A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…again

English: Opening logo to the Star Wars films

English: Opening logo to the Star Wars films (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday Disney dropped an atomic bomb right on the heads of the nerd community when they announced their purchase of Lucas Films and their plans to produce Star Wars Ep. VII. That’s right, you read correctly. Disney is making a new Star Wars movie, scheduled for release in 2015.

While no information on the film itself has been released, Disney execs claim that the film is ALREADY in early production stages.

Hordes of Fan Boys and Girls around the globe are speaking out against the a new addition to the 30 year old legendary saga. Some complain about the fact that making an addition to such a classic film is almost Taboo, while others believe that a mega-conglomorate like Disney will fail to give Star Wars the authentic care and attention that is required for such a pivotal new sequel. I myself am on the fence about this new movie. Even though I am a die hard star wars fan who believes that the series is perfect the way it is, I can’t help but be curious of what Disney can bring to the table.

Let me make one thing clear to those who don’t know (though judging by my audience, I doubt there are many), while the name Disney is associated with legendary children’s movies, the company is by no means limited to that tone of film. In recent years Disney has purchased several companies such as Marvel and Pixar, and as such, they have professionals who have created some of the most gripping recent hits (the Avengers, Iron Man etc). With a powerful company like Disney at the head of a potential billion dollar movie, it is a safe bet to say that the company will not be frugal in their use of resources at their disposal. As a result, if there was a company to give a Star Wars sequel its due diligence, I believe it would be Disney.

Now that the company aspect of this article is out of the way, I would like to touch upon what I am most curious to see. Story. We have seen the tale of Anakin Skywalker’s rise to power, fall to darkness, and ascension to redemption; we have seen the story of Luke Skywalker ending the reign of the Galactic Empire’s tyranny; we have seen the death and rebirth of the jedi order (at least in it’s initial stages). What are we going to see next? With such an expansive EU section, covered in books, comics and video games, the possibilities are nearly endless.

In a discussion with fellow nerd friend and co-author of the site, we came upon a theory of what the next segment of the Star Wars  saga will be. The Yuuzhan Vong War.

Now, some of you fellow Star Wars fans may be shaking your heads. Why would they skip such a crucial era, the birth of the New Republic and the New Jedi Order. Surely they will show Luke going back to Yavin IV to start the Jedi Praxeum. Well, while that is indeed an important chapter of the Star Wars saga, it would mean the recasting of legendary figures, Luke, Leia, and Han. Perhaps Disney would think of this as a wise choice, but I am sure the fans will agree that recasting will lead to nothing but disaster.  That issue would not arise with the Yuuzhan Vong war.

There is about 20 years between the end of Return of the Jedi and the Yuuzhan Vong invasion (25 ABY [After Battle of Yavin]). However, there was nearly the same amount of time between the end of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope (The Empire was formed in 19BBY [Before Battle of Yavin]). Because of this, the roles of Luke, Leia and Han will not have to be recast and while the actors are a little older than their character counter parts, Hollywood make up can hide it. Star Wars is clearly no stranger to time skips, and I believe that with the two gaps being nearly equal, it would provide for a more consistent flow between the trilogies (prequels-originals-sequels).

Along with that, the reconstruction of the Republic and Jedi order fails to convey the same sense of impending conflict as the YV war. Sure, there was the whole Dark Empire crisis with Palpatine’s clones but comparing that to the great YV war that brought the galaxy to the brink of Destruction makes Palpatine look like a Storm Trooper standing next to Death Star. It’s nothing.

So maybe the timing is perfect, but why should the Yuuzhan Vong be the enemy? What makes them so special? Well, if you haven’t read the book series revolving around the wars I suggest you hop to it. Seriously, it is one of the most gripping wars in the history of Star Wars. While the jedi and sith have been going head to head for thousands of years, they did not wreak nearly as much destruction as the Yuuzhan Vong did in their 4 year campaign across the galaxy. This war would successfully convey the intense conflict that we are familiar with in the previous films, and amplify it, as all of the beings in the galaxy (Jedi, Sith, Mando and Wookie) are forced to unite against this grave threat. During the wars we would see the introduction of new great characters, the death of old favorites, the revival of an anicent culture, and the war against the current one.

