UPDATE: KATHLEEN KENNEDY STRIKES BACK
The Hollywood Reporter broke news today that Kathleen Kennedy would be renewing her contract to remain as the head of Lucasfilm through 2021.
The news comes as no surprise for anyone following the world of Star Wars closely. Collectively, her work in the Star Wars universe has made Disney its money back and she produced four critically acclaimed films. For vocal critics, firing Kathleen Kennedy has been a rallying cry, but this contract renewal is a sharp rebuke to those loud voices who swore she'd be fired by the end of this month.
Disney clearly wants a steady hand on the steering wheel and Kathleen Kennedy is it. The article went on to confirm the involvement of the Game of Thrones showrunners as well as Rian Johnson, as well as a new installment in the saga of Indiana Jones.
If you're a fan of Star Wars, this is truly great news.
Fans of Darth Vader rejoice. ILMxLAB released the first footage and announcement of the new virtual reality experience Star Wars: Vader Immortal.
Exclusive to the Oculus Quest and written by David S. Goyer, Vader Immortal puts you in the Star Wars galaxy as you’re pulled out of hyperspace over Mustafar and brought face to face with the fearsome Dark Lord of the Sith inside of his castle, first glimpsed in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Watching even just the trailer and that Interdictor Cruiser fly overhead gave me chills.
For anyone who has experienced the immersive nature of the immersive experience of Secrets of the Empire, made in tandem with The VOID, this is something you’re going to want to go through first hand. In an interview with StarWars.com, David Goyer talked about the difficulty in telling an actual story (one that counts in the canon!) in this new medium:
“We would have a really emotional scene, for instance, but as we were playtesting it, the environment was just so overwhelming because you’re actually there, you just weren’t listening to anything anyone was saying," he said. "And so fairly early on, the rest of the team and I realized we have to write and playtest, write and playtest. There was no way how to anticipate how you would respond unless you put on the goggles and experienced it, and that taught us a lot.”
The first of three episodes comes out next year.
Perhaps the biggest and most heart-breaking news this week; Gary Kurtz, the legendary producer of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, passed away last week.
Kurtz was vital to the creation of Star Wars and other installments in George Lucas’s early career, including American Graffiti. After he and Lucas parted ways in the midst of The Empire Strikes Back, Kurtz went on to produce other genre films like The Dark Crystal and Return to Oz. Kurtz was 78.
The world of cinema is poorer for his loss.
MORE RESISTANCE NEWS!
It’s been a busy week for Star Wars: Resistance. To kick things off, we have a brand new sneak peek:
The show has a really gorgeous aesthetic, reminiscent of Robotech and other Japanese cartoons. The characters are fun and the colors are bright. It’s a show with a younger age range than previous installments of Star Wars animation, but if those in the audience can embrace the kid they were who found Star Wars in the first place, I feel like Resistance will work just great for them.
The next bit of news comes from the episode synopses Disney released for Star Wars Resistance. It turns out Star Wars will be adding another hobbit to its ranks with Elijah Wood, who will be playing a pilot named Rucklin who gets the lead, Kaz Xiono, into some trouble.
POE DAMERON’S END
Charles Soule’s Poe Dameron comic has been a bright and shining star in the Marvel comics line since its debut. The book has come to an end this week with a story that takes place after the events of The Last Jedi.
For those spoiler-averse, don’t read the next sentence. In the final issue, General Leia Organa restores Poe’s rank so that by the time of Episode IX, he’ll be, at the very least, a commander again. It's a rare and tantalizing look at what details we might get in the next filmed installment of Star Wars.
THE CINEMA BEHIND SOLO
For those like me who love to dive deep into the movies that made Star Wars, you’re going to want to check out the work of writer Michelle Buchman. She created a spread of animated gifs that compare classic films to their counterparts in Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story.
It took a lot of work and deserves all the eyeballs we can put on it. And the article is now it’s the partial basis of my viewing list to better understand Solo.
A NEW HOPE: ANIME-STYLE
I’ll leave you this week with a fanmade anime trailer for A New Hope, lovingly handcrafted by Dmitry Grozov. It’s nothing short of breathtaking and deserves all of your attention.
Until next week!