Artwork by Joshua Stolte
Welcome back to the Star Wars HoloNet Digest, a weekly feature where I bring you a recap of the latest news from the world of Star Wars. Whether it’s an Episode VII rumor or a noteworthy author interview, you’ll find it here. Let’s check the HoloNet and see what happened in the past week.
We’ll start off with an intriguing Episode VII rumor. The website Nerdvana has a source close to the first sequel’s production saying that the film will focus on the “child and grandchild” of Han and Leia. While some Expanded Universe fans are excited about the prospect of perhaps seeing Jaina and Allana onscreen, it’s important to remember that, if the rumor is true at all, the Solo offspring won’t necessarily be drawn from the EU. Nerdvana’s source also suggested that there would be no Yoda spinoff film because George Lucas didn’t want it, and that Episode VII would have a release date of May 29, 2015. Head over to Nerdvana’s story for more rumors.
Last week, I highlighted comments from Mark Hamill that conveyed his interest in seeing the rest of the main cast from the Original Trilogy –– including Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams –– return for the Sequels. “I want to make sure that everybody’s on board here, rather than just one,” he told Entertainment Tonight. Shortly after Hamill said that, Billy Dee Williams did an interview with 95.7 KJR and expressed his enthusiasm about playing Lando Calrissian again. “We’re all speculating and we’re all wondering,” Williams told the interviewer. “If they want me to participate, I’d love to participate. I love the idea of keeping the character alive. And I specifically want to keep him alive, as long as I’m alive.” Even after thirty years, Williams still has the swagger and style that made Lando a larger-than-life character, so I say bring on the former Baron Administrator, Disney!
The latest celebrity from the Original Trilogy to express interest in reprising his role is James Earl Jones, whose dulcet baritone will forever be associated with Darth Vader. He was in Australia to promote his appearance in the play Driving Miss Daisy when he told reporters, “Oh yeah, I would love to be a part of that.” So there you have it, folks. It’s unlikely that Vader will appear in the Sequel Trilogy, given the confirmed time period for those films, but I’m glad to know that Jones would be open to voicing Vader again if an opportunity arose (spinoffs, anyone?).
With The Clone Wars Season Five having concluded last Saturday, Ahsoka voice actress Ashley Eckstein has been making the rounds discussing the future of her character and her influence on Anakin Skywalker. First up was an IGN interview before the finale aired, followed by a Twitter Q&A hosted by Hollywood.com’s Christian Blauvelt. After the finale aired, IGN posted a second interview with Eckstein that contained spoilerific comments regarding the episode’s emotional final moments.
Speaking of The Clone Wars, fans who tuned in to the season finale episode “The Wrong Jedi” were introduced to the new voice of Palpatine/Sidious, Tim Curry. If his name rings a bell, it’s because he previously starred in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Clue. Curry takes over the role from the late Ian Abercrombie, who passed away last January.
As far as the Expanded Universe goes, we’ve got a look back and a look ahead. The retrospective comes to us courtesy of the science-fiction site Tor.com, which spotlighted Heir to the Empire, Timothy Zahn’s first Star Wars novel. Tor’s Ryan Britt explained the significance of the novel both to him as a young boy and to the Star Wars franchise overall. For fans like myself who were alive but too young to read Heir when it first came out, Tor’s retrospective is a great way to recall the state of Star Wars at the time and the impact of Zahn’s debut EU novel on a franchise that would soon expand by leaps and bounds.
Our EU look-ahead is a pair of announcements from Del Rey’s Star Wars Books Facebook page. Late last week, Del Rey’s Frank Parisi announced two upcoming short stories. The first will be written by John Ostrander and will serve as a tie-in to Tim Lebbon’s novel Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void. Ostrander’s story, “Eruption,” will appear in the next issue of Star Wars Insider (#141) and the hardcover edition of Lebbon’s book as well as the eBook and audio book. The other short story, which had just received approval from Lucasfilm, will star a character from The Clone Wars whose identity Parisi teased simply by saying, “There’s a clue … in the previous paragraph.” The only word that stuck out to me was “Ahoy!” Can anyone say “Hondo Ohnaka adventure”? Yes please!
Lastly, let’s check in with George Lucas. He hasn’t made the news much since he sold Lucasfilm to Disney, but yesterday, CBS This Morning aired an interview with Lucas in which he gave us an indication of his goals for the future. Lucas told CBS’ Bill Whitaker that he wanted to use his massive art collection, with its extensive assortment of Norman Rockwell paintings, to establish an art museum in San Francisco that would encompass both traditional and new-media forms of artistic expression. Referring to his artistic preferences, Lucas said, “I don’t see anything wrong with having an idealistic, sentimental, fun point of view.” We’re right there with you, George. I for one would love to visit this kind of museum.
Eric Geller is a college student majoring in political science whose interests include technology, journalism, and of course Star Wars. He reviews The Clone Wars TV series and manages social media for Star Wars fan site TheForce.Net. He also co-hosts The ForceCast podcast. He is originally from the Washington, D.C. area.