Tag: Skywalker


The Rise Of Skywalker’ Ltd Secures Series A Funding


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Skywalker Ltd CEO Rey

Lucasfilm

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker DBA Skywalker Ltd, originally founded on the desert planet of of Tatooine, has this past week secured $9 million Series A venture funding. Skywalker Ltd (formerly Jedi Order Amalgamated) currently operates a network of “The Force”, a mystical energy that flows throughout the galaxy. This Series A funding round will close on December 20th, 2019.

Former Skywalker Ltd CEO and primary shareholder Ghost Luke Dobbu Scay stated in a press release, “We’ve passed on all we know, one thousand generations live in you now, but this is your fight. We’ll always be with you. No one is ever really gone.” Current CEO Rey followed that up saying that Luke was using too much of the Force and had to be forcibly removed from the rhetorical island in order to move the company forward.

The $9 million in funding was led by Solo Venture Partners and supported by its co-founder Leia Organa. “We believe in the Force,” said Organa after floating mysteriously through space then returning to her ship. “This is the kind of business my founding partner [Han Solo] reluctantly wanted our investments to support. The Force flows through all of us and anything we can do to financially make sure it continues to produce positive results is a no-brainer.”

The new $9 million in funding will be used to further expand Skywalker Ltd infrastructure to meet rapidly growing rebel forces demand, expand its member portfolio and increase its Dark Side penetration. The Force patented technology is solving a critical problem for the universe cause by an imbalance in current Force offerings between the Dark and Light sides.

The Series A funding is meeting some market opposition however, as current Dark Side acting CEO Kylo Ren released a statement over the weekend addressing Skywalker Ltd’s funding search and name change. “The Jedi Order is a dead business model. Re-branding as Skywalker Ltd is not going to save them, they don’t own the Force. They don’t! It’s not fair!” Ren also addressed questions surrounding the Dark Side’s inability to maintain a standing CEO. “Snoke served his purpose, but we all know I’m the real boss over here at the Dark Side. Who is laughing? What is that laughing? The Jedi don’t own the Force. This is ridiculous. Join us. Who is laughing?”

The will they won’t they branding agency Finn and Poe released a statement supporting the decision of Skywalker Ltd to seek further funding. “It’s a great opportunity to work with a company dedicated to bringing about peace in the universe,” said Poe Dameron of Finn and Poe of the partnership opportunity. “Finn and I look forward to assisting Rey in finding her place as CEO of Skywalker Ltd and securing a future for those who work on the light side of the Force.”

In order to clean up its balance sheet in advance of securing funding, Skywalker Ltd forfeited a number of key assets in order to clear up capital depreciation. One of those assets was the Milenium Falcon, transferred to Lando Calrissian of Cloud City Space Transport and Party Supplies. Said Calrission of the acquisition, “I told Han I’d get this ship back and thanks to its built-in Wookie, I feel that it will be a great help to the development of Skywalker Ltd and all its future endeavors. And smuggling sh*t across the universe.”

Rey and Skywalker Ltd are not phased by the opposition raised by the Dark Side and optimistic for the future of the Force. “Even though Luke never really left the island,” Rey told key investors at a recent funding meeting, “I believe that Skywalker Ltd has the potential to change the outcome of the entire universe. With the help of my new CTO who is a soccer ball that beeps, and our partnership with the marketing team of Finn and Poe, we can take Skywalker Ltd to heights never reached by its predecessor(s).”


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Literally Everyone On Earth Has The Same ‘Star Wars Episode 9: Rise Of Skywalker’ Theory


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Yesterday, we got our first look at the last Star Wars movie for a good long while, the end of the Skywalker era, but not before putting the name in actual title of the movie for once.

The film is called Star Wars Episode 9: Rise of Skywalker, which has led to a flurry of speculation about what exactly that means. The immediate theories that first leapt to everyone’s mind are all, no doubt, wrong. They include:

  • Skywalker referring to Rey’s true parentage as this film looks to change the Rian Johnson “Rey’s parents are no one” reveal in Episode VIII.
  • Skywalker referring to Ben reclaiming the name and turning from the Dark Side.
  • Skywalker referring to Leia.
  • Skywalker referring to Luke going full force-ghost and showing up a lot to influence things.

All of these theories were encapsulated in a single tweet from Mark Hamill, which is the final nail in the coffin that should tell you that none of them or true, or he wouldn’t be egging people on with potential spoilers.

Once you move past the idea that anyone is a secret Skywalker or reclaiming the family name, a second theory forms. I thought of this on my own, until I went on the internet and saw that roughly a hundred million people had come up with the same idea.

