First act sneak peek in-person presentation coming, and a shout-out for voice talent!

Hey, you!  Yes you, dear reader!  Do you happen to live in Northern Massachusetts or Southern New Hampshire?  Well, if so, you may be interested to know that we’ll be doing an evening demo presentation of the first act of our Radio Drama at some of the local libraries in the Massachusetts Middlesex County area, and you’re invited to join us!

I say demo because this is more of a test-shot type of a showing we’re planning.  The music is a mix of John William’s original scores and Tim’s incomplete original compositions, whereas the finished project will be solely Tim’s score.  The reading itself is planned to be solely by yours truly, which won’t be the case in the finished product.  And Pete is hurriedly working on trying to get a few images for us that he’s satisfied with to give a bit of a visual background to the whole thing as well.

Once we have the locations, dates, and times finalized, we’ll be sure to post them all up here on the website.  I’m putting the news out there a bit early (we’re still a few weeks out), because I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to remind folks again that if they themselves, or if they know of anyone, who does a great vocal impression of any of the Star Wars cast, past or present, to please be sure to reach out to us at our Contact Us page as we are actively seeking voice talent for the project!

We’ve been having a great time putting this together, and we look forward to sharing that fun with more fans such as yourself or someone you know who might be interested in lending their talents to an exciting project for a great cause.

IX on IX?

There’s a question that’s arisen over the past week, and it’s one worth us taking a moment to cover as it will surely come up again.

As we’ve discussed other Star Wars properties on this site before that are outside of our project, such as in regards to the video game Star Wars: Battlefront II or the film Solo: A Star Wars Movie, it makes sense that folks might wonder what our thoughts are on the recent, past, or future news about Lucasfilm’s official Star Wars Episode IX due out in the winter of 2019.  Well, to clear up the curiosity, we will not be discussing the upcoming Disney film here on www.episodeix.org.

We certainly have our thoughts on it, and constantly evolving opinions, but to give substance to our project, we need to present it in a world where Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the last episodic film that was produced.  Our unrelated, unofficial Episode IX Radio Drama is the direct sequel to that film and the other seven before it, and is the only Episode IX that exists in the universe of this website and project.

At some point, we may revisit discussing the upcoming theatrical Episode IX with our own review or editorials about it, but don’t expect us to reference or discuss it until 2020 at the very earliest, if ever at all.  To quote another franchise, “There can be only one.” 😉

Now Teen Titans GO! To The Movies on the other hand, that was a master class in hilarious animated hi-jinx for the young and middle-aged-but-still-young-at-heart to enjoy, so I would just say “GO! see it!” if I were to comment on it; but that’s another topic entirely…

Until next time!

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Summa-summa-summatime!

Hey-ho, everyone!  A few days ago we officially passed into summertime!  Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Yeah, we know, it happens on June 21 every year.”  But for myself, Pete, and Tim, that’s not what I mean by “summertime.”  I’m referring to summertime as “our kids all got out of school last week, which squirrels away the little free time we often have tucked into sub-space pockets for us to access later on.”  😉

If this past week has proven anything to us, it’s that time is even more of a precious commodity and will most likely continue to be for the next two months or so than it was before.  So please bear with us as you may find that updates to the site may come a little more infrequently than you’re used too, but know that we are using our limited free time right now to put it into our Episode IX project even if we might not get a chance to talk it up on here right away.

We’re still here and we’re still working!  Just a little quieter until the summer heat breaks and the kids start filing back onto the buses.  🙂

Welcome “Extra Lifers”!

I noticed a bit of an uptick in traffic from Vermont and Massachusetts recently and then discovered that Shelby McGarry, Events Specialist for University of Vermont Medical Center Children’s Hospital (who we are supporting through Extra Life with the release of our Episode IX project), was kind enough to say a few words about us and our project that we’re using to help raise donations for their wonderful organization.  Thanks, Shelby!

