Walking Dead season 8: Who will die? *spoilers and possible spoilers*

We’re gonna fight them. That’s what happens next. And we’re gonna lose people, maybe a lot of them, maybe even each other. Even then, it’ll be worth it.

 

 

With less than a week before the premiere of Walking Dead’s season 8, I thought I’d do a write up with some speculation on who might not make it. Pretty much every season of “The Walking Dead” has had characters who have died, as either due to the zombie bites (which cause a fatal illness) their own hand (often after zombie bites) sometimes accidents (Beth, for instance) or killed by another before they could re-animate (Beth again). Or they became walkers and were later put down (Hershel, and more recently, Sasha) or possibly still out there somewhere (Jim).

“Walking Dead” is a series where pretty much anyone can die, although a few members of the initial cast are still around-Rick, of course, the main character and former police officer; his son Carl, who suffered the loss of an eye in season 7 but has become quite a season warrior himself; Carol, the formerly meek housewife whose become her own kind of badass; Daryl, the crossbow-wielding “redneck” hunter and tracker.

 

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Maggie and Michonne, likewise, have stuck with the show since season 2. Maggie is the last survivor of the Greene family, and is pregnant with Glenn’s baby; Michionne, an art-loving woman who quickly became a seasoned survivor by ‘taming’ a few walkers and using a sword as her main weapon (and who initially didn’t trust easy) who is pretty much become part of the Grimes family, serving as a foster mother of sorts to Carl and Rick’s girlfriend after the death of his wife Lori (and also temporary love interest Anderson).

 

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However, season 7 proved that even being on the show a fairly long time was not always a guarantee that one would live. Take for example, Glenn Rhee, who in many ways got Rick into the Atlanta group in the first place (Where Rick was reunited with Lori, Shane and Carl), and has long served as one of the group’s ‘moral centers’, and whose words to a trapped Rick: “Hey you dumbass, hey in the tank, cozy in there?” closed off the first episode.

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Glenn met his end in the season 7 premiere, as the second victim of Negan and his bat, “Lucille”, along with Abraham-a death that-while it also happened in the comics-still shocked fans and led to complaints about the show’s violence to AMC (Which I think was more out of affection for the character than the violence-TWD has always been a very, very, violent show). Abraham had also been around for about three seasons, as well.

 

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Deaths continued in the season, but mainly of the more recent character of Spencer (Whose character was kind of a jerk anyway)-the last member of the Monroe family who founded the Alexandria Safe-Zone and Olivia, who was pretty much a minor character anyway.

 

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The season did end however with another major death-although a more noble one-as Sasha-who had been around since the Woodbury arc in season 3; and who had not only lost her brother Tyreese but two boyfriends in the earlier seasons (One the most recent Abraham); allowed herself to die so her Walker self could be used against Negan-and it did, helping to break a stalemate between Rick and the Saviors before being put down later on.

 

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Anyway, with that out of the way, I’ll share my thoughts on who might not make it to season 9. I won’t cover every character-that would take forever-so I’ll list likely candidates.

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Rosita. I’ve noticed the Walking Dead tends to develop certain characters more before their demise sometimes; Beth, for instance, got an arc where she was forced to work in a police-run hospital with some strange rules, but at the end of the arc, she was killed off. Rosita, likewise-although sort of introduced as a one-dimensional sort of character at first-got a lot of development in season 7, as she plotted revenge against Negan for her ex-boyfriend Abraham’s death-missing him twice, and sort of being indirectly responsible for the deaths of Spencer, Olivia, and Sasha, as well as the capture and defection of Eugene. She also died in the comics, in a grisly fashion, although under different circumstances.Also, the actress, Christian Serratos, might want a break to raise her daughter. So Rosita’s #1.

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Michonne. She’s developed a strong bond with both Rick and Carl after the prison arc in season 4, culminating in Rick getting into a relationship with her in season 6, that continues in 7. A few reasons I think this might be the case:

  1. The passage I posted at the beginning of the article-from “Say Yes” (The one with the carnival and the CG deer) The entire episode was in part, what could happen to one if the other died-Michionne, for instance, assumed Rick had died and was being devoured (when in fact, it was the deer) which caused her to lose focus and drop her sword for a few minutes.
  2.  In a recent interview, it was stated that a character would die a similar death to Andrea’s recent death in the comics (Via Walker bite and then being put down). Andrea’s storyline unfolded somewhat differently in the comics-while she started off similarly; losing her sister Amy, she actually began a relationship with Dale(!) and later with Rick himself, and never had that whole mess with the governor that led to her TV demise She also became somewhat even better at marksmanship under Rick’s guidance, and like Michonne, a mother figure for Carl. So she sort of took the role that Michionne has in the TV series (Michionne’s relationships likewise, unfolded differently as well-with Tyreese, than Morgan and Ezekiel and she’s still around in the comic). So it’s possible Michonne might “take” Andrea’s comic death.
  3. Plus, she was badly beaten at the end of season 7 as well, and sort of given a ‘fake out’ for a few minutes a bit like with Glenn in the middle of season 6 (which was then followed by Glenn’s actual death at the end of the season).

