Geekly Roundup: Lovingly Crafted Litigation Edition

This week’s Roundup features a variety of subjects, from legal trouble to our love affair with “retro”, from movie visual effects to the latest in the scientific, collected here to give you some new reading material throughout your day. Enjoy!

The Fan Film, Fraught With Peril

The world of fan films is a difficult one — the movies, inevitably made as a labor of love for one imagination-capturing fandom or another, constantly live on a razor’s edge of sudden acceptance (Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist), neutral distance (Zordon of Eltar), or, like the above examples, inspiring a larger studio’s ire. The promising X-Men: Danger Room Protocols released a single, fun, retro episode before catching Marvel’s attention, while one creative creator decided to simply strip A Fox in Space of any resemblance to its source material. The ongoing Axanar saga, on the other hand, has inspired the pro bono aid of an experienced IP lawyer, and hopes to turn a very different direction.

Movie Magic

The visual effects required for today’s blockbuster movies seems to constantly up the ante, from a majestically downed Star Destroyer in The Force Awakens to the sweeping landscape of Mars in The Martian, so have a look at some of their VFX reels — and compare that with the making of live Japanese tokusatsu, action shows in the tradition of Power Rangers or Ultraman. Also in the Star Wars category, Episode IX’s director wants to film part of the trilogy’s last movie on location in space, but here on the ground, Lucasfilm has provided a breakdown of many of the additional voices featured in The Force Awakens, and you may recognize many names on the list!

Game Building: Trials and Triumphs

Setting up a game with a well-developed, fleshed out story relies on a certain fourth wall and conceit, as The Escapist explores; it requires a certain attention to detail and environment to get right, and so the staff of The Witness hired an architect to help them build their multi-layered, gorgeous island. The character design is crucial, as we see in some of the concept art for the brilliant Life is Strange — but the path of game development in the modern era isn’t an easy one by any means, as we hear in this story from Arcen Games, the developers of Starward Rogue and The Last Federation, among others.

The Retro Resurgence

Blasts from the past always seem to find their way back into fashion; from the return of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance to this unearthed commercial of Vin Diesel in 1994, we love new ways to access some of the content we loved in years past. In some cases, we do so by finding a purpose there, as Jason Snell of Six Colors finds utility in a big, clicky computer keyboard, and in some we make our way back, as in the “de-mastered”, eight-bit remake of Odin Sphere now available to play for free. In some, we change them altogether, as in these upcoming DC reboots of classic Hanna-Barbera properties, to see if we can share what we loved years ago with the audience of today.


From the irreverently overdone Rudd vs. Hawking to the excitement of Adam Savage receiving one of the Martian suits he’s publicly admired, the ways in which we try to raise science’s profile are often silly, energetic, and accessible. Sometimes, as with a physicist shooting a rifle underwater — at himself — they are breathtaking and surprising, and sometimes, like the Korolev Cross, their utility is also beautiful. But surprises in science always abound — like this Babylonian text that suggests a method of calculus invented in medieval Europe may have first been discovered more than a thousand years beforehand.

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Warcraft Movie Actor Tells Conan O’Brien How World Of Warcraft Saved His Life (Kotaku)

Morrowind, As Told By Facebook Posts (Kotaku)

Lego’s First Minifigure in a Wheelchair is Embarrassingly Overdue (Gizmodo)

Hayao Miyazaki Confirms Princess Mononoke Urban Legend as Truth (Kotaku)

Here’s Some Eye-Popping X-Wing Propaganda To Start Your Week (io9)

Was Sam Wilson: Captain America Ever “Snap” Wilson, Street Hustler? (Comic Book Resources)

Scientists Have Managed to Convert CO2 Captured From the Atmosphere into Methanol (The Escapist)

Rumor: Star Wars Rebels May Reintroduce Fan-Favorite Legends Character (Spinoff Online)

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered gears up for Western launch this spring (Polygon)

Why One VR Game Is Letting Players Shoot Themselves In The Head (Kotaku)

The Other Ways Nintendo Is Changing The English Version of Fire Emblem Fates (Kotaku)

Netflix Confirms Gilmore Girls Revival Series (Spinoff Online)

There’s an RPG Called PUGMIRE About Medieval Fantasy Dogs (The Nerdist)

The PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES Cast Gets Their Slang Braaaains Tested (The Nerdist)

Canceled Saints Row: Undercover now available as free download (Polygon)

Darth Vader Delivered A 3D Printed Arm To Young Boy in Need (Epicstream)

Marvel Teams with Wounded Warrior Project for Venom: Space Knight Arc (Comic Book Resources)

Hasbro’s Stretch Armstrong Heads to Netflix (Spinoff Online)

*Outlander: Brianna Is FINALLY Cast!* (Aggressive Comix)

American Gods’ Shadow: Ricky Whittle Cast in Starz TV Adaptation (Variety)

Disney’s New Tron Game Confirmed for PS4, Xbox One (GameSpot)

The Flash Finds Its First Female Speedster in Allison Paige’s Trajectory (Comic Book Resources)

DC announces new animated series, Justice League Action (Polygon)

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.  Contributions for this week’s Roundup were submitted by MalKontent, Ben, Mark, Mary Anne, and Joe.

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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