Saturday, 28 November 2009

Star Wars Legacy: Renegade (36) + Navy Personnell

OK, I am WAY behind on thse things and a new issue out has prompted me to get on with these things - you may or may not be interested in Star Wars Legacy, but I am so I intend to carry on posting them, however there is little point 'reviewing' issues if we are almost six months out of date so expect a flurry of posts over the next few weeks.

Well there are no new Sith or Jedi so we can get straight on with it.

Issue Review

Ralltir is a key financial world held by the Sith Empire and guarded by a full fleet as well as planetary defences, it is so well guarded they expect no attack, and thus are startled when Gar Stazi's Galactic Alliance fleet bursts out of hyperspace and begins to attack. They have the edge of surprise and eliminate planetary defenses, but are still outnumbered until a fleet from Bastion arrives from Emperor Fel to back them up, led by the arrogant Admiral Fenel.

They force the fleet to surrender and plan to seize the ships for their own fleets, but one frigate captain sees their plan and orders that they self-destruct their ships. Admiral Fenel orders the captured Imperials to destroy their own frigate, which pushes them too far - Fenel counters by issuing an order to destroy any escape pods. Galactic Alliance fleet commander Stazi refuses to accept such barbarism and refuses to be ordered by an Imperial, moving his own fleet to defend the escaping Imperials - the fleet is then destroyed, damaging the Sith, but also denying new ships to the rebels. The first test of the Alliance between Fel and Stazi is passed.

My Two Credits

This issue stands as one of the best of the series - as well as delivering classic fleet action in the Legacy era (expertly drawn by Omar Francia) the issue rapidly built up the tensions between the two allies as they wage war in very different ways and how close they come to breaking their truce in a well-written story worthy of any cortroom drama. A very rewarding issue in terms of drama and of consequence in the storyline - plus lots of ships blow up!!

Imperial Navy Personnell

I'm continuing to post about different people in Legacy, sticking with the Empire for now - I'm combining this part with this post as Navy people don't feature much in the story so I don't want to have to have a seperate post for each as they tend to only be around for one arc. All the people are allied with Darth Krayt's empire - I'll do Fel's people at a later date.

Vikar Dorn
Species: Human
Position: Former Governor
First Appearance Legacy #13 (Ready to die)

Dorn was associated with the Galactic Alliance, but after the war secretly allied with the Sith. His son was captain of the star destroyer Dauntless and they used it to pretend to defect to Fel's empire, but secretly delivered Darth Kruhl to assasinate Fel. The mission failed and the entire crew was killed.


Species: Human
Position: Captain (Pellaeon class SD)
First Appearance: Legacy #16 (Claws of the Dragon, part 3)

Meeshal was captain of a Star Destroyer under the command of Darth Stryfe, he orbited Ossus and sent troops down to search for Jedi. Then at Stryfe's command he bombarded the Jedi Temple from orbit.

Sha Dun

Species: Kel Dor
Position: Admiral (Outer Rim 3rd Fleet)
First Appearance: Legacy # 20 (Indomitable, part 1)

Sha Dun was tasked with hunting down Gar Stazi's renegade Galactic Alliance fleet in the outer rim. Despite a few successes, capturing or destroying some ships, he had failed to kill or capture Stazi. For this he was executed by Darth Azard.

Dru Valan

Species: Human
Position: Admiral (Outer Rim 3rd Fleet)
First Appearance: Legacy # 20 (Indomitable, part 1)

Dru Valan was disgraced by failing to capture Stazi during the Imperial victory at Caamas, he rose in the ranks and became Admiral again when Sha Dun was killed. He demanded that all crew aboard his fleet be human when he did. He believed he knew Stazi and planned to trap him at Dac, however Stazi completely outmanouvered him, stealing an advanced Star Destroyer and leaving Valan contemplating suicide, leaving the fleet to Hoge, captain of his flagship Relentless.

I don't have much data - but Rokure captained the Sith ship Relentless (different model) under Darth Wyyrlok during the mission to Had Abaddon. [Legacy: Vector]

Peto Kelsan

Species: Human
Position: Admiral (Coruscant 3rd Fleet)
First Appearance: Legacy #36 (Renegade)

Kelsan was in command at Ralltir, though Furske, the captain of the flagship Avenger was on duty when the attack came. He reluctantly issued the surrender and then the self-destruct order after he was ordered to fire on his own ships. He stayed on his ship and thanked Stazi for his aid.

Last one!

