Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Darth Spencers Year In Nerdness 2006

Stardate 01-01-07

So I sat down and tried to think of all the nerdy things that I did over the last year. Though I know that I can't possibly think of everything, I did come up with a fairly good sized list. I must say that I am a little dissapointed in myself. It seems like there is a lot more that that I can do in order to more fully engulf myelf in all things nerd. It will be my new years resolution to try to be even more nerdy in 2007. I know that Allison will be pleased. The following is a list of items and a thought or two about each of them. They were not necessarily released in '06.

X3- better then the first, not even close to the second.
Superman Returns- boring. how many times do we have to see something falling and him swooping down to save the day.
V for Vendetta- Remember remember the 5th of November. I learned that terrorism is ok, as long as its against a Totalitarian Govt. Totally awesome.
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galexy- Very funny. Can't wait to read the book.
Lady in the Water- about the importance in believing in stories. Excellent.
Original Star Wars on DVD- finally. All looks amazing except for when they replaced old Anakin with new Anakin at the end of Return of the Jedi.
The Prestige- Visually amazing. Great story and great movie.

Audio Book
Eragon- narration is a little cheesy, but the story is awesome. I want to be a Dragon Rider.
Eldest- narration is still cheesy and it starts a little slow for those of us who are not completely interested in Elf etiquite. The ending will blow you away.
Across the Nightengale Floor- This is one that most of you probably have never heard of so I will take a little more time on it. This is a four book series about and ancient tribe of Samuri Assasins who have mystical powers. The nightengale floor refers to a specail floor constructed of wood that creeks at the slightest touch. Its purpose is to let those who are sleeping know that an assasin is sneaking in to kill them in their sleep. I enjoyed this download very much and plan on reading the other three.
Snow Crash- my first venture into the Cyber Punk genre. It totally sucked and I could not even come close to finishing it. I will give cyber punk one more chance when I read Neuromancer.
The Prestige- a good listen, but much different from the movie. For me the movie was so much better because you actually get to see the magic.

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire- My first ventrue into the Star Wars expanded Universe. I loved it. I can't wait to read the other two in the series.
Boys Life- a murder mystery about a boy and his father who witnesses a murder. the book is full of mystical happenings. Pretty good, but not great.
The Handmaid's Tale- Precious free time wasted that could have been spent reading a book written by a male. I wont make that mistake again.
The Third Policeman- a book referenced by the TV series Lost. This book is pretty funny, but very wierd. After commiting a murder, the main character gets lost in land where people become bicycles.
Watchmen- probably my favorite thing that I read all year. This is a comic book written by Alan Moore. This thing has influenced just about everyone, including Joss Whedon, JJ Abrams, Paul Greengrass, and the list goes on. Its a comic book about what super heros do after they retire. They are forced into retirement by the goverment. Some of the events take place around a secret lost island. There are many influences from the comic book in the TV show Lost.

TV and TV on DVD
Heros- my favorite new show this season. Mutations in DNA causes changes in the body that bring on super powers. Its pretty much the same as X-Men, but the cool thing about this show is seeing how the charaters have first gained their powers and are learning to use them.
Lost- the end of season two was great. The start of season three has been crappy. I still have hope.
Battlestar Galactica- the best show on TV. Hot cylon babes, great special effects, fast paced action, drama, religion, great story telling and violence. Can't beat that combo.
Firefly- not as good as I had hoped, but very original and entertaining. Great characters and music.
Roswell Season 2- How do you make shows like the OC and Dawsons Creek even better? you set them up in Roswel, New Mexico and add aliens to the mix.
Freaks and Geeks- my favorite new old show. I want to own this one on DVD. Too bad it only lasted one season.

Please let me know if there is anything nerdy that I missed in '06 so I can add it to my list of items to partiake of in '07.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Firefly on DVD

Stardate 12-20-06

I recently finished watching Firefly, the complete series on DVD and I must say that I have mixed feelings about the widely acclaimed series. There were so many things about it that I just loved that were very original and clever, but at the same time, I can sort of see why Fox cancelled it. Here is a little back story.

