Artwork courtesy of 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.
First, I want to follow up on what George Lucas said last week about the Big Three returning for Star Wars Episode VII. Having done substantial preparatory work for the film before selling his company, Lucas is obviously in a position to know what he’s talking about when he describes that period of time in the development process. Disney CEO Bob Iger tried his best to cool down the excitement over Lucas’ comments when he spoke to CNBC last week. In the interview, Iger told CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, “George Lucas was quoted as saying that they would [return], but we haven’t made any official announcement yet.” Note that nowhere in that statement was a denial of what Lucas actually said. On the contrary, it was merely a statement of another fact: that there has been no confirmation from Disney.
Here’s another story for the grain-of-salt file: Cosmic Book News has a source saying that Episode VII will center on the destructive aims of “a disciple of Emperor Palpatine.” This disciple will attempt to resurrect ancient Sith armies and take over the galaxy, forcing Luke and Leia’s children to “face their inner demons of their Skywalker lineage.” I’m not sure I buy this one. If you ask me, it sounds like someone at Cosmic Book News has been filling out Star Wars movie synopsis Mad Libs after reading post-Episode VI Expanded Universe novels.
And now for something completely different. After a week of digesting the news that Star Wars: The Clone Wars was ending its televised run, many fans shifted to speculating about the future involvement of the show’s beloved cast and crew in other Star Wars projects. Disney Channels Worldwide President Gary Marsh gave fans hope when he told reporters at the network’s “Upfronts” presentation that Disney was working with TCW supervising director Dave Filoni “to explore new Star Wars content for our platforms.” Marsh didn’t offer any details, and this doesn’t mean that Filoni has been offered a specific role on a specific project (or even that specific projects have been proposed), but this is certainly good to hear so soon after Filoni’s flagship project was given the axe.
Also on The Clone Wars front, this past week saw the continuation of a deluge of post-Season 5 interviews with the cast and crew. Several of the interviews focused on the legacy of Ahsoka Tano, the series’ breakout character, including a three-part Newsarama interview with Ashley Eckstein and an Entertainment Weekly interview with Dave Filoni. The interviews continued with James Arnold Taylor talking about his character of Obi-Wan, the Obi-Wan/Anakin relationship, and the series’ five-year run over at IGN.
If you’re interested in keeping The Clone Wars alive in the fan community if not on television, you might want to head down to Orlando, Florida for Walt Disney World’s Star Wars Weekends this summer. The month-long festivities began at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 1997, returned in 2000 and 2001, and have occurred every summer since 2003. This summer, James Arnold Taylor and Ashley Eckstein are reprising their roles as hosts, with Taylor serving as the overall emcee and Eckstein hosting the “Behind the Force” interview stage. Late last week, Disney unveiled the official logo for the 2013 Weekends and announced the first two guests: Ray Park (Darth Maul) and Warwick Davis (Wicket). I attended the event during the summer of 2011 and would highly recommend that you do the same if you can make it to Orlando. Heck, James Arnold Taylor’s one-man show “Talking to Myself” alone is worth the price of admission.
Sports luddites: Have you ever watched basketball fans obsess over their March Madness brackets with equal parts bemusement and envy? I respect sports aficionados, but I will never be a part of that craziness and excitement. I had to look up March Madness on Wikipedia while writing this paragraph just to figure out which sport it involved. So it’s with great pleasure that I can report The Official Star Wars Site’s latest venture to combine current events with the galaxy far, far away. It recently launched a Star Wars counterpart to March Madness called “This Is Madness.” Famous characters from the franchise face off every weekday from now until April 9th, and fans can fill out their own brackets to predict who will win each round. (Here’s my bracket in case you’re curious.)
This past week saw a veritable bonanza of Star Wars book information appearing online. First, there was the catalog listing for Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown, which revealed that author Joe Schreiber would be consulting with Star Wars: Darth Plagueis author James Luceno to tie to the two books together. That entry also stated that Schreiber’s story would be influenced by such movies as Scarface and Gladiator. Next, the same catalog provided a blurb for Martha Wells’ currently untitled Leia-centric novel. Wells’ book is currently slated for an October 29th, 2013 release. Another novel that received its blurb this week was John Jackson Miller’s Star Wars: Kenobi, which will take place between Episodes III and IV and is set for release on August 27, 2013.
If you enjoy short stories, you’ll be happy to know that we can look forward to a new one in Star Wars Insider #142. Christie Golden will be writing an as-yet-untitled short story set between Troy Denning’s Apocalypse, the final Fate of the Jedi novel, and his upcoming novel Crucible. The short story, which Del Rey announced last Friday, will star “three of the galaxy’s most intrepid ladies.”
Have you heard about a book called William Shakespeare’s Star Wars? The book will combine the Bard of Avon’s vernacular with the story and characters of Star Wars. If the preview pages and book details that appeared online a few days ago are any indication, this will be a fun book for even the most casual Star Wars fan. Its catalog entry notes that it will even contain “Elizabethan woodcut illustrations.” How can you not love that, right?
Finally, we received a handful of celebrity confirmations for Star Wars Celebration Europe II, taking place July 26-28, 2013 in Essen, Germany. The four actors who played Boba Fett –– Jeremy Bulloch, Daniel Logan, Dickey Beer, and John Morton –– are confirmed to attend the show, sign autographs, and discuss their iconic role. Fans can also look forward to hearing from Lucasfilm’s “Keeper of the Holocron” Leland Chee about his role as a veteran in-house consultant on all issues of Star Wars continuity.
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.