How Star Wars Battlefront II (maybe) ties-in to the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy

“Next year we’ll see Star Wars Battlefront back with bigger and better worlds, because we now have the new movies to work off [and] not just the historical movies that we used before”
EA Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen

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Star Wars Battlefront II (2017) is out now, and Star Wars fans are speculating about a plot thread which connects to the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.

The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy began with Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015), and will continue with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Luke Skywalker has vanished. Ben Solo is searching for a map to Skywalker’s whereabouts. Lor San Tekka possesses a map to Skywalker’s location. Tekka lives on Jakku. After Solo attacks Jakku, Tekka’s map finds its way to Rey. As Rey follows the map to Skywalker, we discover that Jakku is where she was abandoned by her unidentified parents for undisclosed reasons.

In Star Wars Battlefront II, players discover that Jakku is the same planet where Iden Versio and Del Meeko met and conceived a daughter. Some Star Wars fans are speculating that this means that Versio and Meeko will be revealed in Star Wars: The Last Jedi as in fact being Rey’s parents. This wouldn’t be unexpected, as there’s another plot thread following Solo’s search for Tekka.

If this turns out to be the case, it would make Star Wars Battlefront II relevant to the Star Wars franchise, which is overseen by a brain trust of storytellers who ensure that every Star Wars product connects together. The identity of Rey’s parents was already a subject of interest in fandom, despite there being no indication that it is anymore significant than being backstory. However, if Rey’s parents is a plot point that future Star Wars episodes intend to address, would a video game really be the way they’d introduce them into the Star Wars galaxy?

Writing as if I’m trying to get fired

via “Winners of the 2017 Mage Academy Awards!” —

Yesterday, I shared the story of how I inspired the 1st Annual Mage Academy Awards. The winners have now been announced (I won’t spoil them here). Each awards category was open for voluntary presentation. It turns out that I’m the only one who volunteered, but I decided to only choose one category in case that changed. For no particular reason, I thought it would be funny if I wrote as if I were trying to get sacked. In hindsight, the context of what I was writing justified that attitude anyway, so deadpan dislike of the reader might not translate very well. But that’s okay. I meant it.

Alex Sigsworth’s Selections: The First Mage Academy Awards

“Sincerest credit goes to the Purple Prose Mage (aka Alex Sigsworth) for proposing the idea for these awards.”

Who will win?

via “The 1st Annual Mage Academy Awards” —

The Well-Red Mage, the community-run blog to-which I primarily contribute now, is holding its first annual game awards ceremony. The finalists have been determined by the Mage Academy’s contributing writers, and now, it’s time for the readers to vote in comments for the winners, which will be announced in a future post. I proposed what became The 1st Annual Mage Academy Awards as a way of celebrating 500 posts. Think of me as the team’s ideas guy.

 

Game of the Year:

Horizon Zero Dawn

 

Best Developer:

Guerrilla Games

 

Best Protagonist:

Aloy, Horizon Zero Dawn

 

Best Antagonist:

Calamity Ganon, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

 

Best Supporting Character:

Gold Mario, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

 

Best Score/Soundtrack:

Joris de Man, The Flight and Niels van der Leest, Horizon Zero Dawn

 

Best New IP:

Horizon Zero Dawn

 

Best Indie:

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

 

Best Storyline:

Horizon Zero Dawn

 

Best Art Direction:

Jan-Bart van Meek, Horizon Zero Dawn

 

Best Mobile Game:

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

 

Best Handheld Game:

Ever Oasis

 

Best Console:

PlayStation 4

 

Best Exclusive Title:

Horizon Zero Dawn

 

Best of Nintendo:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

 

Best of Xbox:

Forza Motorsport 7

 

Best of PlayStation:

Horizon Zero Dawn

 

Best of PC:

Hollow Knight

 

Best Port/Remake:

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

 

Best RPG:

Horizon Zero Dawn

 

Best Action/Adventure:

Horizon Zero Dawn

 

Best Platformer:

Super Mario Odyssey

 

Best Strategy:

INVERSUS Deluxe

 

Best Shooter:

Nex Machina

 

Best Fighting:

Pokken Tournament DX

 

Best Multiplayer:

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

 

Best Family Friendly:

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

 

Most Anticipated:

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

 

Worst Game of the Year:

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

“Rampage” (2018) unveils first trailer

“Yeah, well. Animals get me.”

Warner Bros. Pictures have unveiled the first trailer for their adaptation of Midway’s Rampage. The original game was released to arcades in 1986, before being ported over the years. The player’s objective is to destroy various cities as different giant creatures while surviving waves of military attacks. Each creature are former humans, and have been transformed by science.

Midway were acquired by Warner Bros. in 2009. In this film adaptation – written by Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse, Ryan J. Condal and Hirman Garcia – the three monsters appear to instead be enhanced in size. Rampage is releasing 20th April.

Hollywood is giving Mario a second chance

“It’s-a me, Mario!”

