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Discovery Hit The Reset Button On A Major Star Trek Trope

Star Trek: Discovery ended season 2 by upending one of the franchises most heavily leaned-on tropes. By sending the USS Discovery 950 years into the future (and about 50,000 light years from home), Star Trek took the reset button used by earlier series to keep stories contained within a single episode and employed it brilliantly to flip the show’s premise. Previously, the reset device had been used to ensure game-changing developments just like that one wouldn’t happen.

From the start, Star Trek: Discovery faced its fair share of naysayers due to its bold changes in format and additions to Star Trek canon. Instead of a the traditional ensemble structure, which up until 2017 had featured a captain (or commander) leading a crew of supporting cast, Star Trek: Discovery debuted focusing on a disgraced lieutenant with her fellow cast members pulled from “lower decks” positions rather than the senior staff that typically rounded out Star Trek casts.

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

Another huge development was the embrace of fully serialized storytelling in place of the strict episodic style that nearly other every series had followed. Those two major adjustments created a new iteration of the franchise that reflected the massive evolution television underwent in the near two decades since Star Trek had a show on the air. Discovery is the first Star Trek series not to take place in front of the static backdrop of a starship that never promoted anybody. The lack of safety net inherent in its makeup automatically raised the stakes and brought Star Trek roaring into the age of prestige television. This isn’t to say the episodic nature of previous series wasn’t necessary and functional at the time, just that Discovery shed an old tradition at the perfect time.

  • This Page: Why Star Trek Had A Reset Button
  • Page 2: Deep Space Nine Abolished The Reset Button – Why?
  • Page 3: Discovery Completely Flipped The Idea Of A Reset Button

NBC cancelled the Original Series after only three seasons, but the show went to serve as a defining example of the power of syndication in the years immediately following. Paramount’s to thank for that – after purchasing Desilu Studios, they licensed Star Trek for syndication and said syndication proved to be one of the most profitable signal boosts in history. The foundations of Star Trek’s longevity were laid down in the ’70s when reruns aired with enough regularity in enough markets to pull in a huge cult fanbase and generate no small amount of hype. Eventually that noise helped Gene Roddenberry reignite the franchise with feature films and Star Trek: The Next Generation, ultimately creating an unprecedented legacy within sci-fi television and film. Star Trek has enjoyed a long and prosperous life due to its fans, and many of those fans started their love affair with the after it had actually aired. When it comes to Star Trek, the importance of syndication cannot be understated – it’s the way most fans watched in the first place.

While Star Trek: The Next Generation was a huge mainstream success, it and Deep Space Nine were both aired in syndication until Paramount launched UPN and used the network as a home for Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise. Part of the reason syndication worked so well for Star Trek, historically, is because not only was the show extremely available, but it was also accessible to fans at virtually any point in the series. That’s next to impossible to do with most shows today – imagine jumping into Game of Thrones season 8 with no preamble. But it’s important to remember that serialized storytelling is a concept that has only reached mainstream popularity in the last two decades, and had it been around when Star Trek first went into syndication, the franchise might have enjoyed the same fervent success. The near procedural-style of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation especially allowed the franchise to gobble up more fans and faster, which turned out to be a key component of its survival. Hence the birth of the Star Trek Reset Button.

Related: Star Trek Theory: Discovery Is Setting Up a Pike Spock Spin-Off

Writers were directed to keep each episode unrelated and only introduce major paradigm shifts when absolutely necessary. For example, very few actors left Star Trek because of a narrative-based decision, but rather the shows were forced to explain an actor’s decision not to renew a contract or sign a longer one. In the case of Star Trek: Voyager, despite Deep Space Nine’s foray into serialized stories, the show was under direct orders from Paramount to keep stories bottled in a single episode so that viewers could hop onto the series at any point in its run, just as they had done with its predecessors. It’s why, despite whatever developments happened in a single episode or even a two-parter, almost always TOS, TNG, and Voyager were “reset” to factory settings at the end of an episode or arc. Everyone kept the same job, the same relationships, and the same characterization story to story, no matter what had happened to them the week before. It was a move that did, without a doubt, allow more fans to come to the series as it progressed and grew in popularity, but the reset button also inhibited creativity.

Page 2 of 3: Deep Space Nine Abolished The Rest Button – Why?

The biggest problem with eschewing serialized storytelling is that stakes are often eschewed right along with it. This isn’t to say Star Trek didn’t create incredibly compelling drama in single episodes – it very much did. But when characters can’t go through important, game-changing experiences, or when plot armor is so obvious, it’s hard to have cliffhangers that resonate to their fullest. As effective as the last scene in “Best of Both Worlds Pt. I” continues to be, there was no way Jean-Luc Picard wasn’t going to be fine come season 4, short of an announcement that Patrick Stewart was leaving. And, sure enough, after one episode that addressed the trauma he’d gone through, the captain was largely back to his old self, aside from when the Enterprise would encounter the Borg once more in episodes like “I, Borg” and “Descent Pts. I and II.”

We could trust – at least in TNG – that whatever the Enterprise D encountered, she’d endure very little lasting damage. While there’s a comfort in knowing fan-favorite characters will show up consistently and won’t be violently ripped out for the sake of dramatic effect, there’s a reason Battlestar Galactica was as groundbreaking a hit as it was. It took a Star Trek-esque premise and threw the reset button out the window – mass genocide is committed in the first episode, and the only ship and character with any real plot armor was the Galactica herself, and even she barely made it to the end of the series. People died, changed values, left jobs, left marriages – in general, reacted truthfully to the environment around them as opposed to what Star Trek: Voyager became under Paramount’s watchful eye – TNG in the Delta quadrant.

One of the many criticisms Voyager received – from former DS9 showrunner and BSG creator himself, Ron Moore – was that it was a ship in the Delta Quadrant with virtually no infrastructure or support, presumably lost forever in unfriendly territory, yet it looked pristine and seemed filled with mostly emotionally well-balanced people. Had Voyager been allowed to suffer more realistic pitfalls of being so far from home and beset upon by enemies – in short, have problems like scarcity, equipment failures, and mental illness that couldn’t be solved in one episode – it’s likely we would’ve gotten a very different and perhaps more compelling series.

Related: Star Trek: 8 Casting Decisions That Hurt DS9 (And 12 That Saved It)

But considering Deep Space Nine’s relatively lukewarm reception, despite the incredible narrative heights it achieved, it’s not totally surprising Paramount insisted episodic television be the rule when it came to Voyager. That said, there’s an argument to be made that DS9’s serialized nature is exactly what has brought renewed attention to the series as it ages.

Aside from a few noteworthy exceptions, TNG employed next to no serialized storytelling. Comparatively, Deep Space Nine was defined by it. The primary example cited by most is the Dominion War arc that dominated the back half of the series, but in general, Deep Space Nine had always favored ongoing storylines simply because most of its action takes place in a stationary location. The literal space station sat in the middle of the aftermath of the Cardassian War and its brutal occupation of the planet Bajor. DS9 served as window into galactic politics in a more complete way than TNG or the Original Series had ever attempted. Stories certainly differed significantly episode to episode, but the ever-evolving political backdrop always lingered in the background as we watched Bajor rebuild its infrastructure, with the Cardassians attempting to manage their new, less powerful position, and humans in the middle of it all trying to get everyone to play nice.

Because serialized storytelling was one of its building blocks from the inception, the later seasons had a good foundation on which to rest the Dominion War arc and produce some of Star Trek’s finest episodes. It’s also why the series has aged so well and has enjoyed renewed popularity with the advent of streaming. There was still a reset button on Deep Space Nine, but stories like Nog dealing with the loss of his leg and the PTSD that came along with it, and Worf’s grief at the loss of Jadzia in season 7, showed the series’ ability to evolve beyond the episodic tradition that came before it. That evolution was unquestionably for the better, and Star Trek: Discovery just doubled down on it.

Page 3 of 3: Discovery Completely Flipped The Idea Of A Reset Button

Discovery is the least episodic series in the franchise by a mile, and as stated previously, has been defined by favoring season-long arcs that deal with the consequences of decisions and actions in an unprecedented way (for Star Trek). The choice to send the Discovery 950 years into the future and erase the possibility of its return not only sewed up loose ends with Star Trek canon, but it also reinvented a Star Trek series in a wholly new way. The reset button was definitely hit, but instead of returning to the homeostatic normalcy that defined a show like TNG, Discovery gave itself a true final frontier to explore.

Not only will Discovery wind up in a largely unexplored quadrant, they will land in a completely unexplored time period. After 50 years, Star Trek will explore further into its own future than we’ve ever seen outside of the Temporal Cold War storyline on Enterprise. Since the Kelvin movies premiered in 2009 with a reimagining of the Original Series, not to mention the announcement that Discovery would take place ten years before the events of TOS, a decent-sized contingent of fans expressed frustration that it had been way too long since Star Trek had developed “new” material.

