Star Wars Bits: 'Star Wars Rebels' Season 3 Details, Stunning Ralph McQuarrie Art, And An Announcement From David Prowse

In this edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • David Prowse is retiring from the international convention circuit.
  • The designer behind many of Star Wars' iconic ships shares some trivia.
  • Star Wars Uprising is shutting down after a little over a year.
  • An interview with the authors of that new Ralph McQuarrie art book...
  • ...and a look at some art from that book.
  • Tons of interviews with the writers and producers on Star Wars Rebels season 3.
  • And more!

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Only a year after its September 2015 launch, the Star Wars Uprising mobile game is shutting down. You can read the official statement via the image above (courtesy of Making Star Wars), but Kabam, the developer of the game, went into additional detail about the reasons why the game is coming an end (and when it will officially be unavailable) on their forums:

1. Why is Star Wars: Uprising shutting down?

While Star Wars: Uprising was enjoyed by a great community of players since its launch, the game is no longer achieving the level of success needed to maintain the game and the decision was made to discontinue support.

2. When is the last day I can play Star Wars: Uprising?

You'll be able to play Star Wars: Uprising until the servers are disconnected at 9AM Pacific Time on November 17th, 2016.

3. Why can't Kabam just leave the game up as it is?

There are a number of things that go into maintaining a game beyond keeping the power running. Addressing issues, developing content and providing support are important components as well, and we feel those resources can be better served building and supporting Kabam's existing and new titles.

4. Is there any way to save my player data or bases?

There won't be a way to access your data from the game's servers after they go offline. We suggest you take screenshots of your accomplishments before November 17, 2016.

5. Where can I play other games like Star Wars: Uprising?

We're glad you enjoyed Star Wars: Uprising, and would like to invite you to check out one of Kabam's other great mobile games.

David Prowse, the English actor and bodybuilder best known for actually being the guy inside the Darth Vader suit in the original trilogy, has announced his retirement from the international convention scene. This shouldn't come as a huge surprise, as Prowse is 81 years old and traveling all over the world to sell autographs and signed photos is very much a young person's racket. Still, the news is sad nonetheless for any fans who were hoping to brush shoulders with the man behind one of the most famous movie villains of all time.

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Former Lucasfilm and ILM designer Colin Cantwell recently participated in a Reddit AMA where he discussed, among other things, what it was like to be the chief designer behind many of the more iconic vehicles and starships in the original Star Wars trilogy. Like many great relationships, his partnership with George Lucas had humble beginnings:

I built miniatures of my own space ship designs and built terrains. I had friends that worked on American Graffiti who introduced me to George Lucas. George saw some of my miniatures and liked them well enough that he invited me to discuss a project... which eventually became Star Wars.

Elsewhere in the AMA, he explained his inspiration for the X-Wing's overall design:

A dart being thrown at a target in a British pub gave me the original concept and then it went forward from there.

And then there's this delightful piece of trivia, where Cantwell reveals that the Death Star trench was the result of a mistake in his sculpting:

I didn't originally plan for the Death Star to have a trench, but when I was working with the mold, I noticed the two halves had shrunk at the point where they met across the middle. It would have taken a week of work just to fill and sand and re-fill this depression. So, to save me the labor, I went to George and suggested a trench. He liked the idea so much that it became one of the most iconic moments in the film!

In other words, one of the most iconic sequences in movie history resulted from an error in building a model. There's probably a lesson to be learned there.

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And while we're talking about legendary Star Wars designers, I'd like to point you toward this StarWars.com interview with Brandon Alinger, Wade Lageose, and David Mandel, the authors of the newly released coffee table book Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrieThis massive two-volume set collects over 2,000 of McQuarrie's illustrations and it's the kind of luxury item that, quite frankly, makes me wish I had an extra $250 to throw into the void. Anyway, the interview is good one, especially when the authors talk about trying to organize and catalog McQuarrie's work:

Brandon Alinger: It's tricky! Working out the order was one of the major challenges of the book. McQuarrie's work touched on so many areas of trilogy's production, and related areas — concept sketches, costume sketches, production paintings, matte paintings, publishing work, the list goes on — making organization a real challenge. Along with Jonathan Rinzler and Eric Klopfer at Abrams, we decided it was most interesting to see the artwork as Ralph McQuarrie would have seen it — in the order he produced it. The easiest route would have been to lay it out in story-order, but chronologically is a more scholarly and informative approach.

