Why the Emperor’s Hands need to be in Rebels. Nanci at Tosche Station lays out why she thinks the role should make the jump from Legends. I mostly agree, but I don’t think the actual title is necessary. But between the Inquisitor and Asajj Ventress, there’s certainly plenty of precedent in canon – even if the concept of Emperor’s Hand actually predates both of them.
→ Friday means Da7e Gonzales’s Star Wars column at Latino Review, and today he unpacks a few things going on this week. No, we haven’t heard the last of Karen Gillan’s wig. Although she’s using it on her TV show now, it was on the Star Wars set at some point. Still no guarantee of anything, Mara fans. Love, your self-declared Cynic-in-Chief.
Also, people are assuming the Puzzlewood set could be Endor? A different part of Endor would make slightly more sense than Yavin IV, I guess. But I’m still inclined to think that if Puzzlewood is anything, it’s a brand new planet.
But on the plus side, he does smack down on those folks claiming that the ‘outrage’ over the initial casting was a bad thing. (For the record: Still not sorry.)
Of course, the real rumor buried here is this:
I’ve heard that Disney’s Team Star Wars has spun up development on a project involving the history of the Sith that pulls from elements found previously in Knights of the Old Republic and the Golden Age of the Sith parts of the “Tales of the Jedi” comics series.
Naturally, if you buy it, this could be for just about anything (even Episode VII if you believe the whole Jedi Hunter rumor) but that’s still a popular period among EU fans, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it utilized for something.
→ Meanwhile, Making Star Wars is speculating again, this time about a recently revealed Rebels character (not the Inquisitor) and how he may tie into some things we’ve ‘heard’ about Episode VII.
→ By the by, I answered a question on Tumblr about rumors the other day. Yeah, that bit about Brian Blessed is true.
→ No, Karen Gillan has not been cast in Episode VII. But last we heard of the wig made when she shaved her head for Guardians of the Galaxy, her Marvel brethren had gifted it to Star Wars. Now, it seems she’s using it herself, on her new TV show Selfie.
→ Speaking of possibly deluded fans, someone from the Jedi Council forums (!?!) claims that they nabbed pics of names on trailers at the Puzzlewood shoot. One of them is a female name. I trust this – like pretty much anything off those forums – about as far as I can throw my iMac, and those pics could come from any random office corridor, but hey. Whatever.
→ Oh, and J.J. Abrams is apparently moonlighting as a celebrity party DJ now. The article does have some pics of the recently vacated Puzzlewood shoot, though.
Although Timothy Zahn’s Reddit AMA today was not specifically for his Star Wars work (unlike Jeremy Bulloch this morning, who was promoting A Force For Change.) Tim’s is for the Humble Sci-Fi eBook Bundle 3, which contains his novel Blackcollar But of course there were , there were still plenty of Star Wars questions, recapped below.
First off, no Star Wars is currently on his plate. When asked about his current projects:
So far, nothing new with Star Wars, but they know where to find me if they want me.
On what he’d like to write in the new canon:
I would certainly be interested in writing more Star Wars. I presume LFL wouldn’t simply give me carte blanche, but would want something specific (a spin-off from Ep 7, maybe, or some backstory filler).
If they really let me do whatever I wanted, I have a couple of ideas (all right: 20-30) in mind. But all of that depends on them.
His thoughts on the noncanon/Legends status of the old Expanded Universe.
I wasn’t going to address this topic. But since so many of you have asked:
What the “non-canon” announcement by LFL means is that they aren’t going to be bound by the Expanded Universe books, comics, and games as they plan their new movies. Realistically, that’s something they had to do — the EU is just too big, complicated, and occasionally contradictory for them to have to deal with.
However, I’m guessing that EU stories that aren’t referenced (or contradicted) by the sequel movies will still be considered sort-of alive, in the same way that most Clone Wars-era stories (like Outbound Flight) were mostly unaffected, with the exception being all of the previous material on Boba Fett’s backstory.
Alternatively, if the new movies do contradict my books in some way, I can probably come up with some hand-waving story that will explain the apparent discrepancy. If there’s one thing we authors are good at, it’s hand-waving.
On that Chewbacca moon-dropping nonsense:
Nope, I had nothing to do with dropping that moon on Chewbacca. (Peter Mayhew’s a friend — I’d never do that to him!)
Still, given that Peter’s in the new movie (presumably as Chewie) it would appear that the folks who dropped that moon missed.
On the Mara-killing nonsense:
Not only was I given no input to Mara’s fate, I wasn’t even told about it until a couple of months before publication.
If I had been offered a say, though, I’d have argued against it. My vision of Star Wars is good vs evil, with the heroes struggling to win, and the major characters making it through. (Otherwise, either Lando or Wedge would have died inside the second Death Star.)
For the record, this isn’t just because Mara was my creation. I’d have argued against killing Chewbacca for the same reason.
Also: On his stuff making it to the screen; where the idea for Thrawn came from and if he had been in command at Endor and against the Vong; his unpublished stuff; what about more Imperial Mara? Karrde’s face/accent; on the alien invasion hints that eventually lead to the NJO; on ‘just for the paycheck’ and if he feels any resentment for being known for franchise work; on the ‘perks’; his formula for hyperspace; on continuity.
