Long Week

The start of the week was filled with Mid-terms. One of the biggest reasons I had been avabilible to make any sort of updates at all. On top of that, Thursday was filled with anything else I needed to finished before Friday, and I had a few friends visiting me down at OSU then. After they visited, I was on my way back to Hillsboro and seeing my family for my father’s 50th birthday.

It’s been one helluva week. Tonight was I able to sit down and finally embark in a story regarding my Star Wars series. It was uplifting for me to continue with the stories that had been going on.

There are a ton of other things that I’m planning to cover later this evening and then tomorrow as well. I’m excited! Once again, the future is still looking bright. Have to keep up my A-game with everything.

Let’s hope you’re all as happy as me to read.

Don’t forget to check out the new addition to the Star Wars stories as well: Prepare The Guns – Part 5

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J.J Abrams

I’m sure everyone’s heard the news for the past day or so. The Man, the Myth, the Legend, Mr. Abrams plans to direct the next Star Wars movie (possibly even the entire new trilogy perhaps?).

The man’s repertoire speaks for himself. Having successfully brought life back into Star Trek movies with a sequel on the way, I have trust in the man that he will do Star Wars justice. What I’m also hoping for is that adult factor that he gave Star Trek. I believe Star Wars movies are going to be needing that. While millions of the original fans are now in their forties, fifties, and possibly sixties, they’re going to want to see something a bit more gritty in terms of film making. While yes, Star Wars has always been a sort of family deal the kids already have The Clone Wars Animated series. Can’t the people who are looking for something darker have something as well?

For story terms, I believe, as it more or not be confirmed, be best to have it take place right before the Yuuzahn Vong war. Those guys were a big factor for the Skywalker and Solo families. Along with causing a bunch of different problems between those families as well. That’s another thing I’m excited to see.

Both those families, despite their history together, have their hands full of each other. The children certainly don’t make it easier on their parents and the parents can’t seem to ever catch a break like they use to.

Overall, Mr. Abrams should do an excellent job. He’s done well with Star Trek, as stated before. The man knows how to handle a film that everyone loves. He’ll do just as well here, I hope, as he has in the past.

As a hard-core Star Wars fan, may the force be with him.

Star Wars Stories Update

Wanted to let the readers know I should be coming out with another story tonight.

I’ve been a bit busy lately. When it comes to writing these stories, I want to put as much time and effort I can to every one of them. Saying that with as much truth as I can place into it, I’m enjoying where I’m taking it.

I do realize that each story does take time. If I threw them out like random pieces of paper, they wouldn’t be worth reading.

I’m hoping all readers are having as good of a time reading them as I am writing them. They’re coming along nicely.

Also be sure to keep on a look out for the next Drake Williams story. I should have it added soon. After two or three more additions to it, I should be finishing it up and writing another.

Excited about all the ideas.

Stay tuned!

The Darker Hero Movies

As a society, we’ve begun to take a different step when we want to watch Superhero movies. Directors as well have seen what makes the profits at the big screens. No longer do we seek to have that old, comic-book style of movie. I’m not talking about the 2000’s type of comic book. Not the one’s where you know someone big, someone important, is going to die.

The one where the dastardly villain has arrived once again, hollering out to the city for the challenge of [insert favorite Superhero here]. At the end of the day, the villain goes back to the jail and finds another way out without hurting a single person.

That’s the sort of Superhero comic book / movie style we never see anymore. It doesn’t sell as much as a high-adrenaline, death-defying, story line can provide for the box office of what people want to see. No one wants to see the hero magically get out, then the villain come back for next week’s episode. Since we’re referring to movies it would be in two year’s time.

I bring this up because of the newest Superman movie, “Man of Steel”. It’s supposedly planned to be a rather dark movie from what we’ve seen in trailers. It’s going to be in a world where they do not understand Superman, nearly fearing him for his talents. I definitely don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. There are similar things I could see current society agreeing with if we ever had such a real event happen. A few ‘weirdo’s’ would be worshiping him, while others can be seeing him as a menace to their world.

That brings me back to the fact of the matter: darker movies sell. They give the audience that moment of pause, letting them think, “This isn’t happening… He’s the hero, he needs to win! He has to win!”

While most of the time they do, directors are good with tricking us. Letting us all believe, for a second, it could be all over for them. Some movies it’s true that they will have the main cast, or one member, die. That gives the audience another ping of pain. They will no longer live in that universe to make a difference.

