations
of the movies, which have also been
published in book form. And for those
See BOOKS, Page 13B

Fans may read about adventures o

r Our...

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all white meat! Served with
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l e Chicken Gyro
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with char-broiled Chicken)

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+ Chicken Deluxe
(From the fryer-seasoned

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El .1

By Brian A. Gnatt
Daily Arts Editor
"Star Wars" games used to be a lot
simpler. They usually had something to
do with moving small two-dimensional
paper figures of Luke Skywalker and
Han Solo around a flat cardboard game-
Then, there was the
simplistic, yet enjoyable
"Star Wars" arcades
game, where pilots had "
to fly an X-Wing fighter
in the attack against the
first Death Star - all
on a primitive mono-
chrome screen.
Thanks to "Star
Wars" producer
George Lucas, who has
been involved in other film-related
ventures since the end of the trilogy,
mainly his special effects studio
Industrial Light & Magic and his soft-
ware company LucasArts, there are


new "Star Wars" multimedia titles that
make the film's board games of the
past seem like mere antiques in the
high-tech '90s.
LucasArts, which releases all of the
new "Star Wars"-related multimedia
games, has done a purely phenomenal
job in designing and
Veeken(I executing the various
F* CD-ROM titles that
appear in its latest
release, "The
LucasArts Archives
Vol. II - 'Star Wars'
Collection," an afford-
able priced six-CD-
ROM collection of
multimedia adventures.
(Available for PC and
In the set are four previously released
best-selling "Star Wars" titles: "Rebel
Assault," "TIE Fighter" "Dark Forces"
and the two-CD "Rebel Assault II: The
Hidden Empire." There is also a new

disc, "Making Magic," which gives a
preview of new scenes, storyboards,
interviews and other treats from the re-
released "Star Wars."
It's the games, however, that are the
highlight of the collection. They are
superb for various reasons. First of
all, they are visually and audibly
delectable. While some are more
film-like than others, they all capture
the feeling of the "Star Wars" trilogy.
The graphics, voices and actual sound
and video clips from the movies put
the player right in the center of the
action. Whether it's in the cockpit or
on foot, the games have taken the
utmost care to maintain the continuity
between the films and the CD-ROMs.

Second, and most important
games are all exciting. None fal
the fairly-common multimedia
going all-out on a game's produ
yet still ending up with a borinl
"Rebel Assault II" is the bread
ner of the collection. With its c
nation of live-action video (it co
some of the first footage shots
the original films), an exciting plc
a large variety in the many tasl
player must perform, the game
blast to play. It contains both exte
cockpit flight and ground co
which is significantly more ex
than simply one or the other,
"TIE Fighter" and "Dark Forces

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