Month: August 2017

The Last Jedi fan poster

Source: Tumblr.

An user on Reddit has published his artwork for The Last Jedi and is pretty awesome.

 

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Cassian meets K-2S0 in Rogue One prequel comic

Source: jedinews.co.uk

Star Wars: Rogue One—Cassian & K-2SO Special is a Marvel comic book that showed how Cassian Andor met the reprogrammed Imperial security droid K-2SO prior to the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The comic was written by Duane Swierczynski with art by Fernando Blanco and was released in August 9, 2017.

STAR WARS ROGUE ONE: CASSIAN & K2SO SPECIAL #1
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Fernando Blanco, Marcelo Maiolo, and Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: August 9, 2017

The Synopsis:

Cassian Andor is one of the top intelligence agents in the ranks of the Rebel Alliance, ably assisted by his reprogrammed Imperial security droid, K-2SO. But naturally, the two weren’t always on the same side of the Galactic Civil War. Now, for the first time, read the story of the pair’s first contentious meeting! It is very likely not to go well.

The Plot:

The annual begins (like the Rogue One comic adaption) with a Rebel’s Report, introducing Captain Cassian Andor and rebel spies, Kertas and Rismor. Their mission, to extract Imperial security protocols while attempting to evade detection.

The story opens with Cassian tinkering with the wiring of an unknown droid who very quickly tries to detain the Captain. We are then immediately transported to a few hours before, with Cassian flying a ship to Wecacoe, explaining to Kertas and Rismor that he doesn’t expect a large stormtrooper presence on the planet. After landing, Cassian continues to talk to the spies who never answer back as they communicate through scent. Before too long, the three spot a large Imperial force filled with stormtroopers and security droids. Refusing to be deterred, Cassian pushes on undetected until they reach a decommissioned Imperial cruiser. Cassian believes the Imperial security protocols are on the ship. Kertas and Rismor start trying to find them but Cassian quickly spots stormtroopers heading in their direction and soon an alarm is sounded.

Realising they can’t escape, Cassian comes up with a plan and tells Kertas and Rismor to stay put. Getting the attention of a security droid, Cassian tries to subdue the droid, who we learn is K-2SO, but can’t find the kill switch, as this is a model he has not encountered before. With ease, K-2 is able to defeat Cassian but is thwarted by the rebel spies, who press the droid’s kill switch. The story catches up with the start of the story, with K-2 reactivated and trying to detain Cassian as only 29.73% of his memory has been erased. The kill switch is thrown again.

Switched on again, Cassian gives K-2 new orders to lead them to the Rebel’s ship and take out any troopers who try to stop them. The team make it to find their ship surrounded by stormtroopers. K-2 once again tries to detain Cassian, getting the attention of the stormtroopers. Rismor and Kertas run off, leading the stormtroopers away from Cassian and K-2 but not before telling Cassian that K-2 has the intel the Rebel’s need.

The Rebel ship suddenly blows up and so Cassian tells K-2 that they need to find a new ship. Not one to be deterred from his programming, K-2 tells Cassian that he still needs to detain him and that 8.3% of his memory is still intact. Realising his mistake, Cassian switches K-2 off again and removes the droid’s base layer of Imperial programming. Once reactivated, K-2 is suddenly the droid from Rogue One and helps Cassian to find a new ship and escape. We see that Rismor and Kertas have blended into a crowd and are safe on the planet.

Cassian & K-2SO Annual #1 is a one-shot comic from Marvel and available from all good comic stores now. Download here. Use CDDisplay app to open the file.

Death Star Eclipse by Daria Bogdanova

On this Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse, frequently referred to as the “Great American Eclipse”, is visible within a band across the entire contiguous United States passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast. In other countries it will only be visible as a partial eclipse.

Have a happy Solar Eclipse, or should I say “Happy Death Star Eclipse”? Click here to watch Death Star Eclipse by Daria Bogdanova and enjoy.

Phasma Novel will explore the villain’s past

Source: ScreenRant. Animated gifs: Tumblr.

Per the synopsis of the upcoming Star Wars novel Phasma, the book will explore the villain’s past in great detail. While The Force Awakens earned widespread positive reviews and broke nearly every box office record in the book, the film wasn’t without its noticeable flaws. Despite her prominence in the marketing campaign, First Order stormtrooper leader Captain Phasma was severely underserved in the actual movie. The character had roughly 90 seconds of screen time, didn’t partake in any action sequences, and was tossed into the garbage chute by the end. Many felt the role was a waste of actress Gwendoline Christie’s talents, and Lucasfilm seems to be taking the necessary steps to rectify the situation.

