Archive for April, 2014

Movie Novelizations = Canon (Sorta)

April 30, 2014

Fans wondered where in the annals of canon do the various movie novelizations stand? Del Rey answered via Twitter that they are indeed canon too. When people started pointing out that there were things in the novelizations, especially the older ones, that currently don’t make sense with the saga, Del Rey helpfully posted this tweet in response:

Hannibal Showrunner Drops Reference To Rule of Two

April 30, 2014

Bob Clark passed along this interview with t.v.’s “Hannibal” show runner Bryan Fuller, where there was this interesting oblique reference to the rule of two:

Then there is a bit of a triangle there, between Hannibal and his two patients and there is a sense that they’re Sith Lords. There can only be the master and the learner, and only the two can exist.

Save Mos Espa Progress

April 30, 2014

The Save Mos Espa campaign has successfully moved a big dune threatening to bury the set back 500 meters, keeping the site unburied for the next several years.

Now comes the restoration process. You can read about it here.

Celebration Celebrates 15th Anniversary

April 30, 2014

April 30, 1999 marked the beginning of the Great Denver Mud Party known as Celebration I. Held at the Wings Over The Rockies Museum, it was infamous for its epic lines and epic downpours that created epic mud in all of the outdoor tents. It wasn’t until Celebration II in 2002 that it was in a proper convention center. Guests included Hugh Quarshie, Pernilla August, Ahmed Best, Jake Lloyd, Ray Park, Rick McCallum, and Anthony Daniels.

Due to the fact I was broke, I didn’t go. But friends sent photos of soggy fans standing in muddy lines and one guy I know had the fun of outrunning a tornado on the way home. Did you go? What are your favorite memories?

Open Thread: Here Comes The Eppy VII Cast

April 29, 2014

Since there’s no point in hiding it anymore, finally announced the new cast of Ep VII. Basically it’s all of the surviving leads from the OT plus a bunch of new guys. But not Billy Dee Williams.

Some interesting notes:

*First time there will be two female main characters. Has anyone else noticed that every Star Wars lead chick has the “eee” thing going in their names: Carrie, Natalie, and now Daisy?

*Of all of the rumored names only Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver panned out.

*Veteran character actor Max Von Sydow was a TOTAL surprise, as was Andy Serkis. Von Sydow joins the likes of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee as long-time character actors to do a Star Wars stint.

*Aside from Serkis, Von Sydow, and Driver, I haven’t heard of any of the other new folks.

*I haven’t a damn clue who these newbies are playing, though if I were a betting gal, some of them might be Han and Leia’s kids.

Your thoughts?

My Last Word On Expanded Universe Stuff

April 28, 2014

I don’t know what I was thinking by setting up that open thread on Friday just before leaving town for the weekend and being offline until this morning. It attracted a whopping 65 comments and with feelings running strong, it looks like some of the discussions got away pretty fast. At this point, it’s like herding a bunch of cats so I’ll address things here in this post.

First off, please go re-read The Rules of The House. If I’m to keep doing these open threads, commenters will have to start acting like grownups and not attack each other for differences in opinion. This is a prequel fan site first and beyond that, some of us love the expanded universe and some of us don’t.

But let me say this. I’ve been a Star Wars fan since 1977, so for me, the heart of the mythos are the six existing films, plus Clone Wars. They comprise the story George Lucas is telling. That’s what I care about and in many ways, last Friday’s announcement was Lucasfilm trying to get everyone on that same page.

Everything else spun off from those movies are tie-ins. Lucas was generous from the beginning about letting comic books, comic strips, and novels tell stories based on those films but he never felt any obligation to follow those stories in continuing his saga. “Heir To The Empire” wasn’t the first Star Wars novel; it was “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye” back in 1978. Marvel started making its own stories long before Dark Horse got the license. The late ’70s and early ’80s brought Brian Daley’s trio of Han Solo books and L. Neil Smith wrote a few tomes about Lando Calrissian. Those books had no bearing on the movies, though a few tidbits here and there appeared in future novels, roleplaying games, and comics.

