Editorial: Star Wars Musings From Atop Mt. Misinfo.

Skellig Michael“To spoil or not to spoil, that is the question?” I wonder aloud as Shakespeare must have done once upon a time, “Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the blasters and laserbolts of outrageous rumors, Or to take lightsaber against a starfield of troubles And by opposing, end them . . .” Or not. Will probably didn’t worry about spoilers much in his day and age, co-workers leaking pages of his unfinished scripts to the rabble of merry ol’ England before the ink even dried. Even if his co-workers did betray the bard it wasn’t likely the peasants who most beloved his plays could read them. My how far we’ve evolved . . .


As I sit here atop magnificent Mt. Misinfo, or is it mounting misinformation?, I look around at the picturesque emerald landscape that affords us such a wide and clear view of Episode VII’s Principal Photography, which officially wrapped on November 6th, 2014. “Sense the sarcasm, do you?” Master Yoda would say. In the 174 days of principal we experienced TMZ’s “leaks,” consisting largely of unknown desert sets purported to be Tatooine, but not exactly, complete with bedraggled extras less exotic aliens, that is unless you count a very large hog that isn’t of the Gamorrean persuasion. Essentially we saw a lot of nothing too spoilerific – no BIG 3 or other main characters – exciting nonetheless, but not very clear at all.


In fact, I have my doubts about TMZ’s “leaks,” in quotation marks, because it is clear that JJ’s “Mystery Box” philosophy to story-telling is always very well conceived, which renders any random “leaks” inconceivable to me. No. JJ’s mystery box was so well thought-out that the production invested in drone shields for their outdoors shoots. Alas, the company Drone Shield was unable to export their advanced warning system to England and drones accidentally stumbled upon the rolling leas of Greenham Common and some very exciting sets which held the Millennium Falcon, or at least half of it, as well as a couple new-fangled X-Wing fighters. This “leak” smacks much more credible as a breach as there appears to have been an effort to plug it.


Burned Helmet

Pretty much since the inception of filming we’ve received report after report of concept art descriptions, like this one first posted on this very site, scene descriptions, and/or character descriptions. All these leaks culminated in the infamous concept art leak of October. Again, like the TMZ controlled leak, we were afforded 30 pieces of artwork none of which featured the BIG 3. However, unlike the TMZ leak, we did see some bits of seemingly main character concepts highlighted by a young female that pretty much everyone presumes to be Daisy Ridley’s character whose name may or may not be Kira, Sera, or Fawn. A Chewie pic with a cybernetic arm. Some really cool ships. Oh, and the uber iconic and equally unmistakable burned-up helmet of Darth Vader which we first reported about in July.


Then there’s this mysterious figure known as “The Grave Robber” who proved to be one of the most controversial concepts of the entire production thus far. This figure was characterized by some as a cyborg, or more accurately a Luke Skywalker cyborg, or could be Adam Driver . . . maybe. Some fans have even proposed the theory that Mark Hamill grew his beard to throw us off and he is actually wearing a mask that obscures said beard. I don’t know about all that, but I do know that I’m not the only one that thinks there’s some chicanery going on.  Next, throw in a couple random Han Solo concepts that show us nothing new, we’ve seen his Hoth gear and trench-coat before. New stormtrooper helmets though and a figure that looks almost EXACTLY like Darth Revan. Give us “Grave Robbers” and “Dark Knights,” “carousels,” and “wampa swords.” Real descriptions or code names galore? Whatever the case may be it has loosed a tidal wave of speculation based on these fractured pieces of this larger-than-life jigsaw puzzle.