 

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….and as it happens, it looks like the two are going on some kind of mission in the season 8 trailer. Hmmm…..

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Eugene. The savant survivor was captured-and defected-to the Saviors in season 7, although it’s possible that he’s also working against them from within-“playing an angle” as Rosita would say-and that he helped to engineer Sasha’s use as an undead weapon. The actor has unfortunately faced some backlash from fans on social media for the character’s heel turn,

 

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Father Gabriel. The somewhat nervous priest started out sort of cowardly and didn’t think too much of Rick’s group at first, but by season 6 seems to be have found some courage, helping to take care of Rick’s daughter Judith and becoming a more capable fighter, as well as arranging to fake Maggie’s death. However, the latter might be a problem, as Negan found out that Maggie was in fact alive in season 7’s finale…and that may also be why we have Gabriel here in the trailer with Negan (Perhaps in the Walking Dead’s favorite mode of transport-an RV) in a scene that sort of mirrors that in the opener with Rick and Negan-although where Negan’s language is similar to his first appearance. Gabriel also looks noticeably nervous in some clips revealed.

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Speaking of Negan…. The producers have stated that season 8 will be the end of the conflict, but will it also be the end of the man himself? In the comics, Negan is actually still around, although he is imprisoned and actually sort of redeems himself. However, as always, the TV series might play things a bit differently….and of course, actors have contracts-and I’m sure Jeffrey Dean Morgan is in demand-whereas comics work a bit differently.

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Jadis, the odd-talking “trash queen” and Negan’s ally (after she betrayed Rick), also might not be around for long, I think. I’m pretty sure one of the villains is going to die.

 

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I’d actually it rather not be Simon, the character’s actually kind of fun (although I might be a bit biased because I’ve played and enjoyed Grand Theft Auto V, where actor Steven Ogg plays a big part as Trevor Phillips).

 

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Gregory’s kind of the cowardly, slimey leader of Hilltop, although Maggie has mostly usurped his authority and he wants her out of the way. He’s also particularly bad at adapting to the post Apocalypse world. Following his humiliation after failing to kill a walker, He seems to have vanished at the end of season 7, leaving Maggie in full charge, although he’s been spotted a few times in the trailer. In the comic, he’s actually executed for trying to kill Maggie by Hilltop.

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Morgan. The character rescued Rick in the first episode of the series, but then appeared in season 3 as a broken man who’d gone quite a bit crazy. He later re-appeared in season 5, tracking Rick and adopting a new, more pacifist philosophy. He’d still kill zombies and use his stick for self-defense and offense, but he would not kill other living beings. However, the actions of the Saviors caused this to unravel, and Morgan’s psychosis has largely returned, and he almost seemed to have death wish in “Bury me here”….

 

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Some have stated that maybe Maggie might join her husband and family in death. While I doubt she’d die while being pregnant, childbirth was pretty much fatal for Lori (In a caeserian performed by Maggie, oddly enough). However, we haven’t seen her be that pregnant yet in promotions for season 8, and  I think the communities probably have some better-or at least far more clean and relaxing-care facilities than a prison under siege by zombies. Although Gregory and Negan probably aren’t too fond of her, I still expect Maggie to stick around….perhaps taking over as lead for…

 

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And here’s what could be the most surprising one-Rick himself. The producers have been hinting that perhaps the show could go on without Andrew Lincoin’s main character. While the Walking Dead had that teaser of Rick on a bed with some nice flowers and a cane, Rick has been known to hallucinate sometimes, or have dreamlike visions.

Case in point:

Shane in season 3 after he’ been quite dead.

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Around the same time, Rick on the phone with everybody who’s died….

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And most recently, the Picnic vision.

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Tyreese, likewise, before his death, hallucinated the Governor, Beth, Bob, Lizzie, Martin, and Beth.

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Again, all this is speculation, and we won’t know for sure who stays and who goes in season 8. I presume it’ll follow the pattern of previous seasons, with perhaps a major death in the premiere, followed by a few in the mid-season finale, and then perhaps a couple in the season finale as well.