Phasma is returning as part of the villainy in this December’s The Last Jedi, with the promise of a turn that’s more action-orientated. At some point, she will be going toe-to-toe with her former student, Finn. The story group is also hard at work on finding ways to flesh Phasma out via other canon materials, unveiling plans for a comic miniseries and prequel novel that will be part of the “Journey to The Last Jedi” publications. With the latter hitting shelves on September 1, an official synopsis has now been revealed.

Appearing on Penguin Random House’s pre-order page for Phasma, the summary hints at an intriguing rivalry between Phasma and another stormtrooper called Cardinal. A Resistance prisoner may hold the key to Cardinal getting an upper hand on Phasma within the First Order hierarchy. You can read the full synopsis below:

One of the most cunning and merciless officers of the First Order, Captain Phasma commands the favor of her superiors, the respect of her peers, and the terror of her enemies. But for all her renown, Phasma remains as virtually unknown as the impassive expression on her gleaming chrome helmet. Now, an adversary is bent on unearthing her mysterious origins—and exposing a secret she guards as zealously and ruthlessly as she serves her masters.

Deep inside the Battlecruiser Absolution, a captured Resistance spy endures brutal interrogation at the hands of a crimson-armored stormtrooper—Cardinal. But the information he desires has nothing to do with the Resistance or its covert operations against the First Order.

What the mysterious stormtrooper wants is Phasma’s past—and with it whatever long-buried scandal, treachery, or private demons he can wield against the hated rival who threatens his own power and privilege in the ranks of the First Order. His prisoner has what Cardinal so desperately seeks, but she won’t surrender it easily. As she wages a painstaking war of wills with her captor, bargaining for her life in exchange for every precious revelation, the spellbinding chronicle of the inscrutable Phasma unfolds. But this knowledge may prove more than just dangerous once Cardinal possesses it—and once his adversary unleashes the full measure of her fury.

This certainly sounds like a compelling mystery, and it will be interesting to see what secrets await readers when the book comes out. Those who have been following Star Wars canon know that in their earliest incarnations, the First Order had deep ties to the Unknown Regions. The Aftermath trilogy by Chuck Wendig ended with a young Hux and presumably young Phasma setting out to explore the uncharted territories with former Imperial officers, so hopefully Phasma contains more information about the Unknown Regions. The novels in particular seem to be placing an emphasis on them, as they were also mentioned throughout Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn. Fans should not go into this new book expecting confirmation about the latest Supreme Leader Snoke theories (which probably is being saved for the movies), but it will still be fun to read about Phasma’s history, especially since there’s a lot to unpack in regards to her character.

Captain Phasma, in her chromium armor, carried a customized F-11D blaster rifle.

With even hot topics like Rey’s parentage said to be “less important” than originally thought in Episode VIII, it looks like Last Jedi is going to be focused more on the present and telling that particular story, rather than lingering on backstories. As such, the Phasma novel is a great illustration of how the various corners of the Star Wars universe can come together and compliment one another to present a more complete picture. Reading the book won’t be required homework for those looking forward to seeing Last Jedi, but curious minds interested to discover more about Phasma will definitely want to pick it up and find out where the chrome-domed soldier comes from.

Phasma will be released on September 1, 2017. Pre-order now clicking here.

Arya battles Brienne with lightsabers in new fan mashup

Source: ScreenRant

Star Wars meets Game of Thrones in a new fan mash-up video that adds lightsabers to the epic sword battle between Arya and Brienne in season 7, episode 4, ‘The Spoils of War’. YouTube user Omid G posted the below mash-up video that adds a Star Wars spin to Game of Thrones by putting lightsabers in the hands of Arya Stark and her sister Sansa’s one-time protector Brienne of Tarth.

In the episode, Arya spots Brienne training Podrick in sword fighting technique in the courtyard at Winterfell, and decides to challenge Brienne herself. At first it seems unlikely that tiny Arya will have any chance against towering Brienne and her powerful sword-strokes, but as we’ve learned again-and-again, it’s never wise to underestimate Arya. In the sequence, the young Stark woman shows off all the moves she’s learned over the years from all her instructors, including the late lamented Syrio Forel and the still-living (and now beyond-the-wall-bound) The Hound – who was himself once beaten by Brienne – finally besting Brienne by whipping out the dagger given to her by Bran after he got it from Littlefinger.

