As 2014 comes to a close, Los Angeles Times critics and writers look ahead to notable events and releases planned for 2015 in the world of entertainment and culture. From the new "Star Wars" film to familiar actors finally getting their due in TV series, explore the critics and writers' selections as well as a list of dates to watch out for here.
Actress Michelle Dockery at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
A conversation with Michelle Dockery
"Downton Abbey" actress Michelle Dockery talks to The Times' Yvonne Villarreal about what is in store for her character Lady Mary this upcoming season, life on the "Downton" set and her L.A. experience.
The Millennium Falcon soars in this still from the movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." (Lucasfilm / Disney)
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' is no standard blockbuster
For "Star Wars" creators and fans, "The Force Awakens" is set to revive not just a franchise but a certain intangible "giddiness." The film is easily one of the most anticipated movies of next year and possibly of the decade.
The full color "Vehicles" poster, 1978, from the book "Star Wars Art: Posters." (Noriyoshi Ohrai / LucasFilm / Abrams)
Landing with visual force
While the release date for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is a year away, Abrams (the publisher, not the director) has an offering that might help fill the void for fans who need more than an 88-second fix. "Star Wars Art: Posters" includes more than 50 artists' work promoting the "Star Wars" franchise.
Allison Tolman on "Fargo," left, Michael O'Neill and Halle Berry on "Extant," Norman Reedus on "The Walking Dead" and Dean Norris in "Under the Dome." (Clockwise from left: Chris Large / FX; Darren Michaels / CBS; Gene Page / AMC; Brownie Harris / CBS)
Character actors rising
From "Transparent" to "The Walking Dead" and more, Times television critic Mary McNamara on how many of the new faces to watch in TV this year are in fact familiar faces who have finally gotten their due in several good TV roles on various broadcast and cable series.
King Graham in the Odd Gentlemen's reboot of "King's Quest." ( The Odd Gentlemen / Sierra)
More than a decade after its last installment, L.A.'s Odd Gentlemen studio is reviving the venerable "King's Quest" video game.
Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, assistant conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, inside Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
A rising star at the L.A. Phil
Already causing buzz with her buoyant podium style and intense approach to demanding symphonic works, Los Angeles Philharmonic assistant conductor Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, is set to lead the orchestra in a program of music by Mozart, Stravinsky and Beethoven in March.
Joanne Heyler, the director of the Broad museum, opening in fall 2015, in front of the museum in downtown Los Angeles. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Almost ready, inside and out
Director-curator Joanne Heyler discusses the Broad's first year and beyond in a conversation with The Times' Deborah Vankin.
The moon's shadow cast across the Earth. (NASA / Getty Images)
A greening of the arts
Times theater critic Charles McNulty makes the case for an eco-arts movement and how it's past time to get out of our heads and into the natural world.
Laura Marling performs at the Olympia on Sept. 29, 2013, in Dublin, Ireland. (Debbie Hickey / Getty Images)
A beautiful breakup
While her life in Los Angeles inspired British folk singer Laura Marling on her new album, "Short Movie," it was time to move back home.
Authors Melissa de la Cruz, left, and Margaret Stohl at Stohl's Santa Monica home. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Celebrating all things YA
Organizers of the popular young adult book festival YALLFest, authors Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz, are bringing the event to the West Coast in 2015 as YALLWEST.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar, top left, a scene from "Parks and Recreation," author Toni Morrison and actress Helen Mirren. (Angelo Merendino / Getty Images; Colleen Hayes / NBC; David Levenson / Getty Images; Johan Persson)
Timeline: Coming up in 2015
The Times staff look at the year ahead in movies, TV, video games, theater, art, architecture, classical music, pop music and books.