Friday, 23 June 2017

Jason Isaacs as Captain Lorca in Star Trek: Discovery



Here's a first look at Jason Isaacs as Captain Lorca in Star Trek: Discovery courtesy of the fine folks at EW.

The upcoming prequel series is set ten years before the original series and begins airing on CBS All Access on 24th September. Netflix will stream the series outside the US sometime thereafter.

Each episode has a purported budget of $6-7 million dollars and is a big gamble for the streaming network. However, Star Trek: Discovery maybe able to reach a mainstream audience much like the rebooted film franchise. The partnership with Netflix can only be a plus for the fledgling series.

The unaired series has been accused of being too diverse by some fans.

“Well, I would encourage them to key into the essence and spirit of Star Trek that has made it the legacy it is — and that’s looking across the way to the person sitting in front of you and realising you are the same, that they are not separate from you, and we are all one,” Sonequa Martin-Green told Entertainment Weekly.

“That’s something Star Trek has always upheld and I completely believe that is why it’s been a mainstay in society in the hearts of so many people for so many decades,” she added. “I would encourage them to look past their opinions and social conditioning and key into what we’re doing here — which is telling a story about humanity that will hopefully bring us all together.”

Diversity and inclusion has always been a hallmark of the Star Trek franchise. Star Trek's creator Gene Roddenberry was a pioneer.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Ron Howard to direct Han Solo Star Wars spin-off



Following news that directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller had been fired from the untilted Han Solo Star Wars spin-off. Lucasfilm has announced Ron Howard is the new captain of the troubled production.

Howard has a long history with Lucasfilm. He starred alongside Harrison Ford (Han Solo) in George Lucas' American Graffiti and directed Willow. The Apollo 13 director was approached by the creator of Star Wars to direct The Phantom Menace:

"[George Lucas] didn’t necessarily want to direct them. He told me he had talked to Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg, and me. I was the third one he spoke to. They all said the same thing: “George, you should do it!” I don’t think anybody wanted to follow-up that act at the time. It was an honor, but it would’ve been too daunting."

The Star Wars spin-off was only weeks away from completing principal photography. So, it'll be interesting to see how Howard steadies the ship and finishes the film in a manner matching Lucasfilms' vision.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Phil Lord and Chris Miller fired from Star Wars spin-off



Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have disembarked from the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars spin-off movie due for release May 2018. A new director will be announced soon.

“Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm.

“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew,” stated Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

After Phil Lord and Christopher Miller took to the stage at Star Wars Celebration Europe, I was really looking forward to seeing them play in the Star Wars sandpit. The directors have a deft ability to take something overtly commercial and make it fun as exemplified in The LEGO Movie.

Bizarrely, the Han Solo spin-off has been filming since January. So, perhaps there's a tonal issue between the directors and Lucasfilm? It's worth noting Richard Donner was famously fired from Superman II and that turned out OK. Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger) and Ron Howard (Apollo 13) are frontrunners to take the helm of the troubled Star Wars production.

In related news. Colin Trevorrow's latest movie, The Book of Henry, has met with universal criticism and some fans are calling for the director to be replaced on Episode IX. Seemingly Star Wars is having growing pains at Disney. Josh Trank departed from an untitled spin-off and Gareth Edwards' Rogue One underwent extensive reshoots. The latter didn't turn out too shabby.

Who do you think should direct the Han Solo spin-off? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Star Trek: Discovery explores new frontiers this Fall



Star Trek: Discovery, the delayed prequel series set a decade before the adventures of Kirk and Spock, premieres 24th September on CBS All Access. The first eight episodes will run from September through November. The series will resume in January 2018. This is to allow for further post-production on later episodes.

Fans can watch Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix outside the US. Whilst CBS may not be as enamoured with the Star Trek franchise as it once was - to the point of saturation during the Nineties. The delays, and Netflix's involvement, may elevate the sci-fi franchise back to heights enjoyed by its big screen counterpart with which it has no narrative connection.

Discovery stars Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter/Star Wars Rebels) as Captain Lorca and Sonequa Martin Green (The Walking Dead) as Michael Burnham.

The trailer had a Mass Effect vibe and piqued my interest. Will you be exploring brave new worlds with the crew of the Discovery? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Neill Blomkamp's Rakka starring Sigourney Weaver



Director Neill Blomkamp's Aliens sequel maybe on indefinite hiatus as Ridley Scott continues with his Alien prequel saga. However, Blomkamp's keeping busy with cinematic world building of his own.

Rakka, starring Sigourney Weaver, is a short film from Blomkamp's Oats Studios that sees the human race on the brink of extinction in the wake of an alien invasion.



The director has never shied away from political satire and this thematic subtext can be seen throughout his oeuvre from District 9 to Chappie. I'm interested to see where he goes with this next.

Carly Pope co-stars and DCTV fans will recognise her from the latest season of Arrow. Incidentally, Pope starred in Popular, a proto-Glee, alongside Wentworth Miller.

Blomkamp took to the stage at E3 to discuss distribution on Steam. Paid DLC, including 3D assets, will be made available for aspiring creatives to use. Movies as mods. Disruptive or indulgent? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Bat-Signal to shine over LA in memory of Adam West



One of my most endearing childhood memories from the 1970s was watching reruns of the 1960s Batman television series starring Adam West as the titular character.

Every Saturday morning I'd be sat in my folks' kitchen, with a bowl of Rice Krispies cereal and a collection of Corgi toys, excitedly watching Batman battle a menagerie of garish foes on a portable colour TV.



I was young enough not to be encumbered by matters of time nor fiction. Batman's adventures were of the here and now, and Gotham City was real. Whenever the phone rang, I wondered if it was the caped crusader?

Holy cycle calamity, Batman! Long summer evenings, after a day at primary school, were reserved for Batman adventures with childhood friends. My hooded coat, as worn by Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) on DCTV, doubled as a batcape much to my late mum's chagrin - it got caught more than once in the back wheel of my bike.

So, Adam West's passing from leukemia, aged 88, was personal. His Dark Knight stirred the detective within and a passion for problem solving. Batman formed part of an heroic trio including Doctor Who and The Six Million Dollar Man. Tonight the Bat-Signal will shine over LA in his memory.

