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.”

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

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.”

Continue reading “New Rise of Skywalker stills, interviews”

John Boyega working hard and other Episode IX updates

John Boyega got his hands dirty – and a little bloody – on the set of Episode IX today. He shared on Instagram: “Great working day on set!! The whole team pushed themselves today to achieve something visually crazy! I’ve had many moments of shock on set but not like today and I can’t wait until you know why. #FN2187”

In non-Star Wars news, he’s executive producing and overseeing the soundtrack for God Is Good, a South African crime thriller.

→ Naomi Ackie nabbed a role in the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series.

→ Adam Driver has been doing a lot of press for BlacKkKlansman during awards season, and in a recent Q&A he briefly addressed signing on for Star Wars and having “one piece of information of where it was all going.”

→ Dominic Monaghan shared his Episode IX jacket, as well as attending a Manchester United game with Kelly Marie Tran and Billie Lourd.

→ In the realm of possible spoilers, another Making Star Wars set report.

→ And for those who want to avoid the (possible) spoilers, there have been a few reports that a trailer has been cut, but little on the timing. No one is ruling out one appearing early (by which I mean, before Celebration in April) but it seems more likely to me that we’ll get a title as (maybe) production officially finishes, which is how things went down for The Force Awakens. (And that’s likely soon, given all the cast and crew gifts we’ve seen lately.) Could we get a teaser of some sort then? Never say never, but I’m not counting on it. Of course, I’ve been wrong before.

Kelly Marie Tran refuses to be marginalized

Kelly Marie Tran speaking out for the first time since she deleted all her posts on Instagram earlier this year, in an essay for The New York Times. The move was widely believed to be about the harassment she’s received, something she confirms here, but it’s also part of a larger picture, part of growing up “as a person of color in a white-dominated world.”

I won’t quote much more, as the piece needs to be read in its entirety. I know, it’s the internet, we don’t click links anymore, it’s the NYT and they have a paywall. Open up a different browser. Read it on another computer/device. But it’s important to read it.

Harassment is never okay. Harassing someone over their race, their gender, or because you don’t find them attractive is not the exception. Saying mean things about someone because you didn’t like a movie isn’t either. I don’t know why people seem to need a reminder that just because you can be an ass on the internet doesn’t mean you should. And just because you haven’t experienced something doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened to someone else.

Just read it, okay?

Here’s a quick lesson in how to properly pronounce her real name, Loan:

Episode IX begins filming August 1, confirms Williams and Fisher

J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX will begin filming on August 1 at London’s Pinewood Studios, StarWars.com has announced, confirming that Billy Dee Williams, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher (via unused The Force Awakens footage) will be returning.

Interestingly, the release calls IX “the final installment of the Skywalker saga.”

As expected, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Anthony Daniels, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd are also returning. They’re being joined by new (to Star Wars) faces, Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant.

A late addition to the release was Keri Russell, the only new-to-Star-Wars actor rumored for this round.

More details on the Fisher footage:

The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says Abrams. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”

Composer John Williams and Director of Photography Dan Mindel are also returning.

Hey kids! You want a Last Jedi blooper reel?

Here’s one! It has the infamous 27 slaps, a surprise from (we assume) BB-8 and hugs.

And another! Even more Oscar Isaac shenanigans, an overenthusiastic wind machine and John Boyega’s big bio-hexacrypt problem.

Man, I love these things.

The spoilery concept art for The Last Jedi has landed

io9 has the concept art for some of The Last Jedi’s biggest surprises – the stuff that was held back from the art book due to spoilers. There are only a handful of pieces, but they’re some good ones.

StarWars.com has an interview with Joonas Suotamo on taking over Chewbacca full time for The Last Jedi and Solo. He also appeared on the latest Star Wars Show. They also talk to droid builder Lee Towersey.

Kelly Marie Tran stops by Oh My Disney (with BB-8!) and Fangirling to talk shooting The Last Jedi, ships, and working with John Boyega and Benicio del Toro.

Continue reading “The spoilery concept art for The Last Jedi has landed”

Forces of Destiny is back on March 19

Disney has announced that we can expect the next set of Forces of Destiny shorts on Monday, March 19. All eight new episodes will debut at 10:00 a.m. PT (1:00 p.m. ET) on Disney’s Youtube and Disney.com. The special will air on the Disney Channel the following Monday (March 25) at 9:50 p.m. ET/PT.

Voices include Mark Hamill (Luke), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose), Tiya Sircar (Sabine), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka), Vanessa Marshall (Hera), Catherine Taber (Padmé) and Matt Lanter (Anakin).

Titles, descriptions, and images in a gallery under the cut. Continue reading “Forces of Destiny is back on March 19”

Rian Johnson, Mark Hamill on The Last Jedi behind-the-scenes

Rian Johnson and (eventually) Mark Hamill showed up at SXSW for The Director and the Jedi, and you can watch their Q&A, or check out The Hollywood Reporter’s article, which highlights my favorite Rian Johnson quote re: Luke. (The post-screening Q&A is this way.)

If you’re waiting for the Blu-ray, here’s a few more clips: Luke’s struggle, above, plus Mark Hamill and Frank Oz reunite, Paige Tico and the bomber attack and the gorilla walkers. Meanwhile, also check out Mike Ryan’s observations on Johnson’s commentary.

StarWars.com has an interview with puppeteer Brian Herring, one of the BB-8 operators, who also worked with the porgs in The Last Jedi.

Continue reading “Rian Johnson, Mark Hamill on The Last Jedi behind-the-scenes”

No Academy Awards for The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi failed to break Star Wars‘ 34-year streak at the Oscars, losing in all four categories it was nominated in. Both sound awards went to Dunkirk, Blade Runner 2049 took VFX, and John Williams lost out on score to Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water.

The Shape of Water was the night’s big winner, taking home four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Guillermo del Toro.

Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Kelly Marie Tran and BB-8 did present Best Animated Short and Feature, the highlight being BB-8 getting scratchies:

Kelly’s Instagram is worth a look though, and Mark Hamill was out doing his thing on the red carpet. Lupita Nyong’o and Laura Dern were also in attendance.

No Star Wars film has received an Oscar since 1984, when Return of the Jedi was awarded a Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects. But hey, we did get to see a porg on the Oscars, so that’s something.