Why we’re not going to see an Episode VIII trailer until 2017

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I’ve seen a few people hoping that we’ll get an Episode VIII trailer with Rogue One. And while I’m as eager to see something new from VIII as anyone else, I don’t see it happening. At all. (And technically didn’t we already get a teaser?)

Here’s the thing: If they drop us something substantial for Episode VII, it will absolutely dominate the Star Wars news cycle for days, if not weeks. In other words: If they drop an Episode VIII teaser in the next 9 days, it takes attention away Rogue One. A lot of attention.

Lucasfilm doesn’t want to distract from Rogue One, and they don’t want to confuse people. I suspect we’ve all heard from (or of) people who are confused about Rogue One. Maybe they think it’s VIII; Maybe they don’t get it, period. It’s new territory, after all. Throwing brand-new Episode VIII footage around is only going to muddy those waters.

That doesn’t apply to all of us. Some of us multitask our fandom. We live and breathe Star Wars. But not every fan does. Not every fan is glued to social media, collecting every crumb. Not every fan needs that. And hell, maybe they’re healthier for it. (I won’t presume.)

VIII: Cape!We’re long past comparing the run up to VIII to that for The Force Awakens: Episode VII was the first live-action Star Wars movie in ten years, at the helm of a re-purposed franchise. Of course, we got the first teaser a year ahead of time. Of course, the timeline was different. From the initial announcement until it showed up on Blu-ray, it was the focal point of a $4B franchise. Right now? That focal point is Rogue One. And with Star Wars films coming every year, this is our new baseline.

No one is ignoring VIII, and certainly not the press – actors will talk, questions will be asked. Some of them may get (very vague) answers that turn into dozens of headlines. But we’re not going to get anything huge from the official sources.

There’s plenty of time for Episode VIII in 2017. It will absolutely have a huge presence in Orlando next April. (Maybe we get a teaser – or a title – before Celebration in Orlando, but remember Rogue One‘s first teaser? April.) But through at least January, Lucasfilm needs to sell Rogue One. And only Rogue One.

Today in Rogue One: Hey, was that…?

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Twitter had a nice freak-out this afternoon as a ship resembling the Ghost from the Star Wars Rebels cartoon was spotted in a new TV commercial. (There’s more evidence on the Tumblr.) Easter egg? Cameo? Only time will tell.

And that was only one of several new commercials dropped today. Here’s one, and here’s one and here’s one that’s actually on the official site and in high res! Of course it’s the one with the least new footage.

Speaking of new footage, there are two new scenes as well: One with Orson Krennic and Galen Erso (which seems to answer a question I asked in my Catalyst review) and another from the call sign scene. There’s also a new Chinese trailer, introduced by Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen.

ro-cassian-vert→ So many more interviews today! John Knoll on how they approached the film and changes to Darth Vader’s costume. Gareth Edwards addresses the reshoots and George Lucas’ review. Riz Ahmed on being an ‘average Joe’ in the GFFA. And finally, Diego Luna on his research into being a soldier and why Cassian isn’t a typical hero. He’s really happy to be here, you guys.

→ Could something in the background of the recent creature featurette have given us a hint at that mysterious kneeling scene from the very first teaser?

→ Thanks to both The Force Awakens and Rogue One, Star Wars was Twitter’s top trending movie topic of 2016.

→ Here’s Epcot’s Spaceship Earth being transformed into the Death Star.

→ A new Rogue One collection launched at Hot Topic and Torrid today. I’m not sure this one really translates…

Rogue One emojjis are now in the Star Wars app!

Today in Rogue One: Interviews galore

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Interviews from the Rogue One junket have begun coming in. Today, we have director Gareth Edwards and Alan Tudyk at /Film, while Birth Movies Death talked to Mads Mikkelsen and Riz Ahmed. More Edwards interviews at IGN and AICN. Full of Sith has a recording of the panel yesterday.

→ Thought that Zootopia scene in front of The Force Awakens was torturous? Well, with certain showings (70mm IMAX) of Rogue One, fans will be getting a whooping 7 minutes of Christopher Nolan‘s new film Dunkirk, per a new report from /Film.

→ Another reaction to the half-hour of footage screened over the weekend.

→ Two new TV spots: Surrender and Save The Rebellion.

Review: Catalyst offers offers Rogue One backstory, but not much else

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It’s tough to say if any Star Wars novel is really essential these days. With the full attention of the franchise moved back to movies, and the books firmly placed back in a supporting role, does one really need to read a book like James Luceno’s Catalyst? The answer here is a firm maybe: It entirely depends on your focus within the franchise.

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Wear Star Wars Every Day: Week 48 & November prize winners

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#WearStarWarsEveryDay survived the madness of Thanksgiving weekend shopping with a streak of game related Star Wars wear, as we finished up November and the Thanks-for-Giving donation drive with some cool prizes! Our top prize package would have been won by Nancy L., but she graciously declined the four book package to have it used again as a prize. As we had four donors who contributed at the level to be eligible for our Topps Star Wars trading card books, they each get a snazzy book! The other two prize packages (a copy of Ahsoka signed by both E.K. Johnston and Ashley Eckstein, and an advance reader copy of Maul: Lockdown) remained elusive – I guess I need to set lower minimum donations for those prizes in the future. Here’s our winners:

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  • Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One from Abrams ComicArts- Shauna R.
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Two from Abrams ComicArts – Yacov F.
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Three from Abrams ComicArts – Jen R.
  • Star Wars Galaxy: The Original Topps Trading Card Series from Abrams ComicArts – Danielle J.

So how did Week 48 go? I wore a variety of shirts, including several related to different games, from foosball to Trivial Pursuit to the Bounty Hunt at Star Wars Celebration. And a big thank you to our donors in the Thanksgiving week: Nancy, Yacov, Jen, Shauna, and Danielle. We also give thanks to Mark and Ian who each donated a shirt in this week, and also wish to thank Dani who lent two of the shirts in this time period.

Every day I wear a new and different Star Wars apparel item, my daily pledge makers will chip in $4.65 to Collateral Repair Project! This review for Week 48 covers November 25 to December 1 of my wearathon, and an update on fundraising for and the latest happenings at Collateral Repair Project, a non-profit organization that provides emergency assistance, education, and community support to urban refugees.

Get more info on what Wear Star Wars Every Day is all about, or make a donation via GoFundMe or a per-day pledge.

Today in Rogue One: More press, John Knoll, and another footage review

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There was another press conference in San Francisco today. StarWars.con liveblogged it, and here’s a collection of the live-tweets. Perhaps the biggest news to come out of it: Kathleen Kennedy said that her earlier comments on female directors were taken out of context. She also said that they’re not nessarily planning to bring more cartoon characters into the standalones, ala Saw Gerrera, but they may come in more organically. Also: George Lucas saw and liked it.

Wired has a great profile of ILM’s John Knoll, who pitched the idea that became Rogue One to Kennedy.

→ Here’s another take on those 28 minutes of footage, this time spoiler-free.

Spaceship Earth, aka the big round thing at Epcot in Orlando, is being turned into the Death Star for a Rogue One event happening Monday. The Disney Parks blog will be livestreaming.