Monday 27 February 2023

Next Star Wars Celebration is in 2025

Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023 is being held over the Easter bank holiday weekend at the ExCeL, London. However, the next official Lucasfilm fan event won't be until 2025.

Read the official Lucasfilm announcement:

“If you can’t join us this year, with the next Star Wars Celebration not taking place until 2025, you’ll have plenty of time to work on your cosplay, refine your Wookiee roar, and sharpen your lightsaber skills.”

This coincides with the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the 20th anniversary of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), there's purportedly going to be an announcement regarding the future of Star Wars movies at Star Wars Celebration Europe.

As I've written previously, Star Wars Celebration is fantastic fun and a unique opportunity to meet fellow fans and forge new friendships through all things Star Wars.

As a blogger, I've had the exciting chance to work with Lucasfilm licensees since the first-ever Star Wars Celebration Europe in 2007.

Whilst I'm disappointed not to be going in person to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, we'll be covering the official 4-day fan event in April. So stay tuned for further updates.

Will you be attending Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday 24 February 2023

The Lord of the Rings returns to the big screen

Middle-earth is returning to the big screen. Warner Bros. Discovery has deemed cinemagoers worthy of further tales in the shadow of Mount Doom.

”Following our recent acquisition of Middle-earth Enterprises, we’re thrilled to embark on this new collaborative journey with New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures, bringing the incomparable world of J.R.R. Tolkien back to the big screen in new and exciting ways. We understand how cherished these works are and working together with our partners at New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures, we plan to honor the past, look to the future, and adhere to the strongest level of quality and production values.” said Lee Guinchard, CEO of Freemode.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King concluded Sir Peter Jackson's acclaimed adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy in 2003. The final movie debuted in the midst of a life-changing familial trauma and I've been unwilling to watch it since. A tragic association during the darkest of times and not an indictment. Perhaps one day I'll be able to revisit it.

”Twenty years ago, New Line took an unprecedented leap of faith to realize the incredible stories, characters and world of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ on the big screen. The result was a landmark series of films that have been embraced by generations of fans. But for all the scope and detail lovingly packed into the two trilogies, the vast, complex and dazzling universe dreamed up by J.R.R. Tolkien remains largely unexplored on film. The opportunity to invite fans deeper into the cinematic world of Middle-earth is an honor, and we are excited to partner with Middle-earth Enterprises and Embracer on this adventure,” said Warner Bros. Pictures Group Co-Chairs and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy.

Jackson's The Hobbit was a tale stretched too thinly as a trilogy. However, I very much enjoyed The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime, which is the most expensive television series ever made.

Are you looking forward to further Middle-earth movies? Would you rather see something new in an era bereft of ideas and dominated by a few franchises? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Star Wars Micro Galaxy Squadron Series III

Nick Smith wrote about the Micro Galaxy Squadron in a look back at vintage miniature Star Wars toy lines.

On Tuesday, Lucasfilm licensee Jazwares announced a third series of Micro Galaxy Squadron.

“I'm super-excited to introduce our first Jedi Interceptors into Star Wars Micro Galaxy Squadron. The action features on these ships are incredible and make for great play and display pieces,” Jazwares’ Max Lux, sr. brand manager, Star Wars, tells “But personally, my all-time favorite Star Wars vehicle is debuting in the Starship Class: the Republic Gunship (Muunilist-10), complete with two ARC Troopers. Getting this ship into the line is a dream come true for me. Ever since I saw the first episode of the Clone Wars micro series in my college dorm room in 2003, I have LOVED the look of this vehicle.”

I fondly remember collecting Star Wars Action Fleet toys at university in the early-to-mid nineties.

Is Jazwares bringing your favourite Star Wars ship to life? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday 17 February 2023

Stormtroopers at Dublin Comic Con

The next instalment in Stormtroopers, a Star Wars fan film filmed on location in Ireland, premieres at Dublin Comic Con (DCC) on 11th March.

I can't wait to see what Michael Fitzgerald and the talented team have put together this time. Stay tuned for further coverage.

For further information, please visit the official site.

Thursday 16 February 2023

Recap The Mandalorian

With less than a fortnight to go before the third season of The Mandalorian premieres on Disney+, ABC, Freeform and FX, the fine folks at Lucasfilm have kindly dropped a recap of the story so far.

