Rogue Binks: A Star Wars Story

Binks rebels...

Binks rebels…

Good old Jar Jar Binks, the annoyance that keeps on giving. Spoof trailers, theories about him being a Sith, he is a meme that reminds us of how bad things can get when you resort to slapstick for humour. Binks is the Inspector Clouseau of the Star Wars universe – the Steve Martin version obviously, Peter Sellers was great. But the memes and parodies are funny. I think so anyway and in this corner of cyberspace, I am in charge.

Without further waffle meesa gives you Rogue Binks:

 

 

 

Firefly animated series trailer

Firefly the animated series

Firefly the animated series

I should start this post by stating that THIS IS NOT REAL. Sadly, there is no animated Firefly series in production. An artist called Stephen Byrne did it as a labour of love and to generally raise and dash the hopes of Firefly fans everywhere. Which is a shame as this trailer looks great and I want to see it.

I bloody love Firefly and still get annoyed when I see any show I don’t like that has gone to a second series. If it was made now, I suspect it would have survived as special effects are cheaper these days. I say that based on having no idea what I am talking about. If you haven’t seen the original series, unlikely if you are reading this, you are missing out on life.

This has been all over my social media feed but I feel that if enough people witter on about it, then maybe it will happen. Now watch the trailer, weep, then complain loudly all over the internet that it isn’t a thing. Enjoy.

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

OldMansWar(1stEd)I had been meaning to read Old Man’s War for about a decade now and am hugely glad that I finally got round to it. I knew (from what friends have said) that it was going to be a little bit like Heinlein’s Starship Troopers mixed with a bit of Haldeman’s The Forever War but as both of those books were superb, it shouldn’t be a problem. And it really wasn’t.

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi was published in 2005 but happily it could have been written last week – the ideas are still fresh and abundant. There are more to the series but it works as a standalone, so don’t worry if you don’t want to launch into something too involved.

The premise is this – when you are 65 you can apply to join the Colonial Defence Forces (space marines) and when you are 75 you actually join. What happens then is a secret but it is generally believed, for obvious reasons, that you are made young again.

The story starts with a guy called John Perry who is 75 and after visiting his wife’s grave, he joins up. This isn’t a spoiler, it is the first line of the book. Given the comparisons between Old Man’s War and the other two novels I mentioned, it is clear that he goes on to see combat. I won’t give any more plot away.

The book isn’t just space marines shooting the shit out of tons of aliens. That does happen, but the aliens are massively varied and the battles are fun. There are a multitude of other themes explored however – longevity, space travel and it’s implications, relationships, and questions about whether you can morally justify shooting the shit out of tons of aliens. John Scalzi is chock full of ideas and he scatters them liberally throughout.

I loved Old Man’s War. I read it in two days and then immediately bought the sequel. It is a fairly quick read but it is immensely fun, exciting, touching, and well thought out. I don’t read much military science fiction but this was full of ideas and was entertainingly written. If you hate the sub-genre then move along, otherwise I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

Justice League Comic-Con footage

Justice League

Justice League

Due to all the negative reviews, I missed Batman vs Superman in the cinema and ended up watching the ultimate 3-hour edition at home. I think I was so prepared for disappointment that I actually really enjoyed it. I have heard the longer edition is the better one, so maybe I lucked out. I was also pleased to have all my doubts about Battfleck swept away – Affleck is a superb Batman.

So this new Justice League footage isn’s supposed to be a trailer, but I have included in today’s post Comic-Con trailerfest because it looks and acts exactly like a trailer. It also looks pretty cool with all the leads looking right for their respective roles.

No more waffle, the final entry in my trailer bonanza is the Justice League trail- I mean assembled footage.

 

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword trailer

King Arthur

King Arthur

For the next instalment of the Scifi Ward trailerfest, we have Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Like Kong, this has been done several times before but there are quite a few angle’s you can take with the tale. King Arthur was basically a set of legends after all. Also, Guy Ritchie has quite a fun style, as you can see from the trailer. Enjoy:

 

 

Kong: Skull Island trailer

Kong: Skull IslandThe trailerfest continues with Kong: Skull Island. This could also be fun but I am not that bothered about King Kong. I love the ‘lost world’ idea, with dinosaurs and crazy tribes, but a giant creature trashing stuff has already been done pretty well from quite a few different angles – King Kong, Godzilla, Cloverfield, Transformers, Pacific Rim, and so on. Hopefully there will be a new twist.

This is another trailer that debuted at Comicon:

 

 

Samuel L Jackson explains Game of Thrones

Samuel L Jackson, Game of Thrones. Together at last.

Samuel L Jackson, Game of Thrones. Together at last.

If you haven’t seen this already and are a Game of Thones fan, you really should, it is brilliant. If you haven’t seen GOT then you are missing out and should watch all  60 hours or so, then watch this.

This is basically Samuel L Jackson giving an expletive and spoiler-filled description of nearly everything that has happened so far in Game of Thrones. It is genius. There are huge gaps, which he briefly refers to, but it is a great clip and it isn’t really aimed at newbies anyway. Even though that is ostensibly what it is supposed to be.

Next I would like Mr Jackson to summarize the whole Harry Potter series. Oh, and Star Wars. This could be a whole new career for him – a one man ‘Honest Trailers’.

Here you go:

Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

I have never been that excited by steampunk and its related genres but have recently read two of them and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The first was The Wonder by James Devo and more recently, Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding. I recommend them both.

I stumbled across the book by accident. I had read an article about a science fiction book called Dark Run that reviewers had compared to Firefly (one of the best shows ever) and the Adventures of Ketty Jay. Intrigued, I looked up the latter, and moments later Retribution Falls: Book 1 of the Adventures of the Ketty Jay was on my selection of shiny reading devices. I love the modern world.

Review of Retribution Falls

The story revolves around a ragtag, unlikely collection of motley down-at-luck characters having adventures. So quite like a lot of things really, including Firefly. This sort of grouping is always at risk of colossal cliche but if done well, it can be bloody great.

The story: The charismatic captain of the Ketty Jay needs a bit of cash and takes on a job that seems too good to be true. Predictably it is and suddenly they are in a world of trouble. This is a pretty cool world however, with flying airships, pirates, knights, demonologists, war golems, and more.

Did I like it? (I know I recommended it already but bear with me.) At the start, to be honest, I was a bit wary. The characters are not immediately the nicest or easiest to bond with but as the story goes on, things rapidly improve. Soon they are having incredibly exciting adventures and each character has a very satisfying story arc. The story is well plotted, the action is top notch, and this review is now full overused expressions. Basically, it’s damned exciting, good characters, and an intriguing tale.

I will keep this review pretty short. If you want an exciting read about freebooters and airships and Machiavellian plots, then you will like Retribution Falls. It isn’t necessarily an intriguing new take on anything but it is great fun and I have immediately bought book 2. Which says it all. Recommended.