Extra Sequential Podcast #58-Star Wars

The first episode I’ve missed, due to some stomach bug thingy, but thankfully fellow Perth pop culture podcaster Luke Milton did an awesome job with Mladen. Here’s Mladen’s intro from the show.

Kris is frozen in Carbonite this week, so Mladen is joined by Luke Milton, Perth comic artist/photographer (that’s one of his photos below) and host of the “C-List” and “The Book Was Better” podcasts, to discuss Star Wars! The mythic stature vs the actual quality of the films, blu-ray deleted scenes and changes, the original and prequel trilogies, and the expanded universe and Star Wars Comics. Also: Lando Calrissian, Yaddle, and an awkward story about meeting Jake Lloyd. Your ears can’t repel podcasting of this magnitude!

 LISTEN TO IT BELOW, DOWNLOAD IT HERE OR ON iTUNES

You can email us at kris (at)extrasequential(dot)com and befriend us on the NEW ES Facebook page.

As for the comics we mention:

Star Wars: Infinities – The Star Wars version of Elseworlds/What If…

Star Wars Empire: The story of Biggs Darklighter

The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn

Star Wars: Droids comics

Dark Empire

Star Wars Tales with Tony Millionaire and Peter Bagge

Archie Goodwin’s 1970s Star Wars comics

 

Thanks again to Luke. Hopefully we’ll get him on the show again sometime, and I’ll be back with Mladen next week to ramble on about comics stuff.

Second Star Wars Blu-Ray Trailer

Just released on Yahoo! is this new trailer for the complete Star Wars saga on Blu-Ray. It’s released next month and features over 40 hours of bonus features! Sold!

Star Wars – Digitally

Announced at Comic-Con was this great piece of news for Star Wars fans. Apparently there’s some price issues with the site and the iPad app, but they’re being worked on now to get the 99c price mentioned in the press release below.

STAR WARS™ COMES TO THE DARK HORSE DIGITAL STORE!

ENTER THE GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY ON YOUR iPHONE, iPAD OR LAPTOP!

The wait is finally over, as Dark Horse and LucasFfilm announce the arrival of Star Wars comics in the Dark Horse digital store! At the start of the Dark Horse Star Wars Comics 20TH Anniversary panel today, news of digital Star Wars comics was delivered to a packed house of fans, media and industry professionals.

Now, fans are encouraged to head over to Digital.DarkHorse.com to download their favorite Star Wars titles today, with over 50 comics available for purchase! Fans can now download, the original Star Wars: Crimson Empire series, Marvel’s adaptation of Episode IV: A New Hope, The Clone Wars, Knights of the Old Republic, Legacy: War, Knight Errant, The Old Republic, Jedi: The Dark Side, and the top-selling Darth Vader and the Lost Command. Most single issues will be priced at the standard $1.99, with KOTOR #1 and Clone Wars #1 available for free download! Additionally, Crimson Empire #1, Knight Errant #1, and The Old Republic #1 will be just $.99!

Going forward, Dark Horse will release a mix of new and backlist titles weekly. Stay in the know on all of your favorite titles, and sign up for the Dark Horse Digital newsletter at Digital.DarkHorse.com today!

The Deep

No, not this one, but the upcoming OGN from Gestalt, and writer Tom Taylor (Rombies, Star Wars) and artist James Brouwer. The pair have recently started uploading great looking preview pages on the project’s Facebook page and you can read an interview with Taylor about his past, present and future projects at The Sci-Fi Block.

 

 

Boba Beats Predator

According to a poll on Dark Horse’s site, Boba Fett would beat a Predator, or so 66% of voters believe. I find the outcome of this battle to be dubious.

Star Wars Can Be Cute

See? If you really want to impress your girlfriend after she squeals, “They’re so adorable!” you’ll name them all. Maybe.

There’s almost 70 inhabitants of George Lucas’ world there, all courtesy of artist Mikey Turvey.

Space Warped #1 Preview

From BOOM! Studios’ new all-ages imprint Kaboom! comes Star Wars parody Space Warped. Most sci-fi parodies are for mature audiences (except Space Balls I guess), so way to go BOOM! Below is a hefty 10 page preview. Love the fantasy interpretations of the characters. Yes, even Princess Leia’s unibrow. Click on the pages to see them bigger, and y’know, actually read the text.

SPACE WARPED #1 COMES TO KABOOM! THIS JUNE!

AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW
THROUGH DIAMOND: APR110907

EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK WITH THIS 10-PAGE PREVIEW!

Far away, in a land long ago…there was an orphaned farm kid with daddy issues trying to rescue an orphaned princess unaware of her daddy issues! In the tradition of ROBOT CHICKEN: STAR WARS and SPACEBALLS comes a loving, affectionate parody of the greatest science fiction franchise of all time! The first of a two-issue mini-series, this is a fan-pleasing romp that skewers one of the greatest adventure stories ever!