Reading StarWars7News

You’d have to be a brave Jedi indeed, slogging through the harried world of speculative Star Wars Blogging. Maybe like Obi-Wan Kenobi-brave as, yes, even he has been the center of Episode VII rumors that allegedly have his grand-daughter making an appearance to save the galaxy. What the what?! But wait, we’ve seen wild speculation run rampant before, yeah? This article on Cinelinx recounts some of the crazier rumors and totally 100% legit storylines that existed prior to the release of the Prequel Trilogy movies. (Psst, there’s a whole website-that-shall-not-be-named full of them if you catch my drift.) My personal favorite is that Obi-Wan Kenobi was really a clone and that his name was actually “Oh-Bee One” as in the first in his line of OB clones:

EVERYONE is a Clone


No lies here, according to rumors that spanned the entire Prequel trilogy, everyone and their dog is a damn clone. Kenobi is actually killed by Anakin and his clone is the person we see in the Original trilogy (accounting for why he seemed to be wrong about certain facts, and the age difference). We already talked about Palpatine being a clone of Sidious, but there’s more! Sidious himself was rumored to be a clone of another Sith Lord who has managed to keep himself alive for a millennia. This would tie into other crazy rumors about Exar Kun (a Sith Lord who mastered time and what not in the EU).


So the concept art “leak” spurred a torrent of likewise speculation. Again, I question if this was a true breach of security or a controlled leak? I ask this because as I research this article I discovered, according to IMDB which we all know can be edited by anyone, that there are about ten main concept artists currently credited as working on Episode VII. They include:



* Iain McCaig

* Matt Allsop

* Tim Browning

* Keith Christiansen

* David Hobbins

* Seth Engstrom

* Matthew Savage

* Dan Walker

* Andree Wallin

* Doug Chiang


Chiang Concept Art

So, obviously, we didn’t even see the tip of the iceberg of concept art produced for Episode VII since we merely saw a scant 30 pieces by only some of these ten artists. We’ve seen Chiang and McCaig’s artwork before, so rich, refined and polished. It seems their art has been withheld from the leak; withheld perhaps because their work is surely to be instrumental in the production’s design. This and the fact that we didn’t see any concept art of the Big 3 – Han, Luke, and Leia – or the droids for that matter, suggests to me that this was yet another controlled leak. Perhaps some used concepts mixed in with long-discarded ideas. These were leaked to Making Star Wars which did the understandable job of trying to decipher the works without any context. Hence a lot of strange concepts were born such as a Cyborg Luke Skywalker or maybe Adam Driver’s character. But IF this was a controlled leak then that confirms the larger point of this article – a purposeful misinformation campaign by Bad Robot.


Google defines the concept accordingly:



  1. false or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive.

And this mysterious “insider,” and Cantina member, known as Gabriel Gray seems to think likewise according to this Tweet:



Conspiratorially or coincidentally, “Gabriel Gray” was the real name of the Heroes character “Sylar” who was played by the Star Trek reboot’s “Spock” (well, one of them), Zachary Quinto. At any rate this Gabriel Gray seems to know stuff or at least acts like he does, which makes his insinuation that the mystery box is trolling us fans very, very interesting.


After all, deception is integral to magic even if it’s movie magic and deception is a Star Wars tradition. Leia disguised as Boushh, anyone? Return of the Jedi disguised as “Blue Harvest” – “Horror beyond imagination” – its working title. JJ employed the technique while he was directing his Star Trek reboot by calling that film “Corporate Headquarters.” And variously during pre and principal production Episode VII has been referred to as “AVCO” and “Foodles.”


You might be asking yourself, Why would Disney/LFL/Bad Robot go to such great lengths? Like in the shadowy world of industrial espionage they take these great lengths to protect the product. And it seems JJ and co. have thought of everything. Case in point, when drones accidentally discovered the outdoors set at Greenham Common information came out that Disney attempted to order a drone shield which would have given the production advanced warning of the drone invasion. The company by the same name – Drone Shield – failed epically to deliver the goods and thus the pics were taken and subsequently leaked to the net. While the drone invasion occurred, through no fault of the production, despite the anticipation, could some of these leaks be controlled leaks? With at least ten artists working on the project does it seem so far-fetched that one or two of them are producing completely false artwork just to be leaked in order to throw us off the real track? Given the thought that JJ put into the Greenham Common shoot I for one would not put it past him.


