Sunday, May 27

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Actor Revealed for the X360

Source: Gamespy

This weekend in LA, tens of thousands of Star Wars fans gathered for Star Wars Celebration IV, a Memorial Day long weekend dedicated to the famous franchise. LucasArts has a presence here, promoting some of the bevy of new games that are coming in the next few seasons.

One of the more interesting announcements concerned Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, which is LucasArts' flagship next-gen Star Wars game. The company announced that an actor for the main character, the "Secret Apprentice," has been decided upon. Sam Witwer, perhaps best known as "Battlestar Galactica"'s Crashdown, will be filling the role. This continues the "BSG"-to-game career trend started by cast members of Command & Conquer 3.

Saturday, May 19

The Politics, Poetics and Philosophy of Battlestar Galactica

BSG 2007 - The Politics, Poetics and Philosophy of Battlestar Galactica
A One Day Symposium
28th July 2007
Buckingham Chilterns University College

Since its return, the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica has emerged as the most politically, philosophically and artistically compelling television series of recent years. Opening with the near-obliteration of mankind by a race of cyborgs evolved from human technologies, BSG’s survivors – including a war-weary military commander, a minor cabinet member suddenly elevated to President, a scientific genius harbouring a secret and hallucinating his duplicitous girlfriend – variously struggle to reconcile the grief and guilt of survival, their own personal and psychological flaws, and the demands of fighting an enemy uncannily close to themselves. Remaking the cult 1970s original as a morally challenging, psychologically complex and politically controversial science fiction series, the show combines thriller, space opera, war film and docu-drama, while meditating on the nature of humanity, governance, desire, technology and religion. Conflicted characterisations, ethical irresolvable scenarios, ambiguous storylines, an often-uncomfortable resonance with contemporary international events, and a filming style more cinéma vérité than Star Trek, combine in a text which demands serious academic attention.

This one day event affords academics, fans and fan-academics the opportunity to consider the social, political, philosophical and artistic significance of Battlestar Galactica Contributions are invited from researchers working in a wide range of disciplines, including film and television, fantasy, fandom, philosophy, psychoanalysis, drama, documentary and media production.

Deadline for abstracts: 1st June 2007

Conference fee: £30 waged - £10 student/unwaged

Full details here...


Battlestar's Grace Park: From Warrior to Cylon to Asian Excellence Award Nominee

As befits one of Battlestar Galactica's hotshot pilots, Grace Park (aka Lt. Sharon "Athena" Valerii) got to fly solo as she announced the nominees for the AZN Asian Excellence Awards, even though she's co-hosting the May 28 broadcast on AZN with Lost actor Daniel Dae Kim. And as she revealed the nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actress in the TV category, Park encountered a familiar name on the list: Grace Park.

""That would be me, in Battlestar Gallactica," she said with chagrin. "I think they just had to put that in there because I'm hosting.""

Park sat down at a lunch table at Beverly Hills' Le Meridien Hotel for a post-announcement chat with, accepting congratulations with modesty. ""It's kind of funny,"" she said. ""I was feeling that they'd probably feel pressured to put me on there…I think they probably won't let me announce that section because I'm just going to read my own name no matter what.""

The AZN Asian Excellence Awards honors significant Asian and Asian-American achievements in entertainment and the arts. As a successful Asian-American actor, Park never lost touch with her community.

""It's such a part of my fabric and who I am, just in my everyday living that I don't really see a group of Asian-Americans and go, 'I'm a part of that group.' [I asked] my cousin's daughter, 'Oh, you're half Korean and what's your other half?' And her parents were like, 'No, no, we don't like to say half and half because to them, they don't see it split up. It's just all mixed together.' In that way, growing up in Vancouver, I didn't really strongly identify with the Asian community necessarily but maybe more the Korean community because my parents were always like, 'Well, what are they going to think of you' – that kind of thing. They're always worried about that, but not necessarily the Asian-American community so much.""