Some Mara Jade speculation came up last week and I didn’t write about it, in part because it’s speculation and in part because from Star Wars 7 News, who have a history of wishful thinking ‘scoops’ – some of which feed into this piece. I’m not sure why Latino Review chose to highlight it, but they too say they’ve heard about a “disguised cast member” – And yes, I would trust Latino Review a smidge more than Star Wars 7 News – but only a smidge, particularly in this case.
Some of the other things they bring up don’t really hold much water for me: The whole Karen Gillan’s hair thing is for real but, IMO, neither here nor there. Nor do I think the Black Series figure means anything, as that’s been in the works since 2011 and came out much later than expected after the cancellation of the Droid Factory line.
As I’ve said before, I do hope Mara Jade makes the cut for Episode VII in one way or another. (Yesterday’s big plot rumor actually makes this slightly more probable to me, as it’s certainly something that could be used to reform Mara’s backstory in a few different ways.) If I was J.J. Abrams and I was using a major Expanded Universe character in my brand new Star Wars movie, she’d certainly be someone I’d lock in the mystery box. But y’know, that’s me. Of course there’s a case to be made here – who wouldn’t love to get their spackle knife out to save a favored character?
Do I hope there’s a 50/60-something actress in deep cover at Pinewood to play Mara Jade? Sure. Do I believe there’s a 50/60-something actress in deep cover at Pinewood? Not on these sources. The disguised person could be Lupita Nyong’o pre-announcement, or a familiar face such as Ewan MacGregor, Hayden Christenson or Ian McDiarmid set to make a Force ghost cameo. Hell, it could just be a random crew member or extra; Maybe J.J. is trolling again.
Basically: Yes, this is out there, but a lot of it seems to be grasping at straws. It is anything but solid, even for a ‘rumor.’ Don’t get your hopes up.
JadeCon prep meant I never did a new release post last week, so naturally there were several last Wednesday.
This Wednesday, however, brings us Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #2.While you’re at the comic ship, you can pick up last week’s books, Star Wars #18 and the third Dawn of the Jedi trade collection, Force War. Last week also saw Star Wars Insider #150 make it out to the newsstands.
Also on the shipping list for this week? Kotobukiya’s Mara Jade Bishoujo statue. The list is for comic shops, but it’s also on Amazon if you’re so inclined. (It doesn’t seem folks were too impressed, but keep in mind this may very well be the last Mara Jade merchandise ever…)
A novel rumor? How very… Well, it’s been a while. With Del Rey teasing James Luceno’s Tarkin today, up sprang a good amount of speculation that his EU mistress Natasi Daala may make an appearance… And a rumor that we could see Mara Jade in this book as well.
The Daala part is pure speculation, but I can see her as a firm maybe. It would be nice to see the character redefined to be less of a grab-bag of lame sleeping-her-way-to-the-top stereotypes – there’s really only room for improvement, and it’s not like they can make her president in this time period. Despite how many books they kept bringing her back for in the old EU, she’s not really what I would consider to be a significant character, which gives them that much more leeway. (Whether Luceno is the one to make those improvements… Well, it could be worse, I guess.)
But Mara Jade, as Luke Skywalker’s wife and a character with a still-significant fanbase all her own, is perhaps the most-high profile EU character who could (possibly) connect to the sequel trilogy, and an appearance in the new canon at this early point will rocket expectations sky high. (Do we really need more of that? Aren’t expectations for Episode VII high enough already?) My first instinct – that they’d put Mara in to kill her off earlier in the timeline – would just be cruel to fans that are still (occasionally) somewhat bitter over Legacy of the Force. Better no Mara than to kill her off all over again.
Now, some seem to think Mara could be the ‘new ally’ in Heir to the Jedi, and while I don’t think that’s the case either, it’s at least a book that a fair share of Mara fans may pick up – which I’m not quite sure is the case for Tarkin.
And, of course, any hints leading to Mara (and even Daala) could equally apply to Shira Brie. You can’t say the early EU didn’t have a type.
Obviously I’m not really putting much stock in this rumor, but if this was a ploy to make me at least skim the ARC when it comes in – well done.
Five Expanded Universe things that may make it to the sequels. Contains Mara Jade.
This is a last chance sale for some of the shirts – and I have to wonder if that means our last chance for the EU ones – and the sale will last through May 5.
Word on the streets (well, the message boards) is that Disney has told the 501st and Rebel Legions that certain Expanded Universe characters are “not being allowed to march” in the Star Wars Weekend Motorcade. The only character we know for sure at this time is Mara Jade, but it’s easy to guess at several others from there. Nanci Tosche Station has thoughts.
One big question: Would this apply to characters from other eras who haven’t crossed over into tv or movies, like the Old Republic, or does it only affect post-Return of the Jedi characters who may in the path of the sequels?
Although this means certain costumers (including quite a few women) will no longer be able to march in the official parade, certain means of quiet protest have been suggested: Attendees can still dress in costumes or don EU character shirts.
UPDATE: TFN’s Eric Geller reached out the Lucasfilm on this, and they told him “that neither Disney nor LFL ordered a prohibition on EU characters in the SW Weekends parade.” Tosche Station maintains they’ve heard otherwise from 501st members, although no one is yet sure how high at Disney the orders may come from.
UPDATE #2: More explanation…