Michael A. Stackpole
Michael Austin Stackpole is an American science fiction and fantasy author best known for his Star Wars and BattleTech books. He was born in Wausau, but raised in Vermont, he has a BA in history from the University of Vermont. From 1977 on, he worked as a designer of role-playing games for various gaming companies, wrote dozens of magazine articles with limited distribution within the industry. Michael Stackpole was hired full-time at Flying Buffalo after they accepted his submission for a solo Tunnels & Trolls adventure, published in 1978 as City of Terrors, he wrote columns on industry news and reviews for Flying Buffalo's magazine Sorcerer's Apprentice. Stackpole worked for Coleco from 1980-1981 as the result of a meeting between Rick Loomis and the president of Coleco at a gaming and pinball convention. Stackpole designed the roleplaying game Mercenaries and Private Eyes, which Flying Buffalo published in 1983. Stackpole left Flying Buffalo after the company's 1985 move to Arizona. Stackpole, Ken St. Andre, Liz Danforth designed the computer roleplaying game Wasteland, published by Interplay in 1988.
He returned to work with his fellow creators of Wasteland as a writer on its sequel Wasteland 2, released in 2014 by inXile Entertainment. In response to the accusations of Patricia Pulling who felt that the "occult" elements of Dungeons & Dragons were driving people to suicide, Stackpole began to defend the game and the roleplaying game community. Stackpole published one of his first articles about the media misinformation in Sorcerer's Apprentice #14 in an article called "Devil Games? Nonsense!", debated the Western Regional Director of Pulling's BADD organization on the radio on July 14, 1987. He compared BADD's statistics of suicides among roleplayers to the general rate of teen suicide and found the number of roleplayers committing suicide was lower than those who were not gamers, published his argument in an article called "The Truth about Role-Playing Games" in the 1989 book Satanism in America. In the 1980s, Stackpole began designing computer games for Coleco and Interplay Productions.
His work at Interplay included Bard's Tale III, Neuromancer, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary and Star Trek: Judgment Rites. He created the role-playing game Mercenaries and Private Eyes, which provided the game mechanics for Wasteland, wrote several solo adventures for the Tunnels & Trolls role-playing system, including "Dargon's Dungeon", "Overkill", "City of Terrors" and "Sewers of Oblivion". Stackpole loaned his image to Decipher for the image of Corran Horn used in their Star Wars Customizable Card Game expansion "Reflections 2". Timothy Zahn did for the character Talon Karrde. Stackpole teamed up with Decipher again, helping them write the background story to their WARS TCG, including e-books and other writing tie-ins for the expanded universe. In 1986 Stackpole wrote the fantasy story Talion: Revenant, his editors believed that a 175,000 word book was too long for an unknown author and that the story wasn't engaging. The story remained unpublished for the next 11 years until reworked by Stackpole's editor, Anne Lesley Groell.
Stackpole clarifies these issues himself in the afterword of the published version of Talion. The manuscript was published in 1997 by Bantam Books. Stackpole's first published novels were the Warrior trilogy for the BattleTech universe, published by FASA in 1988-1989, his "Blood of Kerensky" trilogy were the last novels published directly by FASA. Stackpole wrote a trilogy of novels published in 1992, which were based on the Dark Conspiracy roleplaying game by GDW. Stackpole has found his greatest success in serial works that continue the characters and plot lines developed by other authors. In 1987 he began writing novels set in the BattleTech universe for FASA Corporation, some of which were used as the source for a television animated series, he was selected to write several novels in the Star Wars universe for Bantam Books. He wrote several comics based in the Star Wars universe for Dark Horse Comics; these covered the period just before his X-Wing novels. He covered the marriage of Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade in the graphic novel Union and collaborated with Timothy Zahn on Mara Jade's early career.
In the foreword to his book Outbound Flight, Timothy Zahn thanks Stackpole and issues a challenge at Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. In addition, he has written short stories with original settings. One series is the DragonCrown War Cycle; these books attempted to break fantasy conventions in order to stir reader interest, including the introduction of firearms in a fantasy setting. Reception of these books was positive based on Amazon reviews, but reviews elsewhere were not as good. Stackpole contributed one of the four stories in Roger Zelazny's shared world anthology Forever After, published by Baen Books in 1995, he was a contributor in the 1998 anthology Lord of the Fantastic commemorating Zelazny. The Age of Discovery trilogy is his latest complete series, with A New World released mid-2007; the trilogy is set in a fantasy world, with an attempt at an unconventional approach to magic and mastery. The Crown Colonies is a trilogy; the first book, At The Queen's Command, was released in November 2010.