SPACE WARPED #1 debuts this June written by Hervé Bourhis witih hilarious art by Rudy Spiessert. This title ships with a price point of $3.99 and a Diamond Code of APR110907.

While I’m on the topic of Star Wars parodies, there’s this:

Write This Star Wars Panel

Dark Horse’s blog is running an online caption contest for U.S residents to write some text for this panel from the upcoming Star Wars: Crimson Empire III issue, as seen in last week’s preview in the relaunched Dark Horse Presents #1. Write you masterful text here. There will be 2 winners. The actual comic will be printed with the winning entry, so I can only assume the runner up will receive a bunch of Star Wars goodies.

Episode 23-Star Wars, Alan Moore and Stuff

59 mins. Our most rambling episode yet in which we hardly yak about comics, but do talk about all the different versions of Star Wars, and the good years of The Simpsons, plus wearing scarves, Johnny Mnemonic, Cheers, crying at Spock’s death, Liz Hurley and more ramblonic nonsense.

LISTEN TO IT BELOW, DOWNLOAD HERE, OR ON ITUNES OR MIXCLOUD

1:45 NEWS

Star Wars on Blu-Ray in September, writer Neil Gaiman as himself on The Simpsons, the Batman teen toon that could’ve been in Gotham High, casting truth for Judge Dredd and casting rumours for Dark Knight Rises.

23:15 WHAT WE’VE BEEN READING

Steel #1, zombies in the Wild West series Rotten, and the classic run on Swamp Thing from Alan Moore and Stephen Bissette.

41:50 FEATURE DISCUSSION

It’s the battle of the beards as writer Alan Moore vs writer Jason Aaron. Actually they don’t fight as such, but Aaron talks about a recent Moore interview and then we dissect it as only geeks can.

We finish by talking about Star Wars games and podcaster vanity.

Star Wars on Blu-Ray in September

Just announced at the CES conference is the long awaited news that the Star Wars films will be available in September on Blu-Ray. There’s no news as to the special features,beyond 30 hours of extras, but all 6 films will be available, as a whole saga or  as individual trilogies. The saga is 9 discs which consists of 6 discs (1 for each film) plus 3 extras of bonus material. If any film series will have awesome extras, it’s got to be Star Wars. This will definitely be on my buy list.

It’s available for pre-order at Amazon now.

Star Wars And Geek Goodies

We’ll be doing a Christmas wish list special in one of our podcast episodes soon, but to tide you over check out these two great recent lists from MTV Geek! Sure everything on the lists is relatively expensive but if you have rich and generous loved ones, send them here for general pop culture stocking stuffers (37 of them in fact) including Return of the Dapper Men and Blacksad comic collections (which I highly recommend) and the slightly more unusual such as gaming Christmas tree ornaments and the monstrous Nerf Stampede Full Auto gun.

If your tastes lean more towards the Force, then check out the Star Wars Gift Guide for such delights as a Jawa garden gnome, a Darth Vader spatula and lightsaber bottle opener.

This Week’s Winners

It’s been too long since I’ve done one of these, but here’s the best new comics I read this week.

Star Wars: Blood Ties #4

It’s a week of endings, as Kevin Smith’s run on Green Hornet finishes, as do Batman Beyond and the great Ghost Projekt from Oni Press. I realised last month when two of writer Tom Taylor’s Star Wars issues came out on the same day (Blood Ties and Invasion) how good a scribe he actually is. Of course I (and many others) already knew that, but the diversity and consistency with which Taylor approaches the material is impressive. Star Wars at its best has always managed to successfully blend epic life or death adventures with more light-hearted cheekiness. While Invasion centres more on the serious side of things this entertaining mini-series is all about the cool, “oh yeah!” moments that made me recall the thrilling escapism of the original trilogy. Both Invasion and Blood Ties could almost be written by two different people; both of them good. However, Taylor is just one man with the seeming ability to switch writing brains with skill. This final issue of Blood Ties is hung upon a resonant question spoken on the first page, ie, “How do you make a dead man proud?” With Boba Fett getting to know his travelling companion/hostage/bounty, Connor Freeman and the link the two men share even more, this has been a series with cheeky action and dramatic dialogue, and even humour at the expense of the ever dwindling “league” of bounty hunters (now just one angry man). With Chris Scalf’s exquisite renderings adding much visual panche, this is like old-school Star Wars with a sense of fun and menace and it helped me forget the mediocre Force Unleashed II game. You can see Scalf at work here.

