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Messages - Nicklab

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The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILERS)
« on: March 3, 2016, 10:30 AM »
That BB-8 cover looks nice!  But I think the bonus content on the Target version might be the way to go.

TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Rebels - Season 2 (Spoilers)
« on: March 3, 2016, 10:15 AM »
Excellent episode, without a doubt!  From beginning to end it was solid.  The duel with the Inquisitors was pretty intense.  And the revelations in the Jedi Temple on Lothal were major game changers in terms of developing Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka. 

I also like the continuity that's being explored from the movies as well as the CLONE WARS series.  Frank Oz was great as Yoda.  I was left wondering if he did it because it was a one-off, or what?  James Earl Jones voicing Vader is always impressive.  And bringing back Matt Lanter to voice Anakin was excellent, too.

One of the biggest reveals clearly came from Kanan's vision.  Ever since Dave Filoni said that we had seen the Grand Inquisitor in an episode of CLONE WARS, I had been wracking my brain trying to figure out where, when or who he was.  Was he one of the Force sensitive children kidnapped by Darth Sidious?  Was he perhaps one of the Utapauans who was featured in the incomplete episodes that were only realized as storyboards?  Or was he someone else?  The realization that he had been a Temple guard was a big deal.  There had been talk that some Jedi had gone to the Dark side following Order 66.  This confirms that story point.  And it was good to have Jason Isaacs back in his role as the Grand Inquisitor, too.

And then there's the bit that goes WAY BACK to the events of the Knights Of The Old Republic games.  When Yoda tells Ezra to go find Malachor!  For those who didn't play the game, Malachor 5 was the final location of KOTOR 2, where the Jedi Outcast faced off against Darth Traya and Darth Sion.  IIRC, Malachor 5 was destroyed at the end of the game.  But the backstory for that system is incredibly forbidding.  And I have to wonder how this will play out in REBELS.

And here I thought the companion piece to Kylo Ren was going to be Finn.  Shows what I know!

Glad to see this piece coming.  I like the KMart exclusive Kylo, although looking at it now it's not really screen accurate.  But I guess that gives Hasbro the opportunity to offer up an unmasked version of Kylo in the general release Black Series.

TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Rebels - Season 2 (Spoilers)
« on: March 1, 2016, 10:05 AM »
Well, rumors are the recurring Imperial antagonist for season 3 will be Thrawn. So they gotta do something will Kallus.

But. yeah. I'd think the type of person who'd be promoted to Imperial Security Agent wouldn't be one with much of a conscience.

Really?  That's the first I've heard of that rumor.  There are rumors of a character similar to Thrawn being in the mix for ROGUE ONE, but I haven't heard anything about Thrawn in REBELS up until now.

Rumor: The largest cameo in Star Wars Rebels’ (C)history?

Thanks for the link.  If it happens, I think it could be very cool.

But I'm taking EVERYTHING I read at MSW with a grain of salt.  I read a good deal of the spoiler reports for THE FORCE AWAKENS that were posted there, and some of them were so far off base that it was laughable.  They got a lot of stuff right, but they also got plenty wrong.

The Bullpen / Re: Marvel Universe
« on: February 29, 2016, 05:11 PM »
There is a 3.75 inch Captain America with a Motorcycle set at TRU for $19.99. Looks, well, not worth $19.99.

Saw this in a TRU store today.  And I'm getting the sense that this might be a TRU exclusive, kind of like the Avengers - Age of Ultron 2-packs were.

The Captain America figure actually looked pretty good.  Although the uniform does look pretty dark in color.  As for the motorcycle?  Eh.

I'm hoping for an Unmasked version of the Winter Soldier for this line.  The one we got in the last Cap line was kind of lacking.  But the articulation on this new Cap looked solid.

TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Rebels - Season 2 (Spoilers)
« on: February 29, 2016, 03:17 PM »
The Empire was sold as a "safe, secure society" to the people of the Republic in the aftermath of the Clone Wars.  And it wasn't until the Empire's apparatus was fully in place that it revealed itself to be this oppressive regime.  For some people living in the outer rim, the Empire probably seemed like a way out.  Luke certainly seemed to think that.  And Han Solo, according to the previously established backstory, was with the Empire at some point.  The same goes for Biggs Darklighter and General Dodonna.

Fact is, the Rebellion probably would not have had anywhere near as many skilled soldiers or pilots if they hadn't deserted the ranks of the Empire's military forces.  Telling the story of an Imperial who has an epiphany, where they see the light about the true nature of the Empire seems in line with how the Rebellion was built over time.

TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Rebels - Season 2 (Spoilers)
« on: February 28, 2016, 01:22 PM »
Well, rumors are the recurring Imperial antagonist for season 3 will be Thrawn. So they gotta do something will Kallus.

But. yeah. I'd think the type of person who'd be promoted to Imperial Security Agent wouldn't be one with much of a conscience.

Really?  That's the first I've heard of that rumor.  There are rumors of a character similar to Thrawn being in the mix for ROGUE ONE, but I haven't heard anything about Thrawn in REBELS up until now.

The Rebels Recon following this episode was enlightening.  It seems like the show runners want a character like Kallus to have a little bit of depth.  One dimensional villains are rarely interesting.  Knowing that Kallus has some degree of respect for the Rebels following his ordeal with Zeb makes him more interesting.  He believes what he's doing on behalf of the Empire is right.  But after his time with Zeb?  He seems to have reservations.  Zeb is an honorable warrior.  Zeb helped to protect Kallus and save his life, even though he didn't have to.  Zeb didn't take Kallus captive when the Ghost responded to the distress beacon.  And when Kallus wound up back on his Star Destroyer?  He found a cold place where there was little compassion for him after what he had been through.

The Bullpen / Re: Marvel Universe
« on: February 27, 2016, 08:03 PM »
Interesting.  You have to wonder if Hasbro saw what an utter sales bomb that All Star Avengers figure assortment turned out to be.  Especially since the Avengers Age of Ultron 2-packs seem to have been much better received. 

This version of Cap has considerably more articulation that the AAoU All Star figure.  And it's not a blatant reissue of that Winter Soldier version of Cap that came in the 2-pack.  Still, I think the Black Widow should have come with the motorcycle in the Age of Ultron line.  It fit the storyline of the movie and would have been a cool offering.  Anyhow, I'm looking forward to this release.

The Force Awakens / Re: Recents Finds and/or Purchases
« on: February 24, 2016, 10:33 AM »
Watching Amazon has finally paid off.  Managed to get Rebels Rex, Unkar Plutt and Stormtrooper Finn there for $7.99 each.  Also got Resistance Rey and the Snap Wexley 2-pack in a store this morning. 

The Wookiee Arcade / Re: Knights of the Old Republic
« on: February 23, 2016, 01:44 PM »
Some industrious fans who develop games are working on an update of Knights Of The Old Republic.  They're working independent of Bioware, the company that developed the original game.  This new version is driven by an improved game engine and will feature new planets, maps and missions.  And it's reported that this update will be FREE.  Disney seems to be leaving the developers alone since they intend to release this update to KOTOR for free, and not as a commercial release.  Check out THIS GAMESPOT PIECE ABOUT THE UPDATE

The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILERS)
« on: February 23, 2016, 10:06 AM »
I personally like that the new movies will not be forced in to some crazy continuity Twister game. 


This is ultimately what the whole CANON vs LEGENDS is all about.  I know that the Zahn-Thrawn trilogy is one of the most beloved story arcs of the EU, but even that is something where if the movie had treated that as part of the backstory, TFA might have lost the audience in serving those story points.  But more likely TFA would have been a completely different movie.

The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILERS)
« on: February 22, 2016, 05:58 PM »
I get the whole reasoning between the new Canon and the conversion of the previously existing EU into Star Wars Legends.  And I think some of the issues that Lucasfilm was trying to avoid was something that the PT ran into:  being painted into a figurative storytelling corner.

The way I understand it, these are the things that are now canon:
All of the Star Wars Saga films (Episode I - VII)
Clone Wars animated series (The Dave Filoni series, Not the Tartakovsky series)
Star Wars Rebels

As for print?  I'm not sure the date at which that transition was made.  But it certainly seems that the new run of Marvel Comics are canon (the original run is not), and the Dark Horse comics are Legends.

I wouldn't lay too much blame at the feet of the Star Wars Story Group.  They've got a hefty job to do in managing this content for multiple release formats.  But I think that classifying a lot of that EU as Legends material was necessary to clear the way for the new Saga and Anthology films so they wouldn't be beholdant to some novel, comic or game that was written 10 or 20 years ago that the majority of the movie going audience has never heard of and will likely never read.