Related: Star Trek Theory: Discovery’s Albino Klingon Is From Deep Space Nine

As enjoyable as many of the nostalgic callbacks in Discovery have been, the show’s never really been about scientific discovery in the way the previous series were. Its heavily serialized premise and significantly shorter seasons meant there would be less opportunity to explore certain topics, and its place in the Star Trek timeline (not to mention its launch in an age of nostalgia) ensured it would be somewhat forced to reintroduce familiar faces and conceits. Why put the show ten years before TOS and take advantage of the opportunity to revisit iconic characters like Spock, or fill out underrepresented but significant characters like Christopher Pike? Discovery season 2, and much of season 1, felt like a study in how to do this the right way, despite the remaining fervent fan objections to Spock’s new sister as well as Discovery’s canonical conflicts and design choices. That said, as much as we like Pike and how fluidly the character of Michael Bunrham was written into Spock’s greater characterization, a key element of Star Trek the show was missing is written right into its name: discovery.

Because the Discovery ship was so intertwined into the continuing mysteries of the Red Angel and the signals that appeared to follow her, that’s where the narrative focus remained, at the expense of strange new worlds, new life and new civilizations. Case in point: the ship travels to an incredibly remote part of the galaxy, only to find… more humans. Discovery was shaping up to be a canvas for nostalgia, not a series that had its own original contribution to make to the Star Trek legacy. That’s why it’s incredibly exciting that the showrunners chose to abandon the nostalgia that’s defined so much of the show in favor of what’s an almost completely blank slate. It’s a choice that could signal the onset of a big evolution for the franchise, and we’ve seen that once before exercised with great success.

When The Next Generation premiered in 1986, reactions from fans to the entirely new cast and time period were mixed. In fine Star Trek fashion, fans literally took to the streets to express their displeasure at the idea to not bring back Kirk and the original Enterprise crew. But what was a very risky decision proved to be one that only further solidified Star Trek’s position as a beloved and historic part of pop culture.

It’s big risks like that that allow shows and franchises the opportunity to transcend their original programming and (hopefully) become something greater than the original premise. It deepens our investment when we know not everyone will be safe and sound at the end of the day – that actions and decisions have real consequences, just like in real life. Ultimately that kind of storytelling is more reflective of human experience, and thus typically makes for much better drama. There’s a reason the Red Wedding put Game of Thrones on the map for so many people – when you change the rules so drastically in any narrative, people pay attention. Discovery just threw the rulebook out the window and there’s reason to believe that’s the best thing Star Trek’s done for itself since introducing the Borg.

Next: Taking Discovery To [SPOILER] Saved Star Trek


2019-04-25 06:04:50

Alexandra August

Naruto: Every Major Clan Ranked, From Weakest To Strongest

In the world of Naruto, every ninja has their own special way of doing things. However, oftentimes their skillset heavily relies on their clan. Though no two ninja are exactly the same, most all shinobi clans have certain skills, abilities, and preferences. Some are specific, others just happen to be their style. For example, the Uchiha clan is the only one with the Sharingan, but their love for fire and lightning abilities is hardly exclusive.

While all clans have some sort of talent, few rise above the others and become revered. Throughout Naruto, various clans feuded over different topics like land, power, and simple hatred. Specific groups, such as the Uzumaki and Senju, earn respect through generations of powerful ninja continuing on their bloodlines.

There can only be one best clan, though. This universe consists of countless strong ninja, but a few clans are in a different league. With all the powerful families around, clan strength is an important matter. Especially when the Shinobi are so prone to war.

Here is Every Major Clan Ranked, From Weakest To Strongest.

25 Iburi

One of the most unique clan abilities comes form the Iburi. This family can turn into smoke at a moment’s notice. However, there is a serious flaw: they don’t have completely control over it. Worse, if they randomly turn into smoke and the wind separates their body too much, they will lose their life. Going outside in any way is a serious danger for them.

Even though their power is distinct and they are a definitive clan, the conditions of their abilities makes them a danger to themselves. These poor people struggle to live a normal life. In one of Orochimaru’s more helpful moments, applying curse marks to each member let them regulate their power. However, they still rely on this to stay safe.

24 Lee

Throughout Naruto, the shinobi make it very clear that it’s nigh impossible to become an effective ninja without ninjutsu. Considering the Lee clan has none, it easily makes them one of the weakest family in Konoha. However, Rock Lee wasn’t deterred. With only taijutsu at his disposal, he wanted to become a shinobi at any cost. After all, he risked his life in surgery to continue his training.

With Rock Lee, the Lee clan’s power changed drastically. Between him and his son, there is honor and strength  in their blood. However, before them, their family hardly measures up. Furthermore, no matter their achievements, they still can’t perform ninjutsu. They still never could reach the power levels of ninja clans with such abilities.

23 Kagetsu

Once upon a time, the Kagetsu clan was a family of simple, happy herb farmers. However, they eventually became a wealthy, serious people. Money changed them quite a bit, souring all their moods and making their family dynamic tragically different. The patriarch of the family was so desperate to make his clan happier that he willingly faked his own end. He hoped it would put a smile of his grandchildren’s face. The fake-loss brought the family back together, making them all the stronger.

While they aren’t a ninja clan, their copious wealth still makes them a powerful and influential group in the world.

22 Wagarashi

For many years, the Wagarashi and Wasabi clans have been battling for control over the Land of Tea. While the Wasabi clan tries to keep things above books, the Wagarashi are willing to do anything to claim what’s rightfully theirs. Naruto and friends are put in serious danger because of their deals with Amegakure, an infamously merciless mercenary village.

This clan definitely has a lot of power and money, but so many sneaky dealings and under-handed plots have tainted them. Over time, they’ve become the bad guys in a turf war. A turf war that they have lost and may never win again.

21 Wasabi

In the Land of Tea, no shinobi village exists to bring order. Ergo, instead the main village is run by two warring familes, the Wasabi and Wagarashi clans. While neither is above paying for outside help, the Wasabi pay for protection while the Wagarashi pay for assassins. They both do more than just fair and equal combat, but the Wasabi are more honorable about it all.

For their people’s benefit, the clans decided to battle for power in a race, instead of causing undue bloodshed. Taking in orphans and wanting best for their people, the Wasabi clan is wealthy in money and leadership skills.

The Land of Tea is at its best under their rule.

20 Hoshigaki

Most of the time, clans in Naruto have signature looks, but nothing to do with their specializations. The Hoshigaki clan is not one of those. Every member of this family, in some way, has gills and shark-like features. Their most infamous member, Kisame, joined the Akatsuki and caused havoc across several lands. Not only did he have gills, but sharp teeth and fish skin. If fans didn’t know better, he’d easily pass for a bizarre Orochimaru experiment.

These people, some of Kirigakure’s more violent members, love battle and competition. Even generations later, when Kirigakure is more peaceful, Shizuma Hoshigaki tries to cause more combat and trouble in the now-peaceful village.

19 Fuma

Across all of the Land of Fire, the Fuma clan is a revered and masterful group of ninja. Other shinobi know this clan for their warrior nature and their signature, giant Fuma Shuriken that they wear on their backs. Though initially this giant shuriken used to be unique to the Fuma, it has spread across the nation.

As shuriken-lovers, the Fuma are master projectile users and blades-man. They know how to use their tools in battle better than most anyone else.

Considering a Fuma member contended against Jiraiya in a fight and was good enough to become a Path of Pain, they aren’t a family to trifle with. The Fuma clan is aggressive and powerful.

18 Tsuchigumo

Running their own village, the Tsuchigumo clan prides themselves in self-sufficiency. By the Third Shinobi War, though, they tired of getting caught in the crossfires. Their leader devised a technique to destroy entire villages, giving them the proper firepower to protect themselves. However, he promised to forbid the jutsu if Konoha protected them under any circumstance. The Third Hokage (understandably) agreed.

Unfortunately, the Tsuchigumo technique eventually put the village in danger. A gang planned on using the ninja embedded with the ability, Hotaru, to destroy her own village. While they didn’t succeed, Hotaru chose to let the technique end with her.

Tsuchigumo clan, innovative and strong, needed to find another way to protect themselves.

17 Inuzuka

As one of the more unique ninja clans, the Inuzuka are proficient warriors because of their bonded relationships with their dogs. Not only do they become strong ninja, but they raise impressive and intimidating Ninken. When an Inuzuka member comes of age, they are given their own dog(s) to raise. This becomes their constant companion, learning ninja skills and combo moves to become the best shinobi team they can be.

While Kiba is the Inuzuka fans know best, his mother and sister are also powerful and respected shinobi. They helped resolve the Fourth shinobi war alongside all other Konoha ninja.

For their own strengths and their practical dog-breeding abilities, they are an important clan in their village.

