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Star Wars Holocron Blog

REVIEW: Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge

by @holocronJulie for @sw_holocron

The new series Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge recently concluded its fun, family friendly first season. Airing on the Star Wars Kids channel on YouTube, rather than Disney+, Jedi Temple Challenge is hosted and produced by Ahmed Best and sees different teams of kids compete in a series of tasks to determine which kids are worthy of becoming Jedi Knights.

Off the bat, Jedi Temple Challenge should be commended for offering something different in the Star Wars universe. George Lucas has repeatedly said over the years that Star Wars is for children, and to see a project like this specifically tailored for younger audiences is nice to see. It’s important to, in reviewing different projects within the Star Wars universe, to remain cognizant of the project’s target audience. For instance, E.K. Johnston’s Padme novel Queen’s Shadow, although there’s plenty for a broad array of Star Wars fans to feast on, is primarily tailored toward young adults. As such, it’s inevitable that children and families are more likely to enjoy Jedi Temple Challenge than fans in other age ranges. This doesn’t mean, however, that the show exclusively appeals to children, as there’s plenty on offer for families, adults, and Star Wars fans of different demographics more broadly. In fact, Jedi Temple Challenge can be a thoroughly entertaining experience regardless of age.

What really makes Jedi Temple Challenge work as well as it does is host Ahmed Best. Moving away from his role as Jar Jar Binks, Best assumes the role of Jedi Master Kelleran Beq, who not only hosts the show, but also provides a much needed personality and enthusiasm to each episode. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Star Wars project without a quirky droid companion. Beq is accompanied by AD-3, voiced by the incredible Mary Holland. Holland isn’t given much to do throughout the series, but Best expertly leads the ship throughout and elevates Jedi Temple Challenge beyond just another children’s game show. In true Star Wars fashion, the show also features a neat little easter egg related to Kelleran Beq, as he shares the same last name with and, according to Ahmed Best, is related to Best’s character from Attack of the Clones Achk Med-Beq.

As the title suggests, the crux of Jedi Temple Challenge lies in the challenges themselves. And, for the most part, these challenges are entertaining and engaging. It’s evident that the show is inspired by similar children’s game shows, in particular Legends of the Hidden Temple, which aired on Nickelodeon in the 1990s. The challenges in Jedi Temple Challenge are varied and interesting, some requiring more intellectual engagement, while others necessitating physical activity. The show excels with less physical tasks as these challenges are more easily followable for audiences. This highlights the main issue with the series so far, which is the difficulty in following the contestants as they engage in each task. The way in which the series is edited, in addition to the lack of a studio audience, can make viewers feel a little distant from experiencing the show. One of the most enjoyable things about game shows like this is when we can immerse ourselves within the contestants’ perspective, feeling overjoyed when they succeed and devastated when they fail. Occasionally, Jedi Temple Challenge makes this difficult as the editing of the show makes some tasks difficult to follow, which results in viewers watching the kids tackle different challenges from a distance.

Despite issues in following some tasks, Jedi Temple Challenge succeeds in delivering entertaining, family friendly Star Wars content. It’s great to see Star Wars venture into different domains beyond movies, scripted television, books, and video games with Jedi Temple Challenge and, hopefully, there is more of the show to come. Anchored by the always incredible Ahmed Best and bolstering some interesting tasks for the contestants to engage in, there’s a lot on offer for Star Wars fans with this series.

Score: 8/10

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm & Star Wars Kids on YouTube

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Star Wars Holocron Blog

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Alex Segura talks his New Poe Dameron Novel Free Fall, Expanding on Poe’s Background from The Rise of Skywalker, and Exploring the Star Wars Underworld

by @holocronJosh and @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

Star Wars Holocron recently had the chance to interview Alex Segura, author of the new Star Wars novel Poe Dameron: Free Fall. Released this month, Free Fall chronicles the adventures of Dameron, who audiences know as a Resistance fighter in the sequel trilogy, as he navigates the underworld of the galaxy surrounded by the Spice Runners, a criminal group first introduced in The Rise of Skywalker.

Whereas the sequel trilogy primarily saw Poe amidst the battle between the Resistance and the First Order, the prequel novel Free Fall focuses heavily on the criminal side of the galaxy. When asked what made him interested in exploring this darker side of the universe, Segura had this to say:

“I love the story possibilities gray areas provide – and the underworld is a perfect setting for that kind of story. Poe is conflicted – he feels a loyalty to his new friends, but also realizes he’s thrown in with the wrong group. It also allows for a grittier, more grounded story. I’ve said before that the novel is basically a crime novel in space, and that’s very much the tone I was going for – to tell an intense coming of age story set in the criminal underworld of Star Wars.”

