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Will the fanfare play now that Disney owns the franchise?
I was thinking more of the actual STAR WARS fanfare/theme rather than the Fox one, which I'm pretty certain won't appear.
Doesn't 20th Century Fox still own the distribution rights?
No. They only own the distribution rights to STAR WARS (aka Ep 4) in perpetuity. Eps 5 and 6 revert to Lucasfilm and hence Disney in a couple of years.
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
We also see the female pilot Jessika Pava.
Played by Jessica Henwick who was in GAME OF THRONES last year. Unusual for a STAR WARS actor to be playing a character with the same name.
Should we guess the plot?
SPACESHIP FLYING INTO SHOT
STUFF GOING DOWN ON A PLANET (PROBABLY A DESERT ONE)
WOAH LIGHTSABRE/FORCE REVEAL
ESCAPE FROM PLANET
STUFF IN SPACE
CUTAWAYS TO VILLAINOUS PLOTTING
"I've got a bad feeling about this."
PLAN ON HOW TO DEAL WITH BAD GUYS
SPACE BATTLE/GROUND BATTLE/BOTH
THREEPIO/ARTOO COMEDY PRATFALLS
BIG EXPLOSION/DEATH OF SECONDARY VILLAIN WHILST PRIMARY VILLAIN SURVIVES FOR SEQUELS
EVERYONE HIGH-FIVES/GIVES MEDALS TO/IMPREGNATES HEROES APART FROM CHEWBACCA, WHO IS IGNORED BECAUSE OF SPACE RACISM.
Pretty damn good. The best first episode of a space opera series since BSG ended. Solid script, great acting, a nice shooting style that goes for realism without settling for BSG-style shakey cam and some fantastic effects. I also liked the subtle ways they made it clear that Ceres has lower gravity than Earth or Mars (the bird only having to flap its wings intermittently, the guy falling into the airlock fairly slowly).
The pacing was also good, given how much they had to establish. Overall, a great opening and I'll be watching the rest of the series.
Alex Martin wrote:
Obsidian pitched a new FALLOUT game to Bethesda a few years ago. Apparently it was going to be set in the ruins of Los Angeles and would expand on the little seen of the city in FALLOUT 1. The outcome of those discussions was never disclosed. But yes, Obsidian and Bethesda have marked out areas of territory they want to explore in future games and Bethesda have firmly said they want to stay on the east coast or nearby. That raises the possibility of FALLOUT 5 being set say in New York, Charleston or maybe Miami (although it'd be interesting if they used the abandoned FALLOUT TACTICS 2 plans for the city, which were pretty interesting).
I think the press is starting to get a bit carried away with coverage of the game.
The Salem Witches museum has been described as "spooky" and "terrifying" with a horrifying atmosphere. Which is hard to reconcile when you go there and discover it's just a building with a deathclaw in it. When at Level 22 with a Fat Man and 4 Mini-Nukes loaded up, isn't really very scary. At lower level, yes, it'd be scary until you realise the deathclaw can't fit through 90% of the doors in the building, so you can just stand on one side and shoot the thing for a while, or leave to get power armour.
Also did the Vault 81 quest. I kept expecting it go full-on horror and have everyone die or be infected or something, but it actually ended up being an example of the vault functioning as Vault-Tec's propaganda suggested it should, more or less. I'm tempted to keep it as a main base of operations, as the bobble head stand is quite impressive.
As mentioned above, Obsidian are open to working on FALLOUT again. They know they got shafted, but it also kept them working and in business. It's also, I believe, Obsidian's biggest-selling ever game, so it also helped their reputation. PILLARS OF ETERNITY has done very well for them, but it's success isn't going to keep them ticking over for more than another year or so, so they need to get some more big projects on the table (PoE 2 is almost certainly on the cards, but now they have the engine and assets that should be a more straightforward project).
It's also worth noting that Bethesda themselves (as opposed to the publishing side) were very happy with NV and are very keen on getting games out more frequently, which they can only do by working with outside companies like Obsidian.
Based on Bethesda's release schedule and alternating game pattern, they've probably already begun initial design work on ELDER SCROLLS VI. I also wouldn't be surprised if they've contracted Obsidian for a FALLOUT follow-up game.
Yes, and this is the correct characterisation of the Brotherhood of Steel. FALLOUT 3 got them rather wrong.
The BoS are techno-fascists who believe that all high technology in the Wasteland needs to be under their control. The DC chapter, and to a lesser extent the Chicago chapter in FALLOUT TACTICS, both combined this with altruistic motives, but FO3 went overboard in turning them into knights. FO1, 2, NV and now 4 depict the BoS's more standard and traditional attitude.
Freehold DM wrote:
shouldn't have done the crime if he couldn't do the time.
I think the problem wasn't that he did it and got fan hate mail, but his brother died just before the book came out and he was struggling through grief at the same time hundreds of people were demanding his head on a stick. It was pretty rough.