16 Karatachi

When under the wrong circumstances, power and jinchuriki influence can make a monster out of anyone. During Kirigakure’s worst times, when children were forced to battle in bloody combat, Yagura Karatachi rose to power. Not only was he incredibly strong but also ruthless. With the Three-Tailed Beast in him, any opposing him rarely stood a chance. Though the Akatsuki ended his life, the ramifications of his actions rippled through the village for years.

His grandson, Kagura, is young but shinobi already know him as a genius ninja. He’s proficient in direct combat, swordsmanship, and out-witting opponents. However, he does all he can to have a very different reputation than his grandfather.

Despite their disturbing darkness, the Karatachi are an undoubtedly powerful people.

15 Kurama

Not all clans’ power levels are good, though. The Kurama clan is an otherwise unremarkable group, save the ninja born every few generations that is more powerful than the rest of the clan combined. This gift (or curse) gives the ninja in question the ability to warp their world into complex illusions. They can even end a person’s life with illusions. Unfortunately, the drawback is that they will have little control over the ability, which can make emotional outbursts extremely dangerous. Even their mind acknowledges the power, oftentimes creating a secondary personality to regulate the ninja’s powers.

When Yakumo Kurama’s alter personality became malicious, she fatally wounded her parents and harmed several shinobi. No ninja should ever underestimate the most powerful Kurama clan members.

14 Hatake

Any clan that has the mysterious and impressive Kakashi in it, of course, is powerful. However, Kakashi and his father were the only known ninja family members. Otherwise, the Hatake clan didn’t take part in shinobi ways, at least not enough for others to notice them.

Of course, Sakumo and his son changed that. They became two of the most famed ninja in shinobi history. Kakashi even became Hokage, much to his chagrin.

Though the father-son duo were outliers, their power alone raises the Hatake clan’s strength status far higher than it should be. No one can call Konoha’s White Fang or Kakashi of Sharingan weak.

13 Yamanaka

Of all the Shika-Ino-Cho members, the Yamanaka clan is arguably the weakest. Not because they aren’t powerful, but because their abilities work best with a team and are harder to use without comrades around. After all, the user’s body is safer if their friends protect it while they possess an enemy ninja’s mind.

However, with a team, the Yamanaka powers can become an ace in the hole against unsuspecting foes.

With such rich family history as protective shinobi, the Yamanaka clan are always prepared to do what their village asks. Also, they have a flower shop. Who wouldn’t admire a clan with diversified assets?

12 Hurano

While the Hurano family isn’t exactly a big clan, the members of its family are too important not to mention. Both Kizashi and his daughter Sakura are powerful ninja that make great contributions to Konoha. In another life, Kizashi could have become Hokage. Meanwhile, Sakura became one of the strongest medical-nin to ever exist, between her own chakra prowess and her teachings from Tsunade.

Furthermore, though her daughter classifies as an Uchiha, Sakura did raise an immensely powerful and intelligent ninja. Sarada doesn’t just impress because of her Uchiha blood, but also because of her Hurano discipline and intelligence.

Though the group doesn’t have many members, the Hurano line created enough of an impact to earn rank as a powerful clan.

11 Akimichi

In the early days of Naruto, Choji turned into the long-running fat joke, that kid who just likes eating. However, when part of the Konoha 11 go to retrieve Sasuke from the Sound 4, he shows he’s much more than just eating. Even better, his love for food is actually important to his strength. The Akimichi clan may act like jolly eating machines, but they rely on calories to power their ninja abilities.

Choji, his father, and his daughter Chocho (along with all their ancestors) use their caloric intake as fuel to give them impressive body-changing powers. Between contributing to the Shika-Ino-Cho triad and packing quite a punch, they are an impressive clan that deserves recognition.

10 Raikage

The people of Kumogakure can be odd at times (see Killer B, the rapping ninja,) but they are powerful and intense. Not only do they harness lightning, but they also house the violent Eight-Tailed Beast. Their customs are a bit bizarre, naming their children things like A and B, but they are strong protectors. After all, they dedicate themselves to leading and guarding all the people in their land.

Fans may never fully understand this unique clan, but they cannot deny their powers. Killer B is one of a very few people who can face off against Naruto. They raise their children resilient and fearless, in battle or while performing.

9 Aburame

Though the Aburame clan may make some people a little squeamish, no one can deny their power. With a symbiotic relationship to bugs, they can control mass swarms with a flick of their wrists. For an onlooker, that can be pretty overwhelming. During his time as a genin, Shino impressed others with his innate abilities and intelligence.

Having bug powers makes being a teacher even easier, too. Shino hardly struggles with keeping an eye on them.

Throughout Naruto, fans don’t get to learn nearly enough about the Aburame clan. However, from what they do know, they are intelligent ninja that pack quite a punch.

8 Nara

There are quite a few well-revered clans in Konoha, and few are known for their missions skills as the Nara clan. Not only are they proficient in shadow manipulation, but they also are strategic geniuses. Even at their laziest, they are always several steps ahead. Furthermore, they are apart of the famed Shika-Ino-Cho trio, a team that traverses several generations. Shikadai leads his, as did his father Shikamaru, and his father Shikaku.

Konoha wouldn’t be the same without their clan abilities. Tactical experts aren’t easy to come by in a world full of hot-heads. The Nara clan members are natural leaders who make the ninja around them all the better.

7 Kazekage

While the Kazekage family could use a lesson or two on parenting, they do raise intimidating and powerful ninja. Gaara horrified any ninja that met him. His sand powers, boosted by his jinchuriki status, were unlike anything many people knew. However, his siblings were no slouches. Temari could destroy dozens with her fan maneuvers and Kankuro deceptively tricked others with his clever puppets.

Despite the family instabilities, it’s clear they have inherent strength. Any child from their family is destined to find their own, unique powers.

If only they didn’t have such aggressive tendencies. And, of course, a flair for deception. Though they’ve improved greatly, they still have a long way to go.

6 Sarutobi

Until the Third Hokage, the role fell to members of the Senju clan. When both men lost their lives, though, their friend Hiruzen took over the job. Powerful in his own right, the young Sarutobi became an honored and beloved leader. Not only was he proficient working with earth releases and also working in tandem with his summoned ape friend, Enma.

From Hiruzen came a line of ninja dedicated to Konoha. They didn’t have the flashiest powers, but they were efficient and intelligent. As a mere child, his grandson Konohamaru was already working on transformation jutsu. Between them, Asuma, and Mirai, there are few ninja clans more diligent and innately loyal to Konoha.

5 Uzumaki

Fans could never discuss powerful clans without mentioning the iconic Uzumaki. Not only did they lead to Naruto Uzumaki, Kurama’s host and the Seventh Hokage. This clan was known for not only their intense chakra reserves but also for being the infamous Nine-Tailed Fox’s jinchuriki. Their oldest known member, Mito Uzumaki, was the beautiful and impressive wife of Hashirama Senju. She was the first to save her city from Kurama, but not the last.

While the previous bold red hair may be extremely rare now, Naruto and Boruto carry the name proudly. They may not be Uchiha levels of overall power, but they’ve created some powerful ninja over the years that have changed Konoha for the better.

4 Hyuga

Though the Hyuga clan starts off mysterious and vague, over time fans learn how truly powerful they can be. When their clan power is so coveted that they curse most all family members, there’s genuine and fearsome power there. Neji showed off the damage even a young Hyuga can do during his time in the Chunin Exams. In the years afterwards, he and Hinata only continue to show off that strength.

While there are more powerful eyes out there, the Hyuga’s Byakugan succeeds as a catch-all ability that can make anyone a stronger healer, scout, combatant, and more. The Byakugan is not something to take lightly, as its versatility is invaluable. Every member of the family is intense and powerful in their own way.

3 Otsutsuki

A long time ago, Kaguya Otsutsuki came to earth to devour the planet. Instead, she fell in love with a human. Though the planet ultimately did not suit her, her children passed on the ninja abilities that would become commonplace centuries later.

As the literal birth-family of ninja, the Otsutsuki clan are powerful. While they can be outmaneuvered and outnumbered, their raw power is unmatched. They may not have some of the powerful Kekkei Genkai of other clans, mutated over time, but they are still the source. Any member of this clan is a fierce foe. All ninja should fear their natural prowess in battle.

2 Senju

When the first Hokage hails from a certain clan, of course that family will be very powerful. Before Konoha was created, the area had two particular warring clans: The Senju and the Uchiha.  Haunted by losing family members to war and in-fighting, Hashirama Senju decided to create a village where ninja could learn and live in peace.

As direct descendants of Asura Otsutsuki, they control one of the purest bloodlines to the source of ninja abilities. Specializing in wood release, healing, and possessing strong chakra, they are an impressive family. Both the First and Fifth Hokage were of Senju blood. Not only do they have inherent powers, but they have honor and dedication that makes then even stronger.

