George Lucas Visits Set of the Live-Action “Star Wars” Series “The Mandalorian”

#StarWars creator George Lucas paid the set of the upcoming live-action streamed series #TheMandalorian a surprise visit where he met with writer & producer Jon Favreau, as well as Dave Filoni, who produced the animated “Star Wars” series #TheCloneWars and #Rebels. Dave Filoni will direct the first episode of “The Mandalorian”, which follows the lone bounty hunter “in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.”

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Birthday Surprise

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New “Star Wars” Live Action Series Announced: “The Mandalorian”

#StarWars today revealed the name of its upcoming live-action internet series: #TheMandalorian. They also revealed the first image of the main character. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. The story follows “the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic”.

The series will be written and executively produced by Emmy-nominated producer and actor Jon Favreau. Dave Filoni (of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels) will direct the first episode. Additional episodic directors include Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Bryce Dallas Howard (Solemates), and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok).

The Mandalorian

“The Mandalorian”

The following view update was also released on the official “Star Wars” YouTube channel:

On his Instagram account, Jon Favreau said the following:

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How the 1988 Writers’ Strike Forever Changed the Borg

Anyone familiar with #StarTrek probably knows who the #Borg are: a fictional race of #cyborgs governed by a hive mind with no individuality whatsoever. While they were introduced in the second season of “#StarTrek: #TheNextGeneration”, were the Borg as we know them the same as what had been originally conceived? No, they weren’t.

borg-display

The late producer & writer Maurice Hurley (1939 – 2015), who worked on TNG during its first and second seasons, had something very different in mind for the Borg. His original idea was partially captured in the final episode of the show’s first season (entitled “The Neutral Zone”). He originally intended that episode to be the first part of a two-part ark that would then open the show’s second season. But that ark never happen. Instead, only part of Hurley’s original idea was used: the Enterprise travels to the Romulan Neutral Zone to investigate the mysterious disappearance of several outposts, where the Enterprise encounters the Romulans (their first appearance in TNG), who are also investigating similar disappearances.

What happened with Hurley’s original idea? The writers strike by the Writers Guild of America happened in 1988.

Writers Strike 1988

Image from the 1988 Writers’ Strike

“The Neutral Zone” episode aired on May 16, 1988, two months after the writers’ strike began on March 7, 1988. The strike didn’t end until August 7, 1988, five months later and three months before the first episode of the 2nd season of TNG aired on Nov. 21, 1988. That episode (entitled “The Child”) was delayed due to the strike and was completely completely unrelated to the events in “The Neutral Zone”.

Had Hurley’s original idea been filmed, it would have had the Federation and the Romulans join forces to fight an aggressive insectoid race with a hive mind that was supposed to be responsible for the disappearance of the outposts on both sides. However, before the final first season episode was filmed, Hurley had to get the episode written quickly as the writers’ strike was widely viewed as being imminent.

So, Hurley took a fan submitted story by Deborah McIntyre and Mona Clee and used that as the basis for the episode along with part of his original idea. McIntyre & Clee’s idea was that the Enterprise would encounter three people from the 20th century who were cryogenically frozen centuries earlier, revive them, then have them adjust to life in the future.

Later in the second season of TNG, Hurley got to revisit his original idea for “The Neutral Zone” from the first season in the episode “Q Who”. But, his insectoid race (which probably wasn’t called the Borg at the time) never came to fruition primarily due to budgetary concerns. It was initially replaced with a reptilian race design, but that was also abandoned and replaced with the cyborg race that we know today as the Borg and was designed by costume designer Durinda Rice Wood:

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What survived of Hurley’s original insectoid race idea in the Borg was the hive mind.