Having tried to read Robin Hobb and failing, I don't agree. Then again, I think you are also the one who first introduced me to the Malzan books in another thread, saying they are defining fantasy, and 1/4 of the way through the first book I am having trouble convincing myself to bother continuing. I find none of his characters interesting.
The first book is rough. It was written ten years before the rest of the series and the author's lack of craft at the time shows. You do need to read it at some point to understand later events in the series, but it does stand alone for a while. I normally recommend that people start with the second novel, which is set on a totally different landmass with a new cast and which has a much more cohesive plot and far more compelling characters.
Robin Hobb has the opposite issue to Sanderson: her prose is very good, her characterisation skills are impressive but her structure, pacing and worldbuilding can all be very haphazard. In her first two big trilogies, the plot ran out of steam somewhere in the first quarter of the final volume and it was a real struggle to finish them, although the eventual payoff is pretty good. She's like Tad Williams in that respect, although he usually recovers a bit earlier to deliver a good ending.
Direct ramifications for this could end up with million of people being affected, with hundreds of thousands dead.
Well, millions of people are already being affected and hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in Iraq, Syria and (on a vastly tinier scale) other countries over the past twelve years.
Europe could very well perceive this as their own version of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. No country will stand idly by and wait to see if the next mass murder is happening in their capital city or that of their neighbors. This may very well be the end of an era.
As mentioned above, the death toll in Paris is a bit more than twice what was in London on 7/7, but less quite a bit less than in the Madrid train bombings. Horrible and a large death toll, but not on the scale of 9/11. Also, it's not coming out of the blue as 9/11 was (to most Americans). Britain, France, Spain and other European countries have recent experience of large, long and sustained terror campaigns and post-imperialist crises (France's issues with Algeria in the 1960s were horrendous).
Certainly there will be policy and security changes and this may be a gamechanger of a moment in that it galvanises some kind of additional military response, but it's not quite the casus belli for some kind of massive, disproportionate international response.
Yes. Even disregarding the likely increase in hate crimes against them across Europe, I'd assume governments will be forced into action. I can easily see a wave of right wing parties taking elections so long as they promise a more forceful handling of immigrants. And there's no humane way to be forceful at an immigrant.
Certainly right-wing wingnuts will seize on this as an excuse to push anti-immigration and racist policies. But they were doing that anyway.
There are millions of Muslim in Paris.
In France, yes, not Paris.
This attack means that every French citizen is now in constant danger. It is a serious escalation of events.
No. At least, not an escalation of the danger. The danger was there before, it's now been actualised. We've been living with this danger in Europe for generations. I grew up knowing every time I went to London there was a risk of an IRA bomb going off. You have to accept those risks or stop being able to live your life and then the terrorists have won.
Also, carrying out this kind of attack against the French is pretty dumb. The French are even more resiliant and philosophical about these things than we in the UK are, and we're pretty bullshy about it.
You have to do something when this kind of attack happens. Just shrugging it off isn't an option. The truly tragic thing is that whatever you do in reaction is likely to cause a whole lot of suffering and extremely unlikely to actually solve the problem. It's a really sh**ty position to be in.
There will be a response, either an escalation of the current air strikes or accepting certain things that a few weeks ago were unacceptable (probably allowing Assad to remain in Syria in a transitional mode). This in turn will allow for a more coordinated push and attack on ISIS.
The big problem is that the only current ground forces having any serious successes, the Kurdish Peshmerga, are also bitterly opposed by the Turks and some of the Syrian government and other rebel groups. The Kurds can't do everything by themselves, although their recent recapture of Sinjar could be a huge strategic movement, as it threatens to cut off the primary Syria-Iraq supply route for ISIS and will help in the siege of Mosul that the Iraqi army is preparing to launch.
Since Putin is fighting them in Syria openly, I wonder why they haven't targeted them...
There are Chechen groups who'd happily help ISIS (vice versa is less clear, as ISIS are way more hardcore about not helping other groups who won't swear loyalty to them, unlike al-Qaeda) and those groups have bombed Volgograd (twice) and Moscow in the last five years, killing dozens. Certainly Russia isn't immune from this sort of thing.
Plus an alleged affiliated group shot down a Russian airliner a couple of weeks ago.
A good question is why the NSA did not stop this. After all, with all the information they have, they must certainly have been aware of such a complex scheme.
Despite how it is protrayed on film and television, the American NSA isn't very good. It's intelligence has been largely awful, its ability to liaise and infiltrate local groups in the Islamic world is almost non-existent and it relies on signals and electronic transmissions to the point where Islamic terror groups know how to avoid them (meeting up in a house in the middle of nowhere or going outside for a walk and putting nothing on an electronic device is all it takes).
At Level 12 I was also getting caned by Super Mutants, but then got a modded rifle which does 4x the damage of my next best gun and that one-shots Super Mutants and two-shots tougher variants. Excellent.
Anyone done the Super Mutant-infested skyscraper mission? That was brilliant fun with the tougher weaponry.
