Of all the parodies I’ve seen regarding the Disney purchase of Star Wars, this one is the most…musical.
In episode 163 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester and his rag-tag band of panelists, discuss:
Star Wars, Disney, Marvel, Timothy Zahn, The Thrawn Trilogy, Star Wars: Episode 7, the Star Wars Extended Universe, Star Trek, Pathfinder Tales, Tie-In novels, George Lucas, Stargate, The X-Men, the 501st Legion, Lucasfilm, Disneyland, Family Guy, Robot Chicken, Pixar, Disney Princesses, Disneyland’s overhaul / rebranding of the iconic Submarine Ride as the new “Gungan Undersea Extravaganza’, Marvel Comics, Joe Quesada, Terry Brooks, The Sword of Shannara, Triumph over Tragedy, Attack of the Show, Newsroom, Pirates 101, Baldurs Gate, The Jar-Jar Binks Live Action Generic Non-Traditional Holiday Special with guests Tinkerbell, Wolverine and The Incredibles, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Ship Breaker, The City’s Son, and Reboots…
Welcome to a new column here on SF Signal: …And Another Thing, a weekly commentary on issues and news from the speculative fiction community! We feel that there’s a lot of news that comes flying out from every corner of the internet on a number of issues: the incident at ReaderCon, the extreme popularity of the summertime releases of Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, to the landing of Curiosity on the surface of Mars. This column will feature a roving band of SF Signal Irregulars and their takes on the world around us.
As John and I were getting ready to launch this, a proverbial earthquake happened: Disney announced that they were purchasing LucasFilm Limited for $4.05 billion dollars in cash and stocks. Almost immediately, my Twitter and Facebook feeds exploded with people excited, freaking out and everything in between. The noise is going to continue for a while, I suspect, and while I was initially skeptical, I realized that this isn’t something that’s unexpected.
By now, you’ve heard the news that LucasFilm, producers of the Star Wars franchise, was purchased by Disney. The bigger news is that George Lucas’ treatments for the legendary third Stars Wars trilogy will likely be coming to theaters within a few years. That’s right, Star Wars: Episode VII is coming.
This sounds like great news for fans (besides the mashup crowd), but is it? It seems everyone has their own opinion, so tell us:
Do you think the Disney/LucasFilm merge is a good one for science fiction fans?
To help you decide, here’s Lucas himself talking about the deal:
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: When free-spirited princess and archer Merida learns that she must choose a suitor, she seeks the counsel of a witch to change her fate.
PROS: Beautiful renderings of the Scottish Highlands as well as exceptionally realized animated characters; good vocal casting; a vibrant score by Patrick Doyle; intriguing fairy tale and fantasy elements…
CONS: …that never really go anywhere; too much time spent in DunBroch Castle; uneven drama that runs out of steam as the movie approaches its conclusion; use of 3D largely unnecessary.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Woody, Buzz Lightyear and other toys must cope with the impeding adulthood of their owner Andy.
PROS: Excellent vocal talents; engaging story by turns funny and bittersweet; many pop culture reference peppered throughout.
CONS: Realization upon the ending credits that, after fifteen years, the Toy Story franchise no longer seems genuinely fresh; Lots-O-Huggin’s “origin” story.
It’s hard to believe that fifteen years have passed since the original Toy Story first appeared in theaters. Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Hamm and Mr. Potato Head caught everybody off guard during the winter of 1995 and won over every possible skeptic of computer animation, helped by not only Pixar’s determination to chart new frontiers with the form but also by their creative team’s ability to spin a story that captured the magic and wonder that suffuses the best children’s books and movies, no matter what the said age of those children. (And yes, partnering with Disney gave them an audience that they might not have had.) If its sequel disappointed, it did so only slightly, and only in relation to the other work Pixar had made; after all, when your worst movie was Cars, you were still higher than most people’s successes.
- Interviews & Profiles:
- John Scalzi turns the Whatever mike over to Malinda Lo, author of Ash.
