Though no official plans are underway to celebrate the 40th yahren anniversary, several smaller events are being planned including Comicpalooza (May 25-27). The full size Viper mockup will be there in all of its glory so make sure if you’re going, make sure to bring your gear and get lots of pictures! That doesn’t happen every day. No classic BSG cast members have been announced as of yet, but Comicpalooza is a fun convention to meet up and get photos.
Blackstar is only as good as the sum of its parts, and that means you! We’re always on the lookout for ways to promote the club and get some new faces in gear! If you’ve got a few ideas get in touch with me or any of the other council members and we’ll see if we can make it happen.
It is hard to believe that we lost Richard one year ago this month. In so many ways, he was the heart and soul of our fandom and we all miss him dearly. We honour Richard with every event we do, with every smile we put on someones face as they recall Battlestar.
In the years following his creation of the second coming trailer, his battlecry to all the fans became “keep the faith” which is where the official motto of Blackstar Squadron comes from.
We are “The Fighting Faithful”.
We are those who still believe.
We are Blackstar Squadron.
Keep the faith warriors.
One new feature we've added is the Warrior of the Sectar, where we showcase members and forum users in uniform for one month. Those wishing to nominate themselves or others can send an email, be sure to include a good picture and your/their first name and call sign to:
Thank you for making 2017 a great year! Happy New Year.
Pearl "Lightning" Sawyer
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The highlights of my year as Membership Officer is always getting word on new members as well as 'new advancements' from years of service and activity to keep Blackstar alive. Several of you have earned these well-deserved accolades and have been awarded with the Council's appreciation for your Colonial service. And as Arcta Flight Leader, I've had several occasions this last yahren to pass out to my great team the Arcta patch for your flight uniform.
So once again, my humble thanks as your Arcta Flight Leader and as Council Membership Officer for a great year of excitement and activity and looking forward to seeing all of you in Houston in Terran Year 2018 to celebrate the 40th Yahren Celebration.
It’s no secret that when it came to celebrating Battlestar Galactica with the fans, Richard Hatch was always our greatest champion. He slaved over organizing events for the fans for year, sometimes at great personal cost.
Galaction 2003 ushered in a new era for Battlestar celebrations. The yahren celebrations of previous years had all led to that event which was the last time we got to see many of the original stars at an official celebration. Next came “Galacticruise” (Galacticon 2) which was a small but amazing event. Fans were allowed unprecedented interaction with the guests and friendships were made that endure to this day.
Then came Galacticon 3, an event that piggy backed on Houston’s renowned “Comicpalooza” convention. The event was plagued with poor organization and even poorer communication, but fans were still able to salvage what they could and turned it into something enjoyable.
Then Galacticon 4 happened. Enough has been said on the issues that lead to what was ultimately a bitter disappointment to most fans. We won’t beat that dead horse.
For the fans, any excuse to get together and celebrate our favorite show is going to have its positives. However, it has become clear that something has been lost. There is something to be said for having a Galactica event in Hollywood near Universal Studios. Whether it is a higher likelihood of getting a wider array of guests or the fact that events like these take place on a daily basis in that town, nothing has ever quite been at the level quality of the the yahren anniversary events or the first Galaction. Don’t get me wrong...those events had their issues as well, but they were head and shoulders above what has been offered since.
What happens now? The loss of Richard was not only devastating emotionally but a major blow to our hope for any kind of official 40th anniversary convention. As best those of us who have been probing can find, there are two camps that made claims that something official was going to happen, and from there...complete radio silence. Rumors have circulated that something will be happening once again at Comicpalooza, but as of January, no original series guests have been invited and there aren’t any plans to do so. Other rumors that something was going to happen in Hollywood remain the same vague rumors they were six months ago.
To really organize something up to the quality we are all hoping for in a forty yahren celebration, it will take the better part of a year to organize. That puts us around the end of summer or fall (close to the actual anniversary). It isn’t impossible, but something needs to happen fast.
What can we do as fans then to help make something happen? First and foremost...make your voices heard! Organize fan meet ups at your local conventions and brainstorm. Get together with fellow fans and start drumming up support at conventions. If you know of any original cast appearances, go and talk to them!
It may end up that any celebration is up to us. That might not be a bad thing. If you have any ideas, the Blackstar council is always open to hearing them!
Keep the faith warriors!
