(1) AUTHENTIC STAR WARS CHOW. “Seen at the local coffeeshop,” says Will R. “Like the Ewoks themselves, I’m not sure this was such a great idea, but at least they’re getting in the spirit.”
(2) HERE’S WHO THEY CALLED. Yahoo! TV spotted “the first official photo of the new ‘Ghostbusters’”.
— Planet Ghostbusters (@protoncharging) December 16, 2015
(3) NOT AGHAST. Neil Gaiman is in talks to adapt Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast for the screen reports the Guardian’s Alison Flood.
Gaiman, a fan of the series, revealed last week that he was set to begin discussions about turning the novels into a film. “Tomorrow we start talking to studios, and will soon find out which of them wants to make Mervyn Peake’s wonderful Gormenghast as a movie,” he wrote on Twitter, later retweeting a fan who had advised him: “do not let Peter Jackson anywhere near it. I don’t want to watch 9 Gormenghast films. I ?would?, but I don’t want to.”
Fabian Peake, Mervyn Peake’s son, welcomed the possibility. “It is wonderful news that progress is being made on the filming of my father’s books. Plans for making a film, with Neil Gaiman as the writer, have been going on for a while now,” he said, describing himself as “very excited by the prospect of a Gormenghast film”.
(4) TRICK QUESTIONS. Steve Davidson at Amazing Stories has posted a 100 question “Fannish Survey”.
The questions were generated as I reviewed my own Fanhistory, comprised of both personal experience and acquired knowledge. It’s meant to be an exploration of the many different things of which the fannish community is comprised. But by no means all. A thousand question survey would not come close to covering the field. So I’ve restricted myself to a mere 100.
I refer to the survey as an exploration because the intent is more about encouraging survey takers to look into the history and culture and mores and sheer craziness the questions touch on, than it is about getting the answers right or demonstrating your mastery of the subject.
If even one question causes a fan to scratch their head and resort to Google, I’ll consider this exercise a success.
And on that score: please be honest with the survey and with yourself. Don’t use the internet or that copy of Harry Warner’s All Our Yesterdays sitting on the corner of your desk to help you figure out what the right answer is. You might get tripped up in the process because sometimes there isn’t a right answer. There may be an optimal answer, one requiring a little fannish logic to unravel, but in the end, sometimes “I don’t know” may be the correct answer. Which is your clue to do a little exploration of your own. Fannish culture is a rich and varied one, filled with many weird and wonderful geeky, nerdy things that have proven, through the evolutionary process of history, to be of interest and value to fans.
(5) JESSICA JONES REVIEW. Abigail Nussbaum is back with “Show Me a Hero: Thoughts on Jessica Jones “.
This is not to say, however, that Jessica Jones is only conventional. If the show lacks its own style, it more than makes up for it by having a very definite point of view–that of a show by, about, and for women. This goes all the way down to the smallest details, such as the fact that bit parts that in almost any other series would have been filled by men almost as a matter of course–roles like a courier delivering a package, a guest on a radio talk show, or a drug dealer–are here played by women. Or the fact that the show casts many of its recurring and guest roles with middle-aged characters actresses like Carrie-Anne Moss, Robin Weigert, Jessica Hecht, and Rebecca De Mornay. Or the fact that it features three gay women. Even closer to the core of its story, the show continues to prioritize female characters and female relationships. Its central relationship is between Jessica and her foster-sister Trish (Rachael Taylor), and though both women have romantic subplots–Jessica with handsome bar owner Luke Cage (Mike Colter, whose own MCU Netflix series will debut next year); Trish with police officer Will Simpson (Wil Traval), another of Kilgrave’s victims who tries to join Jessica’s fight against him–ultimately both of these men are treated as sideshows to the season’s main love story between the two sisters. And then, of course, there’s the thing that everyone has been talking about, the fact that Jessica Jones is explicitly, unabashedly, a show about rape, abuse, and recovering from them.
(5) MORE FALLOUT. Joe Abercrombie reviews Fallout 4.
It’s taken five years for Fallout 4 to appear, but it’s been well worth the wait. There’s a cracking opening – classic Fallout both expanded on and condensed – in which you witness the fall of civilisation, are put into deep-freeze as part of one of Vault-Tec’s sinister experiments, and wake to a strange, new, and horrible future in the post-nuclear wasteland. The action this time around moves to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and though with Minutemen, Lexington and Bunker Hill there are shades of revolutionary stylings the focus mostly returns to Fallout staples like vault suits, raiders, super mutants and the Brotherhood of Steel, and is stronger for it.
(6) ALTERNATE HISTORY? Michael J. Walsh assures me this Netflix ad aired during the Republican candidates’ debate the other night.
Frank Underwood – FU2016 – House of Cards
(7) PROBABLY NOT A SPOILER BUT YOU WERE WARNED. Drew McWeeny answers the question “Who Played The Voice Of BB-8 In ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’?”
One might think that BB-8’s “voice” would simply be created in the same way that R2-D2’s was, with the outstanding sound team on the film following in Ben Burtt‘s footsteps. Instead, this is how comedian/actor/omnipresent film personality Bill Hader described his work on the film to me today when I asked him what “vocal consultant” consisted of:
“JJ f**king around with this sound effects app on his iPad that was attached to a talk box operated by me. It looked ridiculous but it made BB-8’s voice. At first I tried doing a voice, but we all agreed it sounded too human.”
… Ben Schwartz, known to many for his stellar work as Jean-Ralphio on “Parks and Recreation,” was also credited as a “BB-8 Vocal Consultant,” so I guess they both contributed to the final version of what we hear onscreen.
(8) YULE BE SORRY. The Verge’s Chris Plante, in “Five hours of Darth Vader’s burning corpse will replace your Yule Log”, points to a YouTube video.
…But then you hear a soft, crackling sound coming from the living room. The warm glow of Christmas bends around the corner of the hall, and you follow it, believing the holiday and its flickering decorations will provide a reprieve from Star Wars mania. Surely, you think, someone wouldn’t pervert Christmas for the sake of crass consumerism.
And there you see it, roaring on the television. Your goofy Five Hours of Yule Log DVD has been swapped with five hours of Darth Vader burning in a funeral pyre. You fall to your knees, raise your credit card hands into the air, and you scream….
Plante also published some Jedi theology he later received as feedback from a reader who suggested it would be more accurate to say “Five Hours of Darth Vader’s burning suit will replace your Yule Log.” Because you can’t slip this kind of thing past trufans…
(9) DARTH VADER’S RESUME. Julie Bort on Business Insider, in “This is What Darth Vader’s Resume Would Look Like If He Were Job-Hunting,” tells how the website Enhancv would pump up Darth Vader’s resume in case the Sith Lord was on the Evil Job Market. This state-of-the-art resume looks like a clever infographic.
Let’s say you are the Sith Lord Darth Vader, when your employer, the evil Emperor, decides he doesn’t need your services anymore and lays you off. Maybe he appoints another Sith, and for reasons known only to his own black heart, doesn’t dispense with you in his typical way by ending your life.
You’ll find yourself suddenly jobless, but with a lot of specialized skills that are surely valuable to some other incarnation of evil being.
One catch: You’ll need a résumé. And given your previous work history, a boring, old-school résumé won’t do. You’d need something snazzy. Something that can capture your skill, your personality, and the eye of a new nefarious lord you can serve.
The folks at résumé-writing startup Enhancv came up with this résumé of Darth Vader for just such an occasion. Enhancv offers an online service that automatically critiques your résumé with suggestions to improve it….
(10) VADER’S CHARMS: “All the sugar plus the dark side,” promises John King Tarpinian.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, and Michael J. Walsh for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]