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As ever, you get the latest news and analysis:
THE HIGH REPUBLIC
Luminaries in the Star Wars publishing program gathered in Burbank, California, this week to unveil the next phase of Star Wars storytelling in print. Codenamed "Project Luminous," we learned that the new era of exploration will be dubbed The High Republic and take place about 200 years before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and the fall of the Republic. According to the event, they described the Jedi of this era as being more like "Knights of the Round Table," further hewing to the Arthurian myths that Rian Johnson relied so heavily on in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which helped make that film a masterpiece.
The entire series kicks off with a cataclysmic event that will be documented in Charles Soule's forthcoming book Light of the Jedi from Del Rey Books. Marvel and IDW comics will both have ongoing series in the new franchise from Cavan Scott and Daniel Jose Older, respectively. Justina Ireland will write a middle-grade novel called A Test of Courage, and fan favorite Claudia Gray will handle a young adult novel called Into the Dark. More in this era will be coming, but this is just the first taste.
We'll be sure to keep up with all of it, so continue to watch this space.
For more information about The High Republic, be sure to check out the official Star Wars website.
"A DISTANT ECHO"
This week saw the release of a brand-new episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. "A Distant Echo" is the second episode in the Bad Batch arc and takes us to the planet Skako Minor, where Anakin, Rex, and the Bad Batch fight their way to a terrible secret.
It's a great episode, and it's always interesting to see more about Rex and the Clones as we head toward the inevitable Order 66.
"A Distant Echo" was released this morning on Disney+. New episodes come every week in this final season of the show.
FreshBaked Disney seems to have stumbled onto a brand-new way to ride Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run at Galaxy's Edge, and it appears that it makes Chewbacca your co-conspirator through the ride. SYFY WIRE has the full scoop on how to do it, but you really need to watch the video to see it for yourself:
MONGOLIAN FOLK METAL
The Hu is a Mongolian folk metal band that has made some pretty cool viral hits over the past few years. And when the creators of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order needed a piece of music for the game that felt otherworldly and Star Wars-y, they came to The Hu for their sound.
Together, The Hu, Respawn, and Lucasfilm created a new language for the lyrics, and the song was included in the game. Not many people can say they've created music like this for Star Wars.
Here is an interview with the band where they discuss it:
HITCHCOCK ON STAR WARS
The ReCloned Podcast discovered a really great nugget of a quote from Alfred Hitchcock about Star Wars. Star Wars had come out in the last couple of years in Hitchcock's life, and I was surprised to find that he had, indeed, seen the film.
The quote came from a September 1977 edition of the St. Petersburg Times and appears as part of a lengthier interview with him. The journalist asks Hitchcock about Star Wars, contextualizing it by saying that it was, at that point, about to surpass Jaws as the most successful movie of all time. "Oh yes, oh yes, I saw it," Hitchcock said. "But I wondered in Star Wars of course — with the grosses it's doing, why should one complain? But, shooting at each other with lasers? I thought, 'Now, why do that? Bullets are so much quicker.'"
I wonder if he meant that bullets would be quicker in killing fictional people, or if his filmmaker hat was on and he got anxiety looking at all the post-production work it would take to rotoscope lasers into the film.
It's perhaps not a surprise, given how influential a filmmaker Hitchcock was, that Star Wars has plenty of homages to the Master of Suspense. He influenced A New Hope and more recently The Clone Wars, which essentially remade his film Notorious for an episode of the show.
AN ALTERNATE CUT OF EMPIRE
To continue our celebration of the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back this year, we have a piece of a behind-the-scenes documentary in which Gary Kurtz explains an alternate cut of an infamous scene between Han and Leia on Cloud City:It's amazing to see how much of these films are shaped in the editing room.
Until next week: May the Force be with you!