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Star Wars Already Made Rey a TRUE Skywalker (You Just Missed It)

When the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker title was finally revealed, fans didn’t hesitate to assume what it meant. For some, it was a confirmation that Luke would return as a Force Ghost. For others, it proved the longstanding theory that Rey is secretly a Skywalker descendant. But believe it or not, Rey may have already proven herself to be the first true Skywalker in the Star Wars story… the name just doesn’t mean what fans think it does.

Genetically, the mystery of the true meaning or origin behind the ‘Skywalker’ name can only go as far back as Anakin’s mother on the planet Tatooine. Sticking with that exclusive bloodline theory, The Rise of Skywalker title can only refer to the salvation of Luke, Anakin, or maybe Kylo Ren. But the Star Wars universe has offered a new, deeper explanation that suggests Rey may be the sky-walker that neither Anakin nor Luke ever managed to become. And Star Wars 9 can finally make it canon.

  • This Page: The Skywalker Name Isn’t Just One Family
  • Page 2: Rey May Be The First TRUE Skywalker

The family tree belonging to Anakin and Luke is, sadly, a short one to trace back to the roots. The birth and selection of Anakin as ‘The Chosen one’ makes up the plot of Star Wars: Episode 1. And while Mark Hamill may not consider Luke a virgin, his grandmother Shmi Skywalker maintained that Anakin had no father when she spontaneously conceived the baby. The Star Wars comics have offered some explicit explanation on that front, showing Emperor Palpatine creating baby Anakin inside of his mother’s womb through the Dark Side of the Force. But believe us, the mystery of where her surname comes from is only scratching the surface of the new ‘sky-walker’ lore.

RELATED: The Jedi’s Full ‘Chosen One’ Propecy Finally Explained

To appreciate what makes Rey the first Skywalker to actually live up to the name–without any caveats, shortcomings, or outright failings–fans will be surprised to learn that the name has been given a potential origin from beyond the known galaxy of the main Star Wars story. Either that, or it’s another case of a galaxy-wide, shared heritage never touched on (and it just being accepted that ‘The Force’ is the name everyone arrived at on their own). The explanation may not literally describe how Shmi Skywalker was given her name, but thematically, directly links her with Rey as women tossed aside into servitude, who did the unthinkable when the Force willed it.

The Star Wars novels have offered plenty of changes to the existing fiction, but have also worked some beloved elements back into canon–the fearsome Admiral Thrawn chief among those demanded by fans. Surprisingly, it’s Thrawn who helps to explain the origins of the name Skywalker. Or if not the origins then at least another meaning of the term found elsewhere in the galaxy far, far away.

The ‘Skywalker’ explanation comes in the novel Thrawn: Alliances by author Timothy Zahn, in a story that covers the first time the blue-skinned military genius encountered Anakin Skywalker, instantly recognizing the name as one of great significance. But among his own people, not those of the Republic… and used as a title to signify much, much more than just a family. SPOILER warning!

Page 2: Rey May Be The First TRUE Skywalker

Now for those who don’t know everything about Admiral Thrawn, we’ll skip the details (and recommend watching Star Wars: Rebels to know why he’s a fantastic villain). What’s important for the understanding of the ‘Skywalker’ name is that in Alliances, Thrawn explains why his people–known as The Chiss Ascendancy–aren’t known by the rest of the Republic. They reside within the expanse of space known as the Unknown Regions, so named because according to Thrawn “a chain of supernovas” has turned the area beyond the Outer Rim into an ever-changing minefield of debris and cosmic phenomena. Which is where The Force comes in handy.

RELATED: Star Wars’ Live-Action Thrawn Looks Just Like Pierce Brosnan

Thrawn explains that the strategy developed by his people to navigate this natural death trap is “the most closely guarded secret of the Chiss Ascendancy.” When he is paired with Darth Vader by Emperor Palpatine directly, he is forced to reveal why a batch of kidnapped Chiss children represent a massive threat to their entire civilization:

We do not have nav computers able to plot safe paths through the chaos of the Unknown Regions hyperspace… Nor do the Chiss produce appreciable numbers of Force-sensitives, though we call their gift Third Sight. But when such rare individuals are born, they come to us with but one ability, that of precognition… Only children have enough precognitive power to safely guide our ships at the speeds the Aristocras demand. As to their gender… Those with the gift are nearly always female. There are exceptions, but that is the general rule. No one knows why.

In the novel, Darth Vader is stunned to learn that the Chiss employ children to pilot their most important ships through hyperspace, relying only on Force sensitivity that will eventually fade as the children grow. Vader is also stunned because the idea of navigating long distance hyperspace jumps manually never occurred to him. He attempts the feat personally during their mission, and performs perfectly–drifting this way and that when sensing the Force guiding him, or warning of approaching threats. It is then that Thrawn reveals (with a smirk) the full truth about these Force-guided child pilots:

There was a flicker in Thrawn’s sense. Vader looked up, to see a small smile on his face. “I was simply recalling a memory. I told you the Chiss call this talent Third Sight. What I hadn’t yet spoken of is the title these navigators are given once they take their posts… The Cheunh word is ozyly-esehembo. In Basic, it translates to ‘sky-walker.’ You can imagine my momentary confusion when I first encountered General Anakin Skywalker.

The novel plays with the impression that Thrawn recognizes Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader are the same man, separated by years. Hence his observation of the ‘sky-walker’ name given to Anakin finally being fulfilled under his own guidance. And it is a powerful image he conjures, of the noble and vital role played by The Sky-Walkers: to accept an immense burden as a child, subject oneself to training in the Force, so that you may lead an entire people safely behind you. For only the sky-walkers can see both present and future, and react to shape the reality of dozens, hundreds, thousands of others as they wish.

It is a sacrifice made willingly in almost all cases, and the parallels between Anakin, Luke, and Rey are so clear… they could only bear the name Skywalker. But where Anakin and Luke failed in their mission to lead an entire galaxy towards a safer tomorrow, the early looks at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker appears to make Rey the one who will get the job done for good. In the new understanding of the term, that alone makes her the truest hero to ever bear the title of Sky-walker… whether she carries the name or not.

MORE: Star Wars Finally Reveals What The ‘Chosen One’ Prophecy Says


2019-04-20 05:04:35

Andrew Dyce

Star Wars Canon Already Explained How The Emperor Survived Return Of The Jedi

The Star Wars canon has been setting up the possibility of Palpatine’s return for years – and nobody noticed. The first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ended with a shocking twist. Luke Skywalker’s words had seemed so very reassuring, as he reminded Rey – and, through her, viewers – that nobody is ever truly gone. But then things became a whole lot more sinister, as the screen went black and familiar laughter began to ring. It wasn’t hard to guess what this meant; Emperor Palpatine has returned from the dead. Confirming this, the trailer was aired at Star Wars Celebration; when the lights went up again afterwards, delighted fans found that Ian McDiarmid himself had taken to the stage.

Nobody expected Emperor Palpatine to return. And yet, it’s such a smart and satisfying way of concluding the Skywalker saga. It really does mean there’s a continuous narrative running through the prequels, the original trilogy, and now through the sequels. They are all the story of how the light side of the Force battled against the greatest Sith Lord of all time. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that Palpatine had always been expected to return. In fact, there’s some evidence that George Lucas himself may have intended this to happen at some point; there have been comments from people involved with the original trilogy that he’d envisioned the Emperor to be in Episode IX.

Related: How Can Emperor Palpatine Be Back In Star Wars 9? We Have Some Ideas

Palpatine’s laugh may have taken viewers by surprise, but in truth Lucasfilm has been setting the scene for this resurrection for quite some time, from recent in-canon comics and novels to the concluding chapter of Lucas’ Star Wars prequel trilogy.

  • This Page: Palpatine Was Working To Prevent His Death Since The Star Wars Prequels
  • Page 2: Evidence That Palpatine Survived (Somehow) After Return Of The Jedi

The first, and unarguably the most important, clue is offered in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. In one crucial scene, Palpatine attempts to lure Anakin to the dark side with information that he claims has the potential to save his beloved Padmé from death. He tells Anakin what he calls a “Sith legend,” the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise. “Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith,” Palpatine explained to the fascinated Anakin, “so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life… He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.” According to Palpatine, Plagueis made the mistake of teaching his apprentice everything he knew, and his apprentice killed him in his sleep. “The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural,” Palpatine observed. It wasn’t long before Palpatine revealed that he was the apprentice, and that Darth Plagueis the Wise had been his master.

