Saturday, May 9, 2015

Disney’s Secret War Against Star Wars Expanded Universe


Disney has been engaged in a secret war against the Star Wars Expanded Universe in order to sell more books, comics and toys.

In April 2014 Lucasfilm and Disney Publishing stated that the existing expanded universe no long happened. Any of the books and comics that transpired after Return of the Jedi are not considered canon. 17,000 characters in the Expanded Universe are officially purged.

The entire Star Wars community was up in arms when Disney said the EU is no longer canon. It was a bitter pill to swallow for Timothy Zahn, who was best known for his trilogy of books after Return of the Jedi. Heir to an Empire which focused on Grand Admiral Thrawn and Lukes future with Mara Jade.

Comic book publisher Dark Horse has been heavily involved in the Star Wars universe for the last decade. On December 2014 they bid adieu to 28,353 pages of comics  and the Star Wars license was transferred to Marvel, a subsidiary of Disney.

Why did Disney really say the Expanded Universe did not happen? Well, its a ploy to sell more books, comics and toys.

Disney ironed out an agreement with Del Rey Books to publish a series of new novels, starting with Star Wars: A New Dawn, by bestselling author John Jackson Miller. Set prior to the events of the  animated series Star Wars Rebels, this novel tells the story of how two of the lead characters of the series, Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla, came to cross paths. To tell this important backstory, Miller benefited from contact with series executive producers Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg and Greg Weisman, who together ensured this tale will be part of the Star Wars canon of storytelling going forward. It on September 2, 2014.

The latest book to be published was written by Paul S. Kemp and is entitled “Lords of the Sith.” It takes place only a few years after Anakin Skywalker’s fall, which leads to some very notable, insightful moments as we go inside Vader's head and see the anger and hate that fuels him. But just how removed is he from the man he once was? That question leads to some of the book’s most memorable moments.

Meanwhile Marvel has been working on a number of new comic book series, which has been drawing critical acclaim. The three series currently in  production is Star Wars by Aaron and Cassaday, Star Wars: Darth Vader by Gillen and Salvador Larocca, and Star Wars: Princess Leia by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson. All three take place in a timeframe immediately following the end of the original Star Wars movie – A New Hope.

Many people thought the Expanded Universe was stretching a bit thin and the best titles were the early ones. Many of them are still available in your local bookstore, which really says a lot about their staying power.

Will any of the new books and comics have the same type of longevity and staying power as the EU? What will happen to the largest Star Wars Wiki, Wookiepedia? Will more Star Wars Mobile games get canned? Was the main decision made just to sell new stuff and say “hey, the old stuff sucked.”

Disney’s Secret War Against Star Wars Expanded Universe is a post from: Good e-Reader

Google Play Unveils App Pre-Registrations


Google is making it easier to generate buzz around an upcoming game. The company has just unveiled pre-registrations that will enable developers to post all of their pictures, descriptions and version numbers.

This new feature was spotted being used by publisher Glu Media for the upcoming movie-based third person shooter Terminator Genisys: Revolution.

The game is already listed in the Google Play Store, and users can click on the “Pre-register” option so they can get an alert when Terminator Genisys: Revolution goes live. Users also have the option to unregister the app just in case they lose interest.

I think pre-registration is a very good idea. It allows the app to get indexed on major search engines, even though its not available yet. In the past, developers had to wait for a specific release date before the app entry was made.

Google Play Unveils App Pre-Registrations is a post from: Good e-Reader

Happy Scratch Day 2015!

A quick blip of a blog to say Happy Scratch Day!

Scratch cat logo

Help! I’m trapped in a white box. Fetch the magic wand tool!

We’re huge fans of Scratch here at the Foundation. It was designed to teach young people how to program but it’s a great learning tool at any age: you can build your first program in minutes and pick up fundamental concepts very quickly. Whilst having fun. Sneaky!

Raspberry Pi Scratch workshop.

Raspberry Pi Scratch workshop. Yes, that is Mitch Resnick at the back!

If you’ve never tried Scratch before then today is the day to boot up your Pi and have a play. If you are Pi-less then you can use it online, but you’ll be missing out on the best bit of all: physical computing with Scratch. It’s probably the easiest way to hook up sensors, LEDs, buttons and motors to the Pi, and resources such as our reaction game and Santa detector are great intro projects for the weekend.

various components connected to raspberry pi and Scratch

Connect buttons, sensors, cameras, LEDS, goblin sticks and other gubbins to your Pi

The Foundation has supported Scratch since our early days and we’ve put a lot of resources into making Scratch on the Pi better, faster and funner. We’re just putting the finishing touches to some new stuff that we think you’ll find really exciting (I’m excited anyway :)) so watch this space. We’ll have some news this summer. We’ll also be at the Scratch 2015 conference in Amsterdam in August so if you are there come and talk to us.

Raspberry Pi Scratch workshop.

Raspberry Pi Scratch workshop. A young man shows adults why flying hippos are essential in LED traffic light projects.

I’ll finish now. My sesame seed bagel has just popped up (and you know how easily they burn) and I’m stopping you from making things. This weekend, give the repeats of Thundercats a miss and go and have a play with Scratch instead—it’s a beautiful thing.

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