The theory is that ‘Skywalker’ is going to replace the term ‘Jedi,’ as Luke gets his wish when he said that the Jedi must end. As in, you can now train to become a Skywalker rather than a Jedi, and hopefully it comes with some important distinctions.

While the Jedi were not flat-out evil like the uber-facist Sith going around torturing people and destroying planets, they were not exactly great either. They effectively created Darth Vader by ripping Anakin away from his mother, not allowing him to visit or bring her with him (leading to her death) and forbidding love so he had to keep his relationship with Padme a secret (leading to her death as well). The Jedi’s rules about attachment to family or significant others are ludicrous, which leads to a bunch of lonely force hermits who become at best, members of the Jedi council who are dumb enough to be blind to a galaxy-wide conspiracy to wipe them out, or at worst, actual Sith. Luke, when he was in full Jedi teacher mode, was the one who ultimately caused Ben to fully flip to the Dark Side, leading to that cascading chain of horrible events.

The point is, Luke is right, the Jedi should end. Not that everyone has to stop using the force and throw away their lightsabers, but if Rey becomes the first of a new order of Skywalkers that truly brings balance to the force and bridges the divide between creepy arrogant monks and murderous tortured souls, that would probably be better for the universe at large.

Episode VIII has already set this up to a certain extent. The idea is that a Skywalker can come from anywhere. Rey’s parents are no one (and they will stay no one), and the final tease of the film is some random stable boy showing force prowess. This pulls away from the idea where fans are desperately searching for someone, anyone to be a secret Skywalker offspring because that overlooks the point that the family name and genetics shouldn’t matter. Skywalker is not heritage, it’s a philosophy that is hopefully better than anything the Jedi or Sith came up with for thousands of years which resulted in endless wars as miserable warriors on both sides.

Is this theory true? We have no real way of knowing for sure until Episode 9 gets here, but I am 20x more likely to believe it than the idea that Rey’s parentage is being retconned or Kylo Ren is going to be going by Ben Skywalker by the end of the movie. It may not play out exactly like this, but I think there’s a reason everyone jumped to this theory immediately.

Follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Read my new sci-fi thriller novel Herokiller, available now in print and online. I also wrote The Earthborn Trilogy.



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‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Is The Last ‘Star Wars’ Film For Awhile, Thanks To ‘Avatar’ And ‘Aquaman’


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Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX.

Walt Disney and Lucasfilm

Bob Iger confirmed yesterday morning that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is both the end of the ongoing Skywalker/Solo saga (which began, obviously, in 1977 with Star Wars) and the last theatrical Star Wars movie for a while. That’s not news in-and-of-itself since we knew that the Star Wars Story movies were on the backburner after Solo earned just $394 million worldwide. While we know that there are two stand-alone Star Wars trilogies in development, one via Rian Johnson (who directed The Last Jedi) and another from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (two of the creators of the just-about-to-end Game of Thrones show), it’s not like those movies are gearing up to shoot anytime soon.

So unless Kathleen Kennedy has the Time Stone (or a time-turner), new Star Wars filmed content will be found exclusively on Disney+ (The Mandalorian, Clone Wars, etc.) for a while. There’s another perfectly logical reason why The Rise of Skywalker is going to be the last theatrical Star Wars movie for a while. In short, there’s no place to release it. Presuming that Disney intends to keep Star Wars as an end-of-year Christmas cash cow, and frankly, they should, then this will be the last Christmas at least until 2023 that isn’t otherwise occupied. Since Disney now owns Fox, Disney now owns James Cameron’s four planned Avatar sequels, the first of which will debut on December 18, 2020, or one year and one day after Rise of Skywalker.

Presuming Cameron sticks to his schedule (and Avatar 2 performs at least well enough to avoid panic over Avatar 3), that third installment will open on December 17, 2021. And then we’ll get a two-year break from Avatar sequels before Avatar 4 opens on December 20, 2024 and Avatar 5 seemingly ends the saga on December 19, 2025. But wait, there’s more! Because Warner Bros. saw an opening in mid-December of 2022 and scheduled James Wan’s Aquaman sequel for December 16, 2022. Presuming Disney would rather keep Star Wars in the same slot where they’ve been kicking butt since 2015, the first opening would be December of 2023. That would actually be a pretty appropriate four-year-gap between Rise of Skywalker and whatever else comes next.

