Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

..because Happy Holidays is what terrorists say!!

The US Marines of Lima Battery, 3rd Batt. 11th Marines fire Lightweight Howitzers to celebrate Christmas.

Friday, December 06, 2013

RIP Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

"I concur with the statement that Nelson Mandela is a terrorist only if that's the word that defines someone who fights against a government who revokes your rights and citizenshp, forceably removes you from your home and instructs you where to live based solely on the colour of your skin."

- Major C. Creedon USMC; Combined Arms Service Staff School - World Politics paper, July 1993

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Goodbye Paul Walker

The world went into shock at the weekend as the news spread of the untimely death in a road traffic accident of one of its favourite sons - Paul Walker, better known as Brian O’Conner of The Fast and the Furious franchise. He was 40. Walker’s death occurred on November 30th after leaving a charity event for victims of the recent hurricane in the Philippines, when the driver of the vehicle he was a passenger in, lost control and crashed into a street lamp post and tree and was engulfed in flames. Rescue efforts were unsuccessful and both occupants of the car were pronounced dead by the LA County Sheriff’s Dept.

An actor from a young age, his first work was as a toddler in commercials and later advanced to television when he was older with roles on Highway to Heaven, Who’s the Boss? and Touched by an Angel. His early film career spanned the late 90’s with roles in Pleasantville and The Skulls. Walker’s career properly took off in 2001 when he starred in Rob Cohen’s now-classic The Fast and the Furious in 2001. As deep undercover FBI agent Brian O’Conner the role [and the movie’s unprecedented success] established Walker as a notable movie star and leading man in other movies such as Timeline, Into the Blue, Eight Below and a role in Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers. However it was still the Fast and Furious movies with which he will be most remembered, having reprised his O’Conner role in four of the five sequels currently released with a seventh entry in the franchise currently in production and due for release in July 2014 [for which he had believed to have filmed most of his scenes]. He will appear in The Hours, due for release this month.

Walker was of Irish, English and German descent, the son of a fashion model and a drainage contractor, born and raised in California and majored in marine biology in college. He resided in Santa Barbara with his daughter whom he is survived by. He was a brown-belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He was active in marine biology circles and was on the Billfish Foundation board of directors and spent time tagging great white sharks off the coast of Mexico. He also established REACH OUT Worldwide, a humanitarian aid organisation with which he flew to Chile and Haiti to assist earthquake victims. Walker was a self-confessed “gearhead”, an avid car enthusiast and racer. The car his character drove in 2 Fast, 2 Furious was in fact his own personal vehicle.

Walker leaves behind his daughter as well as millions of fans worldwide. Friends, co-stars and colleagues of the acting world like Tyrece Gibson, Dwane “The Rock” Johnson, Alyssa Milano, Jamie Bell, Idris Elba and Jessica Alba all took to Twitter to express grief. Said Fast and Furious co-star Vin Diesel: "To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die."

Friday, November 22, 2013


In the central foyer of SPEARHEAD Headquarters, Mount Olympus, Greece, a marble engraving carries the words:

"The supreme reality of our time is the vulnerability of our planet." 

The quote is attributed to the 35th POTUS, John F. Kennedy who was tragically assassinated 50 years ago this day.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy 238th Birthday USMC

"America keeps an insurance poilicy... it's called The United States Marine Corps"

Source: USMC/Youtube

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Indians in space!

India's Mars Orbiter Mission took off at 09:08 GMT from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre this morning. It is the Indian Space Research Organisation's aim to be the fourth such body to reach Mars and to demonstrate the technological capability to reach the Red Planet and carry out experiments.

Prof Andrew Coates of Mullard Space Science Laboratory in the UK said that the ISRO has found some interesting scientific niches to take some measurements in. These include searching for the signature of methane in the Martian atmosphere, previously detected from orbit and from telescopes on Earth but not by the Curiosity rover. Due to methane's short lifetime in Martian atmosphere, it is concluded that something must replenish it. As 95% of atmospheric methane on Earth is produced by microbes, the possibility of a biosphere deep beneath the Martian surface is theorised.

The recently appointed SPEARHEAD Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Information, Brigadier General "Whopper" Creedon warned against nations putting too much hope in these potentially dangerous probe missions to other planets, that is - unless SPEARHEAD is given full access to the project. He alluded to an event almost two years ago to the day when China's Yinghuo-1 spacecraft was piggybacked on the Russian Phobos Grunt spacecraft, which became stranded in low-Earth orbit shortly after launch in November 2011. "Yeah", he chuckled "it became stranded" he said sarcastically.

India approved $72m project in 2012 despite the country having one of the highest rankings for childhood malnutrition in the world. The spacecraft is set to travel for some 300 days to reach Mars orbit in 2014.

Source: BBC News

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Whopper promoted!

On November 2nd, at a private ceremony near SPEARHEAD Regional Headquarters - Europe, Colonel "Whopper" Creedon's family and friends finally pinned brigadier general's stars onto his already impressively decorated dress uniform.

Mr. V, Senior Adviser with Shadow Directorate and Mrs. Creedon, the Colonel's mother promote Colonel "Whopper" Creedon to the grade of brigadier general in accordance with Marine Corps tradition.

The newly minted Brigadier General "Whopper" Creedon reaffirmed his oath, swearing on a copy of the teachings of Lucas.

Brig. Gen. Creedon was also presented with the Defense Superior Service Medal for "superior meritorious service in a position of significant responsibility", namely as the Director of Intelligence for UNETIDA.

Creedon's initial flag assignment will be as the first SPEARHEAD Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Information. The new SPEARHEAD Director of Intelligence and the Director of Information will both report directly to him.

Photos: L. Kerins Vaughan

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Falling Stars

A brazen assault by 15 insurgents on Camp Bastion, a fortified coalition base in Afghanistan last September left two US Marines dead and more than 12 aircraft destroyed or damaged. In the wake of the attack, several investigations were conducted to find out how security could have been breached and what factors allowed the attack to happen. The results of the investigations however did not adequately address issues of responsibility.

The Commandant of the US Marine Corps, General James Amos requested that CENTCOM, the parent command for Middle Eastern operations, conduct a more thorough review of the Camp Bastion incident, with specific focus on determining accountability. 

The finding revealed that Maj. Gen. Charles “Mark” Gurganus, then commander of Regional Command Southwest in Afghanistan, and Maj. Gen. Gregg Sturdevant, then commander of the Marines’ aviation wing in the region, underestimated the enemy and should have been prepared for a range of attacks as opposed to their focus on ones coming from inside the perimeter.