And yet, no one walked out of ROTJ ticked off because there was no Jessa, no Yuzzem, and no Jaxxon the green bunny. No one demanded that TESB and ROTJ follow Marvel’s comics or the daily strip. Strange as it is, Star Wars fans back then did not give a fig about continuity or how movies affected the expanded universe. A common complaint I saw on Friday was how these fans felt that they spent all of that money for nothing. Well, I bought a lot of comic books and spent a lot of time reading “Han Solo At Stars’ End” or “Splinter.” None of them counted toward the movies, but they were a fun way to pass the time.

No one complained either when the newer wave of expanded universe stuff that appeared in the early ’90s effectively overrode the older stuff. But what changed was the obsession with continuity. Lucasfilm didn’t care in the past that the expanded universe stuff contradicted each other but with “Dark Empire” and “Heir to the Empire,” that all changed. I think in the minds of many fans who got into the expanded universe that it all somehow counted on par with the films. And unlike in the past, there was far more volume of material.

Back in the ’90s I was a continuity hound and stressed out over whether my fan fic matched up everything. When I started my own fan fiction zine, I insisted submissions don’t contradict “Shadows of the Empire.” Really. I used to get into it with expanded universe-hating fans, who in my mind didn’t want to accept anything new in Star Wars (which might have been true in some cases). But then my perspective changed, largely after TPM came out. It was refresher on what truly was Star Wars and the books, even the better ones, just couldn’t touch the movies. No matter how epic they got, they just didn’t match the real thing. Then with some of the latter books, I started to get annoyed with the plot and what they did with the characters. By 2008, I had enough of the post-ROTJ books and quit reading them.

Folks, the expanded universe was originally meant to be hors d’oeurves leading up to new movies and between movies, not a substitute for those movies. The problem with the books is that they drew people who were more fans of Timothy Zahn and Co. than George Lucas and that’s just crazy. No problem with Zahn, but I’ve actually had people tell me that Star Wars to them is a publishing program, not so much a series of films. Once someone told me on my LiveJournal page that she hated the movies because she found the battle between good and evil too simplistic for her taste and she preferred the “gray areas” in the books. Which tells me how far afield the books went from their source material.

It didn’t help when Lucasfilm, Bantam, and Del Rey were coy for such a long time about the place of the expanded universe. When they tried to correct that, fans of the books resisted and so they had to come out and say, “Guys, no really, we’re not going to hold the movies to these books.” And thus the freakout began.

As much as I can understand why people who had invested a lot emotionally in those books would be upset, I’d also point out that among older Star Wars fans, we all still remember Bollux/Blue Max, Jaxxon, and Don-Wan Kihote or however the hell they spelled it.

ANOVOS Costume Replicas

April 28, 2014

Lucasfilm picked up another licensee called ANOVOS which will make all kinds of costume replicas. Of interest to readers is that it will also make replica armor, beginning with Jango Fett and clone trooper armor, this year. No word on how much the armor will cost but I guess we can assume it won’t be cheap.

Technical Emmy For Clone Wars

April 25, 2014

Clone Wars managed to rack up another posthumous award, this time a technical Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation on the episode “To Catch A Jedi” from Season Five.

Congrats to Chris Voy for this impressive win!

Big Changes To Expanded Universe: Open Thread

April 25, 2014

Lucasfilm and Del Rey dropped a big bomb today on the world of apocryphal books, comics, and games known as the expanded universe, then announced four new books.

Are you thrilled? Sad? Don’t care either way? Share your thoughts!

Personally I’ve long since regarded the expanded universe as paid fan fiction and this move was inevitable since the new films were announced. Oh well.

Throwback Thursday: Ralph Brown In “Alien 3”

April 24, 2014

Ralph “Ric Olie” Brown appeared in 1992’s “Alien 3,” directed by David Fincher, who had worked on ROTJ in some capacity. In this trailer, you can get a glimpse of Brown with a shaved head about three seconds into the video.