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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 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: March 2019
    Newest Information
    Doctor Who star Matt Smith has said that he is not in Star Wars Episode IX and has been busy with other projects.
    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 Anthony Daniels as C-3P0 Jimmy Vee as R2-D2 Brian Herring as BB-8 Richard E Grant Naomi Ackie 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!
    Want to know when the next Star Wars feature film is hitting the big screen? This list will be updated regularly to show details of the upcoming instalments of the Star Wars saga so you're always the know.
    Last update: January 2019.
     
    20 Dec 2019 - Star Wars: Episode IX
    Director: JJ Abrams
    Starring: To be confirmed
    Summary: Episode IX will continue the main saga from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and will likely conclude the story arc of the sequel trilogy. It is expected that there will be a period of time that has passed since the end of the previous film.
    See also: Everything we know about Episode IX
     
    2020 - A Star Wars Story
    Status: Cancelled 
    Summary: This project was once rumoured to be based on the story of fan-favourite bounty hunter Boba Fett, and was previously assigned to Josh Trank to direct. More recent rumours favour an Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off, which Ewan McGregor has stated he would be happy to reprise his role for. It was reported in October 2018 that the Boba Fett film had been scrapped in favour of the the Jon Favreau television series, The Mandalorian.
     
    Unknown - New Star Wars Trilogy
    Director: Rian Johnson
    Summary: Shortly before the release of The Last Jedi it was announced that director Rian Johnson would be working on a new trilogy of Star Wars films that were separate from the main episodic saga. It is speculated that this will pick up on some of the themes introduced in The Last Jedi and follow a new group of young Force users.
     
    Unknown - New Star Wars Film or Series
    Writers: David Benioff and DB Weiss
    Summary: The creators of the television adaptation of George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, Game of Thrones, were offered a film or series of films, possibly a trilogy. They have stated that work will not begin until the end of Game of Thrones, which airs it's final season in April 2019.
    During an interview with LA Times, Matt Smith has dropped the bombshell that he is not in Star Wars Episode IX after all, contrary to previous reports.
    Smith, who previously played Prince Philip in The Crown and the eponymous lead role in Doctor Who, and is currently working on Sony's latest Spider-Man spin-off, Morbius, responded with "As far as I can tell, I’m definitely not [in Episode IX]" when asked about his role in the final instalment of the sequel trilogy.
    Although widely reported by various news outlets that Matt Smith would have a key role in Episode IX, the studio never officially announced his casting (which is not unusual) so this could be just a big rumor that has spun out of control. However, Richard E Grant who is set to appear in the new movie was previously asked by Radio Times if he shared any scenes with Smith, to which he had responded "I would be fired if I told you anything about that."
    What do you think: Was his casting a rumor gone wild or is this statement simply deception on Matt Smith's part? After all, fans of Doctor Who remember Rule 1: The Doctor lies.
    Star Wars Episode IX is set for release this December, with more news expected at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago next month. In the meantime, here is Everything we know about Episode IX.
    A long time ago, SuperShadow was a dirty word around these parts. The fake news and rumours he would post on his website would often get reported as potential facts by unsuspecting fans eager to learn and share new information about the then upcoming Star Wars prequels.
    YouTube channel HelloGreedo has posted a new documentary that chronicles the two decades that SuperShadow spent trolling Star Wars fans with his claims of having inside information. He also claimed to be a close personal friend of George Lucas, even going as far as posting fake conversations between him and Lucas including reporting back with answers to user submitted questions about the Star Wars saga.
    SuperShadow stopped posting some time before The Force Awakens was released, with many of the "leaks" being replaced by an apology for his deception.
    You can check out the documentary on YouTube below.
     
