Star Wars: The Last Jedi (official trailer)

Well, this has really made me very excited for the new Star Wars movie!

I’ve watched this thing through twice now, and while overall I don’t think it tells us anything we hadn’t already surmised, I am nevertheless really interested in where the story is being taken for the middle arc of the trilogy.

Sure, we have Rey training with Luke, and they seem to be going on some kind of journey of discovery, stuff that we’d pretty much surmised from the teaser trailer. But this whole business with Rey and Kylo Ren seeming to team up? Is Kylo Ren going to kill Leia? What’s up with Finn, is he back with the First Order, or is it some kind of ruse? That fight with Phasma looks like it could be pretty epic, but could it lead to his return, somehow?

While we’re at it, let’s take a look at the new poster for the film:

So Luke is very much front and centre, with Rey and Kylo Ren flanking General Leia in a manner that makes me think this film is going to be very much a story driven by matters of the Force, and the war between the First Order and the Resistance will take a bit of a back seat. Leia has some overlap between these two spheres, of course, so her prominence over Poe and Finn seems to be justified there. Will Kylo have to kill Leia as part of his training under Snoke, only to turn his back on the darkness and team up with Rey as a penance? I can’t honestly see Rey willingly joining with him if he’s still evil, but maybe there will be a lot more grey in this film than meets the eye…

I purposefully avoided everything except the trailers for episode 7, and found myself enjoying the film more as a result. I’m therefore doing the same again, so I’m hoping that I’ll walk out of the cinema on 15 December feeling just as fresh as a result!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everybody!

I hope you aren’t feeling too worse for wear following any festivities you may have taken part in last night! It’s currently pouring with rain in my little corner of the UK, which seems about right for this time of year. At any rate, I thought I’d write some rambling thoughts here as I look forward to 2017 and all the rest of it!

I’m very much feeling in the Star Wars mood lately, as I think I’m still riding the wave of Rogue One enjoyment and all the rest of it. In the next few days, I’m planning to make a start on reading the tie-in novel Catalyst, as well as the movie novel itself. So definitely stay tuned for that! Indeed, Star Wars in general is something I want to be featuring a lot more on my blog in the coming year, as it seems to have fallen somewhat by the wayside last year, with only a couple of peaks.

2017 will see the premiere of Episode VIII, of course, which is something that I’m really looking forward to seeing. I haven’t made any real mention of this anywhere because I’m not trying to be some kind of news site, but as I’m sure everybody now knows, Carrie Fisher died on 27 December, following a heart attack just before Christmas. Utterly devastating news as, even without ever meeting or knowing her, she has still been such a presence for me through her portrayal of Princess Leia. News has since been coming out to say that all of her scenes for the upcoming movie had been filmed, and she wasn’t required for any pick-up work, but as a sad, yet inevitable side effect of a celebrity death like this, it does lead folks to wonder how the impact of that event will be felt across the upcoming film. Disney & Lucasfilm seem utterly intent on keeping the plots of their upcoming films a total secret, so I’ve been wondering if Fisher’s death will cause any kind of re-write to the story of the movie.

I had absolutely not seen Han’s death in VII coming, and remember being really shocked at the fact that it happened back when I saw the movie for the first time. Since then, I’ve been thinking that it would make some sense for each of the Big Three to die off as Disney seeks to further explore the franchise, and had started to think of the inclusion of Luke, Han and Leia in the sequel trilogy as a token passing-the-torch effect. That said, it would make the most sense for Luke to die in VIII, to me, as we seem poised on the brink of a situation where Luke will train Rey, and Snoke will trail Kylo, leading to an inevitable clash where Luke dying would make the most dramatic sense for Rey’s character. This could of course be entirely off! I’d seen Leia as leading the fight with the non-Jedi types, and her survival until IX, with the fall of the First Order and the restoration of the Republic and a new era of peace would have made the most sense. Unless VIII ends with a double catastrophe and the bit set-up for IX is to have the young ‘uns battling the First Order without the sage advice of Luke and Leia. But I think I’m thinking too trope-y here, and we could be in for something completely different.

At any rate, I think¬†the inclusion of Tarkin (and Leia) in Rogue One via CGI has caused a lot of gnashing of teeth over what is now possible for story, and actor deaths seem almost irrelevant. There was an article on iO9 last week that talked about how incredibly expensive it is to produce, I’m assuming in terms of the salaries of the people doing the work, which seemed to make the case that this isn’t the sort of effect we’ll be seeing as a matter of course. But technology advances all the time, and who knows if, by the time it comes to produce IX, it’ll be cheaper to create and so we’ll get more Leia? I hope not.¬†While it does suck to be in this position, I think the best course we can get now is for Disney to write Leia out of the movies, if she wasn’t already.

At any rate, I am very excited to see what is on the agenda for the next Star Wars movie, and am looking forward to this one a lot more than I thought I would be!

Princess Leia

Over the last year, I think I’ve grown incredibly more predisposed to the Star Wars new canon than I was when the decision was made to remove the expanded universe back in the day. After making some brief forays into the new lore back in 2015, last year has seen me really embrace this stuff, and also really start to enjoy it. I suppose the fact we had a new movie has helped there, of course! Having enjoyed stuff like Bloodline and A New Dawn, I’m finding myself really looking forward to what’s next for the franchise.

First up, we have the third Aftermath novel, Empire’s End, coming out in February, which I’m looking forward to, if only to see how the series ends. I’ve been toying with the idea of re-reading the first two books, but I think that might have to wait. Tim Zahn is returning to Star Wars books in April with Thrawn, a novel that I’m both excited and nervous for, as I think it’ll be interesting to see how this new portrayal will fit with the now-Legends stuff. I’m hoping Zahn can make it work, of course! Looking at comics, the Darth Vader series may be over, but the story looks set to continue with the Doctor Aphra ongoing series, which should be a lot of fun (if somewhat spoiler-y for the fact that she obviously survives the Vader series). Darth Maul is getting a miniseries showing his time before The Phantom Menace, which I’m hoping will be cool. I do enjoy these short offerings on a single character that Marvel have been doing – even if the series isn’t exactly up to all that much, I think the idea of them is pretty good, as we get the universe fleshed out once again. Of course, I’m hoping we get more stories that are a bit more, which I suspect the Poe Dameron ongoing series might be, so will need to investigate that soon.

Basically, I’m excited for the new Star Wars canon right now, and you can look forward to a lot more of it on the blog in 2017!

Have an excellent New Year, everybody!