Nerd Alert! - Leonard Maltin in Tacoma, Star Wars Reads Day, Alien: Isolation, Star Wars Rebels debut ...

By Christian Carvajal on October 6, 2014

Talking dead, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

If you're a true movie lover, or just feel like not hating yourself, leave Dracula Untold this weekend and dive into the Tacoma Film Festival instead. It's running all week, with nerd god Leonard Maltin sitting in Friday and Saturday. Opening night (Friday at 7:30) gets underway with a screening of Laggies, a rom-com starring Keira Knightley and the great Sam "Guy" Rockwell. (Any fellow Galaxy Quest fanboys out there? Right?!) It's directed by Lynn Shelton, who's already given us the charmers Humpday and Your Sister's Sister. Alternately that night at 7, there's a Viggo Mortensen thriller, The Two Faces of January, which finds a con man and his wife chased through present-day, camera-ready Greece. A Maltin Q&A follows the latter film. The festival's chockablock with shorts, too, with everything from animation to documentary to efforts by some of our favorite Northwestern filmmakers. Saturday afternoon at 1:30, Maltin will sign copies of his 2015 Movie Guide and host a screening of Frank Capra's 1948 classic, State of the Union. Hail to the chief!


It's Star Wars Reads Day (yay!) at a library near you. The main branch of the Tacoma Public Library celebrates with crafts, a screening of Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles at 2:30, and Mel Brooks' ludicrously-speedy Spaceballs. Why? Because nothing encourages reading like watching a video. Ooh, burn for literacy! Incidentally, the Imperials at Lucasfilm Licensing recently decided that almost every Star Wars novel or comic book published since 1977 is now completely non-canonical. The exceptions began with a "dark times" novel, A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller, which hit shelves Sept. 2. So if you're still lugging around that crate full of Rogue Squadron actioners and hoping to hit payday on eBay, the Force may no longer be with you.

STAR WARS READS DAY, 1:30-6 p.m., Tacoma Public Library, 1102 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, free, 253.292.2001


The last time we saw our heroes on AMC's The Walking Dead, a group of them were trapped in a boxcar in a gated community with the deceptive name of Sanctuary. Meanwhile, one claims to know how the plague of undead walkers can be stopped once and for all. As season five begins Sunday at 9, we have reason to believe two things: first, Rick will snap out of his sleepwalk; and second, Michonne will remain a total effing badass. Oh, and Carl will continue to wear that stupid hat.


The eagerly awaited Star Wars Rebels debuts on Disney XD Monday at 9. In fact, this first 90-minute episode airs on other Disney channels as well, but once the hook has been set, you'll be asked to pony up for the obscurer XD. Well, I will not! I will dig it up on the Internet, unless it is illegal, in which case never mind! I win this round probably, Uncle Walt! Anyhow, the same folks who gave us Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a show I grew to like very much, produce this new animated series. Even better, Star Wars Rebels is set in the far more interesting and Vaderful period between the two movie trilogies. Disney approved this show for season two before its pilot even aired, so apparently show runner Dave Filoni and his Jedi apprentices have delivered again.


A lot of you will be running out to buy Gearbox Australia's Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! Tuesday, because violence. Your humble commentator, however, will still be panic-racing through the flickering halls of space station Sevastopol. That's where Amanda Ripley, daughter of the still cryo-frozen Ellen, confronts a xenomorph of her own in The Creative Assembly's terrifying Alien: Isolation (to be unleashed Oct. 7). Use your flares, check your corners, and for the love of sweet Jebus - whatever you do, do not eat that cornbread.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may you never need a pit stop on LV-426. Aye-firmative!