Star Wars Bits: The Han Solo Movie, A Fan Petition For Peter Mayhew, And The Return Of Ian McDiarmid?

In this edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • Han Solo spin-off star Phoebe Waller-Bridge talks about the movie.
  • A fan petition wants Peter Mayhew to cameo in the Han Solo movie.
  • Could Ian McDiarmid play Emperor Palpatine on Star Wars Rebels?
  • Ewan McGregor is still not opposed to an Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off.
  • Read excerpts from two Rogue One: A Star Wars Story prequel novels.
  • Rogue One finally finishes its theatrical run.
  • And more!

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

The Playlist's new Four Quadrants podcast interviewed Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the star of the critically acclaimed comedy series Fleabag. Oh, and also a cast member in the new Han Solo movie that's shooting right now. We don't know much about her character and she can't say much about the movie they're making, but she does describe the whole thing as "wicked." You can listen for yourself at the link above.

After 40 years of playing the galaxy's most loyal Wookiee, actor Peter Mayhew officially stepped down from playing Chewbacca after Star Wars: The Force Awakens due to various health problems. Joonas Suotamo, who played Chewie alongside Mayhew in the film, is taking over the role full-time in the upcoming Han Solo spin-off. However, Mayhew has said that he'd love to cameo in the new movie, letting his unmasked face appear in the Star Wars saga for the first time. A new fan petition has arrived to argue for that to happen:

For the new Han Solo Anthology Film, Young Han Solo and Young Chewbacca will both be played by new young actors. At Star Wars Celebration a few weeks ago, I found out that Peter Mayhew, the actor who has played Chewbacca in every Star Wars film to date, would love the opportunity to have a quick cameo as himself in the background of the new Han Solo standalone film. The precedent has already been set. A number of Star Wars' masked character actors have donned new costumes in other scenes or even other movies: Warwick Davis, Jeremy Bulloch, Ahmed Best, and Anthony Daniels, to name a few. Their roles demanded little spotlight, but to avid fans of the franchise, their appearances were fun "easter eggs" and provided some unique trivia. In a franchise full of tradition, there's no other actor more deserving of a playful cameo in the upcoming Han Solo Anthology film. Let the wookiee win!

It remains to be seen if anyone at Lucasfilm will respond, but this is the rare fan petition that actually has its heart in the right place. At the very least, Mayhew himself has endorsed it, as you can see from the tweet embed above.

Star Wars News Net has a very interesting story for fans of Star Wars Rebels. According to one of their sources, Iam McDiarmid has recorded lines for the fourth and final season of the animated series, presumably playing Emperor Palpatine once more. However, the Emperor was previously heard on the show and he was voiced by Sam Witwer (who did an incredible job, as you can hear in the video above). There are several paths from here: this is all untrue, Witwer is being replaced by the real deal to help end the show with a bang (which would be kind of a crappy thing to do), or McDiarmid is playing another character on the show.

We've been hearing rumors of a solo Obi-Wan Kenobi movie for years now and Ewan McGregor kept everyone's hopes alive while appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live. While he can't say anything concrete (if they are making one, it's certainly not going to be announced on a talk show), he certainly seems open to returning the character.

Guardians of the Whills book cover art

StarWars.com has released a new except from Guardians of the Whills, the new novel from Greg Rucka that follows Baze Malbus and Chirrut Imwe before the events of Rogue One. I'm not sure if I'm going to get around to reading this one, but I do from his non-Star Wars work that Rucka is one hell of a writer – if you care to know more about these characters, he's surely going to deliver something entertaining. I've included a portion of the excerpt below, but you can read the whole thing at the link above.

***

"I need a new blaster," Baze said.

"Use your old one," Chirrut said.

"No."

"You still have your old one."

"Yes."

"So use your old one."

"No."

Baze and Chirrut split without breaking stride as a clump of urchins, each of them so filthy and caked with dirt they left puffs of dust in their wake, barreled past them. Baze kept a hand on the pouch tucked beneath his tunic where he kept his credits, and an eye on Chirrut at the same time, knowing full well it was unnecessary and yet doing it all the same. The fact was, of the two of them, Baze was the more likely to have his purse lifted and not even notice.

"The old one works perfectly well," Chirrut said when they'd fallen back in, side by side.