The fact that Poe Dameron was an established character in Star Wars canon prior to this novel creates it’s own challenges. Segura outlined his process for making sure that his novel fit well into canon:

“I think the initial challenge is to revisit the source material – not just as a fan, but as someone who’s going to be adding to the mythos – with an eye on Poe, and what is established. So I went back to Charles Soule’s great Poe comics run, Rebecca Roanhorse’s Resistance Reborn, Greg Rucka’s Shattered Empire and lots of other stuff to make sure I had a handle on everything that we knew Poe has experienced. Then, based on discussions with my editor and the Story Group, we figured out what we wanted to do with Poe’s origin – and how we wanted it to amplify what fans learned about Poe’s past in [The Rise of Skywalker.]”

Despite the fact that Zorii Bliss and the Spice Runners first appeared in final film of the Skywalker Saga, Segura had plenty of wiggle room when it came to expanding upon their characters:

“It was great – the door was open to bring in new ideas, create new characters, and expand the scope overall, while continuing the adventures of Poe, Zorii and the Spice Runners. I enjoyed the collaborative process a ton – and it made for a better book overall.”

J.J. Abrams, co-writer and director of The Rise of Skywalker, is a known perfectionist, often tweaking and tinkering with elements of his movies, particularly during the editing process. With Abrams’ unique filmmaking style, Segura outlined the process of writing Free Fall and how that related to the production of Episode IX:

“I can’t speak to JJ’s process, but the information between editorial/Story Group and me was great, and felt very natural. We knew the broad strokes from the moment I started writing, so that was helpful – and as more came in, we were able to make sure we reflected what was in the film clearly and to really make the story we were crafting sing.”

One of the reasons for the popularity of Poe Dameron as a character and, in turn, Segura’s new novel, is the casting of Oscar Isaac. The Guatemalan-American is not only one of the best actors working today, but also allows Latino audiences to see themselves represented on screen in a major franchise. Segura, who is of Cuban descent himself, talked about adding to the story of a character who means so much to fans all around the world:

“It was an honor! Oscar and I also share a Miami connection, so that was fun, too. I feel very strongly that we need to see and hear from more marginalized voices across all entertainment, so being able to write such an iconic character like Poe was truly something special.”

Previously, Segura worked on the popular Pete Fernandez Miami Mysteries series, something that informed the author on how to tackle a Star Wars novel:

“I wanted to paint a picture of what the gray areas of the Star Wars universe are like – what the criminal underworld might feel like. I wanted Poe to be thrust into a situation that was very much out of his control, and one that goes against his core beliefs. Pete is a conflicted, complicated character – and I see a lot of that in Poe, too. He’s impetuous, emotional, and instinctual, but he’s also very calculating and strategic, so I think it reminded me a bit of Pete and the adventures I told with him.”

On a final note, Segura also briefly touched upon some of his favorite moments with Poe in the films:

“Overall, I love Poe’s dynamic with Leia. So any scenes that involve them are tops for me!”

Poe Dameron: Free Fall is out now!

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm, Disney+, and Disney-Lucasfilm Press

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Star Wars Holocron Blog

The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special to Debut on Disney+ in November

by @holocronWilliam for @sw_holocron

2020 has delivered a whole host of interesting, unique Star Wars content and it looks like that trend will continue later this year with the recently announced The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special. Initially revealed by USA Today and later confirmed by starwars.com, The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special marks the first holiday special in the series since 1978’s Star Wars Holiday Special, a cult favorite among Star Wars fans.

Debuting on Disney+ on November 17, The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special will be set after the events of The Rise of Skywalker and chronicle another adventure with Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewbacca, Rose, R2-D2, and BB-8. The story will feature Rey, in preparing for Life Day, journeying to a Jedi temple to gain a deeper knowledge of the Force. On her journey, Rey is plummeted into an adventure that spans the entire Skywalker saga, encountering the likes of Yoda, Vader, Obi-Wan, Luke, and more.

The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is a co-production of Lucasfilm, the LEGO Group, and Atomic Cartoons and is directed by Ken Cunningham, who has previously directed LEGO Jurassic World and Spider-Man projects. The special is written by David Shayne and executive produced by Shayne, James Waugh, Josh Rimes, Jason Cosler, Jacqui Lopez, Jill Wilfert, and Keith Malone. 

Fans have long awaited for another holiday special, following the much beloved (and ridiculed) special from 1978. A holiday special, however, has been hinted at several times recently. The Mandalorian features several cool easter eggs and references to Life Day, including Din Djarin and his parents wearing the red Life Day clothes seen in the original holiday special and a character even name-dropping Life Day. Previously, The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau even spoke about his admiration for the Star Wars Holiday Special and his desire to see another one. Well, it looks like Favreau’s wishes have come true with this recent announcement. With the second season of The Mandalorian, Star Wars Squadrons, and now The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special all debuting this fall, it looks like 2020 will conclude on a high note for Star Wars fans.

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm, Disney+, and LEGO

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Star Wars Holocron Blog

Cassian Andor Show Adds Adria Arjona in Key Role

by @holocronJulie for @sw_holocron

Casting is underway on the Cassian Andor show, the next Star Wars Disney+ adventure that is gearing up to begin filming this fall.

