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Star Wars News & Features

News and information from a Galaxy Far Far Away, and sometimes a little closer to home.
    The trailer for their next Star Wars video game, Star Wars: Squadrons, has been revealed today.
    Developed by Motive Studios and published by EA, Squadrons is a starship combat sim set after the events of Return of the Jedi, during a period where the Empire is still a credible threat to the fledgling New Republic.
    The game features a singleplayer story mode for both factions, as well as a 5v5 multiplayer dogfight mode. According to the details revealed so far the game will allow you to customise your pilots for the Republic's Vanguard Squadron and the Empire's Titan Squadron, and will feature original characters along with cameos from characters we are already familiar with.
    Further information and footage is expected to be revealed at the EA Play event on 18 June.
    Star Wars: Squadrons is set for release on 2nd October 2020, on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and on PC via the Origin, Steam, and Epic stores.
    The chances are that this has already been spoiled for you, but in case you are at least trying to avoid spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2, this is your last warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!
    Sources have revealed to Hollywood Reporter that an iconic character will return to our screens in the second season of the lauded Disney+ Star Wars TV show, and it's one that may have already been teased to us in season 1.
    At the end of episode 5 "The Gunslinger", we briefly see a mysterious figure approach the body of Fennec Shand, who was dispatched by the wannabe bounty hunter Toro Calican, but we never see who this character actually was. It's reasonable to assume that this was Moff Gideon hot on the trail of Mando and the Child, but it could just as easily have been another bounty hunter. Wearing distinctive spurs which can be heard in the character's previous appearance in The Empire Strikes Back, could this mystery figure have been none other than Boba Fett?
    Well, this casting leak seems to lend more weight to this take on the scene, as it has been reported that Temuera Morrison will be donning Mandalorian armour once more. Morrison previously played the bounty hunter Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, so it makes perfect sense that he would return to play his own clone "son" Boba.
    But wait, isn't Boba Fett dead? Well, that's complicated. Boba Fett first appeared in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, but most people remember him from his big screen debut in The Empire Strikes Back. In Return of the Jedi Fett was rather disappointingly killed off during the fight on Tatooine, and while various books and comics showed that he had survived his fall into the Sarlacc Pit they have all been decanonised in the Disney era. The Mandalorian season 1 takes place 5 years after the Return of the Jedi, and episode 5 took place on Tatooine - coincidence? 
    To celebrate Star Wars Day 2020, Respawn Entertainment and EA Games have released a free content update for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The update is available now and contains several new features that have been borne from player feedback and add extra replayability to the game.
    The major new combat feature is called Meditation Training, where Cal can visit any meditation point to battle waves of enemies in a Combat Challenge or use the Battle Grid to design custom encounters featuring any enemy or bosses.
    Another much requested feature which has finally arrived is the New Journey + mode, allowing you to restart the story but keeping your collectables. So, no more getting sidetracked hunting for those pesky ponchos! Although skills will need to be earned as your new journey progresses you will still keep your unlocked lightsaber parts, so at least you can slice through the Imperial scum in style.
    Among the new collectables added to the game are new skins for BD-1 and Cal, new lightsaber hilts, and the oft requested red kyber crystal. Some of these are only available through the New Journey + mode, though, so you'll need to have completed the game once already to make use of them.
    For more information, check out the official announcement and release notes.
    The award-winning virtual reality experience from ILMxLAB Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series is coming to PlayStation VR this summer, it has been revealed. The three part experience is classed as official Star Wars canon and will be available as one single purchase. 
    Vader Immortal has links to classic multimedia project Shadows of the Empire and takes us back to Vader's castle on Mustafar, enabling you to get up close and personal with the Dark Lord of the Sith himself. 
    You can check out the trailer for the original VR experience below:
    Taika Waititi has been announced as the co-writer and director of an upcoming Star Wars feature film, this confirms rumours from earlier this year. The director, who recently won the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award for his work on Jojo Rabbit and directed the first season finale of Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian will be joined on the screenplay by BAFTA winner Krysty Wilson-Cairns.
    There has not been any release date announced for the movie, which will receive a theatrical release, with the announcement on the official site suggesting that this may be another film in addition to the one confirmed in 2022. There are two Star Wars films previously announced for 2024 and 2026, although the current status of these is unknown as they were not listed in Disney's recent updated release schedule. 
    Also included in the official announcement was confirmation of another Star Wars TV series under showrunner Leslye Headland, which will join the Disney+ streaming service. Although not explicitly stated we can infer that this is another live-action show which will sit alongside The Mandalorian, the Cassian Andor series, and the Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
    Finally we have some news regarding the upcoming Disney+ series following Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's Cassian Andor.
    As we already know, Diego Luna is reprising his role as Cassian Andor with Alan Tudyk joining him as K-2SO, but a new returning cast member has been confirmed in the shape of Genevieve O'Reilly.
    O'Reilly previously portrayed Mon Mothma in Rogue One and in a scene that was famously left on the digital cutting room floor of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. 
    Stellan Skarsgård, Denise Gough, and Kyle Soller are also joining the cast in unspecified co-starring roles. 
    The co-writer of Rogue One, Tony Gilroy, will be returning to pick up the reigns as showrunner from Stephen Schiff as well as writing and directing. Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler), Beau Willimon (House of Cards), and Stephen Schiff (The Americans) will also write episodes for the series.
    This news comes via StarWars.com who have also indicated that as of yet there has been no announcement regarding a release date.
    Production on the series has been hit by the outbreak of COVID-19, but visual effects artist Neal Scanlan recently revealed that six weeks worth of pre-production had been completed prior to the lockdown.
    What a year it's been. What, it's only April? Apologies for the late reporting of this news but I've been somewhat distracted of late, what with everything going on in the world right now.
    On 3rd April Disney released a revised release schedule of their upcoming releases for the next couple of years. There has been considerable alteration to many release dates, such as the upcoming Marvel movies, but one thing that hasn't changed is the release date for the Star Wars movie scheduled for release on 16 December 2022.
    It is reassuring to see this still listed on the schedule, as Disney has recently been redoubling their efforts on their new Disney+ streaming service and there has been no further solid news about the 2022 movie or what it may entail.
    The schedule only goes as far as the end of 2022, so there is no confirmation that the Star Wars movies set for release in 2024 and 2026 are unaffected, although I think it is safe to assume that they are still planned at the moment.
    We will continue to watch this space.
    After months of speculation, the secretive Project Luminous has been unveiled as a new era of Star Wars publishing: Star Wars: The High Republic.
    The announcement on StarWars.com promised a new mix of adult and young adult novels and comics set 200 years before the events of The Phantom Menance.
    The Jedi Order is at its peak, and the Galactic Republic is in an optimistic period of expansion into the Outer Rim of the galaxy, but a new threat is rising that may disrupt that peace and prosperity.
    Star Wars: The High Republic will debut at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in August 2020 with Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi, which is touted as "a massive interconnected story that’s told across various formats by various publishers".
    The High Republic has an impressive array of authors lined up, including Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older, Cavan Scott, and Charles Soule, so it's going to be a very exciting time for Star Wars readers.
    For more information, check out the official announcement on StarWars.com.
    There is no doubt that Bioware's Knight of the Old Republic was one of the greatest Star Wars video games ever released, and new rumours are circulating that the franchise may be about to be resurrected.
    What is KOTOR?
    For those who missed out the first time around, Knights of the Old Republic was a single-player role-playing game set 4000 years before the Skywalker Saga, released on Xbox and PC in 2003. Although gameplay is clunky by today's standards, the story and the interactions that result in your character moving towards the light side or dark side of the Force mean that it is still worth a playthrough.
    A sequel, Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords, was released in 2004, and an MMO simply called Star Wars: The Old Republic which was set 300 years later expanded on this era of galactic history.  Ultimately, though, all three games and spin-off materials are now considered part of Legends, rather than part of the canon timeline, since the 2015 shakeup of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. 
    I won't spoil the plot of either game, because if you don't already know it you deserve to be able to play through the game without known the broader strokes of the plot.
    What do we know?
    Well, things are a bit murky to be honest. Rumours of a sequel have circulated for years, with a source close to Bioware leaking in 2017 that the developer was working on a sequel. Kotaku later confirmed the story, but clarified that the project was a prototype that was never greenlit by parent company EA who hold the licence for Star Wars games. 
    In April last year, Kathleen Kennedy told reporters that they had several projects in the works, and that the idea of Knights of the Old Republic had been brought up. A month later, it was reported that Laeta Kalogridis was working on a Knights of the Old Republic movie screenplay. 
    More recently still, the ambitious multi-media initiative Project Luminous was said to be set in a re-imagined Old Republic era called the "High Republic", while Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order features temples left behind by an ancient race of Force users that would be perfect for exploration via a Knights of the Old Republic style RPG.
    What could the new game be about?
    While we are taking these rumours with a pinch of salt, it's fun to speculate. The original plan for KOTOR3 would have apparently seen the player face up against an even greater enemy than the Sith we had seen so far in the series, but if there is going to be another Knights of the Old Republic I would think it would be more of a re-imagining rather than a straight sequel, as nothing has really been set in stone for the era since the games were decanonised. 
    As the era is so far removed from established Star Wars canon they could opt for a remake, keeping the main characters (many of whom are beloved by fans), keeping the broad strokes of the story, but reworking the encounters and plot points to suit the new canon.
    Who would make it?
    Well, the first two games were developed by Bioware, so they would be the obvious choice. But Bioware has several projects already in the works, namely for the Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Anthem franchises. Recently it was reported that EA were hiring for their Star Wars team at Respawn, so it's possible that the success of Jedi: Fallen Order has allowed them to claim this game, too.
    This wouldn't be a bad thing as Respawn did a terrific job, although it would mean that the new KOTOR would not have the same feel as it's predecessors. Of course, this new game could always be something else entirely, such is the nature of rumours.
    I've never played KOTOR, it sounds great!
    It really is! If you like RPGs and you're not afraid of older games with outdated graphics and clunky interfaces then you'll have a good time. KOTOR and KOTOR2 share some gameplay similarities with Bioware's Mass Effect series.
    I often see physical copies of both games in pre-owned sections of game stores, but you can also pick them up relatively cheaply on Steam:
    Knights of the Old Republic on Steam Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords on Steam  
    As a fan of the Old Republic era I'll be keeping an eye out for more news on this.
    A new trailer for the upcoming seventh season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars has landed, giving us a glimpse of what we can expect fro the long awaited follow-up to the groundbreaking Star Wars animated series that has been on hiatus since 2014.
    The new trailer reveals that the series has caught up to the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith but falls short of showing us Order 66.
    Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7 premiers exclusively on Disney+ on 21 February. Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think!

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