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.
NEW FORCES OF DESTINY!
In a surprise announcement, Disney revealed that seven brand-new episodes of Star Wars: Forces of Destiny would be released today. The episodes star characters ranging from Hera Syndulla and Princess Kneesa to Padme Amidala and Chewbacca and the Porgs.
They’ll appear on Disney’s YouTube channel today and then get aired on the Disney Channel in a special program on May 25. Although some have dismissed these as merely short cartoons geared to kids that don’t belong in Star Wars at all, I think they’re exactly what Star Wars needs. Small, bite-sized bits of Star Wars entertainment are the best vehicles to bring new fans into the fold while they’re young. You won’t have to spend all of the surprises of the Star Wars saga on them to get them introduced to the characters, and by the time you actually show them the movies, they’ll be twice as invested.
ROAR FOR CHANGE
Ron Howard kicked off a new charity effort that ties in with Solo: A Star Wars Story. #RoarForChange is an initiative where Star Wars: Force for Change will donate $1 to UNICEF for every social media post, like, or share on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter that includes the hashtag. He announced it with this adorable short film.
So be sure to take a video of you giving your best Wookiee roar and post it up on social media and you can do good for a charity that does a lot for the benefit of this world.
At some screenings of Avengers: Infinity War, fans were surprised and delighted to see a new behind-the-scenes featurette for Solo: A Star Wars Story. This one starred Donald Glover as he gives the audience a tour through Lando’s Millennium Falcon.
This is the closest look we’ve had aboard the new Falcon that we’ll be seeing in Solo and gives us details about the ship we’ve never seen before. From the bar and guest bunk to the cape closet and captain’s quarters, it’s practically a brand-new ship instead of the iconic hunk of junk we’re used to.
SECRETS OF THE EMPIRE OPEN IN VEGAS!
There is now one more place in the country where you can discover the Secrets of the Empire, the VR immersive storytelling experience developed by The Void and ILMxLAB. If you’re in Sin City, be sure to stop in at the Venetian and take a trip to Mustafar, because it's now open. Secrets of the Empire might be the closest I’ve ever been to living out a Star Wars role-playing game, completely immersive, and something I want to go back and do more.
The story of it is a lot of fun. You’re sent on a mission by Cassian Andor and get to hang out with K-2SO. There’s nothing more exhilarating than being in a 360-degree Star Wars environment and to be able to reach out and really touch a Kaytoo unit. It’s amazing. And now you can experience it in Vegas.
JON KASDAN ON SOLO EASTER EGGS
I got to chat with Jon Kasdan, one of the writers of Solo: A Star Wars Story, on my podcast, Full of Sith. He spoke about getting the gig and working with his father, the legendary Lawrence Kasdan, as well as many other things.
The thing that I found most fascinating and newsworthy, though, was his admission that the original Lando Calrissian books had a significant inspiration on the film. "The Lando Calrissian chronicles," Kasdan told me, "those books are great. They've got this great cover art, and we all saw those books and thought this is a great feeling to evoke with this movie. It should feel like an early '80s Star Wars movie that you never got to see. And we have a lot of that old, dirty shabbiness to it. There's a lot of references to that stuff and to the galaxy that had been created over the years. As you get into it, you fall in love with certain things and you try to get it into the movie.”
We know there are already easter eggs to other bits of the old expanded universe, from the planet Mimban (first seen in Splinter of the Mind’s Eye) to the inclusion of fan favorites Tag and Bink.
Solo: A Star Wars Story premieres next week in Hollywood, so we’ll see how many easter eggs made it into the film that we can spot.