This quote establishes that the Sith can use the dark side of the Force to gain mastery of life and death – and that Palpatine was taught the method by Darth Plagueis. It gives no information as to the method, of course, beyond hinting that a Sith has to be conscious in order to use that ability; why else would Palpatine have chosen to kill Plagueis while his master slept? Viewed through this lens, the Emperor’s tale sets the precedent for his own resurrection.

Official tie-ins have strongly suggested that the Emperor continued to research ways of conquering death. Over in the comics, Charles Soule’s Darth Vader series culminated in a clash between Darth Vader and the spirit of Darth Momin, a Sith heretic who’d been dead for millennia. Momin had died in a powerful conflagration of Dark Side energy, and his essence had been trapped within the mask he had worn. To be in the presence of Momin’s mask was to fall under the influence of the dark side of the Force, driven to rage and bloodlust, while actually wearing the mask meant you were possessed by his spirit. Incredibly, Momin was able to tap into a reservoir of dark side power at Mustafar in order to resurrect himself. It didn’t last long; he’d crossed paths with Darth Vader, after all, and for all his power was frankly outclassed. Still, again, this confirms that a Sith’s spirit can survive death, and that a Sith can indeed return from the dead.

Related: Star Wars Just Brought an Ancient Sith Back to Life

And here’s the interesting thing; Palpatine had owned the mask of Lord Momin for years. Indeed, he freely admitted that he had learned many secrets of the Force from the mask, before giving it to Vader because he believed Momin would be helpful to his apprentice. While it’s impossible to say whether or not Palpatine used Momin’s technique, the fact remains that the Emperor was still learning lessons from those with the power to conquer death.

Curiously, Soule’s first Darth Vader run revealed that Palpatine didn’t just look into methods using the Force. Vader learned that the Emperor had sponsored a scientist named Cylo, who had created a personality map that could be stored and downloaded into clone bodies. “Add memory banks and plug-in calculations, and I am an immortal system,” Cylo explained. Cylo believed that the Force was limited, and could be surpassed by science; he was even responsible for simulating Force powers in order to create ceremonial apprentices who he thought could surpass Vader. Needless to say, Darth Vader was less than entertained by all this, and killed Cylo and destroyed his would-be apprentices.

Amusingly, the idea of a consciousness jumping into clone bodies is one that will be very familiar to Star Wars fans. In the old Expanded Universe, that was the very method Palpatine used to survive Return of the Jedi; he had clone bodies created, and his consciousness eventually found its way into one.

Page 2 of 2: Evidence That Palpatine Survived (Somehow) After Return Of The Jedi

That brings us to Chuck Wendig’s “Aftermath” trilogy, some of the most important novels in the new Star Wars canon. They number among the few stories set between Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and they reveal the true story of how the Empire fell – as well as planting the seeds for the First Order. A key player in all this is Yupe Tashu, introduced as a Sith cultist who had been one of the Emperor’s closest advisers. Viewed by many as a fraud and a fantasist, Tashu was absolutely convinced that the Emperor would return from the dead. In one key scene in Aftermath: Empire’s End, Tashu and Gallius Rax – a close aide who planned to take over the Empire for himself – conducted a mystery ceremony. Whatever the purpose of this ceremony, which included a Sith mask and Holocron, the fact remains that both spoke of Palpatine’s return. Tashu believed in it; Rax did not, but viewed Tashu’s faith in Palpatine as a useful tool for manipulating him.

“Tashu gambols down in front of the artifacts, his fingertips dancing along their cases. He mutters to himself, and Rax sees that he’s chewed his own lips bloody. “Are you ready?” he asks Palpatine’s old adviser.

“I am,” Tashu says, turning. His cheeks are wet with tears. His teeth slick with red. “Palpatine lives on. We will find him again out there in the dark. Everything has arranged itself as our Master foretold. All things move toward the grand design. The sacrifices have all been made.”

Not all of them, Rax thinks.

“You must be clothed in the raiment of darkness,” Rax says. “The mantle of the dark side is yours to wear, at least for a time. At least until we can find Palpatine and revivify him, bringing his soul back to flesh anew.”

Related: Star Wars: The Aftermath Trilogy’s Biggest Reveals

It’s impossible to say what the purpose of the ceremony is, but the fact remains that one of Palpatine’s closest aides, a historian who had studied the Sith on his behalf, was convinced that the Emperor would return. He believed that the Emperor was dead, but that his soul had survived, and would take on flesh once again.

Whatever this ceremony may have been, it formed a part of what Palpatine referred to as the Contingency. The Contingency was a plan the Emperor had set up in the event his apprentice, Darth Vader, betrayed him. The first step was known as Operation Cinder, and it’s the focus of the campaign mode in Star Wars: Battlefront II as well. Operation Cinder involved Palpatine’s most loyal troops razing former Imperial strongholds; as far as the Emperor was concerned, he saw no reason Darth Vader should profit from the Empire that Palpatine had built. The idea was that the Galactic Civil War would turn into chaos, with a final battle over the skies of Jakku. The planet had been rigged to detonate, an explosion that would have destroyed the fleets warring above its surface.

Meanwhile, from a hidden base at Jakku the Emperor had created a map of vast portions of the Unknown Regions. According to the novelization of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he had secured a secret power base out there, with vast tracts of war materiel secreted away. In the final moments of the Battle of Jakku, Palpatine’s most loyal assets were instructed to follow the maps from his observatory and jump out into the Unknown Regions. The planet would explode behind them, destroying everything they left behind them. It’s a stunning, vindictive strategy, but it’s rather odd; if the Emperor didn’t see why anyone else should be allowed to rule his Empire, why would he enable some of his closest, most trusted allies to escape? It only makes sense if Palpatine was assuming that he himself would return from the dead in order to claim the forces he had sent out to the Unknown Regions.

It’s unclear how the ceremony being conducted by Tashu and Rax fits into this, but it seems reasonable to assume that it was somehow tied to the Emperor’s resurrection. Certainly it involved both a Sith mask and a Sith Holocron, being used in an environment that sounds identical to the Emperor’s Throne-Room on the Second Death Star. Ironically, just as Darth Vader betrayed Palpatine on the Death Star, Rax betrayed Tashu on Jakku. He pushed Tashu down the chasm, where he fell to his death. Palpatine’s adviser died in the same kind of flare of blue light as his Master. This may simply be a narrative conceit, of course, with Tashu’s fate paralleling his beloved Master’s. Alternatively, it may be far more important; it may even explain why Palpatine was unable to take charge of the First Order straight away, with Snoke taking the power vacuum. Only time will tell.

It’s fascinating to see how carefully Lucasfilm has signposted the Emperor’s return. The Emperor has been shown to be consistently interested in resurrection, whether involving the Force or science. One of his closest advisers believed he was destined to return. And Palpatine’s Contingency included some sort of mystical ceremony that was surely intended to be tied to his resurrection. Lucasfilm has pulled off an amazing trick, setting the pieces in place without once revealing their strategy. Now, though, the cat’s out of the bag – and it means Star Wars fans will be revisiting every tie-in since Disney took over Lucasfilm, looking for any further clues.

Next: Star Wars Celebration 2019 Round-Up: The Biggest News & Reveals


2019-04-19 04:04:23

Thomas Bacon

Doctor Strange Suggests Doctor Doom’s Mentor Already Changed The MCU Timeline

Doctor Strange secretly introduced the sorcerer who trained Doctor Doom – and subtly hinted that he may have rewritten the MCU’s timeline once before. There’s a sense in which Doctor Strange was one of the most important films in the MCU; it added a whole new aspect to the MCU: magic.

