Episode IX begins filming August 1, confirms Williams and Fisher

J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX will begin filming on August 1 at London’s Pinewood Studios, StarWars.com has announced, confirming that Billy Dee Williams, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher (via unused The Force Awakens footage) will be returning.

Interestingly, the release calls IX “the final installment of the Skywalker saga.”

As expected, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Anthony Daniels, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd are also returning. They’re being joined by new (to Star Wars) faces, Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant.

A late addition to the release was Keri Russell, the only new-to-Star-Wars actor rumored for this round.

More details on the Fisher footage:

The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says Abrams. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”

Composer John Williams and Director of Photography Dan Mindel are also returning.

Upcoming Star Wars fiction leans into the prequel era

The extended gap between movies sees Star Wars publishing reaching back to the prequel era for their most high profile SDCC announcements. Coming from Del Rey we have Master and Apprentice, a Qui-gon and Obi-wan novel from Claudia Gray (Bloodline, Princess of Alderaan). And from Disney-Lucasfilm press there’s the long-rumored Padme novel, Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston (Ahsoka).

The Padme cover is by Tara Phillips, who editor Jen Heddle says she “found on Deviant Art.” Both books will be out in early 2019 and up for pre-order soon: Master and Apprentice in February, and Queen’s Shadow in March.

Continue reading “Upcoming Star Wars fiction leans into the prequel era”

Greg Grunberg heavily hints he’s back for IX

Is Greg Grunberg’s Snap Wexley coming back for Episode IX? “We better, or else my wife’s gonna kill me for growing the beard,” Grunberg said during a chat with Yahoo at SDCC. “I can’t officially say anything,” he continued. “But this is getting itchy. I’m getting itchy to go over there and do it. So yeah, we’ll see.”

Temmin “Snap” Wexley was one of the Black Squadron X-wing pilots in The Force Awakens. The character is a regular in the Poe Dameron comics, which is currently embarking on a storyline that explains what they were up to during The Last Jedi. As a teenager, the character is one of the leads in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy.

Grunberg is a childhood pal of Episode IX director J.J. Abrams and appears in much of his work. IX is due to begin shooting very soon.

The Clone Wars returning for one last run

The Clone Wars is coming back for a twelve episode final run, Dave Filoni announced this afternoon at San Diego Comic-Con. The new episodes will air on Disney’s upcoming streaming service.

“I honestly didn’t think we would ever have the opportunity to return to The Clone Wars,” says Filoni in a statement. “Thanks to the relentless fan support and the team behind Disney’s direct-to-consumer streaming service, we will now get to tell more of those stories. We feel a tremendous responsibility to make something that lives up to the legacy that George Lucas created with the original series and I think our team, many of whom worked on the show from the beginning, has risen to the challenge.”

Continue reading “The Clone Wars returning for one last run”

Out this week: Star Wars, Vader Annual

We’ve got three new comics and an old (very old) trade collection coming on Wednesday, July 18. They’re Star Wars #51, Darth Vader Annual #2, Poe Dameron #29 and the Legends collection The Original Marvel Years Volume 3.

Fans attending San Diego Comic Con later this week have a shot at getting two exclusive editions of Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn: Alliances a few days early. The standard edition will be out on July 24. (We’re also expecting book news out of the con on Friday.)