Thank you, good sir. Goodnight, good knight. RIP Adam West.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Marvel's Spider-Man gameplay at E3



Marvel's Spider-Man gameplay footage was released during the PlayStation press conference at E3. The PS4 exclusive, seemingly channelling Uncharted and Arkham Knight, looks amazing and I'm hoping it'll evoke fond memories of playing Spider-Man 2.



The upcoming game was revealed at last year's E3. Sony's PlayStation press conference was good, if not stellar, this year. Horizon Zero Dawn will be getting new DLC in the form of The Frozen Wilds later this year. The lack of any update on The Last of Us Part II left a few fans underwhelmed. It remains to be seen if the company is holding back announcements for Gamescom this August.

Marvel's Spider-Man won't be released until 2018. Third-party developer Insomniac Games has an enviable track record with franchises including Spyro, Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive. So, it's welcome news the studio isn't going to rush release the game to coincide with Spider-Man: Homecoming this July.

Pre-order Marvel's Spider-Man for PS4 today.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Microsoft shuns VR as it unveils Xbox One X at E3



In a move echoing Apple's annual iPhone release cycle. Microsoft unveiled Xbox One X (codename Project Scorpio) during the company's Xbox E3 Briefing on Sunday. The new premium console joins, but does not replace, Xbox One and Xbox One S.

Matt Charlton shares his insights into the sleek Xbox One X and the direction Microsoft appears to be going with brand Xbox under the leadership of Phil Spencer:

"I see exactly where Microsoft are taking Xbox and it's extremely clever.

They are creating a single platform - Windows 10-based, with multiple tiers. They look to be heading down an Apple iPhone-based distribution model.

You can buy a game for Xbox knowing that it will work on your console, no matter which one you have, the more money you spend, the better graphics and performance you get.

Microsoft has moved to an annual release cycle where they bring out a new console with a new CPU and a new graphics card with more RAM, more storage and more power. The systems and ecosystem evolve with time, but you'll always be able to play the games you've bought. With the company bringing original Xbox games into the fold, it's now a cross-gen platform for anything ever released (as long as developers allow).

Game developers know the platform, they know DirectX and we don't have any of this stupidity where processor architectures change and development for one generation is completely redundant in the next. I remember reading that the PS3 was ridiculously hard to develop for. This stops that.

Different sized texture packs will ship with games, resolution and draw distances can be changed depending on spec, its no different from playing Starcraft 2 on a 4 year old laptop against playing it on an all-singing all-dancing £2000 desktop gaming rig.

Games might get a little bigger, but that's to be expected anyway. You still keep things simple by only having known hardware configurations and multiple tiers.

Also gives them the opportunity to increase their player base. Your frontrunners buy the latest consoles as they come out, the old console is still perfectly fine - they pass it on to a friend or a family member and they buy games and play.

Clever. Very clever.

It's a good time to be a gamer."


So, aside from the Xbox One X, which is garnering a mixed reaction due, primarily, to a price point of £449.99GBP when the new console is released on 7th November. The big takeaway from E3 was a dangerous lack of first-party exclusives, VR and an emphasis on indie developers. 42 games represented as a dull laundry list with BioWare's Anthem, a third-party title that deleteriously impacted Mass Effect: Andromeda's development, closing the presentation.

There was no mention of Rise of the Tomb Raider being enhanced for 4K on Xbox One X, which is disappointing given the superlative sequel was a timed exclusive and improved fidelity is available for PS4 Pro. And Halo was nowhere to be seen.

Will I get an Xbox One X? Yes. I already own a 4K UHD TV and enhanced fidelity is appealing. Plus, as Matt's already stated, all my existing Xbox games will be available to play out of the box from day-one. Something that neither Nintendo nor Sony offers.

Again, this E3 is Sony's to lose in terms of first-party exclusives and third-party marketing deals including Call of Duty: WWII, Destiny 2 and Star Wars Battlefront II. Unless Nintendo knocks it out of the park.

But, what do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Star Wars Battlefront II trailer at E3



A teaser trailer for Star Wars Battlefront II was shown during Star Wars Celebration Orlando last April. The teaser revealed that the single player campaign follows Inferno Squad, an Imperial special forces unit lead by Commander Iden Versio (Janina Gavankar), in the wake of the destruction of the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi.

Now, a full trailer drops during EA Play 2017 at E3. Fans finally get to see gameplay footage from the upcoming sequel to the 2015 video game franchise reboot. Unlike its predecessor, Battlefront II will traverse all three Star Wars trilogies.



Star Wars Battlefront II is out on 17th November for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Theft from Star Wars 'Smithsonian' Rancho Obi-Wan



Rancho Obi-Wan, housing the largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia in the US, has lost $200,000 in stock.

Steve Sansweet, a household name to Star Wars fans and collectors, announced the theft on Monday.

Dear fellow Star Wars fans and collectors,

I need to share some distressing news with you because I need your help.

In February we at Rancho Obi-Wan found out that we had been the victim of a major theft that surreptitiously took place over many months in late 2015 through 2016.

There were more than 100 valuable items stolen, the majority of them vintage U.S. and foreign carded action figures, many of them rare and important pieces. Most have either been resold or professionally appraised for a total of more than $200,000.

The theft came to light after Philip Wise, a good friend, major collector and owner of several Star Wars websites, posted news of the theft of his rare prototype rocket-firing Boba Fett action figure from his Texas warehouse. Zach Tann, a respected toy dealer and collector in Southern California, immediately notified Philip that he had purchased that figure from Carl Edward Cunningham, 45, a well-known Star Wars collector and R2-D2 builder from Marietta, Georgia.

Tann further told Philip that he previously had bought many other rare Star Wars collectibles from Carl and sent a detailed list. Philip said that he quickly concluded by the quantity and quality of items that they had likely been stolen from my collection here in Petaluma, California.

Tann is working closely with us and authorities to help recover and return as many of the stolen collectibles as possible. Without Zach Tann’s call to Philip, which came despite great potential personal financial exposure to himself, we might still not know of the theft or its extent.

