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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Forces of Destiny

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For the last few days, Disney have been gifting us with tiny little vignettes featuring the major female characters of the Star Wars saga.

Who?  Padme, Ahsoka, Jyn, Leia, Rey, and, so far, Sabine.

I don’t know if they’ll include other major women from the saga like Hera and Mon Mothma, but I hope so!

Star Wars Forces of Destiny

Kathleen Kennedy, the current guiding light for all things Star Wars, has described the series of vignettes as:

Star Wars: Forces of Destiny is for anyone who has been inspired by Leia’s heroism, Rey’s courage, or Ahsoka’s tenacity… We’re thrilled that so many of the original actors are reprising their roles in these shorts which capture the small moments and everyday decisions that shape who these characters are.  It is a fun new way for people to experience Star Wars.

Star Wars: Forces of Destiny is canon, and is a ‘micro-series’ of animated shorts that take place in the prequel, anthology, original and new era of the film series.

Each episode looks at certain decisions made by each character, that have helped to shape and define that person and make them who they are – and who we love.

The current aired episodes, and who they focus on, are:

  • ‘Sands of Jakku’ – Rey;
  • ‘BB-8 Bandits’ – Rey and BB-8;
  • ‘Ewok Escape’ – Leia and Wicket;
  • ‘The Padawan Path’ – Ahsoka;
  • ‘Beasts of Echo Base’ – Leia, R2-D2 and Chewbacca;
  • ‘The Imposter Inside’ – Padme and Ahsoka, and;
  • ‘Bounty of Trouble’ – Leia and Sabine.

There are more to come!

Each episode runs for three-minutes, features an opening monologue from Lupita Nyon’o in character as Maz Kanata, and are actually pretty good.

My favourite to date has been ‘The Imposter Inside’, and the ‘Bounty of Trouble’ wasn’t too bad either.  The voice actors are excellent, and the actor doing Leia’s voice is good and sometimes sounds like a young Carrie Fisher.

The series is worth checking out, and if you have children, these are very child-appropriate.

To watch them, click here to visit Disney‘s YouTube channel.

It’s really great to see new adventures for Leia, Padme and Jyn, because, (SPOILERS), two of those characters were killed off, and, of course, our beloved Carrie Fisher tragically left us in December of last year.  Seeing new material featuring these three women is wonderful, it means their legacy is continues.

Bring on stories for Hera and Mon Mothma!  It might also be pretty damn wonderful to see a Breha Organa story!  Are you listening Disney?  There are a lot of strong female characters in Star Wars and we want to know more about them!

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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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Our Star Wars News Roundup

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First up, I need to apologise for the haphazard (and almost total lack of) posting this year.  As strange as it may seem to some, Carrie Fisher’s passing hit me like a tonne of bricks… that was followed by another tonne, and another tonne, and another tonne.

For any women reading this, here’s an insight into the male mind: we don’t always cope well with loss.  So much so, we tend to avoid anything that reminds us of the person who has passed on.  We also do that with the jobs we leave and pretty much any other emotional upset we’re having difficulties processing!

Sadly, I’ve done that with every significant loss in my life, and it wasn’t until last year that I discovered (via friends) that a lot of other men respond in a similar way.  Further investigation showed me it’s not a rare phenomenon.  A lot of men will retreat into a strange, brooding place because we’re not as emotionally resilient as we’d like to be.

I’m not saying all men do this.  I’m sure there are millions of well-adjusted ones out there, but I’m not one of them.

And so, writing about Star Wars, something I love, became difficult because Carrie Fisher was my entry into the saga, and Princess Leia, despite being female, was the character I identified with.

So, be patient with me.  I’m trying to get back on the horse.

Speaking of Carrie, her public Memorial Service was held today in Los Angeles at the Hall of Liberty at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood hills.

According to Carrie’s brother, Todd, Carrie wanted a public memorial because her fans meant the world to her.

News of the memorial popped up here in Australia earlier this morning.  Australia has long had a love affair with Carrie.  She spent a great deal of time here over the years, and even shot Time Guardians down-under back in the ’80s.  I followed Australia and Carrie’s romantic flirtation throughout my childhood and teenage years, and am sometimes surprised (and really pleased) it’s endured as long as it has.

For more information on the memorial, click the following links:

Visit news.com.au here and the Los Angeles Times here.

