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Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge expands Jan 17th! Are We Ready for It?

14 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

These are not the lightsabers I’m looking for. After the excitement of seeing the final film of the cinematic star wars saga, the excitement and fervor of wanting to hop the next plane to Anaheim to enjoy Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland is half and half.

According to CNBC:

…More guests will flock to the two lands after the opening of the Rise of the Resistance ride. The ride will open in Orlando on Dec 5 And in Anaheim on Jan 17.

This new combination coaster and live action show will be crazy. Those who want to be on this ride already bought their tickets for the queue, and I can’t simply travel down on a whim and expect to get in on that day. I know this performance theatre experience puts Universal Studios’ T2 3-D: Battle Across Time from years ago to shame. It’s sad that park attraction shut down.

Since attendees will see scale AT-ATs and experience pyrotechnics, that’s enough to get me super excited. It’s better than strapping on a VR helmet and imagining the scale. No flight simulator is required here (that’s the other ride).

The Millennium Falcon simulation is good enough for most people eager for an early experience. That’s assuming they live not too far away for repeat visits. Those living further away are no doubt waiting until there’s at least three rides to make the sabbatical worth it. I’m anxiously waiting for a Hutt Palace to be built as the next offering, and I’ll be there in a heartbeat when that happens! Nothing has been confirmed yet, but I’m sure this side of the Galaxy’s Edge has more attractions in the works.

What I desire is a lightsaber duel and trench battle experience to make my plans for a trip truly memorable. Will it happen? Disney’s Imagineers are not saying what they plan for the future. In addition to visiting this part of the park, there which I’ve done to death (namely the former Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror now a Guardians of the Galaxy experience) in the past I bi-yearly went. The thrill is gone and it’s good new attractions are built, but I need more!

Ask any kid or Gen X fan, and most will say the lightsabers define a key part of why they love Star Wars. The last rite of passage for a Jedi (or Sith) is to build the hilt. The story behind how normals can get their hands on one is due to scavengers finding scrap parts for us visitors (willing to pay a hefty $200 USD fee) to assemble to make our own.

We need not be a force user. That’s okay for the sake of explaining how Black Spire Outpost has bits to propagate this much coveted laser sword. You’re building from scavenged parts from fallen warriors. This outpost is a mix of free and black market trade, and attendees are required to hunt around to find this operation if they want it. They then have to choose a card of select bits before being able to assemble. As for whether they may combine bits from another set, the comments from the Internet say no. Friends going together in a party of three or more can probably get away with it, but when you are on your own, what you see is what you get.

Buying additional scrap parts has been discontinued for months now. I’m betting the scoundrels wanting to profit during the early months of this attraction were discovered too late; Disney is smart to stop eBay resales. People can at least buy a bag of kyber crystals to change the colour of the blades. It’s programmed in the plastic with an RIF chip, much like how Disney’s Infinity game can change player avatars.

Although the choices are limited (for now), I’m hoping the ability fashion a unique sabre be expanded upon. I’ve been sketching out my own ideas for hilt designs which are more fanciful in design than practical. With my skill with a dremel tool, salvaging parts from vintage radios, having one rod sleeved into an endo shell and electronic bits I had, I can fashion my own piece to build a truly unique saber (pictured right).

It was said long ago, in a galaxy far, far away that these fabled weapons were kit bashed from bits and pieces the warrior had at hand. In our world, the prop master looked at what he got and built it from old camera parts and tanks–which ultimately became iconic for A New Hope to Return of the Jedi. These weapons are an extension of their personality. Master Yoda and Dooko’s weapon are unique for that reason.

Episodes 1 to 3 had the laser sword constructed when metalsmith shops were aplenty. They lack the finesse of those sabers we first saw in Episodes 4 to 6. Thankfully, episodes 7 to 9 was a return to form. Kylo’s weapon was retooled from his previous version. Leia’s looks like a variant of Obi Wan’s and Rey’s own piece had parts from her staff. I knew this was coming, and in the Rise of Skywalker, a detail that’s new is how she activates her weapon. The ring is a far more intuitive design to make melee or pommelling fast.