You may be asking why can’t Disney just slate a new Star Wars movie outside of December. Of course, they could, but would they want to? The MCU already has the summer kick-off date sewn up and Memorial Day seems downright cursed for the Mouse House (pray for Aladdin). They’ve usually got a Pixar movie in mid -June and then another Marvel movie (even if it’s a Sony Spider-Man flick) in early July. So either they plunge into unknown waters and drop a Star Wars movie in the pre-summer offseason, they drop it around Thanksgiving and hope it can coexist with Avatar, or they hold their cards until they have another December opening. And with the MCU, Pixar and Avatar hopefully cleaning up, Disney can afford to wait.

A four-year-gap would give Johnson, Benioff and Weiss plenty of time to A) figure out which trilogy goes first and B) just what those movies will be about. It would also indeed be something of a breather from Star Wars movies, even though once upon a time a four-year gap between regular sequels (The Dark Knight Rises, Star Trek Into Darkness, etc.) was almost par for the course. Heck, we only got ten years between Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens, even if it (arguably?) felt like longer by virtue of the new hyper-frenetic news cycle. By comparison, it’ll be 11 years between installments by the time we get Avatar 2 in two Christmases from now. Point being, a four-year gap sounds about right.

Yes, some of this is merely Disney wanting to maintain at least some “specialness” of theatrical Star Wars movies, especially as the next batch isn’t connected to the George Lucas movies. A good way to make a brand feel special is to take it away for a while, as Disney learned with The Force Awakens in late 2015. The Fox deal gives Disney some breathing room in terms of holding back on Star Wars movies, especially if Avatar 2 delivers accordingly. I would argue the biggest reason we won’t get new Star Wars movies for a while is the simplest reason. If Disney wants to drop a Star Wars movie at Christmas, they have to wait until December of 2023 due to Avatar and Aquaman.

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It’s Hard To Get Excited For ‘Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’


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J.J. Abrams, left, and Kathleen Kennedy participates in the “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” panel. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)

Have you ever played “Consequences?” It’s an old parlor game, the kind of thing you do when you’re young, bored, deprived of electrical entertainment. The gist of the game is that each player takes turns to write lines of a story, folding the paper to hide the previous line before passing it on to the next player.

Then, you all laugh at the inevitably mismatched, nonsensical story, before asking if there’s any alcohol in the building. I bring this up because, judging from the way The Last Jedi veered away from plot points clearly set up in The Force Awakens, like Rey’s parentage and Snoke’s …. purpose, The Rise Of Skywalker looks to be going in a very different direction from The Last Jedi.

At least, that’s what the marketing seems to be communicating. “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to,” has been quietly forgotten, as the (ghostly?) return of Luke Skywalker, and even Emperor Palpatine, are the highlights of the new teaser trailer.

Palpatine was never a part of the sequel trilogy, his death being a major plot point of the original films, Darth Vader’s redemption and sacrifice, so it seems strange to bring him back again.

I think it’s fair to assume that Snoke’s untimely death took J.J. Abrams by surprise, subverting expectations the way the twist was designed to do, and perhaps Palpatine was chosen as a replacement, seeing as Snoke was essentially Diet Palpatine anyway.

In an interview with Fast Company (via The Playlist), Abrams appears to confirm the haphazard structure of the sequel trilogy, stating:

It was a completely unknown scenario. I had some gut instincts about where the story would have gone. But without getting in the weeds on Episode VIII, that was a story that Rian wrote and was telling based on seven before we met. So he was taking the thing in another direction. So we also had to respond to Episode VIII. So our movie was not just following what we had started, it was following what we had started and then had been advanced by someone else.

Abrams also confirms his initial reluctance to direct Episode IX:

I wasn’t supposed to be there …. The whole thing was a crazy leap of faith. And there was an actual moment when I nearly said, ‘No, I’m not going to do this.

The original plan for Episode IX was to have Colin Trevorrow write and direct the film, but Trevorrow was discarded, along with his script, after his film The Book of Henry bombed, failing to impress both critics and audiences. That abrupt shift didn’t leave a great deal of time for Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio to work out a new script, as talented as the two storytellers are.

To have no script and to have a release date and have it be essentially a two-year window when you’re saying (to yourself), you’ve got two years from the decision to do it to release, and you have literally nothing . . . . You don’t have the story, you don’t have the cast, you don’t have the designers, the sets. There was a crew, and there were things that will be worked on for the version that preceded ours, but this was starting over …. the lack of absolute inevitability, the lack of a complete structure for this thing, given the way it was being run was an enormous challenge.

