Thursday, March 21, 2013

Star Wars Legacy: Prisoner of the Floating World

New this week in comic shops is the return to the Legacy era in the timeline, roughly 150 years after the battle of Yavin.  There may be a few spoilers for the first issue, so from here on out, tread lightly and be forewarned.

Cade Skywalker (middle) is one ugly mutha

Star Wars Legacy (the first comic series), has grown over time to be one of my favorite eras in the Star Wars universe.  I really enjoyed the massive changes to the universe while still keeping it recognizable.  Cade Skywalker, while his design left something to be desired, was a pretty cool Star Wars anti-hero, and the supporting cast of characters helped carry the weight of the lead's inadequacies.  As a whole, the series had a good, albeit rushed, ending.

Once that series had run its course, I thought that we had seen the last of that era.  Thankfully, Dark Horse has resurrected it in the form of a new "Legacy" titled series.  This time spotlighting the descendant of the Solo clan, in the form of Ania Solo.

art by Gabriel Hardman

Ania, in this series is pretty much a nobody in the universe.  She runs a junkyard, and is best friends with a Mon Calamari.  In issue one of the story arc "Prisoner of the Floating World" we are introduced to Ania and a few key players in the series.  Sauk, the Mon Cal bestie to Ania, from first impressions seems to be an amalgam of C-3PO and Chewbacca, and is reluctantly dragged into trouble when Ania finds a familiar weapon inside an unusual piece of junk. 

The first issue is painfully short, or at least reads that way.  As with the recently launched  Brian Wood penned "Star Wars" series, Dark Horse's latest offerings seem a bit anemic on the page counts.  But the story is quite good and a very nice launch point for the series. Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman's script certainly left me wanting more.

The art is a nice change from recent Star Wars comics, in that it has a roughness to it.  The blacks are jagged and blocky, and things seem obscured just underneath the the grime.  It works exceedingly well for a Star Wars comic.  The color palette is more subdued than I would have preferred, but I believe that having this desaturation is intentional to the mood.   

One of my only complaints about this book, has nothing to do with the content.  The Brian Wood Star Wars series has been including a digital copy code with each issue.  I had hoped that this was a trend with any new books, but alas this was not to be the case.  I enjoy reading comics on the iPad, and would have loved to have gotten a bonus digital copy to take with me.

If you're of the mind, definitely give this book a shot.

I leave you now with a few more concept drawings by Gabriel Hardman


Monday, March 11, 2013

A New (Wrong?) Direction for Lucasfilm Animation

All the official Star Wars related sites are now responding to the press release posted through  which reads as follows:
March 11, 2013
As we enter into an exciting new era focused on the next Star Wars trilogy, Lucasfilm has decided to pursue a new direction in animated programming. We are exploring a whole new Star Wars series set in a time period previously untouched in Star Wars films or television programming. You can expect more details in the months to come.

As part of this shift, we have also made some key decisions affecting Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Detours.

After five highly successful and critically acclaimed seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, we feel the time has come to wind down the series. While the studio is no longer producing new episodes for Cartoon Network, we're continuing production on new Clone Wars story arcs that promise to be some of the most thrilling adventures ever seen. Stay tuned for more information on where fans can soon find this bonus content. In the video below, Supervising Director Dave Filoni offers a peek of what is to come in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

At Star Wars Celebration VI last year, George Lucas gave fans a glimpse at the animated comedy series Star Wars Detours from Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, and Todd Grimes. Detours was conceived and produced before we decided to move forward with the new Star Wars trilogy, and in the wake of that decision, Lucasfilm has reconsidered whether launching an animated comedy prior to the launch of Episode VII makes sense. As a result, we've decided to postpone the release of Detours until a later date.

We are incredibly proud of the teams at Lucasfilm Animation for creating some of the most amazing animation ever produced for TV. Keep checking for new developments on these and future projects.

