This Week in Science Fiction
Summer is upon us, friends — the air is dense, the sun is scorching, and the reasons to remain inside are stacking up higher each and every day. However, if you’re the type to enjoy ‘weather’ and ‘sunshine’, you might’ve been away from your computer just long enough to miss these bits of news that were floating around the web this past week.
- Warner Bros. has wisely sought the help of Bioshock writer Ken Levine to pen the remake of Logan’s Run. Insisting that he won’t be diverting his attention from his home at Irrational Games, the Logan’s Run remake is said to be a “passion project” for Levine, and I for one am absolutely thrilled to see such a talented writer revitalizing this compelling and thrilling dystopian tale.
- The newest season of everyone’s favorite sci-fi sitcom, Futurama, premiered last night on Comedy Central with an hour long episode and a new one set to air each Wednesday at 10pm EST. Strap in for some rollicking good times with your favorite interstellar delivery crew, folks. Who knows how much longer they’ll be around?
- News of the latest Star Wars films has been scarce, and fans are grasping at any news regarding the franchise that comes their way. Enter: the casting call. An agency in the UK has begun scouting for actors to star in the upcoming Episode VII. The character descriptions are as follows:
- A young man aged between 20 and 25, witty and smart, fit but not classically handsome.
- Man in late twenties, also fit, but this one is handsome and confident.
- Late teenage girl, independent, good sense of humour, also… physically fit.
- Second young female, also late teens, tough, smart and physically fit.
- Man in his forties, obviously physically fit, this one is a military type.
- A man of around thirty or so, this one is an intellectual type.
- Finally, a guy aged around seventy, strong opinions and tough.
George Lucas did make mention that we’d be seeing some of the old gang this go ‘round, but it seems anything other than that is pure speculation at this point, stay tuned for any further developments.
Will Titanfall Always Be an Xbox Exclusive?
Hindsight sometimes has a funny way of skewing the way we remember things. Though Microsoft’s E3 presser seems to be squashed in most people’s eyes after Sony’s megaton bomb of a conference, you really can’t deny — whether the Xbox One entices or repulses you — that the Big M at least brought some really bitchin’ games with them.
One such title became one of the more memorable original IP’s danced out onto stage: Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall. From the minds that both created and were fired from Call of Duty (which, frankly, sounded like a powerplay between artist and publisher), the mech-centric multiplayer shooter is finding its home on the PC, the Xbox 360, and the new Xbox One.
Respawn’s lead artist, Joel Emslie, cites a “fantastic relationship with Microsoft” as the reason why Titanfall’s console presence is exclusive to Xbox systems…but rumors strongly suggest that exclusivity only runs the duration of a year. Does that mean Titanfall might make it to other platforms, namely the Xbox One’s direct competitor, the PS4?
“We of course would want to go further in the future with stuff, but we’re just starting out,” says Emslie. “It’s pretty frustrating! We want to be everywhere. We want to put Titanfall everywhere, but that’s where we’re at. We’re starting there.”
When Eurogamer pressed the question harder, Emslie would only relent, “It’s definitely not out of the question,” adding that they’d love to follow their fans wherever they go, with whatever console they support. That leaves PlayStation fans without intense, robot firefights for now, but take solace in the fact that “exclusivity” just doesn’t hold the same water it used to (I’m flashing back to the days when “Only on Nintendo” was a solemn promise).
J.J. Abrams to Begin ‘Star Wars' Production in 2014
News of the upcoming Star Wars sequels has been scant, at best. J. J. Abrams and Disney have been keeping quite a lid on the whole ordeal, but the flare-favoring director recently dropped a few hints for his hungry fans.
"Most likely we are going to be moving to London at the end of the year for the Star Wars movie,” said Abrams, explaining that shooting would begin sometime at the beginning of 2014, with a full-fledged release following in 2015.
When asked if the newest films would follow any of the previously established canon found in the wide variety of novels dedicated to the series, the Star Wars director remained tight-lipped, offering: “No comment.”