That’s not a particularly reassuring statement. The original trilogy (and even the much-maligned prequel trilogy), had a wonderfully structured story arc that perfectly unfolded across their three films. George Lucas may have tweaked his initial structure along the way, adding and subtracting ideas here and there, but his iconic space opera felt wholly organic, a perfect example of The Hero’s Journey.

The sequels took the opposite approach, using three different storytellers to craft an interconnected trilogy, lacking an overarching blueprint. It’s the polar opposite of how Marvel carefully constructed their films, never straying from the grand plan; a decade later, it’s clear that Marvel’s structured approach paid off.

The dramatic contrast between the nostalgia-tickling Force Awakens and the intense subversion of the Last Jedi was jarring; even the hopeful shot of Luke Skywalker at the end of Force Awakens clashed bitterly with the scene where Luke tossed the lightsaber in Last Jedi. It was intentional, of course, but that doesn’t mean it worked.

There’s likely to be another awkward tonal clash in The Rise Of Skywalker – in fact, it’s already there, in the title. Abrams certainly had his work cut out for him in this film, having to please a (largely) disappointed fanbase and wrap up the unexpected loose ends.

Despite the overwhelming odds, however, the story could end up a success. Abrams believes so, stating:

I feel like we’re in a place where we might have something incredibly special. So I feel relief being home, and I feel grateful that I got to do it. And more than anything, I’m excited about what I think we might have.

Hopefully, he’s right; I don’t think I’m ready for another fan rebellion.

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J.J. Abrams Confirms Emperor Returns In ‘Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’


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The Force was with fans today during the annual Star Wars Celebration at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena, as Disney-Lucasfilm revealed the first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (formerly known as Star Wars Episode XI). Today’s trailer drop also came with the shocking revelation Emperor Palpatine, the evil Sith Lord who ruled over the galaxy in the original trilogy and who rose to power in the prequels, will return in the latest and final installment of the Star Wars saga. But does Palpatine really play a role in the film, or is it more his memory and history that bear on the story? Read on, dear readers, and find out…

Official “Star Wars” logo

Source: Lucasfilm

First, watch the trailer for yourself and see the clues about the Emperor’s inevitable return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Notice Luke’s voiceover at the end of the trailer says, “No one’s ever really gone,” repeating the final words he spoke to Leia in The Last Jedi after she says her son (Kylo) is gone. Luke’s words were comforting at the time, and he gave her Han’s dice from the Millennium Falcon for added subtext to his words. This time, however, Luke utters the phrase just before the trailer reveals the shattered remains of a Death Star, crashed among an ocean on an alien world, as the maniacal laughter of Emperor Palpatine echoes over the images.

So that’s an obvious hint of the Emperor’s return in the film. Likewise, the other footage in the trailer frequently reflects The Return of the Jedi, including Lando flying the Millenium Flacon with Chewbacca and letting out an enthusiastic laugh as they fly through hyperspace, similar to the scene of the narrow escape from the Death Star moments after Lando delivers the killing shot into the space station’s reactor core. So the trailer has lots of callbacks and implications tying it to the film in which Emperor Palpatine supposedly died and the final Death Star was blown to bits.

That makes the final shot of a ruined Death Star and Palpatine’s cackle seem tied into the climax of Return of the Jedi, with this being the rubble that film’s Death Star on which the Emperor was supposedly killed. Which, in turn, hints at Palpatine’s presence in the film.

If all of that weren’t enough, at the Star Wars Celebration today with the cast and filmmakers in attendance, actor Ian McDiarmid walked out on stage to join the cast after the trailer ended. McDiarmid, of course, portrayed Palpatine in the prequel trilogy.

The implication, then, is that the Emperor either survived after all, or his evil spirit — a Sith equivalent of a Force Ghost perhaps, retconning the pre-Disney era’s expanded universe concepts which claimed Sith could not become Force Ghosts — haunts the remnants of the Death Star.

It’s also possible Palpatine is really the unnamed Sith apprentice who slew Darth Plagueis and stole the secret of cheating death. Remember, this is a story Palpatine tells to Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith, tempting Anakin to join the Dark Side in exchange for knowledge that will help Anakin save Padme from her from her foreseen death.

But regardless of how Palpatine returns, one thing is now officially beyond debate — Palptaine is definitely returning in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. This was confirmed by none other than director J.J. Abrams himself , per Empire Magazine’s James Dyer, who said the following via his Twitter account

In case there’s any lingering ambiguity from the trailer (and McDiarmid’s appearance at the panel!), I can 100% confirm that Palptatine is back in The Rise of Skywalker as I just asked JJ. He’s thrilled – and slightly incredulous – that McDiarmid’s presence on set didn’t leak.

