George Lucas helped direct a small part of Solo

No coverage of Solo: A Star Wars Story would be complete without asking on the film’s turmoulous director issues, and Entertainment Weekly does go there, with the usual vague and polite responses from Kathleen Kennedy and Ron Howard on the issue of original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

But the story begins and ends with George Lucas and Ron Howard, from American Graffiti to the set of Solo where – on Howard’s very first day – Lucas came to visit.

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It’s the night before Star Wars, and George Lucas has weighed in

The Last Jedi script originally called for 160 sets, which is “a ridiculous amount of sets,” production designer Rick Heinrichs told The Hollywood Reporter. The production ended up having 125 sets at Pinewood. He also reveals that George Lucas visited the set… And on that note, he’s seen the movie as well, calling it “beautifully made.” In London, Rian Johnson said: “To have a chat with him and to have him be so kind and gracious felt really good.”

StarWars.com has the first excerpt of Cobalt Squadron, a middle-grade novel that features The Last Jedi’s Rose and Paige Tico. The book by Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity) will be out Friday.

This week’s Star Wars Show takes us back to the World Premiere with a behind-the-scenes look at creating the livestream.

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SWCO: 40 years of Star Wars panel hits the high notes with Carrie Fisher tribute


While the 40 years of Star Wars panel was light on news, it was fairly heavy on the feels. The much-vaunted surprises turned out to be George Lucas (as predicted,) Harrison Ford (who I don’t think anyone expected) and Billie Lourd, who took part in a truly epic tribute to Carrie Fisher.

I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house after the tribute video (above,) and it was only enhanced by the reveal of John Williams and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra playing Princess Leia’s theme. They followed up with the Main Theme and the Imperial March, just in time to allow us to regain our composure.

The video does contain a look at Fisher on-set in The Last Jedi, but in the scheme of things that feels secondary. And while the panel did mainly focus on the first 6 films, it’s really only appropriate that it ended the way it did. Tomorrow, we’ll look ahead.

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.

Today in Rogue One: New footage, interviews and… jackets?

Rogue One Live starts up shortly, and we’ll have another post when it’s done, but here’s a few other things that have popped up:

ro-2takes→ How much of Rogue One have we seen, anyway? Eleven-ThirtyEight explores.

→ More from Gareth Edwards on George Lucas’ visit to the set and if certain characters will appear

Felicity Jones beats up Jimmy Fallon and shows a brand-new clip featuring Jyn, Cassian and K-2SO.

→ Columbia Sportswear will be offering three Rogue One-inspired jackets in a limited edition collection. They’re inspired by Jyn, Cassian, and the deathtrooper armor.

Donnie Yen honored at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood; Diego Luna talks abut meeting Darth Vader.

EUbits: Del Rey’s interactive Star Wars timeline, Thrawn primer, Han Solo mini has a VIP fan

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Del Rey revealed their complete timeline of Star Wars books this week, featuring their new canon novels (and a short story.) It doesn’t include books from the other publishers (like Marvel’s comics or Disney Lucasfilm Press’ Lost Stars or the upcoming Ahsoka) but it’s a good starting place for anyone who needs it.

thrawn-novel700→ Speaking of starting places, StarWars.com has a nice primer on Grand Admiral Thrawn from Linda Hansen-Raj for anyone who wants to do some reading before he returns on Rebels. (Or just to learn what all that fuss was about.) On that note, Zahn’s Thrawn is now available for pre-order.

→ It turns out that George Lucas is a really big fan of Marvel’s Han Solo mini-series – he wants to buy all of Mark Brooks’ original pages from the first two issues.

→ Celebration Europe gave us a glimpse of what the Lucasfilm Story Group does – and it’s so much more than just maintaining continuity. This article is Pablo approved!

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.

Game over for the Lucas Museum in Chicago

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The Lucas Museum won’t be in Chicago after all. Museum officials are ending plans to build there after a challenge from the group Friends of the Parks.

“No one benefits from continuing their seemingly unending litigation to protect a parking lot,” filmmaker George Lucas said. “The actions initiated by Friends of Parks and their recent attempts to extract concessions from the city have effectively overridden approvals received from numerous democratically elected bodies of government.”

Initial plans were to build the museum in a lakefront area that’s currently a parking lot.