Catching up with Episode VIII: New stormtrooper, Rey’s parentage (and speculation thereof)

fn-2199-cropMaking Star Wars has word of a new type of stormtrooper who’ll (reportedly) appear in Episode VIII, as well as some small changes on the standard troopers.

→ This Daisy Ridley interview with Vulture has been making the rounds, mainly because she says we’ll see the answer to Rey’s parentage question “in a year,” and, well, the internet.

→ Speaking of Rey’s parentage, there’s a bonkers but just crazy enough to maybe theory over at Force Material. It’s based on a “paranoid ‘70s conspiracy thriller” and hell, it still makes more sense than Snoke being Plagueis or any of the other bullshit we’ve had to put up with. But mostly, it amused me, and how often do fan theories manage that? (Not often.)

→ Your moment of zen: Mark Hamill and his VIII beard have a fashion gig.

The catchup: Rogue One villains, music and jackets


At USA Today, Director Gareth Edwards talks about the Empire, Darth Vader and how Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic differs from the other high-ranking Imperials we’ve met.

→ Composer Michael Giacchino on the film’s tight schedule, and loving Jyn.

→ Speaking of Jyn, Felicity Jones was on Kimmel last night.

→ Want Jyn and Cassian’s jackets? Check out the versions from Musterbrand. (Which also has some The Force Awakens-inspired cardigans.)

Also, there’s a rumor going around that we might get word on ticket sales soon… Perhaps this afternoon? What drops then? Hmm. Nope!

Hey, doubters: Let’s give the Han Solo movie a chance


Well, of course the Han Solo movie is rumored to be about Han winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian. Of course. It’s only the most iconic Han and Lando story, the bare outline direct from The Empire Strikes Back.

That said, the rumor does come from a tweet by The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit, who claims to have heard it from “a couple of sources” – though not, apparently, enough for an actual story. Still, it would be bigger news if the film didn’t involve the Falcon.

Now, we’re all a little (a lot, truth be told) sick of people complaining about how this film is going to be “predictable” or “boring.” About how people would rather have an Obi-wan movie, or whatever. (No, you’re not the first person to say it. You’re not even the thousandth.) And this rumor isn’t going to help matters, I’m sure. But the film is in pre-production. It has two key roles cast – Han and Lando – with a third that probably isn’t far behind. (Not to mention Chewbacca is probably locked in, as we know Ehrenrich tested with either Peter Mayhew or Joonas Suotamo.)

han-lord-miller-falconMost importantly, It also has a pair of directors who are best known for taking “horrible” ideas and actually making great films out of them. If you somehow managed to miss Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s The LEGO Movie or 21 Jump Street remake, please give them a try. And remember Lawrence Kasdan? He co-wrote the thing. These are not a bunch of random dudes off the street making a fan film. They, and everyone else at Lucasfilm, have a clear concept of the character and the film – check out those Celebration Europe clips again.

What do we, the audience, have? Hints and rumors and speculation – not the most solid ground for judgement.

I’m not going to discount the possibility that the movie could still turn out so-so. Hell, I’m still a little wary about the whole spinoff concept myself.

Fact is, this movie is happening. You don’t have to like it, but that’s not going to change at this point. But it’s far, far too soon to write it off. Give Han Solo a chance, just like you’re going to give Rogue One a chance. Hopefully, they both manage to surprise us.

Out this week: Star Wars Propaganda


We’ve got an interesting item out Tuesday: Pablo Hidalgo’s Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy. The book is written from an in-universe perspective and features brand-new artwork, including “ten removable art prints.”

On Wednesday we have Star Wars #24, Poe Dameron #7 and volume 1 of the Legends collection of the original Marvel Star Wars run. Also keep an eye out for Star Wars Insider #169.

Our next book, due out on November 15, is the Rogue One novel Catalyst by James Luceno, which will give us some background on Orson Krennic and Galen Erso. (The first excerpt dropped last week.) Check out our book release schedule for more.

It’s official: Donald Glover is the new Lando Calrissian

donald-gloverLucasfilm has announced that Donald Glover will be playing the young Lando Calrissian in 2018’s Han Solo standalone. says the film will “depicts Lando in his formative years as a scoundrel on the rise in the galaxy’s underworld.” Glover joins Alden Ehrenreich as Han.

“We’re so lucky to have an artist as talented as Donald join us,” said directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. “These are big shoes to fill, and an even bigger cape, and this one fits him perfectly, which will save us money on alterations. Also, we’d like to publicly apologize to Donald for ruining Comic-Con for him forever.”

The Han movie, which is still untitled, is due out in 2018. Rumor has it that a third major role, a woman, has a shortlist.

Ahsoka hits #1 on NYT Bestsellers list


E.K. Johnston’s novel Ahsoka has made it to #1 on the New York Times’ Bestsellers list for Young Adult hardcovers, per Lucasfilm’s Jennifer Heddle. The October 30th list isn’t online yet, but Ashley Eckstein has a shot of the print version.

This is far from the first Star Wars novel to make it to #1 on an NYT list (several novelizations and Heir to the Empire) but I believe it is the first YA to make the list at all. (Of course, keep in mind that the Star Wars YA novel is a very recent phenomenon, unlike the adult and middle-grade lines.)