The Force Awakens: Interviewing Annie Leibovitz, revealing Andy Serkis’ role

snokeStarWars.com has an interview with Annie Leibovitz today about her Star Wars work for Vanity Fair. There’s a photo of Andy Serkis in mo-cap gear, and the reveal that his character is Supreme Leader Snoke.

Snoke! Granted, it’s no Sheev, but aren’t we glad I didn’t do the Twitter roundup last night?

→ The first actual The Force Awakens action figures have been spotted – on eBay, naturally. It’s a stormtrooper.

→ Spoiler corner: Finn and his hot new accessory.

No more slash restrictions on TFN’s Jedi Council boards

As far as venues for Star Wars fan fiction are concerned, the fan fiction area on TheForce.net’s Jedi Council message boards may very well be the oldest still-active fan fiction community on the internet.

slashing-action2They were also rather infamous for a well-known rule that precludes fanfic that features same-sex relationships. (Often called slash and/or femslash.) And now, it’s allowed. Writes moderator Grand Admiral Jello:

I can now announce that MS has decided that the lifting of the same-sex romance ban applies to canon and EU characters as well as original characters — it’s a full lift, in line with the existing PG-13 rules about opposite sex romances. I’m sure we’ll have something official-ish soon, but we thought you all should know ASAP so there’s no uncertainty that this is a full lifting of the ban.

The first announcement this morning left the status of slash with existing Star Wars characters unclear.

The Jedi Council boards have always had a rating restriction of PG-13 and under for fanfic.

Slash fanfic has been around in various fandoms since (at least!) the days of the original Star Trek. In Star Wars fandom, slash exploded when the popularity of Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan back in 1999 practically created a subfandom out of whole cloth – and LFL stayed hands-off. Slash has been a hot-button issue among fans ever since – and occasionally before. But as the times change, both in society and in fiction, good on the TFN owners and moderators for finally putting the ban where it belongs – in the past.

The Force Awakens: Magnet droids, how do they work?

r2-bb8-swcaSo how does BB-8 work? One site has a guess – though warning, it slowed down every computer I looked at it on.

Making Star Wars has heard that John Williams will begin recording The Force Awakens score next month.

→ Our first glimpse of what is assumed to be Kylo Ren’s personal ship – or at the very least, a ship we may see briefly in the second trailer – comes from LEGO. Because of course it does.

→ Miltos Yerolemou talked a little bit about filming TFA with Asian Correspondent. “It’s not really a job where you ask any questions,” he said. (Also, I believe this may be as close as we get to an actual confirmation?)

→ Spoiler corner: Rey gets a gift and a very small cameo from the original trilogy.

→ Looking ahead: Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII notebooks. Keep reading the string for some of his process.

Gary Whitta is writing an episode of Rebels

@garywhitta: Writing an episode of @StarWars Rebels while my daughter sits in my office in Rebels pajamas, watching Rebels. #StarWarsRebels

Screenwriter Gary Whitta tweeted today that he’s writing an episode of Rebels. As Whitta was the first writer on Rogue One – and in fact came up with the title – this has naturally launched some speculation that the episode may tie into the film, which is due out December 2016. Both the show and the movie predate A New Hope and involve the Rebellion, so connections are by no means out of the question.

If Rebels continues to air the bulk of their seasons beginning in the fall, 2016 would mean season 3, which is as far as the show has been renewed for at the moment.

But that really is all speculation – all we really know is that he’s writing an episode, nothing more.

The real lesson of The Empire Strikes Back

esb-ending

May is the month of Star Wars birthdays, of course, and Wednesday was the 35th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back. Entertainment Weekly’s Darren Franich took the opportunity to write the lesson nobody learned from Empire Strikes Back – that the small and personal is what makes the film succeed, not the dark and twisty.

The Force Awakens: Vanity Fair catches up with Pablo (and John Williams)

pablo-hidalgo-lucasfilmRed alert! Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo is in Vanity Fair! We knew him when, y’all. Okay, they also have John Williams talking about The Force Awakens score, but: Pablo! He gives another fab quote on the Legends situation:

…there are great stories told there, but in all honesty they were written in an era where there was no expectation that we were going to add new movies or cinematic content onto that. So they blazed new trails there without the benefit of that knowledge, and they told really cool and compelling stories, but it’s not necessarily the stories that we want to tell on-screen.

→ Someone else got a super-vague quote from Oscar Isaac about Star Wars, this time the improbably named Monkeys Fighting Robots. (Says the woman who runs a site that sounds like it probably hosts porn.)

→ Do you want a (possible) synopsis of The Force Awakens based on all the Making Star Wars rumors? Do you? Because MSW has that for you. Click or not, it’s all you.