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    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: July 2018.
     
    Newest Information
    Filming has now begun at Pinewood Studios near London.
    Lucasfilm has confirmed that they will use unused footage from The Force Awakens to allow the late Carrie Fisher to reprise her role as Leia.
    Billy Dee Williams is returning as Lando Calrissian, but it is unknown how large a role he will have.
    Richard E Grant and Naomi Ackie have been confirmed as new cast members.
     
    Production and Release
    Episode IX is currently set for release on 20 December 2019.
    Principal photography is due to begin in July 2018. 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 likely 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.
     
    Cast and Crew
    Cast confirmed:
    Daisy Ridley as Rey Adam Driver as Kylie Ren John Boyega as Finn Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron Lupita Nyong'o Domhnal Gleeson as 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 Richard E Grant Naomi Ackie Anthony Daniels as C-3P0 Jimmy Vee as R2-D2  
    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 will be used to allow the inclusion of Leia.
    Lucasfilm and Disney have big plans to continue the saga across all forms of media, but for many of us it is these blockbuster hits that are the most anticipated.
    This list will be updated regularly to show details of the upcoming instalments of the Star Wars saga on the big screen.
    Last update: March 2018.
     
    25 May 2018 - Solo: A Star Wars Story
    Directors: Ron Howard
    Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, Michael K Williams, Ian Kenny.
    Summary: The story will focus on the early career of Han Solo, with Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca also appearing. Woody Harrelson appears in a mentoring role. Filming began in January 2017 at Pinewood Studios, UK.
    Watch the official trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story.
     
    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.
     
    2020 - A Star Wars Story
    Director: To be confirmed
    Starring: To be confirmed
    Synopsis: 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.
     
    Unknown - New Star Wars Trilogy
    Director: Rian Johnson
    Starring: To be confirmed
    Synopsis: 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.
     
    Something terrible has happened.
    Let me start by putting one thing straight: It's okay to not like the new Star Wars films. It's okay to be upset about Disney's handling of the franchise. It's even okay to talk about it online - I am not disputing that.
    However, if you follow any Star Wars fan page across social media you will undoubtedly have come across the hostility that many people are aiming at other fans who have a differing opinion. This unfettered rage isn't even restricted to posts about the particular greivance they have with the franchise today; you will find these types of posts on anything vaguely Star Wars related.
    It seems clear to me that there is a toxic element in Star Wars fandom today, one that has reportedly driven Kelly Marie Tran to leave Instagram over the amount of abuse she has received from so-called fans. I'll reiterate: It's okay to not like The Last Jedi, it's even okay to not like certain fictional characters. What isn't okay is directing unsolicited abuse at the actor (regardless of their gender, race, or anythign else) - that's called bullying.
    At the very core of Star Wars, even in it's darkest times, is a story of hope. My personal experience of the Star Wars fandom over the years has been overwhelmingly positive: from my first moments on the now defunct official message boards, to attending Celebration and meeting a really call bunch of people, to the jubilant atmosphere of midnight releases. But I'm beginning to see the dark side of the community.
    I know people who enjoy the new Disney vision for Star Wars. I know people who don't like it, and that's fine: The wonderful thing about Star Wars is that it is such a vast universe that we don't all have to like the same things and I'm sure the majority of fans understand this.
    But it's high time we stood together - there is no place for toxic behaviour in the Star Wars community.
    The arrival of Solo: A Star Wars Story has been eagerly anticipated, but critic reviews are now pouring in following the star studded premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this week.
    Reviews so far have been mixed, but generally favourable, which seems about right for a new Star Wars release, but the real test will come when the film opens to fans on 25 May (24 May in the UK).
     
