Director Rian Johnson has refused to confirm or deny that some of the scenes for the upcoming instalment of the Star Wars series may be filmed in Balix Hill near Plumbridge despite rumours that the new film will be named ‘Star Wars 8 – The Battle of the Balixes’.
Balix, sometimes named Belix or Ballix, has long been touted as the perfect location for a Star Wars film such is the out-of-this-world atmosphere and the remarkable number of natural C-P3O and Chewbacca look-a-likes in the area.
Set designer Harry Devlin is confident that the Star Wars production van will be pulling into Plumbridge within a month:
“We need to get in there now before the holiday season begins and the throngs of tourists start to flood The Plum, Cranagh and Glenelly. We’ve already done a few runs to the area and are pleased to see hundreds of natural Chewbaccas to choose from at short notice, from both sexes. And in Balix Hill we have the ideal location for inter-galactic battles.”
This is not the first time that Balix Hill has captured the imagination of the world’s top film directors. In 1966, Sergio Leone apparently filmed over 400 hours of footage in the area for his masterpiece The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. He admitted years later that he was forced to abandon filming and head to Rome and Madrid after failing to find anyone to play The Good despite hundreds of the other two roles readily available in the area.
Clint Eastwood however fell in love with the area and is often spotted during the winter months roaming about Glencoppogagh on his own with his trusty dog, Dog.
The organizers of a Cookstown Pub Quiz have admitted that strict regulations on mobile phone technology may have been a reason for the violent scenes witnessed during last night’s Monday Night Quiz in Mullavan’s Pub.
Police were called to the venue at 11pm after three windows were smashed and furniture broken following a tie-break question, which caused a difference of opinion, to see who would finish in last place.
The question – ‘Which world war came first – World War I or World War II?’ saw The Sinister Pumpkins answer WWI with Badger Breeders adamant it was WWII. The Quiz Master awarded the points to Badger Breeders, sparking an aggressive debate and accusations of underhand tactics before a glass was thrown at a supporter of the winning team. Within minutes an all-out brawl engulfed the premises.
Paul O’Farrell, captain of The Sinister Pumpkins, told us from his bed:
“This was blatant favoritism. Everyone knows that WWI was first – there should be no debate about this. That’s why it’s called One and not Two. I can’t believe we even had this discussion, never mind a brawl.”
Kieran Molloy of the Sinister Pumpkins disagreed:
“If you invented a time machine and started traveling back in time, then you would encounter WWII first as it is most recent to us. It makes sense to me. The whole wording of it is a side issue. Sure didn’t The Hobbit movies come out after The Lord of the Rings movies and that’s all messed up when you think about it. Same with Star Wars – the prequel one which came out after the first ones in the picture-houses which were actually earlier chronologically. And who’s to say Jaws 3 didn’t happened before Jaws 2, in real life like.”
Pub owner Eoin Mullavan admits a simple Google search on someone’s phone would have solved the dispute but a strict policy on technological devices prevented their use. He added that he personally believes WWII was first but would surf the answer later.
A man from Seskinore has become the first in the county to complete the Rubik’s Cube, some 28 years after being given the puzzle as a Christmas present. John Joe O’Hagan, 45, an unemployed chicken chaser from Millbridge Road, finally acomplished it on Sunday evening, after having spent an average of two hours a day on the puzzle for almost three decades.
“I’m wile pleased” said a delighted John Joe. “That buckin’ thing has been the bane of my life but once I started it was difficult to put down. Someone bought me a book on how to do it but I thought that would be cheating. And besides, what the feck does ‘L2 D2 R2’ mean? It sounds like a robot out of Star Wars”.
O’Hagan got the Cube for his Christmas in 1984 from his parents when he was 16 years old, along with an Etch-a-Sketch, a space hopper, and pair of moon boots. Friends and family said he became withdrawn and alienated from society as he tackled the difficult poser. With its 6 coloured sides, 21 pieces and 54 outer surfaces, the cube is capable of producing 43 billion different permutations. It is thought that O’Hagan probably tried most of them at least twice on his quest to conquer the puzzle. His father, John Joe Snr, said,
“To be honest, JJ’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. I remember when he first got the Cube it took him three weeks to get it out of the packaging then another six to find out that the sides turned. Being totally colour blind probably hasn’t helped either”.
However, Tyrone’s very own mathematical marvel is not resting on his laurels, and intends to have another go.
“I hope I can get my record down from 10,372 days. It’s the fastest in Tyrone but I think I can do it faster, maybe even the fastest anywhere”, said O’Hagan. The current world record is 7 seconds.
When asked how he managed it so quickly, a modest Jon Joe said,
“I just thought a bit differently about how to go about doing it and when I did that, bang, I immediately cracked it about 4 years later”.
O’Hagan finally managed to solve the puzzle after he found out how to pull it apart and put it back together again.