Since his first appearance in 1981’s Donkey Kong, Mario has become the most iconic and best-selling video game character of all time. It made perfect sense that when video games finally launched into motion pictures, he was where they started. 1993’s Super Mario Bros. was a box office disappointment due to its poor reception – Nintendo and Disney had attempted to compromise on conflicting creative visions, and the result was a mess. Its own actors have publicly disowned it, one of its co-directors has never worked on a feature film again, and its other co-director is only now working on their next one.

But more importantly, it began the sub-genre of video game film adaptations, and did it badly. Either as a direct consequence or otherwise, the rest of that sub-genre’s releases followed suite. There is yet to be one which is well received critically. Many have tried, but Nintendo, who were the first, never wanted to attempt it again.

Until now. An article in The Wall Street Journal, which is blocked behind a pay wall, reports that deals have now been made with Nintendo which they find satisfying enough to be confident in giving a Mario film another go. Initial descriptions of what is currently being planned would imply that the intention is to make the opposite of Super Mario Bros.. One of the major problems with that film was the attempt to rationalise Mario world by rendering him in live action, which altered the way the audience perceived a virtual character.

This time, Nintendo are collaborating with Illumination Entertainment to make an animated Mario film that is effectively a feature-length Full Motion Video, which will be distributed by Illumination’s owners, Universal. Nintendo are to be creatively involved, with Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto attached as producer. The aim is to make a film which is an honourable representation of Mario. Miyamoto has expressed disdain for Super Mario Bros. in the past, saying in an interview with Edge Magazine that his opinion for why the film was such a failure is because of the intention to make a film that was about the games, rather than being a film that was inspired by them.

Miyamoto has guided Mario through his adventures, and knows what’s best for him and his brand. If he’s involved, then that’s a good sign. What needs to happen now is for Nintendo and Universal to find the right way of doing things together; agree on what film they both want to make, and hire a director who’s on the same page. Effective teamwork can do untold benefits to any project.

According to The Wall Street Journal‘s article, Universal acquired the Mario film license as part of a larger 2015 deal which licenses them to make a Super Nintendo World theme park. This license is for several Mario films, though only one is in development at this time. We keep hoping that a video game film will break the curse and be a critical success. Mario has the most potential to be it.

But as history shows, it’s more than just a brand name. It has to be done right. The involvement of the people who make the Mario games is all very well, but they don’t make films. And until we know more about this, we can only speculate and hope.

 

The Super Mario Galaxy was first introduced in Donkey Kong (1981).

The Well-Red Mage reaches its 500th post

Well, it’s happened, NPCs. I’ve become my father. Today The Well-Red Mage blog reaches its 500th post, this post you’re reading right now! Nearly a fifth of all the articles that have appeared here are courtesy of contributors, so a massive debt of gratitude goes to our writing mages for enabling TWRM to reach this milestone. Thank you, […]

via “How To Reach 500 Posts Without Knowing Where You’re Going” —

Glad to have been one of the steps on the way here.

Hitman heads to Hulu

“Names are for friends, so I don’t need one.”

So far, there have been two live action incarnations of the Hitman franchise: Hitman (2007) and Hitman: Agent 47 (2015), both distributed in the United States by 20th Century Fox and produced by Chuck Gordon and Adrian Askharieh (who’s also attached to the Just Cause film).

But now there is to be a third. Deadline have exclusively revealed that a Hitman television series is in development, with 20th Century Fox’s fox21 television studios., Askarieh and Gordon now collaborating with hulu.

The intention is to closely adapt the mythology of the Hitman series, which launched with 2000’s Hitman: Codename 47. hulu are hoping for Hitman to become their flagship series in order to attract the most new subscribers.

hulu’s major weakness as a streaming service is its availability. Originally only streaming in the United States, it expanded into Japan. But those two countries are the only territories covered by hulu. If it intends for Hitman to become its flagship series, it needs that expansion, or those interested viewers simply won’t be able to see it.

It does makes sense that hulu are acquiring an established brand to increase its viewership compared to its rivals. Disney are launching their own streaming service led by the first live action Star Wars series. And while they may be transplanting the series based on their Marvel properties from Netflix, those are still there currently. Netflix also have the international distribution license to Star Trek: Discovery, which was used to do the same for CBS All Access in the United States. And then there’s Amazon with its Middle Earth series in development. hulu need their equivalent of this, and it would appear that they’ve chosen the Hitman games.

Video game adaptations are infamous for lack of quality, none having been well-received critically. The greatest challenge that films based on video games face is the story problem. A video game’s primary function is not to tell a good story, but to entertain the player. Telling a good story is one way of entertaining the player, but there are many games that have proven how irrelevant a narrative is to an enjoyable gaming experience. Hitman is one of these – while the games are popular for their slow-burning tension and stealth missions, the story is not a strong point (nor should it be), at least not enough to fill a 90-minutes-long, uninteractive film. This is the quality inherent to video games that makes them difficult to adapt to a screenplay medium, and the reason that, so far, none of them have succeeded.

The only live-action video game adaptation to be positively received is the Manic Mansion series, and even that was considerably different to its source material.

The question now is… will the Hitman TV series finally be the video game adaptation to break the curse?

 

Hitman‘s pilot is being written by executive producer Derek Kolstad.

The Hitman games are published by Square Enix.