Article written by RAA for use by Nerd Clout

Just like other hardcore fans of the novel, I waited more than a DECADE for Ender’s Game the movie. The movie preserves the essence of the novel and deftly does it justice. [Spoilers & words, lots of words]


Context and HYPE!

Let me start this off by giving some context to my anticipation build-up for last night. I, like a whole host of others, love Ender’s Game. Ender’s Shadow, the entire Ender’s series, and Bean’s tale as well… all that shit, I eat it up. Ender’s Game has held a special place in my heart for a long time. The psychological focal lens, the philosophical conundrums, awesome tactical details + military exposition, awesome ideas for the future (this movie managed to modernize a lot of amazing sci-fi, since keep in mind, this book is 30 years old and was just then showcasing an ambitiously naïve conception of the internet through Demosthenes and Locke) and that’s only Ender’s Game. The series gets way darker and more complicated, delving into foreign species relations, quantum physics, and artificial intelligences as Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind progress.

Ok ok, I’m already on a tangent and I haven’t even gotten started. Sorry, I was just so excited about the experience for so many years, since like, 2003 maybe? After having read the novel, I knew there were turbulent plans to make it into a film, and at the time, it seemed completely inconceivable. I remember a bunch of commotion about the anti-bullying, kid on kid violence (still shown), the 6-11 year olds running amok naked and discussing military tactics (I could see how that’s more or less unfilmable), the scenes in the gravity room and how it would look (oh man, even 5 years ago this was a mystery), and I didn’t even feel a concern about the Command school because I simply had no idea how they could possibly even start to brainstorm that challenge. And the ending? What? How could they possibly have any emotional impact, for fans of the book and also newcomers to the story via the movie?

Well fuck! It wasn’t happening. The movie wasn’t being made. I remember Wolfgang Puck (Troy director) was set to make it, and they had some promising ideas. Minor changes here and there, but when considering how cumbersome movie adaptations usually are, it’s understandable concern. If they were going to do a mini-series, we’d lose some polish and budget, but we’d be able to see every scene play out, all of the character and plot development intact, more focus on the complex emotional issues… but, well, we knew we were getting a movie. Hell, before the movie even came out, it’s pretty easy to see how an adaptation or remake brings the original source material to a wider audience, thereby getting more people to experience the wonderful story of Ender’s Game. I just didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. Justice was fucking served.

The Movie Drops, and I’m getting AMPED!

Ok, I’m amped. I wanted to see it Imax, scheduling prevented that, but no biggie. I’d seen reviews. I knew it was doing decent, and let’s face it, the trailer was dope, the cast is amazing, and no matter what, it was gonna be an interesting depiction. The intro scenes are phenomenal. They showcase in graphic detail Ender’s monitor being removed, the encounter with the first bully, and establish the war between the formics and humanity. Ender seems to act just like I’ve pictured him. So contemplative, calculated, and genuine. Asa is killing it right from the get-go.

I’ll admit that he’s clearly a bit older than he was in the novel, yet they never actually give any clues to his age. This isn’t a contention for me in the slightest, nor are many of the other changes they made in the movie. The book is dense. Plot cuts worked to plausibly construct the film into a feature length film, unless they’d gone with a 3 hour epic ala LoTR, but damn, maybe next time. Unlike many others, I liked seeing Bean in the launch group. I don’t recall seeing him in the trailer at all and thought he wasn’t going to be a prominent character, and seeing him get as much screen time as he got really (when thinking he’d be totally written out, more or less) got me amped. This story wasn’t for Bean. Ender’s Game the movie was clearly Ender’s story. It took all the important bits from the novel regarding Ender and hyper-focused them, and while the supporting characters are so lush in the novel, here they are used to propel the plot and Ender’s journey.

ACTING and Performances

IMO, if they continue the saga with the films (and here’s hoping it does well at the Box Office), I hope they continue to make small adjustments to focus the story even more on Ender. Ender himself is an amazing character, and that’s probably where the movie succeeds the most.

