New Trailer: The Mandalorian Season 2!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

With Season 2 of the hit Disney+ show, The Mandalorian, premiering on October 30, I knew it was only a matter of time before we got our first look at the new season. At long last, the first trailer for The Mandalorian Season 2 ha dropped online. Let’s be honest here, we would all be excited for this show no matter what, The Mandalorian was one of the best new series to come out last year. Disney + and Lucasfilm didn’t even really need to put out a trailer and fans would still watch the series in droves. That doesn’t mean I’m thankful as hell that we did get to see this cool new trailer. With Star Wars: The Ride of Skywalker being such a massive disappointment, at least to me, The Mandalorian was the saving grace of The Star Wars Universe in 2019. Earlier this year on Disney+, we got some of the best new Star Wars content in years with the fantastic final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. So hopefully, The Mandalorian Season 2 will be just as killer as Season 1, and make 2020 a great year to be a Star Wars fan. Take a look at the trailer right here:

What do you think of the trailer? Let me know in the comments below!

Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. 

-Paul

PODCAST: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (The Final Season) REVIEW!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I reviews the EPIC Final Season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+! Other streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime release all the episodes of a new series when it premieres. Disney+ on the other hand only releases one new episode of a series each week. Personally, I prefer the “binge watching” format of Netflix. However, the weekly release of original Disney+ content, like the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, was probably a necessity for the relatively new streaming service.

When Disney+ launched last November, the vast majority of the people who subscribed to the service were there to watch the first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. If Disney+ released the entire season of The Mandalorian when it was launched, it’s likely that many people would have binge-watched the show and canceled their subscription when the finished Season 1. By making the audience to come back each week to watch new episodes of The Mandalorian, they’d also become more familiar with the service and the rest of the content available. I think when Disney+ has built up enough original content they may adopt the “binge” release format like other streaming services. It’s possible that, in a few years, the service could become a juggernaut because of all the toys Disney has at his disposal. There are six or seven new original shows being developed for Disney+ that are going to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This year alone will see the release of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier later this summer and WandaVision in December, with a LOKI series following shortly after, and that’s just the Marvel content. From the Star Wars universe, we have Season 2 of The Mandalorian premiering in October and a live action Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor in the works.

That was my long winded way of saying that, I showed a rare level of restraint and waited until all the episodes were available until I watched the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Man, I’m glad I did because the final four episodes of this series are among some of the very best Star Wars storytelling I have ever seen. The wait between those last four episodes must’ve been excruciating. I think it’s fair to say the the finale of this series will blow fans away! (This episode contains MILD SPOILERS)

Listen here:  https://www.spreaker.com/episode/26942835   Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTuneshttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000474061378

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Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul,

Star Wars: What’s The Deal With Mace Windu?

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

     With the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+ recently premiering, as well as a small behind the scenes video clip that just surfaced, now is the perfect to time to talk about one of my favorite supporting characters in the Star Wars Universe. Samuel L. Jackson is simply one of the coolest motherfuckers around. Nick Fury, John Shaft, Zeus in Die Hard With A Vengeance, Jules Winnfield, the list of badass characters he’s played over the goes on and on. To Star Wars fans, he’s most beloved for his role as Jedi Master, Mace Windu, one of the more popular characters from the prequel trilogy. As powerful member of The Jedi Council at the height of their power, Mace Windu personified the very best and the worst of The Jedi. The prequel trilogy is just as much about the fall of the Jedi as it is about the fall of Anakin Skywalker. Mace perfectly personifies the characteristics that led to the downfall of the Jedi. He’s a skilled warrior with a lightsaber and one of the most powerful force users in the galaxy, yet he’s shortsighted, judgmental, and arrogant.

From their first meeting, continuing throughout the prequel trilogy, Mace is distrustful and condescending towards Anakin. Mace Windu is at the heart of Anakin’s feelings of alienation and frustration with The Jedi Council. It could be argued that if Mace treated Anakin differently, his choice to walk the path towards the Dark Side may have played out differently.

