The Mandalorian collides with the broader Star Wars universe in its season 2 finale

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Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

As expected, The Mandalorian’s finale culminated in a dramatic showdown between Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) — aka, Mando — and Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) over the fate of Grogu (née Baby Yoda). But “The Rescue” didn’t just run into the expected complications for an assault on a massive Imperial cruiser: it also ran into the mainstream Star Wars universe in the biggest way yet.

Warning: Spoilers for the entirety of The Mandalorian season 2 and Star Wars: The Last Jedi follow.

Par for the course for Mando, though, things didn’t go quite as planned. While the armored hero did succeed in saving his adopted son, it came at a bittersweet cost: Grogu’s earlier callout for any other Jedi was answered by none other than Luke Skywalker (Mark…

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The Verge guide to The Mandalorian

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Photo by Justin Lubin / Lucasfilm

For a show about a tiny alien, The Mandalorian sure had a huge impact. The first season of the series helped sell millions on Disney Plus, the company’s Netflix-style streaming service, while simultaneously showing how the Star Wars universe could translate to prestige television. It was, to put it succinctly, a hit — one that became even more popular thanks to the adorable Baby Yoda. Er, I mean, The Child.

The second season, meanwhile, faces a very different challenge. Not only does it have to live up to the hype generated by season 1, but it’s also releasing at a time when many of the biggest movies and TV shows have been indefinitely delayed due to the ongoing pandemic, making it arguably the biggest entertainment release of 2020.

To…

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Amazon launches group video and audio calling for Echo devices

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Group calling on an Echo Show. | Photo: Amazon

Amazon is launching a new group video or audio calling feature for Echo devices today, just in time for the holidays. Originally announced back in September, group calling will allow up to seven participants to join an audio or video call on supported Echo devices like the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show.

Echo owners will be able to create and name groups using the Alexa app, and Amazon is also planning to support group calling through its Alexa app soon. You’ll be able to add adult contacts into groups, and friends and family will have to opt in to be part of group calling. This new feature also supports Alexa commands like “Alexa, call my family” to connect to a group you’ve created.

Echo group calling could be a good alternative to Zoom…

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Why Final Fantasy VII Remake is my game of the year

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FF7 remake

I spent a lot of time in Final Fantasy VII Remake looking up. In Midgar, the sky is obstructed by metal plates, physical barriers that separate downtrodden citizens from their wealthy counterparts. It’s a quiet reminder that in this place, no one is free. People’s paths are already written.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is just that: a retelling of the iconic 1997 Japanese roleplaying game that made Final Fantasy a household name. Cloud Strife, a brooding mercenary with a spotty past, becomes entangled with Avalanche, a radical group fighting against an evil corporation with aspirations that are destroying the planet. It’s a journey from Midgar, the bustling metropolis in which the game is initially set, to a globe-trotting adventure that…

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Apple explains how the AirPods Max conserve battery life — with or without the case

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Apple AirPods Max in case with iPod and AirPods Pro
Photo by Nilay Patel / The Verge

After some initial confusion around how the AirPods Max handle power management, Apple has tried to clarify the issue with an updated support page outlining how and when its new $550 headphones automatically conserve battery life.

Originally, the company said that “when stored in their soft, slim smart case, AirPods Max enter an ultra‑low‑power state that preserves charge.” But there was uncertainty about what happens when they’re left outside the case. In my review, I found that the headphones lost only a few battery percentage points when left out overnight with no case — nothing close to a worrying level of drain. But not everyone had that experience; Marques Brownlee observed a greater amount of battery loss when the AirPods Max…

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Boba Fett show heading to Disney Plus in 2021

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Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

After years of speculation about whether Boba Fett would get his own spinoff of some kind, The Mandalorian’s season 2 finale confirmed that a Boba Fett series will hit Disney Plus in December 2021.

The show, The Book of Boba Fett, was not included as an announcement during Disney’s big investor day last week. Several other Star Wars projects, including two Mandalorian spinoffs — an Ahsoka Tano show and Rangers of the New Republic — a Lando Calrissian show, and a Star Wars anime, were announced last week.

Warning: The following contains light spoilers for The Mandalorian’s second season finale.

