Things to Come by Ian Calcutt Starburst always has the hottest Sci-Fi news from around the world. Here's a dip into this month's stories
Compiled by Ian Calcutt Taken from Starburst #276

Fan re-edit ‘improves’ The Phantom Menace

Jar-Jar: pixels removed Not happy with how The Phantom Menace turned out? Join the club. But now a disgruntled fan has done more than simply moan about it to his friends; the aspiring film editor took it upon himself to re-edit the VHS edition of the film to his own satisfaction.

However, the end result, grandly named Star Wars – Episode 1.1: The Phantom Edit, has become a sensation, with tapes changing hands around the world. The revisions see the almost total removal of the universally unpopular Jar-Jar Binks and the restructuring of some of Anakin Skywalker’s actions to make them seem less accidental. In all, the new version runs about 20 minutes shorter than the original.

Perhaps wisely, the mystery wielder of the scissors has remained anonymous because, technically, he has broken copyright laws by altering the film. The original ‘Phantom Editor’ refused to sell copies of his version. However, at least one more fan’s re-edit has emerged as a result of the publicity - hence the sudden, worldwide interest the revised versions have generated. Lucasfilm spokesperson Jeanne Cole told Zap2it.com, “We realized these were fans having a bit of fun with Star Wars, which we’ve never had a problem with. But... when we started hearing about massive duplication and distribution, then at that point we had to be very clear that duplication and distribution of our materials is an infringement.”

Boone is back for Final Conflict: Roswell's Jason Behr and Katherine HeiglRound Five

It’s all change again on Earth: Final Conflict. The ever-changing show is to enter its fifth season with yet another revamp of its cast and format as it attempts to give closure to the themes and ideas introduced back in its first season.

Following the apparent end of the Taelons as they merged with arch-enemies the Jaridians in the fourth season conclusion Point of No Return, production company Tribune Entertainment’s new Vice President Phillip Segal has confirmed that Leni Parker will not be returning as Da’an.

Parker’s departure leaves Von Flores as the sole survivor of the series’ original cast, but he’ll be reunited with one familiar face from the first season, original lead actor Kevin Kilner, who’ll be returning as William Boone for several episodes. Kilner last appeared at the end of Season One, when his character was apparently dissolved by Zo’or, though the second season episode Moonscape featured a character called Lazarus who’s widely supposed to have been a reincarnated Boone.

The fate of Boone’s replacement Liam Kincaid remains unknown, with the new season’s opener Unearthed beginning with Renée Palmer going in search of him, though actor Robert Leeshock is reported to have auditioned unsuccessfully for roles in the new Star Trek series Enterprise.

Sub-mariner surfaces

After Blade, X-Men and Spider-Man, yet another Marvel comic is destined to reach cinemas. Universal is after the rights to The Sub-Mariner, which dates back to 1939 and features arguably the first ever superhero.

The plot deals with a rebellious half-man, half-amphibian from Atlantis called Prince Namor who an ambiguous relationship with humanity. And there’s more...

Cloak and Dagger, a little-known 1985 Marvel comic, is in development at Dimension Films. It follows a mismatched pair of runaways – a rich white girl and poor black male – who use their abilities to project intense darkness and light to protect street kids from harm.

Fan uproar fails to save First Wave

The Second Wave has been averted... but at a cost. After three years, First Wave has been dropped by the Sci-Fi Channel. With the decision on renewal which had been promised in March almost three months overdue, the confirmation of the axe doesn’t come as a great surprise.

Imitiating the Roswell ‘Tabasco sauce’ campaign, fans have been bombarding Sci-Fi with hundreds of packets of salt (an addictive stimulant to the alien Gua), but to no avail.

Starburst #276

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Feature © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction

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