Welcome to Barely Related, a conversational Friday column that presents the non-gaming news stories that we, the Joystiq staff, have been talking about over the past week. And no, we're not stopping our focus on industry and gaming news. Think of this as your casual weekly recap of interesting (and mostly geeky) news, presented just in time to fill your brain with things to discuss at all of those weekend shindigs.
Grab a fresh drink, lean back in your armchair, and get ready to talk nerdy with us.
Star Wars: Episode 7 cast list
JJ Abrams' next installment in the Star Wars films includes a lineup of actors new to the series, along with those who joined a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away). Announced this week, new actors are John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. Returning members are Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.
Already, we have Gollum and Hannah Horvath's insatiable boyfriend hanging out with Han Solo and Princess Leia. Good luck, Abrams.
Meanwhile, we'll be patiently waiting for the "Star Wars: Episode 7 cats list."
Matt Smith joins Terminator reboot
Matt Smith, best known as the eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who, and even better known as the Doctor with the bowtie, has joined the cast of Paramount Pictures' coming Terminator reboot. Smith will portray "a new character with a strong connection to John Connor." We thought that was, you know, The Terminator – but we're all for more Matt Smith.
Smith joins Arnold Schwarzenegger and Emilia Clarke, who plays dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen on HBO's Game of Thrones, in the new film.
Baman Piderman: Make Da Show! gets its wish
Baman Piderman has been poking fun at Batman and Spider-Man since 2008 in a series of adorable, hand-drawn videos, and with the success of the creators' Kickstarter project this week, it gets to finish the story that abruptly ended last year. The project raised more than its $50,000 goal in less than two days on Kickstarter.
Baman Piderman imagines the life of Batman and Spider-Man if they were roommates, best friends and not nearly as suave as their original concepts. It's created by Lindsay and Alex Small-Butera, who are also incredibly adorable.
Nod promises to make your electronic things motion-controlled
Nod is a handy (get it?) ring that adds motion controls to a lineup of smart gadgets and applications, including Windows, OSX, Linux, LG Smart TVs, Google Glass, Go Pro cameras and Nest Thermostats, to name a few. The Nod intro video shows someone searching Netflix on the TV by pointing, giving a PowerPoint presentation with the flick of a finger, and playing a shooter that looks suspiciously like Halo with the wave of a hand.
Nod is due to ship in the fall, but it's available for pre-order now, for $150.
Yep, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles still look like that
The newest trailer for Paramount's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie shows more of the same, in a few ways – we're pretty sure we've seen those scenes before, and we know that we've seen those turtle character models before because they haunt our dreams.
Pictures of Disneyland in its early years
They call it the "happiest place on Earth," but Disneyland may also be the happiest place in space and time. Look at the smile on that train conductor, and remember, he's at work.
[Images: David Jones, Lindsay and Alex Small-Butera]