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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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I got up this morning and read an email that referred to a comment made on Twitter... that's a Tweet, for those who've been under a technological rock for theTweet

Murder in the First, based on a true story, tells the tale of Henry Young (Kevin Bacon) and his attorney (Christian Slater) as they expose the brutality of the AlcatrazReview: Murder in the First

Long-distance callers have some money coming - MarketWatch Make any long distance calls in the last three years? Claim your cash in 2007! The repeal of the Federal excise tax (initiated inClaim some long-distance cash!

At my house we have a bit of a push-and-pull relationship with time. My wife pushes, and I pull. Call me crazy, but I don't think we need to leave aRules for showing up

It's time for my annual(ish) list of movies I want to catch this year. Strap in and let the trailers wash over you like pure adrenalin. (Not that I know whatMovieWatch 2013

This is a great idea. Eddie Izzard's Dressed to Kill stand-up routine is hilarious (though profanity laced). Matching the bits with Lego stop-motion animation turns out to be really funnyTuesday TubeWatch: Lego Izzard - Cake or Death?

I had the opportunity to watch 2 TED talks tonight. Both of them were about the power of technology and its relationship to... well, relationships. The intertwining of connection and isolationTwo TED talks: Turkle and Whitacre - Internet Connections and Isolation

CommonCraft videos make me want to hurt myself. I can't help but think "why didn't I think of doing this?" Lee and Sachi have done a great job creating a successfulTuesday TubeWatch: CommonCraft

[UPDATE: as you can see below, I'm having some problems with CoolPlayer - like it doesn't work anymore. I've switched to the Anarchy player.] As you can see from the previousCoolPlayer - WordPress media plugin

[caption id="attachment_795" align="alignright" width="227" caption="Is Watchmen unfilmable?"][/caption] I've seen the trailers. I've seen a bunch of clips. It looks good. The visuals are great. Hard to say much else about it,Quick thoughts on Watchmen: unfilmable?

I'm going to revisit a couple of topics discussed here recently and then we'll hit some new topics. Well, after my last post I finished watching The Event. I stick withRevisitation and new worlds

Star Wars: Community | ILM's Greenscreen Challenge Entry Stephen Colbert, of the Comedy Central's Colbert Report, issued a challenge to the public at large to put his lightsaber antics in frontStephen Colbert, a Greenscreen, and ILM

First of all, I have to say how shocked I am that I'm mentioning this before Lee. Somebody must have him locked in a very nasty dungeon. Good luck withIron Man 2 trailer released

It's hard to do better than the Bible for your source material, so this movie had an edge already. In some ways it lived up to (and exceeded) expectations; inReview: The Prince of Egypt

Thanksgiving is a US holiday where we purposely focus on being thankful for our lives, and the people and things in them. Families get together and enjoy each others company,Thanksgiving - Epic version

Star Wars VII, VIII, IX… and beyond?!

Well, apparently one does.

I don’t know if anyone else saw this coming, but I was completely blindsided.

Disney just bought Lucasfilm, including the rights to all their films – and most importantly, Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

Apparently, due to some rights issues with Paramount, Indy is just going to retire. That’s sad, but possibly for the best.

On the other hand, Disney has already announced that they are going to release Star Wars: Episode VII (that’s 7, for the roman numeral impaired). That means a sequel to Return of the Jedi. In 2015!

They’ve also said they want to release another Star Wars movie every 2-3 years following that, and they don’t mean just a single new trilogy. This is where I begin to get conflicted.

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire cover

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Star Wars universe, and I think there are a TON of stories left to tell. But I do worry that we’ll start to get the same problem with Star Wars that we had with Star Trek. Remember a few years back there was a Star Trek incarnation on TV or in the movies almost every day. The market became saturated, and viewers left as it all just started to look the same, rehashing the same ideas. I don’t want that to happen with Star Wars.

I’ve read a bunch of the books in the Star Wars Expanded Universe (EU). Those are stories that are set after Return of the Jedi (RoTJ), starring (for the most part) the same characters we know and love from the movies, along with new exciting characters. The first of these published, the Thrawn trilogy, was hands-down excellent. There are quite a few good stories in the books that came after as well, but then, there is also a lot of tripe. That’s kind of what I want to avoid – the hit-or-miss quality of the books finding their way into the movies (yeah, I know, some will argue that already happened with the Prequel trilogy – moving on).

That said, lately the books have been pretty strong on long series with interesting plot arcs and real consequences. If that’s the direction the movies go, I’m on board. Especially if they throw in some of the cool stuff we’ve seen from Bioware. That’s the kind of tone I’d like to see in the films.

Which brings me to this: what stories should they pursue?

They have a few ready-made options:

  • As mentioned, the Thrawn trilogy would be a good pick, and it introduces some very iconic and important characters. But the problem there is the recasting. Luke, Lando, Chewie, Han, and Leia are still the main characters in that book. There is a time gap between the story and RoTJ, but I’m not sure it’s enough to make it an easy transition to new actors playing such well-known roles. Still, it’s been done pretty well with Star Trek, so this does remain a possibility. I’ll remain skeptical for now.
  • We could move even further into the EU and go into the lives of the Solo children – but that may take some explaining and feel a bit artificial for fans who only know the films. Plus the original characters are still around, so we still have the recasting issue.
  • My pick for previously published story fodder would be the Legacy time period (assuming we are going chronologically after RoTJ). That takes place 1000 years after the Battle of Endor, I believe, and no current film characters survive to that time. The main character is Luke’s descendant and he has some issues with his legacy. The Jedi Order is around but has had a lot of trouble as the Sith have reasserted themselves, and there’s a whole new group of Force-wielders loyal to the much more sympathetic Imperial remnant. Lots of differences from the world we know in the films, but still familiar enough and very engaging. The galaxy is politically fractured and there’s a big threat to be dealt with – if Skywalker can step up and face his legacy and his destiny. Of everything I’ve read, I think this would be the best story for a movie.

Star Wars Legacy cover - Cade Skywalker

That’s all assuming they adapt something that’s already been told. I’m not convinced they’ll do that. My thinking is that they’ll do something original. My hope is that they at least follow the lead of Legacy and go far future.

Now, if they keep making films beyond 7, 8, and 9, I assume they will at some point go backwards and visit the Old Republic time period. Lots of room for story in that 25,000 year span. And it could be epic.

Then of course there is the time between Episodes 3 and 4, as Darth Vader comes to power and the Emperor sweeps his reign of tyranny across the galaxy. But if they do that story, I think it will be on TV.

So it’s anyone’s guess whether it’ll be good or not. Or whether it’ll be Star Wars burnout. I’m hoping it breathes some new life and makes it interesting again.

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