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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!
    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.
    Star Wars: The Old Republic: Onslaught will be the MMO's first new expansion for three years, and is coming free to all subscribers in September 2019.
    The expansion see Darth Malgus return, and promises to reignite the war between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire and brings two new planets, as well as a new Flashpoint on Corellia and a new Operation on Dxun amongst other features. The new story sends players to the Republic world of Onderon and the smuggler's haven of Mek-Sha.
    The philosophy behind the expansion is said to be "play your way", with the development team introducing new tactical items that allow you to further customise your character and abilities to suit your gameplay style. You will also be able to choose to undermine your own faction or stay loyal their cause.
    Additionally the level cap will be raised to 75 (free accounts can play to level 50), and the Nautolan species will also become available to players creating a new character.
    Visit the official Star Wars: The Old Republic site for the full announcement.

    The Clone Wars season 7 updates

    By Andy, in Television,

    When Star Wars: The Clone Wars was cancelled by the our Disney overlords in 2014, it was almost universally decried as a bad move. The much loved animated series had lasted for six seasons and there were still many untold stories. Unlike a lot of expanded universe material at the time, The Clone Wars became part of the new canon timeline, and in 2018 it was announced that the series would return with a new season on the new streaming service Disney Plus.
    Now, at Celebration Chicago we have had new information about the upcoming series, along with some concept art that can be found on the official site. 
    During the panel saw a clip of fan favourite Ahsoka Tano venturing into the depths of Coruscant's infamous level 1313 (mostly infamous amongst fans for the cancelled video game). Ahsoka herself has had a costume redesign, bridging the gap between her Clone Wars outfit and her appearance in Star Wars Rebels. 
    Darth Maul is also set to return with a new look that is closer to his appearance in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and he will have an epic lightsaber duel with Ahsoka. Ray Park who played the Sith Lord in The Phantom Menace returned to provide the motion capture for the fight to ensure the battle's authenticity.
    One of the highlights for Dave Filoni was completing the Siege of Mandalore, which was a storyline that had grow from ideas forged with George Lucas before the show was cancelled, and he credited Lucas for laying the foundation for the series and mentoring him. 
    A new trailer was also shown at the end of the panel, which you can see in full below. It doesn't look like the trailer has been published on it's own yet so if you're only interested in the trailer you'll want to skip through to around 52 minutes in.
     

    New images from The Mandalorian

    By Andy, in Television,

    The first season of The Mandalorian will be available to Disney Plus subscribers as soon as it launches on 12 November 2019, it has been announced. A second series has already been ordered by Lucasfilm.
    New images (see below) have also been released, and attendees at Celebration Chicago were treated to some behind the scenes footage and an exclusive clip of the Jon Favreau live-action Star Wars TV show, that were cut from the live stream, but there was no official trailer shown.
    The Mandalorian follows a mysterious lone gunfighter (played by Pedro Pascal) on the outer reaches of the galaxy, about five years after the Battle of Endor seen in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. The titular character's true name is unknown, and he is said to be of "questionable moral character". 
    Gina Carano will play a former Rebel shock trooper named Kara Dune, with Carl Weathers portraying Greef Marka who heads up a guild of bounty hunters.  Werner Herzog appears to be some kind of Imperial administrator who hires the Mandalorian for a mission. Other supporting cast members include Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, and Nick Nolte.
    The show is said to have a Western feel to it and Favreau has said he would include elements from other parts of the Star Wars universe such as the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series, and has he has also taken some inspiration from the Star Wars Legends expanded universe. 
     




    The galaxy-wide premiere of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was presented at Celebration today, with Respawn Entertainment CEO Vince Zampella, Game Director Stig Asmussen, and their team dishing out the details for their new single-player game coming later this year.
    With only seven months to go, fans have been clamouring for some footage, and we've finally been treated to a trailer, which you can find further down the page, and new information about the story and it's main character.
    The game follows Jedi padawan Cal Kestis (played by Gotham's Cameron Monaghan, who joined the developers on stage) who survived the Order 66 and has been keeping his head down, hiding from the Empire in plain sight as a scrapper on the planet Braka, salvaging old warships and debris left behind by The Clone War. When his cover is blown he is forced to go on the run from the Empire's Purge Troopers and the Inquisitors.
    New planets and characters have been developed for the game, and the team wanted the combat to be authentic and meaningful. The lightsaber content will be easy to pick up but with a layer of depth that could mean it is difficult to fully master. This may mean it is similar to the lightsaber combat found in Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. When asked about Cal's lightsaber the response was "how do you know it's Cal's lightsaber?" The lightsaber is said to be integral to the story, and will "grow and evolve" as the story progresses.
    Cal will be accompanied by a "buddy droid", BD-1, who is a small companion with whom Cal has a boy-and-his-dog type relationship. BD-1's voice was created by Ben Burtt who also created R2D2's voice, amongst many other iconic sounds of the classic trilogy. Cal also has a mentor to share his adventure with, a former Jedi Knight played by actress Debra Wilson.
    One of Cal's primary rivals is the Second Sister Inquisitor, who along with the Purge Troopers was developed specifically for Jedi: Fallen Order but has already been seen in Marvel's Darth Vader comic series. The Purge Troopers are trained to fight Jedi using a weapon similar to the electrostaffs used by General Grievous' guards in Revenge of the Sith; they respond to Jedi sightings and investigate before the far less numerous Inquisitors are dispatched to the scene.
    Confirming recent leaks from people involved in the game's development it was announced that Fallen Order is a single-player only story driven game with no microtransactions, and that it was built in Unreal Engine 4, rather than EA's proprietary and much maligned game engine Frostbite 3, which has been a source of frustration for players of other recently released games such as Anthem.
    The team that has been brought together to work on the game have come from a mix of backgrounds, having worked on games such as Uncharted, God of War, and Metal Gear. They are all big fans of Star Wars and were committed to ensuring that they remain faithful to the universe and treated the source material with respect.
    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will be released on Xbox, PS4, and PC on 15 November 2019.
    The official title of  Star Wars Episode IX has been revealed as: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!
    The title was revealed during the Episode IX panel at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago today, along with a teaser trailer for the film which hits the big screen in just eight months time. 
    I won't drone on about it now, check out the trailer below and let us know what you think!
     