1 Uchiha

While fans can go on and on about the Naruto and Sasuke debate, there’s no debate when it comes to overall clan strength. The Uchiha clan is by far the most powerful. The Sharingan alone gives them base abilities beyond most ninja. With that power comes an even more dangerous volatility, the Uchiha Curse. Their capacity for hatred is terrible.

Though they can become intimidatingly powerful, their best abilities come at a high cost. For example, the Mangekyo Sharingan is only activated by the user witnessing the passing of someone close to them. Worse, the eye only stabilizes by taking the eye of a fellow Uchiha. Horrible, huh?

Despite this, they still have the greatest capacity for power, making them the strongest clan in Naruto.

Are there any more powerful Naruto clans that should have been ranked? Let us know in the comments below!


2019-04-21 05:04:24

Stephanie Marceau

Every Major Twilight Character From Weakest To Most Powerful, Officially Ranked

Unless you were living under a bridge ten years ago, without a cell phone or internet access, then maybe, just maybe, you were unaware of the international success of the book series about vampires and shape-shifters called Twilight. The books actually began coming out in 2005, with one book being released each year until 2008, which was the same year the film series began.

Even through Stephenie Meyer only wrote four books, there was five films. Twilight (2008,) New Moon (2009,) Eclipse (2010,) Breaking Dawn – Part One (2011,) and Breaking Dawn – Part Two (2012) combined for a box office total of $1.4 billion, making it the 16th highest grossing franchise of all time.

Its popularity continues to sparkle even today as the franchise has created an entire world of fan fiction and comic books starring their favorite Twilight characters. Any film series that has this kind of cult-like following is going to have fans that are very dedicated to the story and that kind of passion created the infamous Team Edward or Team Jacob debate.

That makes ranking the characters a very tough job for anyone, let alone us. So instead of creating a ranking system of random characters, we decided to stick to only the major characters, the ones that are not just the main cast, but are also important to the storyline of the entire series, and ranked them according to who is the most powerful.

16 Charlie Swan (Human)

Even without sharing any of the vampire, or shape-shifter, abilities, Charlie Swan comes in on our list of major characters because he is one of the most important ones in the franchise. But since he is only a human, he is the weakest, by far.

Charlie, as you already know, is the father of Bella Swan, the main character from the franchise, and is also a cop that has no clue his daughter is friends with, and married to, vampires. He is often left in the dark about the things Bella is doing but tries to do what is best for her since he is divorced from her mother and is left to raise her on his own the best way he can.

15 Rosalie Hale (Vampire)

Of all the Cullens, Rosalie Hale just so happens to be one of the most basic vampires of them all. Since she is a vampire, she does manage to possess all the basic abilities that a vampire has like immortality, incredible speed and quickness, impressive strength, and self-control.

One of the things she does have that a lot of other vampires do not is her beauty. Before she turned, Rosalie was already one of the most beautiful women in the world. So when she became a vampire, it enhanced that beauty and created someone who was so gorgeous, people took notice.

14 Carlisle Cullen (Vampire)

One of the most underrated powers that a vampire can possess is intelligence. They can use it to turn themselves into a finely tuned machine that excels in many different aspects of life. For Carlisle Cullen, he chose to become a doctor, after he turned into a vampire, and has spent centuries learning medicine and perfecting his talents.

However, his intelligence is not quite enough to put him higher on the list of Twilight characters. He might be able to develop special abilities if he decided to do so because of his higher level of intelligence than most other vampires but that can take some time, maybe even centuries to develop into anything that could move him up the list.

13 Esme Cullen (Vampire)

Esme Cullen is the wife of Carlisle and adopted mother of the rest of the Cullens. She is a vampire but she does not truly possess any kind of special ability, officially.

Unofficially, Esme has the ability to love those around her, and show compassion at a very high level. It is why she has become the mother of the family. Her loving nature has prevented her from becoming a very strong fighter, or an even more powerful vampire. Even knowing this, Esme has still shown the ability to hold her own in a fight, especially in Breaking Dawn: Part 2.

12 Emmett Cullen (Vampire)

The supernatural talents of the vampires in the Twilight movie franchise range from telepathy to inducing the illusion of pain. But since not all vampires end up with a special power, they can find themselves with an enhanced basic ability that tracks back to when they were still human.

For Emmett Cullen, he was a physical specimen as a human being and was already a very strong person before turning into a vampire. So when he became one, that physical strength was enhanced to become a big part of who he is. Although he is not the best fighter, his power, and physical strength, makes him one of the strongest vampires alive.

11 Jasper Hale (Vampire)

When you first look at the Cullen family, Jasper would not be the top pick for best fighter, but he is and has shown off that ability a few times throughout the series. That skillset comes from his days as a human, when he was in the military and was trained to fight on the front lines. Not only does he have power, he is a fast and smart fighter, making him one of the toughest fighters in the film series.

But he also possesses a special ability known as pathokinesis. This skill allows him to sense and change the moods of other vampires, even Bella, making him one of the very few vampires that can penetrate her mental shield. His power is such that he has to control it or he could abuse it and turn it into a power he uses for evil.

10 Alice Cullen (Vampire)

One of the most popular Twilight characters in the film saga, besides Edward, Jacob, or Bella, is Alice Cullen, the beautiful vampire that was able to protect the Cullen’s, specifically Renesmee’s life when she was being hunted by the Volturi, using her special gift of seeing into the future.

The subjective precognition ability allows Alice to be able to follow a person’s decision into the future and see the outcome. She would be the most powerful vampire but it has limitations and if a person changes their mind, the future she saw no longer will happen.

9 James (Vampire)

When it comes to major characters in the Twilight series, James is the one that has the ability to track better than just about every other vampire in the world. It was even mentioned in the movies about how lethal his senses are compared to other vampires. But it is his tracking ability that puts him high atop our list.

He is not the greatest tracker in all of the world, but he is the second best, behind a Volturi guard named Demetri. James is limited to distance when tracking someone while Demetri can track anyone from any location on the planet. He was a skilled outdoorsman before turning into a vampire and it helped him to become this powerful character.

8 Victoria (Vampire)

Not every special power is about reading minds or physical contact. Victoria has a very special ability of enhanced self-preservation and can hide from other vampires to avoid very dangerous situations that could arise.

This power is all about surviving. When she senses danger, she has the ability to protect herself by quickly figuring out where to go to evade her enemy’s and get away. Since she was determined to destroy the Cullens and expose Bella, she was the biggest threat to Bella because she was almost impossible to find.

7 Edward Cullen (Vampire)

Telepathy is a formidable gift to possess because it allows a vampire the ability to know exactly what everyone is thinking and to be ready for anything that could happen. When Bella asks him about his gift, he tells her, “I can read every mind in this room. Apart from yours.”

His ability gets stronger the more he knows a person so he can read their minds as they get further away from him than anyone else. He uses it to keep people who are attracted to him in order to remain anonymous and continue being a vampire without anyone noticing his skin sparkling. (Sorry, we just had to bring up the sparkling skin effect.)

6 Jane (Volturi)

One of the worst things that can happen to a vampire is to be burnt to a crisp from direct sunlight. It does not take very long to eliminate a vampire using sunlight and it is known to be one of the most painful ends  they can endure.

Jane, one of the highest ranking members of the Volturi guard, has a gift that makes her the most feared vampires alive. She has the ability to induce pain on another person, even a vampire. Although she cannot actually physically do much against another vampire, she does not have to. She can make the victim feel crippling pain that incapacitates them while other vampires can take care of business.

The power isn’t the strongest but when you consider how feared she is amongst the vampires, it makes that ability more powerful than almost all the rest.

5 Alec (Volturi)

Alec is a Volturi guard member and is the twin brother of another guard, Jane, who helps his ability grow even stronger when used together. Jane has the power of inducing the illusion of pain on someone while he has the ability to numb the senses and paralyze multiple people at one time, allowing the Volturi a chance to take them out with ease.

His talents are considered stronger than Jane’s because he can basically pause several people at once, making them an easy target for anyone else nearby. Aro takes full advantage of his gifts throughout the entire film series.

4 Aro (Volturi)

Considered the overall leader of the most powerful coven of vampires known as the Volturi, Aro has the ability to read someone’s mind with nothing more than physical contact. He normally removes his gloves and touches the person he wants to read so the amount of physical contact is as easy as a touch.

His power is far greater than Edward’s because it can penetrate the mind much further than he can. He can see a person’s feelings and memories from someone’s entire life, from the day they were born, if need be. His ability lets him read a person’s mind like you would use Google Maps. He finds what he wants and goes as far as he can to find out everything about that memory.

3 Bella Swan (Vampire)

As you have already read about, not all vampires possess a special ability. They all have the same basic powers like super speed, immortality, enhanced senses, amazing strength, and unnatural healing. Then there are the ones that also have that one special ability that turns them into a special type of vampire.

