All posts by ntbadmin

747

On this day in 1970, the Boeing 747, the world’s first “jumbo jet”, enters commercial service for Pan American Airways with its maiden voyage from John F. Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow Airport.

Star Wars Rebels S01E11-15

1.11 “Idiot’s Array”
Zeb bets and loses the droid Chopper to smuggler Lando Calrissian in a game of Sabacc, forcing the Ghost crew to assist Lando with a dangerous smuggling run to get their droid back. The rebels part ways with Lando, though not before Chopper steals the fuel to Lando’s ship.

1.12 “Vision of Hope”
During lightsaber practice, Ezra has a fragmented vision of meeting Gall Trayvis, an exiled Imperial senator. The rebels receive a transmission from Trayvis notifying them of a secret rally on Lothal, but Ezra receives a tip from Zare Leonis that Kallus is planning to use the senator to lure the rebels into a trap.

1.13 “Call to Action”
Grand Moff Tarkin visits Lothal to deal with the rebels. The rebels debate broadcasting a message to the nearby star systems about their cause. The team is able to have Ezra send a message of hope, urging those living under the oppression of the Empire to fight, before Tarkin orders the tower to be destroyed, ending their broadcast.

1.14 “Rebel Resolve”
After failing to find where Kanan is being detained, Hera is urged by Fulcrum to put the crew of the Ghost into hiding. Against Hera’s orders to leave Kanan, Ezra devises a plan to rescue him.

1.15 “Fire Across the Galaxy”
The crew of the Ghost seize an Imperial transport and use the TIE fighter that Zeb and Ezra had previously stolen to infiltrate and disable Tarkin’s star destroyer in the Mustafar system. Ezra frees Kanan using the duct system while Hera, Sabine and Zeb attempt to secure an escape route.

Ambushed in the engine room, Ezra and Kanan face the Inquisitor in a lightsaber duel, during which the Inquisitor falls to his dead in a furnace.


So one baddie is defeated at the end of the season, only to have Anakin Skywalker turn up in full Darth Vader uniform.

And Ashoka Tanu appears, looking like a different character. Given that Ashoka was born in 36 BBY and we are in 4BBY, she would be about 32, ten years older then she was at the start of “The Clone Wars”.

Season One proved to be interesting with some long story arcs that keep up my interest in the characters until the end. And with the introduction of new characters, it looks like the next season will be just as interesting.

 

Star Wars Rebels S1E106-10

Star Wars Rebels Series 1 

 

1.06 “Breaking Ranks”
Ezra goes undercover as an Imperial Academy cadet to help foil a shipment of kyber crystals. Thanks to his training Ezra quickly proves the most capable student in the class.

1.07 “Out of Darkness”
Chopper’s antics cause Ezra and Zeb to forget to carry out an important repair on the Phantom. Hera and Sabine set out to an abandoned Republic asteroid base to retrieve supplies.

This is the first time the crew do something dumb just for the sake of the plot. It should have been easy to detect leaking fuel. And even dumber for the girls to not notice before it was too late. Plus, their solution to the creature problem was just to provide action for the episode. The better way would have been to just move clear of the shadow caused my the rock.

This episode takes place in 5 BBY.

1.08 “Empire Day”
Kanan tries to teach Ezra how to use the Force to make a connection to other living creatures. The rebels destroy the Empire’s new prototype TIE fighter during a parade celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Empire’s creation.

This is the first episode to take place in 4 BBY.

1.9 “Gathering Forces”
Imperials manage to attach a homing beacon on the hull of the Phantom. They arrive at Fort Anaxes, where Kanan teaches Ezra to forgive Tseebo by admitting his fear of not knowing what happened to his parents.

1.10 “Path of the Jedi”
Kanan brings Ezra to a hidden Jedi Temple to be tested for his readiness in Jedi training. Ezra makes his way through the temple alone and is faced with a series of visions showing the Inquisitor killing Kanan and the rest of the Ghost crew. Ezra is guided by the disembodied voice of Jedi Master Yoda, who leads Ezra to a kyber crystal which he uses to build his own lightsaber.

