Sep 24, 2015

Ello Asty is born to ill...

Ello Asty is 'born to ill'
If you've ever watched a Star Trek movie by JJ Abrams, you may have noticed he quite likes the Beastie Boys. And that love has had a we influence on The Force Awakens.

The Star Wars Databank describes a pilot,  Ello Asty as being a skilled if occasionally reckless X-wing starfighter pilot for the Resistance.

Turn out that the name Ello Asty is likely a play on the Beastie's work Hello Nasty.

How do we know this true and is not just some over reading into things by Star Wars fan boys?

Yak Face, as some have perhaps rudely called him also has the words 'Born to Ill' on his helmet.

Check out the writing on Asty's helment by his right check - it translates as born to ill.

Check out Ello Asty's quotes from TFA.

Sep 13, 2015

Doug Chiang's Kylo Ren concept art

When every Star Wars story has been told and the bones are picked apart, the name Doug Chiang will stand proudly along side names like Joe Johnston and Ralph McQuarrie as being one of the great influences of how Star Wars looked and thus felt. Chiang was notably hugely influential in how the Prequel Trilogy looked by way of his concept art. 

kylo ren by Doug Chiana

He was asked to do The Force Awakens as well – and while a lot of concept art has leaked, this shot of Kylo Ren in the forrest is the first official piece of concept art from TFA by Chiang. It’s more post production concept art than the kind of work that’s done when one is just doodling ideas, however it is striking in its statement: There is evil on the ground again.

This work of art can be found in the book The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Sep 10, 2015

Who are the Acolytes of the Beyond from The Force Awakens? What is the connection to Kylo Ren and the Knights?

Early concept art of Kylo Ren with Vader's burnt helmet
"Acolytes of the Beyond" is a group of four words that dropped into Star Wars canon last week in the book Aftermath How they fit into the canon, we have no idea but we’re pretty to happy to speculate.

The book Aftermath introduced the acolytes who said to be trying to buy Vader's saber from someone to 'destroy it and return it to its master in death.

First of all, what is an acolyte? Is that something found in Gatorade? No, an acolyte is someone who performs religious duties as part of a ceremony or who has been inducted into a particular ministry.

In this case, the acolytes are presumably in the ‘ministry’ of whatever the Beyond is. We could presume the Beyond is the realm of the Force inhabited by Force ghosts such as Gui-Gon Gin, Obi-Wan Kenobi and good old Yoda.

Remember, if Qui-Gon can learn its tricks, so can Darth Sidious.

I definitely did deliberately leave out mentioning Anakin in that line up as I think it would seem obvious to suggest that given Kylo Ren is hunting down Sith artifiacts, including Vader's worldly possessions- see the above leaked concept art for the big hint. 

For a long time prior to the release of Aftermath,  the word on the street was that the saber given to Luke by Obi-Wan i.e. Anakin’s weapon is the so called MacGuffin of the The Force Awakens). It would seem this would be true given the reference to people hunting for Vader's saber in Aftermath (of course, the second trailer shows the saber being handed from Maz Katana to General Leia as well.....)

It's a waste of time though for the Acolytes as Vader reverted to Anakin after his death in Return of the Jedi. He has no need for a saber anymore...

If this is indeed true, it would seem a fair bet the Kylo Ren is an Acolyte of the Beyond or has some affiliation to it.

That said, JJ Abrams let it be known that Kylo Ren is part of what is called the Knights of Ren. We expect them to turn up in the Force Awakens as a kind of Sinister Seven – possibly in a flash back scene in which they kill a few Jedi. That’s all speculation of course. Well researched speculation though…


The above could be all wrong however. Here's a cut from the Aftermath book where a new interpretation of Beyond could mean.

