Showing posts with label star wars rebels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label star wars rebels. Show all posts

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Star Wars in Total Film

With only a few weeks to go until Star Wars Celebration and Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+, Total Film magazine has released exclusive images from the latest live-action spin-off series set in a galaxy far, far away...

Much was made of the Grand Inquisitor's (Rupert Friend) appearance in the teaser trailer for Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi. Frankly, the fan-favourite big bad from Star Wars Rebels looks ready to hunt down and destroy all remaining Jedi.

Obi-Wan Kenobi sees Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Hayden Christensen (Darth Vader) reprise their roles from George Lucas' prequel trilogy. Disney+ is the perfect platform to fully explore the tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi's greatest failure: losing Anakin Skywalker to the dark side and the rise of an evil Empire.

"It was nice to come back and to bridge that gap between me and Alec Guinness. I got as much, or more, out of playing him this time than I did in the first three movies put together," McGregor told Total Film magazine. "That’s to do with the writing, and the people we were making the series with, and the technology, and how different everything is."

In an interview with Total Film, director Deborah Chow (The Mandalorian) debunked an appearance from Darth Maul and explained the rationale behind bringing back Darth Vader.

“For anybody trying to tell a story in the middle of these two trilogies, there were only certain elements that made sense in where [Obi-Wan] is,” Chow said. “With a lot of the legacy aspects, the decision to bring Vader into it was not made lightly. We’re 10 years after Revenge of the Sith. Where is Obi-Wan’s starting place? What has been important to him in his life? Anakin and Vader are a huge and very profound part of his life. We ended up feeling that he made sense in telling this story. And Vader casts such a dark shadow in this, that to have Maul as well, it might be a little bit much.”

Christensen will appear next in the Star Wars: Ahsoka spin-off series.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres with two episodes exclusively on Disney+ on 27th May.

Are you looking forward to Star Wars Day, the return of Star Wars Celebration and seeing Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Return of a Jedi in Obi-Wan Kenobi

On Wednesday, Lucasfilm dropped a teaser trailer for Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+. Nothing prepared me for this.

Read the official synopsis:

"The story begins 10 years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat—the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader."

Obi-Wan Kenobi sees Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Hayden Christensen (Darth Vader) reprise their roles from George Lucas' prequel trilogy.

With the combination of Industrial Light & Magic's (ILM) StageCraft and director Deborah Chow (The Mandalorian) at the helm of the six-part special event series, there's an opportunity to fully explore the tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi's greatest failure and the rise of an evil Empire in the wake of Order 66.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres exclusively on Disney+ on 25th May.

From John Williams' iconic Duel of the Fates to the Inquisitors from Star Wars Rebels. I'm ready. Are you? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

The Scrapbook of Boba Fett

The Book of Boba Fett has concluded on Disney+ and I've enjoyed my Star Wars Weekly fix as we wait for Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi and the third season of The Mandalorian later this year. There are going to be spicy spoilers.

Once Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) escaped the Sarlacc pit, and the dopamine nostalgia hit wore off, too much time was spent in flashback with the Tusken Raiders (replete with knowing nods to Solo: A Star Wars Story and Dune) to the series' detriment and character development (looking at you Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen)).

This is typified when Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) arrives and steals the show - with his dangerous Darksaber - as Boba Fett naps in a bacta tank. If you snooze, you lose in this galaxy.

Not for the first time, executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni make the prequels cool with thrilling callbacks as Din Djarin searches for a new starship to replace the Razor Crest with the aid of Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris), her derp-droids and Jawa allies. Lucasfilm, give Peli Motto her own spin-off series.

When Din Djarin tells Fennec Shand that he has to see a small friend (Grogu) before battling the Pyke Syndicate for control of Tatooine, I assumed we wouldn’t see him again until the season finale of The Book of Boba Fett. Wrong, was I.

The Force moves in mysterious ways.

On an enigmatic forest planet, R2-D2 greets Din Djarin and I’m an ugly mess. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni bring a young Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) back after his surprise cameo in The Mandalorian second season finale. Jedi Masters aren't just for Christmas.

Seeing Luke Skywalker teaching Grogu the ways of the Force, in a reprise of the training scenes in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, is overwhelming. How I wished my mum was alive to see it, she would have adored Baby Yoda. Not only does Luke Skywalker return but Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), too. Seeing the fan-favourites side-by-side is the stuff of sword and sorcery.

