Wormholes and Swords is a blog dedicated to Science Fiction and Fantasy, with a bit of real world technical stuff thrown in from time to time. It is managed by T.D. Wilson, author of the Science Fiction book series, The Epherium Chronicles.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Willow: 2022

 Willow: 2022

That's right.  Willow is back. Disney+ will host a new Willow series based on the character Willow Ufgood from the 1988 film WillowWillow was a great fantasy movie.  You had trolls, hydras, brownies, sorceresses, wizards, great swordsmen, powerful armies, an evil queen, and the greatest warrior of them all, Madmartigan (played by Val Kilmer).  I have probably watched this film over thirty times.  

Now, the new series begins later in Willow's life, about 30 years since the events in the movie.  He is already an accomplished wizard.  The Evil Queen Bavmorda is gone, banished to the Netherworld by her ruined spell and the future empress Elora Danan saved.  She was to be raised by Sorsha (Bavmorda's daughter who rebelled against her mother) and Madmartigan, under the watchful eye of the sorceress Fin Raziel. 

The new trailer is out for the series.  It doesn't show us much in terms of Willow's old life. A woman that looks to be a queen could perhaps be Sorsha, but its not clear.  Also, Sorsha's voice is the one narrating the trailer. but there is strong speculation we could see Madmartigan as well.  I imagine Elora Danan as a grow woman who is preparing to take her place in the world will be featured in some way.

Here is the new trailer.  The series is scheduled to air on Disney+ November 30, 2022.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Star Trek For a New Generation

During my childhood in the 1970s, I remembered watching the re-runs of Star Trek, now affectionately called Star Trek: TOS (The original series).  Follow the adventures of the USS Enterprise and its crew was captivating. Later, the released a cartoon series based on the show and for a kid that made it even more fun.

The new movies provided a larger perspective.  Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a good first start in the movie endeavor. I enjoyed the special effects, but the story was fair, not great.  Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, often viewed as the best TOS film, really galvanized the movie future for Star Trek.  I usually tell people to watch the even numbered TOS films.  I still think Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country was a decent film.  Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was flat out garbage, followed closely by Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

But, I'm digressing.  In the fall of 1987, my first year of college, Star Trek: The Next Generation appeared on the scene.  A new crew, decades after TOS, a new captain, new races, new allies (an alliance with the Klingons), new adversaries (Q notably) and new enemies (The Borg and the Cardassians) and new perspectives for the Federation.  The series spawned more movies and spinoffs, Deep Space Nine and Voyager.

In recent years, we experience a reboot of the original series with new movies based on a different timeline.  The new movies captivated a new younger audience, my kids included.  Paramount also release new Star Trek series with Discovery and Picard.  Not to confuse matters, but Discovery and Picard are based in the original timeline.  I know, it sounds like a long discussion of comic book realities, but not as complicated.

Discovery set the stage for a new series released yesterday, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.  Star Trek returns to the original Enterprise, but focuses on the years it was captained by Christopher Pike, the captain before James T. Kirk.

In Discovery, Pike and Mr. Spock were heavily involved in the 2nd season of the show, with the Enterprise only partly so.  With Strange New Worlds we will get to experience more of Pike's adventures.

I like the transition they made from Discovery to Strange New Worlds.  In two episodes in TOS (called the Menagerie), we learned that Pike had been exposed to delta radiation, his body crippled and reduced to using a life support chair to sustain his life.  In Discovery, Pike is a given a glimpse of his future, he sees the event and aftermath that leads him to that future fate.  He continues to see visions of his future self, and that rattling experience makes him consider leaving Star Fleet and the Enterprise forever.

In true Star Trek fashion, impending doom isn't something that can keep a Starfleet Captain down.  When he learns his first officer is missing on a mission of her own, Pike rejoins Enterprise as her captain and races to find his friend.  The new series is a great launching point for a new generation of Star Trek viewers, filled with characters based in the original series: Spock, Uhura (a cadet servicing aboard as the communications officer), and Nurse Chapel (originally played by Majel Barrett, Gene Roddenberry's wife).   

