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The Mandalorian won't be delayed due to COVID-19, but The Jedi Temple Challenge is over

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Aug 7, 2020, 4:13 PM EDT (Updated)

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 STILL ON SCHEDULE

Due to COVID-19, release schedules for any entertainment property are dicey. Things have been pushed and pulled and reconfigured with so much regularity over the course of the pandemic, it’s been natural to worry about when we'll ever see shows in production like the second season of The Mandalorian.

Not to worry, though, according to Disney CEO Bob Chapek. In an earnings call this week, he quashed any anxiety that the season would be delayed on Disney+ and confirmed that it would be hitting our screens in October as scheduled.

There are many rumors flying around about what secrets could be in store for the second season, ranging from Boba Fett’s return to an appearance by Ahsoka Tano. Disney and Lucasfilm haven't officially confirmed anything, but the reporting comes from typically credible sources.

With just over two months left before it premieres, expect some kind of marketing sooner rather than later. Then we can get our hype in proper order.

LUCAS' LAWYER PASSES ON

Tom Pollock isn’t a name you hear in most conversations about Star Wars, but there’s no denying that if it weren’t for Tom Pollock, we likely wouldn’t still be having any conversations about Star Wars at all.

Pollock was the entertainment lawyer George Lucas hired in the early days of Star Wars. He’s the one who secured Lucas the merchandising and sequel rights for Star Wars in that initial deal with Fox. That deal changed the face of the movie industry forever and allowed Lucas to create the juggernaut that Star Wars and Lucasfilm became.

Pollock died this week at the age of 77. 

After his stint as an entertainment lawyer, he ended up shepherding Universal Studios through a period of strength and releasing Spielberg favorites Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List

Ron Howard, director of Solo: A Star Wars Story, offered a fond remembrance of Pollock on Twitter.

STAR WARS VIDEO GAME HISTORY

Jon Knoles is a video game developer, artist, and designer currently working for Microsoft, but back in the '90s he was working at LucasArts during its most exciting period. The company was putting out games like the TIE Fighter simulators, Dark Forces, which brought Doom-like first-person shooters into the world of Star Wars, and even Shadows of the Empire.

Knoles has been going through old papers in his garage lately and has been posting gems from his time at LucasArts. For instance, check out these original sketches for the covers of TIE Fighter and Dark Forces

He also rendered Dash Rendar for the cover of Shadows of the Empire

His Twitter account is full of gems like these, early looks at the middle years of the Star Wars franchise’s time in video games. You can follow him for more. 

STAR WARS SMART SKIN

Star Wars has been an inspiration to a lot of people in a lot of fields. It turned a lot of kids into filmmakers, but it also inspired a number of scientists. Assistant Professor Benjamin Tee at the University of Singapore is one such person.

After watching The Empire Strikes Back and seeing 2-1B put a new synthetic hand on Luke Skywalker, Tee set out to develop a skin that would react just like the real thing.

You can watch him talk about it in this video from Reuters and see how it works. 

You can read more about it and how it works in this article from SYFY WIRE as well. 

JEDI TEMPLE CHALLENGE

The final episode of The Jedi Temple Challenge was released this week. Hopefully, this is only a temporary end and the show will return with a new season, though nothing has been confirmed.

Hosted by Ahmed Best and set in the Star Wars universe, this delightful kids' show patterns itself after the kid-oriented game shows from the '80s and '90s. If you haven’t watched it, you owe it to yourself. All 10 episodes are available on YouTube.

Until next week, may the Force be with you!

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