Report: Disney wants Star Wars back from TBS, TNT

Disney is trying to buy back the broadcast rights to Star Wars from Turner Broadcasting, which currently has them through 2024, says Bloomberg. They apparently want them for their own streaming service.

I admit that I am a bit doubtful, since it seems like streaming and broadcast rights for older titles ought to be separate? But I’m hardly an expert on this sort of minutiae, and Disney might want the exclusivity for their own service regardless of what the TBS/TNT deal allows.

TNT started showing the first two trilogies in September 2016, and got The Force Awakens this year. Rogue One is due in 2019 – if Disney doesn’t find the magic number to get them back, that is. The TNT deal was reportedly worth “at least $250 million” – Bloomberg pegs it as $275 million, and says TNT wants “programming to replace the lost films” as well.

Women in Star Wars, by the numbers

Glasgow University academic Dr. Rebecca Harrison analysed most of the Star Wars films by the percentage of screen time for women. The Last Jedi (43%), The Force Awakens (37%) and Rogue One (35%) top the list, with A New Hope (15%) and Revenge of the Sith (17%) having the least. The rankings only take into account characters with speaking parts, she tells the BBC.

Her initial tweet on the subject went viral, but that the analysis will be part of a book examining race and gender in the saga. There’s even more details on her blog.

Meanwhile, here’s what the box office is telling Lucasfilm, in the wake of Solo‘s less-than-stellar take: More women, please.

Roundup: Star Wars is 40 today

I’ll be honest: I’m not really feeling much of the 40th Anniversary hullabaloo. (It’s… Okay. I guess? But aside from The Last Jedi stuff, much of it feels same-old-same-old to me.) But here are a few highlights:

→ io9 has debuted the Poe Dameron scale, the “ultimate Star Wars name-ranking system.” It made me giggle, so it must be worth your time.

→ Time has pictures of Star Wars fans from back in the day, including several women and girls.

→ Wired ranks Star Wars hair, a topic near and dear to my heart. Demerits for not giving the Padawan braid a solo entry, though they do at least call it “gross.” (It is.)

→ StarWars.com has a ton of stuff, naturally, all gathered on their own little page. (I enjoyed the anniversary poster retrospective.) The Star Wars Show interviewed Tim Zahn yesterday, that was nice.

→ And finally, props to The Hollywood Report for tracking down Laurie Goode, the stormtrooper who hit his head.

Rumor: Will Lucasfilm announce new editions of the pre-Special Edition original trilogy at Celebration?

After yesterday’s announcement of a 40th Anniversary panel on the first day of Celebration and a “surprise,”, naturally fan speculation ramped into overdrive. With The Last Jedi panel set for the second day of the con, fans focused on two things: A George Lucas appearance, or the announcement of the long-awaited and perennially rumored “unaltered” Original Trilogy. Today, Making Star Wars is saying that they’ve been hearing things that lead them to believe it will indeed be pre-Special Edition OT.

If the rumor does pan out this time, it will at least be something worth building up for hype. (I can’t really see George showing up, even if this turns up to be false – he seemed uncomfortable at Celebration even when he owned the company. That said, I’ve been wrong before.)

Almost all home releases of the original trilogy since the early ’90s have been built on the restored and digitally tweaked Special Edition versions that were released in 1997. Transfers of the 1993 Laserdisc versions of the film appeared as extras on some 2006 DVDs, but many fans have been hoping for better quality ports for years now. I’m not particularly obsessive about it, and I own those DVDS, but as a member of the VHS generation I’d buy better versions in a heartbeat.

But, as always, Star Wars fans love to speculate, and anything to do with this issue is hotly debated, so keep your pants on. For now, anyway.

In the meantime, here’s fuzzy Youtube version of ‘Lapti Nek’ for the younglings who only know ‘Jedi Rocks.’ It’s ’80s-sleaze-a-riffic!

TNT nabs Star Wars basic cable rights

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TNT and TBS will be the new basic cable home of the Star Wars franchise, per The Wrap. TNT will begin airing the first two trilogies later this month, beginning with The Phantom Menace on Tuesday, September 20. They’ll debut one film a night and finish up with a six-movie marathon on Sunday, September 25.

The multi-year licensing agreement also includes The Force Awakens (currently running on the premium channel Starz) and Rogue One. They’ll join the lineup in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Variety’s “industry sources” estimate the deal is worth “at least $250 million” for at least 10 films, with the rights for The Force Awakens and the upcoming movies in the range of $35-$40 million each. The deal runs through “at least” 2022. USA Network – which held the Star Wars basic cable rights back in the ’90s – and FX Networks were also in contention for the deal.