Thursday 31 October 2019

Ewan McGregor talks Star Wars on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Ewan McGregor talks to Jimmy Kimmel about Halloween, Doctor Sleep and keeping his long-awaited return to the Star Wars franchise a secret.

"It just got difficult, I was brought up to tell the truth and I was in a situation where I wasn't really allowed to," McGregor shared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. "The studios, and the big franchises, rightly so, want to keep everything very secret and as closed as it can be. But, at the same time, there's this overwhelming amount of speculation online and on social media and what have you, and wherever I went for the last 15 years, people would ask me, 'So, would you do it again?'"

McGregor, whose voice can be heard in The Force Awakens during Rey's (Daisy Ridley) vision, is reprising the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for Disney+. Production on the live-action Star Wars series is slated to begin in 2020.

Star Wars prequel trilogy co-star Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) recently visited Galaxy's Edge, further fueling speculation of a cameo in The Rise of Skywalker this December.

Tuesday 29 October 2019

New The Mandalorian trailer teases tragic past

Lucasfilm has released a new trailer for the Disney+ Star Wars live-action series The Mandalorian from showrunner Jon Favreau (Iron Man). It ups the ante and teases a tragic backstory for the titular bounty hunter portrayed by Pedro Pascal.

30 minutes of the new Star Wars series, set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, was shown to an invited audience of critics who took to Twitter with rave reactions. The New York Times claims there's a major Star Wars universe spoiler in the first episode that has repercussions for the entire saga.

The Mandalorian's 8-part first season begins streaming, weekly, in the US, Canada, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand exclusively on Disney+ this November. Though when we'll see it in the UK remains to be seen, we'll keep you posted on how you might be able to watch it.

Monday 28 October 2019

Hasbro's vintage The Mandalorian at London Comic Con

Triple Force Friday was only the beginning for new Star Wars merchandise this holiday season. Over the weekend, Hasbro announced The Mandalorian vintage collection action figure at MCM London Comic Con. The Mandalorian is the titular character, played by Pedro Pascal, from the first Star Wars live-action series for Disney+.

More Black Series action figures were also announced, including Zorii Bliss and Knight of Ren from The Rise of Skywalker.

The Mandalorian is exclusive to Disney+ when it launches in the US, Canada and the Netherlands 12th November and Australia and New Zealand 19th November. It is rumoured DisneyLife may show The Mandalorian in the UK.

Saturday 26 October 2019

R2-D2 is the droid you're looking for at the V&A

R2-D2, the beloved diminutive droid from the Star Wars saga, is on loan to V&A Dundee from franchise creator George Lucas. The droid is part of the upcoming Hello, Robot exhibition.

Museum curator Kirsty Hassard brought the highly-anticipated exhibition to Dundee: “As part of the Scottish Design Galleries there was a Queen Amidala costume (from Episode II — Attack of the Clones) and I got to courier that back from Skywalker Ranch which was a massive privilege to get to see their stores and to be able to tour around that as well.

“This is the only time it will come to the UK, which is really exciting.

“Since the moment people knew R2-D2 was going to be part of it, there’s been a massive thrill of ‘he’s in the building but he’s still in his crate’ so to have him uncrated has been really exciting.

“A lot of people definitely seem to have quite a lot of affection for him as a character and that’s been really lovely to see.

“I’m sure when he goes upstairs that will be even more exciting.

“We’re expecting big visitor numbers.”

R2-D2 will be appearing alongside his onscreen counterpart, C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in cinemas this December.

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker smashes Endgame

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to dominate the box office this holiday season and may surpass stablemate Avengers: Endgame after setting a new record for pre-sale tickets in the US.

“A year after the events of The Last Jedi, the remnants of the Resistance face the First Order once again—while reckoning with the past and their own inner turmoil. Meanwhile, the ancient conflict between the Jedi and the Sith reaches its climax, altogether bringing the Skywalker saga to a definitive end.”

Director JJ Abrams (The Force Awakens) has the unenviable task or opportunity to overcome, as my dad would say, of closing the epic Skywalker saga that began in 1977.

After seeing the final trailer for The Rise of Skywalker, I think Abrams has every hope of sticking the landing this December. The mysterious movie's runtime is currently 155 minutes. So, get comfy, it's going to be an emotional thrill ride for generations of fans...

Tuesday 22 October 2019

IMAX posters for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker dropped during Monday Night Football and tickets went on sale everywhere. IMAX has released two art posters to celebrate.

Booked tickets to see Star Wars: The Rise on Skywalker in IMAX with Laser at Cineworld on 19th December. When are you seeing the final chapter in the Skywalker saga? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday 21 October 2019

Final Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer today

The final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be shown during ESPN's Monday Night Football game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. Expect the trailer to appear online and here shortly thereafter. Tickets will go on sale around the world following the trailer's debut.

The Rise of Skywalker is the culmination of the Skywalker saga spanning three trilogies and purportedly Lucasfilm is test screening eight possible endings to George Lucas' space opera.

"This is about bringing this thing to a close in a way that is emotional and meaningful and also satisfying in terms of actually answering [as many] questions as possible," director JJ Abrams (The Force Awakens) said.

"So if years from now, someone's watching these movies, all nine of them, they're watching a story that is as cohesive as possible."

Abrams added: "While there were many things that were planned for and discussed — George Lucas himself said when he created this he saw it as three, three-act plays — that doesn't mean there isn’t discovery, that doesn't mean there aren’t things that come up that make you realise, 'Oh, here’s an opportunity.'

"It also doesn't mean that there's a list of payoffs that we have to do because of setups. But we also were very much aware this is the end of the trilogy and it needs to satisfy. We went into this thing knowing it has to be an ending. We're not screwing around."

Will you be booking tickets for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker today? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday 19 October 2019

Former Doctor Who Matt Smith in Star Wars?

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is released in cinemas exactly two months today and fellow Doctor Who fans may have uncovered the role former Doctor Who Matt Smith plays in director JJ Abrams' (The Force Awakens) upcoming sequel.

Eagle-eyed fan @reysrepublic spotted a Topps trading card and shared the above photo of what appears to be Smith playing a blue-skinned alien with the cryptic title: A New Face.

Both of Smith's former TARDIS companions, Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman, have appeared in Disney stablemate the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

In related news. The final trailer for The Rise of Skywalker premieres during Monday Night Football.

What do you think? Is this Matt Smith? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday 18 October 2019

New look at Keri Russell's mysterious Zorii Bliss

Entertainment Weekly (EW) has shared an exclusive photo of the mysterious Zorii Bliss (Keri Russell) and her helmet design evokes the art deco aerodynamics of Disney's The Rocketeer.

I'm looking forward to unboxing Hasbro's Kenner-branded vintage collection action figure (affiliate link), part of my online haul from Triple Force Friday, when it arrives from Amazon.

With only two months to go until the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Cineworld is opening a new IMAX with Laser cinema later this month in Plymouth. I'll be booking tickets to see the final chapter in the Skywalker saga as soon as they go on sale.

Thursday 17 October 2019

Daisy Ridley says 'Reylo' will be addressed in Star Wars

The sexual tension between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) continues to fuel fan speculation in the run-up to the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this December. That tension reached boiling point in director Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi.

“It does not bother me, people writing theories,” Daisy Ridley said. “It’s really fun hearing them. Plus, because I know what’s sort of going to happen, I think it’ll be really interesting to see people’s reaction to [the final film]. Obviously, there’s this whole Reylo thing and some people are very passionate about it, some aren’t.”

Ridley goes on to suggest the romantic connection is addressed in The Rise of Skywalker. “J.J. does deal it [it],” she added. “It’s a very complex issue. People talk about toxic relationships and whatever it is. It’s no joke and I think it’s dealt with really well because it’s not skimmed over.”

Original trilogy fans (myself included) all too clearly remember Luke and Leia's tangled romantic relationship and how it was revealed they were twins in Return of the Jedi. Nice one, George!

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Tony Gilroy joins Disney+ Rogue One spin-off

Variety exclusively reports Tony Gilroy, who masterminded reshoots on director Gareth Edwards' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is joining the Cassian Andor live-action Rogue One prequel series for Disney+.

Gilroy will write and direct episodes of the upcoming spin-off series with Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk reprising the roles of Cassian Andor and K-2SO respectively.

Disney+ launches on 12th November with the first-ever Star Wars live-action series, The Mandalorian, from Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and Dave Filoni (Star Wars Rebels). December sees the release of the final chapter in the nine-part Skywalker saga, The Rise of Skywalker, directed by JJ Abrams (The Force Awakens). Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will then join Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy to produce the next Star Wars movies.

Saturday 12 October 2019

Breaking Bad's Robert Forster has passed away

American actor Robert Forster has passed away at the age of 78.

In the wake of Star Wars' success, Forster played Captain Dan Holland in Disney's The Black Hole and was forever immortalised as an action figure from Mego. In the nineties, he starred in director Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, for which he was Oscar-nominated, and most recently appeared in Twin Peaks and El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie for Netflix.

He'll always be Captain Dan Holland to the Star Wars generation! RIP Robert Forster.

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Wedge Antilles returns in The Rise of Skywalker

The latest rumour surrounding Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the return of Wedge Antilles (Denis Lawson), the Rebel Alliance pilot who appeared in all three movies comprising the original trilogy.

There's no official confirmation. However, eagle-eyed fans spotted Wedge on the cover of Resistance Reborn. Planeta Cómic quickly deleted the Twitter post but not before savvy fans had saved the image and reshared it.

The fan-favourite character most recently appeared in Star Wars Rebels.

Would you be excited to see Wedge Antilles back for the final chapter of the Skywalker saga this holiday season? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday 7 October 2019

Star Trek: Picard gets Short Treks prequel

New York Comic Con (NYCC) was filled with exciting announcements for Star Trek fans (myself included). A poignant new trailer for Star Trek: Picard dropped and Discovery's Short Treks spin-off will dovetail into the upcoming series starring Sir Patrick Stewart as a haunted Jean-Luc Picard.

