Review: Catalyst offers offers Rogue One backstory, but not much else

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It’s tough to say if any Star Wars novel is really essential these days. With the full attention of the franchise moved back to movies, and the books firmly placed back in a supporting role, does one really need to read a book like James Luceno’s Catalyst? The answer here is a firm maybe: It entirely depends on your focus within the franchise.

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Wear Star Wars Every Day: Week 48 & November prize winners

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#WearStarWarsEveryDay survived the madness of Thanksgiving weekend shopping with a streak of game related Star Wars wear, as we finished up November and the Thanks-for-Giving donation drive with some cool prizes! Our top prize package would have been won by Nancy L., but she graciously declined the four book package to have it used again as a prize. As we had four donors who contributed at the level to be eligible for our Topps Star Wars trading card books, they each get a snazzy book! The other two prize packages (a copy of Ahsoka signed by both E.K. Johnston and Ashley Eckstein, and an advance reader copy of Maul: Lockdown) remained elusive – I guess I need to set lower minimum donations for those prizes in the future. Here’s our winners:

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  • Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One from Abrams ComicArts- Shauna R.
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Two from Abrams ComicArts – Yacov F.
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Three from Abrams ComicArts – Jen R.
  • Star Wars Galaxy: The Original Topps Trading Card Series from Abrams ComicArts – Danielle J.

So how did Week 48 go? I wore a variety of shirts, including several related to different games, from foosball to Trivial Pursuit to the Bounty Hunt at Star Wars Celebration. And a big thank you to our donors in the Thanksgiving week: Nancy, Yacov, Jen, Shauna, and Danielle. We also give thanks to Mark and Ian who each donated a shirt in this week, and also wish to thank Dani who lent two of the shirts in this time period.

Every day I wear a new and different Star Wars apparel item, my daily pledge makers will chip in $4.65 to Collateral Repair Project! This review for Week 48 covers November 25 to December 1 of my wearathon, and an update on fundraising for and the latest happenings at Collateral Repair Project, a non-profit organization that provides emergency assistance, education, and community support to urban refugees.

Get more info on what Wear Star Wars Every Day is all about, or make a donation via GoFundMe or a per-day pledge.

Today in Rogue One: More press, John Knoll, and another footage review

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There was another press conference in San Francisco today. StarWars.con liveblogged it, and here’s a collection of the live-tweets. Perhaps the biggest news to come out of it: Kathleen Kennedy said that her earlier comments on female directors were taken out of context. She also said that they’re not nessarily planning to bring more cartoon characters into the standalones, ala Saw Gerrera, but they may come in more organically. Also: George Lucas saw and liked it.

Wired has a great profile of ILM’s John Knoll, who pitched the idea that became Rogue One to Kennedy.

→ Here’s another take on those 28 minutes of footage, this time spoiler-free.

Spaceship Earth, aka the big round thing at Epcot in Orlando, is being turned into the Death Star for a Rogue One event happening Monday. The Disney Parks blog will be livestreaming.

Today in Rogue One: The first 28 minutes, new clips

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Some journalists got a look at the first 28 minutes of Rogue One last night, and USA Today’s Brian Truitt is surprisingly forthcoming about what he saw. The veil of secrecy is so thin this time! (Yes, that’s a spoiler warning.) Underworld rounds up some more reactions.

→ A good portion of the Rogue One cast – Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, and Mads Mikkelsen, plus director Gareth Edwards – will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live on December 9. Some of The Force Awakens cast did a similar appearance last year, so expect it to go something like this.

→ Even more clips! There’s a new TV spot, a Jyn featurette and a scene at the Yavin base featuring a familiar face.

Cast, director Gareth Edwards talk Rogue One live on Twitter, Facebook

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The live Rogue One event on Twitter turned out to be, basically, a live press conference at Lucasfilm. In attendance were director Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, and Alan Tudyk.

Here’s the chat:


The new scene:


And the Lucasfilm tour, which was quite honestly the highlight of the whole thing:


They also did a Facebook chat yesterday. The highlight? Gareth Edwards stole the Death Star plans.

Today in Rogue One: New footage, interviews and… jackets?

Rogue One Live starts up shortly, and we’ll have another post when it’s done, but here’s a few other things that have popped up:

ro-2takes→ How much of Rogue One have we seen, anyway? Eleven-ThirtyEight explores.

→ More from Gareth Edwards on George Lucas’ visit to the set and if certain characters will appear

Felicity Jones beats up Jimmy Fallon and shows a brand-new clip featuring Jyn, Cassian and K-2SO.

→ Columbia Sportswear will be offering three Rogue One-inspired jackets in a limited edition collection. They’re inspired by Jyn, Cassian, and the deathtrooper armor.

Donnie Yen honored at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood; Diego Luna talks abut meeting Darth Vader.