The star was Dr. Stephen Strange, who traveled to the secret temple of Kamar-Taj, where he was trained by the Ancient One and became a member of the Masters of the Mystic Arts. Blessed with a photographic memory, Strange proved a natural at sorcery, surprising his mentors. His curiosity also saw him find his way to some of the forbidden tomes of Kamar-Taj, most notably the Book of Cagliostro, which taught him the secrets of the Time Stone. In the real world, Count Alessandro Cagliostro was an 18th-century occultist who was known for psychic healing, alchemy, and scrying. In Marvel Comics, though, he was actually a powerful sorcerer who became interested in time travel after he encountered a couple of visitors from the future.

Related: Why Didn’t Doctor Strange Trap Thanos In A Time Loop?

One of these was Doctor Doom, who had sought out Cagliostro as a mentor to help him learn sorcery. Just like the Ancient One in Doctor Strange, Cagliostro learned the secret of immortality – although in the comics it involved imbibing vampire blood rather than drawing on the power of the Dark Dimension. Again, like the movie, the comic book version of Cagliostro ultimately jotted down everything he had learned in a sacred tome, the Book of Cagliostro. It contained all of Cagliostro’s own studies, some notes from a sinister book called the Darkhold, and even records from another time traveling sorcerer who had crossed Cagliostro’s path. All in all, the MCU version of Cagliostro sounds very similar indeed to his comic book counterpart, right down to having the same preoccupation with time.

But there’s one crucial difference. In Doctor Strange, the Eye of Agamotto is actually the Time Stone, and parts of the Book of Cagliostro are basically an instruction manual. When Strange attempted to practice the lessons contained within the Book of Cagliostro, he was interrupted by a horrified Mordo and Wong. They told him that temporal manipulations “can create branches in time. Unstable dimensional openings. Spatial paradoxes. Time loops!” As they explained, in the Book of Cagliostro the warnings come after the spells. Strange wasn’t manipulating the space-time continuum – he was in danger of breaking it.

This, naturally, raises one interesting question: If Cagliostro learned – or more likely discovered – how to use the Time Stone, how did he find out how catastrophic the consequences could be? The only possible answer is that he learned through trial and error. Given the Masters of the Mystic Arts are sworn to protect the Time Stone, it’s possible the MCU Cagliostro was a former Sorcerer Supreme, but wished to explore the Eye of Agamotto’s abilities. Alternatively, as the Ancient One has been said to be 700 years old, he could have been one of her students who succeeded in stealing the Eye. Whatever the truth, in the MCU Cagliostro must have somehow acquired the Time Stone, and experimented with its power. He must have tried out at least most of the spells Doctor Strange was looking at, and experienced most of the consequences as well. It’s reasonable to assume that Cagliostro actually did break the space-time continuum; perhaps time healed, or perhaps the Time Stone itself was used to repair the damage.

Whatever the case, the presence of the Book of Cagliostro – with its warnings noted after the spells – adds a fascinating extra dimension to the history of the MCU. It suggests that a powerful sorcerer once used an Infinity Stone liberally on Earth, experimenting with it in dangerous ways, and may have unwittingly changed the course of history as a result.

More: Time Travel In The MCU & Avengers: Endgame Explained


2019-04-17 05:04:48

Thomas Bacon

Avengers: 20 Toys That Already Spoiled Endgame

Even with Marvel releasing several trailers and teasers for Avengers: Endgamefans still aren’t quite sure what to expect from the highly-anticipated, three-hour-long film. Viewers know that the heroes who survived Thanos’ snap which wiped out half of all life across the entire universe will be joining together to try to bring their fallen loved ones back and take down the Mad Titan once and for all, but outside of that, the details of the massive crossover event have been largely kept secret.

Fans have been speculating ever since Infinity War about what Earth’s Mightiest Heroes might do in their mission to eliminate Thanos and who they may encounter along the way, and while some theories definitely seem plausible, a bulk of them will inevitably be proven incorrect once the film releases on April 26. We never could have anticipated some of the previous Avenger film’s twists—especially the loss of characters like Black Panther and Spider-Man, whom we believed to be the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we’re sure Endgame will be filled with just as many shocking twists and turns.

While eagle-eyed comic enthusiasts have spotted a few plot spoilers hidden away in promotional videos and pictures for the film, toy collectors may actually have the most knowledge about what will happen in Endgame. Marvel has released several toy sets for the epic Phase 4 conclusion which give significant insight on character developments, costume alterations, and even offer glimpses of major battles between our beloved heroes and Thanos and his alien armies. Here are Avengers: 20 Toys That Already Spoiled Endgame.

20 THE INFINITY GAUNTLET ISN’T THANOS’ ONLY WEAPON

Now that Thanos has assembled all of the Infinity Stones inside of his Infinity Gauntlet, he’s going to be almost impossible to take down. Thor had his chance with Stormbreaker in Infinity War, but he’s lost the element of surprise and “should have gone for the head.” With control over time, power, reality, space, souls, and the mind, the Mad Titan’s abilities are limited only by his imagination.

Apparently, he’s not going to rely solely on the power of the Gauntlet in Endgame, though. A new Build-A-Figure from the Marvel Legends toy line depicts Thanos wielding a double-bladed second weapon which will undoubtedly make him even more imposing in combat.

19 IRON MAN RETURNS TO EARTH

When we left Tony Stark in Infinity War, he was stranded on Thanos’ home planet of Titan, distraught over the loss of his protégé Peter Parker and his failure to stop Thanos from completing the Infinity Gauntlet. The initial trailer for Endgame showed him adrift in space, running out of oxygen and recording a goodbye message to Pepper Potts.

Fans shouldn’t worry about whether or not Iron Man will safely make his way back to Earth, though, because in several toys for the film, he wears the same Quantum suit that the other Avengers can be seen wearing in the trailers. It’s safe to assume that this means he’ll join back up with them and won’t be stuck wandering the cosmos alone for long.

18 HAWKEYE ADOPTS A NEW ALTER-EGO

Even though Clint Barton is one of the few Avengers without any superhuman powers, Earth’s Mightiest just can’t seem to get anything done without him. The first time he left his fellow heroes for a few months, they broke into a Civil War, and the next time, the Avengers failed to stop Thanos from snapping fifty percent of all life out of existence.

Fans have been hoping that Marvel will make up for Clint’s absence in Infinity War by making him appear in Endgame as his edgier and formidable second alter-ego from the comics, Ronin. He’s seen wearing a costume similar to Ronin’s in trailers for the film, but his new name wasn’t officially confirmed until Marvel released this Endgame toy, which outright states he’ll adopt that new, fan-favorite moniker.

17 VALKYRIE’S RETURN

When Tessa Thomspon was spotted at Avengers: Endgame reshoots with Chris Hemsworth in Atlanta last year, fans assumed that meant her Thor: Ragnarok character survived Thanos and his Black Order’s attack on the Asgardian ship at the start of Infinity War and would join back up with the God of Thunder in this year’s film. Promotional material for Endgame further clarified that Valkyrie also survived Thanos’ snap, but since she hasn’t appeared in any trailers and Thompson’s name hasn’t been listed on posters for the film, fans started to doubt she’d appear after all.

Marvel’s Titan Hero toy series for Endgame includes a Valkyrie in an updated uniform, though, so fans can definitely expect her to show up and help the Avengers.

16 HULK IN A QUANTUM SUIT

Marvel’s Avengers Titan Hero Series also provides viewers with a major spoiler about the Hulk, who was largely absent from Infinity War after Thanos bested him in combat at the start of the film. Bruce Banner repeatedly tried to unleash his giant green alter-ego on the Mad Titan’s minions, but Hulk refused to be used as the mild-mannered scientist’s bodyguard and fans worried that they’d seen the last of him.

This toy proves that Hulk will not only come back to help Earth’s Mightiest Heroes… he’ll finally get the chance to suit up with his fellow Avengers as well. Hulk typically takes down his enemies without a shirt, but in Endgame, he’ll get an over-sized, armored Quantum suit that matches his teammates’.

15 THE RETURN OF CAP’S CLASSIC SHIELD

When Tony Stark found out that Bucky Barnes ended his parents’ lives while he was brain-washed as the Winter Soldier, he became furious with his friend and fellow Avengers leader Steve Rogers for trying to defend Bucky. Their battle at the end of Civil War was one of the most unforgettable moments in MCU history, and it ended with Tony demanding that Captain America relinquish the shield which his father Howard had made for him.

