The Star Wars cast sings Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen. Obi wan (Old and Young) and a host of Skywalkers join Yoda and the Jedi for a quick rendition of an otherwise potentially forgettable pop tune. It even has a Mutilingual bit, who knew what Greedo was saying in the Cantina but it was certainly irritating enough for Han Solo to shoot first (answering a long standing question has to who started it).
It’s good that the dialogue from the love scenes in parts II and III have found a half decent. In the mean time, have to doff your cap to James Covenant fgor finding a new way to see the Star Wars movies – even in this slightly tacky way…
Mis Nopales Art brings us a new representation of arguably the most loved saga of our time: Star Wars. Living in California, José Pulido makes prints of pop culture icons in a traditional Mexican style reminiscent of Dia de Los Muertos.
For this and loads more examples (including a Darth Maul, Wolverine and Buddy Holly) haed on over to Etsy.com.
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.
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.
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!!
Padawan Mooba Choobi is under the tutelage of Jedi Master Govija Kaoli. While rumours that the prophecy of the chosen one that would bring balance to the force continue to flow around the Jedi Temples throughout the galaxy, some suspect, mostly those who have never met him, that Mooba Choobi represents an alternative to Anakin Skywalker. It has been observed by both Master Windu and Master Yoda that Mooba Choobi’s innate connection to the force helps him survive in incredibly dangerous circumstances. Although Mooba is unable to harness the force to his own ends it manifests at times of great danger (like a universal survival instinct). Whether Govija Kaoli can survive it is another matter entirely.
No fanbase is without it’s lunatic fringe and many would argue that the lunatic fringe starts pretty early among devout Star Wars fans. The coolest perhaps of the Sci-fi cult creators Star Wars is still without a doubt a generator of hilarious nonsense. This time we have a mumbling chubber, a genuinely cheering Trooper dance and Yoda / Ninja baby. These are the Darth Idiots – except the baby. That’s just a baby.
Darth Maul is a seething red and black ball of sadistic evil and malevolent Kung Fu kapowerry. Someone I can only describe as Seth Maul (above) is a mumbling Red and black bulb of silly.
Sometimes it can be said that you can over think things. In fact, the prequels can be pretty much ascribed to a chronic over think of what is a simple subject. Galactic politics and emotional teenage chatter or fighter battles and lost Jedi? Neither. A man in a muddy car boot sale thrusting his crutch to a silly song. Lucas was wrong both times.
Appearing here before – Yoda baby. Formerly Ninja baby. Hey ya!!
Man El Perio (Alan Mandel Butler) is a reliable and serious minded Padawan. While at times easily distracted when focussed on things less relevant to the immediate cause, Man El Perio focusses like a laser on the subject at hand when the situation requires it. During a Jedi incursion on a Separatist Communication Junker in Deep Space, Man El Perio is sent into the recesses of the hulk to identify the communications array and disable it. While hidden in the confined spaces of the cable ducts, the Clone Troopers turn on their Jedi Generals. Man El Perio is trapped and forced to watch as his Master and fellow Jedi are slaughtered. With the fall of the last Jedi, only three Clone Troopers remain. However, a vengeful Separatist Security Droid is haunting the halls too – looking for someone to blame for the destruction of his deep space home. Its a matter of who finish who off first – Man El Perio’s only advantage – they don’t know he’s there…. yet.
Sent to Kashyyk to handle ground assaults, evacuation and supply lines on the far side of the planet, this small contingent of Jedi find themselves caught in a struggle to secure the safe passage of fleeing Wookies, refusal from Wookie councils to move off planet, the rapidly advancing separatist forces, the Clone army who have now turned on them and an attempt to protect and evacuate the Jedi Order’s most valued Master in Yoda.
Jedi Commander Ja Himan
Ja Himan (Himanshu Ojha) is a showman. A lunatic with a lightsabre he favours displays of viruosity and skill at times above the final result. He is effectively a swordsman of old. Preferring the parry and the thrust of one on one conflict, he will take on a tank as if a single opponent. On the whole he wins and his displays demoralise most opposition but his need to include danger can at times imperil his associates, something the extraction team that remains after Order 66 express regularly. However, he is almost always a great leader and a great source of morale for demoralised troops. A true friend to most Jedi, Ja Himan is an honest and true Jedi with only the best intentions. Brave and bold, it is his task to lead what is left of the Jedi on Kashyyk to an extraction point on the far side of the planet.
Frustrated Jedi Padawan Om Dom Chavi
Om Dom Chavi believes himself to be worthy of Knighthood. However, he believed this on day one of his training. Yoda despairs in his training as his focus on the far future limits his capacity to improve in the present. Never the less, Om Dom Chavi fights bravely when called upon – however can be relied upon to moan almost constantly throughout the process.
Jedi Knight Corin Darklighter
Corin Darklighter is distant Uncle to the famed X-Wing Pilot of Yavin. A capable and solemn Jedi Knight, he is at once quiet and thoughtful and aware of much that lies around him. An observant character he is subject to distraction. Something that has kept him from becoming a fully fledged master. He is prone to self doubt but always comes through when the need is greatest. He is more pacifist than many Jedi Knights, preferring to find a peaceful solution. This proves of great help during the negotiations with local Wookie leaders regarding evacuation.
Jedi Padawan Ruba Knightro
Jedi Knight Ruba Knightro is a passive, romantic figure. Softly spoken but ferocious in battle, his slight frame belies a manic fighter. At times subject to bouts of loss and grief, Ruba has to overcome more in the jungle than his immediate adversaries. However, when he is settled in himself he is the cheeriest and light heartedest of the group, enjoying the sights and sounds and experiences that Kashyyk offers between battles.
Rowrra the Beater. A giant Wookie (even by Wookie standards) Rowrra is made guide to the Jedi through the backwaters of Kashyyk. Responsible for the safety of his group, Rowrra is beligerent and difficult at almost all times but a ferocious warrior and capable tracker and navigator.