Galactic jihad erupts in Foundation season 2 trailer

Lee Pace and Jared Harris in “Foundation,” premiering September 24, 2021 on Apple TV+.
Lee Pace and Jared Harris in “Foundation,” premiering September 24, 2021 on Apple TV+. /

There’s a very cool moment in the new teaser for the AppleTV+ original series Foundation, where Lee Pace, who plays the Galactic Emperor Cleon, is caught vulnerable by an assassin in his bedroom. Cleon fights off the killer by grabbing a flaming brazier and using it as a shield.

It’s only a paltry few seconds worth of the full sneak peek that runs at just over two minutes. But it’s so bad$%^ you could kind of sort of forget that, Cleon and his line of genetically engineered emperors, are basically just recurring fascists ruling over the galaxy in planned perpetuity.

That you should be rooting against them.

Though there’s no definitive launch date yet, the latest trailer declares a summer 2023 release. Boy am I, and the rest of the Asimovian fanboys, excited.

What happened in Foundation Season 1?

Season 1 knocked the ball out of the park by adapting the notoriously cerebral, complex, and epic sci-fi novels with visual flair, storytelling savvy, and then some. Created by screenwriter David S. Goyer, who wrote Nolan’s Dark Knight movies, and Josh Friedman, the adaptation’s first season setup the milieu of a galaxy in crisis.

As the rule of the genetic line of the Cleon emperors is reaching its end of days, it mirrors the slow decline of the Roman Empire. In season one, we followed the band of Hari Seldon’s academics as they set up the First Foundation.

Their mission is to protect what can be kept of knowledge and wisdom from the long interregnum of the dark ages, following the inevitable collapse of the Cleon Dynasty. We also saw how they used the science of Seldon’s psychohistory to navigate the shift in the galactic balance of power.

Eventually this played out in an alliance between Terminus, Thespis, and Anacreon that empowered the outer-rim planets to maneuver past the First Seldon Crisis. As seen in the teaser, the Second Seldon Crisis is about to happen.

According to the novels, this second empire-spanning event will revolve around religion. This is likely as a result of a new assault that’s billed as a legitimate holy war versus the Foundationeers by Anacreon.

As the factions on Terminus argue for its militarization in order for them to defend themselves, the story of Gaal Dornick and Salvor Hardin continues to keep us invested. Following the dictates of psychohistory isn’t a walk in the park after all.

Especially since it’s been revealed that there is another Foundation that’s been setup at the other end of the galaxy. This was revealed by Hari Seldon himself.

The first one was planned as a public facade; one the Empire knows about from the start.

Lee Pace and Jared Harris in “Foundation.”
Lee Pace and Jared Harris in “Foundation.” /

The second one is a secret. Season two will have our characters, both old and new, explore what that means for the future of humanity in a crumbling galactic fin de siècle.

The series is executive produced by Robyn Asimov, the daughter of sci-fi novelist Isaac Asimov. Russian-born and American-made Asimov, penned the Robot novels (remember Will Smith in I, Robot?) as well as the seven books that comprise the full Foundation series which the streaming adaptation is based on.

Folks who’ve already read the books shouldn’t rest too much on knowing how the series episodes will turn out, though. There’s already been plenty of creative, surprising deviations from page to screen.

No doubt, there’s bound to be more. Speculation is rife though that season two will likely be based on Asimov’s 1942 short story “The Mayors.”

It’s about Salvor Hardin becoming mayor of Terminus and how she deals with the problems arising from the Seldon crises and the daily grind of a growing community with a mission.

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What are you excited to see in season 2 of Foundation? Let us know in the comments below!