With Star Wars celebration 2020 not taking place in person, merchandise is still available

ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 16: Atmosphere on Day One of Disney’s 2015 Star Wars Celebration held at the Anaheim Convention Center on April 16, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

The annual mass gathering of rabid Star Wars fans known as Star Wars celebration, will not be taking place in it’s usual format due to COVID-19. Autographs will not be signed, no meet and greets with actors and actresses, nothing that has taken place for years will be enjoyed in person. However, Star Wars celebration merchandise will be available.

While it is a good marketing ploy by Disney, Star Wars fans are loyal and many will run right out and buy new Star Wars books, shirts, DVD’s, graphic novels and the list goes on and on.

While the current list of Star Wars celebration 2020 merchandise is limited to a few selects items, the list of things to buy is going to grow. Disney sent out news that more merchandise from that “Galaxy Far, Far Away” will be added in the coming weeks and months.

As I said it is a good marketing ploy, it is also a way to sooth over an upset fan base steaming from a by and large failed sequel trilogy. Star Wars fans are quick to forgive however they do not like to see the same mistake made over and over.

By offering fans an olive branch of sorts through merchandise, Disney is both trying to please fans as they wait for what is next in the way of Star Wars films and celebrating arguably the best Star Wars film still to this day, The Empire Strikes Back which turns 40 years old this year.

The limited (for now) Star Wars merchandise can be purchased now. Disney opened up the store early for those who want to get a head start.

There is hope that the convention will be able to take place next year if a vaccine for the virus is produced and shipped out. Until then, enjoy the content that can be purchased now and will be added to.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy says Disney is taking a step back to look at what George Lucas created

BEVERLY HILLS, CA- JUNE 12: Producer Kathleen Kennedy and producer/director George Lucas attend Women In Film’s 2013 Crystal + Lucy Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 12, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.(Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)

This is not a bash the sequel trilogy free- for- all article. After all, Star Wars  fans know all to well the disappointment since Disney first released “The Force Awakens.” No bashing, that is because Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said Disney, is taking a step back to review what George Lucas created.

Kathleen Kennedy said she and her team were taking a  “step back and really absorb what George [Lucas] created” Star Wars to be in the first place. I know I for one am happy that these steps are being taken. No more rushing through just to produce films that fans rail against.

It is known that Disney/Lucasfilm do have many Star Wars films in the works. The film company and it’s owner had a rude awakening to audience reception when “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” was released in 2019.

Die-hard Star Wars fans demanded that the sequel trilogy be decanonise and wanted George Lucas to take over and right the wrong. Social media users used #notmystarwars to let others know exactly what they thought. Many including myself believed Disney was making a total mess out of the beloved movie franchise.

Previously, Kathleen Kennedy hinted the next wave of films very well could center around The Knights of the Old Republic. That was satisfying for many fans. What should be even better received is that Disney/Lucasfilm and the people who run it are now willing to take the humble road.

They have listened to the fans, they had no choice Star Wars fans are very vocal. For any new Star Wars film going forward, a look back is a good step. The sequels did not work. Disney +’s The Mandalorian did work. It worked because the shows creator and slew of directors grew up with Star Wars and had a firm understanding of just how it worked.

Now it seems, steps are being taken to bring the franchise back to life instead of fans seeing a Force ghost.

 

In a surprise, Disney announces production on “The Mandalorian” season 3

Embed from Getty Images With season two of the smash hit “The Mandalorian” set to hit Disney Plus streaming in October word has now been let out that pre-production for season 3 has started. Here is what is known so far.

Mandalorian co-creator and writer/director Jon Favreau has been “writing season 3 for a while.” While longtime Lucasfilm creative director Doug Chiang is said to have been working on “concepts” for “the past few weeks.”

The Mandalorian  production team had just finished work on season 2 around the beginning of March, just making it before the lock down and shelter in place orders that have delayed the filming and release of pretty much every movie and TV series currently in production everywhere.

