Tag Archives: star wars

Geek Chic?

I sir, am a geek. That’s right homeslice! A geeee eeee eeee eeeek! I’m the genuine article. I love geeky things and have geeky friends and do geeky things with my geeky friends. I am one of the collective, a member of the crew, part of red squadron, one of the fellowship, a piece of code that makes up the matrix. I have the b-sides and the rarities, can tell you the original singer or songwriter and search out live stuff online, I have the T-shirt from a gig 10 years ago (only ever worn for gigs). I have the DC comic app and a few bagged and boarded books. I can… You get the idea.

star trek star wars and dc comics

What I am not is a modern geek. I do not have thick rimmed glasses, a dodgy waistcoat and cravat, an ironic side parting (to be fair, I have a rather large middle parting), a love for radio 1 or a retro ‘anything that is in fashion.’ Not so much geek chic, rather geek sheep.

Geeks of the world, this is you call to arms. In the name of the force we must act. Want to be a geek? Think you’ve got what it takes? Let’s see.

To count yourself among the truly geeky you should be able to tick at least three of the five boxes in the list below.

Ready? The correct response should be “Red Five standing by!”

1) Can you name all of the Star Wars and Star Trek films in order? A separate list for each of course.

2) Do you own a truly geeky item of clothing? I own a star fleet academy T-shirt (and I say that with no sense of shame).

3) Have you been to any of the following: A- comic book convention. B – Sci-fi convention. C – You get the idea.

4)Ever visited, or plan to visit, a place in the world because of its geeky credentials? Tunisia for the scenes in Star Wars, New Zealand for Lord of the Rings, Washington for The West Wing etc…

5) Are you the person someone would go to with problems with their phone/computer/tablet or for information about a new phone/computer/tablet?

Come on then cool kids, I dare ya! And no googling the answers.

Have a good week and wrap up warm… winter is coming!

 

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Disney Star Wars: Exclusive.

robert downey new han solo

Disney Star Wars: A New Hope?

Something amazing has happened, something that was once declared dead has been resurrected and has had new life breathed into it. One of the most loved franchises in the sci-fi genre, or any other for that matter, is to be rebooted. At the helm will be Andy Fickman, a Disney director with a history of creating great family classics such as Race to Witch Mountain.

It has been revealed that Hamill, Ford and Fisher will play no part in the new films and that replacements have already been found for two of the three. The part of Luke Skywalker in the new film, set 20 years after Return of the Jedi, will be played by David Wenham (best known as Faramir in the Lord of the Rings trilogy), and the part of Han-solo will go to Disney favourite Robert Downey Jnr. The part of Leia is yet to be filled but rumours suggest that Sarah Jessica Parker is a front runner. Other lead roles will include the young offspring of Leia and Han, although who will play the 10 year old twin boys (Anakin and Bail) is anyones guess. They will be accompanied by animated characters such as Boo Dan Binks, son of Jar Jar, and Kana of Grentarik (home world of Yoda), who will feature heavily.

The plot is said to centre around the republic and its transition into peace time. A dark force rises and the young children are thrust to the forefront of the action when they are kidnapped by a Sith Lord named Seil-Lla. They must use their limited Jedi training to escape his clutches and, when they do, end up on a planet that mixes past, present and future. It appears to have taken a leaf out of the Star Trek universe and will revisit themes of previous films. It is hoped that this will allow the franchise to head in new directions and not be retrained by the older story lines and universe.

The hope of Disney is to try to attract the same audience that has made the Clone Wars animation series so successful. A source at Disney has said “They’re planning on expanding from Star Wars and making it part human, part animation ‘like Pete’s Dragon, but with Jedis’. They will be working with the Fantasia digital team who have promised the films will give a subtle nod to Disney classics along the way to celebrate the new partnership. Young Jedis mopping the deck of a star destroyer using the force to control the mops might be a little far but there will be plenty for die hard fans to find.”

It also appears that a new direction will be taken with the musical score to give the franchise a lighter feel. Disney stalwart Alan Menken, best know for his award winning soundtrack for Beauty and the Beast, will take the helm on producing the original pieces that will “mix and intertwine with the original Williams score.”

