Patrick Stewart is reprising his role of captain Jean-Luc Picard in a new Star Trek television series. Even days after its announcement at the 2018 Star Trek Convention, just typing that line brought a big smile to my face. Picard is an all-time Star Trek great, and I can’t wait to see where his story goes next. All we know for now is the show will air exclusively on CBS All Access, and will explore the next chapter in Picard’s life.

In a tweet to fans, Stewart seems eager to return to the captain’s chair, and credited the stories he heard from fans as a reason for coming back. “During these past years, it has been humbling to hear stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration, and leadership,” he wrote. In his final line he teased that the journey ahead would explore “unexpected” territory for Picard.

You can see the moment Stewart announces his return in the video below. Prepare to be consumed by shivers.

I hope CBS’ plan for Picard’s return factors in the time that has passed since Stewart last wore the suit. I’m guessing the series begins with him retired, enjoying a quiet life. Gary Whitta, one of the writers behind Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and numerous other films and books, shared a fascinating idea on Twitter. “Picard as a troubleshooting Federation ambassador who defuses galactic crises and solves archeological mysteries in his spare time. Occasional trips home to sort out the family vineyard. That sounds just the ticket.”

I love the idea of Picard being called in from a humble life to solve universe-spanning conflicts. Would CBS keep him on the sidelines, though? I doubt it. I have a feeling he’ll be back in the captain’s chair of a new Enterprise after just an episode or two. I also wouldn’t be surprised if his old crew slowly comes back together. Let’s include Wil Wheaton for this tour! Let me know what you hope to see from the show in the comments section below.

Jon Favreau is at the helm of another highly anticipated science-fiction television series. New York Times reports his  Star Wars series, which will debut on Disney’s forthcoming streaming service, will cost $100 million for 10 episodes. That budget isn’t unheard of for blockbuster shows. Game of Thrones‘ sixth season had a budget of over $10 million per episode. How that money is used for Star Wars remains to be seen, but we can likely look at Game of Thrones as a bit of a blueprint for star power, scale of sets, and computer graphics usage. Disney having the great Industrial Light & Magic in its back pocket should reduce the cost significantly for CG characters and sets. When George Lucas was thinking of bringing Star Wars to TV, he envisioned a future where assets could be shared between the films and shows. That’s something we might see with Favreau and Abrams’ work.

In the world of superheroes, or should I say supervillains, I have mixed feelings about Venom. The footage doesn’t look bad, but the plot teases don’t say much more than “origin story.” I hope there’s a good counter to Venom and more than him dealing with inner demons. The best thing I’ve seen from the film is the international poster, which screams of Venom’s comic heritage.

I don’t feel the same way about the first teaser image for the untitled Terminator movie. I like that it’s a direct sequel to James Cameron’s work on the series, and is directed by Tim Miller of Deadpool fame, but I don’t think there’s another property out there that feels like it’s been milked to death as much as Terminator. The robots keep coming back to the past to do the same thing. We’ve already been to the future. What’s left? Bringing back Linda Hamilton is a nice touch, as she has always been one of the best parts of the series, but I hope they explore new territory outside of just introducing more powerful machines that travel to the past.

Over on the game side of of the universe, put Planet Alpha on your radar. Hitting September 4 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC, Planet Alpha is a side-scrolling adventure with a unique hook: You control whether it’s day or night. As you work your way across a hostile alien world filled with robotic sentries and Godzilla-sized beasts, you’ll be tasked to leap across collapsing platforms and solve puzzles for reasons that haven’t been explained yet. The game looks absolutely stunning, and I’ve been itching for another runner like Limbo or Inside. If not for a full review, I hope to at least provide impressions when the game hits in a month.

The final bit of news I have for you isn’t really news. Think of it more as a pressing PSA. You need to read Marvel’s new Infinity Wars series. If you are a fan of the old Infinity trilogy, or first encountered the gems in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you owe it to yourself to read this book. The first issue (and the prelude book) are loaded with “HOLY CRAP” moments. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them ends up in the forthcoming Avengers film. The threat that is introduced in this story is so damn good, and just makes sense from a lineage standpoint. The first issue came out last Wednesday. Download it now, or turn off your computer and drive to the store to read it. Again, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

See you all in seven short days with Fallout 76 details!

Science-Fiction Weekly – Picard’s Return, Star Wars TV, Planet Alpha