Cap was given new vibranium shields from Black Panther before Infinity War’s battle in Wakanda, but this Marvel Legends toy reveals that he and Tony will make amends and he’ll once again wield his iconic circular shield.

14 FIGHT IN IRON MAN’S HALL OF ARMOR

Marvel does their best to keep major MCU battle sequences a surprise for viewers, but their Lego sets always seem to spoil each film’s greatest conflicts. This “Iron Man Hall of Armor” Lego set previews a massive fight between Tony Stark and Thanos’ Outrider soldiers, right in the billionaire playboy philanthropist’s home base where he keeps all of his technologically-advanced suits.

Tony was able to use his entire Iron army against Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3 during an incredibly stunning action sequence, and fans might get another chance to see them in action as they try to fend of multiple aliens.

13 CAPTAIN MARVEL’S STYLE HASN’T CHANGED

Everyone who stuck around for the end credits of Captain Marvel or who has watched Marvel’s latest Endgame trailers knows that Carol Danvers will answer Nick Fury’s emergency page from Infinity War and return to Earth to help the Avengers defeat Thanos. We didn’t know until we saw this toy, however, that she’d come wearing the exact same outfit as she wore in her solo film, which took place back in the 90s.

Most of the Avengers seem to switch up their look just about every film, but Carol seems perfectly content with sticking with what works and hasn’t changed her style in over twenty years.

12 NEBULA JOINS THE AVENGERS

When Nebula finally forgave Gamora for their Thanos-generated childhood rivalry in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, she stopped being a villain and made it her mission to eliminate her tyrannical “father.” She still wasn’t necessarily a hero, though, and didn’t show up to help Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and the Guardians until their fight against Thanos had already commenced.

Nebula survived the Mad Titan’s snap, and was left stranded with Tony Stark on Titan. This Marvel Legends Black Widow and Hawkeye two-pack includes an extra Nebula head which can be placed on the Natasha body, which implies we can expect Nebula to don the Quantum suit all of the Avengers have been seen wearing and fight alongside Earth’s Mightiest.

11 THE AVENGERS’ NEW ULTIMATE QUINJET

When we last saw Thanos in Infinity War, he was on some unknown planet relaxing and happy about the success of his plan to “bring balance” to the universe. Since there’s no guarantee he’s on Earth or that he plans on ever returning there, the Avengers need some way to travel the cosmos and find him so they can undo the damage his snap caused.

This Lego “Ultimate Quinjet” set may explain how our heroes will get around in Endgame, and features an advanced version of the ship they’ve flown around in several times throughout the MCU. The set includes Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Rocket, so we also know that those four will team up for a mission in the film and battle against some of the aliens from the first Avengers, the Chitauri.

10 “AN EVEN GREATER THREAT” THAN THANOS

We’ve already seen Thor team up with Rocket Raccoon (whom the God of Thunder hilariously calls “Rabbit”) in Infinity War, so the fact that they’re together in this Avengers two-pack toy set isn’t much of an Endgame spoiler. However, the text on the back of this package reveals one of the biggest spoilers for the film imaginable.

“The Asgardian Thor wields the mighty Stormbreaker in his battle against new foes. Rocket teams up with a new crew to guard the galaxy from an even greater threat.”

Fans have assumed that Thanos will be the film’s biggest villain, but Endgame will apparently include other new foes and a threat who is even greater than the Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Titan.

9 ANT-MAN’S QUANTUM SUIT

The Internet is filled with theories about what might happen in Endgame, and a shockingly large majority of them center on Ant-Man being instrumental in the Avengers’ defeat of Thanos. One particularly amusing theory is that Scott Lang will crawl inside of Thanos while microscopic and then expand to blow the Mad Titan up, but viewers probably shouldn’t expect the villain to be vanquished that easily.

Another theory is that Ant-Man will be the one to provide the heroes with the Quantum suits and provide them with the knowledge about the Quantum Realm bestowed upon him by Hank Pym. By journeying into the Quantum Realm, the Avengers may have access to time travel or alternate realities. This Funko Pop featuring Scott in a Quantum suit suggests he’ll, at minimum, be joining Earth’s Mightiest this time around in their most important mission ever.

8 CAPTAIN AMERICA VERSUS THANOS’ OUTRIDERS

The Avengers and Wakandan warriors who fought against Proxima Midnight and her army in Infinity War neutralized countless Outriders, but we definitely haven’t seen the last of Thanos’ mindless, incredibly imposing alien minions. The Outriders will be back in Endgame, and it looks like Captain America may have to take on several of them all by himself.

In this “Captain America: Outriders Attack” Lego set for the film, Steve Rogers rides a unique new vehicle as he tries to fend off the creepy multi-limbed monsters. Unlike most Lego sets for the film, which include multiple Avenger figures in them, this set features Cap as its only hero and makes it seem like he’ll have his own solo mission to deal with.

7 TONY STARK UPDATES HIS ARMOR YET AGAIN

Ever since Tony Stark first created a suit of armor using nothing but scraps in the Iron Man film that kicked off the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, the billionaire has been updating his look so he can be a better and more aesthetically-pleasing superhero. Most fans thought his Bleeding Edge armor in Infinity War was going to be as good as it’d ever get, but Iron Man will apparently get one more upgrade.

Hot Toys’ Mark LXXXV 1/6th Scale collectible figure for Endgame features a completely different look for the Iron Avenger. Clearly, Tony’s loss to Thanos will inspire him to work even harder to maximize his potential so he can finally best his most powerful adversary.

6 WAR MACHINE GETS AN UPGRADE, TOO

When Tony inevitably returns back to Earth in Endgame, he won’t solely be focusing on updating his own armor. He learned on Titan that taking down Thanos will require as much help as he can get, and this action figure from Marvel’s Avengers toy line proves he’ll also work tirelessly to make his best friend, James Rhodes, a better War Machine.

The toy comes with an incredibly large cannon which can be placed on Rhodey’s suit of armor, and features a slightly different paint job. We can be sure this upgrade will include all of the bells and whistles needed to make War Machine more powerful than we’ve ever seen him on screen.

5 PEPPER POTT’S RESCUE ARMOR

Marvel hasn’t officially released a Rescue action figure for Avengers: Endgame, but fans still suspect Pepper Potts will don her own suit of armor and fight alongside Tony Stark in the film. A behind-the-scenes picture of Gwyneth Paltrow in a purple suit found its way onto Instagram last year and brought some weight to this fan theory, and the leaked images of this Rescue toy prototype all but confirmed it.

The sleek design for Pepper’s iron suit looks very similar to the Rescue Armor Model 3 from the comics, and it’s possible that the preview image doesn’t include a head because Marvel doesn’t want fans to know that Tony’s soulmate will indeed be joining Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

4 HULK’S SLIM-FIT SPACE COSTUME

Most of the Avengers wear sleek, fashionable uniforms that help them look great and offer some sort of protection while they’re off saving the world, but the Hulk has never really cared about his appearance. He’s always too busy smashing everything in sight to suit up! That’ll apparently change in Endgame, though, because in addition to his Quantum suit, he’ll also be wearing this unique new uniform.

Marvel is going to be releasing several Diamond Select PVC statues for the film, and Hulk’s features a slim-fit purple and black costume and has the giant green rage monster wielding chunks of sharp metal as weapons. Hulk didn’t feel like helping his friends in Infinity War, but this statue makes it look like he’ll put in a lot more effort in this year’s sequel.

3 THE WAR MACHINE BUSTER

Tony Stark has made countless different iron suits over the past ten years of MCU films, but the fan-favorite has definitely been his massive Hulkbuster armor. He famously wore it in Age of Ultron to try to take down the Hulk, and then Bruce Banner jumped in it during the Battle of Wakanda in Infinity War so he could still help his teammates after the Hulk refused to cooperate.

It’s hard to imagine a suit cooler than the Hulkbuster ever making its way onto the big screen, but the War Machine Buster spoiled by this Endgame LEGO set looks sleeker and appears to be even more powerful. The set features a battle between Rhodey, Ant-Man, and Thanos’ Outrider minions, so fans should expect a similar scene to play out in the film.

