Our hero managed to escape with the help of turncoat Imperial officer Tala Durith (Indira Varma) and anti-Imperial network leader Roken (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), who are secretly helping Jedi and Force sensitives escape the Empire via an underground railroad known as the Path. Obi-Wan is one of the few people who knows Leia is Vader’s lost daughter.
After a failed attempt on Vader’s life, a badly wounded Reva spots Obi-Wan’s dropped commlink and sees a garbled message from Leia’s foster father, Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits), that mentions “learned of the children,”http://www.cnet.com/”Tatooine,”http://www.cnet.com/”Owen” and “the boy.”
Conveniently that’s just enough information for her to figure out that Luke Skywalker is Vader’s son — probably should have changed his name — and find the 10-year-old on the desert world. I reckon he’ll be alright, though, since he’s living a normal life and blissfully unaware of the Force by the time we meet him in A New Hope.
On board the escape transport with Leia and a bunch of refugees, Obi-Wan senses the danger to Luke. So I guess he’ll be headed back to Tatooine in a hurry in next week’s finale. He might be a bit delayed, since their hyperdrive is broken and Imperial forces are right on their tail.
Master and apprentice
As his Star Destroyer travels to the Path base on Jabiim, Vader reflects on his time as Obi-Wan’s Padawan. We get some delightful flashbacks to a sparring session they had in the era before Attack of the Clones, as evidenced by their outfits, hairstyles and Anakin still having his right hand (Count Dooku slices off a chunk of his arm in their duel on Geonosis).
It highlights their slightly tense relationship, Anakin’s impatience and Obi-Wan’s ability to outthink him — all of which play into the show’s present-day story. City planet Coruscant also makes a spectacular backdrop for their duel.
“You are a great warrior, Anakin, but your need to prove yourself is your undoing,” Obi-Wan says. “Until you overcome it, a Padawan you will still be.”
There might be some subtle digital de-aging or clever application of makeup going on here, but the visual effects team didn’t overdo it — Christensen in particular looks older in these scenes than he did in 2002’s Attack of the Clones (maybe because he doesn’t have a beard to hide behind). Their onscreen dynamic is pretty electric, though; it seems like the actors loved having the chance to revisit an earlier point in their careers with two decades’ more experience.
If there’s no de-aging, these guys won the genetic lottery, and I am a bit jealous.
It’s also just nice to see notorious sand-hater Anakin before he became a horrible mass-murderer, but his descent into darkness is the focus of the episode’s other flashback. This happens in Revenge of the Sith, which takes place three years after Attack of the Clones.
Surviving Order 66
Unsurprisingly, Reva is revealed to have been a Jedi youngling who survived Order 66, when clone troopers turned on their Jedi allies. She was seemingly stabbed by Anakin when he stormed the Jedi Temple, and played dead among the bodies of the other children to avoid detection. Which is absolutely horrifying and presumably what prompted the “upsetting” scene warning that precedes the episode.
An empathetic Obi-Wan sympathizes with what she’s been through and realizes her becoming an Inquisitor was all part of a revenge plot against Vader. She’s been planning to slay the Sith Lord all along, and can tell Obi-Wan isn’t entirely certain about taking the life of his former apprentice.
Despite this, Obi-Wan sees an opportunity in Reva’s quest — he surrenders and offers her the chance to kill Vader while he’s distracted. However, it’s really just a big trick to give Leia, Obi-Wan and the refugees a chance to escape.
Dark Lord’s power
Once again, Vader is pretty epic to watch in action. Arriving on Jabiim, he rips a decoy ship out of the sky with the Force and tears open the hull to find it empty, but his need to show off allows the real transport to escape.
Vader pulling down the ship with the Force seems to highlight his power (and echoes a moment from 2008 video game The Force Unleashed), since his former Padawan Ahsoka Tano and Rey struggled to do so in The Clone Wars finale and The Rise of Skywalker, respectively. It looks less impressive when the ship is revealed to be empty. In fact, Vader looks like a bit of a fool (don’t tell him I said that).
When Reva makes her move, he effortlessly stops her attacks with the Force and stabs her through the torso (again), then reveals that he knew her origins all along as she lies in the dirt.
“Did you really believe I did not see it, youngling?” he says. “You are of no further use.”
The Grand Inquisitor is revealed to have survived being skewered by Reva — shocking absolutely no one who’s seen CGI animated series Rebels, since it’s set after this and he’s the main villain in season 1 — and he suggests that his desire for revenge helped him survive. He probably got shoved in a bacta tank too, that always helps.
Vader and the Grand Inquisitor leave her to die, which seems a little illogical. But I guess the show needs someone to go after Luke in the finale, and having any other Imperial do so and fail to tip Vader off to his son’s existence would stretch credulity.
Obi-servations and Easter eggs
Leia feels quite sidelined in this episode, since she’s mostly in a box messing with wires. At least she fixes her droid and helps everyone escape.
The moment where Anakin smacks down in Obi-Wan’s lightsaber to break his defense mirrors a similar mode in the Return of the Jedi duel between Luke and Vader.
