The Women of Star Wars, and an Episode VIII Update

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There was always going to be a lot of Star Wars news over the Easter long weekend, thanks to the Star Wars Celebration event happening right now in the United States.

There’s both good news and disappointing news out of the event, as well as at least one thing that is sure to excite everyone – the very first trailer for the brand new saga entry.

It’s… fantastic!

We’re eight long months away from Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, and I have to admit I wasn’t expecting a teaser just yet… and I certainly wasn’t expecting this teaser, which left my jaw hanging open.

If you want to avoid spoilers for Episode VIII, then scroll down right now.  You can stop when you see the Episode VIII promo image featuring Rey, Poe and Finn.  You’ll know it when you see it.

Here we go…

Spoiler Alert

The teaser trailer is brief, as you would expect, but it packs a punch.

Particularly the last words of the trailer, uttered by Luke Skywalker.  Yes, my friends!  Luke actually has dialogue in this film!!

Here are a few shots from the two minute long preview:

What we see makes it clear that this movie is going to be bigger and darker than The Force Awakens.  And let’s face it, Episode VII was pretty dark thanks to the death of Han Solo and the destruction of an entire star system!

The film looks beautiful, and I’m really excited to see it.

Those words uttered by Luke, the ones that left my jaw hanging open?

“It’s time for the Jedi… to end.”

WTF?!  That’s the dark stuff I’m talking about.

As regular readers know, the death of Carrie Fisher a few months ago hit me pretty hard, like it did for a lot of fans, and as a result I wasn’t as excited about the new movie as I normally would have been.  This trailer has gotten me pumped up for the next entry in the saga again.

If you haven’t seen the trailer, or if you want to watch it again, you can visit the official Star Wars site, or click right here to visit their YouTube channel.

Star Wars The Last Jedi Promo Image

And now to other Star Wars news.

First, the disappointing item.

After Carrie’s brother, Todd Fisher, told us that his sister would be appearing in Star Wars Episode IX via unused footage from Episodes VII and VIII, we’ve been let down by the current keeper of the Star Wars flame, Kathleen Kennedy.

Kathleen has pretty much said General Leia’s story will now, more or less, end with The Last Jedi.  Carrie won’t be appearing in any form in Episode IX.

To read more, visit sciencefiction.com here.

I understand why they’ve made this decision, but it kind of hurts a bit.  I just hope they don’t kill the character off.  It would be wonderful to still be able to follow her adventures in any tie-in novels and comics.

Lastly, let’s finish the article with some good news.

Disney are releasing a series of mini-stories focused on the women of Star Wars, called Star Wars: Forces of Destiny.

The Women of Star Wars

What we do know, is that there will be a story focused on Princess Leia, as well as one on Jyn, Rey, Sabine, Hera and Ashoka, and that the whole thing will be narrated by Maz Kanata.

Hopefully, these stories will also do something with the characters of Padme and Mon Mothma.  Two important women in the Star Wars saga too often overlooked, despite their vital roles.

If you’d like to learn more about the new Forces of Destiny series, click here to visit Slate.com.

That’s it for now.  If you’re lucky enough to be at Star Wars Celebration, have an amazing time!

For the rest of us, we’ll post any significant news from the event that we hear about.

Until then, May the Force be With You.

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A Star Wars Update

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Way back in June, Rian Johnson told the world that Star Wars: Episode VIII had officially wrapped filming… and maybe it had, but we’ve recently learned that at least one major Star Wars star is about to go back in front the cameras (or did very recently) and another star for the first time!

Lupita Nyong’o, the stunningly beautiful actress whose motion capture skills and acting talent brought the character of Maz Kanata to life in The Force Awakens, had commented a while ago (after Rian’s announcement) that despite the end of principal photography, she hadn’t filmed her scenes yet.

This gave rise to rumours Maz wan’t going to be in the eighth Saga film.

Those were put to rest when Lupita appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

She quickly shot down the rumours and let everyone know that she had completed her scenes and while no one can ever guarantee they won’t end up on the cutting room floor, as far as she knows, she’s in the movie.

Another surprise piece of information that came via the New York Comic Con‘s Instagram was that the First Lady of Star Wars was not done with filming.  The NYCC’s Instagram said “We’re sorry to announce that due to #StarWars production, Carrie Fisher will only be at #NYCC on Sunday.”

The convention runs from the 6th to the 9th of October, which would indicate additional filming for Episode VIII will happen into early/mid October.

This, of course, set the rumour mill off.

The fan community often goes into a minor meltdown when a movie schedules additional filming or reshoots.

It should be pointed out, neither Lupita’s or Carrie’s stuff are reshoots.  Lupita was doing her scheduled filming, and Carrie is doing additional filming.

Additional filming usually means footage is being shot that couldn’t be gotten to because of scheduling conflicts.  Sometimes it means that new things are added in to improve the flow of the film.  There have been indications that Leia’s role may be being expanded.  A few sources have reported this, but to date I haven’t been able to find any formal confirmation so we really don’t know.

Some of you may remember reports from a few months ago that said Leia spends a fair amount of time in a coma in Episode VIII.  Perhaps, during editing, Rian decided that didn’t work and wanted to see the General up and around and being more active.

This would certainly make the fans happy.  Though Carrie had an okay sized role in Episode VII, it wasn’t as meaty as it could have been.  Of course, it was better than Marks!

The important thing to remember is this is normal.  Productions schedule additional shoots and reshoots into their budgets and timelines to cover all bases.  A film shoot is a really complicated thing with dozens to hundreds of different moving parts.  All of which can be derailed by a bird chirp no one picked up on, or a shadow no one saw.  Since World War Z, which required major reshoots because the story wasn’t working, people have gotten anxious when a movie they are looking forward to does a little extra work around the edges.

The last bit of big news out of the Star Wars universe is that Season Three of Star Wars: Rebels launched on the 24th of September, featuring the introduction of fan favourite Legacy character, Grand Admiral Thrawn.

It’s probably a little too soon to gauge overall viewer reaction to Thrawn’s inclusion, as he will be new to some fans who didn’t follow the Expanded Universe (now Legends) novels, but if you are a fan of Thrawn and are able to watch the newest season, keep an eye out for one of the most intriguing protagonists to ever be introduced to the Star Wars universe.

As more news on Episode VIII and Rebels comes to light, we’ll report on it here.

Until then, May the Force be with you.

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