Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Star Wars: VII, VIII & IX

Haven't posted in a while (and there's a good reason for that, but that's another post for another time), so I thought it this would be a good excuse...

Those who know me know that Star Wars is and always has been my first love. I dare say I grew up in an ideal time to be a fan; my first 'encounter' was the 1997 special edition release of the original trilogy in cinemas. Of course by then I never knew they started twenty years beforehand (in fact it was only just before Episode I that I realised how old and significant they were). And when I heard they were to make more of them, I couldn't have been more excited! Any Star Wars was good Star Wars to me at that point and with The Phantom Menace I couldn't get enough of Darth Maul, Podracing, incredible lightsabre action and the wait for the next films.
   Then along came Attack of the Clones...By then I was starting to realise the bigger connections with the original trilogy (the Fetts, Slave I and Clones of course) and between then and Revenge of the Sith I understood more why so many people were attached to the original trilogy and what they disliked about the prequels...It was actually a shock at first (looking at a 'two-star review' for Episode I); there were people who disliked Star Wars...! Anyway, I loved the saga as a whole and even now, nothing can take that away (but nothing's perfect). With Revenge of the Sith I was impressed how much Lucas had improved on the previous two (except the dialogue...Even The Matrix trilogy doesn't have anything as unnatural and awkward as "you're breaking my heart..."). But even with the circle now complete, there was a sense that something was missing...Thank the maker that it was announced by Lucas himself that 'Star Wars is not dead', leaving us on nerf-tenderhooks until 2008...
   Along came The Clone Wars. I loved the Genndy Tartakovsky micro-series in 2003/2004 so I was naturally intrigued for the plans to expand upon it, creating a 3D CGI version of the gap between Clones & Sith with not only a fully-fledged TV series, but a feature film to set it off! Under fresh direction and a new creative team, Star Wars had a new home on Cartoon Network where it's been ever since. Executive producer Dave Filoni, a die-hard fan himself, understood that the magic, fantasy, adventure and humour of the original trilogy were missing from the prequels. It reinvigorated my love for Star Wars once more with fresh new tales, 20-odd minutes at a time. The Clone Wars proved that the prequel universe is just as relevant as the original trilogy, subtly and slowly bringing together the once-divided generations of fans with a true sense of voyeurism that everyone can enjoy. Currently in the fifth season, The Clone Wars storytelling has moved from strength to strength, the animation has become more impressive, the sound design, acting & writing talents are second to none and people are desperate to discover what will happen with certain character arcs.

The Clone Wars showed us that there are so many characters and stories to explore within the Star Wars universe (even within the space of a few years) outside of the Skywalker arc...Which makes sense considering the double-barrelled announcement yesterday...

Disney has bought Lucasfilm and the rights to Star Wars and they intend on continuing the cinematic saga with more films (the first of which is set to be released in 2015 and currently entitled 'Episode VII' of course). When it was announced, I wasn't sure what to think; shock and confusion were the main reactions. I didn't know if it was fake or not. It was odd timing too...Just one of the many questions racing around faster than a Speeder Bike. Other concerns included the impact of the Expanded Universe (EU), due to so much material being released set after the destruction of the Second Death Star...And it's gone further than a century, where a new Sith Empire reigns and the only hope is the ancestor of Luke; Cade Skywalker.
   The biggest question of all was 'why'; the saga seems complete...Lucas only wanted to complete the Skywalker arc. But then we remember that he had always wanted to do three trilogies. Episodes VII, VIII & IX, (the 'sequel trilogy') were always rumoured and always toyed around with...But after the ending of Return of the Jedi, it just didn't seem possible to continue. Although as the EU has shown, there are many, many more ideas to play with; Han & Leia's children, Luke's family, the reapperences of Boba Fett...And that's just for starters. As Disney made the announcements, it wasn't explicitly stated that the new trilogy will be a new arc; in fact they even suggested that each film will be a stand-alone story...Perhaps they too will follow Dave Filoni's example and set them in between the major events of the EU to create whole new ones...

As the impact of the news has sent a shockwave throughout the Star Wars fandom...Initially I kept seeing positive reactions and wondered why hardly anybody was questioning it all. But then as I watched Tweets from fans (particularly Amy Ratcliffe) flood in and saw all the reporting bodies that I follow spread the news, I got used to the idea; 'Disney owning Star Wars...The more you think about it, the more sense it makes...' Disney has always had a good relationship with Lucasfilm, especially with Star Tours located at their theme parks (I was fortunate enough to experience it before the revamp). Of course there are many who ridicule the idea of Disney owning Star Wars, but remember that same reaction happened when they bought Marvel in 2009. On the other hand, remember too that they bought long-time collaborator Pixar back in 2006...In terms of film at the very least, we've had some top-notch cinema since both acquisitions; WALL·E, Up, Toy Story 3, Brave, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger & Marvel's The Avengers...And we've much more to come.
   And that's the biggest relief for me. I listened in to the announcement conference with Disney CEO Bob Iger, who seemed very keen to preserve everything that the fans know and love about Star Wars. Since he's done that well enough with Pixar and Marvel, that can only bode well, can't it?

But most important of all is that this is part of Lucas' retirement plan (which we've known about for a while). This is his way of letting his offspring go and flourish with all the back-up possible...Basically he's secured the future of his company, the way he wanted. As a fan, I'm absolutely okay with that. Since 2005, he has always remained the creative force behind the big decisions of the Star Wars universe (especially with The Clone Wars), and he will continue to do so with the new films. To be honest, I believe that's the best way possible for Episodes VII-IX.