Batwoman #0

This was worth the wait, even though this long-promised series doesn’t actually start until February. This primer is a solid intro to the latest spandex wearer in the Bat family. Told solely, and well, through narration this issue is only 16 pages long with a 4 page sketchbook by writer/artist J.H Williams III, who showed fans what he could do with the character in Batwoman’s run in Detective Comics. With co-writer Haden Blackman, Williams forges a sharp, focused story which gives the reader all the info they’ll need on the red-haired crime fighter, as Batman tails her to confirm her identity as Kate Kane. With dynamic action scenes and an absolutely luscious visual style rarely seen in spandex books, this is a must get. Amy Reeder’s more cartoony artwork runs parallel to the Batwoman sequence with a look at Kane’s civilian life. Williams never lets this story telling device get out of control and it’s fluid and easy to grasp all the way. Plus, he throws in some dynamic page layouts that remind us of the power a comics page can reveal.

Uncanny X-Men #530

I’m not a regular reader of this series, and haven’t read the issues before this, but it was fairly accessible and filled with intriguing ideas. Part 1 of the aptly named Quarantine arc by Matt Fraction and Greg Land, it tells of a virus working its way through the mutant population of the island Utopia. Meanwhile an uneasy team consisting of Emma Frost, Kitty Pryde and Fantomex have captured Frost’s former mentor Sebastian Shaw. Two other parallel tales tell of an Asian mutant in what looks like a patriotic gymnast’s outfit using words like, “collective,” “comrade” and “capitalist,” as he scares Chinatown into doing things his way and a new drug that allows humans to become powerful mutants, with a nice payoff at the end showing 5 new versions of the founding X-Men. Fraction’s streamlined plot and Land’s realistic pencils combine for a dramatic and dangerous story.

Ewoks Are Nasty

This impressive diaroma from the artisans at Sideshow Collectibles should erase any doubts that Ewoks are just cute teddybears who can’t fight. Suitably titled Fall of the Empire – Ewoks vs Stormtrooper, it stands 16 inches high and weighs almost 4 kgs, and costs $250US. It’s available for pre-order now for shipping next year. Check out more photos here.

My Best Friend Is A Wookiee Review

If the film Fanboys left your “life revolving around Star Wars” approach to storytelling appetite wanting, then My Best Friend Is A Wookiee is the book for you.

Honestly though, despite the title, Tony Pacitti’s real yet captivating memoir is about so much more than George Lucas’ best creation. The subtitle of the book from Adams Media is “one boy’s journey to find his place in the galaxy” and that’s a more apt description. Using Star Wars as equal parts inspiration, consolation and (with the later prequels) frustration Pacitti weaves an honest tale of his journey from adolescence to adulthood from his love affair after seeing his mother’s VHS copy taped from the TV of The Empire Strikes Back to his orbit around all things Star Wars including the novels, trading cards, a painful tattoo and the assorted merchandise that constitutes every good childhood.

Every geek can relate to his raw anecdotes from the torment of school bullies to the frightening discovery of women to the search for identity.

Occasionally the book gets serious when dealing with typical teenaged issues and the effects of the Columbine school shootings upon himself and his circle of friends, but generally it’s a seamless narrative collecting the kinds of awkward experiences that any pop culture loving kid of the ‘80s and ‘90s can relate to. Honestly, even if you don’t love Star Wars as much as Pacitti does (and he does, for the most part) it’s still an immensely satisfying read. Pacitti is a charming underdog throughout, desperately clinging to his love of Lucas’ galactic epic during all its shifts in quality and popularity.

This really is a must read book for anyone who’s loved and lost in the worlds of reality or fiction.  Perhaps two quotes might best give an idea of the diversity of Pacitti’s understandable feelings.

“I suppose it’s because I felt like one of those midgets in teddy-bear pajamas, watching and listening with eyes and ears open wide as the amazing saga of Luke, Han, and Leia played out before me. If I hadn’t known it before, I certainly knew it then: I was in love.”

and

“The cheers subsided, the text scroll started, and over the next two hours and some-odd minutes, I learned the true meaning of heartbreak.”

Amongst the love and eventual hatred, (but still respect) of Star Wars Pacitti tells consistently entertaining tales of his daily life including his attempt to reveal his ESP abilities in front of his shocked classroom, the popularity of his “Indiana Skywalker and the Rectum of Doom” short story, his flirtation with drug use, the shifting relationships of his circle of friends/enemies, his charming dalliances with trying to understand himself and women and more. It’s 230 pages that seem to go by at light speed because it’s so irresistibly readable.

I remember news reports about The Sixth Sense making so much money because it had the first trailer of The Phantom Menace in front of it. I saw the film three times in its opening week and reading Pacitti’s memoir made me laugh, wince and empathise in equal amounts. After finishing it, it did make me want to see all six films again, and that’s never a bad thing.

My Best Friend is a deservedly widely praised book as a glance at the front and back covers will inform you, but it’s not a book just for geeks, and it’s not a book with a Star Wars reference on every page either. It’s a universal tale of a boy becoming a man and dealing with the stuff that we all do, while emotionally entangled by the ultimate sci-fi adventure, and despite Lucas’ constant tinkering attempts at “betterment” the memories of our childhood stay with us long after the credits.

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