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Another fan, another fan blog


N(quite)SFW: Ghetto Vader

Made the rounds at E3, but cosplayers no wanna play:

Downloading Soul Saber to listen to while playing Darth Vader on Soul Calibur IV. Perfect!

Sam Witwer!

io9 just posted this belated video interview with Sam Witwer from Comic Con. Excerpt:

So it seems like you always play dark roles, like Crashdown, the Secret Apprentice... and now Doomsday. Are you like the Lord of Darkness?

I'm trying to figure that out. Well, you know, yeah. What's funny about that is the Doomsday character, or Darth Vader's apprentice, or a lot of these characters... they're not straight dark characters. They have other dimensions to them. And I think maybe that's why they offer [those roles] to me, I'm not really sure. In The Mist, I was a nice guy. That didn't work out too well for me.

Dang. Now I'll have to watch Smallville.


Force Unleashed demo out today!

At the time of this posting, The Force Unleashed demo is up on Xbox Live for Gold members only (Gah! What a rip!), and it is not yet up on the Playstation Network, but I'm hoping it will be very shortly. I've heard some mumbles that PSN doesn''t update until somewhere between mid afternoon up to 9pm Pacific Time. *cries*


Thank the Keeper

The Official Star Wars.com Blog just brought to our attention this huge article from Wired Magazine about Leland Chee,"continuity database administrator for the Lucas Licensing arm of Lucasfilm", but better known to the rest of us as The Keeper of the Holocron. Leland not only takes care of everything you see on the databank at starwars.com, but he's really the king of the bestest playground in this part of the galaxy.

You can see The Keeper in print in the September issue of Wired, but be sure to check out the above linked online edition for lots of sweet video and other links!

What if?

If you haven't already checked out If Star Wars Was Real.com do it now! They've recently added some archival photographic evidence. Here's some classic one liners:

ISWWR... a protocol droid would be doing your job!

ISWWR... unfortunately, Princess Leia would have been your sister too.

ISWWR... you would be captain of the Millenium Flamingo instead of that other one.

ISWWR... Boba Fett would've disintegrated you already.

ISWWR... the Empire would be the LEAST of your worries.

ISWWR... Jabba would live in the midwest and wouldn't be considered obese!

ISWWR... Jabba would be the #1 Hip Hop / R&B artist in America!

ISWWR... you would have failed as a jedi.

Summer Glau at IGN

I've come to the conclusion that in the Terminator 'verse you get to wear ass-kicking boots all the time.

Caught this little interview with Summer Glau on IGN. Glau stars in The new TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on FOX. It's first season got cut short last fall due to the writer's strike, just as some people were starting (or trying) to warm up to the show. I for one had some pretty high expectations for both the writing and FX to be good, given the talent, competition, and technology we have available for the small screen these days. Then again, I am a Battlestar Galactica (reimagined) fan, so my expectations are probably too high. Nevertheless, TSCC had it's moments, and most of them were carried out by Glau, for me at least. I'm hoping the second season, which starts September 8, will kick it up a notch.


From Lucasarts.com:

Demo for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed coming on August 21 on Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network

On August 21st, PLAYSTATION®3 and Xbox®360 owners will be able to unleash the Force in the comfort of their own homes by downloading the demo of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed from Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network. The demo gives players a taste of one of the early levels in the game: the TIE Fighter Construction Facility, under siege by a Jedi General named Rahm Kota. The Secret Apprentice has been sent by Darth Vader to hunt down and destroy the General, but is also told that, in order to remain a secret, he is to leave no witnesses.


Click the above link for the rest of the article. Yay!


SciFi talks with Clone Wars cast and crew

SciFi Pulse has a pretty sweet video from the red carpet at the Clone Wars premiere. Lot's o' interviews with the different voice actors, as well as George and Dave. Clicky

Cloverfield Monster is Emperor's Hand?

This awesome fan-made video by Michael Horn shows the Empire overtaking parts of San Fransisco. Bonnie interviewed him over at the OS blog. Sweet!

The Empire is watching U

Unfortunately, this new TIE webcam offered by Wesco LTD has a clip that looks like a butt, or one set of Yarna's boobs. That won't hold us back from adding it to our ultimate collection of Star Wars computer peripherals! (Amazon.uk, via Engadget)


Star Wars on G4

I love G4. They have gaming, technology, pop culture stuff, but most of all because they're Star Wars fans, and recently G4 has been letting it all hang out.