Vaclen Tor

Species: Human
Position: Captain (Steadfast - Ardent cladd frigate)
First Appearance: Legacy #36 (Renegade)

A plucky young frigate captain turned the tables of war when he refused to surrender at Ralltir. He saw the plan to capture ships and demanded that they fight or issue a self-destruct. He took a beating from the Imperials but was protected by Stazi, who respected him. He was safely returned to Ralltir, though Stazi di in the end keep his Ship, and gave it to Fel.

OK that brings us up to this issue and I'm sure you've had enough by now - I've included a few Wookiepedia links for the more minor characters - check it out, it's a great resource.

Friday, 27 November 2009

SF at the movies - November 09

OK - I've just about got it in the right month this time - I'm doing well!

You should know the drill by now - movies, out this month with Sci-Fi in, accuracy of information not guaranteed

The Men Who Stare At Goats

Released 06/11/09

Don't let the curious title put you off because this film is brilliant. The film, loosely based on the book of the same name, tells the story of a reporter in search of a story, he finds a former operative in a special operations unit codenamed 'Jedi'. This faction of the U.S. Army trained soldier to utilise psychic powers in battle. Incorporating martial and mystical arts into thier training these soldiers learned to find hidden targets without leaving a room and even stop the heart of a goat by thought - hence the title. The story, set in current times, takes the pair out to Afghanistan where they find the story isn't over. Moving and hilarious, this film is made all the better because all of it, ok most of it....well some of it is true!


Released 13/11/09

The world has a deadly enemy - Roland Emerich! I think pretty much the entire planet bites it in this one. I still haven't seen it, but I know the death toll and destruction is huge, it has something to do with the Mayan calendar and the U.S. Givernment have built ships of some sort. Looks like a lot of fun, and there are some decent actors in it, but this one may just slip by me.

The Fourth Kind

Released 06/11/09

This looks an interesting one, I was intrigued by the trailer, when halfway through Milla Jovovich turns to camera, reveals her real identity and that she is acting in a film about abduction. The film is based on documentary evidence, though most of what occurs on screen is done by actors. It looks a thrilling style to take on that most popular and haunting theme - alien abduction.

That's it I think - let me know if I missed one.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Doctor Who, New series, new species part 23

BIG SPOILERS for US viewers who are still waiting for the 'Waters of Mars' air date - you are warned!

But we'll start off with a bit of Sarah Jane Adventures, the series has recently concluded with episodes kinda sandwiched around the finale of the main show, which made it feel slightly disjointed in place, but they were still a lot of fun - and anyway, it's the aliens we're after eh?

Mona Lisa/ The Abomination

I should hate this, but despite the wackiness of the concept, bizarre accent of the eponymous villain and comedy capers of the cast - it still worked. It was amusing to completely shatter your concept of what Mona would act like to have this cocky, amusing maniac wielding a blaster and searching for a brother she knew nothing about. There were a number of confusing parts, such as her overall goal, which remained nebulous throughout, but the plot and payoff of her going too far in trying to take over the Earth, but also her desire to simply see the outside and the resolution of binding her back in the frame did actually make sense, so I'm not entirely sure why - but a thumbs up fro me!!

The Mona Lisa was constructed of a mysterious sentient pigment derived from a meteor that fell to Earth. A painter constructed his last piece, the Abomination, from it before the act drove him mad, then da Vinci borrowed the paint for his most famous work. The pigment then came to life and took on a personality of it's own, though seemingly unaware of it's origin, it simply knew the existance of being a painting and of wanting freedom. When the Abomination and Mona Lisa were brought together there was enough power for Mona to break free and also her 'brother', though the abomination was sealed away and did not escape. The creature was able of animating and 'freeing' other works of art to arm and protect itself, this ability was ultimately used against it when Lyke and Clyde tricked it into animating a picture of K-9 who destroyed the abomination and caused Mona Lisa to lose her power and return to her frame.


The Flood

Hmm, a mysterious alien race called the flood, who attack through a small, unstoppable force which involves killing people then taking over their bodies, mutilating them in the process and turning them into more powerful enemies - the Doctor Who team either have no knowledge of Halo or play it too much!! Had to get that one out of the way!! I'll leave commenting on the episode to the podcast boys (check the link in the sidebar) but the monster themselves were, I must say, incredibly well achieved. The water flowing down from their mouths was simple and yet incredibly creepy and definitively alien and their unstoppable advance through water was very effective.

