Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi

After so long in hibernation, and with damage to the carbonite unit, there’s little hope that Captain Solo will ever regain his sight.

Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi is an adventurous and thought-provoking “What if?” tale by writer Adam Gallardo and artists Ryan Benjamin, Dan Norton, and Juvaun Kirby. It begins in tandem with the original Return of the Jedi script, but when a rescue mission goes terribly wrong, history is forever altered.

The stage is lit, the curtain rises, and the battle for the galaxy begins as we are all too familiar with. But, what is familiar can become unfamiliar in the the blink of an eye. You see, the future is made possible through a series of events, like a chain whose links are defined by the laws of action and reaction. Alter a single link, and the overall position of the chain is altered. Like the position of the chain, the future can be altered by simply altering one of the events that led to it.

On the desert planet of Tatooine, Princess Leia Organa, on a secret rescue mission to free Han Solo in the guise of Boushh the bounty hunter, barters with Jabba the Hutt for the bounty on Chewbacca’s head. When Leia demands “Fifty-thousand, no less,” Jabba angrily lashes out at C-3P0, knocking him to the ground with such force that his head detaches. Without a protocol droid to translate her attempt a Boushh’s native language, Leia is forced to remove her mask and reveal her thermal detonator.

Lando Calrissian, disguised as one of of Jabba’s guards, tries to stop Boba Fett from firing at Leia. He fails, and Fett’s blast hits Leia’s shoulder, accidentally activating the thermal detonator and sending it to the ground.

Events begin to spin wildly out of control as Boba Fett flees with the frozen Han Solo and Leia, Lando, and Chewbacca are forced to flee the palace without Han.

The delay of Han Solo’s rescue will result in the death of Yoda before Luke’s final visit to Dagobah, the capture of both Luke and Leia by Imperial forces, a desperate battle with Boba Fett over the fate of Han Solo, the loss of Han’s eyesight, and a final confrontation between a father and his children.

Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi will introduce you to a Star Wars that you never knew and never thought possible. George Lucas’s script only lasts for one page before Adam Gallardo slightly alters one seemingly insignificant event and ignites a radical domino effect, forever altering history as we know it.

The “What if?” concept has been explored by almost every comic series to date. It gives us a way to experience familiar characters and familiar settings in an unfamiliar way. Will the Empire be defeated? Can the mission to disable the Death Star’s shield succeed without Han Solo’s leadership? Will Darth Vader redeem himself, or will he sacrifice his own children at the will of his master? The possibilities are endless.

Related Reviews:

This review was previously published on Splash Panel on September 30, 2006.

Star Wars Infinities: The Empire Strikes Back

Commander Skywalker, do you copy? This is Rogue Two.

Rogue Two, this is Commander Solo. Come in, Rogue Two.

Commander Solo, I read you load and clear. Are you okay, Commander?

Affirmative, Rogue Two. But Luke . . . Luke is dead.

Star Wars Infinities: The Empire Strikes Back is an adventurous and thought-provoking “What if?” tale by writer Dave Land and artist Davidé Fabbri. It begins in tandem with the original The Empire Strikes Back script, but when a hero of the Rebellion dies before he can fulfill his destiny, history is forever altered.

The stage is lit, the curtain rises, and the battle for the galaxy begins as we are all too familiar with. But, what is familiar can become unfamiliar in the the blink of an eye. You see, the future is made possible through a series of events, like a chain whose links are defined by the laws of action and reaction. Alter a single link, and the overall position of the chain is altered. Like the position of the chain, the future can be altered by simply altering one of the events that led to it.

On the desolate ice planet of Hoth, Luke Skywalker patrols the frozen tundra surrounding Echo Base for signs of an Imperial invasion, but little does he know that his own problems are more immediate. A hungry wampa has been following Luke. It suddenly rises before him, severely injuring him and killing his tauntaun. Held captive in the wampa’s cave, Luke manages to free his lightsaber and make a daring escape into the frozen wasteland outside.

Alarmed by Luke’s disappearance, Han Solo mounts a rescue, despite the rapidly decreasing temperature. His tauntaun freezes early on during his search, forcing him to continue the rescue on foot. After several hours, he finds Luke lying face-first in the snow, delirious and near death. Before losing consciousness, Luke orders Han to go to the Dagobah system, find master Yoda, and train as a Jedi Knight. He does not live through the night.

Events begin to spin wildly out of control as a glitch in Echo Base’s shield allows a squadron of TIE fighters to accompany the Imperial invasion force and decimate Rogue Squadron.