Sometimes that dose of reality in our fictional world can sell the way we want it. Even though we’re being whisked away by the writers and directors, we’re still getting that raw taste of what’s really out there.

This is the part of the article where I veer away from the big topic. I want to talk more about the latest Superman movie. See what I did there? I brought an idea into your head, so then I continue on with Superman stuff! In case there are a few Super-haters out there.

I do admit, I’m a fan of the darker side of things. I enjoy that gritty, hardcore superhero movie where you never know something is going to happen. Which makes me a big fan of the up-and-coming Superman movie, it’s going to have that dose of reality we all want to see Superman faced with. Having to protect the people, even if they don’t want him, or trust him.

Superman’s perspective in this light is going be not all “I have to save everyone” now. Why do I say there? If you watch in the second trailer, you can hear his father saying, “Maybe you shouldn’t have saved them.”

In case you’re rather lazy to go and watch said link, Superman saved a bus-full of kids from drowning. One of the boys saw Clark do it. He revealed to someone who he was, what he can do. His father doesn’t want his boy to be hunted down, hurt, or hated. He’d rather have a boy die than know that his son wasn’t safe. That’s a big leap for Superman.

Makes you wonder what other moral questions he’ll have to ask himself. Will there be instances where he doesn’t safe someone? How many people will find out? Will this make people at risk from his enemies if he exposes himself? Is someone going to be caught in the crossfire?

It’s going to be insane! Very excited from the entire buzz this flick is offering.

There’s another topic I want to expand out as well. What is JGL’s (Joseph Gordan-Levitt) part going to be in all of this? How many doubt he’s even going to be making a cameo?

I think he is. I really think they’re going to build this all off into a Justice League movie. If they are, do you think JGL is going to make a good batman? Part of me says yes, the other part says no.

Let’s list some pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Batman’s role being continued is amazing, especially in the Nolan universe
  • It lets the two worlds connect, which DC has not been doing as well as Marvel
  • I’m a big fan of Batman; I want to see some more of that!

Cons:

  • JGL is nowhere near as large as Christian Bale was, and Batman looking skinny doesn’t fit
  • I really don’t think he should take the title “Batman”, I’m thinking more Nightwing because JGL has that persona and that figure
  • It would seem sort of scrambled. They basically take a franchise that did amazing, and then plant it inside other stories that are not as explored.

As big of a fan as I am of the DC universe, I can see the not-so-great idea of taking these two to make a big movie like the Justice League. The other stories are not as spread out as much. You’re missing a few key characters as well, like The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Hawkgirl.

We’ll have to see what the DC comics have in store for us. Have any insightful ideas of what they could be doing? Share below! Love to hear from all you!

Enjoy the Holidays!

Another key thing: If you haven’t already, check out my Star Wars posts! They’re doing well, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the story. Check it out!

Disney’s buying of Star Wars

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so I’ll address that quickly first. I apologize for the long wait on many things. Drake Williams, the Star Wars stories, and I know several people want to see what I have in store for the Mass Effect series that I’ll start writing. As I said, I apologize. Mid-terms have been my life for the past few weeks.

Now, to more pressing business that’s come to my attention.

With Disney buying Star Wars I’d like to offer my opinion at this fact. As a hardcore fan, I know several people are surprised that I haven’t made anything like this sooner.

My feelings to this are mixed. I have several reasons for those emotions. With the first being that I do not know what Disney has in store for the franchise, do I? No one really does. We don’t know what to expect from the family centered company. It can be positive, it can be negative.

The second reason is that because it’s a family centered company. There are some parts of the Star Wars universe that I really like, which are more adult based. Those stories are much into telling a darker Star Wars. That is a galaxy I really, really like. Those darker tales, the idea of a more realistic environment if that world were real; it’s fantastic!

The third, a much more positive side, is my look at Marvel. Since Disney took a hold of the company in 2009 (around the end of summer, beginning of fall). What they’ve done with Marvel, as I’ve witnessed, has been tremendous. It’s all been positive. The new Spiderman, the new Avenger movie, all of the movies that co-exist with the Avengers; they’re all really good. I like a lot of that!

All of that together, I have positive thoughts about it.

Why? Why would I support the changing of hands?

