It’s a noteworthy week for releases, with the year’s first all-new novel and a comic that takes us – very briefly – into shouting distance of The Last Jedi.
Our old friend the Rey parentage discourse, which was seemly settled in The Last Jedi, came rearing back today thanks to Simon Pegg, who’s pals with The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams and played Jakku heavyweight Unkar Plutt in the film.
The Last Jedi novelization won’t be out until March, but the Kindle version of Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens novelization is currently on sale for $1.99. While I can’t in any good faith recommend the novel – read the best part over at our Tumblr – it’s a good price if you’re curious, and it does include the short stories ‘The Perfect Weapon’ by Phasma author Delilah S. Dawson and ‘Bait’ by Foster.
The Last Jedi has now made more than $1.3 billion, making it the all-time 9th-biggest global grosser. It’s unlikely to go any higher as we start heading into blockbuster season, with Fifty Shades Freed and Black Panther on the horizon. Scott Mendelson at Forbes writes why it’s still (duh) a big win for Disney.
→ Domhnall Gleeson was at Sundance for National Lampoon biopic A Futile and Stupid Gesture, and we’ve gotten several interviews from him that touch on the sequel trilogy. In an IMDB interview, he revealed the origins of Hux’s blaster scene.With The Huffington Post, he talks about Hux and the aim of the character, while on the Happy Sad Confused podcast he touches on The Last Jedi‘s “broken phone call,” surviving the film, and his relationship with Kylo Ren. Also recently unearthed in a Japanese guide to The Force Awakens is a behind the scenes photo of Gleeson (with J.J. Abrams) filming the snow rescue scene that was cut.
→ Lupita Nyong’o is profiled in The Hollywood Reporter, and she talks a bit about the security measures of getting The Force Awakens script. On Episode IX: “I don’t know yet,” she says. “I’ll know soon.”
→ Rotten Tomatoes says that The Last Jedi was 2017’s best-reviewed SF/F movie.
Andi Gutierrez sits down with the Lucasfilm Story Group’s Leland Chee, Pablo Hidalgo, Matt Martin, and Rayne Roberts to shed some light on The Last Jedi.
You can now buy a Body Vibe replica of General Leia’s ring from The Force Awakens (which she also wears in The Last Jedi). The “signet ring” (per The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary) features two blue stones paired in a gold band. It’s avaliable on Amazon for $29.99.
Maybe we’ll see some replicas of the jewelry from The Last Jedi in 2019? Until then, keep your eyes on Etsy…
It’s Daisy Ridley’s turn on publicity roundabout, and she’s chatting with Adam Driver for V Magazine. They discuss becoming “besties” on The Last Jedi set, The Force Awakens publicity weirdness and Murder on the Orient Express. The accompanying photos are VERY ’80s. (No Adam, but there’s British GQ for that.)
→ Meanwhile, Ridley is also over sorta-kinda-not-really talking about Rey’s parentage in Japan. /Film has the translation.
→ Some creature revelations from Neal Scanlan: Details on porgs, caretakers, droids and those crystal foxes.
→ Build-A-Bear has porgs. I repeat: Build-A-Bear has porgs! And some other stuff. But mostly porgs.
In a new interview, Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times speaks to Mark Hamill about life before, after and during (again) Star Wars.
Among the Star Wars exclusives for San Diego Comic-Con is a special edition of Christie Golden’s Battlefront II: Inferno Squadron. The book is officially out July 25, so this gives fans at the con (July 20-23) a few days jump on it, assuming they get there before it sells out. For now, there’s the first excerpt. The game’s star, Janina Gavankar, has an extended interview from her Star Wars Show apperance.
→ In addition to their Star Wars Adventures series, IDW will launch a with an 80-page The Force Awakens adaptation for young readers. It’s written by Alessandro Ferrari, with art from “a group of Disney artists.” Look for it in August.
→ Timothy Zahn talks writing and his latest Star Wars novel, Thrawn, with the New York Daily News. He reveals that he’s pitched two-more post-Thrawn novels on the character. (Though, as us Legends fans know, that doesn’t mean LFL will take him up on them.) He also has an extended version of his Star Wars Show interview.
Rian Johnson had (at least) one request for J.J. Abrams about The Force Awakens‘ ending – to have Artoo go with Rey instead of BB-8, so the classic droid could be reunited with Luke Skywalker. Luke, naturally, is central to The Last Jedi:
“Figuring out where his head was at was the very first thing I had to do when writing the movie. I had to crack this. And it had to be something for me that first and foremost made sense. Why did Luke Skywalker go off to this island?” Johnson says. “That was the starting point, and that’s what the entire movie explores.”
So Luke’s self-exile – and his reasoning – is a key factor in the film.