Official Star Wars Headlines

Subscribe to Official Star Wars Headlines feed Official Star Wars Headlines
Updated: 53 min 58 sec ago

D23 2019: The Mandalorian Poster Revealed

4 hours 28 min ago

Twin suns beat down over a dusty desert, and a gunslinger walks alone.

A powerful new poster for the upcoming Disney+ series was revealed today at D23 Expo, offering a glimpse into the world of The Mandalorian. The image, with an almost hand-painted quality, sees the Mandalorian advancing in a harsh, dry terrain, and his ship, the Razorcrest, behind him. Only moisture vaporators decorate the otherwise desolate landscape, while two massive sandcrawlers sit in the far-off distance. The suns shine through the desert haze, and one thing is clear: this is not a place for the weak. See for yourself below.

This is just the first of several reveals for The Mandalorian at D23 Expo. Stay tuned to StarWars.com for more on the highly-anticipated live-action series!

The Mandalorian debuts November 12 on Disney+.

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #D23Expo2019

Marvel’s Age of Resistance Reveals the Early Days of Poe Dameron and General Hux – Exclusive

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 14:19

One was destined for the stars. The other, tyranny.

Marvel’s Age of Resistance miniseries — following the popular Age of Republic and Age of Rebellion — will shine a light on icons of the Resistance and First Order. Written by Tom Taylor, the series kicks off on August 28 with Age of Resistance – Poe Dameron #1 (art by Ramon Rosanas) and Age of Resistance – General Hux #1 (pencils by Leonard Kirk), which turn back the clock and examine formative events for the Resistance’s ace pilot and the First Order’s fiery general. StarWars.com is excited to offer a sneak peek below!

Age of Resistance – Poe Dameron #1

FIGHT AND FLIGHT! POE DAMERON is the greatest pilot in THE RESISTANCE. But before the Resistance, he commanded another crew. He flew for the NEW REPUBLIC. But was Poe flying for the right cause?

Age of Resistance – General Hux #1

MAROONED! GENERAL HUX and KYLO REN crash-land on a far-off planet. With no hope of rescue, the two are forced to work together to survive. But can they survive each other?

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

5 Reasons to Check Out Star Wars: Commander on Its 5th Anniversary

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 08:00

Star Wars: Commander, a base-building strategy game set during the original Star Wars trilogy, was released in August of 2014. In the five years since, it has been supported with movie-tie-in events as well as significant expansions, opening up even more of the galaxy to players hoping for a deep, rewarding combat experience on mobile devices. With a special anniversary event underway, and exciting content you can’t experience anywhere else, now’s the perfect time to check out this fun, free-to-play game. Here’s why.

1. It’s easy to jump in.

Just download Star Wars: Commander on the App Store or Google Play. After a brief tutorial in which you scuffle with the forces of Jabba the Hutt, your partner, a grizzled mercenary named Saponza, suggests it’s to pick a side in the Galactic Civil War. After you’ve joined up with the Rebellion or enlisted in the Empire, Saponza will help guide you through the story as new gameplay elements are introduced.

2. You can choose your side.

As you fight your way across six different planets, you’ll have access to items, story content and allies unique to your chosen faction. Familiar faces include Darth Vader, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. Add in the iconic sound effects, authentic music and a balanced focus on combat and storytelling, and this is one of the most Star Wars-y games available on your phone or tablet.

3. Discover characters and planets you won’t find elsewhere.

Sure, you’ll visit Tatooine, Hoth, Takodana and Yavin 4, taking on womp rats and a krayt dragon — but Star Wars: Commander is the only way to explore Er’Kit and Dandoran. You also get to ally yourself with original characters like Jennica Pierce, former senator Johhar Kessen, Imperial Captain Kosh, and the shadowy Devaronian Kada Jahr.

4. Enjoy rich strategy in an evolving galaxy.

The core of the game involves building and maintaining your base; upgrading your headquarters (and HQ level) grants you access to additional unit types and better fortifications. Once you’ve learned the ropes by playing through the story campaign, you can squad up with other players online and take on rival squads in all-out wars.

5. The war is just beginning.

The team at NaturalMotion is marking Star Wars: Commander’s five-year anniversary with a special two-week event, offering players two new pieces of defensive equipment: “Guard Reserve: Mercenaries” and “Reinforced Cantina Bracing.” From August 22 through August 28, you’ll be able to grab a free daily Anniversary Crate as a reward for logging in, and the in-game store will hold a sale with up to 30% bonus crystals on certain purchases.

Star Wars: Commander is available now on the App Store and Google Play.

Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Fangoria, Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, Variety, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

The Clone Wars Rewatch: “Overlords” of Mortis

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 05:55

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the all-new episodes coming thanks to #CloneWarsSaved, 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 and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.

59: “Overlords” (Season Three, Episode 15)

“Balance is found in the one who faces his guilt.”

Synopsis:

A mysterious force draws Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka to a strange and distant world where they are plagued by visions. Meanwhile, a family of exceptionally powerful Force-wielders try to determine whether Anakin is truly the Chosen One.

Analysis:

“Are you the one?” The question is both curious and pleading, an enticing inquiry from the enigmatic being known only as Daughter.

It seems clear, at least to the Father and Qui-Gon Jinn before him, that Anakin Skywalker is the Chosen One, the one who will bring balance to the Force. And yet, it’s a mantle Anakin has no desire to take on.

Fulfilling his duty as the Chosen One here would mean staying in the uncharted and ethereal Mortis, abandoning his life, his wife, and the Jedi Order. For a man who has already served the opposing roles of peacekeeping Jedi and war-time general, and given his preternatural Force abilities and high midi-chlorian count, it makes sense. If the Father can no longer preside over his dueling children, Son and Daughter, Anakin is the only one in the universe, it seems, strong enough to keep them in check in his absence, at least in this strange world that seems to operate purely on a metaphysical level.

Even with his unimaginable god-like powers, the Father cannot make Anakin choose this life. He must come to it willingly, or choose to continue the life he knows and risk the entire fate of the galaxy. But there’s more to Anakin’s choice than a love for Padmé and the life he’s carved out for himself since escaping enslavement on Tatooine.

Faced with the ghostly visage of his mother, Shmi, come to tell him a secret, Anakin drops his guard and confesses the guilt he still carries for failing to rescue her in time. He begins to acknowledge the seeds of the dark side that took hold when he destroyed the entire village that had held her captive. In bringing the Son and the Daughter both to their knees, he once again shows this potential for pure and unchecked rage, a seething hatred that illuminates the destructive power of the dark side as a disease working from the inside out. Yes, he’s doing it to save both Ahsoka and Obi-Wan, rather than play the Father’s game of saving one only to see the other destroyed. But there’s something unsettling about the way he commands Daughter and Son. Like the ghosts inhabiting Mortis, appearing as visions of Qui-Gon Jinn from the past and Ahsoka from the future, Anakin’s display of raw power is a specter of things to come.

The Mortis arc expands the mythology of the Force and the prophecy of the Chosen One in a way not previously imagined, putting a face to the light, the dark, and the one in the middle who aims to keep these two opposing forces in balance.

And although the episode ends with our heroes headed back to their ship, the spirits of Mortis don’t give up so easily.

Intel:

  • Liam Neeson and Pernilla August reprised their roles from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in this episode. Neeson returned to lend his voice to the vision of Qui-Gon Jinn, while August was once again the calming voice of Shmi Skywalker.

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 Son takes Ahsoka captive in “Altar of Mortis.”

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. Want to talk more about The Clone Wars? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you thought about today’s episode.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

5 Questions with Matthew Reinhart, Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy Author

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 15:07

In 5 Questions, StarWars.com talks to guests of The Star Wars Show for some additional, fun intel.