 

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Uncharted Influences Part I-Uncharted 4 and the Goonies

*spoilers for Uncharted 4 follow, as well as the Goonies, if you’ve never seen it).

The Goonies-a 1985 family film classic directed by Richard Donner (“Superman” and the “Lethal Weapon” movies) and produced by Steven Spielberg (Who doesn’t need any introduction)….about a group of kids in Astoria, Washington whose houses are threatened by greedy land developers that their parents can’t afford to outbid. While looking through some old pirate relics stored in the attic of the father of one of them-the main hero-Mikey-they stumble upon an old pirate treasure map, which leads them on a search to find the treasure to bail out their parents and save their homes; but which also unexpectedly puts them in the path of the Fratelli gang, a mother and son group of counterfeiting criminals whose hideout happens to be right on top of the series of caverns leading to the treasure-and if that’s not enough, the whole place is littered with skeletons and booby traps.

 

 

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Uncharted-the adventures of Nathan Drake (well, until recently) adventurer, pseduo-archaeologist, and pretty much a thief (although one a “heart of gold”), who-along with several allies helping him along the way-mentor Sully, love interest and eventual wife, Elena, and others; made important discoveries such as El Dorado, Shambayla and the Atlantis of the Seas…but also learned that some treasures are best left behind a the same time. As of Uncharted 4, he’s settled down to a domestic life as Elena’s husband, and working in a salvage business in New Orleans. However, the call of adventure comes back to him when his presumed dead older brother Sam reemerges-with the possible key to a treasure they’ve been searching for all their life-the lost pirate colony of Libertera, rumored to have been founded by the missing Captain Avery.

 

 

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It’s kind of obvious where the origin point is for both series (although “Goonies” also brings in some influence from Hardy Boys novels). This guy.

 

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Although Uncharted, with it’s death defying action, violence, incredible chases, treasures etc. certainly (Although Indy is set from the 30s-50s) owes a bit more of a similarity to Jones than Goonies does, let’s not forget that Goonies and Indy come from a common origin as well-producer and co-writer on the film, Steven Spielberg.:

 

Getting more on track though, let’s get to the heart of the matter-comparisons between the two.

Uncharted 4’s story has it’s genesis in flashback segments revealed throughout the game, where Nathan and his brother Sam first discover their destiny by breaking into a home which has their late mother’s belongings; leading them to not only change their last names, but also on their lifelong quest to find the lost colony, a subject their mother was interested in and close to cracking. The first similarity is pretty visual off the bat-young Nathan is very similar in appearence to Mikey from the Goonies (although without the asthma problem). The denim jacket in particular is sort of a dead giveaway.

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The old house in the game also bears some slight similarities to the attic museum pieces from the Goonies, which set them on their quest in the first place.

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Although like Mikey and his older brother Brand, Nathan participates in the quest with his older brother Sam, there is an important difference in that while Brand initially isn’t really along for the ride until sort of forced to by the Fratellis showing up (and in an attempt to impress his lady  friend Andrea “Andy”). In the main storyline, it’s Nathan who is the reluctant one, as he’s largely retired from the adventure life and has settled down with Elena (When he goes off on his quest, he doesn’t tell Elena which leads to a brief rift between the two).

 

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Like “Goonies”, one of the keys to the treasure is a map-in Uncharted, located in the cross of St. Dimas, which leads to Scotland and later to more clues. The equivalent in Goonies is a dubloon near the treasure map, which serves as a coastline marker for the cavern’s location.

 

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Of course while the Drakes have to navigate several puzzles, fight off an army of mercenaries, and travel around the world to find their treasure, The goonies deal with relatively fewer obstacles-the Fratellis, some traps, and the piano puzzle.

It’s when we get to the pirate colony itself that the similarities really go off on all cylinders. The place is a graveyard, with pretty much all the colonists dead, or worse, their corpses weaponized to set off booby traps (in a similar fashion, one of the Goonies’s skeletons has become a rather grim piano that’ll kill you via fall if you die “If you hit the wrong note, we’ll all B flat”).

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But there’s also this scene of a “last supper” with Avery’s co-conspirators, who he all poisoned to get away with the treasure.

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One eyed Willy pretty much did the same thing, although in his case, he died with it as well (presumably, one pirate managed to escape with the map and dubloon though).

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Although there’s a difference in location-the dead pirates are located in a lush mansion, while the Goonies’s dead pirates lie aboard Willy’s ship, the Inferno, located in a sealed-off cave.

