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Star Wars: 10 Huge Revelations From Queen’s Shadow

Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow is the story many fans have long dreamed of, a novel focused on Padmé Amidala, her fiercely loyal handmaidens, and their unique inner workings. Taking place in between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, Queen’s Shadow follows Padmé as her time as a queen ends and she shifts into her role as senator of Naboo. Readers experience the story from the perspective of Padmé and her closest handmaiden Sabé – played by Keira Knightley in The Phantom Menace – as they navigate their new roles in an ever-changing galaxy. It’s a fabulously character-driven story in itself, made even better with abundant and fascinating connections to the wider Star Wars galaxy, some of which we will explore through Star Wars: 10 Huge Revelations From Queen’s Shadow.

RELATED: 20 Things That Make No Sense About Padme

10 Padmé Tried To Free Shmi Skywalker

Many fans have long wondered why no one from the Republic tried to free Shmi Skywalker in the time period between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Queen’s Shadow provided some clarity on this matter as it was revealed that Padmé did try to free Shmi. Even before becoming a senator, one of Padmé’s main goals was to free Shmi and end slavery on Tatooine and throughout the galaxy, a mission that’s importance was instilled in her from her experiences with the Skywalker family in The Phantom Menace. Because of her senatorial duties, Padmé was unable to go to Tatooine herself, so she sent her most trusted handmaiden Sabé instead. Sabé and her ally Tonra managed to free twenty-five slaves on Tatooine, but they were unable to track down Shmi and free her. As Padmé would later learn in Attack of the Clones, at that time Shmi had already been sold and found freedom through the Lars family.

9 Qui-Gon Jinn Knew The Truth All Along

Queen’s Shadow confirmed what fans long suspected, that Qui-Gon Jinn was not fooled for one instant by Padmé’s disguise in The Phantom Menace. When Bail Organa recognized that Padmé was disguised as one of her handmaidens, Padme confided that only one other person had ever made that discovery on their own – Qui Gon Jinn. She revealed that Qui-Gon saw it from the first moment he laid eyes on her as a decoy in The Phantom Menace. This adds more meaning to Qui-Gon’s knowing smirk when Padmé reveals she’s Queen Amidala in The Phantom Menace, and all his interactions with her throughout film, particularly their time together on Tatooine.

8 The Tactical Purposes Of Padmé’s Wardrobe

Those who rolled their eyes at Padmé’s ornate wardrobe need to think again after Queen’s Shadow showed that every piece of clothing and every accessory served a tactical purpose. The fabrics were designed with material resistant to blaster fire and the jeweled brooches could hide recording devices or a personal shield. The heavier dresses could act as a physical barrier and even provide an escape hatch if needed, not to mention the headpieces that distracted and allowed decoys to step in. Padmé is not at all a frivolous person, so it makes sense that her wardrobe is reflective of the traits that actually define her and her handmaidens – strategy, defense, and intuition.

7 The Separatist Movement Was Already Underway

At the time of Queen’s Shadow, the Clone Wars were still several years from breaking out, yet the Separatist movement was already underway in the senate. This was primarily seen in the novel through Mina Bonteri, the senator from Onderon, whose Separatist loyalty and the price of it played a major role in The Clone Wars television series.

RELATED: Why Star Wars Rebels Is Not On Netflix

Impressed by how Padmé took matters into her own hands to save Naboo when the Republic was unable to in The Phantom Menace, Bonteri sought out Padmé as an ally. Later on, Padmé caught Bonteri speaking with a hologram of a mysterious figure – likely Count Dooku – and Padmé was smart enough to realize this was where Bonteri’s true loyalties rested.

6 Mon Mothma’s Initial Distrust

The Clone Wars, deleted scenes from Revenge of the Sith, and other stories have shown that senators Padmé Amidala and Mon Mothma were close allies. Queen’s Shadow proved that this wasn’t always the case, though. In fact, Mothma initially distrusted Padmé as she believed Padmé was too loyal to her planet of Naboo, and not loyal enough to the larger Republic. This was largely rooted in Padmé helping to force former Supreme Chancellor Valorum out of office in The Phantom Menace in order to help Naboo during the Trade Federation’s invasion.  Padmé quickly proved to Mothma that she could be loyal to both Naboo and the Republic, which earned Mothma’s trust moving forward.

5 How Padmé Could’ve Become A Separatist

As a staunch supporter of the Republic during the Clone Wars, it’s difficult to imagine Padmé as a Separatist. Yet, Queen’s Shadow showed that  Padmé could’ve become a Separatist had she prioritized her alliances differently in her early days in the senate. Padmé tried building relationships with established senators like Mina Bonteri of Onderon, along with Mon Mothma of Chandrila and Bail Organa of Alderaan. Padmé ended up prioritizing her alliance with Mothma and Organa, two senators firmly dedicated to the Republic. With Bonteri already a major figure with the Separatist movement, had Padmé chosen to prioritize her alliance with Bonteri instead, Padmé could’ve gone down the Separatist path.

4 Padmé’s History With Rush Clovis

Rush Clovis became an important character in the sixth season of The Clone Wars, particularly concerning his relationship with Padmé. His history with Padmé was alluded to but left ambiguous. Queen’s Shadow unveiled that ambiguity, showing how Clovis and Padmé began their senatorial careers around the same time.

RELATED: 20 Things That Make No Sense About Anakin And Padme’s Relationship

Padmé was wary of him for a while, but warmed up to him as they worked closely together during a relief mission. In the aftermath of their mission, Clovis tried to kiss her, which rightfully infuriated Padme as Clovis did not have her consent. Knowledge of these events provides more context for what occurs between Padmé and Clovis in The Clone Wars.

3 The Depa Billaba Connection

Jedi Master Depa Billaba assisted Padmé during a survey to the planet Bromlarch, the first step in what would become an important relief mission for Bromlarch and the Republic as a whole. Billaba acted as a representative for the Jedi, providing wise counsel and even flew a starfighter during a supply run to Bromlarch, during which she defended Padmé and her allies against attacking pirates. Not only was it fascinating to see Padmé working so closely with a Jedi other than those who she normally worked with, but also because it connects her to Star Wars Rebels character Kanan Jarrus. Billaba trained Kanan – then known as Caleb Dume – and she also helped Padmé in her early senatorial days. As such, Billaba helped shape two of the galaxy’s greatest heroes – Padmé Amidala and Kanan Jarrus.

2 Padmé’s Unfinished Work

After Padmé’s funeral in the novel’s epilogue, through Sabé, fans got a look into Padmé’s remaining political passion projects, inspiring goals that tragically went unfinished. Sabé saw Padmé’s files including proposals to reinstate term limits on the chancellorship, improving the individual rights and life quality of the Republic’s Clone soldiers, and abolishing slavery. While it’s devastating to see Padmé ‘s unfinished work – especially considering that the Galactic Empire thrived on the very abuse of power and individuals that she was fighting so hard against – at least audiences know that Padmé fought until the very end in the political arena. It’s also refreshing as some of Padmé ‘s political initiatives revealed in the epilogue haven’t been shown as much in other stories, meaning there’s potential to explore her pursuits of these goals in future stories.

1 Palpatine’s Appointment Of Quarsh Panaka

Quarsh Panaka protected Padmé with relentless dedication in The Phantom Menace and Queen’s Shadow detailed how thoroughly he trained Padmé and her handmaidens. However, Panaka retired from this role and became increasingly loyal to Sheev Palpatine, a loyalty that paid off after Padmé’s demise. Longtime Naboo governor Sio Bibble retired, and instead of Padmé ‘s former handmaiden Saché being elected to the position as expected, Palpatine appointed Panaka as governor of Naboo. When Panaka made his first official address to the people of Naboo, his wife Mariek and his nephew Typho didn’t stand by him. They’d served Padmé after Quarsh Panaka’s retirement and their decision not to stand by him proved that even after her passing and the Imperial appointment, they were still more loyal to Padmé and what she stood for than to Quarsh and what he represented as a servant of Palpatine’s Empire.

Which revelation from Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow did you enjoy most? Sound off in the comments!

NEXT: Worst Things That Ever Happened To Padme


2019-03-29 01:03:37

Matthew Rudoy

Shovel Knight Developer’s Next Project, Cyber Shadow, Is An 8-Bit Ninja Adventure

The studio behind indie-hit Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games, is helping to release a new project known as Cyber Shadow across a medley of platforms. The studio has been hard at work on creating more depth for the Shovel Knight franchise through additional spin-off entries that flesh out the villains in the game. The titular main character was even honored for the fandom surrounding the series with an Assist Trophy role in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which still stands as the first and only indie rep to ever gain that sort of representation in the Nintendo fighting game series.

