Everybody loves a bit of Gotye’s ‘Somebody I Used to Know’ but here’s an alternative that George Lucas might not want to pay attention to. This great spoof uses a blend of both films and music video and speaks for a good ol’ section of the adult population that remember the first time a Star Destroyer appeared chasing a Frontier Runner in 1977.
Action figure maven Sillof has given the Galaxy Far, Far Away steampunk and Western treatments. Now, he’s tossed the cast of the original trilogy in the Cyberpunk Nineties.
In this never-was era, Luna and Link Sourcecoder wage an information war against the tentacle-caped Darth Vector with the aid of veteran hackers Hak Slicer, Cyberhacka, and utopian tech guru Zen. Seeing these figures makes me wish he built a Jabba the Hutt as the bloodthirsty CEO of a pizza delivery franchise. Explains Sillof of these groovy custom figurines:
‘This line was actually one of the first redesign idea I had almost 15 years ago, in the 99, when I first started to redesign characters. The line is intended to have a 90s scifi aesthetic. It has some elements of Cyberpunk, The Matrix, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, etc. I envisioned the movie as a struggle by a group of rebel hackers struggling to break free from the oppressive system of control by a mega technological corporation that controlled all aspects of society.’
‘I really hope Rod₂ communicates solely through Crystal Method songs, Chip³ shills Pepsi in his off hours, and the villainous Bolt Volo has a gun powered by Compuserve.
Be sure to check out these gee-whiz sculptures with further detail and back story at Sillof’s site. And for more of his nifty creations, see the Steampunk and Western Star Wars, and the steampunk Legion of Doom and Justice League.’
It has come to our attention that we are beginning to become a depository for other people’s cool. At the risk of becoming an advertising space for a company that frankly doesn’t need it I have to post this however. Lucasarts have released 3 trailers (in the wrong order) featuring gameplay from Star Wars 1313. It’s first mature rated game – I think it’s first mature rated anything – it features a breakout at the titular level 1313. These are the three trailers together – in the right order.
Whether mature content is a move that Lucasarts intend to investigate more is unknown but as much as it pains me to say it, Lucasart’s incredibly well funded design shop have done it again. It looks monumental, with (assuming the extended scene is indicative of general gameplay) beautifully developed sequences and fairly seamless and exciting gameplay. Rumours of Leisure Suit Jabba : Tits on Tatooine or the the new TV series X-Wing, a view of daily life and conflicts in the Senate by Aaron Sorkin are most likely grossly overstated.
Never the less head over to the Star Wars: 1313 site if you’d like to hear some moody music, look at this image and follow it on Facebook.
It’s fair to say that Star Wars has pretty much conquered the internet and popular culture like an imperial cyber march. So much so that it’s beginning to draw in every other bit of popular culture and chewing on it. Sometimes it’s just self referential using gags that everyone gets. Sometimes it’s so thuggishly funny it has to be included (like the one below). Whatever you think – Star Wars is going nowhere. Avengers photo gags in thirty years? Who knows. It lacks the juicy soap opera of bother and sister having an unsuspecting kiss and gay robots so maybe it will never reach the heady heights that Lucas’ brain child enjoys. Never the less, here’s a selection for you…
Rial Shif is an agent of the Jedi. You could walk around the Jedi Temple in Coruscant and ask everyone if they’ve ever heard the name Rial Shif. The answer from almost all of those present would be no and a quizzical look as to where you got that name from.
Rial Shif is as close to a Dark Jedi as you’ve ever met without falling over the precipice of the Dark Side. His teachings were considered far too borderline – edging into powerful and long hidden dark aspects of the force – to be allowed to teach the younglings. However Jedi Master Yoda understands the good in Rial Shif. His trust in Shif means he has found a unique position within the order. He wanders the space lanes, mostly out on the outer rim practicing his own brand of Jedi justice. Always short of brutal, Shif is an exacting and intimidating Jedi. All those that have crossed him have discovered that. To their cost.
Ca De Nas (Cristian Cadenas) is a master of arms for the Jedi. One of the foremost trainers of Lightsabre technique in the galaxy, Ca De Nas is based on Coruscant at the time of Order 66. A trainer of Anakin Skywalker in the years prior to the Clone Wars, Ca De Nas tried to impart the wisdom of open hand techniques in battle and introduce mercy, guile and non-fatal attacks. Anakin struggles to fight his teacher for a time, until fury takes hold. Ca De Nas instinctively held back some of the techniques taught to all Padawans at Master Yoda’s request and Obi Wan’s agreement until he had demonstrated greater control of his temper. Ca De Nas’ capacity for guile and adaptability make him a difficult opponent and a respected warrior in the Jedi ranks.
Master Yoda’s escape from Kashyyk was going to be focussed on in more detail in Lost Jedi as he tries to make his way to the launch point with Chewie. On the far side of the planet, a contingent of Jedi are heading towards the main battle site with the intention of extraction and damage control. Yoda is aware of their presence and does what he can to aid them from his position but to no avail.
Jedi Master Govija Kaoli (Jack Gavin) is a whip crack smart tactician who always gets every body killed. Always put at the sharp end because of his calm exterior, Govija Kaoli has only one true Achilles heel. His Padawan Mooba Choobi. Having been assigned an idiot nephew to the successful Hooba Choobi, Govija finds his path immeasurably blocked by the affable buffoon. Govija is a kind hearted warrior with almost immeasurable patience and a wry view of the universe but even he is uncertain whether his strong Jedi intuition and piloting abilities will help him survive alongside such an incredible idiot.
We’ll admit we don’t watch much TV at Beyond the Bunker (we tend to catch this stuff on DVD – which this year would’ve led to reviews of Firefly and Battlestar Galatica) but we’ll try to make sure we keep up next year as best we can. Or review DVDs we’ve seen. Or get rid of it completely. Never-the-less here’s an attempt at the Best series of the year awards 2011 based on the buzz and our own personal choices.
Denied Winner – Game of Thrones (Season 1)
According to popular buzz surrounding HBO’s blood and thunder epic Game of Thrones, featuring LOTR’s Sean Bean, Conan’s Jason Momoa and Tesco’s ad’s Mark Addy in various roles we know nothing about, it’s an absolute corker and the best thing out this year. However, because of delays in releasing the DVD – causing online bloggers all over the web to declare that they’ve been left with no choice but to pirate it to get their fix in spite of wanting to support their favourite TV programme – we haven’t seen it. But we hope to. Oh yeah.
Based on George R.R. Martin’s epic series of novels the series has an enormous following and from what we’ve heard – rightfully so. As seven families fight to control the mythical land of Westeros, political and sexual intrigue is pervasive. In all of this chaos, clear and entertaining characters are struggling to gain increasing amounts of power – through savagery, skullduggery and sexual manipulation. Sounds great.
Winner – Sherlock (Season 1)
In spite of the fact that the decision by the BBC to produce a modern day turn for the world’s most famous detective, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as the titular detective and his now unwilling partner, Watson generated some concern regarding the dumbing down of a British classic, Sherlock proved to be one of the best series released in recent years for a number of reasons.
It proved itself so slick, challenging and interesting that even die hard fans of the original Sherlock were brought on board. Initially, a three episode series, Cumberbatch’s depiction of an ostrasised and maligned genius detective being followed by a beleagured and bemused hobbled war veteran turned journalist through his first set of cases wooed audiences and made Cumberbatch a household name, previously restricted to period costume and theatre performances that while no doubt engaging failed to reach so wide an audience.
Combining assured and intelligent scriptwriting by Dr Who and (in one one case) League of Gentlemen scribes Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss, BBC’s primetime production values and an award baiting turn from relative unknown Andrew Scott as Sherlock’s new found nemesis Moriarty – the game is very much afoot for Series 2.
With Season 2 starting on New Years Day on BBC1, now would be a good time to familiarise yourself with the return of the great detective in this assured, intelligent and gripping series.
Best Current Series – Walking Dead (Season 2)
Frank Darabont’s translation of Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead serialisation has been happily consistent with it’s source material. The bravery of focussing on the assembled survivors allows such a series to be created but the sense of scale that is realised – particularly in the devastation of Atlanta in the opening episode of Season 1 – gave the feel of the piece a much bigger scale than most American series. This was continued in Season 2 from the very first episode, featuring a debilitatingly tense scene involving ‘a herd’ and a plot point unexpectedly introduced from further through the comic book series.
It is a careful adaptation, using large swathes of detail from the original series – both following Sheriff Rick Grimes, his wife, child, best friend and a host of disparate survivors through a world now overrun by Zombies. But it darts and diverts from the original, allowing any devotees of the books guessing as to what is happening next an excellent and original experience. Developing its own storylines it remains rewarding both when it diverges from and converges on moments from the popular series.