The story takes place in a post apocalyptic era where the United State and China were the only two remaining super powers. The two societies and cultures combined to form one super power called, The Alliance. Because of this, everyone speaks both English and Mandarin Chinese. The Alliance's territory expands from the Core, which is the center of the galaxy, all the way to the Outer Rim. Because of the wide spread corruption of the Alliance, there has been a Civil War. The independents fought against the Alliance and lost; most survivors have scattered to the Outer Rim. The captain of the Firefly and his first mate both fought in the Civil War against the evil Alliance.

One of the interesting things about Firefly is that the Vulcans have not yet made First Contact with the Humans. There are no alien bad guys or good guys in the show. In fact, there is zero focus on the discovery of alien life. Instead, the idea of exploration is more like the idea of a western and the taming of the wild wild west. This is what makes Firefly so unique and original. It is a clever mix of the Science Fiction and Western genres. They dress like cowboys, they carry guns in holsters that still shoot bullets, they drive cattle from one planet to another, and every once in a while, the visit whores.

For those of you who don't know, the Fox Oligarchy cancelled Firefly after airing just 11 of the 14 episodes. They didn't even make it a full season. The People of the Abyss raised their fist to resist. Their outcry of love for the show was enough to bring the story to the big screen and finish the story. Like so many others, I have come to the conclusion that the network screwed this show. But I cannot put the full blame on the network. What we saw on TV just moved too slow.

After watching the series, movie and some special features on the DVD's, it is clear to see that from the start, the creators of the show and the network wanted two different things. The creators wanted a character driven epic, the network wanted action. The result is an uncomfortable blend of both parties trying to please each other. While watching, I kept thinking to myself, "this is so slow" or "nothing is happening here" I soon realized that the creators were thinking long term. They were setting up a story line that would carry the show for four or five seasons and all we got, were 14 episodes; three or four of which were totally awesome, the others however, seemed like slow filler episodes.

I would recommend Firefly and Serentity to all interested in both sci-fi and westerns. The music track for the show is excellent, and the special effects are amazing. One cool thing that I read about the special effects is that the CGI team who created them decided to make shots of seem as if they were being shot by hand, and not a stabilized camera. The result looks really cool. Another cool thing is that the special effects team for Firefly got hired for Battlestar Galactica after Firefly was cancelled. There is a brief homage to Firefly during the Cylon invasion of Caprica. Supposedly you can see a shot of Firefly flying away just before the Cylons attack.

I cannot however say that Firefly is one of the best sci-fi/fantasy TV shows of all time. It wasn't around long enough to make that statement. Its great...but not amazing.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Son of the Suns

Stardate 12-03-06

Some insightful comments from my last post, plus my own curiosity has caused me to research the Jedi Chosen One and Sith'ari prophecies a bit further. I found that there isn't much out there on the subject, but what is out there is pretty interesting, and I wish that Lucas would have expounded a bit further on some of these ideas.

It seems pretty clear that the first mention of a chosen one or a prophesy of some type came from Lucas' original script for Episode IV, where it references The Son of the Suns. Here is the reference,

"...And in the time of greatest
despair there shall come a savior,
and he shall be known as: THE SON
Journal of the Whills, 3:127

There is no explanation given about this prophecy, but it appears to be from some sort of scripture from Yoda's people, the Whills. Some ideas that I have read from blogs that others have written is that it refers to either Anakin or Luke Skywalker. Some think that Son of Suns could be a reference to Tatooine because it is a planet that has two suns. My initial thought was of Anakin and his miraculous conception. He, being the "Son," and those who helped create him being the "Suns." I think that the sun could be a metaphor for the Jedi and the light side of the force. My idea does not seem to mesh well with what we know from Episode III, where Anakin learns of Darth Plagueis the Wise and his abilities to create life from manipulation of the midichlorians. I thought for sure when I saw Episode III that Anakin would connect the dots and realize that perhaps he was created by a Dark Sith. Maybe he didn't know where or how he came into existence? Here is what Lucas has to say on the subject,

"Now there's a hint in the movie that there was a Sith Lord who had the power to create life. But it's left unsaid: Is Anakin a product of a super-Sith who influenced the midi-chlorians to create him, or is he simply created by the midi-chlorians to bring forth a prophecy, or was he created by the Force through the midi-chlorians? It's left up to the audience to decide." -George Lucas, Rolling Stone, June 2005

Hopefully, Lucas will answer this question in the future.

