The Flash: Ezra Miller Solo Movie May Finally Escape Development Hell

The DC Extended Universe has had trouble finding its feet, especially after the departure of Zack Snyder and the fallout of Justice League, but the movie giving the studio the most trouble is The Flash. Ezra Mille was hired to play the Scarlet Speedster by Zack Snyder for a couple of cameos in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice before joining the main lineup in Justice League and eventually getting his own solo film, but the latter has faced a litany of creative issues preventing it from getting properly underway.

The Flash has been through multiple creative teams, from Seth Grahame-Smith to Rick Famuyiwa to John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein before the newest name, IT director Andy Muschietti, joined the fold. Throughout it all, despite rumors of his departure, Ezra Miller has hung on. In fact, he may be partially to blame for some of the creative issues, at least with Daly & Goldstein, as he went as far as to partner with Comic Book legend Grant Morrison to write his own darker script for the movie when the studio preferred version wasn’t to his liking.

RELATED: The DCEU Is Dead, Long Live The DCEU

While it’s clearly still in the works, The Flash is long past its original due date, and without a clear spot in the future slate yet, it’s the movie still has a few obstacles to overcome before finally entering production and making its way to the big screen. It may be ironic that a movie about DC’s speedster is so slow in getting off the ground, but Miller explained why his character’s solo movie is (fittingly) behind schedule: “Anyone who knows anything about Barry Allen knows he’s always late, but then when he arrives, he gets stuff done. That’s definitely how this film’s production schedule is proceeding. [laughs] We’re a little late, but the reason why we’re late… [is] we are very meticulously focused on making a movie that’s not just one of the greatest superhero movies that we can possibly make…”

As the DCEU continues to find its new post-Snyder identity, there are a few things still contributing to the delays in The Flash, and Miller, WB, and Andy Muscietti will have to overcome a few last obstacles to finally take the long-awaited plunge into the Speed Force.

While Zack Snyder was only directing his own 5-story arc, leaving the solo movies to other creatives, the universe’s core story was still his Justice League movies, meaning any plans for solo character films ultimately spun out of what Snyder was doing with them in his version of Justice League.

It’s not clear exactly what Zack Snyder had planned for The Flash, but we do know time-travel was already a core theme. Flash learns to travel back in time a few seconds in the finale of Snyder’s cut of Justice League, then, of course, we all know at some point down the line he jumps back again to warn Bruce as we see in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The fact that the Flash solo movie was officially titled “Flashpoint” for a period could indicate what direction they were going.

RELATED: Why The Flash Movie Shouldn’t Reboot The DCEU

Flashpoint is certainly one of the darker and crazier DC stories, and while it’s also seen as a Justice League level event, at its core it’s still a Flash story, and there’s certainly a version that could be told as a Flash solo movie, and could even work as a sort of Flash origin story if needed.

Regardless, with Snyder no longer serving as a major creative driver of the DCEU, his original plan is gone, and thus The Flash is seeking a new direction, only it hasn’t found it yet. Rick Famuyiwa was presumably involved in the original darker version of the story, but Daly & Goldstein were said to be looking for something lighter before they left.

It’s not uncommon for a superhero actor to be passionate about their character, but Ezra Miller takes it to the next level. He’s clearly well versed in Flash lore, regularly making references to the world of Flash in various interviews. He’s excited about playing the character, but his vision also doesn’t align with Warner Bros.

RELATED: Aquaman’s Post-Credits Scene Has A Flashpoint Tease: What It Means For The DCEU

It’s important to remember that Ezra Miller was cast by Zack Snyder. Since he came into the universe for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Snyder would have had his whole plan fleshed out by the time he started talking to Miller. Like Ben Affleck and Batman, Miller signed up for a very specific version of the character that fit into Zack Snyder’s plan, but due to Snyder’s departure and other creative differences, Warner Bros. is hesitant to  go as dark with its iconic characters and brought in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Game Night writers Daley & Goldstein.

Miller pushed back to the point that Warner Bros. let him try to write his own script with Grant Morrison. That version of the movie wasn’t ultimately selected, but Daly & Goldstein did end up leaving the project regardless as Ezra Miller stayed in the role for, despite his contract expiring in May.

While Miller’s tenure as The Flash hasn’t been that long and he could be more easily recast than some other characters, he’s clearly passionate about staying on the project and seeing a certain version of the character realized on-screen, and with his role in Fantastic Beasts, a franchise very important to Warner Bros., the studio has a vested interest in keeping Miller happy, meaning they just might be playing ball with him to find a compromise so he can keep his darker Flash movie.

Since rejecting Zack Snyder’s DC universe, Warner Bros. has yet to replace it with their own clear plan. It’s been stated many times that continuity won’t be a priority as individual character movies get the focus. Zack Stentz, when giving an update on his Boost Gold script, said DC’s “strategy seems to change depending on how […] most recent movie did.”

