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The Top 5 Hype of 2017

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Number 5 — Star Wars Episode VIII

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Disney is certainly on its way to mimic its own Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) formula with the one-film per year pace. They’ve delivered 2 films so far with Rotten Tomatoes responses of 92% for December 2015’s Episode 7 and last month’s 85% for Rogue One. This is not bad for the post-Lucas effort. This year’s Episode 8 will probably start once Rogue One loses its steam and the first teaser trailer drops showing what’s next for Kylo Ren, Rey, and Finn. Hopefully, the next act will have some crazy storyline revelations…like Rey’s parentage.

Number 4 – Nintendo Switch

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Nintendo has always been my primary company for gaming since I started “playing with power” in 1987. My father picked me up a NES console and my loyalty has not strayed since. I’ve owned every console the Big N has released and adapted the ideals of gameplay and level design over everything else. Now, the new console is mobile. It’s an awesome concept that’s great for my gaming and bad for productivity. My body is ready in March to fully invest in this latest gaming concept. Sure, there’s the question of third party companies bringing their big guns to the Switch, but isn’t that the question every generation since the N64? The console is scheduled to release in a few short months in March. Nintendo going to release more information to the world on January 12th.

Number 3 – DC Extended Universe

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It was a rough start for the DC Comics shared universe of films. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad both were released to 28% and 26% Rotten Tomatoes scores respectively. These low scores, however, have not been indicative of the box office success of both films. The large returns suggest that fans are still pining for something that’s not Marvel, which gives the DCEU a huge upside. Wonder Woman’s solo act should be a breath of fresh air from the previous urban efforts when it drops on June 2nd. The trailers for WW have been promising and looks to cover two time periods from ancient Greek to World War II. The DCEU will also feature another Zack Snyder effort in November 2017 with the Justice League film. Try not to cringe. Snyder gets a third shot to get it right here and I’m confident he’s learned some lessons.

Number 2 – Game of Thrones

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The past 2 seasons of GOT have definitely upped the ante on action. There were rarely any dull episodes. At the close of Season 6, Daenerys Targaryen is finally heading to Westeros with a large army, Jon Snow has taken over the North, and Arya Stark is an assassin with names to cross off her list. Of course, there’s also the long promised battle of winter coming with a White Walker army making its way south of The Wall. 2017 will mark a shorter season for the series, which is now being reported as 7 episodes as opposed to the usual 10. GOT will also start its run later than usual in June or July. This begs the question – does a shorter episode mean a weekly epic battle? Please HBO, don’t waste an episode discussing one character’s feelings.

Number 1 – Marvel Cinematic Universe

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The MCU has three films planned in 2017. This is the most it’s ever done in one year. James Gunn’s follow-up in May for Guardians of the Galaxy has shown nothing but clips that are chock full of awesomeness. It also shot Sweet’s “Fox on the Run” right to the top of the iTunes charts when the trailer dropped. If Gunn can miraculously outgun (pun intended) his first effort, then the MCU hits 2017 upside the head in a major way. Two months after GotG Volume 2 drops, Spiderman: Homecoming gives us the MCU’s version of a high school movie. It will feature Civil War show-stealing Tom Holland. The addition of Robert Downey Jr. as an insurance policy should please all of the MCU fans and lock in the film’s success. Finally, fellow Pacific Islander Taika Waititi brings his charm and humor to the third installment of Thor in November with a cast that has a talent level that’s insanely through the roof. Seriously, a top notch cast of Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban are being added to the MCU/Thor regulars of Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, and Benedict Cumberbatch. These three films alone make the MCU the number one geek attraction of 2017. But it doesn’t just stop there.

The MCU will also feature the release of Marvel’s Iron Fist in March 2017, Marvel’s The Defenders, and Marvel’s The Punisher. After the sweet Christmas gift that was Luke Cage last fall, the Netflix series are also the place to be in 2017. ABC will also feature a new Marvel show called Marvel’s The Inhumans to go along with its improved Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The new Inhumans show will premiere on IMAX, which is going to be a trendsetter. I’m surprised Game of Thrones hasn’t attempted to do the same thing. All of these MCU heroes on the big and small screens will hopefully lead to the finale showdown with Thanos. Fingers crossed.

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