[L] Maj.Gen. Mark Gurganus, [R] Maj. Gen. Gregg Sturdevant

The highly organised and bold assault took the coalition by surprise however, as the insurgents cut through a fence at night and crept toward the flight line. They targeted aircraft and what they believed to be a living area for troops. They completely destroyed six $24m AV-8B Harrier jets, severely damaging two others and six more assorted aircraft. More than 100 coalition troops responded, triggering a furious counterattack that lasted at least four hours. Marine Sgt. Bradley Atwell and Harrier squadron commander, Lt. Col. Christopher Raible [who charged at the insurgents armed only with his sidearm] lost their lives in the attack. 

Gen. Amos said the two commanders did not take adequate security measures or exercise the high level of judgment expected of general officers. “In their duty to protect their forces these two generals did not meet that standard,” he said. The Commandant formally requested the resignations of both Maj. Generals Gurganus and Sturdevant. Additionally recommended that Gurganus’ already announced nomination to the rank of lieutenant general be rescinded and that Sturdevant receive a letter of censure from the secretary of the Navy, a rarity during war. Amos said it was the “hardest decision I have had to make as commandant of the Marine Corps” and that he had served with both men in combat, calling them “extraordinary Marine officers.”

Some of the flag officers in the other services haven't been doing so well either this month. Two weeks ago Navy Vice Admiral Timothy Giardina deputy commander of US Strategic Command  which oversees everything from America's land-based nuclear missiles to space operations governing military satellites, was relieved of command. He became subject of an NCIS investigation after being accused of using counterfeit gambling chips in "a significant monetary amount" at an Iowa casino. Giardina's loss of assignment means he automatically reverted to a 2-star rear admiral.

[L] Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, [R] Vice Admiral Tim Giardina

At the same time the Air Force announced that Maj. Gen. Michael Carey had been relieved of command of the 20th Air Force which is responsible for three wings of intercontinental ballistic missiles - a total of 450 missiles at three bases across the country. The measure was taken in response to an investigation into alleged personal misbehavior.

Last Friday, Stars and Stripes revealed that Army Brig. Gen. Bryan Wampler, commander of the 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, currently deployed in Kuwait was “temporarily suspended” on Oct. 10th, pending the outcome of an investigation.

It was widely reported earlier in the year that due to the withdrawal of permanent forces in Afghanistan, that the Pentagon would require fewer general officers going forward. However it was assumed that natural retirement attrition would reduce the numbers in an organised and reasonable fashion; not something that looks almost suspiciously like a purge.

Sources: BBC / FOX News / Military Times / Stars and Stripes

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Movie review catch-up 09-10-13

Due to reasons of international security, being away from the bunker for a series of military operations and attending the general officer's orientation course, my movie reviews slipped but I do have time for a quick rundown...

Kick-Ass 2

In the sublime original Kick-Ass we saw our geeky hero get the idea that anyone can be a superhero in the modern world if you’re prepared to put up with both the hilarious, and dire consequences of putting on a wetsuit and wading knee-deep into the criminal underworld. It was an OTT action setup and a uniquely fresh entry into the saturated genre. Kick-Ass 2 is different, now Kick-Ass decides that he’d be better off as part of a team and so seeks out and finds an unlikely band of social misfits led by Jim Carrey - who delivers a superb performance as Colonel Stars & Stripes [a pity you can’t actually stand by the performance Jim, it’s one of your better ones] and together they go and dispense justice, with baseball bats.


To be honest however, it’s actually the movie’s b-story that seems more fluid and less forced and this centres on Chloe Grace Moretz Hit-Girl as she basically comes of age. To be honest it’s far more entertaining to see a schoolgirl/professional vigilante try to fit in to ‘normal’ [un]civilised society than it was to watch Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the idiotically-titled The Mutherfucker, deliver another failed attempt at being evil [including the always unwelcome “comedy rape” scenario] with the most ridiculous dialogue ever.

Kick-Ass 2 is one of those rare occasions not seen since Men In Black II, when the second movie of a series pales in comparison to the original. It is more likened to Superman 2 as a sequel - it had all the action and excitement of the original but none of the charm which breathes life into a movie and enables repeat watching years down the line. I can’t see myself deliberately watching this again sadly. 

Colonel Creedon rating: **



There was never any doubt that Neill Blomkamp would make another movie after the success of District 9. This time he got more money, and sidelined his former leading man The A-Team’s Sharlto Copely to the role of the antagonist in favour of Hollywood A-lister Matt Damon. The result is a competent and often thrilling yet somewhat derivative science fiction tale that could have been an extraordinary example of modern cinematic excellence, but falls short due to Jodie Foster’s woeful performance [and strange dubbing] as well as over 100 glaring plot holes that make confetti of an otherwise solid screenplay.

Colonel Creedon rating: ***1/2

2 Guns

The cinema is a time travel device. Through the images on the screen and sounds surrounding you, you can literally be transported to any place, any time. To use this wonderful prose to describe a bog-standard action-buddy-movie made in 2013 and by all reckoning, set in 2013 may seem a waste but that's not the type of time displacement at work here. 


No, you see this movie is from 1990. It's as if it was made in the late 1980's early 1990's, it's story, it's action, Denzel and Markie Mark's acting, it's singular simplicity and sense of purpose is straight from that glorious era of cinema. There have been many recent contenders to it's genre The Last Stand, Bullet to the Head, 12 Rounds, but none of them capture the essence of the 90's as well as this hidden gem!

Colonel Creedon rating: ****

Pain & Gain

A pun on 'No pain, no gain' this flick is at it's heart, a bodybuilding movie but it's wrapped up in a crime caper. The main hook of this movie is not that it's Mark Wahlberg and The Rock together on screen [although that's certainly interesting], it's the fact that the movie is directed by Michael Bay.


What you have to try to do is forget the usual formula of the majestic and explosive banality that is Bay. This is different. Here there is a message. It's as if for the first time, Bay is actually trying to tell us something, to tell a story! Sadly he chooses to alter the true events in such a manner as to portray the 'Sun Gym crew' in a sympathetic light, much to media [and victims relatives] chagrin and I can see their point.

While it is entertaining, it's leads do some of their better acting of their careers as well as excellently supported by Tony Shalhoub and the legendary Ed Harris, it's still insanely edited with the usual helping of slow motion for which there is no place in something like this, a bizarre satirical comedy crime-caper - based on true events.

