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Star Wars Episode VII Release Date Set

Disney have announced that it will release the next installment in the Star Wars series on 18th December 2015.

Although traditionally a ‘summer blockbuster’, the next part of the Star Wars saga will drop before Christmas in just over two years.

Rumours abound at plot details and characters featuring, and it was recently announced that the movie would hold open casting in the United Kingdom.

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JJ Abrams to Direct New Star Wars

Disney have confirmed that JJ Abrams, writer of Lost, Fringe and directer of Star Trek and Super 8, will direct Star Wars Episode VII and relaunch the franchise.

The lens flare is strong with this one.

In an official statement, producer Kathleen Kennedy said, “It’s very exciting to have JJ aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie.  JJ is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”

George Lucas added, “I’ve consistently been impressed with JJ as a filmmaker and storyteller. He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”

To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honour,” said Abrams. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”

The statement also reveals that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg will be consulting on the film. Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Return Of The Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr and Mrs Smith.

Abrams remains committed to Star Trek and will, in the very least, act as a producer for the third film and is attached to one more Mission Impossible film.

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Best Sci-Fi Movie Cosplays

Today I end my look at the world of cosplay with some pictures featuring homages to the great and the good of science fiction movies.

Whatever your personal thoughts on Prometheus (cough, cough plot holes), the art design was fantastic, and it is a film that deserves to be cosplayed because of that. This Engineer is really excellent, perfectly recreating the super-muscled look of this race of alien creators – and he needs to be given kudos for choosing a costume that must have been freezing!

This recreation of Marcus Wright from Terminator Salvation is brilliant; good make-up like this is hard to do but this looks exceptionally realistic.

Ultraviolet is definitely a marmite film – you either really love it or hate it. It does make for a genuinely kickass cosplay though!

Another character brought to life by Milla Jovovich; Leeloo from The Fifth Element is an iconic character design and destined to become one of those sci-fi characters.  This is a great version of Leeloo and those convenient thermal bandages.

The uniqueness and difficultly of a particular design makes it a key choice for some cosplayers. Take the costumes from Tron and Tron Legacy; the combination of leather and lights looks impossible to achieve at home. These two have perfectly captured the look of Tron Legacy with simplicity, substituting the lights with light coloured leather on their jumpsuits, recreating the look of the grid in the real world.

Sucker Punch is a film that’s inspired thousands of female cosplayers; you get a cool outfit and get to act particularly kickass. Few, however, have won awards for their costumes. The photographer for this shot (link, as ever, with the picture) won awards and features in magazines for her work – well deserved features, as this shot is amazing.

Hopefully, from this series you’ve learnt that cosplay is fun, quirky and knows no rules – why not swap things around? Be a female Wolverine, be a male Lara Croft! Above all, have fun and enjoy yourself – and remember that we are all Mrs Nesbit at heart.

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BioWare Test High-Population Star Wars Servers

BioWare have begun rolling out and testing their new high-population server technology for Star Wars: The Old Republic.  

The move comes ahead of an imminent switchover to free-to-play, a decision that will most likely lead to massively increased numbers of players.

In an effort to avoid any server overload, the developer have begun testing new server technology in order to massively increase the current users on the servers.

According to egmnow.com, “BioWare has opened a new server in its public test area and copied every single character from East Coast servers over to it.”

The server is available for use, and you can download the PTS and log-in as normal.

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Kicksorter – Sifting through Kickstarter

Hopefully you have heard of Kickstarter.

It represents the beginning of huge paradigm shift in independent publishing. If you have not heard or do not remember the xkcd cartoon, here is the low down.

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform which allows users to donate towards their favourite ideas in return for either goodwill or if they give more, the product when it ships. The unique feature is that there is a time limit, so that if the amount required is not raised, nobody is charged. This means that you cannot end up sponsoring an underfunded project and that the creator knows within a finite period whether they have been successful. It is not without risk of course, the company could go bust and fail to produce whatever they said they would (Kickstarter does have a policy on this, but it is unclear how often the website takes measures) but a lot of power is moving towards independent producers catering to a small group of loyal fans rather than large corporations scared to move anywhere other than where the most money lies.