The new film named Star Wars: Death of the Republic, will open on May the 4th 2015. Advance press release and reviews are expected April 1st.

May the force be with you.

george lucas sells his sole

Disclaimer: this all totally made up and has no basis in fact or reality. It was fun to write though.

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Trouble and strife

Trouble and strife.

I am very happily married. Honestly, I’m not just saying it. We still talk to one and other, we enjoy each others company, we laugh and joke (mainly me joking and her laughing, but that suits us both). Life is good. Smug? you bet.

The thing that I have started to notice though is that our relationship has become more and more dependent on the level of knowledge we have about each other. The sayings we now share (no idea who brought which particular saying to the relationship), the short hand or gibberish, the fact that I know she will not be interested in what I am about to tell her, and the fact that I tell her anyway.

The other day I was trying to explain the end of the premier league season to her. To me it was the best final day to a season I had ever witnessed. I started the conversation with “I can’t believe what happened in the football today” silence followed. “I know you don’t care but i’m gonna tell you anyway”

Her: OK, but don’t expect me to remember it.

Me: So basically, It all came down to the last 2 minutes. United thought they had it in the bag as City were drawing. The full time whistle blew at United but City still had 2 extra minutes to play.

Her: OK

Me: So as the seconds ticked by United really thought they had it and in the dying seconds of stoppage time City scored. You should have seen the look on the United players faces

Her: I wonder what time the supermarket closes today.

It’s my own fault for boring her with football, star trek, star wars, star gate, athletics, snooker…you get the picture. The fact is that I think love is letting me ramble on regardless without telling me to shut up.

The other thing is that of the relationship shorthand. Can you pass me the thingy? And in a moment or two it’s in my hands. Did you get the stuff? And usually an affirmitave or negative response follows, but she always knows what I mean. It gets better though. Sometimes I don’t even need to finish what I am saying and she will be able to respond. “Did you…?” “yep”

Some people may find this kind of thing annoying, I find it endearing. I love the fact that whole conversations worth of understanding can pass in just a few words. The best part though is the fact that she knows exactly which part of my back to scratch.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I promise to be less cheesy next week.

As always, feel free to share the link, re blog or point people to my new (fancy pants) website address www.andrewauthor.com

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Pregnancy (a manly approach to)

My lovely wife is pregnant. Again. And I couldn’t be happier. It’s funny really as we have been trying for a few months and almost started to panic that it wouldn’t happen. Strange to panic as the average time it takes is about a year (according to Internet sources, not the most reliable I know). It got me thinking about the panic of my younger years, when I found myself in the midst of a birth control ‘malfunction’ and thought I was going to be a dad at 18. The chances, it would seem, were very slim.  I’m not suggesting we throw the pill and condoms out of the window (the pigeons my choke on them for starters), what I am saying is that the chances of my early fatherhood were much less than I thought at the time. I’m still not sure that this information would have calmed me down at the time though. Either way, we have just come back from our 12 week scan and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. A very serious, sentimental and shared experience. The problem comes in the form of my brain and the thoughts that go through it. Let me try to explain. 1) The first thing they do is check how many babies my wife is carrying. What if its 2? Or 3? Or more? The logical thoughts on this are a) as long as they are both healthy b) how are we going to afford that and c) wow, that’s gonna hurt. My brain works in a different way. My thoughts were as follows a) I hope it’s a boy and a girl b) at what point do I suggest the names Luke and Leia and c) how can I convince my wife to call them Luke and Leia? Not the kind of thoughts to share at this tender, loving moment. I had a crack at a star wars name with my first born. I suggested Anakin and my wife liked it. She then realised where it came from, and that was the end of that. His middle name is Luke though. By the way, just one baby being carried by the wife. 2) Alien. That film has a lot to answer for. The beautiful symbiosis of mother and unborn child has forever been tainted by things bursting out of bellies. I can remember feeling my son kick for the first time. All I could think was Alien. Another wonderful, loving, sharing, caring moment ruined by my stupid brain. The scan room looks like something out of a science fiction film too, with it’s gel and scanner, flashing computer screen and roll ball mouse thing. Makes it kinda cool though. 3) Boy or girl. I really want to find out the sex. I want to know because I can, science affords me that luxury. I can’t really understand the counter argument of ‘it’s a nice surprise’ All that means to me is that the child spends its first 3 months on this Earth in yellow. No blue, no pink, just yellow. Couple this with the fact that I live in a flat in London, I need the space. Clear out the old stuff if it’s a girl, give it hand me downs if it’s a boy. This is where my brain comes in to play. It would be nice to have another boy as a) it would save me money and b) I wouldn’t have to go shopping for kids clothes as often. I also like the fact that when he grows up, he can’t get knocked up. I would, of course, be happy with either. So, all that’s left now is to explain to my 2 year old son that he will soon be sharing his toys, tell my family the good news and have a beer. That’s why the blog is on Sunday this week. My dad, mum, grandma, nan, sister and boyfriend (my sisters, not mine) are all at my flat (squeezed in amongst the toys) for Sunday lunch, the announcement and celebrations. Hurrah! As always, feel free to share the link, re blog or point people to my new (fancy pants) website address www.andrewauthor.com