Yes, Yacht Club Games has done very well for itself in recent years, but now the studio appears ready to take on a new challenge in the gaming industry: publisher. The indie studio announced plans to partner with developer Aarne “MekaSkull” Hunziker and showcase the new title, Cyber Shadow, with plans to have the game be playable at PAX East 2019. The project is a massive undertaking from both parties, but the retro gameplay itself, much like Shovel Knight, is the real hook.

Related: God of War Canon Includes Shovel Knight’s Kratos Fight

Starring a cybernetic ninja known only as Shadow, Cyber Shadow follows a hero who is summoned after his clan is seemingly kidnapped. The world has been taken over by synthetic lifeforms, which Shadow will have to have to deal with as he traverses the devastated landscape of Mekacity. Cyber Shadow is certainly pursuing the retro vibes of previous Yacht Club Games titles–albeit with a modernized take on what looks similar to the NES classic game Ninja Gaiden. Despite lacking a release date, Yacht Club Games did inform consumers that it will launch for $14.99 USD.

Cyber Shadow looks like it’ll be a speedrunner’s dream, as users dash through the environment at a breakneck pace. It also looks to be adhering to the difficulty that older NES titles are synonymous with, which should help it establish an audience pretty quickly when it inevitably arrives across Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One platforms.

Indie games in general have become increasingly more prominent in recent years because of the ability to self-publish. This changeup has allowed titles like Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight to flourish. Even Nintendo has begun collaborating with indie devs in a meaningful way, with the latest example of this arriving in the form of an exclusive Nintendo Switch project called Cadence of Hyrule. That crossover title is being worked on by Crypt of the Necrodancer developer Brace Yourselves Games. Hopefully, it’s only just the beginning, as games like Cyber Shadow are constant reminders of how much talent even one developer can have.

More: The Best Indie Games of 2018


2019-03-28 09:03:02

Riley Little

Netflix Adapting Grishaverse Books As Shadow & Bone TV Show

Shadow And Bone Leigh Bardugo Grishaverse

Netflix orders Shadow and Bone, an eight-episode series from Eric Heisserer (Bird Box) based on the Grishaverse fantasy books by Leigh Bardugo. Since Netflix started producing its own content, that side of the streamer has grown exponentially, with multiple new offerings arriving every Friday of the year. Its original content spans genres, from apocalyptic movies starring A-list actors like recent hit Bird Box to more low-key TV fare and family-friendly projects.

As for Bardugo’s book series, the first novel, titled Shadow and Bone, was published in 2012, kicking off the initial trilogy that additionally included 2013’s Siege and Storm and 2014’s Ruin and Rising. The fantasy series is set in a world where certain people, called Grisha, have various abilities, which are sorted into three different categories. The original trilogy follows Alina Starkov, a teenager who uncovers her own, unique Grisha power. Bardugo followed the series with a duology that consisted of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, which was set in a different country and follows a group of teenagers who attempt a dangerous heist. Another upcoming Grishaverse duology will kick off later this month with the debut of King of Scars, following a character who appeared in both previous series. Now, fans of the Grishaverse also have a TV adaptation to look forward to.

Related: What’s Next in Netflix’s Future?

Netflix has ordered an eight-episode TV show based on Grishaverse novels Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, with Bird Box’s Eric Heisserer set to write, produce and act as showrunner for the series. Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy is also on board, alongside Bardugo, who will be involved as an executive producer. She confirmed the news on Twitter and revealed the Shadow and Bone TV show will unite the stories of the two novels (Six of Crows is set two years after the end of Ruin and Rising).

Considering the expansive fantasy world of Bardugo’s Grishaverse, Netflix potentially has their own Game of Thrones on their hands – which is to say, Shadow and Bone could become an immensely popular high fantasy drama. Bardugo’s worldbuilding rivals the likes of Game of Thrones, Lords of the Rings, Harry Potter and other fantasy/adventure classics, it’s simply a more recently published series. Nonetheless, the Grishaverse has widespread appeal and a devoted fan base thanks to the five books (and additional novellas) that have already hit shelves. With Netflix adapting the Grishaverse, Shadow and Bone has the potential to become a massive hit, but it remains to be seen if that will actually be the case.

It’s also unclear how exactly Heisserer will unite the two storylines. The climactic battle of Ruin and Rising changes the landscape of the world these stories take place in so the show seemingly must follow two separate timelines. While it’s not impossible for that to be successful, the show may struggle to line up the stories so they make sense together thematically. That said, Bardugo has confidence in Heisserer’s vision for the Shadow and Bone TV series, which should be a good sign for fans of the Grishaverse. While there’s still plenty we don’t know about Shadow and Bone, fans can rest assured the Grishaverse is coming to live-action thanks to Netflix.

Next: Here Are The Best TV Shows And Movies Coming To Netflix In January 2019

Shadow and Bone doesn’t yet have a release date on Netflix.

Source: Netflix, Leigh Bardugo




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2019-01-10 01:01:43

The Flash Premiere Had The Arrowverse’s First Batwoman Easter Egg

The fifth season premiere of The Flash surprised fans by making the first official reference to the existence of Batwoman, months ahead of her first scheduled appearance during the annual Arrowverse crossover event this winter. The episode also dropped a number of references to the classic comic book mini-series Crisis On Infinite Earths, which has been hinted as an eventual occurrence in the future of the Arrowverse.

Batwoman’s arrival in the Arrowverse was first announced shortly before San Diego Comic Con 2018, when the news broke that The CW was considering developing a television series based around Kate Kane, a cousin of Bruce Wayne who unintentionally followed in his footsteps when she became a vigilante. It was later confirmed that not only was The CW developing the series, but they intended to introduce Kate Kane as part of Elseworlds – the next annual Arrowverse crossover event. Ruby Rose, of Orange Is The New Black fame, was ultimately cast in the role of Kate Kane.

Related: First Look At Ruby Rose In Costume As Batwoman In Arrowverse Crossover

The nod to Batwoman came near the end of the third segment of “Nora.” The action of the episode centered around Nora West-Allen, the future daughter of Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen, accidentally traveling back in time to before she was born and meeting her parents shortly after they got married. Barry quickly realized something was up when Nora seemed more concerned about spending time with him than doing the same with Iris and asked Nora, point blank, if that had anything to do his disappearance during a crisis in 2024, which he had read about in a future newspaper. Nora responded by showing Barry a newspaper from her time – the year 2049 – and confirming that he never returned home and that she grew up without a father.

Published 25 years to the day after the original article from the future, which was first seen in the first episode of The Flash, the 2049 article discusses the same crisis, but with a bit more detail. The 2024 article mentioned The Flash disappearing while fighting alongside Green Arrow, The Atom, and Hawkgirl. The 2049 article lists a larger number of heroes being involved in the battle, including Batwoman. The article says:

“But in the years following the crisis, accounts only grew more contradictory. Some eyewitnesses remember dozens of other heroes present, including Green Arrow, Batwoman, and Elongated Man. Others remember heroes thought lost in time, like The Atom, or from other worlds, like Supergirl. Some even contend they saw Reverse-Flash leading an army of ‘shadow demons’.”

It is interesting to note that Batwoman is mentioned in the same sentence as Green Arrow and Elongated Man – two heroes who frequently fight alongside The Flash on Earth-One. Until now, it had not been confirmed what Earth in the Arrowverse Kate Kane would be based on, though most assumed she would be from Earth 38 – the same Earth as Supergirl – as that would make it easier for the two to team-up in the future, in the same way that Batman and Superman frequently join forces in the comics. The wording of the article would suggest, however, that Kate Kane will be from Earth-One.

The mention of Reverse-Flash leading an army of shadow demons is another point of interest, given that shadow demons were the main mooks of The Anti-Monitor – the villain of the Crisis On Infinite Earths mini-series, where The Flash seemingly died saving the multiverse. The article also makes mention of The Psycho Pirate – another super-villain who had a major role in the events of The Crisis. It has long been suspected that the Arrowverse would eventually reenact Crisis On Infinite Earths in live-action and this latest bit of news about Batwoman from The Flash premiere seems to make that probability all the more certain.

More: The Flash Fixes Plot Hole By Secretly Changing Arrowverse History



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2018-10-10 07:10:43 – Matt Morrison

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Beginners Gameplay Tips

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is here, and it offers up something of a different experience from the previous games in the series. Rather than the stealth-based gameplay of old, Odyssey doubles down on the RPG mechanics, becoming a huge, deep open world game for players to enjoy. In essence, it takes what worked from Assassin’s Creed Origins and makes it even better.

