The Geek Beat: Rogue One, Ugly Sweaters, Ornaments, and More Stuff to Look For In December

The Geek Beat: Rogue One, Ugly Sweaters, Ornaments, and More Stuff to Look For In December

Dec 07, 2016

The holiday season is officially upon us, and if you’re struggling to think of a good gift for that movie-loving geek on your list, you’re not alone -- after all, “geek” can be a pretty far-reaching term these days.

I’ve assembled a list of some of the most interesting, high-profile and under-the-radar geekery hitting theaters and shelves in the first “Geek Beat” column of each month, and this December is no different. If you’re looking for last-minute gifts for superhero- sci-fi- or fantasy movie fans, here are some of the highlights from this month’s movies, comics, and collectibles of all kinds.

Oh, and feel free to look back through some of the previous month’s columns for more suggestions, too. While some of the movies might not be in theaters, the recommendations still stand for the comics and other collectibles (and movies, for that matter).

So, without further ado, here’s some of the best geekery arriving in December (and remember: movie tickets make great gifts, too):


Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

If you’ve ever wondered what an X-Men movie directed by Tim Burton would look like, you’ll want to check out this film when it hits the home-entertainment market December 13. The movie is a big-screen adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ 2011 novel about a boy who discovers a school for children with “peculiar” abilities that make them outcasts in the outside world. It’s just as quirky as you might expect from a Burton film, but it’s the closest we’ll probably ever get to seeing “Tim Burton’s New Mutants” on any screen.


We're Gonna Need A Bigger Bow” Sweatshirt

Just in time for ugly sweater season, this shirt from TeeFury recalls one of the most iconic lines from Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic Jaws while featuring some memorable imagery from the film in that particular sort of knitted style that grandma would appreciate. Just practice saying, “Man (or woman) goes into sweater, sweater goes to party…” in your gnarliest old sailor voice to complete the effect.


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Almost certain to be the biggest movie of the year, this Star Wars standalone film is the first installment of the “standalone” series of films that will arrive in theaters every two years opposite the chapters of the continuing saga. This particular movie tells the story of the daring band of rebels who dared to undertake a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star, the Empire’s latest and greatest weapon, and deliver them to the Rebellion. Set just before the events of 1977’s franchise-starting Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, the film stars Felicity Jones and is directed by Monsters and Godzilla filmmaker Gareth Edwards. It premieres December 16, but tickets are already on sale for what is sure to be a sold-out affair in many theaters.


The Complete Frank Miller RoboCop Omnibus

Frank Miller is one of comics’ most acclaimed creators, with original projects like Sin City and 300 already making the leap from page to screen, and his acclaimed miniseries The Dark Knight Returns widely regarded as one of the greatest Batman stories ever told. What isn’t as widely known about Miller (by mainstream audiences, at least) is that he also penned screenplays for RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3 -- the sequels to the violent, 1987 action film -- that were never used in their original form. This new collection brings together both of those scripts, as well as all of his additional work in the world of RoboCop over the years, including some never-before-seen artwork he created to accompany his scripts. The book is must-have material for any RoboCop fan, and will be available online and on shelves December 13.


Ornaments, ornaments, ornaments…

If you know someone who’d appreciate a little extra geeky flair for their Christmas tree, there’s a wealth of options out there for every subsection of fandom. ThinkGeek has a wide selection of particularly geeky -- and pretty great looking -- ornaments for various franchises. For the Star Wars fan, there’s a wonderfully sinister Darth Vader that will make it a Sith-mas to remember. Heck, there’s even an Alien ornament that will give your try that little something it’s been lacking: a terrifying xenomorph.


Suicide Squad


Sure, David Ayer’s big-screen spin on DC Comics’ premiere supervillain team had its share of detractors, but it also had a fair share of fans. If you know someone who falls into the latter category -- or let’s face it, someone who has a crush on Margot Robbie’s version of Harley Quinn -- you’ll be able to pick up the movie on the home-entertainment market December 13. Given the buzz surrounding the film, you might want to splurge for the director’s cut of the film, just for the sake of comparison.


Iron Man Computer Gaming Peripherals

Know a hardcore computer gamer who also happens to dig Tony Stark’s armored alter ego, Iron Man? You’ll be the greatest gift-giving superhero of all time if you deliver any one of ThinkGeek’s three Iron Man themed computer peripherals. The site is offering a beautifully crafted, gaming-quality keyboard, wireless mouse, and three-port USB hub all designed with Iron Man in mind, and complete with all sorts of lights, sound effects, and themed elements. Heck, even casual gamers who love the armored Avengers would love any of these items. They’re something special, indeed.




The long-delayed but much-anticipated movie based on Prometheus screenwriter Jon Spaihts’ script that circulated around Hollywood for almost a decade, Passengers features two of the biggest names in Hollywood right now -- Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt -- in a story about two people faced with the prospect of living out their entire lives together aboard a massive spaceship. The film is directed by Oscar-nominated The Imitation Game filmmaker Morten Tyldum, and is expected to be one of the big blockbusters of the holiday season with a mix of story-driven drama and impressive spectacle in far-off space. It hits theaters December 21, just in time for a holiday cinema excursion.


Star Trek Tribble Tabletop Figure

For the Trekkie (or Trekker) on your list, you can combine the appreciation for all things Mr. Spock with the love of all things Tribble with a holiday-themed collectible figure that offers a bit of both elements in a cool statue that can be appreciated all year long. The statue stands eight inches tall and features everyone’s favorite Vulcan contemplating a pile of holiday gifts that contain -- you guessed it -- some adorably furry, but fast-multiplying Tribbles. No trouble at all!


A Monster Calls

It might not be getting a lot of attention, but this film about a boy dealing with his mother’s terminal sickness with some help from a monstrous creature -- voiced by Liam Neeson -- looks like it could be well worth the price of admission when it hits theaters December 23. Directed by J. A. Bayona (The Orphanage), who’s also directing the next installment of the Jurassic Park franchise, the film is written by Patrick Ness and based on Ness’ own novel of the same name. Ness’ original novel won an impressive amount of awards when it was published in 2012, and it will be interesting to see whether his vision for the story translates well to the big screen on such an epic, visual scale. The tale at the core of the story has so much heart that it’s difficult not to be intrigued by the film’s potential.


Question of the Week: What are you looking forward to buying, watching, or reading this month?

Rick Marshall is an award-winning writer and editor whose work can be found at, as well as MTV News, Fandango, Digital Trends, and various other online, print, and on-air news outlets. He's been called a “Professional Geek” by ABC News and Spike TV, and his personal blog can be found at You can find him on Twitter as @RickMarshall.

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