Here are other related videos you can find on YouTube:

Tower of Joy’s Jedi Battle

The Red Viper Vs The Mountain (with a happy ending)

Bronn lightsaber duel at Moon Door

New Star Wars spin-offs can include Yoda, Boba Fett, Jabba and Obi-Wan

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a billionaire company acquired another billionaire company for a few billion dollars. Now, to recover the investment and get even more profit, this company is exploring all that they can of the product acquired…

Jabba the Hutt Spin-off being considered by Lucasfilm

Source: ScreenRant

One of Lucasfilm’s next Star Wars spin-offs could star none other than the disgusting gangster himself, Jabba the Hutt. Since being acquired by Disney in 2012, Lucasfilm will soon have released three films as part of their Star Wars relaunch. The main saga films have been the anchor so far, but the relaunch also gave the studio a chance to spread their wings and do standalone films outside of the Skywalker Saga. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story proved that there is plenty of interest in seeing more films set in a galaxy far, far away, which is good news for the studios as it is just the start.

Han Solo will be the second spinoff film and we now know that the long-awaited Obi-Wan film is gearing up to be the third “Star Wars Story“. The reports about the Obi-Wan spin-off movie have brought with them updates on some of the other spin-offs that Lucasfilm has in early, early development right now. The list includes Boba Fett and Yoda solo films, as well as a movie about Jabba, it would seem.

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In Variety‘s writeup of the Obi-Wan news, they revealed that one of the other spinoff films being developed is a Jabba the Hutt story. With Jabba’s name and movie being included in a group of candidates, it is unclear what the level of interest is. This could be in the earliest of stages of development and never see the light of day, or it possible it could be the fourth standalone to hit theaters. All of that depends on how development continues from hereon out.

Jabba is a notoriously unlikable alien in the Star Wars universe, making him an odd choice to potentially get his own film. Lucasfilm has (so far) avoided going outside the box with its Star Wars spin-off movies, so a gangster-styled Star Wars film starring a despicable alien would make for an unexpected change of pace. However, if Lucasfilm was looking to branch out and embrace different genre with these standalones, then maybe Jabba actually has a chance.

https://moseisleychronicles.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/untitled-73.gif?w=550&h=220

Even though there is a case to be made for Jabba and the underground world of the Star Wars universe he could help uncover, any future appearances are probably best kept for supporting roles. There are rumors Jabba will appear in the Han Solo movie in some capacity – and if a bounty hunter film starring Boba Fett ever happens, he would be a logical inclusion there, too.

While a Jabba the Hutt spin-off may never actually see the light of day, this news further illustrates Lucasfilm’s current interest in having these spinoff films feature established and/or fan-favorite characters (Han Solo) or revolve around important events (Rogue One). As the franchise continues, hopefully the vast universe at Lucasfilm’s hands will be more openly explored and give rise to true standalone adventures, in the process.

Yoda & Boba Fett movies being considered by Lucasfilm

Source: ScreenRant

A new report states that the previously-rumored Boba Fett and Yoda movies are still being considered by Lucasfilm. Ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm, they’ve been making a concerted effort to spin out as many characters and stories as possible from the Skywalker Saga. Across TV, books, comics, and games, new adventures in the galaxy far, far away have fleshed out the Star Wars canon and helped to fill the void left by the Expanded Universe. On the film side of things, this has meant three proposed anthology/spin-off films that are meant to debut in the years without an Episode.

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Last year, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story kicked things off with a bang, emboldening Lucasfilm in their efforts. Next year, Han Solo will once again use the prequel format to explore areas from the past of the franchise. And while we were told earlier this year that future films wouldn’t rely on Legacy elements, that’s quickly proven to be untrue. After months of speculation, it’s now being reported that an Obi-Wan spin-off/prequel is in the works – and it appears he may not be alone.

As part of the story on the Obi-Wan film, THR is reporting that Lucasfilm is pursuing Yoda and Boba Fett spin-offs. Like Han Solo and the Obi-Wan movie, these would be prequels of course, but no other information on the potential films is known at this time.

Star Wars fans will likely recall that neither of these proposed films is coming out of the blue. A Boba Fett film was long planned to be one of the new anthology films, with Josh Trank even completing a Boba Fett test sizzle reel. After the disaster that was Fantastic Four (2015), however, Lucasfilm and Trank parted ways and the film was apparently shelved. Given the popularity of the Mandalorian bounty hunter, it’s no surprise that Lucasfilm are still pursing a Boba Fett film, even if it does prevent new stories from being explored.