- Agony Column podcast-interviews Peter S. Beagle, Karen Joy Fowler, Michael Swanwick, and M. Rickert.
- War Rocket Ajax podcast-interviews Jess Nevins.
- The latest BookBanter podcast features Seanan McGuire (Rosemary and Rue).
- AWARDS NEWS: Pawel Dembowski writes in to tell us that the Polish Janusz A. Zajdel Award for 2008 was awarded on Saturday at Polcon in Lodz. The winners are: Kameleon (Chameleon) by Rafal Kosik (novel), and “Swiaty Dantego” (“Dante’s Worlds”) by Anna Kantoch (Short story).
- Over at Dear Author, Heather Massey makes the case for Steampunk Romance.
- Wired: Why E-Books Look So Ugly. [via MobileRead Forums]
- @Centauri Dreams: Science Fiction and Interstellar Thinking: “…science fiction’s clout doesn’t come so much from prediction as much as from the ability to try out new ideas by remodeling the world so as to accommodate them.”
- David Langford has posted Ansible 266 for September 2009.
- Lena Headey (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) lands the last major part in HBO’s Game of Thrones pilot.
- Nicole at Geekend is on a quest for the ultimate geek movie.
- Stan Lee (and … Jack Kirby?) on the Marvel/Disney deal.
- Real Science: Mike Brotherton is Rethinking Pluto.
- Not Real Science: New Species Of Lobster May Have Come From Outer Space.
- Look at This has a handy graphic on how to tell the difference between swine flu, bird flu…and zombie flu.
- A Venn Diagram of Mythical Creatures. [via MonkeyFilter and Cynical-C Blog]
- It’s back to school time. And what better way to celebrate your inner geekness than with these Star Wars Text Book Covers. Of course, doing so means it’s no longer “inner” but “outer” which may subject you to extended periods of time inside a locker. Cover you books at your own risk!
- Cyberpunk Review lists Cyberpunk Movies by Decade. (Old list but still useful.)
- @Magical Words, Misty Massey lists 5 Things You Ought To Know About Writers.
- @SciFi Scanner: The 10 Most Dastardly Supervillain Quotes.
- Interviews and Profiles:
- @The Dragon Page: Jane Lindskold (Nine Gates).
- Bibliophile Stalker interviews Marc Gascoigne, Publishing Director of Angry Robot books.
- Rick Riordan Discusses Labyrinth and Lightning Thief at B&N Video. [via Missions Unknown]
- Mary Robinette Kowal-bits:
- For those who wish to follow the latest Genre vs. Literary debate, follow this trail:
- @WSJ: Good Novels Don’t Have to Be Hard Work by Lev Grossman. And subsequent responses from:
- Guardian: Why Kelman’s rage at the genrefication of Scottish literature concerns us all. And responses from
- @Guardian: Ursula K. Le Guin reviews Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood. [via Locus Online]
- Author Philip Palmer has a thoughtful essay on George Orwell’s sf masterpiece, 1984.
- BookViewCafe.com to Publish Steampunk Anthology.
- Free Excerpt: Chapter One of The Other Lands by David Anthony Durham (whose website just got a face lift). [via Suvudu]
- Jonathan Strahan on eBooks vs. printed books.
- Oh Noes! “e-Books Will Be Our Downfall!” says publisher.
- @The World in the Satin Bag, S.M. Duke talks about Punking the begeezus out of Everything in SF/F.
- Spike TV Announces Nominees for ‘SCREAM 2009′ – Star Trek Tops List With 17 Nominations.
- Bored: here’s How to Create a SciFi Space Helmet for less then $20.
- Old news by now: Disney buys Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion. [Insert your own joke here.]
- Fandomania is undertaking an ambitious project to name The 100 Greatest Fictional Characters of All Time.
- Make Use Of has tips on How To Find A Book Without Knowing The Title Or Author.
- @Wired.com: Wired‘s Favorite Sci-Fi Flicks of All Time.
- Damien G. Walter lists 3 ways to help Support Our ‘Zines Day (October 1, 2009).