Bella Swan has a mental shield that is known to be the most powerful special ability known to vampires. It can block any psychic powers that try to enter your mind. In other words, she can use her mental shield to protect others while they use their special powers, making her very dangerous.

2 Jacob (Shape-Shifter)

Even though we are nearly 12 years since the first film came out, there is still an ongoing debate in the Twilight series. The argument over who would win in a fight between Jacob, the shape-shifter, and Edward, a vampire who eventually marries Bella and is the father of Renessee.

The debate is much bigger than who would win in a fight between these two men. It is more about vampires versus shape-shifters. In the world of fictional stories, werewolves are more powerful than vampires, and always have been. But in the Twilight series, they are not.

Jacob is the exception and has more abilities, and powers, than almost all the other shape-shifters in his pack.

1 Renesmee Cullen (Half-Vampire)

Although the films did not cover the full extent of Renesmee Cullen’s powers, it did showcase her ability to penetrate Bella’s mental shield by touching her and being able to communicate with her using her mind. Does that make her the most powerful? No, not at all. But it does help.

The best reason we think that would help secure her spot on the top of our list is that she was born from two vampires, Edward and Bella, who have very strong abilities themselves. She is also a rare breed of half-vampire and half-human.

She also has Jacob, who imprinted on her at birth, to protect her for the rest of her life. Which is not her own power, but having our second strongest character around her, protecting her all the time, certainly helps.


2019-04-17 04:04:57

Thomas Delatte

Ranked: Every Major Death In Lord Of The Rings

While lovers of classic Tolkien lit and lovers of modern Tolkien films either overlap or debate the merits of their favorite representation of The Lord of the Rings, we can all agree that each time we lose one of our most beloved characters it hits us hard in the feels. Both J.R.R. Tolkien and Peter Jackson gave us versions of incredible heroes who fought against the odds to save Middle Earth and we’ll always miss the ones we lost.

RELATED: 10 Unsolved Mysteries from the Lord of the Rings Canon

That said, some of the greatest losses in the series also involve those who put Middle Earth at the most risk, and while celebrating destruction may be frowned upon, we also value those major deaths for their contributions to the series.

10 Déagol

Smeagol’s best friend isn’t just his buddy but his blood relative, one of the Stoor Hobbits. His departure wasn’t the most major death of the series since we really didn’t get to know the man all that well, even if he did seem rather good-natured. But his demise did stir feelings of sorrow in us not only because it was such a tragedy, but because it led to the downfall of Smeagol himself into the creature Gollum.

This is also the moment we witness how the ring can truly destroy the heart of a simple hobbit, which makes Frodo and Sam’s journey all the more moving. How they were able to resist the ring all the way into Mordor was truly an impressive feat.

9 King Théoden

Witnessing the death of King Théoden was so difficult because we had already watched him suffer so much. The man missed the death of his own son, Théodred, and his entire kingdom fell into ruin while Gríma Wormtongue, who was controlled by Sarumon, poisoned his mind. After Gandalf the White came to his rescue, it felt so fulfilling to see him rise back into his kingly state, particularly when that meant fighting alongside his people, so when it came to his final loss in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields (over the city of Minas Tirith), it truly was a “dawnless day.”

RELATED: The 10 Best Gifts For The Lord Of The Rings Fan In Your Life

Éowyn was definitely hit hardest by his loss, especially since she’d fought hard to save him in the first place, but you can’t have a war without experiencing terrible losses.

8 Denethor II

As the Steward Of Gondor, Denethor II suffered not only from delusions of grandeur from the power trip of his position but also a slow-building disturbed mind due to the loss of his beloved firstborn son, Boromir. His loss was a mixed bag as it presented both an opportunity for his younger son, Faramir, to survive his father’s suicidal funeral pyre but also represented an necessary descent into madness.

Had Denethor II only embraced his younger son, he could have avoided so much loss in both his own family as well as Faramir’s men. Luckily Faramir survived to enjoy a happy ending with Éowyn as the first Prince of Ithilien.

7 Saruman

When we lost Saruman the White, it was even more bittersweet than Denethor II’s descent into madness. Saruman was once a wise and powerful wizard who worked on the side of good, and Aragorn said that, “Once he was as great as his fame made him. His knowledge was deep, his thought was subtle, and his hands marvelously skilled.” He also admitted that he had power over the minds of others, however, even then.

RELATED: Lord Of The Rings: Every Supernatural Being Ranked From Weakest To Strongest

While some may have longed for Saruman to experience redemption, it simply wouldn’t have worked out. The wizard ended up too cunning and corrupted to make a comeback, so even though we mourn his loss at the hands of Grima Wormtongue (who slit his throat rather than his back in the book), we also understand that there weren’t many other options for the wizard.

6 Boromir

We can all agree that losing Sean Bean in any of his many forms is always a sad day. Enough memes have been made about Boromir and Eddard Stark to demonstrate how hard we take it when he’s gone. Boromir’s loss, unlike many of the deaths in the LOTR films and books, marked a redemption for the character whose misguided desire to use the ring for good ultimately rendered him a danger to it and Middle Earth itself.

Boromir redeemed himself by defending the hobbits and paying the ultimate price in the process. As Aragorn told him, he fought bravely and kept his honor in the end.

5 The Balrog

The Balrog of Morgoth, also known as Durin’s Bane, is pretty much the Grendal to Gandalf’s Beowulf. While we have many monsters destroyed at the hands of heroes in the series, this particular monster represents so much: revenge for Gimli’s kin, one of the best battles in the films, a hero freeing not only his own company but the entire mines of Moria from unholy terror and ultimately the transformation of Gandalf the Grey himself.

RELATED: LOTR: 10 Facts About Elves They Left Out Of The Movies

Durin’s Bane represented 500 years of terror in the mines that Gimli’s fellow dwarves called home and in sacrificing himself for both the Fellowship and the Balrog’s destruction, Gandalf rid a portion of Middle Earth of evil as a first major step toward securing the safety of the entire land.

4 Gandalf The Grey

Gandalf the Grey’s loss was one of the most significant in the series not only because it marked a selfless sacrifice in which Gandalf gave his own life to help his company to safety, imploring with them, “Fly, you fools!” but also because it transformed him into a new, powerful White Wizard, which was just what the Fellowship needed in order to stand a chance against Saruman.

Olórin’s return was one of the happiest moments in the entire series, giving joy to the fans who thought they’d lost him for good as well as the Fellowship itself–particularly poor Frodo, who didn’t know his friend had made it out alive until they met again at the end.

3 The Witch-King Of Ang-Mar

The Witch-King’s death itself was a much-needed win for the heroes of Middle Earth since the Black Captain, also known as the Lord of the Nazgûl, controlled the Ringwraiths and gave the Frodo and his companions, as well as the humans of Middle Earth, so much trouble. His demise was considered unattainable since no man could slay him, but we all know what happened next.

RELATED: 7 Things in Lord Of The Rings Canon That Peter Jackson Ignored

The fact that Éowyn slayed the Witch-King is so significant because there aren’t any other women as heroes in the story. Sure, Galadriel and Arwyn play their parts but Tolkien isn’t known for writing many roles for strong women–or positive roles for people of color, for that matter. Arwyn gives the film some much-needed representation and the Witch-King’s death proves that women can be heroes and that, along with one of the tale’s main themes, no one should be underestimated.

2 Gollum

Even after all he’s done, the loss of Gollum still seems bittersweet after witnessing just how badly the ring warped the creature’s mind. The person he once was long forgotten, Gollum steals the ring and finally possesses his beloved Precious even as he falls to his doom with it in Mount Doom itself.

In this moment, Gollum does what Frodo could not and destroys the One Ring, even without meaning to do so. He unwittingly saves Middle Earth, destroys Sauron and proves, once and for all, that underestimating the significance of anyone, as Gandalf predicted, would be a terrible mistake.

1 Sauron

The most major death in all of the Lord of the Rings films is obviously Sauron’s. It was the goal of the Fellowship to destroy the ring and its master to protect Middle Earth all along, and when he perished all of their hard work, all of the other losses here, gained meaning. No heroes died in vain and no monsters were vanquished without purpose.

Sauron’s demise proved not only that there was good left in the world to vanquish evil, but that even the smallest of us can make the biggest difference. This is the magic of Tolkien’s work and even with its issues, it reminds us that, as Sam told Frodo, “in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something.”

NEXT: 10 Storylines From The LotR Books That Should Be Made Into Their Own Movies


2019-04-17 01:04:06

Sara Schmidt

Robert Downey Jr’s Doctor Dolittle Movie Undergoing Major Reshoots

Robert Downey Jr.’s Doctor Doolittle movie is facing a major overhaul, as the film underwent extensive reshoots. After three pushes of the release date, Universal is making sure the film lives up to its hype, and added additional shooting dates in hopes the doctor truly can cure all.