    New York Times branded the film "the usual galactic mayhem", saying that Solo answers many of the questions that you never asked, and ScreenRant called it solidly entertaining with a few surprises along the way.
    "Family friendly action" was The BBC's appraisal, who said that it ticks all the boxes, and Forbes said that the film opens up a whole new new corner of the Star Wars universe with a pure dose of adrenaline.
    Rolling Stone applauds Alden Ehrenreich for "upholding his end of the bargain" in portraying the titular scoundrel, but felt that the movie plays it way too safe.
    AV Club were less impressed, saying that Solo was "intellectual property unconvincingly arranged into the shape of a movie", while The Times claimed that the film was "devoid of ideas".
     
    Solo: A Star Wars Story is currently sitting at 72% on Rotten Tomatoes.
    Microsoft have announced that a new slew of classic Xbox titles will become compatible with their Xbox One console, including an impressive collection of Star Wars games which will join other titles in the Games On Demand section of the Xbox marketplace on 26 April 2018.
    The original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was previously added when the backwards compatible section was launched last year.
    You can find the full list of Star Wars games that will be available on Xbox Games On Demand below:
    Star Wars: Battlefront Star Wars: Battlefront II Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords Star Wars: Republic Commando  
    Additionally, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is available under the Xbox One X Enhanced series with updated graphics and visual effects.
    If you're looking for something a bit more recent, Xbox One titles Star Wars: Battlefront and Star Wars: Battlefront II are also available now.
    The second official trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story is here, and we've got a good feeling about this one!
    The new trailer gives us a better look at what the new anthology film is all about, and sees Han Solo meeting Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca for the first time.
    Take a look at the trailer and let us know what you think. Are you excited for Solo?
     
     
    Solo: A Star Wars Story will be released on 25 May 2018.
    A promotional tie-in for Solo: A Star Wars Story has introduced us to some great new characters we can expect to see, including the fantastically monickered Therm Scissorpunch, a crustacean-like alien with huge lobster claws for hands.
    But despite being derided as the dumbest name in Star Wars, Therm Scissorpunch is actually quite in-keeping with tradition if you only look a little.

    First up is everybody's favourite death stick dealer: Elan Sleazebaggano frequented the clubs of Coruscant before he left to rethink his life in Attack of the Clones. Although later retconned to Sel’Sabagno, Sleazebaggano is typical of the tongue-in-cheek naming convention we often see with background characters in Star Wars.
    Did you ever hear the tragedy of Notluwiski Papanoida? This background character appears in Revenge of the Sith in the corridors of the theatre. The name Notluwiski isn't too bad until you realise who the actor is: it's a cameo by George Lucas.
    Sith names also seem to be chosen for their thinly veiled meanings. Darth Maul was trained to be a weapon, and was named after one. Sidious has an unavoidable similarity to the word “insidious”, which means to act in a subtle but harmful way; much like how Palpatine chips away at the old Republic. Even Plagueis has connotations of ill intent.

    In The Clone Wars animated series, Count Dooku takes a secret apprentice with the not too subtle name of Savage Opress. There are no prizes for guessing what his endgame is.
    It would be easy to see these seemingly ridiculous names as a feature of modern Star Wars movies, but they are present in the classic Star Wars trilogy too.

    Return of the Jedi is full of interesting characters, like the elephant-like Ephant Mon, Droopy McCool of the Max Reebo band, and let's not forget Jabba the Hutt’s jester Salacious B Crumb. And if individual characters aren't enough for you you could always speak to Admiral Akbar, a member of the aquatic Mon Calamari species.
    Perhaps Starkiller was a bit too on-the-nose for the boy who destroys the Death Star, but these other names do make you wonder why they bothered to change it to Skywalker!
     
    We eagerly await the release of Therm Scissorpunch: A Star Wars Story.
     
    In the meantime, Solo: A Star Wars Story debuts on 25 May 2018 in the US and 24 May in the UK.
     
    There's no denying that Solo: A Star Wars Story has been somewhat divisive amongst the fan base, and one of the sources of controversy is the creative liberties that have been taken with the design of the Millennium Falcon.
    Does the new design (okay, so technically it's an older design) add to the rich backstory of the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, or is it just a shameless merchandising cash grab? Well, whichever side of the fence you're on we're here to take a look at what's going on with our favourite YT-1300 freighter.

