Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Star Wars: Joker Squad stormtroopers

joker squad box 01
Seriously, this was one of my most anticipated Star Wars pack for the year in addition to the upcoming Wedge Antilles X-Wing, the Scramble from Yavin battle pack and the Jabba's throne pack. When I saw this on the shelves of most of the shopping malls around the city, I thank God that it got through all the crap 'exclusively for Walmart/Target-stores-only' bureaucracy thing!

But before I show some of the pictures I've taken of these excellent figures. A brief history on Joker Squad and why I'm so intrigued by their story...



Technically, Joker Squad made their 1st appearance in Star Wars Legacy #4: Noob:
joker squad 1st appearance comic SW Legacy #4

And later on (albeit different team members save for one surviving 'Noob' and the Sergeant from #4) in #16 and #17 respectively. But let's just focus on the 1st appearance issue for discussion sake.

Joker Squad was a stormtrooper squad of Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire. As of 137 ABY it was part of Company C, Battalion 9, 407th Stormtrooper Division and based on Yinchorr. Members of the squad were called "Jokers."

Its members at that time included:
* Lord Maleval, a Quarren Sith Lord armed with a red lightsaber and a lightwhip. Loyal to Darth Krayt, this Quarren villain features a cloth robe with wires inside so you may pose it any way you see fit along with loads of articulation.
* Sergeant Harkas, or "Hardcase" as his men call him, has uniquely decorated armor indicating his rank. This tough-as-nails trooper leads his men against the opposition in the name of the Emperor!
* Anson Trask, fresh out of training, is the "noob" of the group. Having just been assigned to his first mission, this soldier is ready to fight alongside his squad mates against a worthy foe-- a group of defectors!
* Jes Gistang handles the heavy weapons in Joker Squad, and she's the first-ever female Stormtrooper in the Star Wars action figure line! With slicked-back red hair and a weapon nearly as big as she is, this amazing figure is ready to rain down the pain on her enemies!
* Hondo Karr, rumored to be an ex-Mandalorian, is as proficient with his blade as he is with a blaster. Surprising for a Stormtrooper, this anti-authoritarian loose cannon is a bit of a mystery. Can he be trusted with the future of the Empire?
* Vax Potorr was born on Coruscant, and through a life of hardship, he eventually found his way into Joker Squad. Ready to jump head-first into battle, he has his eye on the enemy and his blaster aimed right at their heads!
During the Battle of Borosk, Gistang and Potorr were killed, Harkas was wounded, and Karr deserted. This left only Anson Trask and a replacement who arrived after the battle. Later, Sgt. Harkas, Anson Trask, Private Orland, and presumably the rest of the rebuilt Joker squad, went searching for Jedi on Ossus.
Why do I find the story on Joker Squad so fascinating? Well, the ending of #4 of 'Legacy showed that friendship, common sense, conscience and gut feeling eventually prevails over blind loyalty and supposedly unquestionable orders. Read the particular issue to find out more. I've read it again many many times since I got the action-figures....hehe.

My opinion, they should've done a figure for Lieutenant Gil Cassel or even his 'defecto' brother, Captain Jared Cassel. Why? Because they were instrumental in playing out the plot in the story as well. But that's just me...

Anyway, these are some pictures I've taken on the figures:

joker squad 01

joker squad 05

lord maleval 02

sergeant harkas 04

vax potorr 04

hondo karr 02

anson trask 03

Jes Gistang 03

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gatchaman 2010 film!

Goodness, I was browsing the net casually as I was munching thru some biscuits over lunchtime when I came across this movie teaser poster:

Apparently this image (and the rest of the teaser pics below) were taken off some Japanese fansite. In fact, fans were already discussing about this upcoming CGI movie slated for a 2010 release since late last year. Several blogs and online discussions have even bloomed as of late. Now, how the heck did I miss all these?


And some still images/teaser pics from the upcoming CGI film:


The movie will focus on Ken, Joe, Jun, Jinpei and Ryu, with a focus on how they eventually formed the Science Ninja Team (i.e. it will be a direct adaptation of the original Japanese series rather than westernized versions aka Battle of the Planets or G-Force) before they were dispatched to hunt down the Galactor terrorist group.

Set in the future world grappling with environmental and technological issues, the film's storyline focuses on five reluctant heroes whose remarkable genetic code inadvertedly made them Earth's only hope of defeating extra-terrestrial invaders.

Called it what you will, but I'll always remember fondly the series being called as either Battle of the Planets (Mark, Jason, Princess, Keyop, Tiny, Chief Andersen against the evil villain Zoltar) or G-Force (Ace Goodheart, Dirk Daring, Agatha June, Pee Wee, Hoot Owl, Dr. Brighthead against the main villain Galactor). Ah, those sweet Saturday morning cartoons.....
Can't wait for the 2010 release! Meanwhile, check out the teaser 10-second trailer below:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tagged: 6 Random Things About Myself

Being tagged by Adrian....and later by Joshua, pretty much sealed my inevitable fate of non-escaping of doing the same here. I've been bogged down with work lately and hadn't even started any posting for April yet...that's kinda a writers' block I reckon! Ah well, let's not procrastinate any further....I've got some minutes to spare before the next busload of work piles up at my desk.
The Rules of the Tagging Game are:
1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Write six random things about yourself.
4) Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5) Let each of the six persons know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up


Ok....

