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The Week in Geek: Skywalker rises and Hellboy sinks down below
The week is over. Long live the week. And what a week it was. Lots of things big and small happening, but mostly Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
But also I guess other things happened. I guess. Here they are: the five biggest stories from ... The Week in Geek!
SONY DID THE SMALLEST MOST NECESSARY THING
We don't talk about gaming news a lot on this here round-up, but sometimes something so enormous happens, so game-changing, so ground-shifting that it's got to be talked about.
So what is it? Is that Final Fantasy VII remake finally coming out? Nope. Did we hear something about the PlayStation 5? Nah ah, baby! What could it be, then?
You can change your name on PSN. That's it.
Wait, come back! This is a big deal! Sony has been waiting a stone cold decade to allow for this, the most obvious thing in history. Think about it: How many things about you are the same as they were a decade ago? How many cellular regenerations have you gone through? How many different hairstyles have you gotten? How many times have you said, "No, really, this is the dankest meme of all time!"
You can change your name on Twitter. You can change your name on Facebook (so long as you're white). Hell, it's been easier to change your legal name in real life than it is to update your PlayStation handle.
But, henceforth, you can do it (mostly). And it's free (the first time)! Only $5 after that. But it's all a small price to pay for finally being able to crawl out of the shame of naming yourself "ButtSmasher69" or, worse, "AvatarRulez" when you were 12 thinking that was hilarious.
HELLBOY OH BOY WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE
Hi, friends. It's me, your local Mike Mignola fan. Hellboy is a very cool character. He's got a big, cool fist, a huge roster of allies and enemies, a visual aesthetic that's instantly recognizable, and two Guillermo del Toro movies under his belt that most people like.
This week he got a new movie starring David Harbour and directed by Neil Marshall, who made The Descent, aka one of the best horror movies of all time. What could go wrong?
I say this with actual sadness in my heart: The reason Hellboy's new movie is notable is because it is arguably one of the worst comic book adaptations ever made and it basically guarantees we won't get any future Hellboy adaptations for years to come. It's not Roger Corman's Fantastic Four levels of bad (or any Fantastic Four movie levels of bad, come to think of it), but it's pretty awful.
The CGI looks half-finished, the plot is so disjointed and episodic that it feels like someone (poorly) edited together a few episodes of a Hellboy TV show, and Hellboy himself is the whiniest, most melodramatic superhero since Superboy Prime spat out the line "I'll kill you to death" in Countdown to Final Crisis.
There are two post-credit sequences for Hellboy 2019, and if we get sequels built off of either of them, I'll eat every hat on this earth. This is the kind of movie that could kill a career stone dead. David Harbour can't have Stranger Things 3 come out soon enough.
BLACK HOLE SUN HAS FINALLY COME
Black holes. We love making TV episodes about them. How many times have we as fans of science fiction thought about quantum singularities and what they could hypothetically do to make the plot of a movie more interesting? But the thing is, we've never actually seen one. We've just got the theory that they exist.
All that changed this week when we got our first glimpse of a for-real black hole. The photo comes from the Messier 87 galaxy, some 53.49 million light-years away from the little blue planet we call home.
And one of the biggest stories to come out of all of this is the source of the algorithm that made it all possible. It's not enough to have eight linked telescopes all working together as an Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration (that's the official badass name, by the way). In order to properly capture the halo of dust and gas surrounding this black hole, you've gotta be able to work the equation. And that work was done by 29-year-old Dr. Katie Bouman.
It's incredible work, and it's tremendously exciting having a woman at the forefront. Imagine starting work on a program while you're a graduate student and taking that project all the way from the classroom to the real world and bringing science such an incredible leap forward. It's absolutely tremendous.
IT'S THE CIRCLE OF LIVE ACTION REMAKE LIFE
The new Lion King movie released a trailer. That's it. That's the tweet.
Disney's "live-action" remakes are always hit or miss, but the CGI on this new Lion King is next level. Hearing James Earl Jones' voice is a pretty good feeling, too.
OKAY BUT STAR WARS, THOUGH
This weekend Star Wars Celebration is happening in Chicago. There will be toys. There will be intense cosplaying. But the one thing that mattered most has already happened and that is that the trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker dropped. It's being called a teaser, but, honestly, do you really want any more than that? It's Star Wars! You're seeing it. I'm seeing it. Astronauts will be watching it from space. Mole people will be watching it underground.
What are people talking about, though? I can't believe I'm saying "spoilers" for a teaser trailer, but spoilers, I guess. Because the thing everyone is talking about is the laugh. THAT LAUGH. Yes, it's true: Emperor Palpatine is coming back. We also know that Luke is coming back. And if they're both coming back, who knows who else might be back?
My hot take is that we'll see Darth Vader and Han Solo in this movie somehow. Or, maybe better said, we'll see Anakin Skywalker and Han Solo in this movie. My other hot take is that both Finn and Rey, who don't have last names of their own, will take the name Skywalker at the end of the movie.
And that's it. The Week in Geek is over. Try to contain yourself while you wait for winter to come this weekend.