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Checketh Out the Cover to The Merry Rise of Skywalker

Thu, 04/09/2020 - 14:28

“This above all: to thine own self be true.”

One of William Shakespeare’s most famous lines strikes at the very thematic core of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and now the final film of the Skywalker saga is getting the full Bard of Avon treatment.

William Shakespeare’s The Merry Rise of Skywalker by Ian Doescher, coming July 28, will reimagine The Rise of Skywalker as a Shakespearean drama, complete with authentic meter and verse, and theatrical dialogue by everyone from Kylo Ren to Babu Frik. It will also complete Doescher’s incredible nine-book Star Wars-as-Shakespeare series.

Along with This Week! in Star Wars, StarWars.com is thrilled to offer a first look at the cover to The Merry of Skywalker, featuring a medieval-armored Kylo Ren and Rey, and other surprises.

Come back to StarWars.com next week for an exclusive excerpt from the book!

See William Shakespeare’s The Merry Rise of Skywalker and more on This Week! in Star Wars below!

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

The Clone Wars Rewatch: A New Leader and the”Front Runners”

Thu, 04/09/2020 - 08:00

To celebrate the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+, we’re undertaking a full chronological rewatch of the five original seasons, The Lost Missions, and the theatrical release. We’d be honored if you would join us for the weekly #CloneWarsRewatch — you can watch this week’s episode on Disney+ now — and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.

90: “Front Runners” (Season Five, Episode 3)

“To seek something is to believe in its possibility.”

Synopsis:

Supervised by Ahsoka, the Onderon rebels infiltrate the capital and carry out a series of strikes on targets throughout the city. As the Separatist-aligned King Sanjay Rash comes under increasing pressure to deal with the growing rebellion, the rebels choose a new leader.

Analysis:

Steela Gerrera is a born leader. Somebody has to save their skins and time and again that somebody is Steela.

Ahsoka’s in charge as far as the other Jedi are concerned, continuing the Republic’s efforts to help train and advise the rebels of Onderon, but it’s Steela who emerges as the natural leader on the ground. Whether she’s finding inventive new ways to take out droidekas, essentially hot-wiring a Separatist tank to get them moving to the power generator, or using her sniper blaster to pick B1s off one by one, Steela is the utility player you want on your side during a conflict.

She’s capable and fearless, running toward the power station seemingly without a thought for her own safety. Like her brother Saw, she’s determined to rally the people of Onderon and secure the planet’s freedom. Always put purpose ahead of your feelings, as Anakin says, and Steela serves as a living, breathing example.

While Saw excels at the intricacies of combat, he often falls short on diplomacy. Like two sides of a coin, that blind spot and the warm affection shared between Lux Bonteri and Steela is enough to keep Saw and the young senator’s son at odds.

It’s Steela who keeps them together. Both Lux and Saw clearly respect and care for Steela, and because of her and the greater cause, they must work together to overcome their misgivings about each other. And so it’s no wonder that with the power generator knocked out and the rebels gathered to celebrate their victory, the first step in rallying the support of the people, it’s Steela who emerges as the defacto leader of the rebel cell.

It’s Steela, after all, who has both the skill to fight on the frontlines and the charisma to bring the people together, organized, armed with a plan, and with courage to spare.

Intel:

  • The design for Iziz was inspired by ancient Rome, an influence that’s clear from the architecture and King Sanjay Rash’s outfit.

What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below and share on social with #CloneWarsRewatch!

Next up: Come back next Thursday when the rebels of Onderon must save the true king in “The Soft War.”

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer, host of This Week! In Star Wars, and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Want to talk more about The Clone Wars? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you thought about today’s episode.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #CloneWarsRewatch

LEGO Masters Feels the Force

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 09:00

Tonight, LEGO enthusiasts will go to the galaxy far, far away.

In a special Star Wars-themed episode of Fox’s hit series LEGO Masters, host Will Arnett and guests BB-8, C-3PO, and R2-D2 will challenge the remaining contestants to build their own droids and replicate iconic scenes inspired by the Star Wars saga. Only the most impressive builds, to quote Darth Vader, will please the judges and move forward. It will be a must-watch for all LEGO (Jedi) Masters, and for Arnett, this episode is a meaningful one.

Star Wars had such a huge impact on me early on,” Arnett tells StarWars.com. “I remember the day I saw A New Hope in the theater in ‘77. I went back three more times. All these years later, to be able to be working with LEGO and then have C-3PO and R2-D2 next to me is like the fulfillment of a crazy lifelong dream. My sons were incredibly excited for this episode and it was just amazing to share it with them.”

Watch the episode this evening, Wednesday, April 8 (9:01-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on Fox, and get a sneak peek in the gallery below!

Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

With This Recipe for Yoda Pancakes, Delicious Your Brunch Will Be

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 08:00

Do. Or do not. There is no try — especially when it comes to breakfast and brunch. And if you’re looking for a fun Star Wars-themed recipe, found one you have! This recipe for Yoda Pancakes celebrates our favorite wisened Jedi Master.

Yoda Pancakes

What You’ll Need:

Matcha Pancake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons matcha powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Cocoa Pancake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup whole milk (or skim milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Serving size: 6-8

Step 1: In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, matcha powder, baking powder, and salt.

Step 2: Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the milk, egg, butter, and vanilla, until just combined. Set aside the matcha batter.

Step 3: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Step 4: Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the milk, egg, butter, and vanilla, until just combined. Set aside the cocoa batter.

Step 5: In a skillet over low heat, add a tablespoon of matcha batter to the pan to form a circle. Use a spoon to drag out two long lines from both sides of the circle to create Yoda’s ears.

Step 6: When small bubbles start to appear, gently flip over and cook for 1 minute or until cooked through. Set aside.

Step 7: For the bodies, in the same skillet over low heat, add 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa batter to the pan, creating triangle shapes. 

Step 8: When small bubbles start to appear, gently flip over and cook for 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. 

Step 9: Assemble the Yodas on a plate by placing the matcha heads on top of the cocoa triangle pancakes.

Step 10: Serve with syrup and fresh fruit.

Jenn Fujikawa is a lifestyle and food writer. Follow her on Twitter at @justjenn and check her Instagram @justjennrecipes and blog justjennrecipes.com for even more Star Wars food photos.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Clone Wars First Look: “Together Again”

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 11:09

The final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars continues this Friday on Disney+ with “Together Again,” which finds Ahsoka making a deal to free Trace and Rafa from the Pyke prison — all part of another escape attempt! StarWars.com is thrilled to present your first look at the episode — including an all-new preview clip and the first images from the episode below!

Find your favorite stories from a galaxy far, far away on Disney+Start Streaming Now

Watch the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+.

Learn more about Star Wars on Disney+.

