Yaphet Kotto on Alien and Black and female representation in sci-fi

yaphet kotto in alien

Yaphet Kotto passed away yesterday at the age of 81.

I took for granted how many brilliant films he featured in:

  • Live and Let Die
  • The Running Man
  • Midnight Run
  • Across 110th Street
  • Blue Collar
  • Raid on Entebbe

But one of his best known roles was that of Parker, the chief engineer in Alien.

In the video below, Kotto discusses the impact Alien had on him and Black and female actors in sci-fi after its release. Although not explicitly mentioned by Kotto, the actor who played the Alien in Alien was also Black: Bolaji Badejo, a Nigerian visual artist and actor who sadly passed away in 1992.

YAPHET KOTTO on ALIEN | Opening Doors | TIFF

Loose Ends: a literary supercut of 137 last lines from sci-fi books by Tom Comitta

I’ve featured Tom Comitta on Cultrface before with his airport novella and his tongue-in-cheek rework of Martin Scorsese’s Marvel essay. Back in September last year, he wrote a literary supercut called Loose Ends that pieced together the last lines from 137 sci-fi and fantasy books.

In true Comitta style, he makes sense out of fragments of media that were never intended to be seen in that way. I’d love to see this in a published book with different fonts for each line.

Here’s a quick excerpt:

Miles grinned sleepily, puddled down in his uniform. “Welcome to the beginning,” he said quietly. “We have a long way to go.”

“But I can’t speak Swedish,” I said.

“You’ll learn,” he said. “You’ll learn, you’ll learn.”

He threw on some more brush and watched the dark smoke spiral up under the sun, a warm and now comforting sun. “Let’s sail till we come to the edge.”

“Not until we can deliver our secret to our respective worlds. And acquire an intact ship.”

“Let’s go talk to Folimum and see what he says.” He turned back to his Master. He was ready to go.

“I think that could be arranged,” I said. I turned away from the bridge and Diane offered me her arm. I hesitated a moment, then took her arm.

Miles smiled. “Let the blind man show the way.”

He did.

You can read the full thing on Wired and there’s also an annotated version with the names of each book for each line.

(Featured image: original image via Flickr)

Steven Richter made Luke's lightsaber in a day

Steven Richter made Luke's lightsaber in a day

I featured Steven Richter’s replica Jumanji board game and his Venom/Eddie Brock sculpture and now we have Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber.

The lightsaber actually took 14 hours to make (according to Steven’s comment on the video) which makes his feat even more remarkable. His materials included a block of wood, tools to shape it, spray paint, and masking tape (light beam not included).

Stream the abridged “making of” video below.

One Day Build - Luke's Lightsaber

Star Wars related: a Star Wars stormtrooper decanter, Cleganebowl with lightsabers, and “KENOBI”, a Star Wars fan film.

This is some kind of Star Trek: The Next Generation supercut

some kind of Star Trek: The Next Generation supercut

Gotta love a supercut and this one involves Star Trek: The Next Generation characters saying “some kind of…”, created by YouTuber Ryan’s Edits.

It quickly turns into a nonsensical ramble but it’s oddly endearing, not least because the alternative would be worse, like some kind of technological shower of lexical discharge.

Barely related: A Pizza Hut advert involving Klingons and KENOBI, the Star Wars fan film.

Star Trek: Some Kind of Next Generation Supercut

Triqqa Pli'c: a Pizza Hut advert for Klingons

Triqqa Pli'c: a Pizza Hut advert for Klingons

Pizza Hut pulled out all the stops in the 90s with their unorthodox commercials. But this was features a language from another planet!

Pizza Hut’s Klingon advert was the first full non-English advert on British television when it aired in 1994. While I don’t remember the advert from childhood, I do remember the promotional Star Trek cups that came with them because I had two (which, in hindsight, I wish I’d kept)!

If you plan on emulating this commercial and want to order a pizza in Klingon, here are some suggested phrases:

  • nuvpu’ Qong (Deep pan, please)
  • pagh latlh vIlegh’a’? (Can I have extra cheese?)
  • ghorgh lutu’lu”a’? (Is the base gluten free?)
  • ‘uQ’a’ (Meat feast)
  • tlhIngan taHqeq chuS’a’Daq yIjaH?! (What do you mean the ice cream machine is broken?!)

jochqu’ ‘e’ yIHar or stream it below.

Star Trek - Pizza-Hut Klingons (Funny Commercial)

Rick Deckard's whiskey glass

Rick Deckard's whiskey glass

If you bought that Star Wars stormtrooper decanter I wrote about a few years ago, now’s a good time to use it in honour of Harrison Ford. Why? Because Deckard’s whisky glass now exists.

