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.
FINN AND REY: TOGETHER AGAIN
Over the weekend, Finn actor John Boyega appeared at Awesome Con and had some things to say to Ash Crossan, his moderator extraordinaire, about what he's heard about the script for the as-yet-untitled Star Wars: Episode IX.
"I haven't read the script for Episode IX," he told her. "But Daisy did shoot me a text saying, 'Oh my gosh, I just heard from J.J. [Abrams], and we're back together.' That's what I'm really excited about, is Finn and Rey back together again."
And it's something we're all excited for, too. In the middle chapters of Star Wars trilogy films, our heroes always get split up to face their trials alone. In Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Anakin and Obi-wan were sent off in opposite directions to protect Padme Amidala and solve the mystery of her attempted assassination, respectively. In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the evacuation of Hoth forces Han and Leia to split from Luke as he heads to Dagobah to train. In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rey has to bring Luke back, Poe has to "protect" the fleet, and Finn has to sneak into a casino. But in the final acts of the trilogy, those characters always come back together to fight a larger threat.
I can't wait to see what J.J. Abrams has in store for our heroes as a team as they come together to face down the First Order once and for all.
SOLO GOES TO CANNES
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Solo: A Star Wars Story will make its debut on May 15, a full 10 days before its North American release, at the Cannes Film Festival. The last Star Wars movie to debut at Cannes was Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith in 2005.
In some circles, this has been taken as an encouraging surprise. If Lucasfilm wasn't proud of this film and the way it has turned out, would they put it on display so early for the world like this? Especially at an esteemed film festival? I doubt it. But then again, I think they'd just as soon cancel a film they weren't proud of before putting it out to the public.
DENNY'S GOES SOLO
Denny's, the classic chain of American diners, unveiled its new ad campaign that is a promotional partnership with Lucasfilm for Solo: A Star Wars Story. Ordinarily, that might not be anything to write home about, but they've made it decidedly interesting with a new trailer, a special menu, and collectible trading cards that reveal new looks at characters from the film.
Hands down, the coolest thing about the ad campaign is this commercial, which gives us our first look at the setting in Solo where Han and Lando, presumably, play Sabacc. For those unfamiliar with Sabacc, it's the poker-like game that's been featured in the old Expanded Universe from its early days. More recently, it was featured in an episode of Star Wars Rebels where Lando actually won Chopper from the Ghost crew with a hand called "The Idiot's Array." Aside from the exciting inclusion of the game, the creature design work here in this bar is stunning and worth watching over and over again.
And speaking of creatures in Solo, that brings us to:
In that new batch of trading cards that Denny's released as part of its Solo promotion, one, in particular, caught the eyes of the online fan community.
Therm Scissorpunch is a lobster-like character that we can only hope has more of a role than Constable Zuvio. He's got a great look and design and an even cooler name. Who wouldn't love Therm Scissorpunch?
Well, it wouldn't be a week in Star Wars fandom without a controversy over something non-controversial. Fans and fan sites instantly began to rate the worst Star Wars names. Elan Sleazebaggano and Jar Jar Binks and Dexter Jettster (who all have rad names, by the way) somehow made the list, but Therm always came out on top. Please, no one tell these fans about Yakface. Or Snaggletooth. Or General Grievous or Savage Oppress.
Therm Scissorpunch is a perfect, classic Star Wars name, the kind a background character deserves. We should cherish it now that it's in the canon. I know I will.
Long live Therm Scissorpunch.
REY'S "UNDONE" HERITAGE
One of the big stories to come out of Star Wars this week was Simon Pegg's recent appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. SYFY covered the story in more detail here, but the controversy sparked from a quote from Pegg:
"I know what J.J. kind of intended, or at least what was sort of being chucked around. I think that's kind of been undone slightly by the last one. I don't know."
This has been pounced upon by those who disagreed with Rian Johnson's story choices about Rey being the daughter of "filthy junk traders" who sold her off "for drinking money." Pegg's words have been echoed across the internet, and the idea that Johnson broke something J.J. Abrams tried to establish has taken hold.
But it's important to remember that J.J. Abrams declared publicly and privately that he'd read and loved the script Johnson created for The Last Jedi before The Force Awakens had even been completed. As a writer, he would've had ideas about where Rey came from, but if he needed anything to be concrete, he would have had to include them in the movie. He would have needed lots of ideas about who Rey was.
To put it in context: It's important to remember that Vader wasn't necessarily slated to be Luke's father when Star Wars: A New Hope was made. Be sure to think about the context of the creative process when you're stressing over stories like this. Lawrence Kasdan and Irvin Kershner "undid" what George Lucas had intended in A New Hope, but that doesn't mean they broke anything. That just means the story evolved in a different direction. And that's not a bad thing.
Until next week!