Batman v Superman: Gotham's Sneak Peak

     Warner Bros. have officially released the teaser for the next Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer tonight as a special bonus for watchers of Gotham.  The full trailer will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live Wed. December 2nd.

     There's an unmasking, an angry Superman, and a whole lot of intensity.  Superman is looking extremely unhappy, like he's under some kind of control, especially with the soldiers bowing to him.  Perhaps this is taken from the Frank Miller Dark Knight Returns run, where Superman is essentially a government lackey- though here, he might be doing it out of debt for all the destruction his Kryptonian slug-fest caused in Man of Steel.

     Regardless, each trailer is giving us a little more good material and helping relieve our fears that this'll end up as less than spectacular.  My hopes remain strong that this will still be good.  Probably not Nolan level quality (story wise), but it'll still be the Snyder special- cinematically amazing shots and action.

     Batman v Superman hits theaters March 25th, 2016.

Marvel & Netflix's Jessica Jones: Short Review

     I went into watching Jessica Jones with huge excitement for a gritty take on a noir-ish private detective in with all the true hard-boiled darkness they could muster, but what we got was just a decent show.  I felt it drug out a little too long, with boring subplots and what definitely seemed like at least a couple filler episodes.  Had some of the extraneous material (see a lot of Hogarth's storyline) been cut this could've been a much tighter series.  Daredevil had the same issue, it ran just a little too long.  

     The acting was great for the most part, Tennant's Killgrave was wonderful- much better than I had anticipated.  Mike Colter as Luke Cage was pretty awesome, and Krystin Ritter was amazing in the lead.  Though at times she should be held to account for all the damn deaths that she essentially helped while trying to bring Killgrave in alive.  Honestly, all her failed attempts to bring him in allowed for a larger death toll than if she would've simply tried killing him a few times.  Of course, the show would've been considerably shorter, but that could've been a good thing.  It just seemed a bit weird that she wanted to do the responsible thing by doing irresponsible things.

     In an attempt to prove that the show is still worth watching I have to point out that the supporting cast is superb.  Colter's Cage makes us laugh, we want to cheer for Jone's best friend Trish, and through the course of the season we like, then hate, then really like Eka Darville as Jones' neighbor Malcolm.  He is easily, without a doubt, the best reason to watch this show- his story arc is extremely relatable and meaningful, and as far as I'm concerned he shows more character growth than any two others on the show.

     What the show did absolutely brilliantly was handle the awful relationship with Killgrave and his victims.  He is a sociopath that doesn't give a shit about conquering the world or taking over a city or any of that insanely huge stuff, but rather he's just looking for someone to be with him "on his level" that he doesn't need to control.  He wants someone, Jessica, to choose to be with him.  A huge change over the vast majority of typical Marvel villains, and it was a very welcome change.  He's a villain we hate for his actions and feel sorry for for how he became this way.

     Overall, I thought Jessica Jones was good, but had plenty of room to be better.  With the upcoming Daredevil season 2, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the eventual Defenders series' we can only hope to see more of Jessica Jones in all her badass glory.


Lara Croft GO: The Shard of Life: A Tiny Tomb Raiding Review

     This holiday week Lara Croft GO got a nice new update with 26 new puzzles to solve in a quest for the titular The Shard of Life the expansion is named after.  The free update also gave players new in game collectibles to find and extra suits for Lara to unlock.  A wonderful small treat just in time for Thanksgiving.

     The levels in The Shard of Life aren't just more of the same.  They've added a couple new mechanics to adapt to and make things a bit more interesting- including new enemies that only temporarily die.  After about 4 turns they return to life to stop you from reaching the shard.  That means that even if you figure out the solution, you may need to restart a puzzle because the only way to finish it has been passed.  But that just adds to the allure of trying to figure out which traps to prime and possibly lure enemies into them, or thwart their regenerative abilities by leaving a pillar on top of them.  These little additions definitely give the extra levels a special boost to gameplay.

     In fact, I found that quite a few of these puzzles we much more difficult than those in the core game.  That isn't a bad thing either, I do appreciate that none of them were hair-pullingly tough, as Square-Enix Montreal has maintained their nice balance between difficulty and fun factor.
     Without being able to play the newest core game in the franchise, Rise of the Tomb Raider, this is a great treat during the time-strapped holiday season, and its high quality entertainment only leaves us wanting more.