Oh man, not just Ender though. Everyone was cast well and gave a phenomenal performance. More than anything I’d have to say that I’m glad they actually managed to find an actor that could provide Ender with the sort of charisma and thoughtfulness that he seems to have. There are plenty of times that Ender makes some questionable decisions later on in the saga, after he’s spent more of his life living through diplomacy (the finale of Ender in Exile comes to mind), but I couldn’t be more pleased with how Ender was brought to life. Considerable thanks to Gavin Hood, Asa Butterfield, and of course OSC. Graff and Ender’s relationship was pretty intriguing IMO. They switched up the power balance constantly, and Graff exposed his various sides of affection and mentorship, and ultimately looks like the bad guy who uses his protégé like a scalpel. The movie actually showcases the relationship better than the book in lots of ways, and I think the emotional impact at the end may have been better conducted through the visual medium. Shit, the acting was a huge portion of why this movie was “unfilmable”. No one thought it could be pulled off years back, and boom, Asa and Harrison to the rescue, it seems. Dap was stellar. I didn’t even get stoked to see Dap, but his salute to Ender after the way Ender goaded him was probably the most touching moment in the film. Petra was candid, but not overwhelmingly amazing. Bonzo was downright perfect. I don’t recall him being so small, but as far as an inferiority complexes mitigated by blind rage and rigidity to authority go, he ruled his role. The way they showcased him and Ender’s fight was… interesting to say the least. It was impactful, and I’ve seen a lot of people complaining, but it seemed a pretty strong message to me. Also seeing Bonzo get neutralized like that made me cringe pretty hard.

Anderson as a critique of the program rather than a carbon copy of Graff was nice to see, as was the way they actually managed to incorporate the deception the ending relied on. Instead of seeing a broken down Ender wanting to give up, we’re given an eager Ender, ready to prove himself as a potential commander. The big reveal worked in a lot of ways. We never get a glimpse of the emotions the other officers feel in the novel, but it’s harrowing to watch their faces as the human ships wither and wane during the final battle. These moments, when viewed in a movie, really do fill up thousands of words in seconds where full pages might be used.

Where the movie is BETTER than the book

But shit, y’all, the movie was downright amazing when compared to the onslaught of production difficulties it had up against it. I ain’t much for “wishlist” critiques, where people go in with massive expectations, and then subsequently nitpick the movie to death because it didn’t live up to their bloated vision, as if that’s an actual dissection of the qualities the movie possesses. It’s tough in an adaptation because that’s often the focus – bringing the novel to a visual light with accuracy, but it’s just not possible most of the time with feature films.

The straight up amazing stuff the movie excelled at was in how they showcased the visuals. I was beyond pleased with the structure of the battleroom, the visual changes, and the zero-g combat. I loved Ender’s grace in battle and the look of the suits. The zoom in on the hardening of the muscle fibers was nutso, and despite a somewhat truncated emotional impact due to quickened pacing, the battles were intense and had me cheering for Ender like a decade-old hometeam. The actual Command School simulations were pretty damn jaw-dropping. I don’t know about y’all,  but I didn’t quite envision it like the movie did, and was pleased to see some gaps filled in for me. Every single time that I was witnessing the destruction of a human ship, I recoiled. I don’t usually feel that way about fictional characters, but the fact that I was watching a simulation of a story (the movie itself) and living vicariously as Ender whilst he lived a simulation made our experience interestingly equal. We both recognized the images before us as simulation, and yet are both deceived. It’s an interesting feeling to watch the final battle because as I knew they were real people the whole time, the knowledge that Ender didn’t know was in my head which made them feel all the more real. I think that this duel simulation of movie/Command School and audience/Ender made the discussion of death and winning-at-what-cost all the more impactful — dare I say even more impactful than the novel itself.

I don’t think I’ve had a similar contemplative emotion as in that particular final battle in any movie, so Kudos to that.

Minor Gripes and advocacy

With all that said, it stands to be mentioned that my main complaint, and others’ is that there justwasn’t enough of the movie. I, we, everyone, wanted more. I wanted to see more, stay with the characters more, and hear more of their thoughts. We didn’t get as much of that as we liked, and I’d say it’s a fairly large compliment that every character had a valuable on-screen presence. The only scene I remember watching and thinking that it was low impact was Valentine and Ender in the boat 2/3rds of the way through.