1) Music - Music has always been an integral part of my life. Started listening to music since God knows when. My favourite singers/bands are The Beatles, KISS, Black Sabbath, Elvis Presley, Engelbert Humperdinck, The Beach Boys, The Police, Soundgarden....the lists go on for another page or so (so let's cut it short there!). Interestingly, I've started jamming since the age of 14 and never looked back since!
2) Movie junkie - Both me' wife and I are movie buffs/junkies. We have a s***load of DVDs stacked at our place (does 600++ DVDs sound a lot? It does to us...hehehe). You can say that we have movie-nights every other night.
3) Avid supporter of Blackburn Rovers - I was an Arse' fan in the early 90s, having marvelled at the sublime skills of Ian Wright and Kevin Campbell (pre-Arsene Wenger days!) but since got hooked to Kenny Dalglish's Rovers when they first gave chase to the leaders of the pack in the EPL. Some of my colleagues said that I'm living in the past...but I don't care, at least I'm not a 'cliche/glory hunter' fan! :p
4) Books - Being the nergy geek that I am, I enjoy the works of Stephen King, Kevin J. Andersen, Neil Gaiman and Timothy Zahn. Not to mention the boxes of comics I've ammassed in my younger days, though nowadays I'd mostly buy trade paperbacks from either Kino' or BORDERS (no time to collect and endure those excruciating monthly single comics anymore!).
5) Basketball - Despite being an ardent football fan (nowadays its' countless futsal sessions every now and then), I used to represent my university in basketball. Played at the point-guard (PG) position and sometimes rotated as a make-shift center. I've always thought i was a tad short for a 'center' at 6'.....especially when a forward buddy of mine is already at a stagerring 6' 4"!
6) French is my 3rd language - Yeah, as corny as it may sound, I took French classes once upon a time. Well, it was more like a pre-requisite at one of my previous universities. God knows how I badly need to practice....I'm rusty as heck!
Now, for my next victims, I thought of tagging some fellow Malaysian bloggers here, since most of them remained mysteriously elusive till date. So reveal thy-selves 'o fellow bloggers:
Darth Mental @ Mental Block
Bro'Rock @ Rockaholic
K @ Kaylook/KNaDam
MatAmit @ MatAmit
Base Guardian @ superheroesbase
and lastly....razman @ razmanshah27 (I don't care the fact that u've already been tagged twice before...this is to enforce you to respond even more! heheh)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

George Lucas' take on the various Star Wars 'canon/universe continuity'....


Here's a bit of information on what George Lucas (that's the founder of the whole gosh-darn Star Wars universe for you newbies/noobs!) thinks about the Expanded SW Universe (EU) and the rest of the continuity storylines.

During an interview in Starlog magazine, August 2005:

"I don't read that stuff (expanded Universe). I haven't read any of the novels. I don't know anything about that world. That's a different world than my world."

Hmm, after reading this, I wonder if thousands (if not millions) of fans still persist of reading/enjoying about the expanded storylines in exchange of becoming a Star Wars' purist! Hehehe....

Here's another one. In July 2001, Lucas gave his opinion on the different canon storylines of Star Wars during an interview with Cinescape magazine:

"There are two worlds here. There's my world, which is the movies, and there's this other world that has been created, which I say is the parallel universe—the licensing world of the books, games and comic books. They don't intrude on my world, which is a select period of time, [but] they do intrude in between the movies. I don't get too involved in the parallel universe."

In the May 2008 edition of the Total film magazine:

"I've left pretty explicit instructions for there not to be any more features. There will definitely be no Episodes VII-IX. That's because there isn't any story. I mean, I never thought of anything. And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn't at all what I would have done with it. The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn't come back to life, the Emperor doesn't get cloned and Luke doesn't get married..."

And as a brief explanations on the different types of Star Wars canon out there. It acts as a differentiator for the different Star Warsof a story, rather than the stories themselves, to be classified on their own merits. For a full read-up, you could redirect yourselves to wookiepedia's page here. Briefly, they're loosely classified as:
  • G-canon is George Lucas Canon; the six Episodes and anything directly provided to Lucas Licensing by Lucas
  • T-canon, or Television Canon, refers to the canon level comprising the feature film Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the two television shows Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the Star Wars live-action TV series.
  • C-canon is Continuity Canon, consisting of all recent works (and many older works) released under the name of Star Wars: books, comics, games, cartoons, non-theatrical films, and more.
  • S-canon is Secondary Canon; the materials are available to be used or ignored as needed by current authors.
  • N is Non-Canon. What-if stories (such as stories published under the Infinities label) and anything else directly and irreconcilably contradicted by higher canon ends up here. N is the only level that is not considered canon by Lucasfilm.

So there you have it folks.....the different (and sometimes a tad confusing) worlds of Star Wars. It's your choice really. Choose to either exclusively remain in the movie storylines (aka G-canon), or indulge yourselves in the various continuity adventures through the different mediums aka books, comics etc. I used to diss those Tolkien purists who refused to budge from the book storyline and how they differ from Pete Jackson's movies. And then I realised that everybody is entitled to their own views and opinions.

As for me, I crave something more than what Lucas has presented to us on the big screen. Sure, the Clone Wars movie (and the ensuing TV series) is cool. But the printed materials (aka comics, books etc.) takes the real cake in my honest opinion.

Me' humble 2 cents....