Star Wars News Roundup

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I don’t know what’s going on at the moment, but I’m not “feeling” the Star Wars vibe right now.

The lead up to Episode VII had me doing back flips of joy.  The initial news coming out about the first Anthology film likewise had me pretty excited.

Now?  That’s all kind of evaporated.

The odd bit of news is coming out about Rogue One, and we’re getting some news on Rebels too, but next to nothing on Episode VIII so maybe that’s the deal breaker for me?

I’ve always been heavily invested in the Saga films.  I love Luke, Leia, Han, Threepio, R2, Chewie, Lando and Yoda.  I loved Anakin, Padme, Obi-Wan and Palpatine despite how unpopular it was to enjoy the Prequel films.  I’ve fallen in love with Poe, Rey and Finn.  Maybe the lack of news on that film has diminished the initial excitement I’d been feeling for Rogue One?

Maybe the news that’s coming out is just average.. and I’m getting too philosophical about it all!

So, rather than write an article on what’s been going on in the land of Star Wars lately, let me direct you to two incredible sites that will keep you up to date on everything.

They’re my go-to sites, but I admit I’ve stopped visiting them as often as I used to because they are kind of drowning in way too many podcasts.  One or two podcasts, fine, podcast after podcast all about the same thing just done by different people and I kind of don’t see the point and it becomes a bit of a turn off.

Never the less, the news these two sites presents is usually pretty good – even if they never ending podcasts are a little irritating.

If you’re keen to keep up to date on all the various things happening with current Star Wars productions, check out makingstarwars.net and starwarsunderworld.com.

Of course, you should also always check out the official Star Wars website at www.starwars.com.

As soon as anything momentous pops up, I’ll be sure to post about it here.

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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Rogue One and Rebels

Star Wars Update

We have a mission for you.  A major weapons test is immanent.
We need to know what it is, and how to destroy it.
Mon Mothma

As December draws closer, we are getting to see a little more of the upcoming first Anthology film in the Star Wars saga.

A recent trailer, which you can view here, gave us some spectacular visuals, including: the Death Star orbiting a red planet, a Star Destroyer hovering in-atmosphere over what might be a base or a township on top of a levelled off mountain, beach combat for the first time in Star Wars film history, and my personal favourite – Jyn Erso going face to face with a TIE fighter… and she’s not in a starship.  She’s literally face to face with a TIE fighter.

Since the most recent trailer previewed, new publicity shots have also been released including these beautiful ones which have popped up over at /Film.  Check them out here.

As you can see, if you visited either of the above links, Rogue One looks like Star Wars but at the same time has a slightly different visual aesthetic.  The previews, and the stills, have a definite indy vibe to them – which is exciting, but also, if you can believe the reports, something that made Disney a little nervous and may have been the cause of the recent reshoots – though Disney does claim otherwise.

I personally love the look and I am really falling in love with this film – it’s visual style, the snippets of performance we’re seeing, and most certainly the incredible special effects.  I think it’s appropriate Rogue One have a different yet familiar feel to the Saga films.  We’re seeing side stories that play into the overall arc of the Skywalker family, adding more ‘meat’ to the events that caused Darth Vader to become one of the most feared beings in the known galaxy, and the events that catapulted his children, Luke and Leia, onto the Galactic stage.  They should feel different, and they should evoke something new while still being obviously Star Wars.

Star Wars: Rogue One premiers around the world in December of this year, and promises to be a hard-hitting, unique entry into the overall Star Wars story.

The film was directed by Gareth Edwards, and stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker (in what will be the most diverse cast to ever appear in a Star Wars film).

The movie has been written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, from a story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta.

Kathleen Kennedy’s guiding hand is, of course, present as one of the producers of the film.

Star Wars Rogue One Poster - Death Star Rising

What else is happening in that galaxy far, far away?

Some very interesting news for Star Wars: Rebels and fans of the Star Wars Expanded Universe series, now known as the Star Wars Legacy series.

A popular character from the Expanded Universe is making their way onto Rebels – and the character they’ve picked to appear is a really wonderful choice.  He captured all of our imaginations years ago when Timothy Zahn released the first Star Wars novel to officially follow up on the adventures of Luke, Leia and Han post Return of the Jedi, and has stayed a fan favourite ever since.

Who is it?

Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Thrawn has never appeared in any Star Wars movie.  His first appearance was in the Timothy Zahn novel Heir to the Empire, way back in 1991.

Thrawn was one of the very few non-human officers to serve in Palpatine’s Imperial Navy, and though he was relegated to the backwaters of space, made a name for himself there – so much so, he ended up eventually leading the Empire after Palpatine’s death.

We don’t know how much of that original backstory will be in play come Season Three of Rebels, but hopefully we will see the same thoughtful and charismatic officer many of us got to know in the Expanded Universe novels.  It would be nice to see him as a strong leader who could, perhaps, go on to lead the Empire after the second Death Star gets destroyed… because that could mean he would appear in a future Saga film (maybe Episode IX) – or maybe even get his own Anthology movie.

One of the brilliant things about having Thrawn appear in Star Wars: Rebels is that he is now a canon character.  It’s an exciting development for those of us who are fans of the Expanded Universe, because there’s now the possibility that maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to see a few more characters from that series of novels in the future.

Thrawn will make his appearance in the third season of Rebels, due to air September 24.

For more information, check out the official Star Wars website here.

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Star Wars VIII and Rebels Update

Star Wars Update

It’s been an interesting week for Star Wars with Princess Leia making her debut in Star Wars: Rebels, a surprising rumour about the eighth film, and a new release date for that same movie.

First up, Princess Leia.

I’ve read a number of reviews on the episode “A Princess on Lothal” which marks Leia’s first appearance in Star Wars: Rebels, and they have all been glowing – without exception.

The voice work for the young Princess Leia gets the thumbs up, as does the action vs character balance that the writers and producers have struck.  Some reviewers have gone as far as to call it one of the best episodes ever, loving how it links in Rebels to A New Hope.

If you live in the United States and haven’t seen the episode yet, you can stream it live right here.  Unfortunately, it’s region blocked for the rest of us and we’ll have to wait a little while to enjoy it.

In other Leia news, Hasbro have most definitely heard the fan outcry over the lack of female action figures in their Rebels and The Force Awakens toy lines, and have already announced a release of a 3.75 inch young Leia action figure with the five points of articulation common to other Star Wars: Rebels action figures.

You can take a look at the figure over at The Star Wars Underworld – which is another fantastic site for all things Star Wars.  The direct link to the relevant page is right here.

In another news report, the release date for Star Wars Episode VIII has been pushed back because of rewrites.

We’re being told there is nothing to worry about, and that the rewrites have happened for one reason and one reason only – fan love for Poe, Finn and Rey.

Apparently, the new film was going to introduce a handful of new characters, minimising the roles Poe, Finn and Rey would play, but fan reaction to The Force Awakens and in particular those three characters, has told the studio that that would be a very stupid idea.

There is another rumour that says the dates were changed for financial reasons.  In the United States, blockbuster season is traditionally the middle of the year, but The Force Awakens earned so much money over Christmas Disney is thinking it’s on to a good thing.  In case you didn’t notice, no major blockbuster was released in opposition to Episode VII.  While every movie released over Christmas did well, there wasn’t a massive popcorn flick to compete with our heroes fighting for freedom in that galaxy far, far away.

The new release date for Episode VIII is the 15th of December 2017.  That’s an almost seven month delay for those of you who are counting.

To read more on the decision to delay the film, you can visit Variety online here.

The last tidbit of information we have to share with you contains a possible spoiler for Episode VIII and a definite spoiler for Episode VII… it’s only a rumour, but proceed with caution.

Spoiler Alert

There are reports running around the internet that a certain character will return from the dead in Episode VIII.

Who?

Han Solo.

Han Solo The Force Awakens

Blastr have a feature on this rumour, but it is one that should be taken with a whole jug load of salt – not because Blastr have most likely gotten it wrong, they’re saying the same thing (take it with a grain or 50 of salt), but because the rumour has come about from a casting call which lists Harrison Ford as one of the stars of Episode VIII.

There’s a good chance someone simply copied the original Episode VII casting call listing, and didn’t think twice about using it for the Episode VIII call out to agents.

The rumour might be true, but it’s just as likely it’s an accident until we hear otherwise from Disney or Harrison himself.

To check out the rumour, head on over to the article at Blastr here.