This is especially helpful for fans who may have missed The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+.

Lucasfilm describes the third season of The Mandalorian thus:

"The journeys of the Mandalorian through the Star Wars galaxy continue. Once a lone bounty hunter, Din Djarin has reunited with Grogu. Meanwhile, the New Republic struggles to lead the galaxy away from its dark history. The Mandalorian will cross paths with old allies and make new enemies as he and Grogu continue their journey together."

"What I love most about Season 3 is how much the world opens up in terms of Mandalore and Mandalorians," Pedro Pascal (Din Djarin) told Empire Magazine. "That means so many different facets of culture, politics, and rules and discoveries. Delicious doors are flying wide open."

Previously, Pascal had teased more surprises during CCXP.

"There's so much that you're going to see. I think some of the best things about season 1 and season 2 of The Mandalorian were the surprises," Pascal said. "We were all able to keep baby Grogu a secret, we were all able to keep Luke Skywalker's return to the world a secret. So there are more secrets to keep."

Pascal is currently co-starring in HBO's The Last of Us alongside fellow Game of Thrones alum Bella Ramsey.

The Mandalorian's hotly-anticipated third season begins on 1st March exclusively on Disney+.

Are you looking forward to the third season of The Mandalorian? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday 14 February 2023

Indiana Jones and the Super Bowl

During the Super Bowl, Lucasfilm dropped a new trailer for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

The action-packed clip shows Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) punching Nazis and diving out of a stricken Heinkel He 111 bomber with his goddaughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge).

Whilst director Steven Spielberg (Raiders of the Lost Ark) isn't returning for the fifth instalment in the franchise created by George Lucas (Star Wars), John Williams is back to compose the music for the man in the hat.

With the return of Indiana Jones and Michael Keaton's Batman in The Flash, this summer will be like the summer of 1989. And I'm here for it.

Will Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny be a legacy sequel comparable to stablemate Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Fans (myself included) will find out on 30th June.

Are you looking forward to Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny? What did you think of the trailer? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday 13 February 2023

Worlds collide in The Flash

During one of the most thrilling Super Bowl finals of my lifetime (Rihanna's Apple Music halftime show was spectacular), a new trailer for The Flash dropped and it's all about DC's Flashpoint.

Read the official synopsis:

"Worlds collide in “The Flash” when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no Super Heroes to turn to. That is, unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian… albeit not the one he’s looking for. Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry’s only hope is to race for his life. But will making the ultimate sacrifice be enough to reset the universe?"

The DC multiverse explodes with multiple movie incarnations of Batman from Tim Burton (Batman), Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy) and Zack Snyder (Justice League) timelines. There's a glimpse of Supergirl, too.

The Flash is exclusively in cinemas on 16th June.

Are you excited to see Michael Keaton (Batman Returns) reprise the role of the dark detective? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday 11 February 2023

Paramount+ home of all things Star Trek

Star Trek: Picard beams onto Paramount+ internationally outside of Canada, making the streaming service the home of all things Star Trek.

“The third and final season of Star Trek: Picard will premiere day and date with the U.S. in Latin America on Feb. 16 and on Feb. 17 in the U.K., Australia, Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with South Korea to premiere at a later date,” Paramount said in a press release on Wednesday. “Previous seasons of Star Trek: Picard will also be available in English-speaking regions starting this February. All seasons of Star Trek: Lower Decks are currently available to stream on Paramount+ in Latin America and will be available later this year across all Paramount+ markets outside Canada.”

It concluded: “Paramount+ is now the home to every series and every episode of the full catalog of Star Trek. This includes all seasons of the Paramount+ original series Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Prodigy, and the newest addition Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.”

I'll watch the final season of Star Trek: Picard on Amazon Prime (affiliate link) as the Paramount+ app for Sony BRAVIA televisions doesn't support surround sound or 4K UHD.

Are you subscribing to Paramount+? Are you still aggrieved about the fallout from Star Trek: Discovery being pulled from Netflix? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday 9 February 2023

Return of the Jedi at Star Wars Celebration

Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023 is only a few months away.

This year is the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and the final chapter in the original Star Wars trilogy will be celebrated at the 4-day event in London. A cast of actors from the movie will join a guest list spanning the entire saga from the original trilogy to the spin-off series on Disney+.

