Lucasfilm announced a new trooper this week. A Sith trooper. "That's impossible," you might say, "the Sith have been extinct for like… 30 years!" But I assure you that troopers at least named after the Dark Side cult are back.
These red-clad troopers look like a brilliant mix between First Order troopers and the Clones of the Prequels era. How they fit into the context of the broader history of troopers is anyone's guess. Are they really affiliated with the Sith? Or are they named as an homage to the history of the Empire? Are they there to protect Palpatine? The red is the same color as his guards from the original trilogy. Anything is possible.
There's not really a solid answer to any of it and we shouldn't expect to get one until The Rise of Skywalker hits movie screens in December.
RISE OF THE RESISTANCE
One of the biggest question marks still lingering over the opening of Disneyland's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge was when we would be able to board the second flagship ride, Rise of the Resistance. Reports indicate it might be one of the most ambitious rides Disney has ever attempted, and now we finally have dates for when we'll be able to board.
It's fascinating to me that the ride will be opening first in Florida, as the Anaheim park has been ready and open so much longer, but that we have a solid date at all is exciting news. It will open early next year in Anaheim and I'm sure the park will get even busier by then.
MERCHANDISE SHORTAGES AT GALAXY'S EDGE
There are dubious reports that Galaxy's Edge in Anaheim is a ghost town and that no one is going, but I'm having a hard time believing that. For one, there is no greater entity in the world better at crowd management than Disney. The Mouse has it down to a science, and it's spent years working to minimize the dangers of overcrowding, not just at Galaxy's Edge, but in the rest of the park as well.
Then, when you combine that with reports that vendors in Galaxy's Edge are running out of merchandise because they're selling it so fast, you start to understand that those who would have you believe Galaxy's Edge is more of a ghost town than the Haunted Mansion are just selling you a line to fit a narrative that isn't real.
But go to the park and see for yourself. It's amazing there.
THE MANDALORIAN AT D23 AND A SECOND SEASON
The Mandalorian is going to get its own presentation at D23 this year. For those who don't know, D23 is Disney's own convention that it uses to highlight its upcoming projects. It doesn't happen every year, but it seems to have replaced the regular presence you'd regularly find for Marvel and Lucasfilm in Hall H at Comic-Con.
In short, you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for D23 coverage. It's likely (though unconfirmed) that this might be where we finally get an official, publicly released trailer for The Mandalorian.
But that's not all for news of The Mandalorian. While appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to talk about The Lion King, director Jon Favreau confirmed that he's in the midst of working on the second season of the show.
You can watch his appearance here:
The Mandalorian premieres in November on the new Disney+ service.
BRIE LARSEN, JEDI KNIGHT
Brie Larsen, Captain Marvel herself, is apparently a big Star Wars nerd. She was there for the opening event of Galaxy's Edge, taking pictures and carrying on like it was the most fun she'd had in her life. She nerded out with Samuel L. Jackson (Mace Windu) on the set of Captain Marvel and he even brought her his lightsaber. She's been such a beacon of light for female superhero fans and I think she's making a bid to do the same for Star Wars.
This is what she posted on her Instagram without provocation:
My favorite comment on her Instagram photo is from Samuel L. Jackson, who said, "The Force Is Strong With This One!!! Midi-chlorians off the charts!!"
Let's hope she makes it into a galaxy far, far away sooner rather than later. She'd be a fun addition.
SISKEL AND EBERT DEFEND STAR WARS
Before the internet, arguments about movies happened on television. Here is a legendary argument about Star Wars in which Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert throw down with one of the more snobby critics of the day, John Simon of the National Review.
This blast from the past is a lot of fun to watch.
Until next week: May the Force be with you!