The end result is a fantastic take on the Greek myth, albeit one that sometimes struggles a little to bridge the gap between open world RPG and its roots in the larger Assassin’s Creed universe. Nonetheless, those changes could leave some players a bit confused as to where to start, and after working through the opening island of Kephallonia things could become a little bit daunting.

Related: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – How To Get The Best Ending

That said, there are some ways to make the most of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey from the get go. After all, there’s lot to get to grips with before taking on Medusa or hunting after all those legendary armor sets. Instead, here are some tips for how to take up what Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has to offer fast.

Choose Exploration Mode

The most important first choice to make comes before the player even starts the game. When given the option, it’s highly recommended to choose Exploration Mode as the method of play. This is the way that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was designed to be played, and for good reason; the additional level of emphasis on discovery is a delight to play, and much more fun than simply following map markers to reach objectives.

Effectively, Exploration Mode works by making the player find their own way through quests. NPCs will give hints towards locations to be discovered when talking about the mission in question, forcing players to use a little of their own intuition. This mode also makes map exploration much more fun, with the player finding random locations as they work their way around the regions hunting down quests.

Exploration Mode also means players will make the most out of eagle companion Ikaros. The eagle is not only able to scout out discovered locations, but also target enemies and notable items within specific locations, such as chests or hostages to release. Finally, remember to seek out Synchronization points to boost the power of Ikaros overall.

Think About Crafting Over Cash

Whether armor or weapons, it’s easy to find loot in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. As such, when players notice they have plenty of unused items sitting around in their inventory, it’s extremely tempting to drop them all off at a nearby blacksmith and make a bit of drachmae.

That said, it’s probably best to hold fire of cashing in. That’s because drachmae are not in short supply in the game, and can be picked up from completing quests, in explored locations, or from dead enemies. Instead, consider breaking down weaker weapons and armor into leather, wood, and metal, as these can be useful as crafting for upgrades to the player’s ship or even to beef up items at a blacksmith.

It’s worth bearing in mind that drachmae are needed in a couple of places in the game, and it’s always worth keeping some around in case of having to pay off a bounty to keep mercenaries off the player’s trail when it’s better to lay low. Nonetheless, put money on the back burner, and instead think about how best to boost the overall power of the misthios.

Choose Your Abilities Wisely

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has a fairly comprehensive skill tree, but there are some abilities that are better to unlock than others. As explained in our guide to the best abilities to unlock first, There are a few essential abilities, with the Sparta Kick being useful from a warrior perspective alongside beef ups to the assassin skill tree such as Shadow Assassin.

Overall, though, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey gives players the greatest level of flexibility in how they choose to play that the series has seen so far. It’s perhaps best to pick and choose skills based on what works for the player in question, providing they keep enough core skills in each area to make sure they can get out of trouble whatever the situation.

Remember you can always change your choices as well, albeit at a cost. A few drachmae allows the player to reset all of their abilities, so if some skills are found to be less useful than others, it’s easy to drop them and rebuild the character from scratch.

Take To The Waters With Style

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes the series back to the high seas, and it’s something that is long overdue. With gameplay reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the core way to travel between the different islands is to take to the Adrestia and hop from island to island seeking adventure.

Even though a lot of the gameplay takes place on land, it’s truly beneficial to upgrade the ship regularly. This could mean recruiting new lieutenants, which helps both with buffs to the ship’s power and when boarding enemy vessels, or improving things like rowing power or damage caused by ranged attacks. It comes at a cost in terms of drachmae and consumables, but it’s worth it in the long run.

This is because it’s all too easy to get into scraps with pirates, Spartan or Athenian vessels when out at sea. Naval combat is extremely good fun, but when outnumbered it’s much better to have more firepower onside, and it’s always satisfying to take out those Cult of Kosmos members who happen to captain a ship of their own.

Revel In The Game World

It may feel like an obvious rule to follow, but Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is much more fun if taken at the player’s own pace. The title’s story is a compelling, personal adventure that (generally) ties well into the larger plot of Assassin’s Creed, but the game perhaps works best with the player following their own path and doing what’s most fun to them.

As such, it’s important to stretch your legs in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Between the Conquest Battles, side quests and other additional smaller elements of the game at large, there’s no reason to purely stick to the main quest. This is something the game expects, too – there’s no real reason to grind in the game, providing players make good use of the enthralling, extra content available to them.

Perhaps the best examples of this are the game’s mercenary system, which leads to some excellent one-on-one fights with fearsome combatants, and hunting down the Cult of Kosmos. Although the cult ties into the larger plot as a whole, hunting down smaller members is a fantastic element of the game, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Those are just a few tips to help players make the most of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. However, with a game as expansive as this, players are best suited to decide how best they want to play the game. Regardless of how they choose to enjoy the title, there are bound to be some surprises along the way.

More: Every Assassin’s Creed Game Ranked



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2018-10-09 03:10:13 – Rob Gordon

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Legendary Armor Locations Guide

In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, there are legendary armor sets that players can obtain by completing missions, defeating specific bosses, or simply opening the right chests in the right areas. Obtaining and equipping a full set of legendary armor will grant players bonuses, some of which may change the entire course of their journey (including how they approach Odyssey‘s abilities).

While some legendary armor pieces may be acquired early on in the game, it’s best to wait until at least halfway through the story until players start to really try to obtain full sets. After all, most of them require defeating members of the Cult of Kosmos – and that can be harrowing in and of itself. Plus, the Cultists aren’t even introduced until quite a bit into the story.

Related: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: How To Get The Best Ending

Furthermore, equipping just one piece of legendary armor will grant players a bonus, but equipping all five pieces of equipment can either increase damage for all weapons and abilities, increase armor resistance, and perhaps even make players immortal in the grand scheme of things. Here’s a full guide on the all the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey legendary armor sets (images via PS4Trophies):

Pilgrim’s Legendary Armor Set

Players have to scour the Greek world looking for specific chests on specific islands. And acquiring each Pilgrim armor piece allows players to spend 40% less adrenaline when using the Shadow of Nyx ability.

  • Pilgrim’s Hood – Inside a chest in the Eleusis Telesterion in Attika.
  • Pilgrim’s Gloves – Inside a chest in the Akropolis of Argos.
  • Pilgrim’s Garment – Inside a chest in the Temple of Athena in Sparta.
  • Pilgrim’s Belt – Inside a chest in the Temple of Artemis in Lakonia.
  • Pilgrim’s Boots – Inside a chest in the Temple of Britomartis in Messara.

Amazon/Achilles Legendary Armor Set

Players who play as Kassandra will obtain the Amazon legendary armor set (something akin to Wonder Woman’s armor), whereas players who play as Alexios will get the Achilles armor upon defeating all the members of the Heroes of the Cult. Both armor sets provide players will a full set bonus of +2% damage dealt restored as health.

  • Helm of Achilles – Defeat Pallas the Silencer.
  • Bracers of Achilles – Defeat Swordfish.
  • Armor of Achilles – Defeat Belos, The Beast Of Sparta, in the Arena.
  • Waistband of Achilles – Defeat Okytos the Great.
  • Sandals of Achilles – Defeat Deianeira.

Agamemnon Legendary Armor Set

Agamemnon’s legendary armor set provides players with a full set bonus of +50% burning rate. But first, players have to defeat all the members of the Silver Vein branch of the Cult of Kosmos.

  • Agamemnon’s Helmet – Defeat Machaon The Feared.
  • Agamemnon’s Gauntlets – Inside a chest at the Silver Mine in Athens.
  • Agamemnon’s Body Armor – Defeat The Silver Griffin.
  • Agamemnon’s Waistband – Defeat The Centaur Of Euboea.
  • Boots of Agamemnon – Defeat The Chimera.

Immortal Legendary Armor Set

Although players can’t become immortal while wearing the Immortal legendary armor set, they do get an additional 20% health restored to them upon respawning. However, they first need to defeat the entire Worshippers of the Bloodline branch of the Cult of Kosmos.

  • Helmet of the Immortal – Defeat Zoisme.
  • Gauntlets of the Immortal – Defeat Chrysis.
  • Armor of the Immortal – Defeat Diona.
  • Waistband of the Immortal – Defeat Melite.
  • Boots of the Immortal – Defeat Harpalos.

Greek Heroes Legendary Armor Set

Instead of taking down Cultists, for the Greek Heroes legendary armor set, players have to take on mercenaries, who will drop the Perseus Helmet, Jason’s Golden Fleece, Bracers of Theseus, Hippolyta’s Belt, and Atalanta’s Sandals. However, different mercenaries may drop different items for different players. The armor set provides a bonus of 20% to all resistances.