Meanwhile, a Yoda film has been rumored since back in 2013, though there’s been much less progress than with the Boba Fett movie. Still, Yoda is a popular character who lived for nearly 900 years. The adventures he’s been on and the lives he’s touched could allow Lucasfilm to root a story with a familiar character while exploring a time and place we’ve never seen. Frank Oz is also still alive and working, so being able to bring back the character’s key voice actor makes the film an even more exciting prospect.

In the meantime, next summer’s Han Solo and this year’s Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi will continue to explore new avenues within the Star Wars universe. And if those films are as successful as previous installments in the franchise have been, then the Boba Fett and Yoda movies could become a reality.

Obi-Wan movie in the works from Billy Elliot director

Source: ScreenRant

Lucasfilm is in the early stages of developing an Obi-Wan Kenobi standalone movie, with Oscar-nominated director Stephan Daldry (Billy Elliot) in talks to call the shots. As many fans know by now, Lucasfilm is expanding their immensely popular Star Wars film franchise with a series of spin-off films that compliment the main episodes of the Skywalker family saga. Last year, Rogue One proved their was an audience for Star Wars anthologies, and Ron Howard’s young Han Solo movie remains on track for a May 2018 release. It’s long been presumed a third standalone would be part of the slate, with Obi-Wan Kenobi’s return heavily speculated.

Fans were tipped off earlier this year, when an alleged outline of Disney’s post-Episode IX plans made waves online. Among the many topics discussed was Obi-Wan, which viewers have been clamoring for ever since the Mouse House acquired Lucasfilm. McGregor is widely seen as one of the best aspects of the often-maligned prequel trilogy, and many wanted to see the actor get another shot at Star Wars glory. McGregor has frequently stated he would happily return if asked, so there’s much excitement surrounding this project already.

According to THR, Daldry is in “early talks” to direct Obi-Wan. There currently is not a script in place, and in typical Lucasfilm fashion, plot details are firmly under wraps. No release date is targeted yet. Interestingly enough, it is not known right now if McGregor will reprise Obi-Wan, but at this point it would be a surprise if he didn’t come back. The actor’s take on the Jedi Knight is well-received, and there has been a groundswell of support for McGregor for years. With the film in the initial stages of development, one would think he’d join the project shortly.

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Daldry, a veteran of dramas such as The Hours and The Reader is an interesting choice for director, but from a certain point of view, a case can be made for him. Considering Obi-Wan takes place in the years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, there’s a chance it’s a smaller, more character-driven work than previous Star Wars films. Additionally, Lucasfilm is still dealing with the aftermath of the Phil Lord and Chris Miller fiasco on Han Solo, so working with a veteran helmsman who has a steady hand behind the camera is certainly appealing. It will be interesting to see how this all comes together – especially considering the production woes the first two Star Wars spin-offs saw.

With Obi-Wan in the works, many fans will be wondering when they can expect to see it in theaters. Lucasfilm has a full plate on their hands right now, with three more Star Wars movies and Indiana Jones 5 all officially scheduled from now through 2020. Unlike Disney brethren Marvel, they seem to be in the business of doing one movie per year, so it’s possible viewers won’t be reacquainted with Kenobi until 2021 at the earliest.

The Last Jedi: Every reveal from EW’s The Last Jedi Coverage

Source: ScreenRant

Star Wars: The Last Jedi just got a lot more exciting. Entertainment Weekly‘s become a major source for info on new movies set in that galaxy far, far away and on Wednesday they just dropped an epic cover story full of fresh details about Episode VIII. Check out the exclusive EW coverage of The Last Jedi below (cortesy: Tumblr):

We’ve already had major news for the sequel care of Star Wars Celebration in April and Vanity Fair in May, but this is on another level, with amazing high-quality movie stills and many substantial plot reveals. In fact, there’s so much in the cover story and accompanying online content that it’s easy to miss something, so here’s our now-customary breakdown of all the major new information and what it means for The Last Jedi.

LUKE INITIALLY REJECTS REY

Daisy Ridley previously said of Luke and Rey’s initial meeting that “it is difficult when you meet your heroes because it might not be what you expect” and boy was she not lying. It sounds like The Force Awakens‘ cliff-top ending will be followed up by Luke rejecting Rey, in Ridley’s words coming across as “a grumpy guy on an island who doesn’t want me here“. This is an essential part of both character’s trilogy arcs, challenging Rey’s slow-built sense of belonging and serving as a window into why Luke’s in exile in the first place.

