Friday, August 9, 2013

The Empire And The Undead

My all-time favorite Star Wars film is The Empire Strikes Back.  It is dark and foreboding and (in my opinion) offers the best story of the Star Wars Saga. 

It’s no secret that George Lucas is a master of commercial merchandising.  A large portion of his profits for the Star Wars film is from the merchandise contracted with publishers and manufacturers.

LEGO is known the world over and is famous for its commercial property licenses-including Star Wars.  But did you know that LEGO Star Wars have also made it to the small screen as computer animated specials?

One of LEGO’s more famous adaptations of Star Wars was its hilarious LEGO Star Wars the Empire Strikes Out. While staying true to the Star Wars property the special still managed to poke fun at the films and please Star Wars fans at the same time.

Scholastic Books has translated The Empire Strikes Out TV Special to the printed page with screen captures accompanied by text easily understood by young readers.  

After the Death Star is destroyed Darth Vader and Emperor decide to rebuild, but not without some opposition.  Throw in a few memorable characters from the recent Star Wars Trilogy such as Darth Maul and you wind up with a hilarious new chapter in the Star Wars Saga--LEGO style!

What is it with the popularity of Zombies and the undead-especially with teenagers!?  You’d think the last thing young people would be interested in is death, flesh-eating dead people and the end of the world apocalypse.

Not so!  The undead craze continues to grow in popularity.  TV shows, movies and books about the living dead are extremely popular.

A new book: Undead by Kirsty McKay, published by Scholastic Books, takes a slightly different take on the zombies phenomenon. 

When teenagers Bobby and Smitty decide to stay on the bus while their fellow bus passengers go off to eat the two teenagers have no idea the danger that is about to happen
After several hours no one returns.  Bobby and Smitty talk, joke and flirt with each other-the beginning of a budding romance.

Snow begins to fall, the sky darkens and finally their fellow passengers begin to return.
Only something has happened-they are no longer alive and their muddled undead brains crave only one thing-human flesh!  Skedaddling as fast as they can in the bus Bobby and Smitty soon find themselves in the fight for their lives.

Somehow they manage to flee to safety only to realize that zombies are everywhere and it’s up to them to do something about it.  Reunited with family, the zombie fighting duo embark on one the strangest and hilarious undead funfests imaginable--only to wind up back on the bus-literally.

Undead is a fun romp amidst carnivorous corpses that is seriously sick and a gory good time.