"No Sith remains. And the lone Jedi that exists--the son of Anakin Skywalker--possesses an untouchable soul. At least for now. We must instead move towards the dark side. Palpatine felt that the universe beyond the edges of our map was where his power came from. Over the many years he, with our aid, sent men and women beyond known space. They built labs and communication stations on distant moons, asteroids, out there in the wilds. We must follow them. Retreat from the Galaxy. Go out beyond the veil of stars. We must seek the source of the dark side like a man looking for a wellspring of water."

It's literally the Great Beyond..... 

Sep 9, 2015

Star Wars just got so gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Remember the rightful fuss some people made that there wasn't enough new female characters in The Force Awakens? They got what they wanted eventually - all part of the JJs slow release of of information.

Why did they get upset? Because people want diversity in their Star Wars.

Same goes for having gay characters in the Star Wars realm. The need to diversity to reflect more modern approaches to sexuality.

Apparently some folk are upset that there are gays running round now, especially in Chuck Wendig's canon novel, Aftermath. They apparently don't want diversity.

There's something wrong with that attitude.

Chuck Wendig rightly thinks so too and posted this absolutely fantastic reponse to the haters in this blog post:

'And if you’re upset because I put gay characters and a gay protagonist in the book, I got nothing for you. Sorry, you squawking saurian — meteor’s coming. And it’s a fabulously gay Nyan Cat meteor with a rainbow trailing behind it and your mode of thought will be extinct. You’re not the Rebel Alliance. 

You’re not the good guys. You’re the fucking Empire, man. You’re the shitty, oppressive, totalitarian Empire. If you can imagine a world where Luke Skywalker would be irritated that there were gay people around him, you completely missed the point of Star Wars.

It’s like trying to picture Jesus kicking lepers in the throat instead of curing them. Stop being the Empire. Join the Rebel Alliance. We have love and inclusion and great music and cute droids.'

Nayan cat meteors indeed.

I think it's safe to assume that Kim Davis won't be reading Aftermath any time soon.

Sep 7, 2015

Anthony Daniels has become a cranky old man and we love him for it.

In a recent interview, C3PO’s heart and soul, Anthony Daniels shared some incredible insights into how he feels about a few Star Wars related things.

He suggested that Disney had acted like the Kremlin when he tweeted that he had met Simon Pegg on the set of Star Wars.

 This was apparently supposed to be a secret, however it was a pretty open one across the web.

For those that don’t know, the reference to the Kremlin is a suggestion that Disney acts like the Russian government, and they don’t tolerate dissent, free speech or the like.

That was amusing enough, and good on Daniels for speaking his mind.

But things get even better, Daniels goes on to totally diss the Prequel Trilogy! Check this statement:

“Ah, the prequels… The effects are clever but pointless. The skill is there, but so what? Coldness, that’s the word. Bleakness, even.”

We understand that Daniels made a condition of his appearance in The Force Awakens that his character would not be CGI. One can see why he did that if his experience filming the OT films was so bleak…

There is some shining light for the Golden Rod though. He is effusive with praise for the approach Disney and JJ are taking with the new film with a contrast on how Lucas did thing:

“[Lucas] has changed a lot over the years, but I think he finds it slightly hard to collaborate.  He made decisions that I believe might have been better discussed with other people. J.J. is more collaborative. He likes to listen… It became clear early on that with J.J. we were getting back to the old-fashioned kind of film-making. We have walls. Actual sets!”

So there we go. 

Facts and Triva about Kylo Ren

Everything we know about Kylo Ren thus far:
  • Kylo Ren is an adopted name.
  • His true origins are unknown at this time.
  • Ren comes from The Knights of Ren, a mysterious group.
  • His red lightsaber was made by himself. 
  • Ren is played by Adam Driver.
  • He reports to General Hux and Supreme Commander Snoke of the First Order
  • He is an artifact collector, and has Darth Vader's mask in his possession.
  • He likes to burn villages down

Any thing else is probably scuttlebut but I like these ideas:
  • He is possibly a part of the Accolytes of Beyond.
  • He is possibly of Solo / Organa parentage