Obviously I want this movie to do well, as I hope we can see more of these amazing character. I want to see Valentine and Ender journeying through the galaxy. I want to see how Ender handles inter-species relations and quantum physics conundrums. I want to see Bean motherfucking step up like we all know he’s capable of, and I want to see how they manage to portray Achilles in the story. I want an Ender’s Shadow stand-alone movie in a couple of years, and I want the Ender’s Sage to continue with many of the cerebrally stimulating themes the wonderful books do. Likely speaking, we won’t be seeing any of this for a while, but I think I’ll go watch the movie in theaters once more so that I can at least say I tried to make it happen.


From my perspective as a hardcore Ender’s Sage fan who’s waited for a decade for the film… it was better than I could have ever hoped it to be. This certainly comes from the angle that I knew it was in production HELL and I very wisely managed my expectations of what a novel — > movie adaptation must change. I didn’t mind a single change that occurred, and was beyond blown away with how gracefully the complex thematic nature translated to the screen. They kept in what I consider the majority of themes and ideas (and even alluded to new ones via Speaker for the Dead) whilst focusing the story on Ender. The pacing was blisteringly fast, and my only complaint is that I just wanted to experience more of it. As a companion piece to one of my favorite novels, Ender’s Game is amazing. As a stand-alone movie, I think it tried a lot of interesting concepts and did a fairly good job given the short running time. It ain’t perfect, but it sure as fuck did the novel justice. Fans of the book should rejoice.


Hiroshi Yamauchi, the Japanese businessman credited with transforming Nintendo into a world-leading video games company, has died aged 85.

Mr Yamauchi ran the firm for 53 years, and was its second-largest shareholder at the time of his death.

The company confirmed the news in an emailed statement.

A spokesman said the firm was in mourning over the “loss of the former Nintendo president Mr Hiroshi Yamauchi, who sadly passed away this morning.”

He died of pneumonia at a hospital in central Japan, the company said, adding that a funeral will take place on Sunday.

Mr Yamauchi ran the company from 1949 until 2002.

In that time, he took what was a small-time collectable trading card company and built it into one of the most recognisable – and successful – video games brands today.

“Hiroshi Yamauchi transformed a run-of the-mill trading card company into an entertainment empire in video games,” said Ian Livingstone, co-founder of Games Workshop and former chairman of publisher Eidos.

“He understood the social value of play, and economic potential of electronic gaming. Most importantly he steered Nintendo on its own course and was unconcerned by the actions of his competitors. He was a true visionary.”

Rob Crossley, associate editor of Computer and Video Games magazine, told the BBC: “You cannot overestimate the influence the man had on the games industry.”

“He spearheaded Nintendo as they moved into the arcade business, with hits such as Donkey Kong.

“This man was the president of Nintendo during the NES, the SNES, the N64 and the Gamecube – the first two were transformative pieces of electronic entertainment.”

Household names

Mr Yamauchi took over at Nintendo after his grandfather suffered a stroke. After several years developing the firm’s existing trading card business, Mr Yamauchi turned to electronic entertainment.

Super Mario

He utilised the work of legendary games designer Shigeru Miyamoto, who had made Donkey Kong, as a way of breaking into the US arcade game market.

Mr Miyamoto’s later work was pivotal in the success of Nintendo’s home entertainment systems – titles such as Super Mario, Legend of Zelda and Starfox became commercial smashes and household names.

Mr Yamauchi stood down as president in 2002, taking a place on the firm’s board of directors. In 2005, he left the company entirely.

Since his departure, Nintendo has gone on to produce the hugely successful Wii console, but has floundered in the past 12 months due to disappointing sales of its latest effort, the Wii U.

Mr Yamauchi, one of Japan’s richest men, also used to own the Seattle Mariners major league baseball club before selling it in 2004 to Nintendo’s US-based operation.

(guest written)

Rob Spake on five classic villains who should appear in Spider-Man movies… but probably won’t….

The build-up for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has begun and it’s going to be packed with villains. Jamie Foxx and Paul Giamatti have been confirmed as Electro and Rhino respectively, while Dane DeHaan has been cast as Harry Osborn leading to speculation about whether he could possibly don a Goblin’s costume, and there’s the hovering presence of Chris Cooper’s Norman Osborn as well. But Spider-Man has one of the most extensive Rogues Gallery of any hero and there are some we probably won’t get to see depicted on the big screen. Here are five that I’d love to see, feel free to add your choices in the comments below!