Also met a lunatic raider gang called the Forge. Was attacked by their leader (in power armour) and six minions at the same time. I was way too low a level to handle it, but fortunately I had a Fat Man and one single Mini-Nuke in the inventory. That vapourised everyone in the (fortunately quite big) room but only took the boss down to about 50% health. Still an epic fight to kill him with Piper's help, but at least it was doable.
I'm really liking the greater presence of the companion characters. They butt in during cut scene conversations with other characters, they sometimes stop you to talk and occasionally flirt. Which is a bit weird given that from your POV your wife died like a week earlier, but okay. Unfortunately, although they're a bit more lively than FO3's companions, they don't seem to have the tragic through-arcs and more developed characters of the NV companions.
Also, I started off liking the armour system and now hate it. I'm tracking half a dozen armour stats instead of one and it's getting really annoying.
I have like 8 Fusion Cores (I opened a random box somewhere and found SIX OF THEM), but I don't want to use the Power Armor for everything. Or anything, really.
Perennial RPG problem. You get a superweapon (which is what the power armour really is) and then hold off on using it until you really need it. Then you finish the game and realise you never needed it.
ELANTRIS II is still coming, but not for a while.
STORMLIGHT III will hopefully be a late 2016 release, but could slip to early 2017.
I'm trying to remember where we are in all this, but I believe that after STORMLIGHT V there will be a long pause whilst Sanderson writes the Second Big MISTBORN Trilogy.
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Interesting. Raises a lot of questions, actually - when in the timeline is this movie? Are they retconning the mythos (it kind of seems like it)? Does anyone show up besides Orcs and Humans (I heard years ago that Verne Troyer was going to be in this - he'd obviously be a Gnome)? Are they going to keep it classy this time around, or are they going to delve into increasing layers of self-insulting sleaze like World of Warcraft wound up doing?
It's retelling the story of WARCRAFT I - the movie will actually be called WARCRAFT: THE BEGINNING in some territories - but they have the freedom to tweak things around. The person in charge of the story is Chris Metzen, which is good because he obviously knows the lore but is also bad because he's 1) a terrible writer and 2) is now getting to tweak the backstory to fit the current stuff in the games, which I know is annoying to old-school WARCRAFT fans. Fortunately he's not actually writing the script itself, only the story and outline.
It's a good idea to keep it simple. Apparently the dwarves and elves show up, but not in great numbers, and it sounds like there'll be no gnomes, tauren or other races. The focus is on Orcs vs. Humans and the story will retell the story of WARCRAFT I, although some elements of WC2 and WC3 may also come into play (they're definitely setting up Thrall's story for a potential sequel). WC1 was fairly light on storytelling, so they have a great deal more freedom to improvise and change things when it comes to character and story.
He was the editor and wrote a few stories, but wasn't really responsible for most of where the story went and so on, right? At least the omnibus I have credits him as editor, but not writer (or he wrote one story? Something like that.).
If you think of WILD CARDS as a TV series, GRRM and Melinda Snodgrass are effectively the "showrunners" who are in creative control of the series, plan where the story is going to go next and make all the final decisions, but the actual writing is then given to other writers to do.
I frankly don't think he's nearly as good of a writer as Sanderson.
I like Brandon and his books, a lot. But if you look at the variety of richness of Martin's career, his achivements in multiple genres and in both book and TV, there's really no comparison between them. Especially in areas like dialogue, where Sanderson is only rarely effective, and sometimes is a bit wince-inducing, whilst Martin is probably the most quotable living author writing in fantasy.
I think it's fair to say ASoIaF has been spinning its wheels in books 4 and 5, and most likely because they weren't supposed to happen. After the end of book 3 we should have skipped forward 5 years, but for some reason he decided to write them out. The result was two books in which not much happened... Now he's got that out of the way, hopefully the pace will pick up again in the next one.
Sort of. The five-year gap was never supposed to happen, was introduced because the kids weren't growing up fast enough (the first three books last about 18 months but were supposed to cover more like 4-5 years between them, which ironically the TV show has done instead), was then pulled when it didn't make sense, and then Books 4 and 5 basically became a combination of material that should have been skipped in the gap, new material and material from after the original gap. Straightening all that out has been a problem for George (massive understatement).
I enjoyed shadows, but mistborn is still probably the best trilogy of all time.
MISTBORN is a very fine, tight and nicely-designed series, and the sequel books have been pretty good. I think STORMLIGHT is definitely better-written, but it's also less well-paced and I don't think the STORMLIGHT characters are as vivid and on the same level as the MISTBORN team. Part of the problem is that Brandon is building up a whole 10-book series here and he has a lot of characters, subplots and chapters in Books 1 and 2 which are not going to become relevant until much (much) later in the series. STORMLIGHT is also going to cross over with the rest of the COSMERE mega-setting. Some will likely see them as features more than bugs, but these are things that can bog down the STORMLIGHT books and it's why they are so absolutely massive when they really don't need to be.