Colonel Creedon rating: ***


Isn’t Riddick great? He can fall hundreds of feet with tonnes of rock resulting only in a dislocated ankle - which is easily reset of course and held in place with screws through some armour. He can tame predatory wild beasts by kicking them in the face and glaring at them menacingly. He can immunise himself against toxic alien poison by deliberately introducing it into his bloodstream. He can behead people on the other side of room with both hands tied behind his back. He’s so masculine that he can ‘cure’ lesbianism. Yes Riddick is great, even when the script is the written equivalent of a 14 year old’s book report.


Bottom line, nowhere near the excellence of Pitch Black but easily surpasses the nonsense of The Chronicles of Riddick and allows to to see that only Vin Diesel can actually be out-acted by CGI.

Colonel Creedon rating: ****


Read this and tell me if you’ve heard this plot before:
A young rookie cop gets recruited by a secret organisation unknown to the world and gets partnered up with a old crusty veteran. With the aid of advanced technology they go off and apprehend/shoot abnormal beings before the world finds any of them exist.
If at any point you thought “Colonel! That’s Men In Black”, you’d be right - but this is R.I.P.D., a cheap knock-off that’s substitutes the aliens with undead but otherwise is exactly the same premise.


While it’s fair to say it was fun, the lack of charm mixed with the woefully wooden Ryan Reynolds coupled with Jeff Bridges phoning it in is a stumbling block that will push this movie into oblivion. Thankfully it bombed so we’ll be spared any sort of sequel which could have similarly R.I.P.D.O.F.F. the plot of the already substandard MIB2 – shudder!

Colonel Creedon rating: *

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Tom Clancy 1947 - 2013

It is with profound regret that I must report the death of geopolitical, military and espionage novelist Tom Clancy at only 66 after a short illness.

Clancy was best known for an entire genre of novels that are set in a sprawling single universe that often feature the character of Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst who later becomes the President of the United States. His first novel The Hunt For Red October became an international bestseller and was turned into a major motion picture by Paramount with Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery and is considered by many to be the best submarine movie of all, further cementing Clancy's place in history.

A further three of Clancy's best selling novels; Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger and The Sum of All Fears were also given the Hollywood treatment with Harrison Ford and later Ben Affleck portraying Ryan. Several attempts to start work on the 1993 novel Without Remorse have been made but nothing has yet come to pass. Chris Pine will however protray the titular character in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit due for release at Christmas.

Clancy was no stranger to Television. In 1995 a book series he created with Steve Pieczenik known as Tom Clancy's Op-Center was turned into a TV miniseries starring Harry Hamlin. Later in 1999 Scott Bakula starred in Tom Clancy's Net Force, based on a second series of novels created by Clancy and Pieczenik.

Tom Clancy's name is known by almost every video gamer in the western world. He founded Red Storm Entertainment in 1996 to develop games based on the Tom Clancy's Power Plays novel series but the developer earned more attention for their acclaimed hostage rescue simulator Rainbow Six which was developed concurrently with Clancy as he wrote the novel of the same name. Ubisoft later purchased Red Storm and all IPs including Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon along with the licencing rights to Tom Clancy's brand name which had earlier been attached to Ubisoft's own Splinter Cell. Ubisoft continues to produce games under the Tom Clancy brand with new entries every year such as Ghost Recon: Online in 2012, Splinter Cell: Blacklist this year and both Rainbow Six: Patriots and The Division slated for 2014.

A life member of the NRA, Clancy was a conservative and held Republican views. He wrote his dedication to figures such as Ronald Reagan who had called The Hunt for Red October "my kind of yarn." After September 11th 2001, he publicly accused the left wing of being partially responsible due to their gutting of the CIA.

Born Thomas Leo Clancy Jr. in Baltimore, Maryland, he lived there until his death. He divorced his first wife Wanda King in 1999 before marrying Alexandra Marie Llewellyn later that year. He is survived by his wife and 5 children.

The personal influence Tom Clancy has had on my life is evident as you look at some of the contents of my office shelves here; All four movies adapted from his books are in my DVD collection [as is the Net Force miniseries]. All the Ubisoft games I own have Clancy's name on the cover. And on the bookshelf sits the hulking 336 page tome - Marine: A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit, a rare non-fiction book by the man which I purchased not long after I first pinned on my eagles and was offered command of an MEU. It helped me make a decision which maneuvered my career to bring me to where I am today. So thank you Tom Clancy, and rest in peace because without you there may never have been a Whopper's Bunker.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013


Following their unanimous adoption of resolution 2118, which called for the speedy implementation of procedures drawn up by the OPCW to expedite destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons programme; the Security Council also resolved to officially merge two of the UN's Specialised International Military Commands, UNETIDA and UNPASID into a single operating entity.

In reality, following the death, disappearance or arrest of UNPASID senior command in the summer of 2012, the directorate's operations and resources had already been absorbed by UNETIDA in the wake of this tragedy. However, additional factors which had already been researched required lengthy deliberation before a structure could be agreed.

That agreement came on Friday and as of October 1st UNETIDA/UNPASID was rechartered as the Special Paranormal & Extra Terrestrial Research, Handling & Elimination Directorate or 'SPEARHEAD' with responsibility for military defence, combat, intelligence, containment, research and information operations in both Extra Terrestrial and paranormal situations. 

Lieutenant General "Stomper" Santorno US Army, who was brought out of retirement and appointed as UNETIDA/UNPASID Director, will serve as the first Commander, SPEARHEAD. The Russian Federation fielded Colonel-General "Kóbec" Yurkov, former Air Operations Commander for UNETIDA and recently Strategic Commander of the Russian Air Force to serve as Vice Commander, SPEARHEAD. Finally, Australia's Air Marshal "Cuckoo" Hawes was appointed as the SPEARHEAD Chief of Staff with Rear Admiral "Smokestack" Henderson USN, to serve as Deputy Chief of Staff.

During October, the senior SPEARHEAD officers will meet, discuss the findings of the Unified Command Plan and solidify the organisation's structure and operations from November 1st onwards.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Zalzala Jazeera not "Cobra Island"

In contrast to the devastation and destruction caused by a 7.9 earthquake in Pakistan that killed more than 500 people on September 24th; a new terrestrial body emerged from the depths of the sea off the coast of the country. Locally called Zalzala Jazeera [earthquake island], the formation is 380km from the quake’s epicenter in Paddi Zirr Bay near Swadar, Pakistan.

