What is your franchise Sci-Fi series
A new story has been doing the rounds now that there could in fact be a new nineth planet out there. If you recall, Pluto used to have the title of the nineth planet in the solar system until it was unceremoniously downgraded to that of a dwarf planet. The grounds for downgrading was that the object had not cleared the orbit round the sun of other objects. It had passed the other two requirements, large enough to be spherical in shape and be in orbit round the Sun, Caltech have released an artists impression of what the planet could possibly look like, it is in no way what it actually looks like because its not been located yet. N.A.S.A. are being open-minded on the news at the moment.
What had caused the downgrading was the discovery of an object in the kuiper belt that was bigger than Pluto. However on closer examination, the object Eris was found to be not bigger than Pluto but not by much. One of the scientists that had discovered Eris is now proclaiming that there might well be a nineth planet out there, Dr Mike Brown, aka PlutoKiller which is also his twitter account name.
The new planet hasn`t been confirmed, it is theorized as being out there somewhere. The theory is based on the fact that objects in the kuiper belt are not behaving as they should be based on the laws of physics as we know them currently. A nineth planet could help explain their paths. Neptune was first theorized and calculated before it was actually discovered so there is every possibility that the planet is out there. The planet would be too far from the Sun to sustain life as we know it. The planet is possibly a gas giant like Neptune. The new planet is highly elliptical and would possibly take something like 10,000 to 20,000 years to do an orbit. The picture below shows the believed path of the orbit of the planet. It is so far away that we would never be able to send a probe to like we did with the New Horizons mission to Pluto probe because of the distance unless we developed faster than light technology.
Its not the first time there`s been a theory of something out there. There is a theory that there is a brown dwarf star called Nemesis that orbits near our Solar System. It is responsible it is alleged for sending comets and asteroids that are in the Oort cloud our way and say one of those displaced objects was the cause of the mass extinction of the dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.
Names for the planet have been bounded around on the net as Nibaru and New Pluto. Whatever it is, it will be named after an old god like all the planets except Earth. When the IAU ran a competition to name planets and stars, they chose god names for those stars such as Ran (previously known as Epsilon Eridani and to a certain extent Sadira). Comments
Ever since the new characters in Star Wars were revealed, there`s been speculation as to their past, there`s been Finn Calrissian, son of legendary Lando Calrissian and Rey Solo, daughter of Han Solo. However we now know that are unlikely true but have not been fully disproved as yet.
Finn was conscripted into the First Order from a very young age and was only known by his FN-2187 until he freed Poe Dameron who rewarded the stormtrooper deserter with the nickname of Finn. Its unlikely that he was ever connected to Lando in anyway apart from possibly hailing from the same planet as him and I`m not talking about the gas giant of Bespin. Also he could be a relative of Mace Windu given his light sabre skills or at least his attempt at them. Whereas the original trilogy was father vs son, this new trilogy could be about grandchildren.
Most speculation on Reys background has been on Luke Skywalker and the Solos (Han Solo and his wife Princess Leia). If Rey was a child of one of those three, she would therefore be related directly to (sister) or closely related (cousin) to Ben Solo, aka Kylo Ren. If Rey was a Solo why was she deserted on Jakku? However, there`s a new theory in that she is the daughter or granddaughter of Palpatine, the Emperor who oversaw the Galactic Empire. At the end of Star Wars - The Force Awakens, both Luke and Rey stared one another out in the last shot of the film, it could be that he knew who she was. If she was Luke`s daughter, where`s Mara-Jade who in the expanded universe is Luke`s wife. Why would Luke hide his daughter and then go away from her, why not hide with her?
Palpatine theory is a possiblity, although in the films, he isn`t seen to have a wife or a relation but that doesn`t mean he didn`t have a secret wife or girlfriend. There are rumours that he could`ve caused the virgin birth of Anakin Skywalker by trying to experiment with midi-chlorins when Palpatine visited Tatooine. A relation of Palpatine would definately be a twist. Comments
The first item of interest in the new year is comet Catalina, which should be viewable at the very start of the year, i.e. literally 1st of January. The Comet can be located going from Centaurus, through Virgo and then finally in Bootes where it will be visibly near Arcturus, the brightest star in Bootes. If you`re hoping for a 1997 Hale-Bopp bright comet, you might be disappointed.
On March 8/9th, there will be a Total Solar eclipse that can be seen by Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and from locations in the Pacific ocean. A partial eclipse will affect people in India, North Western Australia, Japan and Alaska.
All the Meteor Showers will appear as expected starting with the Quadrantids in the constellation of Bootes. None are expected to produce out of the ordinary heavy showers this year sadly, they should all perform as usual.