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheCloneWars

The Pilots of Alphabet Squadron Enjoy Sabacc Before the Storm in Shadow Fall – Exclusive Excerpt

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 08:00

Pro-tip: a game of Sabacc is just as much about reading your opponent as it is about reading the cards.

In StarWars.com’s exclusive excerpt from the upcoming novel Star Wars: Shadow Fall by Alexander Freed, Alphabet Squadron pilots Chass and Nath play a game of Sabacc as they’re waiting to be called into battle. But, of course, there’s much more going on than just friendly competition…

Look for Shadow Fall to arrive June 23, and if you missed out on the first book in the series, fear not: Alphabet Squadron is now available in eBook format for just $1.99 through April 10.

“Bombers in position?”

“Waiting for the fun to start,” Nath Tensent said into his comm, though it struck him as he said it that this was the least fun he’d had in weeks.  He called out his coordinates to the Lodestar, leaning back as the Y-wing rumbled around him.  “How about you, Chass?”

“You know I’m in position.  You can see me floating to starboard,” she answered.  “I’m the speck that doesn’t handle well in wind.”

Nath’s display blinked and he read T5’s commentary.  His astromech droid had a foul imagination.  He grinned and refrained from sharing the message for the sake of the flight control officer.  “Just let us know when you’ve got work for us.  We’ll keep our eyes on the shield,” he said, and ceased transmitting to the ground.

By now, Wyl and Quell were streaking toward the capital, low enough to slip below the energy shield and make for the generators.  Until the shield was down, though, there wasn’t much for Nath or Chass or Hail Squadron to do—their assault craft didn’t have the speed or agility to follow the A-wing and X-wing, and the enemy wasn’t stupid enough to send forces out from cover.

So they waited.

“You picking your songs?” Nath asked.

He heard the petulance in Chass’s voice:  “How long do you think it takes me?”

“So you’re not busy, then?  I’ve got a pack of cards—”

“Seriously?”

“Sure.”

“You got a week’s pay to bet?”

“Sure,” Nath repeated.

His week’s pay wasn’t the same as Chass’s, but she didn’t need to know that.  Caern Adan was still lining Nath’s pockets, as he had been since the founding of the working group.

Originally, Adan had treated Nath as his personal agent, offering regular deposits of credits in return for the occasional side job.  Now that Adan had a whole division working for him, both men understood the new deal without speaking openly of it:  Adan’s payments were meant to keep Nath silent as much as keep him on the squadron.

Nath had learned things about Yrica Quell that Adan was choosing to keep quiet.  Nath was fine with that.  He could use the extra cash.

Nath pulled a deck from under his seat.  He and Chass played a slow, awkward hand of full open sabacc, occasionally pausing when someone announced progress on the ground.  “What do you say about a side wager?” he asked.  “Suppose the governor’s got a surprise waiting for us down there?”

Chass laughed loud enough for the cockpit speaker to crackle.  “‘Course he does.  No bet.”

Nath shrugged and scratched beneath his helmet’s chin strap.  Chass wasn’t the brightest member of the squadron, but she wasn’t an idiot.  “What’s your prediction?  For the whole battle?”

“My prediction is that Wyl and Quell fly into a firestorm.  They scrape by, take out the shield generators anyway, and by the time we get down there it’s all easy flying.  Still a meatgrinder for the ground troops, obviously.”

“Obviously.”  Nath liked the troops of the Sixty-First, but he’d learned before ever joining the military that infantry didn’t survive long.  It was why he’d picked the navy instead of the army.  “Guess in a few hours, the planet will be ours.  Maybe Quell or Adan will share their plans for us, then.”

He noticed the uncertainty in her silence even before her awkward reply.  “Right.”

            Now that’s interesting.

“You figure they’ll keep holding back?” he asked.  It wasn’t a question he especially cared about, but it was a probe fired off into the night.

“Probably,” Chass said.

Nath turned the conversation over in his head and grinned.  “You don’t want to see Shadow Wing again, do you?”

Chass swore.  Nath silenced her transmission and replied to a status update from the ground before he caught the end of her signal:  “—you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Sure I do,” he said.  “Don’t worry about it.  Truth is, I don’t think Wyl much wants to run into them again either.”

“He tell you that?”

“Wyl’s a good kid.  He’ll grow into a half-decent commander if he gets the chance.  But he isn’t exactly hard to read.”

That got a snort from Chass, though she didn’t say a word.  Nath considered sharing what Wyl had told him but decided to keep the boy’s confidence.  They’d spent an evening together dancing around the subject, Wyl expressing his gentle frustration with the Troithe operation until it became obvious he was worried about another disaster like Pandem Nai.  Worried about the price of another victory.

But Nath assumed that sheer terror played a role in Wyl’s lack of enthusiasm, too.  Wyl wasn’t a coward, but he was only human.  If he didn’t want to face Shadow Wing again, of course he’d justify it as worry over the plan.

He wondered if he could get Chass to come clean.  She was the last squad member he’d expected to have reservations—even if she’d gotten past her death wish, she sure as sin hadn’t lost her grudge against Shadow Wing.

Before he could say anything, she spoke again.  “What about you?”

He considered the question before saying, “I got my revenge, and those bastards nearly killed me twice.  I’m not looking forward to it either.”

He left out the parts she didn’t need to hear:  That the fun was getting a pile of credits for very little work as the New Republic claimed its territory; that he was finding a lot of pleasure in playing air support to troops who would shout his name and drink with him and make a fuss when he landed.  Taking the capital was a risk.  Trapping Shadow Wing was going to be work.

“Well,” Chass said.  “Maybe we’ll screw this mission up and we won’t have to worry about it.”

Nath would’ve answered, but another transmission came through first.

People were dying far below.  The battle had started.

#

“Bombers!  Go!  Go!”

General Syndulla’s voice came through the comm, sudden enough to startle Chass.  She straightened in her seat, checked her angle, and ignited her thrusters even before Nath called, “You ready?”

“Sure,” Chass said.  “So long as no one tries to shoot me, I’ll be just fine.”

“How’s the rest of our squadron doing?” Nath asked.

The B-wing bounced as Chass adjusted its gyroscopics–she’d kept the cross upright while holding position against the wind, but in flight she was better off horizontal–and began a long, spiraling descent through the cloud cover toward the capital.  Nath and the Y-wings of Hail Squadron were behind her now, but according to the flight plan they’d overtake her once they descended below shield altitude.

She was wondering if something had gone wrong when Quell’s voice said, “Lark and I are intact and on our way to escort you.  Kairos is giving cover to the ground teams.”

“Great,” Chass said.  “We’ll try not to blow her to bits.”

When the cloud cover ripped away and the city came into view, Chass tapped a button.  The rapid patter of a Loletian politi-folk singer filled the cockpit.  The Y-wings followed her and she swayed with the breeze and the song, and the first proton torpedoes and laser-guided bombs dropped toward preassigned coordinates like the too-bright stars of Cerberon rattling loose from the sky.

