On the way to Kettlewell

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, something I haven’t done in a long while, and for this week’s photo challenge, they asked us to stop and photograph something we experienced or witnessed something interesting thing On The Way to our final destination.

This a photo taken at Kilnsey Park Trout Farm nestled under the Kilnsey Crag when we stopped off at for a few minutes on our way to the Kettlewell Mayfest in the Yorkshire Dales…which was a fabulous day out, so I’ve included a few photographs of that as well below.

On the Way

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The Drake Strikes Back

…Or does he!?

If I’m honest!…Craig Drake‘s: Solo Show 2 doesn’t live up to the sequel standards I was expecting, maybe I was hoping it would be his Empire Strikes Back to Star Wars, …why!? you may ask for such a talented guy who uses his minimal ‘Nagel’ style of detail to bring this geek culture-inspired art to life, and one I’ve championed for many years. Maybe we’ve been spoilt with his recent work for the Star Wars Celebration.

For my taste though, there seemed to be a bit of repetition with the Kill Bill, Akira and Tron elevational treatments, which don’t offer anything more to his already classic dynamism of his early versions of those subjects.

But don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it was all negative, as he showed some true flashes of his brilliance with the huge Empire Strikes Back prints he did of Darth Vader from the “No, I am your father.” scene and the ‘almost’ full size Han Solo in Carbonite, which looks amazing on the foil print.

And then there’s the true pièce de résistance of the show, the Back to the Future DeLorean which is a ‘Hidden’ print that he’s only revealed on his Facebook page at the moment, but he does describe it as Part 1 of 2 set, which could mean the DeLorean for Back to the Future Part 2 with the Mr Fusion on the back…I do hope so, as the one above looks to have some sumptuous detailing on the engine and the those ’88 miles per hour’ sparks at the front look

What was also good to see, and something we should have seen more of was the venture in other Geekologie genres, with the new additions of Sherlock and the impressive ‘Live Long and Prosper’ Spock.

Even his first ‘live’ showing of Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a welcome addition…lets have more of these.

Also the sexy ‘Nagel’ style was rekindled with his Mononoke and Mia prints.

A recent addition after the show his Batman: The Dark Knight.

“…Jessicaaaaaaa” – Killgrave | Jessica Jones Mondo Art

His Solo II show is on at the Hero Complex Gallery, the art will be on display at the gallery through the month of July, and it’s located at 2020 South Robertson Blvd. Studio D, Los Angeles, CA. If you want to purchase any of these prints, click here. You also a great impression of the scale of his work from this photo below from the gallery.

One final thing, he did a great promo giveaway for the VIP opening event with these branded boxes of chocolates

All work is Copyright Craig Drake 2015

UPDATE: 
On reflection, now I’ve seen the newly released DeLorean print, his Solo Show II is on equal par to his first show and I take back what I’ve said in the opening two paragraphs.

Leibovitz shoots The Force Awakens

Today (Star Wars Day) Vanity Fair have given us a unique behind-the-scenes look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The magazine has released six new photos from the film that were taken by none other than the legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz.

The images include an official reveal of Adam Driver playing the dark-cloaked Sith villain Kylo Ren, as well as actress Lupita Nyong’o playing her motion capture character, who is a pirate by the name of Maz Kanata. Then, of course there are Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, a group of various alien creatures, and members of the film crew, such as director J.J. Abrams.

Dashing Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) stands alongside his trusty X-wing fighter

Star Wars The Force Awakens Vanity Fair Front Cover

J. J. Abrams directs Actress Daisy Ridley for a scene in which her character, the young heroine Rey, pilots her speeder through a bustling marketplace on the planet Jakku

A small galaxy’s worth of tracking dots affixed to Lupita Nyong’o’s face allowed artists at Industrial Light & Magic to transform her into the C.G.I. character Maz Kanata

Galactic travelers, smugglers, and other assorted riffraff fill the main hall of pirate Maz Kanata’s castle

Next-generation bad guy Kylo Ren Adam Driver commands snowtroopers loyal to the evil First Order on the frozen plains of their secret base

Members of the brains behind The Force Awakens composer John Williams, producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, co- writer Lawrence Kasdan, and director and co-writer J.J. Abrams, who also gave a glowing report on Harrison Ford to Vanity Fair…

But the magic of Star Wars isn’t all about the creatures; the best effect in the wildly popular new trailer (88 million views and counting!) may have been Harrison Ford, slipping seamlessly back into Han Solo’s classic slow grin. Abrams himself was surprised by the performance and said that Ford “was excited to get back in those shoes again, which was really interesting because I thought he hadn’t been a fan. I kept hearing those rumors when I was a kid.” Abrams did have one specific note for the veteran actor: “I knew that he had done in some movies a kind of more growly thing, and I didn’t want Han to be growly.” Whatever Abrams said must have worked because, as the director himself put it, “There was a fire in his eyes that you see in the movie.”