Han Solo escapes with Princess Leia Organa, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2. His perilous journey to Dagobah will result in the death of Boba Fett, the destruction of Cloud City, a fateful reunion between C-3PO and his maker, the revelation of Luke Skywalker’s twin, and a final confrontation between father and daughter.

Star Wars Infinities: The Empire Strikes Back will introduce you to a Star Wars that you never knew and never thought possible. Dave Land’s intricate story immediately departs from George Lucas’s script as he begins to ingeniously focus on a series of small events whose alterations will have a profound effect on the original course of history.

The “What if?” concept has been explored by almost every comic series to date. It gives us a way to experience familiar characters and familiar settings in an unfamiliar way. Has the Empire crushed the Rebellion? Will Han become a Jedi Knight? Does he have the strength needed to save the galaxy from the Empire, or will he bow before it? The possibilities are endless.

Related Reviews:

This review was previously published on Splash Panel on September 23, 2006.

Star Wars Infinities: A New Hope

The torpedoes detonated prematurely, your Highness. I only hope enough damage was done to buy us some time. Princess, you must get to a transport immediately! The future of the Rebellion depends on your safety!

Future? I’ve seen what that battle station can do, General. The Rebellion has no future.

Star Wars Infinities: A New Hope is an adventurous and thought-provoking “What if?” tale by writer Chris Warner and artists Drew Johnson and Al Rio. It begins in tandem with the original A New Hope script, but when a key opportunity for the Rebellion is lost, history is forever altered.

The stage is lit, the curtain rises, and the battle for the galaxy begins as we are all too familiar with. But, what is familiar can become unfamiliar in the the blink of an eye. You see, the future is made possible through a series of events, like a chain whose links are defined by the laws of action and reaction. Alter a single link, and the overall position of the chain is altered. Like the position of the chain, the future can be altered by simply altering one of the events that led to it.

The Death Star looms like the harbinger of death over the Rebel base on Yavin IV. In its equatorial trench, Luke Skywalker begins his finial attack run. He fires his proton torpedoes and retreats to a safe distance with Han Solo and the remaining Rebel fighters, but the expected explosion never comes. The torpedoes had detonated just short of the reactor and the Death Star is still operational.

The Death Star retaliates by firing its primary weapon on Yavin IV, but the Imperial super weapon had sustained some damage from the premature detonation of the torpedoes and only fires with enough power to severely damage the Rebel base. Princess Leia Organa and the remaining Rebels retreat to their transports, but are taken prisoner by Darth Vader.

Luke, distracted by a dogfight on the opposite side of Yavin, believes that the Death Star’s first salvo had destroyed Yavin IV, thus murdering Leia and the rest of the Rebels. Luke and Han escape to Dagobah to find Master Yoda and complete Luke’s training as a Jedi Knight.

Meanwhile, under the care and tutelage of Darth Vader, Leia is appointed to a position as senator in the newly formed Imperial Senate, which she believes will place the Empire on a path to peace. Luke’s destiny as a Jedi and Leia’s place beside Vader will eventually lead to a final confrontation between both brother and sister.

Star Wars Infinities: A New Hope will introduce you to a Star Wars that you never knew and never thought possible. Chris Warner’s story immediately departs from George Lucas’s script into a tale that is just as intricate and captivating as the original.

The “What if?” concept has been explored by almost every comic series to date. It gives us a way to experience familiar characters and familiar settings in an unfamiliar way. Has the Rebellion been destroyed? Will the Empire prevail? Will Luke become a Jedi Knight? Will he save the galaxy, or destroy it? The possibilities are endless.

Related Reviews:

This review was previously published on Splash Panel on September 17, 2006.

Ouya Review

Ouya Video Game System

Ouya Video Game System (Photo credit: KaR]V[aN)

It has only been a week since I purchased an Ouya, and I’m actually happy to have a gaming console in my home again. I have had a very strained history with gaming consoles as of late. I loved my NES, SNES, and N64. I then moved to the PS2, which was ok, but the majority of the available games weren’t as fun as they were in Nintendo’s ecosystem, so I picked up a Wii. The Wii eventually became old news and I picked up an Xbox 360, but I had the same trouble finding a game I really liked as I did with the PS2, so I picked up a Wii U, which was just one big mistake. The Wii U suffered from buggy software, slow hardware, and a complete lack of games. It’s hard to fall in love again with the Nintendo ecosystem of games when there is simply a lack of games period. Over the years, I picked up plenty of games that I enjoyed on my iPad, so I considered my days of console gaming to be over, until I picked up an Ouya.

