Adieu Thrones, bye Avengers—this is the TV/film we’re eyeing for the rest of 2019

Adieu Thrones, bye Avengers—this is the TV/film we’re eyeing for the rest of 2019

Coming into 2019, it felt like pop culture only had two things on its mind: the final season of Game of Thrones and the final chapter in Marvel’s Avengers saga. Looking back from the half-way point in the year, hey, at least one of those delivered.

Of course, pop culture is never that straightforward or simple, and 2019 so far has brought plenty of delightful surprises. Netflix finally hit on another series with the loop-y Russian DollJordan Peele followed up perhaps the most beloved horror movie in years with another winner called UsAnd maybe HBO didn’t please everyone with the last chapter in Westeros, but seemingly everyone has adored the company’s surprise historical hit, Chernobyl, to say nothing of the (currently airing) delightfully weird supernatural comedy, Los Espookys

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Around Ars, we don’t really indulge in Best Of list-making

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Star Wars: Outer Rim review—Piloting as Han or Boba Fett could use more thrills

Star Wars: Outer Rim review—Piloting as Han or Boba Fett could use more thrills

Enlarge / The game’s player board.

Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.quickbitetech.com.

One of the defining aspects of Star Wars is its dramatic sense of adventure. Hopping from planet to planet, quarreling with local cultures, and getting swept up in something greater than yourself are all essential to the property’s Midichlorian-infused DNA. That’s why it’s surprising to realize that we’ve never had a proper Star Wars adventure game.

But the new Star Wars: Outer Rim is just that, a star-hopping frolic in the vein of classic titles Talisman and Runebound. You select your pilot from an eclectic mix drawn from both the big and small screen. Favorites such as Boba Fett and Han Solo are of course included, but we’re also offered Ketsu Onyo from the Rebels television show and Doctor Aphra from a beloved

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Massive Lego National Cathedral built with Vader, drones, Harry Potter wands

Massive Lego National Cathedral built with Vader, drones, Harry Potter wands

WASHINGTON, DC—As millions of dollars in donations stacked up for the Notre-Dame following the horrific fire last month, the Washington National Cathedral was quietly building its own restoration fund—brick-by-plastic brick.

Together with the Lego-building company Bright Bricks, officials at the cathedral have embarked on a project to build a massive replica of the cathedral out of Lego bricks. The project will raise money for much needed earthquake repairs. When complete, the towering yet detailed 1:40-scaled replica will be the largest Lego cathedral in the world. It’ll contain an estimated 500,000 bricks, weighing 612 kilograms, measuring nearly 4-meters long, 2.5-meters wide, and rising 3.35-meters from its elevated platform. It may also be the largest Lego structure ever built from instructions—officials at the

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Vader Immortal world premiere: Star Wars comes to VR with story, humor, stakes

Vader Immortal world premiere: Star Wars comes to VR with story, humor, stakes

Enlarge / This dramatic staredown moment from Vader Immortal, as captured from live Oculus Quest hardware. While this captured image is a bit fuzzy, Vader’s animation and presentation within the VR experience is quite satisfying. (credit: Lucasfilm)

I could start my review of Vader Immortal: Episode One, the first lengthy Star Wars experience for consumer-grade VR headsets, in a number of ways. Controls? Comfort? Visuals? Story? Droids?

But after I finished my first run of the 45-minute experience, premiering exclusively on Oculus Quest on May 21 for $9.99, I knew where to begin: the moment Darth Vader became my life-sized lightsaber combat ally.

There I was, my eyes locked onto the tall Star Wars icon’s mask as it loomed above me. He ordered me to turn a key. (I wasn’t in a position to argue.) Doing so loosed a mystic energy, along with a slew of mysterious, sword-wielding

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Disney delays Avatar quadrilogy, dates three live-action Star Wars films

Disney delays Avatar quadrilogy, dates three live-action Star Wars films

Enlarge / How much Disney-Marvel-Fox can you possibly stomach over the next eight years? (credit: Disney / Aurich Lawson)

As part of the recent fusing of multiple movie empires, Disney made a massive announcement of film release dates on Tuesday relating to everything under its corporate, cinematic sun.

And we mean everything.

Let’s start with the biggest official news of the document: every film in the upcoming James Cameron Avatar quadrilogy (yes, four more Avatar films) has been bumped at least one full year, with Avatar 2 now slated to launch on December 17, 2021. That day, by the way, was Avatar 3‘s original release date, but that third entry has now been bumped a full two years, to December 2023.

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Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew is dead at 74

Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew is dead at 74

Enlarge / Mayhew arrives at the premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story at the El Capitan Theatre on May 10, 2018, in Hollywood. (credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Peter Mayhew, who portrayed Chewbacca in all the character’s live-action scenes until 2015’s The Force Awakens, has died at his home in Texas. The British-born actor was 74 years old.

Mayhew was an aspiring actor working as a hospital orderly in 1976 when George Lucas tapped him to play the part. Mayhew’s primary qualification for the job was his height: he stood 7 feet 3 inches tall (220 cm). That was tall enough to tower over Darth Vader, played by the six-foot-six (200 cm) David Prowse. Mayhew didn’t utter Chewbacca’s famous grunts and growls—those were voiced by sound-effects legend Ben Burtt.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mayhew went back to his hospital work after playing Chewie in Star Wars.

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