Tuesday, 31 July 2012




Bioware announced today what was really on the cards for some time.  The Old Republic is going free to play.  Now the masses who haven't played the game will be busy typing away telling you the reason is because of the game content or because subscribers find the game boring so are leaving the game.  Now this is not so.  I played the game and got quite a way in and can report  that the atmosphere is spot on and captures the Star Wars ambiance quite nicely.  "Okay so why did you stop if it's so good?" I hear you ask.  Well the same reason why the game is going free to play.  Cost!  MMORPG's are changing and the monthly payment structure is quickly becoming an out of date system.  I love playing MMORPG's but some months I don't seem to get my moneys worth so I stopped playing.  Going free to play will see me return even though I may not see all the content I had when I paid.  Bioware are doing something clever here.  You have the option to pay for the game or play for free to level 50 where some of the content may not be available.  This is clever because it opens up the game to the casual gamer but leaves the option to pay for all the content for the hard core fan.  Current and former subscribers will be given Cartel Coin credits and other perks, including special items.

Star Trek online went free to play and has just released their season 6 update and seems to be going from strength to strength.  I look forward to seeing positive things about The Old Republic because lets be honest its short life on the web has not been good so far.


The game isn’t free-to-play yet, however.


“As the first step towards adding the new Free-to-Play option this fall, in August at retail Star Wars: The Old Republic will go on sale for $14.99 USD, including one-month of free subscription,” according to the press release.


Also with the imminent World Of Warcraft expansion pack coming out at the same time as The Old Republic going free to play this makes even more of a good descision by Bioware.


Rob Wainfur
The Bearded Trio


Here's the press release

BioWare™, a Label of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA), announced today that it will be expanding the story-driven, massively multiplayer online game Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ by adding a new Free-to-Play option this fall. This option will give players access to each of the eight iconic Star Wars character class storylines, all the way up to level 50, with certain restrictions*. Unlimited game access, including new higher-level game content and new features will be made available through individual purchases or through a subscription option.

“Players want flexibility and choice. The subscription-only model presented a major barrier for a lot of people who wanted to become part of The Old Republic™ universe,” said Matthew Bromberg, GM of BioWare Austin.

Jeff Hickman, Executive Producer of Star Wars: The Old Republic added, “Since launch we have been adding new content and refining The Old Republic at a breakneck pace based on the feedback from our fans. We believe we are in a position to help improve the service even more, not only by continuing to add new content, but also by expanding the game to many more Star Wars fans, increasing the populations on worlds and the vibrancy of the community.”

Starting this fall, there will be two different ways to play Star Wars: The Old Republic:

Subscription – A service designed for players who want unrestricted access to all the game features via ongoing subscription or by redeeming a Game Time Card. In addition to gaining access to all game content as our current subscribers do now, Subscribers will receive ongoing monthly grants of Cartel Coins*, the new virtual currency that will be introduced later this fall. Cartel Coins can be used to purchase valuable items including customizable gear and convenience features that will enhance the game play experience.
Free-to-Play –The first 50 levels will be free-to-play, with some restrictions on access to new content and advanced player features. Some restrictions can be “unlocked” with Cartel Coins.
As the first step towards adding the new Free-to-Play option this fall, in August at retail Star Wars: The Old Republic will go on sale for $14.99 USD, including one-month of free subscription.

Current and former players will also find additional benefits as part of this program. BioWare will be increasing the frequency of game content updates, with the first of many new releases coming in August. In addition, current subscribers will receive Cartel Coin grants and qualify for access to special in-game items. Even former players who re-activate now will qualify for special benefits. To learn more about these rewards, please visit www.StarWarstheOldRepublic.com/FREE.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the most critically acclaimed MMOs of all time, having won MSNBC’s “Game of the Year” award in 2011, “Editor’s Choice” awards from IGN, PC Gamer and “Best MMO of 2011” awards from Game Informer, GameSpy, AOL Massively, Ten Ton Hammer and more. The game is set thousands of years before the classic Star Wars movies, with the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire locked in the middle of an epic, galactic war. Players choose one of eight iconic Star Wars character classes, including the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent, becoming the hero or villain of their own personal Star Wars saga.


