Cosplay Memories of the 2016 Emerald City Comic Con..

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Much of the 2016 Emerald City Comic Convention in Seattle was about the fans.

Such was a great time for people taking their fandom to a higher level. The best colors one could take in for a comics convention, is to appreciate the best icons our modern pop-culture brings out by the fans in costume. But also, there is joy in seeing the obscure, the almost forgotten, the alternate interpretations surprise suddenly appear as cosplay. The ECCC had some great variety all around from all entertainment mediums, with the latest rising popularity in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I took some pictures, displayed below (click on each pic for costume identification)…

That’s all for this year at the ECCC. I look forward to next year!

– Orion T

(photo credits – taken March 2016 by Orion T for strangerworlds.com..please ask permission and credit the site if sharing elsewhere)

Short Star Wars Fan Film: Rebel Scum

Rebel Scum

  • Director, Writer: Timothy Van Nguyen
  • Production Company; Blood Brother Cinema
  • Publish Date: January 9, 2016 – Time: 9.07
  • Notes: For more info, visit bloodbrothercinema.com

Synopsis :

“A Rebellion pilot is hounded by death from the merciless Empire and a frozen grave, after being abandoned during the retreat of the Rebel Alliance from Hoth. Rebel Scum pays homage to the original Star Wars trilogy; nearly all visual effects were created without the use of CGI, using time honored methods such a stop-motion animation. Shot on location in -30°C (-22°F) at Columbia Icefield in Alberta Canada.”

Personal Thoughts:

This is fantastic work, especially with the cinematography.

The stop motion on the Imperial Probe Droid is a great throwback to the early Empire Strikes Back special effects use. Its mechanical movements, ominous floating, and the sound effects are well-played. The AT-ATs were also well done in detail and motion, but not as awesome creepy as the Probe Droid.

The story itself is a cool little tale, well done for one using no words. A favorite thing about the latest Star Wars movie (The Force Awakens), was the little insight of a soldier’s POV in the intergalactic conflicts. After the Clone Wars, they must have personal struggles as well, and must ponder just how high in duty they take their cause to live and fight.

In Rebel Scum, we a nice example of a Rebel fighter. He is also a family man, with extra motivation to survive in the Hoth wilderness. The Imperial soldier is a perfect contrast, clean-cut and cold as the icy planet itself. Her darkened eyes and deathly skin gives off a hateful vibe, perhaps thinking the Rebel fighters as ungrateful troublemakers. To suddenly miss and be shot by one, is a humiliation to her.

The conclusion leaves much open. Will the Rebel soldier as an Imperial sabotage from within, steal some secrets, and return to his family? Can the Imperial soldier now trapped in the Rebel fatigues survive the Probe Droid and “join” the Rebellion? While the answers are best left to the viewer, I would much welcome an extension to the story by the filmmakers here.

Overall, Rebel Scum is a now a personal favorite among the Star Wars fan films out there. I am also turned to other works by Blood Brother Cinema, which now have my interest on bloodbrothercinema.com.

 

– Orion T

A Holiday Season Visit to the Star Wars Gingerbread Village

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The Force is strong with this year’s (23rd) Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. It’s all Star Wars!

Pictured below, are huge Star Wars movie themed displays with exteriors made mostly out of reinforced gingerbread, frostings, candy bits, lots gummies, and a gazillion other sugary bits and bites. Each display developed from the work of an architecture firm and lead “chef.” Also involved were children (aka “Elves”) dealing with Type 1 Diabetes, promoting the cause of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) for treatments and research.

For those who wish to visit, it’s located near the Washington State Convention Center in Downtown Seattle, the Sheraton hotel. The Gingerbread Village is free to the public until January 3rd, 2016. You may also donate money to the (JDRF) Northwest Chapter. For more site and event information (and donation info), click here.

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Episode IV: A New Hope

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

– Orion T
Photo credits: Orion Tippens, December 2015

Comic Reading Review: Star Wars: Lando #1

 

Lando #1

  • Writer: Charles Soule
  • Artist: Alex Maleev
  • Published by: Marvel Comics
  • Publish Date: July 8, 2015
  • Notes: The first in a monthly series,

Synopsis:

“You know him, you love him…now, join him for his biggest caper as master of charm Lando Calrissian gets his very own comic book! Before he joined the rebellion, before he ran Cloud City, Lando made his way in the galaxy getting by on some swindles, some swagger, and a smile. Lobot at his side, Lando has a plan to steal a very valuable ship, but has he bitten off more than he can chew? Writer Charles Soule (Death of Wolverine, Inhuman, She-Hulk) and artist Alex Maleev (Daredevil, Spider-Woman, Moon Knight) bring us the tale of a scoundrel in his natural element-trouble!.”

Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):

“Hello, what have we here?”

A new comic series for Lando Calrissian has arrived, and it’s about damn time.

I say this not so much about Lando being one of the many staples of Star Wars pop-culture, but for something fresh and different in our intergalactic male-protagonists out there. We got enough of the usual stereotype of mercenaries, soldiers, ex-soldiers, space-wizards, etc. shooting and swinging around. The galactic storytelling frontier needs more scoundrels, tricksters, persons looking to beat the system not through guns and laser swords but with brains and style.

What I like about Lando here, is him as not necessarily the hero type. There is one inside of him, as he has a conscious and a drive to not see others suffer as a result of his actions. But, he is still a man who seeks a better way in taking chances by climbing the social ladders, making deals, paling with Sith Lords. He does not always win. After all, movie fans know he lost his Millennium Falcon, Cloud City, and probably more. But, they know he gains from it too, with Rebellion glory a bit later.

The comic starts fresh, reintroducing his character through an intimate moment, as Lando explains his true intentions to a high-ranking Imperial woman. Rather than simply steal an item or go off running, he feels the need to explain himself to a woman who may have felt more for him than realized. There is an odd sort of fairness to make things right, but also take a gamble in that. Is there more to this moment? Perhaps there is more, as that scene cuts off to the main story of the issue.

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Throughout the book, we get more of this side of Lando; man driven to succeed and looking for himself. Yet, there are consequences, as Lando strives for balance in his lifestyle, as he looks to the present future one day at a time. The fun for us, is this crazy setting of a galaxy under tyrannical rule which establishes a sense of order but still allows for organized crime to continue. If someone is going to get hurt from one’s success, we hope it’s the right people.

But unlike Lando’s comic version from film, we have a nearly different character in Lobot, the headplant wearing man who we met briefly in The Empire Strikes Back. From there, we see only a man who takes orders and mute, almost robotic . Here, we have something far more human and sentient, with opinions and a little dry wit. Lobot is now a fellow comrade with a more fleshed out relateable every-man to his demeanor. A bro, perhaps.

The overall story is nothing major or on the epic scale just yet. However, we do get some interesting moments, as Lando puts himself in constant danger. He sort of welcomes it, and takes chances. To put the odds in his favor, he uses words and takes on ideas. This leads to some unwanted attention at the very top of the Imperial order, as revealed at the end.

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The pencils, inks,and colors are fantastic, for this type of storytelling. a galaxy under Imperial rule can be cold, unforgiving. So, we have a lot of darkness and dirty colors. Yet the settings of fantastic, otherworldly architecture and vehicles are all over, reminding of the grandness of the Star Wars universe..perfect for venturous gambler and scoundrel types.

So, I think this is a great opening issue to an intriguing character. But, hard to foresee if this series will be powerful or lacking. It has a lot of potential, with a fantastic character to explore for our Star Wars fans and casual science fiction lovers. That’s enough for me..

– Orion T