Soon Chass would be close enough to see the devastation.  Soon she’d be picking targets and evading fire while trying not to murder her own side’s ground troops.  She could forget the conversation with Nath–he’d sneered, You don’t want to see Shadow Wing again, do you? but he was wrong about that; Shadow Wing didn’t frighten her so much as what came after Shadow Wing.

The B-wing leapt as a proton bomb ejected from its launcher.

For now, she could do the thing she was best at.  The only thing she was made for.

Star Wars: Shadow Fall arrives June 23 and is available for pre-order now.

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Have a Ball Making Your Own Star Wars Roll Out Characters

Mon, 04/06/2020 - 10:00

You know them, you love them, but you’ve never seen your favorite characters as adorable as they are in Star Wars Roll Out! Even if you don’t consider yourself a crafty person, anyone can have a ball making these characters at home. If you want to take these mischievous versions of beloved Star Wars characters from the animated short series into real life, this DIY shows you how. With just paper, scissors, and glue, Star Wars Roll Out heroes can roll from the screen and on to your shelves for a one-of-a-kind, galactically cute decoration.

What You’ll Need

  • Printed Roll Out template
  • Clean toilet paper roll
  • Rey: Brown, light brown, black, tan, pink, and blue cardstock or construction paper
  • Ben Solo: Black, tan, navy, red, pink, brown, and white cardstock or construction paper
  • Chewbacca: Brown, light brown, tan, grey, and black cardstock or construction paper
  • BB-8: White, black, grey, and orange cardstock or construction paper
  • Paper hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Black pen or thin marker

No Materials? No Problem!

All you need to make Star Wars Roll Out characters are the printed template and a toilet paper roll. Print and cut out the templates, color with markers or crayons, draw the details, and glue it all together. You’re ready to roll!

Get Started!

Rey

Step 1: Print the template and cut the body, face, and Rey’s hair shapes.

Step 2: Begin by tracing the large circle on the light brown paper and cut it out.

Step 3: Next, trace the face template on the tan paper, and cut it out. Do the same for Rey’s hair on the dark brown paper.

Step 4: Cut two strips from the light brown paper (or a different brown if you have one).

Step 5: Cut two thin strips of the black paper and two thin strips of the dark brown paper.

Step 6: Cut a half-circle bag shape from the black paper.

Step 7: Glue the light brown paper strips in an X across Rey’s body. Glue the two smaller brown strips, the straps, on top. Trim the excess around the circle shape when the glue is dry.

Step 8: Next, use the hole punch to cut out two pink circles and two brown circles.

Step 9: Glue Rey’s hair to the top of her head. Glue the two small blue circles for her eyes and the pink circles for her cheeks.

Step 10: Glue the straps to the bag and glue it across Rey’s body.

Step 11: Draw eyelashes and eyebrows on Rey’s face.

Step 12: Glue the back of Rey’s body to the toilet paper roll tube, lining up the bottom edges. Let dry.

Step 13: Glue Rey’s head to the tube, overlapping the body slightly. Let dry and Rey is complete.

Ben Solo

Step 1: Print the template and cut the body, face, and Ben’s hair shapes.

Step 2: Begin by tracing the large circle on the white paper and cut it out. Repeat on the navy and red paper.

Step 3: Next, trace the face template on the tan paper, and cut it out. Cut a small half-circle shape from the same paper for Ben’s collarbone.

Step 4: Trace and cut out Ben’s hair from the black paper.

Step 5: Cut a strip from the brown paper for Ben’s belt.

Step 6: Cut the red circle in half and glue it to the bottom of the white circle.

Step 7: Glue the brown strip across the top of the red half-circle. Let dry and trim the excess around the circle.

Step 8: Cut the navy circle in half. Cut the two sides of one half circle the same size to make Ben’s vest; trim the bottom edge slightly.

Step 9: Glue the two vest pieces on the top, lining up the curved edges. Glue the tan collarbone piece in the middle between them.

Step 10: Punch two circles from the brown paper and two circles from the pink paper.

Step 11: Glue Ben’s hair to the top of the face shape, and his eyes and cheek circles just below.

Step 12: Glue the back of Ben’s body to the toilet paper roll tube, lining up the bottom edges. Let dry.

Step 13: Glue the face to the top of the roll, lining it up with the body, and your little Ben Solo is ready to roll.

Chewbacca

Step 1: Print the template and cut the body, head, and Chewie’s face shapes.

Step 2: Begin by tracing the large circle and head shape on the brown paper and cut them out.

Step 3: Next, trace the face template on the tan paper, and cut it out.

Step 4: Cut a strip of the light brown paper; this will be Chewbacca’s bandolier.

Step 5: Punch two holes in the grey paper and one hole in the black paper for Chewie’s eyes and nose.

Step 6: Glue the face, eyes, and nose on the head shape.

Step 7: Next, cut cloud-like shapes out of the tan paper, big enough to overlap over the edges of the circle. Glue them to Chewbacca’s body.

Step 8: Trim around the edges of the body circle to clean it up.

Step 9: Cut several small rectangles from the grey paper and a thin strip of brown paper.

Step 10: Glue the grey rectangles evenly along the bandolier strip. Glue the thin brown strip in the middle and let dry.

Step 11: Glue the bandolier across Chewbacca’s body.

Step 12: Glue the back of Chewbacca’s body to the toilet paper roll tube, lining up the bottom edges. Let dry.

Step 13: Glue the face to the top of the roll, lining it up with the body, and Chewbacca is complete!

BB-8

Step 1: Print the template and cut the body and BB-8’s head shape.

Step 2: Trace the body and head shapes on the white paper and cut out.

Step 3: Cut a small circle from the black paper. Punch a circle from the same black sheet. Glue the two circles on the head shape for BB-8’s sensors.

Step 4: Next, cut very thin strips from the orange and grey paper.

Step 5: Glue the grey strips at the top and bottom of BB-8’s head. Trim the edges when the glue is dry.

Step 6: Glue thin orange strips on either side of the bigger black circle. Trim the edges when the glue is dry.

Step 7: Cut two very small and thin strips of white paper for BB-8’s antenna. Glue a tiny piece of black paper to one antenna and glue them both to the top of BB-8’s head.

Note: The following steps to make the designs on BB-8’s body can be tricky for young crafters. They can use orange and grey markers to draw the shapes instead!

Step 8: Cut three circles, about 3 centimeters in diameter, from the orange paper. Cut a hole in the center of each circle as evenly as possible.

Step 9: Cut small strips of the orange paper and cut them into tiny rectangles.

Step 10: Cut three small circles from the grey paper, about 1 centimeter in diameter. 

Step 11: Glue four orange rectangles around the inside circle you cut in each orange circle. Let the glue dry.

