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.
TIMOTHY OLYPHANT IN THE MANDALORIAN?!
There has been a whole spate of casting reports flying around for the Disney+ show The Mandalorian. We've heard Rosario Dawson will be stepping in to play Ahsoka Tano, we've heard Temuera Morrison is coming back to play Boba Fett, we've heard Katee Sackhoff will be returning to play Bo-Katan, and now we have a fourth rumor: Timothy Olyphant is going to be appearing on the show. In Boba Fett's iconic armor, no less.
SlashFilm got the initial scoop, and it was the site to break most of the other stories, too.
The biggest question this raises is simple: If Boba Fett is coming back, reportedly played once by Temuera Morrison, but Timothy Olyphant is in Boba Fett's armor, who the heck is Olyphant playing?
There appears to be an easy answer, though I wouldn't put it past Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau to throw us a curve ball. Olyphant is likely playing a character named Cobb Vanth, who first appeared in Chuck Wendig's Aftermath trilogy. Vanth was a hardened lawman on Tatooine who wanted to fill the power vacuum left after Jabba's death and the Empire's destruction with law and order. He purchased armor that is heavily insinuated to be Boba Fett's armor from Jawas who likely scavenged it from the Great Pit of Carkoon.
Vanth had other plans as well, and it would be interesting to see them play out in some way on the small screen. Vanth took the Tatooine city Mos Pelgo and renamed it Freetown. As its sheriff, he made a pact with the Tusken Raiders and fended off attacks from raiding parties and bandits. At one point, he also recruited Malakili, Jabba the Hutt's rancor keeper. Vanth had somehow obtained a Huttlet named Borgo and had Malakili help raise it. Having the Huttlet under his control assured Vanth would be able to fill as much of that power vacuum as possible.
Maybe Olyphant isn't playing Vanth, but it would be impossibly interesting to see Vanth on screen.
The Mandalorian Season 2 premieres in October on Disney+.
CHARLES LIPPINCOTT PASSES AWAY
Charles Lippincott is not the most well-known name in Star Wars fandom. He was a publicist on the original film, and it's hard to see how Star Wars could become the phenomenon it is today without Lipincott's tireless work. He passed away this week at the age of 80 due to complications of a heart attack.
Lippincott was tasked with marketing A New Hope. In today's world, marketing Star Wars seems like it would be easy, but in 1976 and 1977 no one had seen anything like Star Wars. Lippincott brought Star Wars to San Diego Comic-Con at a time when Hollywood didn't market to comic book conventions. He secured the merchandising deals with Marvel comics, Kenner Toys, and Del Rey Books. All of these relationships were huge pieces of the puzzle that made Star Wars a pop culture phenomenon.
His impact on Star Wars cannot be overstated.
"Charley was one of the founding pillars of the Star Wars films and phenomenon," Lucas said. "He began in earnest the concept of licensing motion pictures at a time when the only other company doing so was Disney. Charley was the one who said early on that 'we can make this work' and was the first person to both develop Star Wars licensing and engage with the fans. He had insights into marketing and public relations that were truly unparalleled."
COVID-19 TAKES PINK SHORTS BOOM OPERATOR
COVID-19 claimed the life of another prominent player in Star Wars. Ken Nightingall, affectionately referred to as Pink Shorts Boom Guy, passed away at the age of 92 this week.
Nightingall was a boom operator on A New Hope and became something of a phenomenon in fandom in the last few years. A photograph of him doing his job on set wearing nothing but pink shorts circulated widely. Fans began cosplaying him at conventions, and he became an icon in the behind-the-scenes world of Star Wars.
He worked on many incredible films over his career other than Star Wars, including a number of James Bond films, Top Secret!, and The Boys From Brazil.
His last credit was the 1998 film reboot of the Lost in Space.
REVENGE OF THE SITH AT 15
Last week, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith celebrated its 15th anniversary, and SYFY WIRE put together a collection of interviews about why it's such an enduring favorite.
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK AT 40
Just yesterday Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back turned 40. SYFY WIRE put together this examination of what made it great, and you should definitely check it out. Before you do that, though, watch this brand-new behind-the-scenes retrospective that Lucasfilm created for its anniversary. It's really quite breathtaking.
Until next week: May the Force be with you!