Win a copy of the new The Guild companion book, with a foreword by creator and star Felicia Day!

Felicia Day’s cult web series The Guild wrapped up earlier this year after six successful seasons.

Last week, we featured an in-depth interview with The Guild stars Sandeep Parikh, Amy Okuda, Robin Thorsen, and Vince Caso where they discussed the series finale of the show and whether there are any plans for a reunion.

This week, we continue our celebration of The Guild by featuring a book review and giveaway of The Guild: The Official Companion, which was released by Titan Books yesterday.

‘The Guild: The Official Companion’ review

The Guild Official Companion Book cover

“We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?” – Felicia Day, introduction

Companion books are always fun. Full of quotes and glossy pictures, they sort of seem like they should be on the required reading list of the school of fandom.

As pretty as they usually are to look at though, most fans already know that companion books very rarely offer any insight which can’t be gained from a quick Google search. Most of the content will invariably be generic episode summaries and character bios, official promotional stills, and some bland exclusive interviews that can’t possibly offer any new information because hey, it’s in a book, not a newspaper. It’s old news before it’s even printed.

But The Guild: The Official Companion book is different, if for no other reason than because it doesn’t just chronicle the journey of any random TV show, it tells the story of how a web series was born. And that story, whatever the web series, is always going to be interesting.

Because of The Guild‘s cult status, a lot of the background information found in this book is going to be something you won’t find anywhere else. The detailed, in-depth reflections by the cast and crew is unprecedented. The insight into how a web series is created is unique, and invaluable for people who want to know more about that process.

Felicia Day (who contributes much more than just the introduction!) is here allowed to tell her fans, in great depth and detail, about how she actually made this incredible cult series a reality.

Felicia Day The Guild

“Each one of us is finite, and if we can spread ourselves out in a way to inspire and help other people to be all they can be, I think that’s so much more important than one person’s glory.” – Felicia Day, speaking about The Guild fandom (p.152)

What were the obstacles? (There were many.) How did they overcome them? (It was hard work.) What does it feel to have created this trailblazing web series? (Spoiler alert: it feels awesome!) All of those questions and any others you may have are answered in this book.

And as you read about Felicia Day and her team’s on- and off-screen adventures, it doesn’t just feel like rehashed interviews. It feels like you have been invited on a special, intimate tour of the entire experience.

On top of all this great info from the people who made the series, there are cool extras like lyrics to the songs, background info on the music video, costume design sketches, prop explanations, and entire sections devoted to the creation of things like the opening credit sequence and the infamous Cawkes Painting:

Team Cawkes painting Will Wheaton Felicia Day the Guild Cawkes painting

“Will [Wheaton] absolutely flipped out and did that famous Will Wheaton ‘I’m so excited!’ face and he tells everybody that it’s anatomically correct…” – Greg Aronowitz on the Team Cawkes painting (p.112)

The best thing about The Guild: The Official Companion is that it solely consists of the cast and crew’s personal stories. There’s not an empty episode summary in sight, not any fan commentaries or essays about how great the show is.

Cover-to-cover, this is all about the team’s experiences and reflections, their journeys through the six incredible seasons of The Guild, and their goodbyes.

Truly a must-have for any The Guild fan, or anyone curious about the process of creating a web series.

Win a copy of ‘The Guild’ companion book!

Did the review sell you on The Guild: The Official Companion – or do you just love the shiny cover?

Good news: one of these books can be YOURS! has partnered with Titan Books to offer one reader the chance to win a copy.

The more ways you enter, the higher chance you have of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The contest is open worldwide, and closes Sunday, July 22 at 12:01 a.m. eastern.

After all that talk of inclusivity, Star Trek Beyond falls into the Hollywood trap of implied sexuality.

Mild spoilers for Star Trek Beyond.

Star Trek Beyond, already a wildly anticipated movie, made headlines ahead of its release because of the franchise’s decision to introduce the first openly LGBT character: Mr Sulu, played by John Cho.

While this decision was certainly met with excitement, there was disappointment, too. The original Mr Sulu, George Takei, openly voiced his opinion that they should have introduced a new LGBT character rather than expand on original canon (as they have been the whole trilogy), while Simon Pegg beautifully argued that there was power in using an established character who wouldn’t be defined by his sexuality.

Then came the movie itself, and while the introduction of gay Sulu is still a great thing, we’re left sorely disappointed by Beyond‘s decision to depict the LGBT relationship — or rather, hardly depict it at all.

As reported by our friends at The Mary Sue, the scene featuring Sulu and his husband Ben depicts a “lukewarm” relationship, although Sulu is very affectionate with the pair’s daughter.

