New X-Wing Starfighter Preview in the Star Wars: Force for Change Update

In J.J. Abram’s update on his fundraising contest, Star Wars: Force for Change, we get a look at the new X-Wing starfighters that will be featured in Star Wars: Episode VII (we also get a peek at a tiny droid zipping across the screen). It’s not a huge update, but with all the leaked photos and rumors out there, it’s cool to get some verified info on Episode VII–even if it is only what the X-Wings will look like.

The Force for Change contest is raising money for UNICEF, and offering those who enter a chance to win a trip to visit the set of the new movie and an advanced screening of Episode VII in their hometown. You can check out Abram’s update below, and the clip will give you the info you need to enter the contest. You can also read my post about the initial Episode VII casting announcement here.

Star Wars: Episode VII will be arriving in theaters on December 18, 2015. See you all there!

Let’s Talk About the Supernatural Musical Episode

[Note: I will be talking about the season 9 finale, so if you're not caught up, consider this your official SPOILER ALERT] I love Supernatural, I really do. It’s easily one of my favorite shows, and it can often seamlessly swing from burn-your-eyes-out-tragic… …to completely bizarre and goofy. They also aren’t above making fun of themselves, and they are great meta story lines. Honestly, it shouldn’t work for there to be a Supernatural graphic novel series on Supernatural, but it does. It shouldn’t work for Sam and Dean to attend a Supernatural convention, and join in on a ghost hunt put on by the con that ends up being a real ghost hunt, but it does. It really shouldn’t work for Sam and Dean to crash into an alternate world where they are actually Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles shooting an episode of the television show Supernatural, but it definitely does. Episodes of Supernatural can be crazy, heart breaking, or as Jensen Ackles called it, an “eye-opener”…

[groan]

…but they are almost always great. I tend to trust the writers when Supernatural does something risky. Sure, there are always gonna be hits and misses (Dog Dean Afternoon, anyone?), but the good far outweighs the bad for me. Still, when I heard that season 10 will feature the first-ever Supernatural musical episode, I got a bit concerned. We know that Jensen can sing…

..and the boys are masterful dancers. Still, musical episodes are never mediocre; they are either amazing, or they completely suck. Jeremy Carver has said that the episode will be very meta, and a sort of “love letter” to the fans, so it sounds like they aren’t going to try to make their musical episode too serious. More importantly, it looks like we won’t have something like the Grey’s Anatomy musical where serious, sad, feels-inducing stuff is happening while the cast awkwardly sings a cover of “How to Save a Life”. It also appears that there will be a mixture of covers and some original songs, which should be interesting. The Scrubs musical episode also had original songs, and I personally loved the episode. They were able to bring in songs that not only “fit” the situations (like the mental gymnastics someone had to do in deciding to have a group of surgeons sing “How to Save a Life” while literally saving someone’s life during a surgery–I’m sorry, I really didn’t like the Grey’s musical episode), but also songs that were 100% show-specific, like the song “For the Last Time, I’m Dominican”: Scrubs is also another example of a show that can be goofy one minute, and very serious the next (even more so in the earlier seasons of the show). So I’m hopeful that the Supernatural musical episode can be great like the Scrubs musical episode was. If nothing else, Scrubs also featured very strong male friendships (some might even call it a profound bond). Still, a musical episode, for me, feels really gimmicky–and this is coming from a chick who loves musicals. Supernatural is beginning its tenth season, and the last thing I want is for this show to devolve into cheap tricks and random rating-grabbers. There’s already been enough squabbling from areas of the fandom discussing how everything sucked from season 6 forward (I would disagree, if you were curious), so I don’t want the show to travel down a road that changes the show into something we don’t even recognize anymore. That’s not to say I don’t think the Supernatural writers will be incapable of making the musical episode another one of the awesomely hilarious meta-sodes–if anyone can, the goofballs behind, “If there’s a key, there must also be a lock”, can do it for sure. However, it would be so incredibly easy for things to run off the rails. Part of what makes the weird Supernatural episodes so fun is that they are able to balance the episode’s shtick or craziness… …with actual heart and story line. It can be easy for a show to lose any sort of a story while trying to justify a musical interlude. For instance, the That 70′s Show musical, while one of my favorites, really didn’t have much of a story lacing each song together. Case in point: Since That 70′s Show was a fun, easy-going enough show, it could kind of get away with a mostly plot-less episode with fun, 70′s musical routines peppered in. However, I don’t think Supernatural is the kind of show that could also get away with that, and I wouldn’t want them to try.

