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So it’s kind of hard to ignore it this week. Star Wars is back. The twin attacks of the new film trailer coupled with the announcement of EA’s new Star Wars Battlefront game is a strong marketing engagement which promises to be a pretty hectic and profitable season for the powers that be at Disney and Marvel. Even as a person who doesn’t count myself among the true fans of Star Wars, I have to say that I am excited. I’ve always enjoyed Star Wars games more than I enjoy the films, and although I felt like the earlier trailer didn’t show me anything to be excited about, this new one certainly raises the bar and my hopes. It seems by all indications that this new film will be engaging and fast paced while paying homage and fan-service to what has come before, which is a tricky goal, but one I’m sure they’re ready for.

All in all, this new atmosphere is going to set the stage for a new resurgence of Sci-Fi. We’ve already seen the beginnings of it, with titles like Ender’s Game and Guardians of the Galaxy earning solid numbers at the box office. What’s even better is that we are seeing properties that really open the door and push the envelope of what’s been done conceptually in the past. True, there are still films that are basically ‘sci-fi for sci-fi’s sake,’ such as Jupiter Ascending which offered beautiful settings and sequences, but ultimately little intellectual fare, but we are also seeing things like Ex-Machina, a film which seems to promise the exploration of the artificial soul. Both films are solid sci-fi pieces, but where Jupiter seems to think of itself as little more than a spacey vehicle for epic encounters, Machina is the type of movie to leave a viewer chilled and uncomfortable with their own views of what is and isn’t a valid life form. That both films can exist side by side is a testament to the range of sci-fi concepts that exist, and reminds me of why I love the genre so dearly.

So what does it mean for the future of entertainment? I expect that as tastes revolve and Star Wars inevitably creates a new demand for these tales, we will see many new properties come to light. Franchise fatigue is setting into the superhero market, and therefore to stay relevant, companies like Marvel will need to hinge their momentum into other projects. For better or worse, we are looking at the downfall of the Hero, and the rise of Sci-Fi. Whether or not it is all for the better, we won’t know until about this time next year. Either way, I’m ready.

Stay tuned for my review of Ex-Machina, as well as Avengers: Age of Ultron. My next post will probably be more about the franchise fatigue that’s setting into superheroes, and how that will effect DC’s upcoming plans for the Justice League.

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