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Barely Related: A nerdy year in review

Jessica Conditt
Jessica Conditt|@JessConditt|December 26, 2014 3:00 PM
Merrily Related to you all! This is a special edition of Barely Related, covering the stand-out stories of 2014, from May 2 onward (because that's when this whole column got started). This isn't all-encompassing, but it's a nice snapshot of our year in nerdery and geekdom – if you have a beloved bit of news not covered here, leave it in the comments with your commentary!

The story that started it all – Star Wars Episode 7

In May 2014, we learned the initial cast list for JJ Abram's Star Wars Episode 7. It included John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow, and returning cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker.

Since then, Episode 7 has been a staple of nerd news for the year, including Abrams' adorable online war with Batman v. Superman: Daybreak of Equity director Zack Snyder, Harrison Ford's hospital stay, the reveal of The Force Awakens as the movie's name, and the first teaser trailer. Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens is due in theaters in December 2015.

Doctor Who?

Doctor Who series 8 kicked off in August (on August 23, to be exact) and we can hardly believe the season is already over. Peter Capaldi played the twelfth Doctor, with Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald, his companion. If we may be so bold, Coleman truly shined in this season, with Clara as a character becoming more robust, intelligent and less "little girl looking for a boyfriend in all the wrong places." Well, she did that last part, too, but at least it wasn't aimed at The Doctor. Capaldi, for his part, was absolutely lovely.

Most recently in Doctor Who news, actress Michelle Gomez took viewers on a tour of The Master's history with The Doctor. But let's be honest here – the best part of Doctor Who news this year was our own headline for the series release date: "Doctor Who series 8 airs in August, it's about time."

We'll show ourselves out.

Marvel madness, DC delights

Comic fans and action movie buffs got some serious treats this year, courtesy of Marvel and DC. Zack Snyder's DC movie installment is Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (rather than the other, better subtitles we suggested), it stars Ben Affleck as The Bat, he has tiny pointy ears, it comes out in May 2016, yadda yadda. Now to the stuff that actually excites us:

Marvel's movie lineup for its Phase 3 includes Doctor Strange in November 2016 (Doctor Strange played by Benedict Cumberbatch), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in May 2017, Black Panther in November 2017 (Black Panther played by Chadwick Boseman), Captain Marvel (the Carol Danvers variety) in July 2018, and Avengers: Infinity War in May 2018 and 2019. Captain America: Civil War (May 2016) launches the Civil War story arc on the silver screen, pitting Iron Man and Captain America against each other in a tense political and superpowered drama that will bleed into the Avengers films. Marvel is rebooting the Civil War comic series in summer 2015, as well.

DC is doing a standalone Wonder Woman film (starring Gal Gadot) due in 2017, plus Suicide Squad in 2016, Justice League Part One in 2017 and Part Two in 2019, and Cyborg and Green Lantern in 2020. See the full list of future DC films here. Suicide Squad has a cast list packed with superstars, including Jared Leto as The Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot, Tom Hardy as Rick Flag and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.

Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool in Fox's February 2016 film – and he's perfect.

Wonder Woman is in Batman v. Superman and she's looking seriously fly. Those boots.

Guardians of the Galaxy was amazing, and it still is.

Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright left Marvel's Ant-Man movie in May, replaced by Bring it On director Peyton Reed. Actors Patrick Wilson, Matt Gerald and Kevin Weisman also left the film, leaving behind Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly.


Terminator Genisys still looks awful

It ... just does.

Harry Potter remains relevant

JK Rowling has kept the Harry Potter franchise alive – not that it was in danger of extinction – through personal reflections and character backstories on interactive narrative site Pottermore. A new film trilogy in the Harry Potter universe and written by Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is due to premiere in November 2016.

Also, Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who played Harry himself in all eight films, can rap really well in an American accent (yes, that really is barely related).

And then there's all the rest

Twin Peaks is coming back. Ghostbusters is coming back. Hello Kitty isn't a cat, apparently. The Mythbusters broke up. Remember that Spider-Woman cover? And there's the mess with North Korea, The Interview and Sony getting hacked – but hey, The Interview is getting released after all. It's a holiday miracle.
Barely Related: A nerdy year in review