Carl surrendered on an arrest warrant from the Sonoma County, California Sheriff’s Department at the end of March and was charged with felony grand theft. He is currently free on bail with additional hearings in the case scheduled.

I have known Carl for many years, considered him a good and trusted friend, and played host to him at my home numerous times. I, and the staff at Rancho Obi-Wan, are devastated that he is the alleged perpetrator of the thefts. Not only have important items been stolen from the collection, but also our time, energy and ability to trust unconditionally have taken a blow.

If you have any information about Carl Cunningham’s activities or items that he has sold please write to tips@ranchoobiwan.org. If you think you may have purchased a stolen item, please be patient while we work through this process. It is our goal to resolve this situation as quickly as possible and to continue to use the collection at Rancho Obi-Wan to “Inspire through the Force” despite the destruction caused by one person.

Thank you for your help,
Steve Sansweet
Rancho Obi-Wan

This is a LIST OF ITEMS that hasn’t truly been accounted for. If you bought any of these, especially on eBay (user name: winterceltic) or through the Rebelscum.com forum in the last year from Carl Cunningham, please let us know at tips@ranchoobiwan.org
Han Solo (Large Head) 12 Back
Death Squad Commander 12B back Palitoy
Jawa 12 Back Palitoy
Sand People 12A-back Palitoy
Ben Kenobi 12 Back-B Takara Sticker
Jawa 20-back J
Hammerhead SW 21-back card
Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot SW 21 back
R5-D4 SW 21-back card
R2-D2 ESB 31-back card
Darth Vader ESB 41 Back-A
Luke Skywalker (Bespin) Brown hair 47-back
R2-D2 with Sensorscope ROTJ 65-back Palitoy
Chewbacca POTF 92 Back
Amanaman Palitoy Tri-Logo
Hammerhead Palitoy Tri-Logo
Luke Skywalker (brown hair) Palitoy Tri-Logo
Princess Leia Organa Palitoy Tri-Logo
Yak Face Palitoy Tri-Logo
LEGO Millennium Falcon Set Sealed #10179
LEGO Super Star Destroyer #10221
LEGO Rebel Snowspeeder #10129
LEGO Imperial Shuttle #10212
Death Star Spherical Cardboard Playset Toltoys box with Palitoy innards


Please help spread the word. Thank you.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi gets early release in the UK



UK Star Wars fans (myself included) will get to see director Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi a day before folks in the US. The first sequel to The Force Awakens now premieres on Thursday 14th December.

Eager fans can see The Last Jedi even earlier. The next installment in the Star Wars saga opens in France, Italy and Norway on Wednesday 13th December.

Will you be booking tickets for a midnight screening? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Apple showcases VR with Star Wars demo



Apple has partnered with Valve and showcased SteamVR during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) took to the stage. An ILMxLAB staffer, using an HTC VIVE headset and wands, populated a virtual world with TIE Fighters, Imperial Shuttle and Darth Vader. The presentation was powered by an iMac Pro coming this December.

Native VR support will be included with macOS High Sierra later this year and further augmented with Unreal 4 and Unity engine support.

The Cupertino-based company is bolstering its desktop line with refreshed iMacs and MacBooks to play catch-up in a resurgent VR space.

Do you think Apple's taking the desktop space seriously in the wake of criticisms suggesting the company has focussed too much on mobile devices? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Odette Annable's Reign of destruction on Supergirl



The DCTV season finales have aired on Sky 1, in the UK, and fans now look to the future of the multiverse on the small screen.

Reign, made famous by The New 52, will be the big bad on Supergirl season 3. She's a Worldkiller, a biological weapon created by the Kryptonians, and will pose a compelling moral dilemma for Kara (Melissa Benoist).

Reign will be played by Odette Annable (Cloverfield).

"Greg [Berlanti] and I have wanted to work with Odette for years," said executive producer Andrew Kreisberg. "We are beyond excited to have her join our cast in the scary, powerful and heartbreaking role of Reign."

In related news. Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot as the titular Amazonian, is a critical and commercial success at the box office. Perhaps a catalyst for the DC Universe. Less dreary and more fun henceforth. Injustice 2 for PS4 and Xbox One brings Mortal Kombat to the multiverse and becomes one of the best fighting games ever made. Non-fighting fans should play it for the amazing story mode, incredible character animations and cinematics.

Looking forward to Odette Annable and Melissa Benoist battle for supremacy of Earth-38? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

A-Box is a great geek gift for Father's Day



Mystery box subscriptions are proving popular with geeks of all ages. From Loot Crate to Smugglers Bounty by Funko, there's something for fans of film, TV and video games everywhere.

Now, A-Box arrives and it's the perfect subscription gift for Father's Day!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams is a huge fan of the mystery box, as evidenced by his multimedia oeuvre, and a proud self-confessed geek. This maybe something his children would gift him for Father's Day.

A-Box is a new mystery box subscription service working directly with film and video game studios including Marvel and Activision. Each A-Box is packed with over £70 value for £38 per month (less if you opt for a longer subscription) and there's no contract. So, you could gift family and friends for their birthday or the holiday season. Why not treat yourself too?

In addition to a monthly mystery box. There'll be limited edition boxes. The first is Alien: Covenant for fans of director Ridley Scott's xenomorph. This is available for £55, but contains items valued over £150! It's worth noting there's an official life-sized replica, approved by Twentieth Century Fox, from the movie. What could it be? Leave your guesses in the comments below.



Mystery box subscriptions can be hit-and-miss. So much so that I've been reluctant to purchase one (for review purposes). However, A-Box benefits from directly supplying the movie industry for 10 years. They're off to a strong start with the release of the Alien: Covenant box from 26th June.

A-Box looks like a great addition to the mystery box space and a Star Wars: The Last Jedi themed box would be awesome this December. However, the proof will be when I have one in hand to review, myself.

The fine folks at A-Box reached out to me and, as such, this isn't a sponsored post. I simply like the look of this new fully licensed blind box subscription service and wanted readers to see for themselves.

For further details and to subscribe, visit A-Box.com.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Renault rolls out R2-D2 at Monaco GP



George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, appeared with the Renault team during last weekend's Monaco GP.

