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Star Wars News & Features

News and information from a Galaxy Far Far Away, and sometimes a little closer to home.

    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.
    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.
    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.
     
    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!
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