The effects work is fantastic, easily on par – or beyond – work previously seen in various Zombie Movies. The presence of the Zombies is never lost, keeping tension in scenes where otherwise there may be none. This is also fuelled by the camerwork as the stark cinematography is deliberately sparse and simple, constantly making the viewer aware that empty space has the possibility of being occupied but most poignantly emphasising the isolation the central figures have found themselves in.
Effectively a survivors epic it has the added joy of the wandering undead to liven things up should the action become too leaden as it can at times in other long running series. Season 1 was only 6 Episodes long but with season 2 considerably longer it will allow central characters to develop in a way that will make the inevitable loss of them even more effective.
Epic scale narrowed to engaging character plots and the possibility of Zombies at every corner. The promise of this series based on events in the original books is potentially phenomenal and this series has to be seen.
Best Non-geek Series – Fresh Meat (Series 1)
The series follows a group of six students about to embark on the most exciting period of their lives thus far University (yawn, right?)! Away from home for the first time, on the brink of adult life, they are about to discover who they really are. From the moment they ship up as freshers at their shared house, their lives are destined to collide, overlap and run the whole gamut of appalling behaviour and terrible errors of judgement.
Sounds like every coming-of-age college series there is but this one proves itself different. The assembled characters move well out of their archetypal characteristics like students at their first university stand-up gig. Where similar series have relied on stereotypes and presumed reactions to arriving at university this one takes each individual and offers them realistic and familiar situations which they deal with in the way anyone else would. Quite badly.
The expected central figure Kingsley (Inbetweeners Joe Thomas) is sidelined pretty swiftly to share room with all his fellow housemates, in spite of a fantastic central plot involving a burdgeoning mutual attraction to fellow housemate Josie (Kimberley Nixon) which somehow always ends with them discovering the other has slept with someone else – sometimes hilariously audibly through their shared partition wall (while drunkenly arguing with each other at one point). Add to that the socially awkward Howard (Greg McHugh) who is pursued by a borderline psychotic classmate he developed a brief friendship with, straight talking hard-living Vod (the incredible Zawe Ashton) and Oregon (Charlotte Richie), desperate to be cool and terrified of being boring and you have a great mix.
But bizarrely, it’s Jack Whitehall’s character JP that walks away with the crown. A public school boy with an over inflated sense of entitlement, Whitehall manages to instill enough humanity into the prat that you do understand why the rest put up with him.
The jaunty and intelligent script bounds away through numerous scenarios, both realistic enough to be occuring but wild enough to be entertaining and the incredible cast bring it both harmoniously and raucously to life. An excellent series and well worth a look.
Most anticipated DVD – Star Wars: The Clone Wars Seasons 3 and 4
Unseen as yet and as I understand it ongoing at present – Clone Wars Season 4 is the continued influence of Star Wars on kids TV channels. Less engaging than the original 2 Dimensional seasons directed by Genndy Tartakovsky but offer more plot and development to the whole saga. With each season the CGI improves and more worlds are revealed in higher detail. Still 2 seasons behind at present however I (Steve P) have to put this on my guilty pleasures list because it expands the Star Wars Universe and is occasionally noticably created by true die hard fans who jump at the chance to develop part of the SW universe.
Most Cause for Concern – Dr Who (Season 6)
Matt Smith is an excellent Doctor, Karen Gillian is a great sidekick and we know that Steven Moffat is a great writer. However, somehow, indiscernably, the last series of Dr Who has lacked the pathos and light hearted touch that previously won it so many fans. No doubt a deliberate intention by Moffat to darken and broaden the Who, it appears to be beginning to lose it’s grip on plot this season. In spite of an introduction of The Silence, the scale and adventure wasn’t as bedded down in character and engaging emotional situations as it has been in previous seasons.
Upping the sci-fi quota, scripts have become slightly convoluted and less involving as a result. Matt Smith, while entertaining as the lithe and slightly dotty Doctor lacks the strength that the more seasoned Doctors had and while, initially, the scripts played with this they have now put perhaps too much emphasis on a young actor to imbue wonder and concern at every turn every time a ‘tree whispers’. Somehow less surprising than previous series, the science babble has gone up, the lunatic and dastardly alien beings have gone down and the geek wish fulfilment is beginning to become too visible.
I have loved Doctor Who but I am concerned that continuity is beginning to fray and that it needs a rest between seasons before it collapses under it’s own weight of expectation. Still excellent, it is however less excellent than it was, seemingly relying overly on emotional resolutions to tie up convoluted plots and slightly unoriginal concepts.
However, still excellent. Hopefully Moffat et al will see the slight error in their ways and get behind an excellent Season 7. God knows the BBC wants it!!