Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Emperor Palpatine was once a Foghat Bassist

In days of yore when the internet was barely a glimmer in Al Gore's...er I mean Dr. Jonathan B. Postel's eye. A young man named Nick from Philadelphia started a band named American Dream. AD was short lived but in 1974 Nick joined a British band named Foghat. Nick played the bass joyfully for a little over a year until he split the band to play solo. Having struck out on his own for solo albums he still returned several times to produce albums for Foghat and others. Most notably, for many, Foghat's Fool for the City which contained the rock classic 'Slow Ride'.

Eventually Nick found his way out of music and into acting. For a decade and a half he voiced a myriad of characters in video games where he ruled the galaxy many times over (10 times I believe) and TV...where he eventually came to rule the galaxy again.

Yep, Emperor Palpatine from The Clone Wars animated TV series and Star Wars video games is none other than Foghat bassist/producer/engineer Nick Jameson!

*I'm betting this is only a revelation to me LOL I seem to be the last to know when it comes to music connections

*In addition to his Clone Wars and video game work Jameson has also voiced Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars: Dark Empire audio book. Oh, and he was the voice of Max in the hugely popular Sam and Max Hit the Road.

LM

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I'd Buy THAT For a Dollar

Last week fans were asked to take an online survey given by StarWars.com. Some of the survey dealt with downloading media at home. Did we want it? How much would be pay for it? and Where did we want it to come from?

My answers for the above came:
Yes - Of course! I'd love to have this ability, legally.
$2-3 - fair to me since no hard copy exists essentially cutting out any middleman pricing and you have control over the process.
StarWars.com - Directly from the source of course.

Several days before the survey arrived The Hollywood reporter sat down with George Lucas (see it HERE on page 45) to talk about the advancement of film/filming and the theatre experience/owners and the rate at which it's all progressing. Slowly he says. I agree.
He also had this to say about the industry and piracy:
THR: There are definitely some dynamics that are changing the economics of the business. What do you think of Mark Cuban's idea of releasing films simultaneously at home and in theaters?
Lucas: I think it'll happen -- it'll have to happen.
THR: Really? Because of the economics?
Lucas: Because of piracy. It's the only way you can stop piracy; there is no other way. You have to get a very, very aggressive enforcement program so that people do have consequences to stealing, but you also have to be able to offer it to them (in the home) for the same price they can get it on the street. It won't be DVDs -- DVDs aren't going to be around too much longer. If you can get it at home for $2, then why would you go on the street and get a bad version?

Precisely. $2-3 for in-home entertainment instantly. No waiting, no driving, no hassle.
Tailor made for people who cannot always find the extra time to plan a theatre outing (which, by the way, I wouldn't trade for anything...I enjoy the experience immensely), cannot afford going several times a month or more (babysitter/dinner/movie/gas...jeez! This adds up!), can't get out because of a disability, shouldn't go out because of a cold/flu or some other malady or simply because they'd rather not pay $9.50 for what they consider marginal movies (see this interesting blog entry by Pabawan --link removed, no longer exists--).
Not to mention the boon to independent filmmakers who go through so much to get their films distributed through traditional channels and out to film festivals in hard copy when they could eliminate the need for so many copies by offering the film for a fair-priced download on the internet.
I would never fork over $10 to see an awful version of any film from some shady character off the street or anywhere else for that matter. Why do it in the first place? To see it before anyone else? Bragging rights? LOL

Similarly why would I want to fork over $15 - $25 or more for a DVD (or other media...Sony and their Cd's --link removed, no longer exists--) with Copyright Protection that sends out a rootkit into my computer causing lord-knows-what to my computer/files/personal information. ...a little like AOL's viral-like software, yuk.
(see Master Mike's terrific entry on Sony and this subject --link removed, no longer exists-- and another good one HERE --link removed, no longer exists-- and for good measure look at this one on printers and tracking.)

Lucas is right, embracing internet downloading, at a fair price, is a viable and rational idea. He knows where the industry should be and how to satisfy the needs (wants really) of the customer without violating their rights and curbing an ugly stealing problem, at least for one medium, simultaneously.I hope the results of the survey will help to move us a step closer to this reality for audio books, films, radio programs, etc.

Heck, I'd buy that for THREE dollars.

LM

Diane Keaton...Sexy Older Alien

An interesting comment made by actress Diane Keaton in an interview for TIME magazine (Dec 16).

TIME Magazine: After the success of "Something's Gotta Give," there were supposed to be more sexy roles for women over 50, yes?