Well, Disney knows what they’re doing. They’re not going to slap their name onto everything that they own. At the beginning of Star Wars, you probably won’t see the big ol’ Disney trademark screaming, “This is ours!” I mean, hell, when I was watching a few of the Marvel movies I forgot that Disney owned it!

That can be something of a positive. Something negative could be the fact that they’re going to be more movies. “But Zack why would that be a negative for you? Wouldn’t more movies be better? The more Star Wars, the more the world loves!”

Not precisely, odd voices that I make up in my head to help show my point. The more movies there are, it could, I’m not certain, make the original movies less special. In my fan-like heart, I know episodes Four, Five, and Six are going to be my favorite. Hands down, no questions asked. The more the make, well, the less special a good ol’ Star Wars movie night could be.

“Would you like to watch Episode Sixteen, or Nine tonight kids?”

That’s a wacky thought. Makes you wonder what they’d write about. Of course, that’s another positive I want to cover: the endless content!

It’s not unknown that Star Wars has a wide and wild Star Wars universe to work with. It’s absolutely massive! The first three movies that Disney makes are going to pave the road for where they’re going to go before they expand out. It could anyway they want to. Will they continue to use Luke, Leia, and Han? Will they go backwards, see what they can do with the Old Republic? Perhaps go beyond Luke’s years, to the years once he’s gone?

Needless to say, there’s a lot they can do. There’s so much out there.

“Zack, if you were to choose, where would you have the beginning of the series go? What do you think Disney should do?”

That’s an excellent question to ask! What I would absolutely love, and I mean love, to see, would them do the Thrawn Trilogy. If they do that, they have surely won me over. I will pledge that the Force is with Disney. That Trilogy is by far one of my favorite times in the Expanded Universe.

Of course, there are numerous other things that I hope that they do. Thrawn is on the top of my wish list.

If they do Thrawn, then the other movies I’d love to see would be as follows:

  • The Dark Empire
  • Parts of the X-wing Series
  • Something involving Dash Rendar
  • Get some Mandalorian love in there (Fando, I am)
  • Bring some Bounty Hunter goodness to the big screen

Those are just a part of the short list that I would love to see. They’re excellent to take form into for movies. Something I’m dying to see someday.

At the same time, I refer back to the whole debate ‘episode Sixteen or Nine’ movie night. It can be good, more Star Wars goodness, or bad.

What are other’s opinions on what can take place? What are you hoping to see? What do you believe the future of the Force has for us?

Share! I’d love to hear everyone’s opinions.

Blast from the Past! (1)

Today, I’m deciding to make a new set of posts that will soon make an impact here. From time to time, I’ll find time to bring up a game that I haven’t seen / played in years. Now, in years I don’t mean like two or three, more like five, or ten. Games that are fairly old, yet they’re awesome in their own experience! Old games are always great to revisit. They were the building blocks to what we have to this day. If we don’t appreciate them, we’ll never remember where our origins came from. That’s something we have to keep in mind.

Today, I plan on talking about a certain game that I loved to absolutely play. As many as you know, I’m a giant Star Wars fan. One of the best things that I’ve played in my youth to bring me to this creation, is the Jedi Knight series. Now, when I was younger I wasn’t too concerned with what order of games I played. I was twelve. If I liked a game, I was hooked.

Which lead me to me playing Star Wars: Jedi Knights II: Jedi Outcast, first. I had figured it was a part of a series, but the first few levels got me into it immediately. Kyle Katarn has always been a bad-ass character in my opinion. I’ve always enjoyed his personality, and the stories behind him. I was a little disappointed it took so long to get his lightsaber. Mainly because I was twelve, and I wanted to cut some stuff in half! Now when I play it, I appreciate not having a lightsaber at first. It makes the gameplay a little fun, and it shows you have to be careful when you play.

After going through the game and getting the lightsaber, I was annoyed with the first level with all the jumping. That’s what I remember the most. Playing on that level when you’re searching for that gangster, and I keep falling. Every. Single. Jump.

Non.

Stop.

I was horrible at that mechanic! I never understood why. I was just so annoyed with it. After I got past that level, I got the hang of most things that I needed to do. Going from place to place and whipping through everything. As I do with games. The story itself was always fantastic. Kyle is a character I would love to write-up in a story sometime. Or having a small cameo with meeting anyone. He’s that quiet-wiseass that we all love to observe as he makes someone crash into the wall with their train of a mouth. Sure, he has an angry streak, but that’s what Star Wars is all about: Redemption!