As reported by Deadline, Adria Arjona, best known for her role in Netflix’s action film 6 Underground, has been cast in a lead role opposite star Diego Luna, who will reprise his role as the Rebel soldier for the first time since 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Arjona has previously appeared in True Detective and will star alongside Jared Leto in the upcoming Morbius film. Alan Tudyk, who brought K-2SO to life in the first Star Wars spin-off film, is also confirmed to return in the Cassian series. Genevieve O’Reilly, who played Mon Mothma in Rogue One, is scheduled to appear, although it’s currently unclear whether other recognizable members of the Rebellion will reprise their roles in the show. Rumors suggest, however, that Jimmy Smits will return as Bail Organa. New cast members include Stellan Skarsgard, Denise Gough, and Kyle Soller.

The Cassian Andor series is described as a “spy thriller” set in the Star Wars galaxy. The show will explore Andor’s time as a Rebel before the events of Rogue One and his eventual demise. Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote the 2016 film, will write, direct, and serve as the showrunner for the series. Other writers include Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler), Beau Willimon (House of Cards), and Stephen Schiff (The Americans).

Along with the Cassian Series, Lucasfilm is also developing an Obi-Wan show and a female centric series from Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland, all for Disney+.

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney+

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Star Wars Holocron Blog

How Starkiller Could Appear in Canon

by @holocronJosh for @sw_holocron

From Thrawn to sabaac to Malachor, recent years have seen a number of elements from Legends be reincorporated into canon. Such inclusions have not only been met with praise from fans, but have laid the groundwork for other characters, locations, and plot points from Legends to re-emerge into canon stories. One of the most well regarded Legends stories is Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, a video game chronicling Darth Vader’s secret apprentice who begins to redeem himself. The game was met with positive reviews from both fans and critics alike upon its release in 2008 and spawned a sequel two years later. Ever since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, fans have speculated as to whether or not the game’s protagonist Galen Marek, a.k.a. Starkiller, could work his way into a future canon project, something we would love to see actualized. Given the way in which canon has unfolded, however, an unaltered adaptation of Starkiller’s character may not fit well into the broader Star Wars timeline. But, there is still plenty of opportunity for Starkiller to make his canon debut.

First off, who is Starkiller?

For those unfamiliar with The Force Unleashed, the character later known as Starkiller was born as Galen Marek, a Force-sensitive son of two Jedi Knights raised on Kashyyyk. After Order 66, Vader hunted Marek’s parents down and, before slaughtering their young son, sensed the power within him and took him as his apprentice. Knowingly violating the Rule of Two, Vader trained Marek, now known as Starkiller, in secret, grooming him as his right-hand man when he eventually overthrew The Emperor.

As part of his training, Starkiller was ordered to slaughter several Jedi Knights. However, upon Palpatine’s discovery of Vader’s secret apprentice, Vader betrayed Starkiller. Starkiller, however, remained loyal to Vader, helping form a rebellion against the Empire to complete his master’s mission of overthrowing The Emperor. His scheme did not go as planned, with Vader once again betraying Starkiller, using Starkiller’s formation of a rebellion to arrest those who sought to defeat the Empire.

After being left for dead, Starkiller re-emerged to save his allies and defeat the Empire once and for all. In trying to destroy the Death Star, Starkiller was killed, but helped his allies escape. Starkiller’s family symbol, that of the Marek family, was used as the symbol of the Alliance to Restore the Republic given Starkiller’s heroic actions.

In The Force Unleashed games, Starkiller was played by Sam Witwer, who has become a staple in a range of Star Wars projects. Witwer is best known in the Star Wars universe for his portrayal of Maul, most recently seen in the stunning final season of The Clone Wars. In an exclusive interview we did with Witwer, the actor discussed his adoration for The Force Unleashed and its potential to be worked into canon, as seen by the appearance of flame troopers in The Mandalorian. Witwer has yet to appear in live action, but fans would love to see him undertake such a role, perhaps, once again, as Starkiller.

Starkiller the Inquisitor

Perhaps the most obvious way to incorporate Starkiller into canon is as an Inquisitor. As revealed by Sam Witwer during a Twitch event, Starkiller almost appeared in Star Wars Rebels. Witwer stated, “Dave [Filoni] did share with me, by the way, he considered making Starkiller an Inquisitor in Star Wars: Rebels. It didn’t quite fit the story they were telling, but he did think about it because he thought that would be interesting.” While this idea didn’t materialize in Rebels, Starkiller could still appear in a future project as an Inquisitor. Ever since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, there has been a host of high quality Darth Vader content, some of which includes Inquisitors. In this sense, it’s possible that the Inquisitors are explored once more and that Starkiller is among their ranks.

Starkiller as Palpatine’s Secret Apprentice

One way in which Starkiller could make his way into canon is as the apprentice of none other than Sheev Palpatine himself. In true Star Wars tradition, The Rise of Skywalker excels in telling a great story, while leaving much unexplained, including how Palpatine returned from the dead and what he was up to after the events of Return of the Jedi. Before grooming Ben Solo as his new apprentice (via Snoke), it’s possible that Palpatine could have toyed with the idea of other apprentices, including Galen Marek. Marek would obviously not be around by the time Ben Solo came into the picture, but it’s conceivable to think that, in his effort to retake control of the galaxy, Sidious took other apprentices under his wing.

