Random Nerdery: Luke Cage, Stranger Things, Descender & Rogue One

Some humorous video mash-ups, a space opera comic title, and some über-nerdy trailer analysis.
Luke Cage

Random Nerdery is a regular Opus feature covering the latest nerdiness from the worlds of film, TV, literature, comic books, video games, technology, web development, and more.

A Luke Cage sitcom?

Netflix’s Luke Cage has been garnering a lot of attention lately. I finished the series earlier this week, and hope to write something more in-depth about it soon. But for now, enjoy this Luke Cage/Family Matters mashup. Yes, you read that right: Family Matters.

The mashup was created by Zach Ace, who also mashed together The Avengers and Full House, and it’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face — especially if you grew up during the ’90s.

Of course, this means I’m hoping for an Urkel cameo in Luke Cage’s second season.

Stranger Things Gets a Music Video (Sort of…)

One of my favorite music releases of the year has been The Midnight’s ’80s-tinged Endless Summer, and arguably my favorite TV show of the year has been Stranger Things. This video combining the two makes so much sense, it’s like it was meant to be. The video contains some possible spoilers, but even if you haven’t watched Stranger Things, it’s worth watching for such a perfect blend of sight and sound.

On a much more serious Stranger Things-related note, though, I want to share this article by my friend Maralee, who has cared for many children who were raised in difficult and damaging situations (not unlike Eleven).

What really struck me in watching Stranger Things (and what brought out the rare appearance of actual tears for me) was in seeing what that kind of love, trust and support enabled Eleven to do. At one point the fear overtakes her and she isn’t able to continue. In that moment she receives the full support from this mother figure even at a potential great cost to the mom. This support makes Eleven brave from that moment and through the rest of the episode. She is able to face the things that had made her most afraid, even able to face the frightening things from her past because she had experienced love and it was worth fighting for.

Those scenes between Joyce and Eleven were some of my favorites in the entire series, and yet another example of the series’ surprising emotional depth.

Descender Is a Beautiful Comic About the Robot Apocalypse

Descender Comic

There’s a handful of current comics that I’d comfortably say I’m obsessed with, and Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender is at the top of that list. Set in the distant future after strange giant machines have decimated the galaxy, Descender tells the story of Tim-21, a robotic boy who may hold clues to the salvation (or damnation) of both organic and artificial life, and those trying to track him down.

Lemire’s story is solid and engaging, with an epic scope, and he writes several great characters — I’m a fan of the bad-ass Captain Telsa, myself — but it’s impossible to talk about Descender without also praising Nguyen’s fantastic artwork. His watercolor-based approach may initially seem at odds with the series’ hard sci-fi/space opera setting, but it works wonderfully and is just beautiful to behold in its own right.

There are already plans to turn Descender into a live-action movie. Lemire and Nguyen have crafted a world so rich and detailed that a movie, if done right, would be several kinds of awesome rolled into one.

Breaking Down the Final Rogue One Trailer

And finally, what’s arguably the biggest nerd moment of 2016 — that’d be the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — gets its final trailer… and nerds everywhere have been poring over every second trying to glean clues about the film’s storyline, etc. The Verge has one such detailed breakdown, though they gloss over two aspects that have jumped out at me.

First, the shot that starts around the 0:30 mark, where the camera pans up to the Star Destroyer looming over the city. It’s a simple shot, but very effective at providing a sense of tone and scale. It’s easily my favorite shot in the trailer. (The scene of the giant Jedi statue lying, ruined and broken, in the desert sands isn’t too far behind.)

Second, I still can’t get over how awesome it is to see Donnie Yen in a Star Wars movie. Yen’s one of the all-time great martial arts actors, and he’s starred in some true classics of the genre (e.g., Iron Monkey, Once Upon a Time in China 2, Sha Po Lang). Though we’ve only caught glimpses of him in the trailers, I suspect we’ll be in for a real treat when Rogue One is finally released on December 16, 2016.

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