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SYFY WIRE The Week in Geek

The Week in Geek: Dark Crystal goes dark, Rey goes dark, Joker goes even darker?

By Dany Roth
joker joaquin phoenix

You've made it to the end of another week. Congratulations! Sadly, it's the end of the summer. With one last, long Labor Day weekend to go, maybe you'll hit the beach or travel to a fair.

Or maybe you're stuck inside. Either way, take one last look at the last seven days that were. Maybe you'll find something to occupy your time as we shift from summer to fall.

Here they are: The five biggest stories from ... The Week in Geek!


If there's one clear contender for a binge-watch over the extended weekend, it's the new Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. The original Dark Crystal, which served as Frank Oz's directorial debut, remains one of the most inspiring all-ages films ever produced. Brian Froud's design remains as instantly awe-inspiring over three decades later as it did when The Dark Crystal first debuted in 1982.

Age of Resistance takes the original concept of The Dark Crystal and expands upon it in exciting ways. The original film suggested a split in leadership between Skeksis and Mystic caused disharmony across an entire world. Age of Resistance reveals a more actively sinister force in the Skeksis and a choice in creating an imbalanced world.

At once frightening and wondrous, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is as relevant and vibrant as the original Jim Henson film that inspired it.


Last weekend, attendees of Disney's D23 Expo were treated to a new sneak peek of Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker. This week, the rest of us got a look. And the one thing everyone is still talking about is Dark Rey.

In case you didn't know, the very final image of the latest pseudo-trailer features what appears to be Rey shrouded in black Sith robes and holding a dual-bladed, red lightsaber.

Does Rey turn to the Dark side? Is this a vision? Real life? Is this really Rey, or is it a clone Rey? Is Rey a clone? Is Rey a Skywalker? Is Rey a Palpatine?

Obviously, that one second of footage inspired a lot of fan theories. So if you're having a last summer barbecue, maybe you and your friends can wildly theorize whether Rey is evil/will be evil/was evil all along. A very normal summer activity.

WoW® Classic with Creators


Did you know that Blizzard's long-running MMORPG World of Warcraft has been around for 15 gosh-darn years? Think of all that mana! And over the course of that decade and a half, there's been no shortage of patch updates and expansions, changes both subtle and profound that make World of Warcraft what it is today.

But what if we could roll back the hands of time? What if we could play World of Warcraft back when the world (of Warcraft) was new? Starting this week, you can basically do that.

If you've got a World of Warcraft account, this week Blizzard began offering access to World of Warcraft Classic, a version of the game as it existed in 2006. That's two years after WoW was initially launched, but it's still before the MMORPG received its first full expansion, The Burning Crusade.

Streamers have been all over the beta version of WoW Classic for a hot minute, but the finalized version is out in the world now. The wait times to log on are a little tedious. And, yes, famous streamers can make playing the game a little dicey if you encounter them in-game. But, for the most part, this is a great opportunity to turn back the clock and remember what WoW was like in its nascency. No fast travel. Much more difficult to play alone. A world that is a little smaller but also feels more wild and expansive by virtue of how underpopulated it is with quests.

So if you want that hint of gaming nostalgia this weekend, if you want to imagine it's still 2006 (and, gosh, who knew that's a thing we could collectively want?), then WoW Classic is a pretty good way to go.


The final trailer for the forthcoming Todd Phillips-directed Joker movie was released this week. It features even more of the disturbingly sad life of Arthur Fleck as he barrels toward his inevitable, Jokery madness.

There's a lot to say about Joker's potential. Certainly the Joker has the dual capacity to be both the bogeyman people fear and the bogeyman people fear they might become. But the conversation growing out of this "more mature" take on comic book films is: What's the impact? And, even more complex: In what ways should an artist account for the world they share their art in?

The greatest anxiety for the film Joker is not that it will scare people, but that it will inspire them. Even if, in no uncertain terms, Joaquin Phoenix's take on the Joker is defined as ultimately evil, there will, inevitably, be people who see him as heroic, someone to exemplify. That's the world we live in. Perhaps that is more so the world we live in now than it ever has been before.

So, if the answer to the question "Who is this Joker movie for?" is "It's for people who want to be the Joker," what does that mean? That's the question that weighs heavy on the mind of the ethical comic book nerd, and there ain't no easy answer.


There were a lot of trailers in this otherwise quiet week, so let's talk about Terminator: Dark Fate (which I keep wanting to call Dark Harvest because more organs mean more human). Fans of (at least two films in) the Terminator franchise have been waiting a long time for James Cameron to be actively involved with the time-traveling robopocalypse story again. But the first trailer didn't quite seem to inspire the confidence we were all collectively hoping it would.

But this latest trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate makes one very smart move: It places its focus on Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor. Here we see her much more actively in the fight, not only against Judgment Day but, also, to some degree, against the other people trying to fight Judgment Day as well.

We also got more of Arnold Schwarzenegger than just him looking serious whilst in a cabin doorway, so that's nice! And, of course, there was a lot more Terminator action. All in all, a much more satisfying trailer. Something to chew over and rewatch during the long weekend.

And that's it. Your week in geek is over. Go in peace. Let us know what you thought of these stories and what stories captured your attention.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the authors', and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.