Saturday 22 July 2017

The Walking Dead Season 8 first look trailer at SDCC

The Walking Dead returns to television screens this October only on Fox.

A new 5-minute trailer for season 8 premiered during a panel with cast and crew at SDCC. It teases a time jump and promises more action. Season 7 lost dramatic impetus in a reprise of the second season (the first time I stopped watching the apocalyptic soap noir). So much so, I didn't bother continuing after the mid-season break. By this time, DCTV had my exclusive attention.

On the strength of this trailer, I'll resume The Walking Dead when all box sets start streaming again on NOW TV this September.

In related news. During the quieter summer months - the return of Game of Thrones notwithstanding - I'm catching up with genre series that didn't warrant immediate viewing.

Fear the Walking Dead seemingly continues to struggle to find a voice despite an impressive cast. Oftentimes the production is middling and there's a palpable lack of fear factor despite a promising start. Presumably, AMC has invested too much in the brand to mothball the prequel series for now. Fear the Walking Dead requires a soft reboot.

The Walking Dead shuffles back on 23rd October on Fox.

Friday 21 July 2017

Radio Flyer announces Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder

Many Star Wars fans (myself included) wanted to own a full-size replica of Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder growing up. Alas, fans had to settle for Kenner's toy vehicle when the first film in George Lucas' space opera was released in 1977.

Now, Radio Flyer has announced a kid-sized Landspeeder for the next generation of fans.

"The first kid-sized Landspeeder you can drive. Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder™ by Radio Flyer is modelled after the sand-pocked and sun-faded X-34 craft from Star Wars: A New Hope. With seats for 2 riders, an interactive dashboard with lights and real movie sounds, and a 5mph driving speed, this speeder provides a truly galactic driving experience.

The gear shift switches between 2mph forward, 5mph forward, or 2mph reverse. 12V rechargeable battery and charger included. For ages 4+, max weight 130 lbs."

The attention to detail is incredible and I'm in no way envious of younger fans when this ships from Toys "R" Us following Force Friday II.

Thursday 20 July 2017

BBC responds to Jodie Whittaker casting complaints

Reactions from fans have run the gamut in the wake of Jodie Whittaker's casting as Doctor Who. From delight to dismay. Now, the BBC has formally responded to complaints.

"Since the first Doctor regenerated back in 1966, the concept of the Doctor as a constantly evolving being has been central to the programme. The continual input of fresh ideas and new voices across the cast and the writing and production teams has been key to the longevity of the series.

The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender.

As the Controller of BBC Drama has said, Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor.

We hope viewers will enjoy what we have in store for the continuation of the story."

Personally, I can't wait to see Whittaker's take on my favourite time traveller. Your mileage may vary. I'll leave you with Chris Hardwick's reaction to Doct-Her Who on Comedy Central.

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Use the Force of AR in Star Wars: Jedi Challenges

App-enabled devices are de rigueur and soon you will be able to hone your lightsaber skills with Star Wars: Jedi Challenges announced at the D23 Expo.

Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is a technological partnership between Disney and Lenovo that sees staples of the franchise utilised in a headset paired with a smartphone. For example players will be able to experience a game of holochess or wield a lightsaber.

The impressive augmented reality (AR) suite does not have a release date, but Force Friday II is 1st September to celebrate Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Star Wars: Jedi Challenges surpasses Kinect Star Wars and will surely be a must-have for fans this holiday season.

Monday 17 July 2017

Jodie Whittaker is the Thirteenth Doctor Who

Finally, after months of speculation the next actor to play the titular Time Lord Doctor Who has been announced in a very cool, and enigmatic, fashion.

Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch) will take the helm of the TARDIS from current incumbent Peter Capaldi this Christmas as showrunner Stephen Moffat makes way for Chris Chibnall, creator of Broadchurch.

A time lady, you say? Well, my earliest memory of a possible female Doctor Who dates back to Tom Baker's swansong season and, ever since, I've expected either a male or female actor in the role. Most recently when Matt Smith announced he was leaving during the 50th anniversary season and fans speculated Olivia Colman was taking over. Ultimately, Capaldi was revealed as the next Doctor during a BBC special hosted by Zoe Ball.

Aside from the announcement of the Thirteenth Doctor. Loved the soundtrack callback to the 1980s and hope this is a teaser for things to come (the cancellation of Doctor Who during Sylvester McCoy's era notwithstanding).

