The 100 Most Popular Gizmodo Posts of 2020


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2020! What a year, huh? As the world turned upside down, pop culture tried to make the most of one of the most tumultuous periods of modern history. Here’s some of the most popular posts you’ve read on Gizmodo this year, from theme park nightmares to DuckTales delights. Maybe there’s a few things about little-known indie darling Star Wars in there too, if you’ve heard of it?

Yakko, Wakko, and Dot are back — and they’re ready to turn 2020 upside down.

The hero of the dunes is rising, but he may not be ready for the path laid out in front of him.

Batman himself, Christian Bale, may be heading to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It’s just two weeks into the second season of The Mandalorian and we still have no idea exactly what’s happening. While some of the rumours have been true, many others have yet to materialise, leaving fans anxiously awaiting where this story is going to take us.

Life is cruel. And unfair. It’s rude. No one man should look this good and be so completely, utterly this much of a dork.

Image: HBO

Lovecraft Country has as lot of powerful, distinct intersections with Black history, looking at the Black experience in the United States during the time in which it’s set through the lens of horror. It sure would be nice if someone put together a list of resources and reading materials to help you, or, say, your students better understand that history.

We might have seen a shortage of new movies in 2020, but one thing we still got a lot of was television shows.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been telling fans who love Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that I was happy for them. That’s only part of the truth. The full truth is: I’m happy they found enjoyment in the film, yes, but I’m also filled with jealousy.

Some fans demanded it, we’ve all debated it, and now it’s finally happening.

When last we left some of the biggest characters on The Walking Dead, they were pretty much screwed. It appears not much will have changed when the second half of season 10 picks up this weekend. In fact, things are only getting worse.

The 12 Best (And 6 Worst) Genre Movies of 2020

Here’s how weird 2020 was for movies: Unless you saw something in January or February (like The Invisible Man, Birds of Prey, or Bloodshot), there’s a good chance you didn’t see a movie in a movie theatre for the entire year. A whole year without going to the movies. Frankly,…

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In the days since The Mandalorian’s most recent episode hit Disney+, more than a few casual observers of the wee Baby Yoda have taken notice of, and issue with, the Child’s voracious appetite.

The extreme level of secrecy behind the big reveal in the first season of Star Wars: The Mandalorian meant that the public’s immediate thirst for Baby Yoda merchandise went unquenched for a long time.

The Associated Press has just revealed actor Chadwick Boseman has passed away from cancer at just 43 years old.

The first season of Jodie Whittaker’s tenure on Doctor Who was marked by change.

Sure he’s evil — but, like, how did he get to be evil? Suzanne Collins has unveiled the protagonist for her Hunger Games prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and he sounds pretty bloody familiar.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is finally home. With its release early to digital this past weekend, and the Blu-ray coming on March 31, fans can finally watch all nine Star Wars Skywalker Saga movies in the comfort of their own home. And just in time too. We may all be staying home for a while.

The Best and Worst TV Moments of 2020

We’ve already counted up our best and worst TV shows of 2020. But now we’re getting micro-focused on those special (and not-so-special) TV moments that made us laugh, cry, shriek, recoil, rewind, and make memes. You know, the ones that remained burned in our memories long after the episode or…

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As The Mandalorian’s stakes have gradually risen with each episode, the series’ connections to the Star Wars franchise’s larger epic narrative have grown stronger, particularly as characters like Bo-Katan and important items like the Darksaber have been incorporated into the plot.

The fall of Ben Solo is a path littered with regrets. Luke’s fleeting impulse to cut down the darkness in his own student, the shadow of expectation born from his father, his mother, and the bloodline an entire galaxy can’t seem to escape from, let alone a young man plagued by voices in the dark.

Hong Kong Disneyland announced on Monday that it would close its gates to visitors again due to a recent spike in novel coronavirus infections, according to a statement obtained by CNN.

Get ready to never think about The Phantom Menace the same way ever again.

The Mandalorian’s season finale took Din Djarin’s small slice of the Star Wars universe and exploded it into smithereens — smithereens with much larger ties to the vast Skywalker Saga than any of us could’ve imagined when this show first started last year.

