Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review and Commentary On The 'Luke Star Killer' Source book For your Old School Space Opera

You can find it right over 
Nineteen seventy seven was a banner year for me. Star Wars came out and I discovered Dungeons and Dragons or was it that OD&D discovered me?
Back in those bygone days I consumed everything Star Wars I could get my hands on and with my latest acquisitions the other day I began to look around the net and discovered that a series of articles that show cased some of the early works of George Lucas had been updated! 

 I printed out the ten page article  of 'The Luke Star Killer Source book'!
This isn't a game book instead its a look into one of the most interesting early drafts of the Stars Wars sage.
Here's an introduction and synopsis of the article by the author.
'This mini-sourcebook contains background material from the Second Draft of Star Wars, supplemented with selected material from the first draft, both of which were written by George Lucas. This sourcebook was written in preparation for my sequel to the Lucas script, “Princess of Ondos“.
This source book details the major characters, planets, and factions of this early version of Lucas’ Star Wars universe.
This information is based entirely on the work of George Lucas. –Brendon Wahlberg' 

All your favorites are there but this is a very different universe. The source book reads like an odd mash up of Flash Gordon, bits of Dune, a dash of Errol Flynn, and some very weird Space Western elements thrown into a blender set to Samurai on high.
This isn't a bad thing at all.
There are a lot more Jedi in the movie, the places are familiar but the characters we know and love are set someplace else on the stage. Again this isn't a bad thing at all. This would make a hell of an old school rpg campaign as well as is! That's right the material is very much in the old school action/adventure space tradition if you can find players willing to deal with this one!
The author boils down into a very well thought out sourcebook all of the essential elements right into ten pages. Again things are familiar but very different and very dangerous.
Storm troopers have laser swords!  Sorry no light sabers here and the familiar fanon can get you killed quite easily.
There are other faces that are seen through a glass darkly and their not at all as you might remember them. Tarkin as a good guy! Oh my! 

Luke, Leia, Han are all different and their are many veterans of other conflicts in the background. The Empire is expanding, the Star Killer is retiring, and the death star is moving ever so slowly towards universe domination! 
This is a brand new universe and you can put your own thumb print on it. The author does an excellent job of sketching this out and it would work rather well as a campaign. 

I've been a long time reader of the Star Killer 'The Jedi Bendu' site.
In their words : 
"From this site you can read and download the early drafts and original shooting scripts, see the spectacular pre-production art of Ralph McQuarrie and Alex Tavoularis, read discerning essays and articles about the STAR WARS Saga and directly participate with your own artwork and texts.
The Jedi Bendu is a group of devoted fans who collect and treasure the original drafts and shooting scripts of the STAR WARS saga. Formed in 1995 by “old-timers” who remembered the halcyon days of 1977."

Using The Source Book for Your Old School Space Opera
Playing lets fool the players with this source book is going to get rather old rather fast. The fact is this material is easily adaptable and feels rather new. Suddenly a lot of those fantastic early pre production paintings by Ralph Mcquarrie star wars art books make a whole lot more sense and those are your go to artwork for getting your players in the right frame of mind.
The worlds, aliens, and creatures seem familiar but this is a different galaxy and there's more room to carve out your own mythology,adventures, and changes within it. 
In my humble opinion this material actually fits OD&D as well as the retroclones quite well. The feel is very much pulp and within the old school tradition of adventure building.  
In a nutshell the author did some excellent work and this is a fantastic resource with which to start an OD&D star wars game in a galaxy slightly farther away. 

If you want to download and read some of the original Lucas scripts from the Jedi Bendu site their available right over

These may provide more valuable insight into the source book link above and provide you the DM with background you might need! 
In no way shape or form I'm I trying to violate any of the trademarks or copyrights of the holders of  Star Wars, Ralph McQuarrie's artwork  or the efforts of Brendon Wahlberg. THis review is for entertainment purposes only.
This is simply the ramblings of a fan of both Star Wars and the hard work of the 
Star Killer 'The Jedi Bendu' site. 
Rest in Peace
Maestro McQuarrie
Thanks for all the dreams and wonderful artwork.


  1. Wishlisted! Thanks for the info, Needles.

  2. Gorgonmilks its actually the article pal. All you have to do is print it out and go write your adventure.

  3. Thanks Trey and its partially your fault for posting that bit about the Leight Brackett script for Empire way, way, back when.
    Folks I've updated the review to include a link to the various 'Early Star Wars' scripts on the 'Jedi Bendu' site.


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