Chuck Wendig has some wise words on the concept of canon


One of the latest writers to come into the Star Wars fold, Chuck Wendig, has a blog entry on canon this morning. (Warning: Lumpy.)

Here’s my favorite bit, which speaks to why a lot of us Expanded Universe fans aren’t up in arms over the Legends thing or calling for more.

The more strict and detailed the canon becomes, the more reverence we devote to it. And the more it restricts the future of that narrative. The more it chokes off what can be told. Doors close. Windows slam shut and are boarded over. Options are lost. The more we care about what’s “true” — in a universe that has never been true and whose power lies in its fiction — we start denigrating those things that aren’t. We view alternate timelines as somehow inconsequential. We dismiss fan-fiction as just some wish fulfillment machine instead of what it often is: a way to tell cool new stories in a pre-existing pop culture framework that aren’t beholden to the canonical straitjacket.

As someone with a lot of history in the fan fiction realm – remember, this site actually served mainly as an archive for Club Jade’s first several years – that is the perfect description of it: Another way to tell cool stories.

No, I don’t view Legends as fan fiction – it’s still professionally published and licensed, by professional authors, which most fanfic isn’t. (At all.) And the Legends authors never had the freedom your standard fic author does, to ignore or use whatever. Even in the beginning, there were guidelines and restrictions, which is why there wasn’t a crazy Obi-wan clone in the Thrawn trilogy.

But clinging to the concept of canon has, over time, done just as much harm as good, and it’s just plain unrealistic in many ways – which is Wendig’s point, really. The world doesn’t work like that.

Rumor: Next The Force Awakens trailer to drop on or around October 16?


Furious Fanboys is reporting signs that the new trailer for The Force Awakens could be coming on or around October 16 – roughly two weeks away. Namely, that theaters are being told to “reserve” spots for Star Wars promotional items. (So we’ll likely see a full poster then as well.)

If so, signs point to the trailer being attached to Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, which is being released that week by Walt Disney Pictures. Ridley Scott’s The Martian, which comes out later this week, has also been named as a contender for the trailer, but I have yet to see any compelling evidence for that claim. (And while it may be more suited as a genre match – I too would rather go see Matt Damon stranded on Mars than a Tom Hanks Cold War drama – it lacks the double punch of Disney/Spielberg ties.) And how moot is all of this, anyway? Never again the Meet Joe Black times!

In any case, the later timing does line up nicely with the previous report that tickets for the film will go on sale October 19th.

Hasbro design director on The Force Awakens, embracing female fandom


Fast Company has a profile of Hasbro Star Wars design director Steve Evans, focusing on The Force Awakens rollout. Of special interest to us, some words on the changing market:

“I’m actually very, very fond of the three-and-three-quarter inch Rey figure,” Evans says. It’s an appropriate choice, and not just for the fact that Rey is one of the main characters in the next Star Wars chapter. That figure symbolizes a radical shift in the action figure market—and the Star Wars toys market in particular.

“It’s because of what it stands for,” says Evans. “Just because of the way it’s embracing girls into the brand more. I have a son and two twin daughters and my girls are infatuated with Rey. They think she’s brilliant.”

Back in the ’70s and ’80s Star Wars action figures were thought of as something to be made just for boys. But Evans says that’s all changed now. And not only are the artificial gender action figure barriers are coming down, now they’re designed to appeal to people of all ages.

As for The Force Awakens, “as we lead up to December 18, there’s a certain amount that gets released,” says Evans. “There are certain surprises from our product line that no one knows about, that we’ll release leading up to the movie, at the movie, and beyond the movie.”

Domhnall Gleeson: General Hux is “merciless”


In a new interview with Total Film (via gamesradar,) Domhnall Gleeson says that J.J. Abrams described General Hux as “merciless” – or did he?

“Yeah, I mean you look at him and you realise he’s not a good guy! He’s got an English accent so he can’t be good.” He said. Gleeson went on to add that Abrams described Hux as “merciless”, before getting worried he was giving too much away, “Is that what he said?”.

You might think that the chance to be a part of the new Star Wars film would be a dream come true, but although Gleeson is definitely excited, he explained that’s not why he took the part. “Yeah, it’s fun to do different things. I hadn’t played anybody like that before. Star Wars is amazing, J.J. Abrams is amazing, but the thing to do was play something different. That’s what got me really excited.”

The full interview will be in Total Film’s November issue, which is supposedly on sale now.

The Force Awakens books: Wave 2 officially announced

tfa-before-crop has the word on some of The Force Awakens books that’ll be released with the movie on December 18th (in addition to The Art of, which we heard about last week.) It’s mostly kid stuff, but there is DK’s standard Visual Dictionary for the movie, and a book from Greg Rucka called Before the Awakening:

A companion piece to the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens character novels, Star Wars: Before the Awakening is an anthology book that focuses on the lives of Rey, Finn, and Poe before the events of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The novelization(s) of the film are both under “still to come,” so no cover reveals there just yet, but we know the eBook for Alan Dean Foster’s version will be out the 18th, with the hardcover dropping January 5.

Disneyland’s Seasons of the Force begins November 16

launchbayThe Disney Parks blog has announced the starting date for Seasons of the Force at Disneyland: November 16. Star Tours will get a new scene inspired by The Force Awakens (probably Jakku) and the Star Wars Launch Bay will open. This will also see the limited-time reskinning of Space Mountain as Hyperspace Mountain and a new version of Jedi Training that will incorporate Rebels characters.

There will also be “an opportunity to revisit favorite scenes from classic Star Wars films,” which sounds like there’ll be no special The Force Awakens preview at at Tomorrowland Theater.

Details for the version at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando are forthcoming, but I expect most of this (except Hyperspace Mountain) will be doubled there.

The Force Awakens: Tour Jakku with a new 360 video

tfa-jakku360 debuted a 360 video – itself a brand-new feature – on Facebook this afternoon, letting fans ‘ride’ Rey’s speeder through a part of Jakku. This is the second time that The Force Awakens has been an active participant in introducing a new feature on a social media site. Last time was Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) and their new widescreen option.

→ Per a new survey, The Force Awakens and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 are not just the most-anticipated releases of late 2015, but the most-anticipated fall/winter movies in the five years this specific survey has been done.

→ In a new interview with GQ Style, John Boyega says he cried when he read the script. He’s on one of the three covers of the latest issue.