The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle follows unconventional physician Dr. John Dolittle, who discovers he can speak with animals. Based on a series of children’s books penned by Hugh Lofting, the character of Doctor Doolittle became an iconic name, with portrayals in film adaptations by actors Rex Harrison, Tim Curry and Eddie Murphy – who’s been declared the most popular Doolittle. Downey takes on the most recent version of the physician in Universal’s star-studded live-action film. The film boasts an astounding number of A-list talent for live-action and voiceover roles including, Rami Malek, Emma Thompson, Michael Sheen, Selena Gomez, Octavia Spencer, Antonio Banderas, John Cena, Marion Cotillard, and Tom Holland. The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle was penned and directed by Stephen Gaghan, whose previous works include Traffic, Havoc, and Syriana – films in a genre far from the family fun of a Doctor Dolittle story. Now, the audience is discovering why the titular doctor’s waiting room time has been so long.

Related: Robert Downey Jr’s Doctor Dolittle Movie Delayed to January 2020

According to Collider, when top producers Joe Roth, Jeff Kirschenbaum, and Susan Downey viewed an early cut of the film, they found issues with the visual effects and comedic delivery. They decided a renovation needed to happen. Chris McKay (The LEGO Batman Movie) was brought on board to salvage the film with writing new material and overseeing the reshoots. McKay proved a decent fit with the flavor of the film, with his experience and irreverent comedy kinship with Downey. Unavailable for the additional 21 shooting days, McKay recommended Jonathan Liebesman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) to take the reins on set. Gaghan stayed on as the sole director of the film, and heeded the CGI pearls of wisdom of the filmmakers brought on board. Hopefully, the film will now look and feel right for its fans.

The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle has been a huge undertaking since the beginning. The film is budgeted at $175 million – not including marketing and distribution costs. Originally, the film had a release date of May 2019 which changed to April 2019. Universal stated the film was being pushed back, yet again, to 2020 to avoid box office competition in April – which was likely to include Avengers: Endgame. Stalling the film’s release also allowed for the recent major reshoots. Doctor Dolittle isn’t the only film experiencing major changes. As of this writing, Disney’s Jungle Cruise and Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home are expected to undergo reshoots soon.

Most audience members aren’t aware of what goes on behind the scenes of filmmaking. However, when fans hear of a film undergoing major reshoots, they wait with bated breath at the film’s release to see if it was worth the extra time and effort. Hearing a film has gone back to the drawing board may cause more criticism and nitpicking of the film’s final project. However, the 2020 release date allows for fans of The Avengers and Star Wars to have a breather from blockbusters before checking in with the doctor. With the strong creative team and undeniable star power of The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, the film will no doubt reinvent the journey of Doctor Dolittle, and his conversations with his furry friends.

Next: 13 Movies That Prove Reshoots Aren’t Always Bad 

Source: Collider


2019-04-16 07:04:07

Bethany Guerrero

Ranked: Every Major Death In Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling has blessed us with a magical set of characters in Harry Potter that we have grown to love and cherish dearly over time. We feel as though we have grown up with these characters which made it all the more difficult when they were taken away from us. Most of the people at Hogwarts serve as a tremendous influence in our daily lives and despite the fact that these characters are fictional, it doesn’t make the impact they have on our lives any less real.

RELATED: 10 Wizard “Problems” From Harry Potter That Have Easy Muggle Solutions

When these beloved characters in the Potter world were killed off, it messed a lot of us up, yet as Sirius points out in Prisoner of Azkaban, the ones that love us never really leave us and you can always find them if you look inside your heart. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the most difficult deaths in Harry Potter, Ranked.

10 VOLDEMORT

As crazy as it sounds, Lord Voldemort’s death was difficult to process because The Dark Lord being killed truly indicated the end of the Harry Potter series. Once Voldemort died, there was no war left to fight. Although Voldemort dying was the best thing to happen to the wizarding world, it was a bittersweet moment for fans who would’ve given anything to keep the Potter series alive – including, potentially, keeping Voldemort alive. He was the driving force in the series and provided the major source of conflict throughout. Without Voldemort, there is no story.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 15 Characters Strong Enough To Take On Voldemort (And 10 Way Too Weak)

9 LILY POTTER

We knew of Lily’s death at the very beginning of the series, yet this didn’t make her passing any less tragic. Lily is the true idealist of the Potter universe and she is able to see the good in everyone (like Snape/James) even when others cannot. She has all of the qualities necessary to be the perfect mother to Harry and this is made clear in the scenes when she comforts him as an infant, showering him with affection while in the face of danger.

In The Deathly Hallows, when we witness Snape mourning Lily’s death, it is impossible not to feel heartbroken. Perhaps the only thing that could make Snape cry would be the death of his one true love.  

RELATED: Harry Potter: 20 Crazy Revelations About Snape And Lily’s Relationship

8 CEDRIC DIGGORY

Cedric Diggory is perhaps the most gentle student at Hogwarts. Cedric represents the best kind of Hufflepuff, one that is loyal and selfless to all those around him. He treats all his peers as equals and nearly every move he makes is done for the purpose of the greater good. He passes tragically in Goblet of Fire as a young boy who still had so much life left to live. His death truly indicates a dark turning point in the series and serves as a warning to the students at Hogwarts that no one is safe.

7 ALBUS DUMBLEDORE

Dumbledore: “It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it.”

Dumbledore is the heart and soul of the Harry Potter series and his death represents the end of Harry’s safety at Hogwarts. Dumbledore served as Harry’s counselor and protector with his immense wisdom used as a tool to keep him from Voldemort’s way. His benevolence towards all those around him despite his power is what makes Albus Dumbledore such an iconic and beloved character. Dumbledore offered strength and insight to all of his students, treating each individual with the utmost respect. His humble nature separates him from other wizards with the same level of power and ultimately makes his death all the more devastating.

Luckily, he lived a very (very) long and fulfilled life and we will always remember Dumbledore for the selflessness he provided on a daily basis.

6 SIRIUS BLACK

Sirius: “What’s life without a little risk?”

Sirius is truly the free-spirit in the Harry Potter series. Regardless of all the unfairness life has handed him, he still cherishes life and lives every day to the fullest. Sirius knows that some things in life are worth dying for and he would gladly risk his life to save his friends and loved ones. Not only were his best friends Lily and James taken from him, but he was found guilty of betraying them and sentenced to life in prison because of it. You’d think that after all Sirius had been through he would be the ultimate cynic, but, in reality, he is quite the opposite. Sirius is so passionate about the world around him and continues to remain dedicated and loyal to the ones he loves most. He was pretty much Harry’s only living family, which made it so incredibly difficult to see him pass.

RELATED: 10 Little Known Facts About Sirius Black

5 REMUS AND TONKS

Remus and Tonks had a lovely relationship that had been tested more than once by Lupin’s lycanthropy. Although he was madly in love with Tonks, he didn’t want to burden her with his condition and he thought she would be safer and happier without him. Tonks helped Remus believe he was worthy of love and the two eventually got married. They had a healthy son named Teddy who had no trace of Lupin’s condition as a werewolf.

It was gut-wrenching to see the two of them lying there during the battle of Hogwarts, side by side. The two brought so much life and love to the series, making it a difficult moment to process.

4 SEVERUS SNAPE

Dumbledore: “After all this time?”

Snape: “Always…”

Harry considers Snape to be the bravest man he has ever known. It wasn’t until The Deathly Hallows that we learned of Snape’s complexities and began to see him as a misunderstood soul rather than a cartoonish villain. He is the silent hero of the entire series, always sacrificing himself for the people he is most loyal to. Even when the love of his life rejects him and goes off to marry his school bully, Snape still will do whatever it takes to try and protect her (along with Harry and even James). Snape’s role as a double agent throughout the series has caused him to receive little to no sympathy despite all the sacrifices he has made. Snape’s life is a tragic one, yet his legacy continues to live on.

RELATED: Severus Snape: 5 Quotes That Show His Good Side (And 5 That Show His Dark Side)

3 Hedwig

Hedwig was Harry’s best friend from the very beginning. She was there throughout Harry’s best and worst moments, including the horrible times he spent alone and isolated at the Dursley’s over summer break. Hedwig represents Harry’s childhood and her death is the ultimate sign of his last source of innocence being snatched away from him.

Anyone who has lost a pet before knows how devastating it is to lose the creature who has been your most loyal confidante and friend. Hedwig’s death is one of the hardest of all because we feel as though we have grown up with her and she is such an innocent victim.

2 Dobby

Dobby: “Such a beautiful place to be with friends… Dobby is happy to be with his friend, Harry Potter.”

