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Star Wars News & Features

News and information from a Galaxy Far Far Away, and sometimes a little closer to home.
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (also known as Star Wars Episode IX) is the third and final film of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, continuing and bringing to a close the story threads set in motion in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. But what do we really know about the ninth chapter of the Star Wars saga?
    This article will be regularly updated as new information is confirmed, and we'll avoid rumours so you can be sure you have the facts.
    Warning: Although we do not intend to reveal major spoilers here, please be aware that due to the nature of this article some may remain.
    Last updated: April 2019
    Newest Information
    At Celebration 2019 the title and teaser trailer have been revealed. A new small droid called D-O was also shown, and Naomi Ackie's character was revealed to be named Jannah - the rumour about her being the daughter of Lando was neither confirmed nor denied.
    The return of Palpatine was dismissed as "a tease" by actor Ian McDiarmid, but Kathleen Kennedy appeared to confirm his presence in The Rise of Skywalker during interviews at Celebration Chicago.
    Teaser Trailer
    Release Date
    Star Wars Episode IX is currently set for release on 20 December 2019.
    Disney had initially announced the release date as 24 May 2019, but this was pushed back due to production delays.
    Production
    Principal photography began at Pinewood Studios near London on 1st August 2018, and is expected to complete in February 2019. Some scenes have also been filmed in Wadi Rum, Jordan.
    The working title is “Black Diamond”. IMAX cameras will be used to film some sequences.
    The film's soundtrack will once again be scored by Star Wars veteran John Williams. Williams has said that this will be his final Star Wars movie.
    In February 2018, Paul Inglis joined as the Lead Supervising Art Director. He had previously worked on Blade Runner 2049, Prometheus, and Skyfall.
    Principle photography wrapped on 15 February 2019, as announced by director JJ Abrams.
    Brian Herring wrapped up as operator of BB-8 on 1st February, and Anthony Daniels finished C-3PO's last scenes on 28 January.
    Setting
    Around a year has passed since the events of The Last Jedi, according to John Boyega.
    Cast and Crew
    Cast confirmed:
    Daisy Ridley as Rey Adam Driver as Kylo Ren John Boyega as Finn Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata Domhnal Gleeson as General Hux Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian Billie Lourd as Lieutenant Connix Greg Grunberg as Temmin "Snap" Wexley Naomi Ackie as Jannah Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine Anthony Daniels as C-3P0 Jimmy Vee as R2-D2 Brian Herring as BB-8 Richard E Grant Keri Russell Dominic Monaghan Crew confirmed:
    Director - JJ Abrams Writers - JJ Abrams, Chris Terrio Producers - Kathleen Kennedy, JJ Abrams, Michelle Rejwan Cinematographer - John Schwartzman Art Director - Paul Inglis Music - John Williams Director
    JJ Abrams is returning to direct Episode IX, with Kathleen Kennedy producing. It was previously slated to be directed by Colin Trevorrow, who worked closely with The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson to ensure continuity between their respective movies. Trevorrow left the project in September 2017 due to “creative differences”. Disney had to pay off Paramount Pictures to secure Abrams, as he had breached contract with them for The Force Awakens.
    Carrie Fisher
    Carrie Fisher was due to have a major role in Episode IX as General Leia Organa. When she tragically passed away in December 2016 the story team “pretty much started over”, according to Kathleen Kennedy.
    Lucasfilm was quick to quash rumors that Leia would be digitally recreated, similar to Tarkin’s appearance in Rogue One. Fisher's brother and daughter have granted rights for Lucasfilm to use recent footage of her, but Kennedy has since stated that Fisher will not be in Episode IX.
    In July 2018 it was announced that with the blessing of Fisher's family unused footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi will be used to allow the inclusion of Leia.
     
    Sadly I am not all-knowing. If I've missed something or have made an error, please let me know in the comments below!

    The Phantom Menace turns 20

    By Andy, in The Movies,

    Every saga has a beginning.
    20 years ago today Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace hit the silver screen in the US after one of the biggest marketing campaigns cinema has ever seen, plastering everything from cereal boxes to vending machines with Star Wars branding.
    It's fair to say that the George Lucas' first Star Wars prequel didn't live up to everybody's expectations, dividing fans much like Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi did in 2017.
    However, I'm not here to discuss the pros and cons of Episode I (you can argue about that in the comments, if you like), but this article is simply to recognise the fact that whatever your opinion of the film was it did help cement the Star Wars franchise in the public eye for another generation.
    Happy birthday The Phantom Menace, and thank-you for inducting me into the Star Wars fandom.
     
    Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed that the Star Wars film scheduled for release in 2022 will be from the showrunners and creators of Game of Thrones. David Benioff and DB Weiss's TV adaptation of George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series is currently drawing to a close, and the pair are apparently already hard at work on their first foray into Star Wars.
    This announcement has come as a surprise to many who were expecting the next film to be from Rian Johnson, and has cast new doubt on the status of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi director's new trilogy, although Kathleen Kennedy stated last month that Benioff and Weiss were working closely with Johnson to ensure continuity between their respective projects.
    It was announced back in 2018 that Benioff and Weiss would be making their mark on Star Wars, although at the time it was unclear how many films the two were working on. This is still unclear, as Iger has only confirmed that the 2022 movie will be theirs although two more Star Wars movies are scheduled for 2024 and 2026.
    Although we have a large gap between Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and 2022, Disney will be plugging the gap with their Disney Plus exclusive shows The Mandalorian and another series following Rogue One's Cassian Andor.
    We look forward to hearing more news soon.
    Disney have revealed a schedule which pinpoints the movie release dates across their vast empire of brands, including Star Wars.
    Three Star Wars movies have been assigned release dates, but no further information accompanies the untitled movies. The movies are set for release in 2022, 2024, and 2026, which is a distinctive enough pattern that it isn't too much of a stretch to speculate that these are the Rian Johnson Star Wars trilogy that was announced back in 2017.
    See also: Star Wars Movie Release Schedule
    Rian Johnson's last foray into Star Wars was the divisive second episode of the sequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and it is widely expected that his trilogy will pick up on some of the unresolved threads from that film.
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will release this December, leaving us with a three-year gap before the next Star Wars film hits the big screen.
    Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment, has promised that gameplay footage for it's upcoming game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will be shown at E3 2019.
    E3 is the highlight of the gaming industry calendar, and will take place in Los Angeles from 11 - 14 June 2019. EA has also hinted that footage could appear at it's own EA Play event on 8 - 9 June in Hollywood.
    A cinematic trailer for Jedi: Fallen Order was revealed at Celebration Chicago last month, and while it shed new light on the story of the game and the main protagonist Cal Kestis, fans were disappointed in a lack of gameplay footage or a hands-on experience with the game.
    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will be released on Xbox, PS4, and PC on 15 November 2019.
    Lucasfilm have revealed the publishing programme leading up to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. 
    As with the similar programmes leading up to The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a series of titles filling in the gap between the previous film. This journey promises to be the "biggest and boldest film tie-in program yet", according to Lucasfilm's creative director of publishing, Michael Siglain.
    Full details can be found on the official announcement at StarWars.com.

    RIP Peter Mayhew

    By Andy, in General News,

    Peter Mayhew, who portrayed Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy, has passed away at the age of 74. According to a statement released by his family, he died at his home in Texas with his family at his side on 30th April.
    Mayhew was born in London, and was selected for the role of Chewbacca purely for his height (7ft 2in). While casting for Star Wars George Lucas has initially earmarked David Prowse to portray Chewbacca but Prowse opted to play Darth Vader instead, leaving the wookiee suit open. He would portray Han Solo's co-pilot in the original trilogy, and returned for Revenge of the Sith. In 2015's The Force Awakens he shared the role with Joonas Suotamo, for subsequent films he remained in a consultant role.
    A fan favourite at conventions, Mayhew was often described as a gentle giant, and his family said that "the Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in a film". He was also much-loved by his fellow cast members, and tributes have been flooding in.
     
    A private memorial service for friends and family will be held in June, with a memorial service for fans planned for December.
    Rest in peace, Peter Mayhew, 1944 - 2019.
    The teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has smashed the milestones set by The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi for total views within it's first 24 hours.
    The Rise of Skywalker trailer, which dropped during a livestream at Star Wars Celebration Chicago this month, hit 111 million views within it's first 24 hours. While this pales in comparison to other Disney franchises, including Marvel's Avenger's: Endgame (298m), it is more than double than that of The Force Awakens, and 20 million more than The Last Jedi.
    The popularity of the trailer has been bolstered by the inclusion of the Emperor's ghostly cackle at the end, which has prompted much speculation about the return of Palpatine. Ian McDiarmid has since stated that he did not record the laugh for the trailer, however, and that it must have been archive soundbite that the production team has dug up from somewhere.
    If you're intending to travel to the outer rim world of Batuu this summer, then you'll be pleased to know that reservations are now open for entry into the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge park at Disneyland, California.
    Reservations will be required if you want to visit Galaxy's Edge 31 May and 23 June. There is a catch, however, as reservations are currently only open to those booking rooms at Disneyland Resort hotels. For those not staying in the resort, reservations will open on 2 May, with further details to be posted on the Disney Parks Blog that morning.
    Thankfully there are no additional fees to reserve your entry, but spaces are subject to availability, presumeably in an effort to avoid overcrowding.
    Galaxy's Edge promises an authentic Star Wars experience, with the production team going to whole new levels to ensure visitors are fully emmersed in a galaxy far far away.
    Are you planning to visit Galaxy's Edge? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
    Kathleen Kennedy has appeared to confirm during an interview with MTV that a project set in the Old Republic era is in development. 
    When prompted by MTV that a lot of fans would like to see something related to Knights of the Old Republic, Kennedy smiled and confirmed that this was something had been spoken about a lot and that something was in development right now. Planning seems to be in early stages right now, as she was keen to avoid giving any sort of hints as to what the story might entail, and went on to reiterate the plans to have a longer gap between movies going forwards. 
    Star Wars News Net has previously posted a rumour, that had apparently come from a reliable source, stating that the project being worked on by Game of Thrones TV adaptation creators David Benioff and DB Weiss was set in the distant past of the Star Wars canon. Rian Johnson has already denied that his Star Wars trilogy will be set during the Old Republic era, and it is widely thought that he would be picking up from threads he wove into The Last Jedi.
    On a personal level, I would hope that a Knights of the Old Republic project would draw inspiration from the Dark Horse Comics Tales of the Jedi series rather than the more recent video games that followed. As Darth Bane has already been confirmed as existing in the new canon, it is possible that we may see some of his story come into play.
    You can check out MTV's interview with Kathleen Kennedy via Twitter.
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