2 POTENTIAL EBONY MAW APPEARANCE

Marvel released a new wave of Marvel Legends actions figures this year, and by collecting the entire set, fans can assemble a Build-A-Figure of Thanos in his battle armor. The wave includes a figure of Captain America in his Quantum suit and Clint Barton dressed as Ronin, both of which we now know we’ll see in Endgame. It also suspiciously includes a 6-inch figure of Ebony Maw, the powerful Black Order sorcerer who seemingly perished in Infinity War. 

The toy does state that the character is from Infinity War and not Endgame, but its inclusion in a primarily Endgame set makes it seem like Thanos will use the Time or Reality Stone to bring him back to life.

1 A MASSIVE AVENGERS COMPOUND BATTLE

Trailers for Avengers: Endgame show the remaining members of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes joined together at the Avengers compound, planning their counter-attack on Thanos. They seem ready to venture off into the cosmos to take the fight to the Mad Titan, but this LEGO toy set reveals that they may not have to go anywhere to get another crack at the Gauntlet-wielding antagonist.

“Avengers Compound Battle” includes figures of Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Nebula, Ant-Man and Hulk, all of whom will join forces to eliminate Thanos and an Outrider. Thanos is wearing both his Gauntlet and his battle armor, so he looks ready to fight to maintain the sense of “balance” he created by wiping out half of all life across the universe.


2019-04-15 06:04:36

Steve DiCarlo

10 Things We Already Know About The New Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch set the gaming world on fire when it was released in 2018. The landmark device combines the ease of portability of a handheld machine as well as the ability to dock and play at home. This level of flexibility is a first in the video game industry.

Rumors have been circulating about what’s next for the Switch. It seems Nintendo may have something up their sleeve for fans who are ready for an upgrade. The changes will likely lure in new customers who weren’t swayed by the original model. What changes are in store for the console you ask? We’ve rounded up 10 theories that have either been confirmed or make too much sense to ignore.

RELATED: Two New Nintendo Switch Models Might Launch This Summer

10 Portable Play

There are a lot of rumors about what changes we can expect in the Switch 2. The most exciting is that Nintendo will be releasing not one iteration of its popular console but two. The first will pack all of the portability of the original into a smaller and more intentionally designed package.

The target audience for this new device is the avid gamer who’s always on the go. It will feature some hardware changed that don’t support the easy of in-home play of the original. Attached controllers and a downgraded display make the smaller version of the new Switch the perfect console for those who spend a lot of time away from their TVs.

9 Home Console

Nintendo’s second release of the new switch is a high powered upgrade from its predecessor. This console aims to provide a more traditional in-home gaming experience. The machine will feature the same ease of use with an external display as the original. There are rumors of hardware upgrades that could give the premium version of the console an edge for use with larger screens.

This iteration would move the Switch away from its original concept. What made the device so unique was its blend of home console and portable play. For players who value display and performance over ease of portability, this version may be just what it takes to get them on board with the Switch.

8 Upgraded LCD

A likely upgrade for the switch would be to it’s LCD display. The layout and design of the screen may see a reduction in its bulky bezel. Extending the screen would be keeping on trend with most digital devices today.

RELATED: 10 Things Your Nintendo Switch Can Do (That Your Xbox One and PS4 Can’t)

Many would like to see the capability for 1080op resolution in the handheld device. This would be a major improvement over the current version at 720p. Nintendo fell slightly behind the curve with HD gaming. The company has said the technology became mainstream a few years earlier than anticipated. The regret of not jumping on that bandwagon right away may be what has compelled Nintendo to release such incredible 3D display technology.

7 New Software

When it comes to handheld consoles Nintendo is yet again at the cutting edge with the original Switch It’ll have to push the envelope further to remain there with this second iteration. A software update is one of the most obvious changes that will be coming to the console.

Nintendo has made statements that they want to target the avid gamer. In order to keep the hearts and minds of the most devoted players, Nintendo will have to improve their software to reap the benefits of the hardware upgrades throughout.

6 Controller Support

The last thing Nintendo wants to do is irritate and alienate it’s existing customers. There are millions of Joycon controllers and accessories out there today. Switch players would be out a lot of money if the new device couldn’t be used with these peripherals.

This means the basic design of the home use model wouldn’t stray far from the original. The detachable joycons would remain a central part of the design.

5 Better Battery Life

A common complaint from Switch users is that the 3-hour battery life is just not enough. The hardware upgrades rumored to be coming to the switch provide the perfect opportunity to increase the amount of time the console can be used between charges.

RELATED: Pokémon Sword and Shield: 10 Things We Already Know About The Game

A smaller version geared specifically toward handheld play is just begging for extended battery life. The upgraded home version is meant for mostly in home use where players would have free access to charge the device. A longer lasting battery makes sense for either version. The console’s main distinguishing feature is that it was designed to be played on the go. That’s hard to do if you have to stay plugged in.

4 Release Time Frame

The Nintendo Switch was just released in 2018 making it a relatively young console. With the average generation lasting about 5 years between version, it’s still got a lot of life left in it. Nintendo has been a believer in mid-generation hardware upgrades with new versions of consoles like the 3DS every couple of years.

Following that paradigm, the Switch could see new iterations in the second half of 2019 and again in 2021. These upgrades wouldn’t render the current model obsolete but would serve to bring in new customers while giving an existing owner the option to beef up their experience.

3 Hardware Upgrade

The Nintendo Switch’s 5.0 firmware update provides an interesting clue about future hardware upgrades. Hackers on Switchbrew decided to tear apart the update and get a feel for the changes. There they found references to a T214 chip, an upgrade from the current model’s T210. They also saw evidence that Nintendo plans to double the system’s RAM from 4 gigs to 8. The circuit board would also be in for an update as well.

RELATED: 8 Bit Wonder: 10 Best NES Games Of All Time

You could easily write off the chip upgrade as a response to security issues such as pirated games. The massive jump in memory and improved PCB tell a different story. All of these things suggest a more powerful machine is on the horizon.

2 Price Points

If speculations are true and the Switch 2 will be released as two separate models they’ll each represent different price points. The smaller handheld console will appeal to the budget gamer. Nintendo cut the cost of the device by replacing removable joycons with affixed versions. The HD rumble display would also be downgraded to make the machine more cost friendly.

It would be harder to play on an external display with this configuration without purchasing an additional controller. The console as it exists now would now be at the middle of the Switch price range. A premium version of the console would be designed more for in-home play on a larger screen.

1 VR Unlikely

Augmented and Virtual Reality consoles seem like the wave of the future but it’s unlikely that the Switch 2 will catch it. Nintendo has released several statements, as recently as 2018, that the company has no intention of venturing into that arena. Nintendo prides itself on being set apart from most other gaming institutions. They’re comfortable shaping their own culture and avoiding trendy bandwagons.

Nintendo’s focus on peripherals demonstrates their desire to keep players’ feet planted firmly on the ground. They aren’t turning video games into reality but inviting players to take the game into 3D space. There have been rumors about 4K capability as well as 3D display technology but both of these seem unlikely.

NEXT: New Switch Controller Finally Supports In-Game Chat


2019-04-15 05:04:34

Danyell Marshall

Pokémon Sword and Shield: 10 Things We Already Know About The Game

Using the February 27th Nintendo Direct to announce game info, The Pokémon Company treated us to the latest addition to the mainline games: Pokémon Sword and Shield. After Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, it seems like Nintendo’s learned a lot about how that gameplay experience, of what worked and what didn’t.

They were preparing us all for a new evolution in Pokémon. Now fully making the leap from handheld systems to console, Sword and Shield has some high expectations to live up to. Given how much Sun and Moon changed the Pokémon formula, Sword and Shield needs to be better, graphically beautiful, and continue tapping into that core spirit of Pokémon that keeps us coming back for more.

After rumors and some time to fully digest that trailer, here are 10 things we already know about the game.

