“It’s so much bigger” Star Wars Celebration 2017

Major Spoilers for The Force Awakens and Rogue One to Follow!!!

Over the weekend Star Wars Celebration was going on in Orlando and obviously this was a big weekend for me for a lot of reasons but the main one was the reveal of The Last Jedi trailer. There was a lot to cover but I’ll mainly be focusing on The Last Jedi and Star Wars Battlefront II. I won’t be talking much about Rebels because I’m not caught up with Season 3 just yet but that being said, Season 4 looks great and I think it will be a fantastic finale for this series.

 

Star Wars Battlefront II

This year will see the release of Star Wars Battlefront II, EA and Dice are trying to do better than their previous outing in the Star Wars franchise which was panned by critics and fans alike for various problems. While it looked and sounded absolutely phenomenal it was plagued by a lack of content, few planet choices, no space battles, no clone wars, and little to no single player experience. Add all of this plus the fact that the only way to get more content was to pay $50-$60 dollars for the Downloadable Content…A good amount of people were very upset about this game. I waited until The season pass went on Sale after Rogue One came out and finally got it and the entire game felt full and satisfactory but it was only after I bought the extra content. I’m hoping that they’ve learned from their first mistakes and fix most of the issues.

The first trailer revealed the addition of Space Battles, the addition of all eras of the films including the Prequels and The Force Awakens and a very intense Single Player Campaign from the look of it. They’ve announced that different parts of the studio will be handling different aspects of the game which makes a lot of sense for one group to focus on the campaign, one to focus on the ground battles and one to focus on the space battles.

From what I can gather from the trailer and EA’s Website, The Campaign will focus on Iden Versio, The Commander of Inferno Squad and will open on Endor during the destruction of the second Death Star and will continue through various battles leading up to The Force Awakens.

They’ve also said that they’re adding a class system similar to the Battlefield games and I think that’ll work a lot better than Star Cards or pick-ups.

I have a lot of hopes for this game and everything sounds great and I hope they can stick the landing. I will be pre-ordering the deluxe edition soon…mainly just to make sure I get The Last Jedi versions of Kylo Ren and Rey.

 

Forces Of Destiny

Forces Of Destiny is a new youtube miniseries that’s going to focus on the great female characters of Star Wars such as Leia, Rey, Ashoka and the rest. It’s been announced that pretty much everyone from the Cartoons and Films are reprising their roles for the series which is gonna be great. It’ll start sometime this summer and I fully intend to share all of the episodes on here and our Facebook page.

Below is a picture of the dolls they’re releasing for the series. Sabine looks a little wonky and Jyn looks the most accurate but I need that Rey and BB-8 in my life.

 

Captain Phasma

Phasma is officially getting her own comic which will bridge the gap between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. I’m incredibly excited about this for the main reason that the lack of Captain Phasma in Force Awakens was my only complaint about the film. It seemed like a wasted opportunity but between this comic and her addition in The Last Jedi trailer I hope that we’ll get to know a lot more about Phasma.

Personally, I think it’d be awesome if she was revealed as one of the Knights of Ren…I doubt it will happen but it would be pretty awesome if it was true.

The Last Jedi

 

Whoa, now I’ve discussed this trailer with a lot of different people and this is what I’ve come up with :

1. This trailer is very Luke heavy and that’s perfectly fine by me. He has the first lines spoken and I think that it’s an important piece of Dialogue from both the standpoints of story as well as meta-textual, remember that the very first line of The Force Awakens was “This will begin to make things right.” Which once again worked within the context of the story and the idea that these films will be much better than…certain things that have come before. Dialogue is very important in these films and a perfect example of that is “Breathe, just Breathe. Reach out. What do you see?” See, with The Force Awakens we were just now getting back into Star Wars but now we’ve had time to process the return and now we get to focus on a brand new story.