Mystery Date

Then there’s the curious case of the Star Wars: Rebels “Easter Egg” in the new episode entitled “Empire Day.” What started out as a keen observation from one of our Cantina patrons known as “Mike” has evolved into a rather interesting mystery. Mike observed that there was some aurebesh writing which he deciphered. But above the writing were numbers tantalizingly arranged like a date. After doing a little more digging he discovered that the date was significant in Star Wars history because a certain Dark Horse comic book — Star Wars Legacy Vol. 2 Issue #9 — was released on that day. Big whoop, right? It’s just a comic book. OR is it? See the comic book in question revolved around the story of a young girl named “Ania Solo” who is stranded on a backwater world without any prospects. She is just minding her own business minding the local junkyard when lo and behold a lightsaber drops into her life, propelling her on her own heroe’s journey. Sound familiar? It should since these are basically the same exact elements that we’ve been hearing about Daisy’s character.


Daisy Ridley

This event in the making of Episode VII brings up wayyy more questions than it answers. Firstly, why would Disney allow Dark Horse to publish a comic book that had so many of Episode VII’s elements in it? Disney knew back in 2012 that it was making the Sequel Trilogy, had George’s treatments in hand and was, in fact, already working on the script. Secondly, why would anyone working on Star Wars in any capacity drop an Easter Egg into an episode that points to this particular comic book? Why attract attention to something that seemingly spoils the plot, especially when it would have otherwise been largely ignored? The only thing that makes sense is that this information — these “insider” leaks — is really misinformation coming from this comic book and has absolutely nothing to do with the true plot of Episode VII. The only thing that makes sense is that Dave Filoni and company are nodding to the fact that we’ve all been had by the misinformation that has been fed to us regarding the characters and plot.


Obviously, we fans are easy targets, rabid for every little tidbit of information we can get from the production and in a news vacuum it will be filled by someone and something. This isn’t really new, or even news. It’s been this way for well over forty years with tabloid rags being the seminal sources of Hollywood gossip. This turned into television tabloids like “Entertainment Tonight” or “Access Hollywood.” And in today’s information saturation age there are virtually countless sources to disseminate and receive said leaks. But leaks, controlled or otherwise, or even misinformation campaigns, aren’t really the problem are they?



Well, according to Merrill Barr, writing for Forbes.com, the recent leak of the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer was worse than World War III, it was the end of the world:

“However, all those plans went up in a puff a smoke when the trailer (in low-quality form) was stolen and uploaded online for the world to see, effectively destroying any pull ABC was going to have next week (made worse by Disney uploading the trailer officially to lessen the blow), and possibly any future cross-platform marketing plans Disney might have had in the works for some of its other major properties […] However, Marvel Television isn’t the only entity hurt by the leak. Had the Age of Ultron reveal gone off without a hitch, chances are high it would have paved the way for a game-changing marketing strategy for Disney’s other mega-franchise, Star Wars. With the release of Episode 7 a year and change away, Disney had an opportunity to launch the first trailer for the J.J. Abrams film across all its platforms including ABC, ABC Family, ESPN, ABC.com, Disney.com, StarWars.com and a host of others. But now, having seen the potential for major breaches in security, the cross-platform strategy could be tossed out the window in favor of a more traditional, less accessible approach.”


Over-react much? Barr belongs on the internet, the natural home for knee-jerk over-reactionaries. He paints a bleak picture of despair and epic failure all because of one Hydra-employed leaker. Now, IF Disney really feels like their company was hurt by the leak then it is their responsibility to enforce their NDA’s (Non-Disclosure Agreements.) Perhaps if they sued these leakers, these traitors to their trust, and ran them out of Hollywood careers, it would serve as a prime example of what happens to the trust betrayers and perhaps deter future leaks. However, one could argue that if Disney needs to use the Avengers trailer to lure people to watch “S.H.I.E.L.D.,” a show that isn’t very popular, then there’s probably no saving the show anyway. A temporary bump in viewers can’t save it. A better show, more integrated with the core of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, might.