Lucas was joined by R2-D2, Stormtrooper, TIE Fighter Pilot, and Renault teammates Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer to mark the space opera's 40th anniversary, which coincides with Renault's first appearance at the British GP in 1977.

The Force wasn't with Renault.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

A Star Wars Story



A long time ago... 40 years to be exact. Star Wars was released in America.

Now, I wouldn't see George Lucas' space opera until early 1978. But, that's for context as Star Wars hadn't opened in the UK when I was admitted into children's hospital, following a serious head injury in primary school, in October 1977.

I remember the American neurosurgeon - who saved my life alongside a talented, international, team - saying I had to promise him I'd see Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and gave me a poster of R2-D2 and C-3PO as a parting gift!

The promise was kept.



A few months after being discharged from hospital, I moved house with my folks, an uncle gifted me a copy of John Williams' Star Wars soundtrack LP and an aunt gifted me an R2-D2 action figure for Christmas. Each lunchtime at home (the primary school I was moved to wouldn't accept liability outside of classroom hours) I'd eat a bacon sandwich (or similar snack), play the soundtrack, and let my imagination soar as R2-D2 embarked on another secret mission.

Then in early 1978, aged 5, mum took me to see Star Wars at Odeon Exeter. Dad had to carry me up a flight of stairs (I was wheelchair bound at the time). Once we'd been shown to our seats, by helpful staff, a mother and young daughter appeared. Mum was a warm lady and was asked if she would keep an eye on the daughter during the movie? As always, she was more than happy to oblige and I had a new friend with which to share this inaugural cinematic experience with.

Suffice it to say, the next few hours were mesmerising. From dancers, dressed as characters from Star Wars dancing to the disco arrangement, to the destruction of the Death Star underscored by John Williams' ode to Erich Korngold and Gustav Holst's The Planets to medals bestowed on our heroes. By the film's finale, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Either become a Jedi or filmmaker - both, but that's between us. I said goodbye to my Star Wars buddy and then noticed she'd left her combe behind. Dutifully, I told mum, but the girl had gone...



In the wake of seeing Star Wars, I'd graduated into becoming a film geek for life. Marvel's "making of" magazine, with a cover featuring poster art by the Hildebrandt brothers, fell to bits (it was read daily). Cinema trips became a school holiday treat.



Collecting Star Wars action figures and accessories meant Star Wars was every day, friendships forged (many of which last to this day) and playground adventures shared. Amassed quite a collection from Star Wars to Return of the Jedi. My favourite toys included 12" Boba Fett, AT-AT, Imperial Troop Transport, Darth Vader's Star Destroyer action playset and an Imperial Shuttle.

As much as I wanted to play the hero, the Empire always looked cooler to me. Because Stormtroopers, Darth Vader and Boba Fett. Fun fact: I thought Stormtroopers were robots until The Empire Strikes Back!

From the age of 5 until 17, I was an outpatient undergoing rehabilitation for head trauma. Whilst there would be times I'd feel alienated (who doesn't?), Star Wars remained a constant force (pun intended) for inspiration. If a farm boy could become a Jedi, then I could learn to walk again and help others.

In 1997, whilst working as an online journalist, I was interviewed for a BBC documentary commemorating the 20th anniversary of Star Wars. Lucasfilm, now owned by Disney, decided to drop the fan segment. But, I'll always be determined to make a contribution to the franchise's legacy in some small way. Further to this, I worked on The Gemini Apes starring Sir Christopher Lee. Lee would go on to play Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels.

Last summer was momentous. With a close friend, I met Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) at Star Wars Celebration Europe. Five year old me would never have believed it. Profoundly poignant in view of Fisher's death last December.

Next month marks the tenth anniversary of mum's death due to medical trauma. Star Wars was given an honourable mention during her funeral service. So, today I'll watch the original trilogy in mum's memory.

Through the good times and bad, Star Wars is without doubt the defining film in my life. Thank you, George Lucas!

Happy 40th birthday, Star Wars!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Vanity Fair goes behind-the-scenes of The Last Jedi



Fresh from publishing four variant covers to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars this week. Vanity Fair goes behind-the-scenes of Star Wars: The Last Jedi with exclusive photos, taken by Annie Leibovitz, and a video.



Fans get their first glimpse of Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro, playing Vice Admiral Holdo and DJ respectively, in The Last Jedi.

Dern strikes an imperious pose, in stark contrast to her character's link to the Resistance, that evokes the opulent prequels. She recently attended a scoring session for The Last Jedi reuniting the Jurassic Park actress with composer John Williams.



Del Toro is channelling a Replicant from Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.



Director Rian Johnson gives an insight into his approach to the Star Wars sequel, saying, “I started by writing the names of each of the characters, and thinking, ‘What’s the hardest thing they could be faced with?'”

On the subject of Rey’s training parallelling Luke's on Dagobah, Johnson teases, “There’s a training element to it, but it’s not exactly what you would expect.”

It's heartbreaking when Kathleen Kennedy suggests Carrie Fisher may have had a bigger role in Episode IX, which closes the Star Wars sequel trilogy. “The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’” Kennedy remembers. “Because Harrison was front and center on VII, and Mark is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.”

Be sure to visit Vanity Fair for the full story here.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is released in cinemas on 15th December.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Vanity Fair covers the 40th anniversary of Star Wars



Annie Leibovitz has photographed Star Wars actors since capturing the cast of The Phantom Menace in 1999. Subsequently the famed photographer's lavish photo shoots have become a tradition.

Now, Vanity Fair has released four variant covers to commemorate the 40th anniversary of George Lucas' space opera.

The first is Rey and Luke, the second is Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren, and General Hux, the third is Poe Dameron, Finn, and Rose Tico, and the fourth is General Leia. Most notably Carrie Fisher has a cover all of her own. This is in tribute to the late actress and her final appearance in the upcoming The Last Jedi.

The grouping of characters suggests the story structure of The Empire Strikes Back.

Leibovitz’s full photo shoot will be online Wednesday, along with a story on the making of Rian Johnson's upcoming sequel to The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in cinemas 15th December.