A Chewbacca headpiece used in the original Star Wars trilogy sold for $172,200 ($140,000 plus $32,200 buyer's premium) at a Profiles in History auction.
The item also included signed photographs from Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca, and Stuart Freeborn, who designed the costume.Profiles described it as the finest "screen correct" Chewbacca headpiece in private hands. It comprises a screen-used full-head cowl finished with period-made facial pieces, such as the front jaw, nose, teeth and tongue.
Original Chewbacca Head from 'Star Wars

Not just a walking carpet now is he?  





On the 14th of July author Tim Lebbon announced on his website that he is working on Star Wars Dawn Of The Jedi.


Tim said

SWDotJ.jpg I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that I’ll be writing a brand new Star Wars novel for Del Rey/Star Wars Books.  The novel will be calledStar Wars: Dawn of the Jedi – INTO THE VOID, and is set in the Dawn of the Jedi era currently being explored by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema in their fantastic comic series.
I’m so excited about the novel, which I’ve already begun writing.  I can’t say much more about it yet, but I’ll release more news and details here as and when I can.  Watch this space!
Can't wait for this one.  If its based on the Dark Horses comic book series we are in for a treat.  I'll keep you updated on any progress.  Here's what Wookieepedia says about Dawn Of The Jedi:

It is set in the earliest days of the Jedi Order, beginning in 36,453 BBY, in a time before the polarization of the light and dark sides of the Force.

In 36,453 BBY, Force-sensitive sentients are brought to the planet Tython on eight Tho Yor Pyramid Ships. The Tython system is colonized over the next ten thousand years. When a mysterious and powerful Force Hound named Xesh arrives on Tython, a series of events is set in motion. Meanwhile, the stretch of the Rakatan Infinite Empire is felt across the galaxy. Dark and light begin to be polarized within the developing Jedi Order.
Just as a bit of trivia Tim Lebbon did the novelisation of Cabin In The Woods.

Tim Lebbon's website can be found at http://www.timlebbon.net/

Rob Wainfur
The Bearded Trio


A bird that landed on power lines and electrocuted itself almost brought disaster to Skywalker Ranch. When it landed (I'm not making this up, honest) it's singed body fell into the grass and started the fire which spread for 1.5 acres.

At approximately 8:35 a.m., firefighters received a call of a grass fire in Nicasio, Calif. near filmmaker George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch property. Marin County firefighters teamed up with Lucas's fire brigade and the National Parks Service to extinguish the flames in under 30 minutes, Giannini said.
This Star Wars: Return of the Jedi chess set from Lego-geneer Brandon Griffith. He began constructing the set — the final piece in a trilogy of Star Wars-themed chess sets — in late 2010 and recently debuted it during Star Wars Days at LegoLand California. This set pits the plucky rebels with an army of Ewok pawns against the full might of the Empire including Jabba, AT-ST’s, and the Sith Lord himself, Vader



http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/07/youve-got-to-be-crafty-to-take-down-the-empire-with-this-lego-star-wars-chess-set/

Monday, 30 July 2012

"If you're travelling in London this summer and your phone needs a power boost, flag down one of the 1,000 Vodafone taxis and make use of their free phone charging points during your journey," Vodafone said. 

"We can't promise Yoda will be joining you, though!"

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Great day today at Stars Of Time in Weston Super Mare. Take a look at some of the photos and videos.







Matt Holden, David Tennant look a like





Kaye Power Mcgowan - Played a Stormtrooper and a Tusken Raider


Brian Wheeler played Ewok in Return Of The Jedi. amongst other things.  Love hisT-shirt.  Revenge Of The Jedi.  Offered £10 for it.  He said no.



Kitt



Me and the Doctor.

Allo Allo



Jack The Ripper

Me with Colin Baker


Ohh dear!















Rachel got water sprayed from a Dalek.





The Silence From Doctor Who



Daleks - lots of them.