2. The next thing we see is a Resistance control room, presumably with Leia running things like she does, Rey says she sees Light. Then we see Kylo Ren’s broken mask, Rey says she see’s Darkness. Then we see what looks to be an old school Jedi altar, it basically looks like something from the Mortis trilogy in The Clone Wars or from the Bendu in Rebels which I think is awesome. I love that they’ve focused on building up the force in this trailer. I really think we’re gonna see some new stuff like we did with Kylo Ren holding the blaster bolt and using telepathy.

3. Then we see some really quick hits featuring a new speeder squadron going to charge against AT-AT’s, we see Finn in recovery after his duel with Kylo Ren, we see Poe and BB-8 running through a hall just as Poe’s X-Wing explodes…which broke my heart cause I love his X-Wing and we see a space battle towards the end of this part which is going to be great but the key element of this part is 3 very quick scenes, a close up of Kylo Ren holding his lightsaber out amid a firey backdrop, a building burning in the distance as a man falls to his knees next to R2-D2 and Captain Phasma leading a group of Stormtroopers through a firey hallway. I think that all three of these scenes are done as a flashback sequence to reveal the truth behind Ben Solo’s transformation into Kylo Ren and the destruction of Luke’s Jedi Academy. Notice that this is his original Tri-Saber even though his original lightsaber was destroyed in his duel against Rey and she also scarred his face and it does look like he might have one but it’s kinda hard to tell. There have been Rumors that we’ll see him build his new Lightsaber in this film which would be a great and emotional scene to see him make that rite of passage and it would also work in perfect juxtaposition to Rey making her own lightsaber instead of using Luke’s. Although the lightsaber building is only rumored for the two characters it would be a really cool scene to see from both perspectives.

4. The final point behind this entire trailer hinges on that final scene where we see the silhouette of Luke and he says “I only know one truth, it’s time for the Jedi to end.”

Let’s dissect his Dialogue here for a bit : After Rey says what she sees, he tells her “It’s so much bigger.” and then at the end he says “It’s time for the Jedi to end.” That’s some really heavy stuff coming from him. See, my biggest question after The Force Awakens was “Why would Luke not be there? Why would he allow all of this to happen without his guiding hand to stop the first order?” Well what if everything he believed was undone? What if he realized that the Jedi and Sith weren’t the only two groups to use the force? Let’s go over this list of Force Users : Snoke, Kylo Ren, Maz Kanata, Chirrut Imwe, The Bendu, The Mortis Family, The Nightsisters and The Inquisitors. All of these characters use the force in some way and none of them identify as Jedi or Sith. I think the ultimate point of the Last Jedi is that Luke is the Last Jedi and he wants Rey to be something better. The Jedi served their purpose and their time has passed, I don’t think Luke is turning evil and I don’t think that he’s just a grey Jedi. I think that Luke has realized that the Jedi were the reason that Anakin turned to the dark side and I think that Yoda was being prophetic when he said “When gone am I, the last of the Jedi you will be.” I really like the idea of Rey being something new.

Also, this is what I think Snoke is. A new player from a new teaching of the dark side that we haven’t seen. He never claims to be a sith and neither does Kylo and that is very telling to me as a writer and as a fan…and I think Luke is actually searching for the answers behind the beginning of the force and where it split off besides the Jedi and The Sith.

5. My final point of the trailer is this : This film will not be what we expected by any means and I’m totally Ok with that. Rogue One already proved that Disney and Lucasfilm can make a darker Star Wars film without hurting the source material and I think The Last Jedi will be a darker film as well. It’s like I always said, The Force Awakens can be nostalgic for the classical feel so The Last Jedi can be something different entirely. Luke is my favorite character and I can’t wait to see what he’s been up to and just how powerful he’s become.

Comics 101 : How Four Men Saved the X-Men.