  • Defeat The Translucent
  • Defeat The Flash
  • Defeat The Lucky Drunk
  • Defeat The Frenzied
  • Defeat The Resplendent

Arena Fighter’s Legendary Armor Set

In order to obtain the Arena Fighter’s legendary armor set, players will have to complete the Arena – defeating every champion – for a second time at or near the max level. Wearing the full set provides players with a bonus of +10% health restored with overpower.

  • Arena Fighter’s Helmet
  • Arena Fighter’s Gauntlets
  • Arena Fighter’s Armor
  • Arena Fighter’s Waistband
  • Pit Fighter’s Boots

Artemis Legendary Armor Set

The Artemis legendary armor set is obtained by essentially completing the Daughters of Artemis quest. A full set gives players a bonus of +15% damage on all Hunter abilities.

  • Master’s Artemis Hood – Defeat the Krokottas Hyena and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Gloves – Defeat the Erymanthian Boar and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Outfit – Defeat the Krekatan Bull and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Belt – Defeat Kallisto the Bear and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Treads – Defeat the Lykaon Wolf and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.

Snake Legendary Armor Set

One of the more intriguing legendary armor sets in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the Snake set, which grants players a bonus of +10% intoxicated damage and weakening effect. The entire Eye of Kosmos branch of the Cult of Kosmos needs to be defeated in order to obtain the full set.

  • Viper’s Hood – Defeat The Master.
  • Venom Gloves – Defeat Hermippos.
  • Scaled Armor – Defeat The Snake.
  • Slithering Belt – Defeat Sotera.
  • Noxious Boots – Defeat Midus in Argolis.

Athenian War Hero Legendary Armor Set

Players have to defeat all the cultists part of the Delian League to obtain the Athenian War Hero legendary armor set. A full set grants a bonus allowing players to penetrate shields with arrows.

  • Athenian War Hero Helmet – Defeat Kodros the Bull.
  • Athenian War Hero Gauntlets – Defeat Brison.
  • Athenian War Hero Armor – Defeat Iobates the Stoic.
  • Athenian War Hero Belt – Defeat Rhexenor the Hand.
  • Athenian War Hero Boots – Defeat Podarkes the Cruel.

Spartan War Hero Legendary Armor Set

Considering that Sparta famously fought in the Peloponnesian War, it makes sense that players have to defeat the Peloponnesian League of the Cult of Kosmos to get the Spartan War Hero legendary armor set, which appropriately grants players +15% damage to all Warrior abilities.

  • Spartan War Hero Helmet – Defeat Monger in Korinthia.
  • Spartan War Hero Gauntlets – Defeat Silanos of Paros.
  • Spartan War Hero Armor – Defeat Skylax the Fair.
  • Spartan War Hero Belt – Defeat Lagos the Archon.
  • Spartan War Hero Boots – Defeat Kallias.

Pirate Legendary Armor Set

To get the Pirate legendary armor set, perhaps one of the coolest looking armor sets in the game, players have to take down the Gods of the Aegean Sea cultists. Then, the full armor set grants a +15% damage to all Assassin abilities.

  • Pirate Hood – Defeat Melanthos.
  • Pirate Gauntlets – Defeat Asterion.
  • Pirate Armor – Defeat The Octopus.
  • Pirate Waistband – Defeat Sokos.
  • Pirate Treads – Defeat The Mytilenian Shark.

Demigod Legendary Armor Set

Loot Deimos at the end of the main story to obtain four of the five pieces of armor needed to complete the Demigod legendary armor set. The four pieces of armor are: Demigod’s Chestplate, Demigod’s Bracers, Demigod’s Belt, and Demigod’s Boots. The final armor piece, Aspasia’s Circlet, is obtained by defeating the final Cult of Kosmos member, the Ghost of Kosmos.

In total, there are 12 legendary armor sets in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Some of them will be relatively easy to obtain, while others will require some skill and ingenuity. But Ubisoft’s latest installment is quite long and expansive, so there’s no rush. After all, one or two of them can only be acquired after completing the game itself.

More: Every Assassin’s Creed Game Ranked

Images via PS4Trophies



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2018-10-08 07:10:42 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

New York Comic-Con: 26 Biggest Announcements (And 4 Weirdest Possibilities)

It might not be as big as San Diego Comic-Con, but New York’s pop culture celebration is just as eventful. This year’s New York Comic-Con was littered with scoops. Whether it’s juicy rumors or brand new trailers, there was plenty to see and talk about. Of course, the convention weekend can get a bit overwhelming — the onslaught of news, panels, and footage seems endless. Thankfully, we’ve collected all of this biggest topics for those of you who are lost amidst all of the comic book news.

For this list, we’re going to cover the most important stories of this year’s New York Comic-Con, including some big ones that just happened to drop during the week rather than at the convention itself. The list will even feature a few big rumors that have come out of the con for some good measure — or for those of you who just like some gossip. Even those who attended the convention might have missed some of the major stories, so use this as your post-NYCC guide to recap the weekend as things begin to wind down.

We know it’s difficult to keep track of all this news, especially after the convention weekend. This list should make things a bit easier. Even if you didn’t attend, the bombardment of news is probably still filling your news feed. So after you’re finished watching trailers all day and unpacking your NYCC hauls, settle in and we’ll break everything down for you.

Here are the 26 Biggest Announcements From NYCC (And 4 Weirdest Possibilities).

30 Aquaman’s New/Old Armor

The new Aquaman trailer was the highlight of the weekend for many. It revealed a surprising amount of footage — some would say too much. The extended look — roughly five minutes long — featured a plenty of unseen footage.

Audiences were treated to a sequence involving Arthur and Mera in desert ruins, another look at Atlantis, and even an extended action sequence between the two leads as they are chased by Black Manta. Perhaps the biggest spoiler in the trailer was the reveal of Aquaman’s iconic orange and green outfit.

29 Hellboy First Look

While no footage from the Hellboy panel has been released to the public, convention-goers were treated to a poster reveal and an exclusive first look at the upcoming film.

The panel footage wooed many fans in attendance and featured a tone that balanced the movie’s violence and gore with humor. It saw Hellboy receive his iconic handgun and show off the Hand of Doom, and it highlighted his especially shaky relationship with his ally Ben Daimio.

The trailer’s money shot had Hellboy in all-out demon mode, rising out of a pit sporting a flaming sword and crown.

Hopefully it won’t be long before this footage is released to the public.

28 Bullseye in Daredevil Season 3

Daredevil’s new trailers suggest a return to the grounded crime-noir tones of the first season with some big new developments. The first trailer reveals that not only is Kingpin out of prison, but he appears to design a smear campaign to turn New York against Daredevil.

One of the ways this may be happening is through a Daredevil impostor, who is none other than the hero’s most famous villain, Bullseye. Bullseye is the subject of the second new trailer, exploring his life as a government agent-turned-assassin under the employ of Kingpin.

27 Titans Is Grittier Than The DCEU

Titans has already received flak for the marketing’s seriously dark tone. Now, after the first two episodes were screened for viewers at NYCC, it is getting the same criticism.

Not only does Titans sport the DCEU’s same dark tone, but apparently the show is even more violent than the films.

The footage featuring Robin displayed some extremely violent and lethal combat, complete with the same amount of gore and disrespect for human life one might find in — well, anything but a comic book show. With that said, the show did receive a warm reception from the audience, so maybe Titans has potential after all.

26 Possibility — Will Rick Grimes Survive?

The Walking Dead is losing its lead character this season, with the confirmed departure of Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln. His impending exit has been talked about for months now, but fans still don’t know how his character will be written out of the show. In a new rumor, it seems that Rick Grimes might meet a brutal end.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Andrew Lincoln joked that he might not “make it through the credits sequence” teasing Rick’s potential demise. Fans don’t want to say goodbye to Rick, but it will be even harder to do so if he is torn apart by walkers. Can’t somebody get a happy ending on this show?

25 Spock On Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek fans weren’t left out of the fun this year, with a new trailer for season two of Star Trek: Discovery. The trailer promises a ride that might be just as intense as the first season, with plenty of action, character beats, and visuals so gorgeous that one would think the show had the budget of a feature-length film.

Amidst the sizzle of the trailer is a big reveal — the inclusion of a young, bearded Spock.

The character is supposedly connected to the “Red Angel” visions that Burnham is experiencing, though details on his appearance in the season are still under wraps.

