Kevin Smith visits Episode IX set, says movie looks “fantastic”

Kevin Smith was on Good Morning America today and he discussed visiting J.J. Abrams and the set of Episode IX in London. Although he signed “so many nondisclosure agreements that if I said anything somebody would pop out with a lightsaber and cut my hand off,” he did manage to share a few things, namely that the movie looks great and he witnessed someone give “a career-best performance.”

Video, and a transcription of the most relevant bit, under the cut.

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Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams on Episode IX filming in Jordan

Although there have been numerous reports – and even social media posts from the likes of John Boyega (mostly via Instagram stories) and Oscar Isaac’s wife Elvira Lind – we finally have some comments from higher up the food chain. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director J.J. Abrams both talked to Roya News about Jordan’s Wadi Rum:

“Wadi Rum is breathtakingly beautiful and the perfect location for our film,” says Abrams. “I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to shoot in Jordan. Between the warm welcome from the government and the dedication and hard work of the local film professionals, we couldn’t have had a better experience. We are enormously grateful.”

Producer Kathleen Kennedy said “I also want to thank the Royal Film Commission Jordan, and the Army, whose tremendous support has been invaluable, and helped make this shoot possible.”

Other than Boyega and Isaac (and maybe Anthony Daniels,) the cast has been mainly mum on who exactly is out in Jordan. There are fuzzy photos that may indicate at least one other cast member joined them, but they’re hardly conclusive.

There’s plenty of speculation on what Jordan means for the story – understandably, a return to Jakku is a common theory – but it’s interesting that Daniels’ tweet implies it may be standing in for more than one. Curious.

Kid-centric Galaxy of Adventures shorts are on the way

Another series of Star Wars animated shorts is debuting on Friday. Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures “will introduce the classic themes, pivotal moments, and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga to the next generation.”


More shorts are coming in December and throughout 2019 leading up to Episode IX.

Like Forces of Destiny, we’re not exactly the target audience here – they’re aimed at “providing a kid-friendly entry point” to the saga. (Although it does give parents another way to introduce the saga to their kids!)

They’ll have a dedicated website, StarWarsKids.com, and their own Youtube channel. A new Hasbro line debuts at Walmart on December 1, and nationwide in January.

Galaxy’s Edge has a John Williams theme and other new Disney park tidbits

The Galaxy’s Edge parks at Disneyland and Disney World are inching towards completion in Anaheim and Orlando. New music for the parks from John Williams was unveiled today, and we have names for the two rides. (First reported by EW.)

The new theme, recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as a look at construction progress at both lands:

The first ride will be Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run:

And the second is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance:


There are also a new detail on the Star Wars resort (still no name, although a floor plan has been spotted.) Guests will enter the hotel via a “launch pod” – and the plans linked above show that the illusion is likely to be maintained with a shuttle from the hotel to Galaxy’s Edge.

Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disneyland next summer and Disney World’s Hollywood Studios next fall. The resort, which will be adjacent to Hollywood Studios, doesn’t have an ETA yet.

Report: Pedro Pascal will lead The Mandalorian

Looks like Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Narcos) is The Mandalorian’s lead after all. This was one of the very early reports on the show, and now it’s back, with Variety doing the heavy lifting. Pascal “has been offered the role and negotiations are underway,” they report.

It feels super odd to me that this show has supposedly been filming for weeks but they’re only now locking down a lead actor, but hey, at least maybe this means that we’ll get official word before the year turns over. EW’s Anthony Breznican doubles down on the casting, saying “production is already underway without a lead actor.”

Pascal is probably best known by genre audiences for his role as Oberyn Martell in HBO’s Game of Thrones. He played one of the Statemen in Kingsman: The Golden Circle and has a role in the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984.

The Mandalorian, written and executive produced by Jon Favreau, will be exclusive to the Disney+ streaming service, which is expected to go live in late 2019. Dave Filoni will direct the first episode of the series.

The Boba Fett movie will rot in the belly of the sarlacc for a thousand years

The long-rumored Boba Fett spinoff film is so dead that Kathleen Kennedy is admitting it almost existed:

The tweet-scoop is backed up by Variety. Fett has been the subject of spin-off rumors since we knew there were spinoffs, but the most recent rumors had Logan’s James Mangold writing and directing. (Before that, Fett was reportedly the subject of Josh Trank’s standalone.)

I myself am notoriously indifferent* to the character, but I doubt this means we’ve seen the end of him – the Fetts did get namechecked in our very first official dispatch re: The Mandalorian, after all. And even if Boba doesn’t get freed from his sand-ridden digestive grave in the new canon, the fact that we actually have a show called The Mandalorian coming is a pretty definitive testament to the character’s influence and legacy.

* Okay, I’ve been pretty much sick of the dude since, oh, 1996.

Kathleen Kennedy renews contract, will lead Lucasfilm through at least 2021

Kathleen Kennedy has signed on to remain president of Lucasfilm for another three years, per The Hollywood Reporter. Kennedy, who was hand-picked by George Lucas to lead his namesake company before the sale to Disney, has overseen Lucasfilm since 2012. The four Star Wars films released under her tenure – The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi and Solo – have grossed nearly $4.5 billion worldwide.

While J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX is the only film currently in production, the article reiterates that projects from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and Game of Thrones’ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are still in development. A fifth Indiana Jones film is also moving forward.