“Black Panther”: 5th Highest Grossing Movie of All Time (Domestic)

As the 5th highest grossing movie of all time domestically, #BlackPanther isn’t just the highest grossing superhero movie of all time now (having out-performed #TheAvengers from 2012), it has also out-performed “#StarWars VIII: #TheLastJedi”!

The top 7 grossing domestic films of all time as of March 28, 2018 are as follows:

  1. “Star Wars VII: The Last Jedi” (2015): $936,662,225
  2. “Avatar” (2009): $760,507,625
  3. “Titanic” (1997): $659,363,944
  4. “Jurassic World” (2015): $652,270,625
  5. “Black Panther” (2018): $635,634,080
  6. “Marvel’s The Avengers” (2012): $623,357,910
  7. “Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi” (2017): $619,999,185

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RIP Debbie Lee Carrington

#RIP: actress Debbie Lee Carrington has died at age 58. She played Romba Ewok in “#StarWars VI: #ReturnOfTheJedi”, a drone in #InvadersFromMars, Thumbelina in #TotalRecall, Emperor Penguin in #BatmanReturns, alien father in #MenInBlack, a creature in #BuffyTheVampireSlayer, & much more.

Our condolences to her family, friends & fans. May she rest in peace. She is one with the Force.

Debbie Lee Carrington

Debbie Lee Carrington (1959-2018)

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Deadpool Animated Series that was Under Development Canceled by Fox

Fox has canceled development of an adult #Deadpool animated series from Donald Glover & Steven Glover.

Intended to premiere on Fox’s network #FXX in 2018, the network released the following statement on Saturday, March 24, 2018:

“Due to creative differences, FX, Donald Glover, Stephen Glover and Marvel Television have agreed to part ways on Marvel’s Deadpool animated series. FX will no longer be involved with the project. FX and Marvel have an ongoing relationship through our partnership on Legion, which will continue.”

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Magic in Fantasy Fiction

#Magic is often a key element in many works of #Fantasy fiction. How it is defined and used varies considerably, though, depending upon who authored the fantasy fiction.

What is Fictional Magic?

There are a variety of definitions for magic and it’s important to distinguish magic in terms of how it is used and defined within fantasy fiction as opposed to how it may be viewed from a religious context or when used by magicians within the entertainment industry.

In this article, we will focus on how magic is defined an used only within the framework of fantasy fiction, or, more precisely, fictional magic. That being said, here’s our definition of fictional magic, which is derived from several sources (see our References at the end of the post):

  • Fictional magic is an ability or power that a wielder has to use supernatural forces to make the wielder’s intent manifest, often in an extraordinary way.
  • By supernatural force, we mean a force that is beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.
  • By extraordinary, we mean something that is very unusual, strange or unexpected.

Systems of Magic

Authors of fantasy fiction often create a system of magic (a set of rules or guidelines that applies to magic) for the fictional world in which the fantasy fiction occurs. Once created, any magic used has to fall within that magical system. Several examples of magical rules & guidelines are listed below.

  • What is the nature of the magic?
    • Does magic originate from within or without?
    • What powers or abilities can be performed by magic?
    • Is magic natural, mystical or arcane?
    • Is magical power limited to specific items and the possession/use thereof?
    • Does magic have limitations? If so, what are they?
  • Who can wield magic?
    • Is magical ability hereditary or acquired?
    • Can anyone perform magic with the proper knowledge & training?
    • If magic is hereditary, do they still need proper knowledge & training to use magic?
    • How does someone obtain the proper knowledge & training?
    • Do specific magical abilities vary from wielder to wielder?
    • Are there magical creatures?
  • How is magic wielded?
    • Are magical implements (such as wands, staves or crystal balls) required?
    • Are there magical potions?
    • Are incantations required?
    • Are pacts with supernatural creatures required to wield magic?
  • Is there a distinction between “good” and “evil” magical wielders?
    • Do good and evil magical wielders fight each other?
    • Is there a magical judicial system to punish evil magical wielders?
  • How many people know about magic’s existence?
    • Is knowledge of magic’s existence broadly known to everyone (both magical & non-magical people) or only to those who can perform it and possibly a few who are ordinary?
  • Who do magical people interact with?
    • Do magical people tend to only interact with each other?
    • Is there a distinct magical society separate from the ordinary world?
    • If there is a magical society, is it hierarchical?
    • If there is a magical society, how developed is it?
  • If society at large has an opinion about magic, what is it?
    • Is magic accepted, rejected, believed in, not believed in, etc.?
    • How are magical users treated by society at large?
    • Do magical users work in harmony with society at large or are they at odds with one another?