The Flood is a term given to an unknown species living on Mars. The species was presumable a viral organism of some kind that lived in water and could also generate it - it is also possible that it is a type of water itself, though the fact that it was blocked by s set of filters would indicate otherwise. When coming into even the slightest contact with biological matter it can control and possess it in seconds and then use this host to create and direct more infected water where it wants. The oprganism was also very selective, only choosing humans as they could lead it to Earth, a water filled planet. The possessed humans could eject water in incredible quantities, breaking through doors, sabotaging electrical systems and more. The organism had at some point been trapped in a glacier, possible by the Ice Warriors as a way of containing it. When humans colonised Mars in 2059 they used the glacier for their water supply, unleashing the monster - the destruction of the base ended the threat and prevented the creature from inhabiting Earth.


More of an honourable mention for this one as I don't know whether plants count! The Balthereen aren't a new species and have actually appeared before, though it did confuse things when they revealed they are a Blathereen-Slitheen interbred race and actually evil, evil enough to kill Slitheen in order to further their own plan.
Rakweed was some kind on minroly intelligent plant that could communicate, it mutated and spread spores which infested the surrounding area and harmed humans who breathed them in. It can be killed by sound, that typical property of all plants, and if you've eaten it that makes it explode inside you. A bit odd, but a chance for Sarah Jane to fight for her son and also use a super soker filled with vinegar - plus the Blathereen had cool wrist blasters - Sci-Fi always needs more wrist blasters!!

OK, I'm done Sarah Jane's finished, Doctor Who's not back till Christmas yet surprisingly I'll be back with another Doctor Who post very soon - stay tuned for that, plus a lot of Star Wars Legacy posts!!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Vampires and that

I tried to think of a clever title for this, but honestly - they're all taken!

I'm talking about this stuff all over TV, Movies, the news everywhere.

Vampires are dominating popular culture at the moment - but why?

Are you reading this looking for the answer - 'cause honest, I don't got it! I'm just moaning about why I don't got it and moaning about how it's annoying and weird even though it doesn't actually affect me in the slightest!

Vampires have always been around, well they have since someone came up with the idea anyway. Who was that, hmmm - ok, Wikipedia tells me that John Polidori's 1819 novel The Vampyre is accredited as launching vampires into the world of fiction, though Bram Stoker's Dracula sealed it permenantly into popular culture.

My brief scan show I know too little about the history to write about it, but fair to say that Vampires have stuck around in fiction since then so that this modern craze draws on a long history and when we have a story about a girl falling in love with a Vampire, even kids already know what we mean by that term.

However vampires and their setting in the world have changed in our perceptions significantly in recent years and today's vampires act quite apart from their forebears.

Vampire mythology comes from supersitions and the fear of demons, over time this perception became about the undead and embelished with the blood sucking and whatnot until that became embelished in how we viewed these creatures - however they were always part of the occult world, associated with curses and the devil. In modern days we seem keen to ditch this idea, using our 'science explains everything' mentailty to depict vamps as a deviation from humanity (Blade) an ancient race (Underworld) and anything from aliens to computer programs (The Matrix Reloaded).

Yet there is still this idea of them being essentially evil and even today's tales, which often have the vampire as the hero always have them dealing with their dark side or fighting to cast-off the bad PR their kind have picked up.

I can accept the kinda Sci-Vampire setting and explanation and I do like the extrapolation that films like the forthcoming Daybreakers set out to achieve (it looks awesome by the way). I guess what I find strange is the 'romance' side of things that Twilight has brought to the fore. This is so much present that there are now 'Paranormal Romance' section in bookshops, you can find them between the Sci-Fi and the 'tragic life stories' section, next to the 'mind body and spirit' shelf and adjacent to a number of other creepy and unnecessary niches.

So what is it about the undead blood drinkers that appeals huh? I think it is a little creepy that the market is aimed at teen and even pre-teen girls (or that is my perception). Especially with same-but-different TV show True Blood featuring extremely adult scenes, but having the same romantic appeal I think it's risky ground giving this appeal to teens. I guess it's the classic 'bad boy' element, but there is also a very strong sensual pull in vampire stuff, which was present in the original Dracula and even in action titles the vamps spend as much time snogging as they do biting.

Right this is going nowhere fast - what, unplanned and no thought? No - this is classic stream of consciousness stuff here guys!!

Am I gonna try and stop this no, nor would I state that it is wrong, I just find it...weird and I'm struggling to find the reasoning behind it all. Does anyone have any ides?

I can't go without mentioning Buffy, perhaps the most responsible for bringing vampires to current culture. They also reflect on the popularity of vampires and the current comic run shows a world where vampires are 'in' - which of course makes it difficult for buffy and her gang of slayers!!