Marek could also have served as Palpatine’s apprentice prior to Darth Maul. By the time The Phantom Menace begins, Maul is Palpatine’s right hand man, designed to assist his master in actualizing his grand scheme to take over the Republic. Although Maul is Palpatine’s apprentice in this film, Palpatine could easily have had other (failed) apprentices that came before Maul was taken from Talzin.

A Secret Apprentice to Lord Vader

Another way in which Starkiller could play a role in canon is simply as the secret apprentice of Darth Vader again, as he was in The Force Unleashed. The prequels established in canon that Sith continually seek to usurp other Sith, as shown later by Sidious’ murder of his master Plageuis and Dooku’s plans to overthrow Sidious. It’s already well established in canon that Vader wanted to overthrow Sidious, even as early as several weeks after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Vader later tries to accomplish this goal by recruiting his son Luke to join the dark side, allowing the father and son dyad to destroy Palpatine and take over the galaxy together. If this was a long standing plan of Vader’s, it’s plausible that he, at one point, trained a secret apprentice to help him overthrow his master. Starkiller could play a role here, as Vader’s secret apprentice.

High Republic Sith Lord

The High Republic era seems like it will be a topic of focus for many years to come in Star Wars canon. Due to its largely unknown contents, this era is ripe for exploration and experimentation. Although the Sith are thought to be eliminated at this point, we know that Sith Lords like Plageuis and Palpatine operated in the years leading up to The Phantom Menace. Therefore, another way that Starkiller could play a role in canon is as a High Republic, or even Old Republic, Sith Lord. This would require some pretty major retooling of Starkiller’s character, given that taking place in this era would mean that he is unaffiliated with Vader. However, the character arc and personality of Starkiller could be altered to work in this as yet unseen sect of the Star Wars universe.

Force-sensitive bounty hunter

Although this option would, largely, strip Starkiller of much of his Legends back story, it would be an interesting take to see the character emerge into canon as a Force-sensitive bounty hunter. We’ve seen Force-sensitive individuals be Jedi, Sith, Inquisitors, and many other things, but a bounty hunter with the ability to wield the Force has yet to be seen in canon. As projects like The Mandalorian seem to be delving deeper into the underworld side of the universe, and Witwer’s close relationship with Dave Filoni, it would be intriguing to see a radically reworked version of Starkiller play a role in the series.

Overall, Star Wars has done a great job in carefully integrating relevant elements of Legends into their new stories. With the exception of some elements, such as Thrawn, much of this re-integrated Legends material takes the form of inconsequential locations or items or Easter eggs. However, there’s still ample room to play around with more substantial components of Legends, including beloved characters such as Starkiller. With Witwer’s well established role in the Star Wars universe across multiple domains and the wealth of upcoming projects spanning many different eras and platforms, we think it’s fully possible that Vader’s secret apprentice will be seen once again.

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm, Disney, & LucasArts

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Star Wars Holocron Blog

Who Really is the Chosen One?

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

“A Chosen One shall come, born of no father, and through him will ultimate balance in the Force be restored.” Much of the Skywalker saga centers around this iconic Jedi prophecy, foretelling an individual who will restore balance and peace in the Force. While the question of “who really is the Chosen One?” seems pretty cut and dry, debate among fans regarding this question has existed for decades now and has, once again, intensified in light of Darth Sidious’ return in The Rise of Skywalker. Since the release of the film, new questions have arose as to which, if any, of the three trilogies’ respective Jedi heroes can take the mantle of the Chosen One.

Anakin or Luke?

For a while, it seemed that the Chosen One prophecy could apply to either Anakin or Luke Skywalker. In the prequel trilogy, Qui-Gon initially prophesied that the young boy he found on Tatooine would restore balance to the Force, a sentiment other Jedi believed in to varying degrees. However, as the Clone Wars raged on and Anakin’s allegiance to the Chancellor grew stronger, Jedi like Yoda and Mace Windu began openly questioning the validity of the prophecy’s applicability to Anakin. Yoda even states, “A prophecy, misread could have been.” This sentiment carries over to Obi-Wan, who emotionally declares on Mustafar, “You were the Chosen One! They said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them! Bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness!” At this point, Obi-Wan and Yoda believed that the prophecy was misread and that it was Anakin’s son Luke who must be trained in the ways of the Jedi to fulfill the Chosen One prophecy and bring balance to the Force by killing his father and Palpatine.

In watching the original six films, there’s a degree of ambiguity as to whether or not Anakin or Luke is the Chosen One. It is Luke who, through his compassion, turns Anakin back to the light side of the Force, thus leading to the death of Palpatine. However, it is Anakin who actually kills Palpatine and restores balance. Without Anakin, who was perfectly positioned as Palpatine’s right-hand man, turning to the light, the dark side would have continued to reign.