Another question that we need to ask is; Are the prophecies of the Jedi Chosen One and the Sith'ari the same, or do they refer to two seperate people?

Here is what I have found about the Sith'ari:
Sith'ari was a title that, in the ancient Sith language, meant "Lord" or "Overlord." Sometime during the early history of the First Sith Empire, the coming of the Sith'ari, an exemplar of the Sith ideal, was foretold. Inspired by the legend of Adas, the Sith'ari was prophesied a perfect being—the ultimate Sith—free of all restrictions who would rise to power to lead the Sith and, according to the legend, destroy them—yet, through their destruction, make them stronger than ever. Here is the exact quote, "One who has freed themselves from all restrictions has reached perfection, their potential fulfilled. Perfect strength, perfect power, perfect destiny. Imagine it." --Yathura Ban

So, in order for the prophesy to come true, the Sith'ari must be: 1) Perfect, the ultimate Sith, 2) free of all restrictions so that they may rise and lead the Sith, 3) then destroy the Sith, 4) through their destruction, make them stronger.

Now lets look at what is said about the Jedi Chosen One, which is even less:
In Episode I, reference is made to the Chosen One, a prophecy of a person who is "to bring balance to the Force". Despite fan confusion over the definition of "balance", Lucas affirms that the Dark Side represents imbalance. So, Cblakes was correct when he said that he always believed that the phrase "balance to the force" meant that good would prevail over evil. Meaning that I was incorrect in my last blog to state that Darth Vader brought balance to the Force after he killed all the Jedi, leaving just himself, Darth Sidious, Obi-Wan, and Yoda alive. One last thing that we can intuit from Episode I about the Chosen One is that he must be conceived by the midichlorians. We learn this when Qui-Gon first speaks of Anakin to the Council of the Jedi, he states that he has found a boy who has, "the cells of the highest midichlorian I have ever seen in a life form. It is possible he was conceived by the midichlorians." Mace Windu quickly replies, "You refer to the prophesy of the One who will bring balance to the force. You believe its this--boy?

Because of this we know that if the Chosen One and the Sith'ari are the same, that it cannot be Luke Skywalker because Luke was not conceived by the midichlorians, he never rose to lead the Sith, and he did not destroy them. He helped, but it was Vader who ultimately destroyed Darth Sidious. Anakin comes much closer to fulfilling both prophecies. He was born of a virgin mother, possibly being created by the midichlorians, he has the highest ever midichlorian count-making him the most perfect, he rose to lead the Sith, and then destroyed them. After Vader killed Darth Sidious and returned to the light side of the Force, he successfully brought balance to the force.

It appears that Anakin is the Sith'ari and the Chosen One, but I still have some questions. The Sith'ari is supposed to rise and lead the Sith. According to the rule of two, there can only be two Sith, master and apprentice. Vader was the apprentice and Sidious was the master. Also, the Sith'ari is supposed to bring more power to the Sith through their destruction. I cannot see how Vader brought more power to the Sith by destroying them. Perhaps that is something that we will understand if Lucas ever does Episodes VII-IX.

Even though some of my questions have not been answered, I believe that the Sith'ari and Chosen One are one in the same. I believe that Anakin is the Chosen One and the Sith'ari.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The History of the Sith, part 2

Stardate 11-19-06

Fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate.
Hatred leads to power.
Power leads to victory.
Let your anger flow through you.
Your hate will make you strong.
True power is only achieved through
testing the limits of one's anger,
passing through unscathed.
Rage channeled through anger is unstoppable.
The dark side of the Force
offers unimaginable power.
The dark side is stronger then the light.
The weak deserve their fate.
-tenets of Sith philosophy

At the end of my first, and most excellent post on the Sith, we learned that Darth Bane and the Sith had evolved into a new enemy for the Jedi. Darth Bane took his apprentice, Darth Seer, to Coruscant where they used special Sith powers to hide themselves from the Jedi Council. Darth Bane died of old age and his apprentice, Darth Seer took up the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith. He formalized and established the Code for the Sith Order, which required that every new Sith apprentice had to construct his own red-bladed light saber, every Sith would now take on the title of "Darth," which means, "Shadow Warrior," and the Sith Rule of Two would strictly be enforced. Darth Seer continued to train his apprentice, Darth Mongerer, on Coruscant until he died of old age. Darth Mongerer faithfully continued the Order of the Sith, but was discovered by a Jedi. He was beheaded by the Jedi in a duel, but hid from him the fact that he was a Sith. His apprentice succeded him as Sith Master.

