Some Thoughts on the Star Wars Blu-ray Extras

I’ve been sick the past two days, so it was a good opportunity to stay in bed and on the couch and watch several hours of Star Wars Blu-ray collection bonus materials.

I have not watched the latest changes Mr. Lucas has made to the movies. I’m not sure I could handle them in my weakened condition!

Happy Surprises

  • The complete missing scene of Luke viewing the space battle over Tatooine and telling his friends about it at Tosche Station. This scene with Luke’s friend Biggs was in the comics and story book version when I was a kid and I’ve only seen brief clips of it in documentaries and other extras over the years.
  • The animated segment from the Star Wars Holiday Special is included as part of Boba Fett’s costume prototype in the Episode V Collection. The animation is low budget and has some odd character designs but shouldn’t be missed.
  • Inclusion of some classic fan films in the Spoofs video including Star Wars Gangsta Rap SE and Troops.
  • Several appearances of Star Wars in 70s and early 80s TV shows, including a song and dance number from the Donny & Marie show with Donny and Marie as Luke and Leia (strangely prophetic!), and Mark Hamill on The Muppet Show.
  • I really enjoyed all of Dennis Muren‘s special effects commentary in the Interviews sections.
  • There are some original episode documentaries that I’m sure were broadcast on television soon after the movies came out. I don’t quite remember seeing them but I got a warm fuzzy feeling while watching them. They’re an interesting contrast to many “making of” segments these days which often is more about selling you on seeing the movie than how the movie was really created.

Onto critiques and other observations…
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Go Ape!

What does Battlestar Galactica have to do with Planet of the Apes and what does Planet of the Apes have to do with The Incredible Hulk?

If you’ve not yet seen the Battlestar Galactica mid-season cliffhanger “Revelations”, you’re missing out. While not the most emotionally moving episode nor the most action packed, it does reveal a lot to the show’s characters as the clandestine final four of five cylons are brought out to the open. The results range from shocking to devastating to the Galactica crew. More importantly, its final minutes hit hard with an unexpected final revelation.

Spoilers after the jump…
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Little Red Robby

Little Red Robby on Tekzilla Among the shows I watch is Tekzilla, Revision3’s follow on to InDigital. Tekzilla is a weekly show aimed from beginners to intermediates with topics spanning all areas of technology. Besides gadgets, CE devices, computers and software, they’ve covered other things too like the 50th anniversary of Sputnik and visited the Exploratorium but with just three shows under their belt it’s hard to say what are the limits of their coverage. So far I’m thinking I liked InDigital a bit more but maybe I’m still a bit miffed that it was pulled not long after I started regularly watching it.

Anyways, they’re still working on their temporary set and this week they adorned the fake brick backdrops with shelves holding little items including a little red Robby the Robot tin toy.

Not much to see but it’s always good to see something of Robby.

Live Action Saturday Morning

So, I recently became a father. Among the myriad of things on my mind these days, one of them is oddly what kind of TV or online shows will my daughter be watching while growing up? As a kid, there wasn’t much selection. There were the three major networks and a few syndicated channels in the UHF bands. Of course there were no dedicated Disney channels, cartoon channels or general kids channels. The best variety was available in those brief hours Saturday morning of back-to-back cartoons and super hero live action shows was a weekly treasure. I remember going to Hawaii with my family one Summer and through the whole trip I was wondering if we’d make it back in time for the Fall Saturday morning cartoon premiers. There were prime time Fall lineup preview shows that almost made me salivate at the thought of new adventures for old favorites and new characters to come to know. These days, with so many choices, I wonder if children develop a real bond and fondness for what they’re watching or is it simply something to pass the time between toy commercials?

Filmation Panel at Comic-Con 2007

At Comic-Con this year, a lot of the Saturday morning joy came flooding back when I attended the Filmation panel. Filmation was the alternative to Disney and WB cartoons through the 70s and early 80s. The animation was relatively cheap and employed frequent stock footage but the action was good and there was a clear moral message in many of the shows and episodes. They had a wide variety of original and licensed IP including Batman, Tarzan, Star Trek, He-Man and She-Ra. What felt really unique for the time was Filmation’s venture beyond animation to create original live-action shows. The Comic-Con Filmation panel gathered together some original cast members from two of the shows, Jason of Star Command and The Secret of Isis, including character actor and recently revitalized horror movie star Sig Haig. Former Filmation head Lou Scheimer was also present.
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