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Star Wars News & Features

News and information from a Galaxy Far Far Away, and sometimes a little closer to home.
    It was recently announced at C2E2 that a three-issue comic series by Phil Noto that would tie into Rogue One: A Star Wars Story would be released later this year. Now it appears that Marvel have cancelled the series, with retailers hoping to stock the series having been told that their orders will now not be filled.
    According to Bleeding Cool, the main reason behind the cancellation is rewrites. With the challenge of writing and illustrating a comic that links directly to a movie that isn't out yet, which has itself undergone reshoots and editing, ensuring a solid story that connects seamlessly has proven to be too much for the comic book creative team within the time and budgetary constraints they were given. 
    Perhaps after Rogue One's release the team will revisit the series to fill in the extra details fans were promised, but until then the comic is no longer available to pre-order.

    Plug pulled on Disney Infinity

    By Andy, in Gaming,

    Disney have announced that it's toys-to-life game platform Disney Infinity will be retired this year. The move is somewhat shocking given the platform's popularity with collectors and it's potential for expansion, with several projects being canned as a result.
    Disney Infinity 3.0 introduced Star Wars to the family of characters already available, and developers were reportedly working on content to be introduced alongside upcoming spin-off movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as well as new 12-inch premium figures that would have extra in-game features as well as new physical attributes such as built-in lighting.
    The toys-to-life market has been growing crowded recently, with Activision's Skylander's remaining popular and relative newcomer Lego Dimensions also filling up toy store shelves. 
    The last figures to be released for the system will be three characters from Alice Through the Looking Glass and a Finding Dory playset coming in June 2016, so sadly there will be no new Star Wars additions to come.
    Alden Ehrenreich has fought off the competition to be crowned as the "new" face of Han Solo.
    The 26-year-old actor known for his recent roles in Beautiful Creatures and Hail, Caesar! will portray the fan-favorite smuggler in Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's currently untitled young Han Solo spin-off film.
    The Han Solo movie will be the second spin-off film, after Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and will be released between the main saga debuts of Star Wars Episode VIII and IX. On Wednesday, director Christopher Miller tweeted that he can't wait to start filming.
    Little is known about the story line for the Han Solo film, save that it features Han Solo in his twenties. With the old Expanded Universe out of the way, anything could happen, although it would be hard to resist a Boba Fett or Lando Calrissian reference in there somewhere.
    The Han Solo movie is currently set for release on 25 May 2018.
    Prince William and Prince Harry have reportedly filmed cameo appearances for Star Wars Episode VIII during a private tour of the set of the upcoming Star Wars sequel at Pinewood Studios last week.
    You won't recognise them though, as they are both reportedly dressed as First Order stormtroopers, similar to James Bond actor Daniel Craig's appearance in The Force Awakens.
    The Duke of Cambridge and his younger brother also met with actors of the film, apparently receiving wookiee-hugs from Chewbacca, leading Mark Hamill to comment that "if I went towards royalty with my arms outstretched I would get arrested". The Royals also dueled with lightsabers and posed in a starfighter that looks suspiciously like an A-wing, last seen in Return of the Jedi.
    A source told the Mail on Sunday that the Princes appear in an elevator scene with Benicia del Toro’s character which sees Rey and Finn infiltrate a secret base. After filming, Prince William reportedly delivered a birthday cake to a stunned crew member while still wearing his sotrmtrooper outfit.
    This article contains potential spoilers; read on at your own risk!
    The Star Wars Episode VIII rumor mill has received further fuel to the fire after an alleged plot line has leaked onto the internet. Sceptics remain unconvinced, but the premise of this leaked plotline does seem to back up previous hints that director Rian Johnson's vision for Episode VIII was going to result in new concepts not seen in Star Wars before.
    The big rumor this time concerns the origins of Dasy Ridley's character Rey, whose origins have already been subject to much speculation. The reason given for Rey's mysterious parentage is because she is "a child of the Force", like Anakin Skywalker.
    The rumor also states that there would be no mention of midiclorians so there is no need to panic on that front, but Rey may be a reincarnation of the Chosen One. Apparently Luke first travels to the original Jedi Temple where he is found in The Force Awakens to research and better understand the phenomenon, where he communes with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.
    It is implied that the Chosen One is repeatedly reborn by the Force, and always has the potential to fall to the Dark Side, as happened with Anakin Skywalker. Rey being a child of the Force explains why she already appears to be quite powerful even without any training, just as Anakin was able to win a podrace and down a Trade Federation cruiser in The Phantom Menace, using his instincts.
    As always, these rumors have not been confirmed by anybody official, and are unlikely to garner any attention from Disney or Lucasfilm representatives, and should be taken with a pinch of salt.
    Daisy Ridley, the actress who portrays Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars Episode VIII has revealed that she knows the identities of her characters parents, as she put an end to speculation that Rey's mother would be Jyn Erso from upcoming anthology film Rogue One.
    There has been much speculation surrounding the Rey's parentage, and this has remained one of the unanswered mysteries of the Star Wars sequels. Additionally, director JJ Abrams added further fuel to the fire by revealing that Rey's parents are apparently not present in The Force Awakens. Abrams remained cryptic about the truth, however, stating only that "I can’t possibly say in this moment who they are. But I will say it is something that Rey thinks about, too."
    This would appear to rule out the big three, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo, meaning that Rey and Kylo Ren may not be related as many fans have speculated.
    Update: JJ Abrams has since clarified his statement by telling Entertainment Weekly that Rey "doesn’t discover [her parents] in Episode VII. Not that they may not already be in her world". So, it is once again open season on speculation in that area.
    Despite claiming to know who Rey's parents are Ridley does not seem to think it is that big a deal anyway, instead focusing on the story of Rey finding her own place in the present. Star Wars Episode VIII is said to have a darker tone than The Force Awakens, but has not revealed whether her character will indeed become a fully-fledged Jedi after her meeting with Luke Skywalker.
    Rogue One is due in cinemas 16 December 2016, with Star Wars Episode VIII releasing on 15 December 2017.

