Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Disney‘s D23 Expo took us behind-the-scenes of the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie, and gave us a beautiful tribute to Carrie Fisher as well as a special announcement.

It also gave us some simply stunning new character posters for the six main characters of the new film – Luke Skywalker, General Leia Organa, Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo Ren.

Rian Johnson, the Director of the new movie, debuted the behind-the-scenes trailor and it is… FANTASTIC.

The trailer is something fans will rewatch and dissect for weeks to come, and it really builds anticipation for the next saga entry.  Fittingly, it’s Carrie Fisher who has the last word in the trailer, as she gives us a little insight into the soul and motivation at the core of the eighth feature: “It’s about family.  And that’s what’s so powerful about it.

To watch the trailer, visit the official Star Wars YouTube channel here.

Out of all the Star Wars: The Last Jedi news that broke at D23, one of the most moving and poignant was the announcement that Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher had been made Disney Legends, and that Carrie was now a Disney Princess.

Thanks to Carrie’s daughter, Billie Lourd, we learned that that had always been a dream of Carrie’s.

Billie wasn’t able to attend the event due to filming commitments on American Horror Story, but did send a letter thanking them for honouring her mum, in that letter she wrote:

Becoming part of the Disney family was truly an amazing moment for her. She secretly always wanted to be a Disney princess, so getting to be a Disney princess and a Disney Legend would have been her ultimate dream.

For more information on everything Star Wars at D23, visit the Official Star Wars website here.

For more information on Mark and Carrie becoming Disney Legends, visit the official site, again, here.

Thank you, Disney, for making this fan very happy.  I never thought my favourite Princess would be a Disney Princess, but now she is, and knowing that it would have meant the world to her, makes it a special thing indeed.

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A Last Jedi Update

Star Wars The Last Jedi Update June

It’s been relatively quiet on the Star Wars: The Last Jedi front for a while, with probably the biggest bit of news focusing on a comment Mark Hamill made, where he had said he had disagreed with Rian Johnson’s interpretation of Luke and Luke’s journey as a character in the eighth film.

It all began a few weeks ago, in late May, when Mark was remembering the first time he ever read the script for the new film:

“I at one point had to say to Rian, ‘I pretty much fundamentally disagree with every choice you’ve made for this character.  Now, having said that, I have gotten it off my chest, and my job now is to take what you’ve created and do my best to realise your vision.”

And, as the internet and fans are wont to do, everything went… BANG!

Fans were worried, some people feared it meant the eighth movie would feature a Luke Skywalker who was barely recognisable when compared with the Luke we all grew up with in the original trilogy… and so on.

Mark has now explained his remark and spoke to Variety to once and for all clear up the accidental storm his words created.

Just in case the link doesn’t work and you’re unable to watch the interview, Mark’s explanation is below.

“Rian Johnson is an amazing filmmaker,” Mark said, “and if you look at Brick or Brothers Bloom or Looper, each film is different from the last one and they’re so inventive.  I think people will be pleased and surprised, I know I was.  I got in trouble, because I was quoted as saying to Rian that I fundamentally disagree with everything you decided about Luke, and it was inartfully phrased.  What I was, was surprised at how he saw Luke.  And it took me a while to get around to his way of thinking, but once I was there it was a thrilling experience.  I hope it will be for the audience too.”

In addition to the worry and confusion generated by Mark’s words, GamesRadar are wondering if a Lego figure has revealed the origin of Supreme Leader Snoke!

Click the GamesRader link (just above, in blue) to go see the new Lego figure and read the theories.

Last, but not least, the wonderful StarWarsNewsNet has posted about a Japanese promotional image for the new movie that, when translated, ‘roughly’ says: “The Most Shocking Truth In Star Wars History Will Soon Be Revealed!”

No one seems to be able to decide whether or not it’s just hyped up language to attract an audience, or if someone somewhere slipped a little bit of information to the Japanese and they’re taking ‘teasing’ an audience to a whole new level?

To read the article, visit StarWarsNewsNet here.

That’s it for this update, but we can expect more news to come out soon as we count down to December and the opening night of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The eighth feature film in the series stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Andy Serkis, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran.

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Vanity Fair Star Wars Exclusive

Star Wars The Last Jedi Vanity Fair Shoot

Annie Leibovitz is one of the world’s most acclaimed photographers, and she has a history with the Star Wars saga that has produced some of the series’ most intense portraits.

She recently completed a series of shots for Vanity Fair and their special anniversary Star Wars edition.

The photos feature new and familiar faces, with some of the most beautiful photos carrying an extra layer of meaning because of the recent tragic passing of Carrie Fisher.

The Vanity Fair article gives some new insight into Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and is well worth a read.  For those of us who are fans of Carrie’s, the article gives us a beautiful glimpse into the relationships our beloved Princess formed with her co-stars and with Director Rian Johnson.