The arrival of Jabba the Hutt's twin cousins promised a fun clash with the titular bounty hunter only for the spice-hungry duo to hastily leave Tatooine due to the Pyke Syndicate. These Hutts aren't galactic gangsters worthy of Jabba's family tree.

In the original Star Wars trilogy, Boba Fett would have gunned down the teenage Tatooine biker gang instead of enlisting them as nothing beats a pet rancor, a parting gift from the retreating Hutt twins, channelling King Kong! The cringeworthy Power Ranger rejects added nothing beyond the slowest speeder chase in the franchise's storied history and Marty McFly would have had no problem outrunning them in Back to the Future.

Grogu forsakes Jedi training. As Din Djarin and Grogu fly into an uncertain future aboard a customised Naboo Starfighter, there's a sense of impending tragedy for the survivor of Order 66 and his father figure.

The Book of Boba Fett, dog-eared and frayed around the edges like any well-read comic book should be, begins to weave the connective tissue together. Despite being a scrappier version of The Mandalorian, it was a love letter to fans of George Lucas' space opera on the big and small screen. If you've seen the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Clones Wars, Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Bad Batch, you were in seventh heaven. I know I was.

Deepfake technology is making such rapid progress, a live-action adaptation of Star Wars: Dark Empire feels closer, but may never be. Because reasons.

In a few weeks, we’ll be back on Tatooine for Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+. I'm ready to spend more time in a galaxy far, far away… Are you? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Natasha Liu Bordizzo to play Sabine Wren

Deadline reports Natasha Liu Bordizzo (The Society) is to play Sabine Wren in Star Wars: Ahsoka on Disney+.

Bordizzo is expected to join Rosario Dawson (The Mandalorian) as the fan-favourite character from Star Wars Rebels. Sabine promised Ahsoka she would help her find Ezra Bridger in the series finale. It's also worth mentioning when we meet Ahsoka, in The Mandalorian, she's hunting Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Sabine has a storied history with Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff). So, it's always possible she could cameo in the third season of The Mandalorian, which is currently in production.

Hayden Christensen is reportedly reprising the role of Anakin Skywalker in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off. Ahsoka was Anakin's student in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Christensen will be seen first reprising the role of Darth Vader in Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+ in 2022.

Are you looking forward to Star Wars: Ahsoka on Disney+? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Anakin Skywalker returns in Star Wars: Ahsoka

The Hollywood Reporter (THR) exclusively reports Hayden Christensen will reprise the role of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Ahsoka.

Ahsoka Tano was Anakin Skywalker's apprentice during Star Wars: The Clone Wars before she turned her back on the Jedi Order. Later, they would clash in Star Wars Rebels when Skywalker succumbs to the dark side of the Force and becomes Darth Vader.

Rosario Dawson (The Mandalorian) is starring as fan-favourite Ahsoka Tano in the upcoming live-action spin-off series on Disney+.

Christensen will appear first in Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+ in 2022.

Saturday, 26 June 2021

Star Wars: The Essential Legends Collection

Lucasfilm continues to celebrate its first 50 years with Star Wars: The Essential Legends Collection curated by Del Rey.

"Novels set in a galaxy far, far away have enriched the Star Wars experience for fans seeking to continue the adventure beyond the screen. When he created Star Wars, George Lucas built a universe that sparked the imagination, and inspired others to create. He opened up that universe to be a creative space for other people to tell their own tales. This became known as the Expanded Universe, or EU, of novels, comics, videogames, and more.

To this day, the EU remains an inspiration for Star Wars creators and is published under the label Legends. Ideas, characters, story elements, and more from new Star Wars entertainment trace their origins back to material from the Expanded Universe. This Essential Legends Collection curates some of the most treasured stories from that expansive legacy.

The collection will launch on June 15, 2021, with new trade paperback editions of Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn, Darth Bane: Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn, and Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover. Each edition will have a new book cover with original artwork. Tracie Ching is the cover artist of Heir to the Empire, Simon Goinard is the cover artist of Path of Destruction, and Jeff Manning is the cover artist of Shatterpoint. In addition to the new cover, Shatterpoint will also receive an all-new unabridged audiobook edition, narrated by Sullivan Jones.

