Showing posts with label star wars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label star wars. Show all posts

Friday, December 11, 2020

The Golden Age of Wireless: Streaming Service Offerings

No. I am not talking about one of the most fantastic albums ever released (though I should probably spill some virtual ink on that someday).   I am talking about the number of options afforded to us in streaming entertainment.  

In this time of Covid-19 we are supposed to stay at home and avoid interaction with others. That is fine, but it means we are spending a lot more time at home.  So I have been enjoying a lot of what streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon, HBO, and CBS All Access are really trying to get our attention with more programming.  Since I am also saving a small fortune by not having to drive into work anymore I am enjoying all of them.

Spock plays 3d Chess with Beth
Not a real show, but I wish.

Since I have been spending my week categorizing over 350 different demons for my demon book I don't have much RPG content to share right now.  So what's good on streaming?

CBS All Access

Or the all Star Trek all the Time Channel. Star Trek Discovery Season 3 has been fantastic this year.  The crew jumped 900+ years into the future (3188 to be exact) to save a sentient AI from falling into the wrong hands.  It doesn't quite have the emotional connection that Season 2 (the search for..well...Spock) did BUT for a Trek fan like me it has been great on the fan service and easter eggs.  This is essentially Season 1 of the new 32nd Century Star Trek.   This gives the creative team so much more freedom to do the special effects they obviously wanted to do anyway but also gives them some good storytelling freedom away from the established Trek canon.  This is amusing because this season has had the most callbacks to previous versions of Trek outside of Season 2's TOS homages. 

image of Star Trek Lower Decks and Discovery

Additionally, we are getting new episodes of Picard, Lower Decks (maybe and second season is coming I have not heard), and new shows like Strange New Worlds (Pike's Enterprise) and Section 31, Starfleet's Gray Ops group.  For a Trek fan this is fantastic!  

Amazon Prime

My October Horror Movie Challenge would not have been possible without Prime.  We have been watching a lot of Vikings lately.  Don't confuse it for actual history (even though it was on the History Channel) it has been fun and has given me some ideas. 

The Second Age Middle Earth series is underway.  Casting has been announced, but I don't think filming has started yet. 

Hulu

Have not taken as much advantage of this one as I should.  But the really fun Helstrom was here (and not Disney+ for some reason) and it shows that when Marvel does Horror, it can do a great job of it.

In many ways, Helstrom and Satana (Ana in the series) was Marvel's answer to DC's Constantine even though Hellstrom (2 "L"s) premiered a decade before.  Hellstrom, Satana, Doctor Strange, Blade and Dracula were all part of the Marvel Horror universe that I loved as a kid.  The changes from the comic to series were needed and very welcome to me really.  It is still full of Marvel AngstTM, but it is also a lot of fun. 

HBO Max (or + or Go or whatever it is called now)

HBO has been around forever. It and Showtime were two of the very, very first "movie channels" out there.  But today HBO is better known for its series.  True Blood (which for some reason is getting a reboot) and Game of Thrones are two notable ones.  This past year I have been watching Lovecraft Country (which is fantastic!) and His Dark Materials, which is getting better in Season 2.  We also got the DC shows, Harley Quinn, Titans, Doom Patrol, and soon we will be able to see Wonder Woman 84 and the Synder Cut of Justice League.

I don't care. I am such a DC fanboy that I am excited about this.

Netflix

The Champion of the Streaming Channels, but it has had some serious competition from Disney+.  Let's see what they have been offering me.  Netflix will be forever fixed in Geek Heaven for Stranger Things.  We will be getting the 4th season of that soon; filming is underway.  Enola Holmes, based on the YA books was also a hit, even if it didn't exactly conform to the established Holmes canon. We also got The Witcher based on the video game and now R. Talsorian Games RPG of the same name.

Speaking of Season 4, we are getting the LAST installment of the Chilling Adventure of Sabrina near the end of the month. It looks like they are taking it where the comic also went, into dealing with Cthulhu and other Lovecraftian horrors.  It looks like it should be great.