The Maker himself discussing the future (From

And here's an interesting and sweet extra bit of news on how Lucas will use the money from the multi-billion dollar sale for philanthropic and charitable endeavours (from

So, getting past the initial shock, we begin to realise the potential for the new films. The family that Disney takes care of means that Lucasfilm has links to many others who could contribute a humongous amount to the canon. We could see Star Wars directed by; Jon Favreau, Brad Bird, Gore Verbinski...Or even Joss Whedon.

Of course, I'm just one person...Here are lots more details and reactions via these highly-clickable links:

(Via Amy Ratcliffe on

EDIT: A most important link to the Star Wars Blog which details the history Lucas' 9-film plan (at some points a 12-film plan...Yes, four trilogies in total...!):

There remains a few unanswered questions naturally, whether it's regarding the future of The Clone Wars, Star Wars Detours, the comics (possible return to Marvel for Star Wars), the merchandising, etc....However until then, as the general accepting consortium sees, this is a fantastic way for Star Wars to continue and flourish with new ideas, new directions and new adventures. Regardless of whether it's successful or not (there's always that possibility...As Obi-Wan would say; "we must be cautious..."), any Star Wars, like I mentioned earlier, is good Star Wars.

Bring on 2015.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Ninth Doctor

This is the second of reply-to-posts that I originally replied to Amy Ratcliffe's Blog with! Her post was a sweet message to say why Matt Smith was her Doctor:

And here's my response that I feel took a lot of reading time for just a reply! XD (But hey, she wanted to know about other peoples' Doctors, so...!):

Matt Smith is definitely one of my favourite Doctors, but I haven't pinned it down; maybe it's the whimsy, the adventure or probably because he's downright mad!

But my Doctor is definitely Christopher Eccleston; his Northern charm and non-nonsense attitude...His eccentricities and his emotional weight...All adds up! I was introduced to Eccleston, not just as the Doctor, but the actor himself when 'Doctor Who' re-started in 2005. Since then I've been keenly following his other works, such as the first episode of a series called 'Accused', where I spotted a hint of Doctor #9 as his character walked to court, with the weight of his recent past on his shoulders. Also more recently was the adaptation of 'The Borrowers' where he played Pod Clock! ^^ And, it almost goes without saying, I cannot *wait* to see him in 'Thor: The Dark World'! (The God of Thunder vs. The Oncoming Storm! ^^) Which brings me back to 'Who'...!

The main thing for me in the Ninth Doctor was the gravitas Christopher brought to the role; a similar acting approach to the first three and the eccentric fun of #4. Plus all the fun #9 had, especially at others' expenses (i.e. how clever and important he is), could easily have been a foreshadowing to another character Steven Moffat has control of; Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock. And I believe I loved Cumberbatch's Sherlock for more-or-less the same reasons.

Since 2005, the Ninth Doctor has inspired me in many ways, mainly for how he was written and the amazing dialogue he had. Best example was when I actually composed my own Ninth Doctor speech made from a couple of his key quotes strung together with my own writing*...I performed it for my College course; twice! Had the leather jacket too! And sonic! ^^

Anyway...Everytime I see the final moments of 'The Parting of the Ways', my heart-strings are tugged...This is the Doctor who showed me many ways of looking at things with a positive and caring attitude, not with fear, but with wonder and amazement and acceptance, sprinkled with a new-found sense of adventure...My Doctor. When he cheekily reclaims how fantastic he was, I can't help but agree; "Absolutely fantastic!"

And that's my reply! ^^ Like the previous post, I still stand by my reply! Hehe

*Here's the speech (Updated in 2010 with 11th Doctor reference...It starts with the TARDIS materialising sound, then me walking on stage with the Sonic, as if I'm searching for something, then the lights come up):

"Who am I? That’s a very good question...! You could come along and find out, if you want! As long as you don't ask silly questions and don't wander off! Mind you, when I tell you I'm an alien, you probably would wander off...You think I was joking, don't you? You know, people have said to me ‘if you’re an alien, how come you sound like you’re from the North?’ I say ‘lots of planets have a North’...Well...Apart from ones like Ansoth...That’s only got a Southern Hemisphere; imagine a planet with no Northern Hemisphere! Sitting there, in orbit, like a bowl of hot soup! And then you get others who think they're clever when they ask ‘why do you look human?’ Well maybe it’s to do with the fascinating Earth, maybe it’s to do with me visiting for decades, maybe it's an accident in interplantary geography! Simple fact is; nobody knows...Not even me! And that's saying something! But I’ll tell you what I do know; I’m a Time Lord from a planet thousands of years and miles away. How did I get here? Would you believe it? Even if you don't, you're still listening...! Think back to when you were a kid, and they tell you that the world’s turning for the first time and you just can’t quite believe it because everything looks like its standing still. I can feel it; the turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles-an-hour and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty-seven thousand miles-an-hour and I can feel it; we’re falling through space – you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world and if we let go...That’s who I am. Some people say I’m a legend; others call me ‘the oncoming storm’. But I’m a traveller; a voyeur through space and time. I’ve come across creatures, beings and odd-things and entire civilisations just as important, if not more, than the human race. I survived a war that ravaged two of the greatest species in the universe and I’ve defeated entire armies of cybernetic organisms. It made me the man I am, today. So, do you want to come with me? ‘Cause if you do, then I should warn you, you’re going to see allsorts of things; ghosts from the past, aliens from the future, the day the Earth died in a ball of flame. It won’t be quiet, it won’t be safe and it won’t be calm. But I’ll tell you what it will be; the trip of a lifetime!