Still, many fans argued that without Luke, Anakin would have never turned to the light, therefore making the son of Skywalker the Chosen One. However, George Lucas dispelled this theory in an interview in which he officially confirmed that Anakin, even after becoming Vader, was still the Chosen One. This is affirmed in the canon reference title Darth Vader: Sith Lord, which explicitly states, “Anakin had fulfilled the destiny of the Chosen One.”

Is Anakin still the Chosen One?

The sequel trilogy, in particular The Rise of Skywalker, casts doubt on Anakin’s position as the Chosen One. The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi intelligently subverted invalidating the Chosen One prophecy, as it was actualized in Return of the Jedi, by stating that the prophecy foretold the destruction of the Sith, but not the dark side of the Force necessarily. Snoke and Kylo Ren are depicted as dark side users, but are clearly not Sith, thus making Anakin’s restoration of balance in Return of the Jedi compatible with the rise of a new evil in the sequel trilogy.

However, The Rise of Skywalker adds a degree of complexity to the Chosen One prophecy. Although some fans may disagree, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi present the new antagonists in a way that does not necessarily conflict with the Chosen One prophecy, given that the Sith are still destroyed following Anakin’s actions in Return of the Jedi. This is not the case in The Rise of Skywalker, in which Sidious is revealed to have died and returned, overseeing the First Order via Snoke. So, the question becomes: is Anakin still the Chosen One given that he did not truly bring about the end of the Sith? There’s several possibilities.

One of which is that, simply, Anakin is still the Chosen One. Although Palpatine did return, Vader actually killed Palpatine in Return of the Jedi. In this sense, balance was restored, at least for a time, after Anakin’s actions.

This, however, raises yet another question. If Rey does the same thing in The Rise of Skywalker as Anakin did in Return of the Jedi, is she the Chosen One? Moreover, it is Rey who definitively kills Palpatine, deflecting his lightning strikes back at him and making the Sith Lord disintegrate. Anakin says to Rey in Episode IX, “Bring balance to the Force, as I did.” This line shows that both Anakin and Rey, in slaughtering Palpatine, restore balance to the Force. It’s not the case that Anakin’s actions in Return of the Jedi are invalidated. Rather, Anakin killed Palpatine and restored balance for a time, before Rey killed Palpatine again, thus restoring balance again.

Some fans may find this problematic given that it makes the Chosen One prophecy seem more like a Chosen Two prophecy. It’s possible that Anakin is still considered the Chosen One as he killed Palpatine in Return of the Jedi and was vital in helping Rey kill Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker (through his encouragement and support to Rey), collectively making him the most important individual in bringing balance. Or, it may be the case that the Chosen One prophecy can be fulfilled multiple times, with both Anakin and Rey actualizing this upon killing Palpatine at different times. Or, there’s a possibility that, as Yoda once said, the prophecy was initially misread and it is actually Rey who is the Chosen One, not Anakin or Luke.

Canonically, it’s still unclear where the Chosen One prophecy stands in light of the events in the sequel trilogy. George Lucas once emphasized that Anakin, not Luke, was the Chosen One, but it seems that a more relevant discussion nowadays regards whether Anakin and/or Rey is the Chosen One. Whether or not this question will be addressed in a future Star Wars project remains to be seen, but given that the Chosen One prophecy has been an integral part of the Skywalker saga, it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that more light will be shed on this topic eventually.

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney+

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Star Wars Holocron Blog

What’s New in Star Wars – August 2020

by @holocronJulie for @sw_holocron

2020 has brought us plenty of great Star Wars content so far and August is no exception. From a new Poe Dameron novel to another installment of Greg Pak’s incredible Darth Vader series, August is full of interesting installments to canon suitable for any Star Wars fan. Unfortunately, August was also meant to be the home for Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2020 before its delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the lack of a Celebration this year, however, there’s still plenty of content to feast on. In addition, given that the first trailer for The Mandalorian season 1 was released in August 2019, we may also see a trailer for the upcoming second season of The Mandalorian this month. Below includes a list of upcoming Star Wars projects in the month of August:

August 4 – Poe Dameron: Free Fall

Alex Segura’s young-adult novel will focus on Poe Dameron’s time with the Spice Runners of Kijimi, a character point hinted at in The Rise of Skywalker. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “It’s been a few years since Poe’s mother passed away, and Poe and his father, who was a pilot for the Rebellion, have had more and more trouble connecting. Not sure what he wants to do with his life, teenage Poe runs away from home to find adventure, and to figure out what kind of man he is meant to be.”

August 5 – Star Wars 5

This is the fifth issue of Charles Soule’s canon comic series Star Wars, will illustrations by Jesús Saiz. The publisher’s summary of the issue is as follows: “The next steps on Luke Skywalker’s search for Jedi wisdom begin here! Following a mysterious vision he received on CLOUD CITY, Luke travels to a lost planet looking for a woman he believes may hold the key to his Jedi future and that of the entire Rebellion. But will he arrive at his destination in time to learn what he needs… or will the evil DARTH VADER get there first?”