So there you have it, confirmation that even if it’s just for a few scenes, and/or as an evil Sith ghost of some sort who haunts the world on which his Death Star’s broken pieces crashed and burned, Palpatine is destined to appear in The Rise of Skywalker.

The other big question is, who is the Skywalker referenced in the film’s title? We know this film brings the Skywalker saga to an end, and we know actress Daisy Ridley has stated publicly that The Rise of Skywalker will be her final appearance in the franchise. So will she be revealed as a Skywalker after all? Did Kylo lie to her when he claimed her parents were “nobodies?” Was he perhaps simply mistaken, due to either being lied to by Supreme Leader Snoke, or tricked by whomever might’ve hidden Rey on Jakku? Or is Kylo himself the Skywalker of the title? Is he “rising” to a position of power as the evil leader of the galaxy? Or will he “rise” as a hero who turns against the forces of evil, similar to Darth Vader’s own redemption in Return of the Jedi? Or will it be Luke or Leia who “rise” in the film and help bring a final end to the conflict of the Skywalker saga?

Those are questions to explore at a later date, when we have more information to help us make logical guesses. For now, know that whatever else is in store for our heroes in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, they will face the return of the franchise’s most evil nemesis of all — Emperor Palpatine.

Box office figures and tallies based on data via Box Office Mojo , Rentrak, and TheNumbers.

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‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ Is The Last Time A ‘Star Wars’ Movie Will Be An Event


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‘Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’

Walt Disney

Well, the title of the next Star Wars movie is The Rise of Skywalker, and it now has a trailer. The tease and title drop comes just after Disney’s big “Here’s what Disney+ will have” presentation yesterday. And yeah, at just $6.99 per month (or $70 for the whole year), the Mouse House isn’t messing around in terms of challenging Netflix and Amazon Prime. Also of note, we got word yesterday that The Mandalorian (created by Jon Favreau and starring Pedro Pascal) will be available at launch time, along with a new season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the other Star Wars movies. So, in that sense, this ninth “episode” is somewhat bittersweet.

It is the final chapter in the Skywalker/Solo saga. It is also the final chapter in the sagas of Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo. Moreover, it is probably is the last time that a major theatrical Star Wars movie will be this big of an event. The Rise of Skywalker represents the last time that a Star Wars movie will be the only place to get top-tier Star Wars adventure in the live-action format. This isn’t Return of the Jedi, which ended the original trilogy or Revenge of the Sith, which closed the book on the once entirely theoretical prequel trilogy. This is merely the last Star Wars movie before the next batch of Star Wars movies.

There will surely be other Star Wars movies, be they the alleged Rian Johnson trilogy or the new trilogy crafted by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss or whatever else we get. But from here on out, we know full well that there will be regular Star Wars movies and TV shows for as long as Disney needs theatrical and streaming content. Disney will indeed slow down in terms of theatrical releases, but that we’ll be getting (allegedly) high-quality Star Wars adventure via live-action TV will automatically make the movies less unique. Sans a direct connection to the George Lucas saga, these new Star Wars projects will merely be sci-fi action shows or movies with the words “Star Wars” stamped on.

Moreover, presuming The Mandalorian or the planned Rogue One prequel series (co-starring Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk) feature comparatively theatrical production values, and with the likes of Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, Deborah Chow and  Dave Filoni set to direct episodes of Favreau’s Pedro Pascal-starring show that’s entirely possible, then Star Wars will further become less of an event and less of a pop culture touchstone. That’s more of an issue for the theatrical films, as we all know how “unknown” sci-fi action spectaculars have fared of late. The mere notion of Star Wars TV shows and the new Star Wars movies presumably being available pretty quickly on Disney+ may make those theatrical inherently less special overall.

But even if Disney does use their streaming service to actually extend the theatrical window (which isn’t outside the realm of possibility, since the subscribers will be there whether the movie drops four months or six months after theaters), these post-Episode IX movies will exist in a world where Star Wars is just another huge franchise. Existing as they will in a time where Star Wars TV shows are about as good as Star Wars movies and in an environment where the films are merely connected to the core saga by name, will these post-Skywalker/Solo Star Wars films have anywhere near the impact of the last three direct sequels to Return of the Jedi?

