Nicole Kidman plays a hard-edged detective with a dark past in the official trailer for director Karyn Kusama's Destroyer. The film marks the latest collaboration for Kusama and writing duo Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, after their collaborations on the action-adventure Æon Flux and the horror-mystery The Invitation. Kusama is also known for helming the cult horror-comedy Jennifer's Body and has worked on such high-profile cable TV series as Billions and Halt and Catch Fire in more recent years.
Kidman stars is Destroyer as Erin Bell, a seasoned LAPD detective who went undercover as a young cop with a gang in the California desert and has been haunted by what happened, ever since. However, when the leader of the gang re-emerges in the present, Erin is given the chance to finally make peace with her demons and take down the remaining members of the gang, one by one. Joining Kidman in the cast are such names as Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Scoot McNairy (Godless), Toby Kebbell (Kong: Skull Island) and the MCU's own Bucky Barnes, Sebastian Stan.
Destroyer has already screened at the major festivals in Telluride and Toronto and will make a stop at the AFI Fest next month, ahead of its release in U.S. theaters this December. Annapurna Pictures has now released an official trailer for the film online, in an effort to further generate buzz for the pulpy crime-thriller. Take a look in the space below.
So far, Destroyer and especially Kidman's performance have been largely well-received by critics over the course of its festival circuit tour. Early reviews further seem to agree that the movie has a pretty standard LA noir crime narrative, but elevates it through compelling acting and sharp direction. Indeed, between its plot summary and trailer footage, Destroyer looks and feels a bit like a season of True Detective that's headlined by Kidman and has been effectively condensed into a two-hour film.
As for Annapurna - the studio has struggled at the box office since it began distributing films last year and recently dropped director Jay Roach's Roger Ailes project, just as it was about to begin production. All the same, the hope is that the Annapurna will finish its year on a stronger note financially, between the release of such buzzed-about movies as Destroyer, Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk adaptation and Adam McKay's Dick Cheney biopic Vice over the remaining months of 2018. The latter two films have Best Picture Oscar buzz working in their favor, but Destroyer may yet manage to draw a crowd that's in the mood for some good ol' hard-boiled crime thrills.
Source: Annapurna Pictures
A YouTube channel has used AI to digitally insert Harrison Ford into a clip from Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the results are impressive – yet uncanny. Moviegoers were highly divided over Solo, which saw Alden Ehrenreich step up to play the legendary space pirate in his youth. Many could not bear to see anyone else but Ford embody Star Wars’ smooth-talking smuggler. However, thanks to new image processing techniques, we can see how it might have looked if he had returned to his most famous role.
Solo has had a considerably rough time since it was announced back in 2015. In theory, a movie focused solely upon that sarcastic smuggler’s early days is an interesting prospect. But without the iconic Ford in Millennium Falcon’s cockpit, fans were skeptical of Solo’s chances. Following Solo’s release, Ehrenreich’s optimistic portrayal still has its fair share of defenders. In the main though, it’s clear that there are plenty of people who would have preferred Ford, or his impersonator Anthony Ingruber, to bring Han to life. Admittedly, it would have been very difficult for a seventy six year-old Ford to portray a twenty-something Han Solo for the Star Wars prequel. Yet, judging by the success of this video, it may not always be so.
The channel derpfakes posted the short video, which lifts several moments from Solo, but primarily focuses upon Han’s first meeting with a young Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). The account has used a technique known as “deep learning,” whereby an AI is given a range of images depicting a particular person. After analyzing these, it creates a library of expressions and poses, which is then used as a reference to graft over any figure on a video clip. In this case, the AI studies Ehrenreich’s performance, and crafts a corresponding one from its readout of Ford.
This is not the first time that deep learning has been used on movies and their stars. In their previous videos, "derpfakes" have also grafted Nicolas Cage’s face onto Amy Adams' body, in an excerpt from Man of Steel. Deep learning was also used earlier this year to digitally shave Henry Cavill, following Warner Bros.' disastrous attempt to remove his mustache for Justice League. And Han has been the subject of similar efforts before. Earlier this year, Star Wars fan Nick Acosta used clips from Ford’s filmography to roughly approximate his version of “True Solo” on Vimeo.
Whilst Acosta’s attempt is as occasionally imperfect as derpfakes’ clip, these remarkable videos remind us that this technology is going to have an increasingly profound effect in years to come. The Star Wars series has already demonstrated this, with the appearance of a synthetic Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Despite many people objecting on ethical grounds, the digital Tarkin has nevertheless paved the way for other screen legends to be convincingly resurrected for future films.