Darth Plagueis the Wise
Some of you may recall a conversation from Episode III that Grand Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious had with the young Jedi, Anakin Skywalker about a Sith Master who could control the midi-chlorians themselves, and through that, create and preserve life itself. Plagueis was a Jedi who discovered the Sith on Coruscant, and tracked them down. He found Darth Imperious and forced him to teach him the ways of the Sith. Plagueis was able to force Imperious to take him on as an apprentice because Plagueis had discovered a kyber crystal. A kyber crystal is a crystal that is forged with, and contains the dark powers of the Force. It is said that a kyber crystal will greatly boost the dark powers of those who wield it. Imperious accepted him as an apprentice, but had planned in his mind that he would slay him while they were training. Plagueis was too powerful and after they finished training, Darth Plagueis sliced of Imperious' arms and then sliced him in half from head to hip.

Soon afterwards, Darth Plagueis apprenticed a young boy from Naboo named Dantius Palpatine. Plagueis payed Palpatine's patents a large sum of money to not allow Palpatine to be taken by the Jedi for training. Palpatine was soon named, Darth Sidious. By means of his kyber crystal, his knowledge of dark Sith magic, and his Jedi training, Darth Plagueis did indeed discover a way to tranfer the spirit of an old body into a clone by manipulating the midichlorians. Before he could do so, Plagueis was murdered in his sleep by young Darth Sidious. Plagueis never even saw it coming.

Palpatine continued to use the dark side of the force to block the Jedi Council of his true identity. He soon became a powerful senator and used his genious to slowy plot the demise of the Jedi. As Darth Sidious, he took on Darth Maul as his next apprentice, and as Palpatine, he took the first step to gain complete dominance of the Galactic Senate. To do this, Darth Sidious approached the Trade Federation and persuaded them to blockade the planet of Naboo. Outraged, the Galactic Sentate sent two Jedi, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, to negociate with the Trade Federation. The Jedi were ambushed by droids, but easily escaped. Around the same time, the Trade Federation's droid army attacked and captured Queen Amidala. The two Jedi rescued her, escaped, but soon had to land on the planet Tatooine. While there they stumbled upon the Sith'ari, Anakin Skywalker, a child with an off the chart midichlorian levels, and who was born of a virgin mother. Qui-Gon believed him to be the Jedi Chosen One, and took him with them back to Coruscant. Back at Coruscant, Queen Amidala appeared before the Galactic Senate to plead her case. Palpatine represented Naboo in the Senate and assisted Amidala in the Senate proceedings. Outraged that no army had been sent to protect her people on Naboo, Amidala called for a Senate no-confidence vote for Supreme Chancellor Valorum. Amidala and the Jedi retuned to Naboo and with the Gungans, fought and defeated the Trade Federation's droid army. Their victory, however, came with a crushing blow. Before being sliced in half by young Kenobi, Darth Maul killed Qui-Gon Gin in a brutal light saber duel. Moments before his death, Qui-Gon pleaded with Kenobi to take Anakin on as his padawan. Palpatine's devious plans has worked; with defeat of the Trade Federation, Senator Palpatine was named the new Supreme Chancellor.

Soon after Palpatine became the Supreme Chancellor, he secretly sent Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas to the planet Kamino and commanded him to create a clone army. Sifo-Dyas was a friend of Jedi Master Count Dooku who shared the same discontent with what they believed to be a corrupt Senate. Dooku, who was chosen by Sidious to be his new Sith apprentice was told by Sidious that he had secretly sent Dyas to create this clone army. Sidious commanded Dooku, now Darth Tyranus, to kill Dyas and erase Kamino from the Jedi archives before he left the Jedi Council.