But don’t worry, Uncharted’s got that covered as well.

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Of course this also leads to a final confrontation with the villains,  involving some salvaged pirate swords, although not really any fighting in Goonies’s case.

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In both cases, the characters have to give up the treasure to save their own lives. But there’s just enough left to bail them out of their current situation. Elena manages to save a gold coin from the colony, which manages to help re-start her journalism career, and give Drake a legitimate treasure-hunting business (as well as begin to raise a family and get a nice beach house, possibly on the pirate colony itself!)

 

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Likewise, the gems that Mikey managed to get in his marble bag are enough to save the Goonies’s homes from the greedy developers, leading to a happy ending (even for Willy, in a sense, whose derelict inferno escapes from the cave for one last voyage).

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi-Full Trailer thoughts

 

The latest trailer-and poster-for The Last Jedi just debuted. Here’s some thoughts and speculation.

 

Ren smashing his helmet into the Imperial-style lights what appears to be a First Order elevator….explaining this shot….and why the helmet is smoldering.

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Speaking of Kylo-who gets a lot of focus in this trailer-we also get this shot of him looking out at what appears to be a First Order hanger.

Vader looking out a window at something was of course used quite a few times in the trilogy and ROTS…

 

 

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And the prequels even had a few nods to it:

 

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Although this is far from Kylo’s first rodeo with this thing.

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The new model walkers, the MT-A6. Curiously you can see what appears to be smaller walkers-which resemble more closely the AT-ATs (Although with some small changes in the middle and the head it seems). As well as Kylo’s shuttle floating above. One of the big worries about the film is that it might mirror EMPIRE in a similar fashion that TFA does with ANH. This is pretty much the biggest evidence that it might.

Rey doing some Jedi moves.

Luke looking amazed as Rey seems to be cracking the rocks under her….

….and her raw power scares him, something that didn’t happen before…. (and what’s that emblem on the floor?)

….when presumably his own Jedi training facility was destroyed. Also, we kind of know what happened to the flesh on his robot hand now.

Resistance capital ships, which resemble the Rebellion’s old ships-The Mon Calamari cruiser, an escort frigate and possibly a transport-the ship dying on the left there.

Ren’s personal fighter, the TIE silencer. Seems to spin a bit, a “neat trick” he seems to inherited from both his grandfather and his father.

Kylo about to fire on Leia’s ship, but hesitates. Also wearing what appears to be the Star Wars version of a band aid.

 

Leia appears to be using the force to attempt to reach out to her son.

Leia’s expression here definitely reminds me of when we first see her using the force in ESB (although a bit more focused). Looks like telepathy is the main force trait she seems to have. Due to Carrie’s death I don’t think we’ll see Leia with a lightsaber and levitating stuff though.

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Finn’s X-wing now seems to be equipped with a speed booster. Hopefully he’ll get more to do this time.

Finn fighting with Phasma using a riot weapon similar to the “Traitor!” Stormtrooper that used it against him in ESB. Phasma has some sort of spear, and it’s nice to know she’s getting her own action scene.

More of the space battles from the other trailer, although here we get a clearer look at the new First Order “Star dreadnought”.

Luke angirly telling Rey (“This isn’t going to happen the way you want it to!)

Some weird kind of crystalline wolf beings heading toward some kind of hanger on Crait, which seems to be one of the key locations of the film-it’s sand seems to kick up some red dust, which seems to have informed the look of the poster. Presumabely, some comic will reveal that it’s an old rebel base or something like that.

Leia looking a bit worried-perhaps about some upcoming battle?

Falcon evading some TIES, possibly on Crait judging by the crystalline/red stuff the planet seems to have.

 

Finn presumabely on his First Order infiltration mission. There doesn’t appear to be any sign of Rose, or his other mission on the “Casino planet” of Casio Bight in this trailer.

The first Order assembly, similar to their last assembly in TFA but also highly remiscent of the ROTJ scene of the Empire gathering for Palpatine’s arrival. Also, looks like the first Order’s version of the AT-ST in a few places, prominently on the right.

 

 

Snoke, in the flesh this time, lifting and using the force on Rey. Looks pretty painful for Rey.

 

 

 

And the trailer’s currently most talked about scene. Rey wondering what her part to play in all this is….and Kylo holding out his hand.

 

 

 

A light side redemption for Kylo, perhaps brought about by his hesitation to kill Leia? Or is it the other way around….a dark side fall for Rey? Or two shots just edited to give that impression somehow?

 

We’ll see, I suppose.