They've been rerunning the 1.5 hour Celebration Japan special frequently, with awesome interviews from cast biggies, and have pretty much all of it divided into mutliple video segments on the website. Click here to see them all (I started at page 2, since the end is the beginning in this case). I have to post my favorite video from the lot though, which features our very own starwars.com fellow blogger and GHG Geek 'greenandwhitejedi', who aces the Star Wars quiz while the others flounder (how they didn't know the answers to those questions and still paid to go to Celebration Japan is way beyond me). Sorry fanboys, no Slave Leia Olivia this year, but they do flash back to those golden days with a Japanese twist! More info after the video:

Aside from this awesome Celebration Japan spectacular, X-Play is also running some Star Wars heavy programming centered around the upcoming Force Unleashed release (yeay!). As with CJ, most of the TFU segments are available to view via the site (scroll down to X-Play Previews), sans commercials. Some of the best news from X-Play concerning TFU is that the game is finished and they're putting the playable demo together which we can expect this month!

I've also heard that Steve Sansweet will be on Attack of the Show, but haven't seen it in the programming and I'm not sure if it's happened yet. Anybody?

Triumph at Comic-Con

Get it?

Fett the Centurion

My favorite from the Fark.com Boba Fett Photoshop contest.

Just because...

... every geek should know their place in the world. Star Wars fans are exempt, obviously (via brunching.com)


Most Impressive!

I went to a matinee of The Clone Wars on this opening day as per the family tradition. What kind of fan would I be if I didn't write about the experience? I was a little surprised to see how few people were in the theater (less than 100 out of several hundred seats?), and that I was one of the few people donning at least a Star Wars t-shirt (that I could see), never mind a full costume. I held off on going to a midnight release, even though one was available in my local, suburban multiplex. For every single Star Wars movie, I've gone the afternoon of the opening day, ever since 1977. I wondered if I had missed the commotion from the midnight show. I was both disappointed and relieved to hear that there were only "like three" people there, apparently mostly bar stragglers, according to one attendee's account.

I didn't really know what to expect, although in general I didn't expect much judging from the lukewarm (or worse) reviews from the advanced screenings. Having low expectations was probably a good thing, because I was actually thoroughly impressed. I was almost as thrilled with the experience as I had been with other Star Wars movies. This was just different, and that I expected, but I just didn't know how it would be different nor how I would feel about it (being all Star Wars emo and all). From this point on, this review contains spoilers...

Of course, there was some choking up right from the get-go. You can flash the Lucasfilm logo and the "A long time ago..." opener at me anytime and I get misty-eyed. This is certainly a fan bias factor, but what is anything Star Wars if not a personal connection for most fans. However, this is where the major familiarity to the saga films ends. No 20th Century Fox fanfare. No opening crawl. No John Williams. No tilt from space to a ship or planet, although the "Clone Wars" logo did jettison into a space abyss, like the Star Wars logo usually does in the films. Instead, space cut to a voice like a news announcer from the WWII news reels they used to show in theaters before a movie. Alternately the voice, which overlayed "footage" of scenes relevant to the build up of the actual Clone Wars (yes, I know this is fiction), was similar in style to that of those action hero serials from the 40's and 50's Saturday matinees where the narrator would bring the audience up to speed by saying something like "Last time, our heroes narrowly escaped...". My immediate impression with this unexpected opening scene was that this really is a personal touch from George Lucas, who was raised on and inspired by those Saturday matinees, and who also can't get enough of WWII style dogfighting. Being a fan and follower of George's career, I was touched by this. It felt personal to me too, especially since I was raised on George.

One thing that did keep The Clone Wars similar in tone to the rest of the saga was the cinematography. I know that sounds strange when comparing an animation to live-action, but in Clones, the camera framing, angle, and composition were very similar to the films, and I think it gave it some of the same epic, bigger-than-life appeal.

The opening sequence subsided into a scene with some fighters over Coruscant, which was reminiscent of the opening battle sequence from Revenge of the Sith in both the look and the way the camera moved. It seemed like some sort of intermediate evolution of the space tilt we usually see right after the opening crawl. It's the first real taste we get of the whole style, look, and depth of The Clone Wars. The animation truly is unique and frankly gorgeous. It's also a little confusing at first. Some of the close-ups reveal details that are photorealistic, yet you know it's animated, especially because of the way the characters look. It looks as if they are real models made out of clay, wood, or metal - yet stylized. Maybe the digital projection helped this effect along a bit. I noticed the same thing with Wall.E, except in that case the animated human characters were cartoonish and less defined.