   When the Jedi realized that Chancellor Palpetine was actually Darth Sidious, Mace Windu and a group of Jedi are dispatched to arrest him. Chancellor Palpetine made quick work of the other Jedi, displaying his impressive lightsaber skills. Only Windu is powerful enough to challenge the Sith Lord.

The fight between the two powerful Force users ends in a stalemate, with the slight edge going towards Mace Windu. That’s when Anakin walks in. Master Windu tells Anakin that the Chancellor is too dangerous to be left alive and must be killed to preserve peace. The choice to save the Chancellor or to allow Master Windu to kill him, is one of the most important choices in the life of Anakin Skywalker and it’s the choice that ultimately leads him to become Darth Vader.

 When Anakin finds Mace standing over Palpetine, on the verge of killing him, Anakin see‘s a trusted old friend who has vowed to help him save the life of his wife and child and a man attacking his mentor and has treated him with nothing but scorn his entire life. There isn’t really much of a fucking choice at all here. Given the relationship he has with these two men, it’s pretty goddamn understandable the Anakin would cut Mace’s Lightsaber hand off and allow Palpetine to Force Lightening him out the window of a 200 story building. So came the end of Mace Windu, a cool character in Star Wars lore who played an important role in Anakin Skywalker‘s transformation into Darth Vader and that was the end of his story… or so we thought!

Star Wars fans are a rabid bunch (myself included). Fans tend to jump on every aspect or detail shown a long time ago in this galaxy far, far away. Especially lightsabers. Any new lightsaber is analyzed in great detail (and why not? They’re cool as fuck). So naturally, when the prequels were in production, fans noticed that Mace Windu had a purple lightsaber. Everyone knows that it goes: blue & green= Jedi, red= Sith (some “neutral” Force users like Ashoka Tano wield white lightsaber). Of course, it was immediately noticed that Sam The Man Jackson had a PURPLE lightsaber. I, like most Star Wars fans, assumed that Sam Jackson got a purple lightsaber because purple is kind of his personal color. As well as, being the bad ass, cool, son of a bitch that he is, it isn’t very surprising that he would want some detail to be included that made him stand out from the rest of The Jedi. Now, a video has surfaced from the set of the prequel trilogy and we can find out exactly how Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber became a reality (remember that behind the scenes video clip I mentioned at the top of the article?). Check out the video below…

So, there we have it! It pretty much came down to George Lucas telling Jackson “The Jedi have blue and green lightsabers and the Sith have red ones.“. Which prompted Sam Jackson to ask “Can I have a purple one?“ With Lucas shrugging and replying “Sure. What the hell?”. I know that’s not a verbatim account, but it’s pretty much the gist of the origin of the purple lightsaber! 

Look, I’ll be honest with you. There’s never been much mystery about Samuel L. Jackson‘s purple lightsaber. This video surfaced online and it seemed like a good  excuse to write a Star Wars article about Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu. I think he’s a really cool character with a lot of potential to be used in future stories, live action or animated. 

   Oh, I’m sorry? What’s that you’re asking? Didn’t he die when Anakin cut one of his hands off with a lightsaber and Sidious blasted him with Force Lightning out of a 200 story window to fall to his death? Well, technically that’s all true. But a few years ago the character was brought up to George Lucas. I’m not sure what the circumstances were, maybe somebody was pointing out that people have survived far worse in the Star Wars universe then Mace Windu’s fate. Anyway, Lucas said that as far as he and the Star Wars canon is concerned, Mace Windu somehow survived that brutal brush with death. Even though all official canon is technically decided by Disney now, they stood by Lucas’ assertion that Windu was still alive, out there, somewhere. I mean, Darth Maul got literally cut in half a fell into chasm so deep that the bottom wasn’t visible, but he got better! Why not Mace?!

