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This week's feature

Invasion of the Extraterrestrials

The Aliens are invading, they’re taking human form and moving in. David Vincent isn’t the only one who’s spotted galactic visitors; Rihanna, Will Smith, Luc Besson and plenty of other pop culture heavyweights are spending some quality ET time in their clips, films, books, mangas, video games… These aliens are starring (no pun intended) in all kinds of big-budget productions in 2017.

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We combed the galaxy for the coolest, wildest, funkiest, cutest, and most iconic aliens for our mag 83, “Invasion of the Extraterrestrials” with:

  1. Alien rap gives the Big Bang a whole ‘nother meaning
  2. Class photo of 2017’s space creatures
  3. Artur Sadlos, the legendary illustrator of space’s weirdest life forms
  4. Luc Besson’s upcoming film features 8,000 species of extraterrestrials
  5. How do extraterrestrials communicate with us humans?
  6. Casey Hudson, the man who designed the aliens in Mass Effect
  7. TOP 5 Spaceships of 2017

Fasten your seatbelts, destination pop culture!

Remember the famous answer to Bruce Willis’s question in The Fifth Element?

Are you classified as human? Negative, I am a meat popsicle.

 

Alien rap gives the Big Bang a whole ‘nother meaning

Music - January 11, 2017

Despite Kanye West’s boast (“I’m the biggest of them all”) he’s no extraterrestrial.

To reach that elite sphere, he’d have to be in a whole ‘nother universe. American rapper Future, for example, invented his own musical universe, “Astronaut Status Mixtape,” way back in 2012 on his first album Pluto, affirming that, “it takes an astronaut so long to get to space – that’s how long it takes to catch up on my music.” Four albums and 17 mixtapes later, there’s no doubt about it: this rapper’s in a UFO of his own, from Pluto, he says on his Twitter account.

This young trap rapper has embraced his spacey reputation, notably in the title and visuals of Esco Terrestrial. And he brings in a lot of talent (from Earth) with guest appearances by 2 Chainz, Drake, Juicy J, and Nef the Pharaoh, and on this mixtape, a song with Young Thug, called Who. No surprise that it features lyrics like, “living on Earth like avatars.”

The space rappers were spotted recently in New York, on the stage of Terminal 5 for Young Thug’s Hihorse’d tour. 2017 is their year, as both artists have confirmed by Twitter that they’ll be releasing a duo project. If the site Booska is right, it’s a mixtape of simple cuts – 4 hands and 2 voices! Who cares if it’s from deep space, we can’t wait to hear what they’re cooking up.:)

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Class photo of 2017’s space creatures

The infographic - January 11, 2017

What would a 2017 class photo of aliens look like? Here are 8 aliens that would look cool on Facebook 🙂

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3 questions to Artur Sadlos, the legendary illustrator of space’s weirdest life forms

The 3 questions - January 11, 2017

With Conceptverse: Mooeti, Polish artist/illustrator Artur Sadlos dreams up worlds of creatures from far-away galaxies based on traditions and iconography of specific African tribes. We sat down with him to discuss his methods and his work.

Orange Pop: When and why did Conceptverse: Mooeti happen?

Artur Sadlos: Conceptverse: Mooeti started more than three years ago. I did a series of a few illustrations, just for fun. I had no idea they’d lead to bigger things. In one of them, there was a mysterious monk-like figure on an alien world. I liked that idea and over the course of a few months and eventually years I stuck to that impression of a lone, mystical traveler wandering a distant and bizarre world.

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Conceptverse Project © 2005-2016 Artur Sadlos

O. Pop: This project shows alien worlds that resonate with a distinctly African feeling. What inspired you to make that stylistic choice?

AS: That seed was planted ten years earlier when I was a student in art school. For my thesis exhibition, I made paintings of the legends of Dogon (an African tribe). They had this wonderful mythology depicting their beginnings involving an alien race from Proxima Centauri. It intrigued me, and resurfaced years later to spawn the whole Mooeti project. Another important factor is my deep admiration for orientalists. I love their paintings depicting old and distant worlds from a traveler’s perspective. There is something magical about looking at something so foreign, so culturally rich and laden with history.

O. Pop: When you draw alien characters, what are the most important details?

AS: Having a solid base for the alien character is important. Like every character, it needs to have a background, a personal history, and a personality. I suggest a specific cultural history by the outfit, technology or personal belongings. When creating alien biology, it’s essential to really understand biology here on Earth, then change it enough to be weird but believable. And don’t forget purpose. It’s not only about cool-looking appearances (well, sometimes it is): the alien’s role is important too. Is he a monster or an ally, a noble from an advanced race or funny alien dog? Once you answer this question, you can create believable aliens using the design language of our world so it’s easily understood by the general public. The key is understanding how our world works and using that knowledge to make something new.

