Son of Darkness, Heir Apparent to Lord Vader

In this edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • A preview of Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #1
  • Deaf actor Troy Kotsur makes his Star Wars debut in The Mandalorian
  • Porche’s “Women of Lucasfilm – What Drives You?” panel
  • Rian Johnson offers insights on writing Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Hot Toys reveals First Order and Sith Jet Trooper 1/6th scale figures
  • And more!

Star Wars Bits: A Preview of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #1'

Son of Darkness, Heir Apparent to Lord Vader

Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #1, by writer Charles Soule and artist Will Sliney, arrives Wednesday, December 18, and tells the story of how Ben Solo was seduced to the Dark Side. StarWars.com has an exclusive first look, which shows what transpired following the destruction of Luke Skywalker’s Jedi temple — at the hands of his nephew and apprentice — as seen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. You can pre-order #1 (of a 4-part series) at Marvel.

An Ongoing Series of Scum and Villainy

An Ongoing Series of Scum and Villainy

On the topic of comics, Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #1 arrives March 2020 and will focus on Beilert Valance, a cyborg bounty hunter who first appeared in Marvel’s 2018 series, Han Solo – Imperial Cadet. Here’s the official synopsis:

The series follows cyborg bounty hunter Beilert Valance as he seeks revenge on mentor-turned-betrayer Nakano Lash, who has recently resurfaced under mysterious circumstances. But Valance isn’t the only mercenary looking for Lash, and he soon finds himself on a collision course with Boba Fett, Bossk, and a slew of new killers.

Boba Fett and Bossk, you say? Count. Me. In.

Deaf Actor Troy Kotsur Stars in The Mandalorian

Deaf Actor Troy Kotsur Stars in The Mandalorian

In The Mandalorian “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger,” our hero seeks passage through Tusken Raiders territory in pursuit of his bounty. To do so, he must barter with the Tatooine natives by using a signed language — a nod to the Native American Sign Language/Plains Sign Language that was used to communicate between tribes and with frontiersmen.

According to Star Wars Autograph News, the actor who portrays the Tusken Raider Scout who negotiates with the Mandalorian is Troy Kotsur, a deaf performer known for roles in The Number 23, Criminal Minds, CSI: NY, and Scrubs. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that we’ve seen a signed language used in Star Wars canon and casting a deaf actor to perform it on the most in-demand show in the world is a pretty big deal. You can follow Troy on Twitter (@TroyKotsur).

Porsche's "Women of Lucasfilm – What Drives You?” Panel

Porsche’s “Women of Lucasfilm – What Drives You?” Panel

On November 19th, Porsche invited Lucasfilm filmmakers and members of The Alliance of Women Directors to join in a conversation entitled “Women of Lucasfilm – What Drives You?” at the Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles. The panelists from included Lucasfilm President, Kathleen Kennedy, Deborah Chow (director, The Mandalorian and the upcoming Obi-Wan series), Victoria Mahoney (second unit director, The Rise of Skywalker), Lynwen Brennan (executive vice president and general manager), Michelle Rejwan (producer, The Rise of Skywalker), Maryann Brandon (editor, The Rise of Skywalker), Rayne Roberts (director of development, Lucasfilm Story Group), and Bonnie Wild (Skywalker Sound SFX editor).

During the panel discussion, which was moderated by The Star Wars Show’s Andi Gutierrez, Deborah Chow spoke about the groundbreaking technology being used on the set of The Mandalorian:

“Stagecraft Technology allows the filmmakers to bring exotic locations to the set, rather than take the whole crew to these locations. The set is wrapped in giant LED screens that move in response to camera movements. This allows for all new possibilities for a TV show and its budget. For instance, it can be Magic Hour all day. You can go back to a location for a half-page of script. And this technology changes the actors’ performance because they can see what they are reacting to (unlike green screen).”

FANgirl Blog has all the details on the panel, and be sure to check out the latest episode of their of Fangirls Going Rogue podcast for even more insights from the “What Drives You” event.