The “Death” of Mace Windu & Anakin’s turn to The Darkside

Jackson himself has said, if the opportunity arises, he’d love to return to the character. So, if the stars aligned and there was an opportunity to have Samuel L. Jackson return to play an older, more banged up Mace Windu, where exactly could we see the character pop-up? To me, there are two very cool and very obvious option….

First, we must ask ourselves a few questions: What has he been doing since his apparent death? I don’t think the surviving Jedi have a very good idea of exactly how many other powerful Force users there are left in the galaxy after the rise of The Empire. Or in the case of a character like Ezra from Star Wars Rebels, he may be so far away, maybe even no longer in the same galaxy, that they can no longer sense him. That would explain why characters like Yoda, Luke, Vader, and Rey all state at various points that they are the last of The Jedi. In fact it’s possible that by the time of Luke Skywalker‘s death there could be as many three other living and powerful Jedi/Force users: Ezra Bridget, Ashoka Tano, and of course Mace Windu… (Like the piece of art above, there is a lot of cool fan art of Mace Windu if he survived Revenge of The Sith, which I’ll be including in this article).

So, if Mace Windu survived his encounter with Anakin and Palpetine, why haven’t we seen him in in any of the movies or TV shows since? I think like Obi-Wan, Yoda, and the other Jedi who survived Order 66, he most likely went into hiding. Like other survivors of The Fall of The Jedi, the events of Revenge of The Sith would have taken an enormous emotional toll on him. As one of the most senior and powerful members of The Jedi Council, he was one of the guiding hands of The Order in the years  leading up to it’s destruction. Maybe he felt more personally responsible for all the pain and suffering that took place? Of course, let’s not forget his very, very serious injuries. We’ve already established that individuals, especially powerful Force users, can survive seemingly lethal injuries, but Master Windu’s physical trauma was particularly serious. It’s important to remember that physical injury can actually affect one’s ability to use The Force. Like Anakin after his duel Obi-Wan on Mustafar, despite how powerful Darth Vader was with the force, had he not suffered such horrific injuries at the hands of his former master, there’s no telling how powerful he could have become. He most likely would’ve displayed Force abilities far more impressive than any we’ve seen in the Star Wars canon, so far. Coming back to Mace, all of this adds up to a man recovering from some incredibly intense physical and emotional trauma all the while on the run from an oppressive galactic regime out to kill him.

This is probably my favorite post-Revenge of The Sith art

  This would mean that he would’ve most likely stuck to the planets in The Outer Rim, at the very most edge of known space. The Outer Rim includes planets like Tantooine. Maybe there’s a scenario Mace heads to Tantooine, where an old hermit has been living out beyond The Dune Sea? Locals say he mostly keeps to him self, but trouble has a way of finding him every now and again. They say he’s some kind of wizard, goes by Ben Kenobi. Could be a cool storyline in the upcoming Obi-Wan live action series, right?

    Then, there’s The Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin, running around The Outer Rim with his adopted son, a small green alien with strange and powerful abilities. Who better to give Mando the 411 on The Kid than Mace Windu? Really he would fit pretty easily into either show.

  I think if Samuel L. Jackson appeared on either series, it would definitely be a guest appearance, maybe a multi-episode guest starring arc. I don’t think we’d see him  become a series regular on either show. Before any of you naysayers out there claim that he would never make an appearance on a TV show because he’s too big of a star, let me let me remind you that he appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first season multiple times and played a major role in the season one finale of that show. If Lucasfilm can’t get Jackson to come back, the character could always appear in a comic book or a novel or a video game. Who knows? I think most fans would really like to see him in live action, but however they choose to use the character, I think it is long past due that Mace Windu made his return to the main stage of the Star Wars Universe.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul,

PODCAST: Best TV Shows of 2019!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

2019 was a great year for TV! Streaming services and premium cable networks in particular, have put out some excellent new series over the last year! From shows like WATCHMEN to THE MANDALORIAN, Paul Sr. and I talk about our favorite TV shows of 2019 on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/21629997 Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes:

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F21629997

To learn more about the Australian wildfire disaster and how to help, check out this link right here: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/australia-fires-how-to-help-victims-evacuees-firefighters-animals-wildfires/

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

Where Star Wars Failed

Two small disclosures going into this, I have liked all of the new Star Wars films, this isn’t an attack on them for being bad movies, but rather a critique of what they haven’t done well with.  Second, spoiler alert for Rise of Skywalker, in case you couldn’t tell.