RELATED: 7 Things We Want To See in Pokémon Sword And Shield (And 3 Things We Don’t)

10 The New Starters

As with any new Pokémon game, we’re treated to three new starters: Scorbunny, Grookey, and Sobble. Fire, Grass, and Water type Pokémon are always the first to start any adventure (minus that one time Pikachu was) and due to how the type match-ups work, it makes sense. Those three are the easiest to start your journey with, especially when your first gym has a disadvantage to at least one of the starter types.

We don’t know their evolutionary chains yet, but given how past evolutions have gone, they’ll most likely end as dual types. Dual type evolutions actually go back to Generation I of Pokémon, with Venasaur being a Grass/Poison type and Charizard being Fire/Flying. Poor Blastoise, at least make it part Rock. Blastoise deserves some dual love too.

9 The Galar Region

Unlike the Let’s Go games, Sword and Shield will add a new region to the Pokémon world. The Galar region has a blend of very different environments, blending contemporary cities with older architecture. So far, it looks like it was inspired by England which is equal parts awesome and hilarious given that Kalos was inspired by France.

But it’s cool to see Pokémon continue to expand their world to reflect ours. In certain cases, The Pokémon Company bases a region or city on a real-world equivalent. Alola was definitely inspired by Hawaii and Unova draws from the NYC metropolitan area.

The first four regions fall more into fan speculation, but it’s easy to draw the conclusion that they were based off certain areas of Japan. The Kanto region is pretty much a given, seeing as there’s a Kanto region of Japan and for the most part, remains similar in geography to its IRL equivalent. The Johto region aligns with the Chubu region to the west, Hoenn with Kyushu in the south, and Sinnoh with the northernmost island of Hokkaido.

8 New Pokémon!

This one should be a given, but just in case: yes, there will be new Pokémon. Usually, the only exceptions to this rule are remakes of games, such as Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, or the “new and improved” releases, like Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

RELATED: 8-Bit Wonders: The 10 Best NES Games of All Time

So far, we can only officially confirm the three new starters. But we’re getting our fair share of familiar faces too! Pikachu, Hoothoot, Wailmer, Tyranitar, and Flygon all made an appearance in the trailer. The games have slowed their roll on adding more than 100 Pokémon to each new generation, which is probably for the better. An updated PokéRap would be impossible. But given the trend of the newer mainline games, we can probably expect to see between 70 and 80 new Pokémon.

7 Gyms, Not Trials

Sword and Shield has us going back to the classic Gym battles that made Pokémon so popular. It’s bittersweet. The creation of the trials and introducing solid mini-boss battles into the story was a welcome change of pace. Going back to a Gym format feels like taking a step back rather than forward, though we still don’t know how many Gyms will be in this game.

For the most part, the Alolan trials were a welcome change of pace and introduced some fun concepts like Z Powers and Guardian Pokémon as the pseudo-Legendaries. And it was nice seeing a Legendary that’s entire purpose was destroying the world. Kudos to you if you kept the nickname “Nebby.”

6 Gym Masters?

In a now-deleted tweet from the official Nintendo of America Twitter, the company mentioned something about the inclusion of Gym Masters rather than the typical Gym Leaders. There’s not a lot we can say on this topic, but given the potential title switch, it could lead to a different Gym experience.

A good blend of trials and Gym battles could be cool, given that some of the puzzle elements of the trials were a bit tedious. If Sword and Shield can refine that and merge it with the traditional setup and battles, it could work really well.

5 Changes from Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee!

Tzunekazu Ishihara, head of the Pokémon Company, assured us that Sword and Shield will be a complete Pokémon game. The Let’s Go titles refined many of the aspects from the more accessible Pokémon GO and adapted the concepts well to console-based play. But an entire, full-length game of that? Maybe not the best idea.

RELATED: 10 Things Your Nintendo Switch Can Do (That Your Xbox One and PS4 Can’t)

In the trailer, we see our character encounter a wild Pikachu. So we definitely know the random encounters are back, which many prefer over the Let’s Go style. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Overall, Sword and Shield looks and feels like a more traditional Pokémon game and maybe that’s exactly what the Switch needs.

4 Only On The Switch

As of the Nintendo Direct announcement, Sword and Shield will only be available on the Nintendo Switch. Kind of a bummer for those of us still on the 3DS and living vicariously through them.

In all seriousness, the transition makes sense given the Let’s Go games. Pokémon makes a habit out of releasing sort of “test” games before finalizing a mainline game or taking the time to finesse a mainline game during the off year. So hopefully, we’ll see the best from Let’s Go in Sword and Shield.

3 That Late Year Release

The Pokémon Company confirmed that Sword and Shield will be dropping in late 2019. Given past experience and common sense, this will most likely be around mid-November. But Pokémon actually confirmed this about a year ago on their Twitter. We were just hoping for, you know, an actual date with the trailer.

RELATED: The 10 Best Pokémon in Pokémon GO To Demolish Gyms

Oh well, we can always restart Ultra Sun while we wait. Only 7 more months to go!

2 3D Graphics

We haven’t had a 2D Pokémon game since Generation III on the GameBoy Advance. Diamond and Pearl up to Black and White saw the start of the 3D environment, but still using 2D animations for the Pokémon battles. Starting with the Kalis region in X and Y, Pokémon fully transitioned to 3D graphics and they haven’t gone back since.

Though we may miss the old graphics, the new models offer better flexibility considering the team has to animate over 800 Pokémon. It’s amazing that there are so many Pokémon models available in the Amie feature. Whoever animated a happy Giratina is a hero.

1 Pokémon World Cup?

One of the key features in that deleted Nintendo tweet was a structure that looks like a football (soccer for Americans) stadium. Outside of the States, football is a really big deal and among many, is considered the most popular sport worldwide. The FIFA World Cup is played every four years. Around 210 countries participate in the sport, though only 32 make it to the qualifying rounds.

Galar probably won’t go that hardcore, but considering how popular football is worldwide and where Galar is based on, it makes sense to finally introduce the sport in a very Pokémon way. The anime sometimes shows brackets of competitors within the Pokémon League, why not transition some of that over to gameplay?

NEXT: Gameplay Mechanics We Want (And Don’t Want) In Pokémon Shield & Sword


2019-04-09 05:04:20

Maddy Cohen

Every Record Avengers: Endgame Has Already Broken

Avengers: Endgame is already breaking records, and it’s not in theaters yet. But which records has it broken so far? Marvel Studios’ 22-movie story arc (officially dubbed The Infinity Saga) that began with Jon Favreau’s Iron Man in 2008 is coming to an end – at least in one way – in Anthony and Joe Russo’s Avengers: Endgame in April. And it’s bringing together all corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in order to do so.

Continuing the story that left off with last year’s massive Avengers: Infinity War, this year’s Avengers: Endgame is looking to wrap up the core Avengers’ stories while also having the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes go toe-to-toe with the Mad Titan Thanos one last time. Therefore, they’ll finally live up to their name as the MCU’s Avengers, which could ultimately result in the dead heroes coming back to life. How that’ll happen remains to be seen.

Related: Avengers: Endgame May Show Infinity War’s Biggest Missing Scene

Taking all of this into account, as well as the fact that its cast may very well top Infinity War‘s already massive cast list, Avengers: Endgame is looking to break all sorts of box office records. But it doesn’t have to wait until it hits theaters to do just that, since Avengers: Endgame has already broken a handful of records – some being bigger than others. Note that this article will be updated as more records are broken.

It’s an understatement to say that Avengers: Endgame is perhaps the most-anticipated movie of all-time. Following Avengers: Infinity War, fans were anxiously awaiting any form of marketing for Endgame, which finally arrived in early December 2018. Marvel Studios released the first Endgame trailer on December 7 (while also confirming the Avengers: Endgame title at the end of the trailer), and that teaser went on to accumulate approximately 289 million views in its first 24 hours, thus setting a new record.

Avengers: Endgame‘s trailer views record broke Infinity War‘s previous record of 230 million views. What’s more, the second official trailer for Endgame, which released on March 14, 2019, nabbed the second spot on the list, with approximately 268 million views. It’ll be difficult for any movie in the future to top either number, and it goes to show just how excited people have been for Avengers: Endgame‘s release this year.