10 years later, Dooku/Tyranus emerged as the leader of the Seperatist Movement. Dooku traveled from system to system in search of those who also felt that they were serving a corrupt Senate. As a the number of systems to suceed from the Republic began to rise, concern grew in the Republic of a possible civil war. Because of their fear of a civil war, the Senate created the Military Creation Act, giving its authority to create a huge army. Up until this moment, it had been the job of the Jedi to police and protect the Republic.

Senator Amidala strongly apposed the Military Creation Act. Because of this, there had been many assaination attempts on her life. The Jedi Council commanded Obi-Wan and Anakin to protect her. After one such attempt, Obi-Wan followed the bounty hunter, Jango Fett to Kamino, where he discovered the secret clone army. At the same time, Anakin was sent on his first solo mission with Amidala back to Naboo. On Naboo, Anakins' forbiden love for Amidala continued to grow.

Although Dooku/Tyranus was his Sith apprentice, Tyranus was simply a pawn in Sidious' plan to destroy the Jedi. Sidious used him to create the clone army and to lead the Seperatist movement. Because of their fear in the movement, the Senate voted and gave Supreme Chancellor Palpatine emergency powers, which gave him total dictorial control over the Senate. Palpatines first act was to activate the clone army and crush the rebellion. This started the Clone Wars, which raged on for months; both sides won and lost battles and sustained heavy casualties.

Towards the end of the war, the Seperatist army, now lead by the cyborg General Grevious attacked the capital of the Republic, Coruscant and kidnapped Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. Palpatine staged his own kidnapping to draw out Anakin Skywalker, who in the process fought a bitter light saber duel with Count Dooku. Torn between his Jedi value of life and eliminating a very dangerous foe, Anakin sliced off the head of the disarmed Dooku.

Upon return to Coruscant with the Chancellor, Anakin meets his now wife, Padme Amidala and finds out that she is pregnant. Anakin's joy is mixed with fear because of recent dreams that he was having about Padme dying during childbirth.

The Jedi Council started to suspect that there was something wrong with Chancellor Palpatine, but only believed that a very powerful Sith had taken control of him. When Palpatine requested that the Anakin become his personal representative on the council, they readily accepted, but only because they believed that they could influence Anakin to spy on the Chancellor. Reluctantly, Anakin agreed to do so and soon found out that Palpatine was actually a Dark Lord of the Sith. Anakin rushed to Mace Windu to inform him of what he had found out. Windu and three others fromt he Jedi Council confronted Darth Sidious and engaged in a costly battle. Windu was about to kill Sidious when Anakin came to his aid and cut off Windu's hand. Unarmed, Darth Sidious attacked with a force bolt that led Windu to his demise. After this, Sidous was able to convice Anakin that the Jedi were power hungary and should be destroyed, and that the dark side of the Force was the only thing that could save his wife from death.

Anakin became Sidous' new apprentice and took on the name of Darth Vader. With the Jedi attempt on his life, the Chancellor transmitted Order 66, in which the clone army was commanded to kill all Jedi. Across the galaxy, Jedi were slaughtered by Clone troopers that turned on them. Vader went strait to the Jedi Temple and killed all younglings and Jedi that were there. Sidous then sent Vader to kill the remaining leaders of the Seperatists. He was met there by Obi-Wan. Vader and Obi-Wan dueled on the molten planet of Mustafar, but Vader was young and unlearned in the ways of the dark side, and Obi-Wan was able to overtake him. Vader was chopped up and then slipped into the lava. He lost most of his limbs and was burnt to a crisp. Not long after Obi-Wan's departure, Vader was found by Sidous and was repaired with numerous mechanical replacement parts and the infamous black Darth Vader suit was created.

