Tag Archives: wtf

StarWars.com launches “This Is Madness” character bracket pool

SW-this-is-madnessWith a video from Darth Vader, the official site launches their version of the annual NCAA hoops tournament. Entitled “This Is Madness”, the system will pair up characters in daily online votes, with the winners from the light side bracket facing the winner of the dark side bracket on April 9. Check out the video from the Dark Lord and get the full bracket information for the champion of fan favorite characters.

SW-this-is-madness2

The first vote starts on March 18, with Han Solo going head to head against Lando Calrissian on the light side, and Darth Vader paired against Gonzaga General Grievous. Characters from the entire saga, from Wedge and Wicket to Mace Windu and Darth Maul to Ahsoka Tano and Hondo Ohnaka fill out the brackets. Amazingly, the pool is 1/8 female, which just slightly beats out representation by droids. Mashable predicts a Han Solo vs. Darth Vader showdown in the final.

In the video, Darth Vader describes how the game works, and then pitching for himself, with “As much as I hate democracy, vote now, vote often, and vote Vader” so he can beat both Obi-Wan and the Emperor. Personally, I’d like to put this concept in a head to head match-up with deciding to strike down The Clone Wars and Detours for “awesomest” announcement of the week.

UChicago gets package for Indiana Jones

The University of Chicago received an unusual package recently, addressed to Indiana Jones. Some pranksters sent a package containing a replica of Abner Ravenwood’s diary, some replica money, postcards, and pictures of Marion and had it slipped into the incoming mail at the admissions office, which is housed in the building that formerly held their geography and geology departments.

As mentioned in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jones was the protégé of Professor Ravenwood at the University of Chicago, before their falling out over Abner’s daughter, Marion. The admissions office is trying to sort out who sent the package and why… but it seems pretty obvious to me that Abner needs to keep his documentation away from the Nazis, and sent it to someone who could use it. The bigger mystery: if Professor Ravenwood died in Nepal, who mailed it from Egypt? (Also, the addressor appears to have misspelled “Illinois” and added a ZIP code, which didn’t exist yet in the 1930′s, when Raiders takes place.)

“Doctor Jones! I’m so glad you’re back! Your mail is on your desk.” — Irene, Indy’s secretary at the college

In the meantime, the University has set up an email to accept information about the package: indianajonesjournal@uchicago.edu. Is it from a prospective student? Is it just an elaborate hoax? Is it some sort of guerilla PR work to ramp up for some new Indiana Jones announcement – some sort of new story focusing on the legacy of Abner Ravenwood? It’s not the first time Abner’s death had been exaggerated.

Crystal Skull lawsuit: It belongs in OUR museum! (As do some of the Indiana Jones profits)

Indiana Jones was called a grave robber and “obtainer of rare antiquities” in his career, but at least in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the skull ended up in its rightful place. Not so much with another crystal skull, which was referenced in the 2008 film: the Mitchell-Hedges skull, found in British Honduras (now Belize) in the 1920s.

Now, the Institute of Archaeology of Belize is using the Illinois courts to get the Mitchell-Hedges skull back from its discoverer’s family, and are even claiming that the skull’s likeness was used as the basis for the fictional skull in the Indiana Jones film without Belize’s authorization and thus the country deserves a chunk of the profit from Lucasfilm and Paramount (and now Disney). Or could it be that the crystal skull prop (and the Mitchell-Hedges skull) are based on the design of human skulls (albeit for the movie, some proportions were extended to alien dimensions).

The lawsuit alleges that there are only four known major crystal skulls in the world, including the one in the British Museum. Wait, the British Museum rock crystal skull was determined not to be Mayan or Aztec, but made later, from material not in the pre-Columbian Mexico trade network. Not a good start for this case.

Whether the Mitchell-Hedges skull is stolen property that needs to be repatriated to Belize is one case, but then dragging Lucasfilm into the case for claiming stolen profits is going to be a much tougher case. Or was the goal to just get some PR for this lawsuit?

