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 announcement or a noteworthy author interview, you’ll find it here. Let’s check the HoloNet and see what happened in the past two weeks.
Hey, remember how Star Wars Episode VII is a thing? Disney and Lucasfilm kept the film in the headlines on Monday by announcing two high-profile additions to the film’s already large main cast. Lupita Nyong’o, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 12 Years a Slave, and Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth on HBO’s Game of Thrones, join the likes of John Boyega and Daisy Ridley for Episode VII. After the news broke, Nyong’o tweeted, “I can finally say it out loud and proud: I’m going to a galaxy far far away!”
I can finally say it out loud and proud: I'm going to a galaxy far far away! http://t.co/b39DjEEAzB
— Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) June 2, 2014
As numerous sites have pointed out, the casting of Nyong’o and Christie represents a major step forward for a franchise that has historically struggled to place women and minorities in prominent roles. As society changes, so too does entertainment. I’m glad that the cast of Star Wars Episode VII will be more representative of the 2010s than the 1970s.
Official Episode VII news wasn’t all that we got this week. In a pair of exclusives, the gossip site TMZ revealed photo galleries from the Abu Dhabi set and the Pinewood Studios set and prop construction area. I won’t go into too much detail, because I know a lot of people want to avoid this sort of material for spoiler reasons, but I will say that the first photo gallery underscores how authentic the Tatooine set is and how important Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art is to the Star Wars universe. As for the second gallery, well…let’s just say it’s good to see an old friend again.
Del Rey is happy to announce that the Star Wars Books Facebook page has hit 150,000 likes. To thank loyal Star Wars readers, Del Rey has posted an excerpt from the upcoming canon novel Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne. Make sure you check out the excerpt if you’re interested in Hearne’s novel. The book is written from Luke’s point of view, making it only the second novel to take this approach. (The first was I, Jedi, which focused on Corran Horn.) Heir to the Jedi will be published in January 2015, as the third of Del Rey’s new slate of Star Wars books.
And finally, let’s check in with John Boyega and Daisy Ridley and see what they’ve been up to on Twitter. Both were tweeting from Abu Dhabi, and then from Star Trek Live in London following their return to the UK. What really caught my eye, however, was Boyega’s latest photo, which he captioned “On set reads.” I know the team at Del Rey was super excited to see what Boyega is reading, and as a diehard Star Wars (and Star Wars books) fan, I was too.
Eric Geller is a journalist from the Washington, D.C. area. He co-hosts The ForceCast podcast and manages social media for Star Wars fan sites TheForce.Net and Rebelscum.com. He also contributes to The Official Star Wars Blog and Star Wars Insider.