How Lord of the Rings is like rocky road ice cream and more!

Here's a list of our hottest stories and best comments this week, in case you missed anything. (And the debate over the Lord of the Rings Blu-ray release got quite heated.) Think of this week-ending roundup as a DVR for SCI FI Wire.


Our story: Coolest. Soap. Ever: Han Solo in carbonite

Your best comment: So, let me get this straight...You would be wiping Han Solo all over your Body???—FresnoTimeLord

Our story: Amazing diagram predicts future Syfy movie monsters

Your best comment: SYFY!!!! How could you forget the most terrifying combination of all?!?! Paris Hilton and Chewbacca!!! We'll call it ParisCaca!!! A horrible hairy lumbering oaf that smells like a french whorehouse and doesn't have a job.—stavenborn

Our story: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Your best comment: Some people here seem not to have a clue about colour-blind casting and what it means. It's a way of breaking down barriers and widening the range of roles for all actors to be able to play - regardless of their ethnic background.

Unfortunately the norm is still for most studios to assume that the lead characters have to be attractive reasonably young white people beacuse that is what the market wants. And the more directors that blithely go along with that view, the more the our movie screens display a homogenous, bland palette (at least for lead roles) and audiences stay in their comfort zone and it becomes a self-perpetuating circle.

The more directors that are prepared to say 'sod it - I'll cast who I think is best for the role thanks' the more the attitudes of audiences and the baggage / assumptions that they bring with them will start to get broken down.

The reason, by the way, that you wouldn't have Zac Effron playing the black panther is obviously that his colour was an absolutely integral part of his identity and he is noted as really the first (at least mainstream) black superhero in an otherwise (at its time) exclusively caucasian set up. Same reasoning for why you could never now have a white actor blacking up to play Othello or casting non-black actors as 'zulus'.

But where colour / racial background is not an absolutely fundamental part of the character then who cares who is cast to play the role? Frankly, Beyonce playing Wonder Woman or Zac Effron playing (say) Luke Cage or Victor Stone - well maybe that could work and would be an interesting take on the characters (similarly Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury I might add).

It really depends on whether the viewer sees the colour of someone's skin as relvant to the role they play and sadly, for some people, it is. And no amount of bleating that such caasting 'goes against the canon' will change the fact that some people just have a problem with colour blind casting in and of itself.

As someone that sees a fair bit of theatre I might add that colour-blind casting has been fairly widespread on the London stage for some years now - even down to e.g. having black actors playing the parents of white children - without audiences batting an eyelid.—whitemere

Our story: Unknown Brit Hayley Atwell to be Captain America's love

Your best comment: She's hardly an unknown to anyone who's seen Brideshead Revisited, Cassandra's Dream or any of the other films she's been in. Those of us who have know she's both attractive and can act which gives her an advantage over practically EVERY American actress.—J.

Our story: Libraries: LOTS of people want the Twilight books banned

Your best comment: As if there wasn't enough to complain about with the horrible plot, worse prose, meandering subplots, gaping plot holes, miserable characters who are totally not enjoyable on any level, the incredibly inane following of she-beasts who eat their feelings and buy these books, and the terrible blow to literature that is this awful, totally irredeemable series of books. As if that wasn't enough, now people are complaining that they have vampires in them. Well, worry not Christian America! These vampires are about as real as the vampires I see in the mall trying to to look moody at 4PM under the sunroofs while drinking at Orange Julius.—Joesketeer

Our story: Awesome or disgusting? Star Wars AT-AT made of BACON

Your best comment: Their are Jawa out their starving and this is how the Empire wastes precious resources!—redm

Our story: Thousands trash LOTR Blu-Ray BEFORE its release!

Your best comment: The only way this would be "double dipping" is if the studio were to limit purchase of the extended editions to those *who have already bought the theatrical release*. I.E., in the theatrical release is a coupon which entitles you to later purchase the extended edition. THAT is double dipping -- requiring you to buy one product, in order to later buy another.

What they are doing is more akin to ice cream makers: some poeple like vanilla, so they make vanilla. Others like something a little different, so they also make rocky road. People who want vanilla can buy that, and people who want rocky road can wait a bit until it becomes available. And some people are ice cream junkies, and will buy every flavor they make as it comes out. Is the ice cream company evil and ripping off their customers because they make multiple flavors? I mean after all, they know they're going to be selling rocky road next spring; clearly, selling vanilla right now is just a ploy to steal our money! Boycott vanilla!!

See how silly that is?—Alixana

Our story: Jar Jar Binks and 15 more "Kick-Ass" sci-fi movie controversies

Your best comment: Although I'm not the type to complain about the presence of articles on this site that aren't science fiction, the fact that you're defending Life of Brian as science fiction because it has aliens briefly is like claiming that Face/Off is a love story because the protagonist loves his wife.

It *has* science fiction, that doesn't mean it *is* science fiction. The distinction may seem subtle, but it is significant.—asfm

Our story: Director Joss Whedon to rewrite Avengers, Captain America!

Your best comment: Sigh, I'm just sad to see Joss wasting his time on someone else's IPs. The stuff he creates himself is far far more interesting than anything Marvel has ever produced.

I'm sure he's happy to just be working, on something he probably loves no less, but given that an artist only has so many years to create, I wish he'd spend that time creating something truly wonderful and uniquely his own, like he has so many times before.

Can't wait till he's past this trash and working on his own creations again.—Allison&Jack

Our story: Video of massive fireball over Midwest: precursor to invasion?

Your best comment: Apologies, Eurplings. Did not mean to cause the population in your northern continent alarm.

Was forced to skip Moya along your atmosphere in order to avoid PK patrol...

Fre;l it. Too complicated to explain. Won't happen again.

Sent from my DRDpad—Pilot

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