Dauntless

Dauntless
(The Lost Fleet #1)
by Jack Campbell (2006)

Captain John “Black Jack” Geary’s legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic “last stand” in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation.


This series is always at the top of the list for best Military Science Fiction. It’s easy to see why. All the physics of interstellar movement and warfare is well thought out.

The main protagonist, being revived from the dead acts as an outsider, making characters explain things to him (and the reader) without massive info-dumps. The book does rely on internal squabbling among the crews to generate the drama. But with the potential for aliens to turn up this may change.

It’s well researched and solidly written. Although without the breathless action style of BV Larson it still was a good read. It will be interesting to find out what the series has to offer.

Airbus

On this day is 2005 the Airbus A380, the world’s largest commercial jet, is unveiled at a ceremony in Toulouse, France.

The Airbus A380 is a wide-body aircraft manufactured by Airbus. Airbus studies started in 1988 and the project was announced in 1990 to challenge the dominance of the Boeing 747 in the long haul market.

 

Scott Lawlor

Scott Lawlor is an electronic musician that dabbles in everything from  dark and light ambient, solo piano, cosmic drone and avant-garde. He is also a collaborator, notably with ‘Wings of an Angel’ from Israel.

His albums must number in the hundreds, mainly on Bandcamp and a few on Spotify.  There are also some on the internet archive.

Of  particular interest is his re-interpretation of Pink Floyd Albums:

And a series of (so far) 14 ‘Isolation Concerts’ done mainly in 2020

Star Wars Rebels S01E01-05

Star Wars Rebels begins fourteen years after Revenge of the Sith and five years before A New Hope, Rebels takes place during an era when the Galactic Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy. Imperial forces are hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights while a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking form.

1.01-02 “Spark of Rebellion”
Street thief Ezra Bridger is an orphan on Lothal, an Outer Rim world. He interferes with the theft of blaster rifles from the Empire by three Ghost crew members: leader Kanan Jarrus, Mandalorian sharpshooter Sabine Wren, and Last strongman Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios. Ezra ends up stuck with the crew while making their getaway and also meets Twi’lek pilot Hera Syndulla and her C1 astromech droid Chopper.

These first two episodes act as an introduction to the main characters. The animation has a different style to ‘The Clone Wars’ and the tone is lighter, with more jokes and a less series version of the action and violence. It feels more like a teenage video game.

1.03 “Droids in Distress”
The Ghost crew steal a shipment of disruptor weapons from Minister Maketh Tua to sell to Vizago, accidentally bringing the Imperially serviced droids C-3PO and R2-D2 with them in the process.

1.04 “Fighter Flight”
Chopper ends up causing a fight between Ezra and Zeb, so Hera sends them out on a supply run together to keep them from bickering with each other, specifying that they do not return without a rare meiloorun fruit.

1.05 “Rise of the Old Masters”
The rebels discover an underground transmission reporting that Jedi Master Luminara Unduli has survived Order 66 and is being held in a high-security Imperial prison on Stygeon Prime.

Jedi Master Luminara Unduli

ST:D 3.13

Star Trek  – Discovery Season 3 Episode 13
“That Hope Is You, Part 2”

Unable to jump away without Stamets, Osyraa fights her way out of Federation headquarters and shuts off life support for the bridge crew. Despite this, Tilly and the bridge crew are able to plant a bomb in one of the ship’s nacelles with the help of the Sphere data, dropping Discovery from warp.

Burnham makes her way to the ship’s data core, kills Osyraa in a fight, and resets the computer systems. She turns life support back on and beams all Emerald Chain fighters off the ship.

The Emerald Chain collapses after Osyraa’s death, and planets begin to rejoin the Federation.

Well, that’s the end of a rather muddled end of season. Everything is reset and ready for Season 4 to be an ‘adventure per episode’ series. Ho Hum.

 

Clone Wars S7

The seventh and final season premiered on February 21, 2020.

