Once you start doing these, you really can’t stop.
Buzzfeed.com alerts us to this artsy post over at The New York Times Abstract City blog by Christoph Niemann. Entitled, “Bio-Diversity,” this clever collection of fun foliage includes a piece that seemingly answers the burning question, what if leaf cutter ants were Star Wars fans?
Paul Kemp, author of the forthcoming Star Wars novel Crosscurrent, has just posted the dramatis personae for that book on his blog. A smattering of new names to become familiar with, along with the already known quantity of Jaden Korr, featured character from the Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy game from 2003.
Thanks to Paul for the head’s up. A Kaleesh Sith Lord sounds verrrry interesting….
We already knew that, so they clarified: John Williams’ unforgettable score has been declared the best science fiction movie soundtrack of all time in a poll conducted by their site.
The classic score edged out James Horner’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of KHAAAAAN!, and Vangelis’ Blade Runner for the top slot. Also in the top five were Jerry Goldsmith’s score to Star Trek: The Motion Picture (which gave The Next Generation its imminently hummable title theme) and Queen’s score to Flash (aaAAAaah!) Gordon.
The remainder of the top ten consisted of up-and-comers Richard and Johann Strauss along with György Ligeti for 2001: A Space Odyssey, Bernard Herrman for the Keanu-less version of The Day the Earth Stood Still; John Williams again for Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Horner again for Aliens and Vince DiCola and Stan Bush for Transformers: The Movie. (You can win if you dare!)
If you can’t get enough of John Williams’ score, be sure to track the traveling Star Wars: In Concert tour as it works its way across the U.S. before moving on to international venues.
Final Top Ten:
1. Star Wars (John Williams)
2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (James Horner)
3. Blade Runner (Vangelis)
4. Star Trek the Motion Picture (Jerry Goldsmith)
5. Flash Gordon (Queen)
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Richard and Johann Strauss, György Ligeti)
7. The Day the Earth Stood Still (Bernard Herrmann)
8. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (John Williams)
9. Aliens (James Horner)
10. Transformers: The Movie (Vince DiCola / Stan Bush)
Most people peg the retro blinking lights and switcher lever seen in A New Hope’s Death Star control room as belonging to some sort of video production facility. An intrepid fan, however, found the Death Star control room in Los Angeles last Christmas, and snapped a bunch of reference photos for his Flickr account. Here’s what he’s got to say:
Last year I spent Christmas Eve joining a friend of mine at his work party at his steam plant near LAX. One of the control rooms of the plant also happened to be used as the set for the Superlaser Fire Control Room on the first Death Star! I just posted some photos from my tour. Not much has changed there in the past 30+ years.
Check out the ominous blinkiness over at this link here!
You’ll excuse me if this next blog post gets a little meta and breaks a fourth wall or something. See, for better or for worse, I volunteered to go head-to-head against Steve Sansweet with the new Uncle Milton Force Trainer. It’s the much buzzed about toy that scans brainwaves to activate a fan within an acrylic tube, that then levitates a Force remote (or, ping pong ball to you terrestrial laymen) to various heights. I tried it out on Friday and, after some practice, got the hang of it.
Not nearly enough practice for the big show on Saturday, though, as I went up against a venerable Jedi Master like Sansweet. He had perfected its performance, launching the remote into the stratosphere while I apparently failed to unlearn whatever it was I had learned. My Force remote barely budged. It’s as if I had a pocket full of ysalamiri jerky or something. And if you get that, you’re as big a geek as I.
Anyway, this was really a lead-in to showcase some of the online Clone Wars comics we have been doing since the launch of the show. I introduced Tom Hodges and Katie Cook, who were in attendance in the audience, and also was able to give a sneak peek (note, correct spelling of peek – you’re welcome) into next week’s webcomic, “Curfew,” by Katie, which introduces the Twi’lek girl character of Numa.
We then segued into discussing the Ryloth Trilogy — the series of episodes that we’re now in the thick of. “Storm Over Ryloth” debuted yesterday. “Innocents of Ryloth” and “Liberty on Ryloth” are still to come.
Sansweet next moved the subject to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The smash hit series is now running in 166 countries, and translated into nearly 30 different languages. Sansweet reminded the audience that, in addition to a compilation of four episodes being released on DVD in March, this year will bring the entire season in a deluxe boxed set complete with value-added bonus material (and a Blu-Ray release!). Sansweet explained that the audience at New York Comic-Con selected, via their applause, some of the bonus material that ended up on the DVD, and screened the winning piece — a “Show Reel” made very early from rough concept art and paintings that helped explain what The Clone Wars could be.
But that was the past. Fast-forward to the present — and future — of the series. An edgy preview of the March 20th season finale then screened — clips of a bounty hunter-filled episode called “Hostage Crisis,” which introduces a new character — Cad Bane. Supervising Director Dave Filoni took to the stage next to discuss the evolution of Bane.
In the Esplanade ballroom at the Moscone Convention Center South, Star Wars fans gathered for the annual Lucasfilm presentation, hosted by Steve Sansweet. What follows is a partial transcript of the event, divided into three parts. See part two here, and part three here.
The hour-long presentation began with a viewing of something most people have not seen on a big screen in 10 years: the original teaser trailer for The Phantom Menace. That set the stage for a retrospective of the fan resurgence that accompanied the release of Episode I. With the rise of the Internet and the fan community, a worldwide gathering of Star Wars fans was ready to usher in the return of the saga, proving that Star Wars could indeed last forever.