    Rogue One trailer analysis

    By Andy, in The Movies,

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first of the Star Wars anthology films coming this December, but true to the form we saw with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, secrecy is rife and much is still unknown about the film. Here's a breakdown of the Rogue One teaser trailer that was released earlier this week with screen-grabs and commentary, and perhaps a little wishful thinking sprinkled in for good measure.

    Rogue One has a strong female lead in Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), who is introduced to us as a renegade. She first appears to us in cuffs, a captive of the Rebel Alliance, and lead through a base that very clearly resembles the Alliance base on Yavin IV, last seen in the climax of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

    Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly, who also portrayed Mon Mothma in a Revenge of the Sith deleted scene) is seemingly trying to recruit Erso as an Alliance operative to join a ragtag band of misfits - a Rogue Squadron, one might say - as they take on a special mission to uncover the details of the Empire's latest weapon.

    There's no tiptoeing around here: The Death Star is nearing completion, and we are shown part of the primary superlaser being lowered into place while a fleet of tiny one-mile-long Star Destroyers stand guard.

    Erso's partner on this misision (played by Diego Luna) is currently an unknown character, but it looks like he already has a history with the Alliance, and carries with him a swagger reminiscent of The Force Awakens' Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac).

    Ben Mendelsohn's character appears in a crisp white Imperial uniform. Little is known about this Imperial officer, but it has been speculated that he is part of the Imperial Security Bureau. In the now-defunct Expanded Universe, a uniform similar to this was worn by Imperial Grand Admirals, but this is unlikely to have been carried over to the new canon.

    Forest Whitaker is allegedly portraying a bounty hunter, and again, not much is known about his character, but his voice-over for the remainder of the trailer is clearly warning somebody of the consequences of their actions.

