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KATHLEEN KENNEDY SPEAKS!
Rolling Stone is in the midst of releasing its big Star Wars issue and as part of its rollout has given us a look at its exclusive interview with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.
In the interview, she talked about the difficulties of making a Star Wars movie and why they're such tough nuts to crack. One comment she made that has a few fans scratching their heads was about the lack of source material for them to draw on.
"There's no source material," she told Rolling Stone. "We don't have comic books. We don't have 800-page novels. We don't have anything other than passionate storytellers who get together and talk about what the next iteration might be. We go through a really normal development process that everybody else does."
What people seem to be missing about this statement is that Lucasfilm has, from the beginning, granted the filmmakers the room to tell their own stories and not be beholden to what has come before. The company is not setting out to adapt anything that has been seen previously and it's hoping for new storytelling with new twists and turns. The books and comics support the storytelling done on screen, but Star Wars is primarily a filmed entertainment experience. This isn't so shocking.
Kennedy also put to bed any notions that she was somehow dissatisfied with Rian Johnson's film Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which upset some fans for its deconstruction of Star Wars lore.
"I love what Rian did. It's an absolutely wonderful movie. I think he's an extraordinary filmmaker," she said. "And I really appreciated the bold moves that he did make. I think people forget that, especially when you're doing a trilogy structure, the first movie is setting things up, the second is usually the conflict, and the third is the resolution. So you're bound to have that second movie, much the same way The Empire Strikes Back was probably the darkest and most dramatic of the three."
You can read more of her interview at Rolling Stone. It covers much more than these topics, including the departure of Colin Trevorrow, George Lucas' opinion of the new films and ILM, and Kevin Feige's place in Star Wars.
NEW THE RISE OF SKYWALKER MATERIAL
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker inches ever closer to release. We're less than a month away and that means TV spots are going to be rolling out.
This one offers us bits of new footage, including an impossibly striking shot of Rey on a staircase.
The pending release date means that new photographs will be coming out, as well. Here, Entertainment Weekly got to post eight new ones:
Through all of this, though, we've still learned very little about the movie or what it might be about. It's a smart thing. We don't need to know anything about this movie save for when it comes out. Our hype levels are already set to 11.
The Rise of Skywalker comes out on December 20.
RIAN JOHNSON ELABORATES ON DIVERSITY COMPLAINTS
At a recent event for his upcoming film Knives Out (which is an amazing piece of cinema, for the record), The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson set the record straight about that small band of fans that complain about the diversity in Star Wars.
He was careful in his full comment to elaborate on the fact that you are more than welcome to dislike The Last Jedi for any reason you want and that disliking it does not equate to automatically being against diversity. He was clear to explain that most Star Wars fans are lovely (and that's been my experience as well). Star Wars fans are great, it's just a precious few who take things too far — and they're easily ignored.
Knives Out comes out in time for Thanksgiving and Rian Johnson is still working on his Star Wars trilogy.
STAR WARS RESISTANCE
The newest episode of Star Wars Resistance premieres on Sunday. "Rendezvous Point" sees the Colossus trying to make contact with an ally of the Resistance, but the First Order makes that difficult. Here's a preview clip:
The thing I loved so much about this episode is that it's deepening the character Tam Ryvora in a way I was hoping for. Resistance is proving once again that it's earned its way into top-tier Star Wars and the fact that it's flying so low under the radar is shocking to me.
It airs on Sundays on Disney and Disney XD.
LUKE AND LEIA - ALL GROWN UP
Mark Hamill posted these pictures of the kid who played Luke and Leia in Revenge of the Sith. It's a little disconcerting to think he is in high school now.
It makes us all feel old.
One of the biggest controversies over The Mandalorian is how unavailable it is in other parts of the world. Most of Europe won't have access to it (and Disney+) until March. And there's a core element of the story that many of us have tried hard not to talk about publicly on social media to try to save our friends in other countries from the spoiler.
The dam is breaking, though.
Jon Favreau and the official Star Wars account have both posted about it.
So what does that mean for our responsibility to not shout spoilers on the internet? It's a difficult question and I don't have an answer.
However we land on this issue, though, can we all agree that there is not much better than Werner Herzog lovingly talking about the puppet?
Until next week: May the Force be with you!