"The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down."
First up, George, you can re-do and re-master and re-shoot your films all you want, but don't try to start claiming we've always been at war with Eurasia. Secondly, we fans don't want Solo "to be a cold-blooded killer." What we want is to see how a person goes from being a self-centered felon who works for the intergalactic mob to being a leader in a struggle to overthrow an evil empire. Instead, you want us to think he's all about fair play while he traffics stolen goods and who knows what else? As exhibit B that he's trying to alter the timeline, here's an excerpt from the original 1976 script for A New Hope:
HAN: Even I get boarded sometimes. Do you think I had a choice?
Han Solo slowly reaches for his gun under the table.
GREEDO: You can tell that to Jabba. He may only take your ship.
HAN: Over my dead body.
GREEDO: That's the idea. I've been looking forward to killing you for
a long time.
HAN: Yes, I'll bet you have.
Suddenly the slimy alien disappears in a blinding flash of
light. Han pulls his smoking gun from beneath the table as the
other patron look on in bemused amazement. Han gets up and
starts out of the cantina, flipping the bartender some coins
as he leaves.
HAN: Sorry about the mess.
So Han was drawing his gun and expecting that Greedo would miss, then he'd pull the trigger? Even law enforcement shoots when they get the chance if a gun is being waved in their face, and I'm pretty sure that Solo is about as far from a cop as you can get without giving him a Thompson in a violin case. What's truly mystifying about this whole thing is why Lucas isn't doing what I'd expect: Embracing the love people had for that scene as something he meant to do, that it's his gift as a master storyteller on display as a perfect moment of establishing a character. Maybe he's got this weird "heroes must always be heroes even when they're criminals" thing in his brain that won't let him ever see Han as anything but the General for the Rebellion he eventually becomes. I'm almost thinking someone could make a great "Brewster's Millions" version of Lucas' life, where a schlub inherits some amazing empire built on a nerdy sci-fi franchise, but to collect on the billions it's generated, he has 30 days to make everyone hate said franchise. If anyone wants to start filming, be sure to save the footage in its raw form so you can add a bunch of CGI to it later for the "special edition."
I'm now too exhausted to say much about the revival in the works for Space:
Moving on, in my travels around Skyrim as I "scout locations" for Interrupt Request, I'm getting the feeling that Bethesda may have over reached a bit on how their engine and game mechanics can handle what they want to let you do. Specifically, I'm referring to becoming an assassin with the Dark Brotherhood. I'm probably going to skip those missions for IRQ, but they're interesting for some parts of the story structure (along with the bits where you're in an iron coffin). The Dark Brotherhood does have a few odd practices for an organization devoted to killing for hire; If you're a secretive and shadowy bunch, having a distinctive uniform that's presumably to be used "on the job" probably is a sign you need to re-think the whole "secretive" thing. Also, "assassination" can be anything from a high one-handed weapon skill + dagger + sneak attack (which is pretty expected) to what I'd call the "unskilled but willing to try" school of assassination, which is often much noisier and has more undesired attention involved. No experience? The Dark Brotherhood is hiring (as is everyone else, so maybe it's a regional thing)! I did find it odd you couldn't ever use disguises or even factional dress as in Fallout New Vegas, which would have not only made infiltration more fun, it would have made it seem more "real." Nobody seemed to question when I showed up to impersonate someone or pass myself off as a soldier while dressed in the robes of an archmage and an ancient stone mask that boosted my powers.
But the assassin quests highlight something I like about Skyrim: No morality scoring system. While I always strive to keep my karma in Fallout high, as it generally gets you more loot/good stuff in the long run, not having it in this game makes my decisions more poignant. I don't have a preset notification system that awards me "good" and "bad" points for doing things, so I have to decide based on my own if I want to ally myself with people who kill strangers for money. Also, I'm not penalized for doing something that I consider to actually be in line with goals I've pursued as "good." For example, in the assassins quests, I'm eventually given the chance to take out a really, really important political leader. In Fallout, assassination of this sort would probably be a "Bad Karma" activity, but I'd spent time earlier in the game fighting against this guy's armies. I figure that ending his existence would be within my character's scope (though signing up with the Dark Brotherhood in the first place might not have been, I guess). It's kind of like finding a game with no repeated combat taunts; you start to think that maybe less is more in some cases.
After my voice returned and I was no coughing like a chronic smoker who'd just gotten a face full of fresh-ground pepper and mold spores, I was able to record and edit the fifth Interrupt Request episode. My "special guest" who joins in about halfway through was fun to have along, though it made combat difficult. Also, if anyone is concerned, my setup doesn't allow him to actually hear the game as it goes, so mostly he gets into the scenery and strange people running past... and "falling asleep." Maybe at some point I can let him listen in, as soon as I can find a headphone line splitter and get him to agree to wearing any kind of headphones (at low volume, of course).
By the way, these videos aren't just a way that I can come up with a "legitimate" excuse for playing video games. They're to get me used to uploading stuff that I have a more personal hand in via some kind of performance. I'm also hoping that I can get to some decent level of speaking skill if I have to listen to myself without resorting to some kind of dull course in how to run one's mouth. I've got another video project idea in mind, and this one would be completely original. However, I need to do some green screen work, and Adobe products aren't working for me. I've followed the tutorials but it's not working for some reason. I could still tinker with it, but I'm wondering if there's simpler or more straightforward application out there that doesn't have so many bells and whistles that I don't really need. I've heard Sony Vegas is good, as is iMovie, but I don't have a Mac, so... anything out there from freeware to "it came with my camera" to "it's expensive, but any idiot can use it" to suggest? Thanks in advance!
- So that whole space core mod thing for Skyrim might be more than just an amusing item for your inventory. There's a suspicion that it may lead to a Portal 2-themed quest, somewhere. Now if only we can get a shout of "Fus Ro SPAAAAAACE!"
- Speaking of science, here's a page of images and a sales video for an IBM cold war era defense system. It's kind of like the hulking old man to the W.O.P.R. computer from Wargames.
- Errors of Reflection is a "spot the difference" game, except the nearly-identical scenes are shown as reflections of one another.
- There's no concrete studies that Minecraft players are obsessive in any way, even if they're trying to build a scale model of Azeroth
- I've seen a great many things done with old VW Microbuses, but this was a new one for me.
- Concept cars are so passe. So instead, here's a gallery of concept flying cars. The "flying" part is also largely conceptual, so just enjoy them the same way you might enjoy vehicles from The 5th Element or something similar.
- This, also, is concept art, but I can see some intrepid modder making it reality in short order: The Xbox of Bag End.
- Deciding that he's not going to come back, the FBI has released Steve Jobs' FBI file. I'm sure mine will eventually just say "Who?"
- Yes, it's a Gawker site, and the language is hyperbolic in the use of the title "Death Stars," but it's still rather disturbing that airspace has been opened up to drone traffic, which could be everything from a live Google Street View to pretty much anyone else.
- If Steven Moffat really wants to give his fans the biggest present they could ask for, this would be the trailer for it.
- Double Fine, the company lauded for their imaginative video game, Psychonauts, has hit $1 million with its kickstarter campaign to fund a new adventure game.
- Here's a good way to start the weekend: Super Mario Bros Crossover 2.0. Play Super Mario Bros as any number of classic Nintendo characters... if you can. Some heroes just aren't made for the Mushroom Kingdom.