the force awakens comic preview cover

In today’s edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • Take a new look at Marvel’s comic book adaptation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • Lawrence Kasdan reveals when that Han Solo movie will begin shooting.
  • Dave Filoni teases the return of a legendary character in Star Wars Rebels.
  • Daisy Ridley discusses the death of Han Solo.
  • Star Wars Celebration reveals its full podcast line-up.
  • Tickets for Star Wars Celebration 2017 are on sale right now.
  • Is Han Solo the biggest problem with The Force Awakens?
  • You can now buy some very expensive First Order Stormtrooper armor.
  • New details on LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens revealed.
  • Check out a new variant cover for Marvel’s Han Solo series.
  • And more!

the force awakens comic preview cover has revealed a few preview pages from Marvel Comics’ upcoming miniseries adaptation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Written by Chuck Wendig (who also wrote Star Wars: Aftermath) and drawn by Luke Ross, the first issue is set to arrive on June 22. You can check out the pages below. The gorgeous cover seen above is by Esad Ribic, who most recently drew Marvel’s surprisingly good Secret Wars event.

Marvel has also unveiled a variant cover for the first issue of the Force Awakens miniseries, this one from the legendary John Cassaday:

cassaday cover

Speaking of Marvel’s Star Wars comic books, a new variant cover for the upcoming Han Solo series has been revealed and it will be available exclusively at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. This cover is drawn by Emanuela Lupacchino and will be limited to 7,500 copies. Although the series arrives in stores on June 15, fans who want to wait (or don’t mind owning two copies) will be able to snag this one in July.

han solo variant

Last month, legendary screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan received the AJFF Icon Award for Contributions to the Cinematic Arts, an event that was immediately followed by a Q&A. Although the full interview tackles his entire career and his views on the film industry, he did chat a little about the new Star Wars movies he has worked on. First, he revealed that the Han Solo spin-off movie that he wrote will begin filming in January:

You know, Chris Miller and Phil Lord are going to direct it. They’re great, funny and imaginative and we’ve had a great time together. My son [Jon Kasdan] and I wrote the script and Chris and Phil are working on it and they’re about to move to London to start shooting in January. And it should be fun.

Kasdan also revealed that he was on board to write the Han Solo movie before he was officially one of the screenwriters on The Force Awakens, a move that was very sudden and required a few months of intense rewriting with J.J. Abrams:

I was originally going to just write Han, but I had contracted to be in the story group on Episode 7, which became The Force Awakens. And then there were problems. A wonderful writer, Michael Arndt, just couldn’t do the time pressure, and people were being hired in England and it was enormous pressure and he stepped away. We stayed in contact and he’s a lovely man, then J.J. [Abrams] and I took over, and now I found myself instead just doing Han and consulting on Force Awakens, we were actually writing Episode 7 together and it happened very fast.

He also deftly dodges any and all details about Episode 8, although he obviously knows more than he is letting on (he considers director Rian Johnson a friend).

Although Disney purged the Star Wars timeline and sent countless characters and stories into the “Legends” ghetto as a way of cleaning up the canon, some of those characters are being given second chances. Star Wars Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni has been hinting at the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn for some time and a recent tweet has only added fuel to the fire. We know that two episodes from the show’s third season are set to premiere at this year’s Star Wars Celebration and it’s starting to seem more and more likely that fans will finally get to see Thrawn, one of the most beloved non-movie characters in all of Star Wars, in the animated flesh.

star wars celebration Europe 2016

Last year’s Star Wars Celebration saw the debut of a dedicated podcast stage, where various shows were allowed to record in front of a live audience. This year’s event in London has doubled down on this venue, squeezing fifteen separate Star Wars podcasts into the schedule over three days. has revealed the line-up, which sees the cast of many shows teaming up for various 45-minute slots.

Here’s Friday’s schedule:

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Full of Sith and Lattes With Leia
One panel, two podcasts: Prepare to make your first jump to hyperspace with Full Of Sith, the show dedicated to the most interesting Star Wars conversations in the galaxy and then pour a cup of your beverage of choice and take a trip to the galaxy far, far away with Lattes With Leia.

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Blabba the Hutt and Following The Nerd
One panel, two podcasts: Strap yourselves in for the emerald hour! All the way from Dublin, Ireland, it’s Blabba The Hutt and joining them are Following The Nerd, the podcast that’s bang up to date on all the latest news, reviews, articles, and information across all mediums from games to action figures.

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Fly Casual and SithLord 229
One panel, two podcasts: We’re coming in at full throttle with Fly Casual, the podcast that’s more than a journey. It’s all about our Star Wars lives and YouTube star SithLord229, providing in-depth, HD analysis of some of the coolest Star Wars toys and collectables from across the galaxy!

And Saturday’s schedule:

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Star Wars Action News and Star Wars Collectors Cast
One panel, two podcasts: There’s no such thing as coming in too fast when you have two of the world’s premiere collecting podcasts joining forces. We have Star Wars Action News bringing all the latest news and reviews from the Star Wars galaxy. Star Wars Collectors Cast is here covering UK and worldwide collecting.

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Star Wars Report and Fangirls Going Rogue
One panel, two podcasts: Echo Station 3-T-8, we have spotted Imperial walkers and they’re bringing two amazing podcasts with them. The Star Wars Report bring us in-depth news coverage from the galaxy far, far away, and joining them are Fangirls Going Rogue, the first Star Wars podcast hosted exclusively by fangirls.

4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. 
Steele Wars
Jumping out of lightspeed too close to the system is Australian comedian Steele Saunders, bringing his unique flavor to Celebration Europe. Steele loves Star Wars and finds people of interest to talk to him about it. We are honored by his presence.

And finally, Sunday’s line-up of shows:

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Chive Cast and The Vintage Rebellion
One panel, two podcasts: It’s the golden hour! The Star Wars Collectors Archive Podcast brings us its knowledge of vintage Star Wars toys and memorabilia and Vintage Rebellion discusses Star Wars toys from yesteryear. WAMPA!! WAMPA!!

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
RADIO 1138 and Take Cover
One panel, two podcasts: We reach the end of our Celebration Europe podcast panel journey for 2016 as RADIO 1138 see out the show with Star Wars news from across the galaxy and Take Cover grab their bookmarks to discuss book, comic, and magazine news.

Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 Key Art

If you’re unable to attend Star Wars Celebration in London this year, tickets are on sale for next year’s event in Orlando, Florida right now. Single day tickets will cost adults $65-$75 online but will increase to $75-$85 at the door (if they’re not sold out). Single day tickets for kids will only cost $35. As always, four-day passes are the best bargain, with adult passes selling for $150 ($170 at the door) and kid passes selling for $70 ($85 at the door). Naturally, you’re going to want to act fast if you want to attend.

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