Posts Tagged ‘sci-fi’

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The world premiere of the third and final full-length Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens trailer is finally here along with your chance to buy opening weekend movie tickets! In this latest teaser, each of the new protagonists gets a line of dialogue to go with brief clips of their origins, hinting at how they cross paths in the saga’s next installment. If you do not watch yet, this is your chance, or watch again from Star Wars Channel on YouTube:

Below is a (mostly) chronological trailer breakdown of the characters, locations, and action set pieces highlighted in the latest Star Wars 7 trailer. Spoiler Warning: We pull in information from various reports and rumors to explain the scenes and piece the threads together. If you read ahead, do so knowing that you will be spoiled.

1) Rey’s Origins on Jakku

“I’m no one.” – Rey

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Rey (Daisy Ridley)’s Jakku Workshop

Rey’s a scavenger and an explorer, like many among the small population inhabiting the outer rim desert planet of Jakku. Her situation mirrors that of Anakin Skywalker’s on Tattooine in Episode I and Luke Skywalker’s on Tatooine in Episode IV.

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Rey’s Explorer Costume

Rey is suited up in her gear, staff included, scaling the innards of Star Destroyer. This ship is the “Inflictor” and its Imperial captain crashed it on Jakku during a skirmish in orbit that took place a year after the Battle of Endor (Return of the Jedi) to prevent New Republic forces from capturing it. It’s been 30 years since this event and we can see familiar tech in the hangar bay, from the wing panels of Tie Fighters to a Lambda-class T-4a shuttle.

Rey seemingly longs to leave this planet, again mirroring the story arcs of both Anakin and Luke, and is seen watching a starship enter orbit in the distance. Is all of this foreshadowing her journey to becoming a Jedi? Or is the imagery simply playing with our nostalgia?

2) What does Finn fight for?

“I was raised to do one thing. I’ve got nothing to fight for.” – Finn

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Finn joins the Resistance

Finn has a mysterious past, one he wishes to distance himself from, and according to director J.J. Abrams he has an intentionally withheld last name for reasons unknown. Finn’s a fighter, a soldier, and trained to serve The First Order as a Stormtrooper but he’s inherently a good person. The trailer depicts his Tie Fighter being hit by what could be a missile of sorts, which sends the craft hurling down to the planet Jakku where he survives and locates a settlement known as Cratertown. Here he meets Rey and her droid BB-8.

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Finn’s Tie Fighter crash lands on Jakku

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Finn finds Jakku’s Cratertown

We can only assume this sequence follows the clips from previous trailers where a rogue Tie Fighter is seeing blasting away vehicles and Stormtroopers inside the hangar of a First Order Star Destroyer.

Later we see Finn alongside Rey on the Millenium Falcon, learning of the legend of the Jedi from Han Solo, and eventually Finn buddies up with Resistance pilot Poe Dameron. Most importantly, Luke’s old blue lightsaber is used by Finn who stands up to Kylo Ren. More on that later…

3) Kylo Ren and his Knights

“Nothing will stand in our way. I will finish what you started.” – Kylo Ren

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Kylo Ren’s Helmet

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Darth Vader’s Helmet

Kylo Ren’s real name and heritage remain unknown but his identity, much like his unique weapon and mask, we know is crafted by him. The name “Ren” comes from the character’s association with the Knights of Ren – a group that relishes in Sith artifacts and history. Kylo’s helmet is a nod to Darth Vader which explains him having possession of Vader’s burned remains.

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Kylo Ren observes the Starkiller?

In this trailer, Kylo Ren stands tall at a view port of either a First Order ship – potentially his shuttle seen landing later in the trailer – or a command tower on The First Order’s Starkiller base, promising to fulfill the legacy of Darth Vader. A bright light floods the backdrop, possibly a projectile moving from right to left from The First Order’s new super weapon. More on that later. After we see Kylo Ren torturing Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) there’s a quick shot of a forest being completely annihilated. Is this a result of the Starkiller?

A notable highlight here is the shot (below) of Kylo standing with similarly dressed commandos, perhaps the Knights of Ren, or elite First Order soldiers. There are exactly seven in total and we’ve heard the number “seven” is significant.

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Knights of Ren?

4) A Hero’s Journey

“It’s true. All of it. The dark side, the Jedi, they’re real.” – Han Solo

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Han Solo educates Finn & Rey

The Jedi are legends, a myth some don’t believe. Han Solo explains to Finn and Rey the truth when they meet up and escape First Order Tie Fighters by flying the Millennium Falcon through the ISD Inflictor wreckage on Jakku. All signs point to them having found Luke’s lightsaber and now they’re on a quest to locate him. That explains the conversation over a star map before they blast into hyperspace. Rumors over the months indicate that no one’s seen Luke in many years.

Where they go next is unclear but from leaked toy descriptions and the imagery of the place they go to in the trailer it could be the green and lush planet Takodana where we might meet a new protocol droid ME-8D9 (nicknamed “Emmie” for short). According to rumors and reports it is here where Han Solo seeks the wisdom of Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o’s CGI character) and the group heads into her castle where they learn of the history of Luke and his blue lightsaber, and how it could be connected to both Kylo Ren and Rey.

