Aladdin Will Smith as the Genie Disney
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Credit: Disney

The Week in Geek: Frozen gets dark, Will Smith goes blue, and Trek fixes a mistake

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Feb 15, 2019

What a great week! Truly, just a wonderful week all the way around. Nintendo put out a free Battle Royale Tetris game, and Doom Patrol dropped, as did The Umbrella Academy. Happy Death Day 2 U and Alita: Battle Angel are in theaters. It's a huge week.

It's so huge, in fact, that none of those very cool things made the list. I'm serious! Here they are: the five biggest stories from ... The Week in Geek!

WILL SMITH LOOKS BAD IN BLUE

Did you watch the Grammys this year? If you didn't, don't worry about it. Just rest confidently knowing that Cardi B continues to slap and Janelle Monae was robbed. What really matters about Sunday night is the commercial that aired for Aladdin.

Oh. Boy.

We have never had a friend like blue Will Smith, and I think it goes without saying, but most people are good with it staying that way. #Yikes! This entire week has been spent just laying into how bad the CGI looks. What manner of monkey's paw did we collectively wish upon when we said the Aladdin genie has to be blue that yielded such a result? Was this really always the plan? Because it looks like it was not.

Anyway, the internet needs memes, so, silver lining (blue lining?), at least people are talking about Aladdin!

Culber and Stamets in Star Trek: Discovery

Credit: CBS All Access

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY CORRECTS ITS BIGGEST MISTAKE

**SPOILER ALERT: There are spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, Episode 5, "Saints of Imperfection," below.**

In 2016, a lot of LGBTQIA+ characters were killed off on their respective shows. There were so many fictional deaths, in fact, that a conversation rose up around a trope called "Bury Your Gays," which basically points out the overwhelming likelihood that, if a character is queer in any way, they will die. This trope has existed for a while, but it was in late 2016 and into 2017 when the conversation got big enough that many major outlets started to cover it.

Fast-forward a year later to 2018 and we see Hugh Culber, half of the first-ever gay couple in the history of Star Trek, killed off on Star Trek: Discovery. It was, to say the least, not a great look for the show, especially after the "Bury Your Gays" conversation had been so prevalent for the prior two years.

Both the show's creators and the actor playing Hugh Culber, Wilson Cruz, insisted this was not the end of Hugh's story. Toward the end of the first season of Star Trek: Discovery, Culber's partner, Paul Stamets (played by Anthony Rapp), experiences a vision of Hugh, suggesting there could be more to their love story.

And this week, in the aptly titled episode "Saints of Imperfection," Hugh Culber did, in fact, return. Pulled from the mycelial network that allows the Discovery to travel near-instantaneously, a version of Dr. Culber created from both the loss and love of Stamet's own mind is brought back to the ship intact.

To say that it is a huge moment for the characters and the show is an understatement. So many queer Trek fans were crushed by Hugh's death. Seeing a gay couple in one of sci-fi's most important franchises was a big deal, and losing them was incredibly painful. But Hugh is back, willed into existence by the love within the show and from outside its own universe, too. It's a nice metaphor and some incredibly good news.

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker

Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney

NO, RIAN JOHNSON ISN'T LEAVING STAR WARS

Another week, another story that wasn't. Screenrant ran a story claiming that Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson was no longer in the galaxy-far-far-away game. The previous understanding had been, straight out of Kathleen Kennedy's mouth, that Johnson would be the creative force behind a new trilogy of Star Wars films. Screenrant reported on a now-deleted post from Super Bro Movies that claimed "multiple sources" were saying Johnson was no longer in the Star Wars biz. The rumor was that Johnson was no longer interested and that he would be moving on to other projects.

Guess no one told Rian Johnson!

Anyway, far be it from me to come after another website for reporting on a rumor, but let's just say it's nice to see all those people celebrating someone else's potential misery get cut at the knees.

Whether you like The Last Jedi or not, Rian Johnson's new Star Wars trilogy is still on the way!

Walt Disney Animation Studios on YouTube

FROZEN 2: 2 FAST 2 FROZENER

The first teaser trailer for Frozen II dropped this week. It was a very big deal! It's been roughly six years since the last Frozen movie rolled up and made $1.2 billion at the box office. And in those six years, "Let it Go" has remained the most unavoidable bop in the history of Disney, a Broadway musical adaptation debuted, Frozen was added to the world of Kingdom Hearts — basically, Frozen is an empire unto itself.

Seeing Elsa run along the ocean was very exciting! Even though she didn't run into Moana or Ariel, it was a big moment! People on the internet are excited, including middle-aged men like me for whom Frozen is not remotely the target audience.

Brie Larson Carol Danvers Captain Marvel

Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney

BRIE LARSON STANDS UP FOR WOMEN OF COLOR IN THE MEDIA

Captain Marvel is coming out next month, so, as you might imagine, the publicity machine is really up and running now. But one thing that might surprise you is that Brie Larson is taking a strong stance on how pressers go. It's not that she doesn't want to promote Captain Marvel. Quite the contrary! If anything, she wants to promote it even more, and to more diverse reporters. Says Larson in an interview with Marie Claire:

"About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies, and noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male. So, I spoke to Dr. Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who put together a study to confirm that. Moving forward, I decided to make sure my press days were more inclusive. After speaking with you, the film critic Valerie Complex and a few other women of color, it sounded like across the board they weren’t getting the same opportunities as others. When I talked to the facilities that weren’t providing it, they all had different excuses."

Obviously, this ruffled some feathers among the established press in our industry. A lot of the older, whiter folks felt that this was ... what? Racism? Sexism?

That's friggin' adorable. Quaint, even. A hoot!

I may not have done any official studies, but I can tell you as someone who's worked in entertainment media over the past decade that, yes, the people doing the interviewing for big movies like Captain Marvel do tend to be very white and very male. Is that changing? Sure! A little! You know what will probably help change that a little faster? Stars like Brie Larson speaking up and demanding change.

Anyway, we're glad to see Larson stepping up and even happier to see Valerie Complex (who's been on podcast episodes of both Who Won the Week and Every Day Horror) get a name drop.

And that's it! What stories were winning your week? Let us know in the comments, and we'll see each other again next week!


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