Covering Star Wars news is a tricky business. Sometimes there are huge announcements from the Land of Lucas; sometimes the most interesting information comes via theories on fan sites. Today’s roundup, coming right on the heels of the Star Wars Celebration fan convention, is full of the former. Not only did Lucasfilm drop the first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi during the convention (it’s above, and our breakdown of its similarities to Empire Strikes Back is here), the franchise’s cast and crew revealed a bunch of other news over the weekend too. Here’s everything you may have missed.
The Last Jedi’s New Red Planet
Source: The man behind The Last Jedi himself
Probability of Accuracy: Why would he lie? Oh, sure, he’d want to avoid spoilers, but why would he lie about this?
The Real Deal: Mere moments after the first trailer for The Last Jedi landed, writer/director Rian Johnson started spilling the beans about the new, red-dusted planet glimpsed briefly during the clip’s action-packed montage. Called Crait, it’s the home of a now-abandoned Rebellion base and a very important location for the new movie. “It’s way out there. It’s very remote. It’s uncharted,” Johnson told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s a mineral planet and so there are mines on it… The white dusting [seen in the trailer is made] of salt over this red, ruby-ish mineral base.” But why are those Rebellion speeders racing across the surface of the planet with such urgency? Johnson will only say they’re confronting an “immediate threat.” Details on that danger, however, will likely not emerge until The Last Jedi hits theaters in December.
Meet the New Face of the Resistance
Source: A panel at Star Wars Celebration
Probability of Accuracy: Let’s call this entirely on target.
The Real Deal: While the Last Jedi panel at Celebration had many familiar faces—including Daisy Ridley (Rey) and John Boyega (Finn)—there was one unfamiliar one on stage: actress Kelly Marie Tran. “My character’s name is Rose. She’s part of the Resistance, and she works in maintenance,” Tran told the audience. “I can’t wait for you to meet her.” According to her director, Rose’s low rank in the Resistance is part of her appeal. “This possibility that any of us could step up and become a hero, that’s where Rose comes from,” Johnson explained, drawing parallels to both Luke Skywalker and The Force Awakens’ Rey. Rose, he said, is “not a soldier, she’s not looking to be a hero. But she gets pulled into a very big adventure with Finn.”
The First Order Might Have a New Major Player
Source: Speculation based on Celebration announcements
Probability of Accuracy: As with all speculation, there’s definitely a chance that this will turn out to be entirely wrong. And yet…
The Real Deal: News of upcoming books and comics tied to The Last Jedi might offer a hint about what returning characters will play a larger role in the new movie. Alongside new titles focusing on Leia and Luke Skywalker, there is going to be a new prose novel (by Delilah S. Dawson) and a comic book miniseries both focusing on the First Order’s Captain Phasma. While it’s not for certain that those titles will focus on Phasma’s adventures post-The Force Awakens, the fact that she is receiving two separate solo spotlights suggest that audiences should pay attention to the chrome-trooper when the new movie reaches theaters.
Carrie Fisher’s Death Led to a Big Overhaul of Star Wars: Episode IX
Source: Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy
Probability of Accuracy: If Kathleen Kennedy says it, it’s pretty much written in stone.
The Real Deal: Despite comments from Carrie Fisher’s brother Todd to the contrary, it turns out that fans won’t get to see the late actress in the final movie of the Skywalker Saga trilogy, after all.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 14, 2017
Indeed, Kennedy revealed that Fisher’s death caused a major rework on the movie. “Obviously, with Carrie having passed away, it shook everybody,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “We pretty much started over.”
The Female Heroes of Star Wars Are Getting a TV Miniseries
Source: Lucasfilm itself
Probability of Accuracy: Entirely correct.
The Real Deal: Fisher’s passing may have caused big changes to the plans for Episode IX, but that doesn’t mean audiences will never see Leia again after The Last Jedi. She’s actually slated to appear—alongside Rey, Jyn Erso, Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Ahsoka Tano, and Star Wars Rebels’ Sabine Wren—in Star Wars Forces of Destiny, a new initiative from Lucasfilm spotlighting the female leads of the franchise. Forces will include a series of YouTube shorts, a two-part TV series on the Disney Channel, a toy line, and new books about the characters. Aimed at younger audiences, the TV miniseries will air this fall and feature movie actors including Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso), and Lupita Nyong’o, whose Maz Kanata will narrate the series.
Star Wars: Rebels Is Coming to an End
Source: Star Wars: Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni
Probability of Accuracy: Sadly, completely accurate.
The Real Deal: Bad news for fans of Star Wars: Rebels: The show’s fourth season will be its last. The fourth and final season will have some familiar faces like Rogue One’s Saw Gerrara and Rebel leader Mon Mothma, but it will also have a new villain with a familiar voice: Thrawn’s bodyguard Rukh will be voiced by Warwick Davis. According to executive producer Dave Filoni the series’ end will be “the most meaningful [story] it can be,” and more animated projects are on the way. In the meantime, there’s a new trailer for the beginning of the end.
Star Wars: Battlefront II Will Unleash the Rebellion’s Newest Enemy
Source: An official announcement from videogame company EA
Probability of Accuracy: It’s the real deal.
The Real Deal: The announcement of EA’s new videogame Star Wars: Battlefront II didn’t just unveil a new multiplayer game, it also introduced a new character to the franchise’s canon: Imperial special forces officer Iden Versio, who gets abandoned on Endor after the destruction of the second Death Star and vows to destroy the Rebellion once and for all.
Yes, the new game (hitting stores November 17) will be primarily set in the time period between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, but it will also include content from the entire movie oeuvre to date. (You caught Darth Maul in that trailer, right?) Indeed, Versio’s special forces team dates back to the Rogue One era. New canon turns up in the strangest of places, it seems.
Disney’s Star Wars Theme Park Experiences Will Feature an All-New Planet
Source: An announcement made during Star Wars Celebration
Probability of Accuracy: This is so vague it makes “accuracy” seem like an alien concept.
The Real Deal: When Disney opens its Star Wars theme park experiences in 2019, they’ll include something no one expected: a new planet. Created by Lucasfilm’s Story Group and Disney’s Imagineering division, the as-yet-unnamed planet will be a “remote frontier outpost” that’s a known hideout for those hoping to keep out of the conflict between the First Order and Resistance. (Yes, the theme park experiences will take place in the Force Awakens era.) The park is being described as “a 14-acre movie set that’s real.” Oh, and apparently there are going to be lightsabers as well. Suddenly, 2019 feels very far, far away.