Star Wars Rebels kicks off tomorrow night, launching one of the first major slices of the new, stripped-down Star Wars continuity. Last month another puzzle piece arrived in the form of Star Wars: A New Dawn, the first novel set in the new Expanded Universe, and a direct prequel to Rebels. While we’ve still got over a year to wait before the arrival of Episode VII, there are still more novels to come in that time, and beginning this January Marvel will relaunch the Star Wars comics universe with three new series. The straightforwardly titled Star Wars #1 will be the first of the bunch, and StarWars.com has shared the above variant cover art, as well as some interior previews and some insights from writer Jason Aaron.
There can only be one…until there’s not.
Plus a little bit Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Who.
HBO cowboys up.
Richard Matheson‘s 1954 novel I Am Legend has already been turned into three different movies of differing values, and despite years of trying to figure out a way to spin a follow-up to Francis Lawrence’s 2007 adaptation, Warner Bros. is now just doing away with all ideas of prequels and sequels and is just rebooting the entire damned thing. I believe that’s called “the old Hollywood college try.”
The thing is, they’re not even going with a piece of fiction that started its life as an I Am Legend movie. Warner is actually tasking screenwriter Gary Graham with rewriting his own screenplay, A Garden at the End of the World, to mesh with the I Am Legend mythos. Warner fought hard to acquire Graham’s spec script back in April, after he posted it on the Black List website and made waves. Graham was brought back to the studio to polish it up, but producers widened their minds and realized there were enough similarities between A Garden at the End of the World and I Am Legend that a retrofitting wasn’t out of the question. It must be fantastic for a writer to hear that his original work is just good enough to become the fourth iteration of something else.
By now we’re well into the reign of Time Lord number twelve on Doctor Who, played with swagger and an edge of dickishness by Peter Capaldi. Still, there are likely some, possibly many, of you out there who miss the human cartoon that was Matt Smith’s eleventh incarnation of the character. But fear not, that version of the long-lived, beloved character is still alive and well, albeit in a drastically different form, that of comic books. It does actually seem like a fitting medium for a rendering of Smith, and the newly minted continuing series is back with issue #3, “What He Wants…” and it has what you need.
Over the course of the previous two issues, the Doctor picked up a new travelling companion, a sarcastic, unemployed librarian named Alice, who has, thus far, fit into his adventures rather nicely. She’s shown she can handle herself in a tight spot or two, and that trend continues in this latest outing. Issues #1 and #2 have been more episodic in nature, like standalone installments of the show, but now you start to get a larger narrative arc coming into play, which was something of a worry before. As fun as these separate escapades can be, your attention was going to start wandering before long.
Star Wars Rebels debuts on Disney Channel this weekend, or possibly you’ve already seen it via other avenues (we saw it and it is totally fun and feels very much like actual Star Wars), and as such, that’s where the bulk of the Star Wars news has been coming lately. But don’t, for one second, think that we’ve forgotten about Star Wars: Episode VII, because we know that you haven’t. And to be honest, as much as we enjoyed Rebels, it’s the movies that we’re really excited for, and there are some interesting tidbits floating around on that front.
As usual, the SPOILER rule is in effect. What waits beyond this point could ruin certain things from the film, or they could turn out to be complete and utter bullshit. So read on at your own risk, and take these reports with a grain of salt.
Earlier today, we saw yet another stunning new trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, a film that continues to look better and better the closer we get, to the point where we’re about to break out the camping equipment and sleep out in front of our local IMAX movie theater. With the tidal wave of marketing, which is still dwarfed by that massive, mountain-sized all of water we’ve seen in the footage, that’s not all we get today, there’s an interactive website for you to poke around on, and one of the things you can find is a featurette that delves into the physics and science of the film.
Nolan is nothing of not meticulous in his filmmaking, and as he says in this video, every film has to have a rigid set of rules to adhere to, an internal logic that lends a sense of coherence to the work. In a movie like Interstellar, you better believe a large part of that involves actual science and scientific laws and principles. To that end, the production employed Kip Thorne, a noted physicist as its scientific advisor.
How much science fiction have you seen or read that comes from places outside of North America or Britain? Well, there’s other European sci-fi such as Karel Capek, who gave us the word “robot” in his play RUR. There’s Stanislaw Lem from Poland. There’s a glut of Australian and Kiwi sci-fi writers, and Russia seems to be covered too (Yevgeny Zamyatin’s novel We inspired some of the ideas in Brave New World). But apparently, science fiction is skyrocketing (no pun intended) in China. It makes perfect sense given the influence technology has on China’s culture. What surprises me, though, is that I can’t think of a single work of science fiction by a Chinese author — in fact, it seems I haven’t read any. For someone who reads, writes about, and teaches sci-fi, this seems like a major oversight. The editors of ClarkesWorld magazine agree, which is why they’ve launched a Kickstarter to raise money to translate and publish them.