Season 2, will see the fan-favorite hero Ahsoka Tano, the Togruta ex-Jedi on screen in live action for the first time. Season 2  is said that the Mandalorian will help the Child (Baby Yoda) find his home and will go further into the state of the Empire after its defeat at the Battle of Jakku.

Also we are sure to see Moff Gideon continue to search for the Mandalorian in an attempt to stop him. The Mandalorian is the first series on Disney Plus, but Lucasfilm hopes to add new shows to the line up in the near future. A Rogue One spinoff series featuring Diego Luna’s character Cassian Andor is in the works but due to the global pandemic has seen a production stoppage.

Also Disney Plus is diving into reality shows. The next real Star Wars TV fans might see is actually Lucasfilm’s foray into nonfiction programming. Jedi Temple Challenge, a children centered game show hosted by, Ahmed Best better known to Star Wars fans as Jar Jar Binks.

Mandalorian docuseries on Disney Plus coming Star Wars Day May 4

Embed from Getty Images For a long time Star Wars fans have adopted May 4th as “Star Wars Day,” They figure it is close enough to “May the Force be with you.” This May 4 will be special for Star Wars fans on Star Wars Day, Disney Plus has announced and eight part in depth, behind the scenes look documentary at the widely popular “The Mandalorian” series exclusive to the streaming platform.

The documentary will explore never before seen footage from the cutting room  and roundtable conversations hosted by director, writer, and producer Jon Favreau.

One of the episodes will explore  how the special effects and props team brought The Mandalorian’s creatures to life. Which should be interesting to watch.

Also in the documentary fans will be treated to a look at George Lucas’ legacy, technology used in The Mandalorian, the show’s music score, and connections to Star Wars characters across the galaxy. To sort of connect the dots.

Faced with a lack of new content  due to the global pandemic, like many other companies, there is a need for new content for its streaming service, and Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian can fill that role until new Star Wars content is ready.

One good thing is that Season 2 of “The Mandalorian” had finished filming before the production shut down was mandated, Disney has not indicated if the second season’s release date will be affected.

If your like me, a pretty big Star Wars fan, this documentary series should be fun, interesting and a way to pass the time until Season 2 premieres.

Star Wars: the legacy of Luke Skywalker

Embed from Getty Images When I was a kid, I wanted to be Luke Skywalker. He was the closest thing that resembled my life. So I felt there was an instant connection. Along with the battle of light side versus dark side, Star Wars is also a story about personal growth and adulthood.

Luke Skywalker started out as a farm boy and ended up a legendary Jedi. Through dealing with evil, Luke then trying to sort out his own failures he ended up soured into bitter sadness.

Luke Skywalker, once the hero of the Rebellion, built a Jedi school on Jakku. In a moment of part his own guilt and horror and part weakness and fear, he thought about killing his nephew, Ben Solo. Perhaps the evil intent in Ben’s heart hit too close to home who had dealt with a father with some evil in him as well and Luke did not want to go down this path again.

Like many of us who fail at something we want to hide. Luke was driven to Ahch-To in part by his own feelings of unworthiness as a teacher. He would self-distance himself, or in today’s terms social distance himself.

Luke needed Yoda to remind him that he is a very important part of the Jedi Order’s history.

Luke blames his own hype as a “legend” for his actions. Yoda does not deny this, but he does tell Luke to stop focusing on the past, the future, and the dreams of the horizon. Luke’s last lesson is meditative: to live in the moment.

Luke’s arc in the Original Trilogy took him from farm boy with good aim to the Jedi who threw away his weapon when he was offered the opportunity to rule the galaxy.

Luke Skywalker’s legacy is not one of wanting and gaining power, Luke’s legacy is about laying down one’s life for his friends, about being willing to say no to injustice even when there is no hope of a future without a hint of yes.

“The Last Jedi” showed how powerful Luke Skywalker was. Luke understood, his real power was not violent or aggressive.  His last act is a trick, a misdirection used to save people. No anger, no hatred, Luke simply projected and won.

In the Bible, Jesus tells us “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13. That is Luke Skywalker’s legacy.