On September 7th, the collection expands with a new batch of trade paperback editions: Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn, The Last Command by Timothy Zahn, Darth Bane: The Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn, and Rogue Squadron by Michael A. Stackpole. Each edition will have a new book cover with original artwork. Tracie Ching is the cover artist of Dark Force Rising and The Last Command, Simon Goinard is the cover artist of The Rule of Two, and Doaly is the cover artist of Rogue Squadron. In addition to the new cover, Rogue Squadron will also receive an all-new unabridged audiobook edition, read by Star Wars narrator Marc Thompson."

Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy began 30 years ago with Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (affiliate link). Zahn's sequel trilogy introduced fan-favourite Grand Admiral Thrawn who has gone on to appear in Star Wars Rebels and was most recently namechecked in the second season of The Mandalorian on Disney+. This has sparked rumours of a new live-action Thrawn trilogy from Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni.

What are your favourite Star Wars EU novels, comics, toys and more? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Bad Batch?

Star Wars: The Bad Batch premieres on 4th May AKA Star Wars Day on Disney+.

Matt Lanter played Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars for seven seasons and has teased the character's return in an upcoming animated spin-off series.

"There's some new Lucasfilm Animation going on. I've been a part of some things I can't talk about yet. You'll see Anakin again," Lanter told Entertainment Weekly (EW). "I never quite put Anakin down, whether I'm doing a video game or something new for Lucasfilm Animation."

In related news. Hayden Christensen reprises the role of Anakin Skywalker in the upcoming live-action special event series Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch begins with a 70-minute special on 4th May. New episodes drop weekly exclusively on Disney+ from Friday 7th May.

Do you think Anakin Skywalker will appear in Star Wars: The Bad Batch? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

30 years of Heir to the Empire

May 1991 will be long remembered amongst Star Wars fans (myself included) of a certain age. A new sequel trilogy began with author Timothy Zahn's Star Wars: Heir to the Empire set 5 years after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

The best-selling novel ushered in a new Star Wars golden age and the nineties would culminate with the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

The trilogy is most notable for introducing Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade. Thrawn has subsequently appeared in further novels, Star Wars Rebels and most recently namechecked in the second season of The Mandalorian on Disney+.

Speaking to Star Wars Insider for the 30th anniversary of Star Wars: Heir to the Empire, Zahn outlined how he created the fan-favourite character.

“I wanted to capture the Star Wars feeling, but I did not want to go over the same territory that George Lucas had already gone over, so that meant no superweapon, no Death Star, no Darth Vader-type, no Emperor-type. Which left me thinking, ‘Okay, so what else have we got? Vader and the Emperor ruled by manipulation and fear, so, how about somebody who would lead through loyalty? What kind of character could inspire that type of loyalty?”

Zahn continues.

“He needed to be a strategic and tactical genius, so that they’d know they had a good chance of winning. He cared about his troops. He was willing to accept good suggestions from subordinates. And then, finally, since we did not see a lot of aliens in the Empire, I wanted to make him a non-human, on the grounds that, if he got to be a Grand Admiral, he had to be something very special.”

What are your memories of reading Star Wars: Heir to the Empire? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Ahsoka Tano and Grogu from Hot Toys

Whilst Star Wars fans await The Clone Wars version of Ahsoka Tano (affiliate link) from Hot Toys, the Hong Kong-based studio has announced The Mandalorian incarnation of the fan-favourite character.

Ahsoka Tano made her live-action debut in the second season of The Mandalorian on Disney+. This time played by actress Rosario Dawson in the Star Wars spin-off series as she hunts down Grand Admiral Thrawn.

“Grogu and I can feel each other's thoughts.” - Ahsoka Tano

In the widely acclaimed The Mandalorian, our hero Din Djarin was quested to return the mysterious baby Grogu to his kind. In his journey across the galaxy, he was guided to seek out the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano on the forest planet of Corvus where Star Wars fans were elated to see the Togruta hero depicted in live-action for the first time!

To further expand The Mandalorian collectible series, Sideshow and Hot Toys is delighted to introduce a new sixth scale collectible set from the DX Series, featuring Ahsoka Tano and Grogu for all Star Wars fans to enjoy!

The highly-accurate Ahsoka collectible figure features a meticulously crafted head sculpt with separate rolling eyeballs features and articulated head-tails, specialized physique, skillfully tailored outfit with fine details, a pair of lightsabers, interchangeable lightsaber blades emulating the weapon in motion, and a cloak.

The Grogu collectible figure is featuring a newly developed head sculpt with great likeness, articulated head and arms.

This special set specially features a forest theme backdrop and display base along with a lantern to recreate the memorable scene when Ahsoka and Grogu first meet.

