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Star Trek Screenwriter Roberto Orci On Choosing Into Darkness’ Villain

It’s safe to say that there was a fair bit of discussion revolving around the villain of Star Trek Into Darkness in the months leading up to its release. I don’t have an exact total, but if I had a nickel for every word I wrote on the subject in the last year, I would have no place to store all those nickels and I would regret not just asking for a check. But now that the movie’s out and the rumors, denials, and obfuscations are done, the folks who wrote the movie are free to talk about it in a candid way. StarTrek.com recently sat down with Into Darkness co-writer Roberto Orci, who discussed the path to the film’s villain, and the balance he and his fellow writers, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof, tried to strike between honoring Trek history and creating a new story that could stand on its own.

SPOILERS FOR STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS BELOW!

Cumberbatch

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Would You Pay $1.2 Million For A Trip To Space With Leonardo DiCaprio?

leoSay you can comfortably afford a trip into outer space, as some of you might. How much is too much? The bare bones trip for a ride on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic ship will now set you back around $250,000. For a relatively exclusive activity, that isn’t the most outlandish price out there. But you don’t want to sit next to some crying baby or guy who crossed obesity with completely hygenic memory loss. You want to sit next to somebody cool, like maybe a movie star.

A recent Cannes charity auction at the amFAR Cinema Against AIDS charity dinner featured seats on a Virgin flight, and the winning bid for one of them went for the slightly ridiculous sum of 1.2 million euros ($1.5 million U.S. dollars), while another pair of tickets on the same flight were sold for 1.8 million euros ($2.3 million). The high prices were mostly due to the person sitting in the fourth seat, Academy Award nominee Leonardo DiCaprio, whose only contribution to sci-fi cinema was Inception as far as I can tell.

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Leonard Nimoy Chastises 1982 Starlog Magazine For Running A False Wrath Of Khan Rumor

SpockWhile Star Trek fans will likely be arguing the merits of Into Darkness for years to come, one of the biggest parts of its legacy is the parade of rumors in the months leading up to the release, and the lengths to which director J.J. Abrams went to in order to preserve his secrets. In the age of the internet, rumors are par for the course, (we at least try not to take all the speculation too seriously), but crazy rumors didn’t arrive solely with the birth of the internet. Back in the pre-web era, a die-hard fan would have to hit up conventions, or scour magazines like Starlog. Sometimes, those magazines would get something wrong — it happens to the best of us — but it’s still got to sting when you report a rumor about Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy…and then get called out about it by Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy.

As reported by The Huffington Post, it happened in January 1982, when Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was still some five months away. Given the huge nature of Spock’s death in the film, it’s not surprising that rumors of the twist had already begun swirling in fan circles. But Starlog apparently reported not only the rumor, but that Spock’s death was instigated at the request of the actor who played him. So Nimoy sent Starlog a letter:

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Orphan Black Post-Game: Unconscious Selection

OrphanJust a quick congratulations right up top to actress Tatiana Maslany for her Best Actress in a Drama Series nomination for the Broadcast Television Journalists Association’s Third Annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards. That’s huge for a sci-fi show, and proof that critics see how amazing she is pulling multi-character duties. On with the review!

BBC America’s Orphan Black is leading viewers towards answers to some of its mysteries, while inserting new ones in their place, and it’s continually impressive how fluidly these plots weave in and out of one another without jarring the viewer’s attention span. “Unconscious Selection” is the ninth episode of the season, and there are just two more episodes to deliver what was initially just a one-season story. I’m hoping a lot of thought went into the endgame, and then whatever sub-endgame we’re given in the meantime.

I liked the things that happened during tonight’s episode, but I really didn’t enjoy much of how it was delivered. After Kira got hit with a car at the end of last week’s episode, I kind of expected some tense hospital scenes, but instead, we find out that Kira is able to heal at a very rapid rate, which is quite interesting. So with that whole smashed-by-a car thing out of the way, Helena’s keeper, Tomas, is the only one putting her at risk, since Dr. Leekie doesn’t appear to know of her presence. But here’s the thing: a self-serving religious nut is perfectly analogous to Leekie’s progressive stance on science, but the non-relationship between Tomas and Helena is ridiculously melodramatic and over-the-top and does a fine job of ripping me right out of the show’s reality. After a bunch of finagling, he’s locked up in a cage, and perhaps Sarah will send Leekie after him. So let’s stop talking about his useless ass.

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The 100: Check Out A Clip And Trailer For The CW’s Sexy Teen Sci-Fi Drama

When the 2013-2014 television season kicks off this fall, the CW’s will be heavy with science fiction. One of their new original programs is The 100, and though the debut is still some months away, we’ve got the first trailer and clip for the show.

The 100 is set 97 years after a global nuclear war wiped out much of human civilization and rendered the surface of Earth uninhabitable. Luckily for the human race, there were 400 survivors, the inhabitants of 12 space stations orbiting the planet. After three generations there are now 4,000 living humans stuck in space. Their lack dwindling resources led to a tyrannical government, one that does things like exile a group of 100 young prisoners back to Earth.

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Full-Size LEGO X-Wing And Facehugger Show Off The Power Of Little Plastic Blocks

LEGO X-WingLEGOs are great. They’re one of the best toys ever invented, but damn there’s a whole different world out there than when I was a kid. I kept my collection, a random assortment of sets and blocks that I pieced together from garage sales and hand-me-downs, in a big sack. Nowadays, however, all bets are off. Need proof of the crazy things people are doing with little stackable plastic blocks? Look no further than this massive, life-sized recreation of an X-Wing Fighter from Star Wars, or the intricately detailed Alien facehugger below.

In order to celebrate the upcoming release of the animated series Yoda Chronicles, the LEGO Group crafted this X-Wing replica, which is the “largest Lego structure ever assembled.” An internal steel skeleton supports a model that is 43 feet long, 44 wide, 11 tall, weighs more than 46,000 pounds, and contains more than 5.3 million individual blocks. All in all, it took 32 builders over four months to put it together. The engines also light up and there are sound effects.

Believe it or not, this behemoth is just a blown-up version of the kit you can buy at your local toy store. Originally put together in the Czech Republic, you can now find the creation on display in Times Square in New York. In a few days the model will begin the trek to California, where it will remain for the rest of the year.