Flights of The Electribird

Through Games, Events and Multimedia

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Storm Troopers Parade to the Book Store

Do you love the title to this entry as much as I do? I never thought I’d be the one to type it, but that is indeed what happened last Saturday. When a Science-Fiction book store switched location of their store, the owner decided to celebrate big by having a parade go from the old book store to the new one. The store was almost empty when my companion for the day and I arrived at the new store. It was a good thing too, because it gave us a chance to sneak into the store before the parade arrived. We didn’t stay there long, but long enough to catch a peek of the entrance floor.

Darth Vader stands proudly, waiting for the storm troopers to arrive...

A large Darth Vader exhibit statue takes a lot of space near the check-out counter.

One of the main reasons for why I went, is my weakness for Doctor Who. When I heard that the elevator in the store was a TARDIS, the time machine that the doctor travels with in the TV-show, I had to see it for myself.

Unfortunately, you couldn't travel in time with it...

A TARDIS for an elevator.

It didn’t take more than a minute or two before we heard the parade music become louder and louder. Then we saw the first few storm troopers appear a couple of meters away.

The storm troopers are coming!

The storm troopers are coming!

Indeed they came and, just like in the movies, they came to conquer. They made us back away from the entrance to line up outside the store.

Where's Luke Skywalker when you need him?

Storm troopers taking space by the entrance…

In the meantime, the band and the cheerleaders were taking place behind us, playing music and dancing.

It's cool to be on the front row of these people for once!

The band and the cheerleaders played music and danced right behind me. Too bad the storm troopers stole the show.

Apart of the storm troopers and the paraders, there were also some other Star Wars characters that I was really happy to see, like Boba Fett…

Good thing it was him and not Jabba the Hutt...

Boba Fett lined up with the storm troopers.

… a TIE fighter pilot…

I hope he didn't double-park the TIE fighter somewhere...

No flight-hours for this TIE fighter pilot.

… a snow trooper commander…

He also likes photo-ops...

This snow trooper commander is ready for action (and photo-opportunities)!

… and Princess Leia, who got her attention stolen by a dog.

The force is strong in this pooch...

Princess Leia, her blond “clone” and a cute dog.

Their reason for taking over the place? Photo-ops (duh)! They lined up to get their pictures taken by eager fans and photographers.

Can anyone tell if they're smiling?

Soldiers of the empire and Boba Fett showing off their good sides to eager fans and photographers.

I almost got shot by one of them!

"Take my picture or die!"

This storm trooper insisted that I took his picture.

As they took space, I noticed that there were other characters there too, not just from Star Wars. Apart from the ones hired for the parade, a lot of the visitors of the event were also wearing costumes of sorts. We saw several Doctor Whos…

Sadly, none of them wore any scarves...

One of the several doctors who made my day!

… an pretty elf with a dragon and a camera…

If she's suppose to be Dzala Laryn from Dungeon Quest, she's way off!

A dragon AND a camera? This modern elf sure got her hands full and my respect!

… a Jack Sparrow…

Who knew Jack Sparrow liked to read?

Captain Jack Sparrow seems to be uncomfortable with the crowd…

… a Darth Vader…

What? The empire without Darth Vader would be blasphemy!

A small Darth Vader is still a Darth Vader.

… an Indiana Jones, a Gandalf and several other characters I couldn’t identify.  There were lots of people wearing towels too, for some reason. I thought they were fans of Hitchhiker’s Guide Through the Galaxy, but it turned out it was Towel Day that day (same thing, I suppose, since the idea for the holiday came from the love for the book series anyway).

Inside the store, lines were already forming and not just for the check-out counters. People wanted to ride the TARDIS-elevator!

I have no idea why the picture became so dark...

Inside the TARDIS…

Even the second floor had become crowded and for a very good reason. Not only were most of the boardgames and comics down there, the empire had set up a place to take pictures as well. While Boba Fett got his picture taken…

Jabba the Hutt should have been here.

Boba Fett is ready for his close-ups!

… the TIE fighter pilot waited patiently for his turn.

This pilot knows how to keep it cool.

The TIE fighter pilot standing awesomely by.