     I've said it before, but I continually hope that Square-Enix Montreal keeps up this treatment of the large franchises condensed down to their basic elements and distilled to perfection- and I truly hope to see how they'd handle Square-Enix properties such as Deus Ex, Thief, or even a new take on Murdered: Soul Suspect with the GO franchise's formula.

Captain America: Civil War: Winter Soldier & Cap Beat-down of Iron Man

     I know we've pretty much all seen the new trailer for Captain America: Civil War, and it is epic indeed.  Well, I just felt like making a nice filler post here with my favorite part of it- where Captain America and Bucky Barnes (aka The Winter Soldier) give Iron Man a good roughing up.  So I made this awesome little GIF and sliced out a small chunk so it flows better than the jagged look it has in the trailer.

     This film is going to be great.  I think it'll be much better than the Avengers: Age of Ultron.  They just shot for too big a goal with the whole end of humanity garbage that so many films try to push.  Marvel should learn that the stakes don't need to be that high all the damn time, keep it small and personal- keep it intimate and meaningful to hit hard and leave a real impact- which is what it looks like what the Russo's are doing with Civil War.  Damn, I'm excited for this.

     Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6th, 2016.


Lara Croft GO: Free Expansion Update: The Shard of Life

     As a wonderful little Thanksgiving Day treat, Lara Croft GO will be receiving a free expansion pack titled The Shard of Life tomorrow.  It takes place in a new location, the Cave of Fire, and features new artifacts, treasures, 2 new costumes, and 26 more levels.

     In addition the game is being discounted on all systems for a flash sale- dropping the price a whopping 40% off to the nice low cost of $2.99.  For anyone who hasn't played it, I gave it a great review and highly recommend this puzzle-adventure.

     [ Google Play ] [ iOS App Store ]

     Source [ Game Informer ]

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Disney Infinity 3.0 Trailer has Arrived

     As a huge fan of both Star Wars and Disney Infinity the official trailer for the upcoming tie in playset for The Force Awakens is a great joy.  It looks like we'll be getting all the main characters featured in the official movie trailer, but we'll have to wait and see if we might get a Captain Phasma or some other as yet unseen characters like an Old Luke Skywalker.

     In the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Play Set, players will travel to a galaxy far, far away alongside new heroes and old friends in search for a much-needed ally. Playable characters include Finn, a soldier on a path to adventure and danger, and Rey, a true survivor who is resourceful and capable. Both will join Poe Dameron, the trusted pilot of the Resistance who uses his expert flying skills to travel the galaxy, and Kylo Ren, an enforcer for the First Order who terrorizes the galaxy with devious acts.
     The previous two Star Wars playsets, Twilight of the Republic and Rise Against the Empire, were both tons of fun with loads of stuff to do.

     Disney Infinity 3.0's The Force Awakens playset will be available Dec. 18th.

Captain America: Civil War Official Trailer Released!

     This trailer is making things look more like the Captain America films instead of the Avengers films, and that is a great thing.  And we finally get to see a couple glimpses of Black Panther in action as well as a sweet Cap and Bucky combo beat down of Iron Man.

     Captain America: Civil War releases in theater in the US on May 6th, 2016.


Batman: Arkham Knight: MASSIVE November Update Trailer

     Today another good bunch of DLC for the Arkham Knight game with a new update.  We get playable Catwoman and Nightwing missions and a slew of other goodies including (for the season pass holders at least) the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice costume and Batmobile skin.

     Catwoman's Revenge is set after the main storyline and has the player seeking revenge upon the Riddler for his actions through the main quest line.  A Flip of the Coin is about Robin attempting to thwart Two-Face's money laundering schemes.  Each episode also includes AR challenges to expand the gameplay.