The other component is, we don’t know how many songs will be featured in the episode, though we know there will be at least more than one. So the episode might not be as music-heavy as the That 70′s Show, Grey’s Anatomy, or the Scrubs musical episodes. To be fair, Carver even called it a “musical-ish” episode. So while I am a bit nervous that one of my favorite shows will fall prey to the ever-appealing show gimmick that is the musical episode, I figure if the writers have been able to pull off amazing episodes like The French Mistake, Changing Channels, or The Real Ghostbusters, they should be able to handle a musical episode. I am hoping that this will be one of the hilarious, “How is this even a show?” type of episodes that we in the fandom love, and that this will not be signaling something awful like the writers running out of compelling ideas. Besides, we have some BIG things that need sorting in season 10. Need I remind you? So, honestly, this season looks like it might be pretty brutal, and after what was basically an entire season of Sam and Dean fighting, we might need the levity that a musical episode could bring. What do you think? Are you excited about a Supernatural musical episode, or do you think it will be lame? Tell me in the comments!

Also, I’ve been pretty hard on the Grey’s Anatomy musical, so here’s a song from the musical that actually was pretty great (mainly because it was sung by the amazing Sara Ramirez): Also, a side note on season 10: To celebrate the tenth season of Supernatural, The CW will be airing a Supernatural retrospective on Monday, October 6 at 9/8c. The retrospective will look back at the past nine seasons of the show, and it will have commentary from the cast and the crew. Exciting!

UPDATE: The musical episode is slated to be the show’s 200th episode, and I’ve heard rumors that it will be called “Fan Fiction”. The title makes me think we might get to see our favorite Supernatural fangirl again!!!

Captain America: Another Big Change in the Marvel Universe

Marvel is keeping us on our toes! A few days ago we heard the male Thor we all know and love will be deemed unworthy to wield the Mjolnir and posses the power of Thor (and apparently retain the name of Thor), and a woman will be deemed worthy instead. We also got our first glance at this new, female Thor: 

It seems the changes aren’t done yet. Last night on the Colbert Report, Marvel CCO Joe Quesada announced that Steve Rogers will no longer be Captain America come November. Instead, the new hero to stand for all things justice, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will be The Falcon himself, Sam Wilson. Here’s a glimpse: 

The reasoning behind Sam taking over for Steve is a bit less dramatic than male-Thor’s exit (I am STILL not sure how to refer to “old Thor”–I really thought Thor was a name, not a title, but I digress). Steve Rogers’ body will simply not be able to take the physical demands of being Cap, and so he will pass the torch on to Sam. It sounds like Steve will still be around in this new chapter of Captain America, and he’ll be a sort of tutor for Sam (even teaching him how to toss the shield in that classic Cap way). So even though Steve might be done protecting our streets as Cap, it sounds like he isn’t going to be going anywhere. 

I’m also beginning to hear rumors that there is going to be a similar shake-up in the near future for Iron Man. I have absolutely nothing substantial to support that, but given Marvel’s changes to 2 out of the “Big Three”, it seems likely. 

It’s hard to know what to think about these changes. Part of what makes comic book characters great is that they are sort of “timeless”. They seem to abide by a different law of aging and time (even the human superheroes), and that is what makes them great–they are always around. To be fair, we’re not seeing the end of Thor or Captain America, we’re just seeing the end of familiar faces in those roles. Still, it will feel very weird at first not having Steve Rogers as the perennial Cap (even though others have stepped in that role) and Thor as…um…Thor (honestly, what are they going to call him now???). 

One thing I am proud of Marvel for doing is actively pursuing diversity in their superheroes. We have a female, Muslim superhero in Ms. Marvel, a woman in Captain Marvel and Black Widow (and now Thor), an African-American woman in Storm, and Captain America will now be an African-American man. I think that’s great, and really exciting. Comic book fans are incredibly diverse, and it will be really cool for a wider variety of readers to be able to look at Marvel superheroes and find one that looks like them. 