Over the years, Vader and Sidious continued to hunt down and slaughter the remaining Jedi, but was the prophesy of the Sith'ari fufilled? Anakin had faught to bring down the dark side, but then turned and became a Dark Lord of the Sith. After that he wiped out almost all the Jedi; all except for Obi-Wan and Yoda who survived in hiding. With Yoda and Obi-Wan on the light side, and Sidious and Vader on the dark side, a balance was brought to the force, and the prophesy of the Sith'ari was indeed fufilled.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Solution For Getting the Troops Out of Iraq

Stardate 11/08/06

As we all know, the Dems won the house last night and may possibly take the senate. It is a dark day indeed for our nation. I don't know about the rest of you, but I was terrified to wake up this morning and leave my house. Even with the Dems in power for less then 12 hours, I fully expected to see terrorists and suicide bombers roaming the streets of St. George, looking for their next target. Gays and lesbians freely frolicking; painting the town in various shades of rainbow. Globs of stem cells that resemble humans selling their body parts on the black market, or should I now say "rainbow market." In fact, I dont know why I even decided to leave my house and go to work, because I knew fully well that when I got there, I would find that some Mexican had stolen my job.

Then, in flash of inspiration, it came to me. LET THE DEMOCRATS CREATE A CLONE ARMY. This brilliance came to me while I was watching Star Wars Episode II, Attack of the Clones, and thinking about the dems satanic desire to do more stem cell research. Now a lot of you may be thinking, "Wouldn't it be sinful to create a clone army?" Well we wouldn't be sinning, the dems would, and they are going to hell anyway. Its the same thing as when you ask your inactive brother to go buy you pizza on sunday. He's the one who is actully breaking the sabbath and sinning, but we all get to enjoy the delicous outcome.

Think about it...we would be able to bring all of our troops home, we could keep the clones there for as long as it takes to successfully inforce democrocy, and if they were captured by the insurgents and tortured, no one would really care. Well, I can't guarantee that no one would care, there would probably be some stupid liberal group out there crying for the rights of American Clones. Maybe we could look into creating Mexican Clones...well, mabye not, who would be affraid of a short skinny Mexican Clone? Unless, they looked like a gang member...well, we can work out the details later.

We can only pray that the Clones dont become self aware, such as the Cylons, SkyNet, or the Artificial Intelligence from the Matrix Movies.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The History of the Sith, part 1

Stardate 11-04-06

Peace is a lie, there is only passion
Through passion, I gain strength
Through strength, I gain power
Through power, I gain victory
Through victory, my chains are broken
The Force shall set me free

Jedi have always been lured to the amazing powers of the dark side. About seven thousand years before the events of Star Wars IV, a New Hope, a group of Jedi came to believe that true power was achieved not through meditation, as taught by their Jedi Masters, but through emotion. The tension between the Jedi and these Dark Jedi grew until conflict erupted. These Dark Jedi were rounded up and exiled. They were given a spacecraft and were sent into the unknown. The idea was that these Dark Jedi would be sent out into such vast and undiscovered space, that they would have no home, and would eventually just die out.

This however, did not happen. These Dark Jedi emerged into an unknown region of the galaxy and found a planet, Korriban, that was inhabited by a race called the Sith; aliens with red skin, cranial horns, bony chins, and insectile features. The Force flowed strongly with the Sith, allowing them to create their own form of black magic. The Sith were a feudal, violent society, whose nobles were always fighting in order to gain power. The Dark Jedi saw this as an opportunity to gain power. Using their training with the Force, the Dark Jedi amazed the Sith, elevating their status on Korriban to be equal with their gods, and soon became their rulers. It was at this point that the Dark Jedi began to interbreed with the most powerful Sith rulers, forming a new breed of magicians, both strong in the Sith arts and in the dark side of the Force. From this point on, the term "Sith" came to mean not only the original near-human inhabitants of Korriban, but their Dark Jedi Masters as well. Out of this new breed of Sith came the Dark Lords of the Sith, the ones who rule over all Dark Jedi and Sith. This title was bestowed upon their leader by a group of lesser Siths.

For the next 2000 years, the Sith prepared to return and slay the Jedi. They built up their forces, grew in number and in strength, but could never reach of point of pure power because power, was what all desired. Feuds and civil war raged on Korriban with all desiring to be called the Dark Lord of the Sith. Soon Naga Shadow became the Dark Lord of the Sith and put his plans in motion to return to war with the Jedi. Before they could launch their surpise attack, the Jedi discovered them and war broke out. The war lasted 10 years as the Jedi slowly killed each and every Sith, including Naga Shadow. Believing that all had been destroyed, the Jedi returend to the Old Republic.