Author and pop-up master Matthew Reinhart stopped by The Star Wars Show this week to offer a sneak peek of his upcoming book, the incredible (really, you have to see this thing!) Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy. While we wait for the book to literally pop up in our galaxy on October 22, StarWars.com caught up with Reinhart for a few more questions.

StarWars.com: When and where did you first see Star Wars?

Matthew Reinhart: I don’t remember the year. It must have been around 1978, and I only remember portions of it. I remember the cantina scene. That is like burned into my mind. I remember it just always being. I just remember it was always part of what I remember.

StarWars.com: If you could hang out with anyone in Star Wars, who would it be?

Matthew Reinhart: C-3PO. Yeah, I dig him. I love C-3PO. Well, I think he’s hilarious, number one. He’s annoying, but like, you need annoying people around sometimes to make light of the world. And he could translate anything for you, you know?

StarWars.com: Would you join the Rebellion or the Empire?

Matthew Reinhart: Rebellion. I’m, at heart, a goody-two-shoes. I’m all about people wanting to do their own thing.

StarWars.com: What is your desert island Star Wars movie?

Matthew Reinhart: Return of the Jedi.

StarWars.com: Why is that?

Matthew Reinhart: Jabba and the Ewoks.

StarWars.com: Why do you like Jabba so much?

Matthew Reinhart: Why do I like Jabba? He is what he is and doesn’t try to hide it. There’s something really great about that character. He’s horrible and he’s not pretending to be anything else. The thing about Jabba though is, he has no PR agency. The Empire is like, “Oh, the Emperor is doing good stuff for us!” But Jabba is just gross and he likes what he likes. He eats whatever he wants to and he’s not worried about looking good. And you know, I’m an old Muppets fan. Because he’s this giant puppet, there’s just something about it that brings me back to the Muppets in a lot of ways.

StarWars.com: Say something nice about Darth Vader.

Matthew Reinhart: Dresses well. I dig his style.

Watch Matthew Reinhart on this week’s episode of The Star Wars Show below!

Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy arrives October 22 and is available for pre-order now.

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Get to Know the World of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in the StarWars.com Databank

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 13:35

Few have seen Oga Garra, the notorious crime boss, in the flesh, but today StarWars.com has captured an image of the elusive owner of Oga’s Cantina on Batuu.

As she remains hidden, don’t expect (or even wish) to cross her path if you make your way to Black Spire Outpost inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the new themed land inside Disneyland Resort and opening August 29 at Walt Disney World Resort. But through the official Databank, we’ve collected some helpful intel to help you navigate this strange new world on the Outer Rim with a primer on some of its most notorious inhabitants, noteworthy ships, and local hotspots.

Inside Oga’s Cantina, the music isn’t provided by a live band but rather by a familiar former pilot. DJ R-3X spins the latest hits from around the galaxy.

In contrast to his neighbor, Dok-Ondar has a prominent role at his shop, Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, where the Ithorian patiently waits for those of refined taste to stop in and negotiate a deal for his rare and sought after merchandise.

Hondo Ohnaka, the Weequay pirate who was known for kidnapping Jedi during the Clone Wars and working to take down the Empire in the early days of the Rebel Alliance, has reinvented himself once more with Ohnaka Transport Solutions, a perfectly legitimate business, we’re sure. Although he has his own ship, the Katooni, when he’s hiring a new crew for a gig he prefers to borrow someone else’s hunk of junk for the job, including the Millennium Falcon.

Strono “Cookie” Tuggs once held the title of head chef at Maz’s castle on Takodana. But after the First Order arrived, he left to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning his own restaurant and travelled to Batuu to open Tuggs’ Grub, an exotic eatery located inside a modified Sienar-Chall Utilipede Transport.

The conflict between the Resistance and the First Order has recently come to this far-flung planet, and visitors will no doubt see the first seeds of the struggle. Keep an eye out for Vi Moradi, who has traveled to Batuu under the orders of General Leia Organa, and a Resistance Intersystem Transport Ship (I-TS) as well as an assault shuttle, the First Order TIE echelon and the First Order Short-Range Evacuation Vehicle, or SREV for short.

What other Star Wars creatures, characters, and droids did you spot at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? Let us know in the comments below.

StarWars.com All Star Wars, all the time.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

7 Tips for Visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 08:00

Bright suns! In case you haven’t heard, the all-new land Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now open at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and will open on August 29 at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. If this is your first time going, StarWars.com has seven tips that’ll help you save time and get the most out of your visit to the planet Batuu’s Black Spire Outpost.

No matter if you’re there to help the Resistance survive, assist the First Order in tightening its grip on the galaxy, or just stopping by to pull a heist and make a few credits, you’ll be blending in with the locals and having fun in no time with the advice below.

1. Speak the local lingo.

It’s always a good idea to learn about the local culture when you travel to a new country, and it’s no different when you step onto Batuu. Luckily for you, Batuuans speak Galactic Basic, so you’ll have no problem conversing with anyone you meet in the marketplace or in the cantina. That said, you’ll find these local greetings useful:

  • “Bright suns!” (“Good day!”)
  • “Rising moons.” (Good evening/night.)
  • “May the Spires keep you.” (Said when parting ways; a formal goodbye.)
  • “’Til the Spire!!” (Said when parting ways; a casual goodbye.)

2. Come with appropriate accessories.

Even though Batuu is a place where a lot of action takes place, rest assured that you’ll be safe without your trusty blaster. Any prop weapon with a trigger or belt is prohibited. Lightsabers are permitted in Black Spire Outpost, just make sure they’re properly put away when you go on attractions and use common sense when around crowds of people.

3. Keep an eye on your droids.

You’ll have a blast building your very own custom droid — BB- or R-series — at Droid Depot, but be careful with your new robot pal when exploring. It’s best to carry or stow droids rather than let them roam free. Note that the Droid Depot is a paid experience, and reservations may be required.

4. Dress for the occasion.

The warm climate on Batuu dictates that natives wear comfortable, breathable outfits that are as practical as they are attractive. As an off-worlder, you’re more than welcome to mimic local fashion in order to be comfortable, just as long as you can’t be mistaken for a local yourself.

But there are certain rules that you might want to know about: only younglings under 14 can dress in replica costumes of galactic heroes. Grown-ups are welcome to dress in outfits inspired by heroes or villains of legend (This is commonly referred to as “Disneybounding” by visitors), but nothing that looks too convincing. Furthermore, full masks and Jedi robes (even those purchased from the marketplace stalls) are prohibited from being worn in the land.

5. Make reservations!

Travelers who have been granted landing clearance to Black Spire Outpost have already discovered that Oga’s Cantina, Savi’s Workshop – Hand-built Lightsabers, and Droid Depot are popular spots. That’s why it’s highly encouraged to make reservations. At Disneyland Resort, you can make reservations for all three locations starting 14 days in advance of your arrival, or at 7 a.m. the morning of your visit on the Disneyland website or on the Disneyland app. Once open at Walt Disney World Resort, you can make reservations for Oga’s Cantina up to 180 days in advance. Trust us — it’s worth waking up a little early and firing up your datapad just to hear DJ R-3X’s latest set while sipping on the wildest drinks from here to the Chiss Ascendency, crafting your Jedi weapon, or building a droid pal.

6. You can exchange Earthly currency for “something more real.”

While vendors and shopkeepers in Black Spire gladly accept off-world currencies, you can also exchange your money for Batuuan Spira. You can transfer funds from your account to an authentic metal Spira, for a minimum of $100, which can be used wherever you go on Batuu. Just tap on the register’s datapad at checkout and you’re shopping like a real Batuuan.

