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Star Wars Weekly: What's the latest with the new TV series and streaming service?

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Aug 10, 2018

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.

RICHARD E. GRANT'S INFECTIOUS ENTHUSIASM

When new members of the Episode IX cast were announced last week, the one that was perhaps least surprising was Richard E. Grant. Game of Thrones has been feeding plenty of actors to the new Star Wars films with regularity which makes perfect sense, as they share Nina Gold as their casting director. Grant has made three appearances on the show, all in season six. He's appeared in many other high-profile projects as well, from Gosford Park and Downton Abbey to Doctor Who and Logan.

What was most surprising, however, was how utterly excited he was for Star Wars. In a post on Twitter, he offered a video where he literally couldn't contain his excitement that he was in Star Wars.

How can you possibly watch that and not smile?

STAR WARS STREAMING RIGHTS

With the announcement of new episodes of The Clone Wars coming to the new Disney streaming service, it's not a stretch to expect that we'd be seeing the actual Star Wars movies on the platform as well. Unfortunately, that eventuality might be quite a while in the making.

According to Bob Iger, the Star Wars movies released before Episode IX won't be hitting that service for quite some time after the new service launches sometime before the end of 2019.

Variety quoted Iger as saying, "The marketing will make clear that it's not going to be on there, but Star Wars movies that come out in 2019 and later, you'll find them there."

One major reason? The streaming rights to the classic six Star Wars films are tied up with Turner broadcasting until 2024 and they weren't interested in coming to an arrangement with Disney to accommodate their service. Moves like bringing back The Clone Wars make a lot of sense in that context, where the legacy Star Wars content is years off. By 2024, though, it sounds as though there will be more Star Wars content on that service than we can possibly imagine.

THE DROIDS ARE ROLLING

Both Anthony Daniels, who plays C-3PO, and Brian Herring, the puppeteer behind BB-8, tweeted vaguely about their experience and excitement at beginning work on Episode IX.

It's almost a little odd to think about that all of the decisions that the internet will most likely be in an uproar over at the very end of 2019 and through the beginning of 2020 are already made. The script is done and the path forward is set. It's all just a waiting game now until we find out what exactly those decisions were.

MANDALORE ON TELEVISION?

Reports are beginning to circulate about Jon Favreau's upcoming Star Wars television series. Two of the details in these reports are particularly fascinating and worth some further investigation.

The first report, which originated in The New York Times, estimates that the budget of the show will be about $10 million per episode. With a ten episode order, it looks as though Lucasfilm will be spending $100 million on one season of a TV series, putting it easily in the running for one of the most expensive shows ever made. But that's just what you need to spend to make a live-action Star Wars show look like a Star Wars show. With a piece of information like this getting dropped innocuously in a profile about the man behind Disney's new streaming service from The New York Times, it's easy to believe this is the right ballpark for the budget.

The next bit of rumor comes from Making Star Wars and is labeled repeatedly as just a rumor. Apparently, according to some anonymous sources, Favreau's series will tackle the "restoration of Mandalore." What does that mean, exactly?

Well, based on when the show is set, according to remarks by Favreau on the red carpet of Solo: A Star Wars Story, we're looking at a time period just a couple of years after the Battle of Jakku. This battle marked the end of Galactic Empire that sent the remnants of it running into the unknown regions to form what would eventually become the First Order. Thanks to Rebels, we know that Mandalore spent much of the dark times of the Empire under Imperial control. It would make perfect sense to see the proud people of Mandalore restore their warrior heritage after decades of decimation beneath the boot of the Empire.

The other big connection? Jon Favreau has a past with Mandalore. He played Pre Vizsla, the head of the Mandalorian splinter group Death Watch.

Favreau's character was killed by Maul in the waning days of the Clone Wars. Afterward, his warriors split into two factions, one that followed Maul, the other worked to restore Mandalore.

Could this be part of his show? Like Master Yoda would say, "Always in motion is the future."

REY ISN'T HAN AND QI'RA'S

Film Threat made a video that's been going around and sending some outlets into a tizzy. You can check it out here:

And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we know who Rey's parents are. When we go back to The Last Jedi, she confirmed to Kylo Ren that she was the daughter of a pair of filthy junk traders who traded her for drinking money. As the story goes, both are deceased and buried in pauper's graves on Jakku. I mean, I don't mean to poke holes in the Film Threat analysis — which is incredibly well thought out and well put together—but I really just don't think the theory holds any water whatsoever. Fan theories are fun though, just as long as you don't take them too seriously.

REVENGE OF THE INCELS

This week, we'll leave you with a short fan-film about Rian Johnson and The Last Jedi. It's called Revenge of the Incels and it parodies the situation over angry fans hoping to remake The Last Jedi and it's a stylistic copy of Rian Johnson's early masterpiece Brick.

These filmmakers aren't the only ones to address the backlash of The Last Jedi this week either, Rogue One writer Gary Whitta did as well.

In an interview with Jedi News, Gary Whitta said, "I suspect that I would have written a more fan service-driven film that would have appeased some of that noisy minority but ultimately would have been a lesser and less important film because of it. Frankly, I'm disgusted by the treatment that Rian has received, he's not just one of the most talented filmmakers working today but one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet in any walk of life, and both he and the film he made deserve far better."

And he's not wrong.

That's all for this week! Be sure to come back next week and every week for all the Star Wars news and analysis you need.