But I argue that Disney was NOT hurt in any way by this or any of the leaks we’ve seen with Star Wars, TMZ, concept art et al. Hollywood has an old saying, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” And there isn’t. Period. Having a Disney project, whatever it may be, in the public consciousness accomplishes the exact same purpose as if the trailer had been released as planned. In fact, according to International Business Times, the trailer gained 34.3 million viewers in it’s first 24 hours on YouTube breaking Marvel’s old Iron Man 3 record. Also, the early release of the trailer boosted viewers to watch “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” anyway in order to view the HD trailer with new footage. And to think all this would somehow harm Star Wars is just a shade above ridiculous. Star Wars is already the most anticipated movie in the history of the planet – any release of news, or leaks, or trailers will do nothing to alleviate that interest only feed it and it’s really kind of laughable to think that now Disney can’t use all its platforms to do so — TV, movies, internet — because Age of Ultron leaked early.


As we saw in the documentary Starwoids, during the Prequel Trilogy, Star Wars-starved fans bought tickets to certain movies just to see the trailers in all their epic, big screen glory and then left the theaters. The movies received a bump in revenue just by a minute long trailer and Star Wars remained in the public’s consciousness. And of course, hardcore fans camped out in lines some six months before the movie’s opening just to assure themselves as being the very first to see it.



This all brings us back to my main question — “To spoil or not to spoil?” That is of course an individual answer. Caveat emptor — buyer beware — some would warn. Wild rumors and speculations from “inside sources” like Luke Skywalker, the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy, being captured from anywhere between 10-30 years, Adam Driver playing Han’s son who falls to the Dark Side a la Darth Caedus, or the introduction of Han’s long lost twin “Dan Solo,” are attention grabbers to be sure. Determining what is a “spoiler” from what is just wild rumor and pure speculation, or outright misinformation, is a difficult trick at best. But does it really matter? I can only answer for myself when I say, “Bring it on!” Bring on the mysterious “I know this guy who has an uncle that works for . . .” I say bring on the concept art leaks. I say bring on the Actor X is playing Character Y in a flashback rumors because THIS IS STAR WARS! George Lucas, and many fans, may want to disavow the “Star Wars Holiday Special” or the two cringe-worthy Ewoks movies. There are those that don’t acknowledge the Special Editions or the Prequel Trilogy as well. But, to me, all of this stuff, all of these things, these rumors and speculations and minutia are all the constituent parts that make up this grand tapestry, this awesome phenomenon, that is the experience of being a Star Wars fan and, suffice it to say, I’m extremely glad I’m along for the ride!


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40 thoughts on “Editorial: Star Wars Musings From Atop Mt. Misinfo.

  • November 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    That is a lot of words. I’ll have to read this later. I’m sure it’s a great article.lol

  • November 20, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Lovely post, I agree we are being trolled to a certain extent. And I love this time of anticipation.

  • November 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I agree we are scrambling through misinformation and I for one think certain “web sources” are in on it.

    That being said it is fun, and I expect the community will have a better grasp on what’s actually going on in a few months

  • November 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I read it! Very good article.
    And well never open the mystery box. 🙂

  • November 20, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Oh I totally agree that some of the concept art was leaked on purpose..
    Had my suspicions about it when they first appeared.

    Also the photos of the desert scenes
    could have been easily leaked by workers there.

  • November 20, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Well put. It’s all about the experience….thanks George!!

  • November 20, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    I am loving all of this spoilerific material that we’ve been flooded by, but more than that, what an awesome feeling would be to realise, only in theatres, that we’ve been seriously trolled by Disney, JJ and the film production. Honestly, that would put a gigantic smile in my face, and I would certainly laugh out loud at myself, and watch a completely different movie, eating my popcorn, felling like a little kid.

    • November 20, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      That WOULD be awesome,wouldn’t it?

      • November 21, 2014 at 1:43 am

        It WOULD be awesome! Does occur to anyone that this is why making movies is kept so secret? Throw the “mystery box” term around all you want, all movies try to be as secret as possible to make the filmgoing experience a surprise. SW TFA just has the largest spotlight on it right now. I think it sucks when things leak, I don’t want to see a blurry piece of concept art. I want to experience what the creators of the movie want me to experience: the final vision in theaters, where it’s meant to be seen. That’s the full SW experience to me, that’s how I remember seeing SW as a kid. I’ll see the art that inspired the final film after.

