Cast of Star Wars VII Announced!

star-wars-episode-7Happy (early) May the Fourth everyone! This year, I thought I’d get on this fandom anniversary early by passing on some franchise news that was just released from Lucasfilm and Disney regarding the upcoming relaunch of the Star Wars franchise. After months of speculation, the cast for the upcoming Star Wars movie has finally been announced! The news came this past week in a post on StarWars.com, where¬† companies spelt it out for all the fans who have been eagerly awaiting the news.

In addition to Mark Hamil, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher – who will receive top billing as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia – Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker will also be reprising their roles as Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2. Also, the movie will star several notable actors in new roles, including acting great Max von Sydow (The Tudors, Minority Report, Snow Falling on Cedars, Judge Dredd, Needful Things).

starwarsAlso, Adam Driver (Girls, Lincoln), Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, Sucker Punch, Drive), Andy Serkis (who brought Gollum to life in LOTR and the Hobbit franchises), Domhnall Gleeson (who played Bill Weasely in the Harry Potter series), and British television stars John Boyega and Daisy Ridley were announced, though has is not yet been announced what characters they will be playing. But since the upcoming movie will be taking place 30 years after Return of the Jedi, it’s fair to assume that the focus will be on these characters rather than on the original cast.

In a photo release this past Tuesday (seen below), director JJ Abrams is seen having a roundtable discussion with the cast at Pinewood Studios in the UK. Note the body of R2-D2 which sits unboxed behind them, having no doubt just been brought out of storage. JJ Abrams, identified by his spiky hair and glasses, can be seen sitting to the left of R2, with Harrison Ford to his right, Carrie Fisher two seats down, and Mark Hamil seated opposite to the far left of the photo.

star-wars-episode-7-cast-announceWhen news of the cast was released, Abrams was quoted as saying:

We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.

This, the seventh film in the Star Wars franchise, and is slated for a December 18th, 2015, release. In addition to Abrams directing, he is also collaborating on the screenplay with Lawrence Kasdan, the man who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer.

star-wars-prequelsI think I speak for fans and geeks everywhere when I wish them all luck! Lord knows we could all use a really decent Star Wars sequel, especially when so many of us felt so utterly let down by the prequels! However, I think it is fair to say that Abrams and the rest should not be too concerned about what the fans and expect. If this latest installment is to be a success, it must not be overly aware of itself or its legacy. Such was part of what brought the prequels down in my estimation, and like everyone else, I just want to enjoy what comes next!

Good day and May the Fourth be with you all!

Source: starwars.com

The Future is Here: Zombie Fitness App!

3027311-poster-p-runnerFleeing a horde of flesh-eating zombies? There’s an app for that. Seriously though, it seems that some cheeky IT developer recently¬†created¬†a fitness app for Google Glass that motivated runners by letting them know if they pace they are setting would be enough to flee from a pursuing zombie. But of course, that’s just one option that comes with this Glass application – known as Race Yourself – which first previewed this past January.

Mainly, the app seeks to take advantage of Google Glass display technology, which allows runners to see their progress in real-time without having to check their watch, device, or a series of chimes. Using the Glass’ heads-up display, it allows users to keep track of time, distance, and calories by simply¬†taking a quick glance at the¬†screen. And it comes complete with some games, including running from zombies or fleeing a giant boulder (a la Raiders of the Lost Ark).

google_glass1While it is still in development, early reviews state that the app would be of use to both casual runners and those training for a big race. In addition to keeping¬†track of your time and distance, runners are able to see how many calories they’ve burned and the pace they are setting. In the end, these useful stats, which can be consulted at a glance, are the real point of the app. The games (which require far more concentration) are just a fun bonus.

In addition to the zombie chase and the fleeing of the boulder, they include running against an Olympic athlete (100 metes in 9 seconds), racing  against a train to save a woman lying on the tracks, or against your own speed during the last 50 meters of your run, where the name Race Yourself comes from. Runners using the app can expect two hours of battery life, which is more than enough for a good workout.

Richard Goodrum, COO of Race Yourself, says that the app will be launching later this year, at about the same time that¬†Glass opens up to the general public. It will be joined by apps like Strava Cycling app, which offers similar stats to cyclists. And while you’re waiting, be sure to check out this video of the app in action:


Source:
fastcoexist.com