Master Skywalker vs the Vong

While I will not out right condemn Disney if they chose to cover a different portion of Star Wars history, I highly doubt they will make a movie that can be nearly as successful. One of my worst fears is a new Star Wars movie being nothing more than a sequel to the other films. We don’t need another sequel, we need a stand alone trilogy, one that does not alienate fans, but also brings in new elements to the story. The Great War of the Yuuzhan Vong can do that.

~~~~

Anyway, there’s my two-cents about the new Star Wars movie. If you think that there is a better era to cover, please leave your opinion in the comment section below. I hope you enjoyed this article, and remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @TheNerdNexus.

Assassin’s Creed III Intro leaked!

Assassins Creed III has been a long anticipated title, breaking from the story of Ezio Auditore with a new character, Connor. However Connor is not the spotlight of this trailer- instead, the trailer revolves around the familiar, yet enigmatic Desmond Miles, who has been given renewed value in the story, as Desmond must use the skills he has gained from his ancestors to make his way through the great vault and save humanity.

What do you make of the trailer? Do you think Desmond should not be given as much emphasis in the story, or more? Tell us what you think in the comment section bellow.

Blu-Bin 3D printing

Poultney, VT September 28th, 2012–

Blu – Bin, Inc will be opening the doors of its first 3D printshop this Saturday the 29th. Blu – Bin is the first company to offer retail 3D printing design and creation services, and is excited to be introducing this new business model in Vermont. Working against the grain, Blu – Bin employees see 3D printing as a service that can benefit everyone even if they can’t afford the printer itself. Founded by Daniel Riley, alumni of Green Mountain College, the business seeks to fill the void left by larger 3D printing companies that have entirely ignored offering retail 3D printing design and creation services.

Customers will be able to order items designed and made in store, as well as providing their own designs for creation as part of a growing catalogue of designs the company has access too. Using a range of rapid manufacturing techniques, Blu – Bin creates a friendly environment for rapid design and creation of what it’s customers want. Through these services Blu-Bin seeks to advance the field of 3D printing, bringing it to the forefront in manufacturing and into mainstream American life.

With the first store being opened in Poultney, VT, Blu – Bin inc will be working with students and professors of Green Mountain College to demonstrate and test the capabilities of 3D printing through various unique projects.

Effectively creating an entirely new industry, Blu-Bin predicts a successful future, which will lead to expansion of the company into other cities and towns. Saturday will be the start of what the company hopes to be a bright and successful path towards a future filled with this innovative technology.

Check out the company

Facebook

Website

Twitter

Grand Theft Auto V Leaks: Moving forward, or stepping back?

GTA V‘s viral marketing campaign has begun, sparking gamers’ interest in Rockstar’s newest edition to the Grand Theft Auto family. GTA V, as we know from the commercial, takes place in San Andreas, which was considered as one of the most entertaining GTA games by many fans. As a complete opposite to GTA IV’s liberty city, San Andreas is a sprawling map offering numerous environments, ranging from city centers to beaches to forests.

Anyway, while reading up on GTA V I stumbled upon a youtube video which led me to an article from Gameranx.com. This article states the following.

“A poster claiming to be a games journalist for “a Playstation magazine in the UK” (presumably PSM3) has professed, on the GTA Forums, to having privileged information about the game. He says that magazine staff experienced 30 minutes of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V at the developer’s Scotland offices.

It should be noted that everything below is rumor, subject to absolutely no validation whatsoever. Some of the things he writes do make sense, however, and should make for interesting discussion.” (Gameranx- Rumor: Exclusive GTA 5 Info leaked by Rogue Games journalist).

I would like to state the same thing as the Gameranx author. This leak is not confirmed. It has not been acknowledged by GTA V’s production team, and as such, should be taken with a grain of salt. Even so, the potential perks of GTA 5 are too tantalizing to ignore, so here you have it.

Leaked information on Grand Theft Auto V

1: The game world is absolutely massive and will push both xbox and PS3 to the very limit in terms of what it has accomplished. Yes, the main city is simply Los Santos however is it AT LEAST 4 times bigger than Liberty City in GTA 4 and that is just Los Santos. The surrounding country side, beaches, etc are massive. For instance, we saw the main character ( an African/American, early 30’s) travel by car from the center of Los Santos into the wildnerness and it took over 15 minutes. The views were incredible from farmhouses with cattle, huge wind farms, an oil refinery which appeared to be living and breathing with nearly 100 NPCs working on machinery, operating vehicles, lifting and loaded, etc, unlike the gas works in GTA 4 which seemed to only house a few NPC at a time. The forests are more beautiful than those in RDR and featured people camping, young NPC drinking and dancing around campfires, people riding dirt bikes and jumping over logs, streams, etc. The water effects, forna, plants, trees all looked beautiful.

