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.

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.

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.

New Star Wars kids cartoon BB-8s the GFFA

Star Wars Kids is cycling to another series, with Star Wars Roll Out, which transforms all sorts of characters into BB-8s. (Well, not the porgs. Porgs are eternally porg-shaped, it seems.)

From director Hideo Itoyanagi, the first episode will drop on Friday, August 9. Here’s the teaser:

No word on if this means Galaxy of Adventures has run its course. As for who that small vested character is… Well, “it’s not Poe.”

Seeing red: Sith troopers reign over Star Wars at SDCC

The Rise of Skywalker’s new Sith trooper is on display at San Diego Comic-Con, and you can get a closer look at StarWars.com. There’s also a video playing at the booth, where J.J. Abrams talks about them:

Here’s the quote:

“The materials, the color, the lines, there was something about the aesthetic of it that just felt absolutely right,” said J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker co-writer/director, in the exhibit’s video. “I cannot wait for people to see the work that everyone’s done.” Indeed, the mini-documentary offers a tantalizing glimpse behind the scenes at the making of the armor, and the results are striking.

The trooper display is at the Lucasfilm pavilion (#2913) at SDCC.

Daisy Ridley on her Rise of Skywalker stunts, that Carrie hug

In an interview with USA Today, Daisy Ridley talks about Ophelia, The Rise of Skywalker, IX fan theories and more. On the stunt seen in the trailer:

I had learnt a version of it, but there was a risk of breaking ankles so I couldn’t do the full thing. But there’s a bit in the film where you see me upside down. It’s funny because I did 95% of my (stunts), but that’s the one thing I didn’t fully do. People are like, “Oh, that’s so cool,” and I’m like, “Ugh.”

And with Vulture, she discusses self care and the Leia hug we see in the trailer.

She was actually whispering, “This is a fucking long hug.”[Laughs.] I was trying to do my acting, like, “Oh my god, Carrie!” There wasn’t any discussion about what we were gonna do.

Carrie Fisher: Always On Brand.