Dobby is easily the most selfless character in the whole series. His enormous heart is what makes him so incredibly loveable and it gives fans immense joy whenever he appears on-screen. He will do absolutely anything to provide for his friends, who he considers to be his family. It is so gut-wrenching to see his final moments, yet we know he has died doing what he loves most, which is defending Harry Potter. It is so beautiful when Harry wants to have a proper funeral for Dobby and, in the books, it is made clear that he wishes Dobby could have the kind of extravagant funeral that Dumbledore had. Harry believes Dobby deserved that amount of respect, and we certainly do too.

At least now Dobby is a free elf… *Ugly cries*.

1 Fred Weasley

“Fred’s eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.” – The Deathly Hallows

Fred and George are the comic relief throughout the Harry Potter series. When everything in the wizarding world gets as dark as it can possibly get, the twins are always able to provide much-needed laughter. The two understand the power of comedy amongst all of the darkness and their choice to open up a joke shop in the middle of the horror surrounding them is perhaps the most necessary relief in the entire series. The fact that the Weasley twins represented such a positive source of light throughout all eight films is what made it so difficult for fans to grasp Fred’s death. How will George go on without his one true partner in crime? The thought is almost too much to bear.

Yet according to Dumbledore, happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light. Fred always remembered to turn on the light.

Which Harry Potter death hit you the hardest? Let us know in the comments!

NEXT: Must Own Gifts For Harry Potter Fans Sorted Into Gryffindor


2019-04-14 09:04:26

Simone Torn

After Movie Makes Major Changes To The Book – And Makes It BETTER

Major SPOILERS ahead for the After book and movie

The After movie makes major changes to the story of Tessa Young & Hardin Scott from the original book by Anna Todd, but it’s ultimately for the best. After originally started out as fanfiction written about One Direction band member Harry Styles and published by Todd on Wattpad. Her work amassed so many views, Simon & Schuster signed Todd to a publishing deal and released After as its own standalone story in 2014, followed by three sequels and a prequel. Now, director Jenny Gage (All the Panic) and writer Susan McMartin (Mom) bring After to the big screen in the 2019 theatrical adaptation.

Through the adaptation process, changes are always made in order to condense the story of a full novel into a two-hour movie. In the case of After, the movie keeps many of the most important scenes from the book in order to develop the romantic storyline of Tessa Young (Josephine Langford) and Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin). There’s the scene at the lake, where Hardin offers Tessa a peak behind his typically guarded nature, and Tessa dealing with the aftermath of Hardin drunkenly smashing up his father’s house. The movie also includes the scene of Hardin’s father’s wedding, where Tessa learns about his family’s troubled past. After even adapts, albeit loosely, the storyline of Hardin and Tessa moving in together. But After also makes a number of changes to the character of Hardin and the ending of the story – and, ultimately, it makes the movie much better than the book.

Related: Screen Rant’s Review of After

The After book has been criticized for its portrayal of Hardin and Tessa’s relationship, with the main critique being that Hardin is incredibly manipulative and emotionally abusive of Tessa. He attempts to control all aspects of her life, getting her an internship off campus, coming in-between Tessa and her high school boyfriend, all while treating her cruelly. In the book, Hardin convincing Tessa to move in with him is more clearly a sign of his manipulation and an attempt to keep Tessa away from his friends. It all comes to a head at the very end, when it’s revealed Hardin’s friends dared him to take Tessa’s virginity, and she learns that their entire relationship was built on a lie. Then the book ends on a cliffhanger with their relationship in ruins and Tessa devastated by Hardin’s betrayal. It’s in the movie’s ending that the biggest changes are made to After, and where it improves upon the book.

After the movie works a great deal to remove the abusive nature of Hardin’s behavior and treatment of Tessa; he’s less cruel than in the book and more respectful of her boundaries. Early on, when he asks her out and she says no, he takes that no at face value. Though she changes her mind almost immediately, it’s her decision. The movie gives Tessa more agency in general, which works to balance out the dynamic of her relationship with Hardin. And although Tessa becomes consumed by Hardin, it’s all by her own choosing, rather than as a manipulation of Hardin. But After doesn’t shy away from the third act reveal that Hardin built his relationship with Tessa on a lie. Instead of being dared to take her virginity, though, it’s revealed he told his friends that he’d make Tessa fall in love with him and he’d just turn off his feelings for her. This declaration is captured on video and shared with Tessa toward the end of the movie.

Rather than end on this cliffhanger, though, the After film adaptation sees Tessa deal with the devastation that results from the revelation. She repairs her relationships with her mother and her high school ex-boyfriend, who’s also her best friend. She moves back into her old room. She also proactively works to make her life better, changing her major to be something she enjoys rather than something practical, and getting an internship on her own. The movie ending also holds Hardin accountable for his actions. What he did to Tessa isn’t OK, and the movie never frames his actions as simply a consequence of falling in love, which in the book it arguably does. Rather, in the movie it’s a hard lesson that Tessa learns about putting her trust and love in someone she doesn’t fully know yet. And, though Hardin attempts to win Tessa back, the movie ends on a cliffhanger of a different kind, leaving it open ended about whether Tessa will choose to ultimately forgive him.

With this ending, After takes a nuanced approach to where their relationship stands and what comes next following the revelation about Hardin’s original intentions. It’s much more honest and falls in line with the other changes made to the characters for the film and their relationship. Hardin is already less cruel and abusive while Tessa is more independent and outspoken, so it makes sense for him to try to make amends and it makes sense for her to consider forgiving him. But it leaves the actual ending ambiguous. Fans of the After book may not appreciate the changes made to the movie adaptation, since it doesn’t give Hardin and Tessa a happily ever after. After isn’t a typical romance movie because it ends so ambiguously, but the ending Gage and McMartin eventually decided on is much more realistic and, arguably, a more healthy lesson to impart on After’s main demographic: preteen and teen girls.

Whereas the After book has some questionable themes insofar as its portrayal of a healthy, loving relationship, the movie works to rectify the more problematic elements of the novel. In fact, Hardin and Tessa’s relationship in the book should not be idealized, as it is incredibly unhealthy. But the After movie changes their characters and relationship enough so that their dynamic is much healthier. Ultimately, it makes the romantic storyline of After much more enjoyable, all while depicting a romantic relationship that isn’t outright harmful to viewers. Because of these changes, rather than in spite of them, After the movie is a stronger story and conclusively better than the book on which it’s based

More: 2019 Winter & Spring Movie Preview – The 15 Films to See


2019-04-13 09:04:14

Molly Freeman

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

The first half of Star Trek: Discovery’s two-part season finale gave a lot of credence to a compelling fan theory that’s been in the works for weeks now. Given where things stand at the end of “Such Sweet Sorrow,” it seems more than likely that next week, the U.S.S. Discovery will rocket into the future permanently – or at least for a considerable length of time.

Since the season started leaning more heavily into time travel and Dr. Burnham’s mission finally came out into the open, the “Calypso” Short Trek has felt more and more predictive. It doesn’t hurt that two other Short Treks now directly connect to season 2’s storyline, nor that it included the presence of a time traveling Discovery and an artificial intelligence – two elements that figure prominently into the Control/Red Angel storyline. We theorized two weeks ago that Dr. Burnham might wind up becoming Discovery’s “last captain,” i.e. the person who orders the ship to stay idle until their return which is where Craft finds it centuries later in “Calypso.”

Related: Star Trek Theory: Discovery Will Explain The Klingon Messiah With Time Travel

We don’t have confirmation of the identity of that last captain, but it is starting to look more and more like the Disco will wind up very far from home – be that distance measured in centuries or light years. The plan to send the ship into the future guided by the Red Angel to ferry the sphere data far away from Control already has it written in its code that there’s very little chance of return. So much so that the crew who decide to accompany Burnham on her mission pen heartfelt goodbye letters to loved ones they don’t plan to see again. That scenario might imply a twist ending to some who think Discovery’s one-way mission is a little too obvious, but given how every character is positioned at the end of the episode, we think this is a set-up more than a misdirect.

It’s hard to ignore that everyone who remained on the Enterprise can’t journey to parts unknown due to their canon obligations, the fact that they might get their own series, or both. Also, aside from conceiving the master plan to slingshot Discovery and Michael into the future to take the sphere data as far away from Control as possible, much of “Such Sweet Sorrow” centered itself around tying up loose storylines and allowing everyone the chance for a proper goodbye. The title in and of itself evokes a bittersweet parting of the ways.

Captain Pike got a well-deserved standing ovation from the Discovery crew before he rejoined the Enterprise, while Ash and Michael made sure to passionately embrace one last time. Burnham even got a chance to say goodbye to her foster parents, who weirdly showed up in the middle of a military conflict to give her a hug. Spock accompanying the Discovery on its journey is a fly in the ointment of canon, but we’re willing to bet the second part of the season 2 finale will rectify that plot thread somehow. The idea of Star Trek: Discovery beaming out of the self-imposed nostalgia prison it’s languished in for the past two seasons is too tantalizing and looks way too likely for Spock to get in the way. And let’s not forget, Alex Kurtzman promised up and down that the end of season 2 would reconcile Discovery with Star Trek canon and be a massive game-changer – this certainly fits that bill.