THX 1138. (Image: Columbia Pictures) THX 1138. (Image: Columbia Pictures)

Years before he visited a galaxy far, far away, scruffy University of Southern California grad George Lucas made his directorial debut with 1971 dystopian tale THX 1138. In honour of that movie’s release 49 years ago this month, we’ve gathered up a list of 20 other first-time director efforts that have since become sci-fi classics.

One big gap in all of our nerd lives during the drought in Hollywood releases brought on by the pandemic is the lack of good fight choreography.

Sam Neill doesn’t have a new movie out — Jurassic World: Dominion isn’t due until 2021 — and it’s not his birthday or anything.

Characters Who Helped Us Make It Through 2020

Twenty-twenty has been a year of seeking comfort in media, both in the nostalgia of old favourites and the exciting discovery of new and excellent stories. This year, more than any recently, we’ve looked for new bonds and new characters to fall in love with. Here are the heroes who…

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Science fiction has a rich history in countless cultures, from the Epic of Gilgamesh to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. And Netflix has been getting in on the action for a while now. Here are our five picks for international sci-fi shows you should definitely check out on the streaming platform.

You’ve seen The Batman’s new suit, but who would the Dark Knight be without a fancy set of wheels to prowl Gotham’s streets in?

Did you know Ed Sheeran was in this movie? No? Well, ok, honestly that’s probably a good thing. But he is there!

Which is probably a terrible idea, if we’re being honest.

Who could imagine a simple rocket firing could mean so much?

Though Spider-Man: Miles Morales is still set in the same universe as Insomniac’s first game, it’s very much meant to be the story of how, after training under Peter Parker, Miles is ready to break free and define his own legacy as one of New York City’s protectors.

The Mandalorian’s biggest criminal finally tells his side of the story.

Image: HBO Image: HBO

Turns out while violent pleasures have violent ends, Westworld’s season three finale was a violent end that had very little pleasure in it. That is, if you were hoping for something more than a basic sci-fi action flick.

It’s raining Batman these days but Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Colin Farrell, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis, Paul Dano, and Jayme Lawson star in Matt Reeves’ The Batman.

The story of Thra on Netflix is over. Gizmodo has exclusively confirmed the streaming service has chosen not to renew The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, meaning the series has come to an end after only one season.

Another era of Star Wars has drawn to an end.

The Mandalorian’s second season already has enough interesting things going on — babies yoda! sabers dark! — before it started heaping on the prospects of bringing back a few familiar faces…including the seeming, ominous return of Boba Fett.

Like many things about the Child, his metabolism is a mystery. (Image: Disney)

The Pop Culture Highlights and Lowlights of 2020

In a year full of all kinds of bad real-world news, pop culture still managed to poke its head up periodically to remind us that not everything sucks. Of course, this being 2020, that same realm also managed to leave a few steaming piles for us to step in, too….

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Until recently, Ezra Miller was best known for their acting — in the Fantastic Beasts movies, and in the DCEU films, a series which has long been promising Miller’s Flash character their own standalone chapter.

A sci-fi legend needs your help — so say we all.

DUDE.

On May 21, 2019, this sly son of a bitch gazed into our bleak future, and now he reaps the bitter fruit of the trap he set.

Trying to make sense of comics continuity at the best of times requires offering up a tiny little part of your brain to be smushed to gooey smithereens in the mortar and pestle of comic book publishing tomfoolery.

We take it you’ve heard the news about the Doctors Who?

Someone in the galaxy far, far away, looked at a man named Sheev Palpatine — Chancellor of the Republic, walking prune, fascist ruler of the Galactic Empire, evil space wizard — and, in their best Lando Calrissian impression, went “Hello, what have we here?”

Get ready for a “wildly original” journey into déjà vu. Ernest Cline has shared new plot details about Ready Player Two, his long-awaited follow-up novel for Ready Player One.

Television shows often take a bit of time to find their footing, with series like The Expanse, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Steven Universe only getting better with each passing season. Then there are the shows that peaked early. Like, really early.

The right hero in the wrong place.

Death Stars. Starkiller Base. The Final Order. The Lightsabers of Jedi and Sith legacies alike. Star Wars is full of incomprehensibly powerful weapons, be they the tools of heroic and villainous individuals or the combined military might of Empires. But none have become more important or interesting to the galaxy far, far away right now than the mythical Darksaber.

