Riding on my earlier post about the TRAPPIST-1 star system, I’ve decided to post a couple more informative videos. The first is a 9 minute PBS video describing some of the science behind the discovery and the possible implications for any life that might have evolved there. The second video is a bit more informal, and presents the information with some fun animation.
NASA has just announced the discovery of a star system (TRAPPIST-1) with not one, not two, not three… not six, but seven Earth-sized rocky planets, two of which are potentially habitable! The star system is just a Kessel Run away (12 parsecs, or 40 light years), so spin up the Millennium Falcon and let’s go!
Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher has passed away following a massive heart attack which she suffered on a flight to LAX. You can read more about it at StarWars.com or CNN. May the Force be with her — she will be in our hearts always.
So many people criticize both the Star Wars prequels and “The Force Awakens” for being clones of the original series. But what is often forgotten is that Star Wars is the very embodiment of the Hero’s Journey, and its themes and archetypes live on from generation to generation. Although this video was made before “The Force Awakens” (which has gotten the most heat for copying “A New Hope”) it drives home the poetic synchronicity that is found within the Star Wars saga: the originals, the prequels, and the new (and although “The Force Awakens” is not featured here, you can use your imagination to fill it in).
Watch, and see the poetry of Star Wars and the Hero’s Journey.
So, the official first trailer for the new live-action Ghost in the Shell movie recently came out, and I have to say, it does look pretty good. Apart from the “whitewashing” controversy, which is no small matter, the trailer itself does show a film that seems to stay true to the source material. That’s a good thing! I’m still peeved that they chose Scarlett Johansson to play the Major, but I’ll reserve my final judgement until I see it in the theater. You can also check out a great analysis of the trailer over on ScreenRant.com.
The first trailer for Luc Besson’s new film, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, has just come out, and it looks pretty awesome. He’s best know for the hit sci-fi movie The Fifth Element, and Valerian seems to have a similar vibe. You can read a bit more about it on Gizmodo’s Io9 article.
The second full trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One is out, and it’s packed with some spectacular scenes! We also get see Darth Vader, though I’m pretty sure he won’t have too much screen time as he’s not the focus of the film or even the villain (the villain is Imperial Director Krennic). There is also a pretty good trailer breakdown on Gizmodo.
Tony Stark Elon Musk has announced SpaceX’s big plans for getting a human colony set up on Mars, perhaps sometime mid-century or so if everything pans out. That’s some pretty big ambitions, and it’s risky too, but ambition and risk are two things humanity must have in abundance if we are ever going to get the Mars (well, that and gobs of money). You can read more about it on Phil Plait’s blog, or just check out the videos below.
The first video here is SpaceX’s promo video, which is heavy on the CGI and low on the specifics, but still very cool.
And this is the 1.5 hour presentation that Elon Musk gave. Start at the 22 minute mark if the video doesn’t start there automatically.
Another year at DragonCon has come and gone! We had a great time as usual, and it was good to meet up with old friends and make new ones. I tried not to spend as much time as I did last year in the Space and Science tracks, but I probably still spent way too much time in those rooms… The Fantasy Literature and Science Fiction Literature panels I went to we very good as usual, as were the Writers tracks. And as always, I took a ton of pictures (well, not literally a ton, but a few hundred to be sure). Click here to see some of this year’s highlights!