 So, what this means essentially, is that Detours is now shelved, maybe permanently, and what remains to be seen of The Clone Wars episodes will now have some form of alternate distribution, and no new episodes will be made going forward.  Depending on how many arcs were completed. we could see a few straight to DVD releases as mini movies, or we could possibly see a streaming or digital only release of these episodes.  Only if a full seasons worth of episodes were completed before this internal shut down, will we likely be able to see it on a television network such as Disney XD.  I think that likelihood has a very slim chance of coming true.

In the first paragraph of the Lucasfilm statement is a small sliver of sunshine peeking through this somewhat dismal cloud that rolled in above our heads.  The possibilities of a new animated series taking place in a time span untouched by movies and TV.  Now, what could this be?    The first thing that sprang into my mind was the Knights of the Old Republic universe.  It has a built in audience for fans of the game series and its characters, as well as very good opportunity to cross promote with the MMORPG, perhaps creating a new form of storytelling that doesn't end when the credits roll each week.  Even during production of The Clone Wars, the idea of adding in the character of Revan was discussed, and nearly made it into the show (and thus g-canon).
Revan Model Sheet for Star Wars: The Clone Wars

OR,  This news of a new series could be a hint that Disney intends on playing in a new time span within the Star Wars universe.  If Disney wants to familiarize us with the era and locations of Episode VII, what better way than to do an animated series based around that time?  I think it has an even smaller likelihood of happening  but it's certainly fun to speculate on.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Entry 2: Vehicles (Star Wars Where Science Meets Imagination)

Naboo Royal Starship

Y-Wing bomber

Rebel Blockade Runner

X-Wing Fighter

Sebulba's Pod Racer

The Millennium Falcon

TIE Fighter

Star Destroyer

Trade Federation Battle Tank

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Where Science Meets Imagination

A little over a year ago, I got to visit the traveling exhibit Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination.  An exhibit of props and costumes from the Star Wars saga coupled with cool little science displays on magnetic levitation and robotics/cybernetics.  Below is one video and a ton of pics from my day there.

A video of the display floor of the exhibit, taken with my cell phone so the quality is meh, but you get an idea of the place.

I call this one Wookiee Under Glass

Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi's Robes

The immense Millennium Falcon model on display

Padme's finest costume IMO

I must have been nervous taking this photo of the full sized landspeeder

The Dark Lord of the Sith himself

I have a lot more pics I can post, and since these were mostly of the costumes on display, the next post on this subject will focus more on the props.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Curious Case of Boba Fett

Shortly before Celebration VI in 2012,  the official Star Wars website posted, among it's banner headlines, this image of Boba Fett.  Many believed as I did, that this was a preview of Boba Fett from the animated Clone Wars television series.  Even asking Dave himself via Facebook:

Star Wars fan site TheForce.Net also ran a story with this image as being from the Clone Wars series.  However, this is where things get interesting.  The article was amended, and per Lucasfilm, this image was explained away as being from the Star Tours motion ride at Disneyland.  There are a few...issues, with that explanation of the image.  First off, for the most part, Star Tours goes for photo realism, it is in no way a cartoon version of the Star Wars universe.  Secondly this image holds to the Clone Wars aesthetic, in that everything carries a matte finish, there are no specular highlights on any of the metallic bits within the image. Contrast that with of this image of  Aly San San, our Star Tours flight attendant:

So, what does all this mean? Once the Fett image was scrutinized by Lucasfilm the headline was amended and this image was replaced with a photo from The Empire Strikes back, so someone didn't want that image to be looked at too closely.  Could Boba as we know him finally make his appearance in The Clone Wars if season six is a go?  Does Lucasfilm perhaps have a Boba Fett standalone project in the works done in the style of the Clone Wars?  I certainly hope that whatever this image was truly for, sees the light of day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A humorous article that sums up a small fraction of what I dislike about the EU, and why it wouldn't be all bad if it some of it were nullified. However, they claim the Clone Wars movie (as well as the Ewoks movies) as being EU when it is, in fact, canon.