Saturday, May 31, 2014

'The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight' Book Trailer

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By: Dominic Jones

Lucasfilm has released a special book trailer/behind the scenes featurette for the upcoming children's picture book The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight.  The book is written by author Toni DiTerlizzi and tells the story of the original trilogy, using the legendary artwork of Ralph McQuarrie. The video features DiTerlizzi discussing his process for creating the book, as well as his excitement about working on the project.  Check out the video below,

 

I must say, this book looks great.   DiTerlizzi seems like an excellent choice to write it and of course it is wonderful to see the works of Ralph McQuarrie being introduced to the next generation.  I'm hoping that we'll also be seeing a prequel version of this book, featuring the great artwork of Doug Chiang, Ian McCaig, and others.  Even though this is targeted at younger readers, I will definitely be picking up a copy for myself!

You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25

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Star Wars Insider Fiction Part of Official Canon

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By: Dominic Jones

Star Wars Insider Magazine has announced that, beginning with issue #149, all exclusive fiction published in the magazine will be considered part of the new official canon, and not part of the Legends (formerly EU) universe.  The announcement was made in issue #150 of the magazine in an article about the new canon and legends universe.  This means that the short story Blade Squadron, which began in issue #149 (with Part 1) and continues in issue #150 (with Part 2), is part of the official canon, alongside the films, The Clone Wars, Rebels, Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir comic mini series, and all future publications from Del Rey Books and Marvel Comics.

This follows Lucasfilm's promise to make all Star Wars fiction part of one canon going forward.  I think this move makes sense and allows for minor characters to get their chance to shine within the pages of Star Wars Insider.  I hope, however, that Lucasfilm doesn't make the same mistake they've made with short stories in the past.  Many short stories in the Legends universe are very difficult to find because they were published in old issues of Insider (not available for back order) or released through the now dead Hyperspace membership.  I hope that Lucasfilm will periodically re-release these stories in another form, perhaps a collection from Del Rey (like what was done with the Lost Tribe of the Sith short stories).

Regardless, it is exciting to know that every issue of Insider will feature canon of the Star Wars galaxy!



You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25

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Report: 'Star Wars Rebels' To Premiere In October

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By: Benjamin Hart

Our friends at Jedi News have received word that the upcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels will premiere in October of this year on Disney XD. This news comes from Johnamaria Macias who is in attendance at BookCon in New York and tweeted a photo of a Magazine page featuring details about the "Rebel Journal" book. But at the bottom of the page it states the series' premiere month. You can see the photo below:


Jedi News also speculates that we could get previews for the show at New York Comic Con, which happens early in October.

Although the above info does not say so, the first two episodes of Rebels are still expected to premiere on the Disney Channel first, and subsequent episodes will air on Disney XD. We look forward to getting an exact date for when we can expect to start watching this highly anticipated series!

Be sure to follow Benjamin on Twitter @Benhartattack.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Opinion: Prepare to be Disappointed

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By: David Gremillion

You’re not going to like Episode VII. 
You’re not going to like Rebels. 
You’re not going to like Hasbro’s line of figures. 
You’re not going to like the video games. 
You’re not going to like anything. 

Get five people in a room together and the odds are you might have this conversation. Change is scary, something new and different is feared by the masses, and change is rarely ever seen as a good thing. 

Someone won’t like the movie. Even If they are given the greatest cinematic triumph in our generation, they’ll recall fond memories what the Lucas directing style was like. They’ll say that Episode VII doesn’t “feel” like Star Wars or that it reminds them of JJ Abrams’s “Into Darkness” movie. 

I’m just being senile, you say? 

Star Wars: Attack Squadrons was cancelled. Naturally, this sparked immediate outrage from the Fanboy community. Responses included dismay at the evil and wretched Disney Corporation for closing down one of their beloved games. Never mind that the game wasn’t that good. It was bland, generic, and un-inspired. You could pull out the X-Wings and TIE Fighters, put in Wing Commander ships, and you wouldn’t notice a difference. The game never got out of beta. 

Yet the outrage remained. Now let’s drum up an alternate scenario. 

Disney/Lucasfilm/Star-Wars-Generic-Gaming releases Attack Squadrons for the PC and calls it the “first step into a new generation of Star Wars games”. Fanboys can’t wait and rush down to GameStop or Best Buy, fork out $29.99, rush back home, and cry over the lack of a return policy. 

Now the outrage is how Disney is “dumbing down” Star Wars gaming. They’ll compare it to X-Wing and TIE Fighter from the 1990s and burn Mickey Mouse in effigy in their mom’s basement. Further righteous posts will flood social media saying that Disney doesn’t care about Star Wars, just money. How dare they release such a horrid game that insults the fan-base that “deserves” better than this poodoo. 

You can’t please everyone. Rebels will be slammed as a huge, embarrassing failure by someone you know. Episode VII will be called an abomination. The new Battlefront game will be absolutely horrible. There’s no stopping the disappointment from some fans. A piece of the core of humanity itself is to have opinions that differ from each other. You can spend your entire life debating about what is “good” with someone only to go insane from the argument itself. You just can’t please everyone. 

