Disney+ gears up as D23 approaches

Ahead of Disney’s D23 Expo this weekend, streaming service Disney+ has launched on Twitter (with an epic thread) and Instagram, plus annouced some interational roll-out dates. Canada and the Netherlands will launch on the same day as the U.S., with Australia and New Zealand following on Nov. 19.

The Disney+ panel at D23 is Friday, August 23 at 3:30 p.m. Pacific. We’re hoping that a trailer for The Mandalorian, which will launch with the service, is finally released, plus details on The Clone Wars revival, the Cassian Andor show and (perhaps most of all) the rumored Obi-Wan announcement.

Rian Johnson addresses his new Star Wars (vaguely)

The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is out and about and talking about his upcoming Star Wars trilogy at the Observer:

“I think that the fun and challenging part of it is to dive in, figure out what’s exciting and then figure out what it’s going to be,” he said. “We’re doing something that steps beyond the legacy characters. What does that look like? To me, the blue sky element of it is what was most striking about it. I know the way that I’m coming at it and what’s fun about it for everyone in Lucasfilm is figuring out, ‘what’s the next step?’ It really makes you think and figure out what the essence of Star Wars is for me and what that will look like moving forward.”

Johnson’s new movie Knives Out is debuting at September’s Toronto International Film Festival. No release date or production information for his next Star Wars film has been announced.

Star Wars out this week: Resistance on DVD, TIE Fighter, Doctor Aphra

Lots for comics readers this week, but also coming on Tuesday, August 20 is the Star Wars Resistance S1 DVD. I know a lot of folks are miffed this isn’t coming out on Blu-ray, but it can be purchased digitally – and the recent announcement that the show is only getting one more season means there’s been a lot of speculation that we might get a “Complete Series” Blu-ray later. Still, for those who don’t want to take chances (and with Disney+ in the mix, who knows if they’ll bother), this is your first shot at getting a physical copy of the season.

It’s a big comic haul on Wednesday, August 21, with three new issues and two trade collections from recent series. TIE Fighter #5 ends the mini, while Doctor Aphra #35 has an all-timer cover and Star Wars Adventures #24 begins a sequel-centric run. Trade readers can nab Age of Rebellion: Villains and Star Wars Volume 11, collecting the “Scourging of Shu-Torun” storyline.

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Rumor: Ewan McGregor signed on for Obi-Wan project

One of the most persistent Star Wars rumors since Disney bought Lucasfilm has been the return of live-action Obi-Wan. Today, Cinelinx sources report that Ewan McGregor has signed on to reprise the role in what looks to be a Disney+ series.

Given the fandom’s evergreen thirst for Obi-Wan, and Disney+’s willingness to get film stars to reprise their roles for streaming – see Rogue One’s Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk, or many Marvel stars – this is quite plausible.

UPDATE: Now Fantha Tracks is weighing in with a number of additional details: McGregor will direct several of the 8 episodes, and have “a a familiar mechanical co-star.”

UPDATE #2: Giving this rumor a lot more weight, trades Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline are also reporting it, via their own sources. Reports from the Hollywood trades rank only a smidge below official confirmation, and as we’ve seen many times before, several of them having it independently is a very, very good sign.

D23 is just over a week away, and while we know for sure The Mandalorian will be the star, but the timing here is pretty interesting. The Disney+ panel at D23 Expo is Friday, August 23 at 3:30 p.m. Pacific.

Vi gets her orders in Black Spire excerpt

StarWars.com has an excerpt from Delilah S. Dawson’s Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire, which follows Phasma’s Vi Moradi as she attempts to set up a Resistance base on Batuu.

In addition to the excerpt, you can get a look at the Black Spire map, which will come with the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition of the book.

Black Spire will be out in hardcover and eBook on August 27, mere days before the Florida version of Galaxy’s Edge opens to the general public.

Star Wars Resistance returns for a second – and final – season in October

Star Wars Resistance will end with its second season, Lucasfilm announced today as they dropped the new trailer. It will premiere Sunday, October 6 at 10:30 p.m. on the Disney Channel.

The new season will take place during The Last Jedi as we lead up to The Rise of Skywalker. Joining the cast as guest roles are Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike) as Ax Tagrin, Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) as Norath Kev, and Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) as the Aeosian Queen. And sorry, Adam Driver fans – Skywalker Sound vet Matthew Wood (The Clone Wars) will be voicing Kylo Ren.

More details:

The story picks up after a harrowing escape from the First Order, as the Colossus and all its residents find themselves lost in space, pursued by Agent Tierny and Commander Pyre. Kaz and team also face a myriad of new dangers along the way including bounty hunters, a suspicious Hutt, General Hux and Supreme Leader Kylo Ren. Meanwhile, Tam grapples with her future and where her true allegiance lies, with her friends or the First Order. The thrilling final season will showcase how the unlikeliest of heroes can help spark hope across the galaxy.

There are actual Star Wars Barbies and they are amazing

I have no idea how this happened, but Mattel is putting out three Star Wars Barbies. Yes, Mattel. Yes, Barbies.

They’re fancy collectors editions that reimagine three iconic A New Hope looks through a high-fashion lens and they cost $100 each, so yes: Collectors items. But honestly, I mostly just enjoy the fact that they exist at all.

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We’ll “hear every theme” in John Williams’ Rise of Skywalker score

Percussionist Don Williams, the brother of Star Wars composer John Williams, has an update on The Rise of Skywalker score. He says John has “135 minutes worth of music to arrange” and that “every theme” will be heard, though “you gotta go look for them.”

If The Rise of Skywalker does come out to 135 minutes long – and I’ll let the music/composing experts debate that one – it means that at 150 minutes, The Last Jedi will remain the longest Star Wars film.

You can see the full interview on Youtube.

Star Wars out this week: Vader, Jaxxon comics

Two comics are out on Wednesday, August 14. The Vader comic we keep forgetting exists, Target Vader #2, continues. Meanwhile, IDW has a Jaxxon and Lando story in the 2019 Star Wars Adventures Annual. (Jaxxon, one of the most memorable characters from Marvel’s first pass at Star Wars, made his triumphant return to canon in last year’s Annual.)

We’ve got two more releases this month with Jeffrey Brown’s Rey and Pals and Delilah S. Dawson’s Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire. Check the release schedule for more.

You can make Rey’s green bread (again)

There’s a new recipe for Rey’s bread, courtesy of the Galaxy’s Edge cookbook and previewed early via io9. While less green than Jenn Fujikawa’s version, as offered by StarWars.com in 2016, it also requires only the ingredients and a microwave.

For the slightly more advanced cook, there’s also a recipe to make your own Ronto Wraps.

Is guacamole canon?!? (It should be.)

Galaxy’s Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook is out November 5.