We are indeed looking for more artistic volunteers to join our Star Wars radio drama to benefit UVM Children’s Hospital!  So if you are an Extra Lifer or not, feel free to Contact Us to find out more about how you can help out and become a part of our team!

I’ve been working with Extra Life in support of Vermont Children’s Hospital for six years now, and when you support Extra Life, you are making a direct difference in the lives of patients and their families at a time when they need help the most.  It’s a great cause, and we truly hope you’ll join us helping them with a charitable donation that goes directly to the hospital.  To find out more, click the link below; and thanks!

https://www.extra-life.org/participant/support-vch

Happy 41st Birthday, Star Wars!

“The Star Wars” was released on this date, May 25, 41 years ago in 1977.  A movie made on a shoe-string budget went on to make a billionaire out of its creator and billions of dollars each year in merchandise from its millions of devoted fans worldwide.  If the movie bombed in theaters those 41 years ago, you wouldn’t be reading this right now as this website wouldn’t even exist.  “Whoa.  That’s heavy.”  Wait a tic, that’s the wrong franchise….

Today, we have something we’d like to share with you, but I wanted to make sure we were all signed off on it, so check back to this post soon as I will edit it once the “green light” is given.

You won’t want to miss out.  😉

Battlefront II’s campaign is the best official Star Wars story in years.

Ok, I have to come clean and make a couple of admissions.  First, I was one of those folks who were greatly disappointed that Star Wars: Battlefront (2015) shipped without a campaign mode.  I mean, seriously?  How do you make a gorgeous Star Wars game and then ship it without a playable story to experience?!  It seemed like a ludicrous situation; a grand oversight.  Partially because of that, even though I bought SW:BF on Day One, I never played it that much.  I enjoyed the offline missions from time to time, (the Speeder Bike sequence on Endor in first person mode is still amazing), but overall it remained primarily on the shelf to keep my bookcase company.

I was (most likely) going to buy Star Wars: Battlefront II (2017) no matter what, I’ll admit it.  Once I heard it had a campaign mode, though, I was sold.  Which leads to my painful second admission.  I bought this game also on Day One, November 17, 2017, and although I did the first Mission (the prologue “The Cleaner”) when I originally got the game, I didn’t actually, really play the campaign until April 26, 2018.

OK!  Hold on, I have an excuse!  This was partially because everyone in my house wanted to watch as I played through it to experience the story as well and I was under orders from my kids and my wife to “wait for them”.  You know, like an Imperial Decree.  Well, as anyone with a TiVo or DVR can attest, often times waiting for that other person or persons who want to “watch it with you” can lead to that show never actually getting watched.  So, I finally decided “If we actually all gather around the screen at some point to watch this together, I’ll just play it all over again.”

So after deciding to finally just play the darn thing two weeks ago, this past weekend I completed the whole campaign (the main story as well as the three-chapter “Resurrection” DLC epilogue).  As I was going about my day today, the wonderful story that developer Dice created for Battlefront II continues to float around in my head, and for very good reason.  The campaign’s story line in the Battlefront II video game is far superior to the script for the movie The Last Jedi, and really even The Force Awakens.  But what is it that this game got right that Hollywood keeps getting wrong?  Let’s take a (spoiler free) look.

Iden Versio's nobody's fool. She's Star Wars' best written female since Leia, and character to wear black since Vader.

Iden Versio’s nobody’s fool. She’s Star Wars’ best written female since Leia, and character to wear black since Vader.

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We’re on the right ‘track!

Soundtrack, that is!

I had a little tune I dreamt up for an escape scene early on in the script that was bouncing around in my head when I woke up a few days ago and I just couldn’t seem to shake it.  I thought to myself “Maybe this is something good, something that would work,” so I rang up Tim, my friend and our musical composer, to see if I could swing by his place and talk to him about it.  He said to come on by, so two days ago I went over to see him and effectively hummed to him to the best of my ability what it was that I was “hearing” in my mind.

