A few days ago I published a YouTube video on my channel on what sci-fi goodies to expect in 2022. Right now it is quickly becoming my most watched video. As with my other videos below I published the script as well some of the still images I used. If you can head over to my YouTube page and like this video, that will help me out considerably. Even better, become a subscriber to my channel. Then you will never miss a video.
2021 was an exceptional year for Science-Fiction. Due to the many delays in releases caused by the pandemic cinemagoers were able to see a significant number of triple A titles. Most notable, there was Denis Villeneuve’s epic adaptation of Dune starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya. The movie became something of a cultural event.
Next year, for 2022, the schedule resembles more of a pre-pandemic year, so let’s have a look at what viewers, readers and gamers can look forward.
At The Movies in 2022
The biggest tentpole movie for 2022 is undoubtedly Avatar 2, directed by James Cameron. First of four sequels to the 2009 movie starring Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver Avatar 2 will take viewers back to the mysterious world of Pandora. While I liked Avatar, I cannot say I loved it. I think since it releases over a decade I have only watched again once or twice. However, the grandiose world-building and spectacular special effects promised from the man who directed the first two Terminator movies will draw many viewers. Zoe Saldana will also return but the cast has further been enhanced by Michelle Yeoh, Kate Winslet and Oona Chaplin. Avatar 2 is currently slated for December 16th, thus gambling there will be no further lockdown.
Another movie I am looking forward to is Jurassic World: Dominion starring Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt. I will admit this feeling is mostly due to nostalgia. Despite the good reboot made by Jurassic World none of the sequels come close to the original movie. No doubt in large part because it was an original story adapted from the novel by Michael Crichton. So far, the sequels have seen a steady diminishing returns when it comes to interesting Sci-Fi fans with ever more elaborate special effects and weird dinosaurs as a result. Good news is Dominion will also star Sam Neill and it will be directed by Colin Trevorrow, once slated to direct a Star Wars movie. Dominion is set for a June 10th release.
There a number of other movies I am looking forward, but most are comic book adaptations, not pure Science Fiction. Morbius, The Batman starring Robert Pattinson, Thor: Love and Thunder starring Natalie Portman and The Flash are amongst a number such titles.
At the Bookstore in 2022
It is more difficult to judge with books about what is going to be good. For nearly two decades, published works by previously unknown authors tend to be more original and often better than that of established authors. Yet, as these authors are still unknown, I cannot write about them. 2022 will start with a called Quantum of Nightmares by Charles Stross, it is another novel in a longstanding series called The Laundry Files. However, ever so now and then the author caps of the story allowing new readers to start. Quantum of Nightmares is actually the second novel of a new storyline. It is set for release on January 11th.
On February 22nd Orson Scott Card’s Wakers will be released. It is a story that explores the potential of parallel worlds. On the face of it sounds like Ender’s Game meets Sliders, which would be terrific. A little later in the year, in May we will also be getting a new Alastair Reynolds novel, called Eversion. As viewers will know I am a big fan of his work, practically every novel has received a review on my blog and his latest – Inhibitor Phase – got a video review on this channel.
Eversion is a standalone novel not set in the Revelation Space universe. The author describes it as a First Contact story with a Big Dumb Object, his words. But with his work nothing is as it seems, there is always a deeper mystery. Anyway, not a bone in my body that does not want to read a Reynolds space opera.
In May we are also getting a novel that ties in with the Picard TV series, it’s called Second Self. Despite certain flaws I enjoyed the return of Patrick Stewart as the titular role. I will thus also be reading this novel. In September we will get the latest Dune novel, The Heir of Caladan by Frank Herbert’s son Brian and his longstanding co-author Kevin J. Anderson. So far, I have enjoyed this trilogy even if it continues the longstanding tradition of contradicting established lore.
There many more Sci-Fi novels to look forward, Star Wars Shadow of the Sith sounds interesting. But there are also other novels. I am actively anticipating The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin. He has hinted at his progress in the last few weeks so there is a part of me that thinks he may be editing the story. If so, the earliest release would late 2022. Meanwhile a longstanding novel series I enjoy, Millennium by Stieg Larson, is getting another trilogy. That will make it the third trilogy, with the first written by the deceased author and the second by David Lagercrantz. No word on who will write this trilogy or when the first book will be released.
On Television in 2022
Just as with books it is difficult to predict what will be released on TV next year. At least, what new series and not those continuing. But I have made a short selection. First, Halo will be getting its release sometime in early 2022. I am not certain what to think of this series. Will it attempt to explore the deeper meaning of the Halo franchise and may be borrow from Larry Niven’s Ringworld or will it be action-oriented. Meanwhile we will also be getting our first serious adaptation of the works of William Gibson with the series The Peripheral.
While it is a shame it isn’t Neuromancer the story of the Peripheral features time-travel with a plethora of tech references. The series will star Chloe Grace Moretz in what I think could be a breakthrough role. Its producers are Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy – the producers behind Westworld. Director Vincenzo Natali is also attached as producer. He has long attempted to get Neuromancer produced, his movies Cube and Cypher are very much influenced by the works of William Gibson.
Meanwhile we will also be getting some new Star Wars series: Andor and Obi-Wan. Andor stars Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, the rebel spy we learned to love from Rogue One. Of course, his character dies at the end of that movie, so this is basically a prequel series set five years before the events of the movie. Andor promises to become a hard-boiled spy thriller that just happens to be set in the Star Wars universe. The cast will also include Stellan Skarsgard who recently played Baron Harkonnen in Dune. Forest Whittaker will also return as Saw Gerrera, hinting at one possible story angle. Andor will consists of 12 episodes and is set to be released no earlier than mid-2022, but it will probably be the fall.
Next to that we have the long-awaited Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor. Fans have been looking forward to this depiction since the release of Revenge of the Sith. Disney is calling it a limited series, so basically it is a one-off series. That will probably not anger purist as some have become skeptical about Obi-Wan having all sorts of adventures while he is supposed to be in exile on Tatooine. Some artwork has already been released showing the return of Darth Vader being played by none other than Hayden Christensen. While I am delighted at the prospect, I am worried by them sharing any kind of screentime, that would not be cannon. Obi-Wan Kenobi will consist of six episodes and will be released sometime in 2022.
Besides these new series there are plenty of seasons of established shows to look forward. Frankly binge watching has never been harder. I am eagerly anticipating the return of the following series: The Orville, Westworld and Stranger Things. There are plenty more but I am not certain they will be released in 2022. Meanwhile I am also looking forward to Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
Sci-Fi Video Games of 2022
Just as with series there are a great many sci-fi video games to look forward to, not in the least because the boundaries of what is Sci-Fi is blurring. So, this is list is mostly what I am looking forward to, if another game just happens to get a high rating I will probably play it.
The biggest game I am looking forward to is Starfield, by Bethesda. Scheduled for a November 11th release Starfield promises to be an action role-playing game in which the player can fully explore an area of about 50 lightyears from our own solar system. So far, we have seen some impressive screenshots of exploring moons and planets, it reminds me a lot of Star Citizen. I am not certain what the angle is of Starfield. Unlike Star Citizen it is not an MMO and will probably focus more on action and doing quests not unlike Skyrim and Fallout. That is not meant to belittle Bethesda, on the contrary, I think it is better that the game is properly scoped.
Meanwhile on Star Citizen development is continuing steadily. I would not advice anyone to wait for this game, just play it when it is done. I will be putting some time into Star Citizen next year to get a feel for where the game is and where it is going. However, I am supremely disappointed about the failure to release Squadron 42, the single player game accompanying the MMO.
There are also lesser games I am looking forward to. When I say lesser, they are not necessarily bad, but they are not triple A games either. A few weeks Dune: Spice Wars was announced. It is a real-time strategy game Shiro games meant as a tie-in to the Dune movie. So far, I am intrigued even if the graphics looked unimpressive. I did like the environments, the developer is eager to fully integrate all of the destructive elements such as sandworms, storms and quicksand into the game. As such the planet promises to be as much a challenge as will other players.
Finally, there is Terminator: Dark Fate: Defiance. As the very long subtitle suggests it continues the story of the Dark Fate movie. Not a great Terminator movie but not bad either, it seemed somewhat superfluous. However, I like where this game is going. We never really had a great Terminator strategy game even if the universe has the potential. However, the game does look somewhat bland. I am not getting the feeling that the opening shots of Terminator 2 give me, or the future war scenes from the original movie. I want night time battles, underground and urban combat with flashing laser fire all over the place. Somehow that is very hard to get right.
So that is it for the things I am looking forward to in 2022. It feels like we are getting another year jampacked with Sci-Fi content. I hope you liked my preview, do like the video if you can or otherwise subscribe to my YouTube channel. See you around and have a great new year.