April Fools was not particularly fruitful for Star Wars fans this year, but there were a few highlights. The champion’s crown goes to Mark Hamill, who led fans on about an Episode VIII “plot point” in his quest for a “#HAMILLION followers.” Whatever, it was dad joke adorable. See the collected tweets.
Also on Twitter, Charles de Lauzirika faked up a shockingly on-brand cover for a big J.W. Rinzler The Making of the Star Wars Holiday Special, which we all almost wish was real.
I can’t say I’m particularly enthralled with it, but IGN got a lot of play for their fanboy-baiting trailer for Star Wars: Fury of Maul.
And yes, Club Hux was indeed a joke. (It started on Twitter, and was so well-received I took it to Tumblr and Facebook as well. Sorry about anyone who saw it on all three.) So yes, we will remain Club Jade, and the fic archive won’t be reopening for Kylux. Anyone who fell for it can expect a visit from Millicent.
We learned a little about Aftermath, Del Rey’s key piece in the Journey to The Force Awakens, a few weeks ago: Namely, that Twitter-winning author Chuck Wendig is writing it, and that it involves “a fan favorite from the films” and “other familiar faces.” And Club Jade has learned who a few of those faces are.
To be honest, I hadn’t planned to write more about Wookieepedia’s page on breasts. I’m already on record as disapproving, twice. Outrage fatigue happens even to the outraged, and quite honestly I don’t have the temperament or patience to continue to explain Feminism 101 to this fandom.
But the page and one of the responses ended up on Tumblr – one of those areas of fandom where you do actually see female majorities in many circles – and I remembered why it’s important that we keep speaking out.
No April Fools’ Day is complete without a fake Star Wars product or two, and this year we saw Force Paint from The Fowndry and a crossover My Little Pony tv show (presumbably with lots of matching merchandise) from Star Wars Underworld.
Wookieepedia’s main prank was actually somewhat clever – a ‘Wookieepedia Pro’ subscription service. Less clever? Making their breast page (circa ’07) a featured article. (The talk page is super charming. Be sure to visit the archives!) The twelve-year-old is strong in this one.
There were refreshingly few Episode VII-themed pranks – mostly so blatantly unsuccessful that I won’t even bother linking them. Tor claimed that Lena Dunham is consulting on the script, which is somewhat left field even with the Adam Driver connection. Elsewhere, the the ForceCast took a whack at some ‘rumors’… And Eleven-ThirtyEight did look at what Star Wars can learn from Glee.
The comic licensees got spoofed – Bleeding Cool took on Dark Horse while Star Wars Union set up a comic ‘news’ site previewing Marvel’s first Rebels comic. And lest we forget the books, Jedi-Bibliothek has a bloody Jar Jar revenge novel from Joe Schreiber.
Overall? Maybe I’m just grumpy (okay, I’m totally grumpy) but the pranks this year just seem… Lacking. Have we finally reached critical mass on April’s best holiday?
After doing this for all these years, I can’t help but feel like we’ve come to the end of the line with April Fools’ Day, at least for the moment. It’s not that I hate the pranks, it’s just that in the current situation of Star Wars and fandom, with this lull of news and rampant uncertainty, when we get ridiculous rumors on the regular, it would be more cruel than ever to come up with something fake regarding the Expanded Universe or Episode VII.
The best pranks are just a tiny bit believable (though I’m still shocked that anyone took that LKH one seriously) and fandom is in such a flux state right now that pretty much anything we came up with is likely to be believed – I’ve seen people do it with our previous pranks, no matter how ridiculously obvious they may be.
And yeah, there’s still plenty we could do, things in the vein of the Ewok recipes, other fandoms, rededicate ourselves as Club Fett etc. – but the sad truth is this has been kind of a shitty year thus far, and we’re just not feeling up to it.
I can’t say we’ll never do an April Fools prank again – the way these things go, I’ll have a great idea for one next week – but this year? No foolin’. Sorry.
I’ll be back later with a roundup from the rest of the fandom, but so far things seem pretty restrained. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments.
April Fools! Here’s one we missed: First Showing spotted what appears to be an Episode VIII script or treatment that appears very briefly in Peter Jackson’s latest Hobbit behind-the-scenes video, which was released on Monday. Of course, there are also appear to be scripts that say The Silmarillion, which I don’t believe anyone even has the film rights for, so take it as you will. I’m sure you can guess how I’m leaning. Well played, hobbitses.
Box office.The Motley Fool predicts that Episode VII will make a lot of money. Not just a a lot of money (because duh) but that it will go where only James Cameron has gone before: To make $2 billion worldwide. Well, if anyone can, it would be Star Wars… Right?
People. J.J. Abrams talks Star Wars and Star Trek with SFX, while Harrison Ford’s lips are sealed on Entertainment Tonight Oh the humanity. Or maybe he’s just tortured his publicist enough this week.
Back… To the future!Movies.com gathers some Lucas’ quotes on earlier plans for extending the saga.
The first Star Wars prank of the day was pulled by none other than George Takei himself, who announced on Facebook that he’d be playing “Master Ceti Maru” in Star Wars Episode VII: Galactic Empire. Later on, Tor.com reported statements from Michael Arndt revealing that the film would “contradict the continuity and events of all the existing Star Wars films.”
The cancellation of The Clone Wars was not an isolated incident, it seems.
We’re hearing word that Disney is ceasing the release of all new Star Wars products and merchandise until such time as Episode VII is released.
“Star Wars and the fandom has proved to be a bit more of a handful than Disney was expecting,” our source says. “They knew you guys would be difficult but the reality was a complete shock to the company. Their own fandom is, for the most part, far more accepting and docile. Disney isn’t really used to their decisions being greeted with such outright hatred and protest…”
“They’re going to shut everything down and clear the market for a while while they reaccess the situation. The sequel trilogy is still happening, but it may be delayed as late as 2019, depending on various factors.”
Anything that’s not already deep into the production pipeline – aka actually sitting in a warehouse somewhere – will simply not be coming out. Disney expects the last products to drop early this summer, after which nothing new will be produced until we approach the release of Episode VII… Whenever that ends up being.
Disney has long used their ‘vault’ in the service of making animated releases scarce. This is, to our knowledge, the first time an entire franchise has been placed on hold.
We are, however, hearing that no further layoffs are taking place at Lucasfilm itself, although curiously a series of giant thorn bushes had grown up around such company outposts as the Letterman Digital Arts Center and Skywalker Ranch…