Step 12: Glue the grey circles on the white circle for BB-8’s body.

Step 13: Glue the orange circles on top of the grey circles you glued. Let dry.

Step 14: Glue the back of BB-8’s body to the toilet paper roll tube, lining up the bottom edges. Let dry.

Step 15: Glue the head to the top of the roll, lining it up with the body, and BB-8 is complete!

Catch all of your favorite Star Wars characters now on Star Wars Roll Out, on StarWarsKids.com and the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel.

Watch Star Wars Roll Out below!

Kelly Knox is a Seattle-based freelance writer who loves creating Star Wars crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Clone Wars Declassified: 5 Highlights from “Dangerous Debt”

Mon, 04/06/2020 - 07:50

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is back for its final season on Disney+! In Clone Wars Declassified, StarWars.com looks at each episode’s biggest moments and surprises. Fall in, soldier.

Escaping the bad guys in the galaxy far, far away ain’t always easy. “Dangerous Debt” (available to stream now on Disney+) finds Ahsoka and the Martez sisters captured by the Pyke Syndicate for failing to deliver a spice shipment — trying to pull one over the gangsters certainly didn’t help matters, either — and their attempts to get away meet with very mixed results. Meanwhile, Ahsoka and the streetwise, cynical Rafa come to learn much about each other. A sobering experience for all involved, “Dangerous Debt” is a surprisingly tense and emotional episode. Here are five highlights.

1. Rafa’s story.

Finally, we learn the real reason Trace and Rafa have no love for the Jedi. The older Martez sister recounts how her parents were killed in a Jedi mission gone wrong, and the Force-wielders offered Trace and Rafa little comfort. The story rocks Ahsoka — and viewers — to the core.

2. Trace’s trick.

She’s not strong with the Force, but Trace can handle herself. Brought to the Pyke torture droid (a creeptastic mechanical menace that gives Triple-Zero a run for his money), Trace pretends to faint from fear, only to grab a blaster from a guard and make a quick getaway. An impressive escape. (While it lasted.)

3. She’s still got it.

Ahsoka had been keeping her Jedi past and Force-sensitivity a secret, but would call upon the mystical energy field when need be. With the coast clear, she makes good use of her power and unlocks her cell from the inside. Not bad, Snips.

4. Mandalorians?!

It’s always exciting to see Mandalorians, but the appearance of Bo-Katan, Ursa Wren, and one more unnamed armored warrior was a total surprise that raised lots of questions. Why are they on Oba Diah? Why is Bo-Katan interested in Ahsoka? What are they planning? Can’t wait to find out. 

5. Back in the cell.

Ahsoka, Trace, and Rafa’s attempted escape is filled with fun action and edge-of-your-seat near misses. (When Ahsoka plows through a group of Pykes with a speeder to rescue her friends, it’s a stand-up-and-cheer moment, to be sure.) But the fact that it doesn’t work out in the end, and they find themselves back in a cell, is the episode’s real surprise. The Pykes really are playing for keeps, and escape is going to be hard-earned. It makes you wonder what else Ahsoka and the sisters can possibly do to get back home and put this mess behind them — and if they’ll all survive. 

Find your favorite stories from a galaxy far, far away on Disney+Start Streaming Now

Discover more in StarWars.com’s official Episode Guide for the “Gone with a Trace.”

Watch the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+.

Learn more about Star Wars on Disney+.

Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #DisneyPlus, #TheCloneWars, #CloneWarsDeclassified

Inside the Lucasfilm Archives: Lightsabers of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 12:31

Through the props and costumes of Star Wars, we find a tangible link to connect with the characters from a galaxy far, far away and the stories they inhabit. Inside the Lucasfilm Archive, take a closer look at these artifacts and the stories behind their design.

The reforged Skywalker lightsaber looks like a family heirloom, from the weightiness of the metal hilt to the history etched across its surface. After being torn apart at the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, prop makers and concept artists literally mended the iconic weapon once carried by Luke Skywalker and his father before him for Rey’s last stand in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Recently, Lucasfilm Archivist Madlyn Burkert shared three of her favorite lightsaber prop pieces from the final film in the Skywalker saga, highlighting hidden details in the craftsmanship for each one. 

The Skywalker lightsaber

Originally created from a Graflex camera flash handle for the original trilogy, modern-day movie makers recreated the lightsaber, minus the stamp on the bottom that showed it was made in New York, with a machine-tooled body made to specifications. “Of course this is the OG design,” says Burkert, handling the prop in gloved hands. Left in the care of the scavenger-turned-Jedi Rey, prop makers added burned-in soldering marks, and a new piece made of metal and leather to join the two broken halves. 

The finished piece is as symbolic of the ever-elusive quest for balance in the Force sought throughout the nine Skywalker saga films as it is an acceptance of the limited tools and time Rey would have at her disposal in a galaxy at war. “If you look at the broken lightsaber from the end of The Last Jedi, this is supposed to show us that she’s taken that literal exact one and fixed it,” Burkert says. “These are her solder marks. They’re not covered up. They’re not refinished. Because guess what? Rey ain’t got no time for that.”

Dark Rey’s double blade

Although the new Skywalker saber forgoes the markings of our own Earth manufacturers, Dark Rey’s dual blade has a telling Easter egg discreetly hidden on the hinge — a stamp that marks that piece as being made in Germany.

With a flick of the wrist, the switchblade-style weapon unfolds with a satisfying snap. That is, as long as you’re wearing gloves and handling the prop with care.

Burkert says early designs envisioned the dark side saber as being created from Rey’s staff, but it was decided that the weapon would have been too much in line with the light side version of her character. To further cement the difference between the two, the double-sided blade, reminiscent of the one carried by Darth Maul in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, was given a fine deco of black and red accents. “There’s a lot of red details on this, and we often associate that color with the dark side, with the Empire or the First Order,” Burkert notes.

Lightsaber aficionados may notice a black accent near the end where the blade ignites in the same shape as a detail found on one of Darth Vader’s lightsabers, she adds. And the piece is held together by a pair of strong magnets when it’s hanging off a belt. “If you are going to open it up, especially for a piece of action, there needs to be some weight to it, some deliberateness to it,” Burkert says. 

To give the weapon a gritty, used feeling, the ends are slicked with an oil sheen – “It kind of gives you that sense that heat has come out of this piece on the regular,” Burkert says — and there are paint details to show wear and tear. But there are also a few chips in the paint from the prop’s use during production. As an archivist, Burkert says it’s important to retain that history, although her team would make repairs on a piece if needed. “There are some parts of it that you can tell are painted to look like it’s worn. And other elements that are clearly paint loss suffered during filming,” Burkert explains. “We like to keep it as is just to show us this is part of the life of this object.”