Now, if you listen to Paul’s review of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, you’ll know how he feels about the film, and while my overall attitude towards it differs, I think all of his points are right on the money, and I’ll be referring to a bunch of those.

I thought that Rise of Skywalker struck a better tonal balance than either of the previous trilogy films, in the balancing homage (like in The Force Awakens) with new lore (like in The Last Jedi). I also thought it was fun, and if you thought of it on it’s own, and not a part of a bigger whole, that it was a good time.

Ultimately, I think it kind of cemented the problems Disney’s handling of the films in the last few years. Paul in the podcast talks about how it’s cowardly, and he uses the example of Rose, and I think that he’s right. Paul makes the statement that people hated Rose in The Last Jedi, so they put her in here minimally, and didn’t really think about what that does to Finn’s story arch, and how as much as he didn’t really care one way or the other about the character, it did matter to the story. He was right.

The problem with Star Wars now, is they try to get rid of the problems, and dive head on in to the success, without really understanding it.  Instead of taking Rose away, make her story arch one that redeems her to audiences.  There have been countless shows and films where I thought “ugh, I hate that character” (as in hating the portrayal, or the characterization, not good hate like we did with the Emperor in the original trilogy), and then as the show or film series progresses I think “oh that’s awesome he/she went from being one of my least favorite characters to one of my most favorite.”  And if Rose had been a background character, like a Wedge Antilles or someone in the original trilogy, and we happened to hate them, you can get rid of them, but not when they’re integral to the story.

I once heard the saying “the customer doesn’t know what they want until you show them,” and I cannot think of anything more true than that in today’s film landscape.  Think about Guardians of the Galaxy when you were hearing about Marvel’s next film, and finding out it starred a ‘talking raccoon, and his best friend a talking tree,’ and you probably thought “well, it’s Marvel, so I’ll check it out, but c’mon.” The audience didn’t know what they wanted, then we heard Vin Diesel say “I Am Groot” a hundred times (his best acting performance to date) and we were all down for it.

The Force Awakens is a really fun movie, and there is a lot of good work in it, but ultimately Disney wanted to say “hey you guys hate the prequels, so here is the old style effects, and the old plot line” and it worked really well, and from then on out, they were taking studio notes from one of the most divided and fickle audiences in entertainment. The Force Awakens becomes the highest grossing domestic film in history, but people complain that its too comfortable, and the pendulum swings with The Last Jedi (for the record I like both, but they’re not a cohesive whole, and I think while TLJ is an amazing cinematic work, it’s not that fun of a movie).

About a year and a half ago, after the release and flop of Solo, that Disney would likely do what film studios have most often done and learn the wrong lesson, and unfortunately, I think they’ve done that after each iteration over the last few years.

My hope, is that now that the Skywalker Saga is done, we can step away from this issue. The Mandalorian is a treasure, and I don’t think it had the expectations of the last trilogy, or even of the two Anthology films, which were inherently connected. We have a new trilogy coming out in a few years, and whether it’s something like Knights of the Old Republic, or the Mandalorian with a larger scale, I hope that they go into the writer’s room, and break the story, hit the points that will happen regardless of audience reaction, and start to build, and then if the audiences don’t react well, make smaller course adjustments, and right the ship, don’t take a U-Turn.

