A LESSON IN SURVIVAL: Our hosts are going to take it easy this week, but they’re stopping in for a quick look at what’s been drawing their attention. Andrew gets frustrated by the difficulty to be found in Green Hell while D. Bethel dips a toe into the wildly popular independent game, Vampire Survivors.
WEEK IN GEEK: Our hosts try to keep it short but, instead, keep it real as they talk about their respective Weeks in Geek. D. Bethel starts by talking about Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny before Andrew shares his thoughts about the first two episodes of the new Disney+ Star Wars show, Ahsoka. D. Bethel wraps it up with quick thoughts about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.
“Our Best Work” (14 August 2014): Where D. Bethel shares his thoughts about the 2014 live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
OGL DISASTER REPORT: Andrew catches us up (briefly) on the ongoing Wizards of the Coast Open Game License drama.
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew realizes his dream tabletop game exists but spread across a television show and a video game as he discusses his first time through season 1 of The Walking Dead and his time with State of Decay 2. D. Bethel keeps the post-apocalyptic survival theme going as he finds a lot to enjoy in the premiere episode of HBO’s The Last of Us.
OUT OF THE WAY, PECK: After 34 years, Disney decided to create a sequel series to the Lucasfilm cult classic fantasy film, Willow, exclusively for Disney+. D. Bethel is a devout fan of that original film; Andrew couldn’t care less. So, they’re going into this series from two very different contexts, but come to very similar conclusions: it’s okay.
“A Week for Days” (23 September 2022): Where our hosts discuss the first trailer for the Disney+ Willow series.
“Tweets to Toots” (9 December 2022): Where our hosts discuss the first two episodes of the Disney+ Willow series.
“Open Awesome License” (13 January 2023): Where Andrew broke down the controversy around the possible new Open Game License that Wizards of the Coast is working on.
BLOOMING WILLOW: D. Bethel takes a minute to share his excitement for the new Willow show on Disney+
WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew gets surprised by the dark remake/sequel of Kamen Rider Black Sun while D. Bethel rides the ups and owns of Netflix’s Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities.
IN REMEMBRANCE: Our hosts take a moment to honor the sad and surprising deaths of Kevin Conroy––the inimitable voice of Bruce Wayne and Batman in Batman: The Animated Series and many works afterwards––and Jason David Frank, most well known as Tommy the Green Ranger in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
“Films in Quarries” (18 June 2021): Where Andrew dips his toe into the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers pool.
“Doctor Ennui” (27 August 2021): Where Andrew goes waist-deep into the Zyuranger pool.
Though not (legally) freely available, you can find the Batman comic written by Kevin Conroy (with art by J. Bone) in the DC Pride 2022 anthology published by DC Comics.
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew gets lost in the 2022 reboot––and continuation?!––of the classic science-fiction adventure series, Quantum Leap. Meanwhile, D. Bethel finds a lot to love and ponder in the newest volume of the beautiful European noir comic series, Blacksad: They All Fall Down, Part 1.
OBI-WAN KE-NOPE-Y: It was made known that Lucasfilm has put its anthology series, subtitled A Star Wars Story, on hold after the lower box office of The Last Jedi and, most recently, Solo. While the cause hasn’t been confirmed, there are a few factors to look at, one of which could be the box office performance of these films. Another, more sinister, reason has to do with the cultural backlash to Rogue One, The Last Jedi, and Solo. A segment on the internet is convinced that Lucasfilm has a political agenda it wants to push and it’s using the Star Wars series to do so. These dissenters have responded in a few interesting ways: some have banded together and made an official decree to “destroy” Lucasfilm, others have started a crowdfunding/social media campaign in order to remake The Last Jedi. Either way, it’s a complicated issue that Andrew and D. Bethel try to find the knots of.
Although old news for just about everybody, Lucasfilm released a new trailer for the upcoming film in the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. [Note: Your guess is as good as mine as to how many colons belong in that title. I’ll leave that for Dan to determine at a later date.] As with any Marvel/Disney/Lucasfilm trailer, there’s a lot being packed into two minutes and thirty-four seconds. For those that missed it, here it is:
I’m not really here to make any major speculation or draw any conclusions from this trailer. As a lot of people on the internet have already pointed out, there is a significant amount of clever cutting and editing. Any conclusions that you may draw from the trailer are entirely speculative (unless your conclusion is, “These people are in this movie”).