Quite while you're ahead time I think. Oh, almost forgot with all this enthusiasm for Vampires are you wondering what's next? Penny Arcade have the answer

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Doctor Who- New series, new species part 22

Hello and welcome to Blogga the Hutt, an especially warm welcome to any Podcast of Impossible Things listeners who've decided to take a look, nice to have you - I hope my stammering and bad jokes on the show didn't put you off too much!!

So as always we're covering brand new aliens in these posts, so the Trickster, a returning baddie, won't be featured, but you wont have to go far to get info on him I'm sure. However, immediately after stating my main rule I'm going to break it!

Travast Polong

This shoddy piece of CG has appeared before, but I couldn't get info on it at the time and since they decided to reuse it in the show for what seems to be it's main purpose- a distraction and cheap effect when you don't really need an alien all that much. The antics of the creature did result in some hilarious antics from K-9, and I do like the idea of an alien arriving by post from eBay, but other than a cheap laugh it didn't achieve much. Now, as always, a brief in-universe description, mostly stolen from the Tardis wiki!

Travast Polong is a slug like creature from the world of Polongus. Though animal-like and non-communicative it does seem to be an intelligent creature. It's chief aim seemed to be to explore, which frequently caused havoc on Earth, a planet unused to aliens. At one point the creature was tracked by Sarah Jane Smith in a hospital, where it dodged her though the corridors, later it wound up in the possession of an unknowing human, who put the creature for sale on eBay. Sarah Jane identified the creature and purchased it, and after a brief escape it was transmatted back to Polongus, presumably by it's own race.

Erasmus Darkening

Not overly impressed by this one, I think I heard 'science proves everything' and 'no such thing as ghosts' a few too many times. Erasmus was quite a mysterious enemy, but unfortunately for me not in a good way. I do appreciate the power of an unknown foe, but this guy was just confusing, his aims and wants were just not perceptible and what exactly he was and where he was from seemed thrust firmly to the background so he could be just evil. There was also a mystery creature roaming the grounds that was't referenced so I have no info for you other than 'red-eyed other dimension thingy'

Erasmus Darkening was an alien from another world, most likely another universe. Somehow, 300 years ago he had travelled to our universe and became stranded. Posing as an alchemist he constructed a device to send him back to his own realm, but it wasn't fully functional. By his own power he sent people in between dimensions, ready for when he could make the journey. These people were trapped in the Manor, haunting it as ghosts. Eventually Sarah Jane defeated him with the aid of some of the 'ghosts' and destroyed his machine for good.

Well not an awful lot for you on that one I'll admit, but I didn't have much to go on, oh well, with a few more episodes and a Doctor Who special on the way I'm sure there'll be plenty more to blog about before long!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Halo Waypoint, and Legends

Halo Waypoint, the new Halo destination on Xbox Live has been activated, with a new Career tracking mode awarding medals, and more interestingly additional content detailing the story.

There is community content, like multiplayer screenshots and interviews, catch-up info on the games and other media such as books.

But most importantly of all it is the home of Halo Legends a new short film anime series adding extra stories to the universe. The first film is online and available to view FREE, but ONLY FOR TODAY so if you catch this you may want to check it quick!

With content uploaded every day this an exciting corner of SF on Xbox Live that's here to stay.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Star Wars Legacy Ship Design

I'm posting this so I can upload it elsewhere, it's a design for a ship used in the Legacy comics


Monday, 2 November 2009

SF at the movies- October 09

OK, I'm late with this one...again, but while we're here lets, erm review the movies that came out in the month of October with Sciency Ficioney leanings.

On the off chance any visited the blog, welcome to any Podcast of Impossible Things listeners who are visiting, feel free to stay and have a look around.

Released 02/10/09

I don't know much about this other than I can't find it anywhere in cinemas. The trailer was intriguing, with an interesting mix of Sci-Fi and horror in the Alien tradition. The plot centres around two crewmembers who wake up in deep space on a vast ship with little memory of why they are there or what they should be doing. They find some other humans, and also something worse, something terrifying. It did look intriguing and if it's still out where you are and you like shocks as well as spaceships then you might want to check it out.


One I described to my friends as 'socks who save the world' - and with that title who wouldn't go to see it eh?!! I'm looking forward to Tim Burton's latest creation set in a post-apocalyptic future where machines have taken over the Earth. A scientist gives his 9 creations, all made out of bits and bobs the spark of life and gives them the mission of 'protecting the future'. I'd certainly check out the trailer at least for this new movie.

Well we're already rolling into November so expect to hear about movies soon, and plenty of other posts on the way.