August 5 – Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars – Battle Tales 3

The Battle Tales series has been an exciting addition to canon so far and hopefully the third issue is no exception. Written by Michael Moreci, illustrated by Derek Charm and Valentina Pinto, and published by IDW Publishing, the publisher’s summary for the weekly series is as follows: “This exciting weekly series explores a time of great upheaval in the galaxy—the Clone Wars! While Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and other Jedi Knights fight against incredible odds, Commander Cody, Captain Rex, and other clones, pinned down for the duration, swap war stories that feature your favorite characters from The Clone Wars animated series, such as Padmé Amidala, General Grievous, and many more!”

August 6 – Star Wars Annual 2021

This is the 2021 edition of Star Wars Annual published by Egmont Publishing. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “With a full round-up of the 9 saga movies, this Annual is the complete guide to everyone’s favourite franchise. Relive all the action and adventure of the 3 Star Wars trilogies with stories, fun facts, activities, posters and more! Includes The Rise of Skywalker new characters, movie moments and more!”

August 12 – Darth Vader 4

Greg Pak’s incredible Vader series continues with this fourth installment. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “WHO HUNTS THE HUNTER? DARTH VADER continues his terrifying quest for vengeance against everyone who hid the existence of his son from him. But on NABOO, the DARK LORD OF THE SITH faces a deadly new challenge as his focus turns from LUKE to PADMÉ, the wife of the man Vader used to be. And what secrets lie in the tomb of PADMÉ AMIDALA?”

August 19 – Bounty Hunters 4

The adventures of Valance, Boba Fett, and more continue in the fourth issue of writer Ethan Sacks and illustrator Paolo Villanelli’s Marvel Comics series. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “THE SINS THAT CAN’T BE ABSOLVED! With a blaster aimed at this [sic] back, cyborg bounty hunter VALANCE closes in on NAKANO LASH, the mentor who abandoned him many years ago. But what is the secret that Lash has been hiding ever since that fateful, doomed mission – one that led her to betray her entire crew? Those answers may die with her if a vengeful BOBA FETT gets to her first.”

August 19 – Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars – Battle Tales 4

August 25 – The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark

One of August’s most anticipated projects is a short story collection chronicling stories and arcs from The Clone Wars series. The project features stories written by Lou Anders, Tom Angleberger, Preeti Chhibber, Zoraida Córdova, Jason Fry, Yoon Ha Lee, Rebecca Roanhorse, Anne Ursu and Greg van Eekhout.

August 25 – What is the Story of Princess Leia?

Brought to us by Brandon T. Snider, Patrick Spaziante, and Who HQ, this canon story takes a look at Leia, the Princess of Alderaan.

August 25 – Star Wars: Darth Vader – Dark Lord of the Sith Vol. 2

Vader’s prominence in the month of August continues with a hardcover compilation of Charles Soule’s issues 13-25 of Darth Vader – Dark Lord of the Sith. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Darth Vader’s imperious rise continues! As the Empire’s grip on the galaxy tightens, the stirrings of a rebellion begin in the Mon Cala system. The fearsome Darth Vader knows that order must be maintained at all costs – but bringing Mon Cala to heel means finding the surviving Jedi that foment this unrest. As Vader, Tarkin and their Inquisitors hunt their targets, the seas will weep! Meanwhile, Vader discovers a theft – and when the thief faces the consequences, Emperor Palpatine rewards his disciple with a chilling gift! Seeking the path to destiny, Vader returns to the place of his greatest defeat. Darkness rises above Mustafar as Vader’s brutal design begins to take shape – but will the planet’s inhabitants stand for this desecration? And what can they do against the Dark Lord?”

August 25 – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Special

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, this Star Wars Insider deluxe collector’s edition magazine features various interviews, articles, and never-before-seen images from the iconic film. 

August 25 – The Rise of Skywalker Little Golden Book

The Little Golden Book’s young-readers adaptation of The Rise of Skywalker drops this month, fusing some of the publisher’s iconic illustrations with the last story in the Skywalker saga.

August 26 – Doctor Aphra 3

Doctor Aphra continues to be one of the best well-developed characters in canon outside of films and television, as exemplified by this recent run written by Alyssa Wong and illustrated by Marika Cresta. August brings us the third issue in the series, described by the publisher in the following: “THE TRIALS OF VAALE! Separated from her crew, DOCTOR APHRA finds herself in peril at the hands of RONEN TAGGE’S mercenaries! Could there be a traitor in their midst? And can Aphra outwit them before the curse of the city swallows her and her new team whole?”

August 26 – Star Wars Adventures Annual 2020

August closes out with a one-shot issue published by IDW Publishing featuring the character Jaxxon. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Framed for a crime he didn’t commit, Jaxxon finds himself at odds with the Empire, the Rebellion, and his ex-partner Amaiza Foxtrain! Co-starring Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie in the days leading up to The Empire Strikes Back! Plus, an all-new tale of everyone’s favorite droid bounty hunter from The Empire Strikes Back-IG-88! (With apologies to 4-LOM.)”

