This week was a great deal quieter than the last, likely because we’re barreling towards Celebration Europe, which begins on the 15th. We got two panel announcements for the con, the ‘Future Filmmakers’ with directors Rian Johnson, Chris Miller and Phil Lord, and ‘Ahsoka’s Untold Tales’ with Dave Filoni and Ashley Eckstein. (Pablo is moderating both, of course. Because Pablo.)
→ Hasbro reveals two new 6-inch convention figures at Entertainment Weekly: A helmetless Kylo Ren (with melted Vader helmet) for Celebratiopn Europe, and A New Hope Obi-Wan Kenobi (with hologram Leia) for San Diego Comic-Con.
The hunt for a new name for my video series is over! Since we mostly focus on the latest in new Star Wars storytelling in TV, films, books, comics, and events, Unboxing Star Wars is now Star Wars Story Talk! Yowie the skunk, Baby Jawa, and I review the latest book for the kid set: Star Wars: ABC-3PO, by Calliope Glass and Caitlin Kennedy, with illustrations by Katie Cook. We also flash back to LEGO Star Wars Days held earlier this month at LEGOLAND California and discuss the new LEGO Star Wars TV series, The Freemaker Adventures. For more details on the LEGOLAND event, check out my article on starwars.com: LEGO Star Wars Days. Plus random fun with a Jawa buddy, and then some Baby Jawa fun time!
→ Star Wars: ABC-3PO – Two thumbs up! Love the Katie Cook illustrations and fun rhymes by Calliope Glass and Caitlin Kennedy. Great for fans whether kids or parents! (For ages 3-5)
→ LEGOLAND California: LEGO Star Wars Days 2016 – A lot of fun! In a year without any new permanent Star Wars additions to Miniland, the park still knows how to make a great Star Wars event with plenty of unique activities including photo ops with costumers from the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion, and Mandalorian Mercs; the really awesome Fan Gallery, showcasing amazing Star Wars-themed builds from LEGO fans; family build, trivia and costume contests; and a bunch of scavenger hunts. Plus sneak preview screenings of the first episode of LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures.
→ LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. Thumbs up! If you’re a fan of the previous LEGO Star Wars series, this new show on Disney XD will delight! Maybe a little more kid-focused than some of the previous series, it still contains the great mix of Star Wars stories with LEGO humor, and introduces a new set of heroes!
Tuesday brings Alexander Freed’s Battlefront: Twilight Company in paperback. Back when the hardcover came out, James called it “a good, solid novel for the military sci-fi reader” in his review. The paperback also contains the short story ‘Inbrief’ by Janine K. Spendlove, which originally appeared in the Star Wars Insider.
It’s been a busy one, so let’s recap! The big news this week was Entertainment Weekly’s cover story on – the movie’s first. (The issue is in stores now.) Our most extensive coverage is still in the what we’ve learned post, which has been updated to cover both galleries. Additionally, EW covered Darth Vader and Mon Mothma‘s roles in the film. Rogue One also dominated the latest tweet roundup.
Mashable has our second excerpt from Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: Life Debt, featuring a pregnant Leia Organa trying to commune with the Force.
We already knew Han Solo and Chewbacca played a part in the book – in addition to the title and the Millennium Falcon on the cover, they show up in the first excerpt – but this is our first look at Leia in the time period immediately following Return of the Jedi.
I was never particularly enthralled with anything we heard about the old live-action series that Lucasfilm was working on back after Revenge of the Sith, but the new details that came to light last week make me even more glad it was shelved before Lucasfilm’s sale to Disney.
Cory Barlog, a God of War creative director who worked at LucasArts for a time in 2009 and got to read the scripts, told VentureBeat (via) about one plot point of the show:
“It was the most mind-blowing thing I’d ever experienced. I cared about the Emperor. They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this fucking heartless woman. She’s this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor. That’s something magical. The writers who worked on that, guys from The Shield and 24, these were excellent writers.”
The Emperor turning because of a woman? It’s like an MRA wet dream. If they wanted to make me grateful for the (boring, harmless and no longer canon) Darth Plagueis novel, well, success!
Although we certainly know at this point that anything with George Lucas’ involvement was not going to be seamless with the Expanded Universe, I do have to wonder if those scripts are why James Luceno’s first iteration of the Plagueis novel was canceled in 2007. The book eventually did come to fruition for a 2012 release, several years after we learned the project was “on hold.”