The surprise new stop on Star Tours has been revealed, and it’s Batuu. The new planet will serve as the setting for the upcoming Star Wars land, Galaxy’s Edge, that will debut in 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland in California.
Making Star Wars’ latest is about Maz Kanata and her role in this film, which we already know will be fairly small. They also have some indications that we haven’t seen the last of Jakku in this trilogy.
→ Rian Johnson has revealed that The Last Jedi will have a record low number of wipe transitions for a Star Wars film: 12. The reigning champion is The Phantom Menace, which had 55. Of course, there was a poll.
Today’s first Entertainment Weekly story tweaks Rey’s parentage, which may not be the bombshell some are hoping for. “You can always look for answers and that doesn’t mean that the rest of your life is so easy. It’s not like, oh, I know who my parents are so now everything falls into shape, especially in the Star Wars world,” Daisy Ridley says.
“There’s always room for bad people to make good decisions and vice versa,” she says later.
Finn’s background will also be explored, although more on the recent end of things – his time in the First Order, since we know he’s going undercover there with Rose – than his early life.
The final article is a bit of a grab-bag, covering Kylo Ren, Han Solo’s (figurative!) ghost, Chewbacca, Captain Phasma, and Maz Kanata.
Announced overnight, just ahead of the official opening of Celebration Orlando, is Forces of Destiny, a new series of animated shorts highlighting Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, Leia Organa, Ahsoka Tano and more.
The series will launch in July on the Disney Youtube, with additional shorts debuting on the Disney Channel in the fall. Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones, Tiya Sircar, Ashley Eckstein and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata) are among those returning to voice their characters.
The series will also have book and action figure tie-ins. We’ll learn more later Friday at the “Heroines of Star Wars” panel here in Orlando.
In an interview with Collider, Lupita Nyong’o said that she hadn’t yet shot for Episode VIII, which wrapped primary photography in the summer. “That’s in my future,” she said of working with VIII director Rian Johnson.
Nyong’o was announced as part of the VIII cast when production began, and Johnson did share a picture of what appeared to be motion capture of her character, Maz Kanata – a test, perhaps? (Part of me wonders now if they swapped in Maz for another digital character who has yet to be revealed or finalized. Or maybe she’s just part of the standard demo?)
The most logical answer for when Nyong’o films for VIII would be the ubiquitous reshoots, which probably won’t happen until next year. In the meantime she has Queen of Katwe opening at the end of the month and Marvel’s Black Panther coming up for 2018.
The third excerpt from Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: Life Debt features Maz Kanata, the orange alien played by Lupita Nyong’o who made her Star Wars debut in The Force Awakens. It seems that Maz features in an interlude, not the main ongoing story like our previous excerptees. As excepts go, it’s the shortest so far: You can read it at USA Today.
Aftermath: Life Debt will be out in hardcover and eBook on Tuesday.
Lupita Nyong’o shared a new behind-the-scenes clip from the Blu-Ray for #MazMonday – there’s also now a Maz Kanata emoji in the Star Wars app
→ The cover to Marvel’s The Force Awakens #1 is… Certainly a comic book cover.
Entertainment Weekly has revealed Hasbro’s Maz Kanata action figure, which will debut at Toy Fair this weekend.
Sadly, for the established collectors, Maz won’t be available on her own. She’ll be released this spring as part of a “Takodana Encounter” playset along with Rey, BB-8 and Finn, for $19.99. Two female characters in one pack? Hasbro, you’re trying!