Tuesday, May 29, 2007

30 years of Star Wars

Update: I changed the title of this post because Dr. Rotwang used it first. I should have know I wasn't that clever...

Last Friday was the 3oth anniversary of the release of Star Wars. It's difficult to describe just how ground-breaking the film was and how inspiring it continues to be for legions of fans around the world. Maybe I'll write about it later, because I was there from the very beginning to see it all. Hard to believe there are people watching the new trilogy who weren't even alive when Jedi was released...

Here are a few links to stories about the anniversary and the phenomonon:

Star Wars Rewired: Interviews, Galleries and More http://www.wired.com/entertainment/hollywood/news/2007/05/lucas

Thirty years later, 'Star Wars' force still being felt

How Star Wars Changed Everything

The Science of Star Wars

(Since this one is from Forbes Magazine, it's a bit more conservative on the prospects of Star Wars Science, especially on lightsabers. Hey, guys, it's a movie...relax. Anyway, you can read more than you ever wanted to know about lightsabers at Wikipedia.)

Star Wars Celebration IV

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

RPG setting ideas -- Dungeon Crawl Classics

Time for another installment of "RPG settings I'm thinking about". The one I mentioned previously was the updated Freeport setting. Most of my thoughts about these things are tinted by a heavy dose of gaming nostalgia, and this installment finds me still in the throes of it.

Goodman Games started producing their Dungeon Crawl Classics modules shortly after the release of D&D 3.0. The main appeal of the line is nostalgia -- 1st Edition-style adventures, blue ink maps and new art by artists whose work appeared in the original D&D modules.

This is their first attempt at a DCC campaign, and also the first DCC boxed set. Look at the cover and the intent is obvious. It's a clear homage to the "Red Box" Basic Set and other TSR boxed sets from that era. Doesn't that just say "gaming goodness" to you? Good times...

DCC adventures are designed for D&D3.x/d20, but I think this one calls for a return to the '80s Basic Rules -- at least in spirit.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Stephen King's 24 Greatest Rock Songs Ever

Stephen King writes a column for Entertainment Weekly in which he gives his opinion on all things media-related -- movies, books, TV, music, whatever. In this article/photo gallery, King counts down the best rock songs of all time.

I can't fault him on some of his choices. I'd rate "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" higher, and "Ain't No Fun (Waiting Round to be a Millionaire)" is a solid choice for the obligatory AC/DC list entry. As much as I like Elvis, I'm not sure a list like this needs three of his songs, squeezing out many other worthy entries. Where's "Turn Up the Radio"?

King qualifies his list by mentioning his criteria at the beginning. By including purely "rock" songs only, many of the songs I'd include would be disqualified for being in a different category, such as the "power ballad".

Oh, and of course see the comments on the list.

Monday, May 21, 2007

First shots of Reaper plastic minis

Jeff's Gameblog has some photos of prototypes for Reaper's pre-painted non-collectable minis due later this summer. These were taken at the recent ReaperCon event. Click on the photo and then view the full-size image for a closer look. The orcs and skeletons are passable but the larger monsters are pretty good!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A shake of the gods

I like fast food milkshakes in general, especially McDonald's Arctic Orange, but Arby's orange cream shake is my new mistress. That's a tasty beverage!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pirates of the Spanish Main: The RPG

I flipped through a copy of this game on Friday. Nice hefty hardcover, full color, glossy...very very nice. It's based on the WizKids ship minis game. I'll pick it up sometime. If the design of this book is any indication, Pinnacle's Solomon Kane RPG will be very sharp, too. At least I hope so.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Trek Remastered -- "Errand of Mercy"

I missed it yesterday, so screenshots like this will have to suffice until the rerun next week.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Flash! Ah-ahhh!!

Universal is, at last, releasing a Region 1 DVD of the fan-favorite movie Flash Gordon on August 7th. The cover art by Alex Ross is really great, but it turns out that the extras appearing on the European release will not be on the US version...that's a shame.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Trek Remastered -- "Tomorrow is Yesterday" in review

The Enterprise over 20th century Nebraska.

I discovered something this past weekend. Trek Remastered has been pre-empted in its usual timeslot on the local Fox station because of baseball. I hadn't bothered to check the listings for a different slot. Well, I did this weekend, and I found out that it was moved up to 2pm. Luckily I read that in time for me to check out this week's regularly scheduled episode, "Tomorrow is Yesterday".

This is the ep where the Enterprise finds itself trapped in 1968 and they bring aboard the fighter pilot who is sent to intercept it. Fine work again by CBS Digital on the Enterprise in the lower atmosphere, and the timewarp slingshot around the sun. The aerial shot over Nebraska and Earth as seen from orbit are both real NASA photos used as backgrounds.

This Saturday: "Errand of Mercy". Bring on the Klingons!