Being in such a state of constant flux is understandably rough for any in-process productions, especially ones where there’s creative struggles like with The Flash. In order for Warner Bros. to gain the confidence they need to get The Flash into production, it seems they may also need to decide what they want from the rest of the DCEU.

Since super speed is so core to Flash’s character, the studio and producers have likely been assuming the character can’t be properly adapted without a big-budget movie. Flash’s speed could be a highly stylized power, but heavy VFX means bigger budgets, which means Warner Bros. could be more concerned about making sure the movie has broad appeal for box office purposes, ruling out a darker story.

RELATED: Every Superhero Movie That Was Supposed To Release In 2018 (But Didn’t)

However, with Andy Muchsietti likely joining the project, there’s a few things we can infer about the ways The Flash is changing behind the scenes. Muchsietti’s horror background and experience with lower budget movies (that still perform at the box office) could signify that WB is allowing Miller and Muchietti to take a darker, more risky approach with the movie and simply giving it a smaller budget – like with Birds of Prey and its $75 million budget – to insulate themselves from potential losses associated with mega-blockbusters.

If the perceived need for a larger budget was driving Warner Bros. desire for a lighter, more accessible movie, then it’s possible they’re hiring Muschietti because he gives them confidence in his ability to make the movie at a lower cost, meaning it can take more risks an appeal to Ezra Miller’s desire for a darker take.

Add in Christina Hodson, seemingly Warner Bros. new go-to scriptwriter, and it seems like The Flash might finally be escaping development hell. Given, writers and directors have come and gone numerous times before, so it’d be understandable if fans aren’t holding their breath just yet.

NEXT: The Flash’s Batman v Superman Time Travel Plot Finally Explained

2019-07-13 03:07:48

Stephen M. Colbert

Splinter Cell Could Finally Return…As A VR Game | ScreenRant

VR headset owners might be able to add a new Splinter Cell to their gaming wishlists soon. Companies with interest in VR (such as Sony, Valve, and Oculus) have been steadily adding to their libraries for the past few years to showcase the medium as the potential future of gaming. Recently, even Nintendo has thrown their hat into the ring as more players are opting in. Part of the strategy of bringing in players from all of these companies has been taking existing franchises and moving them into the realm of VR.

Fans have been waiting for news of the next Sam Fisher outing for years. Despite its popularity, there hasn’t been a new Splinter Cell game since 2013, nor has there been a confirmation that one is coming in all that time. There have been many rumors and even Easter eggs in other games, but none have resulted in even as much as a trailer.  It appears that the wait may finally be ending, but not in the way many fans expected.

Related: Ubisoft Had An Idea For Next Splinter Cell Game Before Jade Raymond Left

According to The Information, several new games may be coming exclusively to the Oculus headset, and that includes a new Splinter Cell VR adventure. Oculus and its parent company Facebook have been quietly buying studios and exclusive rights to VR games for years, but Splinter Cell and a new Assassin’s Creed VR game are the biggest moves to date. Although the deals (which supposedly included Mark Zuckerberg himself) are reportedly confirmed, there’s no information available about where the potential game fits in the timeline, how it’ll play, or how far they are in development.

This reported move from Facebook and Oculus is one of many that all companies invested in the viability of VR have been making for a while now. Sony has purchased exclusive rights to big games like Skyrim VR and others, as well as smaller, more intimate endeavors for PSVR. Valve has bought into new exclusives, and there are even rumors of the company reaching into its vault of long-dormant franchises to shine them up for new VR games. Facebook seems ready to take the next big step with Oculus, and is making the deals to confirm its commitment.

Fans have been ready and waiting for a new Splinter Game for a long time now, but it’s unclear if this is the version they wanted. There isn’t a lot of information to go off of, but new Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed games in VR would be among the most ambitious projects revealed recently. Other franchises, such as Arkham VR, have dipped their toes into the world of virtual reality, but mostly as experiments or tech demos. At this point, most fans wouldn’t be satisfied paying full price for a new Splinter Cell game that’s only a couple of hours long. This deal is welcome news to the fans who were afraid the franchise was completely forgotten, but time will tell if players are ready and willing to step into the virtual shoes of their favorite infiltrator.

Next: Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad Brings All Their Game Characters Together On Mobile 

Source: The Information

2019-07-10 04:07:44

David Brown

Shazam Finally Sets Up Justice League Dark in The DCEU

Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Shazam!

The Shazam! movie has injected one of the most heartwarming and child-like superheroes into the DCEU, but it may have also opened the door for a team and film franchise Warner Bros. has struggled to get off the ground: the Justice League Dark.

At one time it seemed that Justice League Dark was a DCEU priority, with rumors even claiming that the studio wanted to anchor the franchise to star Colin Farrell as John Constantine. Those plans fell through when multiple directors left the project, which wasn’t all that surprising–how do you introduce magic to a world of Batman and Superman? How do you build a team as weird as Justice League Dark in the ‘serious’ style in place at the time?