#5 The Vulture

The VultureThe Vulture almost made it to the screen in Sam Raimi’s aborted Spider-Man 4. On that occasion Ben Kingsley was heavily rumoured for the part, and although Spidey punching an old man may not transition well from comic panels to live action I think there’s great potential in the character. Besides, if using Adrian Toomes is too uncomfortable for some there are plenty of other characters who have used the harness through the years, but I’d like to see one of Spider-Man earliest villains make an appearance.

I can imagine some incredible aerial fight scenes, which isn’t something we’ve really seen in any of the Spider-Man movies to date. The Vulture would open up a whole new dimension for dynamic sequences and would add an extra sense of danger for Spider-Man as he careens through the air. I also think it would open up development for another character – Aunt May. In the comics Doc Ock tried to wed Aunt May in one of the most bizarre storylines, but Sally Field is a great actress and I’d love her to have a more substantial role. If The Vulture romanced her, perhaps not even as part of a nefarious plot but simply because he genuinely cared for her, it would add even more complications to Peter’s life as he’d have to break his Aunt’s heart in order to defeat the supervillain, and there’s a great deal of angst to be mined from that as he already feels responsible for Uncle Ben’s death.

#4 The Chameleon


The Chameleon
Considering he was Spider-Man’s first foe way back in Spider-Man #1 it’s somewhat surprising that, as far as I’m aware, he’s never been considered for one of the live-action films. While he doesn’t pose the greatest physical threat I love the idea that he could be posing as anyone Spider-Man encounters, and that because Spider-Man doesn’t know exactly who he’s looking for his Spider-sense’s effectiveness is reduced.

I also like the idea of a Spider-Man doppelganger running around causing havoc and giving the webslinger an even worse reputation. I think it would be a great opening to the movie if we follow Spider-Man to a crime scene assuming he’s going to save the day only to realise that we’ve actually been watching the imposter as he shoots someone (or commits some other dastardly deed.) Although Peter Parker isn’t a detective, having The Chameleon as a villain would showcase his intelligence as he tries to figure out who is imitating him and why, and it has the potential to be a suspenseful and tense film.

#3 Michael Morbius


Spider-Man and MorbiusOne of the aspects of the Spider-Man films I’ve been critical of is that so many of the villains have been scientists-gone-bad. In this feature I tried to stay away from those types of characters but I decided to make an exception for Morbius for a number of reasons.

I think Spider-Man is one of those characters that can work in a number of different tones. Obviously so far on this list The Vulture would be more of a straight action film, The Chameleon would be more of a suspenseful thriller and Morbius would be a horror. There’s obviously a tragic aspect to the character so he’s more of a sympathetic antagonist rather than an outright villain, and again I think the main romantic angst of the film can come from Morbius and his love interest rather than Peter and his, although I’m thinking more along the lines of Buffy/Angel rather than Twilight. With his enhanced strength he poses enough of a physical threat to Spider-Man that the fights would be equal, but the one drawback is there are a lot of similarities with The Lizard, given that both were scientists trying to cure themselves.

However, I think one of the more interesting angles that could be explored, and would make this a proper horror film, is the transformation of Spider-Man into the Man-Spider. It wouldn’t be a stretch to have Peter’s mutation go farther, and it would be a nice twist to have Spider-Man be a villain in his own film. It would also give something for Gwen to do as well. We’ve already seen that she’s intelligent and has a position at Oscorp, and I’d like to see her save Peter for once.

#2 Kraven the Hunter


Kraven the Hunter
Kraven was the star of one of the most iconic Spider-Man stories – Kraven’s Last Hunt, but I don’t think an adaptation of that story would work. Since Spider-Man 2 I wanted a film where Kraven came to New York to hunt Spider-Man and The Lizard emerged at the same time, so Spider-Man had to stop Kraven from attacking him and The Lizard, and stop The Lizard while trying to get him to change back to Curt Connors. I’m still a bit sad that never happened, but I still think Kraven should be used in tandem with another villain.

I like the idea of him hunting Spider-Man while he battles another foe, taking notes about his strengths and weaknesses and then strikes when Spidey least expects it. I also like the idea that the appearance of Spider-Man gets the attention of this legendary hunter, and it would give an opportunity to show what people outside of New York think. I always think in film series where there’s only a single hero operating not enough attention is given to the worldwide impact their existence has. And yes, I do want him in his classic costume.