This past December, I was granted a brief audience with BML’s Master Control Program to discuss the selection, design and production of their catalog items as well as what we might expect from them in the future!
Greetings Master Control. Is that how you prefer to be addressed? I don’t want to step on any toes here. Which also begs the question: Do robots have toes?
The robots here are all equipped with a protocol algorithm so they refer to me as Mr. Program, but please call me MCP. As for toes, the rumors are true... the robots are fully functional.
How did you go about selecting the items for production you’re currently offering in your Etsy store? Some of them, like the Meditron for example are pretty rare! I can’t think of anyone else who’s ever attempted to offer that prop!
If I were smart, I would conduct field research and analyze surveys. But the fact is I just build the things I want and hope others feel the same. My passion is props from Classic Science Fiction, those made before everything became custom works. The artistry of modifying something common from the shelf and making it new, unusual or unrecognizable has always fascinated me. Obscurity is also a big factor. I like the challenge in creating items that have been overlooked and never been done. Sure, the Colonial Laser is an iconic masterpiece but it’s already been made countless times. I’d not bother with something like that unless I felt I could add a unique touch (hint: I have one on the design table). The MediTron may not be well known, but it is seen in many scenes involving the Galactica Medical Crew. Don’t they deserve some attention? I think so.
The quality of the workmanship on your props is pretty unmatched, especially with your Battlestar items. What goes into process of taking these props from concept to final product?
I appreciate the compliment and I’m happy to hear that my passion shows. I typically spend countless hours studying screen caps and making notes of important elements, proportions, colors and textures. From there I experiment with many different materials and methods until I’m satisfied with the master model. The final output is often an idealized version of the prop and usually takes more time than I’d like. But I keep my focus on the end result, not the investment or an arbitrary deadline. When I do finally build the prop, I use colored resins, authentic accents and try to make it practical. For example, the Solonite Charge has an authentic aluminum knob and vintage amber lens and the Legendary Jacket Badge has integrated pins for easy attachment to costumes. These touches add realism to the items.
Congratulations on the Communicator design by the way. That particular prop has been rather sought after by the BSG community for a while. I followed the design a bit and was still blown away by the quality. The heft is fantastic, and I love the constant on feature for the lights!
I think nostalgia is a wonderful thing; it’s an emotional connection to our past. Prop collecting is often a pursuit of that. But what we remember is often not reality. If you sell someone a hunk of resin that needs sanding and painting, the nostalgia isn’t triggered. And if you duplicate the original prop 1:1, it might not look like the thing someone remembers. The Colonial Communicator is a good example of this. Now, I’ve not seen an original in person but it was likely very light and poorly assembled, as are so many classic props. I never want my customers thinking “What a piece of junk.” I want them thinking “This is what I remember!” I want them to believe that if they pressed that button and called for Blue Squadron, someone would answer! I want them feeling that they are IN THE WORLD of their memory, even if just for a moment. That’s the goal
Do you plan on making and convention appearances in the near future to promote Bionic Moon Labs?
I would love to do that but conventions with a focus on Classic Science Fiction and especially Battlestar Galactica are a rarity. I do hope something develops this year to celebrate the 40th Anniversary. Absent that, I try to generate interest and excitement creating fan film parodies on the Bionic Moon Labs YouTube channel. These feature the props and are fun to make; although they haven’t received much attention. I guess I’m not enough of a marketing professional.
What can we expect from the BML robots in the future? Any other Battlestar Items coming our way?
I have quite a few items in the work queue for 2018, many of them from Classic Battlestar Galactica but will be diving into other subjects this year too. The success or failure of the initial offerings will dictate how deeply I dive into the list. I will offer up the following as high probability items, some coming very soon: Viper Pilot Leg Computer with calculators and lights, Cylon Pistol with light and sound, Adama’s neck medallion, Colonial Warrior Pistol belt with recharge cylinders and Kydex holster... and of course you’ll need the BML Colonial Laser Pistol to go with that because it will light up and go pew-pew!
Thank you so much! It’s been a pleasure. I can’t wait to see what else is coming our way. Whatever it is, I know it will be made with a lot of love!
You’re very welcome! This was fun. Don’t forget to like or subscribe to the Bionic Moon Labs Facebook and YouTube pages. That’s the best way to stay updated with the latest offerings or communicate with me if you have any questions or suggestions.
The jacket is currently offered as a payment plan item as well.
Also make sure to sign up that you are interested in more classic BSG items from them in the future!