With her Korean-by-way-of-Canadian heritage, Park also has unique insight into American culture. She has determined to start a family with her husband in the near future to avoid falling into some distinctly American social traps.

""I don't think I want to wait forever. I think there's such the allure of just staying single [or] without kids, because we're sort of spoon-fed in America and really encouraged to stay youthful and have a lot of toys and buy stuff and eat what you want. There's so many things to keep us interested and distracted but then all of a sudden one day you wake up and it's like, 'Wait a second, I'm in my mid-30s and either still not married or something like that.' I have lots of friends who want to be with someone but we're not really encouraged to settle down and have a family. So I think before it runs away on me, I'd like to do that.""

With Battlestar Galactica gearing up to shoot what may be its last season, that would leave Park time for such pursuits. If the show continues, being a working mummy could be tough. ""I think it might be difficult but that's one of the things I've started thinking about, how to really balance that. I don't know. One of my acting teachers is always like, he always loves to say that relationships are ships and ships sink. He says it all the time and the other day I thought, wait, ships are supposed to float. Ships aren't made to sink. But he's kind of encouraging us not to do that. 'Don't get married or don't get in a relationship that brings you down, and then five years you're gone and then you come back.' So we'll see.""

Before any babies come, Park still has the figure to show off some edgy fashions at the awards show, as the white, leggy dress from Visionary Award honoree Vivienne Tam she was wearing demonstrated, and she's excited about the glam aspect of her hosting duties.

""I was in New York so I went to her studio to pick out some stuff. There's this one dress that just came out in her fall collection, or it's going to be coming out: I feel it's like a kind of Chinese style dress. They have buttons up here with a certain kind of collar. There's two of them, one is red but it has big, almost cartoon-y dragons on them, which I feel is not as safe as some of the other dresses, so I like that. But the other one looks like she's going to war in it. It's pretty full on.""

The prospect of mid-show costume changes does not phase Park. ""I was like, 'How many outfits should I get?' Because this is so new to me. She was like, 'Bring three, two extras.' It was daunting at first but it seems like there are a lot of people that are really supportive. Everyone else seems to be quite used to it so I just followed their lead. [I'm] not trailblazing or anything, you know."" Any other day, Park claims, we would catch her in jeans and a tank top.

Galactica's Final Journey

Park goes back to work on Sci-Fi's acclaimed series in mid-May with a two-hour episode. Finally, on year four, she feels relaxed. ""I think I was pretty stressed the last few years on the show and I'm really looking forward to doing something different, and not really being so producer-, writer-, director-focused. I think I really thought, and I think this is a pretty common thing for a lot of people growing up but especially so in Asian communities, trying to please other people. I think I was doing that but I think as a result, it was probably hampering my acting. I hope it doesn't take four years all the time for me to relax…Why did it take four seasons? I don't know to be honest but I've been doing a lot of personal growth hopefully, because I'm just at a new place and finally realized: I'm not going to get fired.""

The opening episode of the upcoming season is a flashback to a point midway through Season Two, providing a light workload for Park and most of the series regulars. ""It's actually more about a new character coming on board. I've heard rumors of who it might be, but to be honest, I don't know who they've cast, I shouldn't say. I looked at the days, I have one day out of the entire month and this new character has like 24. I think it's pretty much going to be about the Pegasus and about this new character who for some reason we didn't see back then. I think in a way, they would like all the regular cast to have a little peep in the two-hour special, but really it's about this person. I don't even know who the heck you are, but you better be good.""

Like any television show with ongoing mysteries, the actors have no idea what is coming. But based on series creator Ron Moore's indications of where he wants the show to go, Park has some ideas. ""I have no authority to say this, but I'm speculating that it's going to be our last [season], especially since we got 22 [episodes]. And I've heard Ron Moore say a few times that we're coming into the last two chapters of Battlestar."

"With that in mind," she continued, "I think instead of having more and more loose ends unraveling, we're just going to see more of them becoming tied together finally, and where that'll lead us – probably to Earth. What time is it going to be when we get there? No idea. We'll probably end up on the set of Blade Runner. We get to Earth and it's Blade Runner.""

