The Women of Star Wars, and an Episode VIII Update

The Women of Star Wars and The Last Jedi Update Banner

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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Episode VIII Update – Laura Dern

Star Wars Episode VIII Update

Latino Review have reported that one of their sources has come across information on a few scenes from Episode VIII, straight from the Pinewood studio sets where some of the action for the new Star Wars movie is being filmed.

The source talks about a couple of scenes that appear to take place on a Republic or Resistance starship between Poe and Laura’s as yet unnamed character.

It appears Laura’s character has some sort of rank on Poe, and that things get a little heated between them.

Laura’s character allegedly describes the people on the ship as being the last of the Republic or the Resistance (that bit is unclear), and announces that General Leia Organa has been gravely wounded but is in the care of doctors.

Poe, who we can tell from the movie and from the novelisation, is devoutly loyal to the former Alderaanian Princess, doesn’t take whatever it is Laura Dern’s character is saying very well.  In fact, he takes it so badly it looks like he leads a mutiny.

These tiny pieces of information are intriguing, and seem to point to a battle that has some very dire consequences for either the Resistance, or what is left of the Republic after the destruction of the Hosnian System in the seventh film.

This report from Latino Times is one of the more concrete bits of information we’ve received on the eighth movie, since the teaser that was released by Rian Johnson a few weeks ago.

A number of Star Wars fans sites have been talking a great deal about some location shooting happening in Dubrovnik, but we haven’t had much real information on the content of Episode VIII until now.

Of course, this doesn’t really tell us a lot, but it does give us a taste of what’s to come.

If the third trilogy follows the dramatic pacing of the original trilogy, we can expect everyone we love to be in some sort of serious jeopardy, just as they were at the end of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.  If Leia is gravely wounded, it makes you wonder what is going to happen to poor Luke and Rey!

To read the Latino Review article, click here.  If you’re interested in reading about what has been happening in Croatia, visit Making Star Wars here and Star Wars Underworld here.

For the record, Latino Review have one of the most impressive records around for getting a hold of legit information on movies in production.

While very few people can say for certain how legitimate this information is, it comes from one of the more renowned sites on the Internet.

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Episode VIII Update – Daisy Ridley, Leia and Chewbacca

Rian Johnson and Star Wars

Star Wars: Episode VIII is well into production, with many Star Wars fan sites reporting on the various tid bits of information that are slipping out of the production.

For more information on these bits and pieces, you can visit either of these two major (and pretty awesome) Star Wars fan sites, Making Star Wars here and The Star Wars Underworld here.

Of more interest, to me at least, have been a couple of reports that have centred around the wonderfully talented Daisy Ridley.

It was inevitable that someone would eventually ask Daisy or one of the other young stars of Episode VIII, to compare Rian Johnson with J.J. Abrams.  Daisy, when asked that very question recently, said that both created a beautiful, warm and friendly atmosphere on set, but that Rian was more cheeky and not as focused on secrecy as J.J. – as was recently seen with the teaser to mark the first day of filming on the eighth Star Wars feature film.

For more on Daisy’s comments, you can visit Den of Geek here to read the full story.

Daisy also featured prominently in the news recently because she was “skinny-shamed”.

Skinny-shamed, you ask?  You’ve no doubt heard of “fat-shaming”, well now internet trolls have taken it to a whole new level, and have attacked Daisy for setting unrealistic expectations amongst young women because she’s too skinny.

All the fuss took place on Daisy’s Instagram feed where one of these trolls posted a meme of Rey with a speach bubble saying “I can’t believe the unrealistic expectations I’m setting for young girls.  Who cast me anyway?  Don’t they know real women have curves?”

The comment took the young star by surprise, but to her credit she responded in a very measured and sensible way, declaring she will not allow anyone to make her feel bad or ashamed about her looks.

Daisy’s response?  “I will not apologise for how I look, what I say and how I live life ’cause what’s happening inside is much more important anyway and I am striving to be the best version of myself, even if I stumble along the way.  It seems apt I get tagged in this a day after I received misogynistic comments on my (International Woman’s Day) post.”

To read more of how Daisy handled this unusual attack, you can check out the article at the Guardian newspaper here.

Finally, J.J. Abrams has admitted he made a mistake in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, by having Leia hug Rey, rather than Chewbacca after they returned from the disastrous mission to take out the First Order’s superweapon.

Fans were so surprised by the lack of empathy between Chewbacca and Leia in the film, considering what had happened to them both, that it was creating all sorts of fury and conspiracy theories on the internet – with some fans even suggesting Chewbacca was the reason for Leia and Han’s relationship ending.

To stop all of the insane speculation, J.J. spoke up to set the record straight, pretty much saying he made a creative error.  There was a definite rationale behind the creative choices he made, and it simply didn’t play out which happens sometimes.

Congratulations to J.J. for having the courage to admit the mistake, because it shows a lot of respect for the fans and a great deal of respect for the integrity of the entire saga.