And don't think that everything was great in this regard when George Lucas was still running things.  There was a really big dustup with author Karen Traviss who had written a number of books about the Mandalorians.  A lot of her work got thrown by the wayside when George Lucas decided to incorporate the Mandalorians into the Clone Wars animated series.  Lucas regarded his story ideas as more important and disregarded all of this backstory that Traviss had established with Lucasfilm approval, and the story arcs with the Mandalorians on the Clone Wars series just plowed over all of that work.

TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Rebels - Season 2 (Spoilers)
« on: February 22, 2016, 03:24 PM »
The little details are some of the best bits about REBELS.  I love how Hera was slipping into her old accent when she was arguing with her father in private.  The return of Numa as one of Cham Syndulla's warriors was great, too.

The Imperial ships were well done, too.  It's good to see some ships other than an Imperial Star Destroyer, like the Imperial Carrier or the light cruiser.  And also seeing the TIE Bomber used in it's TIE Boarding Craft configuration was good stuff, too.

It looks like bit by bit the Rebellion is building up a fleet of their own, from the Blockade Runners, to the A-Wings, plus Leia's three cruisers and now the Quasar Fire class carrier.  I wonder if the B-Wings will be going operational soon, and join the fleet too?

The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILERS)
« on: February 22, 2016, 09:48 AM »
That 'under Disney' thing completely discounts the Star Wars Story Group.  And that's a group of people who worked for Lucasfilm while George Lucas was still at the helm.  THEY are the ones who made the call over what's canon and what is not canon, with Kathleen Kennedy having the final decision.

As for Luke's development?  You've got to think that between the events of Episodes 4 and 5 that Luke has probably gotten into a scrap or two.  The Rebels have essentially been on the run since the Battle of Yavin.  They weren't just sitting around on Yavin IV, eventually deciding 'Hey, let's go somewhere where we can go skiing year round!'  Also keep in mind that the Empire has been relentlessly trying to identify who exactly destroyed the Death Star.  By TESB we know that Darth Vader has learned the identity of Luke Skywalker well in advance of their duel at Cloud City, and so has the Emporer.  And when Luke summoned his lightsaber and took out the Wampa?  It looked like he's had some practice before that.

Check out THIS ARTICLE by former Lucasfilm staffer Bonnie Burton.  It's about a group of fans called Team Negative One who acquired a 35mm print of the original theatrical release of STAR WARS (not A New Hope) and restored it to it's original glory.

Fans restore original 'Star Wars' for online release

A group of die-hards spent years cleaning a 35mm film print and published it online without George Lucas' later alterations -- or any permission.

If you saw the original 1977 "Star Wars" in theaters or grew up watching it on videotape or laserdisc, you may know every moment by heart.

When filmmaker George Lucas began revising scenes in 1997 in what became known as "Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope," some die-hard fans vowed to learn lightsaber skills to one day exact revenge.

Luckily, you don't need to go to the dark side to get back those precious original moments. A group of ambitious fans who call themselves Team Negative One decided to restore and release the original version online.

Fans can already legally buy Episodes IV, V and VI on DVD and Blu-ray, but those are actually the special editions that Lucas altered. If you don't mind scratches and poor sound quality, the unrestored versions of the films from laserdisc were made available as bonus material on a 2006 DVD release.

But in this new version made by fans calling themselves Team Negative One, each frame has been painstakingly restored from a 35mm theatrical print of "Star Wars." The high-def print was released on a movie message board in January, under the name "Silver Screen Theatrical Version," according to Movie Mezzanine blog.

This restored version shows scenes that die-hard fans care about deeply, like Han Solo shooting Greedo first. But what also is most impressive are Team Negative One's videos showing how they managed to transform the 35mm print into a version comparable to, and in some cases, better than the official Blu-ray release.

Unlike the fan-made "Star Wars Despecialized" edition which is made using multiple sources including the laserdisc, Blu-ray, 16mm print transfer and various audio dubs, this "Silver Screen Theatrical Version" from Team One Negative is from the 35mm theatrical print of "Star Wars."

"Why did it take over three years to complete?" YouTube user The Star Wars Trilogy wrote in its video description. "This is why. Manual cleanup alone took an average of one minute per frame. Star Wars has around 174,000 frames."

Clearly, this fan release of the film is not legal and will most likely be shut down by Disney and Lucasfilm lawyers soon. But it does make the point that if fans are willing to put in the time and effort to restore the version of "Star Wars" they want in their collections, why should it not be sold officially? Your move, Disney.

Check out the following links for a look at how some of the footage has been restored:

Team Negative One SW Reel 1 shot 2 cleanup example

Team Negative One's Star Wars Before / After Comparison 02

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