However, there is one thing from the trailer that has also appeared in several other forms of advertising media that has turned a few heads and gotten a few people talking: Luke Skywalker in various stages of “looking like a bad guy.” In the trailer, some attentive fans have looked at 1:47, where a defeated (and wet?) Luke says, “This will not go the way you think.” Others have referenced 1:53, where a wet Rey confronts what appears to be Luke in his grimdark outfit. [Note: we’re not entirely sure what wetness has to do with it, but it may be important.]
Of course, a few seconds of a trailer never amounted to anything. Don’t worry, because Lucasfilm did not stop there. Shortly before the release of the trailer, Lucasfilm released the new poster for the movie. It features everything one would expect from a movie titled, “The Last Jedi.” All the characters locked in seemingly action poses. A couple of lightsabers. Lots of … red? Judge for yourself:
And let’s not forget about the IMAX Standee, also released last week.
The standee, which is cleverly divided into “good guys” on the left and “bad guys” on the right, also happens to feature one character on both sides: our man Luke Skywalker, again. We could go on with this, but it’s just speculative absurdity at this point.
What does it all mean? Apparently, we’re meant to believe that Luke is playing both sides in this movie. Or not? It’s never really clear. Teasing the fanbase is something that Lucasfilm (or, more appropriately, Disney) has turned into a veritable art form and a standard operating procedure. At this point, the only thing we know for certain is that a lot of people are going to go see the new Star Wars movie in mid-December.
This weekend was Star Wars Celebration Orlando, the twelfth instance of the Star Wars Celebration experience. Star Wars Celebration is usually an opportunity for fans to get together and talk about their love of Star Wars. Of course, it’s also a great opportunity for the people that make Star Wars to unleash new content onto the world. This year was no different.
Perhaps the biggest news is the revelation of a trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi:
The Internet is already abuzz over the release of the first trailer for Star Wars: Episode 8: The Last Jedi. Mark Hamill drives the trailer as Luke Skywalker, providing the overall narration and a lot of heavy context to the “Last Jedi” aspect of the title. It sounds like the film will address the “balance of the Force” theme that first appeared in The Phantom Menace and has been further explored in Season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels. I’ve already spent an undue amount of time trying to determine if Tom Baker found his way on to the cast list, given his role as the Benduin Star Wars: Rebels. With a release expected this December, there’s already a lot of fan excitement developing for this title.
In addition to the Episode VIII trailer, a preview for the upcoming fourth (and final!) season of Star Wars: Rebels was also released:
For those not following Star Wars: Rebels, it is the story of a cell of rebels fighting the Empire that become an essential part of the Rebel Alliance. The show has continued to provide a background for the formative years of the Rebel Alliance, and this final year appears to be no different. Season 3 villain Admiral Thrawn makes an appearance in the trailer (with what appears to be a silly General Veers style helmet) as does Katee Sackhoff’s character Bo-Katan, who was previously seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Forest Whitaker’s character Saw Gerrera also appeared briefly. With regard to thematic content, it appears that they will be addressing both the “balance of the Force” theme and the battle for Mandalore (which was an element of Sabine’s storyline from Season 3).
Probably the only character not featured (despite claims that her fate would be addressed) was Ahsoka Tano. As /Film’sPeter Sciretta points out, showrunner Dave Filoni seemed to tease the audience with a clever t-shirt swap during the Rebels event last weekend.
Given everything Star Wars that was unleashed in Orlando, it looks like 2017-18 will be a relatively big year for the franchise.
WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew continues to reap the benefits of this winter’s Steam sale with the arrival of a Steam controller while Dan watches the new crowd-funded documentaries by video game journalist/personality, Danny O’Dwyer, called Noclip. Below is O’Dwyer’s “statement of purpose” regarding what he wants Noclip to be (as mentioned by Dan in the episode):
STAR WARS GAIDEN: [SPOILER ALERT] With enough time gone by since its release (and now that both have seen it), Dan and Andrew discuss Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and why it’s connecting with audiences, what it’s doing for the Star Wars universe and how it’s really doing what Marvel has been trying to do for almost a decade now.Again, we discuss SPOILERS in this discussion, so steer clear if you have not yet seen the movie (and come back and listen once you do).
For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.
-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio
-“Rogue One” by Michael Giacchino (from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
-“The Gathering Storm” by Michael Allen (from Armello)
-“Boss Theme” by Curt Victor Bryant (from Slain: Back From Hell)