At New York Comic Con 2012, it was revealed that Blizzard Entertainment had approached Stackpole to write the next novel in their ser
Goodreads is a "social cataloging" website that allows individuals to search its database of books and reviews. Users can register books to generate library catalogs and reading lists, they can create their own groups of book suggestions, polls and discussions. The website's offices are located in San Francisco; the company is owned by the online retailer Amazon. Goodreads was founded in December 2006 and launched in January 2007 by Otis Chandler, a software engineer and entrepreneur, Elizabeth Khuri; the website grew in popularity after being launched. In December 2007, the site over 10,000,000 books had been added. By July 2012, the site reported 10 million members, 20 million monthly visits, 30 employees. On July 23, 2013, it was announced on their website that the user base had grown to 20 million members, having doubled in close to 11 months. On March 28, 2013, Amazon announced its acquisition of Goodreads; the Chandlers created Goodreads in 2006. Goodreads' stated mission is "to help people find and share books they love... to improve the process of reading and learning throughout the world."
Goodreads addressed "what publishers call the'discoverability' problem" by guiding consumers in the digital age to find books they might want to read. During its first year of business, the company was run without any formal funding. In December 2007, the site received; this funding lasted Goodreads until 2009, when Goodreads received two million dollars from True Ventures. In October 2010 the company opened its application programming interface, which enabled developers to access its ratings and titles. Goodreads received a small commission when a user clicks over from its site to an online bookseller and makes a purchase. In 2011, Goodreads acquired Discovereads, a book recommendation engine that employs "machine learning algorithms to analyze which books people might like, based on books they've liked in the past and books that people with similar tastes have liked." After a user has rated 20 books on its five-star scale, the site will begin making recommendations. Otis Chandler believed this rating system would be superior to Amazon's, as Amazon's includes books a user has browsed or purchased as gifts when determining its recommendations.
That year, Goodreads introduced an algorithm to suggest books to registered users and had over five million members. The New Yorker's Macy Halford noted that the algorithm wasn't perfect, as the number of books needed to create a perfect recommendation system is so large that "by the time I'd got halfway there, my reading preferences would have changed and I'd have to start over again."In October 2012, Goodreads announced it had grown to 11 million members with 395 million books catalogued and over 20,000 book clubs created by its users. A month in November 2012, Goodreads had surpassed 12 million members, with the member base having doubled in one year. In March 2013, Amazon made an agreement to acquire Goodreads in the second quarter of 2013 for an undisclosed sum. In September 2013, Goodreads announced it would delete, without warning, reviews that mention the behavior of an author or threats against an author. In January 2016, Amazon announced that it would shut down Shelfari in favor of Goodreads effective March 16, 2016.
Users were offered the ability to migrate accounts. In April 2016, Goodreads announced. On the Goodreads website, users can add books to their personal bookshelves and review books, see what their friends and authors are reading, participate in discussion boards and groups on a variety of topics, get suggestions for future reading choices based on their reviews of read books. Once users have added friends to their profile, they will see their friends' shelves and reviews and can comment on friends' pages. Goodreads features a rating system of one to five stars, with the option of accompanying the rating with a written review; the site provides default bookshelves—read, currently-reading, to-read—and the opportunity to create customized shelves to categorize a user's books. Goodreads users can read or listen to a preview of a book on the website using Kindle Cloud Reader and Audible. Goodreads offers quizzes and trivia, book lists, free giveaways. Members can receive the regular newsletter featuring new books, author interviews, poetry.
If a user has written a work, the work can be linked on the author's profile page, which includes an author's blog. Goodreads organizes offline opportunities as well, such as IRL book exchanges and "literary pub crawls"; the website facilitates reader interactions with authors through the interviews, authors' blogs, profile information. There is a special section for authors with suggestions for promoting their works on Goodreads.com, aimed at helping them reach their target audience. By 2011, "seventeen thousand authors, including James Patterson and Margaret Atwood" used Goodreads to advertise. Additionally, Goodreads has a presence on Facebook, Pinterest and other social networking sites. Linking a Goodreads account with a social networking account like Facebook enables the ability to import contacts from the social networking account to Goodreads, expanding one's Goodreads "Friends" list. There are settings available, as well, to allow Goodreads to post straight to a social networking account, which informs, e.g. Facebook friends, what one is reading or how one rated a book.
This constant linkage from Goodreads to other social networking sites keeps information flowing and connectivity continuous. The Amazon Kindle Paperw
Star Wars expanded to other media
Star Wars expanded to other media includes all Star Wars fictional material produced by Lucasfilm or licensed by it outside of the original Star Wars films and television series. Intended as an enhancement to and extension of the theatrical films produced by George Lucas, the spin-off material was moderated by Lucasfilm, Lucas reserved the right to both draw from and contradict it in his own works; this includes an array of derivative Star Wars works produced in conjunction with and after the original trilogy, prequel trilogy, sequel trilogy of films, includes books, comic books, video games, television series. Material produced prior to 2014 were known as the Star Wars Expanded Universe rebranded to Star Wars Legends, with the exception of the 2008 The Clone Wars animated film and TV series, with most works produced after 2014 part of the official canon as defined by Lucasfilm; the Star Wars space opera media franchise began with Lucas's 1977 film Star Wars, set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" and chronicles the attempt by the characters Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, the Wookiee Chewbacca—assisted by the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2—to thwart the evil plans of Sith Lord Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire.
The film was followed by multiple prequel films. Along the production of the films were an array of derivative Star Wars works, including books, comic books, video games, television series, which take place at the same time as, after the events of the original trilogy and prequel trilogy. All non-film material produced prior to 2014 was branded as the Star Wars Expanded Universe, was intended as an enhancement to and extension of the Star Wars theatrical films produced by George Lucas. Although the Star Wars film series itself has never been rebooted, a decision was made, due to works set after the original trilogy that contradict and deviate from Lucas' own view of the Star Wars story, to discard the EU works from the franchise canon. Lucas decided to cease creative involvement after selling, in October 2012, the Star Wars franchise as well as Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company; when Disney began development of a sequel trilogy of films and other works, needed its films to have full creative freedom unbound by the EU, nearly all EU works were removed from Star Wars franchise canon and rebranded as Star Wars Legends.
Most of the non-film works produced after April 2014 are part of the official Lucasfilm canon. In April 2014 Lucasfilm decreed prior expanded universe content non-canonical, christened it Star Wars Legends, with a new company division, Lucasfilm Story Group, ensuring that all forthcoming comics, books and other media were non-contradictory and true to one another, other canonical media, the story of the films themselves. From that point onward the official Star Wars canon was clarified to include the Star Wars theatrical films and The Clone Wars animated film and TV series. Works which have since been produced include the Rebels animated TV series, the 2015 film The Force Awakens and its 2017 sequel The Last Jedi, the 2016 anthology film Rogue One, the 2017 video game Star Wars Battlefront II, the 2018 film Solo: A Star Wars Story, a number of novels and comic book series. Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Alan Dean Foster's novelization of the original 1977 film Star Wars, was released six months before the film in November 1976.
Based on George Lucas's 1976 version of the screenplay, it was ghostwritten by Foster but credited to Lucas. Lucas commissioned Foster's subsequent 1978 novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye as the basis for a potential low-budget sequel to Star Wars if that film proved unsuccessful. Foster's works were followed by the film novelizations The Empire Strikes Back by Donald F. Glut and Return of the Jedi by James Kahn, as well as the two trilogies The Han Solo Adventures by Brian Daley, 1983's The Adventures of Lando Calrissian by L. Neil Smith. Running from April 1977 to May 1986, the Star Wars comic book series from Marvel Comics met with such strong sales that former Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter credited it with saving Marvel financially in 1977 and 1978. Marvel's series became one of the industry's top selling titles in 1979 and 1980. Two spin-off television films focusing on the life of the Ewoks, creatures introduced in Return of the Jedi, aired in 1984 and 1985; the 1985 animated television series Star Wars: Droids featured the exploits of R2-D2 and C-3PO, the droids who have appeared in all the Saga films.
