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WIRE Buzz: Poe Dameron gets backstory novel; Sci-fi all-stars land Walmart ad; more

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Jan 30, 2020, 4:16 AM EST (Updated)

One of the new Star Wars trilogy's most beloved newcomers, Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron, is having his canonical backstory fleshed out in the official Star Wars literature.

According to Polygon, Archie Comics co-president Alex Segura will be tackling a world that Star Wars fans only got a taste of thanks to The Rise of Skywalker's Zorii Bliss and Babu Frick. But the spice trade isn't all that's going to be tackled in Star Wars: Poe Dameron: Free Fall, the upcoming YA novel about Poe's teen days — it's going full origin story. Poe lost his pilot mom and runs away from home, looking for adventure and himself.

The link with Zorii Bliss? It'll be addressed. Spicy crime (that's crime involving spices) and familial backstory will go hand in hand when the novel makes Poe into more than just the Star Wars universe's hottest hot-head.

Star Wars: Poe Dameron: Free Fall hits shelves on Aug. 4.


Next, some Super Bowl commercials like to surprise fans with a fun cameo from a genre star or two. That tactic will likely never be as impressive as Walmart’s intense, name-checking who’s who of sci-fi properties in its ad for the big game, which has everyone from Star Wars droids C-3PO and R2-D2 to a young AND old version of Bill & Ted’s Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter).

Take a look:

Oh, and of course the blocky leads of the Lego movies, the aliens from Mars Attacks!, Marvin the Martian from Looney Tunes, everyone from Men in Black, and the aliens from Arrival all make the cut ... among others. There are so many to count, it’s like a parody film with just the easter eggs left in. What is this even advertising? Science fiction in general?

Even Flash Gordon showed up, right after the USS Enterprise! It checks all the boxes for modern media, which may make this Walmart ad the biggest crossover event in the world of genre (or at least the biggest since their last Super Bowl ad). Now, when is it getting a big-screen adaptation?


Finally, as all things Back to the Future seem to contractually include Christopher Lloyd, the upcoming U.K. musical adaptation of the classic sci-fi series has cut a trailer featuring the film’s “Doc" Brown himself.

The show, which will adapt the Robert Zemeckis film with Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard adding an original score to the soundtrack’s inescapable pop hits ("The Power of Love," "Johnny B. Goode," "Earth Angel," and "Back in Time"), has cast Olly Dobson as its Marty McFly and Roger Bart as its version of the wild-eyed (and wild-haired) Dr. Emmett L. Brown. Both newcomers meet up with Lloyd in the musical’s trailer, much to his grumpy chagrin.

Check it out:

The ‘80s are alive and well — the new cast members are even late and hammy just like their original inspirations. And Dobson looks like he belongs in high school just as much as Michael J. Fox did back then ... which is to say, not at all. But their musical bona fides are solid: Bart already has a pair of Tony Awards. And if it's not immediately a hit? Well, if we're not ready for it, our kids are probably going to love it.

Back to the Future brings music to the stage at the Manchester Opera House starting on Feb. 20 and ending on May 17.


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