See how Rogue One leads into A New Hope [spoilers]

First, SPOILERS AHEAD! Do not read any further if you don’t want to know the ending of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Still here?

Are you sure now?

Alright, here we go. Rogue One ends just before the opening scene of A New Hope. If you’ve seen A New Hope, you already know the story of Rogue One; it’s pretty much the opening crawl. While I appreciated Rogue One would fit nicely with the rest of the Star Wars canon I hadn’t realised just how much attention to detail had gone into making the two match up.

Rogue One ends (These are those spoilers, remember? One last chance to look away) with the Rebel Fleet taking a pounding from the Imperial Navy. Darth Vader makes a supremely memorable assault on the Tantive IV in an attempt to stop the Rebels escaping with the Death Star plans. We get to look inside the Tantive IV and get a brief on-screen appearance from a CGI Princess Leia.

Vimeo user Barre Fong has spliced the end of Rogue One with the opening of A New Hope, and it’s plain to see there was a great effort to make everything look just as it should. Sure, you can occasionally see the effects in A New Hope are a bit dated (after all, it did come out in 1977) but it still stands up well and you could almost believe it’s a continuation of the same movie.

Take a look at the video below and enjoy just how well Disney and Gareth Edwards made these two great movies join up (and look soon, because I have no idea if or when the video will be pulled off Vimeo).

If you would like to own Rogue One for yourself it will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on the 10th of April.

Classical orchestra and chilli peppers? How do they keep going!?

What happens if you give the Danish National Chamber Orchestra super-hot chilli peppers? Well, I know I’ve munched on a few chillis that turned out to be too much for me so you might be thinking you know how this is going to go.

Watch the video below, though (from 2014) and I think you’ll be surprised as just how disciplined these folks are to keep going while obviously suffering!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Trailer

Guardians of the Galaxy was (and still is) one of my favourite movies so I’m really looking forward to Vol. 2. The good news is, if the trailer is any indication, it looks like it’s going to be great!

Take a peek at the latest trailer below:

Did a cheeseburger really inspire the Millennium Falcon?

Millennium FalconWhen I was a teenager the story was going round that the design of Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon was inspired by a cheeseburger George Lucas was eating while thinking about how the space ships in his new movie should look.

He took the cheeseburger, stuck an olive on the side, and the Millennium Falcon was born… or at least the idea was.

I don’t know how these stories spread in a pre-Internet age but somehow that seemed to be the widely accepted understanding of how the Falcon came to be. But is it true? Michael Heilemann at Kitbashed has done some extensive research into the early stages of Star Wars’ design, and come up with an interesting alternative. He mentions the same story I heard, and then rapidly moves on to more believable versions of the Falcon’s origin story. Rather than replicate his material here, why not head on over and have a read of it on the Kitbashed site?

There’s no better source on the subject of design than one of the actual designers, and it’s great to see that Joe Johnston, visual effects pioneer and director, has given some of his own reflections into working on the design of Star Wars. You can find that on his Facebook page, and it both lends weight to some of Heilemann’s article and corrects a few things.

But back to the original question: did a cheeseburger really inspire the Millennium Falcon? Well, perhaps on a subconscious level, but not directly. It certainly doesn’t look like there was a lunch-time moment when the design crystallised. As with most things, the story is a little more complex than that.

Stampy’s Christmas Cake Caper

A few weeks ago I took my children Dundee to see the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Christmas Lecture… with one of their heroes: Stampy.

Who?

Stampy (Joseph Garrett) is one of the top-10 YouTube creators worldwide, posting “let’s play” videos and at least one Minecraft video per day.

The kids loved it, and I have to admit I quite enjoyed it too!

If you’re in the UK (sorry non-UK people) you can watch the video on the BBC iPlayer by going to http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p039030s/stampys-christmas-cake-caper

The iPlayer shows the afternoon show, but we were at the evening one. If you want to see the Let’s Play from the evening check out the video below.

All I’ll say is the recording doesn’t do the volume justice… a whole theatre full of screaming children can be a tad noisy!