     Additional DLC available today:
• Crime Fighter Challenge Pack #4: Get this Crime Fighter Challenge Pack to receive various challenge and predator maps featuring Batman, Nightwing, Robin, Catwoman and Azrael. This expansive challenge pack allows focused training in FreeFlow Combat and Invisible Predator stealth incursion. 
• WayneTech Track Pack: Test your skills behind the wheel with these two cutting edge WayneTech themed racetracks. 
• Robin and Batmobile Skins Packs: Get this Robin and Batmobile skins pack to don the Original Tim Drake Robin costume and speed through Gotham City with the Robin Themed Batmobile Skin. 
• Riddler Themed Batmobile Skin: Puzzle your enemies with this Riddler themed Batmobile skin. 
• Free Updates: • Character Selection in AR Invisible Predator Challenges. • GCPD Lockdown 2 AR Challenge Rooms


Gravity Rush Remastered: Coming a Week Earlier Than Announced

     Last we heard, Gravity Rush Remastered was going to be arriving on the PS4 as an enhanced bundle port of the PS Vita's best game on February 9th, 2016 including the original game and all its DLC.  Earlier today, Sony Computer Entertainment of America's Nick Accordino Tweeted that we will be getting it an entire week earlier than expected on Feb. 2nd, and we can already pre-order it on Amazon.

    Now we can only hope to see the sequel a little earlier than anticipated, with it's some time in 2016 release.  A vague time frame, but it already looks to be worth the wait.


Marvel Heroes 2015: Magik Playable Character Trailer!

     As the only MMO game I play religiously I actually surprised myself that I've never posted anything on the game here.  That fact changes today with IGN releasing the official trailer for the 53rd playable character in the absolutely amazing free-to-play Marvel Heroes 2015- Magik, the sister of famous X-men member Colossus.

     This is the only game I make a purposeful effort to log in and play for at least a half hour a day, and would recommend it to pretty much anyone that plays computer games.  The sheer number of playable characters is staggering, and to top that off, many of them have a slew of additional costumes you can purchase and use.

     To play the game* [ Marvel Heroes 2015 ]

          *Note: The game will be rebranded Marvel Heroes 2016 soon for the coming year.


Stephen King's 11.22.63: Hulu's First Teaser Trailer

     Hulu just released the first teaser trailer for the upcoming time-traveling 8-part event series based on Stephen King's book 11.22.63.

Hulu Original series 11.22.63 is a thriller in which high school English teacher Jake Epping (James Franco) travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy — but his mission is threatened by Lee Harvey Oswald, falling in love and the past itself, which doesn’t want to be changed. 
     11.22.63 also stars Chris Cooper, Josh Duhamel, Cherry Jones, Sasha Gadon, T.R. Knight, George MacKay, Lucy Fry, and Daniel Webber.

     11.22.63 premieres on Hulu on Feb. 15th, 2016.  President's Day.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided: Delayed 6 Months

     Eidos Montreal announced today on the official Deus Ex: Mankind Divided website that the Deus Ex: Human Revolution follow-up game would be delayed a full 6 months, pushing from the original release date in February 23rd to August 23rd, 2016.

     The statement from David Anfossi (Eidos Montreal Head of Studio):
"As you may have already seen by reading and watching the many previews for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, our aim is for it to be a worthy successor to Human Revolution, and to improve upon that game in every way possible. I know that expectations are extremely high, and we not only want to meet those expectations, but exceed them. 
We’re confident and proud of the game so far. However, as we are not playing through the game in full, we can see that it will require more time in post-production for tuning, iterations, and refinement to meet our high standards. In order to achieve this, we need to move the release of the game to August 23rd, 2016. 
We are sorry to disappoint you with this news, and also thank you for all of your support and comments. This game is a huge part of our lives, and we don’t want to compromise on its quality. 
So please be patient with us a little longer, and thanks as always for your passion and support - through thick and thin. It’s a huge responsibility to work on Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - we know, but also a huge privilege. We’re determined to deliver the best game we can."
     Honestly, this is a disappointment, but in the good way.  Many players would rather have delays for a game, than receive a broken or buggy mess.  I mean look at the whole Batman: Arkham Knight debacle.  Delays are becoming the norm, and I'm ok with that, providing we get a game worth the wait.

