Author: mkenobi

A Brazilian Jedi Master fighting tyranny and trying to bring more pop culture to the Old Republic.

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.

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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.

The Last Jedi behind the scenes photos leaked

Source text: ScrenRant

NOTE: To prevent Disney to come shut down my blog, I will not post any leaked image in this post. The Imgur gallery showing the leaked images has been taken down. However, a gallery showing all of these images can be viewed here and here.

A leaked collection of Star Wars: The Last Jedi promotional images highlight many of the film’s principal characters, including Luke Skywalker and Supreme Leader Snoke. Lucasfilm’s marketing campaign for the sequel has been personified by the small amount of plot details revealed, but the studio hasn’t been very lucky when it comes to unofficial leaks online. Ahead of September’s Force Friday II products, fans have already seen several of the toys that will be available, some of which confirm rumors and tease potential storylines. In particular, LEGO sets and mini-figures have provided a bounty of information, including the presumed physical appearance of Snoke.

Just yesterday, viewers got a better of idea of what the dark side master could look like in the flesh thanks to an artist’s rendering of the character’s description, but today we’re treated to the real deal. A batch of behind-the-scenes promo photos depicting the heroes and villains of the tale showcase everyone from Rey to Snoke’s elite praetorian guards.

The photos first appeared on the Twitter account Star Wars Stuff, and from the sound of it, they were not planned to be released as part of advertising right now.

The shoot highlights the new costumes that will be worn throughout the film, some of which have been seen in marketing materials before (such as Kylo Ren with his repositioned facial scar and flowing cape). Among this set, the ones that are sure to get most of the attention are those of Luke, who is sporting a much different outfit than the one he had at the end of The Force Awakens. In stark contrast from his white robes, Skywalker is seen in dark brown attire, looking rather ominous with his hood up. Switching gears to the First Order, Captain Phasma has a fresh weapon, clutching a staff as Gwendoline Christie strikes an action pose. These photos also give fans their first “real” look at Snoke’s guards, who – as per the rumors – are each armed differently. One has a pair of blades, while another does battle with an axe pike. Hopefully, the guards take part in an action sequence or two and aren’t just for show. As for Snoke, he was seen once again in his golden robe.

At this point, the rate of Last Jedi leaks is becoming alarming, especially after so much for Episode VII was kept under lock and key until that film’s premiere. While Lucasfilm surely wants to stop this from happening (before something far more spoilery comes out), right now what’s coming out is mostly harmless and serves as free marketing to help get fans more excited for what’s to come in December. There’s only a little under five months left, so fans don’t have to wait much longer for the full picture.

Star Wars illustrations by Brian Rood

Brian Rood is a professional illustrator working in the entertainment, comic and commercial art fields. He is most known for his photo-realistic paintings of Hollywood’s stars and characters. Brian has established an international fan base as well as an impressive client list featuring Lucas Film Ltd., Disney, Paramount Pictures, Pressman Films, Acme Archives Direct, Dynamic Forces, EA games, and others great companies. Visit Brian Rood’s official site for more of his amazing work.

The 25 greatest Star Wars posters of all-time

Source: ComingSoon.net

Arguably no other major franchise has inspired so many great artists over the years than Star Wars. From the saga’s original conceptual genius Ralph McQuarrie to art students, there are literally thousands upon thousands of artworks to filter through when compiling a list of the best Star Wars poster art ever. Inspired by Abrams Books’ publication Star Wars Art: A Poster Collection, which features twenty frame-worthy works you can pull out and stick on your wall, ComingSoon.Net done a great job along with the officially-licensed artists who have produced truly breathtaking, funny and above all COOL works of pop art. So, here are according to ComingSoon, the 25 greatest Star Wars posters of all-time.

Skywalker – Tsuneo Sanda

There it is, the whole sprawling Skywalker family saga summed up in one exquisite image by longtime Lucasfilm artist Sanda. It’s enough art nouveau beauty to make Alphonse Mucha jealous.

Trilogy – Olly Moss

Moss is a master of composition, utilizing elements of key scenery to create the facial features of Vader, Boba and C-3PO. This triptych of minimalist portraits has been oft imitated since their release.

Droids – Dave Perillo

These ARE the droids you’re looking for. Everything from the federation foot soldiers (“Roger Roger”) to EV-9D9, the hardest hardass in Jabba’s palace, all in one adorable print!

Star Wars Identities – X3 Productions/ Bleublancrouge

The traveling Star Wars Identities exhibit kicked off in the spring of 2012 in Montreal and offers a fascinating look at all (well, the first) six films in George Lucas’ saga, in which the attendee answers a range of questions at different kiosks pertaining to the trilogy to see how those decisions shape a personality, much like Anakin and Luke’s journeys. Okay, so the educational value is limited, but the mix of production art and props from the movies is the best tour through SW history of its kind. This poster, made up of hundreds of little ships, perfectly encapsulates the aim of the exhibit.