 Even this opinion piece will not be treasured by every person who reads it…for some strange reason.

This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.
 
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John Boyega Instagrams From the Set of Episode VII

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By: Dominic Jones

Star of Star Wars Episode VII John Boyega has been posting up a storm from his time working on Episode VII.  His latest post features the reading material that has been provided for the cast on the set of Episode VII.  The picture features the incredible books by JW Rinzler, The Making of Star Wars, The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, and The Making of Return of the Jedi. 
It's so nice to see that Lucasfilm is educating their new stars on the history of the saga!

Boyega has been keeping fans updated on everything he's been doing from soaking in the culture in Abu Dhabi, to taking in Star Trek Live with his co-star Daisey Ridley.   I highly recommenced following him on Instagram and Twitter (he's @JBoyega on both), if you don't already.  You never know what he might post next!

Star Wars Episode VII hits theater on December 18th, 2015.

You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25

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The SWU Podcast LIVE | 30/05/14

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On this episode Chris and Dominic are joined by guest host Ciaran, of The Clone Wars Strikes Back, to discuss the latest Star Wars news including new info on Rebels, Carrie Fisher talks Episode VII, and the cancellation of Star Wars: Attack Squadrons.  Plus they discuss spin off film writer Gary Whitta's anti-prequel comments and whether or not that's cause for concern.  Also, live calls, Chris describes a frozen pizza/Red Baron dog fighting computer game, a brand new podcast segment, and just how much do Hot Wheels cost now?  All this and much more!
Right click here and select save link as to Download MP3.   
Website:  www.starwarsunderworld.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/swunderworld
Twitter: @TheSWU
Subscribe and Review on iTunes
Email: swunderworld@gmail.com
Voicemail: 1-410-989-1138
Listen live Thursdays at 9pm EST on Channel 1138  
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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Star Wars Collaboration With Hot Wheels Announced

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By: Dominic Jones

The official Hot Wheels Facebook page made an exciting announcement today, revealing that Hot Wheels will be collaborating with Lucasfilm to make some Star Wars themed toy cars.  No more details were released, however they stated that more details would be revealed in Star Wars Insider Magazine #150, which hits shelves on June 10th.  


You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25
 
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Spin Off Film Writer Tweets Picture From Lucasfilm

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By: Dominic Jones

It seems the creative team behind the first Star Wars stand alone/spin off film have been hanging out at Lucasfilm's Skywalker Ranch recently.   Gary Whitta, writer of the first stand alone film which is due out in 2016, tweeted a picture of himself and director Gareth Edwards standing in font of their "new boss" aka Darth Vader.  The picture appears to have been taken at the legendary Lucasfilm headquarters, Skywalker Ranch.
The first Star Wars spin off film is slated for a December 16, 2016 release date.

You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25
 
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DARTH DADDY's CUSTOMIZING CORNER: PATRICIO BERROETA aka PATO BERROETA

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by: Darth Daddy

 
One of my favorite things about Star Wars custom action figure art is that it's a global phenomenon. Patricio Berroeta aka Pato Berroeta lives in Santiago, Chile. He is a graphic designer, digital art director, illustrator, and comic artist. He is also a Star Wars action figure collector, and action figure customizer.

Pato started to share his customs with the world in 2011. His personal goal is to complete all the characters that were not produced by Hasbro for the Battle of Carkoon, Jabba's Palace and the Mos Eisley Cantina scenes so he can add them to his personal collection. His representations of these characters are just spot on and every time I look at them I think about how much I'd like to add one of his customs to my own collection one day.

Sometimes he does figures from other Star Wars episodes, but only when spare pieces allow. His work inspires me to take up his cause and make these much needed additions for my own collection one day as well.




























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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rebels Highlights from Star Wars Weekends

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By: Lillian Skye

Star Wars Weekends is the hub for the latest Star Wars Rebels news. Each weekend, talent from the new series sits down with Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, at the show Behind the Force to talk about their acting experience and their respective character's role in the show.

At Star Wars Weekends weekend Two, Eckstein interviewed Tiya Sircar, the voice of the new Rebels' character Sabine Wren, about her experience with Disney. Sircar was the voice of Mishti in the show Phineas and Ferb, and was a character on the Suite Life on Deck. Sircar also was in the film 17 Again with Disney Chanel heart throb Zac Efron.


 Star Wars highlights from the show:

  • Dave Filoni, executive producer of Rebels, was shown sporting the jacket that was made for The Clone Wars crew as he gave fans a tour of the "Lucasfilm lair," in an exclusive video. 
  • Fans got a look at the Design and Production Department. "Every little detail in one of these shows has to be designed," explained Filoni. "Nothing just occurs at random."'
  • R2-D2 is to beeps and grumbles as Chopper is to whirrs and groans.
  • Rocky Relationship: In the same clip, R2 and Chopper are seen exchanging witty remarks. "Is that Dave's office," R2 beeps, rolling up to Chopper. Chopper whirrs that "it's a place for has-been astromechs." R2-D2 replies something along the lines of "that's why you came from there."
  • In a clip from the Star Wars Rebels series, Sabine quipped how a group of Stormtroopers needed more target practice as she easily dodges their fire. She calls them "bucket head," "predictable," and "by the book." Eventually, the Troops circle back around..and discover that she left an explosive surprise for them on one of her drawings.
  • New Quotes: "That was some diversion Sabine. Did the job so well, we can see the explosion from here," said Hera. "Forget the explosion," Sabine replied, "Look at the color."
Sources: Recollections from Disney's Behind the Force (Saturday May 24)