A 22-episode season would be plenty of time to answer most – if not all – of the series' lingering questions, Park thought. ""I certainly see us coming to certain conclusions. Does that mean all the questions will be answered? Not necessarily. But I think hopefully we'll find out what is the purpose of what's Starbuck's destiny? What's really the Cylons' plan? Because they always say, 'We have a plan.' To date, I've got to tell you, none of the people who play Cylons actually know what that plan is, so hopefully there'll be some answers.""

The AZN Asian Excellence Awards will be broadcast on AZN Television Monday, May 28 at 8:00 PM EST.

Grace Park of Battlestar Galactica and Command & Conquer

Legions of gamers know Grace Park as Sharon Valerii, or Number Eight, from the Sci-Fi Channel"s Battlestar Galactica TV series. Park jumped from one science fiction universe to another in the new Electronic Arts videogame, Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars™. In this real-time strategy game, Park plays Lt. Sandra Telfair in the game's full-motion video sequences that bridge the in-game single player action. Park said her first interactive experience was a lot of fun.

Reagarding Command and Conquer - "It was one very intense day of full-on GDI in the world of Tiberium Wars," said Park. "Pretty much most of my day was interacting with the camera. Other than that, I worked with Michael Ironside, who played General Jack Ranger. It was different because, for the most part, we were speaking to the camera rather than avoiding the camera or speaking to other actors. But for some reason it went really smooth."

Park said it was much simpler doing the green screen for Command & Conquer because she was mostly addressing a TV screen that they filled in later on with CGI. On Battlestar Galactica, the actors are inside a spaceship, inside the world of the green screen.

"It's pretty strange working with green screen," said Park. "Sometimes it's nice to know who you're doing beforehand. You don't know what it's going to look like. Later on, you're like, 'That looks so much better than what I imagined.' Now I know why I'm an actor and not doing special effects."

Park said she approached her character, Sandra Telfair, as a person, by figuring out her values, what motivates her in life, who she's interacting with, and what she thinks of them. She said it didn't feel any different than the preparation she does for a film or TV show. But it was a different experience actually seeing herself in a videogame for the first time.

I'm not much of a gamer lately, but seeing what the graphics and special effects look like is amazing. There's so much depth to games now.

"I just saw a clip of the game," said Park. "What always throws me off is when they show a scene from the game. It's like, 'Whoa, that's not real life.' With enough clips of seeing the other actors and seeing the story evolve, pretty quickly you just fall into that world and just believe the battle scenes. It's weird because I guess I expected everything to look like a movie, but I forgot it was a game and you have to interact with it." When it comes to what the Xbox 360™ can do with games today, like Command & Conquer 3, Park said it totally blows her mind.

"I'm not much of a gamer lately, but seeing what the graphics and special effects look like is amazing," said Park. "There's so much depth to games now. I've been watching the DVD extras and some of the making-of, so I haven't played the game yet. But when I get to play the game, I think how the game adapts to your playing style will be mind-blowing."

Saturday, May 12

Flight of Battlestar Continues

Battlestar Galactica's search for Earth continues to be an open-ended adventure, executive producer David Eick said.

Contrary to comments by Edward James Olmos (Adm. Adama) at the Saturn Awards on May10, no end has been announced for the award-winning show. Battlestar Galactica is preparing to film its fourth season, one that will include 22 episodes, rather than the previously announced 13.

"For those of you who have been paying attention over the years, this is not the first time Eddie has made an announcement about the possibility of the show's end," chuckled Eick. "I promise you that when [executiuve producer] Ron [Moore] and I make a decision about Galactica's future, we'll let you know."


