Thursday, July 20, 2017

There's a Magical Harry Potter-Themed Starbucks at Comic Con

Some lucky Starbucks customers having been getting a magical coffee experience.

With San Diego Comic Con in full swing, the Hilton Bayfront Starbucks gave attendees a fun surprise by making over its location with a Harry Potter theme. THR writer Sydney Bucksbaum tweeted video and photos from her visit, showing the three lead characters drawn outside the coffee shop, special featured drinks, and other decorations related to the beloved series.

Another Twitter user, @kalai_chik, also shared photos, including a close-up on the themed drinks, showing us that we're missing out on Butterbeer (caramel toffee nut Frappuccino), Amortentia (passion tea with apple juice), and Polyjuice Potion (matcha green tea lemonade).

The Starbucks is even playing two Harry Potter movies at once, so you can enjoy the films why you sip your themed drink. Why is this only a Comic Con thing?

[via: THR; Twitter]

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Where Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Fits Into the Star Wars Universe

Last weekend, at the D23 Expo, more details were revealed about the ambitious Star Wars-themed lands coming to both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida. We found out the official name for the land (Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge) and that, in addition to the land in Florida, they would also be getting a highly themed and impossibly immersive hotel that will give you the opportunity to experience a unique, multi-day experience in the heart of the galaxy. But the presentation also gave us a look into where, exactly, the new land will fit into the continuity of the larger Star Wars Universe.

If you've visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at either the Hollywood or Orlando Universal Studios parks or the recently opened Pandora -- The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Florida, you know that immersion comes with hyper specificity. The Hogsmeade section of the Wizarding World is set in between the second and third movies; Pandora takes place several decades after the final film in James Cameron's multi-part saga (the sequels are coming! He swears!)

Scott Trowbridge, the Walt Disney Imagineer whose portfolio includes Star Wars, stressed just how interactive and immersive this land would be. "This outpost is filled with characters, alien creatures, and droids. Some of them we have met before but some we're meeting for the first time. You're invited to participate them in your very own Star Wars adventure," Trowbridge said during the presentation. "I hear he might be looking for flight crews for some endeavor. If Hondo and Chewie make a deal, it might mean we'll find ourselves in the Millennium Falcon." Now, this is a reference to an interesting character, but more on that in a minute. Trowbridge continued: "This is a living place, a place where your choices matter, a place where you can earn a reputation. The boss might not be too happy. It might end up on the list of a bounty hunter."

Super cool, right?

You can get on a bounty hunter's "to capture" list just by interacting with different characters and experiencing different attractions in a certain way. But what is even more fascinating are the characters that Trowbridge mentioned during this presentation.

He mentioned Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, BB-8, and now Hondo. Hondo is an alien pirate from the popular animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars: Rebels," for those of you without a subscription to Disney XD. You'd think that his story, like the story of most of the Rebels, would probably end around the time that "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" takes place, since the character doesn't appear in any subsequent installments of the saga. But that clearly isn't the case, since Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge (sorry Samsung) takes place around the time period of the new movies like "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" (out this Christmas).

We know this because one of the big marquee attractions has you escaping from the First Order, the fascist organization that rose up in the shadow of the Galactic Empire and who constructed the Death Star-like Starkiller Base in "The Force Awakens." (We can only assume they're up to no good in "The Last Jedi" too.) Also telling: that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will feature another beloved Star Wars character: lovable droid Rex.

Rex was the marquee character when Star Tours opened at Disneyland back in 1987. In the original version of the ride guests were taken on a lovely tour of the galaxy. Until, of course, the Empire showed up. And then for some reason there was a trench run, not dissimilar to Luke's in the original film, even though this took place after the original trilogy. (The idea was, with peace restored, people would be doing things for fun now.) When the ride was redone in 2011, Rex was out, replaced by everyone's favorite protocol droid C-3P0. Not that he was totally out: he appeared on an episode of "Star Wars: Rebels" (once again voiced by Paul Reubens) and the Starspeeder 1000, the vehicle that you climb aboard on Star Tours, can even be seen in the background of a scene in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Rex's new profession, as a DJ, suggests that it's after the original Star Tours timeframe, closer to the events of the new movies.

