Films

Pre Release Music

As noted in previous articles, the music of Star Wars The Old Republic is an incredibly important aspect of the game, perhaps more so than any MMORPG before. With more than six composers on their Payroll, Bioware has certanly acknowledged this, which should see a very immersing experience for fans.

Although the collectors Edition of the game comes with the official soundtrack and its 17 compositions, these only represent a small sample of the best the game has to offer.

Perhaps to the dismay of keen players that ordered the collectors edition of the game, effectively paying a premium for this CD, Bioware has begun releasing the game’s soundtrack, one track per day, up until the release date.

This has gotten quite a lot of attention from fans, with the videos gathering more than 20 thousand views each on the first day.

Since the composers on the job are well known and respected in the field of game compositions, many of them working on previous Star Wars Projects, a lot was expected of the team, so thankfully judging from the pieces released so far they have performed very well.

Although the writers have avoided typical Star Wars Riffs, such as those featured in the original Trilogy, this might turn out to be for the better, as it is sure to mean many more copies of the soundtrack will sell once the game is released, hopefully drawing in more potential players. The music is however, as expected, rather similar to the previous Bioware Star Wars Games, KOTOR I and II. This seems rather fitting as it is from the same (similar) Era, with the same forces battling for supremacy, with the same real life composers!

Following is perhaps the best track released so far, The Mandolorian Blockade, which has been worked on by a team of the composers. Sounds good!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - December 16, 2011 at 19:13

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Star Wars: Clone Wars

Star Wars Clone Wars

Star Wars Clone Wars

The animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars flashed by our screens from 2003 to 2005. It reached its third and final series with quite a keen following. Many adult fans watched the show, regardless of the fact that it was aired on Cartoon Network.

The format of the series was quite unconventional, with the original show consisting of thirty two minute long episodes. This gave fans precious little time to take in the show, much to their dismay. However, since then all of these episodes have been compiled into hour length conglomerates of each season. Although concurrent episodes generally do not follow any story line, they run together quite well and the hour length features are not only coherent, but very entertaining.

Anakin and Kenobi fighting off the horde

Anakin and Kenobi fighting off the horde

The makers of Clone Wars in many ways captured just what is the essence of Star Wars. We see Jedi and clone heroes all across the galaxy fighting in large scale battles that despite the animation style, are truly epic in the Star Wars sense. Dialogue is thankfully kept short, especially necessary seeing as each episode is too short to develop any kind of substantial story. Rather than relying on speech, character expressions and body language are purposefully exaggerated, and the saying a picture says a thousand words certainly applies to all aspects of the show.

Clone Wars uses almost 2D animation, stylised like other Cartoon Network productions such as Samurai Jack. Although many star wars fans may be used to live actors, the skill which has gone into this production can easily be appreciated, and fans of comic books will be more than pleased.

There is much that the developers of SWTOR cold learn from Star Wars: Clone Wars. The most important of these lessons is just what ever successful Star Wars production has captured. That is, the epicness and limitless scale of the Star Wars universe. Battles are multi faceted, with attacks coming from all directions at once. Jedi flaunt their many skills, leaving viewers in awe. These are just the same reactions that the original Star Wars trilogy received, and one of the primary reasons it has been so popular (as can be seen from the existence of this website).

All in all Star Wars: Clone Wars does an outstanding job over its three seasons of bringing audiences just what it meant by the words Star Wars. Thirty year old men and five year old girls will enjoy this series equally, a trait which made the original trilogy the great success it was.

The Clone Wars gets a 8/10 rating, and it can be obtained from Amazon, Ebay or many other stores.

Mace Windu laying down the law

Mace Windu laying down the law

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - March 8, 2011 at 22:12

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The Phantom Menace in 3D

Recently, It was revealed by the folks at Lucasfilms and Fox that the Star Wars films will be re-released in 3D, starting with Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.

ILM, the special effects company Lucas started for the original trilogy, is quite experienced in this area having worked on the special effects for films such as Avatar. The producers claim the conversion to 3D will be done with complete respect for the artistic work that is the Star Wars saga, so hopefully there will fewer complaints from fans as there have been after other re-releases (Han shot first anyone?).

