The Final Trilogy – Episodes 7, 8, 9?

Year ago, I took my first excursion into the Star Wars Expanded Universe with Timothy Zahn’s novels, commonly referred to as the Thrawn Trilogy. They take place about 5 years after Return of the Jedi and deal with the New Republic’s battle against the remnant of the Empire. The series was very good and is highly praised by most Star Wars fans. It also introduced some of the most popular Expanded Universe characters, including Mara Jade.

Apparently, there’s a movement going on to turn these books into movie form. The intention is to rally together enough fan support to make 3 feature length films (all digitally animated — like Shrek or Toy Story) for everyone to enjoy. It’s a non-profit project; it’s simply being done for the love of the series.

If you’re interested in checking it out (including a trailer) or trying to help in some way, go to www.CreateStarWars.org.

May the Force be with you…
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Sci-Fi Caskets?

ShowMeSciFi has posted an article about Star Trek caskets. That’s right, just like the one Spock got launched into space with in Star Trek II.

But the funny thing is that this reminds me of a conversation I had with my brother, Josh, last week. We were talking about different kinds of coffins, and he said he had thought about a Star Wars coffin, specifically, one that would have him frozen in carbonite, like Han Solo.

I mean, if that’s not dignified, what is?
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Some Cool Comics

Lauren, who has managed to stay married to me for over 6 years now, has finally given up on me ever growing up. As a matter of fact, I think she’s starting to suspect that I might be regressing.

Lately, I’ve really gotten into comic books. I liked them as a kid, but never had the money or means to really collect them consistently. I would typically find one or two consecutive issues, but then would miss out on the conclusion to the story arc. And for those of you who aren’t familiar with comics, that’s how they work. You typically won’t get a full story in one issue. The story arcs are usually spread between 3-6 issues, and so when I was a kid, I liked comics, but couldn’t get them enough to make it worthwhile.

A year or two ago, I heard that Marvel was going to release a series that revolved around Stephen King’s Dark Tower novels, which greatly intrigued me. I had kind of forgotten about it until I was working in Huntsville last April. Since I usually had nothing to do each night when I got off work, I decided to check out this comic book shop I had kept seeing, The Deep.

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They’ve really got a great set up. One wall is dedicated to new releases, and then they have boxes and boxes of back issues spread throughout the store. There’s also the typical smattering of action figures, collectibles, card games, T-shirts, etc, and large area for gaming (just wish the comic shops in Birmingham were this good). While I was perusing the new releases, I happened upon The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #3. I couldn’t help myself. I went ahead and picked it up, and my obsession has been growing ever since.

I now have all 7 issues of the Dark Tower series (more will come out in February), and it was fantastic. The artwork is probably the best I’ve ever seen in a comic, and I’ve actually heard that the series has brought many other Stephen King fans into the world of comics.

But I haven’t stopped there.

legacy1.jpgI’ve also gotten into two different Star Wars titles (and in part, I blame the guys over at ShowMeSciFi for getting me hooked on these). The first one is Star Wars Legacy, which is set about 140 years after Return of the Jedi and tells the story of Cade Skywalker, the last known Skywalker descendant. Though trained as a Jedi, Cade has turned his back on his heritage and taken up the mantle of bounty hunter. Though the comic sometimes seems a little too cliche, such as Cade’s typical “bad boy” persona, the overall story is excellent, and the revelation given in the last issue was flat-out shocking. Even though I’ve had to play catch up, I’ve managed to get all 15 issues (though I’m missing the promotional Issue #0).

