Tag Archives: Star Wars

May the fourth be with you, and also with you

Happy Star Wars day everyone!


Image Source: Total Hangout

Now I am decidedly a Trekkie in the whole Trek versus Wars debate (and yes I meant to say Trekkie not Trekker which is a whole other debate). Actually I’m more of a B5’er or whatever you call people who love J. Michael Strazcinski’s 5 year epic that should have been subtitled “The Rise and Fall of Londo Molari”. But I think all of us nerds can agree we really love both. Wars and Trek appeal to different parts of our brain, and even though there have been times I’ve complained of Trek heading in more of a Wars direction (particularly with the last couple of Abrahms movies), I’m still going to watch, game and read many of the things these two properties have to offer.

Though not either properties’ animated series.

Here’s the thing though. In a way this debate feels archaic, or at least should feel archaic. I’ve heard an update of this might be Babylon 5 vs. Battlestar Galactica, but even those series have been off the air for a while (I personally found Galactica depressing and grinding after a while). I’m a brown-shirt too, but let’s face it, 14 episodes, a movie, and a few comic books are really all we’re gonna get out of that.

It’s like people who still cite the ABC’s of Science Fiction (Asimov, Bradbury and Clarke). These are all great writers (or great thinkers anyway). I wish I had the talent for imagery and crafting short stories of Bradbury, and I find myself striving for some of the same things as Asimov without trying to be too much like Clarke (the ending of my first ever completed novel was a lot like the ending of 2001 which is to say, incomprehensible and bad).

To me both Wars, Trek and the ABC’s are a solid grounding in the classics. But have we reached a point in science fiction where it might be time to start defining the genre by more than just these two titles? The Trek versus Wars thing feels more like an external classification than an internal one, and it seems maybe even a little dated despite the lasting legacy of both these series.

Now I say this as a guy who is on a bit of a mission to convince people that Deep Space Nine is better than The Next Generation, and as someone who still buys Star Trek comic books, and was thrilled for his 30th birthday to receive a Starship Enterprise sushi set. This is a nudge more than a shove.

I wish I was a little better versed in some of the great work of modern authors (besides Doctorow and Scalzi), and I’m making an effort every day to find the people who are writing this generation’s Trek or Wars. So far the place I’ve found it is in comic books, with titles like Letter 44, The Fuse, Saga, Copperhead, Roche Limit and Black Science (most of which I’ve reviewed on the blog). I guess lately I’ve been finding the idiosyncratic and personal work of comic book writers to be more appealing than larger more mass marketed properties. That said, a lot of individual authors still do great work on these series (and we haven’t even gotten to the behemoth that is Doctor Who which is again a 50+ year property).

Again, I love these old shows, movies, etc. I want my kids and my grandkids to enjoy them. I just want to make sure that when we (or the people outside) talk about science fiction, it seems like there is more to talk about. There’s something out there in science fiction for everyone to love, not just us nerds.

And maybe today of all days is a good time to have that discussion. If someone talks to you about Star Wars today, have fun with that, and maybe throw in something else you’ve read lately that really grabbed you, and that they might enjoy.

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Star Wars Games Giveaway (FINISHED)

UPDATE 2/8: Thanks to everyone for their interest. I gave away keys to Penelope and Punci. Thanks for writing in! I may do another of these in a couple of weeks so watch this space.


Original Post Follows

Good afternoon everyone, hope you are having a pleasant day of unusual warmth. I’m sitting by a window in my local Panera, sipping on hazelnut coffee and working on Chapter 3 of The Sky Below, and hoping to be able to bang out 1250 more words in the next two hours.

In the meantime I’ve got something of a random treat for you guys. As you might have guessed, I’m a bit of a gamer, and with all these Humble Bundles, Steam Sales, GOG sales, and dollar acquisitions at Half Price Books, sometimes I get duplicates.

Rather than let these languish unused in my Humble Bundle account, I thought it’d be nice to give some of them away to someone who might actually play them. So from time to time I might do a special bonus post with a couple of keys for a game you all might like.

So here’s the deal. I’ve got one Steam key for Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic and one for  it’s sequel. If you want one or both of these keys send me an e-mail to bentrubewriter@gmail.com (you can use the contact form on this blog). I’ll give these out on a first come, first served basis. I’m using Humble Bundle’s gifting process so I know which keys I’ve given away, so you may need to create a Humble Bundle account (and if you haven’t you really should since that’s where I’ve been getting all these cool games, books, comic books and the like).

May the force be with you all.

PS. I’ll update this post when I’ve given away any keys.

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The Star Wars – The First New Hope


Image Source: USA Today

Some of you in the Star Wars or wider sci-fi community may have heard about Dark Horse’s eight issue limited series The Star Wars, a comic book adaption of the original rough draft for Star Wars.

Please note: I am not a fanboy of the extended universe, care little for the Clone Wars continuity, and barely tolerate the prequel trilogy when compared to the perfection that is the original trilogy.

That being said…

These books are kind of awesome.

So far there’ve only been two issues, and I plowed through them both in half an hour or so. Suffice it to say this is NOTHING like the movie you know and love. Here are just a few examples:

  • “May the force be with you” is “May the force of others be with you all”
  • Luke Skywalker is this old dude


Image Source: Wired

  • R2D2 can talk (he kind of winges on actually)!
  • And he and C3Po start on the Death Star
  • Alderann is not Princess Leia’s home, but the center of the galactic empire
  • Jedi are Jedi-Bendu
  • Annikan is not Darth Vader
  • The Death Star (which has yet to actually be called that), is pointier and more susceptible to X-Wing fire. Actual hull breaches with storm troopers being sucked into space.
  • And apparently Han Solo is a green alien but we haven’t seen him yet.

The point is very different story. I think this is interesting for a couple of reasons:

1) As a writer, it’s interesting to see Lucas’ starting point, knowing where he would end the story. It’s surprising the level of character and location changes, but it just shows that good writers are willing to make those kinds of changes if it makes the story better. I’m working on a significant location change with Surreality, but nothing on the level of this story.

2) I like different takes on the same universe, and the same story. It’s why I can love Wrath of Khan and Into Darkness for different reasons (yes he did just talk about Star Trek and Star Wars in the same post, get over it!). I’m also a big fan of manga and anime, and especially love if a series I like drastically diverges from the manga. That way I get two complete stories, instead of one story told two different ways. And this doesn’t feel like an “episode” in the Star Wars universe, which I’m not really looking for, but an actual complete reinterpretation. Maybe this a bit biased, but I expect more epic arc from Star Wars than I do from Star Trek, and so I’m disappointed by media that is essentially Luke, Han and Chewie go on an adventure. There’s a reason this is a saga.

3) And it should be noted the artwork is fantastic. Comic art can wildly vary, even in the same series, but Dark Horse really brought their game on this one:


Image Source: Following The Nerd

Incidentally, that’s Leia in the top right. The character’s especially are very detailed. And the comic is printed on great paper, thick glossy stock.

So even if you’re not a comics nerd, this one might be worth the read. So stop by your local comic’s shop (mine’s The Laughing Ogre), and pick up these issues while you can. If you’re not the month to month type, these probably will be collected in a trade sometime next year, but I don’t feel like waiting on this one.

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Goodbye LucasArts

In light of the tragic death of LucasArts yesterday at the hands of Disney, I thought I’d let a few of my friends give their reactions:






NoMinnieHave a great weekend everybody!


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