Rogue One

Check Out The Rogue One…VHS Trailer?!

When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit theaters in December of 2016. It kind of became a big deal. Like over a billion dollars worth of a big deal in fact at the box office. Of course it was easy to see why, a likeable collection of rascals. As well as being an entertaining movie that helped to give a backstory to the events of 1977’s Star Wars.

[Via] Star Wars

Now for myself I absolutely enjoyed this different, grittier look at the Star Wars universe. Having said that I would certainly not want every single new film in the franchise to echo this type of tale. I found Rogue One to be not only thrilling but a moving story of hope. I would point out that in addition to its message of hope it included the awesome new character that is Admiral Raddus. Of course as I have demonstrated in past posts – I am rather partial to the Mon Calamari.
Rogue One - Admiral Raddus

Read: You Can’t Repel Cosplay Of That Magnitude!

Overall I felt that Rogue One managed to capture a little of the feel of the original Star Wars. That was helped and occasionally…hindered…by unexpected cameos. However with the film available right this minute on digital with DVD and Blu-Ray expected to hit shelves on April 4th. An enterprising artist, Damien Kazan, decided to put together a trailer.
Rogue One

A trailer I should add that looks like it was released in the early days of VHS trailers. If you have not seen the film for yourself yet, there are some things that might be considered SPOILERS!

I want to thank the one and only Daniel XIII, for the heads up on this fan trailer for Rogue One. After watching it I felt I needed to share it with you all – hopefully it will give your day a little boost.

How close was the Rogue One VHS trailer to the original Star Wars home trailer?


Thanks to Plains Video you can see for yourself. I can recall seeing a similar running announcement at a local video store of my youth!

Betamax

Check Out This 1978 Tour Of A Betamax Collection!

Ah, Betamax. There have been many times when technological formats that are sort of similiar must go head to head. Like in the case of HD DVD versus the Blu-Ray format. Of course if you go back a little further there was the competition between Video High Density video discs vs LaserDisc and VHS. And if you are of a certain age you might recall when it was the VHS format versus Betamax fighting for your hard earned money.
Betamax

I wasn’t aware that Betamax actually ceased being made way back in…2016?! That is the truth though – which means it lasted for 40 years. Not to shabby a legacy for the “loser” of the videotape format war.

I was only in contact with a Betamax unit once in my youth. You have to remember this was back when both it and the VHS units were quite beautiful. In addition to being incredibly large with myriad buttons and dials as well as featuring top-loading mechanisms.

As I was saying though – I only once had any sort of experience with a Betamax. This was in 1982 and my Father rented Star Wars. I want to point out this was during the time when renting a Betamax or VCR unit was a bit of an ordeal.

First of all you needed to have the membership to the video store which required the usual identification. However you also needed to literally leave a deposit on top of the rental fee – generally a $100 dollar bill or at least a check if you were trusted by the store.

Now having said all of that, thanks to the Retroist who pointed this video out to me. We can travel back in time to 1978 to visit Ray Glasser. In the almost ten minute video he gives those of us from the future a personal tour of his Betamax collection.

The television and movies in his collection are rather staggering. Everything from Star Trek, to King Kong and the Burns and Allen show, to name a few. So without further ado let us join Ray Glasser back in 1978 and enjoy his Betamax collection tour!

[Via] Videoholic Returns

Now then. You’ve seen the tour of Glasser’s Betamax tapes. But why not watch Bill Hammack aka Engineer Guy briefly explain why the VHS format won out?

Droids

1985’s Star Wars: Droids Gets An Updated Intro?

Well, friends. In all honesty Star Wars: Droids has received a fan made update to the classic 1985 intro. With Al Scott’s student work placing this during the time of 2015’s The Force Awakens. Having said that it of course means that BB-8 is now tagging along with C-3P0 and R2-D2!
Droids

I stumbled across this video the other day although in fact it was released back in May of 2016. I really like what Al was able to accomplish with his reimagining for the Droids opening. Using the legendary “Trouble Again” theme song by The Police’s Stewart Copeland works rather well with the threats to the Droids by Captain Phasma and the First Order as well as Unkar Plutt.

Moreover I truly wish that Disney might think about resurrecting the ’85 television series. I believe that with the popularity of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and of course Star Wars Rebels – it’s time for a return to Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3P0…and BB-8.

From his YouTube Page, Al said of the student project:
“…this is a contemporary reimagining of the cartoon “DROIDS” from the 1980’s! This newly imagined version of “Droids!” follows the day to day adventures of C3P0, R2-D2, and BB-8 as they constantly find themselves in trouble again avoiding the First Order, Bounty Hunters, Scavengers, and helping the noble Resistance further their cause across the galaxy!


Now while it’s nice to think about what a new animated series might be like. I would be remiss to not mention how much of a fan I was of the 1985 show. Certainly that puts me in the miniority as many fans of Star Wars seem to not look at the show as fondly as I do. Then again I also am a huge fan of the Droids that populate the movies, comics, animated series, and games. Even in my youth there were cases where I cared more about R2 or even the likes of 2-1B than Chewbacca.

I hope all of this has got you thinking about the 1985 animated series now. Which has yet to receive a DVD or Blu-Ray release, by the way. Because the Retroist has you covered with episode 59 of his podcast – in which he is joined by R2!
Retroist Star Wars Droids Podcast

Battlestar Galactica

Atari Was Making A Battlestar Galactica Laserdisc Game?!

Battlestar Galactica was required viewing in my youth. Of course it didn’t hurt the television series that in 1978 everyone was in the grip of Star Wars fever. In fact I I saw the Battlestar Galactica movie, which was an abridged version of the TV pilot, at the 62 Drive-In of my youth.