The announcement comes during a post-credits scene (ah, yes, the post-credits scenes), which finds Boba Fett and Fennec Shand in Jabba the…

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Sony is pulling Cyberpunk 2077 from the PlayStation Store and offering full refunds

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Sony is pulling Cyberpunk 2077 from the PlayStation Store and offering full refunds for anyone who bought the game from the digital storefront, the company said on Thursday. If you want to start the refund process now, Sony says to visit this site and sign into your PlayStation account to submit a request.

The game has already been removed from the PlayStation Store for a few Verge staffers on their PS5s, and the game doesn’t come up in a search for “Cyberpunk 2077” on the web version of the store. Following older, online listing links to the game will show its store page, but with the option to wish list it only.

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Hot Wheels is giving the real Tesla experience by delaying their model Cybertruck

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If you’ve been waiting anxiously for your radio-controlled Cybertruck, you’re going to have to wait a little longer: Mattel has had to delay it until May 2021, according to Bloomberg.

The RC cars, announced in February, were supposed to ship this month, but have been delayed because of “unforseen production issues.” Mattel appears to be experiencing “manufacturing hell,” though the company did not release details on the delay.

These toys are scaled-down versions of the real Cybertruck, and come in two models: an 1:64 scale model, which costs $20, and an 1:10 scale model that costs $400. Both models went out of stock after pre-orders.

Tesla’s Cybertruck, unveiled in November 2019, is a…

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Baby Yoda can live on your desk thanks to AR and Google Search

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Grogu’s face upon realizing he lives with me. | Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Google has added Grogu (formerly Baby Yoda) to its augmented reality search results, so some quick typing can drop an AR version of the little guy straight into your bedroom or home office, no spaceship required.

Searching “Grogu”, “The Child”, “The Mandalorian”, or “Baby Yoda” on mobile or in the Google app will return the usual Knowledge Panel with a Wikipedia summary of the character. But now you can click “View in 3D” to check out a model, and if you’re really feeling like noted Baby Yoda fan Werner Herzog, “View in your space” to get up close and personal in AR. Interactions are limited to zooming in and out, but he’s a really cute alien. Maybe that’s enough for you.

Conveniently, Grogu is only slightly bigger than…

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Diablo Immortal plays like, well, Diablo on your phone

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Diablo Immortal didn’t make a great first impression. It was announced at Blizzcon in 2018 when most fans were expecting the next mainline Diablo title, not a free-to-play spinoff for smartphones. Since then, Blizzard has been very quiet about Immortal (though Diablo IV was eventually announced).

That’s starting to change. Ahead of a technical alpha that’s set to kick off soon, I was able to play through the early stages of the game. And while I can’t speak to every aspect, one thing was immediately clear: this feels like a proper Diablo game.

A mobile version of Diablo makes a lot of sense. There are already countless clones and Diablo-inspired titles on smartphones, while the Nintendo Switch version of Diablo III proved just how fun…

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New colors for the Galaxy S21 revealed in leaked renders

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Image: WinFuture

Samsung’s new Galaxy S21 line will come in several new colors, according to leaked press renders acquired by WinFuture. Based on the images, the new colors will include light purple / violet, gray, black, white, and rosy pink.

Some of the colors will be limited to specific phones in the S21 line, according to Android Police. Samsung will also apparently add the word “Phantom” to the front of each color, maybe to reflect their more muted look. It’s rumored that the base 6.2-inch S21 will be available in phantom violet, phantom pink, phantom gray, and phantom white. Meanwhile the 6.7-inch S21 Plus will offer phantom gray, phantom black, and phantom violet. Finally, the high-end 6.8-inch S21 Ultra will come in just two colors, phantom black…

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Walmart will have the PS5 and Xbox Series X / S available online again at 3PM ET today

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

If you’re still hoping to secure a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X / S before the end of the year, Walmart is giving you another shot to purchase one of these next-gen consoles. Today, the retailer confirmed that it would restock the consoles at 12PM PT / 3PM ET on December 17th.

When you visit the product pages for the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X / Xbox Series S, you should see a message showing that a restock is confirmed for today. Due to these consoles’ high demand, they will likely sell out quickly, so if you want one, don’t hesitate to bite the bullet and hit purchase.

