Slow news week in the lead-up to Celebration; we’ve got one bit of convention news, and one HUGE piece of publishing news!
The convention news is: Forest “SAVE THE DREAM!” Whitaker will be at Star Wars Celebration! He will be signing autographs at the Star Wars Celebration Autograph Hall. Please scream-whisper your best crazy Saw impressions at him for me. (source)
The other piece of news is a huge deal: As part of the Star Wars 40th Anniversary, Del Rey has announced From A Certain Point of View, an anthology of 40 Star Wars short stories by a murderer’s row of talent — ranging from old Star Wars hands like Jason Fry and Christie Golden, to newcomers like Meg Cabot and Paul Dini, to podcast darlings Ben Acker & Blacker and Griffith McElroy. The project sounds like the Tales From … anthologies published way back in the Bantam days, as it concerns itself with the characters filling out the background in A New Hope. The anthology is due to be published in October, and you can see a partial list of the contributing authors at the (source).
That’s it for now! Enjoy those Rogue One Blu-rays, enjoy Celebration, and we’ll see you back here in two weeks!
Only a few items of note this week, so let’s get to them!
OMAR JOINS HAN
Michael Kenneth Williams, perhaps best known as Omar on The Wire, has joined the as-yet-untitled Han Solo spinoff film! That’s literally all we know; no character hints whatsoever. Seems like LFL is at least starting to get the “wow, that’s a lot of white folks” memo, though. Faster than Marvel is, at any rate. (Source)
Lots of news this week! New books! New The Last Jedi details! New hair! Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Though rumored as early as December 2015, it’s now official; following the death of original Star Wars actor Kenny Baker, going forward (beginning with this December’s The Last Jedi) the adorable astromech will be portrayed by Doctor Who veteran Jimmy Vee. I guess this makes him R2-D2-2. (source)
At Tosche Station, we’ve never supported people telling fans how to be “good fans” or gatekeeping of any sort. It’s rude, discriminatory, and frankly, quite stupid. It doesn’t matter if you saw A New Hope on opening night in 1977 or if you just discovered the franchise last year. Anyone can be a fan of Star Wars and there’s no right way to be one.
Friend of the blog Bryan Young brought the Jedi Pledge to my attention. Started by Andrew Slack of the Harry Potter Alliance, the Jedi Pledge asks fans to promise to make all new fans feel welcome in this galaxy far, far away; to call out the bad behavior exhibited by other fans; and to make the Star Wars fandom a safe place for everyone. To quote the pledge’s final line:
Rebellions are built on hope, and it is our hope that Star Wars fandom can become the most welcoming and inclusive fandom in the galaxy…
You can check out the entirety of the Jedi Pledge and sign it over at jedipledge.org.
Jake Lloyd, the actor behind Episode I’s Anakin Skywalker, was recently moved to a psychiatric facility after spending ten months in jail following a high-speed chase with police in South Carolina in June 2015. While the information has been out there for a while, the fact that Lloyd suffers from schizophrenia is once again in the news, perhaps in a higher profile way than it had before.
There are about a hundred things we could talk about with this. Psychiatric facilities versus jail, support for mental illness, lessening the stigma of mental illness.
Because let me tell you guys something. As someone who suffers from a mental illness herself? It sucks.
Star Wars fans didn’t have to wait very long to get comics and books related announcements from C2E2 out in Chicago but it was all rather vague. At a retailer breakfast this morning, it was announced that Marvel will be releasing a three issue comic plus a standalone issue in October that will be related to Rogue One. No writer or artist has been announced yet. We don’t know any other details but it’s likely filling a similar role to what Shattered Empire was for The Force Awakens. The Star Wars Free Comic Book Day offerings will be $1 a pop copies of some of the previously released books, mostly #1s.
At the Star Wars books panel this afternoon, the big announcement was Star Wars: Catalyst. Arriving on October 4th, the novel will be a prequel to Rogue One… and that’s all we know. Author announcement is forthcoming. Start the betting pool.
Outside of the Rogue One pattern, we did learn from Claudia Gray that a character from Lost Stars will make an appearance. You may also start the betting pool on this one. Claudia Gray also mentioned that the reason for the Bloodline’s delay was that she wanted to see The Force Awakens before finalizing her draft but also that this is a book about Leia herself and not Leia defined by her roles as wife or mother. For fans of Mark Waid’s run on the Leia comic, it sounds like Gray had the option to pull from the book but didn’t so don’t expect Queen Evaan to appear.
The Star Wars books panel featured Claudia Gray, John Jackson Miller, Jeffrey Brown, Adam Bray, and Elizabeth Schaefer. You can read Newsarama’s liveblog here for some of the more fun tidbits that panelists mentioned throughout the hour.
Variety has the the press release from Disney stating that Indiana Jones will be returning for a fifth epic adventure.
Steven Spielberg, who directed all four previous films, will helm the as-yet-untitled project with star Harrison Ford reprising his iconic role. Franchise veterans Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall will produce.
Perhaps not entirely unsurprising as there have been rumblings of a new Indy film since the Disney purchase. Get ready to see the fedora and bull whip again!
The Disney Parks blog has revealed new information about Star Wars experiences opening in December, including the Launch Bay and the new Jedi Training Academy featuring the Seventh Sister.
A new Star Tours module featuring Jakku will also debut, and will be featured on every Star Tours flight for the first several months. Check out this awesome preview of the Millennium Falcon soaring through Jakku’s starship graveyard.
Alas, with all the upcoming construction around Hollywood Studios, it was announced that Star Wars Weekends will not happen during 2016. No word on whether the annual fan-favorite event will return in upcoming years, but I’m definitely crossing my fingers. Thanks to James Arnold Taylor, Ashley Eckstein, and all the Disney Parks cast members for making Weekends such a fantastic event. We’ll miss it greatly.
Oh hey, were you looking for some The Force Awakens pretties to tide you over until December 18? You’re in luck! Feast your eyes on five character posters featuring Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, Han, and Leia. (No Poe Dameron, sadly.)
Leia’s sporting her look from the Official Poster, not the trailer, which has me intrigued. One is very political-looking while the other looks like a military uniform; do we get to see both sides of Leia in The Force Awakens? I would not complain.
#LukeWatch, the successor to #beardwatch, continues.