Finn

Star Wars Weekly: John Boyega's bloody Episode IX tease and some fan film drama

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Jan 18, 2019

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.

JOHN BOYEGA'S BIG DAY ON SET

A lot of Star Wars news breaks on Instagram these days, and while this post isn't a Death Star-caliber Earth-shaker, it's a fascinating look at the making of Episode IX, which is something we haven't had a whole lot of. John Boyega, Finn himself, posted a tease to his Instagram account on Wednesday.

What this could mean is anyone's guess. There is literally blood on Finn's hands. Does this mean we're going to get an epic battle? Or is Finn going to strangle someone with his bare hands in the middle of a war zone?

Those hands are also filthy. Is that a portent of the war we're going to see? Or are his hands grimy and bloody because he got them caught in the Falcon, fixing the hyperdrive motivator? Only time will tell.

Episode IX comes out on December 20.

THE FAN FILM FOOFARAW

There's been a lot to do about a fan film called Vader Episode 1: Shards of The Past, which explores what Anakin Skywalker might've been up to in the period between the prequel and original trilogies. It's fine, as far as fan films go, and, it's set up to clearly be a long-format series. However, something more powerful than the Force sparked quite the controversy: Copyright claims.

Fan films are always a little dicey, copyright-wise, but the creators of Vader Episode 1: Shards of the Past were wise enough to compose their own soundalike music, rather than use the official, extremely copyrighted John Williams score from the films. Even so, Warner-Chappell Music, which handles the rights to the Star Wars Score, dinged the YouTube account that was hosting the fan film, Star Wars Theory.

The YouTuber then uploaded a whole video blaming Warner-Chappell and, without a direct connection, Disney, for supposedly monetizing his video. Toos, the owner behind the channel, claimed they'd made $80,000 off his video, but that number has not been confirmed and should be taken with a huge grain of salt. There wasn't much evidence that any monetization was happening to begin with.

Regardless, some Star Wars fans decided to organize a boycott of future Star Wars films while others still claimed that this was proof that Disney couldn't make money with Star Wars and needed to steal money from fan filmmakers.

And then yesterday, the unthinkable happened, and Warner-Chappell withdrew the copyright strike. What exactly caused this to happen is unclear, but here's what didn't happen: Disney wasn't behind the copyright claim in the first place, and Lucasfilm wasn't some gallant hero that set things right on behalf of the fans. Warner-Chappell filed a copyright claim on a video that uses music they found to be too similar to music they control and after a couple of days they dropped that claim.

The whole thing kinda makes you envy the Trade Federation plot from the prequels, doesn't it?

EA CANCELS ANOTHER STAR WARS GAME

The video game publisher EA owns Star Wars video game license, and in the six years they've held it, they've produced a grand total of two console games: Battlefront and Battlefront II. Over the years we've heard grand plans for single-player games like the one codenamed Ragtag that was canceled in 2017. We've heard rumors of other games. Later this year, we're promised a single player experience that follows a Padawan in the wake of Order 66 called Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order.

They have many (theoretical) irons in the fire, though it looks like they've pulled one out, as a highly anticipated open-world game set in the galaxy far, far away has reportedly been canceled.

According to reports, this game was codenamed Orca and would have seen players adopt the persona of an underworld character traveling in an open world.

For their part, EA issued a statement that read:

There's been speculation overnight about one of our Star Wars projects. As a natural part of the creative process, the great work by our team in Vancouver continues and will evolve into future Star Wars content and games. We're fully committed to making more Star Wars games, we're very excited about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from Respawn, and we'll share more about our new projects when the time is right.

So for now, we wait.

AGE OF REBELLION PREVIEWS

Marvel announced a whole pile of information about the new Age of Rebellion line of comics.

Greg Pak will be writing them and art duties will be handled by Chris Prouse and Marc Laming. You can check out more information about these from the official Star Wars website. These issues start coming out in April.

FROM STAR WARS TO JEDI

I'd like to leave you all this week with a look at the making of Return of the Jedi. From Star Wars to Jedi was a classic documentary that delves deep into the making of the third installment of the original trilogy. I still have my old VHS copy of this and it's a joy to break out. For many of the older Star Wars fans, there's as much nostalgia tied to this as there is the films themselves.

Until next week, May the Force Be With You!

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