Years later the Empire and Rebels are still skirmishing on Endor

Monday, 1 August, 2016

I’m surprised forces from either side of the conflict would still be present in this region of the galaxy, but there you go. Star Wars – Call of the Empire, is a fun, fan made, short film set years after the battle of Endor, which played out in Return of the Jedi.

It has been reasoned that Endor was plunged into a nuclear winter shortly after the destruction of the second Death Star, so it’s a puzzle that anyone is there in the first place. Having said that, it seems clear that an active Imperial base is present. Perhaps that’s where the First Order took its roots? The basis for a possible Star Wars Anthology series film?

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The best science fiction films of the twenty-first century

Friday, 29 July, 2016

2046, Another Earth, Never Let Me Go, Melancholia, Ex Machina, and Moon, are among the top fifty science fiction films of this century. While I’ve seen these titles, plus many of the other inclusions, there are a fair few that I’m yet to see.

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Star Wars sans Empire, Rebellion, and light side of force. Is that so?

Tuesday, 19 July, 2016

If you like your alternative takes on the Star Wars saga, you’ll enjoy this article by UK writer Sam Kriss. Here he argues there is no real empire, or rebellion, for that matter.

For instance: what, exactly, is the Galactic Empire? It’s strange: something that’s fully omnipresent, but also nowhere to be found. The Empire rules the entire galaxy, but all we see are border zones: corrupt, bandit-strewn scrubworlds; autonomous mining colonies; planets inhabited only by storms and monsters; bucolic pre-agricultural fantasies. There are warships and soldiers, thousands even, but that only proves the existence of a border, not anything on the other side. The Empire is all hollow inside, it’s nothing more than its own border. If you have shipyards, why build your weapons platform off the forest moon of Endor?

Just goes to show doesn’t it? The more thought you give a story like Star Wars, which on the surface seems like a relatively simple story of good against bad, the less sense it begins to make.

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Darth Vader, the one and only rogue

Friday, 24 June, 2016

A surprise this is. Not. It has been confirmed that Darth Vader will feature in the first of the Star Wars Anthology series films, Rogue One, that is due for release in December. That’s less than six months away. Just thought you’d like to know. About Vader, that is.

While already known that Australian Ben Mendelsohn would appear as an officer with plans to ingratiate himself with the Emperor that might earn the wrath of the supreme commander Darth Vader, it has only now been confirmed by Entertainment Weekly that the black-clad, mask-wearing and not overly sweet-natured dark lord Vader himself would appear in the film.

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A bad day in space, but a good day for sci-fi film fans

Tuesday, 21 June, 2016

Space Story: A Bad Day, by Luc Bergeron, a compilation of scenes from numerous sci-fi films, cut together to tell a new story. I wonder if a sequel is on the way?

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2001: A Picasso Odyssey, by Bhautik Joshi

Friday, 10 June, 2016

2001: A Picasso Odyssey, is 2001: A Space Odyssey, rendered in the style of Picasso using deep neural network based style transfer, by Bhautik Joshi.

I could say a little more about Picasso, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, but not today, another time for sure though.

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Forget the Star Wars crawl, here is the Star Wars scroll

Wednesday, 1 June, 2016

Another way to see A New Hope, the fourth episode of the Star Wars saga, as a single illustration, by Swiss graphic novelist Martin Panchaud.

An illustration that’s one hundred and twenty three metres in length, that is.

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Trashonauts, a sci-fi vignette with a familiar soundtrack

Friday, 13 May, 2016

The Blue Danube, a waltz composed by Johann Strauss II, is synonymous with a certain favourite science fiction film of mine, but here it is as the soundtrack for another, not yet so well known, sci-fi vignette.

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Planet Nine, a captured exoplanet? How B-grade sci-fi is that idea?

Monday, 9 May, 2016

There has been much talk in recent months about Planet Nine, a would-be planetary body lurking on the extreme far reaches of the solar system. Now astronomers are trying to figure out its origins, with some believing it formed relatively close to the Sun, before being dispatched to the solar system’s outer reaches after a run-in with Jupiter.

Others however think Planet Nine is an exoplanet, a once rogue exoplanet possibly, that was captured by the Sun, after drifting too closely to our solar system.

The final scenario sounds like a plot line from a B-grade sci-fi movie, and it seems to be comparably unlikely. Planet Nine could be an extraterrestrial invader. “Planet 9 may be an exoplanet in our own solar system,” said Gongjie Li, another astronomer at Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics whose recent modelling paper explores this very possibility, among others.

I’m not sure though I like that particular notion being described as “a plot line from a B-grade sci-fi movie”, since it’s an idea I’ve been kicking around, as if it were a cosmic soccer ball, so to speak, in one of my sci-fi writing projects.

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This station is made of bamboo… we are vulnerable

Friday, 6 May, 2016

Amazing, a model of the Death Star, from the original Star Wars film, built from bamboo by Frank Howarth. The video depicting its construction is just over ten minutes long, but it seems far shorter, so fascinating is the assembly process.

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