The week in Star Wars: Hurry up and wait (for Celebration)

Space BearThis week was a great deal quieter than the last, likely because we’re barreling towards Celebration Europe, which begins on the 15th. We got two panel announcements for the con, the ‘Future Filmmakers’ with directors Rian Johnson, Chris Miller and Phil Lord, and ‘Ahsoka’s Untold Tales’ with Dave Filoni and Ashley Eckstein. (Pablo is moderating both, of course. Because Pablo.)

#PutDrewinStarWars is gaining steam! Nearly 8000 signatures as of Friday evening!

→ Of course Star Wars’ biggest secret keeper, aka Mark Hamill, isn’t running around spoiling Episode VIII.

→ Unboxing Star Wars is now Star Wars Story Talk!

→ Our themes on Tumblr were The Force Awakens, behind the scenes, and the Skywalkers.

What we didn’t get to

→ Samuel L. Jackson thinks Mace Windu survived Revenge of the Sith, and George Lucas is okay with it, apparently.

→ DK’s Star Wars Year By Year and Star Wars: Complete Locations are getting updated versions this fall.

→ Hasbro reveals two new 6-inch convention figures at Entertainment Weekly: A helmetless Kylo Ren (with melted Vader helmet) for Celebratiopn Europe, and A New Hope Obi-Wan Kenobi (with hologram Leia) for San Diego Comic-Con.

Ahsoka Tano gets dedicated panel at Celebration Europe, Her Universe docu-series debuts

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Dave Filoni, Ashley Eckstein and Pablo Hidalgo will join forces at Celebration Europe’s ‘Ahsoka’s Untold Tales’ panel on the con’s first day. The panel will include discussion of the upcoming novel and Rebels as well as the character’s life before The Clone Wars.

In related news, Eckstein’s Her Universe docu-series debuted the first three episodes today on Comic-Con HQ.

‘Future filmmakers’ panel to close out Celebration Europe

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Star Wars directors Rian Johnson, Chris Miller and Phil Lord will join Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart and Pablo Hidalgo for the Celebration Europe’s Future Filmmaker Discussion, followed by the con’s Closing Ceremony.

Johnson’s Episode VIII is expected to wrap very soon, while Miller and Lord’s Han Solo standalone will be next up. Is it here that we’ll get the official title for VIII? Will Alden Ehrenreich be confirmed as the young Han Solo? Both, maybe? StarWars.com promises “some surprises” and ending “the weekend on a high note.”

The news was first revealed on today’s new The Star Wars Show:

#PutDrewInStarWars petition asks for Star Wars’ first LGBT movie character named after Orlando shooting victim


Star Wars fan Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen and boyfriend Juan Ramon Guerrero were among the 49 people who died in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando earlier this month. Drew’s best friend Joshua Yehl has started a petition asking Lucasfilm to use him “as inspiration for the first-ever LGBT Star Wars character to appear in a movie.”

The petition has over 6000 supporters as of Thursday morning, gaining widespread support (including a retweet from Mark Hamill) in the past few days. You can sign it here.

Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII swag, another look at the set

Episode VIII director Rian Johnson has shared a couple relevant photos on his Instagram and Twitter. In the first, we see VIII’s “first piece of embroidered swag.” Then there’s an embroidered hat, featuring a ‘Space Bear’ – aka the film’s code name. Yet more signs that the end is nigh… But the third appears to be some sort of high-flying set shenanigans. Much less revealing than what we saw last time, but ain’t that the way.

UPDATE: And on Tuesday, he tweets “Holy cow, we’re starting to wrap main cast members.” Now, the question is: Will we get a wrap announcement (and very possibly a title) before or during Celebration Europe?

No, Mark Hamill did not just randomly drop a major Episode VIII spoiler

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Mark Hamill, the man who didn’t even tell his own co-stars that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father, did not spoil anything when he referred to himself as being “out of work” after Episode VIII wraps. “I meant “out of work” because #Ep8 is wrapping soon, OK,” he tweeted today. I mean, guys, c’mon: Do not underestimate Mark Hamill’s secret-keeping abilities.