The tree-heavy environments here are similar to that of the Resistance’s base so it could be the same planet as that. This also seems to be the same location where the First Order invasion force is seen (Tie Fighters and troop transports). If so, this “castle” as it’s referred to as in rumors seems to be blown to bits (compare the architecture in above and below images) and that’s when the X-Wings come in to fight off the First Order forces.

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X-Wings approach the ruins of Maz’s Castle? X-Wings engage First Order forces

5) X-Wing Squadrons

This isn’t the only time we’ll see Poe Dameron and his fellow pilots engage First Order fighter squadrons. The final set piece seems to be against The First Order’s Starkiller base which is described on the official Star Wars Databank website to be an “ice planet converted into a stronghold… and armed with a fiercely destructive new weapon capable of destroying entire star systems.”

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BB-8 is Poe Dameron’s Astromech and the Starkiller base trench

This new super weapon was a topic of discussion yesterday when it appeared on the new Star Wars 7 poster in the shape of a new Death Star but thanks to this trailer we can confirm that yes, the ice planet is actually the weapon. Note the background of these snow planet shots revealing a large trench which matches the design of the super weapon featured in the latest Star Wars 7 poster (see below). The planet itself, is the super weapon.

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6) Other Questions

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 Finn faces off against Kylo Ren. Is Finn force-sensitive and that is Luke’s first lightsaber? How did Finn get it?

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Poe Dameron is captured by Kylo Ren and interrogated. How is he freed? What does Kylo learn?

Similarly, in this shot below, our heroes are seemingly captured after Maz’s Castle explodes? Where is Rey?

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Han, Chewie & Finn surrender? Rey crying. Does Rey lose someone close? Who?

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Leia and Han together again

In this next shot, Leia and Han share an emotional moment. Have they also lost someone? Is The First Order defeating them? Is Han Solo going on a suicide mission? Have they not seen each other in ages? From the Resistance pilots seen in the background, they seem to be preparing for one of the film’s major battles.

Official plot details remain as scarce as appearances by the legendary Luke Skywalker who may end up not being promoted at all in the marketing materials. And that’s okay. The more mystery the better.

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Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is directed by J.J. Abrams and stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.untitled-10untitled-13

Back to the Future Day

Posted: October 21, 2015 in movies
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It’s hard to believe but the future finally arrived. Wait a moment, what future we talking about? A future with hoverboards and where “Jaws 19” hits theaters? No, no that future, but a future with big-screen TVs and videoconferencing, news drones, hands-free video games and video glasses, yes. So, let’s celebrate because today, 21th October, 2015 is Back to the Future Day!

The Future is Today

In “Back to the Future Part II”, Marty McFly travels to October 21, 2015, to save his children, yet to be born in “Back to the Future’s” 1985. For fans, this is the day that has been 30 years in the making. Cinemas across the world are showing one-off screenings of the films to celebrate October 21, 2015, the date shown on his DeLorean time machine’s dash board.
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The plot gets tangled — by fixing one thing, McFly and Doc Brown (and the villainous Biff Tannen) create a number of new messes — but what remains is the film’s vision of a year that was still more than a quarter-century away when the movie was shot and released in 1989. The entire trilogy is even being rereleased this Wednesday, so you can see for yourself in some theater near you.

The film’s record isn’t bad, given that director Robert Zemeckis wasn’t pleased with setting part of “Back to the Future II” in 2015. “I always hated — and I still don’t like — movies about the future,” he says in a new book, Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History. “I just think they’re impossible, and somebody’s always keeping score.”

In the Internet age, Zemeckis has grounds for concern. Over the past few years, Photoshopped images of “Future’s” DeLorean time machine have popped up on the Web, insisting that TODAY is “Back to the Future Day.” And now that the day has actually arrived, there have been countless articles and videos about what the film and its screenwriter, Bob Gale, got right about 2015.

As with other movies dealing with the future, such as “2001: A Space Odyssey” (set in the early 2000s) or “Blade Runner” (set in 2019, which will be here before you know it), the predictions of “Back to the Future II” are hit or miss: big-screen TVs, yes, Mr. Fusion, no; virtual-reality goggles, yes, “Jaws 19,” no.

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Coincidentally, perhaps the most important invention in the film is one behind the scenes: the VistaGlide motion-control system, a computer-operated camera operation that enabled Michael J. Fox to seamlessly share all those scenes with himself. The software was written by an Industrial Light & Magic developer, Bill Tondreau, specifically for the movie and was a milestone in moviemaking technology.

Still, it says something about the popularity of the trilogy that here we are, 26 years after the release of “Back to the Future II” (and 30 years after “Back to the Future”), and we care enough to “keep score.” Even “Back to the Future” stars Fox and Christopher Lloyd discuss the topic in a new Toyota ad. Source: CNN.

Back to the Future Day: Doc Brown’s Message to You

As today, 21th October, is the day Emmett Lathrop “Doc” Brown, Ph.D. will arrive in the present from his “own time” of 1985 as was fictionalised in the now-classic 1980s film Back to the Future, and to honour the day, Christopher Lloyd has delivered a message to us living in the present.

