Welcome to your weekly round-up of news from the world of science fiction, fantasy, comic books, animation, and all things nerdy. With apologies to anyone who doesn't give an Ewok fart about the franchise, this has been a big week for Star Wars fans. So without further ado...
THANKS TO THE FOLKS at Entertainment Weekly, Star Wars fans now have a few more peeks at Episode VII: The Force Awakens. EW's fall movie preview issue will feature Adam Driver as Kylo Ren on the cover, and the magazine has already posted a dozen photos on its website, some of them previously unseen. (Well, unseen by the likes of you and me, at any rate.) These include the fantastic cover image seen above, as well as this look at Domhnall Gleeson as baddie General Hux:
HUX IS ONE OF THE leaders of the First Order, about which I know next to nothing, since I refuse to pollute my mind with spoilers. (Judging by the presence of Stormtroopers and TIE fighters, it's a surviving remnant of the Galactic Empire—minus the Emperor, obviously.) However, I do know that we got a pretty good look at the Order's massed forces earlier this week when a new Force Awakens trailer intended for Korean audiences made its way onto YouTube.
After that tantalizing glimpse, Lucasfilm apparently felt compelled to release this still of the scene:
FORCE FRIDAY BE DAMNED, Star Wars fans want their toys right now, damn it! Okay, so officially, the epic barrage of new Force Awakens toys isn't supposed to hit store shelves until September 4, but that hasn't stopped some fans from getting their hands on the goods. A Toys R Us in Maple Ridge, of all places, made some young SW fans extremely happy—and their dad, one Chad H, a little poorer—when it started selling Force Awakens MicroMachines sets well before the official launch date.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., a Walmart store apparently stocked its shelves with Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma (see below), Finn, and Flametrooper action figures, some of which subsequently ended up on eBay, where some folks have been all too eager to pay upwards of US$99.99 for toys they'll be able to purchase for under 10 bucks in three weeks. People are weird.
OKAY, THAT'S ENOUGH about all that. Some of you care about things other than Star Wars. Some of you, for reasons that I fail to comprehend, even care about Doctor Who. If you're one of those, you'll no doubt be thrilled by the BBC's latest trailer for Season 76 or whatever. And here it is:
SERIALIZED FICTION IS hardly a new idea, but in these attention-span-challenged times, it might be an idea whose time has come. Again. That seems to be the thinking behind Serial Box, a new subscription service that will deliver "episodes" of serialized science-fiction stories to the device of your choosing for your reading (or listening) pleasure. Serial Box is kicking things off with "Bookburners", written by the team of Max Goldstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery. The first episode is available for free as a sample of the service. "Bookburners" concerns a "Vatican-backed black-ops anti-magic squad". So, you know: the usual.
CASTING NEWS AND RUMOURS
- In an interesting coincidence, we learned this week of two former True Blood stars joining the casts of series based on DC superhero comics. One-time werewolf Brit Morgan has been cast as Leslie Willis (aka Livewire) on CBS's Supergirl. Over at the CW, ex-vampire Rutina Wesley will join the cast of Arrow as Liza Warner (aka Lady Cop). Did you notice that both characters have the initials L.W.?
- In other DC-related casting news, Leo Fitzpatrick, formerly of The Wire, has signed on to play a recurring character in the second season of Gotham. Fitzpatrick will play Joe Pike, leader of a gang of arsonists called the Pike Brothers.
Okay, so it wasn't all about Star Wars. Just most of it.