We’ll learn about Finn’s origins in Rise of Skywalker (and other news)

The Rise of Skywalker (D23 sizzle)

The Rise of Skywalker will address Finn’s origins, J.J. Abrams tells Vanity Fair‘s Anthony Breznican. “I’m not saying we get full, exhaustive downloads on all of their childhoods and every major step that got them to where they are,” Abrams said. “But there are a lot of questions about Finn’s past, about Poe’s past, obviously Rey and Kylo, and then some of the new characters we meet.”

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Entertainment Weekly’s Rise of Skywalker issue and other movie news

Entertainment Weekly has unleashed the cover story, and it’s actually three covers: One for each trilogy. And great news for those who love publicity shots! Honestly, this whole thing makes me yearn for the days of illustrations on magazine covers. But seriously, the main cover story, several new images, and of course, Rey’s parentage and Reylo.

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New Rise of Skywalker stills, interviews

Thanks to the New York Times, we finally have a decent copy of one of the first stills from The Rise of Skywalker that was originally revealed at Celebration Chicago.


There’s also a new image of Finn from USA Today’s holiday movie preview. John Boyega says that he aimed for Finn to “to eventually find his place and to have a team that he’s fighting for” without losing his strong personality along the way. “I wanted to show him in a light that shows growth and more of an understanding of his world and of the people in it.”

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What we learned about The Rise of Skywalker from Vanity Fair

Per usual, the Vanity Fair story on the upcoming Star Wars film – The Rise of Skywalker, the final episode of “the Skywalker saga,” the grand finale of all three trilogies, etc. – was chock full of information. Granted, most of it’s peicemeal, but that’s where we tiny fan blogs live, isn’t it? Let’s dig in.

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Anthony Daniels wraps on Episode IX (and other updates)

→ Anthony Daniels (and thus, Threepio) has wrapped filming on Episode IX. “…We’re so proud to have worked with such a lovely, talented cast & crew lead by J.J. & Kathy,” he tweeted this afternoon. “I’ll miss everyone but I’m glad to know that we’ve been making something exceptional together, to share with the waiting world.

→ We haven’t heard from many other cast members since John Boyega’s big hint, but we do know that Adam Driver was filming when the Oscar nominations were announced, per Spike Lee. (Here’s Driver himself on his nom.) He’s at Sundance now for The Report, where he’s perfecting his Star Wars dodges.

→ The other supporting nominee who happens to be in Star Wars, Richard E. Grant, has his own reaction in the NYT. He actually talks about IX – and his nomination – with Radio Times.

→ No matter how much wishful thinking is knocking around the internet, there won’t be anything from Episode IX at the Super Bowl. Like Solo last year, Disney’s likely contenders for a big game spot are all spring/summer releases. More at Deadline.

→ That said, I still expect that our next major drop will be the title.

→ And finally…

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.

Hayden Christensen returning to Celebration for Star Wars’ 40th Anniversary

Hayden Christensen will be returning to Celebration for the first time since 2002 as part of the 40th Anniversary panel, joining Mark Hamill, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Dave Filoni and Kathleen Kennedy. “Many galactic-sized surprises” are still being promised, but this is a fairly big one. (And yes, he’s signing.)

In other Celebration news, there’s now more previews up for the Store, mostly t-shirts.