Having said that, they are still really good books. It's also worth remembering that ALL of Sanderson's solo, non-YA fantasy is set in the same universe, with crossovers and Easter Eggs between the books. That means that ELANTRIS, MISTBORN (all of them), WARBREAKER, THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE and quite a lot of his short fiction is all set in the same universe, as is the forthcoming WHITE SANDS graphic novel. In fact, characters from MISTBORN and ELANTRIS actually show up in STORMLIGHT (under new names), there's one character who appears in every book (if fleetingly) and you really need to have read WARBREAKER before the second STORMLIGHT novel for it to entirely make sense.
For comparisons with MALAZAN (another 10 book series), THE WAY OF KINGS is certainly better than GARDENS OF THE MOON, but DEADHOUSE GATES is comprehensively, comfortably and utterly better than WORDS OF RADIANCE. Erikson got a hell of a lot better between his first two books (to the point where I sometimes suggest to people that they skip GARDENS, as you don't necessarily need to read it first).
For "Best Fantasy Trilogy of All Time", the only real claimant to that title I think (given that LotR is actually a single novel) is Jack Vance's amazing LYONESSE trilogy. For recent fantasy works, I'd also rank Joe Abercrombie's FIRST LAW trilogy as on the same level as MISTBORN, with a far weaker opening but with a much better ending. Elizabeth Bear's ETERNAL SKY trilogy from last year was also incredible.
There is apparently a division of the rights between CBS and Paramount. CBS have the TV rights and Paramount have the movie rights. The two actually aren't getting on too great at the moment, and there's some issues with CBS having badly mishandled the TNG HD remastering job and a lack of synergy (apologies for even using the word) between the two when it comes to cross-marketing and support. The fact that the new TV announcement apparently HAS to distance itself from STAR TREK BEYOND (the third film in the Abramsverse, due out next summer) bodes well that the new TV show will in fact be set in either the original timeline or a new one.
That's not definite, and of course Kurtzman is tight with Abrams and Paramount so he could probably swing it that they can use the Abramsverse instead if he really went for it. At the same time, it's also the 50th Anniversary of STAR TREK next year and this new project is being sold as part of those celebrations. If that's the case, something they can use to revisit the past series may also be possible.
What's interesting is that there were pitch meetings for the new series and as well as Kurtzman, Michael Dorn got to pitch his Worf-centric series idea. In fact, some fans have been speculating if the two are the same project. That sees very unlikely, as Kurtzman was never mentioned as part of the Dorn project, which was instead supported by TNG/DS9 producers Ronald Moore and Ira Behr (both now making OUTLANDER for Starz). That at least shows that CBS were interested in projects set in the original timeline.
One unfortunate bit of news: CBS just shot down the STAR TREK: RENEGADES Kickstarter, which would have brought back Walter Koenig, Tim Russ, Aron Eisenberg, Cirroc Lofton, Robert Beltran and Terry Farrell (among others). Some fans have speculated this was because RENEGADES (which previously had support from CBS) might be touching on the same ideas the new show might be relying on, such as the original timeline and past crewmembers showing up. More likely, they didn't want to risk brand confusion.
MALAZAN is a reaction to the low-magic, low-fi approach to fantasy introduced by ASoIaF and a few other series. It's a full-on, turn everything to 11, epic-level fantasy series with massive amounts of magic but also a lot of literary experimentation and interesting stuff to say about society. It's still too new to have inspired tons of new writers, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it cited as a major influence a further generation down the line. Black Company is hugely influential on modern fantasy writers, for example, and that's sold peanuts compared to Malazan.
I agree that Sanderson is more approachable and easier to read than some of the other fantasy series around, but that's also because he's kind of lightweight in characterisation and his prose is never above the ordinary. He's gotten a lot better and is getting a lot better as he goes along, plus he's a great guy (met him last weekend, he's apparently a fan of my blog), but I think his work suffers from being a little too pre-planned and less spontaneous than other fantasy. His overall, 40+ book masterplan is also both impressive but daunting.
ASoIaF is dark, but nowhere near as dark and unrelentingly harsh as some other fantasy worlds (see Scott Bakker's, arguably Steven Erikson's as well). If you look at the peacetime scenes in the first book, and more notable in the prequel novellas, you can find a world that when it's actually at peace is actually a perfectly fine medieval fantasy world to live in. It's just the fact that ASoIaF takes place at a time of brutal civil war that makes it seem to suck a lot more than it actually does.
Reading the books is an interesting experience as you can see the foreshadowing laid in for things later on. The Tower of Joy dream in the first book and the House of the Undying sequence at the end of Book 2 are particularly brilliant for this. You can see plot elements that don't come to fruition until the fifth volume being laid down.
Love my DVD set, but I'd also love to see them finally put the series on Bluray.
There's no reason to do it without being able to remaster it. There's two key problems with this:
1) You need the original film the scenes were actually shot on in order to a remaster: the original fully-edited tapes are SD only, so they're useless. The 32mm film masters are what is required and they need to have been stored and preserved perfectly for 22 years (and counting). STAR TREK was fine because Paramount/CBS has a custom-built archive facility located hundreds of feet below a salt mine in Pennsylvania. Fox's storage facilities are also pretty hardcore, hence they've been able to do X-FILES. Warner Brothers apparently has a warehouse in Los Angeles. At one point the warehouse was flooded and then invaded by rats. According to some reports, most of the series is fine but the pilot master reel was kind of eaten. So the pilot may be unsalvageable.
