Sunday, September 30, 2012

The SWU Podcast Episode 53 | 9/30/2012

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In this episode of the SWU Podcast, we chat with Cantina actress Pam Rose, talk to author Dave Gremillion about his new novel Split Horizons, and discuss the first episode of the new Clone Wars season, Revival. Plus tune in to hear this week's news, and Dominic's Underworld karaoke?



» Right click here and select save link as to Download MP3.

» Pam's website

» Dave's Facebook page





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Clone Wars Review: Episode 5.01 "Revival"

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By Chris Seekell

The Clone Wars is back and it picked off right on the other side of the cliffhanger it ended on last season. Revival didn’t really answer any questions from the previous Maul episodes, but it certainly continued the story and illustrated the chaos that the Zabrak brothers are adding to the already tumultuous Clone Wars era.

The first thing that struck me about the characters in this episode, was how primitively brutal the Sith brothers were, to others and to themselves. There was definitely a correlation between the Dark Side and a brooding, animalistic presence. Savage breathed like a bull, and Maul exhibited a sense of grandiosity like a tiger. Their respective heads quickly butted when Savage wanted to share control, and it was very interesting to see Maul assert himself early on as the “Master” in their relationship. He clearly has come a long way as a character from the insane arachnoid creature he was a few episodes ago. It seems like it is always the nature of the Dark Side to inspire each user to lord over everyone in their circle, and the ones most full of hate, and thus the most powerful, usually dominate, despite their physical limitations.

While the brothers had a huge capacity to cause great harm, they were introduced merely disposing of security droids. While it would have been much more intense if sentients were aboard the attacked facility, perhaps the emotional flatness of the droids was intended to provide a soft backdrop for the tension between Maul and Savage themselves. Nevertheless it is now clear that Maul’s fighting style and attitude more resembles that of General Grievous than his former self, using his mechanical features to overpower opponents rather than only acrobatically dodging and kicking.

The addition of the pirates to the story added a lot of depth. While the brothers and Jedi could have probably carried the story, the pirates contributed a certain level of unpredictability. Some were used as mere pawns by the Sith, but others like Hondo went a long way to provide flavor and humor that contrasted the intensity of the brothers and desperate determination of the Jedi. It was great to see Jim Cummings back voicing Hondo, a character whom I now consider the Lando Calrissian of the Clone Wars. While innately a rogue, Ohnaka has charm, spunk, a penchant for one-liners, and a unique way of viewing things that can aid both the bad and good guys depending on the situation. And once again, he picked the right side and survived. The only question I have, is where is the Slave I among all of the wreckage? A cameo by Boba’s ship, perhaps repainted in its Empire Strikes Back look, would have been a nice original trilogy nod.

I found the Jedi in the episode to be a little flat and one-dimensional as characters. Obi-Wan merely was focused on containing Maul, and Adi basically said a few lines, parried a few blows, and died. Her death to me didn’t really add to her character. Clearly she wasn’t intended to be as fleshed out as some of the other council members like Plo Koon. She merely served as a plot device to thicken Obi-Wan’s dire circumstances and illustrate what he can do under extreme duress, which was definitely extraordinary. Warding off not one but two powerful Sith not only shows how skilled a warrior he has become since he first faced Maul, but how strong Count Dooku must be in Revenge of the Sith to handle Kenobi so easily. But seeing Kenobi wield two lightsabers was certainly a highlight of the episode.




There weren’t a whole lot of new designs in this episode. However the security droids were cool and it was good to see so much variety in the pirates. The newer models especially had a fantastic range of facial expressions. The action in Revival was pretty well done, from the decent scale battle between the pirate factions, to the duels involving Savage, Maul, Kenobi, and Adi. One element I found lacking in this episode was the soundtrack. The music was decent, but didn’t really do much to stand out like good Star Wars music should.

In conclusion this was a solid episode, but I personally don’t feel anymore invested in the Maul storyline than I was coming in. However what I’m really looking forward to is when the likes of Black Sun, Death Watch, and Darth Sidious himself get involved in this. But for the time being, it looks like we are going to be traveling across the galaxy to planets like Onderon before the intensity ramps back up.





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Monday, September 24, 2012

Star Wars Celebration Europe Website Updates

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By: Dominic Jones
The Star Wars Celebration Europe II website has been updated to include more details than just a countdown to the event. The site still has the countdown, but now there are details for fans to register to be an exhibitor, be a part of the art show (officially licensed artists only, though), host a fan panel, have a fan table, and/or display a life size prop or display. In addition there are pages where fans will be able to, starting on November 15th, register for the costume contest and apply for a media badge. 

In addition the site reveals the tentative hours for the exhibit hall:
Friday 10:00 – 19:00
Saturday 10:00 – 19:00
Sunday 10:00 – 17:00

Star Wars Celebration Europe II takes place at Messe Essen, in Essen German from July 26-28, 2013. Check out the official website here.