When I saw footage on the web, and later on TV, I had a real distaste for the look of the human characters. Their big eyes, little necks, stringy bodies, and angular faces just looked creepy (I couldn't help picturing the Bratz franchise). All the other species looked cool to me, especially Ahsoka. This all changed when I finally saw it all together on the big screen. All the characters fit into their environment (although I have to say that everyone in The Clone Wars 'verse needs some major moisturizer).

I also felt unsure about many of the voice actors for familiar characters being different from those from the movies, but they also all fit really well when watching it on the big screen. I grew into the way James Arnold Taylor captured the wit of Obi-Wan, but there were a few times the character went a little overboard, particularly when he called the Ventress "darling". That actually creeped me out. Some of the other semi-creepout moments were the hints of what seemed to me like sexual tension between Anakin and his new and very young padawan. I think the intentions behind the prolonged gazes into each others eyes, the quarreling, and other bonding experiences were geared toward invoking emotions about what we know Anakin does to the padawans and younglings later on. Maybe my mind is just in the gutter, but I could help thinking Anakin was about to cheat on Padme with intergalactic prison-bait. I wouldn't put it past him!

Also, maybe I just missed this with everything that was happening at once, but why did Anakin all of a sudden start calling Ahsoka "Snips"? For the life of me, I couldn't remember what that could possibly reference, and I was paying attention, I swear!

The bonding issue with Anakin, and what Yoda explained about wanting it to teach him to let go, is one of the most interesting themes for me, and I think this is what hurls us into the larger journey of the TV series, along with that whole war thing and the Clones and all that. I'm already starting to predict several different ways this will be portrayed. Will it redeem the Jedi for how Anakin turned out, or will it simply make us hate Anakin even more and make him impossible to redeem for slaying younglings? No matter what, I'm sure there will be as many different fan reactions, theories, and opinions as there are stars in the galaxy far, far away.

So overall I was extremely pleased, and even though it wasn't without faults in the story and dialogue department (even though it was easy enough to follow the main story points), it was filled with so much visual awesomeness and action that the faults didn't distract me, even with the all the kids chattering in the theater. And action galore there was. A lot of reviewers seem to feel there was too much action, but for me, as soon as it started to seem like it was going to be too long, something came in to move the story forward. It definitely calls me back for return theater viewings, for both the visual experience and to catch the things I couldn't absorb the first time.


Sony's PS2 'Glowing Sword' Game

So yeah, it looks like a lightsaber game. It acts like a lightsaber game. But it's not a "lightsaber" game. Sony unveiled an interesting new motion tracking game-play system for the PS2 at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival on August 12, which should be available by the holidays this year. The new games will be using the PS2's Eye Toy, which isn't so new anymore. Some of the things that will make the new Eye Toy games different are the 1:1 motion-tracking capabilities, which should make movement instantaneous on screen, as well as the updated color-tracking system. The most notable game to be introduced is 'Hero', which will feature a fluorescent green sword used by the player which the Eye Toy will track and represent on screen as a glowing sword used to deflect objects and parray enemies.

Pros: Looks like a lightsaber. You get to swing a sword around. It's not for Wii.

Cons: It's not a lightsaber (Sony, did you even ask George Lucas?). You have to swing a sword around (Put on a sweatsuit and remove breakables from living room). The glowing sword on screen just hovers with no hands or character attached to it. Not even a mention of PS3 compatibility (even for backwards compatible systems). It's not a lightsaber.

Read more from:
Dark Zero


Web Watch: Gemini Division

Looking for something different while waiting for the fall TV line-up? NBCU announced the launch of a new sci-fi web series titled Gemini Division, which will air it's first "webisode" on August 18. Tune in weekly for continuing webisodes on the official Gemini Division website, or "on VOD via Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS and DISH Network, in addition to EST (Electronic Sell-Through) via Amazon Unbox, Microsoft's Xbox LIVE and Zune, NBC Mobile and several online video portals."(Sci Fi Wire)

Set in the "not too distant future", Gemini Division tells a tale of an agent who experiences loss while a war is waged against simulated organic beings (Uh, Cylons?). Below is a preview and a trailer. Also available on the site are making-of videos, which I am avoiding to try and keep it somehwhat real (but maybe I'll cave since I'm a sucker for extras). The filming style looks different. It looks like they're going for a presentation that will easily transfer on mobile devices and web streaming. Not exactly fond of that look, but I'm willing to give it a go.