Diane Keaton: Oh, of course not. Never. It requires somebody who's a good writer who wants to write about that subject. Who is gonna do that? George Lucas? I don't think so. I'd have to be an alien, a sexy, older alien.

hehehe, that just tickles me for some reason.

I love unique and eccentric people.

LM

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Confessions of a Former Whipid

Hey there!

This morning Mr. Tim Dry (J'Quille the Whipid - ROTJ) sent an email to me announcing the publication of his autobiography, Falling Upwards: Scenes from a Life. It's available to pre-order right now at DiggoryPress and will be available in December at Amazon.com.

This is going to be a neat read, Mr. Dry has lead a fascinating life.

LM

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Actor Updates!

Hi! Updates to Nerf-Herders Anonymous...

Matthew Wood (voice of General Grievous - ROTS) let us know on his blog entry earlier this week that he'd just finished work on Steven Spielberg's Munich and is working on another project back at The Ranch.

~~Mr. Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian - ESB, ROTJ) will be a guest on Denis Leary's Merry F***ing Christmas on Sunday at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central. I heard that the guest stars were going to help Barenaked Ladies perform "Jingle Bells" Should be interesting.

~~Christopher Malcolm (Zev Senesca - ESB) has recently put up his own website check it out HERE. (EDIT: link removed, site no longer exists)

~~Sebastian Shaw (Anakin - ROTJ). One might think that there would not be much to report after an actor has died, especially when that actor has been gone for over 10 years (11 on Dec 23). I have found quite a bit of info (at least credit-wise) for Mr. Shaw and apparently there is more to find somewhere out there. No doubt in some dusty and dank archive full of other semi-forgotten film and stage actors.Mr. Shaw has admitted to be a poor actor in his younger days. He's said that his lack of experience and maturity was partially to blame. Shaw also noted that most of the parts he was hired for were "beefcake" (those based solely on his looks rather than his ability to act) roles, directors needing to inject a healthy dose of heterosexuality looked to Shaw. And, believe it or not, Shaw was very popular in the 30's and 40's.

~~Speaking of passing actors and credits. Richard Marquand ( AT-ST Driver/EV-9D9 - ROTJ), who died in 1987, still has credits that pop up every now and again. He did a bit of theatre acting in his younger days, though I cannot seem to find many of those credits around. I did find that he directed Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi in a production of Edward II in 1970.Mr. Marquand seemed perpetually confounded by Lucas's choice in him as director for Return of the Jedi. Whenever asked about how the directorship came to be he seemed at a loss for an answer. Lucas had always insisted that it was a viewing of Eye of the Needle with Donald Sutherland, directed by Marquand, that swayed his decision to use Mr. Marquand.If any of you might know something of his earlier life (in theatre) please drop me a line. Thanks!

There's finally a picture of the ever elusive (at least photographically) Ann Sachs (Princess Leia in the Radio Dramas), I also found a picture of her with Anthony Daniels, Perry King and Mr. Billy Dee Williams as they worked their characters for the radio drama.

~~Mr. Phil Eason (Yaddle in AOTC) dropped me a line last week and filled me in on a ton of work that he's done over the years that aren't credited anywhere else on the internet....except for his personal site....As with many of the other actors who have generously contributed time and credits to the SWAD I'm ever thankful for all their efforts!

~~Actors added to the Star Wars Actors Database:
Salo Gardner
Anthony Lang
Jeff Moon
Harvey Korman (long overdue)

~~There were a few Star Wars references in Smallville and Drawn Together and there were other updates as well to the site. HERE

Enjoy!

LM

Cute Pic of the Flanneled One

Just this past week Mr. George Lucas attended/co-hosted an event in San Francisco with his son, Jett, that will help considerably in the efforts to build the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. placed between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. The event was called the Dream Dinner.

The photograph, taken at the event, shows Lucas with Basketball Hall of Famers (l - r)Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell (William F. Russell) leaning in with a word to the young Mr. Lucas, Bill Walton (William T. Walton), and Nate Thurmond. HERE Very cute.

A second picture also shows Samuel L. Jackson and Deborah and Carlos Santana. Lucas seems a little taller in this one ...I suppose he was pulling our legs in the previous photograph. HERE

If you'd like to read a little more about the event, the contributors and the Memorial you can see an article HERE and the official website for the MLK Memorial HERE.

