Now that Solo: A Star Wars Story has fallen from view, it's time to look to the future of the Star Wars franchise—although, as you can see in the tweet below, some folks feel as though Lucasfilm should be looking to its past as it moves forward. Yes, there's a subgroup of the fandom that apparently feels as though the studio should take things back to the way they were a long time ago.
…But enough about that. What about what’s happening in a galaxy far, far away right now? Read on.
Lucasfilm Is Canceling the Star Wars Story Series in the Wake of Solo's Performance. Or Maybe Not
The Source: Online rumormongering
Probability of Accuracy: As you'll see, it's complicated.
The Real Deal: With ridiculous rumors of Kathleen Kennedy’s Lucasfilm firing still doing the online rounds—the latest variation apparently being that Disney wanted to fire Kennedy but couldn’t get anyone else to replace her—it should perhaps come as no surprise that the "Lucasfilm is falling apart" murmurs continued with a report from Collider that every one of the in-development Star Wars Story movies had been put on hold in the wake of Solo's failure. That report lasted less than a day before Lucasfilm responded via Disney sibling ABC News, saying that the report was "inaccurate" and that multiple movies remained in the pipeline. A later report split the difference, suggesting that individual projects are getting retooled and may be cancelled, but that the spin-off movies are still in development overall. Such a reworking doesn't seem entirely impossible given that both of the Star Wars Story movies to date have featured significant overhauls during production. Just how much, if any, reworking they'll get, though, won't be known for a while.
Expect to See Another Old Scoundrel in the Next Star Wars Movie
The Source: Anonymous sources fed to a fan site
Probability of Accuracy: It makes a certain amount of sense, no matter how much it also sounds like plain wishful thinking.
The Real Deal: One movie that's definitely progressing for all but the most delusional of fans is J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode IX—and, if a new rumor is to be believed, there's going to be an appearance in the movie from a beloved cast member of the original trilogy that hasn't shown up so far. According to the Fantha Tracks site, Billy Dee Williams will play Lando Calrissian in the next movie, with two anonymous sources apparently agreeing that he'll show up in the final part of the new trilogy. It makes some degree of sense, if only to ensure that there's one cast member—besides Anthony Daniels as C-3PO—from the original trilogy in the final part of the new one, but it does raise one question: Where has Lando been all this time, anyway?
The WIRED Guide to Star Wars
Episode IX Will Bring Back a Name Fans Haven't Heard in a Long Time
The Source: British tabloid The Sun
Probability of Accuracy: Well, it’s a story from The Sun, which doesn’t exactly bode well, but that doesn’t mean it’s definitely not true…
The Real Deal: While we're talking about surprise cameos in Episode IX, British newspaper The Sun published a genuinely unexpected rumor a few days ago: Ewan McGregor will show up in the next installment as Obi-Wan Kenobi, apparently shooting scenes in Los Angeles next month. The fact that the movie's shooting in the UK might suggest that this story is just wishful thinking if not outright nonsense, but it's not as if the movies haven't done shoots in multiple locations before. The only question is, what would Obi-Wan be doing in the movie? If it was a Force Ghost cameo, why would he show up as his younger self? Could there be a flashback in the offing? And if so, why? (That said, it's almost certainly untrue, even if it is fun to imagine.)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Originally Ended More Forcefully
The Source: Mark Hamill himself
Probability of Accuracy: In that it's a tease of something that didn’t happen, how can we measure accuracy?
The Real Deal: As if Mark Hamill's upset over the direction Luke Skywalker's story took in Star Wars: The Last Jedi wasn’t enough of a clue that, just maybe, J.J. Abrams had intended his return at the end of The Force Awakens to lead to a different character arc, Hamill told a story in a recent interview with IGN that seemingly sealed the deal … and revealed the end of The Force Awakens fans never saw. "J.J. said, 'Oh and by the way I'll probably put in a couple of floating boulders to show the Force emanating from you, as strong as it is,'" he explained, talking about his brief cameo at the end of the movie. "So I'm thinking for VIII, I'm going to have Force Lightning coming out of every orifice of my body. You know, lifting an eyebrow and toppling AT-ATs like dominoes. That would have been fun to be that powerful! Plus, I wouldn't have to do much. They wouldn't have to teach me choreography to do lightsaber duels. I'd just have to do this [Hamill points across the room] and let the special effects guy do everything." This obviously never came to pass. The IGN story suggests that Abrams probably saw the direction Rian Johnson was going in with The Last Jedi and decided to downplay any Force identifiers in the finished movie. But it's still a fascinating *What if…?" nonetheless.
The Clone Wars Live On
The Source: Official Lucasfilm announcement
Probability of Accuracy: It’s an official announcement; it’s as real as it gets in this business.
The Real Deal: Lucasfilm is avoiding the massive Hall H at Comic-Con International in San Diego this year—with the next movie in the series more than a year away, such a move is understandable—but that doesn't mean there will be nothing Star Wars-related at the show this year. Writer-director Dave Filoni will be part of a panel on Thursday, July 19, celebrating the 10 year anniversary of The Clone Wars. He'll be sharing the stage with unnamed "special guests" to look back at the fan-favorite animated series. Will he also offer teases about Star Wars Resistance, the new animated project he’s working on? That wouldn’t be too unlikely, would it?
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