Probably not, which is why this ninth “episode” does feel like a real finale of sorts. Unlike in 1983 and 2005, we know for sure that Star Wars will continue. But that guarantee arguably makes this new installment that much more of an event. For the last time in forever, Star Wars will be special and a god among insects. J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will open December 20, 2019. It looks great, it will hopefully be good and either way, it marks the end of an era. From now on, Star Wars will be just another piece of IP, a giant among giants, intended to entice folks to pay $7 a month for Disney+.

 

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Episode 9’s Newly Revealed Title ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ Hints At Rey’s True Parentage


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Rey

What does the title of ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ say about Rey’s parentage? Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

The title of Star Wars: Episode IX was revealed today at Star Wars Celebration 2019 and it’s already stirred up a bit of controversy on social media.

It’s . . . odd, to say the least: Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker.

Star Wars

Star Wars: The Rise Of SkywalkerCredit: Disney/Lucasfilm

After all, Luke Skywalker (SPOILERS) died in The Last Jedi. Presumably Leia will die in this one given that actor Carrie Fisher has sadly passed away. Her only son is the wicked Kylo Ren, and he’s a “Solo” not a “Skywalker” (depending on naming conventions, I suppose.)

P.S. You should probably watch the trailer before continuing, which you can find right here.

I’ve been sitting here thinking about what this movie’s title means. With The Last Jedi, I wondered if we’d get a movie where Luke had turned against the Jedi dogma, defying both the dark side and the Jedi Order, and in many ways he did. He didn’t want the Jedi to continue—but that didn’t mean he wanted the Force to go away, or the light side to fail.

Droids

Star Wars: The Rise Of SkywalkerCredit: Disney/Lucasfilm

So what does ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ mean with Luke dead and Leia almost certainly not what the title is referring to? I suppose it could mean that Kylo Ren turns back to the light side of the Force, but The Last Jedi made it pretty clear that wasn’t ever going to happen.

The Last Jedi also revealed Rey’s parents—but did so through what I can only describe as a very unreliable narrator. Kylo Ren tells Rey that her parents were “filthy junk traders. Sold you off for drinking money. They’re dead in a pauper’s grave in the Jakku desert. You come from nothing. You’re nothing. But not to me.”

SW

Star Wars: The Rise Of SkywalkerCredit: Disney/Lucasfilm

“The Rise Of Skywalker” makes me think that Kylo Ren was lying. Who else could be the titular Skywalker in the film’s title if not the central hero of this trilogy, Rey herself? I can’t piece it together any other way. It’s possible that, if this is true, JJ Abrams has “retconned” Rian Johnson’s plans in The Last Jedi. It’s also possible that Johnson and Abrams and the rest of the Star Wars team were faking us out all along.

Fake-outs are, after all, kind of a big part of this franchise. Many of the trailers include fake-outs and this one might also. Then again, if you’ve seen the trailer, it could be that major moments in earlier films were the true fake-outs.

So does this mean that Rey is Luke’s daughter? Or did Han and Leia have another child? Or were Luke and Leia actually triplets and have a secret brother or sister out there who turns out to be Rey’s parent? Or is this all a huge red herring?

I have so many questions.