We also got our first look at Gwendoline Christie’s character Captain Phasma.

UPDATE:

Star Wars.com have just released details and photos of Andy Serkis character in  The Force Awakens… Supreme Leader Snoke 

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz | Courtesy of Vanity Fair | Copyright 2015

The Origins of Star Wars Day

Would it blow your mind if I told you that “May the 4th be with you” did not come from the creative mind of a Star Wars fan? Believe it!. The phrase commonly used to mark Star Wars Day actually came from an advert placed in the London Evening News congratulating Conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher on winning the General Election.

Congratulations Maggie, May the 4th be with you!

The congratulatory advert for Britain’s first elected female Prime Minister was placed in the evening edition on May the 4th, 1979. ….it read…

One of the earliest known ‘Star Wars/Lucasfilm’ records of “May the 4th” to used in popular geek culture was in 1979, described below by author Alan Arnold while he was chronicling in the brilliant paperback ‘Making of The Empire Strikes Back’

Friday, May the 4th 1979

“Margaret Thatcher has won the election and become Britain’s first woman prime minister. To celebrate their victory her party took a half page of advertising space in the London Evening News. This message, referring to the day of victory, was ‘May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations,’ further proof of the extent to which Star Wars has influenced us all.”

Sadly I haven’t found the advert, but only the cover of the Newspaper from that day. That day wasn’t the last mention of Star Wars in British politics, however. In fact, it was later brought up in Parliament due to a geeky researcher who nearly lost his job over it.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Geoffrey Lofthouse) : Order. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that is not uncommon in this place, whatever is supposed to happen.

Mr. Cohen : Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. If that point of order was an allusion to me, I can tell the hon. Gentleman that I was here for the opening speeches, and for some of the speeches that followed.

May the fourth is an appropriate date for a defence debate. My researcher, who is a bit of a wit, said that it should be called national star wars day. He was talking about the film “Star Wars” rather than President Reagan’s defence fantasy, and he added, “May the fourth be with you.” That is a very bad joke ; he deserves the sack for making it, but he is a good researcher.

So say “May the 4th Be With You” out loud with geek ride and proclaim this rallying cry of our eternal love of this saga. It’s our worldwide Star Wars Day to say “May the Force be with you” to you all, and celebrate our beloved Star Wars story that binds our galaxy together.  🙂

Some info via GeekTyrant & StarWars.com

Feeling the Force

I’m a bit late stepping up to the plate with this review of The Force Awakens, as by now, everyone and their grandmother will have seen the second teaser trailer for the next Star Wars movie at least twenty times…I have, so I’ll keep what I have to say about it short.

…actually that’s just a Star Wars pun, as I really loved the teaser. I felt something when I watched that teaser. Although we can all be tricked into being excited about a film or TV show these days, even someone as cynical as me, but this is what JJ Abrams is really good at — He knows how to work those inner feelings in us. When you hack apart many of the shows and movies JJ has done, you can see he always jams his work full of things that immediately resonate emotionally with his audience.

The first teaser was full of stuff that resembled things we loved from the original Star Wars movie. Visual analogs were offered that called back to something we had good feelings about. The classic X-Wing, Stormtroopers and ‘that’ Lightsaber…all tweaked, instead of being the same as they once were, they echo like a ‘Borg-like’ collective feeling of ‘good’ Déjà vu. The first teaser even gave us good feelings of positivity, although it didn’t show any of the actors from the original film series, we knew that they was involved.

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Now this new teaser has gone further with that ‘calling back’ to the original series of films. Again, many things are slightly altered to be different, but yet the same. It’s as if JJ is winking and nodding at the audience with this teaser. “Hey, geek-boy, remember those good times we had? Remember that Tie Fighter?” It’s as if every frame has been composed to expressly tie elements with the previous stories of the original trilogy, including that voiceover from Luke Skywalker, and that awesome appearance of Han and Chewie that harked back to that “classic PR” shot from A New Hope.

As for me, I am truly moved by it, in the most honest sense. There are many things this teaser trailer does to mitigate the “bad PR” of the prequels, and although the giant corporate entity of Disney, that’s running it as a movie franchise, much in the same way they have done with Marvel. They’ve cheered us up, and even teared up this fan after seeing familiar things that have triggered fond childhood almost ‘pavlovian’ memories.

Can this film really deliver, and not be distracted by all JJ’s nods and winks that come through in this teaser…I do hope so, as I want to be in the geek zone with this movie, and don’t want to be knocked out by remembering the other films. Thankfully this is my only slightly ‘optimistic’ concern about this film, as it seems better suited to JJ than Star Trek, and I can only assume that means this film will be as good as 2009’s Star Trek was at playing with our feelings, if not better…“I’ve a ‘good’ feeling about this”