For reference, a condensed list of upcoming projects in August without descriptions is included below:

August 4 – Poe Dameron: Free Fall

August 5 – Star Wars 5

August 5 – Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars – Battle Tales 3  

August 6 – Star Wars Annual 2021 

August 12 – Darth Vader 4  

August 19 – Bounty Hunters 4  

August 19 – Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars – Battle Tales 4

August 25 – The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark 

August 25 – What is the Story of Princess Leia? 

August 25 – Star Wars: Darth Vader – Dark Lord of the Sith Vol. 2 

August 25 – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Special 

August 25 – The Rise of Skywalker Little Golden Book

August 26 – Doctor Aphra 3 

August 26 – Star Wars Adventures Annual 2020

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm, Disney, Disney-Lucasfilm Press, Marvel Comics, Penguin Publishing, IDW Publishing, Little Golden Books, and Egmont Publishing

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Star Wars Holocron Blog

The Mandalorian Nominated for 15 Emmys; Star Wars Resistance Up for Best Children’s Program

by @holocronJosh for @sw_holocron

Today, the nominations for the 72nd Emmy Awards were announced, with cast and crew from various Star Wars projects selected for their outstanding achievements. Star Wars’ first live action TV show, The Mandalorian, received a total of 15 nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series. Other nominations include Outstanding Guest Actor for Giancarlo Esposito, who appeared as Moff Gideon in Chapters 7 and 8 respectively, Outstanding Cinematography for Chapter 7: The Reckoning for DoP’s Greig Fraser and Baz Iodine, and Outstanding Visual Effects. The Mandalorian’s Outstanding Drama Series nomination surprised many, but it’s easy to see why Emmy voters opted to choose the Disney+ show, given the critical acclaim and excitement surrounding the project.

Meanwhile, the Disney Channel’s Star Wars Resistance, an animated show that follows Kaz Xiono and fellow Resistance fighters during the events of the Sequel Trilogy, was nominated for Outstanding Children’s Program.

Fans will have to wait a little while longer to see how many awards these Star Wars shows will take home. The Emmys Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, September 20th on ABC.

The full list of Star Wars nominations can be found below:

* Outstanding Drama Series: The Mandalorian

* Outstanding Children’s Program: Star Wars Resistance, for Brandon Auman, Executive Producer; Athena Yvette Portillo, Executive Producer; Dave Filoni, Executive Producer; Justin Ridge, Executive Producer; Sareana Sun, Executive Producer; Shuzo John Shiota, Executive Producer; Daisy Fang, Producer; and Jack Liang, Producer

* Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance: The Mandalorian, “Chapter 8: Redemption,” for Taika Waititi as IG-11

* Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series: The Mandalorian, “Chapter 8: Redemption,” for Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon

* Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Program (Half-Hour): The Mandalorian, “Chapter 1: The Mandalorian,” for Andrew L. Jones, Production Designer; Jeff Wisniewski, Art Director; and Amanda Serino, Set Decorator

* Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour): The Mandalorian, “Chapter 7: The Reckoning,” for Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS, Director of Photography; and Baz Idoine, Director of Photography

* Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes: The Mandalorian, “Chapter 3: The Sin,” for Joseph Porro, Costume Designer; Julie Robar, Costume Supervisor; Gigi Melton, Assistant Costume Designer; and Lauren Silvestri, Assistant Costume Designer

* Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series: The Mandalorian, “Chapter 2: The Child,” for Andrew S. Eisen, Editor; The Mandalorian, “Chapter 4: Sanctuary,” for Dana E. Glauberman, ACE, Editor; and Dylan Firshein, Additional Editor; and The Mandalorian, “Chapter 8: Redemption,” for Jeff Seibenick, Editor

* Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Limited Series, Movie Or Special: The Mandalorian, “Chapter 6: The Prisoner,” for Brian Sipe, Department Head Makeup Artist; Alexei Dmitriew, Key Makeup Artist; Carlton Coleman, Makeup Artist; Samantha Ward, Makeup Artist; Scott Stoddard, Makeup Artist; Mike Ornelaz, Makeup Artist; and Sabrina Castro, Makeup Artist

* Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score): The Mandalorian, “Chapter 8: Redemption,” for Ludwig Göransson, Composer

* Outstanding Sound Editing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (Half-Hour) And Animation: The Mandalorian, “Chapter 1: The Mandalorian,” for David Acord, Co-Supervising Sound Editor/Sound Designer; Matthew Wood, Co-Supervising Sound Editor; Bonnie Wild, Sound Effects Editor; James Spencer, Dialogue Editor; Richard Quinn, ADR Editor; Richard Gould, Foley Editor; Stephanie McNally, Music Editor; Ryan Rubin, Music Editor; Ronni Brown, Foley Artist; and Jana Vance, Foley Artist

* Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (Half-Hour) And Animation: The Mandalorian, “Chapter 2: The Child,” for Shawn Holden, Production Mixer; Bonnie Wild, Re-Recording Mixer; and Chris Fogel, Scoring Mixer

