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Science Fiction Thursday: 'Pacific Rim 2', 'Rogue Squadron', 'Blade Runner 2'

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Science Fiction | September 17, 2015 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Science Fiction | September 17, 2015 |

Looks like the second canceling of the apocalypse has in fact been canceled. And by that, I mean that Pacific Rim 2: Jaeger Boogaloo has been put on indefinite hold. Possible causes include the fact that the first one barely made its budget back, Guillermo del Toro is only intended by the universe to have one movie per decade, and because the world is a cruel and terrible place where all your dreams will be crushed. Twas a perfect storm of idiotic B-movie idiocy combined with sheer awesomesauciness, the likes of which we will not see again soon. Plus, giant robots with swords. Come on! How did this not double the take of Jurassic World?

(source: THR)

There are some set pictures from Star Wars: Rogue One if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Myself, in my dotage I have come to prefer waiting to see the finished product. Fake leaked photos are for Kardashians not Jedi.

(source: Blastr)

Now that we’ve covered the necessary, what about the unnecessary sequel news? Well, apparently I somehow missed that they’re making a Blade Runner 2. That seems like something that I should have learned at some point, so maybe I blocked it out with alcohol, beating my head against concrete, or just sheer will power. It’s about as unnecessary a sequel as Titanic 2: The Icebergening. I have slightly mixed feelings since Denis Villeneuve is the director and I really enjoyed Prisoners. But then on the other hand, I have no desire for a sequel to the damn thing. Make something new. Go crazy. Maybe use giant robots. Just spitballing here.

(there’s an interview with Villeneuve here in which he says absolutely nothing worth actually reading.

Alright, so we’re going to start a bit of an experiment this week, like we announced last week. A book and a movie. This week’s were Pratchett’s Shepherd’s Crown and the film The Brass Teapot. If you want to comment about either of these, put it in its own comment with the first line being either “Shepherd’s Crown Spoiler” or “Brass Teapot Spoiler”. That way people can mostly avoid them if they want to, but we don’t have to tell people to stay out of the whole damned comment section unless they’ve read/seen both. But I mean, if you’re like peanut allergy sensitive to spoilers, just stay out then and don’t complain.

I’ll get us rolling, ever so briefly.

Shepherd’s Crown Spoiler
Sweet Nac Mac Feegles but the first sixty pages of this were brutal. There was so much inexplicable dust in my room that it took me three different sittings to get through it. Oh, Granny, oh goddamnit. That first sixty pages was about the most perfectly written and gut punch emotional text I may have ever read. And it had another layer to it, didn’t it? Pratchett knew he was dying, knew this was the last book, and he made those first sixty pages his own obituary in a sense, his own last words to the next generation. Can you imagine his daughter Rhianna editing that first section of the book after his death? My god, the tears.

The Brass Teapot Spoiler
This film has an odd history to it. Basically, it’s got a first time female director (Ramaa Mosley), and it got released to less than 30 critics, pretty much all of whom absolutely loathed and lambasted it. They so annihilated it that it basically killed her career for three years, and she’s just started picking up some indie director gigs this year. More reason not to listen to critics, since the film is one of the best I’ve seen in years. The mixture of darkness and humor, the perfect nuance by which the teapot gradually gives diminishing returns and guides you into emotional violence instead of just turning into a horror movie? Brilliant.

Next week: We’ll read The Martian (topical!) and give Perfect Sense (Ewan McGregor, Eva Green, and the case of humanity losing its five senses, one by one) a watch (it’s on Netflix streaming).

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.