Episode VIII director Rian Johnson had input on Bloodline (and other teases for Claudia Gray’s novel)

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Lucasfilm senior editor Jennifer Heddle writes about Claudia Gray’s Bloodline on StarWars.com, teasing eight reasons why fans will want to read it. Among them: “Some of the story ideas and elements in this novel came straight from Rian Johnson, director of the forthcoming Episode VIII.”

Bloodline is out in hardcover and eBook on May 3.

Mark Hamill will be at Celebration Europe, being auctioned off for charity


tfa-hamillTo the surprise of no one, Mark Hamill will be a guest at this summer’s Celebration Europe in London, Reed announced this morning on the official Celebration site. There’s also a Force for Change element, where one fan will win a chance to hang out with Mark in London during the con.

Today in The Force Awakens: Making of book canceled?

tfa-bts-ridley-jjAlthough it was never officially announced, it appears that The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens book from Mark Cotta Vaz and J.W. Rinzler has been canceled. A listing for the book appeared before the movie – usually a reliable indicator – and it was pushed back to October before the film’s release. However, it now it no longer appears on the publisher’s site, and Florian at Jedi Bibliothek found a listing on BookManager that says it’s been canceled..

All-out cancellations are rare, but I don’t expect we’ll get any word on the reasoning anytime soon. (Again, it was never actually announced.) My only guess is that it may have something to do with the lawsuit over Harrison Ford’s on-set injury. Note the incident isn’t mentioned in the official behind-the-scenes documentary on The Force Awakens Blu-ray – and may be off-limits until the legal issues have been worked out. Everyone loves the original trilogy Making of books, but here’s hoping we won’t have to wait 30 years for this one.

→ Speaking of the accident… Something we overlooked during the big Rey parentage debacle was J.J. Abrams revealing exactly how Ford’s injury actually helped the film.

→ A great new behind the scenes video from Discover Ireland.

→ Casting director Nina Gold talks about finding Daisy Ridley and John Boyega (plus some Game of Thrones folks) in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

→ Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and actor Oscar Isaac are among of Time’s 100 most influential people.

Custom BB-8s created by Star Wars stars and luminaries, being auctioned for charity.

Wear Star Wars Every Day: Week 16

Here’s the week in review for #WearStarWarsEveryDay! No new donations to Collateral Repair Project this week, but I celebrated the Star Wars Dark Side Half and then kicked off my run of Star Wars Celebration wear as it was the anniversary of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim! Some of that Celebration apparel, two shirts and a hat, was donated by Kristen! This review for Week 16 covers April 15 to April 21 of my wearathon, and an update on fundraising for Collateral Repair Project, a non-profit organization that provides emergency assistance, education, and community support to urban refugees.

How long will my Celebration streak last? Will I make it to April 30, the day that the first Celebration started in 1999? If you have a favorite clothing item from Celebration that you want to let me borrow, better send it quick! Also, I want to turn May into a showcase of Star Wars fandom, highlighting different fan efforts such as websites, podcasts, costume clubs, collecting clubs, artwork, etc. So if you’ve got something cool to donate or lend, like a club shirt, hat or costume item, send it on over, and I’ll promote your fandomness. Get the shipping info here.

In pledge news, my push to increase the per-day total pledge is still at $4.15/day, but there’s also another way to support my continued effort – you can sign up for monthly giving on the GoFundMe! In week 15, an anonymous donor has started with $10/month. This is like adding another $0.33 per day, and it is automatically set up, just as easy as making a one-time donation! So help me out, and make a per-day pledge!

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

Out this week: Star Wars #18

Star Wars #18This Wednesday will bring Star Wars #18 to the comic shops.

Looking at what’s already on the shelves, our own James interviewed author Pablo Hidalgo about the updated Star Wars Character Encyclopedia on StarWars.com.

Next week’s big release is Claudia Gray’s Bloodline, a Leia-centric novel that answers a question or two raised by The Force Awakens. (You can get a look at the first three chapters by subscribing to a newsletter from Playcrafting.) Look for my review on the release date, May 3.

Bloodline may be locked, but there have been minor shifts in the release dates of our next significant ROTJ-TFA bridge novels. Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: Life Debt moves up a week to July 12, while the third book in the trilogy, Empire’s End, goes back a week to January 24. Our release schedule has been updated.

Rumor: Royals to have Episode VIII cameos?

@KensingtonRoyal: The Duke and Prince Harry come face to face with Daisy Ridley's @starwars head cast @PinewoodStudios

The Daily Mail is reporting that Princes William and Harry filmed cameos during their Episode VIII set visit last week, alongside Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and… Benicio del Toro?

Given this is the Mail, a publication not exactly known for being on the up and up, and that there was no sign of del Toro at the official set visit… Well. We’ll see. The Mail also uses a character name for del Toro that I believe originates from the recent Reddit posts.

Yes, those Episode VIII Reddit ‘spoilers’ are bullshit

viiiThere have been two so-called leaks come out at Reddit in the week or so, but neither of them are really worth putting any stock in. The first, from last week, is quite frankly so ridiculous that I’m sure sure why anyone is believing it in the first place. (Well, it’s the internet.) A few things in it ring possible to me (I’ve had similar speculative thoughts regarding the Benicio Del Toro character, for instance) but that means nothing.

The second has since been deleted, but Da7e over at Latino Review has reproduced part of it, and in any case this one has been flat-out denied several times by Pablo Hidalgo. Though note, he’s getting out of the debunking business, which is probably a good call.

But as we well know, however, it pays to be very, very cynical about ‘leaks’ this early in the process. Don’t believe everything you read! Particularly on Reddit.