My favorite thing also about that game was the multiplayer feature. That capture the flag, and Team Deathmatch modes were extremely addicting! I’d invite two or three of my friends over and we’d all be playing that. Four of us against all ten of the AI’s. When they’d leave, I’d have it so it was just me against the nine of them. Talk about your last stand showdowns. That’s one of the big things that helped me become attached to it.

I know not a lot of people enjoyed Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Academy as much as I did. The story has been said a bit off, and vastly odd. I really enjoyed the customization mechanics back then. It wasn’t a perfect story, but the gameplay was really fun along with the multi-player. Excellent fighting, with double-bladed and twin lightsabers.

Any nerds perfect, Star Wars dream. Besides their girlfriend (whatever they do the deed with) dressed in Leia’s golden bikini.

Memorable Gaming Soundtracks / Songs

Influenced last night by a fellow writer, I read his post and felt obligated to review my past on gaming soundtracks that have been included with those perfect moments. The post is located here: Mr. Thompson.

After reading his beautifully written post, I became interested in the background of gaming. Those wonderful moments that pass you by while you’re gunning down some alien. Saving the princess, or just saving the day in general. There are several things I could write down that have really touched me while nerding out. I believe a top ten is in order for this to be accomplished.

My Top Ten Favorite Gaming Soundtracks

10. I felt it very appropriate to revisit my child hood. When I was but a young lad, like most my age, I found a fascination with a Japanese origination game. Lo and behold, I had no idea it was from such a far away land. Either way, it was something I locked right into. Hearing the music and watching the, at the time, lavish pixels battle away in the tiny screen. I imagined high-end battles. Correct, my favorite theme was the music you’d hear in the Pokemon battle scenes. They were my first sign of gaming music that I could make a complete connection with. Baby steps, as always, and they were in a good direction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OO5VAKk0d8&feature=related

Sometimes when I’m walking somewhere, I’ll think back to those little battles I was involved in. I remember the music the most, not necessarily the battles, just the music. It had been the biggest impact for me.

9. I believe it’s fair to say that right now, I’m choosing more on the music impacted me. Not the franchise itself. I’ll be adding a few that are in the same franchise, but they all have different reasons to be involved. Admittedly, I allowed Star Wars to have a big cloud shroud my shoulders. It continues to follow me, wherever I go. One of the first games I had been on the N64. I later read the book, and it took me back to being the young nerd. The days when my father attempted to play them with me. Until I kicked his ass so much, it just wasn’t fair. The game was Star Wars Shadows of the Empire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlnQSNYa3lA

I look back at on this game, and I see it as a fairly dark game. At least for the franchise in particular respect. I remember beating it and finding out at the end if I beat it on hard, I can find out a brand new ending; something they had been keeping from me! Sadly, back then, I wasn’t as hardheaded to keep on trying. No matter the difficulty.

8. With notice, I grew up and continued to be a nerd as I was. Finding that a game wasn’t able to hook my unless I had a connection to it, or I enjoyed the plot. Plot for me was a big thing. It became larger as I found myself writing in my free time. When I wasn’t gaming it out, of course. Skipping ahead a few games, a wonderful soundtrack I enjoyed was the Assassin Creed franchise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D5PED2o_sk

I enjoyed the first one quite a bit. I concede, the mechanics and what not were rather shoddy. Yet, the game atmosphere itself was enthralling. I enjoyed the feel of being in the Middle Ages, the Dark times. Being an Assassin then felt quite amazing. Fighting Knights, these men who had grown up with honor and heavy armor. It felt almost natural to have an Assassin knock them around as he did. Plus, I’m a big fan of that time frame as well.

7. Halo was in my time, sadly it was during years in earlier youth. I wasn’t given much of a chance by my family to play it. One faithful birthday, I was given the game and I was obviously ecstatic! When I blew through the cover and the game disk, that opening menu blew me away. That intro was fantastic! I remember it, and sometimes refer to it, when I’m in a slump. What was even more inviting was when that specific played in combat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sjvo0SPAOiQ

It’s been one of my favorites for a long time. Whenever I hear someone sort of doing that background singing, I imagine Master Chief blowing some poor Grunt’s head clean off. It’s a natural reaction, not a lot of people can blame me. Fantastically done.