24 First 35 minutes of new Spider-Man movie

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is still a few months out but panel attendees were treated to the first 35 minutes — and apparently what they saw was incredible. Reactions to the NYCC footage is overwhelmingly positive, citing the stylish animation and and lighthearted tone as some of the film’s standout elements. These early reactions come off the back of a new trailer for the film, which shows off several more of the alternate universe versions of Spider-Man.

Of course, this was only the first 35 minutes. Much of the movie is still under wraps and it has a long road ahead of it, being only one of many tentpole releases hitting theaters this December.

23 Deadly Class is coming in 2019

SYFY’s adaptation of the critically acclaimed Deadly Class comic series made a big showing this year. Between the close collaboration with series writer Rick Remender, the promise of intense action, and the Russo brothers at the helm (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers Infinity War), this long-awaited series has the potential to be a household name.

Not only does the show seem like a contender for the “next big thing” in comic book television, but it finally has a release date.

This was revealed to be January 16 in a new trailer that focuses on the coming-of-age aspect of the anarchic action series.

22 Star Wars’ The Mandalorian

The first image of Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series was released on Thursday, getting fans hyped for the first real TV show in a galaxy far far away. The photo was released alongside new details about the show, namely its title: The Mandalorian.

Set between Return of the Jedi and The Force AwakensThe Mandalorian centers on a warrior from Mandalore travelling across the galaxy. The title character wears the iconic armor that the planet is known for — a costume shared by fan-favorite character Boba Fett. Plenty remains unknown about the series, though it is set to premiere on Disney’s upcoming streaming service.

21 Possibility — Kingpin and Spider-Man Crossover

Marvel fans will rejoice if this rumor comes true — during all of the Daredevil buzz over the convention weekend, Vincent D’Onofrio made a very reassuring tweet.

When a fan tweeted that the world will never see the him as Kingpin in an MCU film, D’Onofrio responded with “Who says?”

Marvel’s Netflix shows have been especially vague in their references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but having Kingpin show up in a Tom Holland Spider-Man film would be the perfect connection. The chances are slim, but at least there’s hope.

20 Bane On Gotham

Gotham‘s fifth and final season was revealed in a trailer this weekend, promising quite the grand finale. The trailer hints that Gotham will be adapting the classic No Man’s Land comic book story this season, and also teased another big bad.

Actor Shane West has been cast as Bane, one of Batman’s greatest adversaries and one of the only major rogues that the show hasn’t yet adapted. Bane’s appearance so early in Bruce Wayne’s life has been met with mixed reactions among fans, but at least that suggests a bombastic end to the pre-Batman series.

19 The X-Men Go To Space

New York Comic-Con got an extended look at X-Men: Dark Phoenix, despite being subject to what seems like endless delays. The exclusive footage, which still has not been revealed to the public, gave fans a look at the fully-formed X-Men team and their upcoming cosmic adventure.

Highlights of the footage included an argument between Mystique and Professor X, Jean Grey absorbing a solar flare, and the team going on a rescue mission in space.

While most of the movie likely takes place on Earth, it’s nice to know that the movies aren’t above digging into the spacebound shenanigans that the comics do.

18 Penny from The Big Bang Theory is Harley Quinn

Among the many DC Universe announcements this weekend was the trailer for the Harley Quinn animated series, which has taken many fans by surprise. The show looks like a quirky adult comedy with Harley breaking the fourth wall and using foul language.

The show is already being compared to the likes of Deadpool, with positive reactions coming out of NYCC. It also features a great cast, with Kaley Cuoco, Alan Tudyk, Ron Funches, JB Smoove, and Wanda Sykes among the voice talent. It is set to release late in 2019 on the DC Universe streaming service.

17 Umbrella Academy’s Big Debut

Netflix’s adaptation of Gerard Way’s superhero darling The Umbrella Academy came to play during NYCC, with a handful of new images and even a trailer exclusive to the folks at Comic-Con. An Umbrella Academy movie has been in the works for many years, but after the switch to television and some time in development freefall, it finally seems right around the corner.

The series — which consists of a dysfunctional family of superheroes — seems to be maintaining its gothic comic book aesthetic.

The show looks like surreal than its counterpart on the pages, but it already has people excited. Umbrella Academy hits Netflix on February 15, 2019.

16 Doctor Who First Reactions

Those who attended the Doctor Who panel were in for quite the event. The attendees got to see the premiere of the new season as well as have an in-depth talk with the season’s Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. The audience’s response to the episode was ecstatic to say the least, and that sentiment seems to be shared by viewers around the world.

Not only was the show a critical hit, but its viewer ratings were record-breaking. The premiere episode “The Woman Who Fell to Earth” peaked at 9 million viewers, which the highest the show has ever had! Sounds like the new season of Doctor Who is off to a fantastic start.

15 Odin’s true form in American Gods season 2

Last year’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods was a massive hit and the trailer for the new season looks just as enticing.  Shadow Moon and Mr. Wednesday are back on their surreal fantasy roadtrip, accompanied by even more colorful characters and bizarre, unsettling visuals.

The footage teases a war between Mr. Wednesday and Mr. World, with an especially striking shot of Wednesday in his true form: Odin. 

American Gods is a trippy, gorgeous series that many may have missed last year, and with such a great-looking sequel on the way, now might be the time to go back and binge. The second seasons drops in 2019.

14 Possibility — Sabrina/Riverdale Crossover

A full trailer for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hit the web early last week, revealing a spooky-yet-fun adaptation of the comics, as well as a revival of the late ’90s sitcom. Sadly, Archie fans will be disappointed to hear that Sabrina is not currently attached to the hit CW series, Riverdale.

While the Sabrina was originally set to appear on the CW as Riverdale’s companion show (much like CW’s Arrowverse), the move to Netflix seems to have stifled the idea. Still, Sabrina showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is holding out hope for a potential crossovers so that the original plan can come to fruition.

13 George R. R. Martin’s new show

Those of you eagerly awaiting Game of Thrones… well, we don’t have any good news for you. But, if you want more content from the mind of George R.R. Martin, an adaptation of his book Nightflyers has received a new trailer and a first-episode premiere at New York Comic-Con.

The sci-fi thriller follows a crew they struggle to survive on their space mission.

Not everything is as it seems on the vessel, as the show promises some solid horror scares as well as a character-driven story. The show doesn’t officially premiere until December 2nd, but at least sci-fi horror fans have something to look forward to.

12 She-Ra And The Princesses’ LGBT rep

Dreamworks Animation has been launching hit after hit lately — between shows like Trollhunters and Voltron: Legendary Defender, their work has earned them much success on Netflix. The newest series from the studio, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, dropped a poster and teaser trailer at New York Comic-Con that looks like promising fun for young viewers.

The reboot of the ’80s television show sports new cartoony visuals, witty humor, and a diverse cast of characters — even including a same gender couple. While the show’s initial reveal was met with some backlash, the trailer seems infectiously pleasant and fun.

11 Matt Bomer stars in DC’s Doom Patrol

While Titans got plenty of attention at NYCC, the next DC Universe original series got a brief first look. Doom Patrol is set to release next spring, but panel attendees were show some exclusive photos of Brendan Fraser’s character, Robotman. Fraser appeared at the panel and talked through the first look.

Seeing as Doom Patrol is currently filming, it shouldn’t be long before official footage hits the web.

The Robotman design look remarkably accurate to the comics, which has gotten many fans even more excited for the obscure property’s TV adaptation. Supplementing this news was the casting of Matt Bomer as Negative Man — another big name

10 The Spawn Trilogy

Fans hoping for a Spawn trailer at NYCC were out of luck this weekend, but series creator Todd McFarlane spoke at length about his plans for the newly rebooted movie. McFarlane explained that he envisions an ambitious trilogy of Spawn movies, with each one visually and tonally distinct from the last.

The first film might be described as a kind of existential horror-superhero film, with characters wondering if what they see is even real. While the project is still a ways off, the Jamie Foxx-led vehicle is going to emphasize the dark tones of the book with a hard R-rating, as well as cater to the now-older readers of the comic series.

9 DC Universe Streaming Plans

DC Comics and Warner Bros wanted to spotlight their DC Universe streaming service at this year’s NYCC, several small news breaks on he various related properties. Not only did they show footage of Titans, Doom Patrol, and Harley Quinn, but they also revealed the service’s content release schedule over the coming year.

While no specific dates were given, the timeline depicts various release windows for the service’s different original series.

While Young Justice: Outsiders seems to have been split into two parts, Doom Patrol will drop next spring followed by Swamp Thing in the summer, with both Stargirl and Harley Quinn dropping next fall.