Fantasy Fiction Authors that Include Magic

There are many authors of fantasy fiction that have incorporated magic into their works by varying degrees. Some of the most well known authors are listed below:

J.K. Rowling reading one of her favorite passages from “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”:

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Iconic Toy Store “Toys R Us” to Close All U.S. Stores

A source of many #SciFi & #fantasy based toys (including for collectors), #ToysRUs will be closing all 800+ of its U.S. stores with over 30,000 employees losing their jobs.

Having filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017, lackluster Christmas sales combined with excessive amounts of debt has forced “Toys R Us” to shut down.

Here’s a vintage 1980’s “Toys R Us” TV commercial:

1990’s “Toys R Us” TV commercial featuring the kids (grown up) that were in the 1980’s TV commercial shown above:

CNBC’s view of “Toys R Us” demise:

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RIP Stephen Hawking

#RIP: we are very saddened to report that the brilliant physicist & cosmologist Sir Stephen Hawking has passed away at the age of 76. He played himself in #StarTrek #TNG, #BigBangTheory & more. His contributions to the understanding of the #Universe will never be forgotten. Condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, fans and every member of the human race who knew what a brilliant man he was. Godspeed Sir Stephen Hawking. May he rest in peace.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

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The Impact of Rebels on “Star Wars”

With the conclusion of the Emmy Award-winning animated series “#StarWars #Rebels” as it aired its final episodes on Mar. 5, 2018, it’s clear that the series left an significant impact on the “Star Wars” universe with its powerful storytelling, amazing characters and fantastic action.

Executive Producer Steve Filoni and the animation team at LucasFilm Ltd. added to the backstories of several characters, as well as filled in some missing mythology between the end of the prequels and the beginning of the original trilogy.

1. Darth Maul & Obi-Wan

After most people assumed that Darth Maul was dead after losing his fight with Qui-Gon Jinn & Obi-Wan Kenobi on Naboo that occurred in the first prequel (“The Phantom Menace”), Maul had apparently survived as revealed in the animated series “Star Wars: #TheCloneWars”. He then returned in Rebels and was set on having his revenge on Obi-Wan. After several encounters with Ezra Bridger, he finally got his wish and found Obi-Wan.

2. Ahsoka & Darth Vader

Introduced in the animated series “The Clone Wars”, Ahsoka Tano was Anakin Skywalker’s padawan, but she abandoned the Jedi Order before that series concluded. She returned in Rebels and was shown to be a key element in the formation of the Rebel Alliance. She also got to encounter Darth Vader.

3. Familiar Voices, Faces & Elements

Several veteran “Star Wars” actors returned to voice familiar characters in Rebels:

  • James Earl Jones (Darth Vader)
  • Ian McDiarmid (the Emperor)
  • Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian)
  • Frank Oz (Yoda)
  • Forest Whitaker (Saw Gerrera)
  • Genevieve O’Reilly (Mon Mothma)

Two veteran voice actors from “The Clone Wars” also returned:

  • James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi)
  • Stephen Stanton (Grand Moff Tarkin & the Alec Guinness version of Ben Kenobi)

4. Grand Admiral Thrawn

After Disney purchased LucasFilm in 2012, they declared all of the previously written “Star Wars” book & comics to be “Legends” and no longer part of the “Star Wars” canon. But, in the 3rd season of Rebels, Grand Admiral Thrawn (who was created by author Timothy Zahn in the early 1990’s) was reintroduced and is now a canon character thanks to Rebels. Timothy Zahn is also working on new Thrawn books that are and will be canon.

5. Formation of the Rebellion

With Rebels, the Ghost and its crew were instrumental in uniting the various bands into what became the Rebel Alliance, but we’ll leave their fates up to you to discover rather than reveal any more spoilers.

References:

Star Wars: Why Rebels Is Crucial to Canon