6. Another big influence in my life is Martial Arts. I haven’t spoken very much in that street. I do plan to reprimand that fact soon. One of the big games that I loved to play my PS2 happened to be Rise to Honor, featuring Jet Li. I hadn’t seen him very much, at least in my former youth. With my naive sense of spelling, I had imagined him to be Bruce Lee’s son. I didn’t get the ‘Li’ and ‘Lee’ difference until years later.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shmGw97AHbU

Regardless of who he was, that game was pretty spectacular. I loved getting the endless stream of combos and seeing how high I could get it. I also enjoyed the gameplay that was involved when moving the character. It was simple, and I picked it up fast.

5. To pick up where I left off with Star Wars, I believe it’s reasonable to announce I had a lot of chances to play those games. At least, whenever I had a chance I went for it. The biggest one that I remember was Bounty Hunter. Now that was one kick ass game. I remember when Attack of the Clones came out I didn’t focus on the Jedi at all – went straight for the guy in armor, flying around, killing those Jedi. Even though he died, damn he was cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl1mT5jFvjY

Jango Fett and Boba were my top characters. Not just because you don’t know a lot about them, just from what you see on-screen. Jango flying around, shooting with two blasters. That style of fighting goes into my writing, to date. Certainly not the jetpack, at least in my modern-day writing, I mean the two pistols. I thought that was just a great way to fight. Granted, reality is a sonuvabitch and that’s not intelligent at all. I still find it quite fun. Especially writing such a duel.

4. Now, I definitely enjoyed an excellent placed together gore fight. There’s none out there that quite meets those expectations like Mortal Kombat did, and still does! The latest game, I fell in love with. I remember being bored in class and playing the original games on my best friend’s laptop. The teacher didn’t much mind, as long as it was done at a correct time. We slipped through that net several times. The fighting in the game wasn’t all that crazy, but the real secret was learning the finishers. Learning all those secret combos and the deadly fatalities that came with a such a game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAwWPadFsOA

I think being able to much a large comeback as it did last year’s Easter, it’s a special kind of fighting game. Netherrelams absolutely knows what they’re doing. I look forward to the next installment, which will lucky number ten! Hoping for the best from those developers.

3. Mentioning fighting games, Dragon Ball Z! One of the big contenders of my childhood. Watching all of the Z fighters going out to save the day. Loved every second of it. Still do. Can’t help to keep myself away from all of the violence. Watching some of the plot lines in the episodes, man they were able to fill up an episode. Granted, I loved every second of it. They did exceptionally well, and such games like Tenkaichi and Budokai. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGCAWl7oNS0

Out of all the songs that were played in those games, this one was my favorite. It happened right as the hero had just been smacked down, put in their place by the villain. Suddenly, with the music continually get louder, the protagonist stood up and just went at it. A brand new flame in their heart arose! This particular song was from their first game, Budokai. As much as I looked throughout their series, they never played it again.

2. Finding it hard what to cover at this end, I seem to collide into a rock. I can’t seem to narrow down what to place at this particular point in my journey. I had a lot of things to sort thing, and think up. What to do with this. Why can’t I use this one here? Is this better than this? Should this be higher than that? I broke down to decide which one to slide right into the top two!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Srs_CD23Zuw

Later on, I became a big fan of RTS games. They definitely left a strong notch in my heart after this game, Empire at War. The way everything had to be planned out, and how much things can happen. The story was rather decent, which left me pleasantly surprised. It was a good game, the gameplay was outstanding, and the story left a sweet taste on the lips. Enjoyable all around.

1. Last, and first of course, is Mass Effect. Most of the games that I’ve played to date, can’t seem to get the perfect sync that stories can be with soundtracks. Yes, games can have fantastic soundtracks. They can go vice versa. In what I’ve played, and throughly enjoyed, Mass Effect had both perfectly wound together. Certain places in the story that had music in the background were breathtaking. I damn near died a few times just being lost in the music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2z28mutY1E

Out of all three of the games, Mass Effect 2 blew the other two straight out of the water. Especially that ending scene, right before the big mission. That giant mission you’ve had your entire team preparing for. The mission you knew no one was going to survive. The private little battle in space, that no one knew about, yet had the biggest meaning of fate in every thermal clip. It was beautifully conducted. Astoundingly written.

I hope you’ve enjoyed what I’ve shared. I believe I’ll be placing together another top ten of my favorite movie music scenes.

Looking forward to sharing! Hope you do as well.