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All the Star Wars News from Celebration 2016 in One Place

With the conclusion of Star Wars Celebration, running this past weekend, there was a was a lot of Star Wars news coming at us, for just about every Star Wars movie, game or other property currently in the works, and even some new ones. The most anticipated news was probably the “3-minute trailer” for Rogue One that everyone was looking forward to. It wasn’t quite what was expected, and you can check out the Rogue One “Celebration Reel” (and the new Rogue One poster) by going here. So, what other bits of Star Wars news were revealed? I’m glad you asked. There were some additional intriguing Rogue One news bits dropped as well, so why don’t we start there? Also, there may be SPOILERS lurking about, so, you’ve been warned.

Star Wars News – Rogue One

First up, we got the first image of actor Mads Mikkelsen’s character, Galen Erso (the father of Rogue One’s protagonist, Jyn Erso.) Mikkelsen also continued to tease his character, revealing the following about his character’s role in Rogue One:

My character is a person of interest. […] It would be kind of a big deal to say too much. But he’s a scientist and he invented something so fantastic and beautiful that it changed the universe.

Hmm. Nothing has been revealed about the character up until this point, and this doesn’t give us much more to go on. However, one rumor is that Galen will be revealed as the architect of the Death Star. Which could fit the above statement. The technology necessary for such a destructive force would definitely be fantastic. And while the Death Star’s destructive power itself is not beautiful, perhaps the technology it’s based on is, and the Empire simply twisted that technology to their own terrible ends.

Star Wars news - Galen Erso from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Another theory some have come up with is that Galen created the lightsaber. That would also fit the description. However, Galen would also have to be incredibly old, as according to Star Wars lore, the lightsaber entered service thousands of years before the age of the Republic. However (that’s right, a double however), a couple of years ago when Lucasfilm / Disney declared the expanded Star Wars universe was no longer canon, they may have cleared the way for creating a new story for the origin of the lightsaber. Interesting thought, but we’re thinking a connection to the Death Star is the most likely option.

This next bit of Rogue One news is (if accurate) definitely a SPOILER, so, double warning. Wen Jiang, the actor playing Baze Malbus, may have revealed information regarding the fate of Chirrut Imwe, Donnie Yen’s blind ass-kicking monk you’ve been seeing in the Rogue One footage. Here’s what he said during the Rogue One panel:

Star Wars news - Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen in Rogue OneHe and me was a partner and he believe of course, believe in Force. But my character don’t believe Force at that time. But I pretend all of them, not them, just them, to do very, very big mission. I cannot say that. And when this guy dead, I do something better. Maybe I believe, by my action, he’s thinker, I’m doer.

At which point Gwendolyn Christie, who was emceeing the panel, stepped in saying “I think you’ve got to leave it there,” and started trying to move the discussion along. Now, Wen’s English is (self-admittedly) not perfect, and he may not have meant that Imwe dies, but judging from Christie’s reaction (and Alan Tudyk’s reaction as Wen actually says the words) we’re pretty sure that’s what happens. Watch the reveal and see for yourself.

Finally, we also saw the release of the first Jyn Erso action figure, which will be part of the Star Wars Black series from Hasbro. Check out Action Figure Fury for more details on the first official Rogue One action figure.

Star Wars News - First official Jyn Erso Rogue One Figure

Star Wars News – Episode VIII

First up, as you may or may not know, Episode VIII just wrapped. And, thanks to a video shared by Mark Hamill, we know the wrap party contained Dancing Stormtroopers.

So, what will the movie itself contain? Well, when asked by Warwick Davis how much she knew of the backstory between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, Carrie Fisher started by saying “Han’s Funeral…” before catching herself, and going on to say “The old one, oh…” Apparently, she thought the question was about what happened between episodes VII and VIII. She didn’t go back and explain if the funeral happens between VII and VIII, or if it will be a part of VIII, but that may be one thing we’ll see.