Not only has David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! shown the way, but the movie’s plot is basically a prequel to a full-blown Justice League Dark movie. Audiences may not have noticed it, but the wizard Shazam giving Billy Batson his powers may be the same moment that new, magical heroes and villains were born across the entire DC movie universe. A new age hinted at in Suicide Squad, now finally under way.

  • This Page: Shazam! Explains Why Magic Left The DCEU
  • Page 2: How Shazam Begins DC’s Age of Magic (in Movies)

DC Comic fans knew going into Shazam! that the Rock of Eternity is one of the most important locations among the magical realm of the DC Universe. In the modern comics, the Rock was once a nexus, or gathering place of all magical energy, wizards, sorcerers, and other mystical energy throughout the ancient history of Earth. In the ongoing Shazam! comic series from writer Geoff Johns (who also wrote the New 52 origin comic that Shazam! is based on) the importance of the Rock of Eternity is spelled out clearly.

RELATED: Every Easter Egg & DC Reference in Shazam!

The history lesson does a great job in explaining why introducing the Rock of Eternity–and selecting Billy as magic’s new champion–changes the entire landscape of the DCEU. Read it below:

“Centuries ago, the Rock of Eternity was in view for all to approach. And its doors were open to all in need. Its great halls were overseen by the Council of Seven Wizards and Sorceresses who took a vow to protect all magic! Until the Seven Sins were freed by the Dark Champion… and all but one of the Council were slaughtered. The last wizard chose to seal off the Rock of Eternity. And as the Rock became hidden from the world… so, too, did magic. Until a champion was needed again.”

It’s these words which open up Shazam! #1, continuing the story of The Shazam Family (Billy, Mary, Freddy, Darla, Eugene, and Pedro) by teasing just how much may have been unlocked thanks to the wizard Shazam. It’s too early to say that this story will be the one upon which the Shazam 2 movie is based, but one significant change was made to the comic book mythology in the movie. According to the wizard Shazam, the Rock of Eternity isn’t just the crossroads of DC’s magic, but “the source of all magic.”

A source that has now been unleashed upon the world. Admittedly, that’s the kind of twist that would take every DC fan by total surprise… if Suicide Squad hadn’t already warned that DC’s age of magic was about to begin.

When considering all the movies that might seem to share a connection to Shazam! most fans won’t put Suicide Squad at the top the list. That’s a bit ironic, considering that its villain is one of the most powerful magical beings yet established in the DCEU. Oh, and Shazam! has a direct Suicide Squad Easter Egg of its own. But the most important detail to come out of the rise of Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) is designed to comment on more than just her own film. For the fans who may not recall, Enchantress addresses the magically powered El Diablo by persuading him that a new age is beginning for those attuned as they are:

“It is our time. The sun is setting and the magic rises. The metahumans are a sign of change.”

At the time, it seemed to be one theory to explain the sudden emergence of superhumans. Enchantress saw it as magic’s return to the world–and now that Shazam! has been released, the accuracy of her words can finally be understood. The Seven Sins claim that that wizard Shazam’s powers have been failing for years, finally reaching the breaking point (right around the same time that Enchantress claimed magic was “on the rise” in the overall DCEU movie timeline).

RELATED: Shazam’s Crocodile Cameo Just Changed The Entire DCEU

Based purely on the lines spoken by the wizard in Shazam! and the mythology expanded upon in Geoff Johns’ comic book sequel, there is no doubt that the selection of a champion and the removal of magic from the world are linked. When Shazam’s dark champion a.k.a. Black Adam went bad and wiped out the other wizards, the Rock was locked, magic was denied to the world, and Earth progressed as it has for centuries. Until Billy came along, that is.

Unfortunately, the wizards Shazam really should have given Billy some insight into his role as guardian of the Rock of Eternity,  and the responsibility of overseeing “the source of all magic.” Because the final scene of the movie proves he’s more interested in the Rock of Eternity as a superhero “lair” than a gate holding back all of the world’s magic. But if the wizard’s hold on magic has been weakening for years, then it’s possible DC’s magical heroes–like those of the Justice League Dark–aren’t necessarily born out of the events of Shazam!, but strengthened. That applies to both heroes and villains, of course.

From a storytelling standpoint, Shazam! gives a perfect explanation for a Justice League Dark movie addressing a growing sense of magical unrest, villainy, or simply power entering the world. Characters like John Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, Swamp Thing, or Etrigan the Demon would all either sense it or be empowered by it, ensuring they’re all on the same page.

When the dam bursts (when Billy completely fails to hold back the centuries-old magic) the world would instantly become a place beyond the abilities or even understanding of the Justice League. The DCEU will need a Justice League Dark, with or without Shazam playing a part in the story. Since Constantine stole Billy Batson’s Shazam powers in the comics, he may want to sit this one out. But whatever the cast or crossover potential, Shazam! has given all the set-up needed to explore the magical realms of the DC Universe.