“Great Scott, if my calculations are correct it is now precisely October 21, 2015.
The future has finally arrived.
Yes, it is different than we all thought.
But don’t worry, it just means your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has.
Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one.”

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Thanks, Doc. Watch the original video on Facebook. Gifs Source: http://beeishappy.tumblr.com/.

Have a nice Back to the Future Day but before you leave this post, check it out this Quizz and test how much you know about Back to the Future movies.

Recommended reading: 10 Ways to Celebrate ‘Back to the Future’ Day.

x-girlsMarvel Divas – Women of the X-Men ft. Phoenix, Emma, Pyslocke, Kitty, Storm, and Rogue by Greg Horn.

The most memorable mutant women who kicked behind on-page

By Matthew Fisher. Source: WhatCulture.Com.

In a franchise as long-running as the X-Men, it stands to reason that it would produce memorable characters. It has a tremendously rich history, stretching far back to their initial creation in 1963 by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. The First Class roster sparked a comic book revolution that eventually lead to an enormous cast of rotating characters and iconic villains. In the world of comics, the X-Men is a giving tree of mythology. But when it comes to the female side of the fence, the X-Men are not too shabby. Whether it’s the deep, complex back stories of the heroes or the darker shades of the super villains, the women of the X-Men are not to be messed with. You would find it difficult to cruise the X-Men comics and not find a female character you enjoyed, as they all have such a unique identity.

From Storm’s strong, confident sense of duty to the sexy and smouldering allure of Emma Frost, the women of the X-Men are some of the most exciting bunch of female characters in all of comics. They’ve all had their share of triumphs and tragedies, some of them even shaping the entire fabric of the X-Men universe. Here are 10 of the greatest female characters you’ll ever hope to find in an X-Men comic.

10. Domino

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Created by Rob Liefeld, and a relatively early member of the team X-Force, Domino has one of the more unique abilities in the X-Men universe. As her name implies, Domino has an amazing ability to make seemingly impossible odds a reality. By essentially altering the course of good luck vs bad luck, Domino’s reputation is well earned, giving her an almost prophetic presence.

Visually, Domino is a striking figure. She comes off as a one-woman army, packing numerous weapons that can put a hurt on whomever is unlucky enough to be considered a target. The contrast between the different elements of her face also create a very unique look, and with comics being just as much a visual medium as anything else, it helps make Domino stand out even more.

The combination of unique powers, a killer look and a haunting back story have allowed Domino to begin breaking out into the mainstream. She’s appeared in numerous cartoon and video game adaptations based on the X-Men, and is even rumoured to be involved in the proposed X-Force movie to take place after Days of Future Past. It’s unknown if Domino will ever get the big-screen treatment, but you never know when your luck might change.

9. Dazzler

Dazzler

Dazzler is an interesting character, in that she was created by a group of Marvel comics editors and writers tasked with producing a character with mainstream appeal. Then editor-in-chief Jim Shooter also commissioned a film project to be tied in with the comic, as well as an actual singer to represent Dazzler for Casablanca Records and even a cross-country tour. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite take off the way Marvel hoped.

But the thing about Dazzler is that you can’t keep a good mutant down. Her comic sold relatively well, and was a unique concept in that it focused on the real-life aspects of Dazzler – her love live, ongoing musical career and a loose set of occasional supervillains to tangle with. By using her mutant power to convert sound into light, it gave her shows an even bigger scale.

The way Dazzler is constantly re-invented is what is perhaps most exciting about her. She changes with the times, and with the evolution of music itself. Dazzler’s look evolves with each and every decade, as does her genre of music. For instance, in the Ultimate X-Men comic, Dazzler was a punk rock singer as opposed to her swinging disco days. There’s potentially a second chance for Dazzler to make a mainstream splash these days, but until then, we’ll always have the 25-issue Frank Springer comic to enjoy.

8. Pixie

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As stated before, comics have their roots in visual appeal and a small part of what draws you to a comic book character is their look. Maybe a certain colour scheme, or the way their symbol flows with the rest of the costume. If it all connects the right way, you’re going to be interested in this character. Pixie stood out with her colourful wings, leading many to ask where they could find out more about her.

Which leads to you discovering that there’s a lot more to her than the wings. As a younger character, she speaks to a certain portion of the audience that we all remember being. We can all probably remember as a child being fond of Robin, as he was a gateway to hanging out with Batman. Pixie is another one of those characters, opening up a portal to this fantasy world and giving young people someone they can relate with. Maybe they can’t be Storm or Jean Grey, but they could be Pixie.

Her powers are quite interesting, as well. Aside from her pixie dust that will cause enemies to hallucinate, she is also an accomplished magician. Even Doctor Strange has seen a lot of potential in her, promising to give her guidance and teach her how to fully embrace her powers in the future. She also has control of the Souldagger, a weapon that was forged from a piece of her very own soul. Pixie has a lot at her disposal, and is a fascinating character in her own right.

