Duet Battle: Community vs Stranger Things

Finished Season 3, and it was exactly the nostalgia/dopamine rush that I wanted. Like everyone else, the most delightful part for me was Dusty-bun and Susie-poo’s duet: (visual spoilers)

It gave me the exact same wistful childhood feeling as another homage duet – from Community season 1, “Environmental Science”:

H2G2 on Hulu

it’s not even thursday yet, and i have to deal with this?

Hulu is developing a TV series adaptation of the novels from prolific showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Locke & Key) and feature writer Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman, Ice Age: Continental Drift).

Cuse and Fuchs, both fans of the iconic title, will write, executive produce and showrun the proposed series, a modern updating of the classic story now in development at Hulu via ABC Signature and Cuse’ Genre Arts. Fuchs is writing the pilot script.

considering that the last reboot seemed to have been conceived by Ark B types, my expectations are as low as a Poghril’s morale. But fine, whatever. I always have the radio scripts – of which the latest radio sequel was superb (and the audiobook of Colfer’s sequal was even better).

The recent BBC adaption of Dirk Gently was actually pretty good, though it had a Game of Thrones/LOTR like relationship with the source material. If anything I’d rather see more development there than yet another swing for the Heart of Gold. But hey, these guys are fans of the material, who knows. No one can take the radio scripts away from me, at least.

An Elegant Weapon: Review of Savi at Galaxy’s Edge

This is a guest post by HuzThatWriter.

On June 5th I had the chance to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. First on my list was a stop at Savi’s Workshop.

Who is Savi, you ask? Savi is a friend of Lor San Tekka and is a fellow member of the Church of the Force. I think. What do you mean who’s Lor San Tekka? That old guy Kylo Ren killed at the beginning of The Force Awakens? The Three-Eyed Raven? Yeah, that guy. It doesn’t matter. You don’t see him anyways. You do, however, interact with his followers, the mysterious Gatherers who will guide you in the ancient ritual of lightsaber building.

Jedi statue outside Dok Ondar's Den of Antiquities. Photo: Huzaifa Mogri
Jedi statue outside Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. Photo: Huzaifa Mogri

I walked swiftly asking directions towards “scrap metal”. Don’t say “lightsaber,” for the First Order is in town and such talk is frowned upon. The Gatherers take this very seriously. Everyone in the land is in character. And so you wait in line in an amazingly decorated scrapyard to pay for your scrap metal.

While in line to pay, some of the gatherers will show you cards with examples of four basic styles of lightsaber.

Peace and Justice: Visually these are the most like the sabers carried by many of the stereotypical Jedi during the era of the Republic in the prequel Trilogy. Obi-Wan and Anakin have similarly styled weapons.

Power and Control: This style evokes the blades carried by the bad guys. The aggressive styling and the red accents are reminiscent of Darth Vader and Darth Sidious.

Elemental Nature: Made from natural materials like aged leather, intricately carved bone, wood paneling, and even a rancor tooth. The materials symbolize the Force’s connection with nature.

Protection and defense: My personal favorite and the style I elected to construct. These are ancient unearthed pieces from the time of the Old Republic. The components are almost ceremonial in nature, some of the segments even containing writing from the Sacred Jedi Texts.

After you pay your $199.99 plus tax you must choose one of the four styles of lightsabers. You are given a card, a cloisonné pin, and a return time. You are instructed to wear your pin in a visible location (the design is different based on what style you chose) and to act dumb if the First Order asks you about it.

Group identification card. Photo: Huzaifa Mogri
Group identification card. Photo: Huzaifa Mogri
Cloisonné pin.   Photo: Huzaifa Mogri
Cloisonné pin. Photo: Huzaifa Mogri

As I was close to the front of the line for my particular reservation period, I had about 20 minutes to wander the land. When I returned at the appointed time, I was led to a waiting area.

Photo: Vinnie Shahzad
Photo: Vinnie Shahzad

All the while you are warned that the First Order could show up at any time. And they do. It wasn’t long before Kylo Ren and some First Order Troopers swung by on “routine patrol” for some casual interrogation.

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After assuring them that we were simple scrap traders they moved on to other victims. Following the short interrogation by troopers we were ushered into the actual workshop. This is where the experience went from fun roleplay to absolutely magical.