So, it seems that we know about as much as we did before, but now there’s a timetable. If anything, we have an idea about the script, which must nearly be complete at this point if they’re set to start rolling the cameras.
Personally, it seems almost silly to ignore the bevy of literature attached to the series, some of which would make captivating and wonderful films. On the other hand, it might be nice to see something a little different happen for the series. Abrams said, “I think that the thing is so big and so massive to so many people that the key to moving forward is honoring but not revering what went before”, which is probably an incredibly smart move on his part. The man does know a thing or two about making movies — maybe it’s time to simply wait patiently while the man works his magic.
I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m excited, but I am interested in checking it out. I’m going to see it, of course, but I’ll be housing enough trepidation so that, if it ends up being awful, I won’t be too disappointed.
Halo 4 pre-production concept art.
Microsoft - 343 Industries. 2009-2010
these were some of the very first pieces i did for the project, early 2009.
The Eleventh Hour: Matt Smith Leaves Doctor Who
I’ll be glib with you, friends: Matt Smith is not my Doctor. His rollicking adventures through time and space, accompanied by an air-headed kiss-a-gram and her stalwart husband, left little more than a bad taste in my mouth. Half a season ago, you would’ve found me overjoyed at the news of him leaving the show. “Farewell, Mr. Smith,” I would have said. “Don’t let the TARDIS hit you on the way out.” With the latest addition of the lovely Clara, however, the episodes seem to have taken a dramatic step in the right direction, harkening me back to the same sense of tension and drama that I felt was so easily imbued up until season five. And while I am, by no means, his biggest fan, my recently acquired comfort with Matt Smith leaves me with a mixed reaction to the news of his departure.
Regardless of whether or not I enjoyed his portrayal, there can be no discounting the amount of hard work and dedication that Smith has put into the role over the past four years. Filling the shoes of ten Doctors before him is no small feat, and Smith has grown significantly as an actor over the course of his tenure.
This year’s Christmas Special will be our final voyage with Eleven. His regeneration will, presumably, be unveiled in that episode, which will air roughly a month after the 50th Anniversary, and there’s a good chance that we’ll be granted a better glimpse into the future of Doctor Who.
Fans are beside themselves with grief, of course, which is entirely understandable: put yourself in their shoes, and you’ll find yourself fraught with empathy in no time. But I think this show deserves something fresh after all this time, something more engaging than, say, River Song taking up the mantle, or some other easily digestible route. Personally, I think that a female Doctor would be a welcome addition to the show, but I would much rather see the role handed to a capable individual (*cough cough*) over one who would be placed in the spotlight merely for the sake of fanservice. On the other hand, many devote lovers of Doctor Who have vehemently stood by the fact that they would rather abandon their admiration than see a woman as the Doctor. From a report on last year’s Doctor Who convention:
There was a slightly jarring moment when a fan asked the panel if there would ever be a female Doctor, and Steven pointed out it would be entirely possible, but then asked for a show of hands who would like to see it happen. This got about 50% of the audience raising their hands, but he then asked how many people would switch off the show if there was a female doctor, and 20-30% of fans put a hand up, to a certain amount of gasping from everyone else.
There’s simply no way to tell where the show will go from here, of course. My only desire is to see it continue on its current path of forward momentum, regardless of who the Doctor regenerates into next. As we bid farewell to Matt Smith, I find myself hoping he goes out with a bang, and moves onward to bigger and better things. Someone should remind him to grab his stetson on the way out, though. Stetson’s aren’t cool.
First off, I’m incredibly jealous that you’ve had the opportunity to participate in a science fiction-based literature class. That sounds divine.
Unfortunately, Anon, I haven’t had the opportunity to read “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, but my birthday is a month away, so I may soon get the chance to do just that! If you’d like an update on my thoughts once I’ve completed it, I’d be more than happy to post them!