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Sunday, September 23, 2012

The SWU Podcast Episode 52 | 9/23/2012

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In this episode of the SWU Podcast, Ben and Dominic interview the writer of the Star Wars Lego TV specials, Michael Price, fan Mike comes on the show to talk about his experience at CVI, and Chris, Dominic, David, and Irish Chris discuss what is going on in the collecting world. Plus listen for David's coverage of the Clone Wars Season 5 Premiere and the international debut of Ben's clones?



» Right click here and select save link as to Download MP3.

» Sandtroopers.com

» Kishometeora





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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Clone Wars Season 5 to Debut on September 28th in Canada!

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By: Dominic Jones

With the announcement that Clone Wars would be moving to Saturday mornings on Cartoon Network in the USA, it was assumed that the Canadian network Teletoon would follow suit. Not so. The Clone Wars will continue to air on Friday nights at 8:30 in Canada, beginning on Friday September 28th, meaning Canadians will be getting the 13 hours before they air in the U.S. Teletoon announced this in a press release which you can read below:

WHO WILL FALL?
TELETOON PRESENTS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF THE EPIC FIFTH SEASON OF STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS

· Premiering Friday, September 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT · Season 5 will seal the fate of several main characters

(Toronto, Ontario – September 18, 2012) – TELETOON viewers will be treated to the world premiere of Season 5 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars beginning Friday, September 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. In what may be the most thrilling season yet, the future of the galaxy looks dark as several major characters from Star Wars: The Clone Wars face their destinies over the course of the hit show’s fifth season. Canadian viewers can tune in and be the first to know which of these ill-fated characters will fall.

The shadow of the dark side falls upon Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5 as the series moves closer to the events of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. The big-screen action, unforgettable characters, and rousing adventure of the Star Wars saga continue as Jedi heroes face a galaxy of foes. With unparalleled visuals, sound, action and adventure, Star Wars: The Clone Wars continues the cinematic saga with the equivalent of a short animated Star Wars movie each week. Season 5 is filled with explosive action, exotic worlds, intriguing characters and dramatic turns as the galaxy plunges into darkness.

In the spirit of the back-to-school season, TELETOON is offering a Star Wars: The Clone Wars refresher course, airing the last seven episodes of Season 4 throughout the week leading up to the premiere. Starting Monday, September 24, viewers can catch nightly Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. From Wednesday, September 26 to Friday, September 28, TELETOON kicks the learning into high gear with two back-to-back episodes every evening starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT, leading right into the Season 5 premiere at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.




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Monday, September 17, 2012

Matt Stover to Continue Imperial Commando Series?

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By: Dominic Jones

Ever since the Karen Traviss fiasco of a few year ago, fans have been clamoring for a continuation of her unfinished Republic/Imperial Commando book series. Up until recently there had been little hope. However, during Celebration VI Lucasbooks Senior Editor Jennifer Heddle teased that fans who are hoping for a continuation of the series should be optimistic. This morning, Club Jade reported on a update for the Kickstarter project for Matt Stover's (author of the Star Wars Episode III: Revenger of the Sith novelisation and Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, among others) next non-Star Wars project. The update states "In other news Matt is replacing Karen Traviss as the author of the 501st novels for Star Wars." Until we hear from Lucasfilm, Lucasbooks or Del Rey this is just a rumour, but it seems very possible since Stover is a very prolific Star Wars author and this is a series fans have wanted more from for a long time.




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The SWU Podcast Episode 51 | 9/17/2012

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In this episode of the SWU Podcast, fans Dave Gremillion and Stephanie Till come on the show to talk about their experiences at Celebration VI, gamers Trey, Martin, Adam, and Kari discuss the current state of the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO, and Chris and Dominic read this week's headlines and announce the winner of the first ever SWU giveaway. Plus listen to hear what a certain Gungan has to say about "arm-sliceage-offage".



» Right click here and select save link as to Download MP3.

» Dave Gremillion on Facebook

» Stephanie Till's Photography and Videography

» Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.





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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Celebrations Update

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By: Dominic Jones

As with the ending of any Celebration, fans are clamouring for news regarding the next Celebration in the wake of the end of Celebration VI last month. Recently little tidbits of information regarding Celebration Europe II, which takes place from July 26th-29th 2013 at Messe Essen in Essen Germany, and Celebration VII have been released. First we learned from Lucasfilm's Mary Franklin via Twitter that CEII will take part mostly in English in order to accommodate the number of people coming from English speaking countries. Secondly, Mary also let's us know when we can expect more updates on the event, saying "We'll get a few things up this month. Then more after late October." It seems it won't be long before the CEII website is more than just a countdown.



As for Celebration VII, while we don't know when it will take place, we do now have a hint at where it might be. A survey has been circulating the web for fans who attended Celebration VI, regarding their experience at CVI. The survey includes a question that asks fans where they would like to see CVII take place and lists several options. The options are Las Vegas, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Orlando, Anaheim, Dallas, and Cleveland. Now all we can do is wait for the announcement, but if you can take the survey, let your voice be heard so that the Celebrations can continue getting better!