Celebration VI – Jeff Carlisle

This is a veritable “Where’s Waldo” of Star Wars fandom, drawn in micro detail. Look with a magnifying glass for all sorts of cameos, including George Lucas, Phil Tippett, Joe Johnston, Steve Sansweet, Ralph McQuarrie, Gary Kurtz, Seth Green, Dave Filoni, John Carter of Mars and Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud’s Arzach. Also, a very out of place Kirk, Spock and McCoy. The in-jokes are endless. Make sure you click the image to see a bigger version, and check out Carlisle’s Facebook page for some information on who’s included in the print.

The Phantom Menace – Drew Struzan

Struzan is the undisputed king of Star Wars poster artists, having done one-sheets for all six movies including the Special Editions (and hopefully The Force Awakens as well). While The Phantom Menace may not be the king of Star Wars movies, this piece is an absolute masterpiece, and represented one of the final gasps of the hand-painted era. “My poster artwork was used for the film unchanged in every country in every language all around the world at the same time,” Struzan said. “So the whole world was seeing my artwork all at once. That is the first time that had ever happened and it’s likely becoming the most-seen piece of art ever.”

Attack of the Clones (IMAX) – David McMacken

One of the first major Hollywood movies to get an IMAX release, the large-format version of Attack of the Clones shown in November of 2002 was not only an immersive experience (that occasionally showed off some digital seams) but also may be the optimum version of the film, since its shortened runtime dispensed with the bulk of the sappy Anakin/Padme romance that you chapter skip on the DVD. Now even films like Focus get a token IMAX release, but this poster is a great throwback that harkens to the era of showmanship the IMAX screenings were emulating before it became commonplace.

Attack of the Clones – Tsuneo Sanda

Another gorgeous work by the masterful Tsuneo Sanda, this promo piece for the Dark Horse Comics adaptation of Episode II might have outdone Drew Struzan, which is a tall order to be sure. It may even be more vibrant and dynamic than the movie itself!

Revenge of the Sith – Drew Roberts

By the time Episode III came to pass, George Lucas was no longer as hands-on with the marketing, and Struzan’s theatrical poster got botched in Photoshop at the last minute. Thus, we look to the fan community to represent the film, and although there isn’t nearly as much great fan art for the PT as there is for the OT, this minimalist design by Drew Roberts is a powerful depiction of the final battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin on Mustafar.

A New Hope – Charlie White III and Drew Struzan

This piece, known affectionately as “One-Sheet Style D” or simply “Circus-Style,” has the distinction of being George Lucas’s favorite, and is actually hung in his house. The summer 1978 re-release art was a collaboration between Struzan and White (who was the inspiration for Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III), the layered design coming about when they realized there wasn’t any room for the credits.

A New Hope – John Berkey

There are potentially more posters – both official and unofficial – for the original Star Wars than any of the other movies, partly due to all the alternates, foreign and re-release art that was generated. How any of them can top the sheer bravura nature of this piece is a mystery, since Berkey captured everything about the intensity of a space battle in his vertical composition that a horizontal screen never could.

A New Hope – Hideki Ohwada

Leave it to the Japanese to invent Karate-style C-3PO. This is the lighter side of Star Wars at its malleable best. The lettering roughly translates: “Of course I am fluent in over six million forms of communication. But that implies physical communication as well, master Luke.”

A New Hope – Bruce Yan

The fan art community has truly embraced the galaxy far far away, sometimes creating popular limited-run screen prints or, in the case of Yan, simply whipping something up for fun to celebrate May the 4th this past year and inadvertently creating one of the most memorable posters A New Hope has ever earned.

A New Hope – Arthur Parreira

Brazilian artist Parreira created this popular wallpaper piece for a contest, perfectly emulating the aesthetics of Edo-era Japanese prints (Hokusai, etc.) The Kanjis appropriately read (right to left): “Finally we have met. The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master!” “Only a master of evil, Darth.”

A New Hope – PJ McQuade

Another rising star in the pop art illustration world is McQuade, whose work has appeared in Variety, MAD Magazine and other important news outlets. Here he gives us a detailed look at the stop-motion holomonsters that inhabit the tabletop game of Dejarik, as played by spoiled sport Chewbacca and R2-D2 aboard the Millennium Falcon.

A New Hope – Mark Brooks

Done in 2007 for Celebration IV, Brooks’ officially-licensed lithograph perfectly captures the sepia-toned look of the original ’77 cast if they had happened upon an old timey photo booth at a fair (complete with coffee stain).

Star Wars Holiday Special – Matt Busch

This is perhaps the closest we’ll ever get to a photo-realistic version of the first appearance of Boba Fett, as seen in 1978’s infamous “Holiday Special.” Nelvana’s animated segment, known as “The Faithful Wookie,” featured the entire original cast voicing the heroes as they encounter the bounty hunter on a gooey galactic raindrop known as Panna. This awesome recreation was made exclusively for this April’s Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim.

The Empire Strikes Back – Noriyoshi Ohrai

This gorgeous Japanese B1 poster for the fifth chapter in the saga is not as well known as the Gone With the Wind-inspired US theatrical, but deserves to be. Original 8×10-inch high-resolution transparencies of Ohrai’s artwork were discovered in 2010 within the Lucasfilm archives, and a rich re-mastered edition was issued in a limited run of 500.