I mean, c’mon. Can’t have the end of the world without a few stormcallers, right?

Each month we share an avalanche of new books to feed your need to read. But there are also tons of older sci-fi and fantasy books worth your time, too — including those with the added interest of television or movie adaptations on the way.

“Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” “I am your father.” “So be it. Jedi.” Star Wars is filled with moments that have become part of our lives, and have elevated the franchise to the heights of popularity it enjoys today.

Few Star Wars characters are more difficult to cosplay than General Grievous.

May he ride eternal, shiny and chrome. Actor Hugh Keays-Byrne, best known for his villainous roles in the Mad Max series, has passed away at the age of 73.

The more we see of it, the more my brain cannot reconcile it.

Insomniac’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales follows the fledgling webhead as he steps out from under Peter Parker’s shadow. He’s defending New York City on his own for the first time just as a bitter ground war breaks out between the nefarious Roxxon Corporation and the tech-powered Underground movement. New as Miles is to this life, fighting crime is his calling, and he’s ready to step up to the plate.

The spice must flow.

DuckTales went meta in its season three premiere when Donald and his nephews found themselves trapped in a ‘90s sitcom, but that wasn’t the coolest thing that happened.

Image: Elena Scotti/io9 Image: Elena Scotti/io9

“It’s time for magic.” With that phrase, Disney revealed on June 10 that Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure would reopen on July 17, the 65th anniversary of opening day in 1955. That date’s been pushed back because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, but Disney is determined to open its doors soon. Guests are thrilled at the idea of returning to “The Happiest Place on Earth,” but some cast members are terrified.

These days, if you’re talking about movies, you’re probably talking about Christopher Nolan. Oh sure, some really good movies have premiered on streaming during the pandemic, but all eyes have been on the latest blockbuster from Nolan, Tenet, which many expect to usher in a return to movie theatres post-covid-19.

The “Snyder Cut” is real?

Here’s to a new year of spoilers!

Earlier this week, Burt Ward, famous player of Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. During the ceremonies, he revealed some information that has us just bursting at the seams with curiosity.

Another day, another war for the fate of Cybertron, and things are looking dire in Netflix and Rooster Teeth’s take on the latest version of the Transformers origin story.

There aren’t just a lot of candidates for the worst episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I would contend there are a lot of worst episodes, period.

Disney’s shockingly excellent reboot of DuckTales has given us countless joys.

…Right. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are the latest celebrities to take to social media with a clever coronavirus-themed video, but theirs has way more going on than most of the others.

Our Favourite Gizmodo Videos of 2020

Oh, goodness: What a year, right? Twenty-twenty is one of those (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime events that impacted so much of our lives. We saw countless movie delays, comic cons were cancelled or moved online, theme parks shut down, and everything had to happen over video. In spite of the challenges, Gizmodo…

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Jason Todd’s grim fate is one of the most infamous in superhero comics.

The start of a new year always means things slow down at theatres. Holiday hits and awards movies are still playing but once you see those, pickings are very slim. What’s a movie lover to do? Go back, we say. Go back.

Just because Rey heard Ahsoka Tano’s voice mixed in with a bunch of dead Jedi in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s dead.

A lot of things could be said about The Witcher. One of the most resounding things I’ve heard about it, however, is that it starts out really confusing, due to the surprising choice to split timelines during the first episodes of the show without really signposting this decision to the audience.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is coming on March 19. The date, and a first trailer, were shared during today’s Disney event. And that trailer was nothing short of bonkers.

The appropriation of comic book character Frank Castle’s skull emblem by police and the military has been an ongoing issue for Marvel Entertainment as it wrestles with the questionable embrace of the anti-hero’s extrajudicial violence by real state and federal employees.

Leaves from the vine. Avatar: The Last Airbender co-creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have announced they will no longer be involved in the live-action adaptation due to a lack of support from Netflix.

Just over a year since his passing, Star Trek: Discovery has honoured him with a touching tribute in the far future.

The Arrowverse is about to get a bit smaller.

Mulan isn’t the only one who will bring honour to us all.

Yes, that leaked Star Wars footage that surfaced last week was real. No, it’s not what you think it was.

