Just a few hours ago, the mid-season trailer for Star Wars Rebels hit the web revealing Ben Kenobi would not only appear, but come face to face with Maul, the former sith who killed his master Qui-Gon Jinn. Whether it’s through the force or an actual meeting on Tatooine remains unclear.
Lucasfilm Animation has confirmed to Comicbook.com that the actor voicing Ben Kenobi is none other than Stephen Stanton, a veteran in Lucasfilm animation and Lucasarts. It turns out this isn’t the first time he has provided the voice for Ben Kenobi as he voiced the character in the Disney Infinity 3.0 video game Stanton has provided the voices for both Mas Amedda and Admiral Tarkin in the animated series The Clone Wars and most recently voiced Admiral Raddus in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
When Ben Kenobi will make his Rebels debut is a mystery but based on the mid-season trailer for season two, my best guess is that it won’t be until the season (which first teased Kenobi in the premiere) culminates in the season finale.
Star Wars Rebels returns January 7, 2017, on DisneyXD.
The second fans saw the Star Destroyer in the first official teaser for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story it was evident the franchise was going back to its roots and using models for the Empires capital ships and blending them with modern CGI.
Now Model Effects Supervisor Russ Paulfrom takes you behind the scenes, offering a fascinating and in-depth explanation of how the model effects team rebuilt models from the original Star Wars and used parts from the same model kits to assemble the U-wing and the shield gate.
The back half of the third season of Star Wars Rebels is about to kick off with a two episode mid-season premiere featuring the Rebels debut of Saw Gerrera voiced by Forest Whitaker. Lucasfilm and DisneyXD have released an incredible trailer for the rest of season three and it looks astounding. While I have always enjoyed the series, much like Marvel and DC television, Rebels has felt rather limited (with the exception of the Ahsoka storyline) as to not take away from the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. That all changes now.
Star Wars Rebels returns January 7, 2017, on DisneyXD.
Some exciting news regarding the Young Han Solo standalone feature which will begin filming next month at Pinewood studios has hit the web. THR reports Woody Harrelson is in talks with Lucasfilm to join the project. The rumor floating around is that Harrelson will play a character that serves as a mentor to the young Solo played by Alden Ehrenreich.
Harrelson would be an incredible addition to what Kathleen Kennedy has described as a western with a color palette influenced by the paintings of Frederic Remington. Ehrenreich stars alongside Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and Emilia Clarke in a role that is currently unknown.
The film will be directed by The Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller with a script penned by Lawrence Kasdan and son Jon Kasdan. With cinematographer Bradford Young on board, the film has the potential to have a bold look and feel that could strike a perfect balance between humor and drama.
The Untitled Han Solo Story is slated to hit theaters May 25, 2018, however, it’s possible the film could be shifted to Holiday 2018. MakingStarWars.net claims to have a source in the theater industry that has received a release date for a Star Wars for December 13, 2018. While May was the home of Star Wars for many decades, Star Wars has become part of the holiday season in the new era and my hope is that it will continue. As a long time Star Wars fan, the return of the franchise has made my Christmas celebration even more special with my family these last two years.
Since the spring of last year, reports of extensive reshoots for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story loomed heavily over the production after Disney Executives were seemingly unsatisfied with the initial cut of the film delivered by Gareth Edwards. As a fan, I didn’t care exactly what was going to be reshot as long as you couldn’t tell and even though the reworking of the third act became apparent upon viewing the film as much of the action from the trailer was unfolding differently, I think we can all agree Lucasfilm made the right decisions to give us what I think is a borderline masterpiece as far as the third act goes.
But it wasn’t just the third act that was reworked. Leading up to the film’s release it was revealed that the character of Bodhi played by Riz Ahmed was a big part of the reshoots as Lucasfilm wanted to offer a bit more screentime to flesh out the Imperial defector. While speaking with Yahoo! UK, editors John Gilroy and Colin Goudie were asked about the reshoots and Gilroy revealed just exactly which scenes were added into the mix to flesh out not just Bodhi, by Cassian Andor played by Diego Luna as well:
“The story was reconceptualised to some degree, there were scenes that were added at the beginning and fleshed out. We wanted to make more of the other characters, like Cassian’s character and Bodhi’s character.
