The Geekender August 28-30: Darth Vader, Until Dawn, The Three Body Problem and more

The weekend is upon us, and with it, a chance to sit back, relax and consume massive amounts of sci-fi, fantasy and horror pop culture. In The Geekender, our writers share a bit about what they're reading, watching and playing -- and we want to hear from you. Let us know what's on your plate in the comments!

Trent Moore: After getting my old Sega Dreamcast set up a few weeks ago, I've been diving deep the past several days into a copy of Sonic Adventure 2 I snagged on eBay. I never picked up a copy during the console's original lifespan (since it was pretty much dead when this game hit the shelves), and I've been kicking myself for waiting a decade to actually play this game. It's challenging, accessible and crazy fast. Plus, after a hard day of learning the ABCs and soccer practice, my 4-year-old is definitely enjoying the throwback platforming adventure to my younger days.


Dany Roth: This weekend, I will finally get to play Until Dawn, the choose-your-own-badventure horror game that came out this Tuesday past. I've heard mixed things, but all the major criticisms seem to be that the characters are idiots and the plot is ridiculous. Well ... that's kind of what I love about some slasher movies -- how deliciously dumb they are. So I will be streaming on Sunday (follow me on Twitter @danyordinary to find out when!), where I will intentionally be playing the bitch as bitchy, the jerk as jerky, the nerd as nerdy and everyone as killably killable as possible. For science!


Ernie Estrella: I found a new gold mine in Black Mask Comics. Last week, I talked about The Disciples, and this week I took another leap with the five-issue mini-series We Can Never Go Home, a late-'80s period piece about two teens with no business being seen together socially who abandon their lives after they stumble on each other's extraordinary abilities. Duncan is a pariah who can kill people with his mind, Madison is the socialite with a conscience and deadly strength. The basic story is not a new arena, but Josh Hood's interior art is killer, and so is the developing dynamic between the two leads. It saunters into a summer romance amid violence, mixtapes and recklessness that keeps the pages turning. Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon have whipped up fun comic that feels a little like 500 Days of Summer meets Drive meets Alphas. I picked up all four issues, tore through the first two and already have the last issue on my pull list. If you can't find this at your local comic shop, Black Mask Comics recently became available on Comixology.


Aaron Sagers: I am reluctant to acknowledge that fall is almost upon us. I'm such a child of summer that I bristle at the excitement over pumpkin-flavored products. That said, I am excited about Halloween and the prime time for horror movies it brings. I normally have a difficult time determining which flicks to watch or re-watch, so I'm going to enlist the help of AMC's new streaming service, Shudder. While I'll begin with a free two-month trial subscription, I have already been impressed by Shudder's library and cataloging system that includes categories such as "Haunted Habitations," "Identity Crises," "Into the Wild" and "Gross Anatomy." If the experiment with Shudder goes well, and I decide to keep it after Halloween, it's only $5 a month (talk about slashing prices compared to other services!).


Carol Pinchefsky: Guild Wars 2 is the MMO I’ve been playing on and off for three years. I’ve recently decided that I’m going to craft a legendary weapon, the Bifrost. It’s a multistep process that will take me several more months to complete. It’s the best staff an Elementalist like me can wield, and it has a hallucinatory and mesmerizing rainbow effect. If I decide I don’t want to wait, I could always pay real-world money. At this time, the Bifrost costs 3,650 gold. That’s several hundred real-world dollars. Looks like I’ll be earning it the hard way.


Jeff Spry: I'm spending part of the last weekend of August bagging some new Silver Age Nick Fury comics and catching up on Marvel's Star Wars: Darth Vader comics. I'm up to issue number eight in my must-read pile, and I'm in the mood for some sweet Sith Lord action with Boba Fett, Doctor Aphra and a boatload of bounty hunters on the trail of Luke Skywalker. This is actually my favorite of the three main Star Wars comics, and the creative team of Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca has done a killer job of capturing that Empire Strikes Back-like style in the book's colors, visual tone and fast-paced storytelling. A most impressive series!