7. Fly the Falcon…solo.

Hondo Ohnaka’s looking for crews to fly the Millennium Falcon, with no prior experience required. That means you’ll probably need to queue up behind a bunch of other recruits looking to try their hand at shipping *ahem* legitimate salvage and cargo *ahem*. Thankfully, if you’re by yourself, you can get in a special line — just look for the “Single Rider” sign when heading over to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Whenever Hondo’s helpers have a single seat open in the cockpit, you’ll get assigned to a mission.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland® Resort is now open. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida on August 29.

Brendan Nystedt was very afraid of Darth Vader hiding under his bed when he was five years old. Please follow him on Twitter @bnystedt!

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

8 of the Weirdest Creatures from the Star Wars Saga

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 07:55

A mouth full of sharp teeth, a pet with a shrill laugh, a beast that calls an asteroid home — all manner of bizarre creatures inhabit the Star Wars universe. They thrive in arid, inhospitable deserts and in swamps (or swampy garbage containers). They play important roles in the story, sometimes devouring or assisting our heroes, and they have an impact even if they only appear in the background or in a passing frame. The presence of creatures gives the exotic and different worlds we visit in the Star Wars films depth and a feeling of realism.

The talented artists who design and bring these creatures to life come up with some incredible concepts. Here are 8 of the weirdest creatures from each of the saga films so far:

Kaadu

When the Gungans charge into battle on Naboo in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, they ride wobbly-looking kaadu. Somehow the two-legged beasts remain balanced while taking deliberate, graceful steps. And they can move at high speeds, too, even while carrying a rider. You’d never guess from looking at them.

Nexu

If the nexu’s wide snarl wasn’t full of ferocious, long teeth, it might look like a grin. The predator sent after Anakin, Padmé, and Obi-Wan in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones isn’t your typical monster, blending cat-like and reptilian features. On top of the razor sharp claws and terrifying fangs, the nexu has two sets of eyes with infrared vision. In other words, it would be hard to escape this peculiar, lethal creature.

Varactyl

Extravagant plumage and shimmering iridescent pebbled skin are but two qualities that make the varactyl a striking, fantastical creature. Seen on Utapau in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, varactyls are powerful reptavians with both armor-plated skulls and extreme agility — attributes you wouldn’t think of as being complementary. Since they can move quickly on both horizontal and vertical surfaces, and they’re known for being loyal and obedient, they’re desirable mounts.

Dianoga

Imagine thinking of slimy water littered with trash as homey and comfortable. As seen in Star Wars: A New Hope, the dianoga gets by just fine in such an environment. Besides its unlikely habitat, the dianoga makes an impression with its slow-blinking eyestalk popping above the surface of the water. In the depths below, the dianoga’s bulbous frame with seven tentacles hides out of sight. They can grow to be as large as ten meters high! And all from feasting on organic matter that floats within their reach.

Space slug

An unfathomably massive monster that lives inside an asteroid? Yes, please. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back introduced a whopping exogorth, a.k.a. a space slug. When Han pilots the Millennium Falcon into what seems like the perfect hiding place, it quickly becomes a dangerous situation as they have to escape — or risk becoming the space slug’s dinner. The silicon-based life forms with sharp teeth feed on the minerals and energy emissions found on asteroids, but if a ship wanders in, they’re not going to turn down a snack.

Kowakian monkey-lizard

What are your favorite qualities about your pets? Maybe they cuddle with you when you’re blue or brighten your day with a round of fetch. What if they’d laugh at all your jokes? In Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Jabba the Hutt receives constant appreciation in the form of cackling from his pet, a Kowakian monkey-lizard named Salacious B. Crumb. Monkey-lizards combine, you guessed it, monkey and reptilian features with a beaked nose. Their slightly squished faces, drooping ears, and tufts of fur make them quirky and a little frightening at the same time. With their odd, gangly looks, they’re not what you envision when you think about a pet, but maybe they should be.

Steelpecker

Close your eyes and picture Jakku and its endless stretches of sand, dotted here and there with crashed ships and scraps. The steelpecker calls this environment home. You may not have given the steelpecker’s brief appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens much attention, but you should take a second look. This decidedly extraordinary bird feeds on metal. Metal! With its razor-sharp beak and talons, the steelpecker can sustain itself by tearing into the junk around the planet. Mmm, nothing like osmiridium for a midday snack.

Vulptex

When animals scurry past, you don’t usually hear the faint tinkling sound of wind chimes. But that’s what you’d notice if a vulptex was near. The fox-like creatures from Star Wars: The Last Jedi are elegant and quick. And the light-footed critters stand out; they have a sparkle and glow about them thanks to their stunning but unusual fur. Vulptices are covered in pointy crystalline pelts; they’re a little like living chandeliers, reflecting light and glimmering in the darkness.

Amy Ratcliffe is passionate about Star Wars and coffee. She always has her nose stuck in a book. She’s the author of Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy and a co-host of the podcast Lattes with Leia. Nerd out with her on Twitter at @amy_geek.

Star Wars at D23 Expo 2019:  Everything You Need to Know

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 13:22

This week, we’re heading to Anaheim, California, for the D23 Expo 2019, which promises to be packed with Star Wars costumes, panel discussions, and so much more! Consider StarWars.com your one-stop source for everything about a galaxy far, far away at D23 this weekend.

Evolution of the Stormtrooper Costume Exhibit and Star Wars Kids at the Lucasfilm Pavilion

If you missed seeing the menacing Sith trooper in person at San Diego Comic-Con, you’re in luck. For the first time at D23 Expo, Lucasfilm will host a pavilion on the show floor with an impressive display showcasing the evolution of the Star Wars stormtrooper. Come explore the history of the menacing soldiers from Star Wars and get an up-close look at an array of screen-used costumes including the new Sith trooper from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Plus, the exhibit will host a special video exploring stormtrooper design, featuring interviews with concept artist Doug Chiang, Lucasfilm Animation veteran Dave Filoni, and the director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, J.J. Abrams. This stunning display is a rare opportunity to examine these production costumes up close and study the many unique styles deployed throughout a galaxy far, far away.

Also featured in the Lucasfilm pavilion will be a special space for young Padawans that will include the colorful Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures video shorts, along with multiple interactive activities for younglings and families to relax and enjoy.

Disney+ Pavilion

D23 Expo will be your first chance to sign up for the new Disney+ streaming service, and inside the Disney+ pavilion you may just get a closer look at the world of The Mandalorian, the first Star Wars live-action series making its debut on the service on November 12th.

Exclusives and Early Release Merchandise

We have intel that the Sith troopers have infiltrated D23 in the Uptown Disney sector, so be on the lookout for a few items available ahead of the official product launch in September.

Panels

With a packed panel schedule over the three-day event, there’s sure to be plenty of news!

Disney Legends Ceremony
Friday, August 23, 2019
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Hall D23

The ceremony, hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, will once again honor those visionaries and artists who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy, including the legendary voice of Darth Vader and The Mandalorian showrunner. This year’s recipients are: Wing Chao, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, James Earl Jones, Bette Midler, Kenny Ortega, Barnette Ricci, Robin Roberts, Diane Sawyer, Ming-Na Wen, and Hans Zimmer.

The Music and Sounds of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Friday, August 23, 2019
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
D23 Expo Arena

Step into the world of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, now open at Disneyland Resort and opening August 29 at Walt Disney World Resort, with a closer look at the soundscape and music, including the new theme by legendary composer John Williams, that makes Batuu and Black Spire Outpost come to life.

Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode II First Look
Friday, August 23, 2019
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Stage 28

Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series lets you become the hero of your own personal adventure as you step into the role of a Force-sensitive smuggler recruited by Darth Vader himself. Director Ben Snow, Senior Experience Designer Jose Perez III, and Lucasfilm Story Group Creative Executive Matt Martin take the stage for an in-depth discussion about the upcoming second episode, including an exclusive sneak peek that will be available only to those at D23 Expo.

Disney+ Showcase
Friday, August 23, 2019
3:30p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Hall D23

The highly anticipated streaming service Disney+ will give guests a first look at some of its original content including the upcoming Star Wars live-action series The Mandalorian. Executive producer Jon Favreau will be joined by Dave Filoni and other special guests for a sneak peek at what’s to come in the series. Fans won’t want to miss this star-studded presentation!

Go Behind the Scenes with The Walt Disney Studios
Saturday, August 24, 2019
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Hall D23

Fans will glimpse what’s on the drawing board for the acclaimed filmmakers at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios and get a peek at the exciting slate of live-action projects, from Disney to Marvel Studios to Lucasfilm’s Star Wars. As always, attendees will be treated to exclusive footage, special guest appearances, and more! Cell phones, cameras, and all recording devices will be checked for this presentation.

Heroines of the Disney Galaxies, Presented by BoxLunch
Sunday, August 25, 2019
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Stage 28

Join the voice of Ahsoka Tano, Ashley Eckstein (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, creator of Her Universe) and special guests for a celebration of some of the most inspiring and empowered heroines from the worlds of Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and more!

Inspiring Women Behind Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Sunday, August 25, 2019
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Stage 28

From leveraging design talents to create Black Spire Outpost, to penning the stories that guests will uncover as they explore, these women used their diverse perspectives and skills to create the groundbreaking land of Batuu and transport visitors to a galaxy far, far away inside Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts. On Sunday, meet the women behind the magic, including Lucasfilm’s Vice President of Development Carrie Beck and other talented special guests who have helped to bring the world of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to life.

StarWars.com All Star Wars, all the time.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

6 Underrated Star Wars Pilots

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 08:00

The Star Wars galaxy has no shortage of pilots. From movies to TV shows to books and comics and video games, it’s difficult to keep track of just how many people there are behind the controls of spacecraft. Of course we all know the greats: Luke Skywalker, Anakin Skywalker, Poe Dameron, and Wedge Antilles are just a few of the amazing pilots we’ve seen on the big screen.

But what about the lesser-known pilots? There are many characters across the Star Wars universe who have an incredible amount of skill, but don’t get as much praise for their aerial talents — or just aren’t well known as an ace pilot. In celebration of National Aviation Day, check out these six incredible, underrated Star Wars pilots.

1. Iden Versio

Iden Versio may not be a household Star Wars name, but she was vital to the Rebellion in many ways, and is an excellent pilot. Iden was an Imperial TIE fighter pilot who was assigned to a special commando team called Inferno Squad after the destruction of the first Death Star, which you can read about in Christie Golden’s Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad. But Versio really takes center stage in the video game Star Wars Battlefront II. The game’s story mode follows her squad’s defection to the Rebellion after the Battle of Endor. But more than that, she’s an ace pilot, as we get to see during both gameplay and cutscenes. From her incredible maneuvers during the Battle of Theed, where she helped to save the planet by taking out enemy satellites, to eliminating multiple fighters in her desperate attempt to save her father during the Battle of Jakku, her skills are top-tier.

2. Hera Syndulla

There are few leaders who inspire as much loyalty and dedication as Hera Syndulla, and for good reason: She risked herself again and again for the sake of her crew. First seen in Star Wars Rebels and again taking an important role in Alexander Freed’s Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron, Hera is the leader of the Ghost’s crew and works quietly with the Rebellion against the Empire. Hera singlehandedly ensured that B-wing bombers would take flight thanks to her piloting skills, in fact, she left her family and home on Ryloth simply to be able to fly. And it’s clear that anyone who could take on multiple TIE fighters in a freighter and live to tell the tale (much less on more than one occasion) is worthy of the title of “underrated pilot.” She’s a sympathetic friend, an exceptional leader, and has unwavering dedication to the causes she believes are right. And when you need a pilot for a risky mission, she’s hard to beat.

3. Nien Nunb

His name might be familiar to Star Wars die-hards, but Nien Nunb’s skills are criminally underrated. Nunb, who is from the planet Sullust, joined the Rebellion after he helped Princess Leia smuggle Alderaanian survivors off his planet, as seen in the Star Wars: Princess Leia comic. But his claim to fame is sitting in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, piloting alongside Lando Calrissian during the Battle of Endor. In the age of the First Order, Nien Nunb continued to serve General Organa in the Resistance as an X-wing pilot.

4. Jess Pava

Jess Pava has proven herself to be a capable pilot and is a member of Poe Dameron’s Black Squadron. In the comic series Star Wars: Poe Dameron, Poe handpicked Jess to be a part of the mission to find Lor San Tekka and his map to Luke Skywalker. Jess started out as a pilot for the New Republic, but chose to support General Leia Organa’s Resistance after the organization she served refused to confront the First Order about its malicious actions. While she does have a tendency to lose droids on her missions, Jess uses her top flying skills to get herself (and her fellow team members) out of trouble again and again.

5. Torra Doza

It’s not an easy thing to be a member of Ace Squadron on Castilon, a planet in the Outer Rim. It’s an even harder thing to do when you’re a teenage girl. But Torra Doza handles the pressure of being one of the best — some say the best — pilots on the Colossus as cooly as she handles the controls of her ship, the Blue Ace. Star Wars Resistance, the animated series, puts its laser focus on pilots and the art of racing. Few can measure up to Torra’s skill, and even fewer to her wit, charm, sense of humor, and dedication to her friends and family.

6. Obi-Wan Kenobi

I know what you’re thinking: Obi-Wan Kenobi isn’t an underrated character! While this is true, he isn’t usually listed among the best pilots in the galaxy, and that does him a disservice. The Jedi Master may have hated being behind the controls of a ship, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have exceptional flying skills. To be able to roll, twist, turn, dive and survive a trip through an asteroid field over Geonosis in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, while seismic charges are being lobbed at you, is really exceptional handling. It’s really too bad he never took to flying, because Obi-Wan could have been one of the greats of Star Wars.

Swapna Krishna writes about space, science, tech, and pop culture. Her work has appeared at Engadget, The Verge, Gizmodo, the Los Angeles Times, Polygon, Mental Floss, SYFY, and more. She is the co-editor of Sword Stone Table, a forthcoming King Arthur-inspired anthology from Vintage. You can find her on Twitter @skrishna.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

StarWars.com Fan Spotlight: Naomi and Tim

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 12:07

Naomi Brett Rourke and husband Tim Guest were intrigued by Star Wars from the beginning.

“When it originally came out, I was going around to all my friends saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to see that movie,’” says Naomi. Her friends, however, had about as much enthusiasm for this new space epic with laser swords and walking carpets as Luke Skywalker does for cleaning up droids. “I said, ‘No no no, that’s going to be a great movie.’ And it was, and I was so grateful that I could tell my friends that afterward.”

“I remember in ’76, before it came out, I was with some friends in the Bay Area,” says Tim. “They were going, ‘There’s this guy up in Marin County, and he’s making this sci-fi movie for 10 million dollars.’” Tim and his friends couldn’t believe the budget, thinking it “a huge amount.” But they looked forward to what this NorCal filmmaker was cooking up. “And then, of course, in July of next year we saw it and were like, ‘Well, that’s money well spent.’”

StarWars.com met Naomi and Tim in front of the stormtrooper exhibit at San Diego Comic-Con last month, their incredible General Leia Organa and Han Solo cosplay impossible to ignore. “We decided to start cosplaying after we saw The Force Awakens,” Tim says. 

