Tuesday, April 21, 2015

BY GRABTHAR'S HAMMER! A Galaxy Quest TV series!


It's entirely possible that Galaxy Quest is the best Star Trek movie ever made. It wasn't a huge draw in theaters but it reveled in Trekdom's greatest assets--it's fans. What seems to be satire on the surface is also a love-letter of sorts to nerds of every stripe. Now Paramount has plans to turn the 1999 film into a regular series:

I wonder if they could get Tim Allen to be the show's Shatner and Tony Shalhoub to be the groovy-with-himself engineer again? I'm not sure they could get Alan Rickman, but that would pretty much be the necessary trifecta.


One of the things I loved about the film, was it relished its exploitation of Trek, but also every other TV trope in fervent detail--right down to making a mockery of meaningless plot devices (Beryllium Sphere? Omega 13, anyone?). With successful scifi comedies like The Venture Bros., Futurama, Danger 5, and Archer, the show's producers would have their work cut out for them, but they have the potential to really make something wonderful.

More details:

All images: Paramount Pictures

TRAILER: Some real chemistry going on in Fantastic Four



Somehow they snuck this one in over the weekend, amidst all the Star Wars and Bats v. Capes trailers out there. This looks much improved over the previous trailer that really didn't seem too connected to the famous quartet.


This new trailer though has some real spark to it--and while I won't say it makes me think of the comics, the characters seem to have something driving them, other than scenery this time. Maybe going younger with the main characters wasn't such a bad idea after all.

We get a glimpse of their powers, the Thing in full rocky-regalia, and finally a peek at Dr. Doom!

Monday, April 20, 2015

D6 Star Wars Space Heist recap: PART 2


Well, best laid plans are sometimes blasted to tiny particles by turbolasers. In the previous play report, I talked about how a big action scene was skipped (though plenty of other action still took place). This time around, things got down right methodical.

We had two new players join the group, while one from the previous session was unable to attend. That character (Hera) was on a "side mission" for Daelu. Her astromech, was conveniently left behind to assist in the mission.The new PCs included:
  • Thall Joben from the DROIDS tv series! He's a speeder racer, which woulda' been PERFECT for the previous game. But whaddya gonna do?
  • A Mon Calmari first mate. I can't recall his name while I write this, but he's sort of a technical dude (starship repair and gunner) who's well versed in bureaucracy. So pretty much like a GM certified mechanic, I'd imagine.

The new players added a great dimension to the game in the way of strategy--especially when it came to determining how to approach the base. This is the "figuring out how they're going to pull the job" part of the adventure.

Da-Dah-Da-DAAAAA!

PLAYER PRO-TIP: If you spend a session on investigation and strategy when the big action scene was supposed to go down and you don't play for another month, you've just given the GM more time to think up more nastiness to revisit upon you on your next session. Game wisely!

Of course, this is all in jest. I did ramp up their timeline--instead of a week in game-time, they get 72 hours to get their gear and get on with the mission. A quick side trip to see if they can find out find out the source of the cargo vessels.

Anyway, blah, blah....

COMMENCE INFODUMP:

  • The PCs were given the layout of the base, per some of Daelu's Bothan spy brothers. Since the last session, he's begun getting more of his pals on board with the rebels. The Bothans are building their spy network.
  • The plans confirmed that the base is heavily protected, though some of the Empire's signature vehicles like the walkers aren't present due to terrain and giant vines. Instead there are several squads of jungle scout troopers and speeders. 
  • The facility is essentially a super secure IT building for the Empire, housing the plans and beaming a constant stream of updates through a secure channel of linked probe droids. The data is easier to manage and now protected by killer robots. If one should self-destruct or be taken out, it drops off network and the Imperials are immediately alerted.
  • So the PCs, fearing detection decide to test the cloaking device and do a scan of the gas giant's system and check out the moon the base is on. 
  • Melaku (the gas giant) has a weirding field of electromagnetic flux. Several large iron core asteroids have been towed into place by the Empire and fitted with sensors. Their high metallicity ends up reflecting the gas giant's field back into itself. It's one giant E/M blanket. Any ship that flies inside the orbit of these satellites--and doesn't have a cloaking device--is immediately detected by Imperial sensor scans. The entire field magnifies sensors! 
  • The jungle moon, where the base is located has a single centurion probe droid that acts as majordomo for all space transport to and from the planet. It actually travels back and forth between the base to relay data. Any transmission from the droid would be likewise picked up by those big reflectors on the other moons and the Imperial armada would be there to take care of any unwanted guests. 
  • They do a flyby of the moon to get a close look at the base, which looks to be exactly as the plans they've recovered.
  • So how does the base relay it's real-time holonet code of the DS plans to Imperial contractors? A hyperspace transmitter! Works on the same principles as a hyperdrive, but it's beaming info directly to a network of probe droids hidden in hyperspace that then relay encrypted data almost instantly. It's the transmitter's control computer--a sentient A.I.--that needs to be hacked to get the code. 
    Bothan brandy makes Lobot's circuits all tingly
  • The computer core is split into 3 "personas" and it takes 2 to get a complete code. Communicating with the cores requires a protocol droid with unique modifications. Only 3 known individuals are said to know how to make the upgrades. One is one is dead. One is on Coruscant. The other is on.....BESPIN!
  • Thinking (correctly) that there wouldn't nearly the Imperial presence on Bespin as Coruscant, our heroes depart for Cloud City.
  • Dalelu says it might be a good idea to bring along a little "incentive" so Chin Duo loads a crate of his best Bothan brandy in case they need to grease the wheels in negotiations. 
  • When they're introduced to the city's administrator, LANDO CALRISSIAN, the gift make for smooth introduction and he agrees to lend out the services of his assistant, the top A.I. expert in the quadrant: LOBOT! The cyborg makes the necessary mods to "Spare" so he can talk to the cores.
  • Calrissian says he wants in on whatever the PCs find. He needs leverage with the Imperials should they decide to interfere with his Tibanna gas mining operation. He lets them know that the Imperials have indeed built this "superweapon" they keep hearing about and intend on testing it...in the next 48 hours!
  • NEXT TIME: The team is off to Melaku to begin their mission, now with a working cloaking device and a suped-up protocol droid. 
  • Hopefully, the intelligence they've gathered is correct....
SPAR-3 gets an upgrade
Lessons learned:
So I failed to deliver on the "Big Damn Heroes" aspect I'd managed in the previous game. The "exciting conclusion!" is postponed for one more session. But I assure you, the PCs are now painted into a very tight corner, so it's do or do not (there is no try!) for Part 3.

And if they live through that session, I have an even more exciting "bonus" adventure, so it could stretch to a forth session. We'll have to see because we're now running into scheduling issues with the next few SNSO events.

We've got a "make-up" game for this coming up, with the exact date and time to be decided. But I'm looking forward to throwing the players into the deep end with a combat-heavy session!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

TRAILER 2: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS



Here's the latest trailer for Star Wars: Episode 7: The Force Awakens, that just debuted at Celebration (the big fan convention). Oh, the feels are strong with this one. Lots of action too!

Looks like the Empire has fallen to dust. Or...has it?


UPDATE: io9 has posted a nice shot-by-shot breakdown.

Flash Gordon movie in development!!!

It's happening! As in really happening. We've been left heartbroken before--like when Mummy director Stephen Sommers was the director of the moment, and poised to take the big screen reins. But the project lingered too long, then fizzled completely.

Now, it seems, 20th Century Fox is finally ready to make a new Flash Gordon movie a reality.


They've picked the right director, Matthew Vaughn has proven himself to a more than capable handler of well-known genre franchises, like when he rebooted The X-men. He's good with fast-paced action and ensemble casts. And his most recent film, Kingsman: The Secret Service was a huge success last year.

A recent report had quoted the last man to play Flash, Sam Jones, stating that a new movie would be a sequel. I really, really hope that's not true. I love the 1980 film. But its place in pop culture is firmly seated in camp. The Mike Hodges movie, the 70s animated series, the 50s live action series, and the old movie serials before them--they're all fantastic in their own way. It's time now for something new. But that doesn't mean we have to start from scratch.

I'm really hoping this is what we're in for:


A Flash that's full-on swashbucker...


A Dale that finally gets her due as a fully-realized character, with wit and wry humor of her own...


And swoopy rocketships...


And close encounters with strange beasts and weird technology...


The 2014 run of Flash by Dynamite comics with Jeff Parker (writer), Evan "Doc" Shaner (pencils) and Jeordi Bellaire (colors) was one of the best iterations in years. A live action version of that run, or even something in the spirit of it, with Parker's snappy dialogue and Shaner's sublimely classic feel but still thoroughly modern. 

Vaughn would be wise to hire them--as well as Flash's other comic caretaker Jim Keefe--to get some perspective on handling the Mongoverse and its cast of characters. 

Parker and Shaner have done an incredible job with their run and Keefe had Flash for years in weekly and Sunday newspapers. Together they'd make a formidable creative team.


In any case, the keys to Flash's rocket cycle to the movies seem to be in good hands.


Yes Vultan--very much so!


More about Flash: