A Layperson’s Guide to Comic-Con 2015’s Biggest News

Lines were endured, cosplays were shown off, blockbusters were hyped: Comic-Con 2015 has officially come and gone from San Diego’s perpetually overcrowded convention center, leaving non-attendees to sort through the flood of delirious tweets and promos. Here’s our roundup of what’s worth a look from casual viewers as well as the super-fans. Spoiler: they’re mostly trailers.

Behind the Scenes of The Force Awakens

Oscar Isaac! Lupita! Simon Pegg! Three seconds of Harrison Ford! The big reveal of Comic-Con’s most anticipated panel shows the new cast of Star Wars geeking out about how psyched they are to be in the new Star Wars, and the enthusiasm is genuinely infectious. There’s also a concerted effort to stress the “physicality” — read: non-corny CGI — of the special effects, like a brand-new Millennium Falcon and an eminently huggable Chewie suit. Not included in the trailer? The free waterfront concert all 6,000 panel attendees were treated to afterwards.

Deadpool Builds the Hype to a Fever Pitch

Creating genuine excitement for a Marvel project is a difficult task these days — not even Paul Rudd can get me excited for Ant-Man (PAUL RUDD!) — but letting your superhero scream “MOTHERFUCKER” in the trailer is as good a strategy as any. Curiously, Marvel hasn’t put the Deadpool red-band trailer online yet (hence the low-quality bootleg above), but Ryan Reynolds doesn’t appear to be exaggerating when he calls it a genuinely faithful, very R-rated adaptation of the original comics.

Margot Robbie Headlines Suicide Squad

Deadpool is just the first of three major leaked trailers. The second, hailing from the DC camp, is bizarro-Avengers concept Suicide Squad: a bunch of supervillains, corralled by Annalise Keating into doing… good-ish? Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn looks absolutely fantastic, Jared Leto’s Joker suitably terrifying, and Will Smith… not convincingly villain-esque, but definitely charismatic!

X-Men Previews (Another) Prequel

Finally, Marvel-but-not-Marvel-Studios brings us X-Men: Apocalypse. Oscar Isaac, who had a hell of a Comic-Con, plays the world’s first mutant, whose power is… controlling other mutants. Audiences are used to JLaw, Michael Fassbender, and James McAvoy by now, but there are enough new faces (Sophie Turner, for one, in her Game of Thrones graduation) to drum up excitement.

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Jonathan Nolan Unveils Westworld

HBO’s highly anticipated adaptation of the 1973 film by Michael Crichton (and its 1976 sequel, Futureworld) won’t debut until 2016, but co-executive producer Jonathan Nolan presided over a decently revealing panel at SDCC. The series, which boasts a packed cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright, and Thandie Newton, will be more concerned with AI than the original, and according to an opening scene that hasn’t leaked online yet, will also incorporate some virtual reality. Think Jurassic Park, but prestige TV.

The Heroes: Reborn Trailer

We’re starting to see the fruits of RebootMania 2015, among them this three-minute preview of NBC’s upcoming miniseries. It doesn’t quite answer the question of why Heroes: Reborn was necessary, but at least it’s a proper teaser, not a four-shot “teaser.” Also, Hiro is a total badass now?

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John Lewis Cosplayed Himself

Wearing his Selma outfit. Enough said.

Batman v. Superman v. Jesse Eisenberg’s Wig

Let the snarky comments about Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne commence! Zack Snyder’s DC films continue to feel like a transparent attempt to replicate Christopher Nolan’s aesthetic, complete with an ominous trailer voiceover from an older man who may or may not be Alfred (he looks a little dapper to be Affleck’s butler, but who knows?). Regardless, the trailer is a much better takeaway than the premature speculation that came out of last year’s Dawn of Justice panel.