Related: It Looks Like Captain America Was Digitally Altered In The Avengers: Endgame Trailer

Unsurprisingly, Avengers: Endgame set a new tickets presale record. In the United States, perhaps the two biggest movie ticket retailers are Fandango and Atom Tickets, and both companies reported new presale records with Avengers: Endgame. On Fandango, Avengers: Endgame broke the company’s first-day ticket sales record in just six hours, passing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Avengers: Infinity War. However, Fandango wouldn’t say how many tickets were sold, specifically.

Atom Tickets – a newer entrant into the movie ticketing space – also boasted about its Avengers: Endgame ticket presales at CinemaCon. Interestingly, in its first 24 hours, Endgame sold more tickets than Aquaman, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Avengers: Infinity War, and Solo: A Star Wars Story combined – the four movies that round out the top five list.

Even though being the longest movie in a franchise is an internal record, one that’s not determined based on quality or reach, Avengers: Endgame having the longest runtime in the MCU is something that’s still worth pointing out. It’s been confirmed that Avengers: Endgame‘s runtime clocks in at 3 hours 58 seconds, according to the Russos. That makes it approximately 21 minutes longer than the previous record holder: Avengers: Infinity War, which had a runtime of 2 hours 40 minutes. Before that, the longest movie was Captain America: Civil War (2 hours 27 minutes). While most MCU movies are over two hours long, this is the first time that an installment has crossed the three-hours threshold.

Next: Every Avengers Movie, Ranked Worst To Best


2019-04-07 09:04:44

Mansoor Mithaiwala

Marvel Already Did Captain Marvel’s Story (But Better) on Agents of SHIELD

Diehard MCU fans may find the plot of Captain Marvel to be rather familiar, as it’s extremely reminiscent of Quake’s story in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Set in 1995, Captain Marvel is an origin story that attempts to break with the traditional Marvel formula. It kicks off with the superhero already serving as a member of the Kree Starforce, and it’s only when she comes crashing down to Earth that she begins to learn the truth of her own identity and the secret of her powers.

Marvel wanted to take a different approach to the superhero’s origin. As co-writer Nicole Perlman explained, Marvel was concerned about making her story too similar to Green Lantern’s. It’s easy to understand why they were worried; the broad strokes of the plot are very similar. Carol Danvers is an Air Force pilot who gains tremendous powers after an alien spaceship crashes, and she then goes on to join a group of cosmic peacekeepers.

Related: Every MCU Connection In Captain Marvel

Oddly enough, though, by changing the narrative Marvel Studios unwittingly made Captain Marvel very similar to another Marvel superhero – Chloe Bennet’s Quake, one of the main characters of Marvel Television’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But which one told the story better: the MCU blockbuster, or the popular Marvel TV series?

  • This Page: The Similarities Between Quake and Captain Marvel
  • Page 2: Was Quake or Captain Marvel’s Story Better?

Quake and Captain Marvel Are Half-Kree Superheroes With Similar Mysterious Backstories

There are obvious similarities between Quake and Captain Marvel. They’re both important female superheroes: Captain Marvel is the first female character to headline her own MCU movie, while Quake is the star of Marvel’s flagship TV series. Both are tied to the alien race known as the Kree: Quake is an Inhuman, an evolutionary offshoot of humanity created millennia ago by the Kree; Carol Danvers unknowingly worked with the rogue Kree agent Mar-Vell and was exposed to Tesseract energy. Both women were also infused with Kree blood in order to save their lives: Quake when she was shot in the gut by a Hydra agent, and Captain Marvel when she was exposed to Space Stone energy.

The surface-level similarities aren’t the end of it, however. Quake and Captain Marvel both wound up working with S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to discover their true history. Quake had been dumped at an orphanage by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and it took her two seasons to unravel the mystery of her origins, learning that she’s the daughter of Mr. Hyde and the Inhuman Jiaying. Captain Marvel, by contrast, arrived on Earth to discover she’d been lied to, and wasn’t really a Kree warrior at all. Working with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury, she learned that she was a human test pilot who’d been transformed after a Tesseract engine exploded.

Both superheroes have been manipulated by the Kree. In the case of Captain Marvel, the Kree either caused her amnesia or took advantage of it, persuading her that she was one of them and using her as a weapon. They installed a device on her neck to inhibit her powers to ensure they could control her. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 the Kree attempted to use Daisy as a weapon as well, implanting a device that allowed them to control – and, when necessary, inhibit – her powers. In each case, the Kree ultimately trapped the women in a virtual reality environment called the Astralscape. The attempts failed, with both breaking free by sheer force of will.

Page 2: Was Quake or Captain Marvel’s Story Better?

While there are striking similarities between Captain Marvel and Quake, on closer examination Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has told a better story. In large part this is because Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. successfully pitched Quake’s backstory as a mystery. When she was introduced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1, Quake didn’t even know her real name; she’d grown up at an orphanage with the name “Skye.” As a result, viewers had absolutely no idea who she really was, no matter how familiar they were with the comics. The first clues turned out to be dead ends, and it was only when Quake was saved from death by Kree blood – without any side-effects – that some comic book readers began to guess she might be an Inhuman. The truth was gradually revealed in season 2, although even then it confused fans for a while; in the comics, Quake had traditionally been viewed as a mutant, not as an Inhuman.

Contrast this with Captain Marvel, where the mystery of Carol Danvers really isn’t too difficult to piece together. Marvel did their best to retain some sense of intrigue by avoiding revealing the identity of Jude Law’s character in the marketing, but as soon as fans began to suspect he might be Yon-Rogg, the pieces fell into place. It was an open secret that Carol Danvers had been a United States pilot who got caught up in some sort of alien crash-landing, and that the Starforce weren’t going to be the “noble warrior heroes” Carol believed them to be.

Related: What To Expect From Agents Of SHIELD Season 6

Tying in to this, while there are similarities between the two women, there’s one notable difference between the plot of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that of Captain Marvel. In the case of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Quake was introduced as a part of a world viewers already knew – the world of Nick Fury, Phil Coulson, and S.H.I.E.L.D. – and was used to explore a world they did not. Quake learned who she was by diving into a brand new corner of the MCU, finding her place in Jiaying’s Inhuman Sanctuary in season 2 and only learning her own significance to the Kree by season 5. Every season added new layers to the show’s mythology, which by this time has become pretty sophisticated.

This is a perfect inversion of the approach taken by Captain Marvel. While the film does add new elements to the MCU, all of those are introduced at the beginning of the film not at the end. Captain Marvel is introduced as a part of something viewers had never seen before in the MCU: a member of the elite Kree Starforce, based on Hala, receiving advice from the Supreme Intelligence. As Captain Marvel investigates her own history, she finds herself diving into parts of the MCU that we already know; she meets Nick Fury, she allies with S.H.I.E.L.D., she infiltrates Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. and steals a Quadjet, and she ultimately stumbles upon the Tesseract, Marvel’s favorite MacGuffin. By the end of the film, Carol Danvers is woven into the familiar tapestry of the MCU. It’s easy to understand why Marvel took this approach, but in dramatic terms Quake was handled better.

In truth, it was probably always going to be the case that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. told this story in a better way than Captain Marvel. Although blockbuster movies have bigger budgets, the reality is that TV shows have a major advantage when it comes to adapting comic books, because both comics and TV shows follow an episodic format. That same format is ideally suited to drawing out complex mysteries, to spending time with characters in order to ensure they grow and develop, and to building complex mythologies over time. All these advantages work in Quake’s favor, making her story far more effective and immersive.

More: Captain Marvel Points Out The MCU’s Biggest Problem (But Can’t Quite Fix It)


2019-03-29 12:03:27

Thomas Bacon

10 Things We Already Know About The Knights of Ren From Star Wars IX Rumors

As of now, the Knights of Ren have remained an enigma within the Star Wars franchise. Since Episode VII, we have known of their existence. However we still don’t know where they came from, nor do we know what larger presence they have in the sequel trilogy.

RELATED: Kylo Ren Is Already Failing Himself Before Star Wars 9 Even Begins

While many fans hoped to receive answers of their whereabouts in Episode VIII, director Rian Johnson refused to shed light on the speculation, again leaving them shrouded in mystery. However, recent rumors swirling about Episode IX seem to suggest that the Knights of Ren will play a significantly bigger role than they did in previous installments. Here are 10 things we know about the Knights of Ren from Episode IX rumors.