Monday, 22 May 2017

A Stormtrooper story in Star Wars Battlefront II



Star Wars Battlefront was a gorgeous game, but lacked a single player campaign. The upcoming sequel appears to address this with a story mode focussing on Imperial forces in the wake of the destruction of the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars Battlefront II will follow Iden Versio (Janina Gavankar), commander of Inferno Squad an Imperial special forces unit, from the end of Return of the Jedi to The Force Awakens.

A new developer diary, posted on the official PlayStation YouTube channel, chronicles the production of Star Wars Battlefront II and Lucasfilm Story Group's involvement in the creative process.



Incidentally, Amazon Prime members can read Official PlayStation Magazine for free using the Kindle app. Star Wars Battlefront II is featured in the latest issue.

Stay tuned for further coverage of Star Wars Battlefront II during E3.

Star Wars Battlefront II is out on 17th November for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Tom Hardy cast in Spider-Man spin-off Venom



Tom Hardy, fresh from reading a bedtime story on CBBC, is playing Eddie Brock in Sony's upcoming Spider-Man spin-off. Venom.

Whilst Hardy's casting as the alien symbiote was met with enthusiasm. He played DC Comics' Bane in Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy. News the spin-off is not directly linked to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), possibly precluding a face-off against Tom Holland's Spider-Man, is a fly in the ointment. However, it would be a surprising missed opportunity, by the studio, in the wake of so much goodwill following Captain America: Civil War.

Venom was last seen on the big screen in Sam Raimi's middling Spider-Man 3 in 2007. Sony's gambling on Spider-Man: Homecoming successfully rebooting the franchise and there's a PlayStation exclusive Spider-Man video game to promote, too. More news on the latter at E3. Hopefully.

Venom, directed by Ruben Fleischer, will usher in further spin-offs. Is the comic book cinematic universe in danger of further brand dilution? I stopped reading comics in the mid 1990s as it became expensive and, frankly, a chore to follow Marvel's or DC Comics' increasingly fractured, commercially cynical, universes. This has now transferred to film and television adaptations, where I've stopped following franchises. Because bored.

This may appear frivolous on my part and I'm no stranger to a time when geeks didn't have the luxury of Hollywood's current superhero stable featuring multi-movie story arcs and infinite reboots.

Production begins on Venom later this year with a release date of 5th October 2018. Perhaps in time for the launch of PlayStation 5. Tom, would you mind signing one for me?

Friday, 19 May 2017

A prequel to The Dark Crystal is coming to Netflix



Netflix has announced a prequel series to Jim Henson's classic tale The Dark Crystal.

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is set many years prior to the events depicted in the 1982 movie that pushed the boundaries of animatronics within a divided world, Thra, that evoked J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. The Gelflings are caught up in a battle between the peaceful Mystics and power-hungry Skeksis.

Frank Oz co-directed The Dark Crystal with Jim Henson and, as a fledgling film fan, it was impossible not to be acutely aware of story similarities between The Dark Crystal and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi the following summer. Mythological tropes I'd actively seek out evermore.

Information regarding the upcoming 10-part prequel series is scant. However, Netflix released a teaser trailer that has captured fans imaginations around the world.



Director Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans) will executive produce the series and direct. Leading the writing are co-executive producers Jeffrey Addiss, Will Matthews, and Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The 100).

“Louis Leterrier is passionate about the world of ‘The Dark Crystal’ and has an incredible creative vision for the series,” said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. “He brings this passion to every facet of the production as he leads the talented team of artists and writers that are bringing this entire universe to life. Netflix has a deep respect for my father’s original work and the many people it inspired. They are the perfect partners to create this next epic chapter in ‘The Dark Crystal’ story for new fans and the loyal fans who have waited so long for more adventures from this world.”

Trevor Jones' soundtrack for The Dark Crystal remains a touchstone, and I hope the prequel series will reprise those memorable motifs from Jim Henson's world of wonder...

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Star Trek: Discovery is live-action Mass Effect



The first trailer for Star Trek: Discovery has dropped on Netflix. The upcoming prequel series takes place a decade before the adventures of Kirk, Spock and Bones in the original Star Trek.



The Klingons have undergone a CGI makeover, which may be divisive, and Sarek, Spock's father, has a pivotal role to play. Discovery isn't short of interpersonal conflict, but a return to exploration and a sense of wonder, a hallmark of the franchise, is welcome in the wake of the big screen Star Trek reboot with which this isn't directly connected.

However, Discovery seems more a part of the Paramount Pictures cinematic universe than the original series and it could double as a Mass Effect live-action series. The latter unashamedly borrowed from the former. So, we've come full circle. Will Sonequa Martin Green (The Walking Dead) channel FemShep?

Star Trek: Discovery's inaugural season, running for 15 episodes, is coming to CBS All Access and Netflix outside the US this Fall.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 this November



LEGO video games are becoming an annual treat for this brick fan in the wake of recent releases LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Whilst I missed out on the first installment of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes in 2013. The newly announced sequel is going to be competing for playtime with Star Wars: Battlefront II this November.

Watch the teaser trailer for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 featuring Baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.



“With a completely original branching storyline, LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2 introduces amazing new gameplay features, including the ability for characters to manipulate time and a four-player competitive Super Hero battling mode,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “With a huge array of brand new characters from the Marvel universe, including old favourites in new guises, this game is sure to thrill both LEGO® and Marvel fans, as well as newcomers to the series.”

“The LEGO® Group is delighted to continue the stories of the legendary Marvel characters in a new LEGO® adventure,” said Sean McEvoy, VP Digital Games, The LEGO® Group. “Fans young and old will love playing through this all-new cosmic saga spanning the Marvel Universe as seen through the LEGO® lens.”

“As we look to bring amazing games to Marvel fans of all ages, we’ve teamed up yet again with our incredible partners at LEGO, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games,” said Jay Ong, SVP, Games & Innovation, Marvel Entertainment. “LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2 brings characters from across Marvel’s history into an original story told in a way that only LEGO games can, offering hours of epic gameplay.”

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 will be released for PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC on 14th November.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The Orville channels Star Trek spoof Galaxy Quest



The Star Trek franchise has been affectionately lampooned in popular culture for decades. From Futurama to Galaxy Quest. Now, Seth MacFarlane embarks on a galactic odyssey in The Orville on Fox this Fall.