Star Wars Rogue One spinoff, Cassian Andor will have little used or never seen creatures

Embed from Getty Images Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is getting a spinoff. Cassian Andor. The show will be part of Disney Plus streaming. An early report is that the show will serve as a second chance for Star Wars creatures who might have only gotten a small amount of screen time, or a place for previously unused creatures all together to finally make their way to a galaxy far, far away.

When the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker released  Neal Scanlan, the creature and special make up effects creative supervisor of the five most recent Star Wars movies. Scanlan has been making lots of headlines recently by dropping an interesting clue about Star Wars productions, when Scanlan turned his attention to the upcoming Cassian Andor Disney Plus show, which features Diego Luna reprising his role from Rogue One as a Rebel spy, Scanlan revealed some more interesting tid-bits about the series.

“We also have this backlog of characters. A lot of the characters that we built for all of the films either didn’t make it to the final cut, because that’s just the way that the film process happens, or that they are seen so momentarily that there is this wonderful second opportunity to bring back some of the characters that we’ve made and bring them to this new storyline in a more, shall we say, integrated way. I think it’s going to be tremendous. I find that it’s a second opportunity for everything that we’ve made, plus the opportunity of moving TV along, in a sense, at what will not at all be diminished as far as the level of quality, the level of things that we are going to try and achieve.” Neal Scanlan told reporters.

With many aliens and creatures at his finger tips, this is good news for Star Wars junkies (of which I am one.) It will be fun to check out the finished product when Cassian Andor hits Disney Plus streaming 2021.

“The Mandalorian” is bringing a Star Wars fan favorite to season two

Embed from Getty Images Ahsoka Tano, is coming to “The Mandalorian” season two and fans could not be more excited. Rosario Dawson has been cast as a live action version of the popular “Star Wars” animated character Ahsoka Tano, Anankin Skywalker’s Clone Wars time frame Padawan.

Ahsoka’s co-creator (also co-creator of The Mandalorian) Dave Filoni directed two episodes of season one, and has signed on to direct at least one episode of season two, currently in pre-production. Filoni has reportedly signed off on the character’s appearance.

Rosario Dawson, who is said to have made pleas dating back to 2017, to play the widely popular Tano looks to have had her pleas answered.  Many view Dawson as the perfect fit to play the would-be Jedi.

Fans and media are now speculating that a possible Ahsoka Tano spinoff could be coming to Disney Plus in the near future. Something Disney has hinted at. That would go over big with die-hard Star Wars fans and Ahsoka fans.

While Star Wars films are sure to still be made and hit theaters. Disney streaming is wise to fill the gap with stories and characters that have impacted fans. For Ahsoka Tano to appear in the smash hit “The Mandalorian” is enough to make the already sky high anticipation for season two, hit hyper drive.

Who are some of the best minor characters in the Star Wars movies

Embed from Getty Images Yoda, Han Solo, C-3PO, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Kylo Ren, Rey, the list goes on and on. Star Wars has always had strong main characters. I want to look at the minor characters who give body to the stories. This is my opinion and is hopefully a launching pad for discussion.

Dianoga- Star Wars: A New Hope, for all I know this thing was a swimming eye. Upon further examination it looks snake-like with a sing eye. As a child seeing Star Wars for the first time made me less enthused about swimming for fear Dianoga would suck me under the water.

Labria- Star Wars: A New Hope, the  Mos Eisley Cantina is a place I want to visit every time I watch Star Wars. One character I think I would steer clear of is Labria. You know, the guy who looks like the devil?

TT-8L/Y7 gatekeeper droid- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, I always thought it would be both cool and entertaining to have a mechanical robot eye pop out of my front door. I mean it would be a great way to chase unwanted people away and give a scare into neighborhood kids.

Paodok’Draba’Takat Sap’De’Rekti Nik’Linke’Ti’ Ki’Vef’Nik’NeSevef’Li’Kek aka Pao- Star Wars: Rogue One, someone bless me. Just kidding. This mighty warrior is the only nonhuman on the team that assaults the Imperial base on Scarif.