CBS All Access has confirmed several Short Treks will be based aboard Captain Pike's (Anson Mount) USS Enterprise. How about commissioning a full Pike-led series? Discovery's incarnation is a fan-favourite and Mount, alongside Rebecca Romijn (Number One), instantly won me over in Discovery season two.

Star Trek: Picard premieres 23rd January, coincidentally my birthday, on CBS All Access (in the US). Amazon Prime will be streaming the series outside the US and Canada.

Saturday 5 October 2019

Marvel Star Wars strikes back in January

Marvel's announced, at New York Comic Con (NYCC), it's rebooting the Star Wars comic book series after 75 issues. The new run is set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

"In the wake of the events following The Empire Strikes Back, it is a dark time for the heroes of the Rebellion. The Rebel fleet…scattered following a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Hoth. Han Solo…lost to the bounty hunter, Boba Fett, after being frozen in carbonite. And after being lured into a trap on Cloud City and bested in a vicious lightsaber duel against the evil Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker…learned the horrible truth about his past. Vader did not kill Luke’s father Anakin–Vader is Luke’s father!

Now, after narrowly escaping the dark lord’s clutches, and wounded and reeling from the revelation, Luke, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, the Wookiee Chewbacca and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 must fight their way back to the Rebel Alliance—for the fate of the entire galaxy is at stake! After so many losses is victory still possible? But, what Leia, Luke and their ragtag band of freedom fighters do not realize is that they have only traded one Imperial trap for another! Enter the cunning and vengeful Imperial Commander Zahra, at the helm of the Tarkin’s Will!"

Star Wars #1 will go on sale in January 2020. More details soon.

What do you think about this news? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday 3 October 2019

First look at Star Wars droidsmith Babu Frik

'Twas the eve of Triple Force Friday and not a Mouse Droid did stir... Lucasfilm has released a photo of Babu Frik from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Is the diminutive droidsmith behind a hacked C-3PO (Anthony Daniels)?

This first look at the tiny Anzellan arrives alongside sweepstakes to attend the red carpet premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, as well as news that Disney has partnered with major brands - United Airlines, Porsche, Bose, Samsung, General Electric, McDonald's, General Mills and Dannon, who will all be "hosting individually curated and innovative programs leading up to the debut of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."

Triple Force Friday begins at 1 minute past midnight and fans can expect to see new merchandise from Hasbro, Lego and Funko. Our resident US correspondent, Nick Smith, will be checking out the vintage collection from Hasbro. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in cinemas 19th December.

Wednesday 2 October 2019

Mission to the Unknown recreated 54 years later

Whilst fans wait for news on the next season of Doctor Who. Mission to the Unknown, a classic standalone episode unique for not featuring William Hartnell as the titular Time Lord, has been brilliantly remade by students at the University of Central Lancaster with Nicholas Briggs performing the voices of the Daleks. This was a passion project of Andrew Ireland, friend and fellow Bournemouth University alumni.

Luke Spillane, Digital Publishing Manager for Doctor Who at BBC Studios, said: “It is such a fantastic recreation, made lovingly with real craft and expertise by everyone at the University of Central Lancashire.

“I hope audiences around the world can imagine that it’s tea time on the 9th October 1965 as they rather excitingly watch a black and white episode of Doctor Who premiere on their television sets, mobile phones and tablets.”

Andrew Ireland, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Digital and Creative Industries at the University of Central Lancashire, added: “It is such a loss to our cultural heritage that so many episodes of 1960s Doctor Who are missing from the BBC archives.

“This project presented us with an exciting opportunity to address that, to explore a new way of bringing these missing slices of TV history to life, and in the process, help students learn their craft by comparing contemporary production methods with historical approaches.

“The project gave so many people great experiences, and it is wonderful to see the Daleks menacing a black and white jungle once more.”

Mission to the Unknown will premiere on 9th October at 5:50PM (BST) on the Doctor Who YouTube channel.

Tuesday 1 October 2019

New look at The Mandalorian ship

IGN has revealed a new look at The Mandalorian ship, the Razor Crest. The titular character, played by Pedro Pascal, flies alone to underscore the lone gunman ethos of the live-action Star Wars series.

"Well, first of all, you have to treat it like you're making a movie for the big screen," Jon Favreau described his creative approach to Variety. "The fact of the matter is that, if you look at Lion King, for example, we were very cognizant that, as many people are seeing it in the theaters, there are gonna be more people seeing it at home. And everybody has these beautiful 16 by 9 flatscreen TVs and you wanna create beautiful imagery that takes advantage of what people have. The Mandalorian, whether you watch it on your TV or if you saw it projected, it should feel just as much like Star Wars as any of the features."

He continued, "Dave Filoni and I, who are partnering on this, we've been working so hard to try to honor the traditions of Star Wars and try to present something we would be delighted to see, as fans. Because we started a while ago, it's gonna be available, day one, on Disney+, on November [12th]. I think they're going one episode at a time, but it will be there, premiering on the platform, so if you have it, you'll get to see it."

Are you excited for The Mandalorian? Let me know in the comments below.