Just as the ancient scrolls predicted Mark Hamill told us a couple weeks ago, Episode VIII wrapped principal photography today. “Final slate of the final shot,” Director Rian Johnson said today of a video shared from the official Twitter and Facebook accounts. “VIII is officially wrapped. Thanks to the best cast and crew in the galaxy, and thanks to the fans for all the love and support through the whole process. Cannot wait to put it together and share it with you all! ”
Another Celebration is over, and while this one felt a bit restrained, here are the big hits. Follow the links for all the details!
We didn’t get a Rogue One trailer – what was shown only to the live audience was mostly footage we’ve already seen with only a handful of new additions – but there was a nifty sizzle reel. And we learned a couple things about the worlds and characters of the film – plus a poster! And Gwendoline Christie is a fantastic panel host. Later, Kathleen Kennedy said they’re leaning towards not giving the film an opening crawl. Also, check out these amazing cast photos from behind the scenes at the con.
Rebels expands the GFFA
But the con’s big surprise – at least for our purposes – is Thrawn coming to Rebels. The rumor has been floating around since January 2016, but what really took it over the top was the additional news that Timothy Zahn will be writing a new novel about the character. In other book news, we learned that Alexander Freed is doing the Rogue One novelization, while James Luceno is writing the film’s tie-in, Catalyst. We also got a cover for the Ahsoka novel, as well as some hints as to what the character got up to between The Clone Wars and Rebels.
Grand Admiral Thrawn was revealed as a villain in Star Wars Rebels S3, and that’s not even the whole of it. Timothy Zahn – who gave his blessing to the Rebels version via video – is writing a canon Thrawn novel that’ll be out in April 2017.
The Rebels Thrawn is being voiced by Lars Mikkelsen, Mads Mikkelsen’s brother.
Thrawn, who originated in Zahn’s Heir to the Empire in 1991, is the first Legends character to make the jump to the new canon.
When asked if Mara Jade could be next, Filoni was fairly straightforward: “No, not likely.” (I am, for the record, more than okay with that.) Filoni also said that the ysalamiri aren’t making the leap to canon, although there are some visual nods to them in the production design of Thrawn’s introduction.
On his Facebook, Zahn said he’s just turned in the first draft of the novel.
The trailer also featured Wedge Antilles and a Force sensitive character named Bendu, who’s being voiced by Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. For more on everything else about Rebels S3, head to StarWars.com.
Two episodes were show (but not livestreamed) and you can read one review, with some spoilers, over at io9.
Filoni and Lucasfilm’s Kiri Hart talk about how the show makes Thrawn work on Sunday, comparing him to Vader as a villain: “We want to treat him like a big time villain, as much as Darth Vader,” Filoni said. “But on the strategic, military side of things.”
The Force Awakens will make its pay cable debut on Starz September 10. Their timing could be better, but they’ve whipped up a nice teaser. The movie is the last under Disney’s deal with the channel, and future films will debut on Netflix.
Mark Hamill was his usual self at his Celebration Europe panel today, and while he can’t talk much (at all, really) about Episode VIII, he did rave about Rian Johnson:
I was looping Episode VIII yesterday, and there’s dialogue in there, I thought, ‘Oh boy, I can already see this on a t-shirt. Rian Johnson is amazing. He’ll make you forget all about ‘May the Force be with you.’ He’s come up with so many new catchphrases.
Props also go to the fan who took advantage of a stumble where Mark forgot Rey’s first name to get him to reveal her last name, though Mark didn’t take the bait. Entertainment Weekly and /Film have the highlights.
Perhaps we were too quick to assume that Mark Hamill had lost the beard, though he does seem to be pulling double duty. (UPDATE: He’s now wrapped as well.)
And finally, your moment of zen: Gary Fisher with “his two favorite stalkers.” A weird thing happens when you start to see enough of those emoji: They start making sense. Maybe one day I’ll wake up being able to read Aurebesh after all.
We’ve been hoping we’ll get VIII’s title at the panel. @StarWars revealed The Force Awakens when that film finished principal photography – but Episode VI wasn’t finishing up around the time of the year’s big dedicated convention, either.
This does, however, likely mean that several cast members will still be in town. Of the VIII cast, only Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels and Peter Mayhew are confirmed guests for the con, but that’s never stopped Celebration – or any other major con – from bringing out folks before.