It may seem difficult to comprehend how a film only in 2D can have another dimension added to it. It certainly was surprising for us at SWTOR Republic. However, this technology has been around for some time now; feature films such as Clash of The Titans have employed similar technology, allowing them to be screened in 3D even though they were filmed with traditional methods. Whilst this did pose some problems with quality, much research and development has happened since Titans so the Star Wars releases of next year should be almost seamless.

These 3d releases will be shown in cinemas just months after the whole saga is officially released in Blu-Ray quality later this year. Many fans have waited since the invention of the Blu-Ray technology many years ago for this, although some had given up hope and elected to use less legal methods to secure  the1080p editions of the series floating around the internet.

While Lucas has received a lot of backlash over later releases of the Star Wars films over the years he has generated substantial profits pushing out the same material again and again in different forms, with the 3D releases being the latest in this long line of different editions.

Whether it makes good business sense to release the newer trilogy before the classics is another matter, however fans can take comfort in knowing there will not be another 15 year wait.

The Phantom Menace, to be released in glorious 3D HD next year.

The Phantom Menace, to be released in glorious 3D HD next year.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - March 6, 2011 at 23:49

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Ewok Adventure: Caravan of Courage Review

Most do not the possess the Courage to view again.

Most do not the possess the courage to view again.

The Star Wars Ewok Adventure: Caravan of Courage is another of those Lucas products that would do best to be forgotten. The only reason this film, or to be fair, TV movie, would attract a single viewer is the Star Wars tag it sports. This is in effect its saving grace, because it is Star Wars, there are plenty of die hard fans who will watch it.

One thing is for sure though, none of those fans would have any pressing desire to watch it again.

The film is set solely on Endor, and revolves around two children; A young teenage boy, Mace, and his four year old sister Cindel. The kids, along with their two parents, accidentally crashed their space ship down onto Endor, after which the parents were quickly captured by the Gorax. Seeing as they are one family, and civilians at that, we wonder why Mace wears a rebel flight suit throughout much of the movie. After they discover their parents are missing, the kids set out to contact and/or rescue them.

The next hour or so of the film is fairly vague, they befriend some Ewoks, and walk a few hundred metres and apparently have arrived at the lair of the Gorax. Whatever happened during this mid-film chasm we are sure it was high drama on the seven seas.

The rescue goes according to what little plan the four year old could come up with, and the large pupet monkey man (Gorax) falls into some inexplicably placed canyon, apparently to his death. How anyone could cross the canyon normally or how such a thing was formed in the first place is thankfully omitted from the film.

The Ewok Adventure might actually not be such a bad film if you are four year old and love Ewoks, and this really is its target audience. Overall the acting is bad, the special effects (even though the film was produced many years after Star Wars) are worse, and the premise behind the plot even less appealing.

Star Wars Galaxies had the audacity to incorporate some of the Caravan of Courage’s characters into the game, such as the mighty Gorax! Although they weren’t bad characters per se, acknowledging the existence of the Caravan of Courage should probably be avoided by the Bioware developers of SWTOR if they can help themselves!

Overall the film earns a 3/10 rating. I acknowledge in many ways we have been quite harsh, as we don’t quite fit the 4-7 age bracket it is aimed at. However, we feel that even if you fall into this category there are far better films to watch with your valuable time.

Our four year old child star. Not very Starwarsy and Iconic

Our four year old child star. Not very Starwarsy and Iconic

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - February 22, 2011 at 15:42

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Ewok Adventure: The Battle For Endor Review

Ewoks: The Battle For Endor

Ewoks: The Battle For Endor

The Ewok Adventure: Battle For Endor is the sequel to the awful TV movie, Ewok Adventure: Caravan of Courage. What possessed any studio to produce a sequel to the first is beyond us, but it was done, and we as true Star Wars fans were obliged to watch it.

This film features the same characters as the Caravan of Courage. There is Cindel (four year old girl), Mace (her teen brother) and her two parents. There is also the usual gang of Ewoks, who are lead on screen by Wicket.