“The island is really just a big pile of mud from the seafloor that got pushed up. This area of the world seems to see so many of these features because the geology is correct for their formation. You need a shallow, buried layer of pressurized gas—methane, carbon dioxide, or something else—and fluids. When that layer becomes disturbed by seismic waves (like an earthquake), the gases and fluids become buoyant and rush to the surface, bringing the rock and mud with them,” Bill Barnhart, a geologist at the US Geological Survey told NASA’s Earth Observatory.

It was speculated by some international observers that UNETIDA/UNPASID weapons testing in the Arabian Sea on September 22nd may have lead to the massive earthquake. However Rear Admiral "Tridente"Carlos, Director of Naval Operations for UNETIDA/UNPASID denied the claim citing that the tests were carried too far away and in fact, closer to the Indian Ocean off the coast of Sri Lanka.

UNETIDA/UNPASID's Director of Research and Development, Dr. "Quantum" Pataal also confirmed that the weapons being tested were not capable of increasing tectonic stress. "What do you think we were trying to do? Create a sort of Cobra Island; a new sovereign nation from which to launch super-clandestine black operations around the globe without being answerable to any specific country's government? Nonsense!"

Image: NASA

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Colonel in Egypt - Part 4: What Lies Beneath the Sand?

Colonel "Whopper" Creedon concluded a visit to Egypt last week by meeting up with an advance UNETIDA/UNPASID Security and Intelligence team near a “site of interest” in Upper Egypt, just 12 miles from the city of Abu Sidhum along the Nile.

Last year Angela Micol, an amateur satellite archaeologist in North Carolina noticed mysterious, pyramid-like structures in the Egyptian desert using Google Earth. Speculation arose that the structures may in fact be long-lost pyramids after puzzling features were uncovered during a preliminary ground proofing expedition revealing cavities and shafts. Micol said “that these formations are labelled as pyramids on several old and rare maps." A second possible pyramid complex 90 miles north near the Fayum oasis, revealed a four-sided, truncated mound approximately 150 feet wide and three smaller mounds in a diagonal alignment. "The images speak for themselves," Micol said when she first announced her findings. "It's very obvious what the sites may contain, but field research is needed to verify they are, in fact, pyramids."

First reported by Discovery News, Micol’s claim gained widespread media attention and much criticism as authoritative geologists and geo-archaeologists were largely sceptical and dismissed what she called "Google Earth anomalies" as windswept natural rock formations quite common in the Egyptian desert. However Medhat Kamal El-Kady, former ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, and his wife Haidy Farouk Abdel-Hamid, former counsellor at the Egyptian presidency are top collectors of old maps and documents and revealed among their collection is a map by Robert de Vaugoudy, dating from 1753, a rare map by the engineers of Napoleon Bonaparte, and a map and documents by Major Brown, general of irrigation for Lower Egypt in the late 1880s all concerning the site at Fayum. "They would be the greatest pyramids known to mankind," the couple said. "We would not exaggerate if we said the finding can overshadow the Pyramids of Giza."

What worried UNETIDA/UNPASID officials was that the evidence presented, indicates the pyramids at the Fayum site were intentionally buried in a "damnatio memoriae" -- an attempt to intentionally strike them from memory. “They are not spoken about, nor had any Egyptian in the field of archaeology been investigating them” said Colonel Creedon. "It’s therefore a valid assumption to assume that they’ve been erased from records to an extraordinary degree, save the old maps.” Creedon further outlined that it was likely that some terrible event or disaster was responsible for this to happen and it may be conceivable that the pyramid sites in question had been buried intentionally. "If there is something buried there that still poses a threat" assured the Colonel "We'll be ready for it!"

General "Stomper" Santorno, Director of UNETIDA/UNPASID told the Security Council that due to the unrest and economic distress in Egypt his organisation has a unique chance to neutralise any new potential threat unearthed at the sites without any interference from the Egyptian government “who have their own problems right now.”

Sources: FOX News /  AP / Discovery

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Centarian goes down! - Part 22 in my "Shoot First, Questions Never" series!

We've seen a couple of 18 year olds, even a poor 13 year old and at the other end of the stick we've seen elderly folk in their 70's all get gunned down by the boys in blue - all justified of course. This is a bit of a record as we now have a 107 year old taken out in a dramatic fashion by a local SWAT team during a short siege on Saturday.

The local PD at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, announced that they had responded to a complaint of aggravated assault against suspect Monroe Isadore, who allegedly pointed a gun at two people at a home on West 16th Street. When they approached the bedroom door where the man was holed up, he fired one shot through the door, thankfully missing them.

The SWAT team was called in and negotiations with Mr. Isadore began. The SWAT team confirmed that the elderly man was armed with a handgun by inserting a camera into the bedroom through a window.

After negotiations were ultimately unsuccessful, the SWAT team pumped gas in the room from outside the bedroom window, hoping that Isadore would surrender peacefully. Instead, the suspect fired additional shots at the SWAT entry team, who flashbanged the room after breaching the door. Isadore continued shooting at the entry team, who had no choice but to finally shoot and kill him.

Verdict: Righteous kill. Just because a man is 107 years old and probably has dementia doesn’t diminish the real threat posed by someone firing real bullets. It appears that everything was done to try to resolve the situation peacefully and there was sadly no other recourse.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


On September 11. 2001, hijacked American Flight 77 struck the Pentagon killing 184.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Colonel in Egypt - Part 3: The Spy Stork

Two weeks ago a man in Egypt’s Qena governorate, some 450km southeast of Cairo, found a suspicious stork among four others near his home and brought them to the police. It made headlines because an electronic device was attached to it's wing and the bird was immediately suspected of being a spy in the security heightened country as the practice of using birds in this manner is not unheard of.

On August 31st, a veterinary committee called in by officials, determined the device was neither a bomb nor a spying device but a wildlife tracker used by french scientists to follow the movement of migrating birds. Ayman Abdallah, head of Qena veterinary services said the device stopped working when the bird crossed the border.

The stork remained incarcerated in the police station until September 4th when it was visited by a number of unidentified officials with UN identification. Although unconfirmed, it was believed that among them was Colonel "Whopper" Creedon of UNETIDA/UNPASID who was known to be in the country. The Stork was released later that day according to Al Jazeera.

It was reported by most major news outlets yesterday that the stork's body was discovered on an island in the Nile, south of the ancient city of Aswan on Saturday, September 7th. Reports are that local villagers killed and ate it - therefore FOWL PLAY IS SUSPECTED!

