StarWars.com has officially annouced that Force Friday II is set for September 1, but more importantly (for our purposes) they’ve also given us our first look at Rey, Finn and Poe in The Last Jedi. Rey is not only front and center with a lightsaber, but she’s sporting a new hairstyle! Finn has a new shirt! Poe looks… Pretty much the same!
Jaina, the oldest child and only daughter of Leia Organa and Han Solo in decanonized Legends timeline, has had at least one figure from Hasbro in the past, plus a Bishoujo-style statue from Kotobukiya. The new figure will take some time: The fruits of last year’s poll – Darth Revan and Sabine Wren – aren’t expected to hit the shelves until late this year.
→ Here’s one for any of your less-than-obsessive friends who might be confused about where Rogue One fits in, from our pal Bryan Young. (On that note, as I was writing that last sentence, my mom texted me asking about “the Jedi in the white cape.” That said, I have no doubt that Lucasfilm is already well aware of the issue and has planned marketing accordingly. We’re still most of a year away from the movie, remember?)
→ Second official announcement: Rogue One director Gareth Edwards, co-producer John Swartz, and executive producer John Knoll will pick the Filmmaker Select award for the Star Wars Fan Film Awards. (Seems like this replaces the ‘George Lucas Selects’ category of previous years.) Submissions are open through April 24.
→ Of course, you can’t have a new Star Wars movie trailer without folks jumping to conclusions about certain characters, and ‘Jyn Erso is Rey’s mom!’ has been popular enough to warrant pieces arguing against it from Birth Movie Death’s Devin Faraci and IGN’s Terri Schwartz, both of which I very much agree with. (I also find the oh-so-related ‘Jyn is the new Mara Jade!’ speculation deeply distasteful, which I may go into further detail on soon. As for the Jan Ors comparisons, Pablo has it covered.)
Here’s some good news for fans hungry for more ladies in the toy aisle – There’ll be a Princess Leia figure based on her Rebels appearance from Hasbro. The 3¾ figure will be in stores this fall.
In less happy toy news, there’s a new report that lays the cause of the lack of Rey toys at the feet of Lucasfilm themselves. A purported insider described a January 2015 vendor meeting with the company to the blog Sweatpants and Coffee:
The insider, who was at those meetings, described how initial versions of many of the products presented to Lucasfilm featured Rey prominently. At first, discussions were positive, but as the meetings wore on, one or more individuals raised concerns about the presence of female characters in the Star Wars products. Eventually, the product vendors were specifically directed to exclude the Rey character from all Star Wars-related merchandise, said the insider.
“We know what sells,” the industry insider was told. “No boy wants to be given a product with a female character on it.”
Hasbro is releasing more toys with Rey and other female characters, like Leia, aren’t being left out entirely. (And note that while there are certainly far less Rey items, she wasn’t totally excluded from the first wave of products.) But the report does show there’s a lot of work to be done at every level.
On Unboxing Star Wars his week, Yowie, Baby Jawa, and I hit the road to pick up a Toys R Us Epic Battles medal and award it to a deserving Rebel. Then I review this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels: ‘Blood Sisters’, and we get a glimpse at the new exhibition of Howard Chaykin’s original comic art for the 1977 Marvel Star Wars comic adaptation. Plus we do a little bit on the #DrawWars2015 art project.
The next Toys R Us Epic Battles medal will be distributed on December 4th and 5th and will be for Yavin, and will feature Darth Vader. You can earn the certificate by playing a little Where’s Waldo type game.
Earlier today, From Bricks to Bothans posted a few leaked images of two upcoming LEGO sets from the film. One is an (officially) unrevealed X-wing that we saw at a certain filming location, and the second is the Millennium Falcon. Both include multiple mini-figures – and the Falcon one gives us a few new names. (Though it’s noteworthy that both Finn and Rey remain just ‘Finn’ and ‘Rey.’)
FBTB has since deleted the images, but since they’ve been widely distributed across the internet, I’m putting them up below the cut. Check them out, or not…
To the surprise of, well, everyone, there weren’t a whole mass of The Force Awakens toy reveals at the Hasbro panel at SDCC. But what they did show was pretty cool – and rather large: A 6″ scale TIE fighter, with “elite” pilot. (There’s a pretty neat display case recreating a scene from the trailer on the show floor now.)
As expected, Knights of the Old Republic‘s Revan won the 2015 Fan’s Choice poll by a landslide, but the results for Rebels Sabine Wren were so good that she’s going to be made as a 6″ Black Series figure, too! They also revealed that a Kanan Jarrus figure is coming to the Black Series as well. Other new 6″ figures include Rebels Ahsoka, a Tatooine Luke Skywalker, a Jango Fett, and one of the new Inquisitors (the dude) from S2 of Rebels. Check the StarWars.com liveblog for pics (very small, with bigger ones coming) and other details.
We’re now six months out from The Force Awakens, Jason Ward at Making Star Wars points out. Six months! Crazy. And will we really see a full-sized Falcon at SDCC? (They did have a Hasbro-themed one at the China Toy Expo in 2013, but that rumor does feel awfully familiar… Still, now that we’re in the real run-up to the movie, it’s hard to predict exactly how high they’re willing to go.)
→ Speaking of highs, The Force Awakens’ second trailer was one for the record books – literally. Guinness World Records today said that the trailer set a new world record: With 30.65 million views in it’s first day, it’s the most viewed movie trailer on YouTube in 24 hours.
→ Emerging yesterday on Jedi Temple Archives was a TFA toy list with not a single recognizable name – No Kylo Ren, no Rey, no Finn, no Poe, no Millennium Falcon. Bizarre, no? I wondered if it was a prank at the time, but it appears they may be in code. Phew.