Posts Tagged: Movies

My favourite part is when Muldoo, er… Indiana Jon, uh… Star-Lord becomes one with the velociraptors and leads them on an all-out assault against the hybridosaurus rex. All while riding a motorcycle, natch. Oh, and also the part where they forget about the fact that the first Jurassic Park was already about genetically modified dinosaurs.

Jurassic World hits theatres on June 12th, 2015. I’m already camping outside the theatre to get tickets.

Someone Who Loves You

‘Someone Who Loves You’ by James Chance

Star Wars: Episode VII rumours are like crack for the SFF community. We know they’re no good for us, we know they’ll whisper lies and false promises in our ear, but, dammit, it’s just so hard to say no. This latest round of rumours, reported on by The Hollywood Reporter, is chockfull of casting news, including: Smaug, Sherlock and Kahn himself, Benedict Cumberbatch; Chiwetel Ejiofor of 12 Years a Slave fame; and Breaking Bad star Jesse Plemons.

More on those rumours:

Never has a project attracted so much ink about meetings, but such is the passionate interest in Star Wars. Last fall, every few weeks there was a breathless reveal of a meeting, with names such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael B. Jordan, Jack O’Connell, Alex Pettyfer, Saoirse Ronan and Sullivan Stapleton coming up. And those are only the names that leaked out.

With all the actors being tossed around — including a report this week that Breaking Bad’s Jesse Plemons was meeting with director J.J. Abrams about a role — Heat Vision thought it was time to check in on Star Wars in general.

Sources confirm Plemons is on the list to chat with Abrams for Episode VII (and possibly the entire trilogy), with a meeting set to take place this week. But he is only one of a long string of actors on Abrams’ meeting list.

Additionally, there is also a rumour that “Abrams and Lucasfilm are now searching for a 20-something female actress who is either of mixed race or black. The rumor is that Obi-Wan Kenobi had a daughter or granddaughter.”

Oscar-winning writer Michael Arndt left the project in the fall of 2013, and The Hollywood Reporter says, “According to multiple insiders, the reason for the parting of ways was not due to a timeframe issue, as has been reported, but rather due to a difference of opinion of which characters to emphasize.”

Reportedly, Arndt’s script involved the children of the Luke, Leia, and Han (whether these characters were based on the existing children from the EU was unclear). “Abrams, however, wanted Episode VII to focus on the classic trio of characters,” says Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter. “So audiences could have one more chance to enjoy them before a fitting send-off. The new characters, the offspring, will now be in supporting roles, according to these sources, and take center stage in Episode VIII and IX. Some characters have disappeared from the Arndt script and new ones are being added.”

Because, you know, it’s not like there’s precedent that each of the trilogies would feature a new generation of Skywalkers or anything…

Destiny Concept Art
The Many Faces of an Alien

Aidan was kind of enough to give me the pulpit and asked me to share my thoughts on why I think aliens make such great enemies/sources of conflict in science fiction. Now, before I delve deeper into this, I believe it is important to break down the roles of aliens within the science fiction genre.

I find that these truly alien “Aliens” tend to make poor primary plot devices since readers need to make some sort of connection with antagonists in order for them to be effective enemies.

Aliens are portrayed usually in one of two ways. First, in the true sense, they are introduced as something completely foreign to Earth and our way of thinking. We tend to have a difficult time grasping their physiology, method of thinking, and purpose behind their logic. I find that these truly alien “Aliens” tend to make poor primary plot devices since readers need to make some sort of connection with antagonists in order for them to be effective enemies. Good storytelling requires the reader to sympathize or understand the characters in a book. Otherwise, the alien just devolves into being an antagonist for antagonists’ sake. Or in the words of Tropic Thunder, it’s like going “full retard.” The exception to that is if these antagonists are there only to serve as a plot device to reflect the focus of the story back onto the protagonist. It’s not about the goal, it’s about the journey sort of storytelling.

The second way that aliens are portrayed in science fiction is to make them not alien at all and uses them as a literary vehicle to explore social issues within our culture and society. Usually, the author does this a safe distance by hiding behind the façade of portraying an alien culture, but can delve deeply into lingering prejudices and social stereotypes. Read More »