Given that Ford is reportedly done with Han Solo, we shouldn’t expect him to return to the role, in digitally de-aged form, any time soon. Although, with people being able to be digitally replicated wholesale, this edited clip from Solo: A Star Wars Story serves as a fascinating – and frightening – reminder of what the future of AI and computers could mean, not only for our favorite film franchises, but for our security too.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Flash season 5 episode 2!
The Flash season 5 continued with episode 2, "Blocked", which introduced new villains and teased bigger time travel happenings for the season. The Flash season 5 premiere was full of surprising revelations, also reunited Barry and Iris with their daughter from the future they didn't know they had. Episode 2 doubled down on the family feels as Barry continued to bond with his daughter after the revelation that in her future he was still missing after vanishing in 2024. In another shocking move for a CW show, Barry and Nora actually told the rest of Team Flash about this Barry-less future, which led everyone to decide that it didn't matter and they could change fate once more.
Besides the usual villain of the week, "Blocked" introduced the team to the season-long big bad, Cicada. He is already proving to be a formidable foe, using his lightning bolt dagger to neutralize the heroes' powers. There also seems to be some kind of connection or history between Nora and this new villain.
With more episodes of The Flash season 5 only comes more questions. Here we break down what to look out for in the coming weeks.
What Is Cicada's Plan For The Flash Season 5?
So far Cicada has killed Gridlock and attempted to kill Block. We know that part of The Flash season 5's villain's plan is to rid Central City of metahumans, but the question now is why. Especially if he is only targeting the metahumans Barry has fought against aka other bad guys. It would be one thing to take out harmless metahumans (if any exist), but what is the purpose of killing other bad metahumans as a way to get to The Flash? Is The Flash just another meta in his way or is there a purpose behind Cicada's attacks?
In the comics, Cicada targets metahumans who have been saved by The Flash. It seems as if the show is heading in the same direction. It's the first time the team has faced him, so answers aren't expected right now. Hopefully as The Flash season 5 develops we will learn more about the character's backstory and the reasoning behind his actions. It also will be interesting to compare Cicada's plans to DeVoe's from last season: DeVoe was a genius scientist who wanted to outthink Team Flash; Cicada seems to come from a more working-class background so he will be a different kind of foe to face.
What Information is Missing From The Flash Museum in The Future?
Nora was surprised to learn that Barry had been in prison since the information wasn't in The Flash Museum. This brings to mind what else the museum might be lacking. Did they sanitize history, not wanting anyone to know the Scarlet Speedster was a jailbird? Or is the Flash's true identity still a secret in the future and therefore no one made the connection? (The latter seems doubtful seeing how Barry tells pretty much everyone that he's the Flash.) Can the information Nora knows be completely trusted because of where she learned it from?
It also makes you wonder how the other characters are portrayed in the museum. When Nora first met Caitlin in season 4, she was rather unfriendly. Is it because of something she read in the museum about Killer Frost? If Nora and Iris aren't close in the future, she may not know the truth from the person who was actually there. Nora may be eager to be part of the team, but she could be biased by her knowledge without even realizing it.
Page 2 of 2: More Questions About The Flash Season 5, Episode 2
How Much Does Nora Really Know About Barry Allen?
If everything Nora has learned about Barry has come from The Flash Museum, how much does she really know about her dad? Not The Flash, but Barry Allen the man. It's heartbreaking to think that Nora knows only his superheroics and not the things that actually make him a hero like his kind heart or desire to do what is right no matter the cost. It makes her reason for coming back to the past make even more sense. And it makes this episode of The Flash even more emotional, as Barry reveals more of who he was his daughter through his OG Flash training videos.
Connected to this question is another one: why aren't Nora and Iris close in the future? We've seen time and time again how strong Iris West-Allen can be. Was the disappearance of her husband the thing that finally caused her to break and pull away from her loved ones? Or is there another reason for the distance between mother and daughter? Iris seemed pretty hurt this episode by being continually left out by Nora and Barry. Nora always seems annoyed by Iris, but in a way that's more than just the typical young adult stuff. The characters are bound for a confrontation and when they do it's sure to give another clue about the future we might not be ready for.
What is Nora's Connection to Cicada?
There was definitely something sketchy going on when Nora and Cicada finally came face to face in The Flash season 5, episode 2; both characters seemed to recognize each other. Cicada even stopped trying to attack Barry when he saw her. We know that Nora's "big, big mistake" was coming back to see her dad, but could there be more to it? In traveling back in time did she somehow mess up the timeline of how or when the team was supposed to face Cicada? Or is Cicada from the future himself?