Enhance your Star Wars collection now with this amazing collectible set that captures the memorable scene between two beloved characters!

Will you be adding Ahsoka Tano and Grogu (affiliate link) to your Hot Toys collection? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 26 February 2021

Star Wars: The Bad Batch launches May Fourth

Star Wars: The Clone Wars spin-off The Bad Batch launches May Fourth AKA Star Wars Day on Disney+.


“The series follows the elite and experimental troopers of Clone Force 99 (first introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War. Members of Bad Batch, as they prefer to be called — a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army — each possess a singular exceptional skill, which makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew.”

Nick Smith was impressed by the band of misfit clones in his review of The Clone Wars final season.

“Giving new and existing fans the final chapter of Star Wars: The Clone Wars has been our honor at Disney+, and we are overjoyed by the global response to this landmark series,” Agnes Chu, senior vice president of content at Disney+, shared in a statement when the series was announced. “While The Clone Wars may have come to its conclusion, our partnership with the groundbreaking storytellers and artists at Lucasfilm Animation is only beginning. We are thrilled to bring Dave Filoni’s vision to life through the next adventures of the Bad Batch.”

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is executive produced by Dave Filoni (The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Athena Portillo (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels), Brad Rau (Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Resistance) and Jennifer Corbett (Star Wars Resistance, NCIS) with Carrie Beck (The Mandalorian, Star Wars Rebels) as co-executive producer and Josh Rimes as producer (Star Wars Resistance). Rau is also serving as supervising director with Corbett as head writer.

Are you looking forward to the new Star Wars spin-off series? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Way of the Mandalorian

With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker concluding the epic nine-part Skywalker saga a year ago. The Disney+ live-action spin-off series continues to fill the void during the pandemic.

This contains spoilers for The Mandalorian Chapters 12 and 13 streaming now on Disney+. You have been warned, Padawan!

Following Din Djarin's (Pedro Pascal) memorable meeting with Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), Mando and The Child AKA Baby Yoda take a detour to visit some old friends on Nevarro and repair the battle-damaged Razor Crest before continuing the search for the Jedi. Kryze told Mando to seek fan-favourite Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) on the forest moon of Corvus.

Director Carl Weathers, who plays Greef Karga in the live-action Star Wars spin-off, dives into George Lucas' original trilogy sandbox and serves up a thrilling tale filled with 'toyetic' moments that transported me back to childhood; playing with Kenner and Palitoy action figures, playsets and accessories at Christmas.

All the while connecting the prequel, original and sequel trilogies with midi-chlorians sourced from The Child and allusions to the creation of Emperor Palpatine's (Ian McDiarmid) puppet: Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis). And that's before Moff Gideon's (Giancarlo Esposito) Dark Troopers, first seen in the Star Wars: Dark Forces video game, seemingly appear aboard his Arquitens-class light command cruiser. Oh, boy!

Ahsoka lives!

Chapter 13, directed by Dave Filoni (Star Wars Rebels), sees Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) immediately enter the fray in an episode that will be long remembered as it explores the grander mythological themes of the Star Wars saga, sets up a new spin-off series and rewards longtime fans (myself included) amidst scorching lightsaber and blaster fire action.

The Jedi is an emotional tour de force in which we learn Baby Yoda's name is Grogu, how he was saved from certain death in the Jedi Temple, on Coruscant, by a mysterious rescuer when the Emperor passed Order 66 as Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) turns to the dark side, becomes Darth Vader and goes on a murderous rampage (Revenge of the Sith). This lent further poignancy to the knowledge Ahsoka was Anakin's former apprentice.

There's tragic foreshadowing as Ahsoka refuses to train Grogu (he'll always be Baby Yoda to me) due to his attachment to Djarin. If Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is any indicator, I've got a bad, very bad, feeling about this.

If this wasn't enough to process, Grand Admiral Thrawn (Heir to the Empire) is namechecked when Ahsoka defeats the Magistrate (Diana Lee Inosanto). Wherever the Razor Crest, tracked by Moff Gideon's Imperial forces, is taking us, it's going to be the very best of Star Wars.

This is the way.

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Pirates of the Mandalorian

Spoilers ahoy for The Mandalorian Chapter 11, me hearties!

Chapter 11, with actor and director Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World) back at the helm, is a swashbuckling white-knuckle ride that introduces a beloved character from The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels to the increasingly mythological live-action Star Wars spin-off on Disney+.

