Geekly Roundup: Pulling Back the Curtain Edition

The worlds of movies and gaming are already engaging enough to capture the minds of millions upon millions, but sometimes the stories behind the scenes are even better than those on the screen! Plus, yet more news about the renewed cultural phenomenon that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and as always, the latest in science — and much more in this week’s Geekly Roundup!

Making Million-Dollar Movies

Or, perhaps, “Making Million-Dollar Mistakes”, as the staff of Tarantino’s latest Tarantino-fueled film did when allowing actor Kurt Russell to destroy a priceless antique on set — the sort of accident you’ll never fix in post. As post-production goes, though, we feature some incredible VFX work from The Revenant, Agent Carter, and Mad Max: Fury Road this week; of course, who needs post-production when you have a dazzlingly talented team running your show live, as in the recent Grease Live broadcast? Finally, in case you’ve wondered, Zack Snyder thinks the DC multiple-universes concept applies just fine to the DC Cinematic and DCTV universes.

Star Wars, Nothing But Star Wars

It’s still all over the news, and with good reason, as The Force Awakens has rapidly matured into a cultural phenomenon all its own. From LEGO teasers featuring your favorite criminally underused Mandalorian to incredible fan work under the title Reimagined, there’s plenty of news about Star Wars old and new to go around. We’ve got behind the scenes look at what makes Kylo Ren’s signature force noise go (and it’s not the sort of motor you expected), a peek into the growth of Leia as a head of state in the upcoming novel Bloodlines, great breakdowns of how the Force Awakens team blended both physical and digital in their creation of effects, and a touching piece of Star Wars history as Ewan McGregor discusses sharing a crucial Episode VII moment with none other than Sir Alec Guinness.

Gaming: Behind The Curtain

Making a game is an art-filled, caffeine-fueled, aesthetic-yet-mechanic endeavor, and one that is often fraught with peril, as with the somewhat tragic and tortured tale that is Ant Simulator and friends’ betrayal — or the frayed relationship that nearly escaped the passionate developer of The Binding of Isaac. On the other hand, hope abounds — from the revelation that adult women are now the largest demographic in gaming (depending on how you slice it), to the growth of a gaming movement in both Cameroon and South Africa, to the power that an emotional, perspective-granting game like This War Of Mine and its expansion The Little Ones really has. How do you craft such an engaging tale? Lighting, as this Kotaku tribute piece demonstrates, and all the aesthetic trickery and golden glow that it creates.

By the way, who is Champ?

Past Blasters

The past is back in many different ways, from new takes like the upcoming Riverdale pilot based on the world of Archie Comics to restorations like the original USS Enterprise model at the Smithsonian to new discoveries, as a fan found watching an episode of the classic Doctor Who. Your old favorites have stories to tell, as in a graphic novel about the making of Tetris; old friends — super friends, specifically — would like some input into the upcoming Batman v Superman, and the old dime-store novels that helped pulp softcore become pop culture have quite a story behind them…as told by a writer’s child.


Don’t worry, no Earths will be harmed in the passing of this asteroid — but it may be close enough to watch its flight! Physics can explain the path of an asteroid, but what about the science of the perfect pancake? If not that, then how about watching the conservation of motion go from dusty textbook to death-defying demonstration? No? Perhaps you’ll be more interested in hills on Pluto that seem to be moving over time, a science-fiction lab doing science-fact dark matter research, or, at last, action by Google against everyone’s least favorite “fake download button” ads.

Elsewhere on the Internet:

The Geekly Roundup is a weekly Ace of Geeks feature that brings together all the interesting things we’ve encountered across the Internet this week.  Before encountering technical difficulties, the Geekly Roundup podcast this week featured Mark Foo, Ellie Collins, and Nick Bailey.

The podcast theme is ”Protagonist”, by The Y Axes; check out their site and more awesome music here. The podcast is produced and edited by [Jonathan Howe](mailto:

Contributions for this week’s Roundup were submitted by MalKontent, Teresa, and Ben.

Ben Lee
With a wide variety of interests ranging from baseball to theater and dance to technology to writing, Ben has given up on being good at any one thing and settled for being not half bad at a handful of things instead. He can usually be found cleaning up paperwork after a motley but wonderful crew of retail technicians; failing that, you can generally find him on the RP_OK Podcast at the Ace of Geeks, or on the San Francisco Giants-centric TortureCast. His Steam shame list is quickly growing legendary, and it's quite rare he's playing or watching anything made in the last five years.

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