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Ascension Post-Game: Night One Delivers Thrills And A Huge Climax

ascensionTonight, Syfy took to the stars for the first installment of the twisty space thriller Ascension, the network’s first miniseries in quite a few years. The bad news? This isn’t going to become the next Battlestar Galactica. The good news? It’s telling a good enough story that it doesn’t need to. Mostly. For now.

If you sat out night one of Ascension, stop reading now as there are huge SPOILERS below.

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Yoda Is Coming Back To Star Wars, Get The Details Here

yodaNow that Disney owns Lucasfilm, they’ve set out to expand the Star Wars universe like never before, using the Marvel, everything-is-connected philosophy. Star Wars Rebels was the first big piece to be unveiled, and though it is obviously aimed at a younger audience, it’s being used for more than just eye candy. The things we see and the stories that unfold here will echo throughout the revamped franchise, and it is also, set between the prequels and the original trilogy, obviously keyed into the history and larger mythology. One way they show this is by bringing in familiar faces, and another big one is going to show up soon: a little guy named Yoda.

Okay, maybe the phrase “show up” is the wrong choice, as you aren’t really going to see the diminutive Jedi master in the episode titled “Path of the Jedi.” You will, however, hear his iconic voice, and it will be the actual voice you know and love. Much like how James Earl Jones lent his booming voice to Rebels when Darth Vader made an appearance, Frank Oz, who voiced Yoda, will be back for this go round.

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What Happens When You Put A Worm’s Brain Inside A Robot?

openwormtransparentScientists and transhumanists such as Ray Kurzweil talk a lot about radical life extension and immortality, which they think can be achieved in a few different ways. One approach involves improving our physical bodies to the point that they’re pretty much immune to disease and aging, either through cellular and genetic manipulation or the use of nanotechnology that cleanses the body from the inside. Another method of achieving immortality involves ditching our biological bodies and uploading our brains into computers — not unlike the plot of Transcendence, but presumably with a lot less stupid evil. Anyway, the idea is that, eventually, we can all be body-less avatars flying around doing whatever we want, leaving these earthly trappings behind. Of course, that raises some pretty hefty questions, such as whether or not one’s avatar or virtual self is really that person, or if something’s lost in the translation. Given that it’s pretty tough to know for sure either way, scientists are trying to do more than simply speculate about this possible future. Thus, scientists wanted to start small — with a worm brain.

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Ghostbusters: A Bunch Of Big Name Hollywood Dudes Want In On This Reboot

Channing TatumAs those hacked Sony emails gradually leak out online, it raises all kinds of troubling moral questions and implications, but one upside is that we get to hear about all kinds of crazy ass ideas people have had for movies. For example, there’s that insane Men in Black/21 Jump Street mash up that someone suggested. It’s like people will just toss out whatever the hell idea pops into their head as a movie pitch. Granted, sometimes that’s exactly what the Hollywood process feels like, but these private correspondences really drive that home. There’s been a lot of interest surrounding Paul Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters reboot, and the emails now show that it’s not just funny women who have an eye on this franchise, but some big name dudes want to get in on the fun as well. And one of the ideas sounds just ludicrous enough to be a total blast.

So far we’ve heard that Jennifer Lawrence, Melissa McCarthy, Lizzy Caplan, Emma Stone, and Amy Schumer are all down to appear in Feig’s female-fronted film, and that Rebel Wilson has actually spoken to the director about the script. Now, according to the avalanche of emails that the Daily Beast has sorted through, Channing Tatum wants his own spinoff of the new Ghostbusters, and he wants it to costar Guardians of the Galaxy’s Chris Pratt. That could be ridiculous, and a lot of fun.

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Ascension Kicks Off Syfy’s Return To Serious Science Fiction: This Week’s TV Picks

Syfy’s Ascension imagines that, in the year 1963, the United States launched a top-secret space mission — a 100-year voyage aboard a “generation ship” designed to establish mankind’s first colony in a distant star system. Society has evolved aboard the ship into a weird echo of ‘Sixties culture — think Mad Men, not hippies — but has also stratified sharply along class lines. As the ship reaches the halfway point of its trip, the passengers and crew are rocked by a murder, the first ever to occur during the mission, which throws the true nature of the Ascension project into question.

Ascension is the vanguard of Syfy’s attempts to redirect their focus toward serious, ambitious science fiction programming and a stated goal of competing on the same level as HBO, AMC, and Netflix. While we were initially skeptical, Syfy just keeps putting its money where its mouth is, following Ascension up with crazy-exciting projects such as The Expanse, Ghost Brigades, and Childhood’s End. Hell, I’m even looking forward to the 12 Monkeys show, as surprised as I am to find myself admitting that. We’re actually excited about Syfy’s future for the first time in ages, so hopefully Ascension will prove to be a bold step forward for the network, and a promising sing of things to come.

Ascension will air in three parts: Monday – Wednesday at 9/8c on Syfy.

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Watch The Doctor Meet Santa Claus In This Doctor Who Christmas Special Clip

It’s truly a magical time of the year for Whovians everywhere, as we’re only ten days away from the latest of Doctor Who’s annual Christmas specials. And if you just can’t wait, if you need a fix from the long running sci-fi adventure, like bad, here is an explosive (sorry, had to be done) new clip from the upcoming episode.

Ominously titled “The Last Christmas,” this installment promises to be a doozy for a variety of reasons. First, it features none other than the big guy himself, Santa Claus, played by general awesome dude, and frequent Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg collaborator, Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End). That alone makes for a rad way to celebrate Christmas and is enough to entice many viewers, but this is the episode that we’ve been told will reveal the ultimate fate of the Doctor’s (Peter Capaldi) latest travelling companion, Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman).