Celebration Kicks Off With The Force Awakens!

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Reporting on the first day of Celebration . . . → Read More: Celebration Kicks Off With The Force Awakens!

Hyperspace Theories Episode Eight: Star Wars Rebels

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Kay, BJ and I recorded our latest Hyperspace Theories shortly after the season finale Star Wars Rebels. We ended up with so much to say that we’ve split our discussion into two episodes. In the previous show, we talked about Dave Filoni’s influence as a foundational creator of Star Wars stories, and speculated on the impact of his involvement as Lucasfilm continues to move the franchise forward.

In this episode, we begin with the world-building segment, Hyperspace Calculations. We consider the entire first season of Rebels to evaluate the choices made by the storytellers in building the small slice of the galaxy where the series begins its tale. Much of season one took place on Lothal for budgetary reasons, to allow assets to be reused across multiple episodes. We agree it works for the series, though, as the story starts smaller before the Ghost crew gradually becomes part of a larger Rebellion as the series moves forward. The existence of a Jedi temple on Lothal, though, was a little too convenient to avoid skepticism. We praise the world-building of the Imperial adversaries for the heroes, as well as the manner in which iconic Star Wars characters were weaved into the plot without detracting from the Ghost crew as the core of the series.

The storytelling segment looks ahead to the second season of Rebels, speculating on where the creators might take the series in the aftermath of season one. Topics include the story arcs for the Ghost crew, when we . . . → Read More: Hyperspace Theories Episode Eight: Star Wars Rebels

7 Reasons to see Furious 7

Linda offers seven reasons to see the latest entry in the Fast & Furious movie franchise. . . . → Read More: 7 Reasons to see Furious 7

Kay Joins the Nerd Lunch Doctor Who Drilldown

This episode of Nerd Lunch finds me quasi-filling in for regular hosts Pax and Jeeg as I join CT to discuss the last ten years of Doctor Who. Depending on who you ask, recording this may or may not have been my reward from my Doctor-by-proxy for getting completely caught up on New Who/NuWho. Either way, it was fun.

Todd from Junk Fed sits in the 4th chair on this whirlwind discussion covering our Doctor Who histories, the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Doctors as well as Rose, Jack, Adam, Martha, Donna, Amy, Rory, River Song, and Clara. If that’s not enough we talk season arcs, favorite episodes, and Stephen Moffat.

A short episode this is not. And there’s so much more we didn’t even get to! To finish the conversation off we play a round of what I now realize we should have called When the Doctor Was Me. Listen all the way through to find out what it’s like when I’m the Doctor and my stipulations for being a companion to CT’s version of the Doctor. Todd’s Doctor will probably surprise you the most though.

Gotta collect them all.

From the show notes:

CT takes the reigns of the show and rides without Pax and Jeeg this week. A three way dance still happens as Kay returns to the show for the long awaited Doctor Who discussion. Also joining them is Todd from JunkFed.com. The trio ride the TARDIS for an extra long episode discussing the past . . . → Read More: Kay Joins the Nerd Lunch Doctor Who Drilldown

Journey to The Force Awakens: The Books You’re Looking For

Aftermath

In the weeks since Lucasfilm announced its ambitious publishing program “Journey to The Force Awakens” for this fall, a lot of individuals have asked about my opinion. Additionally, many friends and acquaintances who quit reading Star Wars books have stopped by FANgirl over the years to see if things have changed. Now that some writing commitments are out of the way, I’ve had time to pull together my thoughts.

It appears that one good outcome from the Expanded Universe purge is I’m now seeing a bit more recognition for the fact that some Star Wars fans found their niche in published material. Last week, Priya Chhaya offered a bittersweet farewell as she welcomed the new Star Wars stories. As she noted, we will all get to experience the rollercoaster ride of discovering characters, places, and events together, and that’s exciting!

Here are some details on the 20+ book plan revealed on StarWars.com:

Novels for young adults, focusing on Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, will be published by Disney-Lucasfilm Press in North America and distributed internationally. The young adult novels have notable talent attached, including Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof, Tin Star), Greg Rucka, New York Times bestselling author (Detective Comics and 52), Jason Fry (The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy, Star Wars Insider contributor) and New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray (The Firebird trilogy and Evernight series).

Some book and comic titles have been revealed, and they offer fans a fun glimpse into the possible stories within: . . . → Read More: Journey to The Force Awakens: The Books You’re Looking For

William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace as Reviewed by Kay

The Star Wars prequel trilogy never grabbed me as much as the original did, so I wasn’t nearly as excited for William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace as I was for the first three books that came out in Ian Doescher’s Shakespearean Star Wars series. Before I even started reading this latest edition, I felt like the novelty of crossing the two streams had finally worn off. But by the time I was twenty pages into the book, I found myself giddy all over again at recognizing references to some of my favorite Shakespeare plays and lines.