    Veteran video game writer Chris Avellone has revealed that he has spent the best part of the past year working on Respawn's upcoming Star Wars game, Jedi: Fallen Order. Avellone has previously worked as lead designer and writer for the acclaimed Knights of the Old Republic II, as well as other titles such as Prey, and Fallout: New Vegas.
    This brings an extra glimmer of hope to the game, as many fans and gamers alike have been wary of EA's involvment, due to their penchant for microtransactions and the slew of cancelled Star Wars titles like the untitled Visceral games production and 1313 which was cancelled by Disney when they aquired LucasArts, handing the reins to EA.
    New information is due to be revealed at Star Wars Celebration Chicago this April, possibly with some gameplay footage or an official trailer in anticipation of the game's release later this year.
    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is due for release in Fall 2019.
    As Disney prepare to open the Star Wars Galaxy's Edge theme park at their California and Florida resorts, new details have emerged from press previews of what promises to be the most immersive Star Wars experience by far.
    The park is themed around the outer rim planet Batuu, with roleplaying experiences and missions to be discovered. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run is sure to be a big hit with fans, as they pilot the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, and in "Rise of the Resistance" visitors will be captured by the First Order and taken aboard a Star Destroyer.
    Retail stores will allow you to customise your own droid and build your own lightsaber, while restaurants will showcase food from around the galaxy including Ronto Wraps, Endorian Tip-Yip, and of course, Blue Milk.
    Galaxy's Edge opens in Disneyland California this summer, and in Disney World Florida in Fall 2019.
    For more pictures and information, check out the official Star Wars site.
    Some long-awaited information about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will be revealed at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago this April.
    New details, and gameplay footage are expected to be shown during a panel at the fan convention. Jedi: Fallen Order is developed by Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind Apex Legends, and will be the first major single-player game focused on lightsaber combat and Force powers since 2010's The Force Unleashed II.
    All that we know so far is that the game will put players in the shoes of a Jedi padawan who survived Order 66, although it has not been specified how long after the fall of the Jedi Order the game takes place. 
    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is set for release in Fall 2019.
    Principle filming for The Mandalorian has finished, according to the folks over at Disney.
    There is still no word on a release date for the new Star Wars TV show, which is set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, but new information is expected to be revealed at Star Wars Celebration in April.
    Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones) is playing the titular role of the Mandalorian, with supporting roles from Nick Nolte, Werner Herzog, Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), and Emily Swallow (Supernatural). Little else is currently known about the show, but producers previously teased that classic trilogy characters R5-D4 and IG-88 will make an appearance.
    The Mandalorian debuts on the Disney+ streaming service, later this year.
    We may still be months away from seeing Star Wars Episode IX, but that hasn't stopped disgruntled fans from leaving negative reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
    The reviews of the as yet unnamed final episode of the sequel trilogy, which make use of the "Want to See" feature of the movie review platform mainly air displeasure at the direction the sequels have taken, dislike of particular characters or plotlines, and criticism of Disney's leadership.
    Rotten Tomatoes have now removed the display of the "want to see" score across the website, after other franchises, including Captain Marvel were also hit by review bombing. In a statement they have said that "the 'Want to See' percentage score is often times confused with the 'Audience Score' percentage number." They also cited concerns about a rise in non-constructive feedback and trolling.
    For over a thousand years the Galactic Republic reigned unhindered, protected by Jedi Knights who swore to uphold peace and justice across the galaxy. But beneath the surface lay a shadowy faction bent on exacting their revenge.
     

    The Sith were an ancient order of dark-side welding Force-users. They were once numerous, commanding armies against the Republic until an all-out war resulted in their extinction… or so the Jedi thought.
    During a period that became known as the Hundred-Year-Darkness a former Jedi who was dissatisfied with the ways of the Jedi founded the Sith Order. The Sith believed in harnessing emotions such as anger to fuel their connection to the Force, and this drew them into conflict with their former brethren in the Force. The Sith were forced into exile by the Jedi, and settled on Moraband where they constructed huge temples and spread out, enslaving planets such as Malachor and Yavin 4.
    During the Jedi-Sith war, the Sith succeeded in capturing the Republic capital world of Coruscant, along with the Jedi Temple itself, but the ultimate downfall of this age of the Sith would be their own greed, as they turned on each other in their quest for power.
     
