Peter Mayhew has passed away

Peter Mayhew has died, his family announced today. The original Chewbacca actor passed away April 30 at his Texas home, they said in a statement tweeted from his Twitter account:

He’s survived by his wife Angie and three children. The family asks that, instead of gifts, fans consider donations to the Peter Mayhew Foundation.

Mayhew originated the role of Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy. He returned in Revenge of the Sith and in some scenes of The Force Awakens, where he taught and passed the role to Joonas Suotamo.

https://twitter.com/JoonasSuotamo/status/1124095635332853760

More remembrances from George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Kathleen Kennedy.

An open memorial service is being planned for December in Los Angeles.

Celebration Chicago: Art Show pre-orders up; Ray Park, Matt Lanter, Tiya Sicar join guest list

The Celebration Art Show offerings are live and up for preorder! Above is Brian Miller’s “A Galaxy Far, Far Away,” which is both my favorite and a perfect fit for our header space, but there’s something for everyone.

The latest batch of guests are Ray Park (Darth Maul) and the voice of animated Anakin, Matt Lanter, and Rebels’ Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren). As chance would have it, Lanter is the interview on this week’s Star Wars Show:

Looks like a bunch of game reveals are coming to the con. Y’all have fun with that.

No go, Solo: VFX Oscar goes home with First Man

Solo: A Star Wars Story became the latest Star Wars film to strike out at the Oscars. It was only up for one award: Best Visual Effects, which went to First Man.

Adam Driver and Richard E. Grant, both up for Supporting Actor for BlacKkKlansman and Can You Ever Forgive Me?, respectivly, lost to Mahershala Ali. Grant, who did win at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, will make his Star Wars debut in Episode IX.

One (upcoming) Star Wars connection get gold: The Mandalorian composer Ludwig Göransson won for his Black Panther score.

We did see several other Star Wars alumni, including Diego Luna, who co-presented a segment about Best Picture nominee Roma, and Laura Dern, who talked about the Academy’s upcoming mueseum.

No Star Wars film has received an Oscar since 1984, when Return of the Jedi was awarded a Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects. The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens were both up for four Oscars each; Rouge One lost on two.

Episode IX: Costume rumors, Daisy Ridley sighting

→ Another fruitless few days of official Episode IX stuff (though Rey and Kylo are getting Galaxy of Adventures figures) but at least Making Star Wars has a something something, this time about costumes. And a brief on what role Billy Dee Williams’ Lando plays in the film. But, more importantly – what is he wearing? What will Rey really do with her hair? What… Threepio is wearing? And some more Black Park pictures.

→ But back to Rey, John Boyega did share a photo of Daisy Ridley the other day. Obviously, she’s not in costume, but it does point to her still being filming.

Richard E. Grant was on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, and of course Episode IX came up.

→ And as an added bonus, Claudia Gary’s Bloodline, which is still really the only original novel to get fairly close to the new films, is on sale for $1.99 in Kindle today.

→ Meanwhile, Kiri Hart, who established the Lucasfilm Story Group, now has a new gig as as creative advisor for the Rideback TV Incubator, a program to help boost TV writers from diverse backgrounds. She’s still a consultant for Lucasfilm.

Adam Driver, Richard E. Grant among Star Wars actors up for for Golden Globes

Several Star Wars actors got Golden Globes nominations today –Adam Driver (for BlacKkKlansman) and Richard E. Grant (for Can You Ever Forgive Me?) are both in the running for a supporting nod, while in the TV categories we have Donald Glover (for Atlanta), Keri Russell (for The Americans), Laura Dern (The Tale) and Thandie Newton (Westworld), all in different categories (lead comedy, lead drama, lead limited series and supporting series, respectively). Grant and Russell will make their Star Wars debuts in the upcoming Episode IX.

We also see Marvel get their first Best Drama nod at any major awards show, for Black Panther. This is the first superhero picture, period, to be nominated to the category for the Golden Globes. (Deadpool did get a nod in 2017, but as a Comedy.) It’s also up for Song and Score.

You can check out all the nominations at EW.

Chuck Wendig fired by Marvel

Only a week after announcing a new project at NYCC, Marvel has fired writer Chuck Wendig, the author first revealed on Twitter. Shadow of Vader #1-3 will go ahead as planned, but he’s off the last two issues, as well as another Star Wars comic that hasn’t been announced yet.

The firing was over his Twitter feed, Wendig says (and verified by sources within Marvel, per Vulture.) “I was too vulgar, too political,” he tells them.

Neither trait is particularly new for Wendig’s Twitter feed – he’s always been vulgar, and political, and unapologetic, particularly when butting heads with the more obstinate parts of fandom. What has changed in the past week or so is that he’s attracted the attention of some of Twitter’s more high-profile right-wing personalities, resulting in a fresh wave of trolling. That puts this more in the range of a situation like James Gunn’s – and the implications are that this is yet another example of Marvel (though the comic side and the movie side are very much removed from each other) caving to right-wing pressure. Granted, Wendig has been getting the short end of the troll stick since Aftermath – something he brings up for context – but the higher-profile attacks have brought a much more relentless wave.

The firing is 100% Marvel – neither Lucasfilm nor Del Rey were involved, something Wendig affirmed in a follow-up tweet thread. Love or hate Wendig or his work, this is still a disturbing trend.