The Force Awakens News from Entertainment Weekly

jj-abramsSometimes, the best news is the kind that nobody was expecting.

Earlier this week, Anthony Breznican of Entertainment Weekly revealed on Twitter that there’d be no new trailer or footage from The Force Awakens shown at Disney’s upcoming D23 convention. This wasn’t much of a surprise, since director J.J. Abrams revealed prior to San Diego Comic Con that the next trailer wouldn’t be released until the fall.

Today, however, EW released a slew of articles and photos from the upcoming issue, featuring interviews with J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, information about character names, and a badass cover of Kylo Ren. Club Jade has an excellent roundup on what we’ve learned so far.  Here’s some of my highlights:

  • Kylo Ren is not the character’s given name. He comes upon it after joining a group known as the Knights of Ren. Also, his broadsaber is a weapon of his own creation. Could he be the Sith fanboy we’ve all been dreaming of?
  • Kathleen Kennedy persuaded Abrams to direct the film by asking him a simple question: “Who is Luke Skywalker?” While Abrams and Kasdan don’t reveal any new information about Luke’s role in the film, or even what he’s been doing up until that point in the timeline, it’s clear that he’s still a major influence in the Galaxy Far, Far Away.
  • Rey rescues BB-8 from a soccer ball style net, held by an alien named Teedo and his luggabeast. How does Teedo come upon BB-8? And does Rey have a history with the droid before rescuing him? That’s still unclear.
  • Yes, there’s a reason the surnames of Finn and Rey are still a mystery.
  • There’s a photo of John Boyega in stormtrooper armor next to the crashed TIE fighter, that can be seen in the Behind the Scenes reel from Comic Con. Odds are he’s the one flying that thing, perhaps out of the hangar that we see in the second teaser. “Fly, yes. Land, no!”

As if this isn’t enough new information for us to digest, Breznican teased more news coming tomorrow, featuring everyone’s favorite scoundrel-turned-general, Han Solo. Stay tuned….

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Review: Lando #2

If you want a book that has twists a plenty, Star Wars: Lando should do the trick. Lando #2 by Charles Soule and Alex Maleev is out today and boy have Lando and company gotten into a lot more trouble than they figured. After all, who would have suspected that the yacht they stole was Emperor Palpatine’s and that he’d send three Star Destroyers after them? (Lando should’ve guessed. Only his luck would be that bad.)

This review has minor spoilers for the issue.

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Tsar Wars: A New Naboo

You may have noticed that I have a weakness for all the royalty in Star Wars.  That’s why it made perfect sense to team up with Jay Shah from Eleven Thirty-Eight for a nice long chat about all the different monarchies we see across the Star Wars universe.  Part I covered how monarchy works and now we’re ready for a deep dive into the intricacies of Naboo.

Bria: I’d like to thank George Lucas and The Phantom Menace for giving nine year-old Bria the dream that she too could one day be elected Queen and get a crown to wear at state occasions.

Jay: I love Naboo so much — you know, it was my home world in Star Wars Galaxies and I never wanted to leave. I hung around Theed and De’ja Po–oh wait, we were supposed to be talking about the Naboo system of government, weren’t we? Sometimes it’s hard to get over how beautiful and awesome Naboo is.

Bria: Did I ever tell you that I went to the Lake House?  I mean, technically it’s called Villa Balbianello on Lake Como but it was the kriffing Lake House!

Jay: Yes, I still remember the day you told me and being eternally jealous. I lived vicariously through the photos, but oh my god it looked just like you had walked onto the set of the pier/balcony area.

Bria: Thankfully, no one was there to talk to me about how they hated sand but you’re right.  We digress.  Let’s get back to talking about how I’d like to be Queen of Naboo.  I mean how Naboo elects their monarchs.

Jay: I’d vote for you–I mean, I’d vote for an improbably young candidate who went through a legislative program and a crash course in politics. But then people would probably think I was crazy, so why is it that the people of Naboo feel so comfortable electing children to run their planet?

Bria: Do we actually know how old the youngest queen ever elected was?

Jay: Argh, I feel like it was something that came up in one of the reference books, perhaps Wizard’s of the Coasts Secrets of Naboo sourcebook but I can’t remember offhand. Man, and Naboo is like my second or third favorite SW planet. Nerd fail.

Bria: Let’s assume it was 13 or younger since Amidala was 14.  You knew me via the TFN boards when I was 14… would you have voted for me as Queen back then? Continue reading

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Tosche Station Radio #124: Guide to New Canon Comics

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We’re joined by Marvel editor Heather Antos to talk the new Star Wars comics in today’s Tosche Station Radio!