The first big "space" film will feature alien Clark Kent as he faces competition from Bruce Wayne - Batman in the first Justice League film. The film sees the two iconic DC Comic characters beat each other up until they decide its unwinnable and decide to work together to defeat a bigger enemy, rumoured to be Doomsday. Too much information in trailers these days.
After having been shunted and moved because of Star Wars - The Force Awakens, the film of the MMORPG World of Warcraft finally gets a release in June of the year. It should be noted that this film is based primarily on the earlier Warcraft game, the RTS Strategy and not the MMORPG game which currently has five million users. Warcraft is currently the only paid subscription based game of its type. It has been hemorrhaging over the years as the producers Blizzard Entertainment seemingly getting disinterested when you look at the fact that the amount of content you get per expansion is getting less and less all the time. The new expansion, simply named Legion is due to come out some time before 21st September, most likely to coincide with the release of the new expansion.
We will see the new Star Trek film, simply called Star Trek Beyond and this time we get to see Capt. James Tiberius Kirk face a new alien threat and finally leave this solar system for adventure futher afield. Yes, they did go to other worlds in the previous two reboot films, but they both ended up coming back to Earth so lets hope they don`t make the same mistake. The director has changed, its now Justin Lin of Fast and Furious fam instead of the previous J.J. Abrams. The new film was co-written by Simon Pegg who plays Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery Scotty Scott, the ships engineer but I doubt the adventure will focus on him.
One year on from the release of Force Awakens, come a standalone film to the Star Wars franchise called Star Wars - Rogue One. Its not so much a standalone but a prequel to Star Wars IV - A New Hope so you could say it was Episode 3.9 because it is set immediately before the events of Episode 4. The story focuses on totally new characters on the Rebel Alliance side plus also appearances from Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin. The lead antagonist is expected to be Tarkin with C.G.I. doing the "acting" for Tarkin who played him sadly passed away.
As a parting shot, I saw this that popped up on my facebook and thought it quite appropriate.
Now 2015 is just a memory, one of many many years that has gone before since the start of the universe, known globally as the Big Bang. It was a year in which we had our first look at Pluto, the nineth planet until that it, it was downgraded to dwarf planet status. There`s already a campaign going on in getting it reinstated as a planet. It was downgraded because its path around the Sun was obstructed and not clear. If they had kept Pluto as a planet, then we`d probably have had a tenth planet in the form of Eris, an object in the kuiper belt that is roughly the same size as Pluto. Eris was the reason why Pluto status was looked at. At the time, Eris was thought to be bigger but Pluto is a touch bigger. New Horizons won`t be redirected to Eris as its too far from Pluto. The reason why such interest was shown in Pluto was because of the arrival of the New Horizons probe finally arrived and took some stunning pictures. It was the first time we`d seen a picture of the planet so clear. New Horizons isn`t the furthest object from Earth, that accolade goes to the Voyager Space Probes which were launched some twenty-thirty years previous and are still going.
Rosetta Space Probe complete with the lander Philae caught up with 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and did some experiments to ascertain whether we could`ve possibly hitch-hiked on a comet to Earth. The initial results was that the comet had the wrong sort of water for human amino acids causing the critics to say it was a waste of time. It could be we chose the wrong comet or comets are not sources for the right amino acids full stop. Later on there was oxygen found in the surrounding gas cloud so not total waste. ref:guardian
Britain got its second astronaut in space, this time the astronaut was sponsored by the Government rather than industry working with the Russian government to get someone up there. The first Briton up in space was Helen Sharman in the earlier nineties. Helen had won a competition to be the first British astronaut. Other "British" astronauts such as Michael Foale and Piers Sellars had to gain American nationality to get into space because it was then British Government policy not to put people into space. Major Tim Peake, an ex-test pilot lifted off just before Christmas and is to stay up for six months doing over 200 experiements.
Although not yet covered on this site is National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A.)`s Dawn probe which visited Ceres, a dwarf planet. Ceres is the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Even though Ceres is a lot closer than Pluto, it took nearly eight years to get to Ceres because of the route it took to get to the planet. It took the long way round, doing a large number of solar orbits till it caught up with Vesta, another asteroid in 2011 and then Ceres in 2015. When Pluto got downgraded, Ceres got upgraded from asteroid to dwarf planet.