Curiously, the new poster seems to be somewhat similar to “Return of the Jedi”-with Luke in Vader’s spot, Rey and Ren sort of being similar to Luke and Han (Although Rey’s lightsaber is angled downward) Leia in pretty much the same spot (although more covered up!) and fighters on the ground on Crait instead of fighters in space. The poster also seems to put the good guys on the left (Rey, Chewie, Finn BB8, R2, 3PO and the bad ones on the right…(Ren, Hux, Snoke’s guards, the first order BB unit, and Phasma,with curiously, Poe on the right. Could another hero be heading down a dark path?

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Uncharted Lost Legacy-An Overview *spoilers*

*Some spoilers will follow*

 

While the Uncharted series of video games seemed to have wrapped up in 2016 with the release of the fourth game (Or fifth if you count the PSP game “Golden Abyss”), it was revealed in 2016 that the franchise would continue; although without Nathan Drake, whose story was given a pretty satisfactory finale in 4, with him still treasure-hunting, but in a more legitimate and safe fashion, becoming a renowned archaeologist, and fully committing to his marriage with Elena, producing a daughter, Cassie.

 

However, Uncharted 4 still left open a few possibilities; Chloe, Drake’s former love interest (and semi-rival for Elena in 2), who had fairly large roles in 2 and 3, was absent save for a few mentions and the multiplayer mode, and Nadine Ross, the secondary antagonist, managed to escape, with a few hints that she could eventually be redeemed.

In 2016, it was announced that Chloe and Nadine would get their own game-Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Originally intended to be mainly a DLC expansion, the game was released on it’s own, and in many ways, is a full-fledged Uncharted game, although a bit shorter than the Nathan Drake entries.

The storyline pretty much follows Chloe as she searches for the Tusk of Ganesh-a treasure her father died attempting to find, and she’s hired Nadine-who lost control of her mercenary company and is pretty much freelance-to help her. Unfortunately, a rebel military leader-Asav-is also after the Tusk to try to rally support for his revolution, and of course has put an army of his insurgents-and also Nadine’s former outfit Shoreline-in the way of our two lady adventurers. The game’s plot also follows from Uncharted 4’s example by not having any supernatural elements (Unless you count lost cities).

 

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The game pretty much utilizes much of the same Uncharted mechanics-shooting, dodging, cover, solving puzzles etc with the occasional QTE “Quick time event” which has the player push a button combo (although like with UC4, this is mainly limited to the boss fights, thankfully). However, as with 4, part of the middle segment of the game features a largely open world, with optional “side quests” hunting for additional treasures and unlockables, but with the main quest dealing with the two unlocking several temples to get to the entrance to a hidden city. The game also pretty much is set in one country-India-instead of Nathan Drake’s globe-trotting antics in the second, third, and fourth games. It’s pretty much the first game since well, the first-to be set in just one location.

 

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While certainly Nathan-less, the game isn’t completely Drake-less. Sam Drake, Nathan’s somewhat more morally-challenged older brother, shows up in the game’s final act, and given his previous encounters with Nadine in 4, the two aren’t exactly fond of each other.

 

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The game also has the trademark witty Uncharted humor as well.

The game of course continues the trend of cutting-edge graphics, with beautiful vistas, and of course, really good motion/facial capture. It’s worth noting that Chloe looks a lot more like her voice actress, Claudia Black, this time around compared to her first appearance in the second game.

 

 

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The game also has a photo mode. Although maybe not quite as customizable as “Horizon Zero Dawn”, it’s still a lot of fun.

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And of course, you can unlock extra skins and game modes, as with pretty much every Uncharted game (as well as the Last of Us). For instance, you can have Chloe be a pirate and Nadine sport her looks from the last game…

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Or make the whole landscape covered in rainbows…

 

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Or mess around with the game’s gravity…

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Overall, even as a spinoff, Uncharted Lost Legacy is worthy of the Uncharted name, and works even without Nathan Drake. It’ll be interesting to see if more spin-offs are down the line, featuring Chloe or not (Certainly 4 left the door open for further adventures with Sully, Sam and other characters).

Star Wars comics history-This ain’t no game

The Star Wars, Knights of the Old Republic game, which came out in 2003, was an extremely popular action/RPG set in the ancient Star Wars universe where the Jedi and the Sith were both at the peak of their power, and frequently warred with each other, before the Sith decided to lay low for a millenia and adopt a more limited membership, which culminates in what we see in the films. The game utilized some more common Star Wars tropes than Tales of the Jedi did, with a sort of rag-tag group of characters-a few Jedi, but also a Chewbacca-like Wookie hero, a small astromech droid, a Mandalorian turned mercenary, and a “Hunter killer” droid whose persona is worlds away from C-3PO: HK-427. They hoped along their quest in a Millenium Falcon-esque ship, the Ebon Hawk (Even the name’s a bit similar) against the forces of Darth Malek, who like Darth Vader, is somewhat disfigured.