#1 Mysterio

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Mysterio‘Wait, what, Mysterio? Is this guy serious?’ Indeed I am. I’ve longed for a Mysterio appearance, so much so that when I attended a preview event for The Amazing Spider-Man I actually suggested him as a potential villain to some people who were collection opinions for the studio. I waited eagerly when announcements were made about villains in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 but, alas, they did not take my opinions on board.

Ol’ Fishbowl Head isn’t taken that seriously but I think in the hands of a good writer he can be an effective villain. He can really torture Peter’s psyche and play on the webslinger’s doubts and fears in a way not many other villains can. I love the idea that along with fighting Mysterio Peter has to fight his own personal demons. I’d also love to see them actually treat Mysterio as a joke in the film (and as with Kraven I want to see the classic costume, as ridiculous as it is) until they realise that he’s actually really dangerous. And as anyone who has read Old Man Logan can attest; Mysterio can be dangerous.

I also think that in this period where there are so many 3D movies and movies want to be bigger and more of a spectacle than the last Mysterio is the perfect villain to deliver on that front. I mean, he’s a special effects artist! The whole film could be a visual extravaganza; the possibilities are endless!

Robert D. Spake – Find me on Facebook



Casual-centric features are necessary for the longevity of World of Warcraft, lead designer Tom Chilton told Polygon during this week’s Gamescom event in Germany.

Blizzard made its first major push to appeal to casual fans with last year’s release of expansion Mists of Pandaria, something that Chilton says has proven to be “very successful” for the company.

“We would have been in bad shape had we not done that,” he told us, acknowledging that many long-time players saw this move as a break from the MMO’s roots which focused on instances and raids. With reference to the originalWorld of Warcraft before the release of any expansions, Chilton said:

“People who played Vanilla always say ‘if it had stayed the same, I would have the same fun now as I did then.’ But that’s not true. Audiences always evolve,” he explained.

The studio worked to provide players with new experiences with the introduction of “dungeons, raiding, the introduction of accessible raiding,” with the adoption of casual features simply being another layer to this. Chilton did, however, acknowledge a lack of “new experiences for the hardcore audience,” stating it’s something that will be focused on at a later date and is likely something that will be introduced through future expansions.

Blizzard is no longer opposed to the idea of re-inventing the MMO as a free-to-play title, Chilton added, although the team is still unsure of the success rate of free-to-play games over time.

“For Blizzard it makes sense [to go free-to-play] at some point. But a lot of the risk is in making that transition. You hear stories about developers going free-to-play and getting double the number of players, but you don’t always know it works out that way and how long it stays that way. We really don’t know what the rate is before people drop off and lose interest.”

World of Warcraft‘s next major patch 5.4 is scheduled to release on Sept. 10.




News broke yesterday that Ben Affleck has been chosen to take on the mantle of Batman in Zack Snyder’s sequel to the Man of Steel (the first time the two characters have appeared in a movie together to boot) and today it was revealed that he signed a multi-picture deal. So of course the internet is at war about how much this will/will not suck (with the majority falling into the suck category). I agree that he was not the best choice for Daredevil (it SHOULD have been Matt Damon – SEE ALSO Bourne Identity and Matt Murdock’s appearance in comics).


That said, I find myself in the “cautiously optimistic” or “wait and see” camp. Let me explain, Ben Affleck has, I’ll admit, only been good at playing two roles. The first, is “guy form Boston”… this won’t help in a Batman role so let’s skip it. The second is “charming asshole guy in a suit”. This has Bruce Wayne written all over it. With that established, we just need him to be able to pull off Batman; I think he can do Batman action better than Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer OR George Clooney so we SHOULD be good…


Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!

Nintendo is developing a new Zelda game for the 3DS. In Japanese, the game is called The Legend of Zelda: Kamigami no Triforce 2. You probably remember the first Kamigami no Triforce game’s English title, A Link to the Past.


The game will feature a new storyline, new puzzles, and new dungeons. Link will also have the ability to turn into a drawing on the wall to make his way around corners.


The game will be out this holiday season in the West, and it will be out in early 2014 for Japan.

