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Ewan McGregor finally CONFIRMED to return as Obi-Wan Kenobi

by CWS

August 15, 2019

Comicbook.com has reported that Ewan McGregor has signed a contract to reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in an upcoming live-action series for Disney+.

Comicbook.com wrote:

Ewan McGregor Confirmed to Return as Obi-Wan Kenobi for Disney+ Series

By Jenna Anderson - August 15, 2019 08:26 pm EDT

The Star Wars franchise hasn't seen the last of Obi-Wan Kenobi. On Thursday, Deadline confirmed that Ewan McGregor is set to reprise his role in a currently-untitled series for the Disney+ streaming service. The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit reports that the series could span six or eight episodes. Fans had already begun to speculate that McGregor would be returning to the franchise, after a report from Cinelinx claimed he had signed a contract to do so.

This comes after years of rumors and speculation have hinted at Lucasfilm further exploring Obi-Wan's story in some form or fashion. An Obi-Wan movie was believed to be put into development in May of 2018, with Stephen Daldry being brought on to potentially direct. Months later, McGregor himself squashed that reporting, hinting that there were "no plans" for it to happen at that time.

“I would totally do it, of course,” the actor shared in a television appearance in August of 2018. “There’s no plans as such to do it, as far as I know... There must be a good story to tell as they’re doing spin-offs – there’s likely to be a good Obi-Wan between me and Alec Guinness."

This new Obi-Wan series would be the third Star Wars project to be officially made for Disney+, which is set to launch on November 12th. The franchise's first live-action television series, The Mandalorian, will be premiere with Disney+'s launch. The Mandalorian is showrun by Jon Favreau, with a cast that includes Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, and Carl Weathers. A second series, which would be a prequel for Rogue One's Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), is also in the works. Stephen Schiff will serve as that series' showrunner.

While some have clamored for a film spinoff of Obi-Wan's adventures, it sounds like a Disney+ series could explore that part of the Star Wars canon in a new way.

"Almost every movie the studio makes is a $100 million-plus movie, and we're not looking to make movies at that level for the service," Disney CEO Bob Iger said this past January. "We're looking to invest significantly in television series on a per-episode business, and we're looking to make movies that are higher-budget, but nothing like that."

"We wouldn't make a Star Wars movie for this platform," Iger continued. "When everybody goes out on the weekend and you have a movie that opens up to $200 million, there's a buzz that creates that enhances value. We like that. And eventually, the movies we're making are going to [end up on] the service."
Well...thoughts?

This is something that's been on my personal wish list for years, and is (at least potentially) the best Star Wars news I've heard in "a long time...a long time."

Stranger Things

by CWS

August 2, 2019

So, I'm at least three years late to this particular party. My younger brother suggested some time ago that I start watching it, and now I wish I'd started sooner. My mom would have loved it.

For the one or two of you who might not be familiar with the series, here's my setup pitch. :P

Stranger Things


The series opens in October of 1983, in the small rural town of Hawkins, Indiana. A town where generations have grown up in close proximity, and everybody knows everybody else.

In this town live four young boys whose shared interests have both united them with each other, and made them social outcasts. Completely unrepentant nerds, they call themselves "the party". They love Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and horror movies, and spend most of their spare time in the basement of one boy's house, playing D&D.

That particular boy has an older sister who is dating the most popular guy in school. Another of the boys has an older brother who is a friendless, introspective loner. Their struggling single mother is played by Winona Ryder.

The town's chief of police is a haunted man who drinks and uses drugs to cope with a devastating personal loss.

There is also a young girl who has been raised in a top secret government laboratory on the outskirts of town, where she has been trained from birth to develop her potent psychokinetic abilities as a secret weapon for a Cold War in which knowledge and insight are the most valuable assets. She has no name, only a number.

An experiment at this same facility has accidentally opened a door to a parallel dimension inhabited by Lovecraftian, parasitic horrors, and it is about to unleash hell upon the world.

That's basically where the first episode starts.

What I say next will sound rather elitist, though it's not intended to be, it's a simple statement of fact. But in order to fully appreciate this show, your formative years really need to have been in the early '80s. There are countless small details and references that are aimed directly at this very specific demographic, because we're the only ones who would have any reason to notice them.

It's funny. I was telling my brother recently that when I was a kid, I remember being perpetually annoyed by the way everyone was always going on about the '60s. But now, I find that '80s nostalgia has a surprisingly strong and very specific appeal for me.

