Welcome back. We hope you all had fun celebrating the 40th anniversary of Star Wars last week. Did you commemorate it by re-watching A New Hope? Was there a Wookiee costume involved? No matter what, we hope it was grand. (If you didn’t get enough 40th anniversary celebrations, please do delve into what StarWars.com did for the event.) Yet while fans were reflecting on the franchise’s past glories, there were plenty of folks planning its future. Read on for all the best news and rumors about what’s coming soon to the galaxy far, far way.
The Last Jedi Could Be the Most Shocking Star Wars Movie Yet
Source: A promotional poster for Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Probability of Accuracy: It depends how much one can rely on someone else’s translation skills.
The Real Deal: So, apparently, the Japanese posters for Star Wars: The Last Jedi reveal that something very dramatic happens in the next installment of the Skywalker Saga. A “roughly” translated version of the promotional poster for the new movie teases “the most shocking truth in Star Wars history will soon be revealed.” On the one hand, this shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise since Last Jedi is routinely being compared to The Empire Strikes Back, home of the biggest reveal of the franchise to date. But on the other, how do you come up with a “shocking truth” that seems bigger than the one in Empire? Is this hyperbole, or is Last Jedi going to end up revealing something no one saw coming? Fans will have to wait until December to find out.
A New Hive of Scum and Villainy
Source: Lucasfilm and related entities
Probability of Accuracy: It’s as accurate as vague teases can get, if that helps.
The Real Deal: When it comes to Last Jedi reveals, Vanity Fair owned the internet last week thanks to a special issue that included the first looks at characters from the new movie, courtesy of Annie Leibovitz, and a number of features offering new info about the story. For example, Finn and newcomer Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) will go “behind enemy lines” in a place called Canto Bight, which director Rian Johnson described as “a playground, basically, for rich assholes.” It’s there that they’ll meet Benicio Del Toro’s unnamed “shady character,” who has the unofficial name DJ, something Johnson says has “a reason” behind it. Does he spin records, or should we be conscious that “Darth” starts with the letter D? Canto Bight, according to Lucasfilm Story Group exec Pablo Hidalgo, will feature “some people who have managed to carve out a life for themselves where they can live apart from the galactic struggle. They found a way to live above it or beyond it. There’s a class of wealthy that have helped build all sorts of loopholes in society that will always ensure that they’ll survive or even thrive no matter what else is happening out there.” So, could Last Jedi have a moment where the one percent of the galaxy far, far way get a rude awakening? That’d be unexpected.
There’s a Leia-Centric Episode IX No One Will Ever See
Source: Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy
Probability of Accuracy: Whatever Kennedy says is gospel truth.
The Real Deal: Also revealed in the Vanity Fair piece was something many had suspected: The as-yet-untitled Star Wars: Episode IX had to be reworked following Carrie Fisher’s death because Leia was at the center of the movie. “She was having a blast,” Kennedy said of Fisher’s time shooting The Last Jedi. “The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ Because Harrison was front and center on VII, and Mark is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.” One thing that’s not on the table, Kennedy confirms, is a CGI Leia. Despite Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One, she said, “we don’t have any intention of beginning a trend of re-creating actors who are gone.” Well, that’s good to hear. (One day, though, we hope Lucasfilm will open up about the original plans for Episode IX.)
Rey Is Probably Going to Keep That Blue Lightsaber
Source: The man who keeps track of Lucasfilm’s continuity concerns
Probability of Accuracy: This is from another vague tease, so be warned.
The Real Deal: One last thing from Vanity Fair: the backstory of Rey’s lightsaber—and just why it is Rey’s lightsaber. “In general, a lightsaber belongs to the person who constructed it,” Pablo Hidalgo explained. “In The Force Awakens, Maz says that the saber is calling to Rey now. Whether or not it’s literally calling to her to become hers or it’s calling to her because she knows it will be taken back to Luke—we’ll see.” It did slip out, however, that Lucasfilm considers the blue lightsaber to be Rey’s now. That lightsaber, of course, originally belonged to Anakin, only for it to be passed on to Luke in the original movie and then lost during the climactic battle in Empire Strikes Back, before showing up again in The Force Awakens. (Got all that?) According to Lucasfilm, Luke’s lightsaber is the one he built for himself before Return of the Jedi, which was green instead of blue. (That change was purely practical: It needed to be a color that would stand out against the sky during the Tatooine scenes at the start of the movie. “As much as we like to mythologize why it’s green and what that all signifies,” Hidalgo said, “sometimes there are very pragmatic filmmaking reasons behind these things.”) But where is that lightsaber? Hidalgo was purposefully vague: “We take to heart the lesson that Obi-Wan tried to impart to Anakin: ‘This weapon is your life,’” he said. “We’re not ones to lose track of lightsabers.”
The Comic Book Return of the Jedi (and the Robot, and the Spy)
Source: Official Marvel announcements
Probability of Accuracy: If you can’t trust the PR department, who can you trust?
The Real Deal: Meanwhile, in rare non-Last Jedi news, Marvel Entertainment will release not one, but two new Star Wars comic books this summer. Not only will Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu return in a five-issue series, appropriately titled Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic—Mace Windu, but there’s also going to be a Rogue One prequel comic, showing the first meeting of Cassian Andor and K-2SO. (Similarly to the Mace Windu comic, this one—a one-off issue, not a series, sadly—has the logical title Star Wars: Rogue One—Cassian and K-2SO Special.) Both will hit stores in August.