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Tag Archives: Star Wars

Star Wars 101- Galaxies and Stardust (1/2)

 Where is the Star Wars galaxy in the Universe? I’ve been using my knowledge of Astronomy to muse over that one for a while.

It all began a long time ago, in a Cinema not so far away when a young Mercer watched STAR WARS EPISODE FIVE- THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK for the first time on the big screen, then on TV every Christmas, then on video, then back on cinema for the Special Edition, then on DVD Special Edition and then the Box Set with Original version and Special Edition together.

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I’ve even watched it again over the holidays, just the Original version though.

In the Final scene, Luke, Leia and the droids watch as Lando and Chewie leave to find Han Solo.

The backdrop is of the Rebel Fleet in space with a large galaxy in the background. For years this was misinterpreted as being outside the galaxy, now it’s being called a protostar, both assumptions are wrong.

Firstly, the starfield around the fleet means that it is inside the galaxy, as being ‘outside’ would have a void, or at least very few stars. The Falcon then flies OVER it and to one side away, and then the fleet head off away from it too- so clearly not heading into it.

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Secondly, ILM made those shots after Lucas asked for clarification of Luke etc in position to the Falcon, hence the window showing outside. In the Special Edition rerelease, it was changed to a reddish nebula (but I don’t really care about them, it’s the Original versions that matter, though that’s just my preference)

Anyway, calling it a Protostar ignores the spiral shape, plus the fact that it looks a hell of a lot like the Andromeda galaxy, especially the closer shot of the Falcon flying over the arms. I’ve seen many different pictures of it, as I set my Intergalactic version of Romeo and Juliet in it and it’s the main setting for my Intergalactic Crime and War serial Rebirth!

As Andromeda is the largest galaxy in the Local Group of Galaxies, it makes sense that a digital rendering making use of parts of it to show a nearby Intergalactic neighbour- call it Galaxy 2. It’s led to some speculation that the SW galaxy is actually Triangulum, but how far is ‘far, far away’ anyway? That implies massive distances and my theory is it lies somewhere beyond a Billion light years, but it’s up to Lucasfilm and Disney to set some stories beyond the Main galaxy. There were the Nagai and Yuuzhan Vong invasions in the old comics and New Jedi Order books, but whether they will be included in the New Canon in some form or another is yet to be seen.

Either way, it’s a First Step into a Larger world, as Obi Wan Kenobi said, but that’s a topic for another time!

https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/74385/is-the-galaxy-depicted-at-the-end-of-empire-strikes-back-a-real-galaxy

Oh, and by the way? The cinema where I saw it was The Empire Cinema in Widnes, where I also saw ET/Superman 1 and 2/Return of the Jedi!

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THE FIRST ROGUE- The New STAR WARS Prequel series And Star Wars Fan Film fest Winner- ‘Like My Father Before me’. PLUS- THE END OF THE SKYWALKER SAGA???

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When Lucasfilm/Disney announced that Diego Luna was to reprise his role as Cassian Andor from Rogue One, I thought- “At last!” Something gritty and darker that’s been missing from the last couple of films. Whether it starts off with Cassian with K2SO, or if he finds K2 and reprograms him later on I don’t know. As Prequel ideas go, it’s pretty nifty and I think LF can deliver. It certainly seems like they are making an effort to listen to the fanbase.

The Galaxy of Adventure shorts are fun, cheeky little short Anime-style retellings of scenes from The Original Trilogy, each concentrating on a character like Luke, Chewbacca, Leia and recently Darth Vader. My favourite part is where Palpatine’s machinations and manipulations are shown- “Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design”. The Master puppeteer says, although it is Luke and gang who mess that all up for him.

 

THE MANDALORIAN, the live-action series by Jon Favreau is still being a bit enigmatic. I still think it’s about Cobb Vanth, a self-styled ‘Lawman’ who finds a suit of Mando armour and becomes the Sheriff in a frontier Town on Tatooine, but I could be wrong. There were Mandalorians on Rebels, so it could follow them, or could even be about Montross from The Bounty Hunter games on PS2, for all I know.

