First and foremost, buckle up, kids: According to director J.J. Abrams’ Twitter feed, the Star Wars: Episode IX train has left the station.
Quite why Abrams is jumping into the Twitter fray when everyone else seems to want to abandon the platform remains to be seen, but perhaps it’s just him being especially contrarian? Or brave? Maybe both? Meanwhile, what else is going on in the galaxy far, far away? So glad you asked.
Disney Is Trying to Gather the Star Wars Movies Into One Central Streaming Location
The Source: Anonymous sources in business reporting
Probability of Accuracy: Despite the anonymity, this seems particularly legit.
The Real Deal: With a new Disney streaming service, Disneyflix, in the works for next year, Bloomberg reported last week that the company is looking to undo a 2016 deal that gives Turner Broadcasting the rights to the Star Wars movies through 2024, on both television and streaming video. Talks between the companies are ongoing, with Turner apparently asking a sizable sum from Disney to bring the deal to an early end. Given that Turner originally spent $275 million, you can’t really blame them for trying to recoup the money. Meanwhile, the existing deal with Netflix for new Disney movies—which covers Rogue One, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Solo—will sunset at the end of the year, according to the New York Times. Given what Disney stands to make by having all of the Star Wars movies on its proprietary streaming service, it’s almost guaranteed to find some way to make the deal with Turner, which means one simple thing: Come the service’s launch in 2019, there’ll only be one place to stream Star Wars movies—but at least they’ll all be there together.
The Live-Action Star Wars Show Will Be Expensive, Connected
The Source: The New York Times
Probability of Accuracy: Let’s just assume The New York Times knows what it’s talking about.
The Real Deal: Also hidden in that NYT piece on the future of Disneyflix was some information about the live-action Star Wars show that’s being created for the streaming service. The first season will be written by Jon Favreau and run for 10 episodes, with the cost to make the entire thing pegged at around $100 million. (For some context, $10 million per episode is higher than CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery, which reportedly costs around $8 million per installment.) It’s likely the show will take a serial format, and Favreau told the paper that the “new streaming service affords a wonderful opportunity to tell stories that stretch over multiple chapters.” What will the stories be about? Keep reading.
The Live-Action Star Wars Show Will Build Out the Expanded Universe
The Source: Fan rumor
Probability of Accuracy: This one is far more shaky, being essentially unsourced, but it is very interesting…
The Real Deal: Fan site Making Star Wars posted an interesting rumor last week suggesting that Favreau’s series will be about the fate of the planet Mandalore after the fall of the Empire. (The series being set three years after Return of the Jedi is an old rumor that has been around so long it’s now assumed to be fact; Lucasfilm and Disney, of course, have been playing it cool this entire time with regards to that piece of information.) Despite not being part of the movies, Mandalore is an established part of the canon thanks to appearances or mentions in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, and a significant part of this new rumor states that the new episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars will feature the much-teased “Siege of Mandalore” storyline, which will, in part, set up Favreau’s new live-action series. Does this mean Boba Fett is going to show up and complain about his Mandalorian armor? I mean, we’re all expecting some kind of cameo, right?
Yet Another Theory About Rey’s Parents Springs Up
The Source: The speculative minds at Film Threat
Probability of Accuracy: Surely not. I mean. Surely.
The Real Deal: Film Threat put out a new “Franchise Forecast” video that offers up a genuinely plausible theory about Rey’s parents, suggesting they weren’t quite the nobodies Kylo Ren said they were in The Last Jedi. Instead, the theory suggests, Rey is the daughter of … Han Solo and Qi’ra, from Solo: A Star Wars Story—something that would not only recast the Han/Rey relationship of The Force Awakens as something literally paternal, but also the Kylo/Rey relationship as a sibling rivalry, literally. If it weren’t for Kylo Ren’s whole “your parents were nobodies” deal in The Last Jedi and how emphatically that was sold by everyone involved in the movie, it’s a theory that would make so much sense that it would almost seem ridiculous to come up with any other solution. But surely that doesn’t mean it’s actually going to happen, right? Right?
Why Is ‘Rogue’ Such a Thing in the Star Wars Galaxy Anyway?
The Source: Marvel’s official Star Wars comic book
Probability of Accuracy: It’s literally canon at this point.
The Real Deal: I’m sure I can assume that everyone reading this column is also reading Marvel’s Star Wars comic book. If not, then be ashamed, because you missed an Easter egg moment that gracefully reverse-connected dots in the franchise’s mythology. In the 52nd issue of the series, Luke Skywalker and his fellow X-wing pilots invoke Jyn Erso’s memory in pushing back against the Empire, and in doing so, decide to utilize her callsign in naming their makeshift squadron, thereby creating the Rogue Squadron as seen in The Empire Strikes Back and beyond. It’s a neat moment of backwards-logic, in that Rogue One was named after the Rogue Squadron of Star Wars lore, even though the movie took place before that group existed—but also a reminder that the Star Wars comic has proven to be a welcome location for various parts of the mythology to be drawn together, no pun intended.