The following 4000 years in Sith history is very much the same thing over and over. One Jedi or groups of Jedi begin to study the dark side of the Force. Their desire to learn everything about the force leads them to find the spirit of a dead Sith or a Sith Holocron. A holocron is a cube like object invented by the Jedi that stores their history and every thing that they have learned. Pretty soon, a new Dark Lord of the Sith arises and is either killed by a Jedi or killed by a lesser Sith.

Two important things then took place about 1000 years before the events of Star Wars IV. Kaan, a Sith Lord formed the Brotherhood of Darkness and eliminated the title of Dark Lord of the Sith. The Brotherhood was similar to the Jedi Council; a group of lords ruled all, they formed a school where younger Sith could train under them and in turn, create a new Sith army. At the same time that this was happening, a civil war broke out in the Old Republic among light and dark Jedi. The light Jedi prevailed, but there were severe casualties, which left only about 100 Jedi to protect the Old Republic. It was around the time of this Jedi civil war that the prophesy of the Sith'ari became well known. The Sith'ari was said to be a perfect being who would rise to power and bring balance to the Force. According to prophesy, the Sith'ari would rise up and destroy the Sith, but in the process would return to lead the Sith and make them stonger then ever before. It is believed that the prophecy of the Sith, Sith'ari and the prophesies of the Jedi Chosen One refer to the same individual; namely Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, who made the Sith stronger then ever by destoying the Jedi Knights.

One of the most important persons in all history of the Sith was Darth Bane. Bane was an average student with the Brotherhood. Because he had no special abilities, he was soon shunned by the other students. He became a loner and dedicated all of his time to ancient Sith studies. As he learned more and more about the ancient secrets of the Sith, his power in the dark side of the force began to grow. His prowess as a swordsman also secretly grew. He soon challenged the most powerful student to a duel and brutally slaughtered him. After the duel he insulted the Brotherhood and declared that they were a tainted pretender of true Sith power. He was banned from Korriban and traveled to a forgotten planet where he came across a Sith Holocron. Through this Holocron, Bane completed his training, learning new and devastating Sith techniques, including the "thought bomb," which destroys all Force sensitive beings within a certain radius. It should be noted that the term bomb may be misleading-it is a force attack, rather then a physical item.

He also realizes from his studies with the Holocron that any Sith order with multiple lords is doomed to failure and so he creates the Sith Rule of Two: "Only two there shall be. One to embody the power and one to crave it." In order to start his rule of two, Bane realizes that he must destroy all remaining Sith. Its at this time that the Brotherhood is at war with the Jedi. Though it was a small group of Jedi, as a result of the many casualties in the Jedi civil war, the Brotherhood is spread thin and is losing. In desperation they call on Bane to save them. Bane teaches them of the true power of the dark side and convinces them to use the thought bomb. The Sith join together in meditation, and Bane unleashes a wave of power upon the unsuspecting Jedi. Sensing the darkness and ambition in Bane's heart, the other Sith Lords break the circle and send Bane away. Kaan, the Sith Lord who formed the Brotherhood is driven mad by the glimpse that Bane showed him of the true power of the force, later, unleashes the thought bomb, destroying not only all the Jedi involved in the battle, but also all the Sith.

Bane's plan to kill all Sith was a success. Bane forever changed the mantle of the Sith. He took for himself the name Darth Bane. From now on, there would only be two: a master and an apprentice. The master would teach the apprentice and when the master died, the apprentice would become master and seek out a new apprentice. Both would take the title of Dark Lord of the Sith. The new Sith would be cunning, stealth, subterfuge, and in a virtue learned from their greatest enemy, patient. Darth Bane took his apprentice to Coruscant, the center of the Old Republic and the great Jedi Council, and there the Sith would remain, shadowy and unseen, but ever-present.

Stay posted for History of the Sith, part 2, where we will learn about the events leading up to the Revenge of the Sith.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Please Ms. Atwood, No More

Stardate 10-26-2006

Ah yes, Dystopian Fiction, my favorite genre within the realm of Science Fiction. If you are unfamiliar with the genre, I refer you to my favorite Dystopian novels, 1984 and Brave New World. Basically, a dystopia is the opposite of a utopia, and common thread shared by most of these novels is a Totalitarian Government that is constantly watching, listening, controling or punishing its population.