P.S. I really liked that Rey’s parents were nobodies. I hope they remain nobodies. I hope there is some other explanation. I just . . . don’t know what that could be.

~~~

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The Rise Of Skywalker’ Trailer Marks The End Of An Era


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‘Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’

Walt Disney

Well, the title of the next Star Wars movie is The Rise of Skywalker, and it now has a trailer. The tease and title drop comes just after Disney’s big “Here’s what Disney+ will have” presentation yesterday. And yeah, at just $6.99 per month (or $70 for the whole year), the Mouse House isn’t messing around in terms of challenging Netflix and Amazon Prime. Also of note, we got word yesterday that The Mandalorian (created by Jon Favreau and starring Pedro Pascal) will be available at launch time, along with a new season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the other Star Wars movies. So, in that sense, this ninth “episode” is somewhat bittersweet.

It is the final chapter in the Skywalker/Solo saga. It is also the final chapter in the sagas of Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo. Moreover, it is probably is the last time that a major theatrical Star Wars movie will be this big of an event. The Rise of Skywalker represents the last time that a Star Wars movie will be the only place to get top-tier Star Wars adventure in the live-action format. This isn’t Return of the Jedi, which ended the original trilogy or Revenge of the Sith, which closed the book on the once entirely theoretical prequel trilogy. This is merely the last Star Wars movie before the next batch of Star Wars movies.

There will surely be other Star Wars movies, be they the alleged Rian Johnson trilogy or the new trilogy crafted by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss or whatever else we get. But from here on out, we know full well that there will be regular Star Wars movies and TV shows for as long as Disney needs theatrical and streaming content. Disney will indeed slow down in terms of theatrical releases, but that we’ll be getting (allegedly) high-quality Star Wars adventure via live-action TV will automatically make the movies less unique. Sans a direct connection to the George Lucas saga, these new Star Wars projects will merely be sci-fi action shows or movies with the words “Star Wars” stamped on.

Moreover, presuming The Mandalorian or the planned Rogue One prequel series (co-starring Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk) feature comparatively theatrical production values, and with the likes of Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, Deborah Chow and  Dave Filoni set to direct episodes of Favreau’s Pedro Pascal-starring show that’s entirely possible, then Star Wars will further become less of an event and less of a pop culture touchstone. That’s more of an issue for the theatrical films, as we all know how “unknown” sci-fi action spectaculars have fared of late. The mere notion of Star Wars TV shows and the new Star Wars movies presumably being available pretty quickly on Disney+ may make those theatrical inherently less special overall.

But even if Disney does use their streaming service to actually extend the theatrical window (which isn’t outside the realm of possibility, since the subscribers will be there whether the movie drops four months or six months after theaters), these post-Episode IX movies will exist in a world where Star Wars is just another huge franchise. Existing as they will in a time where Star Wars TV shows are about as good as Star Wars movies and in an environment where the films are merely connected to the core saga by name, will these post-Skywalker/Solo Star Wars films have anywhere near the impact of the last three direct sequels to Return of the Jedi?

Probably not, which is why this ninth “episode” does feel like a real finale of sorts. Unlike in 1983 and 2005, we know for sure that Star Wars will continue. But that guarantee arguably makes this new installment that much more of an event. For the last time in forever, Star Wars will be special and a god among insects. J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will open December 20, 2019. It looks great, it will hopefully be good and either way, it marks the end of an era. From now on, Star Wars will be just another piece of IP, a giant among giants, intended to entice folks to pay $7 a month for Disney+.

 

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Everything We Know About ‘Episode IX’ including the title, ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’


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Rey (Daisy Ridley) faces her enemies in ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.’

2019 ILM and Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

By the end of this year, we’ll finally have a closing chapter to the latest Star Wars trilogy with the release for Star Wars: Episode IX. With only 252 days to go before the release — it feels like a lot, but it’s really only eight months away — we’re learning the first details about the movie that has been shrouded in secrecy from the very beginning. At Star Wars Celebration Chicago, taking place right now and through the rest of the weekend in the Windy City, the curtain on the final installment for Rey, Fin, Poe, Kylo Ren, and BB-8 was finally lifted.

With their green, blue, and tri-blade red lightsabers in the air, here’s everything that was revealed about the brand new movie at the Episode IX panel, hosted by Stephen Colbert. And, most importantly, the episode’s title: The Rise of Skywalker.

Director JJ Abrams is terrified about what he can and can’t say. Everyone’s still dancing around the secrecy of the movie, including Abrams. Taking the stage with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, he dodged questions left and right, oftentimes turning to her to see if he could answer them or not. For the most part, he could not answer them. At one point, when asked a simple question, Kennedy quipped, “You’re the director, go ahead [and answer.]” That left Colbert to joke, “I came to Chicago to ask questions, not get answers.” After one question he couldn’t answer, even though he tried to with a few “uhs” and “ums” for a second, Abrams stammered to Colbert, “How dare you.”

Replacing Carrie Fisher is actually impossible. Fisher sadly passed away at the end of 2016, shortly after the release of Rogue One (where she had a small, closing moments role). She had already completed all her filming for Star Wars: The Last Jedi before her passing, which meant that the movie required minimal editing before the final release. However, she was always supposed to come back for Episode IX.  