Independence Day: Resurgence trailer now out

Independence Day (1996 – wow, was it really that long ago?) saw alien invaders successfully sent packing from Earth. But, if that happened, would the invaders just give up and go away?

What if they came back? And what if mankind had been using tech salvaged from the first invasion to make sure they were ready for when it happened?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Independence Day: Resurgence.

The trailer has just been released, and the movie is scheduled to come out in the summer of 2016. Watch the trailer below, and don’t forget to tell us in the comments what you think!

Pixels: so bad it could be good?

Pixels the movieI’ll be honest; when I watched the trailer for Pixels I had to check the date to make sure it wasn’t April 1st. Even now, I’m not sure whether it’s going to be absolutely brilliant, absolutely terrible, or that strange mix of the two where a movie can be so bad it’s actually good.

Anyway, here’s the idea: Aliens misinterpret humanity’s attempts to contact them… seeing our video games not as entertainment but as a declaration of war. The result? They come to earth to attack us with the very games we played!

It looks like they’re all ’80s classics, which really appeals to my nostalgic side, but will it actually be any good? I guess there’s only one way to find out :)

Have a look at the trailer below and then hit the comments. Will you be watching this? Is it just a terrible idea? It is the best thing you’ve ever seen? Let us know what you think.

UK Legalises media backups

Radio

Image by The Rocketeer
Used under Creative Commons

Now this is interesting. While it’s been common practice for some time to “back up” your CDs, movies, and eBooks by ripping them or copying them, it has technically been an infringement of copyright to do so. A new law has come into force in the UK, though, that makes it legal to keep backups of media you own either on local storage or in the cloud.

There are caveats, as always: you cannot sell the original media and keep the backup, nor can you share your backup with friends or family. In short, it’s about you having a backup copy of something you still own.

You are also not allowed to record streamed media, even if you subscribe to the streaming service, or to “backup” rented media like games or DVDs. Interestingly, companies like Google, Amazon and Apple are not required to remove DRM so, while you are technically allowed to back your media up, the media providers don’t have to make it easy for you to do so.

Copyright protection is still in place; you can’t copy something you haven’t already bought, but there is perhaps an argument that media providers are going to lose out in cases where a person might have bought an iTunes track to listen to on their iPod, and a CD to listen to in the car. I think this new situation is eminently sensible though: we back up all sorts of important files, so it makes sense to be able to back up your music, videos, and other media.

For more info, check out this article on BBC News.

Do you keep copies of your music, videos, etc. in other formats? Or do you buy a separate copy for every listening or viewing platform you have? Why not share your thoughts in the comments?

Abslom Daak, I presume?

The new series of Doctor Who is forging ahead on the BBC at the moment. I have to say, I’m loving Peter Capaldi as an older, grumpier Doctor!

I also love the fact that the show’s lead writer and producer, Steven Moffat, is a Doctor Who fan and likes to weave references to old stories into the show. Well, on the trailer for next week’s episode, Time Heist, I picked up a reference to a character I’d completely forgotten about.

There’s a point in the trailer where someone is looking through what appears to be a list of criminals (they all have police numbers), and we very briefly see this guy:

Abslom Daak on screen

Recognise him? If you were a reader of the Doctor Who magazine in the 80s and early 90s you might recognise Abslom Daak, Dalek Killer! Daak was a criminal sentenced to life as a Dalek hunter and I loved the comic strips! Now, given that this is just a very brief appearance it’s more likely a nod to the fans than news of Daak actually appearing in a future episode, but it still made me smile.

So, two questions, do you remember Daak at all? And what other inter-story moments have you noticed in Doctor Who? References to previous locations? Characters you’d forgotten ever existed? Tell us in the comments below.

Find out more about Daak here and, if you’re in the UK, you can watch the Time Heist trailer on the BBC website.

LEGO Ghostbusters: The Movie (well, part of it)

So, after Monday’s post about the LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto1 set, there’s more :) Not actual sets this time, but still pretty good stuff.

MonsieurCaron of BrickFun.net has put together one of the early scenes from the movie… entirely in LEGO. Take a peek at the video below and enjoy.

If you like that, check out http://brickfun.net/ for more LEGO and Movie combos.