‘Jabba Flow,’ the new ‘Cantina song’ from The Force Awakens, is now up on iTunes. Or, if you just want to give it a listen, head over to StarWars.com. This is the first time the song by Shag Kava (aka Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda and J.J. Abrams) has been available outside of the film itself.
We don’t know what, if anything, is being planned for May 4th… Well, except one thing: Mark Hamill spent the 3rd as special editor for British tabloid The Sun. (It’s for charity!) Here’s the story, and the tweets.)
Last year on May 4, we got The Force Awakens‘ Vanity Fair cover story, which gave us our first look at Kylo Ren unmasked, Maz Kanata’s name, and a whole bunch of aliens. Alas, the magazine has already announced their May cover for this year, and it’s Amy Schumer. (Ironically?) Which isn’t to say I don’t expect Rogue One! Just maybe not this early.
In any case, history has shown us that Lucasfilm likely isn’t playing hardball tomorrow. (They almost never do – I just really love those silly VF shoots.) May the 4th is really a fandom event, and the fans will be out… In force.
As part of their annual report on LGBT characters in movies, the anti-defamation group GLAAD is pushing Star Wars to introduce gay and lesbian characters into the films. Per Variety:
“As sci-fi projects have the special opportunity to create unique worlds whose advanced societies can serve as a commentary on our own, the most obvious place where Disney could include LGBT characters is in the upcoming eighth ‘Star Wars’ film,” the report reads. “2015’s ‘The Force Awakens’ has introduced a new and diverse central trio, which allows the creators opportunity to tell fresh stories as they develop their backstory. Recent official novels in the franchise featured lesbian and gay characters that could also be easily written into the stories.”
The introduction of gay and lesbian characters into the canon Star Wars novels has been controversial, but really, what isn’t?
The Daily Mail has some images of outdoor sets being built for Episode VIII at Pinewood. The first, which appears near-finished, is very similar to Skellig Michael/Ahch-To. Two others remain mysterious. Also present: The Millennium Falcon. View at your own discretion.
Archive of Our Own (aka AO3) is arguably the most important fan fiction archive for general fandom. This isn’t a complete picture of Star Wars fan fiction, as Star Wars has always been a bit of an outlier to overall fandom trends, but The Force Awakens is the first major Star Wars film to come out since AO3 launched in 2008. Toast does look briefly at the numbers for old standby Fanfiction.Net (FFN,) plus relative newcomers Tumblr and Wattpad.
Another major outlet for Star Wars fic is TheForce.Net’s Jedi Council boards, but no doubt the message board format makes these sort of things much harder to track. I do hope that authors on the JC have gotten better about double-posting their works to FFN or AO3… A lot of fics were all but lost when TFN migrated their boards to a new system several years back, causing posts of length (aka mostly fanfic) to be truncated beyond readability.