Photo Credit: Gabe Duquet




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Friday, September 14, 2012

Clone Wars Bloopers: Classics Vol. II

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By: Benjamin Hart

Welcome back to Clone Wars bloopers! It's been a while, I know. But I assure you it was worth the wait. I had a lot of fun revisiting and analyzing episodes from seasons one, two, & three. I discovered a lot of interesting things this time. Enjoy!

~Season One~

Rookies

First off, the strap on Cody's right shoulder is missing throughout the entire episode.
You can also notice in this scene that Cody is missing the Antenna from his left shoulder pad.

Next, when Rex and Cody arrive on Rishi their shuttle's boarding ramp does not extend completely.
The same thing happens in...

Lair Of Grievous

The extension of the ramp on Nahdar's shuttle doesn't fold out either.
For example, this is how it's supposed to look(in Season two's Brain Invaders).


Downfall Of A Droid

When Anakin & Ahsoka return to Bothawui looking for Artoo, an Acclamator-class assault ship can be seen floating amongst the debris. But that type of ship was not involved in the battle.

In the scene where Anakin scolds R3 for being a "poor excuse for a light switch", the Droid's holoprojecter switches places for one shot.


Duel Of The Droids

This is how Denal is supposed to look.
Yet he appears without his unique markings several times throughout the episode.



Trespass

During the Talz ambush, Chairman Cho takes a spear to the back...
But in subsequent scenes he has no wound.


Liberty On Ryloth

Near the beginning of the episode, when Anakin is talking with Palpatine via hologram, Anakin's arms are unnaturally hanging away from his sides.

Throughout most of the episode Wat Tambor's ship is being loaded with treasure from different areas of Ryloth.
But when Tambor's tactical Droid leaves you clearly see the ship is empty.


~Season Two~

Cargo Of Doom

Pay attention to the back of this battle Droid with yellow markings, there's nothing there at first...
But when the angle changes he has a backpack.
And it's gone again..
Now It's back...
And finally it disappears.


Next, at the end of the battle, when Anakin reaches up to catch a falling Clone trooper, his right shoulder pad is missing.

And later, when he is approaching the airlock, his Lightsaber is nowhere to be seen.

Grievous Intrigue
When the gangway to Obi-Wan's ship breaks it interrupts the duel between Adi Gallia and General Grievous. Both begin to be sucked out into space and they clutch the blast door. While Gallia  hangs on, Grievous grapples onto the floor and climbs up the hallway to escape.
Only a second later Gallia pulls herself up above the blast door and extents a wire to Obi-Wan and Cody. Grievous is nowhere to be seen behind her.

The Deserter
In the scene where Cut recounts his escape from the Republic army, his shoulder bag appears and disappears briefly. First, when he and Rex are sitting playing Dejarik, Cut is not wearing it.
Cut gets up and walks part way across the room, still not wearing the bag. When he returns to the table and sits the bag appears.
When the camera angle changes to Sheeah asking to "Go outside and play.." the bag is gone again.

Cat And Mouse

In this episode we have a couple dialogue mistakes:
At first our heroes are unaware of their opponent's identity. Admiral Yularen does some research and figures out that it is Admiral Trench. Soon after he tells Anakin right before they depart from the cruiser.
Later, after Christophsis is bombed, Anakin & Yularen speak with Obi-Wan via hologram, where Obi-an says this:
"Continue with your mission to the planet surface. I will engage Trench's fleet with the ships I already have."
Wait, how does Obi-Wan know Trench's name? Is it supposed to be implied that Anakin, Yularen & Obi-Wan had an off screen discussion about it beforehand?

Also, the pilot of the Stealth ship says;
 "We have incoming bombers with fighter escort."
But there are no fighters to be seen, only the Hyena bombers.


~Season Three~

Supply Lines
When the Tactical Droid first enters Dooku's quarters, his eyes are not lit up...
...like they are here.


Later during the final standoff, Captain Keeli and his men are shown fighting near a rock formation.
But a few seconds later they are out in the open.

In the same scene you can also see that the Grenade lands at one of the Trooper's feet.
Yet when the camera angle changes the Grenade explodes beside the Clone.

Kudos to Jordan PettoJan Ruppert & Savanna Kiefer for contributing to this edition of CWB!

I had a blast Re-watching these episodes, many of them I hadn't seen in years. Yes, with some of them the animation isn't that good, or the dialogue is kinda crummy(Compared to recent seasons) but there's something really special about them. I've enjoyed all the seasons thus far, but part of me misses the type of stories we got early on in the show. Nevertheless, we have a lot to look forward to. And by that I mean season five!! Are you looking forward to it? I know I am, and I especially can't wait to start analyzing another season. More Clone Wars Bloopers will be coming down the pipe very soon. And perhaps a new volume of "Classics" mid-season as well.

If you enjoyed this edition of CWB please be sure to share it with your friends and hit the Like & share buttons below! If I made a blooper of my own be sure to let me know in the comments below, or via email: benhartattack@gmail.com Also, please check out my Facebook page for updates on future projects.

Until next time, MTFBWY! -B-




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