The National Hockey League is getting ready to play another outdoor game. This one will be Buffalo vs. Pittsburgh at a football stadium in Buffalo on New Year's Day at 1:00 PM EST, and NBC will televise in the United States. 73,000 people are expected to attend. (Tony, this one's for you.)
"The Skywalkers aren't in it, and it's about minor characters," Lucas said in an interview. "It has nothing to do with Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader or any of those people. It's completely different. But it's a good idea, and it's going to be a lot of fun to do."
Lucas joked that the series would be about "the life of robots" but wouldn't let any details slip about the true premise.
The series is set between the founding of the Empire to the events of A New Hope, referred to as "the dark times" by Obi-Wan Kenobi in the latter film. It is during this period that the last of the Jedi will be hunted down, the newly-formed Galactic Empire will rise to power throughout the galaxy, and the first Death Star will be constructed.
If you're a fan of the original Star Trek, you know about the Red Shirt Phenomenon. This is the odd but reliable occurrence in which Captain Kirk beams down to some wacky new planet with, let's say, Spock, McCoy, and Feldenkrantz, some guy in a red shirt. Pretty soon there's an ambush, and when the phaser fire starts flyin', who do you think catches a fatal blow? Yep. Red shirt guy.
But how often does this really happen? And how can we find out more about the Red Shirt Phenomenon?
We've been watching John From Cincinnati on HBO. It's hard to get into, but we keep trying, because it's created by David Milch. While we're waiting for the payoff, it's fun to watch for actors from Milch's last show, the incredibly great Deadwood. For example:
Fans of The Simpsons might have heard that a dozen 7-Eleven stores in the U.S. have temporarily morphed into Kwik-E-Mart stores to promote the upcoming Simpsons movie. Imagine my surprise when one of the lucky dozen stores turned out to be in sleepy Mountain View, California (just down the block from the shop run by my employer, Mr. O'Legog).
So my wife and son and I headed up to Kwik-E-Mart to take a look. They did a great job, although it wasn't obsessively detailed. All hints of the store's actual corporate identity were covered by Kwik-E-Mart signs, including the giant sign outside. The store was filled with little signs taped on with big ugly duct tape, and most signs had mistakes and cross-outs, mimicking the store on TV. Actual Krusty-Os, Buzz Cola, and neon pink donuts were for sale. Larger-then-life plastic stand-ups of various characters adorned the store. Most of the folks shopping seemed unaware of what had happened to the shop, but every now and then somebody showed up with a camera and a giant grin. This was the first day of Kwik-E-Mart-ness: I'm sure there will be many more Simpsons fans visiting in the coming days.
Here, only two weeks later, is what I think happened:
When the screen goes black and the sound goes off, that's literally the end for us, the viewers. As Bobby said in the first episode this year, "You probably don't hear it when it happens to you". Well, it happened to us, and we didn't hear it. Life goes on for the Soprano family -- we just don't get to see it any more. Nice.
Tony and his family getting killed? It doesn't make sense. He's made peace with the New York family. They're eating dinner at a restaurant we've never seen before -- how could anyone know they were going to be there and plan to kill them?