The series takes place between the events which were to be depicted in Revenge of the Sith and the original Star Wars. In 1986, Marvel Comics' Star Comics imprint published a comic book based on the cartoon series under the name Star Wars: Droids; the bi-monthly series ran for eight issues. The American/Canadian animated television series Star Wars: Ewoks aired for two seasons between 1985 and 1986. In 1985, Star Comics published a bi-monthly Ewoks comic, based on the animated series, which ran for two years, ending with issue #14. Like the TV series, this was aimed towards a younger audience, it was produced along with Droids, which was
Matthew Stuart "Matt" Busch is an American artist and entertainment illustrator. He is a professor of Media and Communication Arts at Macomb Community College, he teaches a range of courses including commercial arts. Busch was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania on September 22, 1972 to Peggy Busch, he grew up in the northern suburbs of Michigan. After getting an associate degree from Macomb Community College, he moved to Pasadena, where he attended the Los Angeles Art Academy, received a bachelor's degree from the Art Center College of Design. After living in Los Angeles for nearly a decade during the 1990s, Busch returned to the Northern Detroit area where he set up his company, Planetmatt Entertainment, continues to work on Hollywood projects, via new technology, he is well known in many different circles of pop culture and fandom as an entertainment illustrator. Known for his work with the Star Wars universe, Busch has provided numerous covers and other material for the franchise. Since 1994, Matt Busch has provided art for official Star Wars books, posters and other products.
Early in his career, Busch started illustrating products for the Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game and the cover for Star Wars: Tales from the Empire, which became a New York Times Best Seller. One of his more recent projects was illustrating the Style D One Sheet movie poster for Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Busch is best known for his outspoken antics in the You Can Draw Star Wars video series, based on the book of the same name, which he illustrated; the video series was first released online and released on DVD. Following that, the videos found more success when they were released on MySpace.com, shot straight to number one on their charts. Volume Two of the same tutorial series was released on DVD. In 2008, Hasbro released a droid action figure named MB-RA-7, named after Matt Busch; that year, Busch became the first Honorary Member of the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers to become an official member with his own TK Stormtrooper armor. In October 2009, he created and released Zombie Wars Episode I: The Zombie Menace, Zombie Wars Episode II: Attack of the Undead, Zombie Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Zombies, Zombie Wars Episode IV: A New Epidemic, Zombie Wars Episode V: The Living Dead Strike Back, Zombie Wars Episode VI: Return from the Grave.
A couple of months Kohl's department stores re-released an exclusive Boba Fett T-shirt featuring Busch's art. Busch has contributed to comic books and trading cards, having worked on such properties as Afterburn, Alizarin's Journal, Coven 13, Lady Death, Night of the Living Dead, Witchblade. In 2009, Busch was hand-selected to illustrate President Obama for the cover of the DVD documentary, Becoming Barack: Evolution of a Leader. Busch produced a bonus feature on the DVD. Having worked behind the scenes for years in many aspects of movie making, Busch moved into the world of independent filmmaking. In 2006, his first feature-length movie, Conjure was released straight-to-DVD; the movie gained critical acclaim and shattered records in the Horror Genre. In 2009, Busch released a DVD titled Illustration Nation, a documentary of travel adventures ranging from Hollywood to London to Tokyo. Busch is filming and directing Aladdin 3477 based on the classic Arabian Nights tale Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp.
The movie is set in Asia 1,500 years in the future. It is expected to be released at some point in 2016. Busch married his wife Lin Zy, a puppet designer, on September 18, 2011 in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, they reside in a multiple-studio house in Michigan with their dog Roxie. Hollywood is Dead, published by Planetmatt Entertainment Matt Busch's Sketchbook, published by Planetmatt Entertainment The Worlds of Matt Busch, published by Hermes Press You Can Draw Star Wars, published by DK Publishing Pucker: The Seductive Art of Matt Busch, published by SQP Publishing Fantastic Visions: The Art of Matt Busch, published by Avatar Press Illustrator Filmmaking Storyboarding Matt Busch's official website Matt Busch on IMDb
Star Wars is an American epic space-opera media franchise created by George Lucas. The franchise began with the eponymous 1977 film and became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon; the first film subtitled Episode IV – A New Hope, was followed by two successful sequels, Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. A subsequent prequel trilogy, consisting of Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, completed what Lucas called the "tragedy of Darth Vader". A sequel trilogy began with Episode VII – The Force Awakens, continued with Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, will end with Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker in 2019; the first eight films were commercially successful. Together with the theatrical spin-off films Rogue One and Solo, the series has a combined box office revenue of over US$9 billion, is the second-highest-grossing film franchise; the film series has spawned into other media, including television series, video games, comics, theme park attractions and themed areas, resulting in a detailed fictional universe.