Whittaker is an accomplished actress and I'm excited to see Doctor Who, my favourite series, continue to embrace its central conceit of change. VWORP! VWORP!

Sunday 16 July 2017

Behind-the-scenes of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Lucasfilm has released a thrilling behind-the-scenes sizzle reel for director Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the D23 Expo.

Johnson was joined on stage by cast members Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker).

Fans will have to wait a little longer for a new trailer. It's all about building excitement.

Friday 14 July 2017

Star Wars Land first look at D23 Expo

A year ago I was at Star Wars Celebration Europe in sweltering heat.

From acting as an unofficial tour guide for fellow fans en route to the ExCeL London to meeting childhood heroes amidst an inclusive community from around the world. Star Wars Celebration Europe was the best convention I've attended and you can read all about it here.

Fast forward a year. D23 Expo starts today in Anaheim and Disney's given fans a sneak peek at the company's upcoming Star Wars Land announced in 2015. “This is the most ambitious land we’ve built to date,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney’s parks division at the unveiling. Fans will be able to pilot the Millennium Falcon. The Star Wars attraction opens in theme parks 2019.

Star Wars fans (myself included) are hoping there'll be official movie news at D23 Expo. Director Rian Johnson has teased on Twitter he'll be in attendance. It would be a surprise if there's no new footage from The Last Jedi. Fans are speculating there'll be an Obi-Wan movie spin-off announcement to deflect from the controversy surrounding the Han Solo movie slated for release next May.

What Star Wars news are you hoping for? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday 13 July 2017

Stranger Things at SDCC

A year ago this was the eve of Star Wars Celebration Europe and Stranger Things' debut on Netflix. The Duffer brothers homage to the 1980s caught the imagination of geeks (myself included) the world over, and I was held spellbound by its callbacks to John Carpenter and Steven Spielberg masterworks.

Earlier this week Netflix announced the second season begins streaming 27th October. Alongside this exciting news an amazing poster, that conveys The War of the Worlds meets The Goonies, was unveiled.

The new season is set in 1984, a year after the events depicted in season one, so expect pop culture references from that year including Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. Personally, it was the year my folks gifted me a Commodore 64, which I still own, and I religiously listened to Frankie Goes to Hollywood whilst playing the Sabreman trilogy with childhood friends.

Stranger Things will be at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) in Hall H.

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Win Amazing Spider-Man from Sideshow Collectibles

To celebrate the release of Marvel's Spider-Man: Homecoming, which sees Tom Holland's web-slinger in the best franchise installment since director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2. Sideshow Collectibles is giving away an Amazing Spider-Man Premium Format Figure.

Enter for your chance to win an Amazing Spider-Man Premium Format Figure here. Please mention you heard about this giveaway on Generation Star Wars. Thank you.

The contest is good through 24th July at 11:59PM (PT). Good luck, Spidey fans!

Tuesday 11 July 2017

Star Wars fan film: Dark Legacy

This is turning into Star Wars fan film week on Generation Star Wars and that's a great thing. The fine folks at Manifest Film have taken the dark path to explore the brutality of Sith lore in Dark Legacy.

Whilst the Star Wars cinematic franchise has primarily focussed on Jedi training, fans have yet to fully see the trials of a Sith. Something that could be examined in director Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi this December.

“Training is complete only with the death of the master or the student.”

Dark Legacy is a short film about an apprentice (Erin Wu) imprisoned against her will by a Sith Master (Fabien Garcia) searching for the student who will surpass him, or die trying.

Almost a year in the making. Dark Legacy is directed by Anthony Pietromonaco, with special effects by Jaremy Aiello and Mo Meinhart (Star Trek, The Walking Dead), and fight choreography by Phil Tan and Z Teams (Pirates of the Caribbean, Dragon Ball Z – Light of Hope).

"I'm bored by villains that are one-dimensional," Pietromonaco tells Creators. "For me that kills the story. One of the most fascinating elements of Sith philosophy isn't that it's 'evil.' It's utilitarian. We wanted to create a situation where an apprentice was forced to use the dark side as a practical element for survival. Not because they were bad, but because they had no choice. Our story grew from there."

Pietromonaco has succeeded in reprising The Empire Strikes training scenes between Luke and Yoda with a grim Sith twist.

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

Monday 10 July 2017

Star Wars fan film: Revenge of the Sith remake

New Zealand-based Star Wars fan Tim Hoekstra has filmed a shot-for-shot remake of Revenge of the Sith and it's a blast!

