3/21/14

The Nuclear Family

With the recent announcement that Disney/ Pixar is going forward with a sequel to "The Incredibles" I thought I'd go ahead and post the sequel I had in mind. Also, if anyone knows Brad Bird and wouldn't mind sending him my way for story suggestions don't hesitate.

"The Incredibles 2: The Nuclear Family" picks up five years after the events in the first film. All a little older and consumed with their own lives, the Incredibles are all headed in different directions. Mr. Incredible owns and operates his own franchise of crossfit gyms with very minimalist workout routines like throwing cars, bridge cable training, and more. He's become a guru to other super heroes looking to get super fit. Elastigirl spends a lot of her time flying her planes and has grown distant from her husband. Violet is a senior in high school and has fallen in with the bad crowd because of her ability to turn invisible and steal test answers from the teachers. Dash is a freshman in high school and is extremely popular because of his speed and good looks. A definite thrill junkie, he spends a lot of time going out at night and fighting crime much to the chagrin of his parents. The news stations refer to him as The Fast. Jack Jack is in Kindergarten and is slowly learning to harness his powers.

Enter The Nuclear Family! Dr. Nicholas Nuclear, a geneticist who discovered how to turn on dormant chromosomes. In a fit of genius (or madness?) Dr. Nuclear altered his entire family to give them powers and improve their lives. His wife, Nancy, unlocked a masterful use of hand eye coordination. Their son high school senior Nick "The Nuke" Nuclear gained the ability to fire plasma from his hands. Nina, their freshman daughter, learned how to change shapes and appearances. And the youngest Nuclear, daughter Noomi, became the smartest six year old... ever.

Who are the Nuclears really? Will the Incredibles' marriage survive? What's up with Dash's new obsession with beating the bad guys, Jack Jack's new abilities, and Violet's new diamond necklace? Where is Frozone?


2/8/14

Yoda



The swamp held many secrets, Yoda among them. He'd recognized those mysteries from the second his small escape pod landed on the desolate planet of Dagobah. The little creature sat silently on the shore of the swamp. All around him, the natural chaos of animal and plant life danced in a never ceasing pattern. Since arriving on the planet 19 years before, Yoda had fallen in line with the pattern.

His green hands, cracked and bruised, swayed out over the water. Yoda spent most of his days deep in mediation with the Living Force. 

Different is the Living Force, he thought, remunerating on the vast understanding he'd gained during his years of self imposed exile. Yoda discovered that the Force was deeper than Light and Dark. There  was also Living and Dying. Living Force grew, Dying Force destroyed. The Jedi, in all of their wisdom, never fully understood the Force. Their need for order, as much as the Sith need for chaos, had clouded their judgement. Their reasoning that Midi-Chlorians dictated an individual's connection to the Force was misguided, their dissociation with love was in error, and their desire to protect the galaxy was incorrect. There was no good or bad. No Jedi or Sith.  There was only living and dying. Growth and decay. Beginning and end. Dagobah was full of both. 

Yoda exhaled deeply, traveling further into congress with the binding nature of the Galaxy. Here on Dagobah, the force was so thick around him he could walk upon it as if it were solid ground. He stepped out and shifted his slight frame onto a pocket of energy that bounced gently yet sustained his weight. Now in the late stages of his life, the old Jedi Master relied on the Force for most of his movement.

He let his fingers reach out toward a gathering of rocks and called for them to join him. He sensed the Force leave his hand, surround the rocks, and rip them off the swamp shore. The 900 year old being flicked his wrist and sent the rocks off in different directions. He then brought his hands together and floated back to a cross legged position.

Why do you still train, a viperous voice said from his subconscious. Your failure has ruined everything you ever knew.

Yoda shook the thought away. Long had he pondered the arrogance of the Jedi and all of the problems it had caused the Galaxy. Long had he known they should have never established the temple on Coruscant... so far away from the Living Force. These regrets did him no good now.

Suddenly, a loud crash tore him out of his meditation. Yoda's eye shot open, dilating quickly. The Force found his cane and brought it to his hand. Sensing the direction of the crash, he ran across the swamp on bubbles of Force energy until he reached the other side.

The forest ahead of him was dense with thick green branches and moss covered trunks. Yoda slid the cane into his robe over his shoulder and leapt onto the nearest log, digging his claws on his feet and hands into it. Memories of his childhood washed over him. He'd been young once, headstrong and defiant. The Force was abundant on his home world, but there was debate on the merits of using it. Most elders refused to explore it calling it witchcraft, an abomination and perversion. Yoda and his closest allies revolted against the establishment there and were close to upheaving the entire society, when the Living Force first called out to him.

It began as a low murmur in the back of his mind, telling him to move on from his home planet. Some things weren't worth disrupting. Some places needed to stay the way they are. Some truths should remain truths from a certain point of view. The Living Force beckoned him to something bigger, something more important than changing a small planet on the outskirts of the Galaxy. Yoda was pulled to play a larger role for the Force.

To Coruscant he went, becoming a Padawan at an older age than the Jedi Council deemed appropriate. Yoda continued his life living by the Code of the Jedi and therefore considered the influence of the Living Force less in order to serve them. And so for almost a millennia, he shut out the low murmur in the back of his mind and trusted the Council in all matters.

Yoda heard a series of metallic beeps and whirls and knew it at once to be an astromech droid. He ducked under some low hanging branches and saw a Starfighter stuck in the swamp. A humanoid, in an orange and white flightsuit hopped out of the ship into the water. The radical change to his swamp filled Yoda's mind with memories. The war, the clones, Sidious.   

Immediately, he thought of that last battle against the Sith Lord. A twinge of anger wanted to grow in his gut, but Yoda had mastered that emotion 700 years before and paid it no mind now. He knew Sidious would fall, just like all the others who craved power. Power consumed itself. Eventually, the Dark Lord would die. Either by Vader's hand or the Children of Skywalker. He knew it, The Living Force told him so.

But for now, Yoda felt the Force calling for an introduction with the weary traveler and his astromech droid...


6/3/13

Is LeBron too good?

The following question occurred to me today in anticipation of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers.

Is LeBron's versatility a problem?

I know that sounds like madness, but when you think about it the question has merit. King James's ability to play every position is amazing and sounds too good to be true. Who wouldn't want a player on their team who could do everything?

But therein lies the true issue. When you have a player as superb as LeBron you can't put him in a position where he has to do everything. Sure LeBron CAN pass, shoot, defend, rebound, block, steal, and move without the ball better than any player who has every played. HOWEVER, he shouldn't have to do all of those things. LeBron, like most great basketball players, is at his best when he allows the game to flow through him rather than having him work against the game. Being a natural distributor, James wants that ball to move around the court and organically find its way into the basket. Now if that organic way happens to be by a monstrous dunk than so be it. James intensely wants to win and at times during this postseason his teammates have appeared tentative, reluctant, and too concerned with what he was doing on the court rather than what they should do.

So if you're a General Manager or President of Basketball Operations, how do you build around a player who can do it all? How do you add teammates to a roster in which you have a superstar who can comfortably play serious minutes at all five positions? Well here's the deal, you don't. This whole situation is unprecedented. The Miami Heat are struggling in these East Conference finals, just like the Cleveland Cavaliers did during James's tenure there. There is no system, no metrics for this. No GM can look back at a team of yesteryear and say "that's how they did it, we'll do the same thing."

What to do then? I think if you have a player like LeBron your only option is roll the dice, hope his teammates respond to his intensity, and hold on for dear life. And if all goes well, you'll be raising the championship banner and kissing the Larry O'Brien Trophy. If all goes wrong, you be praying he doesn't bolt when his contract is up.