I was a little disappointed in ChAoS when they killed off Dorcas played by the lovely Abigail Cowen. while it may have been part of the plot, she was quickly scooped up it seems by another Netflix production, Fate.  I saw the trailer for it today and thought it looked cool, THEN I saw what it was at the end.

Fate: A Winx Saga. Whaaat? Winx Club as a comic and then a kids Nickelodeon animated series.  I thought it was a poor rip-off of Disney's W.I.T.C.H. so did Disney in fact.  Turns out Winx Club was published and in production a full year before the W.I.T.C.H. comics came out.  This is by the same people and is supposed to be darker and more adult.  I happy to see Abby Cowen is something where she is the star, I thought she had great potential on ChAoS and this should be fun too.

Oh. If you have not seen The Queen's Gambit it is fantastic.


Disney+

What can you say about Disney+? I mean even before they acquired Lucasfilm and Marvel they had one of the deepest wells of titles and characters.  Honestly just between the Disney, Pixar, and ABC material they own they could have been fine as a streaming service.  But let's be honest, as great as Pixar is no one dropped the cash for Disney+ for that alone.  Disney+ has been moving along famously in the last year or so thanks to The Baby Yoda Show The Mandalorian.  It has been a fantastic show and Season 2 has been delivering an action-packed episode all season long AND with great storytelling AND with characters I never thought in 40 years I'd see on TV.  While I am a Star Trek fan deep in my DNA, I do love Star Wars.  The adventures of Not Boba Fett and Space Pikachu has been some of the best Star Wars I have seen.  Disney+ could honestly do a victory lap now, but that was until yesterday when they made their 2021 announcements.

I have no idea how many new shows and movies are coming out for Marvel and Star Wars now. Lots. More than I ever thought one studio would try to do.  Instead of trying to recap them all (lots of other sites are doing that) let me just focus on the ones that interest me. 

WandaVison

I have a love/hate relationship with Scarlet Witch in Marvel.  First, she was never really a witch so I often felt "lied" too, except the times she was a witch. And a mutant. She was a villain, she was a hero, she was depowered, she was overpowered. As a character, she was all over the place. And sometimes she was just that, all over the place. She suffered from bouts of insanity, deep depression, and loss.  

I will give the movies credit on a couple of things.  Divorced from her "mutant" background it gave her character more definition. Also for the first time, I bought into her's and Vision's love for each other.

The new series WandaVision looks like it takes the background of the comic's characters and really makes a good series out of it.

Seriously, this could be Wanda going mad and her powers acting out creating new realities or something else. Or both. Given the character, it is likely both. Elizabeth Olsen is also a great actress and she can pull this off.  Frankly, the riffs on "Bewitched" are enough to get me to watch it. 

Watching this new trailer really puts a different spin on the first trailer released.  

There certainly something else going on here. I am looking forward to it.

Marvel: What If...?

One of my favorite Marvel Titles was "What If...?" The comic would break off into different sorts of stories all under the "What If" question.  What if Spider-man joined the Fantastic Four? Was the first one. "What if Gwen Stacy had lived? was an interesting one as well.  The best may have been the introduction of May "Mayday" Parker as "Spider-Girl" and the Gwen Stacy arc eventually planted the seeds to give us "Spider Gwen".  If Barry Allen/The Flash is the center point of DC's multiverse, then certainly Spider-man is the center of Marvel's.  It seems a little odd to me then that Spider-man doesn't feature at all in the trailer of Disney+'s "Marvel: What If...?" series.

I am sure it is more shenanigans with Sony.  Though the rumor is now that Alfred Molina will return as Doctor Octopus in the third Spider-man movie. Additionally, we could get past Peter Parkers as well now that Disney owns what was 20th Century Fox and Into the Spider-verse was a huge success. 

Here we are.  Our geek cups run over and there is more to fill even more cups.

Never would I have suspected that we would have so much genre entertainment at our fingertips.  Which is good since we really should not be going anywhere.

Ok Prof. Dolby, play us out.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

5 x 5: End of the Year Top Fives. Movies

Continuing my Top 5 for the year's end.  Here are my all-time Top 5 Movies.