 

Then there is the SWFFF- That’s Star Wars Fan Film Fest to you, an annual competition shown on the Lucasfilm website. I watched several after a couple of my Friends from The Keystroke Killer shared their entry. ‘Like my Father before me’ is about a trio of ‘retired’ Jedi who face Darth Maul in a mini epic. Aided by R2D2 and BB8, they defeat him to fight on another day.

Played well by DH Lewis, Jack Curenton and co, it’s a nice whimsical tale, even with a possible sequel as Jack C faces Darth V!

It won the Audience Choice award and is listed on the Lucasfilm website, which also includes Exiles/The Kessel Run and The Toys Awaken, a stop-motion Star Wars version of Toy Story, which is also pretty good.

I think I might work on a few short films myself for next year’s Fan Film Fest-

 

Storming the Dead. This was one of those happy accidents that sometimes happen when I went to Hamfest-Oldham Comic con in 2017. Spectre Squad, a cosplay/costuming group were there, along with some painted props/sets, including a door saying ‘don’t open, dead inside’ so I had the idea of Stormtroopers going in, so set up a mini-photoshoot with several of the guys posing in front. When I got home, I saw the footage and was inspired to make a Walking Dead/Star Wars crossover, so had to have Tiglet narrate it- great fun!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vI0hQg8BE6w

 

ANOTHER CHANCE. When you think about it, the destruction of Alderaan in ANH is the most heinous crime you could think of- the murder of millions of people echoes real life crimes like The Holocaust/911/Darfur/Pearl Harbour. As leia said, it is the most desperate hour, echoed by Obi Wans line- “millions of voices crying out in terror and were suddenly silenced, I fear something terrible has happened” The saga’s most chilling moment, more chilling than Order 66. I get goosebumps and shivers. Battlestar Galactica has done it, but in Star Wars, the survivors are spread out across the galaxy. Like Games of Thrones, it is an epic tale of betrayal/survival from several viewpoints in different places. There have been hints of a persecution of Alderaani survivors in Inferno Squad and a graphic novel about Leia, but a series like this would be awesome. This could be The SW version of Game of Thrones. And if I could get Sean Bean for it, so much the better!

 

THE DARK ORDER

The universe is filled with galaxies, although Dark Matter and voids separate them, like islands. Unlike many other SF stories, the SW galaxy is far, far away, not like the Andromeda galaxy and forty-odd satellite galaxies of the Local Group.

In Empire Strikes Back, the fleet gather, with a large spiral galaxy in the backdrop. This has been interpreted as The main Star Wars galaxy, but that is a false assumption. The surrounding starfield wouldn’t be there if the fleet was outside, plus the Falcon flies ‘over’ the galaxy, not down into the gravity well.

So, that means it is a neighbouring galaxy, perhaps a twin to the SW one. And that means there is another galaxy of possible stories out there, including the possible Origins of the Skywalkers. What if Shmi was a refugee, or part of a Mengele-like experiment? Wouldn’t that explain Anakin’s abilities? Did Shmi have another child with Lars who then had Rey? That would make Luke her Uncle and Ben her cousin.

Another galaxy opens up even more possibilities for stories. An alternate take on the Yuuzhan Vong or the Nagai, two Intergalactic invaders, and if, as Obi Wan says the Force ‘binds the galaxy together’, what would bind another galaxy? An anti-Force maybe?

Rather than a series, this could form the basis of a trilogy, Episodes 10, 11 and 12. That’s the 45th and 50th Anniversaries sorted.

But that begs the question- how long is the Saga to go on for? Lucas original outline was the Journal of the Whills; alternate versions were the Adventures of Starkiller/Adventures of Luke Skywalker. It was supposed to be nine chapters, based on the 1930’s versions of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, which usually ran for 12 chapters, or episodes. Lucas finished at Return of the Jedi as it was about Anakin and Luke- the Fall and Redemption of Darth Vader- but The Journal can continue with other stories, other heroes and villains, other families, alien creatures and mystical Beings.

As well as the 40th Anniversary of Empire in 2020, 2022 will be 45th Anniversary of Star Wars Episode 4- A New Hope, with the 50th Anniversary in 2027. So there is a lot riding on what happens in the next year. It’s an exciting time to watch further adventures from a long time ago, in a galaxy (or Galaxies) far, far away!

MAY THE FOURTH (OF JANUARY!) BE WITH YOU!

PS- Sharing one of my favourite Xmas pics- see the full album on Tigletverse photography on Facebook!

https://en-gb.facebook.com/MrTigletsTravels/

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The Force is caffeinated in this one!

 

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THERE IS NO CONFLICT- RETURN OF THE JEDI’S 35TH ANNIVERSARY

THERE IS NO CONFLICT- RETURN OF THE JEDI’S 35TH ANNIVERSARY- plus thoughts on Aftermath/Resistance and The Mandalorian

ROTJI almost titled this ‘The Redemption of Darth Vader’, as that was the whole point of the Original saga- even including the Prequel Trilogy.

I missed the actual date back in May, so watched it last week, the original version first and then the rereleased ‘special’ edition- I prefer the old music at the end, but it’s still one of the best films I have ever seen- Empire Strikes back narrowly beats it to the top spot, with ET in joint third place with New Hope.

I vaguely recall going to see it in 1983. I was nine and it was on at the old Empire Cinema in Widnes, which is now a car park for the Leisure Centre.

It is an epic conclusion to the original Trilogy- Han is freed, Yoda dies, Luke learns the full truth and the rebellion against the Empire reaches a climatic finale, bringing closure to the saga.

Short helps better than no help at all Chewie”- Han Solo.

Now here’s a revelation- would the strike against the Shield Generator succeeded without the Ewoks? In a word- NO! Gaining their help was a pivotal plot point. Wicket seems like a cute teddy bear, but proves himself against the Scout Trooper, then the rest of the tribe save the rebels from the trap.

“So what I told you was true, from a certain point of view” Obi Wan Kenobi.

Truth- or how we perceive it is a strong theme- Palpatine’s lies and machinations are self- evident, but as Kenobi says, personal perspective does play a large part in figuring out what truth is. Okay, he was justifying not telling what really happened to Anakin Skywalker, meaning Luke was not ready, something Yoda emphasised as well.

“I feel the conflict in you.” “There is no conflict”- Luke and Vader.

Two scenes that stand out are where Luke tells Leia she is his sister and then Luke meeting Vader. Dave Prowse did an amazing thing, right at the end of the scene when Luke walks off saying- “Then my Father is truly dead”. He stands at the rail, hunched a bit and it is just a moment, but yes- there is the conflict right there.

It perfectly sets up the Finale- Palpatine is killing Luke with Force Lightning, Vader hunched over, looking between the two, Luke begging. Then he straightens and picks The Emperor up and throws him over the bridge- Anakin, saved by his Son. Like I said at the start- it’s the Redemption of Anakin Skywalker, ditching the Dark Side. (Maybe that should’ve been the title?)

As I said earlier, it is still one of the best films ever, I prefer the old music at the end- the ‘yubyub’ song, although the added celebrations on Tatooine, Coruscant and Cloud City are great in the Special Edition.

When Disney took over the franchise, the old Expanded Universe timeline was ditched and a blank slate meant New things could be made. The Aftermath trilogy of novels by Chuck Wendig revised what happened after Endor and the rise of the New Republic.

They are not bad. Admiral Sloane isn’t quite Thrawn or Daala or Isard, but she is capable, although Rax is the true manipulator of the Remnant. The criminal nature of the Regime is apparent and there are a few new characters introduced.

There are a number of Interludes peppered throughout the trilogy, showing the wider conflict.

One of the recurring Interludes is on Tatooine, following Lawman Cobb Vanth as he claims some Mandalorian armour. This could lead into-

‘MANDALORIANS’. A live-action series by Jon Favreau. This seems to be like the Underworld/Bounty Hunters ideas that got shelved when Disney took over that I mentioned in the Summer, another freaky coincidence that makes me think The Force is strong in this one! (yeah, he wishes!)

