So about that “original” original trilogy…

Well, since our “unaltered” original trilogy rumor, there’s been a bit of news… Or not, depending on how plugged in you are on the issue. For those of us who shrug at the rigmarole, there’s a new Rumor Control from Bobby at Full of Sith that lays it all out.

In short, maybe George Lucas will show up at Celebration. Who knows? Not any of us, that’s for sure.

No Oscars for Rogue One

Rogue One didn’t take home either of the two Oscars it was nominated for last night. Hacksaw Ridge took sound mixing, while The Jungle Book won VFX. (Having Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed present it was a bit weird when a win wasn’t really expected, but hey, that’s Hollywood.) Alas. Unlike last year’s Ex Machina upset, this was far from a surprise – and the ceremony had even bigger shocks later on with a Best Picture mixup.

Kenny Baker and Carrie Fisher were both part of the In Memoriam segment. Mom Debbie Reynolds and Carrie closed it out, with the “May the Force be with you” clip from The Force Awakens.

Alum Natalie Portman – who didn’t attend due to her pregnancy – lost out Best Actress to La La Land’s Emma Stone.

Better luck next year, Star WarsJ.J. Abrams is already campaigning for Mark Hamill in The Last Jedi. Is his guilt is getting to him?

The term “Emperor’s Hand” is canon again. Should Mara Jade follow? (I’m not so sure.)

Yeah, we all heard it: “Emperor’s Hand” in Saturday night’s Rebels, ‘Legacy of Mandalore.’ The Hand in question is Gar Saxon, governor of Mandalore, a character who’s appeared on Rebels before.

So no, it’s not Mara Jade, the first and best known “Emperor’s Hand” in the no-longer-canon Star Wars Legends timeline. Per Dave Filoni himself, it was just a reference. He told ComicBook.com it’s “probably just a little sly nod to a character type.” Probably:

I think it would probably be meant more innocently, but the minute you say it I’m like, ‘Good grief.’ I know exactly where everyone’s going to go with that,” Filoni told us with a laugh. “I know, with the hopefulness of it all, but I wouldn’t dwell too much on that. It’s more of a generic reference to that type of character that exhibits in history of the world, like the emperor has a hand, there’s someone who’s always sitting at the right hand that’s gained great power.”

Yeah, Filoni could be playing games. But I’m willing to take the comments at face value for now… Even though giving the title to both a man and a Mandalorian seems particularly tone-deaf.

But the fact is, I’ve been rather wary of Mara returning to canon and would prefer it not be on Rebels – if at all. (Rebels is fine for what it is, but it just doesn’t do it for me. Take all the Thrawn you like, but I’m selfish and want more for Mara.)

But, you know… It’s complicated. Continue reading

Rumor: Will Lucasfilm announce new editions of the pre-Special Edition original trilogy at Celebration?

After yesterday’s announcement of a 40th Anniversary panel on the first day of Celebration and a “surprise,”, naturally fan speculation ramped into overdrive. With The Last Jedi panel set for the second day of the con, fans focused on two things: A George Lucas appearance, or the announcement of the long-awaited and perennially rumored “unaltered” Original Trilogy. Today, Making Star Wars is saying that they’ve been hearing things that lead them to believe it will indeed be pre-Special Edition OT.

If the rumor does pan out this time, it will at least be something worth building up for hype. (I can’t really see George showing up, even if this turns up to be false – he seemed uncomfortable at Celebration even when he owned the company. That said, I’ve been wrong before.)

Almost all home releases of the original trilogy since the early ’90s have been built on the restored and digitally tweaked Special Edition versions that were released in 1997. Transfers of the 1993 Laserdisc versions of the film appeared as extras on some 2006 DVDs, but many fans have been hoping for better quality ports for years now. I’m not particularly obsessive about it, and I own those DVDS, but as a member of the VHS generation I’d buy better versions in a heartbeat.

But, as always, Star Wars fans love to speculate, and anything to do with this issue is hotly debated, so keep your pants on. For now, anyway.

In the meantime, here’s fuzzy Youtube version of ‘Lapti Nek’ for the younglings who only know ‘Jedi Rocks.’ It’s ’80s-sleaze-a-riffic!

Rogue One Blu-ray, digital dates announced; 40th anniversary panel to kick off Celebration

Announced on today’s Star Wars Show are the release dates for Rogue One on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. Like The Force Awakens, it’ll launch on Digital HD a week before (March 24) the Blu-ray and DVD options (April 4.) This also gets it’s own promo:


The other big news is that a 40th Anniversary tribute panel will kick off Celebration Orlando. Hosted by Warwick Davis and featuring Kathleen Kennedy and “the saga’s brightest stars.” They’re also laying it on a bit heavy about “surprises,” so keep that in mind.

Principal photography begins on Han Solo standalone, release date is still May

StarWars.com has annouced that principal photography has begin on the Han Solo standalone, along with confirming rumored cast members Thandie Newton and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. It’s also the first time they’ve mentioned the release date in quite a while – and surprisingly, it’s still May 25, 2018.

If it does indeed remain May, this would be our first non-December release since Disney bought the franchise, and could signal a permanent move back to spring for Episode IX and beyond. The May release date will put Han just on the heels of Episode VII, The Last Jedi, which is out December 15, 2017.

The film stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca along with Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are directing, from a script by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan.

Review: Empire’s End (mostly) crushes the empire, finishes off Aftermath trilogy

Empire’s End finishes off the Aftermath trilogy with a satisfying conclusion for some, and even more questions for others! In other words, it’s a Star Wars novel in the year 2017.

I’ve found myself cooling a bit on the trilogy as time goes on. Not enough that I won’t still recommend it, but simply as a function of the timing involved. When Aftermath was released, we were months away from The Force Awakens, and in the fever-pitch of anticipation. Anything was a possible hint! Life Debt came out months after, and we had a better idea of what to expect. And now, Empire’s End, when we’re just barely starting to ramp up to The Last Jedi. And I’m finding my old intertrilogy/original character apathy begin to creep in, a little.

Which is not to say Empire’s End is a bad read, mind.

A continued lack of spoilers beneath the cut. Continue reading