(I'm the Doctor by the way;) Run for your life!"

 Please do let me know what you think of that! (And see if you can seperate my writing from R.T. Davies'! Yeah I know, not hard...XD)

And for your amusement, here's an image of me when I first performed it in 2009! (Yes, I know the sideburns are more 10th Doctor, BUT...! Leather jacket for one thing! ^^)

So there you have it! I couldn't love Matt Smith and the 11th Doctor anymore than I do...But if I had to choose, I'd choose my Doctor; the Ninth Doctor.


(Again, many thanks and maybe apologies to Ms. Ratcliffe! I'll try not to 'hijack' her Blog again! XD)

I've recently found the final copy of the speech, so I've edited this one to match it...NOW it's the correct one! XD

Star Wars Detours

As some of you may know, I follow the powerhouse of all that's good with sci-fi and fantasy (otherwise known as 'Amy Ratcliffe') both here and Twitter...Recently she has updated her Blogness with more gusto than I can keep track of...But some of her posts I found I replied to with just as much to say as the original post!

It's not a boast, by any means, but when there's something to say, I may as well share my view(s) with whoever else can listen! Hehe

And yes, there are two I want to share...But first things first!


It's the new animated series coming from Lucasfilm, created by Seth Green with collaboration from George Lucas himself! If you're familiar with Green, then you may suppose that it'll be humour-based? And you'd be right! It's an amusing look at day-to-day life in the 'Star Wars' galaxy, where the characters we know and love have become more like charicatures. The series is also non-canon, but like many things it has automatically gathered more critics than a Sarlacc has victims!

(Yes, I wanted a 'Star Wars' simile in there! Shush! XD)

The point is; it was revealed at Celebration VI last month and straight away gained negativity...Something that annoyed many of the open-minded of us who are willing to give it the chance it deserves. Here's Amy's Blog on the matter:

(Now here's where I more-or-less paraphrase my reply to her:)

I've been a 'Star Wars' fan for as long as I can remember (seriously) and if there's one thing that irritates me it's the people Amy has mentioned that bemoan and complain about anything new...It's the same with other franchises, but when something different comes along, they seem to forget that the key word is 'different'...! XD

I've constantly come across people who say they like 'Star Wars', but these days still shoot down 'The Clone Wars' and even continue to moan about the prequels (which is getting *very* old now...) now, I don't mind if people don't like something, but if they aren't willing to *accept* them, some may say they have a problem...!

(Apologies if *I* sound like I'm moaning too! XD Haha)

Thankfully I haven't come across anyone in person that has bemoaned 'Star Wars: Detours' just yet, but no doubt I will and when I do, I'll direct them to your words, Amy. ^^ (Which I'm now doing!)

Even though I never got to go to Celebration VI, personally I can't wait to check the series out! Mainly because I love Seth Green's comedy anyway and a collaboration with Lucas himself, as Amy points out, must have some gravitas! (Plus, it will do nothing to the official canon at all as the ball-bouncingly funny trailer shows!)

If only a lot more 'Star Wars' fans were more open-minded and willing to try new things and generally more accepting...Then perhaps I wouldn't have watched the announcement trailer for the first time half-thinking 'this is going to annoy some of them, I know it...' Because by the looks of it, it's going to do exactly what it's supposed to do; make laughter and make it enjoyable! And there's nothin' wrong with that! Can't wait! ^^

And that's the end of the 'reply'! Which I still stand by...But since I posted that, I found all the clips that were released online. So for your convenience, here they are (including the trailer to start off with)! See what you think! ^^

Of course it's fine to have first impressions, but (especially) if you're a big 'Star Wars' fan, then there's no reason not to give it a try! ^^


(Many thanks and maybe apologies for Ms. Ratcliffe! XD)

Saturday, 14 July 2012

LEGO Jurassic Park...?

Yes, I know; two LEGO-related posts in a row, but fear not! (Okay, maybe fear!)

Now then, next year is the 20th anniversary of Jurassic Park! (I know, right?!) And that means surely someone, somewhere should be doing something special to mark the occasion, yes? Well, I haven't heard anything just yet, but I could very well imagine a merchandising company doing as such...

Back in 2001, after Jurassic Park III came out, LEGO decided to bring two sets out based on the film (I say 'based' because the Minifigure's didn't really represent any of the characters from the film) and both kits were designed to coincide with LEGO's 'Studios' sub-line (which also included Sam Raimi's Spider-Man), which was started by a set officially approved by Steven Spielberg...So Jurassic Park LEGO was a natural direction, despite there being only two kits for the third film.

As an interesting note, the the LEGO 'Dinosaurs' line also released in 2001 formed the basis of many subsequent animal/creatures in LEGO form (nowadays they use more unique moulds), and from that origin came the Dinosaurs featured in the Jurassic Park III sets:

And I say interesting because this year saw the release of another dinosaur line with new dinosaur moulds...Aptly called...

...Which has a similar 'feel' to Jurassic Park to be fair. See where I'm going? (Or hopefully where *they're* going?) ^^

As an added bonus, the hope of LEGO Jurassic Park is somewhat validated as the other LEGO Studios licence, Spider-Man, was revealed (again) at this year's San Diego Comic-Con (which is in the full swing of the third day as I type).

If LEGO *did* (re)do the Jurassic Park licence, it'd all make sense...As I say, 20th anniversary next year, kids love dinosaurs, hence the other dinosaur lines, and because of the theme, parents who have fond memories of Jurassic Park wouldn't say no (for either themselves or their kids, actually!) and it'd be great for the collectors too as they're usually willing to fork out the most money anyway. Plus, as with many licences LEGO has aquired over the years, an accompanying video game would be inevitable!