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Sequels, Remakes and Trilogies part III

Episode 3: the recycling of the film

The remake. I feel like I need to get a few things straight before I dive in. There is a film I must leave at the door and not mention again. To do so would make me swear (something I do very often but have tried not to do on this blog). It is a film that I loved as a child which had the ever awesome Gene Wilder as the star. Willie Wonka and the chocolate factory (1971) was remade horrifically. Even worse than that, it was done by a director I love and a star whose acting I admire. I will just leave it there.

The Italian job is a tough one for me. The original film is iconic in both its stars and script. It is one of those films that have seeped into everyday language with sayings that are very recognisable as having come from the film. I watched the original as a kid and loved the car chases and action. As an adult I still love those things but the dialogue is clever and witty and has further endeared the film to me. The new version is a pretty good film but lacks a certain something, certain flair, a leading man that is both charismatic and funny. If the new film had not been called the Italian job then I think I may have liked it more. Having said that, if it hadn’t been called the Italian job then people would have called it an Italian job rip off. Lose, lose I suppose.

Ocean’s eleven, what a great film. The remake I mean, not the original. The original was way before my time but I can see it has certain charms. You can tell that the people on screen are friends and that the story is meant to show off this chemistry. The new film needed to have a cast capable of standing up to rat pack comparisons, and it didn’t disappoint. Even the bit part players are Hollywood openers! I think though for me, the best part of the film is its intelligence. It’s increasingly hard to make a good heist film with all the casino technology in place, being able to get past it seems increasingly impossible. Not only did this film manage that, it did it in a way that was believable.

The remake of the remake.

The incredible hulk

I caught the original Hulk the other day (the 80’s one starring Lou Ferrigno) and found that when Bruce Banner turned into the Hulk it was pretty scary. In fact it was very scary. I then took a look at the remake, then the remake of the remake. The CGI is not very scary at all. I am unsure as to whether this is because I know its CGI or whether the original Hulk actually grabbed people by the throat and had to coordinate stunts. The last Hulk was impossibly big, didn’t move right and just looked plastic. The new films for me went on too long, had very weak storylines and the last one had a leading man who was neither big enough nor believable enough to be an action star.

I really hope this reboot craze stops with the new new Spiderman. It seems that ignoring the previous film has the advantage of being able to do whatever you like and start again. The problem is this: if the film was made badly then maybe it’s the premise that’s flawed, not the previous actors or directors. Most cartoons are best as just that. It takes a special kind of superhero to become a movie star.

My overall feeling about the remake is this.

1) If it aint broke, don’t fix it

2) Leave it alone for 30 years plus before a remake is even considered

3) Don’t re remake it. If it didn’t work once or twice, third time is unlikely to be a charm.

Take heed Hollywood, and tremble at the ravings of a 30 something semi popular children’s writer.

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Sequels, Remakes and Trilogies. Part II

The film of the series (not the snappiest of titles).