This is, unfortunately, a common problem in Hollywood when an LGBT couple — almost impossibly — makes it into a big franchise film. They’re allowed to be there, but having any kind of physical interaction even remotely resembling what a heterosexual couple might have still seems to be off-limits.

Related: Hollywood is failing the LGBT community: GLAAD slams Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros.

And, according to John Cho, there was actually a kiss filmed. “There was a kiss that I think is not there anymore,” he told Collider. “It wasn’t like a make-out session. We’re at the airport with our daughter. It was a welcome-home kiss. I’m actually proud of that scene, because it was pretty tough.”

Cho points out that Ben was played by a non-actor, writer Doug Jung, and says, “Obviously, I just met the kid, and then Doug is not an actor. I just wanted that to look convincingly intimate. We’re two straight guys and had to get to a very loving, intimate place. It was hard to do on the fly. We had to open up. It came off well, in my view.”

And we wish we could have seen it. Introducing a major LGBT character in the Star Trek franchise is a fantastic first step, and depicting two POC actors raising a child together is a great statement — but, unfortunately, the decision to cut out their kiss (which was already chaste, by the sounds of it) is emblematic of Hollywood’s continuous phobia of depicting LGBT relationships and intimacy on the big screen.

As Screen Crush also points out, this exact same scenario played out in Independence Day: Resurgence, too. In Finding Dory, the lesbian couple are only implied, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sequence.

LGBT representation (when present at all) is always so subtle, evidently in fear of offending straight audiences while not totally erasing non-straight sexualities. And, sadly, even that is considered a big step forward — but maybe it’s time we start depicting humanity as it is, and not what society wished it was 100 years ago.

Here’s looking at you, Star Wars.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reviews from theater critics are glowing, so when the hell can Americans get a chance to see the play in New York?

With just days to go until The Cursed Child script book is released around the world, The New York Post’s theater reporter has spoken to sources who say the play will be coming to Broadway sooner rather than later. Producers are currently holding discussions to bring the play to NY as early as 2017.

They haven’t yet announced a Broadway engagement for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” but New York theater people say it’s only a matter of time. Word is that Friedman and Callender are in negotiations for a Shubert theater possibly for next season. They may hit Toronto first, however.

The idea of The Cursed Child hitting Broadway so soon (“next season” could mean around May 2017) will come as a relief to American Harry Potter fans who would rather not travel overseas to see “the eighth story” (though it’s a little more affordable to do so right now thanks to #Brexit). It also speaks to this important fact: It’s important to see The Cursed Child rather than reading it.

If the show does go to Toronto first as The New York Post suggests it might, a trip to Canada would also be easier for Americans. Sorry, people who don’t live in North America.

This writer saw the play in June and absolutely loved the characters and magic happening on stage. But the story is… not the best. I’m very eager to see what fans, myself included, think of the story after reading the script book this weekend.

For her part, Rowling has promised that fans around the world will get to see the play. Only time will tell if she’s hinting at a movie or a world tour:

If ‘Cursed Child’ comes to Broadway next year, will you try to see it ASAP?

The West End production currently has dates running into May 2017, but additional dates are expected to go on sale in early August.

Present day Han Solo may’ve left the main Star Wars series after the events of The Force Awakens, but the character’s time in movie theaters is far from over.

The new Han Solo film from Lucasfilm — scheduled to hit theaters in May 2018 — might turn into a trilogy for the reluctant hero, according to the New York Daily News.

The paper reports that star Alden Ehrenreich has signed a three-picture deal, suggesting that the studio intends to expand the Han Solo spinoff into a trilogy. “They feel that his character has the right potential to become a central figure in several movies,” a source told NY Daily News. “They’re keeping things under wraps at the moment, but the deal is that he has signed for at least three movies.”

This makes a lot of sense given the popularity of the character coupled with his absence in Episode 8 and beyond. We also know that Lucasfilm and Disney have many, many grand plans for Star Wars in the years ahead: The very first Star Wars theatrical spinoff, Rogue One, opens later this year. Episode 8 then hits theaters a year later (2017), followed by Han Solo’s own movie (2018). Next comes Episode 9 in 2019, followed by yet another spinoff reportedly focused on Boba Fett in 2020.

As for 2021 and beyond? Only time will tell, but we expect more movies set in the worlds of The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and now Han Solo.

The Han Solo spinoff will be directed by LEGO Movie helmers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. They’re currently deep into pre-production, as this tweet from Lord this morning shows:

“This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with,” the directors said last July. “We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all.”