There’s still a chance that director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) will return to Justice League Dark, should the opportunity to do something truly ‘unconventional’ be in the cards. And who know? Perhaps the success of DC Universe’s Swamp Thing series convinces the studio that Guillermo del Toro’s idea of making the Justice League Dark movie a romance between Swamp Thing and his wife isn’t so outlandish after all.

MORE: Shazam May Confirm Bruce Wayne’s ‘Retirement’ as Batman

2019-04-17 07:04:50

Andrew Dyce

Smash Ultimate Finally Adding Joker To Its Roster

The long-awaited arrival of Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is finally upon fans, as the 3.0 update and a bevvy of additional content prepare to release. Fighting game fans have been waiting for the next Super Smash Bros. character to drop since Piranha Plant joined Smash Ultimate in February 2019. Truth be told, the wait was almost too long, as gamers had known about the impending existence of Joker in Smash prior to the game’s release, which led to speculating on the other four fighters that would be joining Smash Ultimate via DLC.

Previous reports claimed that Joker would be joined by Dragon Quest‘s Erdrick, before a follow-up rumor eventually emerged stating that the two would also be accompanied by Steve from Minecraft, Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden, and Doomguy from Doom. While it’s looking as if that latter report won’t end up being true, speculation can finally take a back seat to the arrival of new content in Smash Bros. Ultimate for the first time since February.

Related: Super Smash Bros. Melee Player Wins Match By Doing Nothing

Dropping a video highlighting every new feature out of nowhere, Nintendo has confirmed that Smash Bros. Ultimate will receive its long-awaited version 3.0 update today on April 17, 2019. A specific time has yet to be clarified by Nintendo. For those with the Fighters Pass, this will include Joker as a brand-new playable character, a stage based on Mementos from Persona 5, and a heaping pile of new music for gamers to enjoy. Version 3.0 also adds a Stage Builder mode to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as well as a Video Editor and support for the new Smash World mobile app, all for free.

Accompanying all of that content is the arrival of paid costumes for the playable Mii characters in Smash Bros. Ultimate. These costumes are based on characters from across several Persona titles and even touts attire inspired by Sonic the Hedgehog‘s Tails and Knuckles. The digital garb will retail for $0.75 USD apiece and release alongside version 3.0 on April 17th. The most noteworthy aspect of their arrival is that they’re launch under the label “Extra Mii Fighter Costumes – Round 1,” implying that there will be more to come.

It might be a safe bet then to wager on other Mii Fighter costumes returning to the fold in Ultimate after appearing in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U. Keeping that in mind, Square Enix’s Geno and Chocobo costumes make the most sense as add-ons, and could even arrive alongside Edrick from Dragon Quest in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Jumping back to Joker, his use of a pistol also dismisses arguments being made against potential DLC characters that utilize guns. Resident Evil‘s cast of heroes and heroines look all the more feasible now (and could be joined by a wave of Capcom-related costumes), and the same can be said for the potential of Halo‘s Master Chief joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Others that fall into this category include Tomb Raider‘s Lara Croft and Doom‘s Doomguy, but only time will tell who the remaining four newcomers are in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s incoming selection of DLC.

Next: Cuphead Devs Hope Fans Can Get Characters in Smash Bros. Ultimate

Source: Nintendo

2019-04-17 04:04:09

Riley Little

DC Universe App Finally Comes to Xbox One and Is Available Now

The DC Universe app is rolling out on the Xbox One through April. Last year, DC launched their brand new streaming service. It hosts a wealth of DC content, including original TV shows such as Titans and Doom Patrol, digital comics, and a library of historic DC movies and TV series.

Over the last month, it’s become clear that DC is thoroughly invested in continuing to improve their service. The digital comics have always been a particular highlight, and at WonderCon DC revealed their entire library would shortly be available on DC Universe. New comics will be added into the archive exactly one year after their print publication date. This means that in addition to classic storylines such as Watchmen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, subscribers will also be able to view more recent works, such as the whole of the 2016 DC Rebirth initiative.

Related: DC Needs More Stories Like Shazam – And Less Like Titans

In the latest development, DC has announced that in April the DC Universe app will be rolling out on Xbox One. A subscription can be activated online and accessed directly through an Xbox One console. According to Sam Ades, senior vice president and general manager of DC Digital Services, this was something the fans themselves had been asking for. “Our growing list of highly acclaimed original series, amazing library of shows and thousands of comics are now accessible to DC fans and Xbox users alike,” he promised.

Priced at $7.99 a month, or $74.99 annually, DC Universe is already available on iOS, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, and Roku. The streaming service has received rave reviews, and comic book fans are increasingly positive about it after the recent announcements. What’s more, original content such as Titans has been a hit, with third-party analytics suggesting the series just got more popular as it went on. DC Universe shows are consistently among the most in-demand superhero TV series.