The other series I’ve gotten hooked on (and I’m trying not to get into any others) is Star Wars Dark Times, which takes place shortly after the events of Revenge of the Sith. The inside front flap of the 1st issue has this quote from Obi-Wan Kenobi: “For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire.”.

dttwo.jpgBasically, the story follows several different groups of people who are trying to find their place in this new Empire. You see glimpses of the internal struggle that Darth Vader faces as he shrugs off the last clinging remnants of Anakin Skywalker. You see the anxiety of Clone Troopers who wonder what will happen to them now that the war is over. Jedi Master Dass Jennir is forced to choose between survival and following the Jedi code, and his companion undergoes a frantic search for his wife and daughter. And those are only some of the story lines that unfold in this comic. The writing is great, and the art is superb. As much as I like Legacy, Dark Times is my current favorite.

For some reason, the Dark Times series has had several delays in its release. It hasn’t followed the typical one issue per month format, but it’s still been great, and I highly recommend it. I’ve got all 4 issues that have currently been released, and they’ll put the first story arc in trade paperback before long.

Yo…

Just wanted to drop a quick line and let everyone know that I’m not dead (though our friends at Schwan’s may be disappointed), I’ve just been ridiculously busy.

This month is going to be pretty crammed for me because in addition to my work and family life, I’m trying to fit a semester’s worth of learning into one month.  I’m taking 2 night classes right now (one is on C# for the MicroSoft .net platform, and the other is a database management class).  Anyway, I go to work around 6:30 or 7 in the morning, then go to school from 5:30 – 10 Monday thru Thursday nights.

Involving myself in such unlazy activities has caused me to reduce my posts on this beloved site.  Plus, I just haven’t had the time to do anything with it.

Anyway, if you will continue your patience a little while longer, I should be back to my usual number of posts by early August.  And I’ll keep throwing the occasional one out there between now and then.

So in the immortal words of ol’ Jack Burton, “Just sit tight, hold down the fort, and keep the home fires burning. If I’m not back by dawn, call the President.”

“How About That R2 Unit Over There?”

I don’t mean to throw so much Star Wars stuff at you here lately, but I’ve run across another cool SW related website.

67285-500-333.jpgThese guys actually build their own R2 units… that’s right, they make brothers and sisters for R2-D2! You can’t buy completed droids from them, but they’re a club for people who want to build their own astromech droids (which is what R2-D2 was). The website has links for actual blueprints and tutorials on getting started. Some people make static droids just for decoration; others actually put in robotics that allow the units to roll around, make noises, light up, etc. By the way, these are all radio-controlled, I believe. I don’t think anyone’s actually built one that functions on its own yet. Although, with Lego’s Mindstorm line of products, creating an independently functional R2 unit is definitely in the realm of possibilities.

For any of you guys with mechanical prowess (Matt), technical prowess (Wes), or a few extra bucks lying around (probably none of us), this might be a cool hobby. Be prepared to kiss your sex life goodbye, though. I’d imagine it’s hard to attract the lady-folk when you spend your free time playing with a robot. In that case, you might want to spend some time trying to create some fembots.

Note to Self…

Lately, and I’ve gotta thank Guy for turning me on to this (he wrote an article about it recently), I’ve really gotten into a habit of jotting myself.

Jott.com is a free service that helps keep you organized, despite your best efforts otherwise. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you’re driving down the road, and you suddenly remember that you’ve got to email that really important proposal to Mr Meatfist when you get back to work. But you’re driving down the road, so you can’t exactly write yourself a note. So you whip out your cell phone and call jott.com.

Since you’ve already signed up, they have your number on file, so when you call, you hear the question “Who would you like to jot?”

“Me,” you reply with gusto (or without. Jott works equally well if you are feeling gustoful or not).

Then you hear a beep and leave yourself a message. Jott responds with “Got it,” and you can hang up. Now, when you get to the office, a text version of the voicemail you left is waiting in your email, and they’ve also attached an audio file that you can listen to if the transcription doesn’t look exactly right.

I’ve really gotten some use out of this lately; it’s helped me remember several things that would otherwise have gone undone. You can even add friends to your Jott contacts, which will enable you to send them emails about things while you’re away from your computer.

I really recommend signing up for it… and did I mention it’s free?