Lego Star Wars III Full Review

March 29, 2011 at 7:23 am | Posted in Miscellaneous, Reviews, The Clone Wars, Video Games | Leave a comment
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The goal of any video game is entertainment, and Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars does that well. Building upon the work of its predecessors, Lego Star Wars III has an improved graphics engine and a whole host of new features to keep gamers satisfied. However, perhaps the biggest question on everyone’s mind is whether the magic that worked with turning the Star Wars films into Lego worlds would work as well with The Clone Wars television show: the answer is yes.

To read the full review click here.

Posted By: Skuldren
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Eyes On The Sky – This Month In Astronomy

March 29, 2011 at 7:21 am | Posted in Regular Feature, Science News | 4 Comments
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The night sky has fascinated humanity since the dawn of time.  To our knowledge every culture throughout history has created stories based upon the stars.  From the myths of antiquity to modern science fiction, our imaginations compel us to create stories about what we see in the night sky. As our planet spins through space and time, our seasons offer us a glimpse of our galaxy from varying perspectives.  It also rotates the mythical characters of the constellations on and off the stage.

Set course for Rigel 7 Number 1

When April comes around the phrase that comes to mind is “Shift Change”; time for one ancient hero to rest, and another to step into the spotlight.  

The constellation Orion dominates the winter sky in the Northern hemisphere.   The legendary hunter patrols our night sky from November to March accompanied by his faithful dog, Canis Major.  The dog’s heart is marked by the brightest star in the night sky, Sirius, a stunning star visible at the heels of his master, twinkling on the Southern horizon with an apparent magnitude of -1.46.

But April means spring, and Orion’s shift is nearly complete.  Most evenings find him and his canine companion in the Western Sky after sunset, heading toward a well-earned rest.  It’s time for Orion’s counterpart, Hercules, to take the stage and the next watch over the night sky.

The first stars of Hercules begin their ascent in mid-March, and by the end of April, most of the recognizable features of the constellation are visible on the Eastern horizon.  Four relatively bright stars roughly in the shape of a square form his torso, or what is commonly known as the Keystone. Hercules’ arms and legs extend from this central square.  By mid-summer Hercules will be directly overhead.

Orion in the West. Hercules in the East. Watch for the hand-off between these two legends as the month of April unfolds.

Planets

To catch the planetary show this month, you have to be an early riser. Venus has been the morning star for several months now, and continues to dominate the pre-dawn sky in the South-East. On April 1st, between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. local time, watch for Venus to be joined by the smallest sliver of a waning crescent moon.

Another spectacular show happens in the dawn sky on April 29-30. Jupiter, hugging the low Eastern horizon, will be easily visible as a very bright ‘star’. The light should be steady and strong. A little higher and to its right will be Mars, much fainter and slightly red in hue. Further to the right will be the unmistakable brilliance of Venus outshining any other object in the sky. Nestled directly between Mars and Venus will be Mercury (visible through binoculars). What is tremendous exciting about this grouping is the opportunity to compare the brightest planets in our sky – Venus and Jupiter. The two are often mistaken for one another when seen independently, and are seldom close enough in proximity as to offer us a side-by-side comparison of their brilliance and beauty.

So set your alarm, cradle your coffee, and head out into the pre-dawn light on April 29th. It will be more than worth the price of admission.

by Myri Antilles

Blu-ray Update

March 28, 2011 at 11:23 am | Posted in Blu-ray, Movies, Star Wars News | Leave a comment
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Starwars.com has posted an update on the Star Wars Complete Saga’s Blu-ray release date. It’s now September 16, 2011. You can check out the official site for all of the full release details.

Don’t forget you can pre-order it on Amazon.com for $89.99 (msrp $139.99).

Posted By: Skuldren

Monday Funny: Acapella Star Wars

March 28, 2011 at 10:06 am | Posted in Humor, Regular Feature | 1 Comment
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Corey Vidal is a very funny guy.  Who else could think up the idea of lip synching a tribute to John Williams, performed by another group, Moosebutter, which tells the entire Original Trilogy story?  The video’s been around since 2005, and if you’ve seen it, enjoy it again.  If you haven’t, well, you’re in for a treat.  Watch, listen and enjoy.

