This is called Sci-fi mixtape. It’s almost half an hour of electronic music mixed with tons of famous sci-fi movies and some TV. And I’d have thought a couple minutes would be enough. But I watched it all the way through. Maybe you’ll enjoy it too.
Below we have lots of toy news, Star Wars and Star Trek stuff including the new rules for Star Trek fan films, book conversations and a lot more. Fun week of news!
The biggest news this week is probably that Paramount is actually still suing the Star Trek fan film Axanar after all. Apparently J.J. Abrams was just riffing at that Star Trek fan convention and thought he would be able to brush it away but nope.
Instead, Paramount and CBS have released a list of ten new rules that fan films must obey in order to make a Star Trek fan film without getting sued. And the rules are pretty strict but you know what? That’s how you protect your intellectual property. It’s their right. I don’t think they’re really being bad guys here. Let’s take a look at some of the rules (you can see all ten on the official Star Trek site here):
1. The film has to be no more than 15 minutes or two parts that aren’t longer than 30 minutes together.
Sounds reasonable. I mean, are you making a fun idea or trying to make a whole movie? Because if it’s the latter, I think you’ll help yourself more by making something original.
2. The title can’t have “Star Trek” in it and has to have a subtitle that reads: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION”
Makes sense. No confusion about how official it is.
3. No using official film or TV clips.
4. If you use any uniforms or props that are commercially available, it must be officially licensed merch.
Alright, this one is kinda lame. If you want to use a uniform or phaser, it has to be one you can buy that’s licensed. You can’t buy, like, a shirt off of Etsy if Paramount sells one too. Sounds greedy to me.
5. The film can’t use anyone who has ever performed or worked on an official Star Trek property.
As in, you can’t use a guy that did their special effects. And you can’t get George Takei to guest star. You know, that kinda makes sense to me. I think it’s a little embarrassing when these Star Trek actors do fan films.
6. You can’t raise more than $50,000 to make it and you can’t sell it or put it on physical media.
This is where Axanar really caused a scene. You can’t have over half a million dollars and call it a fan film. That’s a legit production.
7. Must be family friendly and can’t be offensive.
This one is dumb. It is generic enough that they can shut down any fan film they want because who decides what’s offensive, you know? Like, if they phaser shoot an alien in the head, that could be called “offensive” and shut the thing down. Lame.
8. You have to have a paragraph that says it’s a fan film and not an official production in the credits.
9. Creators can’t register or trademark their work.
I mean, obviously. Totally fair.
10. You can’t create or imply an official relationship with CBS, Paramount, etc.
Fair is fair.
So the big ones are things like having to buy their official props, not being offensive and you can’t hire former Star Trek actors. Oh, and it has to be pretty short. I mean, it is restrictive but I don’t think it’s completely unfair. If it feels restrictive to you, I’d argue you could modify your idea and make your own original short film. And if you needed the Star Trek name to fund it, well, that’s tough.
Alright, this is pretty cool. Disney revealed that Forrest Whittaker’s character in Star Wars: Rogue One is named Saw Gerrera. Why is that cool? Because he was originally introduced on the Clone Wars cartoon. It’s always been said that was canon but this is the first big instance of something coming from the show to the movies. Saw was a character who fought against Separatists and was trained by Anakin and Obi-Wan to fight.
Transformers 5 is currently filming and this set photo was released of director Michael Bay with actress Isobela Moner and a new Transformer. It’s a Vespa moped named Squeeks. Great.
Last bit of movie news. Bryan Cranston was announced as playing Zordon, leader of the Power Rangers in the upcoming Power Rangers movie. You may think such a role is beneath him. I prefer to think that after spending two decades working on several very successful TV shows and films Bryan has simply worked his way up the ladder. After all, he voiced several monsters back in season one of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, as seen above. If you put a lot of work into it, you can accomplish the #HollywoodDream of moving up from monster to Zordon!
We rarely discuss anything political here but the vote which should finalize today on whether the UK will exit the European Union, aka Brexit, could severely impact Game of Thrones. The show films all over Europe and it gets some tax breaks from the European Union designed to encourage film and television production which can help the economy. The show benefits from this and in turn, so does Europe. But the vote looks like the UK may exit the Union (at least on Thursday night while we’re writing this article) and that could hurt the show’s budget. Still, it’s a huge hit for HBO so I would guess they’d step up and add more funds for the last two seasons if they have to. Seems a shame.
Quick tidbit we didn’t get to mention last week. Supergirl has added two recurring roles to the show: The President, as will be played by former Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter is one. The other is Superman (finally!) and he’ll be played by Tyler Hoechlin who used to be on MTV’s Teen Wolf. Pretty cool stuff!
Stephen King and George R.R. Martin interviewed one another. It’s an interesting and entertaining video. If you skip to the 50 minute mark towards the end, Martin asks King how he writes so fast. Pretty cool.
Hasbro’s bringing back a bunch of its 80s properties to make some sort of connected universe. I’m cool with that. I liked Rom and M.A.S.K. I even had some Visionaires figures. But bringing Visionaires back as Mighty Muggs? I’m a lot less interested in clunky vinyl guys. They’ll be at San Diego Comic Con.
Playmobil announced its first ever licensed product. Ghostbusters. Neat, but I’m more excited for the Lego Ghostbusters. Does anyone collect Playmobil? I always assumed they were things you got for kids that eventually got thrown out or something.
Did you know that Toys R Us is in bad financial shape? I mean, it’s not hard to guess. Their stores are nice enough but if you actually want to get a particular figure or a blind bagged item, they never seem to have it in stock. Their Lego is overpriced. Anyway, they’re $850 million in debt. If you enjoy financial articles, you can read about it here but the gist of it is they’re refinancing half of their debt to basically give themselves time to pay it off. If I could be so bold as to offer them some advice, I’d recommend they stop stocking so many cheap knockoff toys and bring their prices down. And if you can’t, just move to a purely online system. You’re competing with amazon and you never have what I want in stock!
Finally, that Chewbacca Mom is still enjoying her viral fame. I mean, good for her. She signs autographs at conventions and now she got invited to visit Hasbro where they gave her a custom Chewbacca figure whose head is a mask and the mom’s face is underneath. Maybe not the most flattering sculpt but it would still be really cool to get something like that. It says her phrases: “I’m a happy Chewbacca” and “That’s not me, it’s the mask!” Man, I need to open a toy and laugh about it for five minutes. I wouldn’t mind a custom figure of myself!