You have to do an amazing job to be in with a chance of appealing to the original fans of the show, either that or go down the star trek route of actually having the actors from the series play the film roles. It worked well with both the original star trek and the next generation. As a real Trekkie (can’t believe that just got spell checked to a capital letter), I loved the films. Having William Shatner and Patrick Stewart on the same screen at the same time? Yes, yes oh yes. The same thing happened with firefly and the film version serenity (well worth a look) and the sex and the city films (not my cup of tea but the Mrs. loves em). They are recognisable characters playing recognisable parts and they work. Well, with the exception of the Simpsons movie. That was a real doh.


The problem comes when you transfer a TV show (especially a cult classic one) to film with a new cast. Basically, you can’t replace Mr T, Hannibal, Face or Murdock. Not if you want to tap into the original market anyway. I’m not saying the A-team film was awful; it wasn’t very good either though. I think the main reason was the original actors were those characters. Mr T is BA Baracus. I find the same with the avengers and the saint, and don’t even get me started on the new star trek film!

There is evidence that it can work though. Look at the Batman franchise. I loved the Adam West show, I loved the Tim Burton films (not any of the others though, why Arnie? Why?), I love the new incarnation. I think they are all sufficiently different, and no one actor really owns the role. There is no Mr T in batman (neither literally nor metaphorically).

I will finish with my 2 favourite TV show to films. It also strike me that it may well be because they started as sketch shows.

The Muppet show: I loved the Muppets as a kid and love the first Muppet movie. They took a sketch show of believable characters (albeit puppets) and showed us what they were like when they weren’t on the show. The plot is thin, the acting is hammy (terrible pun, sorry miss piggy) and you can see wires coming out of their arms. This to me though adds to the charm.

Monty pythons flying circus: An amazing TV show with a string of amazing films. The show and films are my dad’s era really, but I think they are timeless. My favourite of the lot has to be the life of Brian, if only because of the outrage of the religious community.

That’s it for episode 2: the return of the over opinionated bloggist.

Episode 3 promises the remake and the remake of the remake. I’m going down the Godfather route though (not making it rubbish, hopefully) and leaving a gap between parts 1 and 2 and part 3. Until next week.

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Sequels, Remakes and Trilogies. Part I

Seeing as this is, in part, about trilogies I thought I would do it in 3 parts. Which will be the best? Will part 3 come years after part 2? Will it have a prequel blog? Will I re do it in a few years? Will I just get on with it? Ok, here goes…

Episode 1: the Blogfather

I shall start with the Godfather. As I have said before, I came late to the godfather trilogy. It’s one of those films where the critics said you either love it or you haven’t seen it. I agree wholeheartedly. Part 1 is great, part 2 is epic, part 3 is duck suckingly bad. What happens with these great film makers? Too much time on their hands to write? Mellowed by old age? Just need the money? Part 3 could have been great. Instead you have a story of priests, borderline incest and a really dodgy hair cut. And In the end, it’s the fall from the chair that kills this great character. People may say its old age, heart attack, an aneurism. I like to think he has just realised what a pile of poo he had made and fell to his inevitable, but timely, demise. Shame on you Al Pacino. Check out the end of part 3 and you’ll see what I mean, very funny.  (Cheers John and Nick for pointing that out).

Back to the future is much the same. 1 and 2 fit so well together and have that rare quality of being able to be followed by everyone, while at the same

time making you feel smart for being able to follow it. It has hoverboards, skateboards, a cool car, outstanding music and is very funny.

Part 3? A western that is not a western. No car, no skateboards, no Hewie Lewis and the news. No thank you very much. It’s not an awful film but it has no place in the trilogy.

Two trilogies that (in my opinion) don’t feel like they have add-ons.

Star wars: my dad told me (I sound about 10 years old starting with that) that when ‘return of the Jedi’ was released that some people had the same disdain for the Ewoks that I have for Jar Jar Binks. I find this odd. I loved the Ewoks, I wanted to be Wicket! The point is that the 3rd in the trilogy was not as widely loved as the first 2. I think all the original films are awesome, but then I was very young when I first saw them. The same can be said to be true for the kids I teach and the prequel trilogy. One of them once said to me that the original trilogy was old and boring. All I could do was stand there, dumbstruck and confused, and mumble something about the youth of today. Either way, the films all have a flow from the first scene of episode 4 to the last of episode 6.