Alright...Getting excited for the potential so for the hell of it, here are some sets I would love to see:


- First of all, the very first scene in the film, when the 'Big One' is delivered to the Raptor enclosure. The set could potentially just be the crate with the Raptor inside, but it'd be cooler if we had the vehicle that carries it too (hence 'delivery'). The Minifigs included can be Robert Muldoon and another Park Employee (maybe the one that gets eaten) but as you'll see with 'RAPTOR ENCLOSURE', this one could just be a few Park Employees

- Now then, we all remember this moment, when we see a full-sized CGI dinosaur for the first time! That's why I'd be happy to have this just as the Brachiosaurus. However, taking the scene in, it'd be much better to include one of the Jeep Wranglers and the tree the big girl eats from too. Oh and she has to be to scale...The Brachiosaurus can be a model to build, or massively unique figure, but she has to be in scale with the Minifigures! Minifigs - John Hammond, Dr. Grant, Dr. Sattler

- This is the one could be the first film's mega-set. It'd be good see it as a double-sided model, so that the front entrance/exterior is one side and then the other side is the interior with the two skeletons and the 'When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth' banner (and will need to be big enough for a T. Rex ;)). And parked outside will need to be the other Jeep Wrangler. Minifigs - Hammond, Grant, Sattler, Dr. Malcolm

- Like some Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings sets, this can be the first example of a kit that can combine/interact with another. And in this case, the set this one can interact with is 'RAPTOR DELIVERY'; the cage could be able to attach to the back of the enclosure. Minifigs - Robert Muldoon if any, because there could actually be none...The focus could primarily be on the animals, including two Raptors and the cow that feeds them

- One of the most iconic images of Jurassic Park that *isn't* a dino has to be the 'King Kong' sized wooden gateway. As such, it's probably one of the only sets that doesn't really need a dinosaur. And for variety, scale and interaction, this would include the first Ford Explorer. Minifigs - Malcolm, Sattler, Grant

- Most likely to be a popular set! Like the Brachiosaurus, the Rex can be a unique big figure (like the ones in the current 'Dino' line) or it can be a constructable model itself. It will have to include a variety of accessories such as the fence that she breaks through, foliage, the goat and most importantly, the toilet cabin (which would fall apart easily to reveal the loo)! The other main feature of the set would be the other Ford Explorer to be destroyed by the Rex. Minifigs - Lex & Tim Murphy, Donald Gennaro

- Okay so this could probably do without the 'Encounter' half as the 'Dilophosaurus' is long enough already! But this could easily be one of the smaller sets with the biggest part going to the Jeep Wrangler. But also including the dock sign and the Dilophosaurus itself. Minifigs - Only one of course; Dennis Nedry

- Another potentially very popular set (and...More Raptors! Why not) with loads of kitchen accessories and the walk in (or 'slide-in' if you're big 'n' scaly enough) freezer. But definitely the door...If anything, the door needs to be there! Minifigs - Lex, Tim (and the two Raptors, naturally)


- The first scene in the film. Could also be the smallest too; all you really need is Cathy, the foliage and the pack of Compsagnathus', (you could include her family and the dinner set-up, but that wouldn't be why you'd get this one). Minifigs - Cathy Bowman, lots and lots of Compsagnathus'!

- The main attraction for this will obviously be the Stegosaurus. But preferably it would have two adults (again, to scale with the Minifigs...So, quite big) and the infant, including his little mound/nest, the stream and the fallen tree trunks (most prominantly the one Sarah crawls into). Nice and simple! Minifigs - Sarah Harding, Dr. Malcolm, Eddie Carr, Nick van Owen

- Based on the scene in which the 'other team' arrives. It'd feature one or two of the many vehicles they use to capture unsuspecting dinos. Primarily it'd be good to see the Hummer H1 'Snagger' with the Pachycephalosaurus (yes I have spelled that correctly! Haha) but it could also feature the Hunters' Jeep Wrangler (with the roof-hinged bar-doors and/or out-sliding passenger seat) and a Parasaurolophus too! Minifigs - Roland Tembo, Deiter Stark, Carter, Dr. Burke (y'know the guy with the beard, long hair and the cowboy hat...Easily done now LEGO have the 'Middle Earth' Dwarves and Wizards!)

- Okay, maybe this one needs a better name, because it sounds like John Barrowman's hitting the streets! Anyway, it's the 'other team's' base and really needs the Triceratops...Mainly crashing through the set up that Ludlow has. All it needs is to recreate that set-up actually, with the little ampitheatre and caged Compsagnathus' and such...Plus maybe it needs that satellite-dish-wielding Hummer H1 too so the Triceratops can smash that as well! As a bonus, the three-horned dino can have his cage too! Minifigs - Peter Ludlow, Cameraman, Deiter

- The first of a two-parter and we'll get to the second half in a moment! This is the Fleetwood RV Mobile Lab (y'know, with the segmented middle), which in my opinion, would make for a fantastic LEGO vehicle (both inside and out). The baby T. Rex would *definitely* have to be part of the set too, along with Mummy T. Rex (because she's 'very angry' of course) and the 'Observatory' Mercedes M-Class SUV that she throws over the cliff. Minifigs - Dr. Harding, Nick, Malcolm