“They’re our age!” Naomi adds, laughing.

Naomi and Tim worked on their costumes for about a year, researching fabrics and design before having the outfits made. Just before they were to debut the costumes at a convention, however, Carrie Fisher passed away. Naomi decided she wouldn’t dress as Leia, her favorite character, out of respect — it was too soon. Tim, however, thought she should, and convinced Naomi to do it. “I had people crying on my shoulder,” Naomi says. “It was cathartic. So I’m glad he talked me into going.” 

Indeed, both Leia and Fisher have powerful legacies, and have had a lasting impact on Naomi since her first Star Wars viewing. “There was something about Carrie Fisher,” Naomi says. “She was my hero from then on. She was great. I think most girls who grew up in that time period wanted to be her.”

Today, Naomi, a member of the Rebel Legion fan group, and Tim, on his way to becoming one, love Star Wars as much as ever. But don’t get this Han-and-Leia pair started on their movie son. “Ben has been a disappointment to his mother,” Tim says.

“Bad-boy Ben,” Naomi says. “I think we were doing rebel business and missed a birthday or something.”

The StarWars.com Fan Spotlight Q&A

What’s your favorite Star Wars memory?

Naomi: “I am your father!” That was great. And the entire theater did a collective “[Gasps].” You know, it was wonderful.

Tim: The first time we went to lightspeed.

Would you join the Resistance or the First Order?

Naomi: Oh, are you kidding? The Resistance, come on.

Tim: I’m with the Resistance.

If you could fly or drive any Star Wars vehicle, what would it be?

Naomi: Oh, the Millennium Falcon, absolutely. That thing is awesome.

Tim: Ditto. The Millennium Falcon.

Which Star Wars character would you want as a roommate?

Naomi: Chewie, ‘cause he’s cuddly. You could cuddle up next to him, and I’m cold all the time. It’s like a big blanket.

Tim: General Ackbar. I like seafood. 

Naomi: [Laughs] Too soon!

If you could have any job in the Star Wars galaxy — Jedi, Sith, Death Star janitor, rancor keeper, whatever you want — what would it be?

Naomi: Princess and/or General Leia. 

You’re dressed for the part.

Naomi: I’m dressed for the part, I want to be that person. I’m there.

Tim: X-wing pilot would be a lot of fun.

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, #FanInterviews

Poll: What is Your Favorite Moment in the Star Wars Resistance Season Two Trailer?

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 09:55

Most impressive! The Colossus station has made the jump to lightspeed to a mysterious new destination and we can’t wait to see what the next adventure holds when Star Wars Resistance premieres for its second and final season this fall. This week, we got our first look at the exciting new planets to explore, new aliens and creatures to meet, and some of the friendly and not-so-friendly faces there to greet us. We can’t wait to be reunited with Kazuda Xiono, Torra Doza, Bucket, and the rest of the crew. Plus we’ve been waiting patiently to find out what happens next for Tam Ryvora after taking the hand of the First Order’s Agent Tierny and the trailer does not disappoint. Cast your vote in the poll below then share your favorite moment on social with #StarWarsResistance.

Star Wars Resistance Season Two will premiere on Sunday, October 6, (10 p.m. EDT/PDT) on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW, with subsequent airings on Disney XD.

StarWars.com All Star Wars, all the time.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Stern Pinball’s Star Wars Pin Makes the Jump Home

Thu, 08/15/2019 - 14:05

Attention, Star Wars fans who love pinball: Stern Pinball is here to rescue you.

Last month at San Diego Comic-Con, Stern unveiled Star Wars Pin, a pinball machine based on the company’s popular 2017 Star Wars title, but designed specifically for home use. With a smaller footprint, no coin slot, and a lower price point ($4,449) than regular arcade releases, Star Wars Pin is essentially a new hope, to put it in Star Wars terms, for fans who’ve never felt like they could house a pinball cabinet.

“You still have the full pinball experience when you’re playing it,” says Evie Smith, publicist for Stern Pinball. “But it’s just a little bit less of a commitment on a couple of fronts.”

StarWars.com had the opportunity to try Star Wars Pin, and can confirm that it’s a beautiful celebration of the original trilogy, a joy to play, and filled with details that fans of the saga and pinball will love. The LED-lit playfield is bright and alive, with art featuring icons from Star Wars: A New Hope, including X-wings; custom-sculpted Death Star and TIE fighter models sit at the top of the playfield, fully blastable with precise hits from your flippers (which is oh-so-satisfying); and there’s audio and video from the films. The cabinet itself is gorgeous, with airbrushed paintings of AT-ATs and the Millennium Falcon navigating an asteroid field from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

“It’s our ode to the holy trilogy,” Smith says. “It’s great, whether you’re really good at pinball, or just like to hit the flippers every now and then.”

Star Wars Pin, much like all of Stern’s Star Wars releases, was developed in full collaboration with Lucasfilm. According to Smith, everything you see in the machine, from the Death Star’s vertical lights to an AT-ST being crushed in an Ewok trap — cleverly placed right between the game’s flippers — is ideated with or approved by Lucasfilm. For Stern’s designers, it’s a process that never gets old. “It’s always an honor to get to work with Lucasfilm,” Smith says. “Everybody that works at Stern is a fan of something, and a lot of that something is Star Wars.” As fans, creating a Star Wars pinball game specifically centered around the classic films held a significance not lost on Stern’s designers. “For the original trilogy, it was really, really important that we do it right,” Smith says.

As Star Wars Pin begins shipping this month, fans can consider taking that first step into a larger world — of pinball at home.

“If you’ve been waiting to buy the perfect pinball machine, this is it,” Smith says. “You’re never going to find one that is so specifically made for the home.”

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

12 Highlights from the Star Wars Resistance Season Two Trailer

Thu, 08/15/2019 - 11:06

Wherever they’re going, at least they’re all together. Well, most of them.

Last time we saw Kaz and the gang from Star Wars Resistance, they were escaping from Castilon aboard the Colossus, leaving Tam behind with the First Order operatives. Star Wars Resistance Season Two will bring us to the brink of the very destruction of the Resistance as entire planets give in to the might of the First Order. But we’re hoping the movement still has everything it needs to fight.

While we wait for the premiere of the final season of Star Wars Resistance, on Sunday, October 6, (10 p.m. EDT/PDT) on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW, we’re watching and rewatching the thrilling new trailer that debuted yesterday. Here are some of our favorite moments and highlights from the wild ride ahead for the Colossus and her crew, including Kazuda Xiono, Neeku Vozo, Jarek Yeager, and the Aces!

1. Bucket back among the stars.

Jarek Yeager’s loyal astromech may be addled by outdated programming and a skeletal frame, but after spending last season docked on Castilon helping to fix the Fireball, the brave little droid is off on a new adventure. And judging by the reflection in his lens as he stares into the great beyond alongside CB-23, he’s ready.

2. And the Colossus in hyperspace!

Last season, we were surprised to learn that the fueling platform had so much more to it than meets the eye. It’s an exciting time for the denizens to explore the galaxy outside of their watery home, but it’s not without its challenges. The station will need repairs on the fly and provisions to keep those aboard — and the ship itself — going.

3. New planets to explore…

Purple outcroppings protruding through glistening seas, Torra Doza scouting snow-capped terrain, and an arid jungle filled with old tech and ancient architecture will welcome our explorers.

4. Which means new creatures and aliens, too!

We’ll also meet a trio of long-limbed Gozzos in hard hats, what appears to be a flying sea creature friendly enough to allow riders, and a rather regal species of alien.