        It’s absolutely ridiculous people try to pre-judge a movie on unfinished/unused/early concept art and misunderstood plot points told to friends-of-friends. I know everyone’s excited I just think that the internet has sort-of ruined seeing movies “fresh”. Let’s all remember most blog sites make money from ads, the more information they release, the more hits they get, the more money they make (not this site, I love this site). It’s turned into an economy of spoilers.

        • November 21, 2014 at 7:29 pm

          That’s why moviegoers in prior eras had more enriching experiences. They had no choice.

    • November 21, 2014 at 4:47 am

      Hahahaa, that’s what I’m hoping.

  • November 20, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    They need to be careful with any misinformation. We could end up liking the misinformation better than what they have actually done. If Luke isn’t a crazy and very powerful recluse and is just Obi-Wan with a different name and running a Jedi academy, I for one will be very disappointed.

  • November 20, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Agree with Nadir. What if the leaked misinfo is actually better than the final product according to fans?

    • November 20, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Some fans would love it others would hate it no matter what. So that risk is basically there no matter what path they take. They aren’t going to please everyone.

      I am on the opposite side of the table as Nadir. Would rather Luke not be some crazy hermit. Different strokes for different folks.

      Personally hate surprises lol… Respect that others do but wouldn’t mind some actual confirmed info.

    • November 20, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      Which fans would those be, exactly? Not all SW fans, I hope. Because last time I checked, human beings were all different and entitled to their own opinion, regardless on what the majority/minority might have to say about it.

      I for one, couldn’t give a womp rat’s ass about what those fans you refer to might think of the final product. I will make up my mind based on what I see on the screen, not on potential spoilers, or the rants of those expecting to see the film that they all have running in their minds already.

  • November 20, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    With a fan base as large as SW there are going to be people who won’t like the final product. Should they wait until it’s out, or at least until there is actual confirmed info available, to make up their mind? Personally I would say yes but my over all point was there isn’t one path or plot direction they could take that is going to be universally loved.

    Nadir’s comment was on how he would be disappointed if they went with A. While others would be going “Oh thank the Force”.

    Fans in this case is kind of a generic term as it covers a large number of opinions.

  • November 20, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Many of the spoilers have been so cool I will be somewhat disappointed to not see them on the screen. But then again, if the trolling is this good the movie must be epic.

    Here’s hoping!

    • November 20, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      I have liked some and disliked others. I don’t like walking into things blind but that’s apparently the approach being taken. Lol

  • November 21, 2014 at 12:23 am

    I found it really interesting how the more we seem to learn, the less clear things get. I’ve been following this intensely since March and the only things I’m comfortable saying are that:

    1: It will take place after VI
    2: It will feature the main cast of OT
    3: There will be some moral grey area

    • November 21, 2014 at 12:49 am

      There will be planets and space as well.

  • November 21, 2014 at 12:35 am

    I’m really hoping the whole Luke is insane thing doesn’t come to fruition. I want to see the old cast as comrades rather than Han killing Luke or vice versa. It would be a huge letdown to not have the familial bond that created such magic in the original trilogy.

  • November 21, 2014 at 12:58 am

    I’m really hoping these rumors are wrong. I started to question when the concept art came out but now I have a little more hope for this movie again. Also I like the idea that we could be getting “spoiled” only to end up completely surprised anyway! It’s the best of both worlds.

  • November 21, 2014 at 2:14 am

    JJ and Kathleen Kennedy have been way ahead of the game from the beginning. Most likely, they have a ‘command centre’ for regularly feeding misinformation to selected sites and sources, and a ‘counter-intelligence’ unit for dealing with any genuine leaks. I think the real plot of TFA is still very much unknown.

  • November 21, 2014 at 2:41 am

    I’m hoping that your “command center” idea is indeed true. If I can gleam anything from these spoiler rumors the plot of TFA sounds borderline ridiculous. I’m counting on JJ’s disinformation machine and hope that the actual plot is something way more unexpected and unique.

  • November 21, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Don’t worry Chinese hackers have found the trailer via someone’s icloud.

  • November 21, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Great article, Echo07 is way more intelligent and grounded than his audience.
    Agree 100% with this article.

