As part of their annual report on LGBT characters in movies, the anti-defamation group GLAAD is pushing Star Wars to introduce gay and lesbian characters into the films. Per Variety:
“As sci-fi projects have the special opportunity to create unique worlds whose advanced societies can serve as a commentary on our own, the most obvious place where Disney could include LGBT characters is in the upcoming eighth ‘Star Wars’ film,” the report reads. “2015’s ‘The Force Awakens’ has introduced a new and diverse central trio, which allows the creators opportunity to tell fresh stories as they develop their backstory. Recent official novels in the franchise featured lesbian and gay characters that could also be easily written into the stories.”
The introduction of gay and lesbian characters into the canon Star Wars novels has been controversial, but really, what isn’t?
The Daily Mail has some images of outdoor sets being built for Episode VIII at Pinewood. The first, which appears near-finished, is very similar to Skellig Michael/Ahch-To. Two others remain mysterious. Also present: The Millennium Falcon. View at your own discretion.
Archive of Our Own (aka AO3) is arguably the most important fan fiction archive for general fandom. This isn’t a complete picture of Star Wars fan fiction, as Star Wars has always been a bit of an outlier to overall fandom trends, but The Force Awakens is the first major Star Wars film to come out since AO3 launched in 2008. Toast does look briefly at the numbers for old standby Fanfiction.Net (FFN,) plus relative newcomers Tumblr and Wattpad.
Another major outlet for Star Wars fic is TheForce.Net’s Jedi Council boards, but no doubt the message board format makes these sort of things much harder to track. I do hope that authors on the JC have gotten better about double-posting their works to FFN or AO3… A lot of fics were all but lost when TFN migrated their boards to a new system several years back, causing posts of length (aka mostly fanfic) to be truncated beyond readability.
Although it was never officially announced, it appears that The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens book from Mark Cotta Vaz and J.W. Rinzler has been canceled. A listing for the book appeared before the movie – usually a reliable indicator – and it was pushed back to October before the film’s release. However, it now it no longer appears on the publisher’s site, and Florian at Jedi Bibliothek found a listing on BookManager that says it’s been canceled..
All-out cancellations are rare, but I don’t expect we’ll get any word on the reasoning anytime soon. (Again, it was never actually announced.) My only guess is that it may have something to do with the lawsuit over Harrison Ford’s on-set injury. Note the incident isn’t mentioned in the official behind-the-scenes documentary on The Force Awakens Blu-ray – and may be off-limits until the legal issues have been worked out. Everyone loves the original trilogy Making of books, but here’s hoping we won’t have to wait 30 years for this one.
Given this is the Mail, a publication not exactly known for being on the up and up, and that there was no sign of del Toro at the official set visit… Well. We’ll see. The Mail also uses a character name for del Toro that I believe originates from the recent Reddit posts.
There have been two so-called leaks come out at Reddit in the week or so, but neither of them are really worth putting any stock in. The first, from last week, is quite frankly so ridiculous that I’m sure sure why anyone is believing it in the first place. (Well, it’s the internet.) A few things in it ring possible to me (I’ve had similar speculative thoughts regarding the Benicio Del Toro character, for instance) but that means nothing.
The second has since been deleted, but Da7e over at Latino Review has reproduced part of it, and in any case this one has been flat-out deniedseveral times by Pablo Hidalgo. Though note, he’s getting out of the debunking business, which is probably a good call.
But as we well know, however, it pays to be very, very cynical about ‘leaks’ this early in the process. Don’t believe everything you read! Particularly on Reddit.