Using nothing more than toy lightsabers and existing indoor and outdoor locations. A group of fans have restaged the final chapter in George Lucas' Star Wars prequel trilogy to humourous effect.

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

Wednesday 5 July 2017

Sony teases Close Encounters of the Third Kind return

Star Wars isn't alone in celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Director Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind was also released in 1977 and, coincidently, would be the second movie I saw at the cinema with my folks in the wake of a life-changing head injury.

Spielberg's opus would cement a lifelong passion for film.

Lacombe (Fran├žoi Truffaut) reminds me of the American neurosurgeon who saved my life in 1977 and encouraged me to see Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It's no wonder I wanted to board the Millennium Falcon and mothership all those years ago.

This means something...

Last Monday Sony teased fans with a cryptic teaser trailer on World UFO Day. Fans excitedly speculated as to whether or not this was a sequel. Well, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial began life as a sequel to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. However, a 4K restoration of Spielberg's masterpiece is coming to theatres for one week this September.

This won't be the first time the sci-fi classic has returned to the big screen. In 1980 cinemagoers were invited to follow everyman Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) into the mothership in the Special Edition.

Tuesday 4 July 2017

Jenna Coleman returns to Doctor Who this Christmas

Series 10 of Doctor Who ended last Saturday with, arguably, the best season finale in years. The Doctor Falls is an emotional escapade, directed with cinematic flair by Rachel Talalay, witnessing peak Team TARDIS and culminating in a mythological encounter between the Twelfth and First Doctors. A cliffhanger ending comparable to Star Wars: The Force Awakens for this lifelong fan of both franchises.

David Bradley (Harry Potter) played William Hartnell to critical acclaim in 50th anniversary drama documentary An Adventure in Space and Time. This time (pun intended) Bradley is the First Doctor in the upcoming Christmas special seemingly set in the South Pole during the first Cyberman invasion serial The Tenth Planet. A story best remembered for William Hartnell's regeneration into Patrick Troughton. Very, very meta.

Last May I reported there was a rumour suggesting Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald) was returning to Doctor Who for Peter Capaldi's departure this Christmas. A source has now told the Mirror: “Jenna Coleman has agreed to film something new as Clara.

“It’s become a tradition now for the companions to reappear as the Doctor regenerates and Jenna isn’t letting the side down.

“It’ll help to give Peter the send-off he deserves after three years.”

As already stated, this isn't the first time a companion has returned for a regeneration story. Karen Gillan reprised the role of Amy Pond in Matt Smith's swansong The Time of the Doctor. It's worth noting Clara appeared alongside companions and foes in a callback to Tom Baker's last story. Logopolis. Presumably, the Doctor's memory block has been lifted?

So, the Impossible Girl may return for a festive farewell. In the meantime, I'd like to wish my American readers a happy Fourth of July.

Monday 3 July 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi won't be at SDCC

San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) is this month and The Unofficial San Diego Comic-Con Blog reports that Star Wars: The Last Jedi won't be there.

The blog reached out to Lucasfilm who replied: “Our presence at SDCC 2017 will be focused on our booth on the convention floor, so there will be no press events or interview opportunities this year.”

Instead, the upcoming sequel to The Force Awakens is expected to be showcased a week earlier during Disney's D23 Expo in Anaheim. This isn't a big surprise as Star Wars Celebration was only a few months ago and is on the back of Lord and Miller's sacking from the Han Solo spin-off, which Ron Howard is now helming.

Are you disappointed The Last Jedi isn't at SDCC? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday 1 July 2017

Film critic Barry Norman dies aged 83

Years before I accidentally stumbled into media studies by way of an oversubscribed photography course in 1989. Starburst, Starlog and Barry Norman were my primary sources for film news and reviews.

Barry Norman was the UK's answer to Siskel & Ebert - before they were a thing - hosting the BBC's "Film..." from 1972 to 1998 before leaving for Sky Movies. The series continues to this day with Film 2017.

Norman was a compelling critic and mentor for film fans (myself included). I would religiously record the latest show on my folks' VCR and watch the following morning before school.

He described Star Wars, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, as an "utterly delightful romp" in 1977 and praised George Lucas' continued tinkering with the original trilogy as indicative of the organic nature of filmmaking.

His wise words will be sorely missed. However, generations of film fans will be forever grateful. RIP Barry Norman.