Happy Independence Day 2019!

by CWS

July 5, 2019

I'm late again. :oops:

In my defense, I was dog-sitting my aunt's new puppy during the big fireworks show. She actually did great!

Edit: I'd intended to include this topical link to compensate for my own lack of rambling verbosity, but I forgot to. So...better two days late than never, I guess?

Es Es El

by The Phiend

June 18, 2019

In the interests of keeping up with the times, our site is now running over HTTPS instead of HTTP. So passwords are secure in transit, etc.

Now, this might mean that you'll need to log in again, if you've been using the "Log me on automatically each visit" feature. But I just double-checked and our forgotten password feature is working correctly, so that shouldn't be a severe issue.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

by CWS

June 18, 2019

I'm sure everyone is aware by now, but just for posterity, here's the trailer that was revealed at E3.

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It does look pretty cool...but there's one aspect of this I can't help but laugh at.

This game started out as an early tech demo...for the PS3. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Popular Vote vs. Electoral College

by CWS

May 28, 2019

The question of whether the US should abolish our Electoral College system is a topic which has come up a number of times, and with particularly renewed fervor of late since our two most recent Republican presidents have won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote.

This is something I am adamantly opposed to for a variety of reasons, and author and legal scholar Tara Ross has presented a very comprehensive list of them, which was posted at PragerU. While I am most definitely not a fan of Dennis Prager, that's irrelevant to the subject at hand.
Tara Ross wrote:

The Popular Vote vs. the Electoral College

In every presidential election, only one question matters: which candidate will get the 270 votes needed to win the Electoral College?

Our Founders so deeply feared a tyranny of the majority that they rejected the idea of a direct vote for President. That's why they created the Electoral College. For more than two centuries it has encouraged coalition building, given a voice to both big and small states, and discouraged voter fraud.

Unfortunately, there is now a well-financed, below-the-radar effort to do away with the Electoral College. It is called National Popular Vote or NPV, and it wants to do exactly what the Founders rejected: award the job of President to the person who gets the most votes nationally.

Even if you agree with this goal, it's hard to agree with their method. Rather than amend the Constitution, which they have no chance of doing, NPV plans an end run around it.

Here's what NPV does: it asks states to sign a contract to give their presidential electors to the winner of the national popular vote instead of the winner of the state's popular vote.

What does that mean in practice? It means that if NPV had been in place in 2004, for example, when George W. Bush won the national vote, California's electoral votes would have gone to Bush, even though John Kerry won that state by 1.2 million votes!

Can you imagine strongly Democratic California calmly awarding its electors to a Republican?

Another problem with NPV's plan is that it robs states of their sovereignty. A key benefit of the Electoral College system is that it decentralizes control over the election. Currently, a presidential election is really 51 separate elections: one in each state and one in D.C.

These 51 separate processes exist, side-by-side, in harmony. They do not -- and cannot -- interfere with each other.

California's election code applies only to California and determines that state's electors. So a vote cast in Texas can never change the identity of a California elector.

NPV would disrupt this careful balance. It would force all voters into one national election pool. Thus, a vote cast in Texas will always affect the outcome in California. And the existence of a different election code in Texas always has the potential to unfairly affect a voter in California.

Why?

Because state election codes can differ drastically. States have different rules about early voting, registering to vote, and qualifying for the ballot. They have different policies regarding felon voting. They have different triggers for recounts.

Each and every one of these differences is an opportunity for someone, somewhere to file a lawsuit claiming unfair treatment.

Why should a voter in New York get more or less time to early vote than a voter in Florida? Why should a hanging chad count in Florida, but not in Ohio? The list of possible complaints is endless.

And think of the opportunities for voter fraud if NPV is passed! Currently, an attempt to steal a presidential election requires phony ballots to appear or real ballots to disappear in the right state or combination of states, something that is very hard to anticipate. But with NPV, voter fraud anywhere can change the election results -- no need to figure out which states you must swing; just add or subtract the votes you need -- or don't want -- wherever you can most easily get away with it.

And finally, if NPV is adopted, and winning is only about getting the most votes, a candidate might concentrate all of his efforts in the biggest cities, or the biggest states. We could see the end of presidential candidates who care about the needs and concerns of people in smaller states or outside of big cities.

