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This week we look back into the past for the future of the franchise.
THE RETURN OF THE CLONE WARS
Star Wars: The Clone Wars returns to Disney+ next week, and it'll kick off with an arc known as "The Bad Batch." The Bad Batch is a group of clones officially designated Squad 99. If the ARC troopers are the Navy SEALs of the Grand Army of the Republic, Squad 99 is like the Green Berets. This elite squad is entirely populated by clones rejected from normal service as aberrations, but they have a particular set of skills. Here's a trailer for the arc:The team is named after the ill-fated Clone 99 (based loosely on Gunga Din) who tragically gave his life at the Battle of Kamino.
The episodes that kick off the new season have been seen before, technically. Dave Filoni screened them in their unfinished state at a prior Star Wars Celebration. I was in the audience for the screening and I can vouch for how cool these episodes are. I really can't wait to see them fully animated.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7 kicks off on Disney+ on Friday, February 21, 2020.
HARRISON FORD ON RETURNING FOR EPISODE IX
While promoting his new film, The Call of the Wild, Harrison Ford visited Jimmy Kimmel's show and, naturally, the talk turned to Star Wars.
Ford downplayed longstanding reports that he was gung-ho about killing Han Solo at all times. He really just wanted the story to have all the weight it needed. He also talked about how difficult it was for J.J. Abrams to talk him into returning for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Turns out it wasn't a difficult thing at all. According to Ford, "J.J. said, 'This is a good idea. I, J.J., have decided that this is a good idea, and I would like you to do it.'" And that's all it took.
IS TAIKA WAITITI DIRECTING MORE STAR WARS?
Speaking to Variety after his Oscar win for Jojo Rabbit, they asked Taika Waititi about the rumors that he was in talks to direct a Star Wars film. His response? "I wish there was a better story, I'll put it that way. Are there discussions about the Star Wars film? Like, yeah, I discussed with my friends in 1996 how cool Star Wars was. That's what they're going off."
You can read the whole, wide-ranging interview here, but Waititi offered a pretty classic non-denial denial.
There's no word on whether he's even attached to more episodes of The Mandalorian, but given the response to the Season 1 finale, I can't imagine they don't want him working on more.
We'll keep you updated if we learn more about Waititi's status in a galaxy far, far away.
MACE WINDU'S PURPLE LIGHTSABER
Mace Windu igniting his purple lightsaber in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones was one of the coolest moments in a film that wasn't lacking them. But how did it happen when George Lucas had been on the record saying that good guys have blue and green and bad guys have red and that's that?
Well, the footage of Samuel L. Jackson asking for the purple blade has resurfaced, and it's a pure and perfect moment.
LUKE AND LEIA, LOVE INTERESTS
As we continue our look back at the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, it's fun to go back and look at deleted scenes. This one is more of an extended scene than one that's purely deleted, and it really works hard to deepen the potential love story between Luke and Leia. By all accounts, it would have been the wrong choice. Deleted scenes are almost always deleted for a good reason, and this is no exception, but it's still fun to watch.
Mark Hamill had some fun with the relationship today, posting this delightful (and troubling) Valentine's Day card:
Until next week, May the Force Be With You!