The man behind Adama gives us hints of what to expect and tells about the 2-hour movie as well
By SEAN ELLIOTT, Senior Editor - IF Magazine
Published 5/10/2007

LOCATION: Saturn Awards

THE SKINNY: iF MAGAZINE was on the red carpet covering the Saturn Awards at the Universal Hilton this evening and talked to several interesting people from all walks of Sci Fi, Fantasy, and Horror. One of the most interesting things was our conversation with Edward James Olmos, Admiral Adama, from the SCI FI Channel series BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Olmos told iF that this is the final season for the show and what fans can expect to see in the two-hour movie filling the gap between seasons three and four.

iF MAGAZINE: What’s coming up for season four?

EDWARD JAMES OLMOS: It’s fantastic. I think they’re going to discover some very important issues about what the fan base really, really wants to see and what’s to understand about this show. We’re heading into the final season. This is the final season as we speak. All of us are very saddened by that, but we always knew there was going to be a conclusion and we would find Earth, so we will be finding Earth this season. I wish it would [keep going]. I could do 10 years like this season. I think that this is some of finest usages of television that I have been a part of in my life. Bar none. I’ve been doing this for 42 years. I’ve done some really good work in television and motion pictures but there really is nothing like this show. I can honestly tell you that this is one of the finest dramatic pieces work on humanity I’ve ever seen in my life.

iF: Are you wrapped on the series then, yourself?

OLMOS: No, I was just getting started. [Laughs] You’ll see, this year we’ll eat them up and spit them out and they’re going to wish they would’ve gone on for 10 years.

iF: So anything special we can expect for the new season?

OLMOS: You can expect lots of energy. The closer we get to the discovery and the understanding of what this show is really about, the more intense it’s going to get and the more difficult it is to watch.

iF: What can you tell us about the 2 hour movie in between seasons?

OLMOS: My involvement is minimal; it’s more of a situation about what happened to the Pegasus prior to getting to us. It’s a very powerful piece of work. The writing is…these kids are doing very well! Ron Moore, I don’t think he’ll ever have this opportunity again.

iF: Will Adama and Roslin heat up for this final season then?

OLMOS: Probably! [Laughs] We’re heating it up. We’ve been pretty intimate without getting intimate. It’s heating towards that. My instincts are that it’s going to do a tremendous about face.

iF: How did you react to the resurrection of Starbuck?

OLMOS: That’s interesting. I’d like to know what that means myself, because we thought she was gone. We were all led to believe that. We weren’t even around when they filmed that shot. We saw it at the end like everybody else. The best part of working with a really understanding group of people so they kept it.

Friday, May 11

Sackhoff Is Original Bionic Woman

Source: SciFi Wire

Battlestar Galactica star Katee Sackhoff told SCI FI Wire that she will play the original cyborg in NBC's Bionic Woman SF series. "I play Sarah Corvus," Sackhoff said in an interview at the Saturn Awards in Los Angeles on May 10. "She's the original bionic woman. The first bionic woman. She doesn't let anyone forget it. And she's kind of gone off the reservation. She's a little crazy."

Sackhoff, who plays fighter jock Starbuck in Battlestar, will star in The Bionic Woman opposite Michelle Ryan, who plays Jamie Sommers. Sackhoff revealed that her character will have two bionic arms, "both legs, two eyes, one ear, part of my chest." The show is a reimagining of the original 1970s series, which starred Lindsay Wagner as Jamie Sommers. Sackhoff said that her character would be part of the series as well.

Sackhoff added: "My biggest fear was that Sarah Corvus was going to turn out like Starbuck. But she didn't. She turned out a little like Number Six [laughs]. She's the femme fatale. She's dangerous. She's sexy. She knows it, and she uses it. She walks with a purpose, and Starbuck really doesn't. It's ... two different sides of the coin, but both misunderstood."

The Bionic Woman, from Battlestar executive producer David Eick, is being looked on favorably by NBC, Sackhoff said. "It hasn't been [picked up] ... officially," she said. "Unofficially, I've heard that it's getting picked up. But officially, we'll find out Monday." (The Hollywood Reporter, citing anonymous sources, confirmed that NBC will pick up Bionic Woman.) —Patrick Lee, News Editor

Wednesday, May 9

Katee Sackoff Stars in Lifetime's Be Careful What You Wish For

Source: MovieWeb

Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) is starring in the Lifetime telefilm Be Careful What You Wish For for Blueprint Entertainment.

