SWCE: Star Wars Rebels S3 to introduce Grand Admiral Thrawn; Timothy Zahn writing canon novel!


thrawn-novel700Grand Admiral Thrawn was revealed as a villain in Star Wars Rebels S3, and that’s not even the whole of it. Timothy Zahn – who gave his blessing to the Rebels version via video – is writing a canon Thrawn novel that’ll be out in April 2017.

The Rebels Thrawn is being voiced by Lars Mikkelsen, Mads Mikkelsen’s brother.

Thrawn, who originated in Zahn’s Heir to the Empire in 1991, is the first Legends character to make the jump to the new canon.

When asked if Mara Jade could be next, Filoni was fairly straightforward: “No, not likely.” (I am, for the record, more than okay with that.) Filoni also said that the ysalamiri aren’t making the leap to canon, although there are some visual nods to them in the production design of Thrawn’s introduction.

On his Facebook, Zahn said he’s just turned in the first draft of the novel.

The trailer also featured Wedge Antilles and a Force sensitive character named Bendu, who’s being voiced by Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. For more on everything else about Rebels S3, head to StarWars.com.

Two episodes were show (but not livestreamed) and you can read one review, with some spoilers, over at io9.

Filoni and Lucasfilm’s Kiri Hart talk about how the show makes Thrawn work on Sunday, comparing him to Vader as a villain: “We want to treat him like a big time villain, as much as Darth Vader,” Filoni said. “But on the strategic, military side of things.”

Watch the panel video under the cut. Continue reading

SWCE: James Luceno is writing Rogue One novel Catalyst

catalyst700Among the reveals at today’s publishing panel: Expanded Universe vet James Luceno is writing Catalyst, the Rogue One companion novel. We also got the cover, which is pretty neat, but no more details than that. (Still a mystery: The adaptation.)

Most of the things at the panel were kids books, but we also learned about a few new Star Wars Insider short stories. There’ll be two new Blade Squadron stories, including one in September that ties into Aftermath: Life Debt. (The Insider also had their own panel.)

There’s a new Galactic Atlas that’s written from an in-universe perspective, featuring “600-700 individual illustrations.” A new Complete Locations will cover Starkiller Base, Maz’s castle and Rey’s AT-AT home. And Jason Fry’s Weapon of a Jedi is being adapted for younger readers as Luke and Lost Jedi Temple.

SWCE: Rogue One poster, behind-the-scenes clip debuts!


The first surprise at the Rogue One panel was Gwendoline Christie hosting. The second was the poster, and the third is the behind the scenes clip we see above.

ro-posterJohn Knoll revealed that he first came up with the idea of a the story when he first heard rumblings of the live-action series, during the filming of Revenge of the Sith. He put it away when he learned more about George’s concept for the series, and pulled it out again when the spinoffs were announced. Check out the original concept art of the team.

Director Gareth Edwards talking about meeting Mark Hamill (and later, George Lucas!) on set, barely keeping it together.

Edwards also confirmed that the beach planet is named Scarif, and later cast revealed another planet, Jedha. Apparently people make Force-based pilgrimages there – Edwards compared it to Mecca. This appears to be the market planet, and where we meet Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen,) Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) and Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed.) Edwards had more to say on Jedha in a post-panel interview – it’s certainly an intriguing addition to the galaxy.

We learned a bit more about several characters, including our first look at Mads Mikkelsen’ Galen Erso. He invented something “so fantastic it might change the universe.”

Jones also got her first look at the Jyn Erso action figure direct from Christie. Here’s a closer look at her from the floor:

Ahmed said his pilot character Bodhi works for but is questioning the Empire:

He also got quite a few zings in. On that note, Alan Tudyk also shared what Anthony Danials said when he told him his droid was CGI: “You shit.”

Ben Mendelson called Orson Krennic “smarter” than his Imperial predecessors, and “a little sexier than some of them, not quite as sexy as some of the others,” with a wink to Christie.

Christie concluded the panel with a group selfie:

And now, days later, you can watch it all for yourself!

Mark Hamill at SWCE: Rian Johnson’s dialogue will make you forget all about ‘May the Force be with you’

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Mark Hamill was his usual self at his Celebration Europe panel today, and while he can’t talk much (at all, really) about Episode VIII, he did rave about Rian Johnson:

I was looping Episode VIII yesterday, and there’s dialogue in there, I thought, ‘Oh boy, I can already see this on a t-shirt. Rian Johnson is amazing. He’ll make you forget all about ‘May the Force be with you.’ He’s come up with so many new catchphrases.

Props also go to the fan who took advantage of a stumble where Mark forgot Rey’s first name to get him to reveal her last name, though Mark didn’t take the bait. Entertainment Weekly and /Film have the highlights.

Or, watch it yourself!

SWCE: Ahsoka’s Untold Tales panel reveals characters past, future, book cover

Dave Filoni, Ashley Eckstein and Pablo Hidalgo discussed the past and future of Ahsoka Tano at Celebration Europe today. Fans got a first look at her upcoming Funko POP figure and the cover for E.K. Johnson’s Ahsoka novel, both coming in the fall. The novel’s cover art is by Wojtek Rus, Jennifer Heddle has revealed on Twitter.

They also revealed a few things (new love interest?) about her unproduced arcs from The Clone Wars and go behind her Rebels appearance. Check out the official liveblog of the panel for all the details!

Or just watch the video!

What we’ll watch on the Celebration Europe livestream

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StarWars.com shared a full list of what’ll be live-streamed from this weekend’s Celebration Europe in London, and most of the heavy-hitters are there: Rogue One, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Ahsoka, ILMxLAB, even Marvel comics.

The key missing panel? Future Filmmakers, where we expect to learn a thing or two about Episode VIII and the upcoming Han Solo film. This is by no means unprecedented – the Rogue One panel at Celebration Anaheim wasn’t streamed, either.

The Rebels panel with Dave Filoni, Sam Witwer and Tiya Sircar is on the schedule, but I doubt that’ll include the screening.

Meanwhile, our man on the ground James is already in London, so keep an eye on his < Twitter and Flickr. His panels are, sadly, not on the livestream list.

Rebels S3 preview debuts new look for Ezra

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Rebels head honcho Dave Filoni invaded stopped by the latest Star Wars Show with the first clip from the show’s third season.


The episode also features an interview with Rogue One director Gareth Edwards and a lot of talk about the upcoming Star Wars Show from London. (We promptly got a full live-stream schedule for the weekend.)