That’s it for now.  If you’re in the mood for more Star Wars info, there are a few other things going on that you can read about, or if you’d like to listen to the views and opinions of other fans, there are some great podcasts that you can follow.  Just head over to my two favourite Star Wars news sites for more: Making Star Wars here and The Star Wars Underground here.

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Episode VIII, IX and Star Wars: Rebels

The Star Wars Saga

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens continues to kick goals in cinemas around the world, and while fandom is still dissecting the movie with glee, it’s also starting to turn its attention to Episodes VIII and IX – and we’re actually getting some information!  Nothing that really constitutes a spoiler, but some interesting indications that we’re in for one heck of a ride.

The following comes from my go-to info site for all things saga related, Making Star Wars.

If you haven’t read these yet, check them out.

First up is a brief piece on John Boyega, and his reaction to the script for Episode VIII, which he recently read.

John Boyega

In short, he’s calling it “very dark.”  The article over at Making Star Wars comes from a Vogue interview he did recently.  Check out the information here.

The next article hints that we won’t learn anything much about Rey’s parents until Episode IX.

The director of that installment, Colin Trevorrow, tells us he’s been devoting a lot of time to fleshing out the story for Episode IX and from everything he says, it is clear he’s taking his responsibility to the movie and the entire saga very seriously.  It’s a great read and for those of you who may have doubts after Jurassic World, it might put some of your concerns to rest.

He also lets us know that Rey is the most important character in the new films and is vitally important to the entire Star Wars universe:

“…Rey is a character that is important in this universe, not just in the context of ‘The Force Awakens’ but in the entire galaxy…”

Colin Trevorrow

To read the article, click here.

Last but far from least, everyone’s favourite Princess is scheduled to appear in Star Wars: Rebels this month!

Unfortunately, Carrie Fisher won’t be voicing the Princess she made famous, but a young Leia Organa will well and truly be popping in to work with our favourite animated rebels.

Princess Leia Star Wars Rebels

To read the article, visit Making Star Wars here.

As a long time Star Wars fan, the last couple of years – and especially the last few months – have been surreal.

For a while there, there was literally no news on Star Wars.  The ‘dark age’ for the saga was most definitely the time between Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.  It was an agonisingly long period of, essentially, nothing – until 1991 (eight years after RotJ) when the first post RotJ novel came out with Lucasfilm’s blessing.  If you weren’t a fan of what became a very dynamic novel series, your Star Wars love was limited to staring wistfully at your action figure collection or re-watching the original trilogy for what was most likely the 400th time.

Right now it feels like we’re in a Golden Age of Star Wars and it’s one I hope lasts for a very long time.

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Star Wars Live Action TV Show?

Star Wars TV Series

A long time ago, in 2005, George Lucas made an announcement, saying there was a Star Wars live action television series in the works, called Star Wars: Underworld.

Apparently, 50 episodes were eventually written as well as a TV movie-of-the-week, with at least one of those episodes being written by Ronald D. Moore, the man who rebirthed Battlestar Galactica and turned it into a critical and ratings success.

Various rumours circulated about the series – it would take place in the years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, it would centre around Coruscant, a young Boba Fett would be the main character, it would deal primarily with the denizens lurking in the underworld of the galaxy’s capital… but nothing came of any of it, and eventually Star Wars: Rebels was released which began the exploration of the years between episodes III and IV.

Vader and Bounty Hunters 2

Now, rumours are circulating again.

The Hollywood Reporter recently posted a feature on the possible new series, where Kathleen Kennedy, the caretaker of Star Wars, said that people at Disney had been reading the scripts, and that a lot of what was in there was “gold”.

Kathleen Kennedy

This isn’t a guarantee there will be a new series, but it is almost certain Disney is considering it.

If you’d like to read the Hollywood Reporter article, it’s right here.

If a live action series were to get produced, it probably wouldn’t take place in the original setting – or at least the original time frame.  Rebels is immensely popular, and is already playing in that part of the Star Wars universe.  Of course, that doesn’t preclude a live action series for taking place during that time frame.

Star Wars Rebels

What would be more exciting, with the new trilogy kicking off in a couple of days, would be a series charting the rise of the Resistance and the period between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

While it’s unlikely Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill would make guest appearances in the show, it would be exciting and interesting to watch the backstory for The Force Awakens unravel in episodic format.

Time will tell, and no doubt the earnings for The Force Awakens will influence any further developments in the Star Wars universe.

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