LM

Friday, November 25, 2005

James Earl Jones

Hi...Quickie to remind everyone not to miss James Earl Jones in The Reading Room on the Hallmark Channel. Saturday night (11/26)

Enjoy.
LM

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving

As I am here at 3 am on Thanksgiving morning, working on the meal for tomorrow and contemplating the success of my son's third birthday, I thought I'd take a small break and wish all of you (Americans...those who celebrate) a very happy Thanksgiving.
I hope that you all are safe, sound and sated on this holiday.

I'd like to start off with the Thanksgiving Proclamation laid forth by my *x10 grandfather,

*Governor William Bradford:
"Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.

Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings. "
--William Bradford
Ye Governor of Ye Colony

~~OK... on to Star Wars:
Our own Mr. Pablo Hidalgo AND Pete Vilmer (with Steve Sansweet) will be appearing at 3 different events in the upcoming weeks.

I was also looking through some old papers that I'd saved and came across an article from OMNI Magazine in May of 1983 on Richard Marquand and Return of the Jedi. You can read the article HERE.

I always find it strange to read old articles, this one was no exception. It conjured up fond memories of my days reading each OMNI cover-to-cover. And, unfortunately, the awful eighties. Even though their "factual" articles on the latest in scientific research or discoveries was at times laughable I did find the reading enjoyable on a certain level and continued to read the magazine until it's overdue death in the early 1990's.

I found another article, again from OMNI Magazine, on the medium of radio and the "modern" production technology that goes into shows such as The Empire Strikes Back radio drama from 1983 and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a personal favorite. Essentially it's a review highlighting production technology.

Other updates to the site can be found HERE.

Enjoy!
LM


*(10th generation grandfather)
- It may interest some of you to know that author Troy Denning is also related to Governor William Bradford.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Actor Updates!

Hello!I'm busier than normal this season and won't be catching much of a break until the late spring.

Work = Good.
OK...

Updates for Nerf-Herders Anonymous:

James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader - OT/PT) will be a featured speaker for the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference 2005 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, TX from December 1-3.Remember to catch his reading of the Gettysburgh Address from Verizon.

~~Keira Knightly (Sabé - TPM) Miss Knightly is currently starring in Pride & Prejudice...she is also learning how to drive and hopes to obtain her license in 2006.

~~Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi - PT) will be hopping back on his motorcycle in 2006 for another adventure this time travelling between the tip of Scotland to Cape Town South Africa.

~~Ed Begley Jr. (Boba Fett in the ROTJ radio drama) will be starring in a new animated feature film called Fly Me To The Moon...starring as the voice of Poopchev - one of a few flies that catch a ride aboard the Apollo moon mission. Interesting premise.

~~Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker - OT) is starring in a Comcast commercial called Comtastic! that is airing on TV now.

~~Joel Edgerton (Owen Lars - PT) will participate in Formula 1 racing in Tazmania, SE Commonwealth of Australia, for children's charity Mark Webber Challenge in November of 2006.

~~Paul Hecht (Palpatine in the ROTJ radio drama) is starring in a play called Living Forever on stage until the end of December at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, MI.

~~John Ratzenberger (Major Bren Derlin in ESB) is the starring voice of video game The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer...as the Underminer. Some of you may know that he voiced the Underminer in the film release of The Incredibles.

~~Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian ESB/ROTJ) will be singing, with several other guest celebrities, Barenaked Ladies version of Jingle Bells for Dennis Leary's Merry F#%$in' Christmas which will air on 11/27/05 here in the US on Comedy Central.

~~Phil Delancy (One of the Bravo Pilots in TPM) stars as Miles in a film called A Far Cry which will be released in spring 2006.

~~Added the following actors to the Star Wars Actors Database:
Michael Byrne
Derek Tong

Thank you!
Enjoy!
LM

Friday, November 11, 2005

Creepy Crawlies & Fancy Flora

Over hundreds of years entomological systemists and other scientists used Greek and Latin based nomenclature seriously, never once veering from the standards set by such systemist luminaries as Theophrastus and Carolus Linneas.

In 1901 a strict set of nomenclatural rules defined by the International Zoological Congress was published for scientists. It wasn't long before the a slow rebellion started. To name two...In 1912 G. W. Kirkaldy named a series of true bugs the generic names of Dolichisme, Florichisme, Marichisme, Nanichisme, Ochisme and Polychisme. When read aloud they suspiciously sounded more like...er...osculatory adventures.1947 - Pate named a wasp genus Lalapa then named the species lusa... Lalapa lusa.