     Source [ Deus Ex Universe ]

Zoolander 2: New Official Trailer

     We are finally able to see the full range of Derek Zoolander's amazing modelling capabilities in this new trailer for Zoolander 2.  We get a lot of familiar faces, a lot of new faces, and the the return of the foamy latte.
     Damn it Todd!  You know it makes him bloated and farty!  *Insert Mugatu faces here*

     Zoolander 2, or "2oolander," arrives in theaters Feb. 12th, 2016.

Marvel Future Fight: Jessica Jones Arrives as Playable Character!

     With the highly anticipated Jessica Jones television show premiering this Friday on Netflix, Marvel has given the free-to-play mobile game Future Fight players a chance to play as the super-powered woman herself!

     In addition to the Jessica Jones tie-in, they've added Marvel's other Netflix show character, Daredevil, his TV costume, as well as the ABC Marvel show's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Quake, the Doctor Octopus Spider-Man, and the white Iron Fist costumes.

      This update was available last night and we can prepare for the new show by attempting to unlock her character and obtaining the costumes.  If you haven't played this game, I highly recommend it.  It is easily the best Marvel Comics game on mobile devices right now.


A Possible Deus Ex GO: After Hitman GO & Lara Croft GO it Would Make Sense

     After Square-Enix Montreal's amazing Hitman GO and its thematic successor Lara Croft GO, I'd been wondering if they'd be working on a new game in the GO series.  It makes sense to continue with the main companies properties with the stylized and distilled down versions.
     I previously mentioned my thoughts that they may have snuck a teaser for a potential future game into Lara Croft GO, with the inclusion of the Deus Ex suit, and now here's an additional hopeful thought to follow it.  Mind, you this is still purely speculation, but...
     ...Yesterday I posted this tweet, and the official Square-Enix Montreal favorited it.

     Of course, I would never consider this a confirmation in any way, shape, or form- to me it's just a small hope that they may be secretly working on a Deus Ex Go game.  With Deus Ex: Mankind Divided set to release in February of 2016, there is a very tiny chance that a tie-in to that universe could be translated quite nicely to a stealth/puzzle game in the wonderfully minimalistic GO format.  We don't really know what might be on the way down the pipeline for Square-Enix Montreal's next project, so I'm crossing my fingers that another brilliant and clever GO game does come along with this particular world as its focus.


Comics: 451: Self Storage & Sunflower: Short Reviews

     Lately I've been growing tired of reading the oversaturated superhero market in comic books.  Marvel and DC dominating the scene and retelling the same stories over and over, and their disturbing trend of re-branding old characters with more marketable and currently popular fill-ins is getting old quickly.
     Of course, I rave about publishers like Valiant holding their own with wonderful titles and a nice range of books to keep me interested and reading.  Things that are different and original.  Well, a couple weeks ago I stumbled across a new publisher on Comixology and I bought two first issues on a whim.  Which turned out great because they are really awesome titles.  The group is [ 451 ] and the comics are Self Storage and Sunflower.  Both are extremely well done and very entertaining.  I've included the motion comics of the first issues here for those of you that are not quite certain you want to dive right in and give them a try.


     Creator Clay McLeod Chapman has given us a very interesting premise with the the question, "If you found a zombie in a storage locker... would you keep it?"  The book is about a fellow named Chris Smith that is the type of person you might see on an episode of Storage Wars.  Just a guy trying to get by in life by picking up what others left behind in their storage sheds.  Bidding on containers and hoping for some great treasures to pawn at a profit, he buys unit #83.  Instead of potential riches he finds a teenage zombie named Jessica.  Once he's purchased this container and finds what's inside he must now find out who put her in there and why.

     Honestly, this story seems like it would be very low key, but it is riveting in how nicely they've created this small world.  It builds up a tense story I want to really follow.  It's not often that I find new comics that capture my attention like this.  Chapman has done well in making the life of storage buyer Chris seem real and interesting.  he isn't a big-time hero, he's just some guy that happened to come across something far outside the range of normal.
     The art by Matt Timson helps create a believable world.  The black and white world is filled with strange shades of gray and he nails it- most notably when Chris first enters the storage unit in the dark.  The art is simple and effective, creating a sense of psychological horror felt in the most ordinary ways.