LUKE THOUGHT KYLO REN WAS THE CHOSEN ONE

Quite what went down between Luke, Ben and Snoke that led the Skywalker into exile and turned Solo into Kylo Ren is still a mystery, but we did learn one key detail that will only serve to amplify the issue: Luke thought Kylo was the Chosen One. This highlights how close a relationship the pair had before things went all fire-and-dark side, but also reveals that the sequel trilogy is going to be exploring massive parts of the mythology from the prequels, something some fans thought was completely off the cards.

We also learned the exact reasoning for the exile was the first plot point Rian Johnson addressed when writing the script and will be answered in the film. However, the full scope of the changes made to Luke since Return of the Jedi may not be fully explored (at least not in the movie itself); Hamill said he and Johnson came up with a complex backstory of everything that’s happened to Skywalker but it was more for his performance than anything to be explicitly conveyed.

REY’S PARENTS WILL BE REVEALED (BUT IT’S NOT IMPORTANT)

Yes, we will learn who Rey’s parents are and why she was left on Jakku. There’s been a lot of questions over whether we’ll get an answer to the sequel trilogy’s biggest mystery in Episode VIII, and the EW report resolutely states that we are. Although it also suggests the real weight will be in the complicated impact on Rey, as opposed to the shock of the reveal itself.

Johnson and Ridley both made a point of how, despite spending a film accepting the future, Rey is still curious and driven by questions of her past. However, they further made clear that finally learning where she came from doesn’t actually provide any neat narrative solution and isn’t all that important to her arc. There’s so many ways this could go – Skywalker, Solo, Kenobi, none of the above – but it seems clear, whatever the resolution, it won’t be the cheeriest or most satisfying one.

MORE TEASES OF REY’S FAMILIAL CONNECTION TO LUKE

It’s not the biggest nugget, but Hamill managed to once again stoke the flames of the fan theory that Rey is a Skywalker. As already established, the pair’s first meeting doesn’t go too well, something Ridley puts on Rey being someone Luke doesn’t know; however, EW‘s article that’s followed up with Hamill stating “But does he not know her?

To be fair, he’s been teasing this notion for a while to purposely wind fans up – he did something very similar at Celebration – but the fact he’s winking so much would suggest there is going to be some big reveal in Rey’s backstory.

MARK HAMILL OBJECTED TO LUKE ENDING THE JEDI

At Star Wars Celebration, Mark Hamill said that he initially “fundamentally disagreed” with what Rian Johnson was doing with Luke in The Last Jedi (a statement that was swiftly exaggerated to him actively hating the film). Now we have some idea of what exactly he was talking about; it was the notion of Luke wanting “the Jedi to end“ that so shook the actor, who “struggled” seeing how far the once wide-eyed farmboy had gone.

Of course, there could be more to it – EW will have just published the parts that relate to currently released materials – but this would at the very least indicate Skywalker isn’t making empty threats to Rey here.

HOW CHEWBACCA’S COPING WITH HAN’S DEATH

One place where The Force Awakens really dropped the ball was how it handled Chewie’s in regards to Han’s death; the Wookiee lost his longest friend and yet the movie pretty much skipped over his heartbreak, with Leia consoling newcomer Rey rather than her old friend at the end. The Last Jedi looks to be addressing that, with Johnson promising a look at Chewbacca’s coping with Han’s murder.

The film will see him more angry than depressed, and will also have him learn to move on with the help of his new team of friends. And, of course, Porgs.

PORGS RIDE IN THE FALCON

If you thought the adorable book Chewie and the Porgs was just going to be an off-screen adventure, here’s some good news. One of the EW images features how one of the alien birds riding in the Millennium Falcon cockpit with Chewbacca, suggesting they’ll be a fun little subplot between the Wookiee and the new creatures (which Johnson reveals are based on the real inhabitants of Skellig Michael). Given how much love has already been directed towards the Porgs, expect memes aplenty come December.

THE CARETAKERS – AHCH-TO’S OTHER INHABITANTS

Porgs aren’t the only Ahch-To natives keeping Luke company. EW also gave us our first look at The Caretakers; amphibious-like, squat, humanoid creatures that maintain the buildings on the island. Realized via practical costumes, they’re described as all female, nun-like, and speaking in “Scottish fish talk“. All this plays into the tranquility of the Jedi’s exile, although it sounds like they’re not too keen on their guest; they “tolerate” Luke rather than truly welcoming him.