Don Kaye: I just received in the mail a new, uncensored Blu-ray release of Nightmare Castle, a 1965 Gothic horror film directed by Mario Caiano and starring, in a dual role, the legendary Barbara Steele. This was made at the height of Steele's reign as the queen of Italian horror, and her performance in both roles is absolutely amazing. I can't wait to see the beautiful black-and-white cinematography in HD, and the movie also features the first horror film score ever composed by the great Ennio Morricone. Even better, the disc's bonus features actually include two full-length films from the same era, also starring Steele: Castle of Blood (1964) and Terror Creatures From The Grave (1965). This was an incredibly rich period for Gothic horror, led by Italian directors like Mario Bava and Antonio Margheriti, so it will be a treat to revisit all three of these.


Krystal Clark: Thursday, it was announced that Amazon picked up a series based on the 1999 film Galaxy Quest. For those who don't know, Galaxy Quest pokes fun (in a loving way) at classic sci-fi TV, specifically Star Trek. It also paints a pretty vivid picture of the nerd culture it's created. After reading the news, I suddenly had the urge to watch the movie again. It stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman as former castmates of an intergalactic series who get caught up in real alien drama. Luckily for them, their old TV scripts will come in handy.


Lisa Granshaw: At the beginning of the month, I finally started reading the Kanan: The Last Padawan comic. I've been catching up ever since, and I'm really enjoying the series. It's also energized me to finally start a few other comic books that have been lingering on my "to read" list. As a result I'm going to be binging on Marvel's Darth Vader, Spider-Gwen and IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as much as I can this weekend. I'm three issues into Darth Vader right now and completely hooked, so I'll probably be finishing that up first before tackling Spider-Gwen next!


Matt Dorville: This weekend, I'm going to huddle in my room and read the latest Hugo Award-winning novel, The Three-Body Problem. The book is translated by Ken Liu, whose novel, The Grace of Kings, is one of my favorite books of this year. The Three-Body Problem is the first in a trilogy and already a blockbuster success in China, which has been an excellent modern breeding ground for compelling science fiction novels. While much has been said around this year's awards, especially from George R. Martin, I think it's worth celebrating that this is the first time a Hugo Award for best novel was won by a book not originally written in English and that, possibly, attention is finally being put to the excellent writing that is happening overseas.


Evan Hoovler: This week, I'm going to try reading Harry Potter. The first one. I've never read a single book or seen a single film in the series. I've never been a big fan of wizards and fantasy and all that stuff. I like my fantasy with a lot of futuristic sciencey stuff. My wife, a Potter fan, tells me it's great for our children, though. I do remember thoroughly reading all of the Chronicles of Narnia as a child, and enjoying it, so I'm going to try to get into Harry Potter. Also, for an anniversary gift, I received the ninth season of King of the Hill, so I'll be bingeing that on repeat all weekend.


Matthew Jackson: I'm a creature of habit when it comes to entertainment, sometimes to a fault. When I find something I like, I tend to keep watching it, and watching it, and watching it, until I can more or less recite it all from memory. Lately, that's meant I'm watching a lot of Archer, which is a show I've loved for years, but which lately has become a show that I simply have to experience over and over. So, this weekend, I'll be watching even more of it, and trying to empathize with Archer's fascination with air boats.


Adam Swiderski: I'll be at the beach for a big part of this weekend, and what better accompaniment for sand and surf than a gothic horror comic book so intense it'll make me fear my own shadow? That's why I'm bringing issues of Scott Snyder's Wytches with me. This story of the Rook family -- particularly the young daughter, Sailor -- and their encounter with supernatural forces has already grabbed me with its old-school take on dark natural magic and killer artwork from Jock ... and I can't wait to see what dimly lit pathways of my subconscious it digs into next.


You've heard what we're up to -- now it's your turn! What movies, books, comics, shows and games will you be diving into this weekend? Let us know in the comments!

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