The dynamic between Tala and loader droid NED-B echoes that of Cassian Andor and K-2SO in Rogue One, right down to their deaths at the hands of the Empire. We’ll see Cassian again in his Disney Plus prequel series in August, and K-2SO will likely show up at some point during the show’s two-season run.
Obi-Wan spots a bunch of lightsaber hilts in a box in the Path base, but I don’t think any of them belonged to anyone we know.
We would be honored if you would join us for more Easter eggs and observations next Wednesday, June 22 , when episode 6 – the series finale – of Obi-Wan Kenobi hits Disney Plus.
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One of the most irritating (and slightly painful) parts of joining a Microsoft Teams call could soon be fixed by a new update.
The video conferencing service is a popular choice for many companies, meaning calls with large numbers of participants joining at the same time, and from the same location (such as a meeting room) are a common occurrence.
However, often when multiple people join a meeting in the same room, a feedback loop is created, which causes echo, which in most cases quickly escalates to howling – with Microsoft likening the noise to when a musician holds the mic too close to a loudspeaker.
Fortunately, a new fix is coming for Microsoft Teams users. In its entry in the official Microsoft 365 roadmap (opens in new tab), the new “Ultrasound Howling Detection” describes how it aims to prevent this noise for users on Windows and Mac across the world.
Microsoft says that the update should mean if multiple users on laptops join from the same location, it will share with the user that another Teams Device is detected in their vicinity and is already joined with audio to the current meeting.
If a user has already joined with their audio on, Microsoft Teams will automatically mute the mic and speakers of any new the person who then joins the call, hopefully putting an end to the howling and screeching feedback.
Thankfully, the update is already listed as being in development, with an expected general availability date of March 2023, so users shouldn’t have to wait too long to enjoy.
The new updates are the result of using a machine learning model trained on 30,000 hours of speech samples, and include echo cancellation, better adjusting audio in poor acoustic environments, and allowing users to speak and hear at the same time without interruptions.
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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK’s leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he’s not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods lands in theaters on March 17. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)
The final trailer for Shazam! Fury of the Gods has debuted online – and it looks even more charming, funnier, frenetic, and darker than its predecessor.
Shazam’s sequel flick arrives in theaters worldwide on March 17, so it’s about time we were given another look at the forthcoming DC Extended Universe movie (read our DC movies in order guide to find out where it’ll fit in that timeline). Luckily, Warner Bros. has duly obliged. Check it out below:
Okay, there’s some messy CGI and a slightly corny vibe about Shazam 2. But hey, the first problem can be ironed out before the superhero film takes flight, while the latter is part of what makes this movie series spellbinding (see what we did there?).
But we digress – you’re here because you want to find out what you missed from Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ new trailer. Below, we’ve pointed out six things you might have overlooked. So, what are you waiting for? Shout “Shazam!” and let’s dive in.
1. Who are the Daughters of Atlas?
For a film centered around Shazam, we don’t actually see the titular superhero appear in the official trailer for the first 20 seconds.
Instead, we get another glimpse at Fury of the Gods‘ villains, aka the Daughters of Atlas. The powerful trio comprises the power-hungry Hespera (Helen Millen), dragon-riding Kalypso (Lucy Liu), and Athena (Rachel Zegler), the latter of whom seems particularly torn about how the sisters are going about their business.
So, why are they gunning for Shazam and his superpowered foster siblings? Essentially, when Billy Batson was gifted his abilities by Djimon Hounsou’s wizard in the film film (available now on HBO Max), one of those powers was the Stamina of Atlas. The Daughters of Atlas aren’t too happy about their father’s ability being passed down to a child, so they want to take back what is theirs – and they’ll do it so by any means necessary.
2. Mythological monsters
Shazam’s first DCEU outing featured some horror-imbued creatures in the form of the Seven Deadly Sins. How, then, do you go about topping (or, at the very least) matching what came before? Throw in a bunch of myth-based monsters, of course.
Kalypso’s imposing dragon is the most notable inclusion. It feature prominently throughout the trailer, and we even get an amusing Game of Thrones reference from Shazam – “Hey, Khaleesi!” – in the movie. Hey, Warner Bros. loves to mention its suite of IPs in as many of its films as possible.
But Kalypso’s wyvern isn’t the only fairy-tale-based beast we see. Minotaurs, griffons, and demonic unicorns are just three of the other monsters who’ll turn up in Fury of the Gods. Basically, don’t expect this to be an easy fight for Shazam and company to save the world.
3. You can’t get the staff these days
Saving earth from a new titanic threat will be even harder when Shazam’s adoptive family are stripped of their powers, too. And it seems that the staff, which was wielded by Hounsou’s wizard in the first movie, is the key to giving and taking those abilities away.
In 2019’s Shazam!, the titular hero gave powers to his foster siblings to help him combat the Seven Deadly Sins and Doctor Sivana. They’ve still got those power in Fury of the Gods, too, but they won’t have them for long, based by what the trailer suggests.