According to Nintendo’s US branch, it is “set in the world of A Link to the Past.” It currently does not have an English language title.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was originally released on the SNES in 1991. Many consider it one of the best Zelda games ever made.


I thought we were going to see this on big screen soon with all of the Avengers taking off . I was just itching for the other side , with DC . Superman is coming to theaters soon . And we don’t even get a sexy Wonder Woman to go along with it ? Well at least this particular adaptation can’t be seen by kids . Its going to be a porno parody on the heroine !via- Aintitcool


Axel Braun dropped this shot of Kimberly Kane as Wonder Woman in his WONDER WOMAN XXX: AN AXEL BRAUN PARODY


With this game, I thee wed.

There have been numerous wedding proposals done via video game modifications, but actually building a game from scratch for the sole purpose of asking for someone’s hand? That’s a new level altogether.

A Redditor who goes by the name Marchaka has a pretty ideal girlfriend in Michele, as the two share a serious love of video games. That got the wheels in his head spinning when he decided to pop the question.

Using a $70 role-playing game maker called VX Ace, he built Michele’s Quest — a Final Fantasy-style title that consists of four acts and four boss battles.

After successfully completing each act, the player (Michele, obviously) is rewarded with an image showing the location of a real-world key. Sitting beside the computer Michele played on was a chest with four locks. When the fourth was unlocked, there was a note reading “turn around,” where she saw Marchaka on bended knee with the ring.

Not surprisingly, she said “yes.”

Michele’s Quest (Credit: Marchaka)

It took Marchaka — who only has a little programming experience — over 160 hours to create the game, which is filled with in-jokes and loads of video game references. And lest you think Marchaka spent the four hours it took Michele to complete the game standing over her shoulder, he even managed to plan ahead for that contingency as well.

“We had some guests over and so I tried to downplay it by cooking a big dinner for everyone,” he said. “I spent most of my time in the kitchen but how the place is designed I can see the computer from there. The guests pulled up chairs next to her and chimed in with commentary and jokes…took any tension out of it until the big moment.”

Marchaka’s proposal makes us think back to Gary Hudston’s elaborate proposal to his then-girlfriend Stephy. Working with the community and team members at Valve, he created a trio of levels for Portal 2 that eventually led to a proposal voiced by none other than GLaDOS (the game’s AI villain) herself.

As his story has gone viral, Marchaka has made the game available to anyone who wants to play it. Just don’t expect him to propose should you beat it. This one’s taken.

With the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney comes the end of era and the beginning of a new one.  Many projects that were in development have been shelved or canceled such as: “Star Wars: Detours,” and LucasArts “Star Wars: 1313″ video game. Weeks ago, a sorrowful announcement was made that the animated “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” was coming to an end.

With the bad news of projects being canceled and layoffs going into effect, there is a ray of sunshine. Disney is taking the licensing in a new direction.  Not only are they ramping up and committing to three more Star Wars features, but Lucasfilm has teased that a new Star Wars animated series is in the works.

Rebel Force had a chance to interview “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” supervising director, Dave Filoni, who revealed that he will be staying on at Lucasfilm Animation to help develop the next Star Wars animated series. During the interview, Filoni was asked if he’ll continue with animating the events and characters in the Star Wars universe, and he responded by saying,

“Well, that’s my plan!”

Filoni also states,

“(Star Wars is) obviously important to me and I’ve had a very great time working here. I’ve really helped build the animation division from when I got here and there were only a handful of people.”

Regarding recent events, he remarked,

“It’s a function of our industry… It’s not my favorite part. You can luckily grow things and bring on many talented people, but there become times when you have to shrink things as well. We happen to be in one of those times right now, but that just paves the way, hopefully, for new things and new creativity in the future.”

Filoni went on to explain,

“At this point, I am involved in some early production discussions and exploration of what we’ll be doing with Star Wars animation in the future, which is really exciting for me and I have some friendly faces around me, of course, that are helping me on the project. So it’s a transition time, as I’ve said before, and I think it will lead to an exciting time and hopefully I’ll see things grow again.”

Filoni couldn’t say much more about it, including what the show will focus on or when we’d see it, but if his track record is any indication, then it should be one exciting and fun filled series.

Sources: IGN, RebelForceRadio