If I thought The Jedi Doth Return would be hard to stage, this one is even more of a challenge. There’s water, larger creatures, and legions of battle droids as well as lots of balcony scenes and even characters jumping on and off said balconies. Luckily most of the podracing takes place off stage. Meanwhile the Opee and Sando mini-monologues may have continued in the vein of the rancor and wampa, but announcing they were sent by other parties was a bridge too far.

And then there’s Jar Jar. Doescher adds layers to the character in a way that makes him far less grating than he was in the movies while harkening to Caliban mixed with Trinculo of The Tempest. It’s a welcome adjustment. Anakin also sounds far removed from the kid we saw in the movie, but I’m not sure if that’s as good a thing. Queen Amidala/Padmé is quite fittingly a . . . → Read More: William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace as Reviewed by Kay

Kay Reviews Companion Piece

Companion Piece: Women Celebrate the Humans, Aliens and Tin Dogs of Doctor Who is the first Doctor Who piece of literature I’ve read since I dove into the world of Who in 2014. The dust is still settling from me getting all caught up on New Who so I hadn’t planned on getting into any books just yet, but when Mad Norwegian Press offered me the chance to do a review of this one I was too intrigued to pass it up.

As the title indicates all the essays in Companion Piece are written by women, but not all the essays are only about female characters from the show. Some pieces are critiques, some defenses; others are tributes, reflections, or clever analyses. And if one thing is certain, all of these essays were written out of love.

Going in I was unsure how much I would be able to appreciate the writings about companions from the Classic Era of Doctor Who as my knowledge of that part of the show is comparatively limited. But I found it all depended on the author’s focus. I did not enjoy every Classic-focused essay but I did walk away with a list of companions from early Who that I feel compelled to check out – and others I will probably avoid at all costs. People have made suggestions to me as to which Doctors I should watch from the early days, but not which companions.

Unsurprisingly I was more at home with the pieces . . . → Read More: Kay Reviews Companion Piece

WYNDE Around the Web: Coach K at the Final Four

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Today’s edition of Wynde Around the Web is inspired by the connection between my novel and the real-world championship taking place this weekend.

In late January, Duke University’s Mike Krzyzewski became the first Division I men’s basketball head coach to reach the astounding milestone of 1,000 career wins. With last Sunday’s Duke victory over Gonzaga, he tied the legendary John Wooden with a record 12 appearances in the NCAA tournament’s Final Four national championship semifinals. Only Wooden has more national titles, and Duke is two wins away from giving Coach K his fifth national championship and sole possession of second place on the all-time list. Combine these achievements with the gold medals won by the Olympic teams he led, and the number of players his program has developed into NBA talent, and few would argue that Coach K is the greatest living men’s basketball coach – and perhaps the greatest of all time.

In my novel Wynde, the lead protagonist, Vespa, is the daughter of a similarly dominating coaching figure. Daemyn Wynde is the head coach of the Airspar team at Kedu Academy, one of the very best on the planet Prime. He is a demanding and authoritative leader of his team and those around him, and his former pilots still revere his leadership and influence. I very much had Coach K in mind when writing this side of Daemyn. But as I discussed in my post Shaping a Heroine – A Father’s Daughter, Daemyn has another significant inspiration, as . . . → Read More: WYNDE Around the Web: Coach K at the Final Four

Hyperspace Theories Episode Seven – Rise of the Jedi Master: Dave Filoni

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Episode Seven of Hyperspace Theories discusses the impact of Dave Filoni on the future of Star Wars storytelling, including the animated series Star Wars Rebels. . . . → Read More: Hyperspace Theories Episode Seven – Rise of the Jedi Master: Dave Filoni

RebelForce Radio Gets Fans Ready For Celebration

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The March 27, 2015 episode of RebelForce Radio kicks it up a notch. From the show notes:

You know him as the voice of Kit Fisto in Star Wars: The Clone Wars & Senator Bail Organa in Star Wars Rebels – Phil Lamarr talks to Jimmy Mac about working in Star Wars, Pulp Fiction, Mad TV and more! Stephen Stanton returns to give us an amazing Death Star-sized update to our Star Wars Celebration ticket giveaway that will blow you away. It’s a RebelForce Radio miracle! Stephen also gives us the lowdown on what he has up his sleeve for the 501st party. Geek Out Loud superstar Steve Glosson sits in this week for a huge Celebration Anaheim Update with Star Wars artist extraordinaire Randy Martinez. We get all the deets from Randy about his booth at the show, and we review some of the Celebration programming schedule, including Smuggler’s Bounty. SOLD OUT! That’s right, all the tix for the massive RFR Celebration Kickoff Bash are gone! We fill you in on what will be happening at the bash and who will be there. Plus, Star Wars Aftermath, some new buzz about the long-in-development live-action Star Wars TV show, Will Ferrell as Little Debbie, music and good times! RFR is a STAR WARS CELEBRATION for your ears!