 

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The game spawned one sequel, the “Sith Lords”, as well as a semi-third entry, “The Old Republic” MMORPG, which still continues to this day (and is pretty much the only continuing “Legends” continuity product for Star Wars allowed to continue by Disney)

In 2007, Dark Horse started a comic series that takes place between “Tales of the Jedi” and the first game, but is not really an “interquel” but more of it’s own thing, although with many links to KOTOR’s story.

 

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The main character, Zayne Carrick, is sort of a failing Jedi Padawan, who is apprenticed to “the covenant”, a sort of odd Jedi cult (although he-and the Jedi council-are unaware of this). The covenant envisions a prophecy where one of their padawans will somehow become a Sith Lord, and then kill their Padawans-all except for Zayne, who is framed for the murders when he stumbles upon them, and now must go on the run with criminal Gryph (a Snivvian “Snaggletooth” two ivory-skinned Arkanians-an eccentric old man named Camper and the younger, badass Jareal (also one of Zayne’s romantic interests), Rohlan Dyre, a Mandalorian who may not be all wha he seems  and a huge TL-1B. So your usual Star Wars cast of misfits. Zayne-despite the prophecy-is portrayed, like Luke is as first, as a little over-optimistic, naive and clumsy, but he has a good heart and finds his inner strength and skills.

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Jareal largely follows the Leia archetype of a strong female warrior who also has a touch of royalty-and the force as well. A great deal of the second half of the series focuses on her backstory, and the beginnings of her romance with Zayne.

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Gryph is sort of the series’s comic relief, a sort of rogue with a heart of gold, kind of what would happen if you mixed Watto from “The Phantom Menace” with Han Solo.

 

Aiding them in their quest is also Alek “Squint”, a Jedi apprenticed to a guy called the “Revanchist”.

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Alek’s fate is actually tied of course to this whole prophesy, and it’s easy for KOTOR players to figure out why (The name’s kind of a dead giveaway too):

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While the series deals a lot with it’s own characters, and the main “quest” is for the fugitive Kayne to prove he was not responsible for the crimes he’s alledgly committed, the series also deals with some other elements of KOTOR, such as the Coruscantish city planet of Taris:

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….and the start of the Mandalorian wars, a huge conflict in which the Republic fought these warriors, whose armor of course is related to a certain bounty hunter….

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The series also delves a bit into the past of Saul Karath, KOTOR’s “Tarkin” analog:

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As well as Carth Onasi, a crucial member of your party in the game.

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The origin of the Rakghoul plague from the game are also covered in the “Vector” crossover, which linked the different eras of the series together around an ancient Sith talisman and a Jedi Knight.

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Like KOTOR in a way explained some of the history of Tatooine-at least where the Sandcrawlers came from-the KOTOR comics did something similar with the “Space slug” seen in Empire Strikes Back, in a storyline dealing with Camper and Jareal’s past.

 

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Eventually, Zayne’s name is cleared and the Jedi masters either killed, exposed, or weakened. It’s strongly implied one of them becomes Lord Sion, the Sith Lord from the KOTOR II game, although the continuity doesn’t really match up.

KOTOR wrapped up after 52 issues in 2010, with most of the characters having a happy ending. A short mini-series prologue, “War” dealing with Zayne and co. involved in the early stages of the Mandalorian war, came out in 2012, on pretty much the eve of Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, with the license shifting from Dark Horse back to the now Disney-owned Marvel fully in 2014.

Although the KOTOR continuity is no longer part of the “canon”, John Jackson Miller-the writer of the comic series-continues to write Star Wars novels and comics. In fact, he wrote the very first novel set in the revised continuity-the “Rebels” prequel, New Dawn.

 

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Jurassic Park in Review: Jurassic World Part V

With the quests safe (for the most part), Pratt and Hoskins argue about what to do with the I.Rex, with Hoskins saying it’s an “Ingen situation now”. It’s a bit unclear what the hierarchy of Ingen is in the film; is it just the security and genetics now (hence Hoskin’s working with Dr. Wu) in Masarani’s company instead of the actual company that runs the park? In any case, it’s the latest in the series to portray the company as pretty much no good since Hammond was forced out. The Lost World of course had Ludow….