As a tease, Pike had invited Lieutenant Kirk to join the crew.  Many hoped this would be the introduction of the famed James T. Kirk to the Enterprise, but we later learn that this is George Samuel Kirk, James T. Kirk's brother, who is a science officer attached to the life sciences department.  Fans of TOS will recognize the name and his fate from episodes in that series where James Kirk and Enterprise answer a distress call to the colony Sam was stationed, only find him and his wife dead.

I am excited about this new series.  I think it will entice a whole new generation of fans to the Star Trek franchise and allow them to explore some of the previous movies and series as well.  I leave you will the opening credits to the new series.  A great opening to what I hope will be a terrific new series.

Monday, April 25, 2022

 Spelljammer Reboot

It's been almost 30 years, but the D&D world is rebooting some it rule sets...again.  The one I want to focus on this time is Spelljammer.  That's right flying ships in space across realms set using the new D&D ruleset. They released the trailer for its release below:

Now, you might be wondering why I'm talking about this new RPG rule set.  Well, back in the day, I was a pretty avid RPG gamer.  I was a member for the Role Players Gaming Association, attended conventions, and competed in RPG events in D&D, Star Wars Role Playing, Earthdawn, Torg, Paranoia, Call of Cthulhu, Shadowrun, and several others.  One of things I got to do was participate as a play tester for a brand new source guide called the War Captain's Companion, used with the recently release Spelljammer sourcebook in the early 1990s.  Here is a quick look at the credits I found on another Wiki post.  I highlighted me in the group, just in case you couldn't find me.

Design: Dale "Slade" Henson
Editing (War Captain's Guide and Combat Among the Stars): Jon Pickens
Editing (Ship Reognition Manual): John D. Rateliff
Cover Painting: Eric Olson
Cartography (War Captain's Guide and Ship Recognition Manual): Diesel
Cartography and Diagrams (Combat Among the Stars: Diesel and Dennis Kauth
Internal Art (War Captain's Guide): Diesel, Jeff Easley, Newton Ewell, Mark Nelson, Eric Olson
Internal Art (Ship Recognition Manual): Mark Nelson, Diesel, Steven D Sullivan
Typography: Angelika Lokotz
Thanks To (War Captain's Guide): Anne Brown, Rich Baker, Timothy B. Brown, David "Zeb" Cook, Andria Hayday, Rob King, Colin McComb, Bruce Nesmith, John Rateliff, Thomas Reid, Steven Schend, Dori Watry, Steve "Old Man" Winter, David Wise
Thanks To: (Ship Recognition Manual): Anne Brown, Timothy B. Brown, David "Zeb" Cook, Andria Hayday, Colin McComb, Bruce Nesmith, Jon Pickens, Steven Schend, Dori "The Barbarian" Watry and Steve "Old Man" Winter
Thanks To: (Combat Among the Stars): Anne Brown, Timothy B. Brown, David "Zeb" Cook, Andria Hayday, Colin McComb, Bruce Nesmith, Jon Pickens, Steven Schend, James M. Ward, Dori Watry, Steve "Old Man" Winter
Very Special Thanks: Jeff Grubb, James M. Ward
Play Testers (Combat Among the Stars): Sam Adams, The Association of Roleplaying Gamers of Houston, Brian Baker, Rich Baker, Wolfgang Bauer, Bill Beggs, Tom Beggs, Dave Boddorf, Darin Brown, Timothy B. Brown, Paul Conaway, Troy Daniels, Charles Frederich, Alan Grimes, Scott Hala, Jerry Harper, Stirling Hershey, John Hinkle, Jeff Hornberger, Joseph C. Justice, Brian Knaak, Kelli McMillan, Mitchell McPherson, Mark Middleton, Brad Mongar, Brendan O'Brien, Sam Orlando, Mark R. Paxton, Robert Quillen II, John D. Rateliff, Jay Reese, Thomas M. Reid, Kip Romaine, Cameron Shellum, Lloyd Shellum, David Stowe, Michael Walter Sr., Mike Walter Jr., Heath Waugh, Mark Welch, Skip Williams, Todd Wilson, Tommy Wilson, Tracey Wilson, Dan Wood, Darrel Wood, Kim Wood, Kathryn Woods, Paul Yaeger