As always, we send our love to Carrie’s brother Todd Fisher, her daughter Billie Lourd, and Carrie’s beloved animal companion, Gary.

And, still on our beloved Princess/General Leia, news broke in the middle of this week from Lucasfilm, telling us that Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, has not been changed or re-edited because of Carrie’s passing.

Oh yeah… and in case you’ve been living in a Detention Block somewhere, with Stormtroopers refusing to give you the Death Star’s wifi password, the eighth Star Wars film got its name a few weeks ago: The Last Jedi.  Boy, did that cause an internet meltdown – a few thousand fans trying to divine the meaning of the words “Last” and “Jedi”.  If you want to read about that meltdown, just Google “fan reaction to Last Jedi announcement” and read and be amused.

For more information on the announcement from Lucasfilm about Episode VIII and Carrie’s role in it, visit Syfy Wire (formerly Blastr) here.

In other Star Wars news, we’ve been told that there are plans to keep the films coming after Episode IX sends the Skywalker saga out with a (hopefully fitting) bow.

No one is being overly forthcoming with what that means, but they’re cooking something up that will keep us returning to that galaxy far, far away, for years to come.

In that same announcement, there’s a little news on the new Han Solo film.

For more information, visit StarWarsNewsNet here.

That’s most of the big stuff going on right now.  There are some interesting things taking place in Star Wars: Rebels as they draw closer to the events depicted in Rogue One and A New Hope, and there have been multiple announcements about the upcoming Han Solo movie.  Also, a lot of information has been revealed about the alternate endings to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but that’s pretty much everything.

To read about those and more, I encourage you to head back to StarWarsNewsNet here and scroll through their amazing collection of stories.

Until next time, may the Force be with you.

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Our Forever Princess

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2016 has been a remarkably cruel year.  A lot of people have suffered in one way or another, and many of them in ways they could never have imagined.  In my day job I’m a Counsellor, and from my experiences of interacting with hundreds of people this year while they’re at their most fragile, and from simply being someone on social media seeing what people post, I’ve seen what I’d call a remarkable upswing in personal sadness and tragedy.

On top of all the personal trials and tribulations so many of us have endured, 2016 has taken from us some incredibly bright lights.  Most recently, Carrie Fisher.

2016 saw the passing of 46 celebrities to date, names that have defined the entertainment world and many of our lives.  Among them, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Harper Lee, Jon English, Garry Shandling, Ronnie Corbett, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yelchin, Kenny Baker, Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, Leonard Cohen, Zsa Zsa Gabor, George Michael and too many more.

For those of us who literally grew up with Star Wars, playing with the action figures as children in the late 70s and early 80s, reading the comics, collecting the books and cutting out newspaper and magazine articles for our scrapbooks, Carrie Fisher’s death is a devastating and surreal blow.

Only yesterday I was posting on this blog that Carrie was doing better, and now today I’m sitting at my computer with my dog at my feet, writing about the death of my all time favourite actor – and wondering how her beloved companion, Gary, will cope.  For those of you who aren’t dog people, our furry friends don’t do well with change and they definitely don’t cope well with losing people.

When I first saw a Star Wars film, it was Empire Strikes Back.  I was nine.  I saw a new hope after Episode V, so my introduction to Star Wars was a little skew whiff.  Because I was raised by a single mother (an incredibly strong woman who had to fight every day for us just to eat) it was the character of Princess Leia Organa that spoke to me.  Not Han Solo, not Luke Skywalker, not Boba Fett (which was a thing back then).  I was swept away by Leia.  Princess Leia was it for me.  She was a character whose strength helped get me through some very rough times.

It might sound strange for a man to say that the character he most identified with in Star Wars was a female character, but to me she was stronger than the men, more resilient and more gutsy.  Han was cocky and actually reminded me of a few of the bullies I had to contend with, and Luke never became a favourite of mine until much later in my life.  Leia was headstrong, confident, hilariously mouthy and unapologetically bold.  As a child I used to think that if I could be half as plucky as her, I’d be okay in life.

As I matured, Leia remained my favourite, but my attention turned to the actor behind the character.

Carrie Fisher was many things.  Most importantly to me, she was someone who endeavoured to live life.  She made a multitude of mistakes and some of them were quite public, but she faced up to them and in doing so changed the world for a lot of people.

