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

Josh Gad brings on (even more) friends to pester Daisy Ridley about The Last Jedi

It takes a lot of star power to top Dame Judy Dench, so Josh Gad has assembled an all-star cast for his final (hopefully) Daisy Ridley question session on The Last Jedi secrets, including Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow, Leslie Odom, Jr., Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Penelope Cruz and more.

Star Wars out this week: Empire’s End

Out Tuesday is Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: Empire’s End, the final book in the new canon’s first trilogy. The Norra Wexley and Rae Sloane double-sided poster are exclusive to the Barnes & Noble hardcover.

Already out and about are two excerpts and a reveal, while Lucasfilm editor Jennifer Heddle offers six reasons to be excited about the book. Look for my review tomorrow.

Rebels Recon: ‘Legacy of Mandalore’

Lots of Mandalore knowledge dropped in ‘Legacy of Mandalore,’ and even more in Recon. Andi talks to Tiya Sircar, Pablo Hidalgo, Henry Gilroy and Dave Filoni about the episode.


The episode also featured the return of a very specific title… Which seems to have been given a new meaning. It’s not mentioned in Recon, but more on that in a few days.

Thrawn to get exclusive cover, poster at Barnes & Noble

Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn novel will look a little different if you buy it at Barnes & Noble. The U.S.’s largest book chain will have a cover with a black background, while other retailers will get a white cover. It also comes with an exclusive poster.

B&N exclusives are nothing new for Star Wars, as several recent releases have also featured posters, including next week’s Aftermath: Empire’s End. But Thrawn will be the first novel to feature a different cover.

Thrawn is Zahn’s first novel in the new canon and his tenth overall. It’s due out in hardcover and eBook on April 11.