I might have spent a little too much time indoors of late, as I’ve started absentmindedly composing bad Viking-esque poetry about my house, which I’ll spare you. You’ll thank me. Also, I tried to introduce my godson to Star Wars, which didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. When Darth Vader made his entrance on the Tantive IV, I was hoping for something, I don’t know, fearful or terrified, a reaction worthy of one of cinema’s greatest villains. Instead he turned to me and asked:’Is that Batman?’ *sigh*
It’s been a big week for that galaxy, with the first official announcement of the cast list for Star Wars Episode 7. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are returning, along with Max Von Sydow (Flash Gordon), Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings), John Boyega (Attack the Block) and Adam Driver (Girls) among others. We still have very little detail as to who’s playing who, nor how large a part the original cast will have. There’s a report that Ford’s part is gigantic (Yes, there’s a very cheap joke there, but I’m not going to make it), but that could just be Abrams doing the ‘No, it’s TOTALLY not Khan’ routine again. On that note, can we get someone to punch him in the junk if he tries that again, please?
For that matter, what about the ‘You Rebel scum’ guy?
There’s one thing that’s been nagging me about it though, and others have put it far better than I can, namely io9’s Annalee Newitz: where the hell are the women? Let’s break it down shall we?
The original trilogy: Princess Leia.
The prequel trilogy: Padme Amidala.
The new film: Princess Leia and an unknown role
We have Carrie Fisher and Daisy Ridley and… that’s it. Apparently another female lead will be joining, but that’s still not nearly enough. Yes, 2 major female characters is more than in the entire original trilogy, so it’s progress. It just happens to be piss poor progress.
Now, there are female speaking roles scattered throughout, but they consist of Aunt Beru, Mon Mothma, Jocasta Nu (The Jedi Temple’s librarian) and a few random background extras. Aayla Secura doesn’t get a line, let alone to draw her lightsaber before she’s gunned down by Order 66, to add insult to injury. With the word recently that the Expanded Universe (Novels, video games etc) won’t be canon for the new films (Though they’ll continue to mine it for ideas), it does rob us of a lot of fantastic female characters and also lessens the chance of Benedict Cumberbatch or Hugo Weaving playing Grand Admiral Thrawn. However, if we can get close to an equal gender representation, then that is a price I’m happy to pay.
For all the terrible parts of the EU (Darksaber and The Crystal Star, I’m looking at you) there were some amazing female characters – Mara Jade (Who started out trying to kill Luke and later became his wife), Han and Leia’s daughter Jaina (Who became the Sword of the Jedi), Imperial Intelligence chief Ysanne Isard and warrior princess Tenel Ka. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Anyhow, the old material will remain in print under the title Star Wars Legends, with the covers to the first four ‘new’ novels released this week. The first will tie in to the new animated series Star Wars Rebels, with the others spotlighting Luke Skywalker, Grand Moff Tarkin and the Lords of the Sith, Palpatine and Vader.
It’s amazing the power that one simple sentence still has over me.
Warners have confirmed that Zack Snyder will be directing Justice League, with the movie set to shoot after he finishes Batman vs Superman, which will hopefully get a better title before it’s released. Speaking of that, it’s gotten even more crowded, with actor Ray Fisher cast as Cyborg. Warners are said to have another nine films in development, with Fables and Sandman said to be among them. But really, who cares about any of that – Stan Lee has shot a cameo for Guardians of the Galaxy!
Joe Quesada has confirmed that the Marvel Netflix series will be part of the MCU, Tim Blake Nelson is now part of the Fantastic Four reboot, where he’ll play Harvey Elder, better known as the Mole-Man, the Spider-Man spin off Sinister Six could be shooting next year and there’s been talk of an X-Men TV show. Me? I’m just hoping they update the theme tune from the 90’s cartoon.
Microsoft are planning a TV show based on the roleplaying game Deadlands, SyFy US have announced a plethora of new shows, including adaptions of Frank Miller’s Ronin, Lev Grossman’s Magician series and the time travel story Pax Romana. Here’s hoping that A: some of them actually make it to the screen and B: they’re actually any good. They also announced a third Sharknado film, so it’s more a case of 2 steps forward, 1 GIANT LEAP BACK.
The Good, the Bad and the Undead…
A synopsis has been released for the movie adaption of book series Goosebumps, plans are afoot to bring The Phantom back to cinema screens and Kevin Smith is working on a Christmas themed horror movie, Anti-Claus. Wasn’t he talking about quitting movies after Red State, or did I miss a memo? The Assassin’s Creed movie has a new director, Steven Spielberg is to direct a new version of the Roald Dhal story The BFG and Hugh Jackman reckons the third Wolverine film will be his last time playing the character, which is fair enough.
In this week’s instalment of ‘DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE’ comes word of a new Dad’s Army movie. Don’t. Please, just don’t. I’m sure you can make a decent version, but surely this could be stopped before that? It’s pure speculation at the moment, but we could be getting a Sherlock Christmas special, Fox have cancelled Almost Human and a Friday the 13th series is in the works, which is said to take place across different times and look into the Voorhees family past. Dredd’s producer has given an update on the sequel, saying despite Karl Urban’s recent comments there’s very little progress and a new synopsis for Mad Max: Fury Road has been released.
Footage wise, there’s a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer, which is mostly the previous trailer with a tiny bit of new footage which makes even less sense. How is William Fitchner both an amoral scientist and the leader of an evil ninja clan? I’m not saying he can’t be both, but there’s only so many hours in the day. We’ve three new clips from X-Men: Days of Future Past and a new episode of the Judge Dredd fan series Cursed Edge has arrived. We end this week with a gloriously cute K-9 poodle skirt. *sigh* It’s great to see geek clothing that’s more than a t-shirt, though I continue to grumble that Her Universe don’t ship to Australia – there’s a shirt there that’s perfect for my niece.
Quote of the Week:
Jagged Fel: “You also have to play politics, which is like piloting an unarmored shuttle through the worst meteor shower in history, and just as productive. I think sometimes the only reason I’m not as unhinged as Daala is because I’m younger.”
Jaina Solo: “My mother isn’t unhinged.”
Jagged Fel: “No, but she left the Chief of State’s office and took up a profession where she could cut people in half when she got annoyed.”
Star Wars: Conviction