    Darth Bane

    At the conclusion of the Jedi-Sith War Darth Bane stood as the sole survivor of the Sith Lords. He realised that infighting had sealed their fate and allowed the Jedi to gain the upper hand in the conflict. Only by limiting their own numbers could the Sith survive: operating in the shadows to avoid attracting the attention of the Jedi. He enacted the Rule of Two, proclaiming that there could be only two Dark Lords of the Sith at one time; a master and an apprentice. This way the Sith would master every aspect of the Force and pass on their knowledge until they had finally achieved the power of immortality.
    They Jedi were fooled by this ploy, and believed that the oppression of the Sith had finally been vanquished.
     
    Darth Plagueis
    Centuries passed and the Sith Lords learnt much more about the Force. Darth Plagueis the Wise, as he would become known, mastered the secrets of manipulating the midichlorians to create life. This was a vital step in obtaining the immortality the Sith craved, and crucial to destroying the Jedi.
     
    Darth Sidious

    Plagueis’ own apprentice was well placed to further the Sith agenda. Darth Sidious, or Sheev Palpatine as he was known to the public, was born to a wealthy family from Naboo. With help from his master, Sidious rose through the political ranks to represent his homeworld in the Galactic Senate, where he saw it's corruption firsthand.
    When Sidious was certain his position of power was secured he secretly acquired his own apprentice from the Nightsisters of Dathomir, and killed his master while he slept.
    Using his political know-how he forced a conflict within the Republic while he played both sides: Sidious promised power to the greedy Trade Federation and orchestrated a blockage of his home planet of Naboo, while Palpatine gained favour in the Galactic Senate. His plan paid off and through his shrewd political dealings he positioned himself as Supreme Chancellor of the Republic.
    The Jedi spent considerable effort trying to crack the mystery of the Sith, but such was Sidious’ skill with the dark side of the Force he was able to conceal his identity from Jedi Council members, including Yoda and Mace Windu.
    By manipulating both sides of an escalating conflict, Sidious was able to gather more political support and stayed in power long past his term. When his identity was finally discovered and revealed, the Jedi rushed to stop him. Sidious proclaimed that this action was a Jedi plot to overthrow the Republic and declared that he would continue to serve the people as Emperor.
    Sidious personally issued Order 66, which commanded the clone army of the Republic to turn on the Jedi. With their ranks devastated, Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi engaged the Sith Lords but failed to topple them and were forced into exile leaving the Galactic Empire to rule the galaxy.
     
    Darth Maul

    Sidious raised his first apprentice from infancy to be a blunt weapon to hurl against the Jedi. The Zabrak, Darth Maul was fearsome to behold and was a highly skilled assassin and lightsaber duellist.
    When Jedi Knights whisked the Queen of Naboo away from danger during the Trade Federation blockade, Sidious sent Maul to track them down. The Sith revealed their existence and the Jedi were taken completely by surprise. Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn fell to Maul's blade, but his padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi avenged his death, slicing Maul in half and sending him plummeting down a reactor shaft.
    Maul wasn’t about to let a little thing like that stop him: clinging on to life through his rage, as he fell he used the Force to grab onto an air vent and escape death. After a decade of convalescence he formed his own criminal army known as the Shadow Collective, and in the chaos of the Clone War he conquered Mandalore. Unfortunately for Maul, his plans jeopardised those of his former master, and Darth Sidious confronted and defeated him.
    After losing Mandalore, Maul became the head of the criminal syndicate known as Crimson Dawn, and plotted against his former master and successive apprentices until he was thwarted by the Jedi Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger.
    Eventually, he would learn that Obi-Wan Kenobi had survived the Jedi Purge, and vowed to to destroy him for taking his true destiny from him, only this time Kenobi finished the job.
     