Sources: The Guardian / Mail Online / Sky News / FOX News / Al Jazeera

Monday, September 09, 2013

8 Years of Whopper's Bunker

That's right people, it's yet another Birthday for the Bunker. The first post to the blog [then The Colonel's Eagle] was Friday, September 9th 2005.

Thanks to all who have helped me and all those who just come to read this nonsense over the past 8 years. More years to follow, stay tuned.

Colonel "Whopper" Creedon, Sep. 9th 2013.

Friday, September 06, 2013

The Colonel in Egypt - Part 2: The Anubis Bunker

The UNETIDA/UNPASID Director of Intelligence Colonel “Whopper” Creedon continued a visit this week to Egypt by visiting the joint UNETIDA/UNPASID “Anubis Bunker” near Giza, for it’s 40th anniversary. The Anubis Bunker is a facility designed to monitor, combat and contain a higher than planet-normal degree of both Extra Terrestrial and Paranormal activity in the area of the Great Pyramids.

In a speech at the facility, Creedon, tapped earlier in the year for his first star, told assembled operatives: “To be quite honest, I tried to get new traction on an old report written for the UNSC years ago suggesting that we just destroy the Pyramids, the Sphinx and all the tombs with high yield nuclear weapons,” he said. “But to no avail. At the time it would have saved almost US$20Bn over the years, but it was immediately condemned by the Egyptians, the international archaeological council and by pretty much everyone who has never actually come face to face with a risen undead Egyptian lord of something-or-other hell bent on the death of all living things” bemoaned Creedon. “We have plenty of evidence to prove that humans didn’t actually build the bloody things in the first place so I fail to see what the issue is with reducing them to driveway gravel.”

Rather than destroy the monuments at Giza, UNETIDA and UNPASID instead created one of their only joint sites actually inside an ancient tomb in the late 1960’s. “In retrospect that wasn’t the best idea to be honest” said Creedon. “Everyone involved in the construction of the original site died in a series of horrific accidents which we later attributed to a Mummy curse. So we built a conventionally constructed bunker in 1973 instead without disturbing several-thousand year old remains.”

Creedon continued his speech by assuring the Anubis Bunker staff that despite the political upheaval in Egypt at the moment, the interim government is committed to maintaining and supporting the facility and he had been assured by General al-Sisi that UNETIDA/UNPASID could count on his continued co-operation as Deputy Prime Minister. The Colonel’s speech was concluded by thanking the staff for their continued efforts in suppressing the supernatural presence of the ancient tombs and being vigilant against Extra Terrestrial intelligence gatherers. Colonel Creedon reiterated the Anubis Bunker’s long standing instantaneous termination policy against all intruders within 100 meters of the hidden entrance citing no difference between grave robbers or lost tourists – "No one can know what goes on here, NO ONE! You have your orders.”

Thursday, September 05, 2013

The Colonel in Egypt - Part 1: Minister Al-Sisi

The UNETIDA/UNPASID Director of Intelligence Colonel “Whopper” Creedon met recently with General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi the commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces/Minister for Defence now also Deputy Prime Minister who in July took part in an unscheduled change in government to oust President Mohammad Morsi from office. Creedon was visiting the joint UNETIDA/UNPASID “Anubis Bunker” near Giza, and wanted to affirm the facility’s importance to the General during his country’s "time of transition".

It is believed Creedon was sent because both officers are charismatic, telegenic and enjoy a "cult of personality" in their respective spheres of influence as well as being prone to passionate speeches. They have much in common as they both attended top level military schools in the U.S., both were the heads of intelligence for their respective organisations and each have been directly responsible for the deaths of over a thousand people in one event - al-Sisi for his clearing of the Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins and Creedon for his accidental remote detonation of a UNETIDA "PLAN-Z" device in a suburb of Paris over a decade ago.
General al-Sisi underscored his desire for peaceful resolution of the ongoing protests, and reiterated commitment to supporting UNETIDA/UNPASID's continued presence in Egypt as well as the mission of the Anubis Bunker. The Anubis Bunker is a facility designed to monitor, combat and contain a higher than planet-normal degree of both Extra Terrestrial and Paranormal activity in the area of the Great Pyramids and is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary of operation this month.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

AH-HA! Partrige flies to the big screen!

I was completely disinterested in Steve Coogan’s narcissistic chat show host turned radio DJ character Alan Partridge when I first encountered him in the mid-90’s. However once I heard that Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa was getting good reviews, produced by Armando Iannucci [who makes Veep on HBO] and as my friends twisted my arm, I said I’d best brush up on the whole phenomenon of the man himself before seeing his big screen debut.

In preparation for the movie event I listened to his early 1991 appearances written by Coogan, Iannucci and others on BBC radio on the comedy sketch series On The Hour, transitioning to TV with The Day Today in '94 where Partridge was the sports commentator, who apparently knew precious little about the sport he was covering. Then his famed radio chat show Knowing Me, Knowing You, which itself transitioned to Television where Partridge was the host to a show where he managed to insult almost every guest with everything from homophobic and racist comments to physically striking a small child and accidentally shooting his final guest dead, live on air. I took in both series of I’m Alan Partridge ['97 & '02] as well as his more recent webseries Mid Morning Matters [2010] and a host of numerous one-off shows and other TV appearances over the years before digesting Coogan’s seven-hour reading of the audio book version of “I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan”, Partridge’s ‘autobiography’ which I can only describe as an insane tirade of side splitting hilarity married with a dark depression, yet the product of pure genius.

As I mentioned my original encounter led to disinterest in Alan Partridge as a whole but it was obvious as I waded through some 32 hours of content last week, that I just hadn’t been ‘ready’ for it in mid 90’s. Not only did I look at it from a completely different perspective but digesting that much Partrige in such a short space of time suitably prepared me for what to expect from Coogan’s most famous character - in so far as it almost made me as unhinged from reality as he is. Let me be clear that I do not condone doing the same as I have done as I’ve received highly advanced military psychological training and so I’m able to deal with an audio/visual onslaught of that magnitude but a lesser man would’ve crumpled under the weight of such an abundance of Partridge.