Even as DC Universe expands across different platforms, though, international fans continue to wonder when it will become available outside the United States. Netflix and CBS All Access were streaming in the US for three years before expanding to Canada, their first international region, and Hulu is yet to reach international audiences at all. In September last year, DC editor Dan DiDio confirmed that a Canadian app was in testing, so hopefully it will be sooner rather than later in this case. At present, DC Universe originals are distributed internationally on Netflix, but that’s envisioned as a short-term solution, and DC has fans all over the world who are eager to access the app.

More: Doom Patrol Is A Hit – But It Can’t Beat Titans’ Popularity

Source: DC

2019-04-15 12:04:45

Thomas Bacon

Discovery (Finally) Has A Proper Star Trek Crew In The Season 2 Finale

Star Trek: Discovery‘s superior season 2 fittingly concludes with the crew bonded together in a way no other Star Trek cast has. Every series in the franchise is about a core ensemble of Starfleet Officers who become a found family. It only took two seasons for the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery to become that kind of unified front.

Traditionally, the main cast of a Star Trek series revolved around the captain, but Star Trek: Discovery tossed that paradigm out of the nearest airlock. Michael Burnham is – and continues to be – the centerpiece character, but by the end of Star Trek: Discovery season 1, fans still didn’t know who most of the bridge crew were. Thankfully, season 2 has taken huge strides to bring the ancillary members of the crew to the forefront. By the penultimate episode, “Such Sweet Sorrow”, the Starfleet Officers of the U.S.S. Discovery chose to risk their lives and their every futures for each other.

Related: The Meaning Of Star Trek: Discovery’s Red Signals (So Far)

In order to stop the malevolent A.I. Control from gaining the sphere data it needs to wipe out all sentient life in the galaxy, Michael chose to become the second Red Angel and take the Discovery into the future. Even by Star Trek‘s standards of loyalty to one’s crew, Michael’s farewell was exceptionally heartfelt. “I love you. All of you,” Michael told her colleagues. “I wish there was more time. Thank you for the greatest moments of my life.” This was extra touching considering how Michael boarded the Discovery two years prior as Starfleet’s first mutineer. She was mistrusted and labeled “dangerous” by First Officer Saru himself.

In “Such Sweet Sorrow’, Ensign Silvia Tilly, Saru, Spock, Lt. Paul Stamets, Commander Jett Reno, Lt. Keyla Detmer, Lt. Joann Owosekun, Lt. Gen Rhys, Lt. R.A. Bryce, Commander Nhan, Lt. Nilsson, and Emperor Georgiou all elected to remain aboard as the U.S.S. Discovery’s crew to time travel with Michael into the distant future – perhaps never to return. This fitttingly put a button on how much season 2 highlighted its supporting cast.

In the season 2 premiere, Captain Pike asked the bridge crew to introduce themselves, which cleverly allowed him (and the fans) to put names to the faces. Later, Detmer and Owosekun saved Pike’s life as he flew through an asteroid field. Throughout season 2, Michael and Saru chaired Ready Room meetings where the bridge crew was able to show off their personalities. The Discovery’s lively mess hall was a far cry from Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Ten Forward lounge; the Disco’s crew took their meals together (not unlike Kirk’s crew in The Original Series), relaxed, laughed, swapped stories, and played the auto-antonym game. The Disco crew also weathered bizarre moments like the resurrected Dr. Hugh Culber brawling with Ash Tyler.

The Discovery also welcomed Commanders Nhan and Jett Reno; despite her tense working relationship with Stamets, Reno helped heal Stamets and Culber’s broken marriage while Nhan apologized to Michael for her role in Lieutenant Commander Airiam’s death. An augmented human who was possessed by Control and forced to betray her crewmates, Airiam was season 2’s most tragic character; “Project Daedalus” gave glimpses of Airiam when she was once fully human and fans saw the mutual affection between her, Tilly, and Michael. Airiam’s funeral was as touching as Spock’s in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Related: Star Trek Theory: Discovery Season 2 Is The Borg’s Origin

Other Star Trek crews had more time to bond. With the exceptions of The Original Series and Star Trek: Enterprise, the other series had 7 seasons (which were generally understood to correspond to 7 years each) for their crews to gel and in their opening titles, the characters’ names were listed with the actors playing them. (The casts of TOS and TNG also had 10 Star Trek movies between them to further their bonds.) In addition, the other Star Trek series had about 26 episodes in the episodic format – ample time to devote to individual characters and familiarize them to fans.

By contrast, Star Trek: Discovery is serialized in the modern Peak TV style of storytelling (whereas even the serialized Deep Space Nine had plenty of room for one-off character episodes) and the CBS All-Access prequel only has 14-15 episodes to tell a complete season-long arc. Yet, in season 2, Star Trek: Discovery‘s crew proves to be resolutely behind Michael Burnham and they’ll follow her anywhere (or anywhen) – they could now even lay claim to the title of “the finest crew in Starfleet”.

