Yes, Daisy Ridley is listed as playing “Jaina Solo” on IMDB at the moment. But, as Ridley herself tweeted today, “guys the world and his wife can update IMDB.” Don’t trust it. The only actors we have official character names for are our returning alumni. (And note Carrie Fisher is now listed as only “Leia,” not “Leia Solo.”)
This is a last chance sale for some of the shirts – and I have to wonder if that means our last chance for the EU ones – and the sale will last through May 5.
Episode 7 News is back with some clarification on their previous Mara Jade rumor. Their source now has a name – JediDigger – and they say his info comes from “discussions between people inside Lucasfilm and it’s licenses.”
The gist of his clarification is that they’re using the existing Expanded Universe characters as a template. The actual characters we get will be based on folks like Mara/Shira Brie, Jaina, Ben and such, but with different names – like the oh-so-convenient Korriban/Moriband confusion.
“This can not be made clearer, the post ROTJ EU launched in 91 is dead,” he says. “No story from Outbound Flight forward counts.” This all comes “the request of Disney, Kathleen Kennedy and Howard Roffman.”
But “the love of Luke Skywalker’s life” is a “character George Lucas has had since the end of Return of the Jedi,” which seems like it could conflict with the idea of basing her on Mara… Or does it? It’s not like we haven’t seen a similar character from Lucas before.
They’re also claiming that Michael Arndt has “moved on to Episode 8″ and that Abrams has met with Timothy Zahn. UPDATE: Zahn himself says this part isn’t true, which casts even more doubt on the rest.
So that’s a big rumor dump – but again, not a particularly trustworthy one: Taking the EU characters as templates is significantly less dramatic a change than I would expect. I continue to be skeptical.
Sword of the Jedi is on hold until story group decides what the new continuity is going to be. As soon I know & can discuss, you will hear!
— Christie Golden (@ChristieGolden) January 24, 2014
We heard something similar not so long ago, but here’s what Golden just tweeted. The story group has been a pretty hot topic lately, but it’s not exactly a mystery – though we’re probably not going to get anything definitive on their decisions for a while yet.
Personally, I’m doubtful that Sword of the Jedi will ever see the light of day (and I’m certainly not going to cry over it,) but who knows? It’s not like they haven’t surprised us before
Celebration Europe doesn’t officially begin until Friday (which, for those of us in the states, means really early Friday) so the big event of the day in Germany today was the press conference. But StarWars.com did drop a nice video featuring Ashley Eckstein talking about fan groups.
And speaking of, we’ve been sadly neglectful of Caravan of the Force, in which several fans have been documentimng their travel from London to Essen.
Oh, and here’s a preview from James, even as he warns us that the wifi situation is lacking:
— James Floyd (@jamesjawa) July 25, 2013
Now let’s hope the 501st don’t get him too drunk:
Attended the @501stLegion meet & greet in Essen. Drank a Jabba. Met troopers from all over Germany & some from Norway, Switzerland, & Socal.
— James Floyd (@jamesjawa) July 25, 2013
Newswatch! Can we expect any major news out of the con for Friday? The big-ticket panels are Attack of the Clones 3D at 12:30 p.m. CEST (6:00 a.m. EDT,) Ben Burtt at 1:30 p.m. CEST (7:30 a.m. EDT,) Doug Chiang and Iain McCaig at 2:00 CEST (8:00 a.m. EDT) and Secrets of The Clone Wars at 3:00 p.m. CEST (9:00 a.m. EDT.) Anthony Daniels is on at 4:00 p.m. CEST (10 a.m. EDT,) The Clone Wars screening at 5:00 p.m. CEST (11 a.m. EDT) and Ian McDiarmid is on at 6:00 p.m. CEST (noon EDT.) The night’s capper is an outdoor Return of the Jedi screening at 7:30 p.m. CEST (1:30 p.m. EDT.)
We have reports that a The Clone Wars DVD/Blu-Ray announcement is coming tomorrow, and everyone hope really hard that Chiang and McCaig show something, anything, that they’ve been working on for Episode VII. I wouldn’t expect any casting news until Kathleen Kennedy on Saturday, but stranger things have happened!
(Confused by the timezones? So am I. All praise World Time Buddy.)
Ashley Eckstein’s Her Universe is bringing the expanded universe to SDCC! They’ll be debuting a new Mara Jade tee using Daryl Mandryk’s art from the Choices of One paperback cover, and a Jaina Solo tee using John VanFleet’s art from the Sword of the Jedi teaser image. Only 100 of each will be offered at the con, however, and they’ll only be online “for a limited time only.” They’ll be online during SDCC.
It also sounds like they’ve revamped their booth, which is promising.
UPDATE: Here’s the chat link, and huge thanks to Ashley for the kind words!
Schmoes Know claims to have a source who’s seen the casting breakdown from J.J. Abrams. They claim the storyline involves the training of Jaina and Jacen Solo by Luke Skywalker – and that the below is directly cut and pasted from the casting breakdown:
Storyline: Two 17 year old twins, a girl and a boy, are trained by their uncle Luke to be the greatest Jedi’s in the galaxy. Problems arise when the male twin turns to the dark side.
Jaina Solo – Female, 17 years old, lead. – Jacen’s twin sister, one of the greatest Jedi’s in the galaxy, trained by her uncle Luke Skywalker
Jacen Solo – Male, 17 years old, lead – Jaina’s twin brother, one of the greatest Jedi’s in the world. A loner who is constantly struggling with the idea of what’s right and what’s wrong. Starts to turn to the dark side. Full of conviction that what he is doing is the “right thing”. Will eventually become Darth Caedus.
Of course, I’m deeply skeptical, and not just because this supposed ‘breakdown’ uses the term ‘Jedi’s.’ (Though that helps, it’s not out of the question – I doubt Pablo and co are personally copy-editing every production document, and we’ve seen Lucas do as he wills with in-universe grammar and pronunciation for years.)
But this is pretty straight from the novels, right down to Caedus, and that gives me pause. It’s far too easy to believe that someone who spent an hour or two at Wookieepedia threw this together. It could be their source messing around, it could be the Bad Robot folks testing for leaks – and, yeah, it could be true. But I wouldn’t start betting just yet
UPDATE #1: Bryan over at Big Shiny Robot has more reasons why this is probably false.
UPDATE #2: Collider has heard, independently of the first report, that Episode VII is looking to cast a son of Han Solo, though they’re also doubtful of the full Schmoes Know ‘scoop.’
UPDATE #3: HitFix’s Drew McWeeny is pretty adamant that this is fabricated as well, and that the chances of any EU making it to the screen are extremely slim. He does say that ILM has already begun work on what may be “the most elaborate physical build they’ve done for the effects team since Return Of The Jedi.”
If you were wondering why The Clone Wars’ Ashley Eckstein was chatting on the Star Wars Books Facebook today, well here’s your answer: She announced that Her Universe has acquired the rights to make Expanded Universe products! (As you may recall, the Mara Jade shirt for Celebration VI was a one-off and limited availability due to not having the EU rights.) Here’s what Ashley had to say about what’s to come:
We are designing Several NEW Star Wars designs this year. Everything will be debuting in May. We are making shirts, dresses, jewelry…We have Rogue Sqaudron designs AND I am SO excited to announce that Lucasfilm has given us the rights to design shirts for the women in the EU, so expect more Mara Jade and Jaina Solo designs!
She later asked fans to be sure to speak up about what EU stuff you’d like to see.
Later, a (male) fan asked “Why do girls pretend to like Star Wars?” (Really people? Really?) Ashley handled that pretty well:
Girls definitely do not pretend to like Star Wars. It’s a fact that close to half of all Star Wars fans are girls. There may be some girls and boys that pretend to know more about Star Wars than they really do, but I would encourage you to talk about Star Wars with them and teach them more. Sometimes people may pretend to know more than they really do because they want to fit in. But even if there is a seed of interest in Star Wars, it’s our job as fans to welcome NEW fans into this Universe. Especially during this exciting time! We are about to get more movies!
Of course there was plenty asked about The Clone Wars:
I honestly don’t know Ahsoka’s eventual fate. I encourage you to watch the Season 5 finale on Saturday because there are some surprises. You will get some answers and then you will also probably have a lot more questions…You must tune in and bring some tissues…
There’s plenty more, so check out the chat!
Let’s put a lid on it: The final Fate of the Jedi book, Troy Denning’s Apocalypse, is out today in paperback. Goodbye to the (hopefully) last of the mega-series…
Also, I don’t generally cover merchandise in these posts, but apparently the Kotobukiya Jaina Solo figure also goes on sale today.
For comic fans, Wednesday will bring Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets #4 and an Infinities omnibus. It’s just the three ‘what-if’ comics, alas – I’m still waiting for Dark Horse to collect all the funny Tales/Tag and Bink stuff that also falls under the Infinities umbrella.
Our next upcoming novel is something brand new – The Last Jedi, also a paperback, is due February 26.