Punching Darth Vader’s wife probably not the best idea

An Englishman named Ikbal Hare was in court for hitting the wife of his neighbor: Darth Vader.

Hare suspected that Vader had been romancing his girlfiend, Kerry Campbell, according to the Birmingham Mail. Mrs. Vader tried to get between the two and “was struck on the right cheek.” Hare admitted the assault, among other charges, and was “given an 18-month community order coupled with 18 months’ supervision” as well as 200 hours of unpaid work within the community.

Vader, previously Mark Nokes, changed his name for charity.

Random House wants to read your fanfic (out loud)

Random House Audio is looking for fans to record a five-minute audio sample of their fan fiction stories on the convention floor at SDCC. Only stories from five fandoms – which include Star Wars – are eligible. The winner “be professionally recorded and mixed by Random House Audio for streaming at www.randomhouseaudio.com.”

I am not making this up. (Can we blame Fifty Shades of Grey?)

The other fandoms are Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, Percy Jackson, Hitchhiker’s Guide and Artemis Fowl. Plus, Sunday is “open mic.” Registration is open now.

If they announce a Laurel K. Hamilton book at the Star Wars panel, I’m applying to become the new divination teacher at Hogwarts. (via)

UPDATE: Bryan Young talked a bit more in depth with the PR people about the contest, and the fan fiction thing “is not the primary goal.” Nonetheless, the whole concept makes me very nervous, something which I’ll explore further later.

Protesters want Lando in The Old Republic MMO

At Penny Arcade Expo this past weekend, a group of Calrissian aficionados held a protest against the lack of Lando in the Star Wars: The Old Republic online game. Members of The Lando Society chanted “Never forget!” and donned mustaches and capes to draw attention to their cause: to ensure that everyone’s favorite baron-administrator (or a distant relative, which is more likely for a game taking place 3,500 years prior to Lando’s time) appear in the upcoming Bioware MMO title.

Want to support their drive to have the galaxy’s smoothest businessman (or his ancestor) included in the game? The Lando Society’s got a petition. Although, judging from this video of the society encountering a TOR developer, Bioware has its own in-house Lando fans, with Lando Calrissian’s moustache and outfit in mind for the game, due to release this holiday season. At least we now know who bought all the excess Lando ‘staches from Celebration V.

Sunday reader: An except from Tyra Banks’ YA novel

Remember how Tyra Banks got a book deal last year? Well, Modelland is officially in the publishing pipeline for a September 13th release, and if the sample chapter is anything to judge by, this shit is crazy.

First off, the heroine’s name is Tookie De La Crème. Yes, I did copy and paste that directly, and I’m pretty sure that somewhere in the depths of basic cable a drag queen is cursing Tyra for getting there first.

There’s also a feather eyepiece ‘smize’ (What? Yes.) that increases ones chances of being an ‘Intoxibella’ (supermodel) “by 91 percent.” 91 percent!

And then there’s this:

Scores of girls marched down their own stretches of the square, paused, posed for the cameras (real and imaginary), and then turned around. Trains of walking girls intersected with others. One area behind Tookie was so crammed with street vendors, it bottlenecked into a slow, shuffling line. Some walkers had only enough space to take a few steps before they had to stop and turn. Tookie’s heart went out to a young girl in a ruffled pink dress who seemed way below the unofficial thirteen- year-old age requirement. She marched in place as if she were on a drill team.

Riiiip. A girl stepped on the train of a walker a few feet from Tookie and tore the fabric right off the dress. Both girls fell forward into a heap. The walkers behind them stepped over their bodies and continued.

Crash. The De La Crème white and cream blow-up tent went down as two brawling girls entered it. Oof. A girl who looked as if she had never walked in heels before stumbled, breaking the tips of both stilettos. Two girls got into a fight at the end of their makeshift catwalk, rolling to the ground. “Kenya, use the Gyaku Zuki move!” her mother screamed. “Reverse- punch the hairy hag! But watch your hair, sweetie!”

At least Tyra (or her ghostwriter) have a sense of humor, right? Read the rest of the excerpt at Barnes and Noble.