My only trepidation is that this new move will be nothing more than pandering to racial minorities and women, and general headline-grabbing. If this is truly the new direction Captain America and Thor are moving (not a temporary news-maker), and they have interesting and compelling story lines to follow, I think this could be something really exciting. It feels a little weird to watch Marvel take some of the oldest, most beloved superheroes and change them, and I do kind of wonder why they didn’t just add characters to the Marvel Universe. However, I am really excited to see this evolution in the Marvel Universe. If they can make these changes with the love for the characters and the readers, and not something to pat female readers or readers of color, I think this will signal the start to a very exciting and interesting character in the Marvel Universe and comics in general. 

Only time will tell! The new Thor comics will arrive in October, and the new Captain America comics will be dropping in November. Will you be picking up copies? What do you think about the changes Marvel is making? Tell me your opinion in the comments!

Thor Will be a Woman–In the Comics, Anyway

Thor is one of Marvel Universe’s oldest comic book characters, and one of my personal favorites (comic and movie). However, the cost to wield the mighty Mjolnir is high, and the Uru Hammer only picks the worthiest of vessels. For a long time now, that has been the buff, blonde-haired male version of Thor:

However, the comic will be launching a new story line written by Jason Aaron. In Aaron’s story, the Thor we all know will be deemed unworthy to meet the requirements etched on the Mjolnir. Instead, a woman will be chosen as worthy to wield the hammer and go by the name Thor. So I guess it is time to make a bit of an edit to the Mjolnir’s inscription, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall posses the power of Thor.”

Read the rest over at Outright Geekery!

Happy #GeeknessDay!!!

Sunday is Embrace Your Geekness Day, and to celebrate, the cloud-hosting, dedicated server-selling geniuses over at SingleHop have asked me and several other geek bloggers to talk about being a geek. I’ll be honest. I have little to no idea about anything related to cloud hosting or dedicated servers, but these folks are great about giving you the information and help you need to get your own magical cloud stuff. The cloud is a mystery to us all, so it’s good that there are those who understand its enigmatic ways. Anyway, if you want to follow what other people are saying about Embrace Your Geekness Day, you can head over to the SingleHop blog to read other posts by other geeks and follow the hashtag #GeeknessDay. The term geek or nerd was something I certainly shied away from in high school and college–even though I have literally always been one (You mean everyone didn’t read Chaucer just for fun? Oh…). However, as I’ve moved into adulthood, being a geek no longer means being some mouth-breathing, poorly groomed, anti-social freak (though I do have thick, dark-rimmed glasses…and bad allergies that often result in my breathing through my mouth…anyway…). Simon Pegg describes geekery best, I think:

So yeah, I’m a geek, and I’m embracing it. I get really excited when I see casting announcements to movies like Star Wars or Batman v. Superman. Getting to spend hours pouring over books, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, or otherwise, is my idea of a personal heaven. I go to stuff like Comic Con and I push through the crowds on Free Comic Book Day. I get excited over video games and tabletop games. Simon Pegg is right, embracing those things that make me “geeky” has been one of the most liberating things ever.

