Killing Time: 9/4/2014 – The New Star Wars Expanded Universe Is Here

star wars

Like a lot of Star Wars fans, I was sad to see the Expanded Universe of nearly 30 years worth of books, comics and other ephemera banished from continuity.  The stories are still there under the new “Legends” banner, but as for what is official Star Wars canon.  It’s the six films and The Clone Wars.  Until, that is, this week.

This week marked the release of the first new Star Wars novel of the Expanded Universe: the first of four announced for release between now and next May.  Star Wars: A New Dawn by Jonathan Jackson Miller is meant to serve as a sort of prequel to Star Wars: Rebels which will debut in about a month on The Disney Channel.  I’ve just started in on it, so I can’t offer a comprehensive review.  What I did find really interesting was the foreword to the book by Clone Wars and Rebels head honcho Dave Filoni.  He described the new EU as:

“The old concept of what is canon and what isn’t is gone, and from this point forward our stories and our characters all exist in the same universe; the key creatives who work on the films, television, comic books, video games and novels are all connected creatively  for the first time in the history of the Star Wars universe.”

Disney is taking the “Marvel Model” and bringing it to another level.  The amount of coordination and pre-planning it will take to make sure that all Star Wars products agree with each other in a new EU that will grow exponentially over the next few years is staggering.  I think it’s not only commendable effort on the part of Lucasfilm, but I think it shows a level of commitment to the fans that’s been missing for a long time.

I hope they cherry pick the best characters and ideas from the EU.  I’d hate to think we’d never see Grand Admiral Thrawn or Mara Jade again.  The decision to scrap the EU, though, was the correct one.  You could never embark on a grand new exploration of the future of the Star Wars universe while bogged down by 30 years of material running hundreds of years after the films and hundreds of thousands before.  Trying to make new pieces fit within that framework would just end up frustrating everyone.  I can’t wait to get back to the book (I’ll try to get a review up here when I finish), and I really feel excited at the possibilities this kind of coordinated storytelling could offer us as fans.
Star Wars, Star Wars A New Dawn

R.I.P. Joan Rivers; Pioneering Comedian Dead at 81 (1933-2014)

Joan Rivers, Johnny Carson
Photo Courtesy of CNN

This year has just been brutal for celebrity deaths.  It’s a petty complaint, but I can’t stand writing obituaries, so please everyone, be careful out there.

There’s no denying Joan Rivers was a pioneer for women in comedy.  It’s hard to think way back, past the hideous runway fashion ogler she became in later years, but there was a time when Joan Rivers was one of the hottest stand-ups in the world.  She was Johnny Carson’s go-to person to guest host The Tonight Show, and when Carson retired, her name was briefly in the mix to replace him before the Letterman vs. Leno war began.

Rivers had been in the hospital for a week following a cardiac incident and passed away yesterday with friends and family.  More details from CNN below. Continue reading R.I.P. Joan Rivers; Pioneering Comedian Dead at 81 (1933-2014)

The Rock Will Be Black Adam in DC’s Shazam

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After months of not-so-subtly hinting that he was going to be involved in a DC movie soon, we now have confirmation that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be the main villain in DC’s Shazam movie.  Originally called Captain Marvel (which another comic company got a little peeved about for fairly obvious reasons), Shazam follows a boy named Billy Batson who is imbued by the wizard Shazam with extraordinary powers and abilities.  Think Superman, but with magic.  His main foe is a cast-out champion of Shazam called Black Adam.  He’s a heavy hitter in the DC Universe and The Rock does look uncannily like him.  Also confirmed is that a script for Shazam is done, but no director has yet been attached.  Speculation is that this film is a 2016 or 2017 release.  Hopefully DC will fill in the blanks on all those dates they reserved soon.

POLL: What’s the Best Show on TV?

It’s that time of year again, Time Killers.  The fall is just around the corner and this fall is one of the most exciting in years, especially for comic fans.  Not only do we already have Arrow and Agents of SHIELD, but this fall we’ll add The Flash, Constantine and Gotham.  We’ll have a new Star Wars show in Star Wars: Rebels.  And, who knows what surprises will emerge from the network pilots.  If you’d told me The Blacklist was going to be the community pick for best new show this time last year, you’d have had to pick me up off the floor.

Here, though, we decide the annual question of “What is the Best Show on TV?”  Last year, the resounding winner was Game of Thrones.  Will it repeat?  Will Sherlock repeat its Emmy success and knock the king of his (wait for the pun) throne?  Get to voting!  You’ll have all month and then we’ll crown the 2014 Community Choice around October 1st!

Game of Thrones
WILL IT REPEAT???