If Nora knows Cicada, that could mean she's destined to help defeat him. But if her information is outdated or incomplete from The Flash Museum, things could be a little more difficult than previously imagined. The surprised way she reacted to Gridlock's death already seems like an ominous sign that things may be changing. It would be a little too easy if the team used Nora as a cheat code to get around all the bad guys, so maybe this will make things a little more interesting.
The Flash season 5 continues with episode 3, "The Death of Vibe", on Tuesday, October 23rd at 8 PM on the CW.
Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, which meant that it owned the rights to the Star Wars franchise. It quickly announced that a new trilogy was in the works, which would follow the events that happened after Return of the Jedi.
The promise of new Star Wars related material that was set after Return of the Jedi meant that the Expanded Universe was going to be wiped from continuity. The Expanded Universe was the name given to all of the forms of Star Wars media that existed outside of the original six movies, many of which dealt with events that happened after Return of the Jedi.
There were many fans of the Expanded Universe who were dismayed by its removal from canon, as they had grown of fond of characters like Mara Jade and Ben Skywalker. There is also a large contingent of Star Wars fans who were glad to see the Expanded Universe struck from continuity, as many writers had been allowed to play with the license over the years and had introduced some embarrassing ideas to the series.
The Jedi Order and the Sith Lords appeared frequently in the Expanded Universe, which meant that many writers had created ridiculous Force powers that make Luke's intergalactic illusion in The Last Jedi seem subtle by comparison.
We are here today to reveal which Force powers deserved to be removed from the continuity of Star Wars - from the ability to smell your enemy from afar to the time when Jacen Solo pulled a Scrooge.
With that said, here are the 20 Bizarre Force Powers That Were Removed From Star Wars!
20 Force Smell
The Force is great for experiencing events from a distance, such as seeing far-away locations or receiving glimpses of the future, but it doesn't offer much help at short-range, except when other Force-users are nearby. The divination power of a Jedi Knight or Sith Lord can be impressive, but it can't be used to check around corners or behind closed doors.
The Children of the Jedi and Dark Force Rising novels introduced the concept of the Force Smell power, which allowed a Jedi Knight or Sith Lord to augment their natural sense of smell and put it on the same level as that of an animal.
Luke Skywalker was able to increase his sense of smell to the point where it allowed him to follow somebody's trail by the cigarette smoke that they left behind.
19 Destroying Planets
A recurring element throughout the Star Wars series has been the desire of the villains to create a vessel or weapon with the ability to destroy a planet. There are several examples of this throughout the canon Star Wars movies and the Expanded Universe. It seems that the Empire and the New Order have been trying too hard, however, as one Sith Lord discovered a way to destroy all life on a planet using only the Force.
Darth Nihilus was one of the villains of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords and he could use a variant of the Force drain ability that affected life on a global scale. Nihilus was able to remove the Force from the surface of the planet Katarr, which wiped out every living creature on the world, save for a single person.
The Force doesn't need to be used in a flashy way in order to cause severe damage to an individual, as Darth Vader proved in A New Hope when he slowly crushed the windpipe of the imperial officer. Indeed, most Jedi Knights and Sith Lords only used the Force as a form of telekinesis, so that they could throw stuff around. The Children of the Jedi novel introduced the Combustion ability to the Force, which allowed Jedi Knights and Sith Lords to cause both inanimate objects and living beings to explode from within.
The difficulty of the technique was measured in the relative density and size of the object, so it did have a few limits, but it was possible for Force-users to make regular people blow up with a single ability.
This ability would be ridiculously overpowered when used in most situations, which is likely why it has appeared so rarely in the Expanded Universe.
17 Deadly Sight
Those who use the Force often make gestures with their hands as they do so, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi using the Jedi mind trick on the Stormtroopers in A New Hope or when Anakin Skywalker uses the Force choke power on Padmé in Revenge of the Sith.
There is one Force ability that is based around the eyes, as it affects everyone who the user can see. This ability is called Deadly Sight and it can disintegrate all those within a Sith Lord's field of vision. The Deadly Sight ability appeared in the Jedi Knight video games and it allowed a Sith Lord to combine the Thanos finger snap with Cyclops' optic blasts, in order to annihilate everyone who they could see.
16 Electric Judgement
Force lightning is an ability that is usually exclusive to Sith Lords, as it requires a tremendous amount of hatred and a desire to see someone suffer in order to be able to conjure it into existence. A few Jedi Knights are capable of using Force lightning, but it's considered to be taboo and a step towards falling to the dark side.
The old Star Wars novels and video games gave Jedi Knights a "nice" version of Force lightning that didn't require any kind of malicious intent in order to use.