The Empire Strikes Back – Boris Vallejo

Iconic fantasy artist Boris has earned his place alongside Frank Frazetta, Julie Bell and the Hildebrandt Brothers as one of the premiere fantasy painters of our time. In 1980 he was commissioned by Coca-Cola/Burger King to create four posters in his own bold style, the best of which shows Luke and Han having some Taunton adventures on Hoth, probably right before the start of the film.

The Empire Strikes Back (Radio Play) – Ralph McQuarrie

This image was chosen for the cover of “Star Wars Art: A Poster Collection,” and it’s an inspiring image executed by the design visionary behind the look for Episode IV and V, Ralph McQuarrie, AKA Star Wars artist numero uno. The piece itself was done for the Empire Strikes Back radio play on NPR, and showcases some of the Dagobah beasties that were a little too fantastical to afford for the film itself.

The Empire Strikes Back – Cat Staggs

Staggs has amassed a most impressive portfolio of official Lucasfilm illustrated work for comics, trading cards and, yes, prints. This one for Celebration V is part of the new wave of retro WWII style propaganda posters that a lot of artists have been creating, but for our money this one is definitely the best.

Return of the Jedi – Tim Reamer

A truly unforgettable image, used for the A sheet in the US, but we prefer the British quad version since all that bothersome text is pushed to the side so we can see Reamer’s rendering with perfect clarity.

Return of the Jedi – Tibor Helény

Of all the bonkers foreign posters for the OT that are out there, this one is super cool because the artist had definitely seen the movie (or at least a few publicity photos), yet still felt compelled to add in that weird green dragon creature holding a (the first?) double-sided lightsaber. If J.J. Abrams, Gareth Edwards or Rian Johnson are reading this, please find a way to include this monster in some capacity for future movies.

Return of the Jedi – Tim Anderson

Here we go, simple, elegant, and oddly serene. This is a poster made by a fan for fans, the kind of thing that couldn’t really exist as a selling tool for a new movie but perfect for a classic. We know precisely the connection between that shield generator and Death Star 2, and its critical function in the battle between the Empire and Rebellion.

Return of the Jedi – Vincent Rhafael Aseo

Finally, we end on a fan piece that is not in any way simple, but manages to deliver all the key elements of Episode VI’s story in a fresh, sophisticated way. Miraculously, Aseo’s design avoids being too busy/maximalist for its own good despite so many disparate elements. This is how a master artist using modern tools could create truly eye-catching one-sheets for modern audiences if Hollywood would only take a cue and bring artistry back to the poster world.

Star Wars Rebels: Dave Filoni reveals Kanan and Ahsoka’s history

Source: ScreenRant

Dave Filoni has shared new details about Ashoka past with dialogue from a never before seen interaction with Kanan. In light of the still unanswered mystery of Ahsoka’s fate and whereabouts, the Star Wars Rebels executive producer continues to drop interesting morsels of information regarding the former Jedi. Following his revelation earlier this month of an undisclosed meeting between Ahsoka and the Bendu, Filoni this time shared some backstory, as well as an untold conversation between the Torgutan and “Last Apprentice” Kanan.

When Ahsoka was revealed to be Fulcrum by the end of the first season of Rebels, fans quickly got excited given her direct ties to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. But while Ahsoka has become a pivotal member of the Ghost Crew before her mysterious disappearance in season 2’s finale, “Twilight of the Apprentice, Rebels explored little on her backstory; not even her potentially knowing Kanan before Order 66 was commanded and the Jedis were purged. But thanks to Filoni, we now know how the two met at the Jedi Temple as Padawans.

In a new post on his official Twitter account, Filoni has spilled some details regarding Ahsoka being a mentor to Kanan in “many ways.” Check out the two’s supposed dialog excerpt below:

“AHSOKA: Even at a young age you were gifted with a lightsaber. But without training and discipline, those skills fade. 

(Kanan gets up again, he is a bit dispirited.)

KANAN: (CONT’D): I haven’t had to fight with my lightsaber very often. For a while, I chose not to. I was…

(Kanan struggles with the moment, Ahsoka helps).

AHSOKA: You were afraid to use it. I understand.

(Kanan appreciated her words.)

KANAN: I’ve been teaching Ezra as best as I can. I want him to be the Jedi I’m not, that I couldn’t be. 

AHSOKA: And I want you to be the Jedi that you are.” 

One of Kanan’s biggest struggles, especially during the early episodes of the show, was coming to terms with being one of the final Jedi. Despite initially not finishing his training (which he eventually gets in season 2), he took it upon himself to try and be a good master to Ezra. The character has gone through many ups and downs since then, but arguably his biggest achievement thus far is making sure that his apprentice doesn’t fall to the dark side despite several temptations along the way.

As for Ahsoka, her fate remains to be seen. The internet has been populated with various theories about what happened to her in Malachor and, if she does make a return in Rebels season 4, how she’d do it. Filoni has continued to capitalize on this fascination by giving out small hints at the character’s fate. Nevertheless, whatever happens to her character, we are all hoping that she gets the fitting story wrap-up that she deserves.

Star Wars Rebels is set to conclude with the fourth and final season that premieres September on Disney XD.