2) BABYLON 5's CGI was handled by a company working on an absolute shoestring. They had a budget-per-season rather than per-shot, which meant that B5 could have insane numbers of CG shots per episode (over 100 for "Fall of Night", "Severed Dreams", "Endgame" and a few others). Any company redoing the CG for B5 now would charge a hell of a lot more than Foundation Imaging and Netter Digital did back in the day. This would raise the cost of remastering B5 quite sharply. There's also a hell of a lot of re-compositing to do (any scene in C&C, the Garden etc).
The total cost of remastering STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION was $20 million, for the most successful and highly-watched space opera TV show of all time. And it's apparently struggled to make its money back. BABYLON 5 is extremely obscure in comparison. Literally, Warner Brothers have said they would rather reboot the show from scratch as it would be more cost-effective.
A show where the arc is defined in the beginning.
Kind of. JMS massively oversold this at the time. The B5 we ended up with is very different - but to fair vastly better - than what he had planned even as late as 1994.
The technomage arc of books are the only ones considered canon by JMS himself.
"The Shadow Within", "To Dream in the City of Sorrows", THE PASSING OF THE TECHNO-MAGES TRILOGY, THE PSI CORPS TRILOGY and THE LEGIONS OF FIRE TRILOGY are all considered canon by JMS, as are the comics he wrote about Sinclair's dismissal from B5 and the stuff set on Mars (which was directly referenced in "Messages from Earth"). Most of the rest are considered semi-canon at best.
Londo's "gift" to the Sheridans looked like it was a setup for the finale when I first saw it -- but in fact it was a setup for a series of events that took place in the intervening years and was never shown on TV.
It was actually setup for the LEGIONS OF FIRE books which were already in the planning stages.
I could have sworn Centauri fighters ignored momentum like that too.
The Sentris could pull higher-G turns than the Starfuries because the Centauri were willing to risking blacking out, as their fighters' AI systems were superior to the human stuff and could take over for a few seconds. They were a lot more fragile though. The Starfury and the Narn fighters (which took some hints from the Starfury design) was quite rugged in comparison.
You may be thinking of the Vorlon fighters, which treated gravity and momentum as optional extras.
I was always under the impression that the Vorlons and Shadows were grouped as part of the First Ones, just sort of the last of the first ones to come along.
Yes, the Shadows and Vorlons were the youngest of the First Ones, although still millennia beyond the Minbari.
That wasn't what happened with either. It's never been disclosed or even discussed why Andrea Thompson left as far as I'm aware.
Andrea Thompson wanted to apply for a role as a series regular on the first season of JAG, on which she'd be in every episode as a core regular and paid more. On BABYLON 5 she wasn't paid much and her contract required her to be available for all 22 episodes even when she was only actually in 6 or 7 of the season. She asked to either be downgraded from recurring character to a recurring guest star and to work her new role around BABYLON 5, or for her appearances or pay on B5 to be raised to compensate her for missing out on a role elsewhere. When they were unable to accommodate her, she left.
For her, it was a straightforward business decision driven by her career needs. JMS took it personally (JMS tended to take things personally and act first and think about them later) and refused to let her come back even for a one-off episode in Season 3 wrapping up her story, even when she offered.
As it turned out, she only did one season as JAG and left to become a newsreader, as she didn't like the Hollywood scene too much. Her and Jerry Doyle breaking up also apparently took a toll.
That's what she directly said at a convention, anyway. Also, Talia was definitely supposed to stick around for the duration. JMS did want to bring back Lyta as well (JMS and Patricia Tallman were like best buds at the time and have collaborated on various projects since), but it would have likely been for a couple of guest spots here and there. Lyta basically took over Talia's storyline just as Talia took over Lyta's from the pilot.
As I understood it, Claudia Christian was slated for season 5, which is clear from the Marcus subplot. I thought she had an offer of a part in something else?
There was a mix-up. Christian was offered a lot of money to do a film which would have required 3 or 4 weeks of filming for her. So she asked for 3-4 weeks off. JMS verbally gave her a promise that he would write her out for 3-4 weeks and then she could come back. The studio making the film required that guarantee in writing to take her on and contacted Warner Brothers and John Copeland, the other main producer and showrunner. Unaware of JMS's verbal guarantee, they refused to give that permission in writing. All of this was going on whilst JMS and Christian were in Blackpool, England at a B5 convention making communications (in those days) difficult. In the end, Christian decided to make the film after feeling that JMS had reneged on his promise.
Later on, when he got to the bottom of what had happened, JMS apologised to Christian and apparently got annoyed because he could have sorted it out (Lochley was, after all, only in about half of Season 5's episodes so they gap ended up being there anyway).