7. Mystique

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Before she was a member of the box-office hit franchise of X-Men films, Mystique was a well known character to fans of the comic. As the estranged adoptive mother of Rogue, as well as founding her own variations of the Brotherhood of Mutants, Mystique has earned an iconic spot in the world of X-Men. She’s managed to make a fairly standard superpower, shape-shifting, into something much more dangerous than perhaps ever before.

The distinct blue skin gives her an aura of mystery, as well as the shaded elements of her past that remain a matter for speculation. There’s still a lot we don’t even know about this enigma, which keeps her interesting over all these years. In addition to her shape-shifting, Mystique is also an incredibly cunning and tactical character. She’s well-versed in numerous disciplines and maintains a very dangerous feel about her.

Aside from her time as a movie star, Mystique has become one of the more mainstream X-Men characters. She was a breakout character in the film series, initially played to perfection by Rebecca Romijn, before being played by Hollywood’s it-girl Jennifer Lawrence. Mystique can fill a unique void as a utility character, and is useable in almost any scenario as a way to spark some kind of story or character moment, and though she may be largely considered a villain, it’s the grey area she straddles that makes her most interesting.

6. Jubilee

Jubilee

If you look back at Jubilee’s initial appearances with the X-Men, you could see her as a product of her own time. She had a rebellious and spunky spirit about her, which many people reading the comic at the time could latch onto. In an era that seemed to be about radical social change in comics, Jubilee was an obvious fit for the cultural shift comics were going through.

But not every character can stay in one configuration forever, and much like so many other characters, Jubilee has had to change with the times. From the witty kid who was saved in a shopping mall by some of her fellow mutants, Jubilee has continued to see her character go through many changes. She lost her powers during the House of M crossover and eventually became a vampire, yet still loved her extended mutant family enough to stick by them.

Jubilee speaks to that childlike quality in all of us. Even with an adopted child of her own now, Jubilee has gone past even that – she’s an adult, having matured past her own insecurities to get the greatest gift of them all.

5. Scarlet Witch

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From her plainly disturbing relationship with twin brother Quicksilver in the pages of Ultimate X-Men to the universe shattering event known as House of M, the Scarlet Witch is truly one of the most well-known characters in the entire world of Marvel, let alone the X-Men. Real name Wanda Maximoff, Scarlet Witch is also the daughter of X-Men nemesis Magneto as well as the half-sister of Polaris, and this dysfunctional family tree has been prime material for X-Men writers for years.

Scarlet Witch has gone through many phases of ups and downs. From her dramatic relationship with The Vision to the horrors she faced in House of M, the Scarlet Witch’s path from creation to present day has been an interesting one. She controls a very raw sense of power, as well, which she’s using well in the current ongoing Uncanny Avengers book. She’s faced trauma, yet still persists.

The good thing is that Scarlet Witch is about to be a movie star, played by Elizabeth Olsen in the Joss Whedon directed Avengers: Age of Ultron. Olsen also played Scarlet Witch in a brief cameo at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, putting her and Quicksilver on the fast track to becoming Marvel’s next breakout film characters. The future looks bright for Wanda, even if her comic book past is rather tragic.

4. Rogue

Rogue

The most beloved southern belle in all comics, Rogue began on the opposite side of the fence against the X-Men as a member of Mystique’s Brotherhood of Mutants. But after absorbing the powers of Ms. Marvel and nearly murdering her, Rogue reformed and joined the X-Men. This ongoing tale of redemption gave some more personality to her, and has allowed Rogue to expand beyond the villain she started as.

Rogue’s energy-absorbing powers also give her a nice sense of character growth, as she is unable to have physical contact with those that she loves. This extra layer of character is crucial, letting Rogue’s character grow organically as opposed to just something written for her. It comes off as real and not a gimmick, allowing Rogue to create a very distinct character.

But don’t let that trauma fool you, as she’s just as tough as any other woman on the team. She’s been a long-standing member of the X-Men film franchise, being played by Anna Paquin in all of her appearances. Rogue has also been involved in nearly every piece of adapted media for the X-Men, including cartoons, video games and films. People have always responded to her character, no matter what side she’s on.

3. Emma Frost

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First appearing in Uncanny X-Men #129 in 1980, Emma Frost has since become one of the more recognizable villains in the X-Men world. Her affiliation with the nefarious Hellfire Club sparked a number of classic stories during Chris Claremont’s epic 16-year run on the series, including the Dark Phoenix Saga. Her striking penchant for white, and the scantily-clad way she dresses has certainly granted her some second looks over the years.

But that’s only a very tiny fraction of what has made the character so memorable. Emma Frost is labeled as an omega-level mutant, making her one of the most powerful psychics in the entire pantheon of mutants. She also possesses a remarkable ability to transform her skin into a resilient diamond form, granting her an extra bit of power to throw around during battles.

She has appeared on-screen in X-Men: First Class, played by January Jones, and has also featured in video games and cartoons, showing some potential to break out from the confines of the comics and become a mainstream player. Her road from vicious leader of the Hellfire Club to member of the X-Men was one paved with death and tragedy, but she has ultimately come out on the better end, rounding herself out into a fully formed character worthy of any X-Fan’s admiration.