Yes, she had a drug addiction, but rather than be victimised or defined by that, she used her fame and her formidable sense of humour to combat her addiction and help others find the courage to do so too.  We eventually learned that her addiction was a form of self-medication, because she had BiPolar Mood Disorder.  Rather than sink into self pity at her mental health condition, she used her celebrity to advocate for mental health reform and to bring awareness to mental health issues in general.  She joked about it, spoke frankly of her struggles, and tried her hardest to live her life.

She turned her experiences into a number of best selling books and gleefully “took the piss” out of herself on multiple occasions.  She faced life by facing her fears, and in doing so actually become fearless.

As a writer, an actor, a Counsellor, and someone with a mental health condition, she was an amazing gift to me – like I know she was to so many people.

Right now I’m just numb.  I opened up the news at a little after 6am here in Melbourne Australia, to see as the top headline the announcement Carrie was gone and burst into tears.  Her death affected me as badly as if it had been a member of my family, and I’m fighting a deep depression as I type this.  I’d had my Princess Leia action figures lined up on my bedside table since Carrie’s heart attack, using them as a focus for good thoughts, and I’d been so happy to hear she was improving yesterday.  The news she has passed is just too much.

The thing about having been a Counsellor since my early twenties is that whether I want to or not, I’m pretty much programmed to “process”.  It’s now 8:30am and I just want to get drunk, but the rational part of my mind is telling me it’s way too early to give into that demon and I need to work through it.

Hopefully my process might help you if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, like I am right now.

Carrie Fisher has passed, but Princess Leia Organa has not, and if the powers that be at Lucasfilm and Disney have a heart, they won’t kill her in Episode VIII or IX because Carrie isn’t able to reprise that role.  While that move worked for Spock in Star Trek Beyond as a way if acknowledging Leonard Nimoy’s passing, it won’t work in Star Wars.

Leia is still out there, kicking fascist ass and that’s empowering to me.  And Carrie?  Her bravery lives on even if she is no longer with us physically.  Her example is a good example, and her life was a life lived well.  Carrie Fisher accepted herself for who she was, warts and all, and though she battled with severe depression for most of her life she used humour and self reflection to stay afloat and to help others in similar situations stay afloat.  She didn’t have to bear her life warts and all for our entertainment.  She did it to de-stigmatise addiction and mental health, and as her own way of processing what she was experiencing.  Yes, she smoked like a chimney, at one time drank like a fish, struggled with her weight, and in her younger years snorted anything she could get her hands on, but those actions didn’t and don’t define her.  What does define her is the person she became and remained after her youthful missteps and her attempts at self-medication.

Carrie was courageous, beautiful, frighteningly intelligent, obnoxious, hilarious, dangerous, relentless, insightful, an unabashed and honest mess, ridiculous, inspirational, obscene, loving, compassionate, effervescent, confronting and powerful.

If each of us could live our lives half as audaciously, we’d probably be a lot happier.

I’ll take Carrie’s example with me, each day, as I confront my own demons and help other people confront theirs.

Thank you, Carrie Fisher, for changing my life and making my world a much brighter place because of your presence in it.

I send my deepest, heart felt condolences to Debbie Reynolds, Carrie’s mum.  To Todd Fisher, her brother, and most especially to Billie Lourd, her daughter, and Gary, her companion.  While my heart is breaking, I know each of yours is shattered.  I hope the love we’re all pouring out for your daughter can in some way help you guys get through this.

This might seem inappropriate, but I’m fairly certain Carrie would appreciate it.  Years ago Carrie gave an interview where she reflected on what she’d like people to say when she eventually passed.  It went like this:

“Remember the white dress I wore all through that film (Episode IV)?  George came up to me the first day of filming, took one look at the dress and said: ‘You can’t wear a bra under that dress.’

“‘Okay, I’ll bite,’ I said.  ‘Why?’  And he said: ‘Because… there’s no underwear in space.’

“He said it with such conviction.  Like he had been to space and looked around and he didn’t see any bras or panties anywhere.

“He explained.  ‘You go into space and you become weightless.  Then your body expands but your bra doesn’t, so you get strangled by your own underwear.’

“I think that this would make for a fantastic obituary.  I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”

Rest in peace, Carrie.  You were a gift and I love you.

Carrie Fisher.  She died in moonlight, strangled by her own bra.

Though this powerful woman is no longer with us, her legacy lives on.  Long live Princess Leia.

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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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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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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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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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