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WIRE Buzz: Jar Jar actor hosting Star Wars game show; Baby Yoda hits Minecraft; more

By Josh Weiss
Ahmed Best Jar Jar

In another part of the galaxy, Disney+ just announced an original Star Wars-inspired game show for young people called Jedi Temple Challenge. It will debut exclusively on the streaming platform next year. Contestants will try to achieve the title of Jedi Knight by undertaking challenges that test their bravery, strength, and knowledge.

Best of all (pun intended), the show is hosted by Jar Jar Binks himself, Ahmed Best! His co-host is a humanoid and wisecracking droid voiced by Mary Holland (VEEP). At this time, we don't know the droid's name.

“This is definitely a kids' game show like no other,” said Lucasfilm’s senior director of online content & programming, Mickey Capoferri. “The various challenges will test a Padawan’s connection to the Force in three locations — a forest planet, on board a Jedi star cruiser, and inside a Jedi Temple — immersing them and the audience in a fun, humorous, and exciting competition.”

Jedi Temple Challenge

Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge brings together the best of Star Wars – competitive spirit, harrowing obstacles, and a hero’s triumph over challenges – in a totally new format for the franchise,” continued Dan Silver, vice president, originals – unscripted content, Disney+. “A game show set in the Star Wars galaxy is a perfect fit for Disney+.”

Learn more about the game show by clicking here.

There is no Dana, only Baby Yoda.

The Mandalorian's cutest breakout character is taking over every facet of pop culture, and we have no problem with that. In fact, we, for one, welcome our new green-skinned, Force-using overlord with open arms. In the child's latest takeover, we have to head to the Minecraft universe, where an enterprising player has coded a pixelated version of the latest Star Wars craze.

"I saw how popular BY was on the internet and I thought I would be a good test and learning experience for my skills in making things in Minecraft," the add-on's coder, Miles Playz, tells SYFY WIRE.

Take a look at the cuteness in the video below. The datapack download link is available in the YouTube caption:

I Made Baby Yoda In Minecraft + DOWNLOAD (NO MODS)

We should note that this is not a fully sanctioned project from Disney or Mojang, but a loving homage from a fan utilizing the various augmentation tools available in Minecraft.

"The most challenging part of coding BY was definitely his appearance," Miles adds. "I wanted to not use a texture pack (where I could just change the textures of blocks and items to be whatever I want) because I wanted to test myself and when I released it I didn't want people to have to download more than one thing. To make a custom texture without changing any block textures were where player heads come in. You can get a player's custom head and use it as a decoration, however, I made multiple custom player heads with different parts of BY body (ears, hands, and face) and used those custom heads to slowly sculpt the form of BY."

Annihilation was just the tip of the Jeff VanderMeer adaptations. As Deadline reports, AMC Studios is developing a TV series based on VanderMeer's Borne novels. Don't expect Matt Damon to show up, though, because this has nothing to do with Robert Ludlum's famous books about Jason Bourne.

Set in the future, the sci-fi books follow Rachel, a woman living in a destroyed city ravaged by violence and drought. The city is teeming with abandoned biotech experiments left behind by the Company. One day, Rachel stumbles upon Borne, one of these experiments that resembles a green mound of either animal or plant life. Going against the wishes of her survival partner, Wick, Rachel forms a protective bond with Borne, a relationship that threatens to upend the city's status quo.

"I’m so excited about this partnership and working with AMC on the Borne universe,” VanderMeer said in a statement to Deadline. “I’ve had such productive, energizing, and creative conversations with the wonderful folks involved and look forward to the road ahead.”

Borne front cover

“The Borne universe is a totally unique piece of IP and Jeff has created a vivid post-apocalyptic world with enormous opportunity for a visual medium like television,” added Ben Davis, executive vice president of programming for AMC Studios.