Next: Star Trek: Discovery’s Finale All But Confirms Major Season 3 Theory

Star Trek: Discovery‘s season 2 finale streams Thursday, April 18 @ 8:30pm on CBS All-Access and internationally the next day on Netflix

2019-04-15 09:04:50

John Orquiola

Star Wars 9 Finally Addresses The Original Trilogy’s Dumbest Moment

Fans now know that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will confirm Luke’s legacy in one or way another, but the movie’s main villain now looks to be largely Luke’s fault… having survived due to the dumbest part of The Return of the Jedi‘s original ending.

We’re referring to Emperor Palpatine’s return in Star Wars 9, easily one of the most shocking reveals in the new trilogy. But no matter how Emperor Palpatine survived his death, whether it be in physical form or spiritual, it’s not actually difficult to understand why it went undetected. But once fans realize this massive twist is all based on the original trilogy’s most braindead ending, they may view the franchise’s legendary hero a bit differently.

After all, Luke Skywalker was the one person who should have known the Emperor was always going to return. All he had to do was ask the most obvious question he could have following the death of the last Sith Lords.

  • This Page: How Luke Missed The Obvious in Return of The Jedi
  • Page 2: Star Wars 9 Can Finally Confirm Luke Blew It

Every Star Wars fan can probably remember the final climactic battle beat for beat. The Emperor blasting Luke with Force Lightning, Luke writhing in agony, and Darth Vader looking back and forth, struggling with his internal draw towards both Dark and Light. In the end Vader decided to intervene to save his son’s life, lifting Emperor Palpatine over his head (being bombarded with Force Lightning in the process) and tossing him down an endless shaft. The explosion of blue fire confirming that the great leader of the Empire had perished.

RELATED: Star Wars Theory: There Was No Palpatine, Only Plagueis

But his turn towards the light cost Vader his own will to live. Removing his mask and finally reuniting with his son, the audience understood that Anakin Skywalker had resurfaced to discover the good still left in him, which Luke never believed had been completely erased. That was long before the fans knew Anakin’s full story, but it was a fitting end to this fantasy epic. To save his son meant killing his master… but it also meant his death, as well. Poignant, poetic, and as is revealed in later scenes, far more of a literal salvation than even Luke probably realized.

The image seems somewhat quaint by today’s standards, and far more of a “happy ending” moment than most modern blockbusters allow. But as the party erupts across the Forest Moon of Endor and every other planet in the Galactic Republic, celebrating the defeat of Palpatine, the destruction of the second Death Star, and the impending collapse of the Empire, Luke witnesses a different victory. Seeing the Force Ghosts of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda would be a pleasant enough ending, to know that his mentors had found new life in the Force. But to see his father Anakin Skywalker as the man he should have been… well, Luke wouldn’t be the only one with tears in his eyes.

Of course, once you stop and consider the events that have just transpired… it’s shocking to think that Luke Skywalker could actually be this dumb. But for thirty-five years Star Wars fans have been just as willing to ignore the MASSIVE red flags as Luke. But finally, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker looks to address the ignorance, obliviousness, and reckless stupidity of Luke and, if we’re being honest, the audience, too. Possible SPOILERS ahead.

Page 2 of 2: Star Wars 9 Can Finally Confirm Luke Blew It

Just to make sure that everyone is on the same page with Luke’s thought process in the final scenes of Star Wars: Return of The Jedi, let’s break it down. Having embraced and to the best of his abilities mastered the Force, Luke goes to the forest moon of Endor in faith that the light and goodness he senses in his father is real. Considering the events extend back into The Empire Strikes Back, let’s go over the major revelations that Luke has witnessed through the end of the original trilogy:

  • Obi-Wan dies.
  • Obi-Wan returns as a Force Ghost.
  • Yoda dies.
  • The Emperor dies.
  • His father dies.
  • Yoda returns as a Force Ghost.
  • His father returns as a Force Ghost.
  • …Luke moves on without looking back.

Once you actually consider that Luke witnesses the death of two masters, his own father, and the greatest Force-using villain in the galaxy–then witnesses both masters returning to teach and communicate with him as Force Ghosts, then be joined by his father, and somehow not wonder if the same happened to the Emperor, the true obliviousness is hard to ignore. And while we have to stop short of saying that everything that happens next is all unequivocally Luke’s fault… who else’s would it be? After all, he never actually told Leia or Han that when he was “talking” to Ben Kenobi he meant he was literally talking to the visible, conscious, Force Ghost of Ben Kenobi directly in front of him.

RELATED: Star Wars Rebels Explains How Force Ghosts Work

If he had–and if he had mentioned that things were all good for Anakin because he saw him and Yoda chilling with Ben in the Force afterlife, too–then maybe the more street-smart smuggler of spy would have asked the obvious question. You know, “Do you think it’s possible the Emperor isn’t really dead, either?” Alas, Luke kept his secrets to himself. But when he missed the gigantic clue in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the dumbest part of Return of the Jedi‘s ending got even more infuriating.