What’s also been really cool, and has really made me proud, is starting this blog. I’ve been able to engage with so many other cool geek bloggers (and in the case of Outright Geekery and Girls of Geek12, I even get to contribute to the sites). It’s been so awesome to meet with other geeks, and it’s been extremely awesome (yet kinda strange) when people tell me how much they enjoy reading my blog. Though it’s so nice to know other people enjoy the same random, geeky stuff that I do. It can be tough to be a female in the geek community. For some reason, there can often times be a pretty strict set of “rules” for us to avoid the dreaded label of “fake geek girl”. Luckily, there are some truly awesome women in the geek community. My biggest role model in the geek community is definitely the one and only Felicia Day. She’s amazing, and is just about everything I want to be when I grow up. Felicia is an actor (Supernatural, The Guild, Eureka, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the list goes on…), she’s a singer… …she’s a writer (for instance, The Guild was her brainchild), and she’s an entrepreneur. She started her own awesome business called Geek and Sundry (honestly, one day I want to work at G&S). If you haven’t checked them out, you need to do that now. She’s kind of amazing, and she’s someone I aspire to be like. Of course she isn’t the only amazing geek role model out there. There are TONS of amazing other female geeks like Aisha Tyler, Bonnie Burton, Amy Dallen, and Jen Timms (just to name a few), and some awesome guy geeks like Wil Wheaton and Chris Hardwick. Really, I’m not even scratching the surface of the amazing people out and about in geek culture, but those are some of my favorites. Being a geek is great, and there is no one way to be a geek. You can geek out about books, music, theatre, games, movies, television, comics, or anything else. Being a geek means loving what you love with just as much intensity as you can muster, and not feeling pressured to tone it down–which is pretty great. So have a great weekend embracing your geekness, everyone! Remember check out the SingleHop blog and follow the hashtag #GeeknessDay over the next few days to see what others are saying about being a geek!

President Snow’s Second Address: Unity #OnePanem

Another address from President Snow was released today. Go here if you haven’t yet seen the first. This address has President Snow flanked by Peeta and Johanna Mason this time. Take a look:

The Mockingjay lives!!!

Can we just talk about how perfect these promos are? I LOVE that they are taking the Capitol propos mentioned in the book and using them as marketing for the Mockingjay movies. It is such a creative marketing technique, and has gotten me so much more excited for the movie than a traditional trailer would have (though the official trailer is still rumored to drop at San Diego Comic Con at the end of this month). I’ve been so impressed with how they’ve brought The Hunger Games series to the big screen, and this new series of addresses from President Snow just adds to how awesomely and creatively they are handling this series. For instance, you should definitely check out their photo series called “District Heroes“. You can go to the Capitol’s official website to see this, the addresses from President Snow and other fun Capitol stuff. Mockingjay Part I will hit theaters this November! Get ready, citizens of Panem!  

JK Rowling Posted a Short Story About Harry Potter on Pottermore and the Fandom Exploded

It’s been rough for the Harry Potter fandom since Deathy Hallows Part II came out. With no new content, we became a bit angry…

The silence from the wonderful world of Hogwarts was too much. Unsure of how to fill that Harry Potter-shaped void in our lives, we did what we could to make due, creating new content in whatever way we could. Still it was obvious that the silence was driving us mad…

Still, we tried our best to hold on. We re-read the books, we re-watched the movies. We visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, regardless of our age. After all…

And we refused to leave Harry Potter behind. Suddenly, there was an announcement. They would be making a movie of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and the fandom erupted.

What’s more, we even learned that one of the attractions in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion featured some creatures that we’ll see in Fantastic Beasts. It looked pretty exciting, and the beasts looked like they had some real potential. No pincers, sadly.

Despite the excitement, I wasn’t sold. I missed the gang of Dumbledore’s Army. Though I was sure Fantastic Beasts would be, well…

(I was gonna say “fantastic”, but whatever…)

Anyway, I just missed Ron, Hermione, and Harry. How could you not?

But then today, we were graced with new content on Pottermore. Our eyes glistening with the ghosts from our past…

…and we crashed Pottermore as we all clambered to read the short story by J.K. Rowling herself (told in the voice of Rita Skeeter). A brief report of Dumbledore’s Army’s presence at the Quidditch World Cup Final:

[Spoilers Ahead]

The story was quite brief. We learned that Harry obtained a scar on his cheek, either from his work as an Auror or from life with his tiny pack of children (including is 16 year-old godson Teddy Lupin). Skeeter, of course, suggested the salacious, saying that Ginny may have cursed Harry. Highly unlikely, though Ginny can sport the crazy eyes…

Ginny is still reporting on Quidditch matches after having her own career as a Quidditch player, and her brother Ron has left the world of Aurors to help George run Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. You know, because we can’t have anything Potter-related without at least a twinge of tragedy–or the reminder of tragedy, in this case.

Unsurprisingly, Hermione is still rocking the show in the Ministry of Magic as the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Skeeter even mentioned that she’s tipped to move higher in the Ministry. Not that anyone doubted Hermione could do whatever the heck she set her mind to.