It was also revealed by director Rian Johnson that Episode VIII will pick up literally right after The Force Awakens ends. “This movie is going to start right where the last one left off. That final scene in VII, I want to see what happens next.” Johnson also stressed that Episode VIII will feature extensive sets and practical effects, saying that “the amount of sets we’ve built for this movie is outrageous.” Johnson then shared that while he was working on the story for Episode VIII, Gareth Edwards was down the hall working on Rogue One, which led to Johnson getting a cameo in Rogue One, and Edwards getting a cameo in Episode VIII. Finally, Johnson shared some behind the scenes photos from the set with the crowd, including one color shot from shooting on the island of Skellig Michael:

Sadly, one thing we didn’t get which many people expected was an official title for Episode VIII.

Star Wars News – Star Wars: Rebels

While we may not have gotten a full, new Rogue One trailer, we did get a trailer for Season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels, which you can view here.

Now, remember us mentioning earlier that Disney and Lucasfilm declared all the extended universe non-canon? Well, it appears they’ll be bringing at least some select pieces back. In the trailer, we see the introduction of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a character first introduced in Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command.) Which is great news, because Thrawn is an amazing villain, and a character that needs to become part of the official Star Wars universe. Also, if you’re wondering who is providing that dangerous, smooth voice for Thrawn, that would be Lars Mikkelsen, the older brother of Mads. Season 3 of Rebels starts this fall.

Star Wars News – Free Virtual Reality Star Wars Game Launches Today

If you’ve ever wanted to live on Tatooine (I hear real estate is very affordable there) and become a justice defending, lightsaber-wielding Jedi, today’s the day you’ll get your chance. ILMxLAB is bringing its critically acclaimed, fan approved VR experiment, Trials on Tatooine, to Steam VR for free. First showcased at Star Wars Celebration, anyone with an HTC Vive VR headset can now head over to Steam and start enjoying Star Wars as you’ve never been able to before.

According to Lucasfilm’s CTO, Rob Bredow, Trials on Tatooine was created as an experiment for them to better understand the balance between interactivity and storytelling on the new VR gaming platform. He added that “Celebration is all about Star Wars fans, and seeing the reception of Trials on the show floor has been an amazing experience for everyone involved.” The decision to release the game to Steam for free was their way of saying “thanks” to the fans, but also allowing fans who could attend “Celebration” to have a chance to experience the VR game as well.

Star Wars News – Star Wars Darth Vader VR Film in the Works

That, however, was not the only VR related Star Wars news from Celebration. During the ILMxLAB panel, it was also revealed that David S. Goyer (a name loved, feared, hated and just about everything else-ed in comic and movie circles) is working with them on a VR movie centered around Darth Vader.
“What character is so iconic that we need to know more? [Where] we can’t sleep at night and want to experience things that can’t be experienced in film, or can’t be experienced in a novel. And we came up with … this person.”

Right after Goyer said this, they shared a teaser for the Darth Vader project.

And, after the teaser, Pablo Hidalgo, a member of the Lucasfilm story group, and Goyer revealed that this will be an official, canon story, adding, “You just saw that – very impressive on a flat screen. Imagine living that, standing in there, having that character right in front of you.” Goyer stressed that this is not a traditional game or movie, but something very new and different.

Star Wars News - Vader VR movie preview at Star Wars Celebration

We don’t even have a name for the genre of storytelling we’ve been working on. You don’t play it. You be it. You’re in it. You’re part of the story. The word I came up with, that I’m pushing, is you are ‘the visitor’ – the visitor in this story that’s happening around you that you may have some effect on. You can pick up things, you can open things, you can push things. You can walk and touch characters. Imagine being in a movie, but being able to do that in the context of a movie.

He added that the world would be a persistent, always changing world, with day-night cycles, unique weather, and, as an example, different animals that may or may not appear during a play / watch through.

Goyer said that they’ve been developing the project for a year and a half, and that it’s still a couple of years from release. Which, if that timeline holds true, would put it sometime after Episode VIII in 2017, but before Episode IX in 2019, maybe sometime around the standalone Han Solo movie in 2018. He also revealed that it will include other characters that we know from the Star Wars universe, including one we may have talked or read about, but who have never been seen before. He added that “we’ve got this incredible new storytelling platform that allows you to feel in a way you never felt before, and possibly feel for someone in a way you’ve never felt for them before. And it allows you to feel like you’re in a real place.

So, there you have it. All the Star Wars news from the recent Celebration. Let us know what upcoming Star Wars project you’re most excited for in the comments, or if we missed any good bits of news!

Featured Image: Livio Ramondelli / Instagram

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