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Cross my heart – © Artur Sadlos is an earthling

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Luc Besson’s upcoming film features 8,000 species of extraterrestrials

Shine at parties! - January 11, 2017

No doubt about it – everything about the film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is king-sized. With its A-Team cast (Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, Clive Owen), colossal budget – a record-setter for French film (197 million euros), it’s clear Luc Besson wants to create a European rival to Star Wars. Slated for release in 2017, this movie features the incredibly detailed work of Luc Besson’s artistic teams. They came up with 8,000 different species of space creatures based on the cult comic Valérian et Laureline, by Pierre Christin et Jean-Claude Mézières, artists George Lucas is particularly fond of.

Nothing beats a trailer to whet your appetite for this galactic blockbuster, so here’s a glimpse of these cosmic critters. Fingers crossed that they will be human friendly 😉

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A picture says it all: Robot film stars

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How do extraterrestrials communicate with us humans?

The killer question - January 11, 2017

It all hinges on a detail: language. When the UFOs start landing and aliens come marching out, I don’t think “ET, phone home” is going to cut it. How will we communicate with them, welcome them, and invite them to Starbucks for a cup of java?

That’s the question posed in the film Arrival by Denis Villeneuve in which a translator tries to establish communication with life forms from outer space. Believe it or not, there’s a branch of science called SETI that’s devoted to comprehending and communicating with extraterrestrials. Some specialists in the field are studying non-verbal means of communication like gestural, touch- and smell-based, and even pheromones (insects’ means of communication).

But we here at Orange Pop are really hoping that extra-terrestrial emojis can do trick.

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First contact with aliens in Arrival movie? © www.sonypicturespresse.fr

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Casey Hudson, the man who designed the aliens in Mass Effect

Who's who - January 11, 2017

Huge or little, hideous or sexy, humanoid or cosmic exotic, the space folk dreamed up by Casey Hudson are a pretty diverse crowd.

This artist and his Canadian studio BioWare have created an unbelievable number of space creatures to people its hit video game Mass Effect, the last episode of which, Andromeda, is slated for release in late March. In far-flung galaxies, Casey Hudson’s legions of bizarre creatures live on planets that humans dream of colonizing. The local space freaks aren’t about to roll out the welcome wagon for the invading earthlings, so this invasion won’t be a walk in the park.

Worse, the aliens outnumber the invading humans. May need some energy drinks for this one!

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© Casey Hudson dreaming up aliens

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Who’s who: Syd Mead, the king of retro-futuristic design

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TOP 5 Spaceships of 2017

Gimme 5 - January 11, 2017

Who cannot talk about aliens without mentioning spaceships ! Here are 5 that land on Earth during the year.

1. The mysterious flying saucer in Arrival: 2017 is going to kick off with the arrival of a vertical black flying saucer. This spaceship from Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is surely one of the most spectacular to ever grace the silver screen!

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The strange spacecraft in Arrival © www.sonypicturespresse.fr

2. Green Lantern’s Interceptor: A feature film about Green Lantern is in the works for 2020, but we’ll get a teaser glimpse of this stellar visitor and his incomparable spaceship this year in the movie Justice League.

Interceptor-greenlantern-film-vaisseaux

The interceptor © greenlantern.wikia.com

3. The peaceful spaceship in Dead Dead Demon’s Dededededestruction: In Inio Asano’s manga, a ginormous flying saucer parks itself over the city, blacking out the sky. Strangely, though, this mysterious craft launches no attack and wreaks no havoc, even when the Japanese army fires at it. The second book in this amazing series hits bookstores soon.

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The spaceship from Dead Dead Demon’s Dededededestruction © manga-news.com

4. Star Trek’s USS Enterprise: Hands-down, the most iconic of pop culture’s cult spaceships is the legendary USS enterprise of Star Trek fame. And it’s back on the galactic highways in 2017, thanks to the series Star Trek Discovery. For the youngsters who didn’t grow up with Star Trek, this is the perfect opportunity to discover the spacecraft that enabled the Enterprise crew “to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

5. Apocalypse’s spacecraft in the X-Men: There’s a lot of buzz about Marvel Comics. Rumor has it they have decided to release an X-Men sequel this year. With a little luck, they’ll bring back that groovy spaceship, the one space mutant Apocalypse toodles around in. Let’s hope the rumors are true.

apocalypse-vaisseau-spatial-alien-popculture

Apocalypse gets around in style © Bryan Jay Singer/Instagram

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When virtual reality brings Aliens to life

Stories - January 11, 2017

Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Alien Resurrection, Promotheus… Unless you live in a cave, you must have already heard of the pop culture phenomenon: Alien.

English director Ridley Scott is back again with his blockbuster franchise! Originally scheduled for October, then August 2017, Alien: Covenant is now officially coming out in May 2017.