Star Wars holds a Guinness World Records title for the "Most successful film merchandising franchise". In 2018, the total value of the Star Wars franchise was estimated at US$65 billion, it is the fifth-highest-grossing media franchise of all time; the Star Wars franchise depicts the adventures of characters "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." in which many species of aliens co-exist with droids who may assist them in their daily routines, space travel between planets is common due to hyperspace technology. The rises and falls of different governments are chronicled throughout the saga: the democratic Republic is corrupted and overthrown by the Galactic Empire, fought by the Rebel Alliance; the Rebellion gives rise to the New Republic and rebuilds society, but the remnants of the Empire reform as the First Order and attempt to destroy the Republic. Heroes of the former rebellion lead the Resistance against the oppressive dictatorship. A mystical power known as "the Force" is described in the original film as "an energy field created by all living things... binds the galaxy together."
Those whom "the Force is strong with" have quick reflexes. The Force is wielded by two major knighthood orders at conflict with each other: the Jedi, who act on the light side of the Force through non-attachment and arbitration, the Sith, who use the dark side through fear and aggression; the latter's members are intended to be limited to two: their apprentice. The Star Wars film series centers on a trilogy of trilogies, they were produced non-chronologically, with Episodes IV–VI being released between 1977 and 1983, Episodes I–III being released between 1999 and 2005, Episodes VII–IX, the first Star Wars films to be made without Lucas's direct involvement, being released between 2015 and 2019. Each trilogy focuses on a generation of the Force-sensitive Skywalker family; the original trilogy depict the heroic development of Luke Skywalker, the prequels tell of his father Anakin's fall from grace, the sequels introduce Luke's nephew and Anakin's grandson, Kylo Ren. A theatrical animated film, The Clone Wars, was released as a pilot to a TV series of the same name.
They were among the last projects overseen by George Lucas before the franchise was sold to Disney in 2012. An anthology series set between the main episodes entered development in parallel to the production of the sequel trilogy, described by Disney CFO Jay Rasulo as origin stories; the first entry, Rogue One, tells the story of the rebels who steal the Death Star plans directly before Episode IV. Solo: A Star Wars Story focuses on Han Solo's backstory featuring Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian. Two spin-off trilogies have been announced: one by Episode VIII's director Rian Johnson and the other by Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. Prequel trilogy Original trilogy Sequel trilogy In 1971, George Lucas wanted to film an adaptation of the Flash Gordon serial, but couldn't obtain the rights, so he began developing his own space opera. After directing American Graffiti, he wrote a two-page synopsis titled Journal of the Whills, which 20th Century Fox decided to invest in. By 1974, he had expanded the story into the first draft of a screenplay.
The subsequent movie's success led Lucas to make it the basis of an elaborate film serial. With the backstory he created for the sequel, Lucas decided that the series would be a trilogy of trilogies. Most of the main cast would return for the two additional installments of the original trilogy, which were self-financed by Lucasfilm. Star Wars was released on May 25, 1977 and first called Episode IV – A New Hope in the 1979 book The Art of Star Wars. Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980 achieving wide financial and critical success; the final film in the trilogy, Episode VI – Return of the Jedi was released on May 25, 1983. The story of the original trilogy focuses on Luke Skywalker's quest to become a Jedi, his struggle with the evil Imperial agent Darth Vader, the struggle of the Rebel Alliance to free the galaxy from the clutches of the Empire. According to producer Gary Kurtz, lo
Smuggling is the illegal transportation of objects, information or people, such as out of a house or buildings, into a prison, or across an international border, in violation of applicable laws or other regulations. There are various motivations to smuggle; these include the participation in illegal trade, such as in the drug trade, illegal weapons trade, exotic wildlife trade, illegal immigration or illegal emigration, tax evasion, providing contraband to a prison inmate, or the theft of the items being smuggled. Smuggling is a common theme in literature, from Bizet's opera Carmen to the James Bond spy books Diamonds are Forever and Goldfinger; the verb smuggle, from Low German smuggeln or Dutch smokkelen a frequentative formation of a word meaning "to sneak", most entered the English language during the 1600s–1700s. Smuggling has a long and controversial history dating back to the first time at which duties were imposed in any form, or any attempt was made to prohibit a form of traffic. Smuggling is associated with efforts by authorities to prevent the importation of certain contraband items or non-taxed goods.