Like previous restocks done at both Best Buy and Walmart earlier this week, you can only purchase a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X / S through Walmart’s…

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Here’s a first look at Samsung’s upcoming midrange Galaxy A72 5G

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Samsung Galaxy A72 5G leak
An alleged render of the Galaxy A72 5G suggests few external changes from the A71. | Photo by Steve Hemmerstoffer / OnLeaks

The leaks are coming faster as we near 2021, which is when Samsung is expected to announce a new batch of smartphones. We’ve seen glimpses of what the flagship Galaxy S21 might look like, and thanks to serial-leaker OnLeaks / Steve Hemmerstoffer, it seems we have our first look at the top of the budget-friendlier A-series. These alleged renders of the Galaxy A72 5G hint that, at least on the outside, the changes from its A71 predecessor are subtle.

Photo by Steve Hemmerstoffer / OnLeaks

The Galaxy A72 5G appears to offer a 6.7-inch display like its predecessor.

The images show a 6.7-inch display with a centered hole-punch camera, which is consistent with the A71. That device used a very nice 1080 x 2400 pixel…

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The best TV shows of 2020

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Image: WarnerMedia

TV was a constant companion in 2020. With most cultural institutions shut down, the small screen still managed to provide us with a deluge of new things to enjoy and talk about — far more than any one person could ever watch. In fact, at times this year, I found it difficult to watch anything — or at least, anything new.

My habits were often fickle, and I danced across shows new and old; I started many and finished few on my journey to get lost in something. And so even in this extraordinary year, the usual caveats apply. I am but one person, and I cannot watch all television. Here, in no particular order, are the shows that stayed with me, long after I turned off the set.

Dare Me

While the show premiered in 2019, the rest of Dare Me’…

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Get two years of PlayStation Plus for only $58 today

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

I always enjoy this time of the year. Usually, I take some time off of work and use it as a golden opportunity to tackle my ever-growing backlog of games. With the year wrapping up and a ton of great games already available (and even more coming over the next few years), it’s truly a great time to be a gamer.

Today’s deals spotlight an incredible deal for PS4 and PS5 owners, a sale on Dell’s 27-inch 1440p gaming monitor, plus a few deals on some great headphones and wireless earbuds.

Get two years of PlayStation Plus for less than $60

If you were one of the lucky ones to grab a PS5, I recommend taking advantage of this PlayStation Plus subscription deal at Eneba.com. Normally $60 through Sony, it’s just $32. However, if you want the…

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GoPro Remote launches alongside camera updates for faster data transfer

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The new GoPro Remote costs $79.99. | Image: GoPro

GoPro just announced a new $79.99 wireless remote control alongside free firmware updates that bring performance and feature improvements to the Hero 9 Black, Hero 8 Black, and Max cameras.

The miniature Remote, as it’s called, is both rugged and waterproof to a depth of 16 feet. It features large glove-friendly buttons and a status display to see what mode your camera is in. One Remote can control common camera features like on / off, shutter button control, and mode changing for up to five cameras within a distance of about 200 feet.

Image: GoPro

The Remote makes it easy to control your GoPro camera when mounted on a helmet, for example.

The Remote can be attached to your wrist, control bar, or steering…

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We tested Harley-Davidson’s new Serial 1 electric bikes

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Photo by Andrew Hawkins / The Verge

After years in development, Harley-Davidson finally pulled back the curtain on its new lineup of electric bikes last month. The Serial 1 bikes won’t go on sale until spring 2021, but I got the chance to test-ride a few of them on a recent chilly afternoon in Brooklyn. And my initial impression is they totally live up to the hype.

A quick refresher for those who missed the initial announcement: Serial 1 is a standalone electric bike company that spun out from Harley-Davidson last October. Initially, Serial 1 will sell four bikes, ranging in price from $3,399 to $4,999. The brand names are Mosh/Cty, a city bike, and the commuter Rush/Cty, which comes in three variants (regular, Step-Thru, and Speed). Each comes with a mid-drive motor…

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You can now try on makeup from your home with the power of AR

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Image of the new model view and the Try it on button

Google’s new shopping feature will let people virtually try on makeup, the company announced in a blog post. Another feature will show the products on various models.

Only lipstick and eyeshadow are part of the feature. It is also limited to a few brands, such as L’Oreal, MAC Cosmetics, Black Opal, and Charlotte Tilbury.

Image: Google

You can see what various shades look like on various skin tones.

To try it out, you can search for the line you’re eying. If it’s a supported brand, you’ll see a new card that shows a model, and the specific shade that they’re wearing.

To change the shade, you use a list at the bottom; to change the model, you use the list at the top. It looks like Google and their partners have…

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