On Tuesday, Lucasfilm and Disney released a trailer for The Mandalorian’s second season. Fans will soon be able to catch up with the beskar-armored savior and his tiny, Force-sensitive charge. But we also get our first look at a mysterious robed woman lurking in the shadows. And no, it’s not Ahsoka Tano.
The trailer opens on a wide shot of Din Djarin’s surplus starship, the Razor Crest, orbiting a gas giant. Mando’s ship is malfunctioning, its engines barely able to keep it on course and its large cargo ramp flapping in the breeze. With the cabin lights flicker, it’s unclear if he’ll be able to make it to the Earth-like world just over the horizon.
That’s when we hear the voice of the Armorer, his spiritual guide through much of The Mandalorian’s first season.
From here things jump around quite a bit. We see Mando walking through a dark, grim urban environment filled with strange graffiti. The scene shifts to Tatooine, with a Tusken Raider riding a bantha. Then we cut to what looks like a fishing village, and that’s where our mysterious robed woman can be seen lurking in the shadows. It’s hard to make out her face, even in freeze frames captured from the trailer. Disney Plus’ press site identifies her as being played by WWE’s Sasha Banks, but we’ll have to wait to find out more about her role.
All the while we hear the Armorer repeating the legend of the Jedi, first shared with mando during season 1.
“You expect me to search the galaxy and deliver this creature to a race of enemy sorcerers?” Mando asks.
“This is the way,” the Armorer says.
Cut to a boat, with Mando and The Child sailing away on dark seas. Cut back to the Razor Crest, flanked now by X-Wings. There are chases on speeder bikes through the desert, stormtroopers and scout troopers in hot pursuit, and the Mando igniting his new toy — a powerful jetpack — to get away. It all happens very quickly, making the nearly two-minute trailer feel like a fever dream.
The trailer closes on a scene at some kind of sporting event, with two Gamorreans going at each other in a ring with axes. Mando is sitting in the audience, making nice with a one-eyed power broker of some kind. The cyclops appears to be dressed in the same kind of cool whites and greys as the Kaminoan scientist from season one.
“You know this is no place for a child,” says the cyclops.
“Wherever I go, he goes,” Mando quips.
“So I’ve heard,” says his companion.
The clip ends with a comedic moment. Mando energizes his wrist-mounted rocket launcher. As the lights flicker on, the Whistling Birds pick their targets. That’s when the Child shuts tight the hatch of his floating crib, and the Mando goes to work clearing the room of enemies.
Overall we’re left with a feeling of spiraling complexity, with more new planets and situations for our pair of heroes to overcome. The world of The Mandalorian is getting just a little bit bigger in season 2, but there are drawbacks to that exploration. It’s clear that Mando is in trouble, which is proved out by a glimpse of the Razor Crest plummeting from orbit inside a ball of fire.
Watching it, I was reminded of Star Wars: A New Hope, when Obi-Wan Kenobi asks Han Solo to avoid any “Imperial entanglements.” From the looks of this trailer, it seems unlikely that the Mandalorian will be able to avoid those entanglements any more than old Ben did.
Season 2 of The Mandalorian begins streaming on Oct. 30 on Disney Plus.
Torchlight 3 launches in mid-October
Torchlight 3 launches Oct. 13 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC via Steam, and Xbox One, Echtra Games announced on Tuesday. A version for Nintendo Switch will follow later in 2020.
The announcement caps a two-year period in which the sequel to 2012’s Torchlight 2 began as Torchlight Frontiers, with ambitions of a free-to-play massively multiplayer online game set in a “shared, persistent [and] dynamically generated world.”
But at the beginning of 2020, Max Schaefer, a co-founder of the Torchlight franchise and the chief executive of Echtra Games, said “we found Torchlight Frontiers was meant to be a true successor to Torchlight I & II.”
Schaefer, one of the development leads for Diablo 2, founded Echtra Games in 2016. Echtra took over development of the Torchlight series following the 2017 closure of original studio Runic Games. Echtra, like Runic, is owned by Perfect World Entertainment.
Torchlight 3 is $39.99. Those who have the Steam Early Access version will automatically get the full version on PC free.
Four American astronauts plan to vote from space this year
Up to four American astronauts plan to vote in the general election from orbit this year, continuing a long tradition of people casting their ballots from space.
The first astronaut slated to arrive at the ISS ahead of the election is Kate Rubins, who is launching on a Russian Soyuz rocket on October 14th along with two Russian cosmonauts. Rubins told the Associated Press she plans to cast her ballot while in orbit. “I think it’s really important for everybody to vote,” Rubins told the AP. “If we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too.”
She’ll then be joined by three more American astronauts — Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker — who will be on the second flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon on October 31st, along with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. They also plan to vote from orbit.
“All of us are planning on voting from space,” Walker said during a press conference. “NASA works very well with the different election organizations, because we’re all voting in different counties. But it was easiest for us just to say we were going to vote from space, so that’s what we’re going to do.” Walker actually has voted from orbit before, during her first trip to the International Space Station in 2010.
Casting a ballot from space is a fairly straightforward process. NASA has maintained a continuous human presence on the International Space Station for the last 20 years, so the agency has a lot of experience with helping astronauts vote. Before flying, NASA astronauts fill out a Federal Post Card Application, which is the same form members of the military use for absentee voting while deployed.
Once that’s approved, the county clerks who oversee elections within each of the astronauts’ home counties send test ballots to NASA, which are secure PDFs. The agency then tests out if the ballots can be filled out from space, using a training computer. If that works, then NASA’s Mission Control Center emails the astronauts their ballots on Election Day; the astronauts select the candidates they want and then email it back to NASA, which then sends the ballots to the various county clerks’ offices.
Of course, voting while in space is contingent on the astronauts being in space, and launches are prone to delays. But as of now, all four Americans could be off-world for what has shaped up to be a contentious election during a contentious year. As a nod to how rough this year has been, the astronauts flying with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon even named their vehicle Resilience.
“That means functioning well in times of stress or overcoming adverse events,” Hopkins said about the name. “I think all of us can agree that 2020 has certainly been a challenging year: a global pandemic, economic hardships, civil unrest, isolation.”
And now there is an election to top it all off. But at least four Americans will get to be as far away from it as they can possibly be.
Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat sequel will arrive on Prime Video in late October
Sacha Baron Cohen’s sequel to Borat, his iconic and controversial 2006 satirical documentary, is coming to Amazon’s Prime Video at the end of next month, according to Deadline.
Cohen filmed the movie in secret shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping the US, and Collider reports the British comedian has screened it for select film industry figures. But given the current pandemic-induced shutdowns of movie theaters throughout the country, Amazon has stepped in to acquire the streaming rights.
Little is known about the movie except its official title: Borat: Gift of Pornographic Monkey to Vice Premiere Mikhael Pence to Make Benefit Recently Diminished Nation of Kazakhstan, according to a leak on a Writers Guild of America website yesterday.
It’s likely the film will revolve around Cohen’s standard undercover hijinks as Kazakhstani television personality Borat Sagdiyev, but with a focus this time on the state of US politics in the era of President Donald Trump. Of course, given when it was filmed, it will likely also involve plenty of commentary on American life amid the unprecedented circumstances of the coronavirus and the 2020 election.
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