Posted by Synlah

Steve Sansweet Fan Message

March 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous, Star Wars News | Leave a comment


Steve Sansweet, LFL Director of Content Management and Head of Fan Relations, posted this message to fans on Facebook.

A NOTE FROM STEVE: In lieu of my “Pick of the Week” I’d like to take this space to express my deepest thanks to all of you as I start my final week as a salaried employee of Lucasfilm. The last 15 years have been an amazing journey, and by far the best part has been meeting wonderful people worldwide and becoming fast friends with so many of you. You have been my inspiration, during 70+ hour work weeks leading up to Celebrations; while pushing hard to get the best possible material to share with you at panels; coming up with “unusual” costumes to make us all laugh; and watching the 501st and then the Rebel Legion grow from a couple of guys encased in plastic to worldwide organizations that have fun while doing good.
Star Wars fans are simply the best! As I’ve said before, I will continue to be a part of fandom and attend conventions, hopefully including many I haven’t had the chance to go to before. I promise a major update on my future within the week. Until then, May the Force be with You…always

Steve is leaving LFL after fifteen years.  We wish him all the best.

Posted by Synlah

Happy Birthday, Kevin J. Anderson

March 27, 2011 at 9:30 am | Posted in Birthday, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment
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Roqoo Depot wishes author Kevin J. Anderson a very happy birthday as he turns 49 today.  Kevin was an early contributor to the  Star Wars extended universe. He wrote the classic Jedi Academy trilogy, and contributed to the anthology books: Tales from The Mos Eisley Cantina, Tales from Jabba’s Palace, and Tales of the Bounty Hunters.  With his wife Rebecca Moesta, he co-authored the popular Young Jedi Knights series.  He has also written for Dark Horse comics, collaborating with Tom Veitch on Tales of the Jedi.

Kevin’s work introduced the classic characters of Kyp Durron and Admiral Daala to Star Wars.

You can read an exclusive KJA interview right here on RD.

Posted by Synlah

Steam Engines In Space?

March 27, 2011 at 8:06 am | Posted in Miscellaneous, Regular Feature, Science News | 6 Comments
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Not so ridiculous anymore, eh Marty?

Sounds absurd, right? The very idea of using a steam engine to reach the stars hearkens back to an age when science fiction was in its infancy and modern methods of rocket propulsion had yet to be conceived of by mankind. Today with the advances in liquid fossil fuels, xenon propulsion, microwave propulsion technology, and the commonly used cryogenic fuels, the idea of a steam powered spaceship actually seems silly. Or does it? (Be a lousy premise for an article if I didn’t have something up my sleeve, eh?)

It turns out that in order to bring us to the future NASA scientists and engineers are looking to technologies from the past. Specifically they are developing a water powered “Space Coach” designed for use in manned missions to Mars.

As fantastic as it sounds these water powered vehicles would use large solar panels to super-heat water into steam that could be channeled through a nozzle. In the weightlessness of space the steam nozzles would then be used to direct a manned module to any point in the solar system.

The fact is that while we still envision travel beyond the Earth and our moon to be under constant propulsion in our minds most of the real movement of a spacecraft is still accomplished using gravity assisted “sling shot” maneuvers using whatever sources of gravity the craft encounters on route. In most cases there is only the need for initial propulsion and then maneuvering thrusters as the craft journeys toward its intended target. Newton’s Laws of Motion tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In a case where small course corrections are needed, steam power is as good as any other source.

To be specific the idea is to use the solar panels to create electricity that will be stored in batteries. When it is time to execute a maneuver such as a course correction or to achieve an orbit the water would be heated electrically and the resulting steam directed through a thruster.

The vessels equipped with these steam propulsion rigs would be permanently based in space. While steam power is more than ample to direct a vehicle in the void of space it clearly isn’t powerful enough to break free of Earth’s gravity or one would assume the Greeks, Romans, or Chinese might have done so a millennium or two ago. Traditional rockets would be used to bring the vessels to space initially where they would take up residence in orbit around Earth, the moon, and presumably Mars where they would be used to shuttle crew and materials.