Our group spent so many hours developing new scenarios, testing them out, running larger groups in double blind type scenarios. Only the helm pilots could see the larger board, while the crews were only aware of the action on whatever ship they were currently on.  We got really creative.

During the next year at GenCon, the RPGA Team tournament was Living City/Spelljammer based, with the last session in space combat.  Our group put our honed skills to good use, wiped out the forces opposing us in the scenario and won the whole tournament.

So for me, seeing this new release was a real trip down memory lane.  If you have any questions about any of the role playing games, the now defunct RPGA (Living City was a create construct to allow players to create and grow characters to use in adventures), or what we did, please post a comment.  I may even get Jeff Grub, a former TSR alumn who helped create Spelljammer and other sourcebooks to do an interview.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

The Last Kingdom

Season 5 and Beyond

For many of the fans of Netflix show, The Last Kingdom, hearing that Season 5, release in March 2022,  will be its last was disheartening.  However, Bernard Cromwell's Saxon Stories doesn't end there.  There are three books still not covered: War of the Wolf, Sword of Kings, and War Lord.  

However, a new standalone movie has finished filming and is in post production, Seven Kings Must Die.  This movie will cover the last chapters of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, following the reclamation of his home, Bebbanburg and tenuous peace with the Scots and with King Edward.

There is no trailer for the movie at this time, release will most likely be in 2023, but there is still hope for late 2022.

Season 5 claimed many characters from the show.  We saw the death of Aethelhem (I was cheering it), Haeston (a good death, a death of sacrifice), Aethelflaed (heartbreaking as it was), Sigtryggr (little choice, but his choice of executioner tore at me), Whitgar (Uhtred's cousin and a real jackwagon), and last, and perhaps the most grievous, Osferth, our favorite warrior baby monk.  I have to admit, that one shook me.  Losing characters we have invested in is difficult and some of these cut deep.

I purposely left one character out: Brida.  She has been with Uhtred since the beginning.  I had hoped she would make it to the final chapter, but her road ended here.  She and Uhtred reconciled, but only for a moment.  I knew Uhtred couldn't kill her, but it had to be someone of his blood to end her insane quest for revenge.

I hope you can share you own views of the show to date.  It has been a favorite of mine and anxiously await its final chapter.

Monday, April 4, 2022

 Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Trailer

The first official trailer for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has been released.  I loved Pike's involvement in Star Trek: Discovery and have been waiting for this new pre-Captain Kirk series to emerge.  May 5th is just around the corner!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Expanse Season 4 Trailer and Release Date

One of the best sci-fi series still going is The Expanse.  The first three seasons were produced and aired on Syfy (yes, I still like the original name Sci Fi Channel. but change is inevitable).  After season 3, Syfy decided to drop the series.  Syfy did have an online partner in Amazon, which aired the seasons after a few months of their release on Syfy.  Well, Amazon decided to pick up the show for its Amazon Prime Video Series collections.  Season 4 of the Expanse is highly anticipated and the new trailer looks wonderful.  The release of the new series on Amazon is December 13, 2019.  Enjoy this new trailer and post your comments.

New Picard Trailer at SDCC

Picard, a new Star Trek series coming next year, had it newest teaser released at San Diego Comic Con.  The initial trailer was release back in May of this year, but this one shows familiar faces joining Picard for this new adventure.  Take a look and post comments.  I think this is a good beginning.