Indy 4 Coming to DVD and Blu-ray October 14

Official word was unleashed today. IGN reports on the content we'll see on both formats, and it looks promising. Bonus material galore!


Jeanne Cavelos Talks About the Science of Star Wars

With technology and science advancing at what seems to be an exponential rate, a lot has happened since Jeanne Cavelos first published The Science of Star Wars back in 2000. Scientific American magazine caught up with the author and updated on some of the more recent breakthroughs. Read the interview here, and check out excerpts from the book here. Don't get any funny ideas about DNA though.

Move over 'Clone Wars'. The live-action series is coming!

I know - The animated Clone Wars movies hasn't even hit regular theaters yet, although it has premiered at the historic LA Egyptian theater already. If you put in a quick Google search, you'll find tons of reviews from the event (or check out the previous entry here). But what a lot of us are really excited for (at least *I* am) is the live-action series. Let the kids have The Clone Wars. However, with all the Clone Wars publicity going on lately, it seems some of the media have finally squeezed a little more live-action info from Lucas. I like this from The Herald UK (and not just because of the tie-in to my other fandom, the new Battlestar Galactica. But since it was mentioned, I'll just throw in that part too):

"After that comes a live action TV series, akin to the recent Battlestar Galactica series - which is ironic given that the original Battlestar TV series from the 1970s was regarded as something of a Star Wars rip-off.

"The live action programme is completely separate from the Star Wars film," he says. "The animated Clone Wars film and show, however, has all of the characters that everybody knows - everybody from Yoda to Anakin to Mace Windu to Obi-Wan - everybody's there. But the live-action series has nobody there, because it's after Episode III, so everybody's dead, basically, or hiding somewhere."

'The Clone Wars' world premier at LA's Egyptian Theater 8/10/08

There are just too many reviews out there, so I'll just post the following video of the event courtesy of The Associated Press, and this LA Times article. From what I've heard, there was swag a-plenty to go around, then... nothing.

The Clone War
s opens in theater nation-wide on Friday August 15, 2008. In case anyone was wondering.


Just How Cute is the Chewbacca Mouse?

This handmade miniature Chewbacca Mouse by Etsy (spotted by i09) is so cute, that it was tested against Ewoks. The Chewbacca Mouse trumped the Ewok's in cuteness so much, it actually made the Ewoks look like ogres. Just see the test results for yourself:

Even in a standalone trial, the Chewbacca Mouse is undeniably cute


But when put side by side with an Ewok, the results are quite clear. Ewoks start looking like slobbering ogres, and the Chewbacca Mouse actually becomes even cuter!



The trial was even performed with baby Ewoks after the beta stage, just to be sure. I think you can guess what the outcome was.



No Chewbacca Mice or Ewoks were harmed during this trial (Well, not a lot of Ewoks anyway)


Fangirl moment with Ewan

Yeah, I *wish* it were a live fangirl moment. I was looking at something on youtube, of which whatever it was I've completely forgotten at this point... one thing led to another, and next thing I knew I had about 20 tabs open, all with video of various Ewan McGregor interviews and clips. Some highlights:

Ewan on Craig Ferguson (his show you dirty monkeys!) from April, parts 1 and 2

Awesome brawl with Leno


Talking about Long Way Round

Same show a year (or two?) later, but this time talking Othello and Long Way Down (and more), parts 1 and 2




Warning: This post may be continued at any time ;)


From the Ranch...

George apparently talked to the press yesterday. Not much we haven't heard before, but knowing Indy 5 is a possibility for now, and that there's an intentional girl-centric focus going on in Clone Wars... well, they're just nice reminders. Both from SciFi Wire:


12:00 AM, 05-AUGUST-08

Lucas: Indy V Research In Works

George Lucas told SCI FI Wire that preliminary research has begun on a story for a possible fifth Indiana Jones movie, but added that such a film is one of dozens of potential projects currently crowding his schedule.

"It sits on the shelf there as one of 50 projects that I have to deal with," Lucas said in an interview on Aug. 4 at his Big Rock Ranch in San Rafael, Calif., where he was promoting the upcoming computer-animated feature film Star Wars: The Clone Wars. "And if I can come up with a story ..."