The humour evokes Galaxy Quest, a movie I adore, as evidenced by this trailer.



The pilot is directed by genre stalwart Jon Favreau (Iron Man). So, the series has pedigree and could fill the void as fans await Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access and Netflix outside the US.

Looking forward to The Orville? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Marvel's mutants unleashed in The Gifted



Marvel and Fox have dropped an extended trailer for The Gifted.

The upcoming X-Men spin-off, with a pilot directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men: Apocalypse), isn't a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) over at Disney.



The Gifted joins Legion at Fox this Fall. The channel goes up against The CW with its DC Comics superhero stable including Arrow, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash and Supergirl. The multiverse goes from strength to strength and DC's Legends of Tomorrow transformed in the wake of new cast members and a soft reboot during its second series.

Could The Gifted lead to further X-Men spin-offs featuring Cyclops or Storm? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Mass Effect on ice as EA focusses on Star Wars



Looks like the Mass Effect franchise is on hiatus in the wake of a much-maligned EA Access early preview and middling reviews.

You can read my initial impressions of Mass Effect: Andromeda here.

Post launch patches have improved visual fidelity immeasurably. To the point that the divisive game now resembles a pretty polished product and begs the question: why didn't EA delay the release for a few more months? Andromeda was purportedly in production for several years as its budget ballooned. This isn't unique in AAA game development.

I read somewhere the alpha build used the Unreal engine before switching to stablemate DICE's Frostbite! This comparison video is insightful for anyone with an interest in the creative process.



Personally, I've sunk 40-hours or so into exploring Andromeda and am enjoying the witty banter between squad members, aboard the Nomad, and combat. The sudoku puzzles not so much. Music is a hallmark of the franchise. Curiously, there are strange silences despite a rich soundtrack worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.

The latest Mass Effect installment and PlayStation exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn should keep me occupied until Bungie releases Destiny 2 this September. Well, unless I cave in and buy a Nintendo Switch with a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in the meantime.

However, Kotaku reached out to Electronic Arts and the publisher responded on the future of the franchise with a statement from BioWare Montreal studio director Yanick Roy:

“Our teams at BioWare and across EA put in tremendous effort bringing Mass Effect Andromeda to players around the world. Even as BioWare continues to focus on the Mass Effect Andromeda community and live service, we are constantly looking at how we're prepared for the next experiences we will create. 

The teams in EA Worldwide Studios are packed with talent, and more than ever, we are driving collaboration between studios on key projects. 

With our BioWare and Motive teams sharing studio space in Montreal, we have BioWare team members joining Motive projects that are underway. We're also ramping up teams on other BioWare projects in development.

There will be much more to come from BioWare in the years ahead.”

Frustratingly, this leaves a subplot, that ties into a theory I have concerning Cerberus, unresolved. Hope BioWare continues to support Andromeda with free future DLC, expanding on the universe whilst tying up loose ends, as a goodwill gesture for early adopters. Unlikely. A new untitled IP has been pushed back to 2018/19 and EA's ramping up Star Wars releases.

Do you think the beloved Mass Effect franchise should be retired? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Judge Dredd is the law in Mega-City One TV spin-off



The 2000 AD sci-fi comic started in 1977 along with the US premiere of a space opera set in a galaxy far, far away... Both 2000 AD and Star Wars would form the backdrop to my youth and foundation for future friendships.

However, I didn't start reading 2000 AD until my late paternal grandfather gifted me a copy, during a holiday by the Jurassic Coast, in the summer of 1979. Until then, I was avidly reading Dan Dare reprints, Marvel's Star Wars comic and Starburst magazine.

The ABC Warriors had been unleashed and later Rogue Trooper's endless war with the Norts took over high school lunchtime discussions, and GCSE Art and Design lessons, with fellow geeks in the 1980s.

So, when news broke of a Judge Dredd television series, my interest was instantly piqued. Afterall, my nickname at high school, in an era when Harrison Ford was linked to the titular role for a future film, was Judge Dredd. Because chiselled jaw.

"This is one of those seminal sci-fi properties that seems to only become and more relevant with age," IM Global Television boss Mark Stern told Entertainment Weekly (EW). "Not only is it a rich world with biting social commentary, but it’s also fun as hell! As a fan of the comics and both films, it’s a dream come true to be able to work with Jason and Chris in adapting this for television."

"We’re very excited to be beginning the journey to get more of Judge Dredd’s Mega-City One on the television screen,” says the Kingsleys. "Thanks to the legions of fans who have kept up pressure on social media, and a lot of background work and enthusiasm, we aim to make a big budget production that will satisfy both our vast comics audience and the even greater general screen-watching public."

Mark Stern shepherded the Battlestar Galactica reboot. A seminal sci-fi series that found critical acclaim early last decade.

The two Judge Dredd movie adaptations have had varying degrees of success. Sylvester Stallone was miscast as Judge Dredd in 1995 and fans (myself included) took issue with the iconic character removing his helmet. But, James Earl Jones', the voice of Darth Vader, opening narration was the most memorable part and left me yearning for more Star Wars.

Who would you like to see playing Judge Dredd in a television spin-off? Star Trek's Karl Urban wasn't too shabby in the gritty film noir from 2012. Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Bryan Singer brings the X-Men to Fox in The Gifted



Legion isn't the only X-Men cinematic universe spin-off to grace television screens in 2017. Franchise stalwart Bryan Singer has directed the pilot for The Gifted. An upcoming series from Marvel and Fox.

Action-adventure family drama THE GIFTED, from Marvel, tells the story of a suburban couple whose ordinary lives are rocked by the sudden discovery that their children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family joins up with an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive.



Amy Acker (Angel) and Stephen Moyer (True Blood) head up the cast as parents of mutant children. A Stan Lee cameo has been teased on Instagram.

The Gifted premieres on Fox this Fall.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Blade Runner 2049 gives a knowing wink to Star Wars



Ridley Scott's second foray into sci-fi was Blade Runner. An enigmatic film noir touchstone possessing a visual flair much copied and unmatched since its original release in 1982.