Just like in Harry Potter, the stick selects you and no single piece from Ollivanders Wands is exactly the same as another.

As cool as Disney’s offering is to get immersed in the Star Wars universe, it’s still an amusement park. The mileage will vary depending on how much of a junkie you are for particular parts of the trilogy. For the quintessential staple in all films (which tends to make up the climax of each film), the lightsaber must be 100% unique to each individual. Mathematically, there’s only 16 permutations from within the set is possible until mix and matching between other theme packs are allowed. For those wanting even more choices, Ultrasabers and Saberforce offer better choices.

 

Top Blockbuster Films to Look Forward to in 2020

4 Jan

Image result for dolittleBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Plenty of films are coming this year to make Disney the dominant force in entertainment again. Good or bad, this company is the engine that keeps on churning them out.

Tom Holland is keeping busy as details for the third Spider-Man film are being hammered out. As much as I like to see a certain anvil shaped villain enter the fore, it’s unlikely and the next film feels like it’s two years away than happening soon. After the success of Far From Home, I’m wanting more of this brand of Marvel and Sony Pictures magic!

On the live action front, I’m honestly impressed The Mouse is bringing the first title back to its roots. Thus begins a chronological list of films worth checking out:

Dolittle

January 17, 2020

Robert Downey Jr. will forever be remembered as Tony Stark Jr., aka Iron Man. Some may even cheer as he’s also Sherlock Holmes. Very few fans of this man will recall he was Chaplin—perhaps the best work he’s done in his prime. Now this man of a thousand characters is the seminal Doctor Dolittle, a Disney film which finally honours the setting to which the original stories by Hugh Lofting took place. Star power is definitely needed here.

Love those movies or hate ’em, I had no problems with Eddie Murphy’s version. They were made during a time as he shifted from a raunchy comedian to family guy. The studio was willing to take a chance on him, including suggesting a next generation to keep the franchise alive (which thankfully never happened)

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Fast Thoughts on The Crisis on Infinite Earths Crossover!

8 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Disclaimer: Showcase Canada aired the East coast broadcast of TheCW’s Supergirl on Sunday, 5pm PST and is on Free Preview on Telus Optik.

The Crisis on Infinite Earths is beginning tonight, and TheCW’s Supergirl is where it starts! The setup is good enough to resolve a few loose ends never addressed during The Arrow and to make us aware we’re getting a five-act story.  That is, we can expect all the rising action happen in The Flash and see the climax in Arrow. Each segment is basically an episode of one of this network’s superhero based shows.

As Barry is convinced he will die in this Crisis, Oliver argues otherwise–especially concerning the deal he made with the Monitor. Most followers know of the demise of the television show that started it all and it’s not surprising that the hero will go out on a literal bang. Spoilers follow. You have been warned.

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So When Will Ankh: Gods of Egypt Kickstart?

6 Dec

CMON Announces Ankh Board GameBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The news of a miniatures based board game set in Ancient Egypt has me over the moon, if not the sun, in anticipation of its eventual Kickstarter launch. The original press release suggested it will launch in late 2019, but with everyone now in Christmas mode, I don’t think the listing will appear until early next year.

The teaser images of the demo on Twitter (see below) is merely a tease. After receiving CMON’s Cthulhu: Death May Die board game last week, the super high quality of the minis is as I expected. The Egyptian fanatic in me is hopping! An unboxing video will be coming soon (update: it’s become a review during the editing process).

The quality of the scale model pieces are amazing and the painter in me can’t wait to give colour to not only the game I currently have but also with adding to my collection. Technically, they’re not usable with other games like Games Workshop’s Warhammer series. Sadly, the Khemri was removed from the game and are deeply buried under the sand. The same can be said for Reaper Miniatures’ Warlord which no longer sees updates.

It’s not ank-hpected (had to say it) that enthusiasts of any game product in this setting desire a quality game, and I can’t wait for CMON to launch this project. I’m sure they are still fine tuning the 3D models for mass production, hence the delay.
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