Welcome back, folks. This week's Star Wars round up contains a little bit of the new, a little bit of the old, and maybe just a little bit of the hairy.
Last week in our Star Wars round-up, we talked about Lucasfilm’s assertion that many pieces of work related to Star Wars, including those commissioned by Lucas himself, were to be considered non-canon. Now, according to Star Wars Insider, the new re-birth of the Star Wars universe means new canon.
We talked to Mark Williams, one half of the writing team responsible for the first story to be counted as new canon. The writers, Mark Williams and David J. Williams, who joke they are from the same clone batch, have been life long fans of the Star Wars films
“I saw the first movie over 100 times in the theater and lost track of how many times I saw Empire Strikes Back. These films are in our DNA,” Mark Williams told Geek Exchange.
The new story is titled Blade Squadron and follows a squadron of B-wing fighters during the Battle of Endor on what may well be a suicide mission, with the first part of the story appearing in Star Wars Insider #150. Of course, the writers were not aware when they wrote the story that it would carry the significance it has today.
“We found out just before the second part of the story came out. An old high school friend of ours sent us a link. Sometimes the authors are the last to know when good things happen,” Williams said, adding, “It’s like hitting a home run over the fence at Yankee Stadium. It’s a very humbling experience to join the long list of creative minds who have made the franchise so popular.”
While being considered the first of the new canon, what was even more exciting for the writers has been the fan reaction and being approached by Lucasfilm itself.
“So far the reviews we’ve received from fans have been remarkably positive so we must be doing something right! I think that people realize that we have a great respect for the Star Wars Universe and it characters and that when we set out to tell a story we do our best to honor the characterizations that so many fans have come to love. It was particularly thrilling that Lucasfilm asked us to create new characters for the Star Wars Universe.”
While there are no plans for a follow up at this time, the two Williams are open to working with the Random House editor, Frank Parisi, who assisted the team in making Blade Squadron a reality.
Maybe it’s a Jedi thing. Qui-Gon had one, Obi-Wan had one, and now it’s Luke’s turn. Mark Hamill’s appearance at Walt Disney World’s Star Wars Weekend marked the Jedi’s first involvement in the yearly event, while press photos revealed the majestic facial addition.
It’s definitely something to consider with the new episode deep into filming, that we get a small glimpse on how Luke will be looking after several decades. Let’s hope that the fact that he only has one name, more like Yoda ,will keep him safe and that the beard isn’t a sign of doom. Fans will remember that both Jedi masters Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan did not have the best of luck.
That said, we can safely say that Hamill is looking just as Jedi as he did thirty years ago.
Han Solo Down!
Fans felt a disturbance in the force this week when it was announced the Harrison Ford was air-lifted from the Star Wars Pinewood Studios set to a nearby hospital after suffering a broken ankle. Quick to alleviate fans worries, Disney released a statement regarding the injury.
“Harrison Ford sustained an ankle injury during filming today on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII. He was taken to a local hospital and is receiving care. Shooting will continue as planned while he recuperates.”
It was later revealed that a door from the Millennium Falcon was to blame for the injury. I guess thirty years hasn’t been kind to that hunk of junk, so no doubt Chewie will get an earful. We’re glad to hear the Ford was not badly hurt, though I’m sure this hasn’t done much to make him a bigger fan of the series, which he has famously spoken ill of. Filming will continue to go on as he will be sidelined for the next eight weeks as he recovers. Here’s to a speedy recovery for Ford and hopefully he dons that vest soon to help protect the galaxy.
Star Wars Gets Animated
In case you didn’t know, the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars is now on Netflix, complete with a sixth season not seen on Cartoon Network. If you haven’t watched the show yet, now is a great time to get caught up. Here is the trailer for “The Lost Missions”…
The series, possibly one of the few things of real value to come out of the “new trilogy”, features characters we know and love; Obi-Wan, C3-PO, R2-D2, Master Yoda, as well as some we debate about endlessly, Anakin Skywalker most notably. But what makes the series great are the new characters, with Skywalker’s own Padawan Ahsoka Tano as one of the most interesting characters of the series. Also, there are a great cast of clones that show that just because they share DNA, it doesn’t mean they are all the same. If you haven’t already been watching, this is a great chance to enjoy the series, which depending on your view, some consider to be better written than Episodes I, II and III.
In other animated news, Billy Dee Williams, known as the incomparable Lando Calrission, has been working on the new Disney XD series Star Wars: Rebels. Williams let it slip during a Star Wars Weekend panel that he has enjoyed his work on the series. His involvement may hint to when the story might take place and raises even more questions about what other characters we might see. Fans will only have to wait until fall of this year to find out. An exact date of the one hour premiere promised by Disney has yet to be released.
The Cutest Video You’ve Never Seen
Even if you have been a fan your entire life, Star Wars is one of those wonderful things that just keeps on giving. Way back in the 1980s, after the release of Return of the Jedi, there were spin-offs and holiday specials. And then there was this:
This adorable video follows a very young Warwick Davis, who was only 11 when he took on the role of the well-known Ewok Wicket, in a fictional account of how he got the role. The mockumentary, made by Jedi assistant director David Tomblin, was shot mostly during lunch breaks while Jedi was being filmed. While George Lucas financed the filming, all of the actors and crew involved donated their time. The end result is totally cheesy, but super sweet as you watch a little boy chase his dreams. Also look for Davis in the mockumentary series Life’s Too Short on BBC Two and HBOGo, in which Davis plays a rather unflattering version of himself.
Check in again next week for more Star Wars news, and check out past coverage to keep on top of the most current news from that galaxy far, far away.
Images: Lucasfilm, Disney