Although Dungeons & Dragons’ fifth edition has added as many classes, races, and rules as it has since it first began, for the most part, the way players create characters has stayed the same. You pick a race, that race defines certain things about you, and so on. But the game’s next sourcebook is giving players the opportunity to change that forever.

How Horror Helped Us Survive 2020

It’s tempting to think that since 2020 was basically one real-life nightmare after another, the last thing anyone would want to do is engage with fictional horror on top of that. But that would be discounting the positive power of certain horror movies, TV shows, and video games that helped…

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If there’s one thing you can expect from 2020 it’s bad news and here’s some more of it. Ruby Rose is leaving the title role of Batwoman on the CW.

We were granted some exciting, intense Star Wars action, plus massive revelations teasing everything to come.

Really? Oh. Uh. Yeah, ok, that’s definitely what they did.

Ridley Scott seems like there’s somewhere in his brain that is always thinking about Alien.

Image: Lucasfilm Image: Lucasfilm

Star Wars finally did it. It may have taken over four decades — and at least four of those years promising it — but The Rise of Skywalker managed to depict queer characters in the galaxy far, far away on the big screen.

Television can be a rough business — just look at what’s happening right now, with social distancing guidelines shutting down productions across the country.

While you nervously wait to pass judgment on in-the-works projects like Dune and Escape From New York, though, here are eight movies that prove sci-fi remakes can be amazing.

Sometimes, it feels like a storyteller is just hungry for blood.

Masks, shields, barriers, and a whole lot of social distancing.

Star Trek: Picard is a show that takes us further into the franchise’s future than any previous Trek series before it (well, until Discovery takes the crown by a century or nine). But it’s also a show about familiar faces, and catching us up on beloved characters.

Regardless of how you feel about The Rise of Skywalker, its integration of the dearly-missed Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa can leave even the most taciturn of Star Wars fans a little misty-eyed.

No matter how weird it is, no matter how life-threatening it is, these guys just love being in a Star Trek. And we love that too. (Image: CBS)

The Best Animated Series of 2020

While live-action productions were dealt a significant blow this year by the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, the animation industry was in a prime position to step up to the plate and tell some of 2020’s most riveting stories. Here are the ones that transported the Gizmodo staff to far-off worlds and…

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One of the most profoundly vulnerable moments in Pedro Pascal’s performance across two seasons of The Mandalorian came in last week’s “The Believer,” when, in order to access some key information about Moff Gideon, Din Djarin had to go against the creed he’s known his entire life and show his face to others.

To be clear, The 100 tripped over its own feet, jumped 12 sharks, and shattered its reputation with viewers long before Game of Thrones boffed it.

Deepfake technology continues to weird me out.

Last night, NBC aired a historic, all-remote episode of Saturday Night Live, with a full run of sketches from performers who, due to the novel coronavirus, couldn’t actually be in the same place.

At its core, The Matrix is also the story of a person who realises they’re trapped in a place where they can’t be themselves, escapes, and is reborn in a new world as their true self. And considering the film was written and directed by two trans women, it’s no surprise that Lilly Wachowski says telling a trans allegory was the intent of the film all along.

Avengers: Endgame did a lot over the course of its bonkers, audacious runtime. For better or worse, it kind of had to.

Spoilers, away!

Photo: Rich Fury, Getty Images Photo: Rich Fury, Getty Images

Despite the fact that Finn didn’t get all that much to do in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the first wave of heated discussion about the movie has come and gone, John Boyega’s name has been in the mouths of many a disgruntled Star Wars fan lately because of comments the actor made regarding his feelings about the franchise as a whole.

With Superman & Lois, the CW plans to explore a phase of Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s shared lives that’s typically only had but so much time in the spotlight within DC’s comics.

Imagine being able to visit the set of The Empire Strikes Back. To be able to watch those people make a movie which means so much to so many. Until time travel is invented, that idea is impossible, but a new video is the next best thing.

If you watched Back to the Future: Part II when it first hit Netflix, you might have noticed a little something was missing. According to the writer of the series, it wasn’t exactly Netflix’s fault.

Here’s the best sentence you’re likely to read today: A movie exists that has dragons and magic and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan fighting each other.

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Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.