Written by Mike Cole

PODCAST: The Mandalorian Episode!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

This week on The World’s Best Podcast, Paul Sr. returns to the show to discuss the first live-action Star Wars TV series, The Mandalorian, streaming on Disney +! Created by Jon Favreau (the actor/director behind Iron Man, Elf, and more), The Mandalorian follows a lone bounty hunter working in the dangerous Outer Rim of the galaxy, sometime after the fall of The Empire. When a high paying job takes an unexpected turn, The Mandalorian’s own personal code is put to the test. With some of the galaxy’s most dangerous in hot pursuit, The Mandalorian must decide what he’s will to fight… and maybe even die for. Does the show live up to the hype? What cool Star Wars Easter Eggs are featured in the series? What are our theories regarding some of the show’s big mysteries? We talk about all this and much more on this week’s exciting episode! Thanks for listening! Enjoy!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/20419183

Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes!

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000458399393

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=65713132&autoplay=1

This is the cool Star Wars featurette that I mention in the episode:

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

New Trailer & Posters For The Mandalorian!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

THE MANDALORIAN The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Trandoshans


I can’t wait for The Mandalorian! It had so much positive buzz, the first trailer was fantastic, and the people working on this project are some of my favorite creators in Hollywood. As if my anticipated wasn’t already high enough, today Disney and Lucasfilm released a beautiful set of character posters and second trailer to get us hyped up for the shows November 12 release! It’s short, but God damn if it ain’t sweet! As cool as the visuals and production value are, I really love the strange, but fucking wonderful cast assembled to star in this series. You got Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones) as the titular Mandalorian and there are solid mainstays of film and television like Giancarlo Esposito and Carl Weathers. Finally you have these fantastic, weird, out of left field, pieces of casting that sound nuts, but are fucking awesome. Guys like Taika Watitti as the vicious droid bounty hunter, IG-88 and the always delightful Werner Herzog popping up as some kind of imperial officer or local official (I love to see pop up in these random roles). But I think my personal favorite piece of casting is seeing Bill Burr of all people, blasters in both hands and a mechanical shoulder rig, popping out a third gun out from behind his back! This truly is the best of all possible universes! Watch the trailer right here and check out the cool characters posters below:


FIRST LOOK: The Mandalorian Trailer & Poster!

This poster is siiiiiiiiiiiiiiick!

The Mandalorian premieres on DISNEY+ on November 12th

What Will Be The Next Game Of Thrones?

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones has come to an end, love it or hate it. Watching the final season of the series and especially the final episode reminded me of another great genre show that captured the imagination of the cultural zeitgeist: LOST. They were both genre shows with large ensemble casts that reached audiences that normally don’t watch genre television. Both shows were pop culture phenomena. They both had people hung up on when and how the show would end and they both had divisive final seasons and series finales.

Much like how Game of Thrones viewing parties have become very common, I’d often go to LOST viewing parties back in the day. When LOST ended, I kept wondering what the next “LOST” would be. For a brief period, I thought The Walking Dead had taken up the mantle, but that definitely didn’t pan out. It turns out that next LOST, was Game of Thrones. So, now that Game of Thrones has ended if find myself asking: What will be the next Game of Thrones?

Time will tell what the next pop culture television juggernaut will be. HBO wisely wanted to remind us that, though we’re saying goodbye to Game of Thrones, they’re still in the business of putting out high profile television programming. Which is why in the minuets leading up to the series finale of GoT, HBO showed us trailers for three of their most interesting and high profile projects. This was a great advertising move on the part of HBO because the series finale for Game of Thrones was the most watched episode of a TV show in the history of the Network. They have to keep those big bucks rolling in after all. Below I get into the details of each series (as well of a few upcoming shows that aren’t on HBO), give you some insight into what the shows are about and what to expect, as well as why you should check these shows out in the first place.