5. Kragan Gorr and his pirate gang.

The nefarious pilot and his crew offered a last-minute assist to the Colossus during the Season One finale, a change of heart thanks to Synara San. Now they’re back, and who knows what side they’re on this time.

6. Tam the TIE pilot.

Tam was understandably furious with her friends when their web of lies was exposed and we saw her take Agent Tierny’s hand and leave everything she’d known behind. She dreamed of flying with the Aces, but now instead she’s reached the ranks of the First Order’s TIE pilots.

7. Agent Tierny, Captain Phasma, and Commander Pyre.

Last season, we watched in horror as Starkiller Base decimated Hosnian Prime. Continuing to follow the timeline of the sequel trilogy, the new season picks up at a time when the Resistance is faltering, and the First Order’s finest aim to see to the movement’s destruction personally.

8. A menacing new stormtrooper.

A glimpse at a new design suggests last season’s SCUBA troopers weren’t the only specially equipped forces we’ll find in the series.

9. An epic space battle.

Star Destroyers! X-wings! TIE fighters! And more ships and vehicles than we could count. They’re everywhere!

10. Bounty hunters and other scum.

We caught a glimpse at a Guavian Death Gang soldier and other familiar pirates and scoundrels, including an all-new member of the Hutt crime family who seems awfully fond of Hype Fazon.

11. Kaz with the tripping and the falling.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Kaz may have just served as a spy for the Resistance and helped the Colossus break free from its water-logged state, but he still struggles with multitasking (like walking backwards and not crashing into things).

12. Enter Supreme Leader Kylo Ren.

Is there anything more terrifying than Kylo Ren’s use of the Force to bring the formidable Agent Tierny to her knees?

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

The Clone Wars Rewatch: Beware the “Witches of the Mist”

Thu, 08/15/2019 - 05:55

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the all-new episodes coming thanks to #CloneWarsSaved, 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 and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.

58: “Witches of the Mist” (Season Three, Episode 14)

“The path to evil may bring great power, but not loyalty.”

Synopsis:

After surveillance footage reveals a Dathomirian male slaughtering Jedi, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are sent to track down the monstrous Savage Opress.

Analysis:

Traitor!

Savage Opress, under the influence of the dark magic of the witches of the mist, has proven to be a reckless and impulsive beast, little more than a ferocious animal unleashed upon the world. Count Dooku may try to harness his raw power, but not only is Savage secretly under the spell of Asajj Ventress and the Nightsisters, but he also seems patently untrainable.

Sent to capture the Toydarian king, Savage instead kills the monarch.

When Ventress shows up to fight Dooku with Savage at her side, the monster created to serve as her apprentice turns on them both.

Somewhere beneath the layers of magic and anger, the warrior he once was appears to be fighting to make his own choices, exact his own will.

But proving that he’s still a puppet in this game, he goes limping back to the woman who turned him into the hulking, murderous beast that he is, and is set on a new course to the Outer Rim to locate his long-lost brother.

Savage’s apprenticeship to both Ventress and Dooku were short-lived, but the bond to his brothers and the loyalty to his kin is eternal.

Intel:

  • Dooku holds two blades to Savage’s throat in this episode, a move strikingly similar to how he will meet his end in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

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 Ahsoka, Anakin, and Obi-Wan face the impossible world of Mortis in “Overlords.”

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. Want to talk more about The Clone Wars? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you thought about today’s episode.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

5 Questions with the Russo Brothers, Directors of Avengers: Endgame

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 14:33

In 5 Questions, StarWars.com talks to guests of The Star Wars Show for some additional, fun intel.

Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of Avengers: Endgame, stopped by The Star Wars Show this week to discuss what it’s like to have helmed the biggest movie ever, the impact of Star Wars on their lives, and much more. StarWars.com, however, wanted to learn just a little bit more about the brothers’ thoughts on the saga and their Star Wars fandom…

When and where did you first see Star Wars?

Joe: In a movie theater with our Uncle Ron.

Anthony: Mayfield Road, east side of Cleveland.

If you could hang out with anyone in Star Wars, who would it be?

Joe: Han Solo.

Anthony: Han Solo, who else?

Would you join the Rebellion or the Empire?

Joe: That’s a loaded question.

Anthony: [Laughs] Slytherin.

Joe: Of course, the Rebellion.

What is your desert island Star Wars movie?

Joe: Empire Strikes Back.

Anthony: Empire Strikes Back. Sorry, we give the same answers.

Joe: I think it’s the turning point of the first three films. And it has one of the great revelations in movie history: “I am your father.”

Say something nice about Darth Vader.

Joe: He’s got a really cool costume.

Anthony: And a pretty scalp.

Joe: When it’s waxed.

Watch the Russo brothers on this week’s episode of The Star Wars Show below!

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Leia Has a Mission for Vi Moradi in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Black Spire – Exclusive Excerpt

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 14:32

For Resistance spy Vi Moradi, her next mission is unexpected — in just about every way.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson, arriving August 27, will finally tell the story of the Resistance’s arrival at Batuu, setting of the new Star Wars-themed land at Disney Parks. But it also looks to be a tale of personal bravery for Vi, who still feels the aftershocks of her experience as a First Order prisoner in Dawson’s Phasma. In this exclusive excerpt from Black Spire, General Leia Organa briefs Vi on her mission, which is essential for the survival of the Resistance. But she won’t be alone…

Check out the excerpt below, plus a first look at a detailed, beautifully-illustrated map of Black Spire Outpost — exclusive to the Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Black Spire!

Every time Vi was in the presence of General Organa, once Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, it felt a little like going home. Leia had a calm, steady presence, motherly but tough as nails, and no matter how dire things got, the older woman had a way of looking at each member of the Resistance as if they were the hero that could turn the tide against their enemy, the dreaded First Order that had risen from the Empire’s ashes. Leia returned Vi’s smile, her eyes twinkling.

“I have a mission for you,” Leia said, her attention flicking from various holos to Vi and back. Leia’s mouth fell into a familiar grim line, which told Vi she wasn’t necessarily going to like her assign­ment. That was fine—she didn’t particularly like how her last mission had gone, either. It wasn’t her job to like it.

“As you know, we’re massively outgunned. We don’t know what the First Order is planning, but it’s something big. Some kind of at­tack. I’m leaving immediately for Takodana to collect some valuable intel, so I wanted to meet with you personally and underline how very important your work will be.”

“If you brought me in just to tell me it’s important, it sounds like it might not be that important. I’m ready to work, General. Major Ka­lonia signed off. I’m back in top form.”

Leia’s gaze was unwavering. “I wouldn’t blame you if you just dis­appeared, after what happened to you on the Absolution. You were captured by the enemy, Vi. Tortured. Beaten. Shocked. Injured. I’ve read your med charts and your reports. Downplay it all you like, but an experience like that changes people. I should know.”

Vi shook her head. “But I’m still me. So put me on a Star Destroyer and let me—”

“No.” Leia cut her off, almost apologetic, and Vi’s mouth snapped shut. “This assignment might sound like a vacation, but I assure you, it’s of vast strategic importance. If you’re ready.”

Vi shifted on the crate, her back aching. Leia was right—she’d taken a beating on her last assignment, and although most of her wounds had healed, her body wasn’t getting any younger. Leia had sent her to a forgotten planet called Parnassos to gather intel on the First Order’s Captain Phasma, which was challenging enough. But on her way home, Vi had been captured by a different First Order officer, Captain Cardinal.

Instead of interrogating her through official channels or turning her over to Kylo Ren or General Hux, Cardinal had secretly taken her to a dank chamber in the ship’s lower levels and tortured her for the information she’d collected on his rival in the First Order, Captain Phasma. In the end, Vi had managed to manipulate him into letting her go, and Cardinal had gone out to face Phasma in combat. Vi made it out of the enemy ship and back to the fleet, and for the last few weeks she’d struggled to process all that had happened to her and heal in body and mind. But despite what she’d told Kalonia and now Leia, was she really ready to go back to work?