Leia’s legacy

Far different from Dark Rey’s lightsaber, the petite hilt created for Leia Organa is a thing of elegant beauty. The prop, in a bag marked with “a ‘Q’ for queen,” Burkert notes while opening the prop’s storage container, was inspired by the streamlined shapes inherent in the Art Deco movement. “It’s sort of streamlined and mechanical, but also organic at the same time,” Burkert says, moving the hilt to show a flowery detail. “You have these sharper lines, but there’s also this very cool almost like sunburst design. And I think of that as being a little more organic.”

A silver and rose gold base along the grip has been accented with Mother of Pearl inlay, and designers added a D-ring to the end to match other lightsabers of the era. “It has a belt hook but it also has the D-ring that some original trilogy lightsabers had.”

It’s a distinctive design for a unique character like no other, and Burkert says it was important to filmmakers that the hilt was a fitting tribute to Leia and everything the character, and the late actor Carrie Fisher, meant to the fans and the films. 

“Knowing Leia this whole time, we never saw her to have a lightsaber, so it felt really important that she have something very uniquely her,” Burkert says. As a royal princess of Alderaan and the biological daughter of Queen Padmé Amidala, the construction is also a nod to the immaculate wardrobe worn by Padmé for the prequel films. “The work that Trisha Biggar did to make them look expensive and like the most high-end fashion house had created them, I feel like that same idea is applied to this lightsaber in terms of design,” Burkert says. 

“It looks feminine. It feels expensive. And it feels special.”

Learn more about the props and costumes from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in the video below!

Prop photos taken at Lucasfilm headquarters by Kyle Kao and Kristin Baver.

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheRiseofSkywalker

Poll: Who is More Powerful — Obi-Wan or Anakin?

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 10:00

With the home release of the final film in the Skywalker saga this week, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, we’ve been thinking about two of the saga’s greatest Jedi. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi may have had the higher ground on Mustafar, but does that mean he was more powerful than his Padawan Anakin Skywalker?

The choice is yours. Cast your vote in the poll below and let us know who you chose and why in the comments!

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Inside Star Wars: The High Republic: Meet the Jedi Knights and Masters

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 19:48

In an exclusive series, StarWars.com is pulling back the curtain on Star Wars: The High Republic, a publishing epic set about 200 years before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, with insights from creators, new details, and never-before-seen concept art. Arriving fall 2020, the story will be explored through multiple voices and span adult and young adult novels, children’s books, and comics from a variety of publishers. In this installment, StarWars.com gets a first look at some of the starring Jedi Knights and Masters.

“For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice…”

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s words in Star Wars: A New Hope have stayed with fans for years, inspiring questions, images, and wonder. What were the Jedi like at their best, well before the rise of Luke Skywalker? How did they function within the galaxy? Who were they?

In Star Wars: The High Republic, Lucasfilm’s upcoming multi-platform epic, we’ll find out. 

“Readers will see a very wide variety of Jedi in this era,” says Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain. “This is a hopeful, optimistic time, when the Jedi are good and noble, and we want to reflect that in their characters while still giving them enough depth and dimension so that their individual personalities and idiosyncrasies shine through. The Jedi Knights of the High Republic are both aspirational and inspirational. In short, they’re the good guys.”

While the Jedi are undoubtedly heroes in The High Republic, they promise to be varied, unique, and very “human” — no matter their species. “We’ve put a lot of time and effort into making our Jedi feel like real, rounded individuals,” writer Cavan Scott, one of the architects of The High Republic, tells StarWars.com. “They are all different, approaching the Force in individual and unique ways and yet are united with a common goal. They serve not out of unwavering dogma, but a deep passion to protect light and life. And they’re all at different stages in their individual journeys. Some have experience on their side, some have the exuberance of youth. Some are still finding their place in the Order while others step naturally into leadership roles. Some may not have chosen to work with the Jedi they’ve been posted alongside, but all are dedicated to be a guiding light for the galaxy. Individually they are strong, together they are invincible, but like the best heroes they each have lessons to learn and challenges to overcome. Exciting times lie ahead.”

Get a first look at some of the Jedi Knights and Masters of Star Wars: The High Republic below.

Avar Kriss

Avar is the brightest, most noble example of Jedi-hood. She always tries to see the good in people and situations, and never puts herself first. She is invigorated about life on the frontier and the challenges it brings, and is an inspiration for those who work with her. She is compassionate, not dogmatic, and always ready to sacrifice herself over others. Avar Kriss is the best of the best.

Loden Greatstorm

Loden is a Twi’lek Jedi Master, and is considered to be one of the best teachers in the Jedi Order. Strong and wise, with a good sense of humor, Loden looks at every moment as a learning experience, always trying to better himself and those around him, especially his Padawans. 

Keeve Trennis

Keeve is a young firebrand Jedi, believed to have a great future ahead of her, if only she would believe it herself. Quick-witted and more impulsive than she should be, Keeve has only been a Jedi Knight for a few weeks and is a little starstruck around Avar, knowing many of the great things Kriss has done in the past. She is determined to prove herself to Avar and the other legendary Jedi stationed on Starlight Beacon, but first she must learn to trust in herself as much as she trusts the Force. 

Stellan Gios

Stellan is an optimistic and well-respected Jedi Master. Stellan came up through the Order with Avar Kriss, and although they are often on different assignments for the Jedi or the Republic, when the two work together they are a powerhouse team of two noble heroes in action. Strong in the Force and a natural teacher, Stellan is currently stationed at one of the Jedi Temple outposts on the distant planet of Caragon-Viner. 

Vernestra “Vern” Rwoh

Vern is a newly-minted Jedi Knight. Vernestra, Mirialan, was Padawan to Stellan Gios. She works hard and is devoted to the Jedi Order, more so than most others her age. At sixteen she is one of the youngest Knights in a generation. She struggles to fit in with the adults while also setting a good example for the younger Jedi. 

For more on Star Wars: The High Republic, check out StarWars.com’s previous in-depth coverage:

Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.

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Shadow Fall Novel: First Look at New Villain and More

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 19:45

The pilots of Alpha Squadron have a new enemy. Turns out, he’s also an old one.

Just revealed on This Week! In Star Wars, the upcoming novel Star Wars: Shadow Fall by Alexander Freed will feature Soran Keize — the master strategist behind the deadly TIE fighters of Shadow Wing. You can see new art depicting the squadron commander, available in the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition of the novel, below.

In addition, the art of Soran Keize will be featured alongside New Republic pilots Chass and Kairos in a series of Barnes & Noble-exclusive bookmarks. The bookmarks will also include dossiers from the desk of Republic Intelligence officer Caern Adan. Check them out below!

In Shadow Fall, book two of the Alphabet Squadron trilogy, we’ll not only see more of our New Republic pilots, but also get a deeper look into what the Imperial Remnant is up to. Major Soran Keize is now back in command of Shadow Wing, and the experienced commander is desperately trying to give the directionless Imperial unit something to fight for. As some members of his unit turn to specters of the past for comfort (like those creepy Palpatine messenger droids), Soran decides to give Shadow Wing a future — by targeting Alphabet Squadron and the other New Republic fighters under the command of General Hera Syndulla.