Star Wars merchandise reached its zenith with Return of the Jedi (until Star Wars: The Phantom Menace). I vividly remember a sales assistant at Exeter's Pram & Toy Shop showing me a retail brochure featuring all the upcoming action figures and accessories. My first toys were Kenner's Biker Scout and Speeder Bike, which weaved through the legs of our kitchen table and chairs.

If you're a Lucasfilm licensee and would like to promote your related products, please contact me here.

We'll be covering the official fan event. So stay tuned for further updates.

Will you be attending Star Wars Celebration Europe in April? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday 8 February 2023

The Last of Us avoids Super Bowl

HBO has announced The Last of Us episode 5 will be aired this Friday to avoid clashing with the Super Bowl on Sunday.

UK-based fans (myself included) won't have to wait. It will be available on demand from Saturday morning ahead of Monday's premiere on Sky Atlantic.

The live-action adaptation of the award-winning PlayStation video game is taking the world by storm. The show, which co-stars Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) and Bella Ramsay (Game of Thrones) in the lead roles, has been renewed for a second season.

"I’m humbled, honoured, and frankly overwhelmed that so many people have tuned in and connected with our retelling of Joel and Ellie’s journey," executive producer Neil Druckmann said in an official statement.

"Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with season two!"

Executive producer Craig Mazin added: "I’m so grateful to Neil Druckmann and HBO for our partnership, and I’m even more grateful to the millions of people who have joined us on this journey.

"The audience has given us the chance to continue, and as a fan of the characters and world Neil and Naughty Dog created, I couldn’t be more ready to dive back in."

Are you watching The Last of Us? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday 6 February 2023

The Last of Us' Pedro Pascal in HBO Mario Kart

Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) is currently starring in HBO's lauded live-action adaptation of The Last of Us on HBO Max and Sky Atlantic. At the weekend, he appeared as Mario in a satirical Mario Kart skit for Saturday Night Live (SNL).

Read the official synopsis:

"In a video game turned series, a trailer follows a group of people as they try to help a princess get to Rainbow Road."

Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) is playing Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Perhaps Pascal should replace him in the upcoming animated feature film?

What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday 4 February 2023

Doctor Who is most-watched show on iPlayer

With 13 series now available, outside of news, sports, soaps and children's content, Doctor Who was the most-watched show with 56 million streams on BBC iPlayer in 2022.

This year is the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, and the long-running BBC sci-fi series will grow in popularity when it debuts on Disney+ outside the UK and Ireland.

Thursday 2 February 2023

The Mandalorian featurette celebrates phenomenon

The third season of The Mandalorian begins in less than a month on Disney+.

Lucasfilm has released a featurette exploring the series' impact on popular culture.

The Mandalorian, starring Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones) as the titular character, is set between Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens when Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is building a new Jedi order before his reckless actions lead to the Knights of Ren and the rise of the First Order.

Pascal is currently co-starring in HBO's The Last of Us alongside fellow Game of Thrones alum Bella Ramsey. It's the best thing on the telly, and I stand by the assertion in my newsletter.

The Mandalorian's highly-anticipated third season begins on 1st March exclusively on Disney+.

Are you looking forward to the third season of The Mandalorian? What are your theories? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday 1 February 2023

LEGO celebrates 20 years of the Clone Wars

LEGO has announced new Star Wars helmet building sets commemorating 20 years of the Clone Wars, which began with Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and continued in Star Wars: Clone Wars and Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series on Cartoon Network.

“For two decades, the Clone Wars has shaped a hugely important story in the history of the Star Wars saga, and we feel immensely proud to be bringing two of its key players to life for fans around the world,” said Jens Kronvold Frederiksen, Design Lead for LEGO Star Wars.

LEGO Star Wars fans (myself included) will be delighted to see Clone Commander Cody and Captain Rex on their bookshelf or desktop.

“These rewarding, relaxing builds should be able to take pride of place for any LEGO Star Wars collector and offer a new way to create, display and enjoy these iconic characters who played such a pivotal role in many stories that we know and love from the galaxy far, far away…”

Clone Commander Cody and Captain Rex are available from LEGO AU, UK and US (affiliate links).

Will you be adding these LEGO Star Wars helmets to your collection? What future sets would you like to see? Let me know in the comments below.