The year is 1975, Marvel comics has halted production on new stories for the X-Men comics and have instead been reprinting different stories from their earlier run. X-Men had been a dying franchise and was about to be cancelled due to poor sales and general lack of interest…until Marvel decided to publish Giant Size X-Men #1. Now; I’m not sure if this was the plan of The Editor(Marv Wolfman), The Writer(Len Wein) or The Artist(Dave Cockrum) but these men would be creating a multi-million dollar idea. 42 years later and The X-Men are considered one of the biggest franchises Marvel has, but why do I point to this issue as the saving grace? This was the team that introduced us to characters like Nightcrawler, Storm and Colossus as well as make Wolverine a staple for comics in general, paved the way for stories such as Days Of Future Past, The Dark Phoenix Saga and The Trial Of Magneto. This comic is why we know who the X-Men are and since April 1st is it’s anniversary I decided to do an article on it.

Up to this point, The X-Men had just been 5 students of Charles Xavier who happened to go on missions from Time to Time but they were honestly pretty boring and just couldn’t hold up to The Fantastic Four or Spider-Man. With the second team, they added diversity to it by making every member of a different nationality and made sure to focus on them working as a team by building their personalities, giving us their backstories in a very quick but effective way and laying the stepping stones for the group to grow. These weren’t inexperienced heroes either, most of them had a grasp on their powers and we didn’t have to focus entire issues on Wolverine learning how to extend his claws; instead, we got a group that would slowly become a team. Their growth and looking at the character development from 1975 to 1991 is genuinely one of the best parts about the X-Men and we owe it to these three men.

This comic did have one other factor who wouldn’t be added until later : Chris Claremont. Claremont is quite possibly my favorite comic writer of all time. The man is an absolute genius and his work on this series has proven why. He created most of the X-Men characters that we care about and was the man who made all the other characters work. He even made the original 5 X-Men interesting, Something that even Stan Lee couldn’t do for too long.

 

It can’t be looked over that he also gave us what is arguably Marvel’s best rogue’s gallery. Look at this list : Mystique, Apocalypse, Sabretooth and the Brood just to name a few. All of these characters are incredibly different and each have brilliant backstories that Claremont fleshed out over his run. But, in my opinion, Claremont’s crowning achievement is his work on Magneto. Whether it was his rivalry with Cyclops, his friendship with Professor X or his want to actually live in peace, these were the things that have made Magneto Marvel’s best villain…and one of it’s best characters in general.

This man gave us 16 years of a whole new universe to explore and it was all because of the freedom he was given after Giant Size X-Men #1 and the success of his early run. His earlier books were done by Dave Cockrum but he was followed by the likes of John Byrne, Terry Austin, Barry Windsor-Smith, John Romita Jr., Jim Lee and many others who would give us some truly stunning art over the years and create a mythos that will never die.

Since Giant Size X-Men #1, The X-Men have gone on to have multiple Television Series, Films and Comic Book Series that have been one of Marvel’s leading seller throughout most of the last 30 years or so. The X-Men have grown beyond anyone’s wildest dreams and it’s not hard to see why. The X-Men will always be a staple of Marvel and it’s all because of four men who took a risk in 1975.

Thoughts on Overwatch : Uprising

When I started Fandom Correspondents as an actual site, my hope was that I could pull together writers that would be a fresh voice on the varying subjects of fandom. I have recently found another one of these voices and I am proud to present his first article for you here.

Like Megan King before him, Carter McDaniel is joining us as a guest writer. Having previously written for PlayStation Insider, Carter’s primary fandom is Video Games and he chose to write about one of the best games out right now.

