Science-Fiction Weekly – Death Stranding, Star Wars, Star Trek, Predator
A warning to all TV watchers: If a commercials for Star Wars: The Last Jedi pops up, do everything you can to avoid it. We're just a few days away from the movie opening in theaters, and Lucasfilm's advertising department is starting to include major spoilers in the TV spots. One in particular involving Rey has appeared in the latest batch of commercials. The clip is something I did not expect to see in the film, yet here it is for all to see in a TV spot. I also have to issue an additional warning about social media. Some press outlets and lucky Star Wars fans have already seen the film, and I wouldn't be surprised if spoilers start appearing on Facebook and Twitter. Basically, avoid all forms of technology until you see the film. You may also want to avoid any form of contact with people who may be Star Wars fans.
Mark Hamill may not agree with the direction Rian Johnson took for Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, but I'm guessing it's much less distressing than the ideas Hamill had for the character. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hamill outlined the history he fabricated for Luke, set between Return of the Jedi and the new films. “I wrote lots and lots of scenarios,” Hamill told the magazine. “I made notes that he fell in love with a woman who was a widow and had this young child. He left the Jedi to raise this young child and marry this woman. And the child got hold of a lightsaber and accidentally killed himself.” What the hell? Seriously? This is the future you wanted for Luke?
The depressing news for Star Wars fans doesn't come close to touching the pain Star Trek junkies are currently going through. These people may look confused, distraught, and some may even burst into tears for no apparent reason. If you thought Star Trek Discovery was a polarizing show for Trekkies, imagine how they must be dealing with the news of J. J. Abrams and Quentin Tarantino teaming up to create an R-rated Star Trek film. I have faith in Abrams, and the writers room he's assembled to tackle this puzzling new director for Star Trek is sound. Mark L. Smith, Lindsey Beer, and Drew Pearce have worked on a number of successful films, including The Revenant and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Why the film would need to be rated R, even before the script is penned, is a bit worrisome. Actually, it's really worrisome. That basically tells me that the language and vibe in Tarantino's other films will likely be the basis for this new Star Trek journey. We don't know anything else yet, and there's a chance this thing could go off the rails before we learn more. I would love to see Chris Pine and company return for another movie, but I could also see Tarantino doing something completely removed from the current continuity.
Now some legitimately good news. If you agree with my assessment of Predator 2 being a great movie, there's reason to be excited for the forthcoming sequel. Confusing naming conventions aside, The Predator takes place seven years after Predator 2, and even sees Jake Busey playing the son of Gary Busey's character Peter Keyes. Jake Busey gave Pop Culture a rundown of what theatergoers can expect from this sequel. "This one definitely falls in line with the original franchise in that it does focus on the technology that the Predators have," he said. "It focuses on what the goal of the Predators is, and what their modus operandi is, and why they come to the planet, and that type of thing. It’s definitely in line with the original franchise.”
Peter Capaldi's run as The Doctor is almost over. A new trailer for the Twice Upon a Time holiday special teases his end, which somehow brings Capaldi together with the first Doctor, played by David Bradley. Jodie Whittaker, the next Doctor, will undoubtedly be a part of this episode. The presence of two Tardis' also creates an uncertain scenario for which vehicle Whittaker will pilot. I'm hoping she takes the old one for a spin.
Last week's The Game Awards gave us a look at a handful of new games, including a new science-fiction property from the designer of Payday and Payday 2 called GTFO. As much as I hate this name for a sci-fi property, it is catchy and smart by the development team over at 10 Chambers. You won't forget it, that's for sure. The focus of GTFO is four-player cooperative play, with a team working together to scavenge artifacts from an underground facility overrun with alien beasts. As you dig deeper into this complex, you'll gain new weapons, gear, and an understanding of who you are and why you are here. GTFO sounds incredibly ambitious for a team of just eight people. The trailer showed in-game footage, and it looked exceptional. We won't have long to wait for it, either, as GTFO is slated to launch in 2018.
The game I want the most, which doesn't even have a release year yet, is Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding. The new trailer at The Game Awards and PSX didn't tell us much about what kind of game it will be, but the story looks absolutely bonkers. Invisible enemies, babies that live in your stomach, and gargantuan sea creatures are just a few of the odd things that happen in this third look at the game. At this point, I don't care if there's a game or not. I just want to watch more of it. Kojima has created something that even the actors seem puzzled by, as Norman Reedus joked about having to go online to gain further understanding of what he just watched.
As the year winds down, don't expect much in terms of sci-fi news. Next week's column features my full review of The Last Jedi, and the next two columns will focus on the year's best in sci-fi. Thanks again for reading. I'll hopefully see you again in seven days!