- Like the 'Observatory', this is one of the two M-Class Mercedes SUVs known as the 'Convertible'. It's the one Eddie drives and tries to save the Mobile Lab with, which is where the second of the two-parter comes in! The car would have a hook to connect with the RV and perhaps most importantly, it would be accompanied by the Daddy T. Rex! So combine the two sets and you'll get the 'over the cliff' scene! Also, for it to work brilliantly as a seperate set, it'd be nice to include the 'High Hide' and the tree it's winched to, with Kelly. Minifigs - Eddie, Kelly Malcolm

- Based on the ambush outside the Operations Building. Many possibilities for the environment, but the abandoned SUVs, the bone-yard and the shed that the ladies try hiding in are a must. With three Raptors for good measure! Minifigs - Ian & Kelly Malcolm, Dr. Harding

- This would have to be the mega-set for The Lost World. Aside from the ship, it would need the Male T. Rex and the (destroyed) dock for it to step out on. Possibilities could include the Baby T. Rex, Ian & Sarah's car and a backdrop to represent San Diego. Minifigs - Ian, Sarah, Peter Ludlow (and parts of dead ship crew! Hehe)


- First of all, this would be an update of set 1371 mentioned/shown at the beginning of this post. And updates include the plane, which needs to be bigger and more to scale, the tree it rests in and, most importantly, the Spinosaurus (HUGE). Second of all, this is the third film's 'one-half' set! Minifigs - Udesky, Nash, Billy Brennan

- "Nobody move a muscle!" Because here's the second half! For obvious reasons, we need the T. Rex, but also the carcass it feeds on and plenty of foliage to surround it (otherwise there'd be no 'surprise'). You'd be able to put this together with 'PLANE CRASH' for the ultimate Spino vs. Rex smackdown! Speaking of which, throw in a few 'collapsable' trees in there too! Minifigs - Dr. Grant, Paul & Amanda Kirby

- This could be a very interesting interior model. The tanks and egg chambers in the lab would be cool to see in LEGO. Naturally, there needs to be the Raptor that hides behind one of the tanks and for fun, it could have the two vending machines that Paul tries (and Billy succeeds) to get snacks from. Minifigs - Dr. Grant, Paul & Amanda Kirby, Billy Brennan

- Yes, we're at the customary Jurassic Park kid! Haha. But this could be interesting as it could be a fully mobile model than can simply be covered in growth to render it immobile...Similar to how one of the X-Wing LEGO sets was designed (with removable greenery). It should include all the accessories you see in the truck in the film too. Also..."Compys!" Minifigs - Dr. Grant, Eric Kirby

-  This one wouldn't really need Minifigures actually (and if not a full-size set, then a mini or mid-sized set would work just as well). The attraction with this is simply having your Spinosaurus crash through the security fence. The novelty with this is that it could challenge the builder to create a better fence to see how strong it needs to be to stop the Spinosaurus! Minifigs - None (unless it's a mini-set then the Spino itself would be a Minifigure...)

- The third film's potential mega-set. Pteranodons are a must, of course. I'd say at least three adults and the nest of little nippers. The bridge will have to be included as will the rickety stairs and walk-ways. Oh and Billy needs his parachute too! Plus it'll need the ominously opening gate! Minifigs - Paul, Amanda & Eric Kirby, Dr, Grant, Billy Brennan

- Not what you think! There's only so much epic Spinosaurus we can take in! Hehe Anyway, this the moment the multiple dino-heards have converged on the river-bank to have a drink. Along with the boat, you'd have a Brachiosaurus and unique for this one, the two Ankylosaurus' too! And a river-bank! The boat would also be made to be pulled apart by the Spinosaurus too ;). Minifigs - Paul, Amanda & Eric Kirby, Dr, Grant

- Potentially the smaller of the Jurassic Park III sets. Apart from from a sandy base plate and surrounding foliage, you attraction would be the pack of Raptors and the eggs...Therefore it would be one of the smallest sets, with more Raptors than any other! Minifigs - Paul, Amanda & Eric Kirby, Dr, Grant

So there you have it! My ideas for the potential of LEGO Jurassic Park! Let's hope we get news of at least something for the 20th anniversary by the end of this year! And if not LEGO, then Hasbro still has the main JP toy licence, so I'd be perfectly happy with KRE-O Jurassic Park as an alternative! ^^ Any other ideas for potential sets/kits from the trilogy...?


(Images and links courtesy of Brickipedia & Park Pedia)

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

LEGO Star Wars - Buildable Galaxy


A break from fiction! Now then, this post may be better suited to a LEGO and/or Star Wars forum (or maybe most things Amy Ratcliffe or Bonnie Burton works on/writes about), but I'm not 'hired to scribe' just yet, so this will have to do! ^^

Oh and if you happen to be a reader not that familiar with Star Wars, then I'd keep a tab open for Wookieepedia just in case...! Haha

Recently a little series of LEGO Star Wars sets came out which immediately caught my interest. I've always loved the mini vehicle sets that started years ago, but they have since evolved into exclusive bagged sets that are only available through promotional means (included with newspaper tokens or how much one spends at a shop, etc).

However, 2012 has seen the start of retail-available mini-kits once again...But with added bonuses; they each come with a relative Minifigure and an appropriate celestial body that you can hang from a ceiling (and such)! They're generally referred to as 'planets' but they also include moons and a particular Space Station, which so far is the only one to feature two different hemispheres due to the superlaser. The other planets' two hemisphere halves are exact copies, which is a nice money-saver, but can be flawed when trying to make the patterns match with each other (in my opinion the patterning seems to be the only design flaw...But it's not too big of a deal). As for the display options, you can either stand them up or hang them with the provided ring-piece. I'd definitely recommend the latter (since when do planets land? Hehe), especially since you'll have a Death Star hovering in the room!

