Cutaway illustrations of Star Wars vehicles by Hans Jenssen

Wednesday, 27 April, 2016

Star Wars fans will doubtless enjoy Hans Jenssen’s series of cross section, or cutaway, and intricately detailed, illustrations of a number of vehicles and vessels featured in the sci-fi saga.

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We can rebuild Darth Vader, but at what cost?

Monday, 18 April, 2016

We can rebuild him, we have the technology… Darth Vader that is. I wonder if Emperor Palpatine realised the cost would total close to eighteen million dollars, all up, though? Short wonder Vader is never seen taking a holiday, or even a tea break for that matter. For that sort of money you’d want to be sure you were seeing a return on your investment.

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The trailer for Rogue One… a true stand alone Star Wars story then?

Monday, 11 April, 2016

The first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, due for release in Australian cinemas on 16 December, is set shortly before events of Episode IV, and tells the story of how the Rebel Alliance managed to acquire the design plans of the Death Star.

It looks promising. So far. Here’s hoping Rogue One is truly standalone, and only makes necessary references to other films in the series, rather than being some sort of… duplicate.

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The Force Awakens, a sequel, or a remake of A New Hope?

Monday, 4 April, 2016

There’s been much talk of the similarities between Star Wars films A New Hope, and The Force Awakens, and here you can see select scenes from both side by side. Stark, or what? While some of the comparisons were obvious, there’s a fair number of more subtle likenesses.

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On dying, and being reborn, every time Scotty beams me up

Wednesday, 9 March, 2016

There’s far more to having your atoms scrabbled, in Star Trek style, by being beamed up or down somewhere, than many of us might imagine. In fact, the whole process is quite the journey… into realms, frankly, you couldn’t possibly imagine.

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Bolaji Badejo, a little known actor who played the best known alien

Wednesday, 9 March, 2016

Once upon a time, the monsters, robots, animals, extraterrestrials, and the like, that featured in movies of a certain vintage, were often people dressed in costume, until the advent of CGI, for the most part, changed that.

When I first saw Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi chiller thriller however, Alien, I thought the creature, the “adult” one that is, was mechancial. In reality, it was the late Bolaji Badejo, a Nigerian actor, who portrayed the beast that tormented the crew of the space freighter Nostromo.

Director Ridley Scott and associate producer Ivor Powell had long been scratching their heads as to who could fill the not inconsiderable shoes of Alien. Peter Mayhew (known for playing Chewbacca in “Star Wars”) was considered, as were basketball players, mime artists and six-foot-three-inch” German model Veruschka von Lehndorff. But none were quite right for the otherworldly being created by Swiss surrealist artist, H.R. Giger.

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The Millennium Falcon may be a pirate ship, but that’s no name

Tuesday, 8 March, 2016

An extensive history of the creation, and evolution, of the Millennium Falcon, a story that includes a little bit of revolution… can you believe it, one of science fiction’s most iconic vessels might have had the name Pirate Ship?

The Millennium Falcon underwent a long and arduous number of conceptual iterations before its final iconic shape emerged; the one we now once again see blasting its way across the big screen. In fact it wasn’t even known by its famous name until well into production, having up until then gone under the much mundane moniker: Pirate Ship.

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The Imperial March in a major key, music for Kylo Ren I think

Thursday, 25 February, 2016

This is the Imperial March, or Darth Vader’s Theme, from Star Wars.

Listen now to the Imperial March performed in a major key, rather than a minor. It sure suits the black dress wearing punk bitch that is Kylo Ren, don’t you think?

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Star Wars Episode VIII is in production, and this trailer proves it

Wednesday, 17 February, 2016

This is what it has come to… “trailers” announcing that a new film is in production, in this case Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is slated for release in late 2017.

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Making the work of science fiction writers more scientific

Tuesday, 19 January, 2016

The Science and Entertainment Exchange might be just the resource that writers of science fiction novels and screenplays need, and is made up of two thousand seven hundred scientists, who stand ready to help make manuscripts and scripts more “plausible-ish”.

The Exchange’s Mr. Loverd acknowledges getting the minutiae correct services “that small percentage of the population that can understand this stuff.” But writers face fans who have turned the Web into an accountability tool. And shows like “MythBusters” have popularized movie-science debunking. There are also academic critiques. The 2013 space drama “Gravity” was a hit, but astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson publicly raised questions: Why did satellite debris orbit east to west, and why didn’t Sandra Bullock’s hair float in zero-G? The movie makers, Dr. Tyson says in an email, “needed that twist of reality to intensify the story.”

Science fiction seems to have science become non-fiction, and if the science thereof doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, sci-fi writers may find themselves in hot water. It’s a topic that’s near and dear, given I’m writing a manuscript that has a decent sci-fi element.

I’m trying to ensure accuracy where possible, but I’m afraid when it comes to faster than light travel, I’ll be dropping the ball.

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