2. Jean Grey

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The woman who would one day be Phoenix began as Marvel Girl, the only woman in the First Class of X-Men that featured Cyclops and Angel, among others. She had an ongoing relationship with Cyclops, perhaps one of the great comic book romances of all time. Her time during the classic Dark Phoenix Saga cemented her place in the history of the Marvel universe, and the shocking conclusion that killed the character off left a void in the heart of X-Men fans that was difficult to fill.

Though she eventually returned, it never quite felt the same. Not only that, but Jean also discovered Emma Frost was having some sort of kinky psychic affair with Cyclops, ending their marriage. Her character never seemed to recover from the Phoenix, as the writers at Marvel don’t quite have a clear direction they want her to go in. It’s difficult to reconcile where she might go after Phoenix even from a reader’s point of view, and she was effectively written out during Phoenix: Endsong.

Jean has appeared in the X-Men film series, played by Famke Janssen, where the character was integral to the loosely adapted the Dark Phoenix saga, even if it removed numerous elements. She’s one of the most well known and beloved women in all of X-Men, and for good reason. Jean is immensely powerful, and someone who you can perhaps understand on a more primal level than someone like Rogue or Storm. It may only be a matter of time before Jean as we once knew her is back in the X-Men universe, but the impact she had on the X-Men is perhaps a better reward than another revival.

1. Storm

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As the woman poised to lead the X-Men into battle should Cyclops be unavailable, Storm is truly a woman of power and grace. Her demeanour is something to admire and behold, selfless and heroic, and represents a hopeful vision for our own future, with not only human and mutants but men and women of all colors coming together to create something better.

Storm is massively significant in the history of the X-Men, and her status as a powerful female presence also shifts a lot of the balance of feminism. She has been able to lay the groundwork for a more diverse cast of superheroes, as well as being just plain cool. Her powers are a fantastic chance to play with some killer visuals, with the image of Storm’s cape flapping in front of a massive weather change she just started is incredible poetry in motion.

She’s one of the most popular and adapted members of the entire X-Men, having been brilliantly played by Academy Award-winner Halle Berry in all of her live-action film appearances. Storm is also playable in a number of X-Men video games, and was a recurring character on the 1990’s cartoon series. She is culturally and historically significant, and an overall amazing character, allowing her to stand tall as the greatest X-Woman of all time.

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By Margaret Maurer. Source: ScreenRant.Com.

With the swiftness of Order 66, Disney erased the Star Wars extended universe to create a new mythos to support its upcoming films. Popular and powerful Jedi, including Revan, Galen Malek, and Nomi Sunrider were designated as Star Wars “Legends”, rather than part of the official Star Wars canon. This means that fans of the series have to rethink the Star Wars characters they know and love.

This list was developed with a specific lens; it is a collection of members of the Jedi Order who remain a part of the official Star Wars canon. Force-sensitive users who were never members of the Jedi Order, whether they remained neutral, were Dark Force wielders, or Sith. Former members of the Jedi order, however, who became Sith or used the Dark side of the Force, were still considered in the making of this list.

Here is Screen Rant’s list of the 12 Most Powerful Jedi in the Star Wars Universe, so you can know where the universe stands ahead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Anakin Skywalker

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Born into slavery on Tatooine, Anakin Skywalker was conceived by the Force, without any father (cue the Biblical references). He used his naturally acute Force sensitivity to become an ace pilot, ultimately winning his freedom in a podrace (as seen in Episode 1: The Phantom Menace). Despite many Jedi believing Anakin was too old to be trained at the age of nine, Qui-Gon Jinn, and later, Obi-Wan Kenobi took on the mantle of training him. Anakin possessed the highest recorded midi-chlorian count in the Star Wars universe, and was believed to be the Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force through the destruction of the Sith – something he would only achieve after becoming his Sith persona Darth Vader. By killing Darth Sidious in order to save his son, Luke Skywalker, Anakin truly does bring balance to the Force.

After beginning his training as a Jedi knight, Anakin fought in countless battles in the Clone Wars. For his ability, sacrifice, and bravery in the Clone Wars, he was promoted to the status of Jedi Knight without taking the official Jedi Trial. After numerous duels with Count Dooku, Anakin faced him for the last time on the Confederacy’s flagship. After Obi-Wan Kenobi was knocked out in combat, Anakin single-handedly defeated Dooku, slicing off both of his hands, and ultimately, his head.

Count Dooku

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Dooku, the son of aristocracy on the planet Serenno, was Yoda’s last official Padawan during the Galactic Republic. After attaining the rank of Jedi Master, Dooku took on Qui-Gon Jinn as his apprentice, and later would train Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress, Admiral Grievous, and Quinlan Vos. Disenchanted with the Jedi Order, Dooku left and returned to his home world of Serenno. Later, he joined Darth Sidious as Sith apprentice Darth Tyranus and became the leader of the Separatist faction in the Clone Wars.