This main selling point of these sets are quite clever in that you get three types of LEGO set in one (something for everyone, really). The planets can be decorative, the mini-kits for the collectability and display value and the Minifigures are ideal for those who are looking for particular characters *without* forking out lots of money for a large set (Sebulba is the best example...The only other set he comes with is around £80) and they're also ideal for exclusive characters too. Lando Calrissian's aide Lobot will be available for the first time in ten years (back then LEGO Star Wars Minifigures still had yellow 'skin'...Comparison beneath...A decade between them! O.o), so will be a perfect addition to any LEGO Star Wars collection.

But for future releases, the potential is even greater! Especially with the planets, as you'll be able to create your own LEGO galaxy! (A nice Star Wars alternative to so many Solar System models we keep seeing hanging from ceilings!)

At the moment we have:

Death Star - TIE Pilot - TIE Interceptor

Naboo - Bravo Pilot - N-1 Starfighter

Tatooine - Sebulba - Sebulba's Podracer

And the next wave is about to be unleashed:

Bespin - Lobot - Twin-Pod Cloud Car

(Forest Moon of) Endor - AT-ST Pilot - AT-ST

Yavin 4 - Rebel Pilot - X-Wing Starfighter

So far so good! But hopefully they'll continue. Only the boffins at LEGO know what the future holds, but personally I'd like to see:

Kamino - Jango Fett (since they redesigned the helmet and jetpack for Boba, Jango should be the next logical step) - Slave I (we've had mini Slave Is before, but Jango's can do with an 'upgrade'!)

Geonosis - Count Dooku (we haven't had an updated 'live action' Dooku for a while) - Solar Sailer

Utapau - General Grievous (same reason for Dooku) - Either Grievous' Starfighter 'Soulless One' or his Wheel Bike

Kashyyyk - Chewbacca or Tarfful (of course Chewie's more popular, but he's had so many releases that I'd be happy with either) - Wookiee Catamaran

Mustafar - A pre-suited Darth Vader would be cool, but you could have Darth Sidious or one of his personal Shock Troopers - Emperor's Shuttle

Alderaan - Bail Organa (or Princess Leia...Same popular-but-common reason as Chewie) - Tantive IV (Obviously...!)

Hoth - General Rieekan or General Veers (they can go either Rebel or Imperial with this) - Snowspeeder or AT-AT (They too need upgrading, so...Naturally)

I've purposefully missed out Dagobah, because I think they've missed a trick; they should've included the Y-Wing with Yavin 4 rather than the X-Wing, because the only vehicle associated with Dagobah is Luke's X-Wing (they *could* have Yoda's escape pod...But I don't think they'd do that, to be honest. Not even as a regular set)

Anyway, there are so many planets from the Clone Wars (Felucia, Mygeeto, Cato Neimoidia, Saleucami, Christophsis, Raxus Prime, etc) with so many potential characters (Aayla Secura and Cad Bane definitely being some of my favourites) and so many Republic, Seperatist and Bounty Hunter vehicles to choose from...Who/what would you like to see?


(All images courtesy of Brickipedia and, of course, LEGO Group).

Monday, 4 June 2012

To: Riddler - New Message

TO: Commissioner Gordon, Gotham City Police Department (
SUBJECT: Riddler


Hope the clean-up's been going well. Me and my boys are just about finished with the Riddler...But we found this hacked transmission on one of his computers. It arrived after we did, so I've made sure he hasn't seen it:

Hello again, Mr. Nigma.
I've been enjoying your work in Strange's facility. Pity he's no longer in the picture; he could've served you well. Anyway, now that you can have fun and free reign, enjoy whilst you can. But sooner or later you'll want to take up my offer. When you do, just respond to this message. An acquaintance of mine will meet you in Arkham City. She may already be there, so I warn you now; do not harm, taunt or berate her in any way, shape or form (and that's not a warning from me). If she decides to let you live, she'll escort you to the outskirts of Blüdhaven, where I'll show you secrets that could never burn to the ground.

In the meanwhile, here's fun; I'm assuming you *still* haven't worked out who the Batman is, so here are five clues (and yes, that means I discovered who his accomplices are too...See if you can. I'll admit the last one was difficult to uncover, even for me).

BATMAN has been commended evicting Oswald Cobblepot from Gotham's Zoo. Staff are keen to thank him in person and have invited him to the Spring season, when many of the animals will emerge from hibernation. A great time to witness NEW YEAR CUBs, as many will agree. So far the Dark Knight hasn't yet responded.

NIGHTWING, the defender of
Blüdhaven, has had a very challenging upbringing. If you caught him at the right moment, his clothes could sometimes be found SOAK'D from CRYING. Yet he still managed to fight crime...How professional.

ROBIN is the Caped Crusader's third little helper. It's almost as if they go to the same secret ID MARKET trader to keep the illusion that the Boy Wonder has always been the same person.

CATWOMAN has been thieving across the States, trying to find the ultimate prize. In fact, the City of Angels was the most recent target; KEY LA LANES on the 405 were closed off, due to an incident with the Governer's car...

AZRAEL, the warrior of purity, has also been seen around the country, though his appearences are very fragmented. Some even say he appeared in California with the Cat...If so, he's filling a MALE LA NICHE of vigilantes.

I'm waiting.


Sir, I believe this is the same contact your department's been looking for. I'd be happy to volunteer to help in Blüdhaven...Anything's better than this place! As for those puzzles, I'm sure there's a clue with the words in capitals:

ROBIN            - ID MARKET

My guess; anagrams, probably of names. I think we should keep this between us, because you and I both know that Batman is doing the right thing. If we ever find out who he or the others really are, we'll want to protect them, right?