"The old one is a Guardian's weapon. And I am no longer a Guardian."

"Then you are making a choice."

"Yes," Baze said. "My choice is to find a new blaster."

"No, your choice is to be stubborn."

"My choice is to use a reliable blaster rather than an archaic lightbow."

"Your reliable blaster has proven to be unreliable."

"Which is why I need a new gun."

"Use your old one."

Baze came to a halt in the middle of the street and Chirrut, too, stopped almost instantly, as if he'd been expecting this.

"Like so many conversations with you," Baze said, "we are now back where we started."

"You noticed that, did you?"

"You're very lucky I'm your friend, you know that?"

"I do know that," Chirrut said. "Though I wonder why you are saying this right now."

"I'm saying it right now because I'm wondering why anyone would bother to put up with you."

"Ah," said Chirrut. "I often wonder the same thing about you."

Baze roared with laughter, loud enough that the crowded street took notice of them, including two helmeted and robed worshippers of the Central Isopter, who stepped curiously closer. Baze grinned big at them, showing his teeth, and they stopped, then stepped back, then turned away to melt back into the crowd. Baze took the opportunity to check around them before starting forward again. Chirrut immediately kept pace, his staff extended at an angle to the ground in front of them, swaying slightly from side to side.

***

rebel rising

StarWars.com has also released an excerpt from Rebel Rising, a new novel by Beth Revis that follows the early days of Jyn Erso, before she found herself saving the galaxy in Rogue One. I've included a portion below, but you can read the whole thing at the link above.

***

When Jyn awoke the next morning, everything seemed too dark. There were no windows. The air smelled funny—musty, not crisp. Her heart thudded as she tried to wrap her mind around the disorientation of waking up in a place that wasn't home.

Jyn rubbed her eyes. They were dry and scratchy, and then she remembered that she'd been crying. And then she remembered why. Her stomach churned, acid rising in her throat. She couldn't push back the memories of the previous day. The sound of Mama's body falling, lifeless, to the ground. The waiting, waiting, waiting for someone to save her while she hid in the cave.

But that wasn't true. She hadn't been waiting for someone. She'd been waiting for Papa. He was the one who was supposed to have saved her. Not Saw. A flare of rage washed over her, surprising in its intensity. She had never felt anger like this before. And even though she knew in her heart that it wasn't fair to blame Papa for not being able to save her, she held on to the emotion. It was better than the sorrow that threatened to drown her.

There was no sign of Saw when she opened the door to her room and peeked into the hallway. Her stomach ached with hunger. She wondered if she should knock on the closed doors and find Saw, but instead she made her way to the common room and found another can of nutritive milk from the same cabinet Saw had opened earlier. She sipped it alone at the table.

Idly, she looked over the different things Saw had left there. He was a little messy; the empty can of nutritive milk she'd drunk the night before was still on the table, as well as other trash. But one side of the long table was used for Saw's work. It reminded Jyn of the way her father worked—organized chaos, he called it. There were transparent sheets of star charts and schematics of Imperial ships jumbled together. But it seemed as if Saw had swept most of that aside. There was a datapad in a mostly cleared area, and Jyn saw notes Saw had been making about crystals. He'd marked down certain planets, some of which Jyn knew her father had researched as well. Jyn touched a holo- cube on the table, and her father's face lit up, floating in front of her.

Jyn looked around guiltily; she didn't want Saw to think she was a snoop.

But Saw was nowhere to be seen.

***

Rogue One

After five months (and a home video release), Rogue One has finally and officially finished its theatrical run with $532.2 million at the domestic box office. Add in the $523.7 million worldwide and you have a total gross of $1.05 billion. That's only half of what Star Wars: The Force Awakens made, but no one is ever going to scoff at a movie that makes over $1 billion at the box office.

While Star Wars Battlefront was a very good game, there wasn't anything in the package for gamers wanting a solo experience. That will change with Star Wars Battlefront II. And to make the whole thing sound even more appealing, EA CEO Andrew Wilson says that the game will have three times as much content as the first game. Hopefully, a lot of that comes from a robust single-player campaign that doesn't involved being killed over and over again by people who are much better at the game than you. In the meantime, if you need a Star Wars video game fix right now, know that the ILMxLab's VR game Trials of Tatooine is available on HTC Vive right now.