And if you missed out on the first book in the series, fear not: Alphabet Squadron is now available in eBook format for just $1.99 through April 10.

Star Wars: Shadow Fall arrives June 23 and is available for pre-order now.

See Star Wars: Shadow Fall and more on This Week! in Star Wars below!

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Hello, What Have We Here: Save Big on Star Wars Games

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 13:00

StarWars.com is thrilled to announce that you can now get classic Star Wars games and modern galactic favorites at Death Star-sized discounts, along with extra in-game rewards, for a limited time. Titles and deals include:

Please note that deals are subject to change; check with the publisher’s platform of distribution for changes.

Stay tuned to StarWars.com for more Star Wars gaming deals and news!

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For the Republic! LEGO Unveils Surprise 501st Legion Clone Troopers Set

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 11:00

Get ready to blast some clankers, LEGO style.

In a most welcome surprise, The LEGO Group unveiled today the LEGO Star Wars 501st Legion Clone Troopers Building Kit — a new set celebrating the elite soldiers of the Republic. Long requested by fans, the set will include:

  • The AT-RT Walker, with a new color scheme, posable legs, a stud shooter, attachment points for a blaster and electrobinoculars element
  • The BARC Speeder, featuring two stud shooters
  • Four LEGO minifigures: Three 501st Clone Troopers and a 501st Jet Trooper, plus two Battle Droid LEGO action figures.

A 285-piece set, the release promises to be an enjoyable build for LEGO masters and younglings alike. Look for the LEGO Star Wars 501st Legion Clone Troopers Building Kit to arrive August 2020, and get an early look below!

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The Clone Wars Rewatch: Rebels and “A War on Two Fronts”

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 08:00

To celebrate the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+, we’re undertaking a full chronological rewatch of the five original seasons, The Lost Missions, and the theatrical release. We’d be honored if you would join us for the weekly #CloneWarsRewatch — you can watch this week’s episode on Disney+ now — and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.

89: “A War on Two Fronts” (Season Five, Episode 2)

“Fear is a malleable weapon.”

Synopsis:

Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka, and Rex travel to Onderon, a world under Separatist control. There, they will train a group of insurgent rebels — including Lux Bonteri — to help take back the capital city of Iziz from the rule of a duplicitous king.

Analysis:

The Onderon arc presents a fascinating moral dilemma for the Jedi Council. As defenders of the Republic, stepping in to help the insurgents could be construed as assisting a terrorist cell, since the ruling party is aligned with the Separatists.

But in Anakin’s eyes, supporting the local resistance will help the war efforts across the board. And from a certain point of view he’s right — these aren’t terrorists. They’re rebels.

And like the rebels that will come after them, like Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker, the secret to their success isn’t simply the Force — it’s a potent combination of perseverance and hope.

Steela and Saw Gerrera are siblings fighting for something they believe in, and they’re willing to risk everything for freedom. But they’ll ill equipped.

It’s lucky, then, that a Separatist spy droid brings clankers to their door while the Jedi emissaries are visiting to train them to defend themselves. Their position discovered by the enemy, they still have a chance of winning the day.

Intel:

  • The planet Onderon originally appeared in the Star Wars Expanded Universe in 1993’s Tales of the Jedi comic series.
  • First seen here, Saw Gerrera would go on to appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars Rebels.

What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below and share on social with #CloneWarsRewatch!

Next up: Come back next Thursday when the rebels infiltrate the capital in “Front Runners.”

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer, host of This Week! In Star Wars, and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Want to talk more about The Clone Wars? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you thought about today’s episode.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #CloneWarsRewatch

Cast and Creator Photos from The Mandalorian Set

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 16:38

As Star Wars fans take their first steps into the larger world of The Mandalorian, a warrior’s tale set after the fall of the Empire and before the rise of the First Order, writer and executive producer Jon Favreau has taken to his personal Instagram account to give us our first glimpses from the set. StarWars.com has compiled all of Favreau’s updates so far, including the very first image which debuted on this site. Check back as we continue to curate all of Favreau’s photos and other details released throughout the production process!

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Time for a Mando and Baby Yoda sketch! #themandalorian #starwars #sketchbook #cool #markers #conceptart #design

A post shared by Doug Chiang (@doug_chiang) on Apr 1, 2020 at 9:25am PDT

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A post shared by Jon Favreau (@jonfavreau) on Jan 16, 2020 at 6:08pm PST

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Season 2 of #TheMandalorian coming Fall 2020

A post shared by Jon Favreau (@jonfavreau) on Dec 27, 2019 at 12:03pm PST

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#DeborahChow is a complete badass. Director of the 3rd & 7th episodes of @themandalorian it doesn’t surprise me at all that they are going to have her direct all episodes for the #obiwan series for Disney. Her calm determination centered all the cast and crew around her internal drive and mischievous twinkle in her eyes… I am so proud to have been apart of her team.. cause whatever she is battling, she, in herself, is the right team to be on. I adore you to the moon and beyond Deb. Thank you for the leadership and guidance and more importantly.. inspiration. Keep kicking ass and taking names my friend.. all my support, always. #DeborahChow #themandalorian @disneyplus

A post shared by G I N A JY C A R A N O (@ginajcarano) on Dec 18, 2019 at 9:56am PST

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le Amy.

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If your Thanksgiving table gets too heated show everyone this video I took on the set of the Mandalorian. #happythanksgivng

A post shared by Jon Favreau (@jonfavreau) on Nov 27, 2019 at 6:36pm PST

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Original concept art. #themandalorian @calzmann

A post shared by Jon Favreau (@jonfavreau) on Nov 19, 2019 at 1:42pm PST

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Greetings from the set of #TheMandalorian season 2

A post shared by Jon Favreau (@jonfavreau) on Nov 13, 2019 at 1:23pm PST

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Mandalorian scoring sessions. Art by @dave.filoni

A post shared by Ludwig Goransson (@ludwiggoransson) on Sep 9, 2019 at 6:40pm PDT

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Scoring season 1 of #TheMandalorian (@dave.filoni doodle)

A post shared by Jon Favreau (@jonfavreau) on Jul 27, 2019 at 10:44am PDT

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Merry Christmas!