THE VILLAGE (MAY BE) THE FIRST JEDI TEMPLE

This is a minor reveal in-and-of-itself, but a cool one all the same. It was confirmed in Vanity Fair‘s previous expose on the film that the real life huts on Ireland’s Skellig Michael were going to be a village on Ahch-To, but not the temple itself and instead the home of then-unrevealed natives (who we now know to be the Caretakers). EW begs to differ, with a photo caption citing the buildings as the first Jedi temple

It seems that this is a case of miscommunication and they’re both; the hits are the ruins of the temple, which are now lived-in and maintained by the fish women.

CAVE PAINTINGS WILL REVEAL JEDI HISTORY

Because we’re going back to the first Jedi Temple, many have assumed that we’ll be learning some serious secrets of the Force’s origins in The Last Jedi. Per Johnson, it sounds like that deep mythology won’t be directly delved into, although will still be present in the film – just in the background. The Jedi Cave (seen in the teaser trailer with its Force tree) will have wall paintings that take us further back in the Order’s history than the most far-reaching Star Warsstories (official canon or otherwise) have gone – so keep your eyes peeled.

FINN’S BECOME A HERO (BUT WANTS OUT OF THE RESISTANCE)

Now that it’s well established Finn recovers from his saber injuries, the EWfeature provides some new details on the film’s Resistance lead and his next adventure. Since his string of heroic actions in The Force Awakens, he’s become something of a legend in his own right. Which is all grand, except he doesn’t really want to be involved.

Following up his plan to leave the fight while at Maz’s castle, at the start of The Last Jedi Finn’s main goal is to leave the Resistance (the article suggests a desire to run away with Rey) and head to the calm of the Outer Rim. Of course, it won’t be that easy to walk away.

FINN’S PAST (AND FAMILY) IS IMPORTANT

It seems that Finn’s family history will be explored in the movies going forward. Per Boyega not much is revealed in The Last Jedi, but it likely could factor into Episode IX in some form.

However, unlike Rey’s which has so much potential to directly influence major events, this seems to be purely thematic and singularly focused. It’s about exploring what brought Finn to where he is now, from brainwashed Stormtrooper to unwitting Resistance hero; any backstory will be going into how the First Order operates and strengthening Boyega’s role, rather than expanding the mythos.

FINN AND POE ARE ROSE’S HEROES

One of the people who looks up to Finn is Rose Tico, Kelly Marie Tran’s Resistance Mechanic who winds up teaming with the former Stormtrooper. As Johnson said at Celebration, she’s conceived as a ground level character who gets swept up in the fight, something elaborated on here to mean she has a particular adoration for our heroes; as well as idolizing Finn, she views Poe Dameron as “super cool” (something that’s true, but worth highlighting all the same).

All the new heroes in The Force Awakens were variations on various types of Star Wars fan, and it seems that Rose is filling that of the the more direct superfan.

NEW DETAILS ON CANTO BIGHT’S PLANET

Rose and Finn team-up for an undercover mission that takes them to Canto Bight. We’ve already seen a lot of photos and behind-the-scenes footage of the practical creature-heavy city and in particular one of its fancy casinos, but EWprovides a bit more backstory on the planet where it’s situated.

The city is a luxury resort on an otherwise deserted planet, which despite previous descriptions calling it Monte Carlo in space suggests something a bit more Vegas-like. Indeed, it’s specifically cited as “arid”, although surely we’ve not got another desert.

They also gave an image of the casino’s exterior, which not only shows some Jabba’s Palace-esque architecture but reveals the city’s police vehicles.

AN OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION OF DJ

By far the most mysterious and hard to speculate element of The Last Jedi is DJ, Benicio del Toro’s new character. He’s been teased since before The Force Awakens came out yet details are incredibly scarce on the scoundrel-like sort-of-villain. EW expands things a little with a Lucasfilm logline on the character: “DJ is an enigmatic figure whose tattered, threadbare clothes and lackadaisical attitude conceal a sharp mind and expert skills.

OK, so it’s not much, but it along with quotes from the other cast members hint that there’s a lot more to him than the shabby getup of the single officially-released image suggests. There’s also some clarification on the conflicting statements on him being a bad guy; he’s outside of the galactic conflict, allying with neither the Resistance or First Order.

DJ’S BROUGHT INTO ROSE AND FINN’S MISSION AS A HACKER

What we do get regarding DJ is a hint at how he’ll factor into the plot. It’s confirmed he’s introduced into the story in the Canto Bight section, hired by Finn and Rose to serve as a hacker – or, in canon parlance, slicer. Not knowing why the pair are going undercover. it’s hard to really garner much from this, but it would seem to suggest this side of the plot will be more tech-based than the mythology heavy Ahch-To adventures.