If Discovery slingshots far into the future with no chance of immediate return, the show will finally be able to explore a new frontier. That’s something Star Trek hasn’t embraced this fully since Star Trek: Voyager bounced its titular ship 75,000 light years from home. That series regrettably didn’t lean into the practical implications of a Starfleet ship that far from Federation support, but the premise a huge amount of promise. Not only were there new aliens and phenomena to encounter, the rules for how people on Star Trek behaved and interacted flew out the window in the face of telling a story about a ship in utterly unknown territory with nothing but their wits and values to guide them.

Star Trek: Discovery is poised to make the same kind of leap and if they do, it’ll be one of the ballsiest blind jumps this franchise has ever seen.

More: Star Trek: Discovery Shows How Pike Got His Original Injuries


2019-04-13 07:04:39

Alexandra August

PSN Name Change Issues Affecting Major Titles

PlayStation’s new PSN name change service has finally gone live after over a decade of fans requesting it, but the list of games it can potentially cause issues for is extensive and affects a number of major players on the platform. Users already knew there were going to be issues with the service, as Sony outlined in the blog post that revealed it that there were several problems with name changes that could cause players to lose trophy progress, saved game data, and even DLC that they had already paid for.

The PSN name change service might be a long-time coming, but it appears that PlayStation fans will have to exercise caution with the new feature as Sony tries to figure out how to retroactively prepare thousands of games for users changing their ID. While that might not seem like a big issue at first glance, depending on the way that the network is configured, a lot of data could be lost or corrupted as a result of the changes. It’s a sobering reminder to supporters of Sony’s platform that, for all the innovation and success that the PS4 has brought the company, some of Sony’s online offerings are archaic at best and the by-product of years of complacency.

Related: Sony is Killing DriveClub in 2020 and Players Will Only Be Able to Play Offline

Although the issues with the PSN name change service are frightening, at the very least, Sony has worked hard to establish a list of games that are known to have issues with the process. Players who own and are actively using these titles might want to think twice about whether or not to use the service, although some of the issues—unlinking user accounts, settings being reset to default, having previous ID remain visible for some time—can be fixed by just signing in and out. It’s the major ones like lost data or paid content no longer being accessible that should give fans pause. Here’s a list of games that might be affected, but are more likely to experience minor issues rather than the critical ones:

  • Absolver: Downfall
  • Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag
  • Big City Stories
  • Bloodborne
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • Crossout
  • Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
  • Dark Souls III
  • Dragon Quest Builders
  • FIFA 17 Standard Edition
  • Gauntlet: Slayer Edition
  • God Eater 2 Rage Burst
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Gundam Versus
  • Guns Up!
  • Injustice 2 – Standard Edition
  • Killzone Shadow Fall
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite
  • MLB The Show 17
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
  • Naruto Shippuden: Storm Trilogy
  • Naruto Storm: Road to Boruto Expansion
  • NBA 2K19
  • PlayStation VR Worlds
  • Rock Band 4
  • Rocksmith 2014 Edition – Remastered
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • Titanfall 2
  • Trackmania Turbo
  • Trove
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • UNO
  • Warframe
  • WipEout Omega Collection

There are a few games who have been tagged for having critical issues, too, but luckily it’s a toss-up between Just Dance 2017 and Worms Battlegrounds on which title can claim to be the most popular on the affected list—which means it’s unlikely to really cause issues for the majority of the population. Having minor issues with big titles like The Last of Us RemasteredWarframeUncharted 4: A Thief’s End and more is certainly less than ideal, though, and Sony will probably be working hard to shore those up, especially if its digital offerings are to remain stuck in this generation even while Google and Microsoft vie for control of the streaming platform market at its inception point.

While Sony users will finally get access to the PSN name change service they’ve been desperately pleading with the company for, it’s coming with a hefty price. Regardless, those of us unlucky enough to have names like xXx420SephirothFanxXx will probably still run the risk of changing ID tags. If loot boxes have taught us anything, it’s that sometimes in life, gamers have to gamble a little to get the result they want.

More: Free PlayStation Plus Games For April 2019 Announced

Source: PlayStation Network Change Online ID Games List


2019-04-12 08:04:21

Cody Gravelle

Movies Out Now: Every Major Film Currently in Theaters

The weekend is here, and with it the latest major film releases – along with the movies that’ve been released in recent weeks (or, in rare cases, months) and are still playing in theaters.

Between On Demand, Netflix Original features, and everything in-between, there are a growing number of entertainment options competing with theater chains for movie buffs’ attention these days (and that’s to mention nothing of the increasingly massive TV landscape). As a result, it’s trickier than ever to keep track of which films are playing in theaters at any given time of the year. It’s even more difficult when awards season rolls around, and movies start playing in limited release or New York/Los Angeles several weeks before they begin screening nationwide. This is where we come in.

Related: The 25 Best Films on Netflix Right Now

So, without further ado – here are the new movie releases for this week, along with the major films that are still showing in theaters right now.

Shazam! – A teenaged foster kid gains the ability to transform into a superhero by calling out his name in David F. Sandberg’s DC Extended Universe adventure. Asher Angel, Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Djimon Hounsou, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, and Faithe Herman star in the film. Read Screen Rant’s Shazam! review.

Pet Sematary – Stephen King’s horror novel returns to the big screen in this new film adaptation. Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz star as a couple who discover their new home is located near an ancient burial ground with the power to resurrect the dead. John Lithgow and Jeté Laurence round out the supporting cast. Read Screen Rant’s Pet Sematary review.

Dumbo – A live-action retelling of Disney’s animated classic, the new Dumbo was directed by Tim Burton and stars Colin Farrell as a former circus star who’s hired by his old boss (Danny DeVito) to care for a young elephant with enormous ears. Michael Keaton, Eva Green, and Alan Arkin also star in the film. Read Screen Rant’s Dumbo review.

Us – A family on summer vacation are forced to confront their doppelgängers in Jordan Peele’s horror-thriller followup to his Oscar-winning directorial debut, Get Out. Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Elisabeth Moss star in the film. Read Screen Rant’s Us review.

Captain Marvel – Brie Larson plays Carol Danvers in this Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, which explores the titular character’s backstory and origins. Samuel L. Jackson costars in the film as a ’90s-era Nick Fury, opposite a cast that includes Jude Law, Lashana Lynch, Ben Mendelsohn, and Annette Bening. Read Screen Rant’s Captain Marvel review.

Wonder Park – Paramount’s animated film Wonder Park revolves around a young girl who imagines a fantastical amusement park, only to discover that it exists in the real world. Mila Kunis, Jennifer Garner, John Oliver, Kenan Thompson, Matthew Broderick, and Ken Jeong all lend their voices to the movie. Read Screen Rant’s Wonder Park review.

Five Feet Apart – A pair of teenagers with cystic fibrosis meet and fall in love, even though their condition requires them to avoid making physical contact with one another. Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse, Moisés Arias, Kimberly Hébert Gregory, Cynthia Evans, and Claire Forlani costar in the film. Read Screen Rant’s Five Feet Apart review.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – The conclusion to the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy follows Hiccup and Toothless as they search for a place where dragons and vikings can live together in peace. Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, F. Murray Abraham, and Craig Ferguson lend their voices to the movie. Read Screen Rant’s The Hidden World review.

Hotel Mumbai (Expanding Wide) – A docudrama-thriller about the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, which lasted four days and resulted in hundreds of deaths. Dev Patel stars in the film as a waiter at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, opposite a cast that includes Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, and Jason Isaacs. Watch the Hotel Mumbai trailer.

The Beach Bum – The new movie by Spring Breakers writer-director Harmony Korine, The Beach Bum follows the misadventures of a rebellious middle-aged stoner who goes by the name Moondog (Matthew McConaughey). Jonah Hill, Isla Fisher, Zac Efron, Martin Lawrence, and Snoop Dogg round out the film’s ensemble.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part – The sequel to The LEGO Movie pits the citizens of Bricksburg (now, Apocalypseburg) against the LEGO DUPLO invaders, who are seemingly intent on wrecking everything they come into contact with. Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, and Stephanie Beatriz lend their voices to the film. Read Screen Rant’s The LEGO Movie 2 review.

Alita: Battle Angel – Robert Rodriguez directed this live-action adaptation of the manga series about a cyborg who sets to discover the truth about her past and who she really is. Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Skrein, and Jackie Earle Haley costar in the film. Read Screen Rant’s Alita: Battle Angel review.

MORE: Every Movie Scheduled for 2019


2019-04-05 05:04:28

Sandy Schaefer