Known as a skilled duelist and a master of Makashi combat, Dooku successfully fought multiple difficult adversaries, defeating both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker at the First Battle of Geonosis. In Son of Dathomir 3, Dooku joins Darth Maul to face off with Jedi Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Aalya Secura, and Tiplee – during the fight, Dooku force pulls Tiplee into his lightsaber, killing her.

Ki-Adi Mundi

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Ki-Adi Mundi is a Cerean Jedi Master who served on the Jedi Council before and during the Clone Wars. At the First Battle of Geonosis, he fought alongside his fellow Jedi, assisting Padmé Amidala and Kit Fisto in combat. Master Mundi fought in many Clone War battles. He was the only Jedi of six left standing after facing off with General Grievous at the Battle of Hypori, and on the siege of the Geonosis Droid factor, he killed more droids than Anakin Skywalker, earning the Jedi’s hard-earned respect.

When his entire family was killed at the Battle of Cerea, he did not succumb to grief, but instead increased his devotion to the Jedi Order and the fight against the Separatists. When Obi-Wan Kenobi was believed to be dead, Mundi acted as Anakin’s Jedi Master. Eventually, Mundi was murdered at the end of the Clone Wars by his own Clone Troopers, acting on Order 66, which decimated the Jedi Order.

Kit Fisto

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Kit Fisto is a Jedi Knight who trained under Grand Master Yoda and later became a Jedi Master who served on the Jedi Council in the final years of the Clone Wars. A Nautolan from the planet Glee Anselm, Fisto possessed some abilities that other Jedi did not, including the ability to breathe underwater.

During the Clone Wars, Fisto acted as a Jedi General and as one of the Jedi advisors to Chancellor Palpatine. At the First Battle of Geonosis, he led Clone troopers into battle. In subsequent battles, he cut off one of the hands of General Grievous in a duel, and also led armies at the underwater Battle of Mon Cala. Fisto was killed in combat when he, along with Jedi Masters Mace Windu, Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin attempted to arrest Darth Sidious. Sidious killed Kolar and Tiin in a matter of seconds, and Fisto fell soon after, stabbed by the Dark Lord’s lightsaber.

Luke Skywalker

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George Lucas has said that Luke Skywalker is the most powerful Jedi of all time, but he also named Obi-Wan Kenobi’s home world of Stewjon after Jon Stewart, so everything he says should be taken with a grain of salt.

However, Luke has repeatedly illustrated his powers in the face of adversity. Unlike most Jedi before him, Luke was a teenager and around twice the age of Anakin when he began training with Obi-Wan. With almost no training, he used his Force-sensitive abilities as a pilot to single-handedly destroy the first Death Star. While most Jedi train for decades before becoming a Knight, Luke was largely self-trained, with limited mentorship from Obi-Wan and Yoda. After losing his hand and Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber in a duel with Darth Vader, Luke constructs his own lightsaber from scratch using the tools he could find in Obi-Wan’s hut on Tatooine. Despite his limited training, Luke survives his first confrontation with Vader and later bests him in a lightsaber duel.

Luke is the center of the original trilogy – he is the New Hope and the Return of the Jedi. As the last known Jedi in the Star Wars Universe, Luke is in a crucial position. Slated to appear in J.J. Abrams upcoming film, he will inevitably go on to define what it means to be a Jedi Knight in the coming trilogy.

Mace Windu

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Before and during the Clone Wars, Master Mace Windu was the most senior member of the Jedi Council other than Grand Master Yoda. A talented and dexterous fighter, Windu killed bounty hunter Jango Fett at the Battle of Geonosis and beat Mother Talzin, the leader of the Nightsisters, in combat.

Windu was part of a group of Jedi Masters, along with Kit Fisto, who went to arrest Chancellor Palpatine when he is confirmed to be Darth Sidious. While the other three Jedi Masters fell in the fight, Windu, the only Jedi to master all seven forms of lightsaber fighting, managed to defeat Sidious, knocking his lightsaber from his hand. Anakin Skywalker, believing that Sidious was the only way to save Padmé intervened in the fight, and as a result, Windu was killed by Darth Sidious’s Force lightning. Without Anakin’s intervention, Sidious would have likely been defeated by Windu in combat, as Windu had successfully disarmed the Sith Lord.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Obi-Wan Kenobi was a Jedi Master who defeated the Sith Darth Maul on Naboo, dueled with Count Dooku on numerous occasions during the Clone Wars, vanquished General Grievous, and removed three of Anakin Skywalker’s limbs in a duel. In addition to being a skilled warrior, Obi-Wan was a strategist and one of the lead Jedi Generals in the Clone Wars. While Obi-Wan begins as the impulsive Padawan of Qui-Gon, he grows to become a temperate and wise Jedi mentor to both Anakin and Luke Skywalker.

After avoiding the Great Jedi Purge, Obi-Wan went to Tatooine to look after Luke Skywalker. He died in a duel against Darth Vader, his former Padawan; Obi-Wan’s sacrifice allowed Luke, Princess Leia, and Han Solo to escape the Death Star. At the moment of his death, Obi-Wan warned Vader that he would become more powerful than Vader could imagine. He returned as a Force Spirit to aid Luke, helping him to destroy the first Death Star, guiding him Master Yoda, and revealing Leia as Luke’s long-lost sister.