Lord of the rings: the first of these was a bit dull. I loved it (the whole trilogy) but even I struggled with the extended version of ‘the fellowship of the ring’. Unlike other trilogies though, they get better. Yes, I know it was Tolkien’s writing, that the books are amazing and that they were always gonna be great. I suppose that I was primed to like them, being a uber geek as I am. It is the only trilogy I can think of (and am open to suggestions of others) that ends better than it starts. Not that the middle one is the best, the last one is.

Thanks for watching (reading) part 1. In part 2, the film of the series. I pity the fool who misses it, unless you have something better to do. Then that’s OK by me.

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Can you feel the Christmas presence?

It’s finally upon us, Christmas day. Food, Presents, food, drink, food, music, food, games and food. It’s the time of year to eat ‘til you want to burst, have a sleep then eat some more. I love it.

It’s strange for me to see the most wanted Christmas toy list that they seem to have every year. I like to think that, being a teacher, I am relatively up to date with kids TV, music and toys. Every now and then though I am reminded how wrong and old I am. So here is the top 10. Recognise any?

Doggie Doo, John Adams, RRP £22.99

Fijit Friends, Mattel, RRP £54.99

Fireman Sam Pontypandy Rescue Set, Character, RRP £29.99

Kidizoom Twist, VTech, RRP £49.99

LeapPad Explorer, Leapfrog Toys, RRP £79.99

Lets Rock Elmo, Hasbro, RRP £69.99

Milky the Bunny, Flair, RRP £59.99

Monster High Lagoona’s Hydration Station, Mattel, RRP £39.99

Moshling Tree House, Vivid, RRP £18.99

Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster, Hasbro, RRP £44.99

Me either!

So then, here are my top 5 Christmas gifts. Time for a festive list…

5) Kid size pool table. This was an unexpected present for both me and my sister. The problem with this gift was my curiosity, that coupled with the fact that I’d had an early night and was up way too early. Basically I’m making excuses for the fact that I peaked. The size of the thing meant that it couldn’t be wrapped so I saw it. Sorry Ma and Pa I had to do it.

4) Remote control car. I loved my car, it was awesome. It was red and fast, and that is all I remember. I do remember wanting one because my next door neighbour had one and I wanted my own. He was quite a bit older than me and infinitely more patient, so whereas mine was straight out of a box, he spent months building his. I do remember that when he finished it, he drove it straight down the drive, into the road and a car ran it over.

3) A Transformer. I never wanted Optimus prime, I was always after Megatron, something about turning into a gun I suppose. Looking back at the original transformers, and the new version I suppose, is how on Earth (or Cybertron for that matter) was it a good idea to turn into a car when you could be a plane. If I had to go to war I know which one I would prefer to be. Anyway, I was told not to let other kids play with it unless I knew them, I ignored this, it broke, I cried.

2) A pack of tampons. OK so not you traditional gift for a man or boy. To be fair, not really a gift for anyone. Could you imagine on Christmas morning ‘here you are dear, I hope you like them’. Anyway, I digress. We had a secret Santa with the lads many years ago, the remit was under £5 and pointless. I couldn’t have chosen better myself.

1) A speeder bike (the one that works in the forest of Endor). This is a star wars based present and it rocked. Not only was it able to fit neatly in my hand, not only did it come with a full size Luke Skywalker (in full camo gear) but it also exploded when you pressed a button on the back. I still enjoy watching the video of that Christmas as everyone is sitting, eating and being merry and every now and again I would run past shouting (not singing) the Star Wars theme tune.

It’s a strange thing growing up as Christmas doesn’t hold the same appeal it once did. If I really want something now then I can just buy it. If I wanted something then I would have to wait months and weeks to get it. What it does have though is the joy of being able to buy presents. I do love choosing stuff for other people in a way my younger self just wouldn’t understand. May the force be with you this festive season. Merry Christmas y’all.

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