Rian Johnson on Writing The Last Jedi

Rian Johnson on Star Wars Screenwriting

In an interview with our own Bryan Young for Script Mag, writer-director Rian Johnson discusses the screenwriting process, his new movie Knives Out, and what he learned from writing Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The lesson over and over when you’re making a Star Wars movie is cut to the chase. Cut out the fat, don’t be clever, don’t be oblique, get right to what’s important, and then what’s happening, and explain it as clearly as possible.”

Check out the interview here. It’s a great read that offers a lot of insight into Johnson’s process, his favorite classic films, and his influences, including The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan

Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures

Have you watched Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures? This series of animated shorts, which you can check out at StarWarsKids.com and the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel, reimagine some of the saga’s greatest moments and characters. Developed by Titmouse Animation (Son of Zorn, Big Mouth), the animated series features a slick, modern style that feels part-manga, part-Little Golden Book.

I would love to see full-length animated adaptations of the saga films in this style on Disney+ as they create a seamless continuity across the various eras of Star Wars storytelling while expanding it with fun little embellishments. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the series, the short “Jedi vs. Sith – The Skywalker Saga,” featured above, will no doubt hook you.

The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Delayed Until Spring 2020

The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Hits Shelves on March 31, 2020

The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the official behind-the-scenes book of concept, production, and post-production art, was originally scheduled to hit shelves on December 20, to coincide with the release of the film. Published by Abrams Books, the book will now hit shelves on March 31, 2020. Here’s the description:

Go inside the creative process behind the most anticipated film of the century. The latest trilogy in the Star Wars film series brings the Skywalker Saga to a close and The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will take readers into the creative process behind visualizing the epic worlds, creatures, characters, costumes, weapons, and vehicles of the landmark conclusion more than 40 years in the making.

The delay is a bummer, for sure, but it’s easy to see why Lucasfilm and Abrams Books not to be confused with director J.J. Abrams would push the book’s release to Q1, 2020. A December release would mean that only some of the film’s art could be published, making for a half-complete book that’s self-censored to avoid spoiling the movie’s biggest secrets and revelations. With the book now scheduled for spring, we can expect an excellent companion piece to the final entry in the Skywalker Saga that includes concepts and designs from the film’s third act and delves into the ideas behind them. I can’t wait.

You can pre-order the book here.

Hot Toys Reveals First Order and Sith Jet Trooper Collectible Figures

Sideshow and Hot Toys recently revealed their First Order Jet Trooper and Sith Jet Trooper Sixth Scale Collectible Figure from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The Sith Jet Trooper features a completely new designed crimson helmet and armor, a highly detailed jetpack, tailored fabric under-suit, detailed weapons, and a specially designed figure stand. The figures, which are available for pre-order, will set you back $220 each and will be released in Q4 of 2020.

Star Wars Black Series Commander Bly

New Black Series and Vintage Collection Figures

On the topic of collectibles, Yakface.com announced that pre-orders are open for new Black Series and Vintage Collection items, including 6 inch Clone Commander Bly (pictured above), 6 inch Sith Jet Trooper, Clone Trooper (The Vintage Collection), and the Count Dooku Force FX Lightsaber – because what child doesn’t want to play as an 83-year-old Sith Lord who gets de-handed and beheaded in the ultimate act of betrayal? You can pre-order these items and more from Entertainment Earth and DorksideToys.

The Skywalker Saga (So Far) in Under Eight Minutes

Before seeing The Rise of Skywalker, get a refresher on the first eight episodes of the Skywalker Saga with this great video from Star Wars Explained:

“This is The Star Wars Showwwwww!”

And finally, this week on The Star Wars Show it’s their biggest show everHosts Andi Gutierrez and Anthony Carboni sit down with the cast of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and talk about their journey together. There’s a lot of fun to be had, too, as they replace the trench run actors from Star Wars: A New Hope with baby animals, play Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on the biggest screen they can find, and get captured by the First Order on the new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction at Walt Disney World.

Until next time, may the Force be with you. Always.

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