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Comic-Con 2014: Panels You Don't Want to Miss

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

San Diego Comic-Con is quite literally right around the corner and the pop culture geek fest is going to have hundreds of thousands of fans of movies, television, video games … and yeah, comic books, descend upon it to celebrate the annual geek fest, dressed in costumes, looking for exclusives and going to a myriad of panels designed to do just one thing … HYPE into a frenzy. We’ve already talked about Warner Brothers TV panels that are coming, but here’s a list of panels you’re not going to want to miss, and one you definitely will.


The Legacy and Return of Battlestar Galactica … I’m excited about this one. Ron Moore‘s reboot of the campy 70s sci-fi tv series into a dark and brooding space opera made it one of the finest television shows in history. And now, with it being again rebooted into an upcoming movie, Battlestar Galactica is back at SDCC with a penel hosted by Richard Hatch (Tom Zerek, Captain Apollo) and featuring Jamie Bamber (Lee “Apollo” Adama) and BSG science advisor Dr. Kevin Grazier. There will be a Q&A about the upcoming movie and will give fans a chance to see where the Colonials are going next. And with good friends Katie Sackhoff and Trisha Helfer not far away, I’m hoping we see some surprise guests.

Sneak peak of Halo Nightfall on the XBox Live Network. Scott Free Productions and Microsoft’s 343 Industries will be hosting Ridley Scott’s upcoming Halo TV series Nightfall with news of what the streaming series is all about, when it will premiere on the XBox Live network and just who is going to be part of this cool FPS TV series. And if you’re in a Halo frame of mind, don’t forget to swing by the Rooster Teeth booth #1437 to say hi to the gang from Red vs. Blue, a very popular Halo Machinma series on YouTube.

Star Wars Rebels: Of course it wouldn’t be Comic-Con without Star Wars, and with Disney set to premiere Star Wars Rebels in the fall, you can bet that there will a huge presence of Imperial Stormtroopers and Rebels all over the con … it’s one of the most popular Cosplay costumes you’ll see there. And many will also make their way to Room 6BCF to hear Executive producer Simon Kinberg and Dave Filoni talk about the upcoming animated series, how it sets up Episode VII, and we’ll also hear from series voice stars Freddie Prinze Jr., Vanessa Marshall, and Taylor Gray, amoungst others. And look for some exclusive footage as well.

But there will be no official Episode VII panel, not until next summer, folks. But there’s always Star Wars Day on Friday to get you through, with special presentations on storyboarding the epic saga, Hasbro’s upcoming toy lines, and a lot of storm troopers milling about.

Robot Chicken (Friday, July 25) – When it comes to pop culture, and especially movies like Star Wars, nobody is safe from the stop motion skewering that happens with Seth Green’s Robot Chicken. And they’re panel is bound to be one of the funniest. Joining Green will be co-creator Matthew Senreich, co-head writers Tom Root, writer/director Zeb Wells, and actor/writer Breckin Meyer as they talk about Robot Chicken’s hysterical run, the upcoming Bitch Pudding special, and

TNT: The Last Ship and Falling Skies - I’ll be honest, I didn’t have much hope for Michael Bay’s The Last Ship, until I finished the second episode. Now I’m hooked. It’s not that the show’s premise of a single Navy Ship searching for a cure to a worldwide pandemic is cutting edge. It’s the performances from actors like Eric Dane, Adam Baldwin and Charles Parnell that have me riveted. So you can bet I’ll be on hand to see what’s coming up at The Last Ship panel, and then follow up with the Falling Skies Panel as well.

Movies wise, this year is the calm before the storm that is 2015, so we’ll have some presence from the Marvel crowd, the DC Crowd and the Star Wars crowd, but they’ll largely be keeping their powder dry until Comic-Con 2015. So in the meantime, I’m looking to these:

20th Century Fox’s Hall H Presentation featuring Kingsman: The Secret Service – We’ll see the cast which includes Oscar Winner Colin Firth, Samuel K. Jackson and Taron Egerton who will be on hand to talk about this new series, which looks to be a combination of James Bond and Harry Potter. And I think it’s going to be a classic. Also on hand will be Zachary Quinto, star of Fox’s Hitman: Agent 47m and Damon Wayon’s buddy cop comedy Let’s Be Cops.

Dreamworks Animation: The Penguins of Madagasgar and Home. The insane penguins are back with voices from?Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, and Tom McGrath. And Home, another alien invasion animated feature, will feature voices by Rihanna, Jim Parsons, and more.

Goosebumps: Hall H is going to be just as busy as it ever has been with several movie presentations including the popular children’s horror series R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps, which is set to thrill because of two words … JACK BLACK. Black will be on hand to talk about his role as author RL Stine as he experiences monsters from his own books.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Warner Brothers will be showcasing their upcoming features on Friday, July 25, and will include presentations on "The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies," "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "Jupiter Ascending." Peter Jackson will be on hand, as well Mad Max director George Miller and Max stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. Fans will also get a sneak peak at the Wachowskis’ new epic Jupiter Ascending.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy/Avengers: Age of Ultron – This panel should be insane, as Hall H will be packed to get a sneak peak of the latest chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan and Bradley Cooper, who does the voice for Rocket Racoon. And according to Screen Rant, the cast of Avengers: Age of Ultron will also be in attendance, Michael Douglas will present Ant-Man, and there may be some news about Captain America 3 and Doctor Strange. So the Marvel Studios show in Hall H should be epic.

Marvel will also have their second AGENTS of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel, with the addition of a preview of Marvels’ new limited series Marvel’s Agent Carter. Executive producers Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen and Jeffrey Bell, along with cast members Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson), Ming-Na Wen (Melinda May), Brett Dalton (Grant Ward), Chloe Bennet (Skye), Iain De Caestecker (Leo Fitz) and Elizabeth Henstridge (Jemma Simmons). Agent Carter star Hayley Atwell will also be on hand as part of the festivities, previewing her new show.

Sadly, though, the one panel you won’t be seeing as you live for four days in line for Hall H is the annual Doctor Who panel. The 12th Time Lord is still filming series 8 of the 50 year British sci-fi epic, and after they wrap, they’re off on a 12 city world tour ahead of the premiere on August 23rd. It won’t be the same without the TARDIS in Hall H, but you can bet that we’ll see plenty of Doctors, Cybermen and Daleks milling about on the showroom floor.

As for Comics, the one panel that stands out is George R.R. Martin will be on hand to preview his new comic series House of Worm. And I bet many will be in attendance wanting to know about Game of Thrones as well.

The last thing I want to highlight is the annual Comic-Con Masquerade costume contest. This is the super bowl for Cosplayers looking to showcase their costuming skills for big prizes and a ton of attention. Cosplay is a serious hobby now for pop culture fans, with their own show on SyFy, and noted celebrities like Chloe Dykstra, Yaya Han, and others who will no doubt be in attendance to show off their latest home brewed costumes that would make the staff of Western Costume drool.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as there will be panels for The Walking Dead, The Big Bang Theory, Penny Dreadful, and millions of others. There’ll be the showroom floor which is always standing room only, action going on in the Gas Lamp district with SyFy taking over a restaurant and theming it out (ala Sharknado, perhaps?), special hang-outs for Microsoft, Sony, and a ton of others. And, of course, the fanatical protesters. It wouldn’t Comic-Con without them. It’s going to be an epic and exhausting week. And doddleNEWS be there to bring it to you.

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