    This actually touches upon why I visit this site. I do not want spoilers, I want insight and study, and the speculation articles are what I like best. I’m not interested in who the villain is, that can wait, I’m interested in What Star Wars is. That’s why I visit this site, because it get’s me thinking about a rough-around-the-edges but beautiful franchise.
    Thanks Echo’

  • November 21, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Can’t wait to see the hissy fit at MSW when they realize they’ve been punked.

  • November 21, 2014 at 6:31 am

    “All these leaks culminated in the infamous concept art leak of October.” COURTESY OF MILLENNIUMFALCON.COM

    Vast amounts of rumors and theories are posted by starwarsnewsnet.com and MakingStarWars.com – with most built upon news tidbits (i.e. John Williams recording 7’s score which snowballed in a Teaser Trailer recording session “reports”)that both of these are able to retroactivelly point to one of them and say “hey we told ya it’s going to happen!”

    At least starwarsnewsnet.com doesn’t go back and delete debunked rumors like MakingStarWars does in order to improve their record. Sure MakingStarWars has “hundreds” of concept art phone camera pictures. However the vast majority of them are variants of the three dozen previously leaked images…

    …imaages leaked by the mighty Millennium Falcon.com (hell they even have a cooler domain-name)

    Bow down!

  • November 21, 2014 at 7:36 am

    “a purposeful misinformation campaign by Bad Robot.”

    Look up who registered the domain starwarsnewsnet.com …and prepare to have your mind blown.

    And it’s not about the studio getting their advertising either way. It’s about the psychological aspects of knowing the details/results of a story before its relayed to you naturally, and the confusion / bitterness and judgment that results when expectations aren’t met.

    • November 21, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      Not sure what you saw, but I didn’t see anything mind blowing in the registration info, and I looked in more than one place. Got a link?

    • November 21, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Yeah! It’s Naughty Android!

      • November 22, 2014 at 12:44 am

        Link to where you see that?

  • November 21, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Interesting that you have such a “bring it on” attitude, yet you (the mods on this site) cross examine and ridicule those who post possible spoilers.

  • November 21, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Great article and many good points, but I for one believe there is some truth mixed in with the trickery..for instance.

    The wrecked AT-AT being used as an abode by a character is just to cool and well received and loved by fans and critics that if it weren’t in the film, would make just about every fan upset. On the other hand, the grave robbers leaked concept wasn’t well received and more than likely misinformation to confuse fans. The villain just wasn’t up to par with Vader, Maul or Palpatine.
    This brings us to the leak concerning the trailer, was that a controlled bit of misinformation too, after all, many of the so called images confirm the previous concept leaks. Well we are a month away from the truth or at least a partial truth. There is no way a teaser trailer will give away much ado about anything concerning the plot of SWVII.

  • November 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    About the Dark Horse/Episode 7 coincidence. There are elements but I wonder if Disney will change its mind and see a financial opportunity and sue them for not having permission to use it in this story even thouhgh could have agreed. I find interesting Brian Wood wrote an Elseworlds type series for Dark Horse with the original cast but it no shared Episode 7 concepts appear. Unless they do of course. Its a conspiracy111!1

  • November 21, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I honestly don’t think we know shit about this movie. We certainly don’t know as much as we think we do and it would make sense for there to be a certain amount of misinformation going around. I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of the leaks were controlled, including the TMZ ones.

  • November 21, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I also have to read this yet. I like the introduction. Maybe back in the day there wasn’t such thing as spoilering, because people weren’t full of themself. They simply laked the skill to take it personal. Maybe imagination allowed them to be unspoilerable. Because there is morevto art than the plain visible

  • November 21, 2014 at 11:26 pm


    The thing about JJ Abrams mystery box approach is it only works on people who think he’s actually clever enough not to do exactly what we expect.

    Some of us *knew* Into Darkness was a Wrath of Khan remake before it was even greenlit man. These guys aren’t that clever man.

    I mean hello we are talking about Star Wars, everything in Star Wars was borrowed from clear definable sources some Lucas has been known to say inspired him and others he just outright stole and gave no credit to because admitting it would be admitting copyright infringement. Or have you never heard of Mark Moonrider?

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