Part 1 – Bad Batch

The Clone Troopers discover and rescue on of their own who is helping the separatists

7.01 “The Bad Batch”
Ggenerals Anakin Skywalker and Mace Windu lead the campaign on Anaxes to defend the main Republic shipyard from Admiral Trench, they find that the Separatists’ droid army had always been one step ahead of them in every engagement so far. Commander Cody, Captain Rex and the “Bad Batch”, an unorthodox group of clone commandos with desirable mutations, go behind enemy lines to discover the source of the Separatists’ series of victories.

7.02 “A Distant Echo”
Anakin, Rex, and the Bad Batch launch a dangerous rescue mission under the assumption that Echo might be alive.

7.03 “On the Wings of Keeradaks”
Anakin, Rex, and the Bad Batch escape Wat Tambor’s facility with Echo and fight their way past Techno Union droid forces.

7.04 “Unfinished Business”
Back on Anaxes, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Mace Windu lead a final stand against the Separatist forces commanded by Admiral Trench. Anakin, Rex, Bad Batch and Echo embark on a mission to strike at the heart of Trench’s command ship, all the while questioning the rescued clone’s loyalty to the Republic after unwittingly serving the Separatists.

Part 2 – Ashoka

(now not a Jedi) falls to the bottom and helps two sisters in a drug smuggling caper. This has a different tone to all the previous episodes.

7.05 “Gone with a Trace”
After crashing her speeder in the lower levels of Coruscant, Ahsoka Tano befriends Trace Martez, who offers to help work on her speeder. Some thugs come to ask Trace for some money her sister, Rafa, owes them; Trace and Ahsoka fight them off.

7.06 “Deal No Deal”
Rafa accepts an assignment to deliver a load of spice from Kessel to the Pyke crime syndicate on Oba Diah, and uses Trace and her self-built ship, the Silver Angel, for the job.

7.07 “Dangerous Debt”
Ahsoka, Trace, and Rafa attempt to escape their imprisonment by the Pyke Syndicate.

7.08 “Together Again”
Ahsoka manages to make a deal with the Pykes which allows the Martez sisters to temporarily leave Oba Diah to retrieve the spice, while she is held hostage.

Part 3 – Goodbye Darth Maul

These episodes open with the classic Lucasfilm logo and the “Star Wars theme” by John Williams. In place of the usual philosophical lesson, the episode title is preceded by “Part I”, “II” etc.

7.09 “Old Friends Not Forgotten”
Ahsoka and Bo-Katan contact Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, asking them for help in apprehending Darth Maul in his new hideout on Mandalore.

7.10 “The Phantom Apprentice”
Ahsoka faces off against Maul, who mentions Darth Sidious before escaping. Ahsoka relays this to Obi-Wan, who says he had inferred from the recently deceased Count Dooku that Sidious is the name of the Sith Lord who orchestrated the Clone Wars.

7.11 “Shattered”
With the Siege of Mandalore over, Ahsoka and Rex prepare to take Maul before the Jedi Council on Coruscant.

This episode features the original voices of Silas Carson as Ki-Adi-Mundi, Ian McDiarmid as Darth Sidious, Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, and Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu via archive recordings.

7.12 “Victory and Death”
As Ahsoka and Rex try to escape from the cruiser, Maul destroys its hyperdrive, causing the vessel to drop out of hyperspace and into a moon’s gravitational field. Forced to fight their way through the clones, Ahsoka tries to prevent Maul from getting away in their shuttle, but fails.

Ahsoka discards one of her lightsabers and some time later, Anakin, now Darth Vader, arrives on the moon and recovers Ahsoka’s lightsaber from the wrecked cruiser.

Spyware

Spyware
by B.V. Larson (2010)

The world believes Ray Vance released the worst computer virus in history. Vance runs from the feds. He must save his family, stop the virus… and stay alive.

From the person who usually writes Military fiction. This is a tech-thriller. And not bad at all. The bad guys are suitably sinister. The cops and feds mildly incompetent, allowing the hero to stay ahead for most of the story. And it all reaches a ‘save the day’ conclusion.