We also got to hear that Neville, Hogwart’s favorite Herbology professor, and his wife Hannah are still living happily, Luna and her husband Rolf are happy (and Luna’s fashion sense is apparently still on point–

–she was reported to be wearing robes made from the flags of each country at the Quidditch final), Bill and Fleur are happy (though Bill has a new scar…interesting), and Teddy Lupin and Victoire Weasley are happily in the midst of a teenage romance.

Though I still hope Rowling someday will tell us more about Dumbledore’s Army as adults–and she seemed to leave the door open for this by mentioning Harry’s exploits as an Auror and Bill’s continued run-ins with werewolves–ultimately it seems the beautiful last line of The Deathly Hallows still rings true.

…and most importantly…

…but seriously, dearest Jo, please write more stuff about Harry and the gang…

 

Kendall’s #GeekySummerReads – William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope

I’m reading through a geeky list of books this summer that all have some sort of a supernatural, sci-fi, or general geeky feel to them. You can check out my blogs about the first three books on the list, RobopocalypseAsylum, and Ready Player One. You can also follow the hashtag #GeekySummerReads to hear me talk about the book I’m reading, and join in on the conversation yourself. I just finished the latest book on my list, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher.

This book is exactly what it sounds like. It is Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope, with Shakespearean language. Take a look at the book trailer:

Basically, the book is structured just like any other Shakespeare play you read back in high school or college, but the iconic scenes from Star Wars are highly recognizable—even if you struggle with reading/understanding Shakespearean language…

Read the rest over at Girls of Geek12!

Gone Girl Trailer #2!!!

Guys, I love books. LOVE. THEM. I work in publishing; I’m doing a summer reading list, for goodness sake (which, FYI, look for a new Geeky Summer Reads post to go up later today). One of my favorite books that has come out in the past five years is Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. If you haven’t read the book, you need to go read it now. It’s absolutely amazing. It’s not the sci-fi/fantasy stuff that I tend to write about here–it’s definitely a mystery/thriller. However, it’s also one of those books that when you read the last page, you just have to sit there in silence to try process the insanity that you just read. It is fully messed up, and the ending completely makes you question your own sanity as you think, “Oh my gosh, I totally get that…What’s wrong with me?!?” Okay, maybe that was just me, but honestly, I love this book, so I couldn’t help but post about this new trailer. 

When I heard they were making a movie out of the book, I wasn’t surprised. The book sold astronomically well. It was a no-brainer for a movie to be made based on the book. Buuut…then they cast Ben Affleck (aka Mr. You-Always-Make-Me-Nervous-When-You-Are-Cast-In-Roles-I-Love) as the lead male role of Nick Dunne, and I was a bit nervous. Then I heard that when writing the screenplay, Gillian Flynn deviated from the amazing ending of her book, and I was more nervous. However, after seeing the second trailer for the movie, seeing a portion of Ben Affleck’s performance, and seeing that Neil Patrick Harris will be playing Desi; I have decided that I am nothing more than 1,000,000% super-stoked for this movie to release. Check out the trailer below!

First Look at Henry Cavill in Batman v. Superman and Other BvM Casting News

I’m blogging over at Outright Geekery today about Batman v. Superman

Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice Header Batman V Superman Set Photo Teases Henry Cavill as Clark KentA picture of Henry Cavill as Superman from the upcoming film, Batman v. Superman, has been released:Batman v Superman: Henry Cavill as Superman Pic ReleasedReally, there aren’t any big surprises here. Biceps, cape, stony super-stare, the bold fashion choice of bright red boots… …no huge deviation from Man of Steel here. We’ve already seen the first photos of Ben Affleck as Batman, and even though I’m skeptical of Affleck’s ability to portray Bruce Wayne and his broody, batty alter-ego, there isn’t anything definitive for me to point to that says this movie will suck. Really, I can’t decide what I think about this film. Henry Cavill is a great Superman, but I don’t trust Ben Affleck as Batman. There are also rumors that everybody’s favorite Khal, Jason Momoa, will be playing Aquaman….

Read the rest over at Outright Geekery