Saturday, January 17, 2009

BSG is Back! Who's The Final Cylon?

The only TV show that I feel compelled to watch on a regular basis finally returned last night. Some quick thoughts--

Really great episode, and on so many levels. A real roller-coaster ride, with some high points (like the date between Lee and Dee), and many, MANY more low points. At times, I felt like I was watching a Shakespearean tragedy, and at others, like I was watching a train-wreck--Horrible to see, but at the same time, too fascinating to ignore.

Regarding the Starbuck situation: I think things are just as they seem-- the dead body is the "real" Starbuck that we first meet in the Mini-Series. The current Starbuck is a copy with implanted memories. In fact, this ties in pretty neatly with a pet theory of mine.

Here it goes:

ALL of the "humans" are Cylons. Not actual metal robots, of course, but 'flesh-cylons', like Six and Boomer.

What if "The Plan" is just a series of repeated attempts to re-start the human race. With each try, the Machine Cylons decant a fresh batch of clones, or 'human-model cylons', all with ready-made memories and pre-programmed personalities. They set these cylon-created humans loose and see what happens. And they keep a small sample of the human-model cylons close at hand, with at least a partial awareness of their true nature, as a sort of control group.

And each time, the 'new humans' figure out a way to destroy themselves.. either directly (through nuclear holocaust, for example), or indirectly (like by creating yet another type of machine servant, only to have it turn on them).

I'm sure it's been mentioned all over the Internet before, but it's worth repeating:

The Final Cylon isn't just Ellen; it's Humanity.

...Or maybe not.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Star Wars, X-Men, and The Uncanny X-Cast

Sometimes, I feel like I came into the world at just the right time.

Born at the tail-end of the Disco Era, I was lucky enough to witness the ground-breaking theatrical release of Star Wars back in '77. My 7-year-old mind was blown away by EVERY aspect of the film. Until then, the peak of sci-fi on the big screen was 2001, a film that, despite it's artistic merit, just couldn't hold a candle to the sheer escapist fun that was Star Wars.

I was also fortunate enough to discover Comic Books during Chris Claremont and John Byrne's run on The Uncanny X-Men. Dark Phoenix. The Shi'ar. The Brood. Kitty Pryde. This run was, in my opinion, the epitome of what good comics are all about.

Much like Star Wars did for sci-fi movies, the X-Men defined for me what comics should be-- captivating story lines, three dimensional characters, high adventure, danger, and just a splash of humor. And best of all, the protagonists were a band of misunderstood anti-heroes, feared and often hated by society at large. My pre-teen self strongly identified with them.

Since then, I've had a love/hate relationship with many different comic titles, but the one that has never let me down is the X-Men. Even during the weaker runs, the different X-books have stood tall above the competition. And when the creative team is on it's game, all I can say is WOW. Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's incredible run on Astonishing X-Men came dangerously close to forever spoiling all other comics for me.

I've discovered a podcast made by a couple of older fans who share my love of the X-Men.

The Uncanny X-Cast
is an intelligent yet down-to-earth review of both current and past X-Men titles. The hosts, Rob and Brian, have incredible chemistry; they come across like two old friends who genuinely love good X-Men comics. Their occasional, good natured trading of barbs adds to the humor of the show, without coming across as mean-spirited. Best of all, their discussions are devoid of the ol' Fanboy Blinders: They tell it like it is, and aren't afraid to call out writers or artists who drop the ball with their beloved Mutants.

If you have even a passing interest in the X-Men, and are looking for an entertaining podcast, you ought to check em out.

Link- Uncanny X-Cast Podcast

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The New (old) Enterprise

With J.J. Abram's "re-boot" of the Star Trek film franchise rapidly approaching, the Paramount PR machine is kicking into high gear. Last week, a few hi-res photos from the film were released. Of particular interest to me is the re-imagined N.C.C. 1701, one of the most significant sci-fi icons of the past few decades. Check it out-

I was initially turned off by this design. I have to admit though; it's growing on me. Whoever designed this thing has managed to create a plausible precursor to the Constitution Class Refit Enterprise we were introduced to in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The art-deco curves and flares on the nacelles sort of remind me of the chromed-out hot rods of the 60's. I'm still kind of put off by the protruding deflector dish, but all-in-all, I think that the 'New-Old-Enterprise' is pretty snazzy.

You can check out a larger version of this image, as well as several others, at Trekmovie.Com.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Orlando Trip

I was thinning out some pictures, and stumbled on some taken at a job-related trip a couple of years ago. It was the usual team-building, idea-sharing, pump-you-up kind of meeting in Orlando. The trip itself was pretty cool-- it's always fun to get paid while spending time at a resort town.

*BONUS*- I got to check out Star Tours.

I don't think the tech involved with any of the props has been updated since the attraction's inception, but it doesn't matter. Seeing semi-mobile replica's of the stars and sets of the film are sure to bring a hint of goosebumps to even the most jaded fan.

Star Wars Gangsta Rap

Just in case you haven't seen it yet-