With its anniversary just around the corner, Overwatch surprised fans with an event not at all tied to a real world event, but rather a significant occurrence within its own world. Following the success of Overwatch’s first PvE event, Junkenstein’s Revenge, it’s no surprise that Blizzard would eventually retread that path. What is surprising is the sheer amount of lore that the new update adds to the game. Any Overwatch fan will tell you that it is a game built on an expertly crafted world consisting of complex characters, significant history, and fascinating events. Overwatch’s Insurrection update brings an unprecedented amount of that history from the comics and animated shorts into the game itself. The crux of the insurrection update is the new arcade mode, Uprising, which relives Tracer’s first mission as an Overwatch cadet. She, along with Mercy, Reinhardt, and Torbjorn are sent by Commander Morrison (aka Soldier 76) to quell a rogue omnic uprising in King’s Row. The uprising mission is a more well-rounded version of Junkenstein’s PvE experience, as it features more elements from the Overwatch’s core game such as capturing a point as well as escorting a payload. Along with this game mode, Blizzard also released a variant mode where you can play as any hero on this mission, as well as a plethora of new skins, sprays, and other unlockable items. The skins released within the event, while not necessarily the most visually stunning we’ve seen, are exciting in their own right, as each of them are steeped in the history of Overwatch’s fantastic world. We get to see a somehow even more bushy-tailed and bright eyed Tracer, as well as a younger, although just as proud Torbjorn. The Blackwatch skins for Genji and McCree give us a glimpse at what life looked like on the grittier, and far less glamourized side of Overwatch (Also, Genji had foot blades during that time, and I’m going to choose to believe it was because he misunderstood McCree’s explanation of spurs.) Of course, I would be remiss not to mention some of the changes to the existing game within the Insurrection update. A capture tracking system has been added to competitive play with the intention of breaking ties and having fewer draws, but only time will tell if this is a fair or even effective measure. A new route has been added on Eichenwalde to make pushing through the first choke point a bit easier for attackers. This change should certainly improve balance and quality of play on the map leading to more fun and interesting strategies. The most exciting permanent change would be Lucio 2.0. Now armed with faster wall riding, more healing, increased damage, and a faster shot speed; this Lucio is an incredibly survivable frontline support powerhouse to be reckoned with. With all these changes, however, there is a catch as Jeff giveth and he taketh away. Lucio’s healing and speed aura are a third of wat they once were, having been reduced from 30 meters to 10 meters. All these changes come together to create a much more active and fun Lucio, while still keeping him viable.
Overall the Insurrection update is a fantastic change for Overwatch. The unlockables are amazing, the story is rich, and the Uprising mode itself is unbelievably fun. My only qualm comes from knowing that as of right now, this is a limited time event, meaning that soon this wonderful PvE mode will be gone. Even if it does leave, I trust that Jeff (praise be) and the rest of the Overwatch team can see how much the community loves this game mode, and will give us a permanent PvE replacement soon

#42 – Tim Drake

When Tim Drake was a boy, he was at Haly’s Circus when Dick Grayson’s parents were killed. Later he deciphered from pictures and from his photographic memory who Batman and Robin were. After Dick Grayson had become Nightwing and Jason Todd was killed, Batman became more erratic and less controlled. Tim realized this and found Nightwing and told him that Batman needed help. Tim and Nightwing explained to Batman that he needs a Robin to keep him grounded so that he wouldn’t take so many risks if he had someone else to care for out in the field.

Later Tim Drake became the third Robin and was shown to be an exceptional detective and an excellent hand-to-hand combatant. Tim has been considered by many to be the best Robin and that’s typically my opinion as well.I love that his origin begins by realizing that Batman needs a Robin; Tim steps up when one of our greatest heroes needs a hero himself.

He’s also had a prolific career with the Teen Titans; forming lasting relationships with Connor Kent and Cassie Sandsmark. It was always interesting to see these three be the new generation of the titans while following the likes of Dick Grayson, Donna Troy and Wally West, but I digress because my love of the titans is for another article.

One of the other things I love about Tim is that he fought to earn becoming Robin and that he was the only one who didn’t give up on Bruce when he was thought dead after Final Crisis. That’s why Tim is a great character, he’s very intelligent and always trying to understand the things around even when they don’t make sense. It’s his drive to discover and his will to work for it that places him in my top 50.