Lobot- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the stoic and famously bald, Lobot is a human aided with a cyborg construct attached to his head. In charge of Lando’s security on Cloud City.

 Plo Koon- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, the coolest looking Jedi in the prequels.

 

Nien Nunb- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Nien Nunb is one of the most beloved minor characters in Star Wars history as well as Lando’s co-pilot.

There are many more characters, some who are great. This is only my list of the ones that stuck out to me.

Just how did Palpatine survive the fall in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”

Embed from Getty Images Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which in my opinion is the best film in the sequel trilogy sparked a debate and conversation, and the conversation around the blockbuster has not slowed down since. Not one single bit. Star Wars fans would have it no other way.

First off, nobody expected Emperor Palpatine to return. The fact Star Wars The Force Awakens and Rise of Skywalker director JJ Abrams gave no such hint the popular Star Wars villain would be showing up in the trilogy until the teaser trailer was a stroke of genius.

The prequels, the original trilogy, and now through the sequels all have one common thread, They are all the story of how the light side of the Force battled against the dark side of the Force and even more specific greatest Sith Lord of all time.

The first, and unarguably the most important, clue came back in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Palpatine attempts to lure Anakin Skywalker to the dark side.

Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith,” Palpatine explained to a very captivated Anakin, “so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life… He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.

The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural,”

It appears Palpatine loved himself and wanted to contiune his rein over the galaxy. That line would be repeated by Palpatine this time to Anakin’s grandson Kylo Ren (Ben Solo.) Albeit Palpatine was scared and blind from the surge of falling down the reactor chamber. Or so it would seem.

This quote explains that the Sith can use the dark side of the Force to gain mastery of life and death, and that Palpatine was taught the method by his master the legendary Darth Plagueis.

While it is clear it gives no information as to the method. We know that through the cannon comic series,  Palpatine had owned a mask of Lord Momin. It goes on to say that Palpatine altered the mask. A mask that would end up on the head of Anakin Skywalker after he was beaten by Obi-Wan Kenobi. The mask would bring Anakin now Darth Vader back from the dead.

One more detail is the in the comic series Palpatine worked with a scientist named Cylo. Cylo had created a personality map that could be stored and downloaded into clone bodies. In the older Expanded Universe, there was consciousness jumping into clone bodies.

We now know that this was the method Palpatine used to survive his Return of the Jedi fall, he had clone bodies created, and his consciousness eventually found its way into one. So the soul of Palpatine entered the clone.

This shows the importance of the clone factory on Kamino, in “Star Wars: Attack of the clones.”

 

Star Wars fans want to know when Emperor Palpatine started to influence Kylo Ren

Embed from Getty Images In what was perhaps the most interesting, yet creepy moment of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” fans have been wondering when Emperor Palpatine began to invade Kylo Ren’s head and thoughts. Let’s take a closer look.

Now that Disney and Marvel Comics are filling the backstory of Kylo Ren, I thought this would be a good time to see when the evil took over Ben Solo, and seeped into Kylo Ren.

“The Rise of Kylo Ren” comic series brings us close to finding out that Ben Solo never really stood a chance as Palpatine had been in his head earlier than we thought. The comic series tells us how Kylo Ren came into contact and joined the Knights of Ren.

In order to become a mener of the Knights one had to deliver a ‘good kill.” Throughout the series we learn that Ren has been talking with Supreme Leader Snoke.

It is around this time Palpatine starts to play a major role in Ben’s final steps into becoming Kylo Ren , we hear Palpatine tell Ben: “Now you will be who you are. Who you were always meant to be… Claim your birthright and strike him down.”

The him is Tai, a Jedi student who had been trying to get Ben to return to the Light Side.  So there it is! Palpatine had been encouraging the young would be Sith to take his final steps, kill the Jedi student and become who Palpatine wanted him to become, his next apprentice. He used both Snoke (whom he created) as well as speak directly the newly named Kylo Ren.

Showing that as we all know, Palpatine was in control the whole time.