It wouldn't be too much longer still when naming insects after famous fantasy and sci-fi icons.Starting around 1958 Dr. Arnold S. Menke, of the Systematic Entomology Laboratory at the U.S. National Museum and the modern master of entomological nomenclature, found his own trend of using popular cultural references in naming newly found "creepy crawlies."Year later several made it into the annals of Star Wars reference-dom. (yes, I know it's not a word)

In 1983 Menke named three wasps after Star Wars characters:
Polemistus chewbacca
Polemistus vaderi
Polemistus Yoda

Other Star Wars named creatures...named by other entomologists:
Agathidium vaderi (slime mold beetle)
Adelomyrmex vaderi Fernández (very colorful ant)
Thricops vaderi (a type of dragonfly)
Arketypon vaderi (a wasp found in Australia)
Harrison Ford, (Vice Chairman of the American Society Conservation Interanational/Han Solo/Indiana Jones) has the following named after him:
Peidole harrsonfordi - A Central American ant (Edward Wilson)
Calponia harrisonfordi - A Central Amercian spider (Edward Wilson)
Ford was also asked to name a new breed of butterfly. He chose the name Georgia, after his daughter.

Florally speaking there are several flowers named after Star Wars words:
Daylillies:
Empire Strikes Back
Jedi Codie Wedgeworth
Jedi Dot Pierce
Jedi Flamingo Kid
Jedi Free Spirit
Jedi Golden Girl
Jedi Pink Bouquet
Jedi Rose Beauty
Jedi Rose Frost
Jedi Sue McCord
Jedi Tequila Sunrise

Iris:
Darkside

Orchids:
Darth Vader
Skywalker Red Star

I'm sure there are many other scientific names related to the Star Wars saga that we've yet to find. It's amazing how far-reaching the references go.

I hope the trend continues.

LM

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Godzilla!

Wow. Amazing.
An article today at MSNBC about the recently found Dakosaurus andiniensis, affectionately nicknamed...Godzilla

Not at ALL what I'd want to encounter in an ocean swim.

LM

Monday, November 07, 2005

Actor Updates!

Hello everyone.

Hope your weekend was full of ROTS viewing and otherwise pleasant.

A few select updates:
Carrie Fisher, Daniel Logan and Ray Park will be at BigAppleCon on November 18-19-20, at the Penn Plaza Pavilion, 33rd St& 7th Ave, NYC.

~~Liam Neeson (Qui-Gon Jinn - PT) Turned a nomination for Best Irish Actor for a Film (Kinsey) into a win at the Irish Film and TV Awards (The Irish Oscars) on Sunday night, November 6, 2005.

~~Samuel L. Jackson (Mace Windu - PT) was named the 6the best celebrity golfer according to Golf Digest magazine.

~~David Alan Grier (Bo Shek and other characters in ROTJ radio drama) is rumored to be starting his own talk show.

~~Hugh Quarshie (Captain Panaka - PT) recently documented his trip to Ghana (country of his birth) while there to film segments for TV's hospital drama Holby City on which he plays Dr. Ric Griffin.

~~Rarely seen Barry Gnome (Kabe (Bat Alien) in ANH).Photographer Peter Lavery captured a great photograph of Mr. Gnome while a clown with the Denning and Wild Supershow in 1971. Make sure to look at the other great photographs that Mr. Lavery has taken of other circus performers HERE.

~~A nice interview with Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine OT/PT) at The Guardian, HERE.

~~Actors added to the Star Wars Actors Database:
Paul Bannon
Emma Bextor
Danny Cavanagh
Catherine Ernster
Alison Gilford
Kes Green
Sean Hardman
Noel Hawkins
Johnny Hinton
Eddie Irani
Wes McGann
Terry Sach
Dan Turner
Jerry Baker
Chantelle Barbieri
Lucas Louca
Dean Mitchell
Terry Mustoo
Peter Roy
Tom Sanderson
Michael Savva
Dave Sexton
Sally Sinclair
Tommy Weldin
Masa Yamaguchi
Hadley Kay
Sue Murphy
Anthony Parr
Greg Swanson

A big thank you to Convention Guests who helped lead me to 15 (listed in BOLD) of the above named actors.~~All other updates HERE.

Enjoy!

LM

Thursday, November 03, 2005

John Hollis (1931 - 2005)

More sad news to pass along...
Jeremy Bulloch (his SITE) reports that actor John Hollis (Lobot in The Empire Strikes Back) has passed away after a long illness. He died on October 18, 2005 in London.

There's little known about his personal life...he was married to Sheila and loved golf...but his credits were fairly extensive. He worked in film, TV, theatre (mostly in audio plays) and radio. Hollis attended quite a lot of conventions in years past and was very kind to all his fans.

LM