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WIRE Buzz: Rian Johnson kicks back to Last Jedi pics; Westworld sneak peek teases returning stars

By Josh Weiss
Snoke Star Wars The Last Jedi

Director Rian Johnson (Knives Out) knows we're all going absolutely stir-crazy from this whole social distancing thing. To help take our minds off the coronavirus for a minute, he posted a number of behind-the-scenes stills from the making of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

"A few lovely ones from the archives (spoilers I guess)," wrote the filmmaker on Twitter, debuting images of the late Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa) wielding a blaster like a total badass and Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke) mourning over his character's dead body. To top things off, you've got a crew member vacuuming the throne room set around Snoke's bisected corpse prop.

Upon its release in December 2017, The Last Jedi split Star Wars fans almost perfectly down the middle. Johnson's decision to kill off Snoke and reveal Rey (Daisy Ridley) as the child of junk-selling "nobodies" left certain viewers with a bad taste in their mouths. Others hailed these narrative elements as a bold story choice that dared to take the mythos in a wildly new direction.

Despite its polarizing nature, the film went on to make over $1 billion at the global box office.

Indulge in some violent delights with the teaser production stills for Episode 2 of Westworld Season 3.

Titled "The Winter Line," the second installment of the new season was directed by Richard J. Lewis, working from a script by Lisa Joy (series co-creator) and Matthew Pitts. Above all, it will see the return of Thandie Newton's Maeve, who, in the season premiere's post-credits scene, woke up in some sort of Nazi-occupied / World War II section of the Delos-owned theme park.

Based on the images below, Maeve will reunite with Hector Escaton (Rodrigo Santoro) before going through a cocktail dress costume change for her meeting with the mysterious Serac (Vincent Cassel). Elsewhere, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is seeking passage back to the park, where he hopes to find Maeve and bring her into the growing conflict against Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood).

Westworld Season 3

Westworld Season 3

Westworld Season 3

Westworld Season 3

Westworld Season 3

You've probably noticed that both Dolores and Caleb (Aaron Paul) are missing from these images. It is very possible that "The Winter Line" will sideline the budding arc of those characters as the show re-introduces Maeve back into the fold. Nevertheless, we're curious to see how Caleb fits into Dolores' grand plans of overthrowing humanity and establishing machine rule.

"I think some people will pick up on certain things, a little earlier on than others," Paul told Collider about his character's relationship with Delores. "Some people will still never know what the hell is going on, which I think is great. You’ve gotta really pay attention to what is going on, to understand what is going on. There are definitely some really eye opening moments, down the road, for sure."

Jonathan Nolan (Joy's husband and fellow series co-creator) has said that Caleb is meant to show viewers a more tender depiction of humankind after the arrogance on display in the first two seasons.

Episode 2 of Westworld's third season premieres on HBO this Sunday (March 22) at 9 p.m. EST.

Rebellion and Penguin Random House have teamed up for a series of audiobook adaptations based on Britain's 2000 AD comics, Rebellion Publishing announced today. The deal involves audiobook versions of five 2000 AD graphic novels. Each "will feature multi-voice narration, sound design and original music to bring the stories to life," says the press release.

“This is a really exciting new partnership, which helps us reach even more listeners in this hugely popular and ever-growing section of the audiobook market,” Richard Lennon, audio publisher at Penguin Random House, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to helping tell some of Rebellion’s incredible stories and to creating some truly groundbreaking recordings, particularly as we explore turning some of British comic book history’s true greats — Judge Dredd, Slaine and Rogue Trooper, to name but a few — into audiobooks for the first time.”

Judge Dredd comic

“Rebellion is the U.K.’s leading comic book publisher and home to Hugo and Nebula award-winning fiction from our Solaris and Abaddon imprints, and as such we’re delighted to partner with Penguin’s forward-looking audio team," added Ben Smith, Rebellion’s Head of Film, TV & Publishing. "Their appetite to bring both our fiction and our landmark graphic novels to the audiobook market is tremendously exciting. We can’t wait for the public to listen to the incredible stories in the works.”

The partnership between Rebellion and PRH begins with an audiobook of Chuck Wendig's Wanderers (now available), read by Dominic Hoffman and Xe Sands. Earlier this week, Wendig exclusively gave SYFY WIRE his thoughts on the current coronavirus pandemic.