The land will be open in 2019, sometime before the third "Star Wars" opens (this one directed by Colin Trevorrow), so it's safe to assume that, unlike Pandora, the events will take place within the events of this new trilogy. The planet is in the Star Wars equivalent of the backwoods, so its far-off locale means that there could be adventures within the continuity that is just never reported on or dramatized in the movies or television series. So, let's say that it's, at least time-wise, set in between "The Last Jedi" and whatever the third movie is.

It's exciting to know that the land is so firmly entrenched in the Star Wars narrative. And what could be even cooler is if the events that unfold in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge could affect the larger universe. Considering how a farm boy brought balance to the Force, it's not unreasonable to think that a tourist from Sioux City could do the same.

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'Game of Thrones' Season 7 Premiere Caused Drop in Pornhub Traffic

When "Game of Thrones" is on, fans don't have time for anything else ... including watching porn.

Pornhub Insights, the team responsible for research and analysis at the popular pornographic website, shared new data Tuesday, revealing that traffic was down during the "Game of Thrones" Season 7 premiere on Sunday, July 16. Across the United States, the website saw its traffic fall by 4.5 percent while the show was airing. The change was described as "considerable," especially given that Sunday night is usually one of the site's most popular times.

The data came with a graph illustrating the drop in traffic.

Such drops on "Game of Thrones" nights aren't uncommon; Pornhub data shows that there tended to be a dip in traffic on Sundays throughout Season 6 whenever the show was airing. However, the size varied. Following a drop of 4.1 percent on premiere night, subsequent nights tended to be less affected. The notable exceptions were Episodes 4 and 10, with the latter being the finale. Those nights saw traffic fall by 4.9 and 5.2 percent, respectively.

The numbers might not sound huge, but considering that many "Game of Thrones" viewers don't necessarily watch new episodes while they air, the data is noteworthy. It looks like it you want to get people to stop watching porn (if only temporarily), you just have to get them hooked on "Game of Thrones." It might not be such a difficult transition, either -- after all, the show has tons of nudity.

"Game of Thrones" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

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'The Originals' Fans Have So Many Demands for Julie Plec Now That Series Is Ending

Fans of "The Originals" won't say goodbye quietly.

In the wake of show creator Julie Plec's announcement that the show's fifth season would be its final one, the series' loyal followers have been busy tweeting their demands for its conclusion. After sticking with "The Originals" for four seasons so far -- not to mention eight seasons of its predecessor, "The Vampire Diaries" -- many feel entitled to at least some say in its outcome. And they are not being shy about telling Plec what they "deserve."

Their requests vary, but some popular ones are a 22-episode season, happy endings for their favorite ships, and generally for her not to make a "mess" of it. We wish her luck with that -- there are some strong opinions out there.

The Klaroline camp was particularly loud, and they should be feeling good considering that Caroline (Candice King) and Klaus (Joseph Morgan) will see each other again when she appears in the Season 5 premiere.

Other fans haven't gotten over the death of Camille (Leah Pipes), and they want to see Klaus reunited with her -- dead or alive.

Meanwhile, people are pulling for other couples, too, such as Kolvina and Haylijah.

And "Vampire Diaries" devotees aren't missing the chance to lobby for more Delena or Stelena.

However, some are more concerned with episode count than romances.

And again, some people just want to make sure this doesn't suck.

There's no way Plec is going to be able to please everyone in this crowd, even if she wanted to.

[via: Twitter]

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'The Walking Dead' Cancels Comic-Con Press Events After On-Set Tragedy

Comic-Con International 2016 - AMC's 'The Walking Dead' Panel"The Walking Dead" is scaling back a bit after the shocking death of stuntman John Bernecker during Season 8 production.

Fans should still expect the Season 8 trailer to drop tomorrow (Friday, 7/21) during San Diego Comic-Con, and the cast will still be there for the panel and autograph sessions. However, Entertainment Tonight reports that AMC canceled all other press events. So there will be fewer-than-usual interviews coming out of Comic-Con, beyond what's said at the panel.

