A somewhat different Cantina Talk this time around, as the usual round-up of rumors, speculation, and straight-up news will be dominated by this past weekend’s Star Wars Celebration Europe, the three-day convention in London that delivered every kind of imaginable tidbit of information from the Star Wars universe. This time around, then, sit back and enjoy a collection of things that are all, almost certainly, going to happen for real. We promise.
To Begin With, Rogue One Won’t Look Like Other Star Wars Movies
Source: The president of Lucasfilm herself
Probability of Accuracy: If anyone would know, you’d expect it to be Kathleen Kennedy, so let’s just assume this is legit.
The Real Deal: How different will Rogue One: A Star Wars Story be from the other Star Wars movies? Different enough that it might lack the iconic opening text crawl, according to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. But that was just one of the Rogue One updates dropped at Star Wars Celebration Europe, which also featured the release of the first poster for the movie
— Star Wars (@starwars) July 15, 2016
as well as a behind-the-scenes sizzle reel, and for those in the room itself and not watching on the livestream, a new trailer for the movie that set up the intensity of the mission and closed with the familiar silhouette and breathing sounds of everyone’s favorite Dark Lord of the Sith. (There are leaked versions of the trailer on YouTube, but we’re not going to link to them; instead, enjoy the officially released behind the scenes video.)
Darth Vader Is Coming to Virtual Reality
Source: Lucasfilm announcement at Star Wars Celebration
Probability of Accuracy: Totally legit.
The Real Deal: As part of the Star Wars Celebration Europe panel for ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division announced a partnership with screenwriter David Goyer (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) for a new virtual reality project. The subject of said VR project? None other than Mr. Vader himself. “When we looked at all the characters, places, and worlds in the Star Wars universe available to us, we asked ourselves, What havent we seen before? Who are we curious about? Goyer said. “Darth Vader is the perfect ambassador to usher us into the Star Wars VR universe.”
Loose Lips Sink … Relationships?
Source: A loose-lipped Jiang Wen, on stage at Star Wars Celebration Europe
Probability of Accuracy: Barring the possibility of a misdirect or language barrier problem, this seems to be a genuine accidental reveal about the plot of Rogue One. Continue with that spoiler warning in place.
The Real Deal: There was another piece of Rogue One information dropped during the movie’s panel at Star Wars Celebration Europe, although this one wasn’t exactly intended to be shared. When the cast were discussing their roles in the film, Jiang Wen revealed what appeared to be a pretty massive spoiler by accident. Talking about his character Baze’s relationship with Donnie Yen’s Chirrut Imwe, he nonchalantly said, “And, when this guy’s dead, I do something better.” So… Donnie Yen’s character dies in the movie? Seemingly, although Gwendoline Christie, who was hosting the panel, quickly stepped in to prevent any more spoilers being spilled. “I think you’ve got to leave it there,” she pleasantly admonished. Sadly, it was too late and the information was outbut, really, did anyone honestly think that everyone was going to make it out of the movie alive?
Episode VIII Won’t Jump Ahead in Time
Source: Star Wars: Episode VIII director Rian Johnson himself
Probability of Accuracy: It’s straight from the horse’s mouthnot that Rian is a horse; the solo IG-88 movie is the one that’s going to be directed by Mister Ed, as far as we know.
The Real Deal: Rogue One isn’t going to be the only movie breaking with Star Wars tradition. During a Sunday afternoon panel at Star Wars Celebration Europe, Johnson revealed that his movie will do something no other Star Wars movie has done before, and pick up directly from where The Force Awakens left off, with Rey confronting Luke and holding out his lightsaber. (This might explain why, at a separate panel, Carrie Fisher appeared to suggest that audiences will see Han Solo’s funeral in the new movie. After all, we were robbed of that kind of closure in The Force Awakens.) Johnson also let slip that, as he and Gareth Edwards were shooting Episode VIII and Rogue One at the same time, they each have a cameo in the other’s movie, and that Episode VIII has an unusual cinematic inspiration: old war movies like Twelve O’Clock High, Letter Never Sent, and The Bridge on the River Kwai.
A Familiar Expanded Universe Face Is Coming Into Canon Sooner Than You Think
Source: The official trailer for the third season of Star Wars: Rebels, as well as a book announcement
Probability of Accuracy: 100 percent spot-on.
The Real Deal: Possibly the biggest surprise from Star Wars Celebration Europe this weekend didn’t come from the movie, but from the trailer for the third season of Disney XD’s Star Wars: Rebels, which re-introduced a familiar face from the Expanded Universe of old:
Yes, that’s Grand Admiral Thrawn, the central antagonist of Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command novel series from the early ’90s and one of the biggest movers and shakers of the Expanded Universeand now he’s going to be appearing in Star Wars: Rebels as, in the words of series executive producer Dave Filoni, “a big-time villain, as much as Darth Vader, but on the strategic, military side of things.” According to Filoni, Thrawn’s entrance into official canon has been in the works for awhile. “It was definitely something that had been thought about for a long time at Lucasfilm,” he confirmed. “Thrawn was always on the list.” (Zahn will write a new, canonical, Thrawn novel for release next year to tie in with his Rebels appearance.) So when do we get to see Mara Jade, then?
That’s No Moon
Source: Official announcements at Star Wars Celebration Europe
Probability of Accuracy: Consider it canon.
The Real Deal: For those playing Star Wars: Battlefront, Celebration Europe held two surprises: firstly, the announcement of the Rogue One: Scarif DLC in December, tying in with this year’s new movie with a location and characters based on the first Star Wars Story, and secondly, this teaser trailer for the September DLC:
Also upcoming in Battlefront: new maps for players and new characters, including Chewbacca. And for everyone else who isn’t playing Battlefront, maybe this is a good enough reason to start!