Coffee Talk #625: Videogame Journalists Done Good

StarWars.com recently announced that Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and Gary Whitta will be working on the first Star Wars standalone spinoff movie. The second name took me by surprise (gleefully). You see, Whitta is a former videogame journalist. He was the editor of several gaming magazines for Future US and was quite popular within the business. Since (mostly) leaving the business, Whitta has written the screenplays for The Book of Eli and After Earth. Working on a Star Wars movie will undoubtedly take his success to new heights.

Hearing about Whitta’s Star Wars news reminded me of Kieron Gillen. Another…continued

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, speculating on which player the Cleveland Cavaliers will take with the number-one pick in the 2014 NBA draft, your favorite Memorial Day barbecue food, or pregnant Mila Kunis, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

StarWars.com recently announced that Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and Gary Whitta will be working on the first Star Wars standalone spinoff movie. The second name took me by surprise (gleefully). You see, Whitta is a former videogame journalist. He was the editor of several gaming magazines for Future US and was quite popular within the business. Since (mostly) leaving the business, Whitta has written the screenplays for The Book of Eli and After Earth. Working on a Star Wars movie will undoubtedly take his success to new heights.

Hearing about Whitta’s Star Wars news reminded me of Kieron Gillen. Another former videogame journalist, Gillen has written some of the best comics published in the last five years. His work on AvX: Consequences was great enough to redeem the sometimes banal Avengers vs. X-Men event. Gillen made me a Kid Loki fan for life with his thoroughly entertaining run on Journey Into Mystery. His work on Young Avengers is, in my opinion, one of the most criminally underrated books released in the last few years.

Kid Loki Kieron Gillen Videogame Journalist

Guys like Whitta and Gillen make me happy. In Whitta’s case, it’s always awesome to see a colleague succeed. In the case of both gentlemen (I’ve never met Gillen in real life), it’s particularly satisfying to see them have fantastic success beyond the videogame world. Don’t get me wrong — I love the videogame business and will always be grateful for how it has enriched my life, but I have mixed feelings about being labeled a videogame journalist (even though I’m technically a verbal entertainer).

Within the business, videogame journalists aren’t thought of highly. There are exceptions, of course, but many journalists are only well regarded by PR people (and even that’s arguable). A lot of executives and developers look at journalists as pretty low on the industry’s totem pole. One famous developer once half-jokingly told me, “You know, you guys are just one step above GameStop clerks as far as being important to the business.”

Personally, I don’t disagree with what my designer buddy told me. I never cared about “being important to the business.” I love writing about games for people that love reading about games. The problem is that there are many videogame journalists that think they’re way more important than they actually are. Some of them genuinely think that they’re movers and shakers in the industry. Those kinds of videogame journalists always bothered me; they’re more concerned about promoting their own brand and meeting the right people in game publishing in order to get a better job than serving their audience with their words.

Self-important critics (from any industry) always bring me back to the words of Anton Ego from Ratatouille:

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.

While I would love to work at a videogame outlet that’s primarily concerned about making fun content and staffed by a team that loves serving an audience, I can’t help but be inspired by people like Whitta and Gillen. It’s awesome that they’re enjoying tremendous success outside of the videogame realm. It’s nice to see that the boys done good.

Star Wars Meets…Les Miserables?!?

Here’s an excellent video that mashes up Star Wars and Les Miserables. It features the confrontation between Valjean and Javert, but with lightsabers and Force powers. As a Star Wars nerd and a fan of Les Miserables (the musical, not the book…that I haven’t finished), I found the video utterly awesome. The actors sing well and the addition of lightsabers is hilarious! It makes you wonder though. How interesting would the Paris Uprising of 1832 have been if everyone had lightsabers?

As you know, most of the best fight scenes in cinema feature one of two things — music (see West Side Story) and lightsabers (Kenobi vs. Skywalker I). Combining the two is sheer genius. Check out the clip below and let me know what you think (please). What other musicals would benefit from lightsabers? How about Cats or A Chorus Line?

School House Rock / Star Wars Mashup (Interjections)

School House Rock is awesome. Star Wars is awesome. Put the two of them together and you get on overload of awesomeness! Here’s a mashup video featuring School House Rock’s “Interjections” song set to scenes from various Star Wars movies. It’s a really well done video that’s funny, cool, and educational all at once. Continue reading “School House Rock / Star Wars Mashup (Interjections)”

Hot Star Wars Episode VII Rumors

The Star Wars Episode VII rumor mill is flying faster than the Millenium Falcon on the Kessel Run (less than 12 parsecs). Vulture has loads of exclusive info that Jedi knights, Sith lords, and scoundrels alike will want to read. Here are the highlights.

  • The studio wants Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa Solo to be in the film.
  • Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) has written a treatment for the movie.
  • The treatment has been sent to Brad Bird, JJ Abrams, and Steven Spielberg for directing consideration.

Out of these rumors, I’m most intrigued by Brad Bird being considered for the movie’s director. I absolutely loved The Iron Giant and The Incredibles. While I didn’t see it, I’ve heard good things about his job on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. That said, I’m sure loads of sci-fi fanboys are psyched about the possibility of JJ Abrams directing the movie. That would just be too weird for me. My head won’t accept the new Star Wars and Star Trek movies being directed by the same guy. That’s too much nerd power for one man to have.

Naturally, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the latest Star Wars Episode VII rumors. Leave a comment and share your feelings.