I have been looking for a number of weeks and here are three interesting Sci-Fi kickstarters that are worth a look; one game; one comic and one art piece.

Planetary Annihilation (Goal: $900,000 Raised: $1,718,087 Deadline: 14th September 19:20 GMT)

This beautifully realised space opera RTS (Real Time Strategy) draws upon recent advances in modular space travel – you can place your attack suits on Saturn 5 style rockets to be sent into orbit, boosters detonating in turn – all presented in a geometric cartoony style. In order to counter the spread of your rivals across the universe you can set up your own offensive facility on their planet or one of its moons or alternatively attach engines to the side of an asteroid to blow the offending planet to smithereens. As a result of outdoing its original target, there are now water, lava and gas planets that would not have been included in the game otherwise. The soundtrack and voiceover are epic and it seems like they have pretty good gravity simulation too, which is always a plus.

Sea Breeze Lane (Goal: $10,000 Raised: $2,819 Deadline: 7th October 00:20 GMT)

Sea Breeze Lane follows a boy growing up on a colony on the moon in a society where earth is a myth. Graphic novels are perhaps a greater risk than games because there is less content to view, however the reward can be greater too. $5 (£3.10) will get you 2 badges and a PDF and actual copy of the first part of the novel which seems like a phenominally good deal even after P&P. Sea Breeze lane has an interesting premise and despite being relatively uninitiated regarding graphic novels, I feel the refined style adds strength to the piece.

Thermal Detonator (Goal: $5,000 Raised: 2,182 Deadline: 9th October 01:30 GMT)

Anyone who enjoys Star Wars can hopefully acknowledge that Thermal Detonators are cool (no pun intended [but I’ll happily take it]). While I am not going to say that spending $50 on a replica detonator is a good idea, it is quite kitsch and it is good to see such Sci-Fi art projects on kickstarter. Steampunk in particular does pretty well, but I could not find anything of interest which was still open for donation. If you just like the idea you can donate at a lower level or just watch the updates which will follow if it is successful and sometimes even if it is not.
It has been fun to put the hours I spend trawling on Kickstarter to some productive use and if people enjoy any of this then I would love to do some more (on board and card games if there is enough interest). It is great to watch small entrepreneurs being blown away by community support – I saw one project that fulfilled its goal in the first day – and break the current cycle of boring, riskless products by large companies. “Caveat emptor” is perhaps more true here than elsewhere, but most of all, have fun.
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Star Wars Detours Trailer

You’ll either love or hate this… An animated comedy series set in the Star Wars Universe, and featuring most of the movies’ characters from both prequel and sequel generations.  So plenty of Vader, Han, Obi-Wan… and Jar-Jar.  Although Jar-Jar looks set to be treated on screen with as much disdain as many felt he deserved the first time around!  Some of it’s pretty amusing though.

 

If you can take  it for what it is, then you should enjoy it.  Provided it can be consistently funny, and since they’ve apparently hired some of the Family Guy, Simpsons and The Daily Show writers, you never know!

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Star Trek, or Star Wars?

It’s time to settle this one, once and for all.

Kirk vs Luke?  Khan vs Darth Vader?  Wesley vs Angsty Anakin!?

Sure, we could argue over little points, but for now, let’s just ask the all encompassing, simple question.  Which is better?

Star Trek, or Star Wars?

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Comments and further debate are, as always, welcome!

Star Wars 1313

Star Wars 1313

The Star Wars franchise has seen many video game installments, another installment was announced at E3 this year, called Star Wars 1313. This new installment looks a lot darker and grittier than any other game that I have seen coming out of the Star Wars Franchise. The game itself will be set between the third and fourth episodes of the Star Wars films.

From the gameplay trailer at E3 and this newly released trailer the graphics on this game are set to be mind blowing.