Well, was anyone ever ready to move on from trauma?

It would never leave her, but she couldn’t stay still any longer. It wasn’t in her nature.

“I’m ready,” she told Leia, putting the full force of conviction in her words.

“Good.” Leia’s smile returned. “Should the First Order succeed in their attack, or should they find us here on D’Qar, we need two things most of all: allies and places to hide. So I’m looking for suggestions on a place so out of the way that the First Order would never even think of it, a place where we could set up camp and put down roots. Specifically, we need an inhabited planet with an active port and resources, but not anything big, not anything the First Order would find advantageous.”

“Castilon isn’t safe anymore,” Vi thought out loud. “Not Pantora. Nowhere in the Core or Mid Rim, or any place where we’ve had a base before. Definitely not Parnassos.”

“Definitely not. Think, Magpie.”

Vi raised an eyebrow; Leia was not in a patient mood. “Batuu, maybe? I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never been there. It’s out on the edge of Wild Space. The main settlement is called Black Spire Outpost. It’s rough. Primitive. Seedy. Exciting. Smugglers consider it a good place to hide or hop a ship that can’t be tracked.”

At that, the general nodded. “I knew I could count on you. Batuu is perfect.” She chuckled. “Han told me all about it.”

Leaning forward, Vi gave her a suspicious look. “That can’t be the only reason you called me in here—just to ask me a question. You have strategists for that.”

“But I don’t need strategists.” Leia likewise leaned forward. “I need you, Magpie. I trust you. And what I need you to do is go to Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, establish an outpost for the Resis­tance, and collect as much support as possible among the locals and visitors. We need bodies. We need friends. We need skills. We need ships and food and fuel. We need eyes and ears on the ground. We need a place we can go if everything falls apart, a place so far off the map that the First Order has forgotten it even exists. To them, Batuu will seem strategically useless. But to us, it’s another spark of hope. I need you to cultivate that spark, to keep the fire burning.”

Vi leaned back, letting her head fall to the side. “So why do I feel like you’re promoting me out of harm’s way? Protecting me? Maybe even coddling me?” She held Leia’s gaze, never an easy task. “Use me, General. I have skills no one else has. I’m your best spy. So why are you sending me to what’s basically nowhere?”

“Because nowhere is what might save us. You’re not the only valu­able person being sent out to nowhere.” Leia gave her a significant look, blew out a sigh, and took on an air of urgency, as if Vi had al­ready been excused. “That’s your assignment. Take it or leave it. I’m needed on Takodana immediately. They’re holding the ship for me, and I’m out of time to convince you. The great thing about the Resis­tance is that you always retain free will. I hope you’ll trust me when I tell you that your work on Batuu is part of a larger plan. So do you trust me, Magpie?”

The general’s eyebrows went up, her graying hair in a perfect crown. Yes, Vi did trust her. And Vi wasn’t going to walk away, even though she knew it was always an option.

“I trust you, General,” she finally said.

Leia nodded. “Good. Dismissed. Report to the hangar tomorrow morning. Lieutenant Connix will provide further details and a mani­fest of your cargo. You’ll be assigned a droid to help with the heavy lifting and logistics. We’re giving you the materials, and we need you to scout the ideal site, connect with the local population, recruit new bodies to join the cause, and establish communications so we can discuss next steps.”

Vi stood. “I’ll do my best, General.”

The smile she gave Leia was resigned. Yes, she would do her duty. In this case, Vi didn’t think she would like it, but she was a soldier, and she would do whatever it took to resist the First Order and keep the galaxy safe.

But as Vi headed for the door, the general said, “Oh, and Magpie? One more thing.”

Vi couldn’t help chuckling as she turned around. “Of course. There’s always one more thing, isn’t there?”

Leia stood, looking grim and regal and certain. Vi steeled herself for what she knew would be unwelcome news.

“I’m assigning you a partner for this mission, and again I need you to trust me.”

Vi leaned against the door and crossed her arms. “Uh-oh. That doesn’t bode well. You know I prefer to work alone. And if it was somebody I liked, you would’ve led with that.”

“Perceptive as ever.” Leia rolled her eyes as if to suggest Vi had caught her out. “Before you head for Batuu, I need you to make a quick stop on Cerea to pick up someone. Archex.”

“Who’s Archex?”

The general’s gaze went dark, serious. “The man you knew as Cap­tain Cardinal has chosen to return to his childhood name.”

Cardinal.

Archex was Cardinal.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Black Spire arrives August 27 and is available for pre-order now. The Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition, which includes the Black Spire Outpost map, is also available for pre-order.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort is now open. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida on August 29

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

#StarWarsBlog

Star Wars Resistance Season Two Trailer Revealed

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 11:00

Kaz, Tam, and the rest of the crew aboard the Colossus station are making the jump to lightspeed for an epic second, and final, season of Star Wars Resistance this fall. Star Wars Resistance Season Two will premiere on Sunday, October 6, (10 p.m. EDT/PDT) on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW, with subsequent airings on Disney XD.

Set amid the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and before Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the story picks up after a harrowing escape from the First Order, as Kazuda Xiono and the denizens of the Colossus wind up lost in space, pursued by Agent Tierny and Commander Pyre who have taken Tam Ryvora aboard their ship. In the enticing new trailer, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren himself makes an appearance, along with General Hux, Captain Phasma, and plenty of other familiar faces alongside new characters including a never-before-seen Hutt gangster. The thrilling final season promises to spotlight how even unlikely heroes can help keep the spark of hope alive in a troubled galaxy.

Check out the full trailer below!

Joining the cast for the epic conclusion are guest stars Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike) as Ax Tagrin; Daveed Diggs (from the original Broadway cast of the musical Hamilton) as Norath Kev; Matthew Wood (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Kylo Ren, and Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) as the Aeosian Queen. Christopher Sean stars as Kazuda Xiono alongside co-stars: Suzie McGrath as Tam Ryvora; Scott Lawrence as Jarek Yeager; Myrna Velasco as Torra Doza; Josh Brener as Neeku Vozo; Donald Faison as Hype Fazon; Elijah Wood as Jace Rucklin; Jim Rash and Bobby Moynihan as Flix and Orka, respectively; Liam McIntyre as Commander Pyre; Jason Hightower as Captain Doza; and Sumalee Montano as Agent Tierny.

The series was created by renowned Lucasfilm Animation veteran Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels); executive-produced by Athena Portillo (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels), Justin Ridge (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels) and Brandon Auman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles); and art-directed by Amy Beth Christenson (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels).

Catch up on Star Wars Resistance Season One, then strap in for the final adventures of Team Fireball and the Ace Pilots!

StarWars.com All Star Wars, all the time.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

The Art of Designing Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 09:55

For years, the cinematic wonder of the Star Wars galaxy has captured imaginations, transporting viewers off this rock and hurtling into adventure through hyperspace. It’s a universe unlike any other, filled with planets and creatures that are at once completely alien and somehow totally familiar.

But to make the galaxy out of brick and mortar inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, where fans could step onto the dusty surface of a real Star Wars planet for the first time, artists and designers couldn’t entirely rely on the same movie magic that brings those worlds to life on screen. The project is the culmination of Lucasfilm VP and Executive Creative Director Doug Chiang’s lifelong love of the saga and individual artistic expertise. “Of all the Star Wars experiences, whether it’s a video game or a film or a themed attraction, this is one of the most challenging and the most fulfilling for me,” he says. “It reminds me of when I first saw Star Wars when I was 15. When I saw it in the cinema, it was amazing. But I really wanted to go there and visit that place. And now we can.”