    A poster for the upcoming Respawn Entertainment game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has been leaked on Amazon, after a t-shirt bearing the image was apparently listed early.
    The product has since been removed, but comes ahead of the world premiere of the game at Celebration this weekend.
    The image features an unidentified Jedi standing against a backdrop of a crashed Republic star destroyer, while a droid scans a rock formation which is likely to be the carving in the teaser image posted earlier this week.

     
    Jedi: Fallen Order is set for release in fall 2019. More details coming very soon!
    Star Wars Celebration gets under way this Thursday in Chicago, and we are eagerly awaiting an end to the information drought that has prevailed for what seems like forever.
    With several big projects in the works, and several trailers highly anticipated, we break down the schedule of panels at this year's Celebration to pick out the top panels we think are most likely to reveal the juiciest details about the future of Star Wars
     
    Star Wars Episode IX
    When: Friday, 12 April 2019 at 11am
    Where: Celebration Stage
    We are counting down the months to Star Wars Episode IX, and we still don't even know what the official title of the final episode of the saga us. We fully expect a the title to become apparent during this panel and we are sure to see the first Episode IX teaser trailer, which will undoubtedly drop onto YouTube shortly afterwards. President of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy and director JJ Abrams will be on stage to present the promised "plenty of surprises and special guests".
     
    The Galaxy-Wide Premier of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
    When: Saturday, 13 April 2019 at 1.30pm
    Where: Celebration Stage
    Vince Zampella and Stig Asmussen, the head of Respawn Entertainment, and Jedi: Fallen Order Game Director, respectively will finally dish out the details on the much anticipated single-player action adventure game. Again, surprises have been promised, so we're hoping for a trailer or gameplay footage and some more information about how the character fits in to the lore of the Jedi Knights, post-Order 66.
     
    Books & Comics panels
    Lucasfilm Publishing Panel
    When: Friday, 12 April 2019 at 4.45pm
    Where: Twin Suns Stage
    Lucasfilm's Michael Siglain hosts a discussion about new and upcoming Star Wars stories with sneak peeks and announcements about future publications. Appearances are expected by Jeffrey Brown, Zorida Cordova, Delilah Dawson, Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, EK Johnston, Cavan Scott, Timothy Zahn, and more.
    Del Rey Books - Behind the Scenes
    When: Saturday, 13 April 2019 at 12.45pm
    Where: Twin Suns Stage
    Authors Claudia Gray, Timothy Zahn, Alexander Freed, Delilah S Dawson, and Cavan Scott join Star Wars audiobook narrator Marc Thompson to discuss current projects and preview other books on the publishing horizon.
    Marvel Comics Presents Star Wars
    When: Saturday 13 April at 2.30pm
    Where: Twin Suns Stage
    Writers Greg Pak and Ethan Sacks join other guests from Marvel Comics to explore fan favourite comics of the past, with a look at their more recent work and a glimpse of things to come.
     
    Television panels
    The Mandalorian
    When: Sunday, 14 April 2019 at 11am
    Where: Celebration Stage
    Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni host a special panel dedicated to the upcoming Disney+ series The Mandalorian. With a release set for September this year, we are eager for some more information and behind the scenes footage; and dare we ask for a trailer? 
    Star Wars: The Clone Wars Sneak Peek
    When: Sunday, 14 April 2019 at 3.30pm
    Where: Celebration Stage
    Dave Filoni brings special guests with him to celebrate the return of the much-loved animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and gives us a look at things to come.
    Star Wars Resistance Season Two Sneak Peek
    When: Monday, 15 April 2019 at 1.30pm
    Where: Galaxy Stage
    The Executive Producers of Star Wars Resistance, Justin Ridge, Athena Portillo, and Brandon Auman, bring special guests to take a look back at the first season of the show including it's shocking finale, and bring you a preview of second series of the animated show.
     
    Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series
    When: Friday, 12 April 2019 at 1.30pm
    Where: Celebration Stage
    For those who don't know, Vader Immortal is an upcoming series of VR experiences that will see you venture into Darth Vader's fortress on Mustafar. The team from ILMxLAB and Oculus will be on hand to tell you more about this first foray into a new way to tell stories in a galaxy far far away.
    EA's flagship Star Wars game Battlefront II has added a new multiplayer game mode today with Capital Supremacy.
    Capital Supremacy sees opposing teams fight for control of five command posts on the ground, each of which reward the controlling team with reincforcements to bolster their position. Once a team has gathered enough reinforcements transport ships will be spawned, allowing the team to attack the enemy capital ship and win the match.
    The first map is based on Geonosis, and is a brand new map that will be unfamiliar to players. As the new Capital Supremacy game mode is set within the Clone Wars era, players on side of the Republic will need to bring down a Separatist Dreadnought, while those fighting for the Confederacy will need to take out the Republic Attack Cruiser.
    Heroes for the Republic include Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, and Chewbacca, with new Infiltrator-class Republic ARC Troopers providing reinforcements. The Seperatists are include General Grievous, Count Dooku, Darth Maul, and Bossk, with BX Commando Droids helping defend their command posts.
    The update also includes improved lightsaber combat, and you can read more in the offical patch notes here.
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