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)
KENNEDY AND JOHNSON TO APPEAR AT CELEBRATION
Also more confirming what we already assumed, Celebration has announced that Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and The Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson will both be appearing at Celebration Orlando on Friday, April 14th. I’m guessing all the Kennedy-Johnson jokes have already been made, yes? (source)
FORCE FRIDAY II ANNOUNCEMENT AND PACKAGING
What’s in the bahhhhhhhx? More to the point, what’s on the box? Force Friday, everyone’s favorite Star Wars-themed expression of late capitalism, is back, with a no-doubt bewildering barrage of toys, books, games, and other merchandise related to The Last Jedi going on sale at 12:01am Friday, September 1st, 2017. The bulk of these items will be delivered to your sweaty little hands (seriously, wipe off your hands) in boxes which look a lot like … THIS:
The packaging reveal has attracted a great deal of interest due to the fact that this is our first official look at the new “big three” as they’ll appear in The Last Jedi. Pretty much status quo, expect that Rey’s hair has grown out/been let down, prompting a round of speculation suggesting that hair follicles in the Star Wars universe work much they way they do in our own. Anyway, toys! (source)
WINTER 2017 STAR WARS LEGO SETS NOW AVAILABLE
Speaking of toys, the new line of Star Wars Lego sets, available for almost two months in Europe now, are finally arriving here in the States. On offer are updated versions of the Y-Wing and the Desert Skiff, a new Clone Wars-era starfighter for Yoda, the Phantom II from Rebels (including a Thrawn minifig!), and a few others (including some more of those terrifying character builds with the monstrous heads). Check out the full list here: (source).
BB-8 TO GREET GUESTS AT DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
Starting this Spring, you too will be able to irritably snap “move, ball” at an adorable droid. The breakout TFA star will be on hand to greet visitors to the park’s Launch Bay, alongside Chewbacca and Kylo Ren. Sounds BB-GREAT to me!!!!! (source)
EXCERPT FROM EMPIRE’S END
Gang, Chuck Wendig’s Empire’s End, the conclusion to his Aftermath trilogy (and, presumably, the Empire), comes out tomorrow. How crazy is that? When it does come out, I’m going to go on an Empire’s BENDer. But to sate your thirst for Sad Wedge and murderbots in the meantime, here’s an excerpt featuring your favorite space-married couple: (source).
NEW NOVEL INFERNO SQUAD ANNOUNCED
What, you need more book news? Okay, how about a brand new book announcement? Inferno Squad, from Dark Disciple’s Christie Golden, hits shelves in July. The book will serve as a sequel to Rogue One (waits for inevitable slew of Rogue Two/A New Hope jokes) and will follow an elite Imperial death squad tasked with tracking down and exacting revenge on the remains of Saw Gerrera’s renegade rebel cell. Sounds amazing, and I can’t wait (source).
B&N EDITION OF THRAWN TO HAVE EXCLUSIVE COVER & POSTER
More book news? All right, you greedy nerf herders, have a look at the Barnes & Noble-exclusive cover to Timothy Zahn’s Thawn, coming in March. As has become standard practice, the B&N edition will also include an exclusive poster. Cover below, click on the source link to see the poster (source).
THE LAST JEDI CONFIRMED TO BE PLURAL
Finally, foreign-language translations of the Episode VIII’s title (specifically, French, German, and Spanish) have confirmed the word “Jedi” in the title to be plural. So … there you go. (source: Twitter, but also here’s a brief write-up from Ars Technica)