The scene with Cassian’s introduction with the spy, Bodhi traipsing through Jedha on his way to see Saw, these are things that were added. Also Jyn [Jyn Erso, the reluctant leader of the film, played by Felicity Jones], how we set her up and her escape from the transporter, that was all done to set up the story better.”
Funny enough, the beginning is where I think the film had its biggest flaws. While Cassian’s introduction was fantastic and worked perfectly — totally hooking me into his character — Bodhi’s introduction, on the other hand, was rushed and squeezed in between Cassian and adult Jyn’s introductions. We go from the trading outpost with Cassian to Jedha with Bodhi for a scene that clocks in at about one minute before jumping to Jyn’s rescue from the Imperial labor camp on Wobani. It’s just too much too fast. That and the biggest problem I think Rogue One has, which is most apparent with Bodhi, is that there far too much telling and not enough showing. We are told that Bodhi defected and that it was Galen who compelled him to do so. We are told about Jyn’s criminal past in her briefing from Mon Mothma after seeing her escape from imprisonment rather than showing what lead her to being in that cell in the first place. The adding of Jyn’s escape was extremely necessary, though. Had they jumped from young Jyn to her briefing at the Rebel base on Yavin 4 would have been even more jarring than the lack of the crawl.
My dreams that we would get to see some of that added exposition were dashed when Goudie was asked by Yahoo about the initial cut and how the length of that cut changed compared to the theatrical release:
“It was not much longer than the finished film. I think the first assembly was not far off actual release length. Maybe 10 minutes longer? I genuinely can’t remember because that was nearly a year ago now. There’s no mythical four hour cut, it doesn’t exist.”
While I’m not a fan of Warner Bros. releasing extended cuts of the DCEU films on blu-ray, I would eat up all the Star Wars I could get. I think Rogue One would actually benefit greatly from an extended cut. The film didn’t have much time to spend with the characters who I now love and it would be great to get to spend just a little more time with each and every one of them. Especially Cassian, that dude is rad.
Star Wars Live-action and CG animation collide in the latest promo for the two-hour midseason premiere of Star Wars Rebels. The promo teases the Rebels debut of Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), the rebel extremist who first appeared in the animated series The Clone Wars and later raised Jyn Erso after the death of her mother and capture of her father by the Empire.
Clone Wars gave us the origin of Gerrera but we didn’t get to see exactly how his extreme methods caused problems for the Rebel Alliance. It seems Gerrera is much to blame for the Rebellions reputation being a terrorist organization as described in Lost Stars. Hopefully, Rebels will color that in for us, as much as a children’s series can.
Star Wars Rebels returns January 7, 2017, with a special hour-long two-episode mid-season premiere on DisneyXD.
First, I have to start by saying I had an incredibly busy fall which prevented me from getting out to the theater as much as I would have liked to. Unfortunately, I have not seen many of the films which have garnered the most oscar buzz including Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or Highwater, Manchester by the Sea, La La Land, Arrival, Silence, The Edge of Seventeen, and Moonlight. Therefore, this list will be vastly different from the lists of many others although I’m sure it would be comprised of much of those titles had I seen them.
5. Kubo and the Two Strings
From Laika studios and first-time director Travis Knight comes a passionate love letter to storytelling itself. The film is an absolute must-see for all movie lovers and writers. Kubo features an incredible blend of CGI and stop-motion animation that will most likely be overlooked at the Oscars but deserves all the awards and praise it can get.
After a decade of championing the project, Ryan Reynolds finally brought Deadpool to fruition with director Tim Miller. The film which ended up becoming the highest grossing Rated-R film of all time was made on a modest budget of 58 million dollars and felt just as large as any Marvel or DC feature thanks to Miller’s VFX house Blur Studios doing much of the visual effects for free.
