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MAX VON SYDOW DIES AT 90
Max von Sydow, the actor who played Lor San Tekka in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, passed away this week at the age of 90.
Von Sydow was a legend of the big screen. He was renowned for his turn as Antonius Block in Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, which was a hugely influential film for all of cinema, but it had a distinct impact on The Force Awakens. I wrote about those connections over at the official Star Wars website a few years ago. If you've never seen von Sydow in anything other than Star Wars — which I'd guess would be difficult since he’s been in just about everything over seven decades of being an actor — seek out some of his other work, whether it's The Seventh Seal, Flash Gordon, Minority Report, The Exorcist, Game of Thrones, or any other of a hundred films that show off just how great he was and how lucky we were to have him in Star Wars, even for just a few minutes.
THE MANDALORIAN SEASON 2 WRAPS!
It's official! The second season of The Mandalorian has wrapped filming. Our first indication was this Instagram post from the redoubtable Gina Carano. Carano plays the ex-Rebel shock trooper Cara Dune and I can't wait to see what's in store for her.
After that, we got this photo of a slate from Phil Szostak. I doubt that it’s any coincidence that it's Scene 501, paying homage to the 501st legion.
The second season of The Mandalorian premieres on Disney+ in October.
GRANT IMAHARA'S BABY YODA
You might not know that former Mythbuster Grant Imahara is a Star Wars legend. Before he transitioned to the Mythbusters, he worked at ILM. In an interview I conducted with him for Star Wars Insider, he explained to me the painstaking detail with which he rigged every single light on the Trade Federation’s Droid Control Ship for The Phantom Menace and all the neon for Dex's Diner in Attack of the Clones.
Well, you can take the Mythbuster out of Star Wars but you can't take the Star Wars out of the Mythbuster. Imahara revealed an animatronic "Baby Yoda" for visits to hospitals and it’s stunning.
Imahara says this little fellow will begin touring hospitals next month.
THE RISE OF SKYWALKER BEHIND THE SCENES
With The Rise of Skywalker hitting streaming services and a Blu-ray release soon, the marketing machine is in overdrive giving us clips from the coming behind-the-scenes documentary. This one that premiered on Good Morning America shows us a glimpse of Billie Lourd talking about her mother, Carrie Fisher.
SYFY WIRE got this exclusive look at Warwick Davis suiting back up for The Rise of Skywalker.
And there’s even this look at General Hux messing up his lines, repeatedly.
The Rise of Skywalker comes out digitally on March 17 and on physical media March 31. The Blu-ray includes a behind-the-scenes documentary.
DAISY RIDLEY AND THE LAST JEDI REPLAY
GQ had Daisy Ridley sit down and rewatch the throne room fight from what is arguably the best Star Wars film from the Disney era, The Last Jedi. Her commentary is fun to watch and will put a smile on your face as she describes all of the elaborate wire-work and heat on the set. Who would have thought all that fire was real?
ALTERNATE OPENING FOR REVENGE OF THE SITH
It’s time to take another look back at Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith as it celebrates its 15th anniversary. This week is a video from YouTuber Adam Goodwin, who cobbled together an alternate version of the invasion of Grievous' Invisible Hand using deleted scenes, alternate takes, and other sources. It shows you what an early iteration of the scene might have been like and includes one of the many deaths of Shaak Ti.
Until next week: May the Force be with you!