Plo Koon

Plo-Koon

During the final years of the Galactic Republic, Plo Koon was a Jedi Master who served on the Jedi Council. Koon was known for his calm and collected personality, even in the most perilous of situations. During the Clone Wars, Plo Koon played an active role in the military, serving as Jedi General of the 104th Battalion. Before its destruction by the Separatist Malevolence, he also commanded the Star Destroyer Triumphant. He led key military operations, including the successful rescue mission for Jedi Master Adi Gallia.

A talented pilot, Koon flew heroically in the Battle of Felucia and later alongside Anakin Skywalker against Zygerrian slavers. After a successful aerial victory at the Battle of Cato Neimoidia, he was killed by his own troops, who shot down his fighter in response to Darth Sidious’s Order 66.

Qui-Gon Jinn

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Qui-Gon Jinn was the apprentice of Count Dooku and later went on to become the Jedi Master of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan claimed that Qui-Gon would have been on the Jedi Council if it was not for his rebellious nature.

Qui-Gon Jinn may not have been the most powerful living Jedi, but after his death, he proved to be one of the most powerful Jedi in the Star Wars canon. Qui-Gon had spent years studying the possibility of life after death, and after being killed in a duel with Darth Maul, he returned as a voice to Grand Master Yoda. Qui-Gon went on to guide and teach both Yoda and Obi-Wan about the possibility of immortality. Qui-Gon is the first known Jedi to return from the grave to assist another Jedi, and without his teachings, Obi-Wan and Yoda would not be able to return as Force Spirits in order to aid Luke Skywalker.

Quinlan Vos

Quinlan-Vos

Quinlan Vos is a Jedi Knight with the unique ability of being able to see the memories of individuals by touching objects that these individuals have touched. During the Clone Wars, Vos was given the rank of Jedi Master and went on an undercover mission to assassinate Count Dooku. For this mission, he found and trained with Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress on her home world of Dathomir. During their failed assassination attempt, Vos and Ventress fought both General Grievous and Count Dooku. Vos was captured and fell to the influence of the Dark side, becoming Count Dooku’s apprentice. However, when Dooku turns on Vos and attempts to kill him, Ventress sacrifices herself, throwing her body in the way of Dooku’s force lightning. Vos defeats Dooku in combat, but chooses not to kill him, in contrast with Anakin’s later decision. Instead, Vos declares himself a Jedi and rejoins the Order.

While Vos previously survived Order 66 and lived on the Wookiee planet of Kashyyyk, his canonical whereabouts, and whether he survives Order 66, is unknown.

Shaak Ti

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Shaak Ti was a Jedi Master, Councilwoman, and General in the Clone War. As a Jedi General, she was one of the main strategists for the Republic and she helped to train the Clone Troopers on Kamino. She survived two brutal duals with General Grievous, and was regarded as an expert swordsmen by her Jedi peers.

Shaak Ti is known to have many non-canonical deaths. She died twice in different ways in the deleted scenes of Revenge of the Sith – once stabbed through the heart by Grievous on board the Invisible Hand and another time stabbed through the heart by Anakin Skywalker as she meditated in the Jedi Temple. In LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, her head is chopped off by Anakin Skywalker. Shaak Ti even appeared in the video game The Force Unleashed as a boss on the planet Felucia, where she died at the hand of Starkiller. However, all of these deaths were confirmed to be non-canonical, and Shaak Ti’s death and later life remain a mystery. In an unlikely turn of events, Shaak Ti evaded death four times. As such, she is one of the few Jedi to survive the Great Jedi Purge, and her whereabouts are unknown.

Yoda

Yoda

Grand Master Yoda was the leader of the Jedi Order before and during the Clone Wars. He is also one of the only Jedi to escape the Great Jedi Purge. Despite Yoda’s humble appearance, he is a skilled warrior, who fought valiantly against both Count Dooku and Darth Sidious. After feeling that Sidious had bested him, Yoda went into a self-imposed exile on the planet Dagobah.

Yoda was also a powerful teacher, who instructed other great Jedi for 800 years, including Kit Fisto, Mace Windu, Ki-Adi Mundi, Count Dooku, Obi-Wan Kenobi and finally, on Dagobah, Luke Skywalker. In a limited amount of time, Yoda imparted the most central tenants of the Force to Luke, and helped him master the physical, mental, and spiritual components of the Jedi Order.

Yoda learned how to return as a Force Spirit from Qui-Gon Jinn, and he is one of only four known Jedi – along with Anakin, Obi-Won, Qui-Gon – who mastered this technique.