Here's why all of this is of so much concern: NPV is more than halfway to its goal.

NPV's contract will go into effect when states with a combined 270 electoral votes have signed. To date, NPV already has the support of 10 states plus D.C. Together, that's 165 electoral votes, leaving only 105 votes to go.

It is time to stop this attempt to undo the way American presidents are elected, which will in turn undo America. The people behind NPV think they are wiser than every generation of Americans that preceded them.

They aren't.

I'm Tara Ross for Prager University.

Terminator: Dark Fate

by CWS

May 24, 2019

In my opinion, the first two Terminator films were truly James Cameron's greatest contribution to cinema. They told a compelling story in an original way, with truly spectacular action sequences and special effects, and pacing that may be unequaled in their genre, and they dealt with extremely dark, heavy existential themes without being pretentious about it. As you may have gathered by now, they are two of my absolute favorite movies of all time, and a major influence on my entire storytelling philosophy.

I've also hated everything that's been made since. Jim Cameron may have become a pretentious jackass in the intervening years, but the entire Terminator franchise has sucked without him, and badly.

So you understand that at this point, I'm very hesitant to get my hopes up, having been burned way too many times. But having said that...Cameron has finally agreed to come back and make one more Terminator movie, and one which pointedly ignores everything after T2. And, well...maybe.

Just maybe.

Anyway, here's the first trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate.

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Trump administration: policy vs. personality

by CWS

May 1, 2019

I posted this comment earlier tonight in response to the latest article in right-leaning media crowing about the supposed demise of "#NeverTrump". In it, I intended to address the cult-like devotion to Trump that many of his fans display, but I also ended up summarizing a lot of my thoughts on Trump's presidency so far, so I figured I may as well toss it up here for posterity.

I wrote:

Just because you support the Trump administration's policies does not mean you have to support the man, personally, without question and 100% of the time. Conservatives should not be afraid to be honest with ourselves and each other, and the fact is that Trump, himself, remains an extremely mixed bag. At best.

He took the government's boot off the throat of the economy and has slashed many restrictive and unnecessary regulations, which has been an extremely good thing. He took the handcuffs off of our military and allowed them to do what needed to be done to liberate ISIS's physical territory and demolish their caliphate, which has also been a godsend after the horrors Obama allowed them to get away with, and for years. He has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and has also recognized that Iran is, and has always been, our enemy. These things are magnificent, and are worthy of unequivocal praise.

But however great these things are, they do not erase or make up for the undeniable flaws in Donald Trump's personal character. He habitually lies and exaggerates, and he does it all the time; that's just a fact, and it's a highly problematic one. He frequently indulges in extremely juvenile and often pointless flame wars on Twitter, and he does it in ways that often end up hurting his own cause. Also problematic. And he had an affair with a porn star while his wife was pregnant with their son, and he paid her to keep quiet about it during the 2016 election. That's simply disgusting.

"But those things have nothing to do with his administration's policies or the way he does his job," many say. That's a fair argument, up to a point; it's also, not coincidentally, precisely the argument Democrats made throughout the 1990s to defend Bill Clinton, and for exactly the same reasons. But character does impact policy, in ways great and small. More to the point, it makes it more difficult for Trump's defenders to argue on his behalf without being hypocritical.

But let's get back to policy. Trump allows his very liberal daughter and son-in-law, neither of whom were elected to anything, to decide the direction of his administration's policies far too often for my, and many other conservatives', liking. He has advanced extremely left-wing positions on international trade and gun control, and done it under a Republican banner, which has in turn had the effect of shifting the entire party's position on those issues to the left over the long term, if not permanently. This was one of the biggest fears of conservative, so-called "NeverTrumpers", and they have indeed been proven correct. He talks tough on border security and abortion, then he turns around and signs budget resolutions which completely undermine his own position. He has appointed one potentially decent Supreme Court justice, but he has also consistently failed to stand up to the out-of-control activist judiciary, and on matters where his own authority clearly supersedes theirs. He also failed to hold the Republican leadership to their campaign promises, most prominently on the repeal of Obamacare, and as a result the Democrats retook the House. And he totally gave away the farm in his negotiations with North Korea, where he elevated and heaped a humiliating degree of personal praise on one of this planet's most barbaric and cruel dictators, for which the US got very little in return. And last but certainly not least, he's spent money at a rate that makes even Obama look tight-fisted by comparison.