This technique was referred to as Electric Judgement and Jedi Knights like Luke Skywalker could fire off bolts of green energy in order to disable or defeat his foes.
15 Wall Of Light
It's possible to sever an individual's connection with the Force through outside means without causing them physical harm, which was the fate of Darth Revan at the start of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. There are also those who can sever themselves from the Force, as Luke Skywalker attempted to in the time before The Last Jedi.
One of the most powerful abilities available to Jedi Knights is the wall of light, which could prevent someone from using their powers by severing their connection to the Force. The wall of light required the participation of several skilled Jedi Knights in order to perform i, which meant that it was the Star Wars equivalent of the Spirit Bomb from Dragon Ball Z.
14 Force Storm
It's possible for ships in the Star Wars universe to move faster than the speed of light, which required the use of a hyperdrive. It still took a while for ships to travel the galaxy with a hyperdrive, due to the sheer amount of space that needed to be traversed.
Emperor Palpatine found a way to traverse space by creating an artificial wormhole using the Force.
This ability was known as the Force storm and it was used to abduct Luke Skywalker in the Dark Empire comic book series. The Force storm was one of the most powerful Force abilities in existence, but it also came with a huge risk, as it was incredibly difficult to maintain and losing control would mean that the user would be caught up in the storm and destroyed.
13 Force Travel
Spaceships are a huge part of the Star Wars series and even a mighty Jedi Knight or Sith Lord wouldn't get very far without a means of traveling from planet to planet. The presence of spaceships is necessary to create drama in Star Wars, as all tricky situations would be solved pretty quickly if Force-users could teleport around the galaxy.
However, there was an incredibly powerful Force power that allowed Jedi Knights and Sith Lords to teleport themselves or items from one area to another, which was known as the Fold space ability. Fold space was used by both Luke Skywalker and his son, Ben Skywalker, after they had been tutored by the Aing-Tii. The ancient being known as Abeloth also possessed the ability to teleport from one place to another.
We have seen several Sith Lords using the power of the dark side to create Force lightning, such as Count Dooku, Emperor Palpatine, and Supreme Leader Snoke. There are also several Force-users in the Star Wars franchise who can create fire from the molecules inside of the air and control it as a weapon. There have been Sith Lords who have gone the other route and decided to focus on Force powers based around the cold, which is how the Cryokinesis ability came to be discovered.
Cryokinesis could be used to artificially lower the temperature of a living being so that their body would stop functioning.
This move was often fatal and its subtle usage meant that it could be used by Sith Lords who dispose of their enemies in a subtle manner.
11 Plant Control
There is a popular Star Wars fan theory that suggests that Anakin Skywalker was created by Darth Sidious, who had used the techniques taught to him by Darth Plagueis in order to impregnate Shmi Skywalker and create the prophecized child under his own terms.
Darth Sidious claimed that the technique used to create life using the Force had been forgotten, but there were some Jedi Knights in the galaxy who could use the Force to accelerate the growth of plants so that they could be used as a weapon against their foes. This ability was called Plant Surge and it was most effective on jungle planets, where the entire natural world could be wielded against an enemy of the Jedi Order.
10 Spear Of Midnight Black
The Force is an incredibly powerful asset, but most Jedi Knights and Sith Lords still use other weapons on a regular basis, such as a lightsaber or blaster pistol. It's possible for some Force-users to instill a regular melee weapon (such as a stick) with the power of the Force in order to increase its strength and durability.
However, there is one technique that can create a physical weapon made of the Force that can harm an opponent.
It was revealed in the novelization of Dark Forces: Jedi Knight that Kyle Katarn possessed the ability to create a weapon called the Darkshear, which was also known as the Spear of Midnight Black, to fight his enemies. The Darkshear was a spear made from pure dark side energy. It was difficult for it to be seen by those who couldn't use the Force, making a highly effective weapon.
9 Transfer Essence
There are some Jedi Knights who developed the ability to manifest in the real world as ghosts after they had passed away. This kind of technique doesn't really suit the Sith Lords, however, as they would prefer to cheat fate and bring themselves back to life. The transfer essence ability allowed a Sith Lord to use the Force to move their consciousness from one body into another.
Emperor Palpatine was highly-skilled at this technique, as he used the resources available to him as the ruler of the galaxy to create fresh clones of bodies that he could possess once his original body was destroyed. Emperor Palpatine was able to bring himself back to life after being slain at the hands of Darth Vader, even though there was a limit to how long each clone body would last, due to the sheer power of his consciousness.
8 Force Net
One of the most violent Force powers that was available to Sith Lords was the Force net ability, which had a lot of uses when it came to capturing an enemy or defeating them in battle.