8 Pet Sematary First Look

Horror fans might not have had much to talk about at Comic-Con, but during the convention some promo images dropped for the reboot of a Stephen King classic. The first images of the Pet Sematary remake were released, featuring Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, and Amy Seimetz.

The best image of the bunch comes in the form of the Creed family cat, Church, looking meaner and mangier than ever.

While an evil cat may not be the scariest thing you’ll find in Pet Sematary, it’s a nice preview of the Stephen King spookiness to come, especially after the success of 2017’s It. Pet Sematary is set for release on April 5, 2019.

7 Runaways Season 2 Footage

A new trailer for the second season of Runaways shows that the series has moved way past high school drama, and further into superhero action territory. The trailer features the Runaways’ comic book hideout, huge action set-pieces, and plenty of superpowers to go around.

Highlights of the trailer include a kiss between Nico and Karolina, a battle on an airport runway, and a glimpse at Gert’s pet dinosaur Old Lace. The first season of the show was a quiet hit among the newer Marvel properties, but this season promises a much deeper dive into the superhero genre that fans of the series are have been waiting for.

6 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

One reveal snuck in towards the end of Comic-Con — a very short trailer for How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Although very brief, the trailer is made up of all-new footage.

The trailer consists of baby Hiccup in his father’s arms as he is told about the legendary world of dragons.

During his father’s narration, the titular Hidden World is given a brief tease as hundreds of dragons flutter across a cavernous landscape. It ends with a shot of Hiccup and Toothless overlooking a town covered in dragons. It’s not as extensive as the film’s last trailer, but it might hold fans over until the film’s release on February 22, 2019.

5 Good Omens Trailer

It’s a great year for Neil Gaiman lovers as they got not one, but two different Gaiman projects revealed at NYCC. First was the second season of American Gods, and now Amazon’s adaptation of Good Omens. 

The trailer for the new series pits Michael Sheen and David Tennant against each other as an angel and a demon who must join forces in order to prevent the apocalypse. The dark subject matter is contrasted by the show’s whimsical tone and David Tennant’s devilish charisma. It sets up what looks to be a very fun buddy comedy about he end of the world.

4 First 25 Minutes Of Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines

Fans of director Peter Jackson were treated to the first 25 minutes of his next project, Mortal Engines, at this year’s New York Comic-Con. Mortal Engines is another expansive world, like the Tolkien material that Jackson has worked with before, but with a post-apocalyptic twist.

The most talked about elements of the footage were the massive scale of the world and the jaw-dropping visuals.

The Mortal Engines footage introduces viewers to Hester, a girl who lives in a world that was ravaged by the “60 Minute War” that destroyed civilization. Now the world consists of giant cities on wheels that fight each other. Audiences won’t see it for themselves until December 14.

3 The Boys Teaser Trailer

Amazon’s adaptation of Garth Ennis’s hyper-violent superhero comic The Boys has finally been revealed with a brief teaser trailer . The teaser features a public service announcement from Vought International, a company that facilitates the operation of the Seven, this world’s league of superheroes. At the end of the PSA, the titular Boys can be seen sitting on a couch, rudely gesturing to their televisions.

The Boys is already setting itself apart from the traditonal superhero fare, and with good reason — the series is about a team of people who keep out-of-control superheroes in check– by blackmailing them, stealing from them, and beating them up. It’s extremely adult-oriented and it already looks like fun.

2 Voltron Ends in December

The release date and synopsis for the eighth and final season of Voltron was revealed at New York Comic-Con, finally bringing the critically acclaimed Netflix series to a close.

The last season will feature the final battle between the Paladins and Witch Haggar.

A few promo images were released as well — one featuring the villain Honerva and another depicting the Voltron Paladins in a control room with Shiro commanding the gang in a background role. While no footage was shown at NYCC, the release date was confirmed to be December 14. The show’s final season will premiere on Netflix.

1 Possibility — Avengers 4 Titled “Avengers: Annihilation”

This rumor went viral during the weekend of NYCC — “Avengers: Annihilation” may or may not be the name of the still untitled Avengers 4. Speculation over the film’s name has driven fans mad in recent months, with “Annihilation” being yet another choice amidstthe rumored titles titles like “Avengers: Forever”, “Avengers: Endgame”, and “The Last Avenger”.

Annihilation comes from the name comic storyline of the same name, though it bears few similarities to the Infinity Gauntlet story that the films are adapting. Seriously, Marvel, just call it “Avengers: Assemble” and get it over with already. Don’t keep us waiting!

What announcements from New York Comic-Con excite you the most? Make sure to leave a comment before you go to share your thoughts!



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2018-10-08 07:10:26 – Jonathan Figueroa

A Star Is Born’s Ending Is Bad (And Always Has Been)

WARNING: Major spoilers for A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born‘s ending undoes what could have been a Hollywood classic – but that’s not exactly Bradley Cooper’s fault. From its first version in 1937, A Star Is Born has always had a problematic resolution to its story, one that’s only got worse over the past century, and this latest version is no different.

A Star Is Born is a classic story that Hollywood loves so much it’s told it four times (with a suspiciously-similar earlier version, several failed attempts and many, many imitators). A top-of-his-game star (in 2018, Bradley Cooper’s rock star Jackson Maine) is suffering from alcoholism and in a stupor discovers a struggling artist (Lady Gaga as Ally, a waitress moonlighting in a drag bar), falling in love with both her and her talent. He provides her with a big break, sending her fame into the stratosphere just as his addictions begin to derail his career. The pair marry, but despite their love things begin to fray.

Related: Read Our A Star Is Born Review

It’s a tale of rags to riches, of falls from grace, of the power of love, and personal identity within all of that. And, for much of the runtime, A Star Is Born 2018 is genuinely a great version of all those stories. Gaga’s first major concert leaves you floating, Cooper shows mental affliction with grace, both perform their songs incredibly (to actual live crowds, no less), and are utterly believable as troubled lovers. It is, for much of its runtime, a very good film worthy of that deafening hype.

However, everything implodes into a black hole of pretentiousness as what could have been a great film its own right has to follow through on being called A Star Is Born

  • This Page: The Problem With A Star Is Born’s Ending
  • Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad
  • Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

What Happens In A Star Is Born’s Ending

We’ll stick with Cooper’s take for now before going deeper into the past. A Star Is Born‘s third act is kicked off by Ally winning the Grammy for Best New Artist – a major step for her career, undercut entirely by Jack drunkenly taking to the stage with her and relieving himself on live TV. He goes into rehab and she wrestles with where her focus should lie, eventually deciding to try and protect her recovering husband. She cancels her European tour when her agent, Rez, blocks the duo playing together.

As a result, Jack kills himself. He’s confronted by a seething Rez who has no sympathies or expectations of sobriety and states outright Jack’s ruining his wife’s career. When she matter-of-fact states the tour cancellation, he sees the impact of his actions and, while she plays a concert, he hangs himself in their garage.

Related: Every Song On A Star Is Born’s Soundtrack

This breaks Ally at first, leaving her emotionally distraught, before her understanding the meaning of Jack’s sacrifice – to enable her to truly become the star he always saw – helps her pull through. The film ends at a tribute concert in Jack’s memory. “My name is Ally Maine.” she declares before singing “I’ll Never Love Again”, a song based on their relationship they wrote together while he was recovering. A flashback shows the pair singing, she looks through the camera at the audience, the end.

Why A Star Is Born’s Ending Is Bad

Removing the ending of all presentation and self-imposed importance (a character looking into the camera at the end is an overused trope that Cooper simply doesn’t earn), in just writing down the events of A Star Is Born its problems should be obvious.

Jack decides to kill himself to save his wife, committing suicide because it’s the only way to set her free. This comes about two hours into a film which has slowly built up its numerous interpersonal relationships, and so comes as a drastic and rather unearned turn. Now, there is an argument to be made about accuracy to the unpredictability of mental illness, but given the intimacy audiences had with both Jack and Ally up until this moment, that doesn’t fit with the rest of the film. A Star Is Born, plainly, presents suicide as the only way out. It’s meant to come across as a selfless act but still values success as a true route to happiness, meaning anything emotional about the “gesture” is laced with hypocrisy.

But it’s what comes after and Ally’s coming to terms with her loss that’s so disquieting. For all her innate talent being the drive of the story and her freely made decision to step back what motivated Jack to kill himself, the final scene makes everything about Jack; the mononymous singer for the first time takes on her husband’s surname at his concert, where she performs a song that he helped her write in her original singer style. The suggestion is meant to be that Jack was holding her back, but in the shadow of the previous two hours the strange implication is that the act of a true star being born came from the adversity of Jack’s sacrifice. Making Ally’s success symbiotic to her dead husband is already heavily in the text of the film, but the final scene makes her final ascension even more indebted to his drastic act.

It’s hard to not read A Star Is Born‘s ending as trivializing suicide down to a plot point to give the fundamentally broken male lead the defining role in its female protagonist’s arc. It’s a weird move to make in 2018, although don’t believe this is just the product of an 80-year-old movie being remade. There’s something flawed at the heart of A Star Is Born.

Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad

The True Story Behind A Star Is Born’s Ending Explains The Problem

There have been four versions of A Star Is Born: the 1937 Hollywood-skewering original starring Janet Gaynor and Frederick March, the 1954 musical starring Judy Garland and James Mason, the 1976 shift to the music industry with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and the latest Cooper/Gaga release. Each one has its own quirks, but all endeavor to tell the same story of love and fame intertwined, and all have the same basic ending. But the 1937 version isn’t the start. While A Star Is Born‘s narrative is a fiction, it’s very much based on truth; each movie is rooted heavily in the entertainment industry of the time – Hollywood for the 1937 and 1954 versions, music for 1976 and 2018 – and aims to tell an encapsulating story. There are some real-life events that inspired it.

The established star falling for an unknown as she climbs to the top was seen in actors Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Fay’s relationship, with the pair marrying in 1928 when the former was an unknown after starring in a Broadway show together. Their marriage fell apart after she rose above him and he fell into alcoholism. They separated in 1935 after seven years of marriage, two years before A Star Is Born was released. This appears to have been composited with the death of silent film actor John Bowers, who died at sea in 1936 after failing to win a part (whether it was a suicide or not is unclear). There are others (as we’ll see) but these are regarded as the ones who powered the 1937 version.

Related: Lady Gaga Fans Are Trolling Venom With Fake Bad Reviews

Of course, there’s one key distinction between inspiration and movie: in real life, it was two unrelated stories. There are the famous lovers who piggyback success and the past-it star who takes his own life, but in all cases these two aspects are entirely independent; the woman goes on to greater success by cutting the man out, while elsewhere another man falls from grace. Both stories epitomize Hollywood together, and taken alongside each other rather than melded have an ingrained believability. A Star Is Born trades that for something more streamlined in having the suicide be the culmination of the romance, but it’s also idealistic and wistful, losing the real moral of either.

This is reflected in what is regarded as a proto-Star Is Born, the 1932 film What Price Hollywood? Released five years before the 1937 version and produced also by David O. Selznick (and directed by George Cukor, who was approached for the first A Star Is Born and directed the first remake), this is regarded as something of a dry run at the story. Obviously from the release year it can’t share the same real-life inspirations (although, because this is the Golden Age of Hollywood, there are others pointed to), but the core concept and even smaller story beats are there, albeit with one massive difference: the leads are not romantically involved. Lowell Sherman’s Max drunkenly finds Constance Bennett’s Mary and helps make her a star, eventually killing himself after he sees realizes how far he’s fallen and is hurting his friend, while Mary’s suffers an ill-fated marriage that breaks down due to her absences filming and is reconciled at the end.

Watched today, What Price Hollywood? has a cynicism about the film industry ahead of its time despite ultimately being a movie romanticizing Hollywood – and at the core of this is the tragic story of Max and its impact on Mary’s life. The title question is apt.

How The Remakes Have Tried To “Fix” The Ending

In contrast to What Price Hollywood?, A Star Is Born 1937 carries a self-awareness and charm, but in bridging the romantic and the career side of protagonist Esther creates the problematic suicide reading. It’s not helped by dated elements, including the defining part of Esther’s ascension being the actress known as Vicki Lester taking on her husband’s name with a declaration “This is Mrs. Norman Maine“. It works given the time period, but even 16 years later needed an update.

Related: Watch the Trailer For A Star Is Born

The 1954 version is, for the most part, a beat-for-beat remake, just with dance number expansion to make it a musical, but it does make some strides to justifying the ending. The toll that caring for a drunk has on Judy Garland’s Vicki Lester is shown gradually, most upsettingly in an off-stage breakdown she immediately returns to filming from: an unavoidable presentation of the line between art and performer. But, ultimately, it ends in the same way: Norman Maine overhears Vicki’s plans to quit acting to care for her husband, so he feigns going for a swim and drowns himself; after a traumatic period and being unmasked at her funeral (the invasion of the press), Vicki returns to the public eye where she declares herself “Mrs. Norman Maine“. Every issue discussed is here.

The 1976’s A Star Is Born is overall incredibly melodramatic, nowhere less than its handling of the ending. What it should be praised for is its attempts at giving the female lead a greater sense of autonomy: throughout Streisand’s Esther makes decisions that power the narrative, not just being led along by Kristoffersen as those who came before her, but that’s lost thuddingly in the finale. After his meltdown, John Howard has imposed isolation – not rehab – and when returning home immediately sleeps with a reporter wanting an interview for Esther. The couple tries to power past this, but John figures he’s still broken and crashes his car at high speeds. Again, Esther is sad before taking his name (and singing at a tribute event).

Like we’ve already explored with A Star Is Born 2018, all versions have tried to provide their own contemporary spin on the tale to iron out its kinks, yet all wind up having to repeat the same suicide-anger-name triple-tap that doesn’t belong. A degree can be accounted to the changing times, but that ignores that the original trio of movies released over nearly 40 years, and that Cooper wasn’t able to address it either.

Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

Why Bradley Cooper Can’t Fix A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper certainly tries to bring a modern slant to the worn tale of A Star Is Born. He invests heavily in making Jack and Ally’s opposite trajectories operate independently – Jack is suffering from tinnitus before he’s heard a note of “La Vie En Rose”, while Ally’s SNL appearance is deemed to contradict his advice – while making the love story more immediate. It’s a bigger story, more personal and considerably more consummately paced.

But, like all the others, the ending hits a snag. And some of his decisions make it worse. The method of final descent is different, with the awards show upset and rehab undone not by Maine going off the rails again as in every other take, but rather by Ally’s agent calling his supposed bluff. It’s implied from the British Rez knowing when exactly Jackson first toured across the pond that he was once a fan, now disillusioned with his hero, making him a millennial scapegoat to any affronting reading.

Related: 2018 Fall Movie Preview: The 30 Films to See

This generational push and pull could have been what sent A Star Is Born to greatness. Sam Elliott’s speech about there only being twelve notes played over and over, with the majesty coming from how the artist uses them is a beautiful sentiment that sees Cooper self-justifying another remake and appears like a zen view on the entertainment business that birthed it. Except it isn’t, because this idea is also trying to explain the ending, claiming that the music industry is cyclical and that stars are born and then new stars are born later; Jack’s death is enabling that. What the film seems to miss is that for one state to ever enter another, a star must always die. Ally will fall too. The raw textual argument is that the failures are as eternal as the successes, raising the question of worth, yet the film provides no further exploration and presents it as somehow immediately uplifting.

And that’s the hump that A Star Is Born 2018, like its predecessors, can’t get over. The story thinks it’s a biting, self-aware take on itself, but it’s too close to the subject to see that it’s really just propagating a harsh cycle. This isn’t helped by the film being weighted by so much – the casting of Lady Gaga, his writer-director-producer-actor whammy, even Sam Elliott as the Sam Elliott-type – although those concerns are also the key explanation for what’s really going on.

A Star Is Born Only Exists Because Of Ego

Throughout this article, there’s been one question dangling unspoken. Why are there four versions of A Star Is Born anyway? It’s a story that is flawed and dated, on a topic which has been tackled in more films than any other. Yes, each movie got serious Oscar nominations and wins, but that alone isn’t enough to justify going back. The true answer is enlightening.

1954’s A Star Is Born was conceived as a bid to restart Judy Garland’s career after it stalled over the 1940s. 1976’s A Star Is Born was Barbra Streisand’s attempt (along with then-husband Jon Peters) to boost her standing in Hollywood. And 2018’s A Star Is Born is Bradley Cooper’s grand attempt to win the Oscar that he believes he deserves (his entire post-Hangover career is a carefully played game of chess with a Golden Baldie the King). There are studio concerns too (before Cooper, Warner Bros had been attempting to get a remake off the ground since the early 2010s, although as a Beyonce vehicle has the same career expansion goals), but those are the primary purposes of each version. A Star Is Born is a vanity project on repeat.

Related: A Star Is Born Is An Oscar Favorite – But Could An Infamous Producer Hurt Its Chances?