By all means, support the administration's policies, where they deserve to be supported. But don't let them blind you to the failings of the man.

Easter massacre in Sri Lanka

by CWS

April 22, 2019

A series of coordinated suicide bombings at several Catholic churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday have left at least 290 Christians dead, and an additional 450 500 injured.

While no one has, to my knowledge, claimed responsibility at this point, we have seen this scenario play out enough times over the past couple decades, all across the globe, to know exactly what happened here. And the scale and coordinated nature of the attacks was far too organized to have been the work of a few random crazies.

Some continue to insist that we are not witnessing a clash of civilizations, but those who do most of the killing seem awfully determined to prove otherwise.

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

by snowman1989

April 12, 2019

*facepalms* I can't believe THAT is what they chose to name the movie. You trying to rub the salt deeper into the wounds, Disney?

Alright. Here's the damn trailer.

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Had The Last Jedi not been a thing, or ever existed, I might have been interested. But since The Last Jedi unfortunately DOES exist... I find myself not caring. :| I've never cared so little for a movie before in my life, and it's heartbreaking. Because the last movie ruined Star Wars forever. And the prospect of having Lando and the Emperor return in this movie just makes it worse. We all know, based on the patterns of the previous films, that Lando is going to die an ignominious death. And the Emperor?! His story was done! His story has a clear beginning, middle and end. Bringing him back isn't just lazy writing, it's a sleazy move to prey on our nostalgia!

More and more I hate Disney for retconning the Extended Universe, because it had some great stories that the directors could have taken inspiration from, instead of copy-pasting the original trilogy. They could have done the Yuuzhan Vong Invasion, where an extragalactic enemy with organic ships and major technophobia invade the Star Wars galaxy. Or they could have introduced the World Devastators, giant nigh-invincible mobile war factories built by the Imperial Remnant that consume entire cities and planets to build more ships, more fighters and upgrade themselves. Or the rise of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a military genius with a great love for art, who nearly destroys the New Republic in its infancy.

I'm so fucking angry how they've squandered this universe. :x :cry:

Joker

by snowman1989

April 9, 2019

A few months ago we got test footage of Joaquin Phoenix's Joker, which I'll show first before we get to the meat.

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So, a lot to cover here. I was hesitant to put this in the DCU category, since this is a stand-alone film. Not just that, it doesn't play like a superhero(villain) movie at all, but a psychological thriller. It feels too grounded to be a comic book movie, and instead has a Scorsese feel. I get the feeling DC might finally have learned their lesson, and are starting to move away from universe-spanning epics, because let's face it, they fucked it up. :lol: If they want to compete with Marvel, THIS is how they do it; produce quality, stand-alone films, much like they already have done in the animation department. More than that, it appears that DC is willing to take risks and go in more experimental directions if Joker is anything to go by.

From the looks of the trailer, I'm encouraged. So far they've hit the right notes. I'm seeing a lot of inspiration from The Killing Joke, and that late night show scene looks like they might replicate the infamous massacre the Joker commits in The Dark Knight Returns.

R.I.P. Dan Howard, AKA kuroitora

by CWS

April 4, 2019

Man, I am absolutely stunned by this news. I just found out that our own kuroitora died of pneumonia today.

I've known this guy since the mid-'90s. I met him through the online Bubblegum Crisis fan community, then met him in person during my visit to Baltimore in '99. I considered him a very good and loyal friend. We didn't agree much on politics, but so freaking what. He was the best artist I've ever met, and I hoped I might find a way to collaborate with him on something, someday...but I guess not.

I really can't believe this...it's just awful.

Borderlands 3

by CWS

March 27, 2019

Well, well, well...

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Thoughts?

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2

by snowman1989

March 22, 2019

Holy shit. :o I didn't think we'd ever get another Masquerade game, but here we are. The original game from 2004 is one of my all-time favourites, a cult classic with a moody environment, fascinating lore and moments of bloody horror. Though if you ever want to play the original, I'd recommend getting the modded patch because the game was released... half-finished and buggy as hell... how times have changed? :?

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Please Paradox, don't fuck this up.

Google Stadia

by CWS

March 19, 2019

So now Google is jumping into the gaming market with a cloud streaming platform, and their controller looks like a cross between a PS4 and Xbox controller.

3512496-stadia-controller-promo.jpg

Thoughts?

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