But what of the movie itself, what of Alan’s transition from radio to TV back to radio, onto the web and now to the silver screen? Well I’m pleased to report that while it’s obviously a big screen comedy spectacle – it’s still just Alan Partridge - this is the movie’s greatest strength, but also it’s chief weakness. Partridge’s ‘adventures’ albeit never quite on this scale before [even his escape from a deranged superfan] have always been tight and consolidated ideas never veering too wildly in more than one direction and the same holds true for Alpha Papa. While this obviously allows Coogan’s comic genius to shine it does shoehorn the movie into a single trick – that Partridge is both a sad wanker and a self-congratulatory arsehole and thus comedy gold – and if you don’t like that trick [or prefer it in smaller doses] then you’re royally fucked about 40 minutes into the movie. However after 32 hours of Partridge from Sunday to Saturday afternoon, another 2 hours wasn’t going to kill me especially as I now in fact had seen in total, more Partridge than any of the group of people who had originally convinced me to go the movie.

Coogan is joined on screen by Colm Meany as Pat Farrell, an Irish DJ whom a modern digital communications conglomerate deem unnecessary when they take over North Norfolk Digital [Norfolk’s best… North Norfolk’s Best Music Mix]. Farrell has a fit, grabs a shotgun and begins an armed siege during the radio stations rebranding party. Sadly the police don’t realise what sort of trouble they are asking for when they enlist Alan Partridge to act as negotiator for the siege which of course puts him in the media spotlight – a place Alan has proved he is the most dangerous and unpredictable – with hilarious results!

Three major Partridge alumni reprise their prominent roles in the movie Simon Greenall [Michael the Geordie], Tim Key as Sidekick Simon, Phil Cornwell as troubled DJ Dave Clifton and of course where would the man himself be without poor Felicity Montagu as his assistant Lynn? The more eagle eyed patron [or at least someone who had just finished watching/listening to every Partridge appearence in the past 20+ years] will recognise several of the other actors as cops and hostages who have worked elsewhere in the world of Alan Partridge. Watch out for the great Sean Pertwee and our own Simon Delaney as the 'elite' firearms officers.

I'm not entirely sure if you should approach this movie with little or know foreknowledge of the character, I don't think it would work to the same effect, but if your a 'fan' then you're in for a treat as well as being served up the the best comedy of the year thus far. Anchorman 2, your bar has been set!

Colonel Creedon rating: ****

Additional: Since I drafted the review, I have learned that Alpha Papa has reached #1 in the UK box office. Coogan [in character] exclaimed "Now is not a time for gloating or celebration, more a time for healing old wounds, a time to say, 'Let us join together in thanks that I am number one at the box office'. Halleluja."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tactical-level errors at nuke launch site

The U.S. Air Force’s Global Strike Command has reported that the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, has failed a recent safety and security inspection earlier this month after personnel made "tactical-level errors" during an exercise. "This failure resulted in the entire inspection being graded 'unsatisfactory,'" said commander Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski but stressed that it does not mean the safety of America's nuclear arsenal is at risk, and that the inspections are "designed to be tough."

Gen. Kowalski did not  discuss details of the failure or explain the exercise, citing security, except to say that it did not involve the crews who monitor the missiles from inside underground launch control capsules. That left open the possibility that it involved airmen responsible for security, weapons maintenance or other aspects of their highly sensitive mission. The 341st is responsible for 150 Minuteman 3 nuclear missiles that stand on 24/7 alert for potential launch against targets around the globe.

This failure comes on top of similar events to befall Global Strike Command recently. Last spring the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, received weak grades on an inspection but did not fail it outright. The units performance was so poor however, that 17 officers temporarily lost their authority to operate missiles. "We are, in fact, in a crisis right now," the commander, Lt. Col. Jay Folds, wrote in an internal E-mail. At let us not forget the 2010 "engineering fault" at F.E. Warren AFB.

UNETIDA’s Missile Defence Commander Colonel “Rockets” Thompson was said to be “unhappy” with the incidents but despite the latest setback he described himself as “confident” that Global Strike Command would still be able perform under the direction of UNETIDA should it ever become necessary. The UNETIDA Missile Defence Department is responsible for calculating and providing targeting solutions for the worlds militaries to use against orbital extra terrestrial targets or those that engage in landing operations should conventional weapons be insufficient. Also if necessary in situations known as DEFCON-ZERO, they can assume complete control of all P5 nuclear arsenals. The department also has control of “The Armageddon Code” a ‘failsafe’ system designed to obliterate Earth should the planet ever face off against “an overwhelming force with absolutely hope of survival”.

Source AP / FOX News

Monday, August 12, 2013

Can the "B-Team" superheroes step forward?

DC Comics Superman and Marvel's Wolverine returned to the silver screen this summer and I can categorically say they were both substantially better then their previous respective outings. However when you remember that both Brian Singer's Superman Returns and Gavin Hood's X-Men Origins: Wolverine are considered to be next to the worst movies they appeared in [Superman IV and X-Men: The Last Stand taking those distinctions] that's not saying a lot.

Man of Steel

Man of Steel was certainly a different take on the 75 year old American cultural icon once immortalised by Christopher Reeve on screen. Zack 300 Snyder took the reigns to present a more modern-era Superman/Clark Kent [Henry Cavill] who must pursue his destiny as protector of the planet from the evil General Zod [Michael Shannon].

Interestingly, while Snyder gives the character an origin story once again, he does not dwell to much on the characters infancy favouring a considerable look at life on Krypton before and of course during it's destruction. Russell Crowe delivers an outstanding performance as Jor-El during this period of the movie and you regret that it can't be longer. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner step into the parental roles as the Kents with Costner himself shining as the father figure who instilled wisdom into a young Clark.

Cavill himself is "competent" as the man himself, easily surpassing a forgettable Brandon Routh but has nowhere near the charm Christopher Reeve displayed on screen. A complete lack of story development between him and the criminally underused Amy Adams as Lois Lane as well as their relationship being devoid of chemistry is one of the movies major failings.

Despite being a special effects spectacle and sporting the unique sounds of maestro Hans Zimmer the movie fails to reach orbital heights it's title character is able to. The beginning is so utterly superior to the rest of the movie, you want it to be longer and the finale is so completely dragged out and arse-numbingly overlong that it can only delight those with a worryingly short attention span. I'm all for explosions and collateral damage and supermen being through through buildings, but after it happens over a dozen times in the one sequence you want to shout "get on with it!"

There will be a sequel which has been revealed to feature Batman?! Hopefully they've got all the near-pointless destruction out of their system now and well see some character development or at least some semblance of a proper story in the next Man of Steel.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ***1/2

The Wolverine

The Wolverine is a loose adaptation of the mutant's first solo outing by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller from 1982 in which Logan travels to Japan and has a grand adventure featuring The Silver Samurai, lots of Ninjas, Yukio the ronin and of course Mariko his true love.