First up, we have the trailer for the new series His Dark Materials starring James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ruth Wilson, and Daphne Keene (AKA X-23 AKA Laura from Logan). Watch the trailer here:

This series is based on the successful novels by Philip Pullman which involve metaphysics and alternate realities, among other strange and interesting concepts. His Dark Materials is actually a very good series of books that were adapted several years ago into the film, The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman in a failed attempt to start a new fantasy franchise. This was around the time everyone was looking for the next Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.

I really like what I see from this trailer. It appears that these fantastic books are finally getting the treatment they deserved. From what we saw in the trailer, the look of the series has a very lived in feel. Which  is always important when building a whole new world, with its own rules from scratch. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they clearly have an excellent cast. The story exists in a fascinating universe, or multiverse for that matter, and I will definitely be tuning in.

Then we had Watchmen, the new series based on the classic graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons from Damon Lindelof, the man who brought us LOST and The Leftovers. This wasn’t a new trailer, it it debuted several weeks ago, but I’ve been been looking for an opportunity to talk about it. But first, take a look at the trailer and then we can dive in get into some details about the series:

I love what I’ve seen so far from this new take on Watchmen and I’m very excited about this project. Over the last several years DC Comics has been publishing interesting expansions of the Watchmen universe. Most notably in their quasi-sequel Doomsday Clock and their various prequel miniseries’ Before Watchmen, which fleshed out certain existing Watchmen characters. I’m sure there are Watchmen purists Who think the material shouldn’t be touched and any continuations of the universe is sacrilege. But after reading stories like Before Watchmen and Doomsday Clock, I know there are still excellent stories to tell from other creators, about this universe and these characters.

There’s still a great deal we don’t know about this series, like how it connects to the original graphic novel. From what I can see, much like Doomsday Clock, I think this Watchmen series is probably a sequel of sorts. We seem to be getting characters from the original comic books and some created just for the show. From the beginning showrunner Damon Lindelof has said this is not going to be a straight adaptation of the original graphic novel. However, It’s going to take place in the Watchmen universe. The trailer shows a gang that is clearly inspired by the original Rorschach (they kind of remind me of The Jokerz Gang in Batman Beyond).

We also see Jeremy Irons playing Ozymandias a.k.a. Adrian Veidt, the man who orchestrated the conspiracy that was at the heart of the original Watchmen story. One thing I really hope is present in this new series is Dr. Manhattan. He was always the only superhuman that ever existed in the Watchmen universe and I would love to see what could be done with this character in a sequel series, even if he isn’t used as a main character like in the original story. I just hope he is a part of the series in some way. I was disappointed to see that the show is premiering the fall, I was hoping we’d get the premiere this summer. Regardless, this is definitely one of my most anticipated projects of the year, TV or otherwise.

Finally, the most pleasant surprise of the evening was a trailer for a show seemingly starring Aaron Paul that was clearly taking place in a futuristic version of our world. The technology; robotics, transportation, and more… This is a very different world than the one we currently live in. It’s hard to say exactly how far in the future this is. The society and city we’re shown is much more advanced than our own, but not so advanced that it looks like a far distant future.

Some things look pretty similar to our world, but so much looks very, very different. Aaron Paul’s voiceover laments feeling lost in a world that he doesn’t recognize anymore. It almost seems as if he may even be involved in some shady enterprises. The whole thing has a very “Blade Runner” vibe.

As I was watching the trailer, I asked myself at one point “What is this?“. Surely a series like this would already be on my radar, if enough had been filmed to have a trailer ready. Then, BOOM! The twist hits. Aaron Paul approaches a woman staggering out of a dark alley. Believing she’s in need of help, he calls out to her to ask if she’s alright. The woman looks up and it is none other than Dolores from Westworld. We’d been watching a trailer for Westworld Season 3 all along. The show logo comes on as the trailer ends to reveal Season 3 will be premiering in 2020. Take a look for yourself:

What I loved about this trailer, was how different it seems from everything that’s come before on Westworld. Westworld definitely needed to make some bold moves after the end of Season 2 to keep things fresh. Changing things so much that, while watching the first trailer for the new season, the show was unrecognizable until the very end of the teaser, is definitely an exciting direction for the show to go in. I wasn’t a massive fan of Westworld Season 2, even though I loved the first season. This was a great way to get excitement and interest up in the show’s third season until it premieres next year.