FINN IS IN THE CRAIT BATTLE

It’s looking like the Hoth-esque Battle of Crait is going to be in the film’s final act. As such, beyond it seeing Resistance speeders go up against the First Order’s gorilla walkers, not much context for the skirmish is known. Now, though, we do know it’ll be following a beloved character; one of the new images shows Finn piloting one of the Rebel crafts (something teased in the behind-the-scenes reel). This not only confirms he sticks with the Resistance until the end, it also continues his specific development as a pilot from The Force Awakens. (Poe might have competition).

FINN AND REY SPEND MOST OF THE MOVIE APART

They spent most of The Force Awakens together, but it looks like John Boyega and Daisy Ridley spent some time apart on The Last Jedi. Obviously they both start off in separate places and go on different adventures, but EW confirmed in its text that Rey and Finn aren’t going to be sharing the screen much in Episode VIII, with their journies’ instead working as parallels of self-discovery.

That said, we do know the pair will reunite from the behind-the-scenes video, which suggests a major reunion in the final on Crait.

POE IS LEIA’S SURROGATE SON – AND FUTURE RESISTANCE LEADER?

Poe Dameron was underserved in The Force Awakens mainly because the original script had him killed in the Jakku crash – but now that he’s a proper member of the hero trio, The Last Jedi‘s giving him a very important role. Following up lots of behind-the-scenes photos of Oscar Isaac and Carrie Fisher, the former said that Leia views Poe as something of a “surrogate son“.

That’s just teasing healing over the betrayal of Kylo Ren, though; the General sees the Resistance’s best pilot as a potential inheritor of her leadership role both in the war and after. This, in turn, reveals a lot about Poe’s arc, with him essentially the soldier who’ll have to eventually move into peacetime.

This relationship went beyond just the movie, however, with Isaac and Fisher becoming very close during production; in the EW feature shared a tear-inducing story of the late actress dancing on set.

THE RESISTANCE IS VULNERABLE

The Force Awakens was kind of a victory for the good guys; the Republic was destroyed and Han Solo died, but they managed to deliver a massive blow against the First Order by destroying Starkiller Base. The Vanity Fair feature previously highlighted how the First Order were leading the charge and out for revenge, and now the EW exclusive has expanded on that, with Johnson saying to them the Resistance is “very, very vulnerable” without the organized government to protect them.

It looks like the film will open with them trying to escape their base on D’Qar only to come up against a strong blockade, then have to defend themselves on Crait, meaning they’re not in a dissimilar place to the Rebels in the original trilogy.

LAURA DERN’S VICE ADMIRAL HOLDO MAY BE DUPLICITOUS

As well as the galactic-scale, there’s also some hints at internal conflicts going on within the Resistance, debates which seem to center on Laura Dern’s new purple-haired character Vice Admiral Holdo. Aside from rank little is known about the new participant, but from the way those involved dodge the questions from EW it seems like she’ll not be just a standard ally to Leia.

Whether this is bureaucracy, rivalry or something more actively malicious is unclear and it seems like it’ll be a mystery all the way up to the movie’s release.

THE STORY IS A LOVELY SEND-OFF TO FISHER

There’s no getting around that The Last Jedi will be the final film to feature General Leia after Carrie Fisher’s death in late 2016, although even though the film was wrapped before her untimely passing it sounds more and more like it’s going to be the perfect send-off.

The specifics weren’t cited because, well, spoilers, but Johnson made a point of saying that what the former Princess does in the film will act as a fitting cap to her five movies and forty years on screen. Presumably that means a heroic, unrelenting Leia who gets a bit more to do than in Episode VII.

MAZ HAS A SMALLER PART (BUT A BIG REVEAL TO MAKE)

Although she was confirmed to be returning when filming began, we’ve heard very little about Lupita Nyong’o’s role in the film. And that seems to be because Maz Kanata isn’t going to be in The Last Jedi all that much; Johnson said she has a smaller part, and seeing as the shriveled tangerine was only in The Force Awakens for the middle stretch that implies a couple of scenes at best.

Despite limited screen time, EW do hint she has something important to say – perhaps an answer to that “good question for another time” regarding how she wound up with Luke’s old lightsaber?