The Wolverine, like the majority of comic-book movies, does not stick too rigidly to it’s source material. Claremont’s tale provided a framework for Mark Bomback and Scott Frank to craft a screenplay[something that was sorely lacking in the character’s previous solo instalment] and through DP Ross Emery, director James Mangold recreated some of Frank Millar's visceral visuals. If you appreciate a dose of Japanese culture, martial arts, Ninja/Samurai and all that lark in your modern popular culture then you’ll appreciate the type of action on offer here, and I’m confident the movie will go down well in Asian markets.

Hugh Jackman is given a great opportunity to flesh out the character of Logan and I believe the audience is drawn to truly empathise and relate with the character like never before. Given that he’s a roughly 130 year old self-healing mutant that can eject razor sharp claws from his hands, that’s not an inconsiderable writing/acting feat and kudos to all involved. It has escaped previous movies to adequately portray his internal battle as well as his external ones and this is the closest I've seen so far.

Jackman is joined on screen by Famke Janssen reprising her role as the late Jean Grey appearing in a series of haunting dreams and seems adamant that an increasingly depressed Logan join her in death as soon as possible - a feat made difficult due to his longevity and healing factor. Logan is intrigued by the offer made to him by Yashida whose life he saved during WWII, who through medical science may be able to allow Logan to age and die. Naturally, things in such movies are never so simple but if they weren’t then it wouldn’t be much of a movie.

I was certainly happier at how faithful Fox/Marvel were to the character, far more than the previous instalment and sadly a visibly greater effort that than WB/DC achieved with their own hero above.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****1/2

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

RIP Michael Ansara 1922-2013

Michael George Ansara, a Syrian-born American stage, screen, and voice actor best known for his portrayal of Commander Kang on three different Star Trek series has passed. He was 91.

Ansara began acting in the 1950's and appeared in westerns - including The Lone Ranger [1956] - on both the big screen and small before starring in his own TV show Law of the Plainsman playing Native American U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart, a spin off character from The Rifleman.

Ansara appeared in the biblical movies The Ten Commandments and The Greatest Story Ever Told as well as the 1953 adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar but he had a more distinguished career on TV appearing in many Television series in production throughout his career. These included The Untouchables, The Fugitive, Hawaii Five-0, The Streets of San Fransisco, Shaft, Mission: Impossible, The Rockford Files, Kojak, CHiPs, The Fall Guy, Mike Hammer and Murder, She Wrote.

Despite a career forged in the dust of westerns, it will be through the genre of science fiction that Ansara's name will be remembered. In 1961 he played scientist Miguel Alvarez in Irwin Allen's groundbreaking movie Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and followed the role by appearing in the later spin-off series. His career in sci-fi continued with an appearances on Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel and as Killer Kane in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. He also played the title role in the acclaimed The Outer Limits original series episode "Soldier", written by Harlan Ellison and later in his career he portrayed the Technomage Elric in an episode of Babylon 5.

In 1968 Ansara took on the mantle of arguably his most memorable character, the Klingon Commander Kang in the 3rd season Star Trek episode "Day of the Dove". To the delight of fans, Ansara reprised his character some 25 years later in "Blood Oath", an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and even later in "Flashback" an episode of Star Trek: Voyager making him one of only seven actors to play the same character on three different Star Trek series. Ansara also appeared [sans Klingon makeup] as Jeyal, Lwaxana Troi's husband on the Deep Space Nine episode, "The Muse".

Ansara also lent his voice to various animated productions including Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends and Thundarr The Barbarian. He later portrayed General Warhawk in the Rambo animated series but it was for his work on various incarnations of Batman's animated adventures that his voice work will be most regarded. In 1992 Ansara began voicing Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze on the Batman animated series, later in the 1997 The New Batman Adventures, Batman Beyond in 1999 and the video game Batman: Vengeance. Ansara bestowed a level of humanity to the villain, allowing the audience to empathise with Fries' plight which no other medium even attempted.

Ansara married actress Barbara Eden in 1958 and appeared with her in an episode of I Dream of Jeanie. He died following a long illness at his home in Calabasas, California and is survived by Beverly, his third wife for 36 years.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer world-ending comedies are "meh"!

 This Is The End

This Is The End offered the star studded comedy cast of Seth Pineapple Express Rogan, James  Spider-Man Franco, Jonah Superbad Hill, Jay Tropic Thunder Baruchel, Danny Land of the Lost McBride and Craig The Office Robinson playing "exaggerated" versions of themselves holed up in a 'superior' area of the Hollywood hills as the rapture takes all the worthy people off the planet leaving that lot to fight it out for the last bottle of sparking water before the devil and his giant penis destroy them.

I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting too much from this movie. They're not a group of comedians that I'd be too enthusiastic about seeing on screen at the best of times but I reckoned having that many on screen at once might have diluted their individual issues to a manageable level. To some extent I was right, they seemed to work together for the most part but the movie was too underdeveloped in the story department to make the most of what they all could have accomplished together.

The movie was to claustrophobic to be a comedy and being in the one set for almost it's entire runtime took it's toll on the story, it's not a family sitcom after all. I felt that if they had made more use of their impressive list of cameos like Micheal Cera, Paul Rudd, Rihanna and Channing Tatum at least as much as they did with Emma Watson it might have been something more.

Overall there's a few good laughs but as a whole, it's far from great.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ***

The World's End

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright graduated from producing an excellent comedy series in Spaced to vow to make a comedy trilogy like the world had never seen, dubbed "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy". The first two parts of this met their mark - Shaun of the Dead [2004] and Hot Fuzz [2007] are undoubtedly two of the best comedy movies of the 21st century and everyone presumed that The World's End would be the crowning achievement in this fantastic series.

What the hell happened? The World's End is a hideously misjudged and mangled effort as a film that feels like it was made by amateurs and not the greatest British creative comedy team since the Pythons. The first 45 mins has very little by way of laughs, the ending is dragged out to an overlong anticlimax and only it's hilarious fight scenes that save it from being relegated to one-star land.

The cast supporting Pegg and Frost were at least competent.  Paddy Considine and Martin Freeman returned from previous series films as a quintet of old school chums [Eddie Marsan from Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes makes up the fifth] who meet up and go on a 12-pub bender that they last attempted when they were 18, but failed. This time a race of aliens seem determined to spoil their night.

