Franchise Wars

With the release of the Avengers: Infinity War trailer dropping earlier this week, and the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi due out in a few days, nerd-dom is at its highest of levels right now. And while I cannot wait to see The Last Jedi in theaters on opening day, I’ve come to realize that I am more excited for Avengers than I am for Star Wars.

To some, this may seem sacrilegious. The franchises aren’t even in the same category or genre. How can they even be compared?

Earlier this week, Mark Hamill expressed his feelings about the Star Wars franchise on Good Morning America:

“When I read the script, I was stunned. These films now are being made by people that were children when the first films came out. They were the generation that grew up as fans and now are in charge of the franchise. It’s wonderful to be associated with something that makes people so happy. It’s escapism…we don’t want real life, it’s too harsh…”

Hamill isn’t wrong. Star Wars is quite the escapism for fans to leave the real world behind. And while I long for a release from the monotony of the day to day, Marvel has taken this idea on a different path.

In 2008, Marvel Studios’ Iron Man rocked box offices and started a ten year journey to the moment fans have waited for next year. In one film, they created the foundations for a franchise that rivaled Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and even Star Wars. What Marvel Studios did was allow the world to see that superheroes were still relevant in modern society.

I was never much of a comic reader as a kid (surprise!), mostly because they were expensive and I nor my parents could afford them regularly. But where older comics dealt with issues plaguing the WWII era – Captain America punching Nazis – many of the modern comics did not line up nicely with modern worldly issues. (Again, I’d like to restate that I did not read many comics as a kid, so perhaps I just never noticed that they did.) So when Iron Man rose to meet the challenges of war during our currently state of affairs in 2008, a realistic type of escapism occurred.

Maybe it could also be that I never discovered Star Wars until I was in my teens. Maybe those that grew up with the franchise connect more closely. Maybe it’s Marvel’s marketing to produce two movies a year that intertwine so seamlessly , where Star Wars is playing catch up with Rogue One and the upcoming Solo film.

Hamill’s right in that we all want an escape, but for me I want that escape to seem real. That doesn’t mean that I still don’t want to be a Jedi at heart, or that I don’t want to create screen-accurate Jedi cosplay, or that I can’t wait for an Obi-Wan Kenobi solo film. But for me, I watched that Infinity War trailer, ten years of emotion and excitement game me goosebumps. I love the Star Wars franchise for its fantasy entertainment, but the Marvel films to be more a more realistic, hopeful sort of fantasy escape for me.

What do you think? Which movie are you excited to see more? Do you think these franchises will see in an end in the near future? I’d love to continue the conversation in the comments below.

Avengers: Infinity WarTrailer

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer

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Just Let Lumpy Stare At You

In an interesting move, the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special has had it’s first tug into canon.

In the new Star Wars anthology book, From a Certain Point of View, there are 40 fun stories highlighting the ancillary characters in our favorite galaxy far, far away. The love and attention given to background characters in the Star Wars universe has long been a linchpin of its popularity starting with the release of the toys from the very first movie. Characters that had no lines and sometimes barely a second of screen time got a name, a figure and a back story. These would lay the foundation for some of the best Star Wars literature ever released. Although now cast to the “Legends” pile, the great “Tales of the Bounty Hunters” was one of my favorite examples of this. The story of Dengar and his wife saving Boba Fett is a classic… But I digress.

One of the stories contained in From a Certain Point of View is called, We Don’t Serve Their Kind Here by Chuck Wendig and is a fun little tale of Mos Eisley Cantina’s bartender, Wuher who mentions two characters by name, Ackmena and her wife Sorschi.

Why is this important?

BECAUSE IT MEANS THAT BEA ARTHUR’S CHARACTER ACKMENA FROM THE FLIPPIN’ STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL IS NOW CANON AND THAT IS BOTH AWESOME AND HILARIOUS!!

Star Wars Celebration 2017: The Experience

Earlier this week, Monday, April 17th, 2017, the halls of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida were quiet.

The four days earlier, however, were a different story.

This year celebrates 40 years of one of the largest, most beloved film franchises of all time, Star Wars. Since 1999, just before the release of the first prequel movie, The Phantom Menace, there has been intermittent gatherings of the fans as the Star Wars Celebration conventions have been held all around the world.

America, Japan, England, Germany….the phenomena that is Star Wars knows no boundaries and can be found in the hearts of fans of every age, gender, race, religion, culture, and creed.  Many of them were in attendance at this past weekend’s Celebration, and Amanda and I were glad to be counted among the masses.

Day One – Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Acclimation. Learning the ropes. Looking around, eyes wide, and testing the waters before the real waves hit.

Exhausted from spending  the day before at Disneyworld (my first time!), we decided to Continue reading

Poll: Which Video Game RPG Is Your Favorite and Why?

RPGs have long been a staple of the hardcore geek/nerd. Some people think this started with Dungeons & Dragons. In the current incarnation this may be true. Although I’m not sure of what or how, something tells me there has to have been Continue reading

Han Solo Begins

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Disney has officially begun production on Han Solo: A Star Wars Story, and released a cast photo for Day One of filming.