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and Grant speculated that Ingen was doing some clandestine cloning in Jurassic Park III to explain the Spinosaurus’s presence on Isla Sorna. The books however (and comics that formed a now non-canon sequel to the film), kept Biosyn (Dodgson’s company that hired Nedry) as the villains, although they also made it very clear that Ingen itself was no angel.

Owen reluctantly lets Hoskins use the Raptors to track and kill the I.Rex, leading to the “movie poster” moment..

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On a side note, attempts to tame/train the Raptors aren’t that new in Jurassic Park fiction. It was pretty much the whole point of the 90’s “Raptor” comic series published by Topps in the 90’s.

Unfortunately for our heroes though, I.Rex has got some Raptor DNA which allows him to assert dominance over the Raptors, causing them to turn on Owen and the others, including his buddy Barry, to run for their lives, in another scene somewhat reminiscent of ALIENS, this time with the added bit with body cams similar to the chaos witnessed in the APC in the film. So we get a little bit of Raptors vs. Humans actions, much like in the other films.

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Barry manages to survive by hiding in a hollowed tree log, making this the second time in the series that logs have been kind of helpful. Image result for Jurassic Lost world tree log Sarah harding

Raptor Charlie however, is our first Raptor casulty, with Owen managing to assert some recognition before her death.

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Claire has her own problems with the remaining three Raptors, who start to chase her truck back to the main Park area.

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We get a funny moment with Vivian and Lowery, with the control room being evacuated with Lowery taking a heroic choice to stay behind and help Owen, Claire and the boys out, and then moves to kiss Vivian in a chivalric gesture; however, she turns him down, saying she already has a boyfriend and the two have a bit of an awkward moment.

 

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Back at the Ingen lab, we learn that Hoskins has been working with Wu on the I.Rex as a side project, mainly intended for military use,  something he also wanted to use the Raptors for. Not only has he been using multiple Dinosaurs-T-rex and the Raptors of course, as well as the old frog DNA (hinting that perhaps maybe I-rex can reproduce?) but also cuttlefish and snakes, explaining it’s weird abilities to camouflage. Another sort of link to ALIENs here it seems, as we had a company who wanted to exploit them for military use too. At least all Ludow wanted in Lost World was to make a new park…..

 

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However, Hoskins soon becomes Raptor chow, allowing our heroes to escape.

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Thankfully, Owen is able to reassert control over the Raptors and turn them against the I-rex, in a moment pretty much the antithesis to Jurassic Park’s ending.

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Also, we get a Dilophosaurus cameo! The somewhat scientifically inaccurate “Spitter” appears for the first time since the first movie, although only in holographic form to distract the Raptors. (Word is we might get these guys in the fifth film though).

 

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Although it’s a bit of losing battle, with Delta getting flame-broiled by a nearby grill while Echo becomes an I-rex chew toy, leaving only Blue. Thankfully, Zach says they need more teeth and Claire figures out a way to help-free the Queen of the Dinosaurs, the T-rex “Rexy.” Of course Claire is running in high-heels, a frequent criticism of the movie, and of course Rexy’s ability to be distracted by flares is something that goes back to the first film.

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Kind of love the little meta-message here as Rexy smashes through the Spinosaurus skeleton, not only avenging her Isla Sorna kin killed in the third film (kind of) but also sort of maybe a joke about how the director wasn’t too pleased with III (Which used the Spinosaur skeleton as it’s logo). Gotta wonder if the skeleton actually is the Sorna Spino, or if there’s some in this new park.

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We of course then get the big fight scene, much longer than the Spino vs. Rex battle in the last film. A lot more property destruction, too.

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Just when I-rex seems to be getting the upper claw, Blue charges in to save the day. If you listen to the music, you can hear a small reprise of the The Lost World:Jurassic Park theme, a nice touch by Michael Giannocho, who seems to have a gift for incorporating John Williams themes into his work-his soundtrack for “Rogue One” made some pretty cool re-uses of the old Imperial motif from “Star Wars” as well as the “Dun-dun-dun-DUN!” music for the Death Star, themes not heard in the franchise for years, as well as making some new music which certainly felt Star Wars (Jyn’s theme and the Imperial suite). If Williams passes before Episode 9’s score is complete, I think he’d make a great successor.

 

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Blue’s help manages them to push the I.rex towards the Mosasaur pool, where the ancient reptile delivers the final blow, bringing the unnatural Dinosaur to a watery end, dragging it beneath the waves.