Rob Beschizza from Boing Boing told a story of a 2002 blog post from Phil Steinschneider, a props guy and graphic designer (he created the Blade Runner font amongst other things), who discovered that the glassmaker behind Rick Deckard’s whiskey glass from Blade Runner was still making them.

In 2002, a very good friend in Los Angeles was able to definitively identify the exact glass used by the Blade Runner production. Subsequently, we located the original manufacturer in Europe in the hopes that the glass was still being made. Fortunately—although first introduced in 1972 by a boutique glassmaker based on a design by an internationally-known designer—the glass is produced to this day; a testament to its timelessness.

Over the years we have established a close relationship with Arnolfo di Cambio, and are making the same glass chosen by Ridley Scott and his set dressers—the Cini Boeri-designed “Cibi” double old-fashion tumbler (Cibi DOF, for short)—available to the general public. 

I love that:

  1. Beschizza found this post by chance
  2. That it was still live after all this time with the same design
  3. That the glass is still available to buy

And now I must buy it. So head to Amazon UK for the single glass, the twin glass set, or Amazon US for the twin set.

Watch "KENOBI", A Star Wars Fan Film

Watch "KENOBI", A Star Wars Fan Film

The Last Jedi, the final episode of the third Star Wars trilogy, is in cinemas now. But long-time fans still love those in-between movies. Even though Solo wasn’t the success Disney had hoped for, Rogue One was and now there’s a new movie in the Star Wars cinematic universe. Except this one is fan-made.

KENOBI is the creation of Jamie Costa and it tells of the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi living in cave in Tatooine as he watches over Luke Skywalker during his formative years. It’s only 15 minutes long but enough to whet your appetite for Star Wars what-ifs.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Who is Obi-Wan Kenobi?

Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Jedi Master who acted as a mentor to Anakin Skywalker, who later became Darth Vader, and his son, Luke Skywalker. He was originally under the tutelage of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace.

Costa also played Han Solo in another fan film called Han Solo: A Smuggler’s Trade, 2 years before the release of Solo. He’s clearly one step ahead of Disney. The film also stars James Arnold Taylor who voiced Obi-Wan in the animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Watch KENOBI below and if you feel so inclined, grab yourself another fan-made Star Wars creation in the form of this Star Wars decanter.

KENOBI - A Star Wars Fan Film

The best of Edgar the Bug from Men In Black

Edgar the Bug

Men In Black was a smash hit in 1997 but while Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones were the stars, it was Vincent D’Onofrio role as Edgar/Edgar the Bug that stole the show for me.

Edgar the Bug was the main antagonist of Men in Black. After crash landing on Earth, a farmer named Edgar found its spacecraft on his land before the alien bug ate him and stripped his skin. The giant cockroach donned the “Edgar suit” as a disguise as he searched for the Arquilian Galaxy which was being protected on Earth.

D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Edgar the Bug is nothing short of magnificent. I’ve yet to see a film role played so uniquely and with such conviction. It was peculiar, grotesque, hilarious, and convincing, especially when the skin suit started to decay. It was alien theatre and 30s pulp fiction all rolled into one.

But don’t take my word for it. Stream his best bits below.

Hilarious scene from movie Men In Black: Edgar bug the farmer, super crazy, insane bug

The Star Wars Glass Stormtrooper Decanter

Star Wars Glass Stormtrooper Decanter

Perfect for whiskeys, cognacs, and wines, this Star Wars Glass Stormtrooper Decanter can hold up to 750ml of your finest alcohol. Picture this: you get home from a trying day on the new Death Star. All you want to do is hang up your lightsaber, unwind to an acoustic cover of the Imperial March in front of a fire. But you want something to drink. Then you remember you have a Star Wars Stormtrooper decanter filled with Corellian wine.

I’m mixing fantasy with reality here but the fact is a stylish, high-quality Star Wars decanter is the perfect gift for any Stormtrooper enthusiasts. Whether you’re on the side of the Galactic Empire or Rebel Alliance.

And don’t forget to drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive.

Star Wars Glass Stormtrooper Decanter on Amazon

The Machete Order - An Alternative Way To Star Wars

Well, think again as an alternative order has been proposed called “The Machete Order”. Absolutely No Machete Juggling writer Rod Hilton came up with the idea that suggests you watch the Star Wars films in the following order:

You’ll notice Episode I: The Phantom Menace has been omitted. The primary reason for this isn’t because it sucks (although that certainly helps making the decision to ignore it much easier), but you’ll need to read the full Machete Order blog post as to why it didn’t make the cut.

Read the whole thing at Absolutely No Machete Juggling.