One other HBO project I wanted to mention is the upcoming TV series based on the novel Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. Lovecraft Country uses Jim Crow era America as it’s backdrop and revolves around an African-American family pulled into the world of Lovecraftian magic, monsters, and other dimensions. The narrative is broken into pieces, focusing on diffferent characters in the book that are compelling stories on their own, while still serving the larger narrative of the novel as the different stories eventually converge. Combining horror and a predominantly African-American cast of characters living in Jim Crow America, allows the story to talk about serious racial issues while also being creepy and disquieting. I wasn’t even aware this was in the works until very recently, but I was over the moon when I heard it was being adapted by HBO. Lovecraft Country is one of the best books I’ve read in the last few years. The combination of great characters, a unique setting, and Lovecraft horror makes for a fantastic read. To top it off, Jordan Peele and J.J Abrams are developing the show and executive producing. Two of the best genre filmmakers of this generation working on a project like Lovecraft Country is very exciting.

So there you have it, HBO has some very interesting new shows on the horizon. However, It’s important to remember that HBO isn’t the only network with high profile new television series in the works. Streaming services like the upcoming Disney + launching in November, Netflix, and Amazon Prime are all throwing their hat into the ring to create the next “must watch” series.

Disney + will be releasing film quality miniseries that take place in the MCU. So far, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, WandaVision (focusing on Scarlet Witch and The Vision, obviously), Hawkeye, and Loki have all been announced and are in varying stages of production.

Perhaps the most exciting and high profile new series to launch this year will be the new Star Wars live action TV series, The Mandalorian. Starring Game of Throne’s Pedro Pascal, the show will follow the titular Mandalorian, a lone gun slinger traveling the Outer Rim of the galaxy following the fall of The Empire.

The series takes place between Return of The Jedi and The Force Awakens, a period in Star Wars lore ripe for exploration. The show will apparently skew adult, targeting the audience that grew up with Star Wars, but may be looking for something edgier in adulthood than the largely “all ages” films. With Jon Favreau as showrunner and guys like Taika Watitti and Dave Filoni directing episodes, this looks to be an amazing series. The show premieres with the launch of Disney + on 11/12/19.

As for some of the established streaming services, like Amazon Prime and Netflix, both companies have been producing successful original programming for years now. Netflix has a few big genre hits like Stranger Things, with Season 3 of the fan favorite show premiering on July 4th.

Netflix also has the hotly anticipated adaptation of The Witcher, starring Henry Cavil. Based on the series of novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowsk. The books follow Geralt of Rivia (Cavil), a badass monster hunter with some supernatural juice inside him, which allows him to face all kinds of monsters that threaten humanity. The series exists in that vaguely “middle ages” type of fictional world that we see in so many fantasy stories from Lord Of The Rings to Game of Thrones. Though The Witcher was also adapted as a popular video game series, the TV show will be entirely based on the original novels. Expect The Witcher to hit Netflix in the second half of 2019. With Henry Cavil playing Geralt and the cool premise of the show, I think The Witcher along with The Mandalorian, are my picks to be the “next big thing”out of all the shows I’ve previewed here. I also think ther’s a pretty good chance that Watchmen could end up being something pretty special as well.

One thing is certain, we live in a golden age of television programming. A world where TV shows can match and even surpass, movies on the big screen in some cases. These are just a few of the major projects in development that could scratch that Game of Thrones itch. It’s doubtful that any of them will have the incredible mega-success that Game of Thrones has had. But then again, someone does have to be the next Game of Thrones, so who knows? The bottom line is that it looks like we’re in for some incredible television over the next 12 months.

As always, thanks for reading!

-Paul