Lord of the Rings



Raiders of the Lost Ark



Star Wars



Star Trek: Wrath of Khan



Army of Darkness


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mystara 3001: A Wild Space Odyssey (PWWO: Calidar + Star Wars + d20)

Over the weekend I spent some time cleaning.  I was going through a bunch of "old" d20 books from the dawn of the d20 boom.  I have Dragonstar which I loved in theory but not exactly in practice.  I have d20 Star Wars, which I also enjoyed but I am not totally up on all the Star Wars lore by any stretch of the imagination. I also have d20 Future which gives me all the cool Star Frontiers races I really enjoyed.

I was looking at this stack and thinking that really, I have everything I need for a kick-ass Space Opera game.  Plus in my mind Star Wars and D&D are inextricably linked together.  Not just in terms when they both hit my consciousness but also in feel.   I have often said that the best "D&D movie" ever was Star Wars (A New Hope for the younger fans).

I figure I could also grab some ideas from Gamma World and even Spelljammer.

But what I have been lacking is a way to bring them all together.

Then +Bruce Heard's Calidar came into my life.

 

I have spoken about Calidar in detail already.  The crunch is Pathfinder, which is d20 really.  So mixing it with d20 Future and d20 Star Wars is really a no brainer.

Calidar helped me smooth out some of the rough spots in my ideas.  It also gave me backgrounds and character to use.  Plus Calidar is a more solid hook for "D&D in Space" than Star Wars was.  I don't want to play a Star Wars game, but I do want to play with some of the toys in the game universe.

Space ships could be a combination of Magic-craft  or technology (not sure which yet). I would include all the planets from Calidar, but I could also take a page or two from Spelljammer and Star Wars.  Maybe not exact planets from Star Wars, but if this is going to be space opera then there has to be a "Dune" like planet there somewhere.  Or even a Dune/Tatooine/Athas composite.  But not make it a central location.

In fact to steal another page from Dune I think I need to do something to make extra special about Calidar.  In the game now Calidar is where you start and venture out.  I think I will have Calidar the destination instead.  The characters leave their home world. Likely Mystoerth and then the come here.  If I am using the Mystara Calendar then the Gazeteers were all published in or around 1015 AC.  I would make this 3000 AC. Or 3001 just to be that way.

It might seem odd to want to go back to 3rd Edition, but honestly I think it would be a blast.  The multi-classes, the Prestige classes, all of it would work great here.

I could also steal heavily from Doctor Who, Star Trek and even the 80s Buck Rogers and have a "Draconian Empire" that would be my Klingon analogues. Use Dragonborn naturally.  In many ways I guess it would by my Mystoerth world writ-large.

Yeah. The Allied Human worlds (Oerth, Mystara, Krynn and Toril) discover the new world of Calidar, which is rich in some resource.  They get there only to meet a counter claim from the Draconic Empire.  Already there are colonies of Dwarves and Elves, stationed on the moons, and an indigenous population.  This could be a lot of fun.  Plus it would give me my sci-fi kick I have been wanting for so long.

Monday, February 24, 2014

D&D40 Bloghop: Day 24

Day 24: First movie that comes to mind that you associate with D&D. Why?

That's easy.  There really is only one D&D movie.

Star Wars.  Or "A New Hope".



Not only was it out at the same time (more or less) I discovered D&D. It became so much a part of my experiences as a kid that is hard to tease out where one influence begins and the other ends.

This movie has: A boy who would be the hero, a swashbuckling rogue, a princess to rescue, a wise old man/wizard/jedi, an evil warrior, an impenetrable fortress, magic, fights, side-kicks, monsters, sword fights and epic battle.  Everything here IS D&D.  They even meet the rogue in a bar!

Yes this another retelling of the monomyth or The Hero with a 1,000 Faces.  That's why it works so well.

If you have never watched the original trailer, watch it.  It gives you an idea of what Star Wars was in the late 70s, before all the toys and baggage.




This is also one of the reasons I like the d20 Star Wars game over the West End Games d6 one.  To me Star Wars and D&D are the same.
It should also be no surprise that Star Wars movie posters are the only movie posters hanging in my game room/office.