At least we know why Mr. Nigma hasn't tried to escape AC. By the way, you can come and pick him up now. Somehow I don't think he's going to resist arrest...!

A. Cash

Friday, 2 March 2012


Or; 'Why the Viral TED2023 Talk is An Inspiration For Writers'

Decades ago the world of silent cinema took a great leap of evolution. Many movie-goers were mesmorised as technology allowed the spoken word to be recorded on celluloid and played in cinemas across the world. Soon after, it would become as natural as the background music that dominated the aural stimuli.
   When film-makers were confronted with the evolution, they immediately took it as a challenge, realising the potential. Just as one would listen to actors on stage, they were able to listen to them on screen and as such, screenwriters made sure that words were not wasted. Like the great playwrights before them, they crafted sentences that would mean the world to many and sound good to others at the very least.
   Unfortunately, like many new achievements that become taken for granted, the importance of dialogue has since dimished and at the moment we very rarely have a motion picture in our cinemas with speech of the same (or similar) impact as "...don't let's ask for the Moon. We have the stars..." or "Here's lookin' at you, Kid..." for instance.

That is until Sir Ridley Scott hired the writer Damon Lindelof for his upcoming epic.


What Lindelof has done is create a succinct three minute speech that encapsulates the feeling and anticipation of a film long-awaited from not just 'Alien' fans, but science-fiction aficionados everywhere; 'PROMETHEUS'.
   The speech covers several different topics all strung together by key phrases, leading one into the other and back again as fluidly as the water cycle. T.E. Lawrence, the legend of Prometheus, fire, the evolution of technology and the future are brought together by Lindelof's writing...

And not a word is wasted.

Of course you may have noticed that, even as you're reading these words as I've been typing them, you're seeing that I too am trying not to waste my words! Lately I've been offloading plenty of steam over various issues (that needed addressing, frankly) but rarely do I think I do what I set out to do in the first place; to inspire.

As an amateur writer, I try to delve into what makes a good sentence and/or line of dialogue on a regular basis. So when I come across great writing that can set up the history of an entire franchise in three minutes, it's not just inspiration, it's aspiration and I believe it must be applauded, appreciated and respected.

This is for all you potential writers out there who happen upon this little Blog in the furthest reaches of the internet...It's possible.


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

We Strike at Dawn...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Okay, there I said it! That's enough commercial nonsense...To the point!

*Scene transition*

In today's local paper (14/2 Telegraph & Argus for anyone reading outside Bradford) we have an update on how the council are treating the Odeon, that dear old building closed for 12 years and shrouded in lies, deceit and conspiracy. It used to be the biggest cinema in Yorkshire at one point but now it's just a derelict; left to decay through the incompetence of the council. Many plans and ideas (most from people who love it, *not* the council) have been thrown around but so far nothing has come to fruition. It's as if they're afraid to tackle the situation and make decisive action (which sounds a lot like government in general).

It would be nice to see some renovation work on it, and I don't just mean clearing the foliage, but actually sprucing it up so that it looks presentable.

Here's what it looks like now:

I took this photo a few years ago and it looks more or less the same today, except for that building in the background which has since been completed.

'What?!' I hear you cry, 'They can afford to knock down structures and then set up entirely new buildings, but they can't afford to renovate an *existing* one?!' Why yes, apparently they can...This is one of the many slaps in the face the Odeon regularly receives by the council. They even had a plan to put the Odeon out of their misery by tearing it down for a new development because of this very reason...Ahem; excuse.

The venues inside the Odeon are still standing...All the seats, crafted ledges and such are still inside and still standing, ready and waiting for use...But other council excuses for wanting it gone are asbestos and faulty drainage systems...Okay then;

A) The town hall is packed with asbestos...Shall we knock that down too? (Insert 'whilst council is in session' gag here)
B) Photo-evidence shows that one of the main pipes in the Odeon were *deliberately cut through.* The only people who have been in the building since the closure are the inspection team and the council members themselves.

Since the closure, the council have been trying to avoid the Odeon like the plague, trying to shift focus on other developments such as the most recent 'City Park' scheme (which cost £25m...As a bonus, the city library would've cost £4m to save...). The so-called park is a horrific example of twisted priorities, take a look:

I took this one a few weeks ago...Yep, Odeon remains the same; the council can afford to 'renovate' the areas around it (note the bulding to the right of the Odeon; that's the same one under construction in the previous pic).

That big puddle? They call it a 'Mirror Pool'...Just made you cringe, didn't I? The whole area is covered in concrete and stone and they have the nerve to justify a few inches of water spread over large area...A large area that could be used for more useful things. A waste of time, money and water, surrounded by pathetic attempts at fountain displays. I'll say it now; they are *not* fountains, they are burst water mains! (Ever been to the Bellagio in Las Vegas? *That's* a fountain display!) Of course the worst thing about the development is that is isn't even done well; walk anywhere around it and the slabs and flags are laid unevenly (heaven knows how high-heeled women do it).

No craftsmanship, skill, imagination or creativity *anywhere*.