This November, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will bring the much-heralded Lawrence of Arabia to Blu-ray. Considered by director Steven Spielberg to be his all-time favorite, David Lean’s epic drama focuses on the military career of T.E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole), a lieutenant in the British Army who makes a profound impact on the Arab nations during World War I.
Lawrence of Arabia is one of the most acclaimed motion pictures ever made, winning seven Oscars at the 1963 Academy Awards Ceremony. They include:
  • Best Picture: Sam Spiegel
  • Best Director: David Lean
  • Best Art Direction: John Box, John Stoll, and Dario Simoni
  • Best Cinematography: Frederick A. Young
  • Best Sound: John Cox
  • Best Film Editing: Anne V. Coates
  • Best Original Score: Maurice Jarre

Actress Lupe Ontiveros, a founding board member of the Latino Theater Company in Los Angeles, has died of liver cancer, her agent said. She was 69.
Michael Greenwald told the Los Angeles Times the "Selena" co-star and "Desperate Housewives" cast member died Thursday in a Whittier, Calif., hospital.
Born in Texas to Mexican immigrants, Ontiveros once estimated she had played the role of a maid more than 150 times throughout her career.
Her film credits include the films "Chuck & Buck," "Real Women Have Curves," "Storytelling," "As Good As It Gets," "The Goonies" and "El Norte."
"Lupe Ontiveros was a gift," actor Edward James Olmos, her "Selena" co-star, told the Times Friday. "She was part of the evolutionary process of the art form of Latino storytelling in the last 30-plus years. She was one of the true pioneers of the Latin artistic movement in theater, film and television."
Ontiveros is survived by her husband of 46 years, Elias Ontiveros Jr.; her sons, Nicholas, Alejandro and Elias P. Ontiveros; and two grandchildren, the Times said.


Read more: http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/TV/2012/07/28/Goonies-Selena-star-Lupe-Ontiveros-dead-at-69/UPI-30501343495309/#ixzz21zz46Cyv

Saturday, 28 July 2012


Frank Oz, who played Obi-Wan's pint-sized spiritual mentor, Yoda, has told the Los Angeles Times he hates it when fans ask him to talk backwards.
He said his characters are "too sacred for such tripe".
"You wouldn't parade your kids around like that, would you? They're part of me. I won’t use them as a party favour to impress people."
Although Oz doesn't like doing impressions, he is keen to talk about Yoda and his roster of Muppet voices, which includes Animal, Bert and Miss Piggy.
- "With Yoda, it was right away - I picked him up and immediately knew who he was. I have no idea why."
- "I can’t tell you where I got Miss Piggy. She's so incredibly layered. It’s an organic process, I think. Experiences from my own life filtered into my comedic vision. Animal came from mud in my soul."
The most touching part of the interview is when he talks about his friend, Muppet creator Jim Henson, who died more than 20 years ago.
"I learned a huge, huge amount from Jim. I learned how to film from him, how to direct. We were like brothers working with each other.
"My fondest memories are the hundreds and hundreds of Bert and Ernie (scenes) with Jim. Years of joy."

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, AcademyAward-winning director Steven Spielberg’s magical adventure, celebrates its 30th Anniversary with its first-ever release on Blu-ray October 9, 2012. Featuring an all-new, digitally remastered picture that delivers six times the resolution of DVD, as well as all-new 7.1 surround sound, the E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack includes the 1982 theatrical movie, an all-new interview with director Steven Spielberg, and “The E.T. Journals” featuring never-before-seen footage from the set of the film. The Blu-ray Combo Pack also includes UltraViolet, a DVD and a Digital Copy of the film, offering fans a chance to relive the mystery, laughter and wonder of the iconic movie anytime, anywhere on the platform of their choice.



http://www.mania.com/et-bluray-gets-release-date_article_133738.html
Players have the chance to build their own Jurassic Park from the ground up! Park owners will nurture and grow various dinosaur species through the discovery of amber filled with dinosaur DNA. To turn the DNA into an egg, resources will be invested at the Research Center and once ready, eggs will be placed in the park and grow until they reach an adult size. To evolve, dinosaurs have to be fed plants or meat depending on their respective diets. Park managers will have to make sure their park is constantly fueled with enough goods to feed all the dinosaurs by managing the flow of imports at the port.

Players will build roads for their visitors so they can go around and explore the park. To entertain their guests and collect more money, players need to be creative and decorate their parks by building various attractions and structures such as amusement centers, hotels, restaurants, and security offices.