David Mandel: Seeing Ralph's work laid out chronologically also allows you to appreciate just how many concepts and designs Ralph was working at any one moment, and how integral Ralph was to every aspect of the movie from costumes to designs to matte painting to early poster designs.

Brandon Alinger: The challenge came from the lack of perfect information. Very little of the work is dated. We had access to some of McQuarrie's daily calendars from the time which provided date information, and dug deep for overall production information in other sources that informed the order.

You can read the whole interview at the link above.

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Meanwhile, io9 has shared a look at some of the art featured in Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie and it is nothing short of stunning. You can check out some examples above and below and many more at that link.

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Comic Book Resources has revealed a variant cover for the upcoming fifth issue of Marvel's comic adaptation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and it should look familiar to anyone who has been staying on top of Star Wars comics. The cover is designed to look like toy packaging for a Kylo Ren action figure, complete with shelf wear. Other characters have received their own special edition covers like this and I have met a few comic book fans who have gone out of their way to collect these specific covers, which admittedly do look very cool in person.

Season three of Star Wars Rebels has finally introduced Arihnda Pryce, the Imperial Governor of Lothal who has been mentioned (but never seen) since the first season. In a new video, part of the behind-the-scenes Rebels Recon series, the writers and producers of the show discuss the character and what we can expect from her in the future.

And speaking of Rebels Recon, here's the entire first episode of this cool web series, which features interviews with writers and producers on the series.

Star Wars Rebels season 3

Blastr has published an excellent interview with Star Wars Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni and it's filled with commentary on past seasons and what we can expect from upcoming episodes. It even finds time to ask him if he would ever be interested in working on a live-action Star Wars television series, as has been rumored off and on for years. His response is diplomatic:

Yeah, I wouldn't say no to that. That would be exciting. I am very happy doing Rebels now. But, you know, to me the storytelling is the most important thing. The medium of it, whether it be animation or live action, there are obviously things you can do in each, different costs associated and what not during production, but, I think it's always a question of what's the best medium to tell this story in. Sometimes I think animation works well. George obviously wanted to tell a lot of stories in animation in Clone Wars and I think that was exciting for him because we could tell a lot of stories in a short period of time. So you never know. I mean, the thing is we live in an exciting time now where there are so many possibilities for Star Wars and there are so many ways to tell these stories. It's exciting that's a potential possibility, right?

In other words: he's open to anything, but nothing is happening and don't get your hopes up. The full interview takes its fair share of nerdy deep dives and can be read at the link above.

Star Wars Rebels Season 3 - Ezra Bridger

While we're sharing Dave Filoni interviews, io9 spoke with him after the second episode of Star Wars Rebels season three, "The Holocrons of Fate." First, the article suggests this theory about the vision Ezra and Maul have during the episode:

Let's run this down: If Ezra wants to know the key to destroying the Sith and the Holocron shows him "Twin Suns," drawing the conclusion to Tatooine is a safe bet. We know from the original trilogy that Luke, who lives on a planet with twin suns, is in fact the key to destroying the Sith. The possibility that Luke could somehow play any tangential role on Rebels gives me chills. However, the even bigger implication in seeing Tatooine suggests Ezra's ultimate mission will come up short—he'll never achieve what he wants. He's already doomed to fail. Or, at least, fated for something he hasn't even figured out yet.

When grilled about this, Filoni played coy:

That's a great theory. That's an interesting theory. Sometimes I learn from the fans and I love it. That definitely a good line of thinking because, with Ezra, there's always a question of how is he going to be unique, which I think he should be as his own hero. It is HIS story, so we'll see. It's surprising who you cross paths with in life.

For the full conversation and additional details, follow the link above.

Star Wars Rebels season 3

We're currently two episodes deep into Star Wars Rebels season three, but those looking to know more about what to expect in the upcoming chapters need only look to TV Guide for new synopses:

The Antilles Extraction: Sabine goes undercover as a cadet in the Empire's elite flight academy to help free several young pilots who want to defect to the rebellion. (Airs October 8.)

Hera's Heroes: Hera's rebel supply mission to Ryloth becomes personal when she and the Ghost crew brave overwhelming Imperial forces to recover a memento from her ancestral home. (Airs October 15.)

A synopsis for the fifth episode of the season, "The Last Battle," has yet to be released.

Twitter user @VashSky has done theme park and Star Wars fans a service with this graphic, which takes all of the art and known information about Disneyland and Walt Disney World's Star Wars Land and combined it into one image. This is all susceptible to change, but this could be an accurate skeleton of what park visitors may expect when the land opens in a few years.