     In Sunflower, 10 years have passed since CJ's husband and daughter Tallulah were murdered.  His body was found, hers was not.  It's also been 10 years since she left her farm.  She's gone on with her life, living like a hermit, but she never really gave up hope.  Then one day she receives a postcard with her daughter's nickname and handwriting.  It fires up her motivation to do something about it and try to save her daughter.  A motivation to do whatever it takes to find her and make things right.  To find who has done this and make them pay.

     Writer Mark Mallouk (adapted by Andi Ewington) has created the beginning of what looks to be the start of a great crime/mystery story.  CJ is fired up and sure that the cold case of her family's murder (now a missing persons case) should be reopened and investigated.  The police don't believe her, and she has to press on alone.
     Lee Carter's art adds to the book's feel amazingly.  The bright colors keep the farm beautiful while the panels look like they could be right out of an episode of a crime drama tv show.  The first issue is great and anyone that likes murder mysteries should check it out.

Marvel's Jessica Jones: Netflix's 2nd Official Trailer

     The combined efforts of Marvel and Netflix have brought us the second series' second trailer.  Jessica Jones is ramping up to look like the type of future Marvel properties that I actually am extremely hyped for.  Seriously, this is the type of mature themes and dark content that I was hoping a few of the films might portray.

     In this trailer we see a ton of new footage.  There's Carrie Ann Moss, more David Tennant, and much more of the great cast.  Lots of good material is given, and the story appears to follow the Brian Michael Bendis comic series Alias quite nicely.

     Jessica Jones stars Krysten Ritter and it premieres Nov. 20th on Netflix.


11/22/63: Stephen King's Time Travelling Masterpiece Coming to Hulu

     For the first time in a VERY long time, I am really excited about a new Stephen King adaptaion for film, or at least television in this case.  It's been known for a while that King's amazingly well done time-travel story 11/22/63 was going to arrive on Hulu relatively soon.

James Franco as Jake Epping.
     The official press release synopsis:
"The Hulu Original series 11.22.63 is a thriller in which high school English teacher Jake Epping (James Franco) travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy-  but his mission is threatened by Lee Harvey Oswald, falling in love, and the past itself, which doesn’t want to be changed."
     In what Hulu is calling a 9-hour limited-series event, 11/22/63 will begin as a as miniseries, and if it is popular enough it'll continue.  If not, it'll be done.  That is an understandable situation as King's adaptations usually leave a lot to be desired.

     11/22/63, to me, an avid time travel story and movie fanatic, as well as a huge King fan, am looking forward to this opportunity to get to finally see one of his works done right.  What I think this has going for it is the fact that I truly believe this is one of the greatest love stories ever written.  Sure, the main focus and plot is the belief that altering time to change the JFK assassination will make the world a better place, and all the obstacles that get in the way- including time almost actively trying to right itself, fighting to keep things the way they are.  But the subplot that it holds is an absolutely beautiful love story, undeniably pulling the tale together and anchoring it perfectly as a damn amazing novel.  Honestly, I believe that this is one of the best love stories of our generation.
     Entertainment Weekly posted an interview with the show's executive producer Bridgett Carpenter that gives me great hope.  Not only are they pulling in some wonderful talent, they are putting in a huge effort to make it seem not just realistic, but accurate.  They've been using archived recordings and photos and really delving into making this seem like it really belongs in that time.  She describes the reasoning of such production value for this adaptation, "It's a yarn, but it needs to be seeded in the truth and the reality of the time."  That dedication is something to hang our hopes for the series on.

          11/22/63 stars James Franco, Josh Duhamel, Chris Cooper, Cherry Jones, Sarah Gadon, T.R. Knight, Lucy Fry, George MacKay, and Daniel Webber.  The series is brought to us by J.J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot.

     11/22/63 is set to premiere Feb. 15th, 2016.  President's Day.

     Sources [ EW ] [ Collider ]

The Mammoth: A Cave Painting: A Review of Extinction

     From the former Yager employees laid off from their work on Dead Island 2, a new small creative group was made- Inbetweengames.  An aptly titled group that wanted to create a small game focusing on the inevitable doom they saw coming concerning their last project and jobs, and the hopeful rebirth anew with their new company on the indie scene.  This tiny game project, made for the Ludum Dare 33 is The Mammoth: A Cave Painting.


     The game is a wonderful lesson on the foreseeable future.  You play as a mammoth that left your herd to go searching for your lost offspring, and defending them from the onslaught of humans in a mission of their own survival.  Of course, we all know what happened to the wooly creatures in real life, and we get to experience the same disheartening thing as we are unable to save our children from death and must press on.  Even if you defeat the humans, you march on to your own impending death with no way to avoid it as you find yourself as the last of your kind.

     This situation was well known to Inbetweengames, as they wrote to Offworld:
     "It didn't take us long to realize that most of us would be fired, so we decided to jam for Ludum Dare 33 to cope with the situation somehow... at its very core it wound up being a game about the inescapability of loss."
     I believe this drive to express themselves really helped the emotional power of the game.  It isn't drawn out at all.  No long-winded narration, it gets to the point right away.  It's a quick 5 minute game that hits players right in the heart's sadness button, capturing the essence of loss perfectly.  The visuals are in muted browns and tans, with shadows seeping in from the edges, and the game's steady drum beat lead to the only real conclusion of all things in life.  Somehow, it's both beautiful and awful at the same time.  It's the most compressed tale of grief and acceptance I've ever seen and it's very impressive indeed.

     Free to play on: [ PC ] [ In Browser ] [ Android ] [ iOS ]

     Official site [ Inbetweengames ]


Star Wars: The Force Awakens & The Evil Luke Skywalker Theory

     After reading this lengthy and relatively well thought out theory of Luke Skywalker falling to the Dark Side for the upcoming Force Awakens movie, I felt prompted to write a response post. While it is very possible that Luke might turn to the Dark Side, as he did in the very good comic book series Dark Empire, I don't believe it will happen in the film. I already put up a small post about this, but I feel a little more explanation is necessary.

     I'll try to respond in the order Conery presents his own thinking.

Luke and The Dark Side

     He clearly does not turn. He sees what he's doing, giving in to the hate, and stops. To illustrate, he has the epiphany moment, and turns and tosses his lightsaber away. What I think IS important here is that Luke is the one to bring BALANCE to the Force. Not by helping eliminate the Sith, leaving only Jedi, but rather he found a way to balance the two halves- emotion and logic. It's even shown in his having one dark glove and one bare hand. He pleads to his father for help, and Vader once more becomes Anakin- love overcomes hate.
"Good. Now fulfill your destiny, and take your father's place at my side." 
"Never. I'll never turn to the dark side. You've failed your highness, I am a Jedi, like my father before me."
     Seriously, if Luke had turned, he wouldn't know the Emperor had the lightning ability, nor would the Emperor have said, "So be it... Jedi."  This was the moment Luke became a true Jedi Master. By rejecting the Dark Side.

     This ties directly into Conery's next portion- he believes that in Yoda's infallible wisdom lies unalterable truth, "Remember your failure at the cave." The vision showed Luke's path to becoming his father. Or conversely, that his relationship to Vader was being revealed, which could jeopardize his chances to save his friends. So, yes he was being impulsive and hasty, but he was also relying on the Force to guide him.
"Only a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his emperor. If you end your training now, if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did, you will become an agent of evil."-Yoda
     Just because Yoda is seen as the wisest being doesn't mean he is truly all-knowing. Right before Luke leaves Dagobah for Bespin, Obi-Wan says about Han and Leia, "Even Yoda cannot see their fate." Yoda doesn't necessarily know the future.  This is shown once again in Attack of the Clones, when Obi-Wan and Yoda are wondering why Kamino isn't in any of the Jedi archives, a youngling student suggests maybe someone erased it. A small untrained Jedi child saw something quite evident that the 900 year old Master missed.

     Later, when Luke returns to Dagobah Yoda has tells him, "No more training do you require, already know you, that which you need." With the message that he only has one more thing to do to become a Jedi- to confront Vader, which as I said above, he did. He became a master by rejecting the Dark Side.

"A Jedi shall not know anger.  Nor hate.  Nor love."