Our interstellar duo cross moon seas ruled by the quarrelling Quarren and Mon Calamari from Return of the Jedi and fall into another trap. Just when it looks like all is lost, a group of mysterious Mandalorians arrive to rescue them. The trio, featuring Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado) and Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides), is lead by Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff).

Fan-favourite Sackhoff, best known as Starbuck from the Battlestar Galactica reboot, reprises her iconic role from The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels as Bo-Katan gives Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) an abject lesson in Mandalore history as she continues her search for the fabled Darksaber, which is in the hands of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito).

With the promise of aiding Mando in his quest to find the Jedi, Bo-Katan enlists him to aid an Imperial weapons heist on a freighter bound for Moff Gideon's fleet. What follows is a memorable shootout that perfectly captures the energy of the original trilogy. In the words of Star Wars creator George Lucas: "Faster, more intense."

Amidst the galactic fury, Howard includes an homage to her father, Ron Howard (Solo: A Star Wars Story). The battle-damaged Razor Crest entering the moon's atmosphere is a nod to Apollo 13.

True to her word, Bo-Katan tells Mando to seek Ahsoka Tano on the forest moon of Corvus. Oh, boy! There's so much to unpack and the notion of seeing Ahsoka in Chapter 12 is overwhelming...

Did The Child AKA Baby Yoda jump the shark last week in an episode that was filled with Easter eggs galore from sci-fi stablemate the Alien franchise?

The beloved tyke kept eating the last eggs of Frog Lady, an endangered species that had information that would lead Din Djarin to his fellow Mandalorians and the Jedi order. This saw some fans suggesting it was in bad taste. No pun intended. Certainly, it gave me pause. However, this new The Child plush toy (affiliate link) restored balance to the Force with special thanks to Claire from Evolution PR. This is the way.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Star Wars in crisis?

In this opinion piece regarding the current state of Star Wars, Matt Charlton, our resident Disney superfan, reflects on recent rumours in the wake of the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga. Does the Force have a future?

Guest post by Matt Charlton

Like the whispers of a planetary blockade in place above the planet Naboo over a 'trade dispute', with news only just reaching the Galactic Senate and prompting the dispatch of two Jedi Knights to investigate, could there be any truth in a recent revelation from a YouTuber that we could well be facing a Star Wars Expanded Universe-esc (EU) retcon, which might result in the sequel trilogy being spun off to an alternative reality?

Be warned, spoilers will be afoot for those who have not yet seen the Skywalker Saga - if you would like to avoid them, please navigate away now.

It's no secret that the sequel trilogy wasn't well received by an especially vocal segment of the Star Wars fanbase. There were many people who were upset with story lines, casting decisions and many other issues that came to light from what many perceive to be a disjointed way of thinking, combined with conflicting ideas from The Walt Disney Company along with directors, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, screenwriters and an urgency to recoup the $4 billon dollar invested in acquiring Lucasfilm from George Lucas in 2012.

If there's one thing that we've learned in the Information Age, there is nought as fickle as a pop culture fanbase and given 24/7 access to the internet, boy do they like every one to know about it [the fandom menace casts a long shadow- Ed].

A lot of people were overly critical that director JJ Abrams' The Force Awakens followed George Lucas' A New Hope too closely. Some of the plot points certainly seemed to mirror those tropes we saw in 1977. Simply replace Starkiller Base with the Death Star and take Jakku's sandy landscape for what we saw in Tatooine with a teenager staring out into the sky wondering what might be possible and you can certainly see what people are saying - if you were that way inclined.

Personally, I loved The Force Awakens. I liked the new direction. I liked the teases about Rey's (Daisy Ridley) parentage, wondering about where Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o) got Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) lightsaber from when we last saw it dropping through the middle of Cloud City on Bespin in The Empire Strikes Back and wondering what on earth had happened to make Luke up sticks and run away, and why the heck R2-D2 ended up with a map to where he was if he didn't want anyone to find him?

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) was the perfect embodiment of the dark side. Wonderfully played by Adam Driver with a depth we've not seen in the Star Wars universe for some time. It was a great start to the trilogy and I remember wondering if that was a gravestone we saw where Luke was on the cliff top, to the point where I would freeze frame the digital copy that I bought on the Apple TV in order to try to find clues in what The Last Jedi might bring us.