Scott's dystopian vision was the antithesis of the summer blockbuster with Harrison Ford, famous for Star Wars and Indiana Jones, playing Rick Deckard. A police officer charged with hunting down replicants. All the while possibly a replicant himself. Because unicorn.

The prospect of a sequel left me cold until the latest trailer for Blade Runner 2049 dropped with Ford reprising the role opposite Ryan Gosling.

The tone is pitch perfect and lush visuals promise to be as memorable as those seen in the original. The minimalist approach evokes Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey). At least it's a feast for the eyes and listen out for the Star Wars in-joke from The Empire Strikes Back.



If you've never seen the original Blade Runner. May I suggest The Final Cut from 2007.

Looking forward to Blade Runner 2049 this October? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Chris Pine's classic Star Trek spoof on SNL



Chris Pine took over the role of Captain Kirk in JJ Abrams' Star Trek reboot in 2009.

Two sequels followed and now he's gone full William Shatner in this hilarious Star Trek skit for Saturday Night Live (SNL).



Pine can be seen next in the upcoming Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot this July.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

MUTHUR can't save you in Alien: Covenant



Fans of the Alien franchise will instantly recognise MUTHUR. The Nostromo's onboard computer that awoke the crew from cryogenic stasis to seemingly investigate an alleged distress signal on LV-426.

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) would later discover the chilling truth that MUTHUR was programmed to divert to the unknown planet, by the company Weyland-Yutani, and crewmate Ash's (Ian Holm) primary objective to sacrifice all aboard for an alien specimen.

MUTHUR, voiced by Lorelei King, returns in Alien: Covenant. Personally, this is exciting news as I worked with Lorelei on The Gemini Apes starring the late Sir Christopher Lee.

This new trailer, highlighting MUTHUR, cleverly plays to our expectations of intelligent personal assistants such as Alexa, Cortana or Siri and the franchise's callous use of technology.



Does MUTHUR play an instrumental role in Alien: Covenant? Fans will find out on 12th May.

Excited for Alien: Covenant? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Is Jenna Coleman returning to Doctor Who?



Jenna Coleman is rumoured to be returning to Doctor Who for this year's Christmas special.

The rumour originates from a story suggesting Eddie's Diner has been booked for filming this July. The iconic location was used in The Impossible Astronaut and as Clara and Me's TARDIS in Hell Bent: the series 9 finale in which Clara wiped the Doctor's memory of her.

Peter Capaldi is leaving at the end of this year, along with showrunner Steven Moffat, and it wouldn't be the first time a former companion returned for a regeneration story. Karen Gillan reprised the role of Amy Pond when Matt Smith bowed out in The Time of the Doctor. It's worth noting Clara's theme can be heard during the current series premiere as possible foreshadowing.

Series 10, currently airing on BBC One on Saturday evenings, is proving to be a hit with fans. So much so, I was inspired to email the official Doctor Who Magazine and was delighted to see my thoughts on the season premiere, The Pilot, reprinted in the current issue.

A post shared by John Hood (@johnhood) on

Andrew Lewin, fellow Whovian and blogging co-conspirator, is reviewing the current series on Taking the Short View. Hopefully, this won't dissuade him from our obligatory post-series discussion later in the year.

Coleman is filming the second series of Victoria for ITV.

Would you like to see Clara return in the Christmas special? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Carrie Fisher remembered by fans on Star Wars Day



Star Wars fans around the world are celebrating Star Wars Day, May the Fourth, and paying tribute to the late Carrie Fisher.


I updated my social media avatar with a photo taken with Carrie Fisher at Star Wars Celebration Europe last summer.

How are you celebrating Star Wars Day? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Netflix's Marvel superheroes unite in The Defenders



Today Netflix unveiled a trailer for Marvel's The Defenders. The upcoming series sees Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron First join forces to battle a big bad played by Sigourney Weaver.

Cue obligatory hallway fight scene.



The trailer has given me an incentive to catch up with a Marvel Netflix backlog.

Following the breakout first season of Daredevil. The Netflix series have stalled and stagnated for the most part. Conversely, Legion, a part of The X-Men cinematic universe at Fox, has captured my imagination with its inventiveness and is now front runner for genre series of the year.

Stream The Defenders on Netflix from 18th August. Coincedently, that would have been my late mum's 76th birthday.

Excited for Marvel's The Defenders or could care less? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

House of Cards sees "One nation, Underwood!"



Netflix's adaptation of House of Cards, in 2013, proved the streaming service was more than capable of producing prestige drama. The award-winning series would be followed by Orange Is the New Black, Stranger Things, The Crown and many more.

House of Cards season 5 sees the Underwoods, played with gleeful malice by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, battling for re-election against Republican rival Will Conway (Joel Kinnaman).

This new trailer for the upcoming season suggests an even darker tone than previous seasons, which didn't shy away from the murkier realms of politics. The incumbent president is clearly looking to secure more than two terms in office, in a move reminiscent of Senator Palpatine in Star Wars.



House of Cards season 5 is available to stream from 30th May.

Looking forward to House of Cards or do you think the current state of real word politics has eclipsed it? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Star Wars ruined John Boyega's love life



So, it's May and Star Wars celebrates its 40th anniversary this month. However, the Force moves in mysterious ways as John Boyega (Finn) discovered whilst on a date.

Speaking on the BBC's The Graham Norton Show, he said: "I went on a date in New York City and we were driving through Times Square and she asked, 'What do you do for a living?' I just pointed up at the 'Star Wars' billboard that showed me with a lightsaber and said, 'That!' That was the end of the relationship - the poster really affected her... I blocked her on my phone."



Boyega reprises the role of Finn in Star Wars: The Last Jedi this December.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Star Wars fan film Han Solo: A Smuggler's Trade



Whilst Star Wars fans wait for the as yet untitled Han Solo spin-off movie from Lucasfilm. Why not watch Star Wars fan film Han Solo: A Smuggler's Trade.

"The Universe's favorite intergalactic smuggler sets out on an epic quest to rescue an old friend. He uses his mechanical skills, cunning wit, and his creative interpretation of the rules to fight, flirt, bribe, and barter his way to victory. But will it be enough? Before there was A New Hope, there was Han Solo -- just an outlaw trying to survive in a galaxy more corrupt than he is... and far less forgiving."