When an individual was trapped in a Force net, their ability to call upon the Force was diminished and eventually severed.
The Force net could be made as sharp as a razor blade and was often used to turn an opponent into a pile of bits on the floor. One of the weaknesses of the Force net was that the user needed to know certain arcane phrases in order to make it function, which meant that it wasn't effective when fighting against a group of enemies, as the user needed to concentrate in order to maintain the net.
7 Force Call
There have been moments in the Star Wars series when Force-users have been able to talk to each other across distances, with some deceased Jedi Knights being able to contact the living with the aid of the Force.
The Dark Nest series of novels introduced the Force call ability, which allows a Jedi Knight to send out a shout through the Force itself that could only be heard by other Force-users. If you heard the Force call, then you would be unable to resist its command and would have to track down the source of the noise. Luke Skywalker was able to use this power to create a gathering of the New Jedi Order on the planet Ossus.
The ability to deprive someone of their senses would be an incredibly useful power to have, but it wouldn't look very interesting on film, so we rarely see it implemented in movies. There was a Force power that was absolutely devastating when used against humanoid enemies, as it screwed up their equilibrium to the point that they became incredibly dizzy and would start to vomit due to the sensation.
It would be pretty hard to swing a lightsaber while under such physical duress, which means that most foes would be defeated quickly after this technique was used on them.
This power is called Malacia and it could be used to disable a foe in battle without causing any direct physical harm. It was difficult to master Malacia and skilled Force-users could resist its effects to a degree, which meant that it wasn't as popular as the regular old Force push.
5 Art Of The Small
The introduction of midi-chlorians in The Phantom Menace was controversial among Star Wars fans, as it turned the Force into something that was scientific and could be measured using tools. Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi were able to measure the strength of Anakin Skywalker's Force powers as if they were using a scouter from Dragon Ball Z.
The Expanded Universe introduced the ability to control the contents of molecules using the Force in a manner similar to midi-chlorians in several different novels. This ability was called Art of the Small and it allowed a Force-user to change the properties in molecules, which was once used to give healing properties to tears. Art of the Small was also used to camouflage the presence of the Force within its user, allowing them to hide their presence from their foes.
The inclusion of the ability to teleport using the Force would make for some very short Star Wars stories. If Luke Skywalker could have teleported inside Emperor Palpatine's throne room, dropped a thermal detonator, and then teleported out, then Return of the Jedi would have ended pretty quickly. The Phase ability would be equally as disruptive if it appeared outside of the Expanded Universe.
This is a Force ability that allows the user to move through solid matter.
A Phase user would be able to resolve a lot of dramatic situations with ease, due to how easily they could avoid most threats. We have seen this kind of disruption with Kitty Pryde in the X-Men franchise, which is offset by Kitty's lack of other abilities. If Kitty had a lightsaber and a bunch of other Force abilities, then she would be the best member of the team.
It's possible for sufficiently powerful Force-users to mask their presence from their enemies so that Jedi Knights and Sith Lords alike cannot detect their presence. The ability to hide from Force-users isn't much good if there are security cameras around, though, as they will reveal your presence by sight.
There is a power known as Force-flash that has several functions - it can temporarily disable droids and electronic devices, including cameras and audio recorders so that you can sneak around without risk of being spotted by a security team. The other function of Force-flash is the ability to create a blinding flash of light so that your enemies are momentarily distracted.
A lot of people complained when Princess Leia used the Force to survive in the vacuum of space in The Last Jedi, which had as much to do with how silly it looked as it did with adhering to the lore. There was a Force power that could allow a Jedi Knight or Sith Lord to survive in an area that is freezing cold and it was used by Jacen Solo in conjunction with the Force shield ability in order to endure the lack of elements when trapped in an area without a breathable atmosphere.
The ability to use the Force to keep yourself warm in a harsh environment is called Tapas.
It allowed Force-users to survive in extremely cold temperatures for as long as they could maintain the ability.
The ability to travel through time has yet to be mentioned in any of the canon pieces of Star Wars media and none of the heroes or villains seem interested in using either the Force or the advanced technology to try and change events in the past.
It's possible for some Force-users to travel through time, though their ability to influence past events is limited. Jacen Solo was able to use the time-drifting power in order to witness Anakin Skywalker's fall from grace so that he could learn more about falling to the dark side of the Force. It would have been possible for Jacen to try and alter the past, but doing so would likely have wiped him from existence, due to how closely related he was to Anakin Skywalker.
Do you wish these powers could remain? Are there any other Force powers that were removed from Star Wars continuity that we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments!