Announced overnight, just ahead of the official opening of Celebration Orlando, is Forces of Destiny, a new series of animated shorts highlighting Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, Leia Organa, Ahsoka Tano and more.
The series will launch in July on the Disney Youtube, with additional shorts debuting on the Disney Channel in the fall. Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones, Tiya Sircar, Ashley Eckstein and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata) are among those returning to voice their characters.
When Jyn Erso was five years old, her mother was murdered and her father taken from her to serve the Empire. But despite the loss of her parents she is not completely alone—Saw Gerrera, a man willing to go to any extremes necessary in order to resist Imperial tyranny, takes her in as his own, and gives her not only a home but all the abilities and resources she needs to become a rebel herself.
Jyn dedicates herself to the cause—and the man. But fighting alongside Saw and his people brings with it danger and the question of just how far Jyn is willing to go as one of Saw’s soldiers. When she faces an unthinkable betrayal that shatters her world, Jyn will have to pull the pieces of herself back together and figure out what she truly believes in…and who she can really trust.
It could be that the blurb wasn’t proofread or approved yet – the Jyn we see in the first Rogue One flashback on Lah’mu was 8, not 5 – which may be why it vanished. An excerpt (PDF link) remains live.
→ It says sad things about the state of women’s paychecks in Hollywood that it’s actually news that Felicity Jones was by far Rogue One’s highest-paid cast member. A more bizarre wrinkle: Jones has a single sequel option in her contract. (Though I’m not sure why THR brings up “a young Luke Skywalker stand-alone” in relation to that, considering that the only speculation regarding Luke and Jyn was Jossed by the film itself.)
“It’s no accident that we’ve taken a look at the Manhattan project and what was happening at Los Alamos laboratories during the tail end of World War II. Being able to look at that kind of thing through history and then apply the Star Wars filter to it is really fascinating.”
I do find it interesting that Lyra seems to be a viewpoint character… Here’s hoping she gets more to do throughout the novel.
Catalyst, by James Luceno (Tarkin) is out in hardcover and ebook on November 15 from Del Rey.
Jedi Bibliothek spotted that the Edelweiss listing for James Luceno’s Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel has been updated with a blurb that gives us some context for the film. Stop reading now if you don’t want some (presumably) mild spoilers for Rogue One!
War is tearing the galaxy apart. For years the Republic and the Separatists have battled across the stars, each building more and more deadly technology in an attempt to win the war. As a member of Chancellor Palpatine’s top secret Death Star project, Orson Krennic is determined to develop a superweapon before their enemies can. And an old friend of Krennic’s, the brilliant scientist Galen Erso, could be the key.
Galen’s energy-focused research has captured the attention of both Krennic and his foes, making the scientist a crucial pawn in the galactic conflict. But after Krennic rescues Galen, his wife, Lyra, and their young daughter, Jyn, from Separatist kidnappers, the Erso family is deeply in Krennic’s debt. Krennic then offers Galen an extraordinary opportunity: to continue his scientific studies with every resource put utterly at his disposal. While Galen and Lyra believe that his energy research will be used purely in altruistic ways, Krennic has other plans that will finally make the Death Star a reality. Trapped in their benefactor’s tightening grasp, the Ersos must untangle Krennic’s web of deception to save themselves and the galaxy itself.
Catalyst is due out in hardcover and eBook on November 15th, exactly a month before Rogue One debuts in theaters.
The first surprise at the Rogue One panel was Gwendoline Christie hosting. The second was the poster, and the third is the behind the scenes clip we see above.
John Knoll revealed that he first came up with the idea of a the story when he first heard rumblings of the live-action series, during the filming of Revenge of the Sith. He put it away when he learned more about George’s concept for the series, and pulled it out again when the spinoffs were announced. Check out the original concept art of the team.
Edwards also confirmed that the beach planet is named Scarif, and later cast revealed another planet, Jedha. Apparently people make Force-based pilgrimages there – Edwards compared it to Mecca. This appears to be the market planet, and where we meet Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen,) Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) and Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed.) Edwards had more to say on Jedha in a post-panel interview – it’s certainly an intriguing addition to the galaxy.