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.

Read more posts on related topics

, , ,

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.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

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.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

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.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

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?

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

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.

Read more posts on related topics

, , ,

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.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

Yoda, a nasty little green oven mitt, until proved otherwise?

Tuesday, 19 January, 2016

It’s fair to say that US scientist and science fiction author David Brin takes a reasonably dim view of the Star Wars films, especially the first six movies. It’s series creator George Lucas’ “sneering contempt for democracy and the common man”, that particularly gets on Brin’s goat, to say nothing of that “nasty little green oven mit” Yoda:

Yoda is pretty much, inarguably, the most evil figure ever in the history of any human mythology. I have defied folks to name one time when he says or does anything that is indisputably wise. The trail of destruction that follows him and every decision that he makes is inarguable and overwhelming.

Evil, and not much of a strategist either. Or was he?

I do hope folks will notice, for example, that Yoda, in Attack of the Clones, orders the Jedi into a suicide charge that kills most of them, then conveniently shows up with the new clone army that he ordered. An act of treachery and betrayal so stunning that I had to watch the movie twice. Perhaps that was Lucas’ evil plan.

Brin has written a book, Star Wars on Trial, that examines the good and bad aspects of the saga in court case fashion, where he, unsurprisingly, acts as the prosecuting attorney.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

The 2001 File, a look at the art direction of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Monday, 18 January, 2016

For those who cannot get enough of 2001: A Space Odyssey, comes The 2001 File, a book by British writer Christopher Frayling, that explores the work of the film’s art director, Harry Lange.

A new book by Sir Christopher Frayling presents the largely unpublished archive of art director Harry Lange’s designs, concepts, roughs and photographs for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The result is a veritable feast for design and film geeks.

Read more posts on related topics

, ,

Han Solo’s life story may not stand up to many special modifications

Thursday, 14 January, 2016

Today’s obligatory Star Wars related post – I think have one ready to go for tomorrow as well – asks the question, should there be a Han Solo anthology, or “spin off” film made? As I said a few months ago, Solo’s the sort of person who’d have a couple of stories to tell. Thing is, would it be a good idea to make movies out of them?

Something else I also wondered about was who on Earth would you cast to portray a younger Solo? One thing is for sure, whoever it might be will have big shoes to fill, as David Sim, writing for The Atlantic, notes:

Why do audiences need to see the events that made Han Solo who he is? He’s a complete package the second he’s introduced – rebellious, charming, with just enough bravado to disguise that he’s making it up as he goes along – and so much of that is down to Ford’s performance. Any new actor in the role will be saddled with the choice between trying to imitate Ford or creating their own take on the character, and both will be a tough sell.

Read more posts on related topics

, , ,