With just a few months until the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and a couple of weeks until the debut of The Mandalorian on Disney+, there has clearly been an awakening in the Force. Have you felt it? Even Marvel boss Kevin Feige is getting in on the action and working on his own Star Wars film. If you’ve been wondering what’s been happening in terms of Star Wars news over the past couple of weeks, the answer is, “a lot.” Don’t believe us? Read on, young Padawans.
Don’t Expect Too Many Spoilers From the Merch
The Source: Executives from Hasbro and Lucasfilm
Probability of Accuracy: For good reasons, this one is on target.
The Real Deal: Triple Force Friday happened just last week, with merchandise for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Mandolorian, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order hitting shelves in one massive, expensive drop. But if the livestreamed product reveal and amount of merch in stores seems somewhat underwhelming, there’s a reason for that. Mike Ballog, head of global marketing at Hasbro, told CinemaBlend, “We have clear conversations about what can come out when, and what needs to stay under wraps. We work around things with that in mind. At least from a Hasbro stand point, the product on display is maybe 30 to 35 percent of our full line.” Hasbro isn’t alone in this, with Lucasfilm’s head of merchandise, Paul Southern, adding, “The key thing here is when we release products a couple months in advance of the film, we are focusing on a very select group. There are products that you’re not seeing, that you won’t see until after the film comes out. Even the characters that we are releasing, we’re not really giving you much narrative for them.” Short version? Don’t go looking for spoilers from the toys just yet. That’s our job.
Rise Won’t Rewrite the Last Movie
The Source: Director J .J. Abrams himself
Probability of Accuracy: Assuming he’s not trying to mislead fans, his logic is sound…
The Real Deal: For those wondering if Rise of Skywalker writer/director J.J. Abrams is retconning any of the big moments from The Last Jedi away, breathe easy: He’s looking at the project more as a cinematic relay race than a chance to restore his original vision. “I never found myself trying to repair anything,” Abrams told Empire. “If I had done VIII, I would have done things differently, just as Rian would have done things differently if he had done VII. But having worked on television series, I was accustomed to creating stories and characters that then were run by other people. If you’re willing to walk away from the thing that you created and you believe it’s in trustworthy hands, you have to accept that some of the decisions being made are not gonna be the same that you would make. And if you come back into it, you have to honor what’s been done.” He is, however, repairing at least one thing—Kylo Ren’s helmet, with a visible crack inspired by Japanese pottery to signify his emotional journey, he revealed. Oh, and he also talked about bringing Palpatine back for the final movie, as well. “I don’t know many books where the last few chapters have nothing to do with what came before,” he reasoned.
The Mandalorian Is a Star Wars Lead Unlike Any Other
The Source: Director Dave Filoni
Probability of Accuracy: It only makes sense that he’s telling the truth here.
The Real Deal: What makes The Mandolorian, the first live action Star Wars TV series, stand apart from the animated shows and the movies? According to director and executive producer Dave Filoni, it’s the title character himself. “This show is dealing with a character that, to me, he’s a bounty hunter, he’s on the edge of things himself,” he said in an interview with IGN. “I think that what’s unique about Mando is that he’s basically a guy that’s just trying to make a living in the galaxy. He’s a survivor and he’s just trying to find his way on a day-to-day basis. And I think that leads to very interesting character moments and stories for him that are apart from some things we’ve seen the Jedi deal with more directly. He comes from a different angle because he’s a different type of a character than they are.” The series debuts in November when Disney+ launches.
The Obi-Wan TV Show Has Found Its Director
The Source: An official Lucasfilm announcement
Probability of Accuracy: If it came from an official announcement, it’s real.
The Real Deal: Speaking of Disney+ shows, it’s been officially announced that Deborah Chow will direct the still-untitled Obi-Wan series for the streaming service. In a statement accompanying the announcement, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy stated, “We really wanted to select a director who is able to explore both the quiet determination and rich mystique of Obi-Wan in a way that folds seamlessly into the Star Wars saga. Based on her phenomenal work developing our characters in The Mandalorian, I’m absolutely confident Deborah is the right director to tell this story.” The series is going to be written by Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini, with Chow, Amini, and star Ewan McGregor serving as executive producers alongside Kennedy, Tracey Seaward, and John Swartz.
Yes, Star Wars Finally Has Canonical Onscreen Queerness
The Source: The producers of Star Wars Resistance
Probability of Accuracy: It’s been confirmed outside of the show, but will we get confirmation in the show itself?
The Real Deal: It’s taken … well, a long time, but Star Wars finally has onscreen, canonical queer representation. According to producers for the animated series Star Wars Resistance, the show’s characters Orka and Flix are, indeed, a couple. As executive producer Justin Ridge put it on the Coffee with Kenobi podcast, “I think it’s safe to say they’re an item. … They’re absolutely a gay couple and we’re proud of that.” They aren’t the first canonically queer characters in the franchise, of course, as readers of the Star Wars: Aftermath novels will already be aware. Hell, the Marvel series Star Wars: Doctor Aphra has been running for three years with a queer lead character by this point. But in terms of representation onscreen, let’s count this as an important milestone. Now, if only Rise of Skywalker would state once and for all that Poe Dameron is bi…
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