For those of you who aren't regular listeners to Swords and Space Radio ...

Well, we've managed to stick faithfully to the new one-per-month-without -fail format for Swords and Space radio mentioned in the New Years/Reboot post. So we've covered off four episodes so far, with our coverage of the new Robocop being our first discussion of a new movie. But 2014 is shaping up to be a dandy for new science fiction.

It's true that there's nothing coming to get me quite as excited as Prometheus did, but on the other hand that means there's nothing that will so bitterly disappoint me as Prometheus did. There is quite a bit that has at least sufficiently piqued my interest that I'm going to go see it in the cinema, though, and I haven't wanted to see this many new movies in years. Here are four that I intend to see and then discuss on Swords and Space (keep in mind that I didn't bother to see anything in the theatre between Serenity and Star Trek and have averaged 1 per year since, so that shows you how good this year appears to me):

Godzilla - As a young boy I remember watching the 1984 Return of Godzilla and having a bit of a soft spot for the giant monster destroying city films ever since. The most recent American Godzilla film of 1998 was so forgettable I can't remember anything about it other than that I had no ongoing interest in any further Godzilla films ... until I saw the trailer for this one. (16 May release)

Edge of Tomorrow - Lots of people like to rag on Tom Cruise, but I don't think I've seen a film of his (certainly in the sci fi genre) that I disliked. Contrary to the reviews I thought Oblivion was more than passable (though no masterpiece) and the trailer for this one has certainly piqued my interest. (6 June release)

Jupiter Ascending - never even heard of this until I stumbled across the trailer and I immediately sat up and took notice. Looks like some fun space fantasy -- my "co-favourite" sub-genre along with sci-fi horror in the vein of Alien and Event Horizon. (18 July release)

Guardians of the Galaxy - As caretaker of my good friend Stephen Heiner's massive comic collection while he's seeking fame and fortune in France, I've been inaugurated to Guardians of the Galaxy which is a fun series and, again, basically space fantasy. Lots of whacky stuff and space battled. Also lots of comedy. Looks like it will be hilarious with good action from the trailer. I have to pre-emptively dock a start from it for my review for casting Zoe Saldana as Gamora. Just not working for me. (1 August release)

We'll be discussing Godzilla and Edge in June, and Jupiter/Guardians in the August episode.

You can find/download all of the past Swords and Space Radio episodes here: http://amdgradio.com/category/swords-and-space/


Thoughts on the Battle of Endor

Well, thanks to the magic of iMovie and the ability to guard my children's eyes from the outrageous Princess Leia slave costume, my children were initiated into Return of the Jedi a few months ago (after asking me for years when they could see the conclusion of the trilogy). Re-watching it with them, I was reminded of the rather abrupt end to the Battle of Endor.

I always wondered where the heck the entire Imperial fleet vanished to after the Death Star blew up. It's pretty obvious from the film that they still heavily outnumbered the rebels and could have easily crushed their puny fleet.

But as I thought about it some more, aside from how fast they took off, it's not totally crazy. Morale and leadership is a huge part of warfare and there are countless episodes in history where vastly superior forces managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory because they basically wimped out. Off the top of my head, the most obvious example I can think of is almost any battle of the War of 1812. Take the capture of Fort Detroit, for example. Sir Isaac Brock on the Canadian side had about 1000 troops, only 300 of whom were regulars. The American fort was garrisoned by 600 regulars and close to another 2,000 militia. But by being bold and preying on the fear that the American general had of the Indians, Brock took the fort with only two wounded. Even the Battle of Queenston Heights, where Sir Isaac Brock was killed early in the fighting, ended up a British/Canadian victory due to the timidity of the American generals.

So, when we consider that the Imperials just watched their prized flagship blow up (for unknown reasons -- no idea how the bridge blowing up would suddenly make it fly into the Death Star), but then seeing their prized super weapon carrying the Emperor evaporate, it's not too much of a stretch that they would lose their nerve and decide to fight another day, especially if the next officer in the chain of command was timid or otherwise not a great leader (conceivable since Darth Vader seemed to choke out the better officers who could think for themselves or had honour).


A Warhammer 40K Toy Soldier Part 2

Well, I neglected to take pictures while I was in the process of painting, so you only get a shot of the finished product of the miniature I posted last week.

We had to write a little story of 100+ words to go with the miniature, who is supposed to be representative of the regiment we use in our tabletop games. So here is this guy's story:

Jan Drewnowski (drev’nov’skee) is trooper in second squad, first platoon, A Company of the 1st Battalion, Emperor's Own Sorgrecian Rifles currently seconded to the Persequi Astro Ultio Crusade. Jan (or “Janko” as the is more commonly known) was one of the volunteers taken in the Great Crusade Raising of 904.M41.

While many members of the E.O.S.R. come from Valkava Hive, owing to its immense population, a disproportionate number (per capita) hail from outlying rural areas. The inhabitants of these regions are hardy frontier woodsmen sent out to re-claim and re-settle the slightly less devastated regions of Sorgrece V. Janko is the third son of one such family. He grew up in the boreal forests south of the Eastern Wastes on tales of how his great-great-grandfather had allegedly killed a Khorne Berserker with just his woodcutting axe.

When the “living saint” Lord Inquisitor Soulis sounded the call for volunteers offworld on Janko’s 16th birthday (surely a sign from the Emperor), the lad rushed to volunteer. Inured to the rigours of pioneer life, he quickly and comfortably adapted to the Krieg-inspired training regimen aboard the warp-borne ship. After years of drilling, he's been awarded his full private rank and awaits his baptism in battle with grim devotion as the crusade fleet nears its destination ...


Swords and Space Episode XXI: V for Vendetta and The Legacy of Heorot

Last night my dad and I wrapped another episode of Swords and Space Radio, with my good friend Stephen Heiner joining us as guest and referee as the two Wansbutters duked it out over the film V for Vendetta. I hate it, my dad loves it, listen to what we had to say here:

Current Entertainment Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The AMDG Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio

It was an interesting discussion -- I hope to follow-up on a few things that came up during the show that we didn't have time to discuss or that I didn't have time to respond to (such as my father's claim that the French Revolution happened because the monarchy of Louis XVI was a tyrant).
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