Rian Johnson's movie was a fairly radical departure from what we knew. A lot of people were unhappy with the way that Luke was written out. It's difficult to know how Mark Hamill felt about the way things went but I think he probably, like the rest of us might have wanted to see a little more than Force Projection as a display of Luke's powers. It was even worse when the resulting physical and psychological damage from this ends the life of our beloved hero. I loved him throwing the lightsaber over his shoulder. It was funny - though I'm not sure it was a very 'Luke' thing to do.

We know from The Rise of Skywalker that the X-wing, we see beneath the waves, is fully operational, but it could well be that until Luke transcended the living Force and gave up his physical form that he never truly believed that he could get over that stumbling block that Master Yoda (Frank Oz) had to help him with in The Empire Strikes back and lift it out of there. The accompanying score to that piece (mirroring the Dagobah swamp sequence) certainly helped my tear ducts to produce 'something'. He finally did it. Do, or do not. But there was nothing stopping him, physically from jumping into it and heading to Crait to help out, in person, and get a proper on screen reunion with his sister and his two beloved droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO.

The return of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) in The Rise of Skywalker was pretty cool, we got to see some pretty neat set pieces and some new Force powers. The pacing of the movie is pretty quick, it never feels as long as it is.

I think for me, looking back over the three 'new' movies as a whole - I enjoyed them, they were fun, and there are certain aspects of them that I love, but when you put them all together, as a trilogy - something isn't quite right. The poorest, out of the three was The Last Jedi. With Luke's bizarre behaviour, green milk drinking defeatist attitude and Yoda blowing up the (empty) Jedi library. The last act with them trying to outrun the First Order and having limited fuel was also a little lacking on story timing.

As a trilogy, it falls flat.

Is this down to a missing overarching vision? Was it a case of having too many different directors involved, then changing directors due to creative differences? Did Rian Johnson look to change too much of what JJ Abrams had laid the foundations for and it was too difficult to bring back to something that made sense?

One of the really jarring things, is Leia's (Carrie Fisher) Mary Poppins in space sequence, I didn't like that at all, it just felt like it went against everything we know about what would actually happen if someone found themselves out there in the vacuum of space. I know it's a movie, I know it's science fiction, but it just didn't gel for me, maybe it was the CGI, it just didn't look natural.

Although Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford all signed on for (at least) The Force Awakens, there was never a reunion of all three on screen. I think everybody expected this to happen. With Harrison Ford being taken out in the first movie, it was probably never going to be part of the plan, though he does return for The Rise of Skywalker. The untimely, devastating passing of Carrie Fisher will have also changed the direction of where they were originally going with the trilogy when it was first planned out.

There's been a lot of talk on the internet about how the fine folks at Disney aren't too happy with Star Wars - when they purchased Lucasfilm, they thought they were buying a license to print money, and it turns out that if the money you're printing isn't the denomination or the currency that the fans are wanting, they'll outright find another minting source.

I'm a big Disney fan. I love Disney. I also think that they did a stellar job with Marvel Studios since they took over, the whole of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) shows what is possible with joined-up thinking and an overarching storyline that can culminate in the coming together of multiple superheroes and a decade of planning to give us the Russo brothers' Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame blockbuster.

However, I don't know if they've taken the right path with Star Wars. I love there's a portion of the theme parks dedicated to all things Star Wars in Galaxy's Edge, I love that there's Darth Vader meet and greets and I love some of the other stuff that's come out. I even enjoyed Solo: A Star Wars Story, and I don't think there are many people who didn't enjoy Rogue One. In fact, I'd quite happily watch 3-hours of footage based around Darth Vader's single-handed assault on the docking corridor of the Tantive IV.

I remember the prequels coming out - I was 18 when The Phantom Menace was released. I remember when the first teasers dropped and you had to have QuickTime (QT) to watch them [I streamed it endlessly on my graphite iMac DV SE - Ed]. I remember being excited. I remember enjoying them. All three of them.

Sure some of the acting was wooden, some of the dialogue was cheesy, Jar Jar (Ahmed Best) was annoying, but overall I love them. I know a lot of other people didn't. There were similar feelings of unhappiness, the internet was still something that not many people had access to in the late 1990s and if they did it was on a single family computer rather than in the palm of their hand. It's a lot easier now to broadcast your opinion on an iPhone and have someone read it instantly.

If we think about the timelines of the trilogies, we can see some major differences.