In some sense, we respect Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson for honoring how oblivious Luke Skywalker proved to be in the end, and carrying that intelligence forward. Because you really have to hand it to Luke, it can’t be easy staying so clueless with the entirety of the Force flowing through you. Even when he sensed the same darkness in his nephew Ben that Emperor Palpatine used to seduce his father, and even when Ben succumbed and fled to the Dark Side to follow in Anakin’s footsteps, Luke never made the connection.

Even after spending decades on a remote island with nothing but his own thoughts, he never stopped to wonder: is literally the exact same thing that happened to me–being trained and guided by the same Jedi master who trained my father after I watched him die–be happening to Ben, being trained and guided by the same Sith master who trained my father after I watched him die? Seriously Luke, we saw what the daily routine on Ahch-To consisted of, and there was plenty of time to put this two-piece jigsaw puzzle together. But even if he hadn’t, one of the most controversial and game-changing moments of The Last Jedi should have knocked some kind of understanding loose.

We’re referring to Yoda’s Force Ghost blasting a bolt of lightning–the same kind of Force energy Luke only ever saw used by Emperor Palpatine–into the sacred tree on Luke’s island. Where Ben Kenobi’s Force Ghost was restricted to talking to him in either a disembodied voice or sitting next to him in Force form, Ben’s influence was merely spoken, or felt. But Yoda demonstrating how a powerful Jedi could literally pierce the veil and inflict damage from beyond the grave?

At some point, Luke has to take some responsibility for being the only person to see the Emperor die, the most likely person to understand his spirit could live on, and basically ignore all evidence to suggest that for the remainder of his life. Alas, he did not. Which means it falls to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to address his ignorance by finally dealing with the Emperor’s remaining spirit once and for all. Who knows, maybe the ‘Rise of Skywalker’ refers to Luke’s sense of cosmic intelligence, as he finally realizes this is all his fault. Somehow… we doubt it.

MORE: Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker Poster Hides a Secret Joke

2019-04-15 05:04:21

Andrew Dyce

World of Warcraft Is Finally Letting Players Customize Their Mounts

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth‘s upcoming Rise of Azshara patch has been a long time coming, and the MMORPG had a record year as Twitch’s most popular game in 2018. Fans have been waiting since November last year for more news about what patch 8.2 is going to bring, and it looks like an official stream on Twitch by senior designer, Jeremy Feasel, has confirmed that WoW mount equipment will be available so that you can set your Onyxian drake apart from the rest.

Patch 8.2 will be bringing a rehaul to the Heart of Azeroth system which was in itself a retool of the Legendary Weapon system from Warlords of Draenor. It’s suspected that the patch isn’t going to be out until around July, but it’s going to drag the highly-anticipated Eternal Palace raid along in its wake when it does eventually drop. In the meantime, fans will be able to look forward to the WoW mount equipment that’s going to be added.

Related: World of Warcraft Classic Is Recreating The Original Game’s Bugs

Jeremy Feasel hosted a stream on Twitch which went over some of the patch 8.2 content which had been mentioned at Blizzcon 2018 and also talked about the addition of WoW mount equipment to the game’s ecosystem. It looks like Water Striders are going to lose their coveted position as mount of the moment; they’ll have their water walking ability taken away from them, and other mounts will have the possibility of gaining that ability added to them thanks to new items that can be equipped. The system will work a little like adding equipment to your characters, and you’ll gain access to it once you have a level 100 character. Examples of effects that equipment will give include emergency parachutes when you dismount aerially, water walking shoes, and barding that stops you from being stunned if attacked while mounted.

The addition of the WoW mount equipment is hopefully going to level the playing field in terms of giving you the ability to customize your mounts based on your own traversal needs. While people are yet to acquire Battle for Azeroth flying, the Water Strider mounts were a way to cross the more nebulous, aquatic parts of zones and this made them a hot commodity. Now that they’re losing their floaties, any advantage that owners of these mounts might have had is probably going to evaporate. Unfortunately, acquiring the necessary equipment to get your mount to part the seas looks like it’s going to be a matter of rep grinding, which feels a lot like Blizzard just throwing repeatable dailies at the community to keep it entertained until the next raid.

Whether the changes to the Strider and the new WoW mount equipment additions will be here for good remains to be seen. It’s not unlike the game to roll initiatives back in the name of rebalancing, and it may not even go so far as that; unique mounts who currently won’t benefit from being able to equip items may well go the way of the Strider with their respective passive traits. At the very least, it’s something for fans to chew on as they wait for patch 8.2.

Next: Warcraft Is Reportedly Getting a Pokemon Go Style Mobile Game

Source: Blizzard/Twitch

2019-04-12 02:04:58

Ginny Woo

Into The Badlands Finally Explains The Fall Of Azra

Monday’s episode of Into the Badlands finally explained the circumstances behind the fall of Azra, the mythical city that has remained one of the show’s biggest mysteries since season 1.