The truth is, from the beginning, Star Wars storytelling has been grounded in reality, an attribute that helped the design team for the new themed-land now open at Disneyland® Resort and opening August 29 at Walt Disney World® Resort. “We try to give it that layer of reality, that history,” Chiang adds. “Who has been living here? What have they done here?” 

“It really just looks so realistic,” says Kirstin Makela, Walt Disney Imagineering’s art director on the project. “We want our guests to feel like they’re in a new environment that also feels familiar to the world of Star Wars, but gives them a sense of adventure that they can actually make this world their own.”

However, making something feel real in a movie and making something realistic that holds up to the naked eye and all five senses are two very different things.

Imagined nature meets imagination

The planet of Batuu and Black Spire Outpost started out just like any other Star Wars setting: as concept art. Erik Tiemens, a longtime concept design supervisor for Lucasfilm and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, was part of the crew that traveled to Turkey and Morocco in search of real-world inspirations, personally shooting nearly 3,000 reference photos to help inspire those earliest iterations. 

Reference photo taken by Erik Tiemens in Istanbul for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge park design.

At its core, Black Spire Outpost could only be realized fully if the planetary surface felt natural and authentic. Tiemens dug into geological research of petrified trees and sedimentary rock work, merging the two. “I wanted it to be very simple,” he says. “The first exploration was between good and evil in the landscape.” Color was peppered throughout to evoke emotion and symbolism, with playful pops and washes in the marketplace acting almost as an invitation to come wander the stalls.

“One of the fun challenges of designing Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is that we were creating a unique landscape that was grounded in reality,” Chiang adds. “We had to make sure that the landscape actually had a geological history, that you could actually understand how the land was formed and that made it feel real, that it wasn’t fantasy….So you saw these horizontal strata mixed with a vertical spires. It kind of grounds it in something that’s very familiar, but yet it kind of takes it to another level.”

Reference photo taken by Erik Tiemens in Marrakesh for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge park design.

Building the outpost on top of that geographical base gave it a sense of time and a placement in galactic history. Designers sought to reverse-engineer the world to peel back layers and reveal different moments. Buildings that were just being built were aged to appear as if they had weathered long years, relics from ancient cultures were co-mingled with the newer construction that heralded the arrival of the First Order and the Resistance. “We look at a wall, we might see blaster marks,” Tiemens says, inspiring viewers to think, “‘Oh, there was some event there.’ Just looking at the village itself, Black Spire Outpost is trying to tell a story.”

Lessons from George Lucas

Tiemens, like Chiang, owes his career to being completely enveloped in Star Wars from the moment he saw it as a seven-year-old. “The original Star Wars movie, that really left sort of an indelible impression.” The design of the galaxy far, far away inspired him to seek out a Joe Johnston sketch book and begin honing his own skills as an artist. “You would remember things even at a subliminal level — the textures and the lighting on the original cantina, the exterior of that.” And through his study, personally and professionally, he learned that a key component in creating Star Wars was for designers to bring their own perspective to the mix. “A big influence in the design process would be looking at what’s inside yourself.”

For Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the marching orders for the design approach were part period film, part city planner. “Like it was a real location,” Chiang says. Batuu as we experience it on our planet had to blend together as one seamless and cohesive world, just as if we had stepped inside of a Star Wars film and onto a real planet in the Outer Rim. “A big challenge for us in designing Batuu is we had to make sure it all integrated,” Chiang says. “My trick was to approach it like how we design for films. For films, we try to create a world that’s very believable, from a very specific point of view.” It was more science fantasy than space future. “This was a lesson that I learned from George [Lucas], because he considered Star Wars not as science fiction, he always considered it a period film. So we designed it like a period film.”  

Reference photo taken by Erik Tiemens in Marrakesh for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge park design.

The designers followed some of the same basic tenets that gave the original film its unique used-future aesthetic and utilized Tiemens’ wealth of reference photos of “actual streets, actual pavers, mismatched doors, amazing things” from his travels abroad. “We were kind of seeking a little bit of the strange, the anomalies. I think George was always interested in that in the original Star Wars.”  To make Batuu feel lived-in and give the place the weight of its epic history, designers were attentive to details that organically occur in real locations over the centuries, like unusual marks and asymmetrical compositions that crop up over time. “We were all searching for what we could do that enhances the space but not make it generic or predictable.”

Translating cinematic marvels into something that would hold up to the naked eye called for more 360-degree thinking. “It can’t just be a movie set where things drop off and there’s going to be a matte painting and a blue screen,” Tiemens says. “This a space that actually has to function.” For example, the Millennium Falcon and individual spires were placed just so to take advantage of sight lines and sunlight and crafted with the utmost care. 

Makela calls the technique “anthropology mixed with art direction.” Artisans gave the petrified forest surrounding Black Spire Outpost personality by carefully hand-carving and hand-painting each sprire. “They think so deeply about how those rocks translate not only up close but as they start to recede back and back and back,” she says. “They’ll actually paint different layers of color around a spire. If you see it from one angle and you’re closer, it’ll be a little more saturated, but if you’re seeing it from another angle, they’ll actually paint it more faded. They’re thinking about everything 360.”

‘Absolutely real’

Batuu had to look like it had already stood for thousands of years and it had to be built to last for future generations. “We have to make it real. And that means we have to make it out of real concrete. Dirt is dirt. Steel is steel,” Chiang says. “And for me, I think the hardest part was realizing that, OK, all the tricks I know in terms of production design for a film set we couldn’t use.” That was especially true during the site-planning phase. “In cinema, we can have edits,” Chiang adds. “We can cheat things by making things out of plywood or foam to simulate concrete and steel. For a theme park, we can’t. It has to be absolutely real.”

The end result, marrying mythical proportions to realistic elements, is truly something that must be seen to be believed and fully appreciated. 

“To be honest, I never thought I’d be working on something like this because this was so beyond anything that I could comprehend,” Chiang says. “The fact that five years later we’ve actually built this is surreal because all the love and hard work that everybody put into it is there and I just can’t wait for people to experience it.”

Check out even more images from Marrakesh and Istanbul, captured as reference photos by Erik Tiemens, below!

Whether you’ve already visited or are planning your own adventure in the future, you can learn more about the art and design of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge this week on The Star Wars Show!

Get details to plan your visit to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and more with StarWars.com’s full coverage here.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland® Resort is now open. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida on August 29.

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

The Sith Trooper from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Marches to Shelves

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 07:55

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s mysterious Sith trooper is coming to our galaxy sooner than expected.

In a special release ahead of Triple Force Friday, Sith trooper action figures, costumes, T-shirts, and other products will begin arriving on shelves September 1 – and StarWars.com has a sneak peek!

Amazon

Apparel

Beeline

Tiki mug

Disney Parks

Apparel for the whole family

Hasbro

The Black Series action figure

Hot Topic

Apparel

Hot Toys

Collector figure

Kotobukiya

Collector figure

Party City

Costume

Rubies 

Child and adult costumes and masks

ShopDisney

Child’s costume and toy blaster

Zazzle

Apparel, accessories, and more

Suit up with these Sith trooper products starting Sunday, September 1, and then get ready for Triple Force Friday on October 4, 2019, the latest in a tradition of Star Wars product launches bringing a galaxy of brand-new Star Wars items to you. 

On Triple Force Friday, products will include even more from the final installment of the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as well as the first products celebrating the first-ever Star Wars live-action series, The Mandalorian, coming soon to Disney+, and those from the forthcoming action-adventure video game experience Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

StarWars.com All Star Wars, all the time.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Pages