Few things are known, apart from it has the Mandalorians or a group as the protagonists and is set seven years after the Return of the Jedi. This is part of the Force Awakens timeline, the old Expanded universe ditched. It is interesting to note that in the Old EU saga, seven years after ROJ was the Jedi Academy trilogy. It seems to be set on Tatooine, so is it following Vanth?

Perhaps The Mandalorian will also furnish some clues on Rey’s parentage. Did Shmi have a brother or sister? Did she have another child with Lars?

I reckon Rey’s a Kenobi, Obi Wan’s Granddaughter. In the Novel Kenobi, he helps some locals including Anileen Calwell, and there is a hint of romance in there. I think if the Kenobi film goes ahead, that might play out, as twenty years on Tatooine might have led to a few reasons why he became known as crazy old Ben.

Finally Resistance. I watched the First episode and it was okay. Taz is likeable, if a bit clumsy and unsure of himself. The Race is a re-tread of the Podracing scene from Episode 1, but sets up his goal of getting accepted to try and sniff out the First Order spy while gathering a team to help/hinder him.

It is very different from Rebels, not just the animation style, but in characters and story as well. And there’s evena couple of Snaggletooth’s in the background- cool!

2022 will be 45th Anniversary, so maybe we’ll see a few new series- I’m still hoping to see my Storming the Dead or Another Chance, but I’d probably have to make them myself. I’ve had a few more ideas since the summer- Holonews/Heroes of the Rebellion/ The Halo crew and The Dark Order, but that’s in Another galaxy even farther away!

Anyway, that’s it from a Galaxy far, far away. I do need to crack on with a review of Jodie in the TARDIS- which is brilliant, by the way- oops- Spoilers Baby!!

 

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STAR WARS REBELS and the Snaggletooth Quest

4th alwaysMay The 25th be with you! Belatedly of course. Seems the 40th Anniversary of the release of Episode 4 a New Hope slipped through my fingers like Star Systems through Governor Tarkin’s, as Leia said it would!

 

Anyway, Rebels series 3 has just finished, following Ezra Bridger and the rag-tag crew of the Ghost, a Millennium Falcon-type ship that seems to be part setting up ANH and the New Trilogy and part product-placement for Disney toys.

So after the climatic finale Zero Hour I watched Rogue One and A New Hope back-to-back, which was a great watch, though the ending of R1 was a bit abrupt, but tied in well to the start of ANH.

I’m playing the first Star Wars Battlefront game on the ps2 again, so I may have to blog that at some point!

I also went to Warrington Market Comic Con at the weekend, which was okay, but saw more toys for sale. I bought an AST-5 for five pounds at For the love of Sci-Fi in December, so have been looking at other stuff. The price of original Kenner-edition toys are bloody ridiculous though, you would think Lucasfilm would just remake them, but a bit better, especially Darth Vader. I must have had about half a dozen headless Vaders- looked like some kind-of Robot without a head!

the snaggletooth quest1

Anyway, I’ve since come to the conclusion that all this ‘collectability’ nonsense is just that. Looking out for a red or blue Snaggletooth that costs at least £80 is a bit of a ripoff. So I’m giving that quest up and just going to enjoy whatever happens with Rebels and The Last Jedi, though it will probably be about Luke giving up the Light and the dark and being like the Bendu, be the one in the middle.

One thing I did like was watching Boogie Storm- the dancing Stormtroopers, complete with Meco’s 70’s Disco theme!

 

Time to get groovy and Feel the funkyside of the Force!!

 

 

 

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Anything can happen on a 360 shoot!

050Since Liverpool Comic Con, I have been trying to come up with a plan, a way of doing things differently than just going round taking random pictures and trying to edit everything into a semi-coherent video. In the end, I ended up with seven videos- The general walk around/’event’ vid, the Rwby shoot, the Star Wars shoot, My Superclark shoot, two versions of the Doctor Who shoot and three versions of the Cosplay Masquerade, plus Louise Brealey from Sherlock.