A post shared by Jon Favreau (@jonfavreau) on Dec 25, 2018 at 8:17am PST

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Reunion on the set of #theMandalorian

A post shared by Jon Favreau (@jonfavreau) on Nov 27, 2018 at 9:13am PST

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#theMandalorian

A post shared by Jon Favreau (@jonfavreau) on Oct 19, 2018 at 6:25pm PDT

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Birthday Surprise

A post shared by Jon Favreau (@jonfavreau) on Oct 19, 2018 at 2:10pm PDT

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#starwars #TheMandalorian

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Find your favorite stories from a galaxy far, far away on Disney+Start Streaming Now

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10 Secrets and Surprises from The Skywalker Legacy Documentary

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 08:00

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s home release is brimming with bonus materials, offering fans a treasure trove of fun extras and behind-the-scenes goodies to dig into. The crown jewel of this collection is The Skywalker Legacy, a feature-length documentary chronicling the making of the movie.

At two hours and six minutes, the doc is nearly as long as the film it’s supporting. The run-time is justified, though, as The Skywalker Legacy is overflowing with fan-pleasing, insider intel. Whether you’re wondering where to find the coolest Easter eggs or craving a deeper dive into how Carrie Fisher’s footage was integrated, the content-packed documentary has got you covered and then some.

Here’s ten of our favorite revelations from The Skywalker Legacy.

1. Alec Guinness’s granddaughter has joined the First Order.

The Rise of Skywalker is packed with cameos, from bringing back favorite actors to reprise iconic roles (Warwick Davis as Wicket) to pop-stars (Ed Sheeran) playing aliens. One that slipped beneath the radar, however, was Sally Guinness playing a First Order officer 40-plus years after her grandfather’s Obi-Wan Kenobi was struck down by Darth Vader.

2. Kylo Ren has some secret pottery skills.

The method used to reassemble Kylo’s Ren smashed mask was inspired by a Japanese pottery-repairing technique, adhering broken pieces together with gold, intentionally allowing the mended seams to shine through. To make Kylo Ren’s repair, designers traded gold for a bright red substance, giving the helmet a more menacing look.

3. Eunice Huthart is the galaxy’s unsung hero.

The Rise of Skywalker‘s stunt coordinator, Eunice Huthart, appears prominently in the documentary. Energetic, enthusiastic, and very hands-on, Huthart not only considered every last detail behind the film’s complex stunts — often acting them out for her actors — but served as a spirited cheerleader from behind the camera. After watching the doc, you can’t imagine the movie being made without her.

4. Puppeteering has a dark side. Sort of.

You’ll have a whole new respect for the film’s talented puppeteers after seeing them bring the Aki-Aki children to life during the film’s Festival of the Ancestors scene. Each of the 14 hand puppets required three puppeteers, most of whom worked beneath the ground in a ditch. Oh, and every morning their claustrophobic work space received a precautionary sweep for scorpions.

5. Classic lines have come full circle.

Director J.J. Abrams reveals his favorite moment from the prequels is when Chancellor Palpatine tells Anakin of Darth Plagueis’s obsession with cheating death. “It sits there like the greatest set-up of all time,” says Abrams. Actor Ian McDiarmid couldn’t have been happier to see the fifteen-year-old plot thread picked up again for the finale of the Skywalker saga. “To get this call, it was once again…it was, a third time, extraordinary experience.”

The doc also refers to the big reveal in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi — when Luke tells Leia she, too, possesses the Force — as “a promise that had not yet been fulfilled.” Of course, The Rise of Skywalker rectifies this by not only revealing Leia Organa as Rey’s Jedi Master, but also showing a young Luke and Leia sparring with lightsabers.

6. Richard E. Grant had way too much fun on set.

The Skywalker Legacy reveals distinguished thespian Richard E. Grant is a next-level Star Wars nerd. When not in character as the menacing Allegiant General Enric Pryde, the actor can be seen wandering around — smile stretched across his face — gawking at sets and playing with props. And he’s absolutely giddy when discussing his pivotal scene with Domhnall Gleeson’s turncoat Hux: “To have a Star Wars gun to take out General Hux was an extraordinarily pleasurable thing to do,” he said.

7. Shirley Henderson had a special bond with her on-screen counterpart Babu Frik.

Adorable droidsmith Babu Frik emerged from the Rise of Skywalker as one of fans’ new favorite characters. The tiny tinkerer becomes even more lovable when you discover he was controlled by the actor voicing him, Shirley Henderson. Watching the talented voice performer receive a crash course on puppeteering is one of the doc’s highlights, especially when you see her skills seamlessly come together to bring the alien to life.

8. John Williams’ cameo contains a veritable basket full of Easter eggs.

If John Williams’ Kijimi cameo wasn’t enough of an Easter egg for fans of the revered composer, then the other 51 in his scene should do the trick. Serving as individual call-outs to each of his Oscar-nominated films, the blink-and-you’ll-miss-them references include everything from an Indiana Jones-style bullwhip to an iron like the one that collided with Daniel Stern’s face in Home Alone. Of course, the four-dozen-plus items were all carefully crafted and designed to appear right at home in the galaxy far, far away.

9. The Death Star Awakens?

Long before J.J. Abrams resurrected Emperor Palpatine, he was considering revisiting the crashed Death Star from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. In fact, during the earliest production stages for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he commissioned concept art for this very idea. The documentary teases a few of these images, including a couple of especially cool ones showing parts of the super-weapon completely submerged beneath the sea.

10. One practical effect is also filled with fiber.

One of The Rise of Skywalker‘s more memorable action sequences sees the heroes nearly sucked into the Pasaana desert’s sinking fields. For the cast’s safety and comfort, black beans, among other materials, were used to simulate the dark, deadly sand. While the beans posed no threat to the actors, both Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac recounted moments where they had to hold their breath while briefly submerged.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is available now on Digital, 4K Ultra HD, and via Movies Anywhere, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD.

A full-time freelance writer born in Lizzie Borden’s hometown, Matt Cabral has covered film, television, and video games for over a decade. You can follow him on Twitter @gamegoat or find him in the basement of an abandoned building hoarding all the canned goods, med-kits, and shotgun shells.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheRiseofSkywalker

7 New Hasbro Star Wars Figures Revealed Today

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 15:24

The Mandalorian is finally getting his full set of beskar armor, as part of a new round of Hasbro figure reveals from the Black Series and the Vintage Collection.

As announced earlier today on a variety of fan-led websites, the toymaker is adding five new figures to the Black Series line, including fan-favorite Rebel hero Admiral Ackbar and a Carbonized version of Boba Fett, among others. Check out the full array below!

Preorders are available on some figures now!

Star Wars: The Vintage Collection 3.75-inch K-2SO is available at Hasbro Pulse, Big Bad Toy Store, Entertainment Earth, Walmart, Amazon and more.
• Star Wars: The Vintage Collection 3.75-inch Clone Commander Wolffe is available at Hasbro Pulse, Big Bad Toy Store, Entertainment Earth, Walmart, Amazon and more.
• Star Wars: The Black Series Carbonized Collection 6-inch Stormtrooper is available at Hasbro Pulse, Big Bad Toy Store, Entertainment Earth and more.
• Star Wars: The Black Series Carbonized Collection 6-inch Boba Fett is available at Hasbro Pulse, Big Bad Toy Store, Entertainment Earth and more.