Unlike the inside of the Odeon, which brings us neatly to the point again. By the way, if you question any of the claims I've made, I urge you to have a look at the Bradford Odeon Rescue Group (yes, their acronym is 'BORG' and yes, that makes them even more awesome) as they are as passionate about preserving and revitalising the Odeon as much as the next sensible person is. The BORG have the best ideas for the future of the Odeon and have even come up with potential images; observe:

Doesn't that look grand? Every day people turn away in shame as they drive or walk past, but imagine something the citizens can be proud of; imagine something you can stop to observe and say to a visitor to the city 'see that? Theat's *the* place to be!' Now the image (courtesy of BORG of course) says 'Tower Hotel', but that doesn't mean it necessarily has to be a hotel...This is the beauty of potential renovation; it can be almost anything! Hotel, arts venue, museum...They could even turn it back into a cinema (specialist screenings and what-not)!

Their site:

However, back to today and it's clear that the Odeon is being treated like residents at an old folks' home (with whom the younger generations want to shove out of society) where they remain until conveniently forgotten so they can only count down the days until their inevitable doom...Over the weekend, the council have decided to erect scaffolding around the dear old Odeon so they can cover it up. Yes, they state outright and with no shame that the Odeon is a 'blot on the landscape' and they want it obscured from view for the first official City Park event. But what's even more disgusting (which made the T&A front page) is that they are worried they won't get it covered up in time.


Contact the BORG. We strike at dawn...


EDIT (10th May, 2012)

Good news! Basically the future of Odeon is a promising potential...Earlier my head tutor, Damien O'Keeffe (along with others) pointed out a plan and a petition going on... Here you'll find a wonderful initiative. It's been around for a few months, but it has only just begun to gather momentum. The Housing and Communities Agency currently own the Odeon and, as any sensible Bradfordian knows, they have been pussyfooting around on what to do with it. But if this new plan gets enough support it could actually happen!

Now then, the initiative brings together the Late John Peel, his vast music collection, music in general and Bradford as a whole with potential live events. It was reported in the Yorkshire Post today (which is where the bulk of the popularity started) and since then, the John Peel Twitter has reported 'phones ringing off the hooks' in support:

The plan will not just bring together different mediums of entertainment for Bradford, but it will keep the Odeon alive. This is what we could have in a few years time:

But *only* if we show the support it needs. I've contacted at least twenty big names about the initiative on Twitter; the famous and influential who have at least knowledge of Bradford, has been to the city, who have (some level of) involvement in British film...And I'm pleased to say that DALLAS CAMPBELL (BBC's Bang Goes the Theory) has retweeted in support and (drum-roll) LORD RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH (like you need brackets to be told) has pledged his support!

But does the Odeon have yours? (As I've been typing this, over 400 people have signed!)

Saturday, 14 January 2012

New Year, New Direction

"Hello there!"

Okay, that's enough Star Wars...To the point!

And yes, I completely bypassed December, but for forgotten reasons...Now, if you read a few posts back, you'll have come across a bit of a rant against the 'catagorising' views of Hollywood. Whilst I still stand by my views (in a more calming way, of course), I do believe there is a bit of hope...
   Mentioned amongst the written rampaging was a mention of Zooey Deschanel's 'New Girl', which I was slightly worried about due to the afore-written reasons. However, I did watch it and from the first few moments I was relieved! For me it throws away the cringe-worthy conventions of so called 'quirky/geek' based humour and doesn't focus on it! See that's the beauty; the advertisers have it wrong really, as the 'quirky' nature of Zooey's character isn't in your face (or on the nose, if you prefer) and doesn't get in the way of setting up a promising sitcom. (Plus, it's laughter-track free, like 'Scrubs'! Which in US Sitcom terms, is a treat!) And the second episode was even better! It's technically the first regular episode, so the writing is more refined and dialogue more natural, so I say bring on the rest and congrats to the cast and crew! (I hope the 'Douchebag Jar' comes back...Actually we should incorporate those into real life. The again I think somebody on Twitter had a whole selection of them...!)

Right, point two; I shall be starting a Film Production course next week. And as a kick-starter, here is a list of my favourite directors! And as I play fair, instead of 'no particular order' or 'most favoured', here they are in alphabetical order!

By surname...

Mel Brooks
Clint Eastwood
Alfred Hitchcock
Peter Jackson
Sergio Leone
Christopher Nolan
Ridley Scott
Quentin Tarantino
Guillermo del Toro
Edgar Wright

Although to be honest, if I were to do them by absolute most favourite first, then it would have to be Sergio Leone. He inspired many of the other directors in the list and below mentions. Best example is of course 'Star Wars'...His iconic realisation of Clint Eastwood's 'Man with No Name' and Lee van Cleef's 'Man in Black'/'Angel Eyes' have given birth to two equally-as-iconic bounty hunters; Boba Fett and Cad Bane respectively.
   Now whilst Cad Bane has a long way to go before he is considered a 'classic' like Boba Fett, Bane has already made several impacts on the 'Star Wars' universe, created in 'The Clone Wars' to be the top dog (no pun intended*) until Fett grows old enough to take his place. I'm exremely very pleased that, just like in 1980, Lucas has brought forward inspirations from the Spaghetti Westerns and it's a really good feeling that he still may be continuing to inspire the newer 'Star Wars' fans to look back at where these ideas came from and experience for the first time, Sergio Leone.

(*...'Top Dog'...Duane Chapman'...? 'Dog the Bounty Hunter'? Oh never mind!)

Honorary mentions; Paul W.S. Anderson, James Cameron (Pre-1997), Jon Favreau, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and the great John Ford (who I would place in the favourites list, but I haven't seen enough of his work to honestly say he is a favourite yet!)

(Okay, you know I'm joking; never enough Star Wars! May the Force be with you all!)


EDIT: Two lovely ladies that I know of have recently become fans of Sherlock and, therefore, BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH (particularly in a scarf).

As such, here's a gif(t) for them! ^^