HAN’S LEGACY LOOMS OVER REY AND KYLO

We’re not going to be seeing any more of Han Solo in the sequel trilogy, but that doesn’t mean he’s gone and forgotten. As well as its importance on Chewie’s arc, it was revealed “the ghost” of Han will loom large over the film and specifically Rey and Kylo; it ties them emotionally together, with her having lost a hope at a father figure and him emotionally reeling from killing his father (it’s far more destructive for him than being beaten in combat by a scavenger). This appears to be an essential part in making the pair, in Johnson’s words, “two halves of the dark and the light“.

In his EW interview, Johnson made sure to correct himself when using the G-word lest anybody expect Harrison Ford to return as a blue apparition. Now that would be a twist.

PHASMA AND FINN FIGHT

He’s fought TR-8R. He’s fought Kylo Ren. Now Finn’s going to get to show down against his stern Stormtrooper Captain. Phasma was seriously underused in Episode VII, something that’s being corrected in The Last Jedi. We know she’s leading the charge against the Resistance in their opening battle and it sounds like she’ll later be on the tail of Rose and Finn as she’s going to be taking him on in combat.

While her role is expanded, it doesn’t sound like much of Phasma’s backstory will be elaborated on in the film itself, with that reserved for the previously-announced tie-in materials.

THE PRAETORIAN GUARD OFFICIALLY REVEALED

We’ve had so many toys and leaks suggesting these guys, but now we have an official proper look at Snoke’s personal protection, the Praetorian Guard. Basically an updated, fight-ready version of the Emperor’s red Imperial Guard, they’re decked in all-red armor with matching knife-staffs. As confirmed by Johnson, the name – like much of the Empire’s ephemera – comes from the guards of Roman Emperors.

MORE SNOKE (BUT NOT NECESSARILY BACKSTORY)

As the presence of his guards should clue you in, this means a lot more Snoke in The Last Jedi. Of course, that much we already knew, but there is now explicit word his increased role won’t mean an end to all those Snoke theories. Stating “a story is not a Wikipedia page“, Johnson said they won’t be delving deep into his origins, with any reveals centered on his role in the narrative at hand (which, as the director points out, isn’t that dissimilar to the Emperor as presented in Return of the Jedi). Fittingly, nothing was actually said of what his story involvement was.

THE PRACTICAL/CGI CONFUSION CLEARED UP

Aside from his true identity, one of the biggest mysteries about Snoke has been how he’ll be portrayed in Episode VIII – past rumors suggested a puppet was used on set, yet Andy Serkis has stated it’s all CGI. Now we have an answer – and both are true (kind of).

While, once again, Snoke is an entirely mo-cap performance from Serkis (a performance Johnson gushed about) and thus entirely CGI, a maquette was used during filming as reference for lighting and to give the actors something to play off.

THE EMPIRE PARALLELS ARE ACCIDENTAL

Between our hero training with an initially-reluctant, self-exiled Jedi Master and the rest of the good guys on the run in various exotic locales, you’d be forgiven for thinking that The Last Jedi sounds a lot like The Empire Strikes Back; just like The Force Awakens used a lot of A New Hope‘s story, is Episode VIII also a remake of Episode V?

Johnson actually acknowledges these parallels in the EW feature but says it was all accidental; he constructed the story with a clear mind, but due to where The Force Awakens left off and his perception of Star Wars tropes certain elements fell that way regardless. He was, of course, very keen to point out that despite some parallels the movie is a totally different beast. And, all things considered, we’re inclined to agree.

 

The Cosmos of Star Wars by Sébastien Del Grosso

Source: PetaPixel

French freelance photographer and graphic designer Sébastien Del Grosso (or visit artist page on Behance) has created a series of beautiful artworks based on the Star Wars universe. It might not look like it, but photography played a big role in the project.

For one of these images, Del Grosso started with a single battle droid action figure and a miniature blaster.

He poses the action figure in front of a bright screen as backlighting to capture just the silhouette in a photo using his DSLR.

By combining several silhouettes into the same frame, he creates groups of figures.

Del Grosso then places the silhouettes onto a background and adds additional digital touches to bring the scene to life. What resulted is this piece, titled “Geonosis,” which shows battle droids marching down a battlefield:

He did the same with a photo of a stormtrooper action figure…

…to create this piece, titled “Jakku”:

With a few exceptions, pretty much all of Del Grosso’s backgrounds are created using photographs as well before textures and other edits are applied.

Here are more of the pieces from the project, titled “Le Cosmos de Star Wars” (click any image to see in slideshow):

From Sébastien Del Grosso, see also the gallery “Star Wars Villains”, on Behance.