With 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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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?
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.
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.