Set in a small town in the 1990s, Sackhoff will star as Sara Jacob, a teenager who has had a crush on one of her classmates since preschool. The Hollywood Reporter says when an eclipse lands the unsuspecting teens at their wedding almost 20 years in the future, neither of them is prepared for what adulthood has in store.

Sage Brocklebank, Kim Poirier and Tommy Lioutas are also part of the cast; Be Careful What You Wish For is set to air July 16 on Lifetime.

Monday, May 7

New character in "Battlestar Galactica" season 4 premiere

Source: Filmjerk - By CassyHavens
May 6th, 2007

"Battlestar Galactica" returns in season four with a two-part episode entitled "Razor," and with it, comes a new female character.

For this episode only, we are introduced to Kendra Taggert, a Major from the now-destroyed Pegasus, who lost it when the war with the Cylons started, and is somewhat unhinged now. Her mother was a Quorum delegate who had to call in a few favors to get her aboard the Pegasus, with the expectation Kendra would command the fleet eventually. Another chick in her late 20's, Kendra should fit in with the other female leads on "Galactica" now, not to mention the fact that she could relate to Lee Adama, given their similar circumstances.

The last season of "Galactica" drew some criticism from fans and critics alike for its unbalanced portrayal of its normally strong female characters. President Roslin's cancer has relapsed and she had little to do during Gaius Baltar's trial; Starbuck went more nuts and died only to return in the final moments of the season; and Roslin's assistant, Tory, who has had nothing to do after rigging the presidential election during season 2, was revealed as a Cylon. With this new addition, are we being set up for more of the same? The Amazonian Cylon women also seemed shortchanged last season. I wouldn't mind a little more asskicking.

We can also expect a few flashback scenes with a 20-something Admiral Adama, back when he was a rookie fighter pilot.

The two-part season premiere starts filming next week.

The Scorecard
Executive Producers: David Eick, Ronald D. Moore, Harvey Frand
Writer: Michael Taylor
Director: Felix Alcala

Saturday, May 5

BSG No. 2 in poll on EW Sci Fi countdown

Developed by Ronald D. Moore

You remember the show, right? Lorne Greene in a shiny cape leading a band of well-coiffed thirtysomethings as they flee from extras in shiny suits? Glen A. Larson's original '70s Battlestar Galactica: not the worst by-product of the Star Wars juggernaut, but close. So one could view the unmitigated brilliance that is Sci Fi Channel's reimagined Battlestar Galactica series two ways: (1) They had no place to go but up or (2) it's amazing they did so much with so little.

The core of the Galactica plot — the last human survivors of a catastrophic genocide are on the run from their attackers, the Cylons — carried a new resonance in the wake of 9/11. And in keeping with science fiction's grandest tradition, BSG tapped into the power of allegory to enrich its outer-space dogfights and military pomp with the gravity of issues like abortion, terrorism, stem-cell research, racism, even the war in Iraq. The dysfunctionally awesome cast gives it all the ring of authenticity: from Edward James Olmos' crusty warhorse Admiral Adama and Mary McDonnell's tender-as-nails President Roslin to Katee Sackhoff's bedeviled pilot Kara Thrace and Tricia Helfer's glacially threatening Cylon known only as Number Six. But the real MVPs of the ensemble are Michael Hogan, who plays Adama's boozy right-hand man Saul Tigh, and James Callis, who makes you feel for Gaius Baltar, the best, most conflicted villain on TV.

POP CULTURE LEGACY The damned thing won a Peabody award for its second season. It's proving what sci-fi fans have known for decades: Science fiction is as legitimate a vehicle for human drama as any other genre.

THE BEST BIT While any given episode of Galacticais better than 90 percent of what's on the air, the thrill of discovery makes the first season (including the miniseries) the way to go. —Marc Bernardin

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