I instantly felt at home on the Ouya. Not only does it feature a ton of games which harken back to the pre-Wii Nintendo era that I was so fond of, but you can also grab a wealth of fully functional emulators for the Ouya, all the way from arcade to N64. Speaking as simply as possible, the Ouya is a powerful Android phone with no phone bits that uses your TV as its screen. Plus, because the Ouya doesn’t run off a battery, it can crank the maximum performance out of its hardware while running anything that can run on Android, and that’s where its charm lies.

Games that run on Android or iOS are very similar to the size/scope and design sensibilities or what ran on the pre-Wii Nintendo consoles, because that’s pretty much what the hardware supports. It may not sound like much these days, but these devices are phones, not huge blocks of hardware that sit under your TV. The Ouya itself is no bigger than a coffee mug. Take a coffee mug and place it on top of your fancy Xbox or Playstation, then think about that for a second.

Will the Ouya ever run games like Halo 4 or Battlefield 3? Of course not, but it can run Towerfall, Knightmare Tower, Shadowgun, and 350 other games, including a variety of older console emulators. Why hunt for new games when you could just play all of the games you used to love, back on your TV with a controller in your hands, just like the old days? Well, it’s still worth it to try the new games. Just take a look at Towerfall for a moment.

That’s the type of fun, stylistic, and rapid local-multiplayer game that I miss. Remember local-multiplayer? If you’re fond of it, there are quite a few local-multiplayer games available for Ouya. Are you worried about trying games you’ve never heard of before? Don’t be! The Ouya marketplace requires that developers make a portion of their games free to play with an in-app purchase to unlock the entire game (though there are plenty of 100% free games). Curious about a game? Try it for free. Don’t like it? Delete it. Like it? Pay to unlock the entire game, sometimes for as little as $0.99. No more need to buy $50 discs that you can only sell back for $20 once you realize that you made a huge mistake.

Speaking of price, the Ouya is only $99 with the controllers priced at $49 (one comes with the console), though most games in the Ouya marketplace support the current Playstation or Xbox controllers, so you could pay less for a generic one of those. With a $99 console and free-to-try games for as little as $0.99, the Ouya vastly undercuts any gaming console on the market today as far as price goes.

If you long for the games of your past, or games like the ones from your past, grab an Ouya today! You won’t be disappointed.

WakeMate Review

It’s about time for my WakeMate review. Though I was initially pleased with the device, its usefulness was soon lost in a sea of hardware failure and absent customer service, so this review is really more about my experience with the device and less about the device itself.

Continue reading

Review: Pathfinder

I seldom read and rarely enjoy graphic novel adaptations of movies, but Pathfinder is a visual feast from artist Christopher Shy and writer Laeta Kalogridis that is far superior to the film itself.

When director Marcus Nispel contacted artist Christopher Shy and expressed his interest in a film depicting a war between Vikings and Native Americans, Shy began to produce seemingly endless pages of concept art.  So much concept art in fact, that they used all of it to produce the graphic novel adaptation.

Review: The Death and Return of Superman

The Death and Return of Superman, the omnibus edition, is a colossal masterpiece from the collective minds of Dan Jurgens, Karl Kesel, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson, Roger Stern, and Gerard Jones. In 746 detailed pages, it deals directly with what it would take to kill a hero, what the world would be like without that hero, and what it would take to bring a hero back to life.

Review: Spider-Man: The Other

Spider-Man: The Other is not your typical comic book death and rebirth story. It’s an immense tale worthy of most high-caliber television series. Woven by writers Peter David, Reginald Hudlin, and J. Michael Straczynski, and illustrated by Mike Wieringo, Pat Lee, and Mike Deodato, Jr., The Other is not without its faults, but it is an in-depth experience not to be missed by any Spider-Man fan.

Review: Spider-Man: Reign

Spider-Man: Reign, from writer and artist Kaare Andrews, is a powerful and emotional journey through the tortured mind of Peter Parker as he enters the last years of his life and begins to confront everything that he has ever cared for and lost.

My Mom Has an iPhone

Update: Photo now included!

I recently wrote about the iPhone not long before its release on June 29th. Well, what I haven’t said yet is that, not long after its release, my Mom left an Apple Store with an 8GB iPhone. I know, I completely missed the “buzz wave” with this report, but it’s nice to report nonetheless.

Continue reading