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Comic-Con 2018 highlights: From Star Trek spinoffs to a Star Wars revival

For anyone who enjoys sci-fi, superhero, and fantasy fare, there’s no bigger event than Comic-Con International in San Diego — both for fans and the studios that produce these movie and television projects.

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Major announcements are made, amazing trailers are released, and the cast and creative teams from so many celebrated films and TV shows make the trip to San Diego to promote their projects and — in some cases — mingle with the fans who adore their work. Although the 2018 edition of the event was absent the fanfare that HBO and Disney typically bring (both companies decided to keep their presence at Comic-Con minimal this year), there were still plenty of exciting moments over the course of the show.

Here are some of the highlights from San Diego Comic-Con 2018 that everyone is talking about this week.

The trailers

As always, there were some huge movie and television trailers that debuted during Comic-Con, offering fans the first look (in some cases) at the projects they’re most eager to see.

Aquaman - Official Trailer 1

We put together a list of our favorite Comic-Con trailers this year, including Warner Bros. Pictures’ first Aquaman trailer (see above) and M. Night Shyamalan’s much-anticipated Glass trailer. While those trailers were teased ahead of the show (and lived up to expectations), there were also some surprises, including the first trailer for WB’s other upcoming superhero movie, Shazam!, and a pair of exciting trailers for two sci-fi series entering their second seasons: Star Trek: Discovery and The Orville.

Star Trek spinoffs

During its Friday panel for Star Trek: Discovery, CBS revealed that the success of its latest Star Trek series has led the network to commission a new series, Short Treks. Plans for several Star Trek spinoff series were first announced by CBS in June, but Short Treks is the first of those series to have a title announced and some concrete details confirmed.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Short Treks spinoff series will consist of four episodes, with each episode running for just 10 to 15 minutes. The episodes will focus on certain characters from Discovery and the greater Star Trek universe, including an episode exploring the early days of Starfleet service for Saru (pictured), Doug Jones’ alien character in the series.

Short Treks is expected to debut in the fall.

Thanks from ‘The Expanse’

The cancelation and subsequent pickup of sci-fi series The Expanse made headlines in May, and the cast and crew of the show clearly understand that the Comic-Con audience probably had a lot to do with the show finding a new home at Amazon Studios. During Amazon’s panel at Comic-Con, the streaming video platform (and producer) debuted a video made by the cast and crew of The Expanse, thanking fans for their support.

The Expanse - Thank You to the Fans | Prime Video

The fourth season of the series is expected to premiere on Amazon Prime Video in 2019.

‘It: Chapter Two’

New Line Cinema got things started early at this year’s show with a sneak peek at the sequel to the horror hit It during a Wednesday, July 18, panel.

#Scarediego showed a behind-the-scenes look and brief scene from the currently filming #ITChapter2; it went like this:
Bill Hader: Sup, Losers?
James Ransome: Holy sh*t!
Hader: So what do you guys wanna talk about?
[Pennywise appears]
Muschietti: Bring your adult diapers. #SDCC

— Fandango (@Fandango) July 19, 2018

Although the footage screened during the panel wasn’t released online, there are plenty of descriptions of it (see above) that found their way out of San Diego, and it sounds like the sequel might be even more terrifying than its predecessor.

‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ continues

Disney and Lucasfilm didn’t have much of a presence at Comic-Con this year, but that didn’t stop the studios from dropping a big announcement.

In one of the show’s biggest surprises, Lucasfilm revealed that acclaimed, Emmy-winning animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars will return for an all-new sixth season on Disney’s upcoming streaming video platform. The announcement was accompanied by a video confirming the beloved series’ return.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Official Trailer

According to the announcement, The Clone Wars will be back with another 12 episodes that will air on the streaming service, likely picking up where the final full season left off.

‘Bumblebee’ brings the ‘bots back

The Transformers prequel had its own panel at Comic-Con, and while the new footage from Bumblebee wasn’t released online, reports from the panel suggest that the film stands a good chance of turning the Transformers franchise around in the aftermath of several disappointing sequels. Positive reviews of the footage were plentiful, which is a good sign for the series after the problems of 2017’s Transformers: The Last Knight left many Transformers fans questioning the big-screen franchise’s future.

Unfortunately, instead of releasing footage, the studio debuted a new Comic-Con poster for the film.

Presenting the #BumblebeeMovie Official Comic-Con Exclusive Poster. #SDCC2018

— Bumblebee (@bumblebeemovie) July 21, 2018

A ‘Doctor Who’ preview

During BBC America’s panel at Comic-Con, the first full preview for the upcoming season of Doctor Who finally had its debut.

Doctor Who: Series 11 Trailer

The new season of the long-running series features the first-ever female lead for the show, with Jodie Whittaker taking over the title role from Peter Capaldi. The trailer offers a peek at the tone of Whittaker’s spin on the time- and space-traveling Doctor, the 13th incarnation of the character (or possibly 14th, depending on your affinity for certain canon) as she begins a new chapter in the beloved series’ history.

‘The Predator’ vs. Predator?

20th Century Fox brought some additional footage from The Predator to the Thursday, July 19, panel, but that sneak peek has yet to find its way online. SlashFilm has a comprehensive description of the footage that was screened during the presentation, with one particular scene featuring a standard Predator alien fighting a genetically modified Predator hinted at a new, super-sized villain in the mix:

“The smaller Predator tries to fight back, but his bladed gauntlets have no effect on this superior beast. He picks him up and slams him onto the roof of a station wagon. He’s down for the count. But Mega Predator isn’t done yet. After making a signature clicking growl that has a much deeper vocal register, he rips off his opponent’s mask, punches his face, and finishes by tearing off his head, complete with spine attached.”

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The studio also released a new poster for the film (see above) that’s heavy on, well … skulls.

‘Venom’ villain revealed

We are #Venom. #SDCC2018 #SonyAtSDCC

— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) July 21, 2018

Sony Pictures hasn’t released the footage from its Comic-Con panel online yet, but the event did provide some information about the film’s villain and feature some early sequences — without final visual effects — showcasing star Tom Hardy’s performance as both Eddie Brock and the sinister, shape-changing symbiote.

Ruben Fleischer confirms the other #symbiote seen in the #SDCC2018 footage was Riot. "He has a unique trait. You don't know where Riot is going to turn up." #Venom #SonyAtSDCC

— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) July 21, 2018

The Hollywood Reporter has a comprehensive description of the footage, which includes “Venom’s head stretching out of Brock’s body to have a conversation with him” and “Venom making axes with his own hands.”

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