10 We will finally know where they came from

When the Knights of Ren were first introduced to the Star Wars series, they caught fans a bit off guard. No information was given about who they were or what they stood for, except for the fact that they were followers of the Dark Side of the Force.

Episode VII provided no answer, except for a brief flashback sequence that showed what they looked like, and nothing else. But if recent speculation is to be believed, then the Knights of Ren will not only show up in Episode IX, but they may even supplant the First Order as the main antagonist.

9 Kylo Ren gets his helmet back

Kylo may have destroyed his helmet in a fit of rage at the beginning of Episode VIII, but now that Snoke is out of the way, he’s free to wear it without fear of mockery. Rumors have suggested that not only does Kylo Ren re-appear in his trademark black attire and matching mask, but that his mask has been repaired, bearing a telltale red streak across its face.

RELATED: First Star Wars 9 Footage Description Confirms Vader’s Helmet Returns

If anything, it’ll make for a hell of a Halloween costume this October, but if these rumors turn out to be true, and he has finally re-joined his fellow Knights, it could also mean that Kylo has gone too far to the Dark Side to be redeemed.

8 They will include a group of red stormtroopers

With Snoke and the way and the First Order under Kylo’s thumb, it would make sense that the organization will receive a bit of a facelift. One potential rumor that has been spreading about as of late is that the classic, white stormtrooper armor will be replaced by new, red armor, similar in style to Snoke’s bodyguards.

RELATED: Star Wars 9’s First Order Stormtroopers May Have A Big Clone Wars Reference 

But these changes may not be entirely cosmetic, as the red stormtroopers could be part of an elite class of soldiers, either meant to work alongside their white-armored comrades or replace them entirely. They could even be force sensitive and use lightsabers instead of conventional blasters.

7 We will know their relationship to the First Order

From the beginning of the sequel trilogy, there has been somewhat of a disconnect between the First Order and the Knights of Ren. While they must have worked together at some point in the past, there is no sign of them anywhere within the First Order’s hierarchy. At least, that’s what it seems now.

RELATED: Why You’re Wrong About Kylo Ren’s “Let The Past Die” Last Jedi Line

Snoke was likely the Knights’ leader, but what happened to them after he became head of the First Order remains unknown. Could Kylo decide to dispose the First Order entirely, and replace his generals with fellow Knights? Perhaps…

6 We will know why they disappeared

Just like Luke Skywalker at the beginning of Episode VII, the Knights of Ren have seemingly vanished into thin air. Or did they? For all fans know, they could’ve been working quietly in the background, or even hiding in plain sight.

Whatever the case, we may know why the Knights have not had a significant presence within the trilogy thus far. With everything coming to a head, the Knights will have to come out of hiding eventually and step into the limelight, or at least partially.

5 We will see their weapons up close

Of what little we’ve seen of the Knights, it would appear that they prefer medieval-style swords and spears as opposed to lightsabers. In fact, Kylo seems to be the only member of their order with a lightsaber. This begs the question: why would the Knights of Ren use such primitive weaponry in such an advanced world? Can they block blaster shots? And how are those metal weapons going to hold up against a lightsaber?

This may not be the first time swords have appeared in the Star Wars franchise, having first shown up in the Knights of the Old Republic video game. Perhaps this is part of a clever nod to the beloved game or an indication of just how old this secretive society truly is.

4 We will know how long they have existed

Like everything else about the Knights, the question as to how old they are is about as murky as they come. The swords could indicate an ancient origin, though it could also be a reference to something else that the series has yet to divulge. For all anyone knows, they could just be a group of Darth Vader superfans with a feel for steel.

Though the most likely scenario is that they’ve been around for years, perhaps since the original trilogy, or even before, and that the rise of the First Order correlated with their emergence from darkness. Either way, the age of the group opens up a gold mine of potential spin-offs and Expanded Universe lore.

3 Snoke may very well come back

Though he died at the end of Episode VII, his death has sparked a fierce debate among fans. How could such a powerful Sith, one with the ability to link two streams of consciousness together, end up not seeing Kylo’s inevitable betrayal? Could it be that he knew all along, and is planning on coming back in some way or another?

While there’s no indication from the cast list that Snoke is going to return, that doesn’t mean his death is set in stone. Fans were surprised to see Yoda make an appearance as a ghost in Episode VIII, so why can’t Snoke reappear in a similar manner?

2 We will see the Knights get defeated (or not)

Common logic dictates that the Knights of Ren will most likely cease to exist after Episode IX. Though, as fans have come to see, evil has a way of worming back into the Star Wars universe when it’s least expected. It is very possible that the Knights will survive in some capacity at the end of Episode IX, and may even return in a post-sequel story.

Kylo Ren, for all the talk of him dying, could also survive as well, only to vanish like his brethren Knights (think Frodo at the end of Return of the King). As such, fans will have to face the possibility that…

1 They could still remain a secret

The sequel trilogy has revolved around the notion of diverting expectations. Things in the story that fans think are important may be inconsequential to those in charge. While every rumor indicates that the Knights of Ren will make their grand appearance, all of their plot threads may not be tied as perfectly as fans would like.

Perhaps we’re not meant to know everything about the Knights of Ren, and that could be the point all along. The mysteries surrounding them is what makes them so alluring, and maybe that’s how it always will, or should, be.

NEXT: Star Wars 9 Can Imagine What Would Happen If Darth Vader Didn’t Turn Good


2019-03-28 01:03:21

David Chiodaroli

Captain Marvel Already Passed Winter Soldier at the Box Office

After just two weeks in theaters, Captain Marvel has already passed Captain America: The Winter Soldier at the box office. Last weekend, the latest installment in the MCU gave the marketplace a much-needed shot in the arm by posting the sixth-highest debut of all-time with $455 million worldwide. Riding waves of positive buzz from audiences and critics, Captain Marvel quickly became the first bona fide blockbuster of 2019, setting the stage for an extremely lucrative commercial run.

Many expected Captain Marvel to have strong legs, particularly because none of this weekend’s wide releases were all that appealing. Among the newcomers were panned offerings like Captive State and Wonder Park, neither of which posed much of a threat to the latest Marvel juggernaut. Unsurprisingly, the road was clear for Captain Marvel to add a significant amount to its totals, and it’s already leapfrogged some notable fellow MCU entries.

Related: Captain Marvel’s Trolls Completely Missed What The Movie’s About

According to Box Office Mojo, Captain Marvel’s worldwide total now stands at $760.2 million. That surpasses the global haul of 2014’s The Winter Soldier ($714.3 million) and moves Captain Marvel up to 11th on the all-time MCU chart. The Carol Danvers origin story also passed The Winter Soldier at the domestic box office ($266.2 million over $259.7 million).

Captain Marvel was never in any real danger of bombing, but even the rosiest optimists may not have seen this coming. The film most definitely shattered projections and is well on its way to joining the $1 billion club. Only two other MCU standalone movies, Black Panther and Iron Man 3, grossed that much (Civil War, while part of the Captain America series, was essentially a major crossover film), putting Captain Marvel in rather exclusive company. Certainly, the lack of meaningful competition played a role in this development, but Captain Marvel’s success speaks to how excited viewers are to welcome Carol to the MCU. It’s no coincidence that one week after Captain Marvel opened, Marvel released a new Avengers: Endgame trailer that ended with a moment between Thor and Carol that’s already become a fan-favorite.

Though Captain Marvel should continue to do very well at the box office over the next few weeks, its time at the top of the charts may be coming to an end soon. This week sees the release of Jordan Peele’s Us, a critically-acclaimed horror film that’s estimated to earn as much as $40 million in its first three days. That said, seeing that the target audiences for Captain Marvel and Us are fairly different, there should be enough money to go around for both movies to thrive. Business for Captain Marvel probably won’t truly begin to decline until Shazam! opens in April.

More: Captain Marvel’s Biggest MCU Retcons (and Plot Holes)

Source: Box Office Mojo


2019-03-17 11:03:26

Chris Agar