While moderately satisfied with the results, I did feel I needed to do something a bit different. I then remembered a guy at Ellesmere Port CC who shot a 360 degree video, which is like a composite of shots- I still don’t really understand how it works, but it got me thinking how could I achieve something similar?

Anime League and Rainbowdrop Cosplay organised another Big Geek Meet in Liverpool, which was my fourth in the two years I’ve been going to events/Cons/Meetups and so on. There was also a shoot in Southport, so I tried it out. Caitlin as Eren (mislabelled Levi) and me spinning round at BGM on the Saturday was okay, but doing individual shoots on Sunday worked much better, with about ten done.

I had to have a try myself to see how it worked, even though each shoot was only a minute or so, with added pictures and (mostly) relevant music. I am fairly happy with the results, so think I will carry on doing more of the same.

So, I guess Anything can Happen on a 360’ Shoot!

 

 

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Events- Liverpool MCM COMIC CON 2017- SUPERCLARK 3- Coming Soon!

DSCF0126So after two dozen Comic book Conventions/meetups and photoshoots last year, I’m off to the third event of 2017- MCM Comic Con-Liverpool, for BOTH days, not just one like last year.

Ellesmere Port Comic Con was great, I’m still working on photos, but getting EPCC and the Liverpool Cosplay Meet in January videos edited and uploaded was epic in itself. I made three versions of LCM with different music. The version uploaded featured Lindsey Stirling and Lzzy Hale from Halestorm and ‘Shatter me’. If that didn’t work, as backup I had Nami Kichi’s Cover versions of Brave Shine from Fate Stay/Night and Ignite from Sword Art Online 2.

For EPCC it was a general vid of the event and 360 shoot, then a video of the Cosplay Contest.

It was a comment off Ironman at EP that made me think I need to make another attempt at Superman/Clark Kent, so I have been planning a bit in advance, which makes a change from making things up as I go along like I normally do!

Anyway, that is the plan- Saturday Clark Kent, roving Reporter for the Daily Planet will be around, and then on Sunday I’ll need to find a Jimmy Olsen to film me doing my Super-thing!

Should be FUN!

Thanks also to Thomas Hulks as Professor Zoom/Reverse Flash!

 

 

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Welcome to Anything can happen 2017!

Well, that’s what I’m hoping for anyway. A Fresh Start, a New Beginning, the slate wiped clean.keep-calm-because-anything-can-happen-1

To start with- I went to the shop and bought some wellies. I think my subconscious might be trying to tell me something- that was an impulse buy. Maybe my little jaunt round Talacre taught me to be more prepared than I already usually am for whatever eventualities may occur. It looks like it’ll be an epic five-part video anyway, plus I haven’t updated the five year anniversary like I thought I would.

Another thing I am planning in advance is Dr. Rrr! Series 2. In amongst the tidying and sorting I have not watched much this Christmas. (Really? How about Deep Space 9 series 7, or Brave or Thunderbolt Fantasy, or Doctor Who- The Return of Doctor Mysterio/Hell Bent/Spearhead from space, or Yuri on Ice finale (yes, really!) or even last episode of series 6 of Game of Thrones, what a revelation at the end!)

Okay, I might have watched a few things, but nothing really Christmassy, unless you count Nativity 3 in school or Cinderella in New Brighton, but that was before Term ended. Rogue One doesn’t count as an Xmas film, but saw it twice, the second time enjoyed it a bit more, but definitely more darker than others, about same as ep 3 I expect, but the prequels don’t really count anyway, in my opinion.

So there we go, anything can happen now I’ve got some wellies. It’s like when Ford Prefect tells Arthur Dent in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy that the only thing he needs to survive is a towel, so I guess that’s next on my shopping list.

For now though, I’m eating my first pizza of 2017 and watching the New Sherlock- now there’s an epic combo if ever there was one.

Happy 2017- Get ready and keep your wellies handy, ‘cos anything can Happen!!

 

 

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