In England smuggling first became a recognised problem in the 13th century, following the creation of a national customs collection system by Edward I in 1275. Medieval smuggling tended to focus on the export of taxed export goods — notably wool and hides. Merchants however, sometimes smuggled other goods to circumvent prohibitions or embargoes on particular trades. Grain, for instance, was prohibited from export, unless prices were low, because of fears that grain exports would raise the price of food in England and thus cause food shortages and / or civil unrest. Following the loss of Gascony to the French in 1453, imports of wine were sometimes embargoed during wars to try and deprive the French of the revenues that could be earned from their main export. Most studies of historical smuggling have been based on official sources — such as court records, or the letters of Revenue Officers. According to Dr Evan Jones, the trouble with these is that'they only detail the activities of those dumb enough to get caught'.
This has led him and others, such as Prof Huw Bowen to use commercial records to reconstruct smuggling businesses. Jones' study focuses on smuggling in Bristol in the mid-16th century, arguing that the illicit export of goods like grain and leather represented a significant part of the city's business, with many members of the civic elite engaging in it. Grain smuggling by members of the civic elite working with corrupt customs officers, has been shown to have been prevalent in East Anglia during the 16th century. In England wool was smuggled to the continent in the 17th century, under the pressure of high excise taxes. In 1724 Daniel Defoe wrote of Lymington, Hampshire, on the south coast of England "I do not find they have any foreign commerce, except it be what we call smuggling and roguing; the high rates of duty levied on tea and wine and spirits, other luxury goods coming in from mainland Europe at this time made the clandestine import of such goods and the evasion of the duty a profitable venture for impoverished fishermen and seafarers.
In certain parts of the country such as the Romney Marsh, East Kent and East Cleveland, the smuggling industry was for many communities more economically significant than legal activities such as farming and fishing. The principal reason for the high duty was the need for the government to finance a number of expensive wars with France and the United States. Before the era of drug smuggling and human trafficking, smuggling had acquired a kind of nostalgic romanticism, in the vein of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped: "Few places on the British coast did not claim to be the haunts of wreckers or mooncussers; the thievery was romanticized until it seemed a kind of heroism. It did not have any taint of criminality and the whole of the south coast had pockets vying with one another over whose smugglers were the darkest or most daring; the Smugglers Inn was one of the commonest names for a bar on the coast". In Henley Road, smuggling in colonial times was a reaction to the heavy taxes and regulations imposed by mercantilist trade policies.
After American independence in 1783, smuggling developed at the edges of the United States at places like Passamaquoddy Bay, St. Mary's in Georgia, Lake Champlain, Louisiana. During Thomas Jefferson's embargo of 1807-1809, these same places became the primary places where goods were smuggled out of the nation in defiance of the law. Like Britain, a gradual liberalization of trade laws as part of the free trade movement meant less smuggling. In 1907 President Theodore Roosevelt tried to cut down on smuggling by establishing the Roosevelt Reservation along the United States-Mexico Border. Smuggling revived in the 1920s during Prohibition, drug smuggling became a major problem after 1970. In the 1990s, when economic sanctions were imposed on Serbia, a large percent of the population lived off smuggling petrol and consumer goods from neighboring countries; the state unofficially allowed this to continue or otherwise the entire economy would have collapsed. In modern times, as many first-world countries have struggled to contain a rising influx of immigrants, the smuggling of people across national borders has become a lucrative extra-legal activity, as well as the dark side, people-trafficking of women who m
Grand Admiral Thrawn
Grand Admiral Thrawn is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. Introduced in the 1991 Timothy Zahn novel Heir to the Empire, he is an Imperial military commander who has taken control of the Galactic Empire's remaining forces five years after the events of the 1983 film Return of the Jedi. Thrawn faces off against classic Star Wars characters Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian in the Thrawn trilogy, but is defeated, he is resurrected in the Hand of Thrawn duology, his backstory is explored in various other novels, short stories and video games in the Star Wars expanded universe. Though Lucasfilm rebranded the expanded universe works as Star Wars Legends in 2014 and declared them non-canon to the franchise, Thrawn was reintroduced in the third season of the 3D CGI animated television series Star Wars Rebels, voiced by Lars Mikkelsen. Rebels is set at a point in the Star Wars timeline earlier than Thrawn's storylines in the Legends continuity; the character is featured in a 2017 canon novel titled Thrawn, written by Zahn.