Kicking off the show, the hosts highlight What’s New on the Blog. We had a Go/No-Go: Under The Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wending. Bria reviewed Darth Vader #8. A reminder: Our Attack of the Clones live commentary is up now! Also an announcement: a new tabletop podcast will be coming soon!

In Fixer’s Flash, Nanci’s been working on a new book. Both the hosts have been reading Chuck Wendig’s Heartland trilogy. Brian’s been playing with Windows 10. Bria’s costuming, and Heather? Just making comics. No biggie.

Deak’s Dirt is quiet this week with D23 coming up. There’s going to be a  new release and packaging for the Blu Rays. As for Battlefront, FIGHTER FLIGHT GAMEPLAY TRAILER!

In Biggs’ Bull$&#*! Jedi News has a rumor about The Force Awakens Blu Ray coming on April 26. Also, J.J. Abrams broke his back while working on The Force Awakens.

We’re lucky this week to be joined by Marvel editor Heather Antos to discuss, break down, and talk all things Star Wars comics in this week’s Camie’s Concerns!

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of Majestic Giraffe Productions. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Nanci and Brian are the co-founders and writers of Tosche-Station.net. You can find Nanci on Twitter with the handle @Nancipants and you can find Brian with @LaneWinree.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and Audible.com.

Her Universe - Flaunt Your World - www.heruniverseshop.com Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at audible.com!

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New characters, plot details emerge for Shattered Empire

shatteredempire1Over on starwars.com, Greg Rucka discusses writing Shattered Empire, Marvel’s contribution to the Journey to The Force Awakens project. The first issue of the four-part miniseries will be out September 4, with the trade listed for release November 17.

The comic will span several months after the Battle of Endor and surrounds two new characters, Shara and Kes Bey. A married couple and part of the Rebel Alliance, Shara and Kes soon realize defeating the Empire is going to take much more than killing the Emperor.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our interview with Heather Antos from Marvel, going live today, as she talks some more about what to expect in the series.

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Fanservice vs. Objectification: Why Shirtless Thor Wins and Slave Leia Loses

So let’s talk about Slave Leia.

I know, I know. Star Wars fandom has certainly voiced its share of opinions about Slave (or Huttslayer, if you prefer) Leia over the past several weeks. From the “concerned” dad at Target to Amy Schumer’s GQ photo shoot, at times it felt like 1983 all over again. And honestly, during most of the debate I felt like sitting back and yawning. Not because the topic isn’t pertinent to me — I can rant about Slave Leia with the best of them — but because I’m so bored of it. It’s like being forced to sit through American History 101 when I should be leading graduate level seminars.

This is not another column all about why Slave Leia is or isn’t bad. This is a column about objectification vs. fanservice, and why one is bad and the other is harmless fun. It’s about why I can swoon like a schoolgirl when Thor takes his shirt off, yet make the biggest side-eye when Carol Marcus strips down to her underwear in Star Trek Into Darkness. It’s about the differences between men and women in science fiction and fantasy, entertainment in general, and how we still have a long, long way to go.

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Review: Darth Vader #8

I’d ask you to guess what comic is out today but given the title of this review, you already know that Darth Vader #8 by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca is in comic stores everywhere now. We now return to our adventure show about a Sith Lord, an archaeologist, and two murderous droids.

The fun thing about this issue is that it’s definitely Aphra heavy and given that she’s been one of the best parts of this book that is a-okay by me. It takes until about halfway through the issue for Vader to show up. Again, this is not a problem which is a testament to what a strong supporting cast Gillen has built up in only a few issues. We are, however, getting to the point where I ask myself, “What exactly are Aphra’s motivations for continuing to work for Vader besides not wanting to, y’know, die?” She seems to be enjoying herself but this latest mission seems a little more out of her wheelhouse.

One of the neat things that this book has been doing is showing that Vader does still share that mind for strategy that Anakin Skywalker but that he still can’t beat a true master. He tries to be careful but he’s not perfect. This book has done a fantastic job at really integrating those last remnants of Anakin into Vader without sacrificing anything in terms of showing the Vader that we first met in the Original Trilogy.

Nothing much to say about the art this week. Larroca continues to do a fantastic job and is clearly having fun with character design. No wait, I’m sorry. I lied. I do have to point out that I appreciate the efforts towards diversity that the comics are making. It would have been very easy to make this new Inspector another white male and instead, we get an older black man so kudos to Larroca for that decision. I do miss the Adi Granov covers though.

Do we even need to say it? Darth Vader #8 gets out recommendation again this month.

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