Victoria Mahoney joins Episode IX as second unit director

Victoria Mahoney will be a second unit director for Episode IX, fellow director Ava DuVernay announced this evening on Twitter. “Catt’s outta the bag,” Mahoney tweeted. “Thank you @ava for putting my name in the #StarWars #LucasFilm hat. Thank you #JJAbrams for inviting me on your ferocious ride. *This one’s for the outliers, dreaming big–in small corners of the Earth.”

Mahoney will be the first African-American woman to hold a directing role in the franchise. Her directing credits include episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, American Crime, Power and DuVernay’s Queen Sugar.

As for what exactly a second unit director does, @Geek_Kay on Twitter pointed to an article that talks about the job with John Mahaffie, who held the position on the Lord Of The Rings films, Rogue One, The Avengers and more.

The Last Jedi tops home video sales charts

It might be hard to tell if you have a tendency to spend too much time on social media, but The Last Jedi isn’t having any trouble selling Blu-rays and DVDs. 2017’s top box office earner is now leading home video sales charts “by a wide margin,” per Variety. Second placer Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which debuted at #1 last week, only sold 29% as much as The Last Jedi this week.

Hey kids! You want a Last Jedi blooper reel?

Here’s one! It has the infamous 27 slaps, a surprise from (we assume) BB-8 and hugs.

And another! Even more Oscar Isaac shenanigans, an overenthusiastic wind machine and John Boyega’s big bio-hexacrypt problem.

Man, I love these things.

Star Wars out this week: The Last Jedi on Blu-ray

Have you stayed strong? Tuesday, March 27 is the day: The Last Jedi arrives on Blu-ray. The actual copies you’ll get are more or less the same everywhere, but Best Buy has steelbooks and Target’s version comes with a book and an extra feature on porgs. No, I am neither an expert nor a collector of home releases. These are the standard versions:

There’s also the paperback of Christie Golden’s Battlefront II: Inferno Squad.

Meanwhile, headed for the comic shops on Wednesday, March 28 is Doctor Aphra #18, Star Wars Adventures #8 and a Forces of Destiny trade.

The spoilery concept art for The Last Jedi has landed

io9 has the concept art for some of The Last Jedi’s biggest surprises – the stuff that was held back from the art book due to spoilers. There are only a handful of pieces, but they’re some good ones.

StarWars.com has an interview with Joonas Suotamo on taking over Chewbacca full time for The Last Jedi and Solo. He also appeared on the latest Star Wars Show. They also talk to droid builder Lee Towersey.

Kelly Marie Tran stops by Oh My Disney (with BB-8!) and Fangirling to talk shooting The Last Jedi, ships, and working with John Boyega and Benicio del Toro.

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Rian Johnson, Mark Hamill on The Last Jedi behind-the-scenes

Rian Johnson and (eventually) Mark Hamill showed up at SXSW for The Director and the Jedi, and you can watch their Q&A, or check out The Hollywood Reporter’s article, which highlights my favorite Rian Johnson quote re: Luke. (The post-screening Q&A is this way.)

If you’re waiting for the Blu-ray, here’s a few more clips: Luke’s struggle, above, plus Mark Hamill and Frank Oz reunite, Paige Tico and the bomber attack and the gorilla walkers. Meanwhile, also check out Mike Ryan’s observations on Johnson’s commentary.

StarWars.com has an interview with puppeteer Brian Herring, one of the BB-8 operators, who also worked with the porgs in The Last Jedi.

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Carrie, crystal foxes and more in latest The Last Jedi behind the scenes featurettes

A few new behind the scenes clips have emerged since we last checked in. The first, on Kylo’s choice to not kill Leia, features a new priceless quote from Carrie Fisher. The second is on the crystal foxes (err, vulptices), finally giving us a long-awaited look at the actual dog-wearing-straw-costume used to help develop them. And from yesterday, how a Ralph McQuarrie painting from Empire inspired the final showdown and a bit on the red of Crait.

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