Here's how the Los Angeles Times put it:

"Though the series will also offer a large interactive space at San Diego's MLK Park for fans of both 'The Walking Dead' and its sibling series, 'Fear the Walking Dead,' it is keeping a comparatively lower profile this year, presumably in the wake of the death of stuntman John Bernecker last Wednesday during the shooting of the new season.

Production on the show reportedly resumed on Monday. However, the show has canceled any further press events during Comic-Con weekend. Requests for comment from AMC about the decision have yet to be answered."

It's also possible they don't want to have to talk further about former TWD showrunner Frank Darabont's ongoing lawsuit, which recently got uglier with released emails.

AMC's initial Comic-Con press release had mentioned a "press conference available on Friday, July 21 from 5:15-6:15pm at the Hilton Bayfront." So it sounds like that's out. That same press release listed the "Walking Dead" panelists, including all of these people:

Stars Andrew Lincoln, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Seth Gilliam, Alanna Masterson, Khary Payton, and Chandler Riggs; Executive Producer and Showrunner Scott M. Gimple; Executive Producer Robert Kirkman; Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd; Executive Producer, Director and Special Effects Make-up Supervisor Greg Nicotero; and Executive Producer David Alpert. The panel will be moderated by "Talking Dead" host Chris Hardwick.

That should still be happening.

"The Walking Dead" had paused production after Bernecker's death, but it resumed earlier this week. A Season 8 poster and premiere date were recently revealed ahead of the Comic-Con panel.

The Season 8 premiere, airing October 22, is also the series's 100th episode. Check out the first two photos -- of Rick & Maggie, and Daryl & Carol.

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Watch the First Teaser for 'Pacific Rim 2' & Join the 'Uprising'

John Boyega wants YOU to "join the Jaeger uprising" in "Pacific Rim 2."

The first teaser trailer* for "Pacific Rim: Uprising," sequel to Guillermo del Toro's 2013 "Pacific Rim," just arrived at San Diego Comic-Con. Unlike some of the footage dropped at SDCC (and last weekend's D23 Expo), you can actually watch this one now. (Huzzah!) See the video below.

Boyega has the lead role of Jake Pentecost, said to be the son of Idris Elba's Stacker Petecost from "Pacific Rim." Scott Eastwood co-stars as Nate Lambert, along with Cailee Spaeny as Amara and Jing Tian asLiewn Shao, with Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and Burn Gorman returning from the original film.

Here's more from Legendary:

"A new generation of Jaeger Pilots will stand tall for all humanity. What is a Jaeger? It's you, times a thousand. Witness the next evolution of human invention, with the unveiling of the Pan Pacific Defense Corps Mark VI Jaeger Program, and visit GOJAEGER.COM to discover if you have what it takes to join the biggest heroes ever to walk the Earth."

"Pacific Rim: Uprising" (formerly "Maelstrom") was directed by Steven S. DeKnight, but del Toro still has producer and story by credits.

*DeKnight tweeted that that footage was not technically a trailer:

Tomaytoes, tomahtoes. "Uprising" will be released on February 23, 2018.

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Julie Plec Announces 'The Originals' Season 5 Is the End

It's the end of a "Vampire" era. "The Originals" begins filming its fifth and final season this Monday. Executive producer Julie Plec just announced the news on Twitter before heading to San Diego Comic-Con.

Plec co-created "The Vampire Diaries" and was the sole creator of its spinoff, "The Originals." She led TVD to its conclusion earlier this year, and now that she is taking over as showrunner of "The Originals," she'll do the same for that show when it ends in 2018.

Here's what Plec just posted:

OK, but now she's teasing us again. "never really the end of the story..."? Is that just a nod to the immortality of the beings in her world, or perhaps a tease for a future spinoff?

For now, we're just excited to see "The Originals" Season 5, mostly because we now know Caroline will be in the premiere (at the very least) and that gives us hope for Klaroline to finally happen.

Plec's note says "watch us next spring when we air" which is the closest thing to a premiere date The CW has shared at this point, but stay tuned for more. Considering there was doubt over whether "The Originals" would get a fifth season at all, it's not too surprising that it will end after Season 5. But it will still be a bittersweet farewell.

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