Source

Star Wars: The Old Republic Free-To-Play Next Week

Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a free-to-play game starting November 15, 2012. While the game, developed by BioWare and published by EA, was generally well reviewed, it hasn’t reached nearly as many customers as the publisher had hoped for. Many pundits believed that EA expected the game to be its World of Warcraft. The Old Republic has had some success, but not that kind of success.

According to the developer, players will be able to reach level 50 without paying a cent. It will be interesting to see if using a free-to-play model gives the game a significant boost in subscribers.

Let’s forget about the dilemmas of mega-publishers for a second and focus on you. Will you give Star Wars: The Old Republic a shot when it becomes free-to-play? Please leave a comment and let me know!

Source

Coffee Talk #533: Who Will Be the Star Wars Chosen One?

Millions of people love the original Star Wars trilogy and consider it a vital part of their nerd identity. Millions of people hate the latest Star Wars trilogy and consider it an affront to something dear to their hearts. With that in mind, there’s a tremendous opportunity for a director and/or writer to “save” Star Wars. At worst, he or she will be celebrated — fairly or unfairly — for not being George Lucas. At best, he or she will be the savior or all nerdkind. Who are some of the people you’d like to see considered for Star Wars Episode 7?…more

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, Steve Nash’s injured leg, Bristol Pailin selling her car on Craigslist, or Jony Ive’s new influence on iOS, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Millions of people love the original Star Wars trilogy and consider it a vital part of their nerd identity. Millions of people hate the latest Star Wars trilogy and consider it an affront to something dear to their hearts. With that in mind, there’s a tremendous opportunity for a director and/or writer to “save” Star Wars. At worst, he or she will be celebrated — fairly or unfairly — for not being George Lucas. At best, he or she will be the savior of all nerdkind. Who are some of the people you’d like to see considered for Star Wars Episode 7?

Many sci-fi and comic-book geeks have been throwing Joss Whedon’s name around. The man has a ton of nerd cred between Buffy the Vampire SlayerFirefly, and The Avengers. Many Star Wars fans were hoping that Timothy Zahn’s novels would be given the big-screen treatment, but RPadholic N8R informed us that won’t be the case. The usual suspects of Christopher Nolan, Darren Aronofsky, and Ridley Scott have been discussed by the sci-fi elite.

Who would you like to see as the director and writer of Star Wars Episode 7? Who will be the chosen one that saves the Star Wars movies? What are the chances of seeing Natalie Portman (in extended scenes) wearing Princess Leia’s metal bikini?

Today’s Poll: Star Wars Episode 7

As if Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm wasn’t big enough news on its own, the company also announced that Star Wars Episode 7 will be coming in 2015. This is huge, huge news for all of nerdkind. Some Star Wars marks are afraid of the upcoming movie; they feel that the original trilogy gets tarnished by every new film. Some, particularly fans of Timothy Zahn’s excellent Star Wars novels, are excited by the prospect of seeing cool characters like Grand Admiral Thrawn on the big screen.

How do you feel about Episode 7? Are you worried it will be as lame as Jar Jar Binks? Or are you excited for a movie that’s Han Solo cool? Please vote in today’s poll and expand on your choice in the comments section!

[poll id=”169″]

Disney Buys Lucasfilm, Star Wars Episode 7 in 2015

In one of the most enormous moves in movie and pop-culture history, The Walt Disney Company has announced that it has acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05-billion. But wait, there’s more! The company has also announced that Star Wars Episode 7 is slated for 2015 and will kick off a new Star Wars trilogy. Here’s more from Disney CEO Robert Iger:

In 2015, we’re planning to release Star Wars Episode 7 — the first feature film under the “Disney-Lucasfilm” brand. That will be followed by Episodes 8 and 9 — and our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years. We’re very happy that George Lucas will be creative consultant on our new Star Wars films and that Kathleen Kennedy, the current Co-Chair of Lucasfilm, will executive produce. George handpicked Kathy earlier this year to lead Lucasfilm into the future. She’ll join Disney as President of Lucasfilm, reporting into Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn and integrating and building the Star Wars franchise across our company.

Wow. Just wow. Between Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Pixar, Disney now owns some of the most beloved pop-culture franchises in the world.

That said, I’m also scared of this acquisition. Iger saying that Disney plans to release a Star Wars film every two to three years sounds like a recipe for over-saturation. Of course it’s impossible to say how successful this acquisition will be. For now, I’d love to hear your initial reaction to Disney buying Lucasfilm, as well as your thoughts on a new Star Wars trilogy. Share your feelings — don’t let go of them like a Jedi — in the comments section (please!).

Source

Star Wars Eyeglasses Completely Rule!

I was going to save up for Lasik surgery…but then I saw this awesome line of Star Wars eyewear! Check out these eyeglasses inspired by Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, R2-D2, Boba Fett, and more. They completely own. These eyeglasses are set to ship at the end of the month and will run you $499.99. That’s expensive, but totally worth it to have The Force be with you, don’t you agree? More pictures of these awesome Star Wars glasses are below. Continue reading “Star Wars Eyeglasses Completely Rule!”

Sulu Wants Star Wars and Star Trek Fans to Combat Twilight

The legendary George Takei (Star Trek’s Hikaru Sulu!) is calling for “Star Peace” — a movement that aims to unite Star Wars and Star Trek fans against the evil of Twilight. This is truly one of the most worthwhile causes I’ve heard of in years! Naturally, an Asian-American man is bringing everyone to their senses. Check out the video above and let me know what you think (please!).

Now kindly excuse me as I have to find my phaser and lightsaber. Hopefully they both work against bloodsucking teenagers.