A few years ago, when Disney first announced the new trilogy of Star Wars films, they also alluded to a series of standalone films taking place in the universe of the Force.

The first of these, of course, was Rogue One, which we now know was a smashing success. Along the production line, it was also announced that we would be getting a few character-centric solo films. Speculation begun, as it does, on just who these stories would be about. More so, who we, the fans, wanted them to be about. With a rousing, but cautious cheer, we all shouted for Yoda, Boba Fett, Obi-Wan, Bib Fortuna, and of course, Han Solo. That lovable scoundrel himself. The question was raised then, “Who would play him?”. Of course we wanted Harrison Ford. But let’s be honest, that’s not going to happen.

Well, now we know. The Han Solo solo movie has begun principal photography, and we have our cast. Playing Han will be relatively new face, Alden Ehrenreich. Alden has had some pretty high-profile roles as of late, but if you’re a Supernatural fan, you’ll recognize him as the Wendigo from the 2nd episode of the series! He recently had a generous role in the Coen Brother’s film, Hail, Ceasar!.
As Han’s semi-friend, the inimitable Lando Calrissian, we’ll be getting geek-favorite actor Donald Glover. Glover is best known for his role as Troy in Community. Chewbacca will, of course, be joining us again (it doesn’t seem like we’ll ever have canonical closure on the story of how they actually met), now being played by Finnish basketball player and actor, Joonas Suotamo, I haven’t yet heard if Peter Mayhew will be working on the film (last I heard his health is failing, so send our OG Chewie some positive vibes!!).
Emilia Clarke, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Woody Harrelson are also on board as yet-uncomfirmed characters. However, it has been rumored that Harrelson will be playing Garris Shrike, Han’s mentor and a character resurrected from the old Star Wars Expanded Universe now decanonized and rebranded as Star Wars Legends. Particularly, the first book from the Han Solo Trilogy, The Paradise Snare.
As the film takes place before the events of A New Hope, the current rumor-mill has been that the film will be adapted from that book series, lending credence to the rumor that Emilia Clarke will be playing Bria Tharsen, who is a love interest of Han’s, also from The Paradise Snare.

You Were Right

I’m obsessed with a new pop-artist. Sure, Scott C still has my undying love, but I, for some reason, JUST discovered Dan Hipp.
I can’t seem to find an “about” page anywhere, but from what I can tell (what his tumblr and twitter bio says at least) Dan is the Art Director on Teen Titans Go!, which, I’ll be honest, I don’t love. Especially since Young Justice was so damned good and didn’t get a chance to continue past 2 seasons and this is still running…..*sigh*. Here’s a bio from an old (2011) blog:

Illustrator and comics artist Dan Hipp has clients that include Real Simple, Wired, DC Comics, Image Comics and Random House.

When not working on professional assignments, and/or training to survive the zombie apocalypse, Hipp fills his blog with his wonderfully colorful, energetic and in-your-face drawings of characters from comics, movies, games and other aspects of pop culture.

His takes on the characters are usually wacky and imaginative, including mashups and routine zombifications, and are often hilarious. I particularly enjoy his mash-up Tintin covers, in which Tintin meets Ridley Scott’s alien or becomes Han Solo.

Hipp employs large areas of bright but almost monochromatic color, against which smaller passages of contrasting color shine out. He embellishes his linework with areas of darks or textures and cranks it all up to 10 with his great sense of comic exaggeration.

You can browse his blog or Tumblr as well as his Flickr stream.

Unfortunately his limited edition collection Mr. Hip Strikes! is sold out, but you can still purchase some of the comics he has worked on, and, at some unspecified point in the (hopefully near) future you will be able to purchase his new book, Stray Days.

Who Watches the Watchmen, indeed.

Suffice to say, Dan is an amazing and imaginative artist who brings great life and ideas to some of our favorite characters. This particular piece prompted today’s post.
It’s a sort of “What if?” story for everyone’s favorite emo boy, Anakin Skywalker. WARNING….you may find someone cutting onions or the room filling up with smoke or just simple feels right in your heartspace after reading this:

YOUWERERIGHT

So yeah. You love Mr. Hipp now too. Follow his stuff!

Blog: http://mrhipp.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/misterhipp
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dan.hipp.1

There’s more, but you’re a smart cookie! Search him out yourself!!

The Nerd-Base Impressions of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (no spoilers)

StarWarsTFA
The Nerd-Base crew had been eagerly awaiting the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  Now that a bunch of us have rushed to the theaters, we thought we’d provide everyone with our personal impressions.  These impressions will not contain any spoilers but will provide a quick tidbit of information, especially for those silly people that have yet to see the movie.  Continue reading

SW: TFA Trailer 3 Easter Eggs

(This will be updated as new “eggs” are found, if you find any, feel free to share in the comments, and link your Twitter/Tumblr, what have you, for credit).

As we all pour over (cry with joy over) the latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, keep your eyes open for neat little tidbits.
Example: In the scene where Finn, Rey, Han, and BB-8 are walking into what looks like a temple of some form, there’s a very familiar symbol to be seen top-center, look at this screen cap right here:

Continue reading