    A new type of black-armored stormtrooper is shown in an unknown location. There is a moisture vaporator in the background, but the landscape seems rocky and green rather than the sand dunes of Tatooine. It may be worth a mention that the video game Dark Forces, which featured a now non-canon version of the mission to retrieve the Death Star plans, featured Dark Troopers, black-armored droid stormtroopers.

    Jyn Erso and her partner (oh, please let him be Kyle Katarn) run through an Imperial facility, accompanied by a droid rumored to be Alan Tudyk's character. We can't see at this point whether they are running from the masses of Imperial troops that seem to be following them, or whether they are all fleeing from something else.

    Unsurprisingly, Donnie Yen's character is a melee fighter, who uses martial arts to defeat a large group of stormtroopers. If you've ever seen the Ip Man films then you probably already knew Yen's character was going to be a bad-ass, and smacking stormtroopers around without a lightsaber or a blaster certainly fits the bill.

    A cloaked figure walks towards some sort of large misty glowing tube, and the red-robed Imperial Guards are a sure sign that Emperor Palpatine is nearby. The cloaked figure does not seem to be Palpatine himself and wears a hood unlike Darth Vader.

    AT-ATs, also known as Imperial Walkers, make a welcome return to action as they fire at our heroes as the flee what looks like an Imperial bunker; probably the same one we saw rebels and Imperials alike racing through earlier in the trailer. The terrain appears to be somewhat tropical, and could be the same planet we saw the black stormtrooper on.

    The trailer finishes with Jyn Erso in a TIE fighter pilot suit. Rogue One is shaping up to be an action-packed opening for the Star Wars spin-off films, although a couple of notable absences are Mads Mikkelsen's character, and the rumored appearances of Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin. But this is just the first teaser trailer, and we are sure to find out more in the coming months.
    Rogue One will be released on 16 December 2016.
    The official trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is here at last. Rogue One is the first of Disney and Lucasfilm's spin-off anthology films, and is directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). The movie is set shortly before the events of the original 1977 movie, now titled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. and features the rebel mission to retrieve the plans for the Empire's first Death Star.
    Rogue One will be released on 16 December 2016.
    Erik Bauersfeld, the voice actor that brought to life some of Return of the Jedi's most memorable characters, has died aged 93.
    When he joined Star Wars, Bauersfeld already had an extensive career in voice work in his role at a San Francisco radio station, before working with Lucasfilm on a radio drama where he got the chance to audition for the voice of Yoda, a role that went to Frank Oz.
    "It's a trap!" became a pop culture catchphrase after Bauersfeld's performance as the voice of Alliance commander, Admiral Ackbar. He also provided the voice for Jabba the Hutt's aide, the Twi'lek Bib Fortuna. 
    Bauersfeld returned to voice Admiral Ackbar in several other projects, including Star Wars: X-Wing in 1993 and more recently returned as a cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
    To coincide with the finale of Star Wars Rebels season 2, Disney-Lucasfilm Press has announced a new young adult novel featuring one of the show's favourite characters, Ahsoka Tano.
    Ahsoka is a brand new story featuring the character who was originally introduced to fans in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series. The novel is set after Order 66 and will serve to fill in part of the gap between the end of the Clone Wars, during which she was the padawan of Anakin Skywalker and eventually left the Jedi Order, and Rebels, which saw her anticipated return as a Rebel operative.
    Dave Filoni, Executive Producer and Supervising Director of Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars had this to say to fans: "Ahsoka has a long history, and there is much more to it than the fans know. I have always worked on her story, even parts that I know we will probably never see on screen. By broadening her story from the animated series to the written page, I feel we have a real opportunity to provide fans with details about her character that they would not know otherwise. We are also responding to the strong fan support that we have seen Ahsoka receive over the last eight years."
    Ahsoka by EK Johnston will be released on 11 October 2016.
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