One of the main issues here is that unlike Tim Bisley [Spaced], Shaun Riley [Shaun of the Dead] or Nick Angel [Hot Fuzz], the audience can't hope to identify with Pegg's character Gary King. His previous series characters have had so many good qualities and were on a base level "everyman", but Gary is a dark and troubled waster who is pretty much one of the biggest pricks you could hope to meet. There seems to be a concentrated effort to make you feel sorry for him but I didn't because by the time I could have... it was just too late.

The spark of originally and quintessential humour that Spaced, Shaun and Fuzz had was non-existent here, The World's End is but a shadow of comedy greatness that will be pretty much forgotten. Be thankful you have Spaced, Shaun and Fuzz because after this utterly disappointing piece of lazy film making, that's all you have now.

Colonel Creedon Rating: **

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A prophecy unfulfilled, Williams returns for Star Wars VII, but is this good?

Following the release of the score to Star Wars, Episode II: Attack Of The Clones in 2002 a like-minded score enthusiast friend asked me what would happen if John Williams had to be replaced for Episode III due to his unfortunate death or ill health [after all Williams was 70 at the time] and who could do his job? Despite it being unfathomable to such a die-hard fan like myself who has even made Star Wars the basis for his spiritual beliefs for anyone else to score Star Wars, I always have had my eye on the future and without any hesitation at all I offered a single name in response to his question: Michael Giacchino.

My friend laughed at me. To be fair, his reaction was not unjustified; at the time Giacchino wasn't even a 'name' among the film score community. Much like Jeremy Soule, Inon Zur and Bill Brown he was only known to video-game score enthusiasts as he was responsible for most of the scores for the Medal Of Honor franchise as well as the first scores for Call Of Duty. As great as all that music was for video games, there must have been over 200 top names in a movie-producer's Rolodex between David Arnold and Hans Zimmer all of whom would be far more experienced to score a motion picture than any video-game music composer, therefore my choice was branded as "idiotic".

But a lot has happened since then and now in just over 10 years Giacchino was put just a single step away from actually scoring Star Wars VII, turning an formerly idiotic answer into what seems now like a prophecy of biblical proportions.

Micheal Giacchino has now actually become one of the most prolific composers in modern cinema. He used scores for animated comedies like Ratatouille as a stepping stone to score live action pictures like the abysmal Speed Racer. He is praised for his work on The Incredibles and critics agree that his score is the only redeemable element of the otherwise woeful Land of the Lost.

Giacchino won the coveted Academy Award for Best Original Score for Up in 2010 as well as numerous Grammys, Golden Globes and has received additional nominations for Grammy's and Emmy's. As impressive as all these credentials are, they alone are not enough to put him even close to Star Wars VII, for that we must look elsewhere.

First of all Giacchino has a long history with new Star Wars/Lucasfilm overlords Disney. Originally he worked at their publicity department in NYC, and then LA. From there, he went over to Disney Interactive as an assistant producer. Years after later working for Dreamworks he scored Disney's Sky High, The Muppet's Wizard of Oz and more recently the megaflop John Carter as well as several Pixar films. In 2005 Giacchino collaborated with Walt Disney Imagineering in creating two new soundtracks for the updated versions of Space Mountain at Disneyland, Space Mountain: Mission 2 at Disneyland Paris, and Space Mountain at Hong Kong Disneyland. His music can also be heard in Star Tours: The Adventure Continues during the "travel log videos" shown in the cue line for the attraction.

As strong as the bond between Disney and Giacchino is, it alone wasn't enough to warrant them granting him probably one of the most profound projects in cinematic history. Even the fact that Giacchino composted magnificent scores to two LucasArts published video-games, Secret Weapons Over Normandy and Mercenaries wouldn't come into play. The final piece of this puzzle is in fact the visionary director J.J. Abrams!

It's an easily researched fact that some directors and producers favour certain composers. They may be friends with them, or the composers may have a special understanding with the directors that almost breathes musical life into the director's creative vision and create perfection through collaboration. When Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich were partners, David Arnold always had a job. Since 1999 M. Night Shyamalan uses only James Newton Howard. When Martin Scorcese wants an original score he has turned only to Howard Shore since about 1999. And most remarkably only four out of all the movies ever directed by Steven Spielberg were not scored by John Williams.

In the same vein as this director/composer collaboration, Abrams has used Giacchino in almost everything he's produced on Television since their first collaboration on Alias in 2001. Giacchino's only Television work to date has been for Abrams and includes music and themes for long running series Lost and Fringe. Most notably, Giacchino has scored all of the movies Abrams has ever directed and almost all of what he has produced, providing a brand fresh new soundscape for the rebooted Star Trek franchise as well as redefining Mission: Impossible's score in his own musical idiom.

When Abrams bagged the Star Wars VII gig, it put Giacchino in a position where it became an 'educated presumption' that he would in fact score the new Star Wars trilogy and fulfill perhaps my greatest prophecy. The only fly in this ointment was the fact that Giacchino himself didn't want to do it. In an interview in May he said in response to hypothetically being offered Star Wars:

"I would say, 'I don't want to do it'... From day one, I have said I hope John [Williams] does it. Selfishly, I want to hear more 'Star Wars' music and I want to hear what he would do with it. He's been an incredible teacher over the years to me, he's a friend and he's one of the best composers on Earth. I want him to do it. That's the way it should go."

Giacchino will get his wish. At the weekend, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told a Star Wars convention in Germany that John Williams would return to score Star Wars: Episode VII. Williams said in an interview with that he was "happy to be continuing to be part of the whole fun" of the franchise. He hinted he would likely use some of the music from previous films. "I haven't seen the script, so the story is still unknown to me, but I can't image there will not be some references to the existing stories that would make appropriate use of some of the earlier themes," he said.

While I'm certainly not unhappy with the news, I am hoping that there has not been a missed opportunity to do something new. I don't like change but I'm not blind to the passage of time and so I'm somewhat apprehensive. Williams is now 81 years old and has sadly only produced turgid crap in the past decade [outside Revenge of the Sith obviously]. His music has become almost indistinguishable from one project to the next - Lincoln, War Horse, War of the Worlds, Munich are prime examples of a once great old man losing his touch. Even the score to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull seemed jaded in comparison to previous installments.

To be honest, I'd understand and support Williams decision to rest on his impressive unequalled laurels and thank him for the the years of joy he brought us with his wonderful compositions for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman, Jaws and even fucking Harry Pothead! Instead he's probably signed a contract that will have him working for Disney until Star Wars IX in 2019 at which point the man will be... sweet Lucas he'll be 87!!! Perhaps my Giacchino prophecy is just "delayed" as opposed to "unfulfilled".