Video: Star Wars Story Talk: ABC-3PO, LEGO Star Wars Days, The Freemaker Adventures

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The hunt for a new name for my video series is over! Since we mostly focus on the latest in new Star Wars storytelling in TV, films, books, comics, and events, Unboxing Star Wars is now Star Wars Story Talk! Yowie the skunk, Baby Jawa, and I review the latest book for the kid set: Star Wars: ABC-3PO, by Calliope Glass and Caitlin Kennedy, with illustrations by Katie Cook. We also flash back to LEGO Star Wars Days held earlier this month at LEGOLAND California and discuss the new LEGO Star Wars TV series, The Freemaker Adventures. For more details on the LEGOLAND event, check out my article on starwars.com: LEGO Star Wars Days. Plus random fun with a Jawa buddy, and then some Baby Jawa fun time!


Quick reviews
Star Wars: ABC-3PO – Two thumbs up! Love the Katie Cook illustrations and fun rhymes by Calliope Glass and Caitlin Kennedy. Great for fans whether kids or parents! (For ages 3-5)
→ LEGOLAND California: LEGO Star Wars Days 2016 – A lot of fun! In a year without any new permanent Star Wars additions to Miniland, the park still knows how to make a great Star Wars event with plenty of unique activities including photo ops with costumers from the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion, and Mandalorian Mercs; the really awesome Fan Gallery, showcasing amazing Star Wars-themed builds from LEGO fans; family build, trivia and costume contests; and a bunch of scavenger hunts. Plus sneak preview screenings of the first episode of LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures.
→ LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. Thumbs up! If you’re a fan of the previous LEGO Star Wars series, this new show on Disney XD will delight! Maybe a little more kid-focused than some of the previous series, it still contains the great mix of Star Wars stories with LEGO humor, and introduces a new set of heroes!

Get more info on Wear Star Wars Every Day or make a donation at GoFundMe or sign up to make a per-day pledge.

Note: Disney-Lucasfilm Press provided a copy of Star Wars: ABC-3PO for review.

Star Wars out this week: Twilight Company PB, Darth Vader #22

Tuesday brings Alexander Freed’s Battlefront: Twilight Company in paperback. Back when the hardcover came out, James called it “a good, solid novel for the military sci-fi reader” in his review. The paperback also contains the short story ‘Inbrief’ by Janine K. Spendlove, which originally appeared in the Star Wars Insider.

Comic fans have Darth Vader #22 to look forward to on Wednesday.

The week in Star Wars: Rogue One, Aftermath and more

ro-ew-deathtrooperIt’s been a busy one, so let’s recap! The big news this week was Entertainment Weekly’s cover story on – the movie’s first. (The issue is in stores now.) Our most extensive coverage is still in the what we’ve learned post, which has been updated to cover both galleries. Additionally, EW covered Darth Vader and Mon Mothma‘s roles in the film. Rogue One also dominated the latest tweet roundup.

Our other big item was the second excerpt from Aftermath: Life Debt, which shows us Leia using the Force and sensing baby Ben.

Also this week: James reached the halfway point on #WearStarWarsEveryDay | Disney’s Bob Iger on the future of Indiana Jones | Here’s one thing from the live-action show we’re grateful didn’t make it to The Clone Wars | Don’t ever talk to George Lucas or his art museum ever again, Chicago.

And finally, here are a few other items we didn’t get to.

Ewan McGregor is (understandably!) sick of about being asked if he’d be in another Star Wars movie. (The answer is still yes, though.)

The Force Awakens won eight Saturn Awards, including best science fiction film and nods for Harrison Ford and Adam Driver.

Chuck Wendig on adapting The Force Awakens for Marvel.