     
    At the time of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the Millennium Falcon was owned by Lando Calrissian, who has kept the ship in pristine condition with a gleaming white and blue paint job. Even the interior is in good order; not a missing panel or trailing power cable in sight.

     
    The most immediately obvious thing about this design is that instead of the iconic forward mandibles we have a longer, tapered nose cone.
    The forward area has long been believed to be used for cargo transport and storage. After all, the Millennium Falcon is a freighter. Perhaps the cargo hold used to be much bigger and damage forced a reconfiguration of the forward area? It's also possible that either Calrissian installed the streamlined cone as an aesthetic modification, or Han Solo removes it as part of the special modifications he makes to the ship himself.
    Another theory is that the cone is actually some sort of secondary vessel or escape pod. This doesn't seem to be an entirely new idea, however, as seen in this unreleased Kenner mini rig concept from the 1980s.

     
    Other differences include a single dorsal cannon instead of the famous quad cannons, and a sensor dish that lies flat against the hull of the ship. Maybe they just forgot the retract it during that attack run on the second Death Star, eh?
    The Hasbro set released to accompany the movie features removable panels revealing a more worn surface below the paintwork, hinting that the Millennium Falcon is not likely to reach the end of Solo in the same condition we see in the trailers.
     
    Solo: A Star Wars Story hits cinemas in the UK on 24 May 2018, and across the US on May 25.
    Galactic Basic is run by volunteers, and we are in need of people to help create new content for the website and grow our community.
    Whether you are a long-time supporter of Galactic Basic or a newcomer, as long as you have a love of Star Wars, a passion for community, and a small amount of free time each week we'd be glad to have you on board.
    For more information or to apply, please contact me.
     
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    We would like to publish articles about upcoming movies, books, games, and more. You don't need to cover everything; if you just want to focus on a particular type of content or even a specific series that is fine with us.
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    Your submitted content will be credited to you.
    While wading through the treacherous universe of the Star Wars saga, you will inevitably have come across the word "canon", but just what does that mean?
     
    What is Canon?
    The short answer is that Star Wars Canon is the official story of the Star Wars universe.
    The longer, more specific answer, is that the official canon consists of the Star Wars movies, The Clone Wars and Rebels animated TV shows, and any material published after 25th April 2014. 
    There are a few exceptions to the above rule, and how we got here needs a little more explanation.
     
    The Expanded Universe
    Shortly after Disney acquired Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise, the Lucasfilm Story Group was created to redefine canon by decided which stories and events are officially recognised as being the true story of Star Wars. As a result, the vast majority of the Star Wars Expanded Universe (now known as Star Wars Legends) was stripped of it's canon status.
    If you're not familiar with the Expanded Universe, it was a multi-layered monster of interconnected stories, some of which were more important than others. George Lucas and Lucasfilm did not originally set any standards when it came to canon, so by the early 1990s that job had been taken on by the publishing division, Lucas Licensing.
    Unlike the equal status of the current canon, the Expanded Universe has several levels:
    G-canon (standing for George or Gospel, depending on who you ask) included the movies themselves, and any statements or explanation from George Lucas himself. Anything that contradicted the movies was definitely not canon. T-canon was created for The Clone Wars television series, and would have included other television projects, had they materialised. C-canon, or Continuity canon, formed the bulk of the Expanded Universe. Novels, comics, games, cartoons, and television movies usually fell into this category. S-canon is secondary canon, and was usually older material that predated efforts to ensure continuity. It was mainly used for reference where it wasn't contradicted by something higher up the list. Many older stories were promoted to C-canon. D-canon was used for material from the Star Wars Detours animated series. N-canon was not considered canon, such as the Infinities stories.  
    It's worth noting that George Lucas never considered the Expanded Universe to be part of his vision for Star Wars, and described the movies and the EU as being two separate worlds.
    So there you have it, you are now fully armed to explore the Star Wars universe and know whether you are reading official canon or not!
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