But, Lucas added, "it's very hard to come up with stories for that thing. You know, It's really impossible. Because it has to be real. It has to be something that actually happened. It has to be something people know about. It has to be supernatural. It's a really difficult research project. Which they're researching now. You know, and last time it took 14 years. So ... "

Lucas was referring to this summer's fourth Indiana Jones film, subtitled The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which was in development for more than a decade before the pieces finally came together.

In recent press interviews, Lucas has said that the three principals--himself, director Steven Spielberg and star Harrison Ford--all have to agree on the idea for a fifth film in order to move forward. He has also said that Spielberg is more amenable to the idea of a further installment than he was last time around.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars opens Aug. 15. --Patrick Lee, News Editor

12:00 AM, 05-AUGUST-08

Clone Wars' New Girls In Town

George Lucas, executive producer of the upcoming animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie, told reporters that the film features two female characters new to the movie franchise: Ahsoka Tano, the new padawan learner of Anakin Skywalker, and Asajj Ventress, a dark sorceress and apprentice to the nefarious Count Dooku.

"I wanted to develop a character that would help Anakin settle down," Lucas said about Ahsoka in a news conference at his Big Rock Ranch in San Rafael, Calif., on Aug. 4.

Lucas added: "At the end of Episode II, [Anakin's] kind of a wild child, and he and Obi-Wan don't get along. So the idea was to see how they become friends, how they become partners, how they become a team. And ... one of the ways to do that ... Because when you become a parent, when you become a teacher, you have to sort of become more responsible. You know, it forces you into this adulthood thing. So what I wanted to do was take Anakin and force him into this kind of, 'now I have to teach somebody. Now I have to be slightly more responsible.'"

Ahsoka is a teenage orange-skinned Togruta girl who is assigned by Yoda to serve under Anakin as the Clone Wars worsen. The story is set between the events of Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones and Episode III--Revenge of the Sith. Lucas said he looked to his own experience as a father in coming up with Ahsoka's storyline.

"I happen to have a couple daughters, so I have a lot of experience with that particular situation," Lucas said. "And I said, 'Rather than making it another guy, why don't we make her a girl? Because that's fun, and I have a lot of girls, and they're just as hard to deal with when they're teenagers as boys are.'"

Dave Filoni, director of The Clone Wars, added that Ventress was a character originally conceived for Episode II who has existed for a while in the Star Wars expanded universe. "There was the idea that maybe the Sith apprenticed a new one after Darth Maul, [and that she] would be a girl," Filoni said in the same news conference. "That got abandoned eventually in favor of Count Dooku and Christopher Lee's character. But the concept art existed. And the comic books and novels on the Clone Wars before had utilized that character, that concept art, and created this new character, Asajj Ventress. So when it came time to develop the idea of The Clone Wars as a series, we thought, 'Well, that's a big fan favorite character. Let's draw her out.'"

Filoni added that the two characters balance each other out in the new movie. "It just so happens that we introduced Ahsoka at the same time," he said. "So here you had these two new girls coming into this story at the same time, which was actually, there's kind of an advantage to it, because you had one that's the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker trying to be trained in the traditional ways of a Jedi, and you had one that's the hidden apprentice of Count Dooku, who was the evil opposite end, so that actually works really nicely for the stories we're trying to tell." Star Wars: The Clone Wars opens Aug. 15. --Patrick Lee, News Editor


Also on starwars.com

and BBC (with video)


Clone Wars Widget

This doesn't fit on my sidebar, so here it is in a post!


Star Wars Photoshop!

A few posts below I posted the recent article about McCain challenging Obama to a lightsaber duel, and it reminded me to post a link to Worth1000.com's recent Star Wars Photoshop results, which has a Renaissance/fine art theme this year. Entries closed on 7/21, so here you go!

In the meantime, I'm busting out Photoshop concerning this most recent lightsaber duel challenge, and hopefully you are too!

Here's one of my faves from Worth1000 this year (even though all the entries are really quite stunning)

Emperor Palpa-Chin's Food Obsession

This is an oldie, but the voice impersonation is incredible (and rather hilarious)

McCain V Obama... with lightsabers!

Okay John McCain. You really did it this time. Do you really think you can challenge Barak Obama to a lightsaber duel and *not* have yourself personified as the evil Emperor? I mean, c'mon.... you're a Republican, so of course your lightsaber will be red. You're what... twice the age of Obama, if not three or four times? Okay, maybe Yoda, but you're as pasty as the driven snow, and have a severely scarred face. Fans around the world are churning away with Photoshop right now. Speaking of...


IGN's Soul Calibur IV video review