The lucky few who got to see 15 exclusive minutes of the film, describe it as “gory, tense and thrilling…”

Fans will be glad to hear that besides the figurines and skull replicas, the franchise will also be offering its own Virtual Reality experience: Ridley Scott and Fox Innovation Lab have confirmed that they are teaming up (again) for a “frightening journey in the depths of the Alien universe”.

Will you dare take Michael Fassbender’s role as David the Android and face a Xenomorph?  😉

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Pandora is no longer 4.4 light years away!

Stories - January 12, 2017

It only took James Cameron 2 hours 42 minutes to make us forget about our dear planet Earth, so imagine what would happen if we spent a day in Pandora

The 2009 blockbuster Avatar has broken all kinds of records: highest grossing movie of all time, 9 Oscar nominations, 2 Golden Globes… So, why not plan a sequelDon’t be fooled – Pandora is coming to Earth! The 62-year-old-director is way ahead of the game and has already planned not only four sequels, but – unexpectedly – a Theme Park!

After releasing exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ footage of the park’s first attraction, Disney has officially announced that the park will open in Florida this Summer. Fans will have the opportunity to explore Pandora like never before: meeting local aliens (the Na’vi), encountering physic-defying sites, climbing aboard the back of a Mountain Banshee

If the park is as realistic as the film is to Zhangjiajie National Park, the experience promises to be unique, breathtaking, and – most importantly – extra-terrestrial!

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These pictures give a taste of what to expect

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Cuteness from outer space…

Stories - January 13, 2017

Although one could easily picture Matilda in a Star Trek movie, the 4-year-old cat happens to come from Earth!

She lives in Vancouver, Canada, with 2 humans and a dog. But back in 2013, when she was adopted, no one could have predicted how a normal looking 2-week-old cat could change. It is only when she grew older and bigger that she tested positive for feline leukaemia  (which enlarges the pupils), and acquired that amazing alien like look.

Her “alien” look was so beautiful and unique that her proud flatmates started an Instagram account and other social media accounts – all named: “alien cat Matilda”. No need to say that the combination “cute cat” + “alien” was perfect to go viral: 141k followers on Instagram, 28.7k likers on Facebook, Matilda merchandise… She is one of the most famous cats in the galaxy, with thousands of people following Matilda’s daily life with her “servants” (“the Lady”, “the Dog”, and “the Bearded Man”).

Unfortunately Matilda’s alien eyes caused her increasing pain, so her owners had no option but to accept surgery – which was financed by her fans!  With her eyes now stitched up, one can only wonder whether she will become as famous as Oskar the Blind Cat who has over 374k followers on Instagram?

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Matilda after surgery ; Matilda drawn by a fan of hers

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David Bowie’s secret musical : Lazarus

Stories - January 16, 2017

David Bowie was much more than a music legend. His songs, his characters, his performances: they all came from outer space.

He was the alien rock-star Ziggy Stardust, the fictional astronaut Major Tom, “The Man who fell on Earth”… He always seemed to be searching for fulfillment in space.

His unexpected last project, Lazarus, is a perfect summary of how and what he wanted to be remembered as : a creative alien seeking to be loved.

To bring to life his ideas, Bowie personally called upon Enda Walsh to co-write the play. As for the characters, he cast Michael C. Hall (Dexter) to play Thomas Jerome Newton, and Michael Esper (Green Day and Sting musicals) to be Valentine. The show is an incredible mixture of Bowie classics, visual effects, acting and dancing – a real ‘cosmic’ ride into the artist’s imagination.

When he was younger, David often said that he wanted to put into writing the end of his life, like the Japanese writer Mishima. So this last play is probably what David wanted: a final bow.

The New York production is now in London, make sure to keep an eye on it during 2017 😉

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Spanish artist creates an amazing visual crossover between Star Wars and Alien

Stories - January 17, 2017

Space Cockroaches have invaded the LV-426 planet and are now threatening the Empire. Local authorities have sent a detachment of Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion: Vader’s Fist to save the galaxy.

Sadly, this is not the pitch of the next Star Wars movie – but one could have easily thought (and hoped) so! These few lines are in fact a figment of a talented Spanish artist’s imagination – Guillem Pongiluppi – in which the worlds of Star Wars and Alien collide. As a freelance concept artist, he has already worked for artists (Justice), films (Warcraft, Aloft), as well as the TV show Cosmos (produced by National Geographic and the BBC)! You will definitely be begging for a crossover of the Empire vs. Alien after seeing these impressive pictures…

The 36-year-old artist drew a total of 10 pictures, 10 stages of the battle. Each picture has its own short description, which details the characters in the scene, how far we are in the battle, and who is still alive. The storyline along with the colors and realism bring each scene to life. The result is most spectacular! Take a look for yourself 😉 

Stormtroopers fighting off the Alien invaders

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See you next week!

To be continued - January 11, 2017

Next week we’re taking you into Elon Musk’s scientific mind !

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