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Doctor Aphra strikes again, The Mandalorian Season 3, and Maul vs. Ahsoka
Time again for STAR WARS WEEKLY, the SYFY WIRE series that rounds up the most important news of the week from a galaxy far, far away.
Think of us as your own personal Star Wars Holocron.
DOCTOR APHRA'S AUDIO ORIGIN
There was a lot of big Star Wars news this week, but the biggest confirmed news was that we were getting an audio drama adaptation of Doctor Aphra’s origin story from writer Sarah Kuhn.
For those who don’t know who Doctor Aphra is, she was introduced in the pages of the Darth Vader comic. She's a queer woman and Indiana Jones-type adventuring character, but with fewer scruples. Vader brings her onto his team at first because of her work in illegal droid archaeology; he needs an army and she’s able to help provide.
But when Vader discovers that the young rebel who blew up the Death Star is named Luke Skywalker, Aphra is the agent that he sends on investigations into Padmé's mysterious death and the outcome of her pregnancy.
Aphra is one of the best new additions to the Star Wars canon, and it’s delightful to see her moving up the ranks of different formats. Let’s hope she eventually makes the leap to the screen and gets her own TV series or even a movie.
The audiobook, described as an expanded origin story, is from Del Rey and will be available to download on July 21.
Last week, Disney announced that we were getting a new Star Wars TV show — sort of.
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian is an eight-episode look behind the curtain of the making of the first live-action Star Wars television show. The first trailer arrived this week to help us know what we’re going to get.
As someone who is a junkie for behind-the-scenes documentaries, this looks like my drug of choice. Complete and total catnip.
The good news is that we don’t have to wait long for it. The first episode premieres on Disney+ on May 4 alongside the series finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I suspect this will get watched second, and I predict the same is likely for you.
Lucasfilm and Disney announced two brand-new books from Star Wars historian (and regular historian, too) Cole Horton: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Traveler’s Guide to Batuu and Star Wars Book of Lists.
On Twitter, Horton promised a lot of especially deep cuts in the "book of lists." As far as the guide to Batuu, it’s going to be written entirely in-universe as though you needed a travel guide to enjoy the experiences on Batuu as a tourist. It should prove to be a lot of fun for fans of Disney parks and something to help us while away the time as we wait for the parks to reopen.
Both books will be released on June 23.
Anthony Daniels, the man inside C-3PO, posted an interesting tease on his Instagram page. Apparently, he’s recording some lines for what he hints will be a new animated series ...
Now, it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean we’re getting a new animated series, though I think it would be shocking to discover if there was no new animation in the Lucasfilm pipeline. This could be any bit of audio for a resurgence of something like Forces of Destiny or other shorts that we’ve seen. It could also be something added to the other short series Galaxy of Adventures.
We really don’t know for sure. And until we do, all we can do is hope it’s what we want and get excited for more of our favorite uppity, golden protocol droid.
NEW DISNEY+ RUMORS
As long as we’re tackling new rumors, Variety dropped a pair of stories that lack any official confirmation, so treating them as anything but speculation is not advised. Lucasfilm has gotten into the habit of working hard not to announce things until they’re ready to be unleashed — so it might very well be the case these two stories are true and development work has begun, but there’s no guarantee they’ll make it to the screen, no matter how likely it sounds.
The first bit of news is that Leslye Headland, the mind behind Netflix’s Russian Doll, has been tapped to helm a Star Wars television series. The only details Variety shared were that the alleged show will center around a woman and be in a different part of the galaxy and timeline than we’ve seen before.
That’s all we know (or think we know) so far, and if more details pop up, be sure that we’ll catalog them in this space.
If true, this isn’t much of a surprise. The second season of The Mandalorian was already in production before the first season had even aired a single episode. That would make this timeline make a lot of sense for the production track they’re on and allow them to produce a quality season of television.
In the meantime, we still have until October to start seeing any of the fruits of that second season, which promises to be amazing if there’s as much Darksaber play as Giancarlo Esposito is teasing:
THE PHANTOM APPRENTICE
Finally, as we further celebrate the 15th anniversary of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, it’s fitting that Star Wars: The Clone Wars officially crossed over to the events of that film with its latest episode, "The Phantom Apprentice."
This show is shockingly good and will make your experience with Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith at least a thousand times more fulfilling. That's just science.
Seeing the show creep into the events of the movie is heartbreaking and moving and you just need to see it for yourself.
Until next week: May the Force be with you!