ReMastered By JDG

My notebooks at school were chock full of doodles featuring Stormtroopers as well as Cylon Warriors. Although I regret to say that I wasn’t lucky enough to receive very many of the toys. However I did get my hands on Mattel’s Cylon Centurion figure. Moreover it became a rival bounty hunter for Boba Fett in my Star Wars toy universe.

So in other words, I was a pretty big fan of the short lived Battlestar Galactica series. What I was not remotely aware of until yesterday though, was that Atari had plans on a laserdisc game. I found out about it thanks to Patrick Barnes who posted on the Diary of An Arcade Employee Facebook Page. It was back in 1984 that Atari began work on a conversion kit for another of their laserdisc titles – Firefox.

Image courtesy of the Arcade Flyer Archive.

Sadly the Battlestar Galactic arcade game never saw the light of day. On the positive side at least there exists this test footage of the proposed arcade title.


Uploaded by Scottith Games to his YouTube account!

Furthermore he shares an interview with a designer of the game. Owen Rubin who worked on such classic games as Battlezone, Space Duel and Major Havoc:
“With Galactica, it was my idea originally as I was a Galactica fan obviously, (those are Cylon ships in Major Havoc, and the graphics displays in the tactical display were drawn like in Galactica as well), the guys who did Star Wars and Firefox started the project. I did a small amount of work as well. All that was really done was some footage on the laserdisc that let you land a fighter ship into one of the landing bays on either side of the large ship.

The video on the disc is recorded in such a way that playing it back would look like garbage. It is a bunch of still frames that you play out of order so that you can change what you are playing seamlessly. For example, the landing footage is one of 9 to 16 or so frames from different positions as you approach the landing bay. Imaging a 3×3 of 4×4 grid of possible positions you can approach from, with the center being straight on. If you fly straight, the program would display every 9th frame which was the video of flying straight.
Battlestar Galactica - Landing Bay
If you moved right, you would select the proper “frame view” and it would look like you moved in the video to the right, and now play every 9th “right position 1″ video frame in order. With this scheme, you could fly in 2 dimensions with the joystick while the game pushed you forward in the third as well, controlled by a throttle.”

It most certainly isn’t every single day that you learn about such a video game project. I want to thank Patrick Barnes once again as well as Scottith Games for documenting what might be lost arcade game history.

Now that you’ve learned about the Battlestar Galactica arcade game. How about you watch the 1998 trailer for the reboot of the series that the late and great Richard Hatch conceived?

[Via] Peter Noble

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks is back…and it’s bringing action figures

Diane, it’s almost ten o’clock on Monday night, and I’ve just discovered something stupendous, something I never thought I’d see. No, not coffee that somehow manages to be even blacker than black, although that does sound pretty good right now. I’ve just discovered that Funko is about to unleash Twin Peaks action figures on the world.

At the 2017 London Toy Fair, Funko – best known currently for its seemingly endless variety of Vinyl Pop figures – unveiled not only Twin Peaks Vinyl Pops, but a selection of four 3 and 3/4″ Twin Peaks action figures as well. Perhaps it would be best to say that only three of them are action figures; one of the figures doesn’t really move…but then, the character of Laura Palmer didn’t really move much once she was wrapped in plastic.
Twin Peaks

As is often the case, Funko’s choice of characters to produce in what is often referred to as “the Star Wars scale” is both iconic and frustrating. Audrey and Leland, at least, get Vinyl Pops, but there’s no 3 and 3/4″ love for those all-important characters; the quartet of figures instead consists of Agent Dale Cooper, the Log Lady, the aforementioned plastic-wrapped corpse of Laura Palmer, and “Bob”, the spirit form of a deadly presence that inhabited more than one resident of Twin Peaks in the show’s two seasons on ABC. (It could be that the character choices are tied closely to Twin Peaks’ upcoming revival in May on Showtime – only time will tell.)

There is a welcome development for this latest round of 3 and 3/4″ figures from Funko – the “Star Wars standard” of five points of articulation (neck, shoulders, legs) has given way to nine point instead (adding elbow and knee joints); this slightly more modern approach puts these figures on a par with Big Bang Pow!’s Flash Gordon, Big Bang Theory and KISS action figures in the same scale. (Laura Palmer has no points of articulation, being dead and all. Blame it on rigor mortis…and hang her next to Carbonite Han in Jabba’s Palace.)


Will we ever get more characters in this format from Funko, which has drastically scaled back its ReAction line of 3 and 3/4″ figures in recent years? Overproduction of past 3 and 3/4″ lines such as Gremlins and classic Star Trek has given way to a more collector-oriented “boutique” approach with more recent licenses such as The Dark Crystal, The Golden Girls, and E.T.; however, Funko has irked a few collectors by not returning to the well for licenses that did prove popular. A good example of this was its Firefly license, which never delivered figures in any scale for Shepherd Book, River Tam, or Simon Tam, let alone any secondary or enemy characters – no Reavers, no Badger, no YoSaffBridge. Anyone who spent any time watching Twin Peaks at the height of its popularity knows that the show was about far more than just these four characters (one of whom is, it has to be said again for emphasis, dead and motionless); whether we’ll ever get more than three characters and a plastic corpse remains to be seen.

It’s also not known if these figures will be individually carded or sold as a boxed set, a la the more recent E.T. and Golden Girls box sets.

Funko’s line of Twin Peaks 3 and 3/4″ figures will arrive later this year.