Thrawn has been called one of the most significant and popular characters in the Legends continuity, several Star Wars action figures and other merchandising have been produced of the character. Thrawn first appeared in the 1991 Timothy Zahn novel Heir to the Empire, the first installment of what became known as the Thrawn trilogy, he is a Grand Admiral in the Imperial Navy, categorically "the most brilliant of the Emperor's minions". A member of the alien Chiss species, Thrawn is described as a tall, solidly built humanoid with blue skin and glowing red eyes who wears the white uniform befitting his rank, he has risen in power thanks to his "tactical brilliance and cunning", has been described as "one of the most threatening antagonists" in the Star Wars universe. He is an unparalleled military strategist and tactical genius who has made extensive study of military intelligence and other cultures, the Thrawn trilogy finds him commanding the remnants of the Imperial Fleet in a series of stunning victories against the New Republic.
His full name was given as Mitth'raw'nuruodo. IGN described the character as "diabolical and ruthless". Zahn describes Thrawn's command style as different from that of Darth Vader and other typical Imperial commanders. Zahn said in 2017: Most of the Imperial leaders we see in the movies rule through a combination of fear and manipulation. I wanted to create something different: a commander; the result was Thrawn, a tactical genius whose troops follow him willingly, who will fight for him whether or not he's watching over their shoulders. Referencing Zahn's annotations in the 20th Anniversary Edition of Heir to the Empire, John Booth wrote in Wired that Zahn "created and developed Thrawn as a character deliberately establishing the Grand Admiral as a villain who leads not by coercion and fear but through valuing strategy and loyalty". Zahn explained in 2008 that Thrawn's version of the Empire is different than that of Palpatine because Thrawn does not have Palpatine's megalomania and xenophobia.
Calling Thrawn and Mara Jade his favorite of the characters he created, Zahn noted in 2006 that writing the Grand Admiral "provides the intellectual challenge of trying to come up with new and workable tactics and strategies". Thrawn is voiced by Tris King in the 1994 computer game Star Wars: TIE Fighter, by Tim Russell in the 1997 audio drama Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire. In seasons three and four of Star Wars Rebels, Thrawn is voiced by Lars Mikkelsen. Introduced in the Thrawn trilogy, Thrawn became a fan favorite and subsequently appeared in multiple works in what became known as the Star Wars Expanded Universe, including novels and video games, through 2006, he is cited as one of the most popular characters in the franchise. Star Wars Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni said of the character in 2016, "You couldn't have grown up a Star Wars fan without encountering Thrawn in Heir to the Empire, it was a dark time when there weren't any more movies, it blew our minds that there could be more."
The Thrawn trilogy itself is credited with reviving interest in the Star Wars franchise. In 2010, Star Wars: The Clone Wars creator Filoni expressed interest in using Thrawn in that series; some fans of Zahn's Thrawn series had long hoped the books would be adapted, after the 2012 announcement that The Walt Disney Company had acquired Lucasfilm and planned to produce film sequels to Return of the Jedi, Zahn commented that if material from the expanded universe was used in the films, "we'd all be thrilled to death". With the 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney, most of the licensed Star Wars novels and comics produced since the originating 1977 film Star Wars were rebranded as Star Wars Legends and declared non-canon to the franchise in April 2014. Though Lucasfilm made it clear that new media would "not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe", it was established that "creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe."
Acknowledging that Thrawn had long been considered by Lucasfilm when developing projects, Filoni said in 2016 that in particular the character had been on his list of potential villains when developing Star Wars Rebels. In Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire, master tactician Grand Admiral Thrawn plots to destroy the New Republic despit