Chuck Wendig is an author I've had recommended quite a bit for his own fiction, but I have to agree that his response to this situation has been poor.
First off, there have been LGBT characters in STAR WARS before. Not a lot, agreed, but a few, and a fairly prominent one in Paul Kemp's LORDS OF THE SITH, which is another of the "New EU" books. Also, AFTERMATH does indicated that KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC 1 & 2, and THE OLD REPUBLIC all remain in the new canon (backed up by the "Star Wars Story Group" now getting acknowledgements in the OLD REPUBLIC credits after the last update), and Juhani in KotOR is lesbian and the first LGBT character to appear in STAR WARS, thirteen years ago. So Wendig claiming to have introduced such characters to STAR WARS when he didn't is a bit lame.
Secondly, the overwhelming majority of issues with the novel seem to be with the prose first, then complaints about the canon change (not Wendig's fault, I agree) and only a very small number of morons are moaning about about the LGBT issue. It's not the primary complaint at all, and its fairly intellectually dishonest to try to strawman large numbers of people, some of them LGBT themselves, by saying it's because they're all 'phobic. The core problem, instead, is that the novel sucks.
Been playing this for a few hours. Thoughts:
1) It looks amazing. For a small game (1.5GB install), not to mention a Kickstarted one operating on a small budget, it looks incredible. The attention to detail is impressive and it's great to play a cyberpunk game with vivid colour rather than just grit 'n' neon.
2) It's not just a reboot of SYNDICATE. SYNDICATE was amazing in 1993 but it was also focused on combat and converting people. There was a very primitive stealth system but it was ropey as hell and it was almost impossible to finish any level without killing any enemies. SATELLITE REIGN has a more vigourous stealth system, better AI and gives you multiple ways of completing each objective. You can still run in and kill everyone in sight if you want to, but it's much harder (especially at the start of the game).
3) It's pretty tough, but fair. If you are overwhelmed and die, you know exactly why and how it all went wrong. The game also has a recloning feature to avoid save-scumming your way through the game. It might be a little too generous in that regard and rather unrealistic (especially as you can die 15 times trying to do the same objective and still come back to it and try again), but at least it's trying to help the player a bit.
4) There's not much in the way of a narrative. You have a job to do and a whole city to do it with and complete freedom of how to do it. After a brief and fairly succinct tutorial, you're left to get on with it.
5) Weapons don't seem to have much punch, which was the key problem with SYNDICATE WARS as well. Given in every other respect the game borrows from the (superior) first SYNDICATE, it's a bit odd why they went with the weedy gun firing and sound effects from SYNDICATE WARS. Maybe it improves later on.
6) You can still mind-control people to walk around as bullet sponges for you, but it's harder. You can also send people back to your lab to be pulped for genetic material to help you when you resurrect (as your stats degrade a little every time it happens). This is kind of gruesome and impressive at the same time.
Overall, a very solid and interesting game that feels like a SYNDICATE for the modern age, rather than just being a revamp of the original game. More interesting is what they could do with the engine. Put on a turn-based mode and give it to Harebrained, and they could make their next wave of SHADOWRUN games on this engine and it would be absolutely amazing.
Killing the fantasy world was really weird. WH40K was doing okay until DAWN OF WAR was released, but then sales of the entire range (novels, models, board games etc) took off hugely, especially in the States. If TOTAL WARHAMMER (which is what I'm calling it and damn the actual title) had even a quarter of the impact, it would have probably made the fantasy game much more viable again. Ditching it in 2015 rather than waiting to see the impact of the video game was a dumb move.
Anyway, a new in-engine cinematic featuring dwarves. Dwarves are cool.
And yeah...Goodkind starts out okay.
The mind always boggles at this. WIZARDS' FIRST RULE is easily one of the very worst fantasy novels ever written. The second book, which I dropped halfway through, was even worse. Reading plot summaries of the rest of the series, it was clear that it somehow managed to go even more downhill.
However, it is apparently amusingly effective if you read the books with the viewpoint that Richard and Kahlan are the villains. Read in that light, they seem to make a hell of a lot more sense than they do if read straight.
That's another hole with these awards, they don't include self-published titles.
As said above, they do. Most of the fanzines are certainly self-published, and there are no rules against self-published books.
And as a cynic, I wonder just what the response to Game of Thrones would be if Vox Day wrote it. Let's postulate a world where Martin kicked off about 90 or so from a heart attack; we take all the manuscripts for Game of Thrones to an alternate world and give them to Vox Day to publish through whatever his publishing house is.
Day wrote a GAME OF THRONES rip-off novel. It was terrible.
The only other time it was gamed was in 1987, when Scientologists bought up memberships to block-vote for L. Ron Hubbard's novel BLACK GENESIS. It was clear they were doing it, they didn't particularly deny it, but when it came to the awards themselves it got curb-stomped, came in last and the bulk of the winning votes went to Orson Scott Card's SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD (genuinely a good novel, and this was also before Card went off the deep end).
Other attempts to game the award have been minor compared to the number of votes required to actually win anything.