Spoiler warning for those who would like to go into this without any prior knowledge. Continue reading “An Elegant Weapon: Review of Savi at Galaxy’s Edge”

Unification, part N

Austin Habershaw does the unthinkable: posits that Star Trek and Star Wars are part of the same universe. Along with Warhammer 40K. Lest you fail to click, reader, I will only cite one line, the worst line, the best line:

Humanity did it – it conquered the stars – only to discover that the stars are a terrible, cold place where war in unending and death assured.

Read it, then weep for the terrible truth of it.

Star Trek belongs on television

The Trek movie franchise is dead, again.

The last time I was really excited about a Star Trek movie, it was Generations. I had missed The Voyage Home in the theaters, being only 12 years old, So The Final Frontier was my first theatrical Trek, which completely underwhelmed. I dutifully trekked out to watch Undiscovered Country, but had no real interest because TNG had already been on TV for a few years and completely replaced and redirected my Trek fandom. (Worf’s grandfather was a nice cameo, but that was about it). Generations, though, was the Big Thing. It was going to be everything I ever wanted – old Trek, new Trek, Kirk and Picard. Even the absence of Nimoy and Kelley didn’t dampen my enthusiasm. While I was watching it, I kept trying to convince myself how awesome it was. But at the end, even the (admittedly, magnificently executed) set-piece sacrifice of the Enterprise-D just felt like a tired retread of what Trek had done before.

no theatrical Trek moment will ever match this one.

Afterwards, I watched the new movies just as dutifully, but more out of obligation than anticipation. First Contact just turned me off entirely, packing too much Borg retcon and comparing poorly to Deep Space Nine, which was doing exciting and insane things. Poor Worf just looked bored and eager to get back to the station. I didn’t even bother watching Nemesis, predicting (correctly) that it would be a retread of Khan; and they didn’t even give us a primal yell moment. I ended up watching Nemesis on a plane and didn’t feel like I missed anything.

Except maybe this one.

I keep using the word retread for a reason. The next batch of Trek movies set in the Abramsverse felt like they were trying too hard to make Star Trek into Star Wars. Couple that with the massive retcon underway with Enterprise, and it felt like there was just no real Trek left. And of course, they did a retread of a retread, with Kirk and Spock and Khan all over again, which just felt like an insult.

Beyond changed that. It was comfortable in its own skin, it was fun, it felt like Trek. But it was too late. And because Hollywood is expensive, and actors have contracts, and movies have to compete with other ones, the long march to finally getting a good Trek movie was just unsustainable. There will be no Trek 4:

As of now, Star Trek Discovery is apparently delivering action-packed Star Trek-worthy thrills on CBS All Access while Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville is going the topical sci-fi and talk > action interstellar adventure route over at Fox. Not only is the Bad Robot Star Trek franchise not the only (or biggest) Star Wars-type series in town, it’s not even the only major Star Trek option for fans and general consumers. And with Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth apparently refusing a pay cut (from contracts foolishly negotiated before Star Trek Beyond opened), Paramount had little choice but to walk away from a movie likely to cost as much as Transformers but earn about as much as Bumblebee.

And I am really, 100% positively, absolutely okay with this. Chris Pine has better things to do than to play Kirk, and that’s fine. Quinto’s Spock was cool, but Spock is like Superman – more of an archetype than tied to any one actor. And the “new” Enterprise could never really compare to the old one, especially when we get to see her again in all her modern television glory at last.

Nothing compares. Millennium what?

If not for Beyond, I’d be saying good riddance to the Star Trek movies. Instead, I am saying Rest in Peace. Star Trek is best when it has time to develop its characters, craft its message, and take its time. Star Trek is about exploring the human condition, with space as a proxy, in the best tradition of science fiction. It never wore the mantle of blockbuster thriller all that well.

Star Trek belongs on television. With Discovery, the upcoming Picard show, and even Orville out there – the ethos of Trek is alive and well, on the small screen. The next generation of Trek is back home.

Daredevil cancelled

This is tremendously sad, but inevitable, news:

Per Deadline Hollywood, Netflix announced this evening that it has canceled Daredevil, just weeks after the show concluded its critically acclaimed third season. This news shouldn’t be too surprising, but this one is a particularly tough blow for fans.

Clearly Netflix is cleaning house, since this follows surprise cancellations in October of Iron Fist and Luke Cage. That just leaves Jessica Jones and The Punisher on Netflex’s roster of Defenders. Both have new seasons in the pipeline that are currently slated to air on Netflix as planned, according to Deadline’s sources. But they will, in all likelihood, be on the chopping block eventually as well.

