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Star Wars Weekly: Resistance wins big and Favreau wants more Holiday Specials

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Sep 20, 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.

RESISTANCE WINS A SATURN AWARD

In 1973, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror films began handing out Saturn Awards as a response to the perception that mainstream awards were turning their backs on genre works. They've become a yearly tradition, and as you might figure, the Saturn Awards have a long history with Star Wars. In fact, their first televised awards ceremony in 1978 was only possible because of the unprecedented success of Star Wars, and that ceremony was hosted by William Shatner and Karen Black.

Star Wars continues to do well at the Saturn Awards, as evidenced by its win this week for Best Animated Television Series. Star Wars Resistance beat out Archer, Duck Tales, Family Guy, and The Simpsons to take home the trophy.

Here's Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano, announcing the award.

Some fans were skeptical of Star Wars Resistance when it began, but those who stuck with it were treated to an amazing piece of the story that leads right into the events in the background during The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

The second season of Star Wars Resistance starts on October 6 on Disney Channel and Disney Now. The first season will be available on Disney+ upon the launch of that service on November 12.

JON FAVREAU AND THE HOLIDAY SPECIAL

Jon Favreau, the showrunner of the upcoming show The Mandalorian, is a big Star Wars fan. There's no doubt of that. Here he is on the red carpet of the Saturn Awards being interviewed by the redoubtable Ash Crossan from Entertainment Tonight explaining how he wants to make a new Star Wars Holiday Special for Disney+.

"I have a pitch in," he tells Ash, asking everyone watching to let Disney+ know if we want to see it.

The Star Wars Holiday Special is a relic of the 1970s that has, more than once, forced George Lucas to state that he wished he could burn every copy of it. There are some fans who like some aspects of it. Bea Arthur's Ackmena even has a bit of a fan club. Overall, though, the Holiday Special is largely unwatchable.

Ironically, it used to be a popular selection at bootleg tables at conventions across the country, alongside Roger Corman's Fantastic Four and copies of the '60s Batman series. Fortunately, in an age of digital communication, it's easier to get your hands on it.

The question is, though, why would you want to?

Well, because it's a rite of passage, that's why. If you've never experienced it, you sort of need to at least once, which is why I've embedded the video below.

 

I'm sorry.

I'm so sorry.

MARVEL'S EMPIRE ASCENDANT

The Marvel Comics flagship Star Wars series is coming to an end. Empire Ascendant is a 56-page one-shot that serves as a series finale to the comic that has thoroughly explored the space between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

The book is also to serve as a look at Doctor Aphra's place in this part of the universe. How much finality we'll get for her is anyone's guess.

Empire Ascendant comes out in December.

What's coming next? It's anyone's guess, but I'll hazard one anyway. With The Rise of Skywalker wrapping up the saga, the movies can no longer live in the storytelling space between the Battle of Jakku and the Battle of Starkiller Base. My money would be on seeing more comics set in this era with the continuing adventures of our heroes of the New Republic as they put the galaxy back together in the wake of the Galactic Civil War. We've already got some indication they're heading there with Charles Soule's announced Kylo Ren series. My guess is that's just the tip of the iceberg.

That's all just a guess, though.

STAR WARS AND DONNY AND MARIE

As mentioned, the Star Wars Holiday Special is reviled as one of the worst uses of the Star Wars brand that has ever been on television. But it's not alone. In fact, 1977-1979 was pretty much the heyday of unwatchable Star Wars content on television. It's hard to imagine what a cultural force Star Wars must have been in order to inspire everyone to do a Star Wars special.

One of my favorite bad ones is this from the Donny and Marie Show.

 

It was somehow prescient that real-life brother and sister Donny and Marie Osmond would play Luke and Leia in their singing Star Wars special. I'll be honest, Kris Kristofferson isn't the worst choice for a Han Solo, either. But this should give you a window into how bizarre Star Wars fandom must have been 40 years ago.

Until next week, May the Force Be With You!

 

 

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