2: The shooting mechanics have been greatly improved with animations for diving, climbing, rolling and crawling all added for better realism. The re-loading animations for new ammo also look cooler, less static.

3: There is much more climbable elements in the world such as ladders, overhand climbing, etc.

4: There are animals in the game from dogs to cattle but at this time it is not confirmed if you will be able to harm the animals. Rockstar were able to get away with it in RDR as it was a true depiction of the world in which the game was set. Allowing dogs/cattle to die in a game sent in current times may cause headaches with PETA. Its unclear if Rockstar were joking here.

5: There are planes to pilot and they can be crashed into buildings if you choose to do so….

6: Rockstar have included many, many more interior locations such as a shopping mall, college campus, police station, a huge hospital and there is also a vast underground sewer network which one mission later in the game involves a jet ski chase that culminates in a Fugitive-esque waterfall jump ( there are nods to the ridiculous but awesome Ballad Of Gay Tony missions)

7: The city is full of NPCs jogging, weight-lifting, hitting on women, being chased on foot by cops, shopping, washing cars, fixing fences, moving home, filling up their cars, etc.

REAL JUICY INFO:

1: Cars can be upgraded/repaired and it has been considered to have a car have fuel forcing the player to fill her up.

2: The dating aspect of the game is gone. You still have a cell-phone but only people you will meet in the game will call you to ask you to do a mission or to ask you to do something else before the mission.

3: Weapons include the usual arsenal you’d aspect but the flamethrowers, remote mines, laxer trip mines and claymores are included. It is possible now to pick up random objects in a street/buidling to use as a weapon. There is also a museam where it is possible to steal old age swords, axes, etc.

4: it is possible to rupture a fuel line and if you shot at the trail of gasoline it will lead straight back to the car blowing it up.

5: mini games such as bowling, darts, etc have all gone. You can play basketball, weight train, arm wrestle, gamble and cage fight, enter triatholons, water races, cannoing, ab-saling, rock climbing, base jumping, ski diving. More to be confirmed.

6: Character customisation is back but only in terms of clothing, body weight, etc. The player you start off which, much like CJ, can’t be altered by race, age, height, etc.

7: Rockstar said burglary missions may return but only as part of missions and not on neigbourhood houses.

8: No children NPC at all. Ever.

9: There is now an ability to grab people and use as sheilds or in “hostage” situations.

10: The cops are much, much, much more realistic. If you kill somebody when you know there are no cops around you will not run the risk of a one star as often as you would in GTA4. The cops will use smoke and tear gas, dogs, riot gear and rams to knock down the doors of buildings you are hiding in.

11: You can enter some buildings and lock doors, push objects in the way to barricade.

12: You become better at things as the game progresses. If you only ride motorbikes then you will increase your skills, same as individual weapons.

13: Certain weapons can be customisable and some even home-made.

14: One mission involves breaking out a very familiar GTA icon from a previous game…

15: Torrential rain fall and sunshine and even tremors will appear in the game.

Concerns

While a lot of these leaks simply remind us of the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, I look forward to seeing what the game will look like with a PS3 engine. The potential of bring San Andreas back on great graphics makes this a promising game, yet that does not mean that I don’t have any reservations about it.

One thing that stuck out to me in these leaks is the claim that the character is black. Looking in the preview, the character who we see driving in the car is clearly white, however that could merely be a screen capture, so I won’t be totally shocked if the protagonist is black.

Another thing that bothers me is the claim that they are bringing back the skill leveling system. While the concept was cool back in San Andreas, it was mostly useless in my opinion. While it gave the game a new dynamic, it didn’t truly effect game play, which is why I believed they scrapped it in Grand Theft Auto IV.

My final concern, and possibly largest one, is the fact that by the looks of it, GTA is attempting to step back into the fun game that it used to be, rather than continuing with the rich, gritty criminal story that Niko Bellic’s tale made it into. While I love San Andreas, nothing stops me from ordering it online and playing it. I don’t want old, I want new. Niko’s heart wrenching life brought a breath of fresh air to Grand Theft Auto, leaving the ‘fun/silly’ mantle to be taken over by Saints Row. If Grand Theft Auto backtracks, it will find itself in a competition with Saints Row in terms of delivering entertainment- a competition that San Andreas has an advantage in.

Even with these concerns, the leaks are appealing, and encourage me to buy the new game, just to see what it’s like. Did it do the same for you?

Links

http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/3553/article/rumor-exclusive-gta-5-info-leaked-by-rogue-games-journalist/ (Original Article)

http://gta.wikia.com (GTA Wiki)

____________________________________

I hope that you enjoyed this article; feel free to leave comments of your thoughts below and remember to like the post, follow the blog and our twitter (@TheNerdNexus) for further updates. And remember to Like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TheNerdNexus)