The Phantom Menace - Anakin is a young boy
Attack of the Clones - Set 10 years after TPM
Revenge of the Sith - 3 years after AOTC
A New Hope - 19 years after ROTS
The Empire Strikes Back - 3 years after ANH
Return of the Jedi - anything up to a year
The Force Awakens - 30 years after ROTJ
The Last Jedi - Immediately after The Force Awakens
The Rise of Skywalker - A year after TLJ

The prequel trilogy spanned 13 years.
There was a 19 year gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
The original trilogy spanned 4 years. The sequel trilogy spanned 1 year.

It makes you wonder whether things got a little too granular, maybe there wasn't a big enough time jump to allow off-screen character development to take place, maybe this was influenced by the release schedule being one film every year [thankfully now abandoned - Ed]?

Say what you want about George Lucas, and him not having a 9 movie plan to start with [Lucas makes mention of the 9-part saga in the liner notes of The Empire Strikes Back - Ed] (I remember pre-internet this was something I used to excitedly discuss with my school friends). Star Wars was his baby. I know that the trade disputes/Trade federation weren't a great addition to The Phantom Menace, but it was more about bogging down the Jedi with red tape and distracting them from what else was going on, which gave Palpatine the platform that he needed to grab some emergency executive power to make things run faster so that he could 'help' Naboo. I get it, I get what he was going for.

I still would have rather had 3 movies about Anakin (Jake Lloyd/Hayden Christensen) at his darkest though. What we see implied with the Sand People and the Younglings is only scratching the surface at how far our young hero had to fall in order to become Darth Vader.

So anyway, back to the original point of this article. A concept was introduced in Star Wars Rebels called the Veil of the Force. If applied to the movies, this could allow for a multiverse/multiple timelines scenario. It could allow the events of the sequel trilogy to become things that are ignored/never happen. It could also give rise to something new - like a big screen version of Timothy Zahn's EU (now legends) trilogy complete with Grand Admiral Thrawn. That would be epic.

I completely understand why Disney did what they did with the EU content, by retconning/retiring all of the things that had come before, they could forge their own path. They wouldn't be constrained by stories that had been told before.

To paraphrase Doctor Ian Malcolm, just because they could do something, doesn't necessarily mean that they should have.

There's been a huge number of internet outlets pick up on the potential 'leak' from Dicktor Van Doomcock, with some mainstream UK tabloids also getting in on the act.

There's rumours that a Lucas cut of The Rise of Skywalker exists, and that it contains lots of additional footage that was left on the cutting room floor of the edit we ended up with. There are rumours that somehow Luke will be warned not to attempt to kill Ben Solo, stopping him from becoming Kylo Ren.

There are rumours that the higher ups at Disney aren't happy with the direction things have been taken in and there are rumours that things could be changing as and when contracts end.

There are also rumours that we could see additional Luke Skywalker movies, set in the Mandalorian timeframe that could also somehow tie into the Disney+ Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) live-action series.

I still want to know how the hell Maz got hold of the lightsaber, and like Mark Hamill want to know if it came with the hand still attached? :D

The Mandalorian has shown Disney that there is still a massive appetite for Star Wars content, and that the content doesn't necessarily have to have characters we have come to know and love in them. If the story is right, the direction is done well and there's a cute green alien involved, we're all over it.

Jon Favreau (Iron Man) is being touted as the new head of Star Wars alongside Dave Filoni, with the help of Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. There are even rumours that George Lucas might be coming back to run Lucasfilm. Who knows at this point what is true or not.

I'm not sure a replacement sequel trilogy will be what we end up with, but I definitely think that Disney are doing some work, internally, to see what they can do to move forward from where they have seemingly ended up.

There are still so many aspects of the Star Wars universe that are ripe for exploration on both the big screen and on the small screen with Disney+, I don't think the stories are finished, and I'm excited to see where things end up going.

Do I think that there's enough hate to completely remove the sequel trilogy from Star Wars canon? Maybe.

Do I really believe that something like this will happen? Not really.

And besides, Master Yoda says that... Hate.... leads to Suffering.

What's next? We get Game of Thrones Season 8 redone? :D

The original YouTube video, with regards to the rumours.

Read an article on Cosmic Book News, which discusses the content of the video above and also lists Lucas' alleged demands.

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

Monday, 13 July 2020

Star Wars: The Bad Batch coming to Disney+

There's a new Star Wars spin-off coming to your galaxy in 2021. The Bad Batch, a unique squad of clones first seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, are getting their own animated series on Disney+.