The footage shows Freddy Freeman and Mary Bromfield being drained of their abilities by the Daughters of Atlas at various points. The trio are using the wizard’s staff to rob the teens of their powers, so it’s clearly of major importance to the movie’s main players.
Later, we see Shazam wielding it – not before he asks the wizard to take his powers back, mind you, when he becomes convinced he can’t defeat the Daughters of Atlas. Anyway, Shazam’s brandishing of the staff suggests he needs it to boost his own abilities if he’s going to defeat the movie’s antagonists and give his siblings their powers back. Expect the staff to play a vital role in Fury of the Gods‘ plot, then.
4. Prison break
In order to get the wizard’s staff, it seems the Daughters of Atlas go after Hounsou’s magic wielder to obtain it.
We see Hounsou’s character imprisoned at various points, including a shot of Hespera chastising him for giving the power of the gods to Billy, Freddy, and company. “You ripped it from our father’s core,” she tells him, which implies Hounsou’s wizard might not be as mighty and heroic as we were led to believe.
Anyway, Hounsou’s wizard interacts with Shazam later in the trailer, so he clearly escapes captivity. Whether he does so alone, or he enlists Shazam’s help – does that magic-infused dust, which he sends through his prison cell window, have something to do with it? – is unclear. Regardless, we’ll see Hounsou’s character break out at some stage.
5. Is that you, Doctor Strange?
Remember when we said Zegler’s Athena doesn’t seem as keen to destroy earth as her sisters? That’s because, at the 1: 14 mark, we see her use her powers with a uncertain look on her face. You wouldn’t look like that if you were convinced you were doing the right thing, would you?
Based on the fact she’s pushed away by Kalypso (using the staff no less), seconds later, it seems she’ll be swapping sides at some stage.
Interestingly, it seems the wizard’s staff can do more than give or take a person’s powers away. One perceived ability certainly has an air of the Doctor Strange/Marvel-based mystic arts about them. Just look at the Escher-style nature of how the scenery bends and folds in on itself when Athena is pushed back, and when Shazam evades numerous buildings at the 1: 44 mark. We’d be very surprised if DC and Warner Bros. didn’t take a leaf out of the MCU’s book with such an aesthetic.
6. Light the way
Shazam and his fellow superheroes get a costume upgrade in Fury of the Gods. The group’s threads are more streamlined and less plastic-looking this time around, which is pleasing to see.
Fans had been worried, though, that these suits wouldn’t feature one of the first movie’s most underrated (if somewhat tacky) aspects: the glowing lightning bolt on Shazam’s chest. Shazam’s costume in the 2019 movie was manufactured in a way that allowed the bolt to physically light up, avoiding the problem of having to add awkward lighting effects during the post-production phase.
Thankfully, Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ official trailer confirms that Shazam’s lightning bolt will glow. However, given the sleeker look of the costumes this time around, it appears that the illumination effect has been added in post. Regardless of how it’s been implemented, we’re just glad it’s a feature that’s been retained.
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Jokes aside about Chrome’s incognito mode, the ability to open a private tab for sensitive browsing is incredibly useful. You can perform searches that you want to keep from affecting your recommendations or appearing in your search history—which applies as much to tax information and medical questions as anything more scintillating.
And now on all phones and tablets, you can protect your incognito tabs from prying eyes by locking them down. A quick tweak to Chrome settings on iOS and Android makes biometric or PIN authentication required to view your private tabs whenever you leave the app and then return. It’s an extra layer of protection for when you forget to close a tab when you’re done—easy to do if you’re constantly hopping between apps. No need to worry about banking info sitting unguarded, for example.
Trying to feature out for yourself is easy. If it’s rolled out to your Android device (or if you’re only now trying it on your iPhone or iPad), just tap on the three dot menu in Chrome, then Privacy and Security. Toggle on Lock Incognito Tabs When You Close Chrome. Now when you switch away from Chrome and then come back, you’ll have to pass an authentication check before you can see and interact with those private tabs again.
For folks who use incognito tabs more on mobile than dedicated apps, this feature is a very welcome addition—and one I hope to see come to desktop computers next. I leave my incognito windows open on PC for long stretches way more often than on a phone or tablet. I haven’t yet met a browser window stuffed with tabs that I didn’t like to keep around. And sometimes I’m reading up on something I don’t want roommates to know about; other times, I have private correspondence I’m working on that I really don’t want to be seen.
I can always lock my PC, but I occasionally forget to slam my fingers on Win + L before dashing off to deal with an overflowing pot or vomiting cat. The best alternative is setting up Dynamic Lock in Windows, but that only works if you move far enough away from your computer to trigger the auto-lock. It unfortunately doesn’t prevent someone also in your kitchen from wandering by your screen and teasing you about your recent discovery of r/illegallysmolcats. Ask me how I know.
Alaina Yee is PCWorld’s resident bargain hunter—when she’s not covering PC building, computer components, mini-PCs, and more, she’s scouring for the best tech deals. Previously her work has appeared in PC Gamer, IGN, Maximum PC, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @morphingball.