This is a labour of love from director Keith Allen. Jamie Costa's Han Solo is not too shabby at all. There's an Indiana Jones vibe to proceedings, and that's no bad thing given both Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises are owned by Disney.

I've featured fan films in the past and am going to increase coverage going forward.

If you have a Star Wars fan film you'd like to share, please contact me.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Jeff Goldblum cast in sequel to Jurassic World



THR exclusively reports actor Jeff Goldblum is returning to the land that time forgot.

Goldblum will be reprising his iconic role as Dr. Ian Malcolm, the self-proclaimed chaotician, for the first time since The Lost World: Jurassic Park. He's joining co-stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in the first Jurassic World sequel.

Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow has handed directing chores to J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls). Trevorrow is busy over at Lucasfilm preparing for Star Wars: Episode IX.

The next installment in the Jurassic World franchise is slated for release 22nd June, 2018.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Disney reshuffles Star Wars and Indiana Jones



Disney's announced updated release dates for its Lucasfilm franchises.

Star Wars: Episode IX, directed by Colin Trevorrow, will be in theatres 24th May, 2019. A year after the Han Solo spin-off movie and not December as expected by most fans. Marking a return to the summer blockbuster ethos of the original and prequel trilogies.

Meanwhile, Indiana Jones has been moved back to 10th July, 2020. Director Steven Spielberg is at the helm with Harrison Ford reprising the titular role.

So, what do you think about the move from December to May for the final installment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy? Personally, I like opening my Star Wars presents during the holiday season. Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Star Wars Day CuffLinks.com giveaway



The fine folks at CuffLinks.com are celebrating Star Wars Day with a galactic giveaway to mark the 40th anniversary of Star Wars' release in the US this May.

CuffLinks.com sent over a selection of their licensed Star Wars products and, as you can see, these are high quality cufflinks that fans will want to collect and wear. The classic Star Wars branded boxes can be displayed with pride too.

A post shared by John Hood (@johnhood) on

Here's the important details on the Star Wars Day giveaway:

  • Provide first/last name and email address
  • Grand Prize (1): $700 value gift of Star Wars accessories
  • Second Prize (10): 1 pair of Darth Vader socks

The competition runs 25th April thru 3rd May. The winner will be announced on Star Wars Day, May the Fourth, with 40% off Star Wars items across the store.

To enter simply visit CuffLinks.com. No purchase necessary.

Good luck and may the Force be with you. Always.

The Force Is Here!
Shop the premier place for the complete officially licensed Star Wars Cufflinks Collection, brought to you by Cufflinks, Inc. Accept no imitators, our collection is officially licensed by Lucasfilm Ltd.

This blog post is sponsored by CuffLinks.com and as such I may receive compensation for any referrals.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Star Wars fan film The Force and the Fury



Star Wars fan films have thrived since the original trilogy. Now, Star Wars: The Force and the Fury continues the tradition and is dedicated to the memory of the late Carrie Fisher.

Fellow fans are going to love this.

"A Jedi crash lands on a barren planet and is pursued by a mysterious Sith who seems to know him."



Fan films can be an excellent opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to showcase their talents. Kudos to Star Wars: The Force and the Fury writer and director Jason Satterlund.

If you have a Star Wars fan film you'd like to share, please contact me.

Source: LFF

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Xbox Games with Gold celebrates Star Wars this May



Star Wars celebrates its 40th anniversary this May. So, Games with Gold has something for Star Wars fans.

This May subscribers can download Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 and LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga for free. Both titles are backwards compatible on Xbox One.

I've purchased them previously and would recommend any fan to try them. LEGO Star Wars games are always a treat and The Complete Saga is no exception.

What's your favourite Star Wars video game? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 21 April 2017

The Battlefront game Star Wars fans are looking for



EA dropped a trailer for Star Wars Battlefront II during Star Wars Celebration. Unlike its predecessor, the new game will traverse all three Star Wars trilogies and that's a mouthwatering proposition for fans.



The upcoming sequel will include a single player (SP) campaign written by former IGN staffers Mitch Dyer and Walt Williams. The latter is best known for Spec Ops: The Line.

Star Wars Battlefront II follows Iden Versio (Janina Gavankar), commander of Inferno Squad an Imperial special forces unit, in the wake of the second Death Star's destruction in Return of the Jedi. It's an interesting premise focussing on the Empire's perspective with a female protagonist a la FemShep fighting for Cerberus in Mass Effect 2.

Will Versio side with the Rebellion by the end or remain faithful to her beloved late Emperor? Gamers will learn the answer this November.

As with Mass Effect: Andromeda. EA Access members will have early access to Star Wars Battlefront II on Xbox One.

Looking forward to Star Wars Battlefront's single player? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Carrie Fisher helped write Star Wars: The Last Jedi



During The Last Jedi panel at Star Wars Celebration, director Rian Johnson revealed the late Carrie Fisher assisted with the screenplay for the first sequel to The Force Awakens.

"It was such a moving tribute... I don't know if I can add to that. I love her so much, I just adore her. I connected with her first and foremost as a writer. She's a brilliant writer, with an incredible mind. I'd go to her house and we'd sit on her bed for hours, going through the script. (We) would just have these kind of stream-of-consciousness, Jazz poetry, ad-lib sessions, and I would just scribble down everything she said on my script. And then at the end of six hours, there would be this four word line of dialogue that would be the distillation of all that, that was brilliant."

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, speaking exclusively to ABC News, clarified Carrie Fisher would not be appearing in Star Wars: Episode IX following her brother Todd's remarks to the New York Daily News.

“He was probably confused because we finished everything in VIII… we were able to complete shooting in the summer… Unfortunately, Carrie passed away, so by the time we were well underway with Episode IX in our thoughts, we had not written the script yet. But we’ve regrouped, we started over again in January. So, sadly, Carrie will not be in IX.”

This is sad news for fans. However, director Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi appears to be a fitting swan song for the beloved actress and writer. The first teaser trailer dropped during Star Wars Celebration and suggests a more mythological tale with tragedy at its core.