It's also counter-productive to spend $10K on gaming the awards when the likely financial rewards of getting the award are negligible: the Hugos used to result in a minor sales bump in the USA and absolutely nowhere else at all. Now they barely register in the USA either. Some Hugo winners from the last decade or so - most notably SPIN and RAINBOW'S END - couldn't even get a publishing deal in many countries outside of the USA, regardless of their awards.
And he's won three Hugos? He seems remarkably dull to me. Where's the big idea? Do he write like Jack Vance or Gene Wolfe? Plot out stories like Alan Moore?
Scalzi isn't that great a writer, to be honest. He's a good blogger and critic, but REDSHIRTS (his novel that won the Hugo) was extremely mediocre. It's certainly the poorest novel to actually win a Hugo in many years, and actually spurred some of the current issues.
He's also Tolstoy, Proust and Tolkien rolled into one compared to Vox Day's excruciating writing abilities.
I'd love to see sales figures for the books mentioned in this piece.
Scalzi's sold a couple of million. He also made a bit of side-money (and won a lot of new fans) by being an advisor on STARGATE UNIVERSE and had film rights to his books sold a few times.
Time to split things up. Then everyone can be happy.
That's not really the problem. Fandom has splintered before: the David Gemmell Awards were started in 2008 at least in part due to the feeling that other awards (including the Hugos) were not rewarding the field of epic fantasy despite huge sales and tons of readers. The Nebulas, the Arthur C. Clarke and the World Fantasy Awards are all regarded as more prestigious than the Hugo because they are juried.
The issue is that Hugo is still the big one because of momentum, continuity and history. You can start another award tomorrow, but it simply won't have the prestige that 75 years of history gives to the Hugos.
That was the difference between DRAGONLANCE and FORGOTTEN REALMS: DL was really one big narrative (the War of the Lance, with Raistlin's misadventures in the following three books as a major side-story) and attempts to extend the universe beyond that story have been patchy, at best. FORGOTTEN REALMS is one big world with room for absolute tons of stories with the idea of lots of adventurers doing stuff built into the fabric of the setting. The FR started going downhill when WotC decided to keep piling big epic events on top of one another so it made the "normal" adventurers feel small and pointless.
Lucas sold Lucasfilm and everything it owns, including STAR WARS in its entirety, to Disney. So no, Lucas does not have power of veto over there being a DVD/Blu-Ray release. In fact, it's been pretty widely reported behind the scenes that Lucasfilm/Disney had been trying to get a good deal going with Fox for a Blu-Ray release of the original trilogy out in time for the new film. That's still possible (they could announce it with 2-3 months to go in a couple of weeks) but seems less likely now.
Actually, the stormtroopers on the cover are from the original trilogy. And the Falcon is still in its original state (with the original dish rather than the one lost in the DS2). Apparently these were deliberate choices on the part of Abrams and Lucasfilm, not mistakes. What it means is anyone's guess (although some believe it's a hint to an OT Blu-Ray announcement, as above :) ).
the empire yes, the sith, no.
In the EU, the Sith originally were aliens, and the humanoid Sith picked up where they left off with their teachings (also, Darth Maul was an alien). Whilst the EU proper has been eliminated from canon, the historical background stuff, especially that related to the ongoing OLD REPUBLIC video game, is in a much hazier state, so this may still apply.
As long as they don't abandon the 3rd person view entirely (I don't believe they are)... if it ever becomes entirely 1st person I won't be able to play their games any more (I'm one of those people who gets sick playing first person games -- sadly it's one of those things that's getting worse with age rather than better, & it's not the kind of thing you can do repeatedly to "get used to it"--I used to be able to play some 1st person games when I was younger and can't now).
Have you tried adjusting the FOV of the games? In fact, I don't know if you could for 3 and NV, but modern games usually offer it as an option.
Oh, and Lucas is fine with it since he still has creative control of Star Wars.
Lucas gave up creative control of Star Wars when he sold Lucasfilm. He gave them outlines for Eps 7-9 but they've pretty much ignored them. He's available as a consultant, but it sounds like they didn't use him much, or at all, based on his comments that he's looking forwards to seeing 7 in the cinema and has no idea what to expect.
iirc, there was some confusion at the end of rotj because the imperial fleet was far, far larger than the rebel one, and a war of attrition would have easily gone to the imperials.
The size of the Imperial Fleet was a problem, as they couldn't fire on the rebels without hitting one another, so the rebels were able to take out Star Destroyers by focusing the full strength of their fleet on small parts of the enemy line at one point (the Roman Battle of Pharsalus, where Caesar defeated a larger enemy force by focusing his strength on the enemy's weakest point, was similar), i.e. knocking out the Executor. Combined with the destruction of the DS2 and the loss of the Executor, Vader, Emperor and most of the command staff for the fleet, it's quite plausible that the Imperials would retreat, especially the senior admirals in the fleet who realised they could build up their own power base.
