Tor.com content by

Emily Asher-Perrin

Deadpool 2 is a Breakneck Action Comedy About Found Families

How do you up the ante on arguably the world’s biggest surprise superhero hit since 1989’s Batman? Well, on any other film, you’d probably have bigger set pieces, better CGI, and a villain that appears infinitely more powerful than the last.

But this is Deadpool. Which means that our meta jokes are just gonna get more meta.

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Coping With Aliens and the Unknown Through Pop Culture

Pop culture loves its pop culture references. They say nostalgia is in right now, but the truth is that nostalgia has always been in, and it will always be in, and we only act surprised when the focus shifts to a different decade. But nearly 20 years ago, before the wide-spread saturation of nerd culture across mediums, there was one show that used pop culture with devastating effectiveness. That show was Farscape.

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The Wachowski’s Speed Racer is a Candy-Colored Whirlwind That’s Good Enough to Eat

Warner Brothers had been trying to develop a Speed Racer film for nearly two decades, but the project never really launched until it was suggested that perhaps the Wachowskis should direct something beneath an R-rating to introduce them to family audiences.

The movie wasn’t very well received, and that’s wrong. Cosmically wrong. Speed Racer is brilliant.

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Why Would Any Parent Send Their Kids to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?

Much of children’s literature creates fantastical scenarios in which the young protagonists can endure all sorts of danger that reality would never permit. It is the nature of fiction to allow us to do whatever we cannot, and when you’re a child—a point when your suspension of disbelief is at an all-time high—taking advantage of this will never be easier.

But if we stop to consider carefully, reality will eventually clock in. And it’s then when you realize that you would never make it through your education at Hogwarts. Lasting a term would be a miracle. Why do parents send their children here? It’s madness.

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Let’s Talk About What Avengers: Infinity War Did to All Your Favorite Characters

We’ve all been asking the same question about Avengers: Infinity War since we knew it was part of Marvel’s long game: How can you possibly fit this many beloved heroes into one feature-length film and actually do anything with them? Why would you inflict this on the world? But the pull of the crossover is strong, my friends. You’ll never know if you can make it work until you try.

And it did work. The crossover part, at least.

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Avengers: Infinity War is the Superhero Crossover Event You Have Been Reading For

Ten years. Eighteen movies. Dozens of characters. One threat. Pulling off The Avengers was hard enough, and the fact that Marvel Studios managed it is still one of the most impressive feats in blockbuster cinema. But could every single one of these stories come together for the climax that we were promised?

Yeah. They could. Are you really surprised at this point? This is the only job they had left, you gotta stick that landing.

[No spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War]

Why I Don’t Care if Anyone Dies in Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War is a culmination of over ten years of work, eighteen films, and nearly a dozen television shows. To say that it is surprising to live in a era when everyone is waiting for the next superhero movie can’t be overstated—though there were early-comers to this trend, Marvel Studios has made these stories “must-see” blockbusters and dominated summer after summer at the box office.

And yet, when it comes to expectations and theories about the new movie, only one question seems to hang in the air: Who’s gonna die?

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Star Wars: Last Shot is a Flurry of Fashion, Non-Stop Action, Non-Binary Pilots, and Ewoks Who Slice

Now that Solo: A Star Wars Story is about to hit theaters, the world is primed for more Han and Lando adventures—

—no, wait, I have to stop myself. The world has always been primed for more Han and Lando adventures. And thanks to Daniel José Older’s Last Shot, the world can have what it rightly deserves.

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The Robinsons Are Charming as Ever, But Lost In Space is Definitely Lost

Cousin of 1960s science fiction mainstays like Star Trek and Doctor Who, Lost in Space was lighter fare for fans of space travel, and never managed the same longevity that its counterparts did. But with new generations come new reboots, and Netflix has revived the series for the first time since the ill-fated 1998 film.

And things are a little different this time.

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The Robin Hood You Love is A Lie

In the earliest tales, Robin Hood was many things—gambler, fighter, braggart, gentleman, con artist, master of disguise—but he was never a nobleman.

Despite scholarly fights and centuries of material to choose from, no one has ever agreed on why this change became so popular. It may have been a desire to link the legendary bandit with a real live person (such as Fulk fitz Warin or Robert Hod), or fear that the poor folks of the world might read stories of Robin’s origin and start a rebellion of their own, or simply the novelty of a man displaced and still carrying on despite it all. No matter the cause, the version of Robin that we come across most often is a figure of privilege. He’s an earl or a member of the landed gentry. He’s in the forest for now, while he waits for the rightful king and the restoration of his lands and position. With very few exceptions, modern Robin Hood stories are about a rich dude who is briefly less rich, and thankfully doesn’t hate poor people.

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Why Does Everyone Hate on The Lost World: Jurassic Park?

I maintain that if The Lost World was not automatically pitted against Jurassic Park by virtue of being its sequel, people probably would have gotten a kick out of it.

That doesn’t change the fact that the movie couldn’t beat its predecessor without blindfolding it, hogtying it, and sending it into the raptor cage first, but come on—there’s nothing wrong with letting Dr. Ian Malcolm carry a film with a baby T-Rex in it. So why all the hostility?

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How the Lost in Space Movie Prepared Me for Hollywood’s Reboot Obsession

Before you say anything—yes, I have watched the original Lost in Space television show. Yes, it is kinda weird because I was born decades after its premiere. Yes, I did enjoy it. Yes, I am obsessed with stories featuring kids who have friendships with robots, and queer codified villains. I also learned that John Williams had written the theme song, which was a very high recommendation in my kid playbook.

The 1998 reboot came along and also swept me off my feet for a brief period of time. (I was very young, shh.) But looking back on the film now—awkward as it was—it’s strange to realize how much I learned from it.

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Stop the Hogwarts House Hate: Hufflepuffs and Slytherins are Great, Too

When J.K. Rowling first revealed that Harry and Ginny’s son, James Sirius Potter, had been sorted into Gryffindor, she also noted that Teddy Lupin—son of Remus and Tonks, and the Head Boy of Hufflepuff House—was disappointed by the hat’s decision. Teddy’s disappointment was shared by some members of fandom. And while it’s hard to be surprised that a kid named for James Potter and Sirius Black would be a Gryffindor through and through, that frustration plays into a long fought battle among diehard Potter fans about how the Hogwarts Houses should be viewed, and who might be getting the short end of the stick.

While Slytherin and Hufflepuff both have their share of intensely dedicated fans, it’s no secret that among the general Potter-reading population, most would prefer to be a Gryffindor or a Ravenclaw. Why? Do people prefer lions and ravens? Red and blue? Or is it something to do with the attributes awarded to each house, and the values we (and the wizarding world) place on them?

[Life’s not easy for the Hufflepuffs out there…]