You can`t have not noticed that the biggest film out this year was Star Wars - The Force Awakens, the first film from Disney after having brought the entertainment franchise for $4 Billion a few years ago. It was expected and was true to form to become the biggest film of the year. The fact that it was released to the paying public in December, its release period unlike Jurassic World has not finished and Star Wars has not yet been shown in China with its billion people. The Star Wars film saw the return of the main three characters from the original trilogy, the smuggler Han Solo, the farmboy turned hero Luke Skywalker and his sister, the princess also a courageous rebel alliance fighter, Princess Leia. The film also introduced us to the new heroes, the A.W.O.L. stormtrooper called Finn and the scavenger turned Jedi Rey. It was teased by Kathryn Kennedy that Han Solo might return somehow probably in flashbacks in the next film when she announced that everyone who people saw standing beside her was returning. ref:Daily Mail.
Defiance, the aliens on Earth television series was cancelled after three years. The attached MMO game will continue even though the series has come to an end. Other television series such as Doctor Who was broadcast as usual but Clara who had been the current Doctor`s companion had decided to leave after having been the longest serving companion since the series came back back in last decade.
A Sad Farewell
Veteran British actor Christopher Lee, who was more famous for appearing in Hammer Horror films passed away in June aged 93. He will be best remembered for his Count Dooku in the second two Star Wars prequel films and of playing the Wizard Saruman in both the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films of which the last of the Hobbit films came out in 2014, just over a year ago.
The only news connected to the Star Trek entertainment franchise was bad news. Leonard Nimoy, who had played Spock, the Enterprises` chief science officer had passed away at the age of 83 in February. He last played Spock in the last Star Trek film in 2013 Star Trek, Into Darkness albeit a minor role. Before that, he played Spock in the first of the rebooted films, the first of which was Star Trek XI. Comments
Fans have always tried to imitate their favourite franchises with their own versions of their characters stories. I admit I did it once when I was young, I wrote my own V story which I called `Resistance`. Before Warner Bros begin legal action, I didn`t sell, it was just for fun for myself and never released, well, back then there was no internet. Well, the internet was about but hadn`t yet taken off with the Web as its become now.
A group of budding film makers launched a kickstarter project and have raised over $1 Million to produce Star Trek Prelude to Axanar and for the amount of money that been spent, it looks very good, see the picture below of Vulcan. Its also attracted well known actors such as Richard Hatch best known as Capt. Apollo and Tom Zarek in the Battlestar Galactica franchise.
It was probably best to sticking to Star Wars fan films as Lucasfilm had been known to be supportive and not be so litigent with fan fiction. There is also the officially recognised StarWars.com Fan Film Awards As any Star Trek fan will know, there`s another film coming out next year, Star Trek Beyond which is also the fiftieth anniversary year of the franchise. Could the producers be worried that some people might get confused and see Prelude to Axanar and think thats the Beyond film? I suspect Paramount and the producers of Axanar will come to some sort of friendly arrangement without any court cast coming from it after all its the fans that keep the franchises going. More info at Hollywood Reporter
The latest film the Star Wars franchise Star Wars - The Force Awakens has just come out and is number one in most if not all markets. The next episode VIII which is due out in May 2017 is due to begin filming next month. The next film is coming out on the fortieth anniversary of the first film, Star Wars IV - A New Hope. If you got what it takes, they are currently taking casting calls so you could be the Lead Stormtrooper of Ensign Goode. ref:MovingCastingCall
If you can remember a few years back, the producers began a casting call for the new faces for the films.
Rachel who was decribed as quite young (17/18) when she lost her parents. With no other family, she was forced to make her way alone in a tough, dangerous town. Now 17 she has become street smart and strong. She is able to take care of herself using humor and guts to get by. Always a survivor, never a victim, she remains hopeful that she can move away from this harsh existence to a better life. She is always thinking of what she can do to move ahead.
Thomas has grown up without a father`s influence. Without the model of being a man, he doesn`t have the strongest sense of himself. Despite this, he is smart, capable and shows courage when it is needed. He can appreciate the absurdities in life and understands you can`t take life too seriously.
Out of the casting of thousands, it was announced that Pip Anderson and Crystal Clarke had got the roles. However when the film came out, their characters became Lead Stormtrooper and Ensign Goode. Neither of these characters are the main characters in the film which I suspect a lot of people were hoping it to be when they lined up for the auditions. The winners became minor parts in the film. Can`t remember what happened to those characters when I saw the film but neither stood out.
The lead characters went to Daisy Ridley (Rey) and John Boyega (Finn), both from London, United Kingdom and both having been in productions before. John played Moses and Daisy had played a character in Casualty. Mark Hamill got his part from open auditioning. Back when Mark got his, no one knew anything about the film, no one knew how good or bad the film was going to be.
A definate requirement for the part is that you can work in the United Kingdom as that is where like most of the films in the series was made. Star Wars II - Attack of the Clones and the following Star Wars III - Revenge of the Sith were both made in Sydney, Australia.
If you do plan to do some auditioning, just make sure you`re better than these.... (Saturday Night Live Spoof)
CONTAINS REAL AND POSSIBLE SPOILERS Nothing has been said yet about what will or won`t happen in Episode VIII, Episode VII has just come out in the cinemas to good review and good numbers of people watching them. What I say here will contain some spoilers What we know is that the storyline will certainly follow Finn and Rey as they continue the fight against the First Order. There`s been mention of an additional lead female character, could this be the character that Gugu Mbatha-Raw might be playing.
Whilst we know that Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker are returning, maybe Han Solo by way of back story. We know that Disney are planning on doing a Han Solo spin off movie or two in the near future but that will feature a younger actor and its joked along the lines of "When Han Solo met Chewbacca".
According to the Daily Mail, Kathleen Kennedy has said the entire cast will be returning, however can`t see that given Star Wars penchant for killing off characters in films. Additionally, a classic character will be coming back according to Cinemablend, we can only speculate who that could be, possibly Lando Calrissian?
Major Tim Peake has finally arrived on the International Space Station after an eight hour journey from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, home to the Russian space administration, Roscosmos where all the visitors to the ISS take off. He is the first British astronaut sent up into space that was supported by the British Government. The first Briton in space Helen Sharman was financed by private donors with the support of the Russian Government. Other Britons in space such as Michael Foale and Piers Sellars had to gain American nationality to get into space with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A.) because the British Government had a policy of not providing support for Britons into space. That had recently changed and Tim Peake became the second Briton in space.
Space it should be pointed out is a multi-billion pound industry not just in the United States but also in Britain. British company Inmarsat provides and supports communications across the world through its numerous satellites. Logica I.T. Consultancy was unique amongst the major I.T. consultancy such as CapGemini and Accenture in providing Space Consultancy. They are now part of the CGI Group, a Canadian I.T. Consultancy and they carry on providing space consultancy.
Critics of Space Exploration say money should be spent on the ground and not wasted on space exploration. Those who do should look at N.A.S.A. site to see what inventions might not have happened had it not been for space explorations. The one that stands out the most is artificial limbs, the same limbs that help amputees get back on the ground and walking. NASA didn`t design cordless tools, they got Black and Decker to design and build the tools. 1. NASA also didn`t invent CT Scan or MRI scans but they designed the technology that would one day be used in those technologies.
Our future is space, this Planet won`t be able to support us forever, our resources are dwindling, the population is ever-increasing and isn`t looking at slowing down any time soon. The critics will argue why mess up somewhere else when we can`t look after ourselves. The way we`re going, we`re probably going to end up like Coruscant the city planet in the Star Wars entertainment franchise. If we survive into billion years into The Future somehow, the planet will become inhospitable and we`d have to get off it, either to Mars or further afield, maybe to an extrasolar planet (exoplanet) somewhere out there. By then, we may have broken Einsteins Law that says the speed of light is the absolute speed limit. If we did manage to get to light speed, it would still take four years to get to the nearest Star Rigil Kentaurus, better known as Alpha Centauri.
Picture from the European Space Agency website with Copyright E.S.A./Stephane Corvaja
There are two main space franchises, the biggest is Star Wars whose seventh movie episode is out at the end of the week. The second and oldest is Star Trek whose next movie is out next year to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the series. To coincide with the release of Star Wars - The Force Awakens, Paramount has released the trailer to their next movie, Star Trek Beyond which is out next year. The thinking is that a lot of those people who watch Star Wars also watch Star Trek and would be interested in seeing the advert. The trailer in the trailers section of the Star Wars film.
In the previous rebooted films, the films have been centred around our Solar System as the crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701A find their feet but the new one will feature planets far away on their five year mission to find new and wonderful life. The lead antagonist is played by Idris Elba, who if you have read articles on the internet is the new James Bond even though Daniel Craig has not yet given up the role yet.
As predictable as night follows day, there was always going to be a sequel to the 1996 movie smash, Independence Day and no, its not called Thanksgiving Day or something like that. Its set twenty years later and the Aliens have finally decided to return and make our lives hell again, of course for our entertainment. Most of the original cast is coming back, the most notable not coming back is Capt. Steven Hiller played by Will Smith because the producers couldn`t afford him so its been said.
Jeff Goldblum returns as the Meteorological scientist David Levinson and so is his dad and the President but not the president any more though. Replacing Will Smith is Liam Hemworth a new pilot hero. Expect more patriotism and more action if either of those is your thing.