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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John Williams has seen The Rise of Skywalker, of course

Composer John Williams has seen an early cut of The Rise of Skywalker, likes it “very much” and has written about 25 minutes of the score, he tells The Times. The original article is behind a paywall, but head to /Film for the relevant quote.


Several new stills from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi have surfaced via an interview with with still photographer David James.


As the opening of the first Galaxy’s Edge park grows closer, there are new photos of the land and details on how they’ll be enforcing the initial four hour limit. Of course, if you have the connections, there’s always a personal tour with Bob Iger.

Episode IX set for Friday at Celebration

The Episode IX panel at Celebration Chicago is set for Friday, April 12. Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams are our only confirmed panelists, but previous Celebrations generally featured a good chunk of the main cast. Also, could that picture, from today’s ReedPOP email, above be our third from IX, or it is a TFA pic that’s only now coming to light? Mystery!

Today also featured more new guests, headlined by Forest Whitaker (Saw Gerrera), Hugh Quarshie (Captain Panaka) and Katee Sackhoff (Bo-Katan).

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.

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.

Kathleen Kennedy to get an honorary Oscar

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy will receive an honorary Oscar at the Motion Picture Academy’s 10th annual Governors Awards. Kennedy and her husband and producing partner, Frank Marshall, are being honored with Thalberg Award, given to producers “whose body of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production.” Kennedy will be the first woman to receive the award, which was last given to Francis Ford Coppola in 2010.

Kennedy has been nominated for 8 Oscars, due to Best Picture nominations for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Color Purple, The Sixth Sense, Seabiscuit, Munich, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, War Horse, and Lincoln.

Kennedy joined Lucasfilm in 2012 as George Lucas’ hand-picked successor.

Adventures in mistranslation: No one has confirmed a young Lando film

The Star Wars newsosphere was rocked this morning when Premiere France published a story where Kathleen Kennedy seemingly said that a Lando Calrissian spinoff was in the works. It all turned out to be a translation error though, and the story has since been corrected. While Kennedy isn’t ruling such a film out – and with all the love for Solo’s Donald Glover out there she’d be crazy to – but she definitely isn’t saying it’s next up after Episode IX.

In the meantime, there’s still that Obi-wan rumor to chew on. If that does end up happening for 2020, expect Lando to be the next perennial rumor.