We’re half-way through the year, it’s six months to Christmas and the month of Episode VII bringing us back to our favourite galaxy, so what better time to discuss the highlights from the year so far than with a round-up of Star Wars news. Now there’s been a plethora of beautiful bountiful gossip and rumours about the upcoming movies and various other pieces of info that have charged up the feverish fans and helped throw Star Wars interest into hyperspace, so let’s look at some of the best and worst of this years SW news. Oh, and just for fun (because we’re all about the fun here at Dork Side!) we’ll take a look at the bonkers stuff that’s been happening as well, just to raise a smile!
‘The Force Awakens’ Official Trailer:
Oh that fateful day, 16th April 2015, when those lucky enough to be at Celebration saw that trailer on the big screen. The music, the characters, the ending with Han and Chewie, oh how the tears flowed. To see it was to realise that it is a reality, this is really happening this year! Definitely the high point of the first half of this year. Go watch it again now.
Star Wars Celebration.
The introduction of the new elements of Episode VII have caused a huge swell of fascination around the world, and it all appeared at this years Celebration in Anaheim. We saw the new actors, the principal crew members, the original cast members, new footage and props, new technology and costumes; the list goes on. Plus we got a look at the Anthology series and how that’s going to be introduced into canon. It was a sensory overload that was greeted with a huge amount of praise and love by everyone, and check out Kyle’s Gallery if you haven’t already, he did a tremendous job there!
BB-8 and the New Stars.
Without doubt this little ball droid has fired the imagination of the world. From the moment he rolled out on stage at Celebration people became fascinated by how it was even possible. Since then there’s been a multitude of websites and instructional videos detailing how they think it was accomplished and building their own versions. Oh, and it’s also going to be a toy in time for Christmas, so contain yourself (and your wallet) for the time being because we’ll all have one by the end of the year!
Also, the paced revealings of the newer characters has kept interests high and forever discussing their possible motives and backgrounds. We know about Finn, Rey, Poe and the sleek looking antagonist Kylo Ren, plus Captain Phasma, Supreme Leader Snoke and Maz Kanata not long after and no doubt there’s more to come, so the gradual announcements and updates on these characters is keeping a decent level of speculation regarding who we’ll be introduced to in December.
Upcoming media and merchandise.
There’s going to be enough merch to fill a space cruiser come Christmas, and we’ve barely seen any of it yet. There’s been hints and the odd posting from toy store deliveries, but it’s still very much under wraps for the time being with the official release date for new merchandise being September 4th 2015. What we do know a lot about is the upcoming output from the different media platforms, namely television series and video games. Star Wars Rebels moves into season 2 from June and the constant rumours regarding a live action TV series seem to be gaining momentum and the recent E3 announcememnts place emphasis on showcasing the galaxy through HD platforms with lush environments and immersive gameplay. Also, the re-releases of Marvel’s Star Wars series has proven to be a hit with collectors and fans, and novelisations and literature will continue to be published in the new canon.
Josh Trank Fired from Anthology Movie.
Back at Celebration, all the eyes upon the Anthology panels were expecting to see Josh Trank appear to talk about his upcoming foray into the Saga. But he didn’t show, and curiosity was quashed when it was revealed he had decided to part ways with Disney. A strange choice for any director at such a preliminary stage, but a few days after his message on the Star Wars website it was revealed he had been fired by Disney for his uncouth actions during production of his latest directorial output “Fantastic Four”. An unfortunate end to a promising project.
The Passing of a Legend: Sir Christopher Lee.
It is never easy to mention the passing of people beloved by many, and this one was particularly difficult for us at Dork Side. Sir Christopher Lee porrtrayed Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus in Episodes II and III, and although a slightly small on-screen role for the distinguished actor he nevertheless commanded an air of power and terror with his cool and daunting presence. Revealed to be the former Padawan of Master Yoda and eventual master to Qui-Gon Jinn, he was a formidable Dark Lord of the Sith and a fierce warrior. Loved by many for his role in “The Lord of the Rings” as well as his massive career with the Hammer films, his is a presence that shall never be equalled and is sadly missed, but we can forever appreciate all he had to offer through his prolific career and exceptional performances.
Sir Christopher Lee, 27 May 1922 – 7 June 2015
Han Solo’s Lurid Past
We all know and love Han Solo and his swagger, his moves like an intergalactic Jagger, and he must’ve been involved with other women prior to falling for Princess Leia. But a big shock came with Marvel Entertainment’s new Star Wars comic, where in issue six a character called Sana Solo bursts onto the scene claiming to be Han’s wife and accusing of him of being a perpetual liar. This decision was greenlit by Disney and is now considered canonical, so we may have to look twice at Han in Episode VII! The scoundrel…
Jake LLoyd arrested
Former child actor Jake Broadbent, commonly known as Jake Lloyd, was recently arrested after a 100mph car chase involving the police which culminated with him colliding into some trees. The 26 year old actor appeared in a number of movies as a youngster but is probably best known as portraying a young Anakin Skywalker in Episode I: The Phantom Menace, where he was heavily crticised for his unnappealing characterisation of the boy who would become Darth Vader. He suffered for many years from ridicule and disdain from the Star Wars community and in an unfortunate turn of events is now in police custody after his altercation on 17th June.
Bye Bye Jar Jar
Another fan favourite (!) appears to be shuffling off this mortal coil; could this really be the end of Jar Jar Binks, quite possibly the most hated character in the entire Saga? In his Vanity Fair interview, JJ Abrams discussed the possibility of throwing an easter egg into Epsiode VII in the form of a certain Gungan’s skeleton in the desert. He stated
“I have a thought about putting Jar Jar Binks’s bones in the desert there,”
“I’m serious! Only three people will notice, but they’ll love it.”
I heard a collective cheer and sigh when this was announced, so now that Abrams has hinted at his fate we may just yet see the last of this bumbling fool.
Rian Johnson’s Vision
Episode VIII will be directed by Rian Johnson and he has some big dreams for his Star Wars debut. Already posting with excitement on Twitter about his anticipation of getting stuck in, he announced a dream he recently had for a very specific and eye-opening scene he’d envisioned for the film.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 16, 2015
Yes, that is a Jedi fighting a dog on a boat. Needless to say, we may never see this fully realised (I know, bummer right?) but it’s good to see that he’s taking his new role on with good humour and self-effacing joy.
As we approach the next six months with all of the information gathered so far this year, we can look forward to new stories and points of interest regarding the Saga. It’s a fun time to be involved in Star Wars and it will only get more and more exciting as December looms upon us like a Star Destroyer. What’s you guys favourite piece of news so far this year? Is it good, bad, or downright weird? Let us know in the comments!