To read more about J.J.’s admission, visit Games Radar here.

Finn Rey and Poe

Star Wars: Episode VIII is scheduled to be released on the 17th of December, 2017.  The film is being written and directed by Rian Johnson and stars Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Anthony Daniels as C-3P0, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma and Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke.

Joining the stars from Episode VII on the newest film are the recently announced Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran.

For those of you desperate to watch Episode VII on DVD or BluRay, the seventh installment in the ongoing saga of the Skywalker family will be released on DVD and BluRay on the 5th of April.  It will be available for digital download on the 1st of April.

Preorders are available for the digital download now.

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Star Wars Update

Star Wars The Force Awakens Update Banner 2

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens now an unqualified success, Star Wars fans are starting to wonder about what comes next.

While we have continued to bask in the glow of the rebirth of a franchise that we had all, at one time or another, feared was dead, work on the eighth feature film has been underway for some time.

And someone has seen the script.

Rey and Finn Escape.jpg

Daisy Ridley has read the script for episode eight, and she says it’s good.  Very good.

Episode eight starts filming in only a few weeks time, so of course Daisy has seen the script, along with her co-starts (no doubt), but this is the first time someone has commented on it.

If you’d like to check out the article, visit the fantastic Making Star Wars website for more information.  Bookmark MSW, as a site, it’s writers have done an incredible job of keeping fans up to date on everything episode seven.  No doubt they will do the same with episode eight.

To read the article, click here.

Episode eight is being written and directed by Rian Johnson, and while we don’t know how many of the cast is returning, word is it will – at the very least – be Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Daisy Ridley as Rey, Oscar Isaac as Poe, John Boyega as Finn, and Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma.

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Who Will Be The Next Skywalker?

Who Is A Skywalker

There has been a lot of speculation about who the next Skywalker will be, and one or two websites focusing on The Force Awakens are fairly certain they’ve either discovered or worked out the sequence of events that unfold in the film, and who is the next Force-using good guy.

J.J. Abrams has a deserved reputation for keeping a tight set, where secrets rarely slip out – so every rumour or possible reliable source could be wrong.  Either way, we still have a handful of days to discover whether or not J.J. succeeded and if his reputation remains intact.

Right now, we’re surrounded by theories, have a vague idea of the major plot points, and can say that the only new character who isn’t a Skywalker is BB-8.

BB8

A number of fans believe that Rey might be the daughter of Leia Organa-Skywalker and Han Solo, and an almost equal number wonder if she might be the daughter of Luke Skywalker.

She’s certainly the most speculated about character.

Rey

We all know that both Luke and Leia are strong in the Force, and J.J. has confirmed that that is still so, even though Leia chose not to become a Jedi and we’ve barely seen a glimpse of Luke in the previews.  We also know that the story of Star Wars is the story of the Skywalker family, so it stands to reason that at least one of the new characters being introduced in The Force Awakens, will be a Skywalker.

But who?

I kind of hope they throw a spanner in the works and make it Poe Dameron.

Poe Dameron

Anakin was a great pilot, and so was Luke.  Poe is one of the best pilots the new Resistance has.

Rey certainly seems to be the main focus, along with John Boyega’s Finn, but Poe is in there, kind of flying under the radar.

Could that be a purposeful thing?  J.J. Abrams is a master of obfuscation.

It is also entirely possible that Finn is a Skywalker.  He is seen wielding a lightsaber, and going into a duel with Kylo Ren in one of the previews.  He also appears in all of the posters with a lightsaber in hand.

Finn 2

The other popular theory is that Kylo is Luke’s son, or possibly even Leia and Han’s.

That would be an interesting twist.

Is it possible?

Considering the way Kylo seems to almost worship Darth Vader’s melted mask in the previews, it is.  His commitment to “finish” what Vader started also speaks volumes.  Could a grandchild of Anakin Skywalker choose to follow in his footsteps, rather than the footsteps of their mother or father (or Aunt or Uncle)?

Kylo Ren

What would be particularly interesting, is if Kylo was the brother or nephew of one of the main characters and there were two Skywalker children.

That’s a little ‘Expanded Universe’ like in its execution, but still not entirely unlikely.

As of the writing of this article, we only have a few days of speculation left – though of course, they might not even reveal who is a Skywalker in this film (if there even is a Skywalker other than Leia and Luke in this movie).  They might wait until episode VIII.

My money is on Rey.  I hope it’s either Rey or Poe.

No matter what, it’s going to be fun finding out, and it’s going to be fun seeing the fan reaction.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiers December 14 in the United States, December 15 in the United Kingdom, December 16 in Australia and most of Europe, December 17 in the United Arab Emirates and December 18 in Canada.

It stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels and Peter Mayhew.

The film is directed by J.J. Abrams from a story by Michael Arndt, Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams.

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