So, thanks in part to the 1988 writers’ strike, the Borg because one of the most powerful recurring foes in the “Star Trek” franchise. They’re appearances include the following:

“The Next Generation” Episodes:

  • “Q Who” (Season 2, Ep. 16)
  • “The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1” (Season 3, Ep. 26)
  • “The Best of Both Worlds, Part 2” (Season 4, Ep. 01)
  • “I, Borg” (Season 5, Ep. 23)
  • “Descent Part, 1” (Season 6, Ep. 26)
  • “Descent Part, 2” (Season 7, Ep. 01)

TNG Movies:

  • “Star Trek VIII: First Contact”

“Voyager” Episodes:

  • “Unity” (Season 3, Ep. 17)
  • “Scorpion, Part 1” (Season 3, Ep. 26)
  • “Scorpion, Part 2” (Season 4, Ep. 01)
  • “The Raven” (Season 4, Ep. 06)
  • “Drone” (Season 5, Ep. 02)
  • “Dark Frontier, Part 1” (Season 5, Ep. 16)
  • “Dark Frontier, Part 2” (Season 5, Ep. 17)
  • “Survival Instinct” (Season 6, Ep. 02)
  • “Collective” (Season 6, Ep. 16)
  • “Child’s Play” (Season 6, Ep. 19)
  • “Unimatrix Zero, Part 1” (Season 6, Ep. 26)
  • “Unimatrix Zero, Part 2” (Season 7, Ep. 01)
  • “Imperfection” (Season 7, Ep. 02)
  • “Endgame” (Season 7, Ep. 25)

“Enterprise” Episodes:

  • “Regeneration” (Season 2, Ep. 23)

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“Indiana Jones” Hat Worn by Harrison Ford Sells for Record-Breaking $521,000

Quite possibly the most famous hat in cinematic history, the fedora hat worn by Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in #RaidersOfTheLostArk sold for a record breaking £393,600 ($521,362) during a Prop Store auction in London on September 20, 2018.

The hat was originally designed by costume designer Deborah Nadoolman and made by the Herbert Johnson Hat Company. It was then treated with dust and bleach to give it a slightly battered, weathered and well-travelled appearance.

Because of its unique markings, it could be screen-matched with many of the film’s most famous moments.

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J.K. Rowling Confirms Harry Potter Fan Theory

#HarryPotter author J.K. Rowling was done with fans mispronouncing the first name of her character Hermione Granger, but how to solve the problem?

J.K. Rowling cleverly decided to make the pronunciation crystal clear in the fourth book series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which was first published in 2000.

In Chapter 23, “The Yule Ball”, Hermione teaches Bulgarian Quidditch star Viktor Krum the correct way to articulate her first name (Her-My-Oh-Nee). By doing so, the fans would get it right too!

J.K. Rowling confirmed a fan theory on Twitter Tuesday, after a user suggested that the scene was included solely “to school all of us who were saying HER-MY-OWN like Viktor Krum.”

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When Science Meets Science Fiction: Planet Found Orbiting 40 Eridani A

The home to one of science fiction’s most iconic characters is a planet named Vulcan supposedly orbiting the star “40 Eridani A”, which astronomers refer to as HD 26965.

That character, Spock (from the #StarTrek franchise created by the late Gene Roddenberry), may have an actual home world after all as astronomers from the University of Florida (UF) and Tennessee State University (TSU) have discovered a super-Earth #exoplanet in orbit around 40 Eridani A.

Lead astronomer Jian Ge from UF described the planet and it’s host star as follows:

“The new planet is a ‘super-Earth’ orbiting the star HD 26965, which is only 16 light years from Earth, making it the closest super-Earth orbiting another Sun-like star.”

Ge also said,

“The planet is roughly twice the size of Earth and orbits its star with a 42-day period just inside the star’s optimal habitable zone.”

Astronomer Gregory Henry from TSU said,

“Star Trek fans may know the star HD 26965 by its alternative moniker, 40 Eridani A.”

Henry said further,

“Vulcan was connected to 40 Eridani A in the publications ‘Star Trek 2’ by James Blish (Bantam, 1968) and ‘Star Trek Maps’ by Jeff Maynard (Bantam, 1980).”

In a letter published in the “Sky and Telescope” periodical in July 1991, Gene Roddenberry (the creator of Star Trek) along with Sallie Baliunas, Robert Donahue, and George Nassiopoulos of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics confirmed the identification of 40 Eridani A as Vulcan’s host star. The 40 Eridani star system is composed of three stars with Vulcan orbiting the primary star. The two companion stars “would gleam brilliantly in the Vulcan sky,” they wrote in their 1991 letter.

Artist’s Conception of Vulcan

The 40 Eridani Star System

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