“Giving new and existing fans the final chapter of Star Wars: The Clone Wars has been our honor at Disney+, and we are overjoyed by the global response to this landmark series,” said Agnes Chu, senior vice president, Content, Disney+. “While The Clone Wars may have come to its conclusion, our partnership with the groundbreaking storytellers and artists at Lucasfilm Animation is only beginning. We are thrilled to bring Dave Filoni’s vision to life through the next adventures of the Bad Batch.”

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is executive produced by Dave Filoni (The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels).

Are you excited for The Bad Batch or would you prefer an Ahsoka Tano spin-off series? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Katee Sackhoff cast as Bo-Katan in The Mandalorian

Katee Sackhoff is expected to join the second season cast of The Mandalorian according to the latest SlashFilm scoop.

The Battlestar Galactica star is rumoured to play Bo-Katan Kryze in the Disney+ live-action Star Wars spin-off series. Sackhoff previously played the character in The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels animated series.

Bo-Katan will be reunited with Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and they'll be joined by Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison).

Newly-appointed Disney CEO Bob Chapek has confirmed the second season will not be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and is currently in post-production.

Monday, 4 May 2020

Celebrate May Fourth on Disney+

To celebrate Star Wars Day on Disney+, there's a host of new galactic goodies for fans of George Lucas' beloved space opera.

From Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars series finale to new profile avatars including Jabba the Hutt and Porg.

With the conclusion of The Clone Wars, why not revisit Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars Resistance.

Today it was officially confirmed director Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), who recently won an Oscar for his Jojo Rabbit screenplay, will direct and co-write an as-yet-untitled Star Wars film with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who co-wrote 1917. Waititi most recently directed the season one finale of The Mandalorian and voiced IG-11 in the first live-action Star Wars series.

There has been a wealth of new merchandise released. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, I've ordered a Disney Store exclusive Imperial Probe Droid Elite Series Die-Cast Action Figure and the much-sought-after Build-A-Bear The Child from The Mandalorian, which sold out in the US.

How are you celebrating Star Wars Day? Let me know in the comments below.

May the Fourth be with you.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Aliens and Terminator star joins The Mandalorian

If it wasn't enough that Rosario Dawson is playing fan-favourite Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Michael Biehn, star of Aliens and The Terminator, joins the cast of The Mandalorian.

Biehn is expected to play a bounty hunter pursuing the titular character, played by Pedro Pascal, in the second season of the live-action Star Wars series on Disney+.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, The Mandalorian wrapped principal photography on its second season and will premiere this October on Disney+. Meanwhile, the first season continues every Friday on Disney+ in the UK.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Rosario Dawson to play Ahsoka in The Mandalorian

Slashfilm has exclusively revealed Rosario Dawson (Daredevil) is joining the cast of The Mandalorian for season 2.

Dawson will be playing fan-favourite Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker's Padawan from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, in the live-action series. Whilst showrunner Jon Favreau (Iron Man) is the public face of The Mandalorian, Dave Filoni's (Star Wars Rebels) creative influence is palpable. Perhaps we'll see a live-action Sabine next?

The Mandalorian's second season will start streaming on Disney+ this October.

Are you excited to see a live-action Ahsoka? Let me know in the comments below.

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.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay demo at E3

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a highly-anticipated video game from Respawn Entertainment. During this weekend's EA Play at E3, a gameplay demo in partnership with Xbox was released. The upcoming title deftly mashes Star Wars tropes with Tomb Raider and Uncharted.

Game director Stig Asmussen is famous for God of War 3. Set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a character-driven story with an unbalanced protagonist, Cal Kestis (Cameron Monaghan), who veers between Jedi and Sith in a fashion worthy of Anakin Skywalker. During the 14-minute demo, it's revealed Forest Whitaker is reprising the role of Saw Gerrera from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars Rebels.

Kestis' companion is the cutest droid since BB-8 rolled across the sand dunes of Jakku in The Force Awakens. BD-1 will aid you in your quest to unlock blast doors and much more. Kasumi Shishido worked with Lucasfilm's Doug Chiang, drawing inspiration from Pixar's Luxo Jr. and existing Star Wars staples. BD-1 looks far better than that hairdryer thing from The Rise of Skywalker. Where's my BD-1 desktop buddy, Disney?

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (affiliate link) looks like a welcome antidote to Star Wars Battlefront II and should satiate fans on Xbox One and PS4 this November. This'll keep me occupied on Xbox One X before Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.