Now, vanity projects needn’t be bad, and indeed a lot of good comes from each of these attempts. Indeed, each was ultimately successful in both their primary and commercial goals: Garland’s career was rejuvenated; Streisand won her second Oscar; and Cooper’s currently the front-runner in multiple categories for next year’s Academy Awards.

But this aspect appears to be why each version of A Star Is Born struggles to understand the real meaning of its ending. Each powering force believes this movie will be what takes them being a Norman/Jack Maine to a new Esther/Ally while missing that it’s built into the story to be impossible. They believe so much in the two contradictory Hollywood legends wholesale, so don’t see that the story is almost warning against such a thing.

A Star Is Born Is No Longer Needed

In recent years, we’ve seen Hollywood’s reliable rotation of movies about itself take a genuinely incisive slant. 2015’s Best Picture Winner Birdman was an ostentatious exploration of ego that too ended with the protagonist committing suicide, but there it was with the wry critique that fame and adoration are fleeting and that such a bold act was the only way for the self-involved hero to reach the heights he dreamed of. Then there’s 2017’s almost-Best Picture Winner La La Land, which was a celebration of Hollywood-gone-by looking at love in a city of stars, eventually concluding that success required the sacrifice of the central relationship.

Together, these take on all the ideas that A Star Is Born is playing with and apply them in a more thoughtful way. The messages are more widely applicable and their endnotes have considerably less of the hypocrisy. Birdman and La La Land may find joy in the arts, but they also uncover the trials of creativity and fame, keeping the brutal truths in earshot while presenting from a position of success.

A Star Is Born 2018 is a good movie, an undeniable achievement for both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. But there is a flaw at the heart of the tale that just doesn’t ring true. Unless it’s made with a completely revisionist, ego-less eye, in twenty years we do not need another one.

More: Every Version Of A Star Is Born Ranked, From Garland To Gaga



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2018-10-06 01:10:52 – Alex Leadbeater

Best Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Abilities to Unlock First

Unlocking abilities in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is paramount not only with regards to surviving in the open world game but also being able to complete it without having to resort to constantly retreating. Just like most action-adventure and role-playing games, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey gives players several tools to aid them in their journey, of which the abilities section is what elevates the playing experience above what franchise fans are perhaps used to.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey contains three sections of abilities – Hunter (ranged), Warrior (close-quarters combat), and Assassin (stealth) – and neither section should be ignored, for having a well-rounded skill tree provides for a more holistic experience. Every time players level up, they receive one new skill to redeem for any ability that’s currently available. And after progressing far enough into the story, they can even upgrade certain abilities, namely the ones that are assigned to their combat wheels.

Best Assassin Abilities in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Starting out, it’s always best to begin filling out the Assassin category seeing as this game is, well… an Assassin’s Creed game, and stealth is just as prominent in this title as previous installments. For this section, unlocking Shadow Assassin is key to starting off, seeing as it allows players to assassinate stronger targets. Upgrade it along the way as well, whenever possible. Then, unlocking Venomous Attacks and then later Poison Mastery helps in injuring the enemy, even with ranged attacks; it’s especially useful when fighting captains and tougher enemies who have high endurance. Next is Hero Strike, which uses the full power of the Spear of Leonidas to deal a powerful strike. Along these lines, Critical Assassination is also enormously helpful in assassinating captains and various other mini-bosses who would otherwise require multiple strikes to defeat. Unlocking Shadow of Nyx is certainly useful, but it’s not something that players would use often unless they are in a hectic situation and have nowhere to go.

Best Warrior Abilities in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

From the get-go, most players would want to start out with Sparta Kick, an ability which general gamers will recognize from the movie 300. Beyond being cool, it actually comes in handy when attempting to create some distance between yourself and the enemy. After that, acquiring the Bull Rush ability will help in clearing out a horde of enemies that have lined up. Even though those two aforementioned abilities will help clear out enemies, players will come face-to-face with some people with shields. To defeat them (or, at least disarm them while fighting), players should unlock the Shield Breaker ability. Then, in order to protect themselves and increase their damage, it’s best to acquire the Weapons Master and Gear Master abilities next – and upgrade them whenever the opportunity arises. Increasing damage and armor is vital to surviving harrowing fights later on.

Best Hunter Abilities in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Continuing off Assassin’s Creed Origins, archery in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is of utmost importance. Predator Shot should be selected first, seeing as it’s strong and allows players to guide the arrow themselves. It’s good at hitting hard to reach targets. Next up, Devastating Shot; a special ability that unleashes a powerful arrow, which can be even more powerful if fully charged up, to significantly damage stronger enemies. In fact, to completely master and utilize the hunter abilities to their fullest, it’s best to unlock the entire right column of that category: Archery Master (increases hunter damage), Overpower Bow Strike (a fully charged arrow that deals 1000% damage), and Ghost Arrows of Artemis (an arrow that be shot through shields, walls, etc.). The only other ability worth getting from the hunter category is Multi-Shot, which is useful in targeting four or more enemies at once. It helps with crowd control.

If players choose to follow this guide, they may unlock the aforementioned abilities at whatever point they feel like, but those are undoubtedly the best abilities that will aid players in their journey across Greece.



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2018-10-05 02:10:28 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

After Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, What Should Lara Croft Do Now?

Shadow of the Tomb Raider has received its long-awaited release, and those players who had been anticipating a fitting end to this arc of Lara Croft’s story were met with one. Although the finale of the game may have been a little bit of the cryptic side when it comes to the game’s own lore and prophecies, prompting some to need a bit of an explanation about the game’s end, nonetheless it aimed to close the page on this particular chapter of Tomb Raider.

However, this could leave long-term fans of the franchise asking some questions about the future of Tomb Raider as a whole. After all, this reboot-meets-prequel series from Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal was an attempt to both bring the franchise into the modern day and deliver a fitting entry point for the story of Lara Croft as a character.

Related: Shadow of the Tomb Raider Review: A Definitive Lara Croft Adventure

As such, some may be wondering exactly what Shadow of the Tomb Raider means for the future of the series, and for the character of Lara Croft as well. Thankfully, there are a fair few choices that publisher Square Enix could pursue with the property, although they do have the option of waiting for a while yet before deciding to plunge back into the world of Tomb Raider.

Those hoping to see Crystal Dynamics or Eidos Montreal delve deep into another crypt for Tomb Raider in the short term might be left disappointed, however. The end of the game certainly puts Lara Croft herself on a bit of a hiatus, returning back home to her mansion to wanting to spend some time “around the living.” So, from either studio’s mind at least, it looks as though they’re happy to give Lara bit of time off. Perhaps this opens the door for a return for the more mature Lara seen in the earlier games in the series.

Beyond this, of course, there’s the reality that Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal are busy working on another property. The developers are working on The Avengers, an adaptation that has required Crystal Dynamics to open up an additional studio to help work on the project. At the moment, little is known about the game beyond a few hints dropped by Square Enix, and the game was absent from the likes of E3 2018.

As such, it could be some time before Crystal Dynamics or Eidos Montreal is able to work on another Tomb Raider game. After all, it seems as though The Avengers is still some way from being released, and with such a huge intellectual property as that on the cards, the developers will want to hit all the marks with the game. This is perhaps compounded with the huge reception that the PS4 exclusive Spider-Man has received, so all eyes will be on the next triple-A Marvel game.

Tomb Raider has had its fair share of games over the years, even spin-off games such as Lara Croft Go. Crystal Dynamics itself also developed Tomb Raider games outside of the most recent trilogy, namely Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. And so, there’s always a chance that another developer could be given a crack at developing a game in a different manner to these more recent cinematic experiences.

The important thing, of course, is that Eidos Montreal has left the door open for further games – even those within it and Crystal Dynamics’ version of the Tomb Raider story. The game ends with Lara having one of those rare moments of peace, but there’s no reason this peace couldn’t be broken for another adventure. Equally, Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s finale also sits as a fitting end to that arc, and perhaps to that version of Lara Croft, with a line drawn under the villainous Trinity and Croft herself apparently enjoying a moment of relaxation.

There’s now a great level of flexibility to be found in the future of Tomb Raider, and this is something that Square Enix should relish. After all, Tomb Raider has previously been a little hit and miss when attempting to reinvent itself, so the next time Lara Croft returns Square Enix will want the series to have the same impact as these most recent releases.

The series is bound to be back sometime, of course: it’s one of the most iconic franchises around and is now part of the video game hall of fame. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that if Crystal Dynamics or Eidos Montreal are to ever return to the property, it could be some time. That said, the door is always open for Square Enix to turn to another studio to give it a crack in the meantime.

Next: Tomb Raider Game Writer Wants An Older Lara Croft



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2018-09-21 02:09:12 – Rob Gordon