About a quarter of a meter away, some kids were having their picture taken in front of an alien statue.

Hopefully not for dinner or killing...

Aliens love children.

On the way back to the entrance floor, we decided to take the stairs to avoid the crowd coming out of the elevator. In front of it, we were greeted by Gollum.

He still hasn't found it.

Gollum sat on a shelf, saying he wanted his precious and other phrases.

By this point, the crowd by the cash registers had almost conquered more space than the empire, so buying something was not an option. This was just as well, because I couldn’t afford anything. Too bad, I really wanted one of those beautiful wooden wands by the entrance…

Only someone with Harry Potter's inheritance money can afford one of these beauties...

Wooden magic wands for sale.

Sadly, there wasn’t much more to the event than that, which was just as well. It was getting really warm and crowded inside, so I knew that it was time for us to go.

So, what’s my verdict of this store relocation party? Well, I got threatened to death by a storm trooper, record while Princess Leia danced with a storm trooper, ride a TARDIS, got to see Boba Fett outshine a TIE fighter pilot, got to shake hands with the doctor (an acquaintance of mine was cosplaying as the doctor from Doctor Who) and I got to see Link from The Legend of Zelda!

Cosplayers rule!

A cosplaying Zelda-fan came dressed as Link.

This event gets a 4/5. Sure, the band and the cheerleaders got the attention stolen by the Star Wars cosplayers, but several of my dreams and more came true for me one way or another that day. If there were any discounts for those who didn’t get a special invite to the opening, I’d have given the event top score right away!


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Rest in Peace, LucasArts

Ever since Disney bought LucasArts Entertainment Company, we all knew things were going to go downhill for LucasArts. As much as I love the idea of seeing another Star Wars movie, I can’t help wondering how much Disney might ruin the franchise by “disneyfying” it, like they do to everything else. Still, the biggest knife to the heart came yesterday, when I read about Disney shutting down the game development department of LucasArts. This is such a shame, because they made most of my favorite games before they stopped doing anything else but Star Wars games, like the first four Monkey Island games, The Dig, Full Throttle, Sam & Max: Hit the Road and Grim Fandango. With such an amazing past as being one of the most famous and respected game companies in the world, I still can’t help asking what happened.

During the 80’s and early 90’s, LucasArts made the best games I’ve ever played in my life. After that, all I saw was Star Wars game after Star Wars game, a fun park simulator, more Star Wars, a little Indiana Jones and more Star Wars. Fans had to beg for a sequel of Monkey Island and got The Escape of Monkey Island for their efforts and later on the second editions of The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island: LeChuck’s Revenge. Don’t get me wrong, I love Star Wars and wouldn’t mind watching the movies and testing the games for this blog one day, but when a company puts too much focus on one franchise, there is no doubt that some consumers will spot the sell-out stamp on the company’s forehead and grunt in disappointment. Still, this didn’t stop the company from being regarded as a highly respected game development company and never will. It surprises me that Disney didn’t choose to develop the company further and bring the old game franchises back instead of just shutting it down or – even better – sell the game development part of the company to some other company, like Telltale Games or – don’t hate me for typing this – Electronic Arts. The company name and its history alone is worth twice than was Disney paid for and, as a big fan of LucasArts’ old work, I can honestly say that I’d love to get my hands on a sequel to Monkey Island and every other oldie they’ve made before the Star Wars game craze. Too bad that won’t happen, unless someone coughs up some money to buy the rights to keep making the game from Disney…

Well, most good things always come to an end eventually. All you can do is remember the good times and hope the future brings something equally awesome at a later time. I found this YouTube-clip in a news-entry by The International House of Mojo, which serves as a reminder of some of the good stuff LucasArts used to make:

I’m definetly going to miss LucasArts. I owe them for all the fun, adventures and laughs I got to enjoy in my childhood and remember today. I still enjoy playing their old adventure games today and can’t wait to see who gets to take the torch after them (my guess is Telltale Games, which has done a good job so far). I’m very disappointed that Disney didn’t choose to milk this further.

Thanks for your existence, LucasArts! May you rest in peace.