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.
STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH
Lucasfilm dropped a huge, unexpected announcement this week. Not only will there be a new animated Star Wars show coming to Disney+ in 2021, it will be a spin-off of The Clone Wars. Star Wars: The Bad Batch will follow the exploits of an elite group of Clones as they try to make their way in the galaxy in the wake of Order 66 during the Empire's early days.
The Bad Batch was first officially introduced to the Star Wars canon in the first arc of the final season of The Clone Wars, though stories featuring them appeared even earlier in rough animatic form, presented by Dave Filoni at various Star Wars events.
According to the press release, “they will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose.”
Given the time period and the inherent nature of mercenary work, it makes one wonder if any of the content from the scrapped Star Wars: Underworld TV series will make its way into the show. It’s also fair to ask if they’ll be hunting Jedi or if they’ll stay away from that conflict. On the other hand, The Bad Batch could be more like the Star Wars version of The A-Team, righting wrongs for underdogs across the galaxy.
Given Filoni’s ability to tie everything together, I would also not be surprised if we saw more additions to the lore of Maul on this show as he works to remake Crimson Dawn after the dissolution of The Shadow Collective in the final season of The Clone Wars.
Whatever we’re in for, I’m confident it will be a treat.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is arguably the most underrated of the Star Wars films. By Star Wars standards, nowhere near enough people have seen it to know how charming it is. It has found a vocal audience demanding a sequel, even if the box-office numbers told Disney and Lucasfilm that the math might not add up.
It left so much fertile ground for storytelling with other characters, though, from Q’ira to Enfys Nest, that it feels like it’s only a matter of time before it happens. Alden Ehrenreich isn’t getting any younger as we wait for him to put on the vest and blaster again and we seek any signs of movement on the sequel front.
In an interview with Esquire, Ehrenreich offered a light of hope for all of us waiting for more stories with Han Solo in his younger days.
"I've heard soooome stuff,” he said, “but nothing concrete.”
Maybe if we keep talking about it hard enough, those things he’s hearing will get to be concrete. His turn as everyone’s favorite smuggler was equal parts charming, inspired, heartfelt, and funny. We need more.
Ehrenreich, who is promoting the new TV series he stars in, Brave New World, obviously isn't the one calling the shots when it comes to making a second Solo. But it sounds like there's chatter, at the very least, so fans can hold out some hope.
DR. APHRA EXCERPT
Fans of Dr. Aphra were treated this week to a brand-new excerpt of her new audio drama on StarWars.com.
The drama revolves around Dr. Aphra’s origin in the Marvel comics Darth Vader series. For those who don’t know the story, it’s a great one, but hearing it with a full cast is taking it to the next level. Aphra is sort of like the anti-Indiana Jones in the Star Wars universe: a completely unscrupulous archaeologist who falls in with Darth Vader and has to do some pretty terrible things in his name — all while trying to survive his wrath. It’s great stuff.
Head to StarWars.com to hear an excerpt and go pre-order your copy now. It comes out next week on July 21.
BOUNTY HUNTER'S ALTERNATE ENDING
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter is one of those fabled video games from the Star Wars pantheon that shows up on everyone’s list of favorites. It’s a solid game revolving around Jango Fett and how he became the template for the Clones in the years before Attack of the Clones. It was released in 2002 and, so it seems, there are always new things to learn about it.
Sound Designer David W. Collins was reminiscing about his work on the game on Twitter:
Eventually, the game’s writer, Jon Knoles, popped in to reveal the unproduced ending to the game, a fairly tender moment between Jango and his son/Clone Boba, which would have been quite a thing to see.
It’s always great to get a window into some of these behind-the-scenes moments.
IN MEMORIAM: GRANT IMAHARA
The world of geekdom was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Grant Imahara. He passed away on Monday at the age of 49, far too young, from a brain aneurysm.
Imahara was well known as a Mythbuster and a stalwart of the geek community. Many also knew of his contributions to Star Wars through his work at ILM on the prequels.
I had done some interviews with Imahara over the years about his work on Star Wars, including speaking with him on my podcast, Full of Sith. I dug up a phone conversation I had with him in 2015 detailing his model work on the prequels. You can listen to that entire interview here.
Until next week, may the Force be with you!