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Clone Wars First Look: “Dangerous Debt”

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 11:00

The final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars continues this Friday on Disney+ with “Dangerous Debt,” which finds Ahsoka, Trace, and Rafa imprisoned by the Pyke Syndicate — and attempting a daring escape. StarWars.com is thrilled to present your first look at the episode — including an all-new preview clip and the first images from the episode below!

Find your favorite stories from a galaxy far, far away on Disney+Start Streaming Now

Watch the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+.

Learn more about Star Wars on Disney+.

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Climbing a Mountain: The Making of The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 09:00

A reader of Abrams Books’ The Art of Star Wars series would be forgiven for assuming that, as the author, I just write the text and someone else is responsible for gathering, choosing, and laying out the hundreds of pieces of concept art that fill their pages. But my “day job” as creative art manager at Lucasfilm means that I am exposed on a daily basis to dozens of new concept art pieces for every live-action and animated project we are involved in, reviewing and disseminating them, as needed. As such, I would be tasked with gathering concept art for these art books, even if I wasn’t the author.

One of the mandates for the Art of Star Wars series was that each should be different, as different as the films themselves are from one another. And early on, I decided to try and find a thematic connection between the books and the films they were covering.

2015’s The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was laid out following the month-to-month production of the film, by necessity, as the book covered a nearly three-year period. As a new author, I was also very closely matching the layout of J.W. Rinzler’s The Art of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Rinzler himself having chosen me to follow in his footsteps. For Josh Kushins’ The Art of Star Wars: Rogue One, several layouts were tried before one that hops from world-to-world, as the film does, was selected. The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi followed the individual journeys of each of the main characters, Rey, Finn, and Poe, until they converge on Crait. And as a particularly character-driven film, The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story had a chapter dedicated to each individual, followed by the world upon which we meet them.

“KYLO ROOFTOP” by Chris Voy.

Very early on in the process, I pitched the idea that The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker could function a “victory lap” for Lucasfilm’s amazing artists and storytellers, many of whom have worked exclusively on Star Wars for the past five years. Each chapter could feature the work of an individual design team, namely, the costume, props, creature and droid effects, art (encompassing set decoration and computer graphics), and post-production departments. Within each of those chapters, the concept art would be organized chronologically, marching through the plot of the film.

“KYLO REN HELMET 01 and 04” by Luke Fisher.

“KYLO HELMET 03” by Ivan Manzella.

I also hoped that, in doing so, the role of the artists within each department would be made clear. In rare cases, teams that don’t normally handle certain designs take a crack at them, as creature concept artist Jake Lunt Davies did with Rey’s speeder (normally the purview of the art department) for The Force Awakens. In the earliest days of The Rise of Skywalker, Neal Scanlan’s creature designers, including Davies, Luke Fisher, and Ivan Manzella, similarly took a pass at Kylo Ren’s helmet (normally the responsibility of Michael Kaplan’s costume department), only knowing that director J.J. Abrams wanted it to return. So they designed an entirely new batch of helmets, only later learning that Abrams intended Kylo to fix the one he smashed in The Last Jedi.

So, given that blending of roles and how each department’s art is normally mixed together in an The Art of Star Wars book, I hoped this layout would cement the players and their respective responsibilities in the reader’s minds. As soon as that “by department” layout concept was approved by Lucasfilm Publishing and Abrams Books, I was off to the races, deciding the chapter order, what subjects would be covered in each chapter, and, most importantly, starting the long process of gathering, organizing, and winnowing down the gigantic pool of concept art.

Looking at our database as I write this, there were upwards of 20,000 pieces of concept art created for The Rise of Skywalker. The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has 684 pieces squeezed into its pages, the precise number of pages (256) that each of the Art of Star Wars books have. So, there’s a surprising amount of math that goes into it, knowing that I have X amount of subjects to cover and only so much room to cover them. I do my best to stick to those numbers when placing art into the rough layout.

“JANNAH SKIFF VERSION01” by Glyn Dillon.

The amount of art available on a particular subject, how important it is in the film, and how interesting the stories are behind its creation all factor in to how long I can afford to dwell on any given topic. Key, and potentially beloved, new characters with a lot of design iteration, like Babu Frick or Zorii Bliss, might warrant four to six pages, whereas Jannah only gets two, because her costume design came together so quickly.

Thankfully, I am not alone in the process of deciding what concept art makes the final cut. Since The Force Awakens, the art department has created what co-production designer Rick Carter called a ”moviescape,” a single PDF that runs through the entire film visually with concept art. Those pieces are my jumping-off point for the art department’s work. Over the winter of 2019, co-production designer Kevin Jenkins also sent me several batches of his art selects, as did several of the other department’s designers, like chief costume concept artist Glyn Dillon.

But the ultimate decisions usually come down to me, with the help of designer Liam Flanagan at Abrams Books, pieces getting added or dropped until no more changes can be made as the book is prepared to go to print, around six months before it’s released to bookstores worldwide. Industrial Light & Magic post-production concept art and shot paintovers are often the very last slugged into place.

One of the great joys of the process is digging through our film production database, checking each folder and subfolder for hidden concept art gems. In the case of The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, some of the weirdest and most fun pieces I dug up included Jake Lunt Davies’ BB-unit tank and Caretaker assassins, costume concept artist Calum Alexander Watt’s pilot design tribute to David Bowie, and Rodolfo Damaggio’s storyboards for a deleted Knights of Ren battle sequence. In spite of those pieces’ lack of relevance to the final film, I couldn’t resist including them.

“SERPENT VERSION 4A” by Adam Brockbank.

From start to finish, The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker took over a year and a half to complete. In the summer of 2018, the work was very part-time but ramped up dramatically as I approached my early-2020 deadlines. The analogy I always use in describing the process in putting one of these books together is climbing a mountain. And there is no more intimidating place to be than at the base of the mountain, not having taken even a single step. But the books do somehow come together, step by step. However difficult the journey, it is always a joy. And it remains the deepest of honors to, in a small way, represent these films and, by proxy, the legacy of what George Lucas created, and all of the incredibly-talented people behind the scenes that make them happen.

The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Phil Szostak, and Lucasfilm Ltd. © Abrams Books, 2020

© & TM 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization

The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is available now.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is available now on Digital, 4K Ultra HD, and via Movies Anywhere, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD.

Lucasfilm creative art manager Phil Szostak has worked in conjunction with Star Wars art departments since 2008. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York, Szostak ran the JAK Films Art Department on Skywalker Ranch for more than three years before joining the narrative design team on LucasArts’s Star Wars: 1313. He is also the author of The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015), The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Abrams, 2017) and The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story (Abrams, 2018). He lives in San Francisco.

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