Entertainment Weekly has our first official look at The Force Awakens toys, but they’re all stormtrooper-themed, so it feels a little underwhelming. (One of them, Hasbro’s Black Series 6″ stormtrooper above, has already shown up on eBay – and as it’s the SDCC exclusive, expect it to show up again.) Wake me up when we get the details on that remote-controlled BB-8.
Veteran actor Christopher Lee, who counted Star Wars’ Count Dooku among his hundreds of film roles, died Sunday in London.
In the ’50s and ’60s, he was best known for his work in the Hammer Horror films, where he famously played Count Dracula, often alongside another actor who eventually showed up in Star Wars, Peter Cushing. In the ’70s, he upped his profile with pivotal roles in The Wicker Man and The Man with the Golden Gun.
(My personal introduction to Lee was 1982’s The Last Unicorn, where he voiced the villain, King Haggard.)
In the early 2000s, he gained a whole new audience in two of the decades biggest franchises, playing Dooku in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and the wizard Saruman in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptions. He also appeared in several Tim Burton films.
Films aside, Lee led a intriguing life: He served as an intelligence officer during and just after World War II, where his duties involved hunting down Nazi war criminals. (In an infamous bit from the Lord of the Rings extras, he tells Peter Jackson how it sounds when a man is stabbed in the back.)
He also released several heavy metal concept albums, the last in 2013.
Below the cut, a handful of tweets. Continue reading
Since last time, we found out we’re going to SDCC (well, The Force Awakens is, clear your Friday) and the Star Wars comic dropped a crazy tidbit into a core character’s past that no one saw coming, though maybe we should have. Also! Homemade BB-8s! Pee jokes! All the usual bullshit!
There will be a Hall H panel for The Force Awakens at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 10, StarWars.com revealed today. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and “special guests” will be present.
There are several other panels, including two for Star Wars publishing. (Del Rey will be at ‘Part 2,’ Friday at 11 a.m.)
Will we see the Skellig Michael location in Episode VIII? The Irish Times says a production team visited the island recently. At least two actors were present for the Episode VII filming there last July, and if one believes the plot rumors it seems likely that the location could reoccur. (Or there’s always Rogue One, I suppose.)
Meanwhile, Jedi News is saying that The Force Awakens also filmed in Scotland, though not with actors.
→ Also appearing in the latest issue of Interview magazine (Domhnall Gleeson is one of the cover models) is Billie Lourd, who denies that she’s playing Leia’s daughter, not that that was ever rumored, but hey, it’s not like we get a ton of denials these days.
On the latest Full of Sith, Bryan Young caught up with Timothy Zahn at Origins this weekend, and got him to pronounce some of the names from his Star Wars books.
It’s not too long an episode, for various reasons – Our condolences go out to co-host Mike Pilot and family for the loss of their dog last week.
Out Wednesday is the one title that was missing from last week: Kanan #3. (Preview.) When will our next new comic arrive? Only Diamond knows for sure.
We already know that Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens novelization will out first in eBook on the same the day movie comes out – December 18 – but we now have an exact date for the hardcover version: January 5. (via)
→ Some slight cosmetic changes to Threepio for The Force Awakens, if a Mexican soda can is to be believed. (Honestly, I wouldn’t place any bets on this one – it looks more like a coloring error than anything else, but stranger things, etc.) Also on MSW, The Force Awakens LEGO set names don’t really shed much light on anything.
→ Both Adam Driver and Domhnall Gleeson had some things to say about Star Wars recently.
StarWars.com revealed the covers for the new original trilogy adaptions for younger readers, which are titled The Princess, The Scoundrel, and The Farm Boy, So You Want to Be a Jedi and Beware the Power of the Dark Side! There’s a digital excerpt as well, but remember when these were supposed to be illustrated novels?
In any case, all three will be out on September 22.
In other book news, Den of Geek has an interview with Christie Golden. On that note, there’s a Look Inside link for Dark Disciple on Random House; The book itself will be on shelves July 7. (via)
I had a lot of mixed feelings the other day watching the new video on Ahsoka Tano.
I’m not in The Clone Wars generation by any means – I’d been active in fandom for more than a decade when Ahsoka came around – hell, this blog was four years old in 2008.
But what Ahsoka is to that generation, Mara Jade was to mine. She was, back in the day – or at least to some of us – just as big a Star Wars figure as Leia. In fact, she was only the second female in the whole franchise to get anywhere near that much development. For nearly a decade – before the prequels – Mara Jade was the second-most important woman in Star Wars. But she’s not canon any more. And though I don’t really care about that, I have to admit it hurts to see her effect ignored. Oh, I know that to mention her in that video would just muddy the waters, but so much of what you see with Ahsoka and fandom right now mirrors what was happening with Mara and fandom back in the day.