    Darth Tyranus

    To replace Maul, Sidious reached out to former Jedi Master Dooku, who had left the Jedi Order to reclaim his wealth and title of Count of Sorenno. Dooku had also seen the stagnation of the Republic and the arrogance of the Jedi. He became Darth Tyranus and helped his master orchestrate the secret creation of a clone army for the Republic, and oversaw a separatist movement to rise against the Republic.
    Tyranus was highly skilled with both a lightsaber and the Force and managed to escape the Jedi at the Battle of Geonosis, an event that was used to ignite the war that Sidious needed to accelerate the Sith plot.
    With Sidious leading the Galactic Republic and Tyranus leading the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the galaxy was soon embroiled in a civil war that spread the Jedi thin across the galaxy.
    Tyranus was wary of his master and secretly trained at least three apprentices of his own with the intention of overthrowing Sidious, and even tried to coax Obi-Wan Kenobi to his side.
    During the last years of the Clone War, Sidious engineered the kidnapping of his alter ego Chancellor Palpatine, and pitted Tyranus against the young Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker. Skywalker quickly overpowered the Sith Lord, and spurred on by Palpatine he killed Tyranus.
     
    Darth Vader

    When Qui-Gon Jinn discovered young Anakin Skywalker, he believed the boy to be the Chosen One of a Jedi prophecy that foretold the ultimate destruction of the Sith.
    Sidious watched with interest as Skywalker grew in the Force, safely ensconced within the Jedi Order. It would take years of careful grooming to win him to his side, so in the guise of Chancellor Palpatine, Sidious became a friend and confidant to Skywalker, all the while sowing seeds of distrust of the Jedi in his mind.
    After the defeat of Count Dooku, Skywalker discovered that Palpatine was really the Sith Lord the Jedi had been looking for all along. Sidious claimed that only he could prevent Anakin’s wife from certain death, but despite this Anakin told Jedi Master Mace Windu, who then took a contingent of Jedi Knights to face the Dark Lord of the Sith.
    Disobeying Windu’s order to remain at the Temple, Skywalker returned to the Chancellor's office to find Windu preparing to vanquish Palpatine. Sidious pleaded for Anakin to save him, convincing the him that this was all part of a plot to overthrow the Republic. Skywalker’s intervention lead to Windu’s death, and he took his place at Sidious’ side as Darth Vader.
    Vader's first task was to take a unit of clone troopers to the Jedi Temple and slaughter the Jedi that remained there.
    Vader was severely injured in his duel with his former master, Kenobi, but Sidious saved him and encased him in a specialised suit to preserve his life. He served as the Emperor's executor, operating mostly outside the Empire's regular chain of command, and hunting down Jedi who had slipped into hiding.
    Years later Vader found himself aboard the Empire’s new ultimate weapon, the Death Star, and faced and defeated Kenobi. A young man named Luke Skywalker gained fame amongst the rebel Alliance to Restore the Republic by rescuing rebel leader Princess Leia and destroying the Death Star. When Sidious and Vader learnt of “the son of Skywalker”, they vowed that he would be turned to the dark side or destroyed.
    Vader attempted to turn Skywalker to the dark side, intending to overthrow Sidious and rule the galaxy with his son at his side, but ultimately Skywalker refused and escaped. Vader obsessed over relocating Skywalker, and spent considerable resources on this goal.
    On Endor, as the Rebel Alliance mounted a mission to destroy the second Death Star, Vader was again confronted by Skywalker, who hoped to turn Vader back to the light side of the Force. Vader denied there was any conflict within him and turned Skywalker over to the Emperor as he had been ordered.
    True to form, the Emperor goaded Skywalker into fighting his apprentice. When Vader lay defeated Sidious offered Skywalker a place at his side, but he refused to turn to the dark side. As Vader watched as Sidious tortured his son with deadly Force lightning, he recognised the light that remained within him and turned against his master; throwing him to his death, taking irreparable damage to his suit in the process.
     
    With both master and apprentice perishing, the ancient line of the Sith Lords was finally broken and the Jedi prophecy fulfilled. Other dark side users would inevitably follow, but they could never claim to be a true Dark Lord of the Sith.
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