Included in the photo collection are Laura Dern as Admiral Amilyn Holdo and Benicio Del Toro as “DJ”.  We also get to see new character Rose Tico, and an incredibly moving photo of Billie Lourd and Carrie Fisher in costume as Lieutenant Kaydel Connix and General Leia Organa.

Billie Lourd and Carrie Fisher as Lieutenant Kaydel Connix and Leia Organa

Equally as moving is a beautiful photo of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in costume.

It’s wonderful to see Luke and Leia together again.

Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa

Here’s a selection of some of the other beautiful photos.  They capture the heart and soul of these characters, and the iconic actors behind at least two of them.

Visit Vanity Fair‘s special edition article here.  Don’t just look at the photos, make sure you read the exceptional article by David Kamp.

There are only a few months left until Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is in cinemas.

The film will be bitter sweet, and hopefully a fitting tribute to Carrier Fisher.

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Carrie Fisher Hospitalised

carrie-fisher-banner-24122016

The woman who forged the way forward for strong female leads in science fiction, Carrie Fisher, is in an ICU in Los Angeles after suffering a serious heart attack on a flight from London to LA.

Carrie was rushed by paramedics to a hospital in LA after her flight landed in LAX around 12pm on Friday.

She was on United Airlines Flight 935 from London to Los Angeles when she collapsed.  Flight Attendants and passengers with medical qualifications cared for her, with one, an EMT, providing her with what sounds like it was almost constant CPR.

The airline is being understandably cagey with their responses, because it’s their duty to maintain Carrie’s privacy, but tweets from passengers on the flight give us some insight into what happened:

Anna Akana (@AnnaAkana):
“Don’t know how else to process this but Carrie Fisher stopped breathing on the flight home.  Hope she’s gonna be OK [sad face emoji]”
8:06AM – 24 Dec 2016

Brad Gage (@bradgage):
“I’m in complete shock.  @AnnaAkana and I sat in front of Carrie Fisher on our flight from London and she was just taken off the plane by EMTs”
8:03AM – 24 Dec 2016

Carrie had been in London on a book tour promoting The Princess Diarist, her latest in a long line of books.

According to Carrie’s brother, Todd Fisher, an earlier report that she was in a stable condition was “writing between the lines“, and that Carrie is still in ICU.  Todd says she is not in a stable condition.  “She’s in ICU and everybody’s praying for her,” was his report to Variety in a phone interview earlier today.  “There’s nothing new from the doctors.  There’s nothing new at all… there’s no good news or bad news.

Multiple news and Science Fiction sites are reporting on this story, and you can obtain updates from them.  Here are a few links:

io9/Gizmodo: click here,
Star Wars News Net: click here, and
ScienceFiction.com: click here.

While many of us know and love Carrie for her ground breaking performance as Princess Leia Organa, she is just as widely known for her advocacy work around mental health – in particular Bi-Polar Mood Disorder which she suffers from, and as an acclaimed novelist and respected script doctor.

Carrie’s first book, the semi-biographical Postcards from the Edge, blew me away when I first read it.  The novel was eventually made into a film starring Meryl Streep, and was followed by a number of other books culminating most recently in The Princess Diarist.

2016 has already been a very rough year for many of us.  One person on Twitter summed up what has happened best:

David (@RogueNoOne):
“Dear 2016, don’t you dare take Carrie Fisher”
10:00AM – 24 Dec 2016

William Shatner, Star Trek‘s Captain James T. Kirk, was one of the first well-wishers to jump on Twitter and send his regards.  Carrie and Bill have had a long running faux-feud on Twitter, often focusing on which series is best – Star Wars or Star Trek.  Bill tweeted:

William Shatner (@WilliamShatner):
“I ask everyone to stop for a moment and send special thoughts to @carriefisher.”
8:33AM – 24 Dec 2016

Carrie’s long time co-star and friend, Mark Hamill, also added his voice to the well-wishes:

Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself):
“as if 2016 couldn’t get any worse… sending all our love to @carriefisher”
9:41AM – 24 Dec 2016

Bette Midler and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) also sent their love:

Bette Midler (@BetteMidler):
“#CarrieFisher’s had a heart attack; hope and pray she recovers soon.  Quick witted, hilarious on paper and in person, and just plain beloved.”
10:32AM – 24 Dec 2016

Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieRoars):
“Thoughts and prayers for our friend and everyone’s favourite princess right now.. @carriefisher”
8:48AM – 24 Dec 2016

I join everyone with my well wishes.  Carrie has been an inspiration to me since I was a boy, and has remained one throughout my adult life.

Please get better soon, Carrie, and please leave the ICU ASAP, well on the road to recovery.  May there be no long term damage of any kind, and may you continue to bring joy into our lives for many years to come – and I really want to see you as General Organa in Episode IX!

If you’d like to add your voice to thousands of others and have a Twitter account, just search for @carriefisher.

Also send some love to her family, her daughter Billie Lourd, her mother Debbie Reynolds, and her brother Todd Fisher as they wait anxiously for good news.

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