3. Sing Street
An incredible coming of age story of a young boy who finds his voice (pun intended), leading him to become a man and conquer his world. The film set in 1980’s Dublin features an incredible soundtrack of original songs written by director John Carney and singer-songwriter Gary Clark, sung by the film’s star Ferdia Walsh-Peelo.
2. Captain America: Civil War
The Russo Brothers once again prove themselves as the best Directors in the MCU. They do an incredible job balancing out both Team Cap and Team Iron Man throughout the film. The motivations are clear and the characters are provided equal screen time to support their sides of the argument. It doesn’t matter whether your Team Cap or Team Iron Man, you can absolutely understand the opposing side. What makes it so compelling is that both sides are right.
1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
No, Rogue One isn’t perfect. It suffers from a lack of characterization and some pacing issues but it still manages to come together in the end and serve as an incredible lead into A New Hope.The third act is a borderline masterpiece which delivers some of the greatest moments in Star Wars history. Never again will we look at the original Star Wars nor the Rebellion in the same way. The film itself opens the door to the limitless potential Lucasfilm has with standalone Star Wars features separate from the Skywalker saga.
After the tragic and untimely death of Carrie Fisher due to a major heart attack this past Tuesday, many actors, celebrities, and fans took to social media to outpour their heartache and support for Carrie’s family. Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron, the greatest pilot in the resistance led by Fisher’s Leia Organa in The Force Awakens reprises his role next December alongside Fisher and Mark Hamill in the next episode of the Skywalker Saga, the untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII. While it is still unknown whether or not Fisher and Hamill will share a scene, Isaac has shared a photo of the two huddled in costume on the backlot of Pinewood Studios that gives hope the space twins Luke and Leia will be reunited on screen come next December.
Isaac captioned the photo with some loving words of which he remembers Fisher and the impression she made on him in the few years he was lucky enough to know her:
“She had no patience for pretense or small talk. She saw through things, at a different angle, with the gritty wisdom that comes from the hardest lessons. And, man, did she make me laugh. Will miss you dearly, Carrie.”
The Star Wars character of Saw Gerrera who first appeared in The Clone Wars animated series and most recently in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — played by Forest Whitaker — is set to come full circle this January as he makes his debut on the DisneyXD animated series Star Wars: Rebels. But it seems Lucasfilm has further plans to develop Gerrera beyond Rebels in the future.
While speaking with Empire, President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy revealed we will see even more of the character in the future to come:
“To be honest, we originally thought we were going to develop Saw into something much larger, but we couldn’t accommodate it. So he is not in the movie as much as we would like to have him in the movie, which creates the opportunity to explore his character even further in our future development.”
“I’m curious about what else they’re about to do. Because they seem to really like the character, which is great!”
Whether it be a novel, comic, or some form of animation, there are several interesting points in Saw’s life that myself and surely many fans would like to see explored, one being the point in time (again, spoiler warning for Rogue One) when Saw is raising Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). Jones, who has a sequel clause built into her contract, is still locked into the franchise for a future appearance if Lucasfilm comes calling. While there is no chance of her magically returning from the dead, Lucasfilm still has the opportunity to go back and tell an animated story of how she was essentially raised as a soldier by Saw only for him to abandon her at the age of 16 for her own safety.
Another interesting storyline for Gerrera would be to see the downward spiral of his health unfold. In Rogue One we see him in good condition when he rescues Jyn but later when she is taken to him on Jedha he relies on a ventilator to breathe and sports a robotic foot.
Hopefully, we will also get to see Saw’s extremist tactics and how he became a public relations nightmare leading to him splintering off from the rebellion with his own faction.
The world mourns today as Star Wars’ most iconic heroine — the glue that held the rebellion together — Carrie Fisher, has passed away today at age 60 after suffering a major heart attack while on a transatlantic flight from London to Los Angeles on Friday.
Fisher’s death was confirmed at 8:55 a.m. PST by her daughter Billie Lourd in a statement released to both EW and People Magazine.
“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning. She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”
If I wasn’t so deeply saddened by the loss of Carrie I could go on and on about how much I love her but that isn’t what matters right now anyway. My heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to her family and friends.