The lost city of Azra was first mentioned in the series premiere of the post-apocalyptic martial arts series. At the beginning, Azra served as a strange and mysterious link between Sunny (Daniel Wu) and M.K. (Aramis Knight), who both had unexplained ties to the faraway place. Many doubted the existence of the utopian city, while others, like the Widow (Emily Beecham) and Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay), have been desperate to find it. What is known about Azra is that the city eventually fell, and only a few survived, including Sunny and Pilgrim.

Related: Into The Badlands Season 3B Review: The Series Sets Up An Epic Endgame

The final season of Into the Badlands has provided some much-needed answers about what really happened to Azra. Pilgrim explained to Sunny that the city was destroyed by a group called the Black Lotus. Ankara (Clare Higgins) recently told Sunny and Nix (Ella-Rae Smith) that the Black Lotus is an ancient cult devoted to murdering anyone who possesses the Gift. In the latest episode, “Cobra Fang, Panther Claw,” Ankara revealed that it was her fault that Azra was destroyed. Years ago when she was still at the Monastery, she and a scribe named Magnus (Francis Magee) set out to find Azra. Ankara was betrayed by Magnus, who turned out to be a member of Black Lotus. Magnus left Ankara for dead and laid waste to the city with his men. Now Magnus is back and on the hunt for Ankara.

Ankara’s story fills in some of the blanks regarding the mystery of Azra, but more is sure to be discovered in the coming weeks, as the fight with the Black Lotus heats up. At the end of the episode, Magnus murders Ankara and stabs Bajie (Nick Frost) in the chest. Bajie’s fate is left uncertain. Magnus’ actions have increased the chances that the Black Lotus are the real villains of season 3.

While Sunny and the others have been so focused on fighting Pilgrim, the Black Lotus has emerged as the most immediate threat. Sunny’s inevitable clash with Magnus could lead to more questions being answered about Sunny’s past, the secrets of Azra, and the true nature of the Gift, which was never meant to be a weapon. It’s possible that Magnus will reveal the Gift’s purpose, and why the Black Lotus was willing to destroy an entire city just to kill everyone with the Gift.

More: Why Into The Badlands Was Cancelled (Despite Being Amazing)

2019-04-09 04:04:48

Nicholas Raymond

Marvel Finally Explains The Secret of ROGUE’s Power

Warning: SPOILERS for Mr. and Mrs. X #9

After all these years, the X-Men comics have finally revealed how Rogue’s mutant powers really work. Created by the legendary comic book writer Chris Claremont, for years Rogue has struggled to control her ability–absorbing the powers and memories of anyone she touches. As X-Men movie fans also know, her powers were activated when she was just a teenager, and shared her first kiss with her boyfriend. She left him in a coma.

Rogue has occasionally succeeded in mastering her powers, but it’s always been fleeting. Worse still, they’ve recently expanded to the extent that they no longer require her to touch someone to drain the life from those around her. That makes her a deadly threat to anyone around her, and Rogue’s been forced to wear an inhibitor collar to keep her abilities in check.

Related: X-Men Comics Introduce Professor X’s Alien Daughter

This week’s Mr and Mrs X #9 finally reveals just how Rogue’s powers really work. The mutant teleporter Spiral believes that something in Rogue’s past holds the key to controlling her abilities. She takes Rogue on a whistle-stop tour of her own memories, reliving key moments when she’s used her powers. To her surprise, Rogue identifies a similarity between every one of those moments: her own fear. When she kissed Cody Robbins, she was feeling the normal mix of excitement and fear any teenager experiences when sharing their first kiss. That horrific experience primed Rogue to fear her own abilities, and that fear is the reason control has eluded her all these years.

Matters were made worse by her experiences in the “X-Tinction Agenda” event. A major 1990 crossover, that saw Rogue stripped of her powers by the Magistrates of Genosha. As a text box noted, “All they did was touch her. Rude hands, ruder glances–taunting promises of worse to come. She couldn’t stop them. For so long, she dreamed of being able to touch another person, without her power absorbing his/her psyche. To hold, to caress, to kiss, just like any other normal teenage girl. In those dreams, it was the most beautiful of moments. She never imagined being handled against her will.

It seems this experience left Rogue traumatized and conflicted, with a part of her subconscious fearful of intimacy. The closer she got to someone, the more afraid she became, and the less control she had of her powers. That’s why Rogue’s love life has been such a mess. According to Mr and Mrs X #9, all Rogue needs to do to finally gain control of her abilities is face her fears. Of course, that’s easier said than done; it will mean confronting her fears every single day, and at times it will no doubt prove exhausting. But at those moments, Rogue will simply slip on an inhibitor collar for relief.

For now, though, realizing the truth about her abilities allows Rogue to master her powers, and she takes to the skies to fight alongside Gambit once again. And a comic book mystery that’s been running since 1981 has finally been answered.

Mr and Mrs X #9 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.

More: The X-Men’s Rogue & Gambit Just Got Married

2019-03-29 11:03:35

Thomas Bacon