Our Favorite io9 Videos of 2020

From left: Our videos on “Darth” Needles, at-home cosplay, and io9's “SDCC con floor tour.”
From left: Our videos on “Darth” Needles, at-home cosplay, and io9's “SDCC con floor tour.”

Oh, goodness: What a year, right? Twenty-twenty is one of those (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime events that impacted so much of our lives. We saw countless movie delays, comic cons were canceled or moved online, theme parks shut down, and everything had to happen over video. In spite of the challenges, io9 still managed to write some pretty cool stuff—and tell stories through unique videos.

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Here is our list of some of our favorite videos we made this year. These include a profile of an amazing Star Wars tattoo artist, a look at the history of Disney mockbusters, a tongue-in-cheek “con floor” tour of io9's San Diego Comic-Con, and an at-home cosplay compilation that simply blew our minds. We hope you enjoyed them the first time around, and if you missed any, now’s a great time to sit back, relax, and give them a watch!


The Best (at Home) Cosplay From San Diego Comic-Con 2020

Comic cons may have looked very different this year because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, but the cosplay was just as incredible as ever. We asked folks to submit videos of their at-home cosplay for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and we were overwhelmed with the amount of talent and creativity everyone brought to the table. This might go down as one of the greatest cosplay videos we’ve ever produced. Thanks to all of you.


The Story of Dune, David Lynch, and Hollywood’s Most Notorious Pseudonym

In this video essay, former Gizmodo video producer Eleanor Fye took us on a deep dive into Alan Smithee, the most-famous pseudonym in Hollywood history. A fake persona that directors like David Lynch have used in the past to avoid taking credit for their biggest big and small screen embarrassments, like 1984's Dune.

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3 Ways Universal’s Dark Universe Went Wrong

The Dark Universe was poised to become horror’s answer to DC and Marvel’s film universes but ended up falling flat on its undead face. In this video, we examine the history of Universal’s attempt to make the next movie crossover franchise, and why it was doomed to fail from the start.

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The Tech in Westworld’s Episode 3 Shocker Is Already Here and Much Worse Than You Think

Season three of Westworld delivered a shocking blow when it was revealed that every person on the planet was being controlled by predictive algorithms, creating detailed maps of their lives that could then be used to determine the course of their future. It might sound like science fiction, but it’s all-too-real. Gizmodo tech reporter Shoshana Wodinsky joined me (i09's Beth Elderkin) to dive into the world of predictive algorithms, their purpose, and where the technology can go in the future.

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Say High to the Stoner Buds in These 10 Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy Movies

It wouldn’t be 420 without a nod to some of the greatest potheads in genre fiction! In this video, io9 gets a contact high by celebrating some of the funniest, smartest, and otherwise bizarre stoners in science fiction, horror, and fantasy.

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Comic-Con 2020: io9 Shows Off Their Con Floors

One of our favorite San Diego Comic-Con activities is taking a tour of the show floor on opening day, sharing the coolest displays and promotions—as well as the more bizarre (or downright unpleasant) ones. This year, there was no show floor...so we had to make our own! In this video, io9 staffers take viewers on a tour of our geeky homes and favorite knick-knacks. Stay through to the end for a bonus virtual lightsaber battle between Germain Lussier and James Whitbrook.

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5 Binge-Worthy TV Shows You Can Make Workout Games Out Of

The pandemic changed a lot of things, including our workout routines. To keep everyone on their toes, io9 made a series of workouts that can be performed with our favorite TV shows. Whether it’s getting Chidi’s abs from The Good Place or doing yoga with Steven Universe, these accessible (and affordable!) workouts can keep everyone entertained and in good shape.

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Inking the Dark Side: What This Artist Learned From 20 Years of Star Wars Tattooing

Back in the pre-covid days when we could interview people in person, io9 sat down with professional tattoo artist “Darth” Needles, who’s spent decades creating ink for Star Wars fans—and has even earned the praise of Lucasfilm.

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A Brief ‘Hiss-tory’ of DC’s Cheetah, From the Comics to Wonder Woman 1984

After months of delays, Wonder Woman 1984 is finally set to come out on December 25. That means now is as good a time as any for this handy refresher on Cheetah, Wonder Woman’s longest-running villain, who will be played by Kristen Wiig in the film version.

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The Legacy of Empire Strikes Back’s Biggest Spoiler, 40 Years Later

The term “spoiler culture” has become part of the cultural zeitgeist, impacting everything from Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding to the latest season of The Crown (even though that’s based on real-life!). In this video from Germain Lussier and video producer Max Jean-Louis—and featuring our editor Jill Pantozzi—we look at one of the biggest reveals in Star Wars history and how it changed the way we look at “spoilers” for generations.

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The Wonderful (and Surprisingly Legal) World of Disney Mockbusters

Mockbusters are a tried-and-true part of Hollywood’s history, going back several decades, but one of the most lucrative markets out there happens to be Disney mockbusters. In this video, we dive into the long and sordid history of them—including a breakdown of some of the wildest (and weirdest) mockbusters we’ve seen so far.

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The Cast of Birds of Prey on the Balance of Bringing Their Comic Counterparts to Life

io9's James Whitbrook sat down with the cast and director of Birds of Prey to chat about what it was like bringing their comic book characters to life on the big screen. It’s a fantastic dive into the art of adaptation...but also gave io9 one of the greatest gifs of all time. A gift that truly keeps on giving.

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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Baby Yo- I mean, Grogu, got some competition. James eating him up.