* Outstanding Special Visual Effects: The Mandalorian, “Chapter 2: The Child,” for Richard Bluff, VFX Supervisor; Jason Porter, VFX Supervisor; Abbigail Keller, VFX Producer; Hayden Jones, VFX Supervisor; Hal Hickel, Animation Supervisor; Roy Cancino, Special Effects Supervisor; John Rosengrant, Supervisor; Enrico Damm, Environment Supervisor; and Landis Fields, Virtual Production Visualization Supervisor

* And Outstanding Stunt Coordination For A Drama Series Limited Series Or Movie: The Mandalorian, for Ryan Watson, Stunt Coordinator

Source: StarWars.com

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney+

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Star Wars Holocron Blog

Highlights from Lucasfilm Publishing’s ComicCon@Home Panel

by @holocronGeorge and @holocronWilliam for @sw_holocron

A whole host of new Star Wars projects were announced during the ComicCon@Home livestream event Friday afternoon. A panel hosted by Lucasfilm Publishing’s senior editor Robert Simpson included a range of special guests, including Justina Ireland, George Mann, Rebecca Roanhorse, Preeti Chhibber, Timothy Zahn, Greg Pak, Alyssa Wong, Tom Angleberger, and Alex Segura. The discussion led to a number of reveals regarding new Star Wars books and comics. Check out below to see the 5 projects discussed at the event that we’re more looking forward to!

5. The Lightsaber Collection

While not introducing readers to a new narrative or characters, The Lightsaber Collection seems like it will be a must own for any hardcore Star Wars fan. Showcasing the iconic lightsabers of the Star Wars saga, this book will include high quality, unique images of the weapons, including never before seen portraits of different wielders.

4. Poe Dameron: Free Fall

The Rise of Skywalker added a unique side to Poe Dameron, including his past as a spice runner alongside Zorii Bliss and Babu Frik. Alex Segura’s new novel will delve into this period in Poe’s life and has been billed as a “crime novel in space,” with heist elements.

3. Thrawn: Ascendency – Chaos Rising

Timothy Zahn’s contribution to Star Wars lore is truly commendable, spanning decades chronicling Thrawn. Zahn promises that his new trilogy will expand upon Chiss culture, while highlighting Thrawn in a different era.

2. Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark

Fresh off the critically acclaimed final season of The Clone Wars, this anthology project looks to add to the era in some interesting ways and is definitely one of the most exciting projects revealed at the event. The anthology book includes contributions from a range of authors and will showcase more stories and characters in the beloved Clone Wars era, including Maul and Obi-Wan.

1. Darth Vader

Greg Pak’s new Darth Vader comics highlight the infamous Sith lord during the time between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Pak discussed the trauma inflicted upon Vader following Luke’s rejection on Bespin, “We tend to think of that from Luke’s point of view. But when you dig into that, you realize Vader himself is as traumatized as Luke is in that moment. And that moment is echoed purposefully multiple times throughout the series.” Interestingly, Pak revealed that his Vader comic will not only include references to the prequels, but also tie into The Rise of Skywalker in a unique way.

More projects were touched upon during the event, but these are just 5 of those discussed that we’re most looking forward. Despite the recent announcement that we’ll have to wait an additional year until the next Star Wars film, it’s great to see that there is a whole host of additions to canon we can enjoy in the meantime.

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm, Lucasfilm Publishing, Disney, Disney+, and Marvel

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Star Wars Holocron Blog

Upcoming Star Wars Movies Pushed Back By One Year

by @holocronJulie for @sw_holocron

Due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney has shifted release dates for a variety of their upcoming films. Although Star Wars wasn’t scheduled to come back to the big screen until 2022, fans are going to have to wait a little while longer. With the previous release dates set for December of 2022, 2024, and 2026 respectively, Disney have pushed these upcoming Star Wars projects back by one year. The new release dates are as follows:

December 22, 2023
December 19, 2025
December 17, 2027

While it may be disappointing to have to wait another year for the next Star Wars movie, this move has been expected for a while, as the global pandemic slows the productions of many films currently in development.

Now that the next film is in 2023, it’s also increasingly likely that this will be Taika Waititi’s Star Wars project. When asked about the status of the film in an interview with BBC earlier this week, Waititi confirmed that he and co-screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns have begun working on the project. With Thor: Love and Thunder scheduled to release in February of 2022, the delay of the next Star Wars film would provide Waititi with ample time to complete both projects.

Until 2023, fans have plenty of Star Wars to look forward to on Disney+. The Mandalorian Season 2 will premiere this October, with the Cassian Andor prequel series gearing up to film this fall for a 2021 release, and the long awaited Obi-Wan show coming in 2022. Star Wars: The Bad Batch, the recently announced animated show following a group of unique clones, is also coming in 2021. While there may not be a Star Wars movie till 2023, there are still a wide variety of projects to come.

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney+

Source: BBC