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The next part is a bit silly, with Rexy and Blue seemingly having developed a mutual respect and letting each other depart in peace (as well as Blue saying goodbye to Owen as well). While Raptors in the JP universe are supposed to be super-smart of course, I’m not sure the Rex would really have this kind of “You’re ok in my book” kind of respect.

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Of course there’s also the door open for a sequel-Wu has escaped, with a bunch of embryos, which are probably much better preserved than the possible original sequel ‘hint’ JP had, the aerosol can that ended up hidden in mud (which nothing ever came of, apart from one of the video games). It could mean we could be seeing more I.Rexes, or even other crazy Frankenstein Dinosaurs, in the sequel. Ian Malcolm is also returning for Jurassic World II, it’d be interesting to see him face off against Wu after their tense moment in the Hatchery in the original.

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Zach, Cody, and the others are all being evacuated still, so we get a sort of happy ending for the good guys, although of course the Park is once again totally messed up. We then get a great scene of Rexy-once again free-giving a big roar over the soon-to-be abandoned by humans island.

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Jurassic World, similar to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, pretty much revives the somewhat creatively troubled franchise by more or less going back to the original concept of a Dinosaur park, but with the more original element of the Park actually having been open to the public for quite some time despite the first three movies making it clear that maybe that’s not a great idea. It’s got likeable leads and is the first to really take advantage of the possibilities of Dinosaur cloning to make something else than replicas of the original animals. Pratt is of course a likeable lead, and as I mentioned earlier breaks free from the “scientist” roles of the previous films. Although it certainly uses many visual nods to the original films and some of the sequels, it also feels more fresh; partially by elevating the scale of things-while the first three films were pretty much more isolated groups of survivors (With some exceptions in TLW-The mercenaries and the population of San Diego) here the stakes are a bit higher as there’s a lot more people on the Island (and I’m pretty sure this has the highest body count of the series, with both teams set to take out the I-rex mostly killed, as well as Hoskins, Masarani, Zara and possibly some of the vistors during the Pteranodon attack). Overall, a sucessful revival of the series.

Jurassic Park in Review: Jurassic World Part IV

Zack and Grey manage to get one of the old Jeeps in the Visitor center working (Giving us a look at a part of the center not shown in the ’93 film) and head back to the main park. There’s a nice nod to night-vision goggles in the first one, as well as the Raptor mural in the Park’s cafe/gift shop.Image result for The Irex claire visitor s center

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Claire and Owen on the other hand, arrive a few minutes later and hide from the I-rex, in a scene reminiscent to a degree of the Kitchen scene in the original.

Masarani, after hearing Hoskin’s plan to use the Raptors to get the I-rex-decides to save the day on his own by taking down the I rex with his copter. However the I-rex quickly compromises a nearby Pteranodon aviary, causing the flying reptiles to panic and make the situation several times worst-with Masarani’s helicopter creating an even bigger hole-and killing him.

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What follows is perhaps the most crowded humans-in-peril scene in the whole franchise (although the San Diego sequence from TLW comes close) as the Pteranodons overrun the Park’s visitor area.

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One of the best parts? A cameo by Jimmy Buffet at his own resturant, Margaritaville-with of course, Margaritas in his hand. I’d leave the shaker of salt behind, Jimmy.

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What follows is one of the more controversial-and I’m pretty sure the only female-death in the series, as Zara is picked up by a Pteranodon, dropped into the Mosasaur aquarium, is picked at by the Pteranodons and then both Pteranodon and Zara are swallowed by the Mosasaur. Although not particularly gory in any way, it is somewhat chaotic and violent.

 

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Although everybody else gets reunited rather quickly, Owen gets attacked by a Dimorphodon-pretty much a Pterosaur which is particularly less “beaky” and more “Ferocious carnivore” in it’s appearance.

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Claire manages to get a pretty badass moment by shooting the beast of Owen, and the two kiss.

 

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You know, in a series where there are three couples-Alan and Ellie, Ian and Sarah, and the Kirby’s-I’m pretty sure this is the first ever kiss in the series. Then again, this is pretty much a fresh romance, while the others were pretty established already.

 

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Meanwhile at control, Vic has pretty much taken control of everything and with Masarani gone, nothing’s really stopping him from using Owen’s Raptors to take on the Indominus. He also brings his own armed men to the island, and we get an amusing shot of one of them shooting down a Dimorphodon trying to get off the island (There’s actually a background story-I believe from the website-that stated it was Hoskin’s men who took care of the escaped Pteranodons at the end of “Jurassic Park III” so this is kind of fitting.

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Next: Raptors (literally) unleashed!