This is disappointing, because the realization of Daredevil and Punisher in particular has been absolutely sublime. In an era where we have actors signed up to play characters for a decade in the movies, only getting half as much time with these characters on television feels like being shortchanged, even though we have on balance many more hours of actual screen time with them.

I am hoping that Daredevil at least has a cameo in the upcoming Punisher season. Jessia Jones is an interesting character but doesn’t have the raw resonance of the duality between Frank and Matt, who are in a way the true reflection of Batman vs Superman (even though Daredevil’s philosophy is more Batman-esque, but there isn’t supposed to be a perfect mapping here). These two characters have enormous potential and they at least should be prioritized to survive. The Netflix heroes were never allowed to break into the cinematic universe, despite obvious hooks (Luke Cage at least mentioning Wakanda?).

The Disney streaming service is going to have a lot of Star Wars and MCU filler. It would be incredibly shortsighted of them to abandon Daredevil and Punisher and the rest of the heroes. They are far meatier than anything proposed thus far.

Wonder Woman Writer Willow Wilson

copyright DC comics

via her Facebook page – this is amazing news: starting in December, my friend Willow Wilson, of Kamala Khan “Ms. Marvel” fame, will be taking over writing duties for Wonder Woman. I am so proud of my friend and excited to see where she takes the oldest avenger (lowercase). 🙂

UPDATE: here’s the official press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ACCLAIMED WRITER G. WILLOW WILSON BRINGS “THE JUST WAR” TO WONDER WOMAN THIS NOVEMBER

Award-Winning Author and Creator Returns to DC as New Ongoing WONDER WOMAN Writer with Artist Cary Nord

(BURBANK, CA, July 11, 2018) – Following DC publisher Dan DiDio’s surprise reveal on today’s episode of DC All Access, celebrated writer G. Willow Wilson will be bringing her incredible storytelling skills to the shores of Themyscira as the new writer of WONDER WOMAN, beginning in November.

Wilson has won several prestigious literary awards, including the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story in 2015 and the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in 2016 for the Muslim-American character Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel. Wilson is also no stranger to DC, having previously written SUPERMAN, VIXEN and THE OUTSIDERS, as well as DC Vertigo titles CAIRO and AIR. She takes over the ongoing adventures of the Amazon Warrior this November with her debut story arc, “The Just War.”

“I’m delighted to be writing such an iconic character as Wonder Woman and to be working with DC once again,” said Wilson. “With more than 75 years of history, Wonder Woman has a wealth of backstory and drama to draw from, and I look forward to putting a spin on Diana and her supporting cast that’s both new, yet familiar. It’ll be a challenge to do her justice, but I like a challenge and can’t wait to get started.”

Joining Wilson on art duties for “The Just War” will be Cary Nord, who recently launched THE UNEXPECTED (with co-artist Ryan Sook) as part of The New Age of DC Heroes. Nord is also known for his acclaimed runs on Dark Horse Comics’ Conan and Valiant Entertainment’s X-O Manowar.

When Steve Trevor’s unit goes missing in an Eastern European country torn by revolution, Wonder Woman immediately flies across the globe to help him—only to slam into the brick wall that is Ares, the God of War, who’s taken a strange interest in this conflict. But why is Ares acting so strange? Has he turned over a new leaf? Does Wonder Woman have a chance to redeem him? And just as important…if Ares has returned to Earth, then what happened to the supposedly unbreachable prison built to contain him—Wonder Woman’s homeland, Themyscira?

“Willow’s return to DC to write WONDER WOMAN is an incredible opportunity for us, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said DiDio. “Keeping our core audience engaged requires having the best storytellers around, and she’s definitely a great addition to our current list of writing talent.”

Part one of “The Just War” begins in WONDER WOMAN issue #58, on sale November 14. For the latest news from DC, download the DC All Access mobile app, available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

About DC Entertainment:

DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash), DC Vertigo (Sandman, Fables) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating across Warner Bros. and WarnerMedia. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is one of the largest English-language publishers of comics content in the world.

# # #

PR Contacts:

To discuss DC Universe publishing initiatives:

Michael Shelling

michael.shelling@dcentertainment.com

Clark Bull

clark.bull@dcentertainment.com

On Behalf of DC:

Nick Valente, B/HI

nick_valente@bhimpact.com