Star Trek Axanar, a fan film

Posted: September 4, 2015 in movies
Tags: , ,

Ok, J.J. Abrams is a cool guy. He made the best espionage TV series of all time (Alias and revealed Jennifer Garner as a bombshell action heroine), he created the most intriguing mysterious TV series since The X-Files (Lost) and he brought the monster movies to a new degree (Cloverfield), but we have to be honests here: J.J. Abrams is not a Star Trek real fan. He almost sank the Enterprise in an ocean of nonsense and changes that not only angered the most loyal fans of Star Trek (who can forget Vulcan’s destruction and two Mr. Spock living in the same timeline???) as it seemed that the franchise would not survive a second film. But Star Trek Beyond, the third film starring the reinvigorated Enterprise crew, is coming soon, and without Abrams, who is handling the return of Star Wars to the movies (I hope he does not also sink the Millennium Falcon with his nerd-revolutionary ideas). If you are a real trekker you know what we all expect from a new Star Trek movie.

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The guys behind Star Trek Axanar probably also know, and the proof that they are in the right way is the video Prelude to Axanar that counts more than 1,4 million hits on their official YouTube Channel. Last week I talked about Star Trek: Renegades fan film, that seems like a great bet for a new TV series of Star Trek, and now another project for a new series of adventures in the Star Trek universe begins to gain similar strength. Truth be told: if you want something done right, do it by yourself.

The Four Years War

In the world of fan fiction, there is perhaps no group as rabid and as loyal as Trekkies. The Internet is littered with the works of fans who took their inspiration from Star Trek and went in interesting, unsanctioned directions. While most of these works are noted for their poor quality, one group of fans have their eyes set on a professional level production, and they’ve been taking the Star Trek world by storm.

Axanar, though unsanctioned by CBS, who owns the rights to Star Trek, boasts a cast and crew of professionals to elevate the film beyond normal fan-fueled productions. Included in the cast are Trek veterans Tony Todd as Admiral Marcus Ramirez, Kate Vernon as Captain Sonya Alexander, and J.G. Hertzler as Captain Samuel Travis.

axanar_cast Kate Vernon, JG Hertzler, Gary Graham, director Chris Gossett, Alec Peters, and Richard Hatch at “Prelude to Axanar” premiere at San Diego Comic Con 2014. Source: TrekMovie.Com.

Recently, Axanar announced that they had received over $500,000 in donations from their latest fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo. The success of this campaign pushes the budget for the project into the million dollar range, with thousands of Star Trek fans across the globe kicking in money to ensure Axanar sees the light of day. Set during the period of the Four Years War between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, the film explores the incident that ended the one hot conflict between the two civilizations. While long time Trekkies are familiar with this story, which has been explored in various games and expanded universe books, this project marks the first time anyone has attempted to bring the story to life.

The major cast for Star Trek Axanar, from above left to right: Alec Peters as Captain Garth, Gary Graham as Ambassador Soval, J.G. Hertzler as Captain Travis, Kate Vernon as Captain Alexander, Richard Hatch as Kharn, and Tony Rodd as Admiral Ramirez.

The film follows the journey of Captain Kelvar Garth (Alec Peters), as he faces off against the Klingons at the outpost of Axanar. Taking place 21 years before the original series, Axanar promises to be a return to the roots of Star Trek, focusing on exploration of both space and humanity with the Four Years War as its backdrop. Captain Garth, according to lore, is one of Captain James T. Kirk’s heroes, an ideal model for what a Starfleet captain should be. This is more than enough to excite the imaginations of Trekkies, who’ve been clamoring for a more traditional Star Trek to contrast with the rebooted series that kicked off with J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek film. Even though Axanar is officially a non-sanctioned Star Trek story, it feels like a breath of fresh air for the series, which has seen no new TV outings since Enterprise was canceled in 2005.

AresTop The USS Ares, commanded by Captain Kelvar Garth (Alec Peters).

The movie will be released in four episodes, following the act structure of the script, and is set for release sometime in early 2016. Excitement for the project soared upon the release of last year’s Prelude to Axanar, a 21 minute short film, presented as a History Channel-style retelling of the events preceding Axanar, complete with interviews and reenactments. Widely considered one of the best Star Trek fan films ever made, it was also hailed as one of the best Trek projects in recent memory, with fans sharing the film all across social media.

Above: A Klingon destroyer, and right below from left to right four of the Federation starships that will be in the Star Trek Axanar movies: USS Ares, USS Geronimo, USS Hermes and USS Korolev.

If the quality of Prelude is any indication, Axanar stands to be a remarkable step for the future of fan films. If you do not believe, take a look in this first scene from the first Axanar movie already filmed and titled “Vulcan Scene” on Axanar official Channel on YouTube and forget for a moment that that planet does not exist anymore thanks to J.J. Abrams:

Star Trek is known for its acceptance of fan projects, provided no money is made from the efforts. With so much support from Trekkies, perhaps Paramount and CBS will take this as an indication of what fans expect from the Star Trek brand and react accordingly. Regardless, Axanar is sure to be a treat for Trekkies when it makes its debut. The IndieGoGo campaign is still up and running, so there’s still time to pitch in and support this project. Click here to visit the project official website and make a donate.

Take a look at Prelude to Axanar below, a good documentary about what was the Four Years War and what we are going to see very soon if the project goes well:

Live longer and prosper!

Source text: Screen Rant and Axanar.