The novels had it that the Emperor was reinforcing the fleet through the Force (+2 Leadership Bonus, I guess), and his death removed that and left the fleet disoriented. I'm not a massive fan of that idea, but it does sound like the sort of thing the Emperor would do.
I don't really care if they discontinue most of the EU and other things, but I think if the general public starts saying...WTH is going on with this...I think the Star Wars films may have one first really good profits, and then it will die a VERY HARD, QUICK death
Well, we'll get three regardless: 7 is in post, ROGUE ONE is filming now and 8 is in pre-production to start shooting in a couple of months. If 7 and ROGUE ONE absolutely bomb, maybe they'll cancel 9 and the other stand-alones but...they're not going to bomb, clearly.
Yes and no. Without Lucas we wouldn't have STAR WARS, clearly, but a lot of other people worked on hard on the original movies. Lawrence Kasdan and Leigh Brackett wrote THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, Irvin Kershner directed it and Gary Kurtz produced it both EMPIRE and the original film. Lucas had the least to do with it and it's, by a country mile, the most popular and critically-acclaimed STAR WARS movie. Lucas was irked by this and seized back control for JEDI, cancelling his original (and much more interesting) story outline, which so annoyed Kurtz that he walked out on the franchise despite the millions he could have made by staying with it. Kasdan was retained to write JEDI, but Lucas fiddled around with the script a lot more (which is why JEDI seems to alternate being awesome and then irritating with almost every other scene).
The prequels were garbage because Lucas did pretty much everything himself. The plurality of voices and perspectives on the original trilogy were not present and were replaced by a ton of yes-men who never put the brakes on Lucas's crazier ideas.
So yes, without Lucas there wouldn't be STAR WARS. But without a ton of other people, there wouldn't have been any really good STAR WARS.
Red Eagle are no longer suing Robert Jordan's widow, but discussions remain "ongoing" about the ownership of the film/TV rights.
My guess is that Red Eagle either 1) deliberately launched the lawsuit so they could withdraw it later on as a pre-emptive bargaining chip, or 2) realised they were on a hiding to nothing and quit whilst they were ahead.
At the moment I'm going to guess that the Jordan Estate technically get the rights back, but the Red Eagle company retains a nominal producer's credit. If the WHEEL OF TIME TV series does end up with Sony, that would at least make sense because Red Eagle set up the deal, even if it falls to the Estate to execute it.
So hopefully a final end to this mess is in sight, because WoT is in danger of missing the boat as other fantasy properties are picked up all over the shop.
One thing that is interesting: Universal may also be back interested since they missed out big time in the recent D&D legal shenanigans. If they want a slice of the fantasy pie, this is their best bet.
I doubt very much the third D&D movie had $12 million. Even $1.2 million seems high for the production quality they got, especially considering that the third film was almost certainly made for the sole purpose of retaining the film rights for another few years.
If it was $12 million, they must have flushed 90% of it down the toilet. Movies like CENTURION and IRONCLAD had budgets in that region and looked reasonably decent. The most expensive episode of GoT ever made was more like $8-9 million and looked even better.
They're going to spend money on it. Certainly more than $100 million and probably closer to $200. Maybe not more than that, Hasbro probably learned its lesson from BATTLESHIP and Warner Brothers aren't quite as crazy as Universal (who actually made BATTLESHIP). But OTOH a D&D FR movie is going to have an enormous amount of stories, characters and lore to draw upon and has a lot more franchise/sequel potential.
I can see them going fairly crazy with the money for this film if they really want.
I think we can safely say this is definitely happening: both sides have spent way too much money in legal fees alone to wimp out now, and Hasbro clearly want (rather unedifyingly in their desperation) a DC/Marvel/Star Wars-style mega-franchise, which D&D rather uniquely fits.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not hopeful of the end product being any good, but we are going to see a big-budget movie based on an RPG hitting the screen, which is kind of crazy. In fact, if Hasbro were bonkers enough to help raise $220 million for the Battleship film, I wonder what they're going to bet on a movie based on something that has actual stories attached to it. It'd be rather insulting if it was much less.
Tremble mortals, and despair. The mighty armies of Hasbro and Warner Brothers have lined for battle. Their lawyers prepare to unleash litigious fury and, oh, hang on, they've all kissed and made up.
So yeah, Warner Brothers and Hasbro have unexpectedly joined forces with the redoubtable Courtney Solomon and have greenlit an official D&D movie set in the Forgotten Realms, with proper money and (hopefully) a decent director behind it.
That just happened.
Harebrained Schemes have announced that a new BATTLETECH video game is in the works.
This game will feature turn-based strategy and RPG elements, allowing you to build your own mechs and take part in an open-ended campaign where you choose which mission to take on next (this feature is partially inspired by the MECHWARRIOR MERCENARIES games). There'll be a Kickstarter in the autumn.
The game is being made by the same team behind the SHADOWRUN RETURNS games (the last of which, HONG KONG, arrives on 28 August), including of course Jordan Weisman, co-creator of the BATTLETECH/MECHWARRIOR franchise. Based on the quality of SHADOWRUN RETURNS, this should be good.