As mentioned in the previous review for the Caravan of Courage, this is certainly, for better or worse, a film aimed at children in terms of the characters and speech. However, this one has a very un-child friendly story. Just minutes into the film Cindel’s whole family is slaughtered by band of Marauders.

The film’s plot is similar to its predecessors in most ways in that it is silly, drawn out and unconvincing. The leader of the band of marauders who are called, guess what,¬† marauders, seems to be searching for some ship power source which he believes will give him magical powers. The more discerning viewer may not see why he needs to go so far afield, because some woman (whom is in league with the Marauders) has a ring which will turn her into a bird. Perhaps rather than capturing a four year old Cindel and asking her to transfer a power source’s magic to him, the chief should interrogate his bird lady.

Towards the end of the film is a final showdown between the Ewoks, Cindel, some old gentleman she picked up in the forest and the Marauders. Oh, there is also a white, fluffy, apparently sentient, animal who seems capable of running at unlimited speed and other acts of assorted wizardry. We know he is in league with the old man, but as to how his magical powers and super-fast-running work, your guess is as good as ours. Unsurprisingly, the Ewoks win the fight by a landslide using their catapults (which have become a lot more advanced since Return Of The Jedi) and rocks. Once victory is ensured, the adventurers farewell their Ewok comrades and the old man, his fluffy white wizard animal and Cindel fly off into the night.

Star Wars Galaxy again had the audacity to incorporate the Marauder race from this film into the game. Hopefully since Endor is still of little importance in The Old Republic, we will not see recurrences of this cancerous movie in SWTOR.

As far as films go this aught to satisfy only the most intrepid star-wars loving of toddlers. The whole thing is a fiasco of silly plots, characters and magicians with approximately zero redeeming traits. The film earns a 2/10 rating (Because it would be irresponsible to rank this on par with the Holiday special’s 1/10) and may god have mercy on the souls of all involved in production.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - February 21, 2011 at 14:45

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Star Wars Holiday Special Review

Leia, who for reasons unknown to us appeared to be high for most of the special.

Leia, who for reasons unknown to us, was high for most of the Holiday Special.

The Star Wars Holiday Special has a special place in the hearts of all Star Wars fans. That place must be some mouldy corner, best to be left alone.

 

The special launched its way onto Television in 1978 and was shown once, only once. After that everyone had had enough, including George Lucas, who tried to have it destroyed. Luckily he did not succeed, so there are copies of the special around for future generations to learn from.

It was essentially a TV movie, however there were random irrelevant cut scenes, such as a Jefferson Starship performance, dotted throughout it. Another one consisted of five minutes of pillow talk between a chair and Chewbacca’s father. Yeah, it was great.

The whole affair had little in the way of a plot. It was pretty much just Han and Chewie being late for a Lifeday (read: Christmas) celebration at Chewie’s house, and the viewers being shown the anguish this put the great Wookiees family in. This anguish was fairly hard to understand, since the Wookiees only speak Shyriiwook, their language of grunts and groans, which most of us humans do not understand.

At no point during the special was any of the cinematic magic which made Star Wars Star Wars exhibited. All in all it was a long, drawn out, collection of skits, which had no entertainment value whatsoever. Most of the spectacle has been erased from Star Wars canon, however some has been for inconceivable reasons referenced in other licensed productions.

This includes Star Wars Galaxies, which made a yearly lifeday celebration which included many of the characters from the special into the game. It even awarded players with some of the items, such as the pillow-talking chair complete with in-game sound effects, as well as paintings of scenes from the Special. Hopefully where the developers of Galaxies couldn’t, those of SWTOR will be able to restrain themselves and not include anything originating from the monstrosity that is the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Overall, the Star Wars Holiday Special earns a 1/10 rating. It is surely a product of the Dark Side of the Force. Its solo point is due to the mildly entertaining cartoon which appears half way through, which is the first time we are introduced to Boba Fett, even though he is riding a dinosaur and wielding a tuning fork.

Following is a video which should save you from watching the special yourself by summing up the whole thing in five minutes:

 

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by neft - February 17, 2011 at 20:43

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