     What Yoda didn't account for is a new form of Force user, one that CAN use emotion as well as the Jedi logic. The Jedi failed because they cut themselves off from attachment. During the final battle, Luke gives up his weapon- as Yoda also said, "A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack." Clearly, through the Prequels we see this isn't exactly something they follow themselves. Over time, the Jedi became detached and the Sith became overly attached. The wedge drove the two paths to diverge further from each other than they may otherwise would have.

     Anakin was touted as being The Chosen One, to bring balance to the Force. Perhaps he did, but not how many people think. In the end, Luke appealed to Vader's love for him to overcome the Dark Side, resulting in his redemption and the death of the Emperor. I think Anakin brought balance by having Luke, and both of them learn that emotions aren't the evil the Jedi taught. It was their shared connection that allowed them both to go on. It was the way Luke found the path between using logic and emotion together.

Luke Lying to Jabba

     For one, he's not lying to the Emperor. He did lie to Jabba, but you know what, Obi-Wan lied to some stormtroopers. He even used the Force to do it.  Sometimes the Jedi lie.

"Who is Luke Skywalker?"

     This is a key element here.  Kathleen Kennedy got J.J. Abrams to come on board the film by asking him this question. It is really important because he is currently the pivoting point for the Force itself. He is the last of the remaining Jedi. As Han Solo points out in the full Force Awakens trailer, "It's true. All of it. The Dark Side. The Jedi. They're real."
     These things have fallen into myth.  They are rare and nearly forgotten, and only one person has answers left- Luke Skywalker. He is the last true light against the rising darkness of the remnants of the Empire in the First Order, and he's in hiding.

     "The Saga films focus on the Skywalker family saga. The stories follow a linear narrative that connects to the previous six films. The Force Awakens follows Return of the Jedi and continues that generational story." -Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy
     The Force Awakens may be a continuation of the Skywalker legacy, but as the original trilogy and prequels passed the torch, I believe this is another case of that- Luke's importance doesn't necessarily mean he's the film's focus. And as I've previously mentioned, he's probably hiding somewhere. Luke has become the Obi-Wan Kenobi, the mentor to a new generation of Skywalker.

     In the first Star Wars related book for the new series, Aftermath, there's an interesting tidbit. It's got a familiar red bladed lightsaber being sold to three ominous looking figures, and there is also a picture on the wall of a Vader helmed head with the words, "Vader lives" written by it. I don't think Vader is alive, but that with all the time that has passed, the miraculous way tales get spun, maybe Kylo Ren is trying to use that feared name to become the Dark Lord of the Sith in his strange obsession. Maybe he's trying to clone or resurrect him or something, I don't really know.
     And lastly, the most obvious reason I think Luke is still good. This Kylo Ren toy mask says, "Together we will destroy the resistance... and the last Jedi."

     If Luke did turn to the Dark Side, it would've long after Return of the Jedi. It's more likely he's simply in hiding, and hanging out with his Force ghost buddies. He might even be a Force ghost himself, but I highly doubt he's evil.  

Metroid: The Sky Calls: A Rainfall Short Film

     Considering Nintendo is doing next to nothing with this series, it's great to see a nice work by some semi-professional fans in Rainfall, who a couple years ago gave us an interesting Wonder Woman short film.  We can see they were heavily influenced by Alien, and they've put in a great effort.  It has some average acting and clunky directing, but it's very much worth a watch for the small bits of fan service they threw in.

     I think the actress here, The Nerdist's Jessica Chobot, was not the best choice.  She looks the part, but she's is a stiff actress with poor voice quality, coming off sounding more like Tara Reid than the badass Samas Aran.  I don't know if she's had acting lessons, but they would definitely help and I do believe she could get much better- becoming a Samas worthy of the name.

     Sure, these are limited complaints, but for a fan video it is pretty damn good.  Rainfall makes some quality fan films, and I wonder what they could do with a bigger budget, a better director, and better actors.  Granted, they are sure to improve over time regardless.

     So Nintendo, you are up now, are you going to give fans some of this made by you?  I recall a decent actress from the Metroid: Other M trailer, so you already have someone more than capable.