In this edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • Ahsoka!
  • More Ahsoka!!
  • Dave Filoni & co. discuss the series finale of Star Wars Rebels
  • Michael K. Williams reflects on his cut role in Solo
  • Leia and Chewbacca share a moment in the novelization of The Last Jedi
  • And much more!

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Finn love interest

Within the first few minutes of Finn meeting Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s obvious he has a crush on her. But one of the movie’s smartest decisions was to not actively fuel that particular fire, instead allowing for a blossoming friendship that never tipped into full-on romantic territory. But by the time Star Wars: The Last Jedi wraps up and Rose Tico plants a kiss on Finn, it feels like the seeds of a love triangle may have been planted. Now it’s up to J.J. Abrams to handle what happens moving forward.

I spoke with actor John Boyega at the press junket for Pacific Rim Uprising yesterday afternoon, and between questions about jaegers and kaiju, I asked him to tease the evolution of Finn in Star Wars: Episode 9 and who his preferred Finn love interest is. I have a feeling his answer is going to be somewhat controversial.

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why Ava DuVernay turned down Black Panther

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: why it’s a good thing that director Ava DuVernay says she’s not making a Star Wars movie.)

Star Wars fans are ready for change.

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe boldly enters its latest stage, handing its major franchise staples to black auteurs and New Zealand comedians, it’s become somewhat apparent that Lucasfilm is holding back. Their latest slate of behind-the-scenes announcements and rumors – that the Game of Thrones guys are writing a new series, that Stephen Daldry might direct an Obi Wan standalone – feel as by-the-numbers as you can get. After the production kerfuffles with Rogue One and the upcoming Solo, maybe it’s just insurance; a “let’s hire the industry guys with safe track records so we can stay on schedule” ideology. But that safety net approach has the fans concerned. By avoiding potential risks, are we in danger of a roster of bland lookalikes that keep the series chugging along but never grow it in new directions? This is a galaxy far, far away, let’s not forget. Isn’t it time to get weird?

For a lot of us, potential relief came in the form of director Ava DuVernay, who’s been long-rumored to be next in line for a Star Wars project. But DuVernay crushed hearts on Twitter today when she announced that she isn’t, in fact, doing a Star Wars film, telling fans that the series “is not for me.”

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star wars rebels series finale trailer

This post contains major spoilers for the series finale of Star Wars Rebels.

Star Wars Rebels came to an end with a surprisingly hopeful finale. It was a gorgeous epilogue that let us know just what our beloved Spectres were up to in the years following the end of the show. Set just after the Battle of Endor, the last few minutes of the series highlighted where each member of the Rebels cast ended up, even teasing the possibility of a Sabine Wren and Ahsoka spin-off.

But it was one of the smaller details that sparked much crying, yelling, and speculation amongst fans. See, the ending of Rebels introduced us to Hera and Kanan’s son. And that’s where things get interesting.

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Star Wars The Last Jedi Lightsaber Battle

No matter how you felt about Star Wars: The Last Jedi as a whole, you can’t deny that it has one of the best lightsaber battles in the entirety of the franchise.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) engage in an intense lightsaber battle involving Supreme Leader Snoke’s Praetorian guards. We won’t say any more than that for fear that the spoiler police are on the hunt for something to complain about today, but suffice it to say that this is a great clip to hold us over until Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives on home video later this month. If you haven’t see the movie, don’t read any further, because there are major spoilers. Read More »

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ashoka and sabine

The Star Wars Rebels finale raises just as many questions as it answers. I very much enjoyed this final installment of the Disney XD series, but am surprised that the story seems far from concluded. The ending even appears to feature a cliffhanger that teases a new adventure which could be explored in another Star Wars animated series or feature film. But was that the intention? Find out what showrunner Dave Filoni had to say about the Star Wars Rebels ending.

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Star Wars Rebels

During the series finale of Star Wars Rebels, the voice of the series’ central droid character was finally revealed in the end credits. It turns out for all four seasons, C1-10P has been voiced by none other than Star Wars showrunner and writer Dave Filoni. Find out why he waited so long to reveal the truth and the story of how he came to be the voice of Chopper.

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With “A Fool’s Hope” and the two-part “Family Reunion and Farewell,” Star Wars Rebels has finally come to a close. Though fans were understandably disappointed when executive producer Dave Filoni announced that season 4 would be the last, this decision allowed Filoni and his creative team to end the beloved, game-changing series on their own terms. Indeed, this past season of Star Wars Rebels has pulled out all the stops when it comes to the more mysterious elements of Star Wars lore. But it has also stayed true to the show’s main characters: Ezra Bridger, Sabine Wren, Kanan Jarrus, Hera Syndulla, and the entirety of the Ghost crew.

The three-episode finale brought back a whole host of familiar faces and sent others into space for some new and enticing adventures. There were Loth-wolves. There were temptations to the Dark Side. And there was a spine-tingling time jump. The Star Wars Rebels series finale may not have been the flashiest episode of the show, but it tied up several themes and storylines in a tight little bow…while giving us hope for a whole new series of adventures.

/Film’s resident Star Wars experts, Allyson Gronowitz and Rosie Knight, sat down to talk about the Rebels finale, its grand reveals, and how the overall series impacts the Star Wars universe and fandom. Naturally, major spoilers follow.

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Saturday Night Live Star Wars Spin-Off Sketch

Last weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Charles Barkley was fairly lackluster. Though there were some decent laughs to be had here and there, the episode was mostly a disappointment. However, it could have been vastly improved if a certain pre-recorded sketch was included in the episode.

When Saturday Night Live does dress rehearsal, the episode has more sketches than will fit during the timeslot for the show. After dress rehearsal, it’s determined which sketches need to be cut, whether it’s because they didn’t land well at dress rehearsal or because they just don’t fit in the schedule properly. In this case, we lost a Star Wars sketch with Charles Barkley as a character who doesn’t understand any alien languages, rendering him useless. Read More »

Even though Emo Kylo Ren is still making a mockery of the character on Twitter, Star Wars fans have actually begun to embrace the tortured, complicated character of Kylo Ren/Ben Solo as an antagonist to be reckoned with. Credit Rian Johnson and Adam Driver for taking the cartoonish Ren from The Force Awakens (remember Matt the Radar Technician?) and turning him into a more nuanced and more terrifyingly realistic villain. So, sure, I appreciate the way Johnson has rejuvenated the character, but is that reason enough to declare that Kylo Ren is an even better villain than Darth Vader himself? That Ben Solo’s story is everything Anakin Skywalker’s should have been?

Being a constant presence in the Star Wars fandom is enough to give one whiplash; it sometimes feels like every debate is a competition between two extremes. Either the prequel trilogy is the film version of the antichrist, or it is an emblem of cinematic perfection. Either Rian Johnson ruined Star Wars, or he revitalized it. Either Kylo Ren is the greatest Star Wars villain, or Darth Vader is. How about this crazy, hot take: they’re both pretty fantastic.

But I’d like to turn my attention to Darth Vader – or, more specifically, to Anakin Skywalker, the man within the machine – because there is so much more to the character than awkward Naboo picnics and diatribes about sand. And there are so many more Anakin Skywalker-centric stories to digest than the three prequel movies.

So join me, and together we will redeem the image of Anakin Skywalker.

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