Throughout the gameplay, players will encounter familiar characters from the Jurassic Park movies such as, Dr. Ian Malcolm, or John Hammond, who will help players advance in their journey by giving them missions to fulfill.

Every day, players will have the option to access the ‘Code Red’ mode, where time management skills will be put up to test. Players will need to act fast to keep dinosaurs from escaping and wreaking havoc on the island.

The ‘Jurassic Park Builder’ App is now available for free on the iTunes App Store.  But not in the UK at the moment.  Booo!

http://www.kalkion.com/news/1734/new-game-allows-players-create-their-own-jurassic-park

Friday, 27 July 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic has recently taken a tentative step towards free-to-play, but was hesitant to jump in completely. The company might still finish that journey, though, as comments from EA CEO John Riccitiello imply that the company is still considering its options.


In an interview with CNBC (via The Escapist), Riccitiello says that the "softness" of Star Wars led to its current partial free-to-play model. "Our conclusion was we had a great product in Star Wars, but that the subscription model in the world of free-to-play was challenging," he said.

He went on to note that the free-to-play model has a lot of power, and stresses that it can be a good revenue generator despite the name. He said, "We've begun to work with different models," but stopped short of directly stating any future plans. He also said that the shrinking player base isn't a "pressing concern," so it may still be a while before EA gives up the ghost and goes fully F2P.

http://www.shacknews.com/article/74888/the-old-republic-has-begun-to-work-with-different-models

Thursday, 26 July 2012


As one of the most successful directors in the history of film, he is used to being behind the camera.
However, Steven Spielberg couldn't stop from using his expertise with a lens while on holiday with his family in Capri, Italy.
The 65-year-old was spotted carrying around his handy-cam as he took in the local attractions on the idyllic island, yesterday afternoon.
The day job: Steven Spielberg took charge of filming his family on holiday in Capri, Italy, yesterday afternoon
The day job: Steven Spielberg took charge of filming his family on holiday in Capri, Italy, yesterday afternoon
The Jaws director took charge of capturing images of his family as they spent the day wandering around in the sun before jumping on a boat.
Joined by his wife Kate Capshaw, the legendary film maker continued to film the area as he was ferried across the water in a small boat.
Steven is clearly not a sun worshiper and made sure he covered up almost completely in the scorching temperatures.
Dapper dandy: Steven covered up from the scorching sun in a red T-shirt, trilby and cream shorts
Dapper dandy: Steven covered up from the scorching sun in a red T-shirt, trilby and cream shorts
Dapper dandy: Steven covered up from the scorching sun in a red T-shirt, trilby and cream shorts
Professional footgae: Steven kept the camera rolling as his large family took in some local attractions on the idyllic island
Professional footage: Steven kept the camera rolling as his large family took in some local attractions on the idyllic island
All aboard: The Spielberg's made their way from the safety of dry land down the beach to a small boat that was waiting for them
All aboard: The Spielberg's made their way from the safety of dry land down the beach to a small boat that was waiting for them
He wore a pair of cream shorts with a burgundy T-shirt and an unbuttoned top and hid his face underneath a straw trilby.
The father-of-six may have been doing some reconnaissance on the area for one of his many upcoming movies.
As well as Indiana Jones 5, Jurassic Park IV, and Robopocalypse, the director is currently wrapping up production on biopic Lincoln.
You're gonna need a bigger boat: Steven was still armed with his trusty camera as the family took to the sea
You're gonna need a bigger boat: Steven was still armed with his trusty camera as the family took to the sea
Making a splash: The legendary director may have been researching the area as a possible location to film in the future
Making a splash: The legendary director may have been researching the area as a possible location to film in the future
The highly anticipated political movie stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States, as he guides the North to victory during the Civil War.
In order to avoid influencing the US presidential election, the film will be released on 9 November 2012, a couple months later than originally planned.
Lincoln also stars heavyweight names Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones and James Spader.
The last crusade: The father-of-six was joined on holiday by his children and wife Kate Capshaw, who looked superb in a knee length black dress
The last crusade: The father-of-six was joined on holiday by his children and wife Kate Capshaw, who looked superb in a knee length black dress

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