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On this very slow month for major science fiction movie news, let’s pick through the a few recent scraps of interest and find stuff to praise and stuff to complain about. This is the internet, after all. This is what we do.

Star Trek Beyond Reveals a New Poster

It’s the 50th anniversary of the creation of Star Trek this year, but you wouldn’t know it. Sure, Star Trek Beyond comes out next month, but the marketing has been scarce and Paramount hasn’t been doing much to get anyone who isn’t a serious fan interested in the latest adventure of the Enterprise crew. We can’t even celebrate with the new television series in the works because that won’t arrive until 2016. We’re coming straight out of a year where Star Wars was celebrated constantly for months to hype up the release of a new movie. Surely Trek, the greatest science fiction saga of all time, deserves at least half of that attention?

Anyway, the only fresh piece of news here is that a new poster for Star Trek Beyond has arrived and it puts Sofia Boutella’s Jaylah front and center instead of a more recognizable member of the crew.

Naturally, I have a few thoughts on this. Ahem.

First: This really is a striking make-up design, feeling like a classic Trek alien in that it’s a humanoid with a bunch of crazy stuff on the forehead, but it’s just different enough from what we’ve seen before to feel unique.

Second: She has been placed at the forefront of so much of the marketing that I’m starting to think that Paramount must have faith Boutella’s performance and think she could be a break-out character.

Third: I certainly hope she’s a breakout character, because Star Trek could really use some fresh blood right about now. As much as I love Chris Pine’s Kirk and his crew, it’s about time for these movies to stop recycling familiar faces and bring in someone who can leave a new and lasting impression.

Two New Independence Day: Resurgence Footage

He may have looked awfully dead after being psychically dominated and thrown about by an alien in the original Independence Day, but Brent Spiner’s Dr. Brackish Okun is alive (if not necessarily well) in Independence Day: Resurgence. And no, the previous twenty years have reduced the amount of ham in this performance. Hey, at least Spiner seems to be having fun and if this clip is any indication, he may have more to do in the sequel than he did in the original.

Okun also figures pretty heavily into this new TV spot, which features a few…strange choices. First of all, the use of “Fortunate Son,” one of the great anti-war rock songs, in the marketing for a movie that is non-top violence and action is the kind of misguided choice that I thought went out of fashion years ago. Yet, here we are. However, the more important thing to note is that this footage appears to feature a Kaiju-sized alien swatting jets out of the sky with its tentacles. This movie, whether it be good or bad, is going to be downright batty.

The New Call of Duty Goes Science Fiction

I haven’t played a Call of Duty video game in years, but I’ll just come straight out and say it: this extended trailer for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare may change that. This footage debuted at Sony’s E3 presentation this week and it sees the first-person shoot series take a serious dive in far-flung science fiction.

At its core, this is just another shoot ‘em up, but it’s a shoot ‘em up where you can pilot spaceships into battle, battle it out while floating through space, board enemy ships, open airlocks to make quick work of adversaries, and so on. It looks frantic and nuts and a huge leap forward for a series that has seen its fair share of creative stagnation in recent years. Most importantly, the sci-fi aesthetic just looks plain cool, seeming taking cues from the likes of Battlestar Galactica and James Cameron. I’m on board for this.

June 18, 2016
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