It was both awkward and slightly embarrassing, but in a goofy kind of a way.  You know when you can hear a song so clearly in your mind and then you go to sing or hum it and you just can’t focus in on it at all no matter how hard you try?  Your mouth is making a sound, but whatever that sound is, it doesn’t match up with what you’re hearing in your head?  Well, I was struggling against that, and in the face of Tim clearly trying to intently listen to specifically what sounds I was making as I feebly fought to extract the tune from my head well enough for him to understand what I was hearing.

Fast forward to today.
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It’s Star Wars Day! Happy May the 4th!

Cortana proves that even in the distant future, they celebrate what happened a long time ago.

Cortana proves that even in the distant future, they celebrate what happened a long time ago.

I, like many people, have a routine.

Step #1 is to wake up.  If I complete Step #1, no matter what, my day is going better than if I didn’t.  After that, I blindly eject my arm out of bed and start jabbing at the air to find my phone, which sits on my nightstand.

Upon completion of that task, I begin by checking my email accounts for anything of interest or urgency and then Cortana gives me my daily custom feed of various local, nation, global, and video game news.  I like to find out if we’ve attacked someone or been attacked yet before I get out of bed, because depending on that answer I may or may not do it.

And yes, I use Cortana, that’s because I have a Windows Mobile device.  Yes, I use a Windows Mobile device.  It just works so much better than the other two, app-gap be damned.  Now, now.  No teasing.  That leads to the Dark Side.  😉

Anyways, today I had a great greeting from “her” as I was waking up.  After unlocking my phone, Cortana offered up the best wake-up message I think she’s done yet; and that includes the “Happy Birthday!” she said to me just last weekend!

Check out how she said “Good Morning” to me today.  She shifted from her usual circular, or, dare I say it, “Halo” icon and morphed into the face of a very familiar Jedi Master.  What could be a better way to start your day with a smile then that?  Can one truly love an inanimate object?  I think quite possibly yes, as there’s always another reason why I love my phone.  🙂

Best headline for Cortana to wake me up to on my Windows Mobile phone.

Best headline for Cortana to wake me up to on my Windows Mobile phone.

 

But she wasn’t done!  She had one last notification before I was forced to either start my day or waste time talking to my phone’s AI about how fast Han Solo made the Kessel Run.

Ah, May the 4th.  The geekiest “holiday” fandom has. ^_^

But does it really belong to fandom?  Let’s take a little bit of a look into where May the 4th supposedly originated, what it means to us here today, as well as ways you can celebrate it here in Massachusetts.

 

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“Great, kid. Don’t get cocky!”

This post isn’t directly related to the Episode IX Radio Drama Project, but it’s something I thought our audience would enjoy the multiple layers of irony of nevertheless.

Last night I was playing Star Wars: Battlefront II on the PlayStation 4, as I’m wont to do, and as I was enjoying a round of my favorite mode, Heroes vs. Villains, I unlocked the trophy “Choose Your Path”.  If you’re not familiar with the game, or this specific reward, a player receives this trophy when they accomplish the following: “While being marked, defeat 50 enemies in Heroes Vs Villains.” Being marked refers to the player essentially being “it”, the target that the other team will be after.

At the time, I was running around as Han Solo in his unlockable Hoth “Appearance” (which I imagine must’ve made the man quite a bit warm under all that insulation in the jungles of Yavin), when I was rewarded the “Choose Your Path” trophy for eliminating none other than Kylo Ren who was being controlled by the unseen force of a player whose name starts with “Starkiller”.  Choose your path, indeed! I found it all very ominous.

One of my favorite things when I unlock a trophy is when the system actually records a *good* screenshot of the moment I unlock and am rewarded said trophy. I find the timing on this to often be quite hit or miss, no pun intended; but this time it worked out beautifully and I’m happy to share the moment with you all.

Han Solo takes an ironic shot and gets a trophy for it.

Han Solo takes an ironic shot and gets a trophy for it.

That’s two I owed you, junior. One for Kylo, and one for Starkiller. 😉