Another popular title in the genre is a novel by Margaret Atwood, called The Handmaid's Tale, the book which I have chosen to review for this post. This novel takes place in the future United States, where there is a serious decline in the population. The Govt. has decided that they need to take action to get the population levels back up, but the options that they have thought of, fertility clinics and artificial insemination, seem to be too sinful in their minds. They decide to turn to the Bible, and while studying the Old Testement they come to accounts of prophets whose wives could not have children. If the wife could not give her husband a child, they would give him their handmaid, and he would have a child with the her. And that is exactly what the Govt. decides to do. They asign handmaids to a "Commander" and his household.

In this dystopian future, the role of the handmaid has been severly limited. They are no longer allowed to read, they are allowed to leave the Commander and his wife only to go shopping at the market, and they are required to sleep with the Commander once a month in the attempt to get pregnant and help increase the population.

The premise sounds great and freaky, but Margaret just doesn't deliver. I wasn't at all freaked out by her version of the future, and I was never really truly worried what would happen to the main character if she got caught breaking the rules. And yes, you've probably already predicted that she does indeed read a magazine, and sleep with someone that she is not supposed to sleep with. Rebel!

After reading this book, I've realized that women just can't hack it when it comes to science fiction. Don't get me wrong ladies, women do have their place in the genre; as long as the're wearing gold bikinis, they're OK with me.

Lets be honest. I get that Margaret Atwood is a femanist and that her point here is how aweful things will get if we allow the Govt. to control a woman's body, but in all honesty, I'm pretty sure that a man would have done a much better job at writing this story. Maybe Ms. Atwood should try writing a spooky mystery novel or a hot and steamy romance, but I'm pretty sure I speak for us all when I say please, stay away from Science Fiction.

This post has been dedicated to Andy Kaufman, the Intergender Wrestling Champion of the World

Friday, October 20, 2006

Before Romeo & Juliet, there was Tristan & Isolde, but before Tistan & Isolde, there was Freaks & Geeks

Stardate 10-20-2006

Welcome all to my sci-fi nerd blog. I hope you will all find my posts to be even more precious then gold-pressed latnum.

For my first post, I've decided to write about the excellent, but short lived TV series, Freaks and Geeks. The show aired in the '99 fall season on NBC, but soon received the axe. Thanks to Blockbuster Online, my female and I recently viewed the whole series. The shows creators/directors/writers were Paul Feig (Arrested Development, The Office ) and Judd Apatow (Anchorman, Talladega Nights).

The show takes place in a small town of Michigan in the early '80s and is about two different groups of kids, the Freaks and the Geeks. The shows focus is on the Wier family whose daughter is a Freak and whose son, is a Geek. The Freaks are a bunch of burnouts who ditch class and listen to Pink Floyd and The Who. The geeks, of course are the nerds who love D&D, Star Wars, and shoot off model rockets. Some of my favorite episodes were about showering after gym class, forming a band, and playing Dungeons and Dragons, but perhaps one of the funniest episodes involved Ken, one of the freaks, and his girlfriend. In this episode, the girlfriend tells Ken that she was born with both male and female parts, but that her parents and the doctor quickly made a decision to "take care" of this situation, leaving her 100% female. Ken quickly and honestly lets her know that he doesn't care. In fact, he is so surprised about not caring that she used to be a "dude," that later in the episode, he starts to question is own sexuality and acutely goes to the guidance councilor to let him know that he might be gay.

All of the characters are funny, but my favorite is Bill Havechuck, seen on the left. Bill loves TV; his favorite shows are Dallas, Charlie's Angels, and Dukes of Hazard. His D&D characher is Gorthank the Destroyer.

The most recognizable face on the show is Daniel Desario, played by James Franco who has since gone on to star in all three Spider-Man movies and of course, Tristan and Isolde. His character is 18 and this is his third year as a senior. He is sort of the leader of the Freaks.

Freaks and Geeks has definitely found a place in my heart, right in between Dawson's Creek season 3 and The OC season 1.