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Star Wars Weekly: New Mandalorian books and Empire loses 4K
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.
THE MANDALORIAN PUBLISHING PROGRAM
It was announced this week that The Mandalorian will be getting a number of books to complement the Disney+ series. It seemed unusual that there was no such accompanying material for the show upon release, though that may well have been a function of hiding the child from the world.
The announcement gives us a window into six books of the publishing program. Perhaps the two biggest are Phil Szostak’s The Art of the Mandalorian and a new original novel from Adam Christopher. The Ultimate Visual Guide from Lucasfilm story and lore nerd Pablo Hidalgo will be sure to have a number of juicy details revealed in its pages. Beyond that are various junior novelizations and kids books that we’ll learn more about.
It was also announced that Marvel and IDW would both be publishing comics in this line.
The artbook and original novel are both scheduled for a December 2020 release. No word on the rest, but it will likely coincide.
4K EMPIRE CUT IN HALF
When it was announced that U.K. cinemas would be kicking off the restart of their season after COVID-19 related closures, a 4K version of The Empire Strikes Back was at the top of their list of films to lure people back to theaters.
There’s been a bit of a change in plans, though. First, the cinemas in the U.K. that were set to be opening this weekend pushed back their reopening to the end of the month. And Disney rolled back the version which they’d be able to show, according to Variety. The 2K version will be shown if the cinemas ever open, rather than the 4K.
There’s also no word on whether or not these releases are really ever going to happen at all, because there is no certainty that movie theaters will open in such a dangerous time. With coronavirus surging, one wonders if we’ll be able to go back to the movies this year at all.
THE BEAUTY OF THE PREQUELS
Say one nice thing about the prequels. That was the challenge posed on Twitter — as though it’s any sort of challenge. Well, the highest-profile answer came from Rian Johnson, the director behind the masterpiece The Last Jedi.It’s a concise explanation of what makes the prequels great and the fact that this answer caught on like wildfire just goes to show how misunderstood those films still are. Just this year, as we celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of Revenge of the Sith, we interviewed people who get it, but many more are still only realizing the power of the prequels.
It’s fortunate, though, that Johnson, who is still working on his trilogy of Star Wars films, understands Star Wars so well. It helped him make the best movie of the new era, which stands as a monument to all of the things that make Star Wars great.
Another misunderstood facet of the prequels are the mysterious midi-chlorians, microscopic life-forms that reside within all living cells. They were there at the Wellspring of Life and were integral to life existing in the galaxy.
Over the years, midi-chlorians were confused with something that explained away the Force as something physical. Some misunderstood them as an attempt to “de-spiritualize” the Force, though nothing could be further from the truth. Those who paid careful attention to Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace knew that they were no replacement for the Force, merely an aspect of communing with it. The reliance on testing for it was illustrative of a Jedi Order that had lost its way.
Over the years, the films, cartoons, and novels have reinforced this concept. The failures of the Jedi in the prequels include their reliance on science. Screenrant noticed another moment in this story in The Secrets of the Jedi.
“"During the time of the Galactic Republic,” Luke Skywalker writes in the margin of this book, “the Jedi used science to explain why some of us feel the Force more strongly than others. Prospective younglings were tested by the Jedi Order for midi-chlorians - microscopic life-forms that reside in all living cells and impart the will of the Force to their hosts. Those with a higher number of midi-chlorians were able to hear the will of the Force more clearly than others. Personally, I've never been one to worry about how exactly the Force whispers to me. All that matters to me is that it still does.”
This is a passage that bolsters Lucas’ use of the midi-chlorians and their purpose in the story. It doesn’t rewrite it or dismiss them as some have argued. This was the point Lucas was making from the beginning. The Jedi had lost their way and Luke had to work to find it again.
Midi-chlorians are important to the Force, the fabric of Star Wars, and the story of the downfall of the Jedi.
And, like Qui-Gon says, if you quiet your mind, you’ll hear them speaking to you.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
Solo: A Star Wars Story, one of the most underrated Star Wars movies, is leaving Netflix imminently and is soon joining the rest of its cinematic siblings on Disney+.
Now is as good a time as any to revisit this truly fun and charming film.
It’s always great to see the different eras of Star Wars films stitched together, and Galaxy of Adventures does a great job combining Solo with the rest of Han Solo’s journey in a way that brought me chills. It just belongs with the rest of the movies and I’m glad Disney+ is giving us that chance.
Until next week, may the Force be with you!
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.