This approach is not only innovative but is highly cost effective. The cost of a journey to Mars and back would be roughly the same as a single Space Shuttle launch due to the lower fuel costs and the ability to reuse the craft many times. It is estimated that it would cost roughly 1/30TH the amount of money to send a steam powered module to Mars than it would if we used traditional rockets such as the Orion rockets I wrote about in an earlier article. To read more on this remarkable spacecraft and its potential for furthering our efforts to explore our solar system, you can read an excellent article on it at Space.com by clicking here.

I am also including a video below on some of the other forms of propulsion and exploration that NASA is working with. Enjoy.

by Revmacd

Rundown on Crimson Empire III

March 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Comic Books, Star Wars News | Leave a comment
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Cover for Crimson Empire III

Slated for release this Fall, Crimson Empire III is something a lot of fans have been waiting for. Dark Horse included some info on the new series in their regular Star Wars Friday feature. Here’s the run down.

Star Wars: Crimson Empire III #1–#6
Writer: Mike Richardson
Art: Paul Gulacy
Colors: Michael Bartolo
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Covers: Dave Dorman

Randy Stradley is also attached to the project, so I’m not sure why they left him out of the writing credit. Randy Stradley and Mike Richardson co-wrote both Crimson Empire I and II. Paul Gulacy and Dave Dorman also worked on both of the previous series. Michael Heisler is new to the Crimson Empire series. Recently he did all of the lettering for the Knight Errant comics which turned out well. I think the fans will not be disappointed.

For those who would like something sooner, next month Dark Horse Presents #1 will hit stores. The 80 page anthology of all new stories will include an 8 page story for Crimson Empire and is available for pre-order. It will be released on April 20th.

You can head on over to Dark Horse Blog for the full run down on Crimson Empire III along with some preview pages of the comic. They also have details on the upcoming Agent of the Empire, Knight Errant: Deluge, and Dark Times: Out of the Wilderness, so be sure to check it out.

Crimson Empire III preview

Update:

Starwars.com added a Q&A interview with Randy Stradley and Mike Richardson that revealed a few interesting things. Here’s an excerpt:

“Let’s just say it ends with characters having moved to a different place. It ends whatever story plots are hanging from the first two series. I don’t want to tell you too much.

I think it’s a good story, there’s a new villain … out of the past, if that makes any sense, and there are major things that happen to some of the characters from the previous Crimson Empire series. We’re excited about, and Paul’s excited about it. We’re eager to get it out there. If it does well, who knows? We may start a new story cycle with the characters that emerge from this story.” -Mike Richardson

To see the rest of the details revealed in the interview you can read it here.

Posted By: Skuldren

Nothing Says Star Weekend Like A Yoda Shot Glass

March 25, 2011 at 7:55 am | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Starwars.com showed off some very cool new Star Wars products that will be on sale next month. The new items include beer glasses, shot glasses, coffee cups, desk signs, and even bottle cap openers. The items will be exclusive to Hallmark Gold Crown stores in April and will be in limited quanities, so buyers will need to get them while they last. According to starwars.com, prices for the items will range from $5.95 to $16.95. You can click here to see a nice slideshow of some of the upcoming items, and if you want to find the nearest Hallmark store you can click here for Hallmark’s store locator.

Posted By: Skuldren

Filoni On Wookiees and a Glimpse of Season 4

March 25, 2011 at 7:26 am | Posted in Interview, Star Wars News, Television, The Clone Wars | Leave a comment
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USA Weekend did an interview with The Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni that revealed some interesting behind the scenes details. Filoni answered questions on what it was like to work with Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), how the idea came about to introduce Chewie into season three, and some ideas of what to expect in season four.

You’re definitely going to see battles on the scale of likes you’ve never seen on The Clone Wars before…The end of Season 3 is a foreshadowing to the technology that is going to provide a lot of increased excitement in the future. -Dave Filoni

Dave also mentioned that some of the bounty hunters will be coming back in season four and was questioned if we might see Dengar…

[Laughs] Dengar, huh?! Well you never know. When you wish upon a star… -Dave Filoni

Even though Dengar isn’t likely, it sounds like season four will have a lot for the fans to enjoy. Be sure to check out the full interview here.

Posted By: Skuldren
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