“We couldn’t [fill her void],” Abrams explained. “We all talked about how to move on, [but] she was the best. She was glorious. She was amazing. It was impossible [to move on without her].” However, it needed to be done, and thanks to all the unused footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, the film was able to, basically, cut and paste a role for her together. Abrams promises that we’ll see Fisher as lively and quick as ever, even acting alongside her daughter, Billie Lourd (who plays Lieutenant Connix). One powerful scene in the new teaser trailer shows General Leia and Rey embracing, and you should start preparing for the waterworks now. 

Billy Dee Williams never left Lando behind. “It was an emotional thing,” Abrams said of Williams return to the film as Lando, with Kennedy adding that Abrams kept asking her, all excitedly, “Can you believe this is happening? Can you believe this is happening?” Williams’ first scene back as the iconic character was a group scene, and the set fell silent as soon as he entered.

While for Williams, this is more than just “a money thing,” he’s excited to be back as the smooth smuggler, and it wasn’t hard for him to step back into character adding, “Lando never left me.” He also reminds everyone that he was never actually a villain, and when he went up against Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back, “did anybody die?” The answer is no. Colbert joked that we should be talking about Lando as the hero of Star Wars.

John Boyega is excited to have blue pants. While Boyega has been in the movies since The Force Awakens, he never felt like his character had an identity through his costume, in the same sense that Rey and Kylo Ren are so identifiable right away. But now, Finn is a “full-fledged, Resistance sexy young man.” This also meant he finally got a costume that was his own, and explained, “I saw [Finn’s new] blue pants coming out of the cupboard, and I was like ‘I’m in Star Wars now.’” He also swears that Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) is dead. Like, really dead. Going into Episode IX, Finn finally has “emotional closure… I don’t think about [Captain Phasma] at night.”

Rightly so, Kelly Marie Tran got the loudest applause at the panel. Rose Tico was introduced in The Last Jedi, and while her character was well received by many fans, some corners of the internet sadly drove her off of social media. So the fact that when her name was called on the panel she received thunderous applause, that lasted for a few minutes, was incredibly heartfelt and she was clearly touched. While she can’t reveal what Rose is up to in the next movie, one image shows her crossing paths with Rey so we have that meeting to look forward to. Abrams also added that he’s incredibly happy that he, along with director Rian Johnson, helped cast Tran for The Last Jedi.

Daisy Ridey’s Rey now has a stick. While the actress teased that Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber survived the battle with Kylo Ren where it was split in two, she’s not just going to rely on just that blade as a weapon. When one image showed her holding a giant staff, she proclaimed, “That’s me holding a big stick!” Just like her former Jedi Master Mark Hamill, Ridley is full of jokes herself.

There are maybe more love triangles. The end of The Last Jedi set up a few different relationships for our main characters. Everyone knows that Rey and Finn have a strong bond, but then she met Poe Dameron and those two seemed to have a major connection. On top of that, Rose made her intentions known to Finn when she kissed him (just before she collapsed and slipped into a coma). Will we see any of that in Episode IX? Boyega maintains that Finn is “single and ready to mingle” and the “most eligible bachelor.” We’re going to have to wait and see if anything actually manifests.  

Surprise, we haven’t seen the last of Emperor Palpatine! The teaser trailer shows our heroes heading off in search of the downed Death Star — didn’t know it crash-landed on a planet, did you? Emperor Palpatine’s haunting laugh echoed through the trailer, which gave way to Ian McDiarmid actually standing on the stage (sorry if you thought it might be Mark Hamill himself!).

McDiarmid continued his maniacal laugh for a few more seconds in front of the screaming crowd, before instructing the clip to roll again, and he disappeared into the shadows. Well, that’s something to worry about for the next few months. The last time we saw Palpatine, Darth Vader was tossing him into the belly of the Death Star in order to save Luke Skywalker. Things do come full circle, huh?

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The Rise Of Skywalker’ Trailer


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Rey

The first trailer for ‘Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’ will blow your mind.Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

As expected, Disney revealed the title and first trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX today at the end of the Star Wars Celebration panel.

The movie is called Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, which is a surprising title for the final film in the Skywalker saga especially given the title of Episode VIII, The Last Jedi.

The trailer itself is magnificent, showing all our returning cast members including Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian. The movie looks every bit as exciting as we’d hoped, but there’s a really crazy twist at the end.

Here’s the teaser trailer for Rise of Skywalker:

We hear the voice of Luke Skywalker speaking presumably to Rey, telling her that it’s her story now. Then he says, “We’ll always be with you. No one’s ever really gone.”

The screen fades to black and we hear the mad cackle of Emperor Palpatine / Darth Sidious. The same ultra-villain thrown to his “death” by Darth Vader at the end of The Return Of The Jedi. I guess we wrong to assume he was dead—after all, we never saw a body.

I’m still reeling from this a bit, so I’ll have to come back to the trailer when I’ve had more time to think about what it all means. Until then, let me know what you think about this seeming return of Palpatine. Are they just messing with us? Is this for real?

Palpatine actor Ian McDiarmid actually took the stage at the Star Wars Celebration panel, so . . . wow. That just exceeded all my expectations. December 20th sure feels a long ways off.

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The Rise Of SkywalkerCredit: Disney/Lucasfilm

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