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Opinion: Experiencing Star Wars Weekends

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By: Lillian Skye

Star Wars Weekends is going on every weekend (through June 15th) at Disney's Hollywood Studios and is celebrating the best of the Saga and the upcoming Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels. Where Storm Troopers heckle the crowds, the Cantina Band mingles with their intergalactic fans, and diehards have a chance to meet and interact with their favorite Star Wars celebrities, there is something for everyone at this annual event.

Still debating on if you want to brave the crowds? (Not to mention the Florida heat.) Need tips and advice on what to do when you get there?

I've been going to Star Wars Weekends the past several years, and have and seen the best of the  stars, shows, and rides. This year, I attended Star Wars Weekends for Weekend 2, and scoped out must-dos of the event:


SPECIAL GUESTS

You'll hear this a thousand times, but get to the park early if you want the chance to meet your favorite Star Wars celebrities. Fans camp out overnight at the park for the opportunity to get an autograph ticket, and set up beds, coolers, card tables (see left), and folding chairs for the night. Even if you arrive at 3 am on the day of the event, you're not guaranteed an autograph ticket. I got to the park at 4 in the morning, and Warwick Davis and Jeremy Bulloch's lines were long and each full of sleeping fans who had stayed the night. Autograph tickers are first come, first serve so plan accordingly!

FOOD

Disney's Hollywood Studies goes all out for Star Wars Weekends, and features an array of entrées and sweets fit for a battalion of Clone Troopers. If you're in the park early, check out the Sci-Fi Drive in Theatre Restaurant, which serves Star Wars themed breakfasts such as Anchorhead Appetizers, dishes like"Mois Eisley Morning," "Ackbar Surprise," and "Tatooine Sunrise."

From pretzel lightsabers to Darth Vader cupcakes, there are plenty of sweets to go around. Candy stores and eateries throughout the park have different sweets on hand, so make sure to stop in and check them out.

If you're over 21 and feeling stressed out from the chaos of the crowds, the adult side of Disney has your back. For $13.75, you could choose the Light or the Dark Side, and sit down with "The Force," a combination of Grey Goose Vodka, Chambord, and Wildberry Lemonade, or "The Dark Side," which is made from Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, Cointrau, and Pomegranate Lemonade. Each drink comes with a Glow Lightsaber.

RIDES

Star Tours. Rockin' Roller Coaster. Tower of Terror. Those are the three rides that will draw the most crowds during Star Wars Weekends. Any normal weekend, you should head towards the Coaster and the Tower first, but since it's a Star Wars themed event, you'll want to RUN and dodge the strollers walk briskly towards the Star Tours ride and jump in line. If you get on it while the park is just opening, you should only have a 5-10 minute wait. Later in the day, you'll see a time more along the lines of 120 minutes…

Once you're finished riding Star Tours (for the first of fifteen times that Weekend), you've set yourself up to meet some amazing characters who are roaming the area.


CHARACTERS

This year, Rebels characters Sabine Wren, Ezra Bridger, and Chopper are roaming the park, encouraging fans to get excited for the Star Wars Rebels premiere this fall. Fan favorites like Chewbacca, Anakin Skywalker, and the Ewok Chipmunks still attract a crowd, so heading straight towards a character's line is the best way to avoid an hour wait for a picture. (I snagged a picture with Chewbacca in front of Star Tours as soon as the park opened.)


DARTH'S MAUL MALL

You're in luck! This year, Disney realized that people get heat stroke when they spend hours standing on asphalt in an immobile line. This year, Darth's Mall is nestled behind the Toy Story Midway Mania! ride, and offers shade and air-condition while guests wait to enter the store. Once you're inside, be sure to build (free!!) mini lego sets and tour the store. If you're a female fan or have a special fangirl in your life, be sure to check out the Her Universe by Ashley Eckstein collection, which is centrally located in the Mall. They have all new items this year, including jewelry, a Han Solo Dress, and Imperial Leggings. Then, prepare to make your final purchases, and be aware that depending on the crowds, you may have to spend twenty minutes in line. If you're from out of town, the store can ship your items somewhere for you, too, so that you don't have to lug that cumbersome Bantha plush all around the park.


BEHIND THE FORCE

Each weekend, there is a special Star Wars Rebels guest at the Behind the Force show. Ashley Eckstein, the voice behind Ahsoka Tano, sits down each week with a new "voice" to discuss each Rebel's actors roll in the series. At each show, an exclusive clip with a character is shown, along with an inside sneak peak with the making of Star Wars Rebels and a tour of the Rebels crew led by Dave Filoni at Lucasfilm.

Whether you're a passionate fan of Star Wars: The Clone Wars fan eager for a new animated series, a Star Wars Rebels skeptic, or never watched any of the shows, check out Behind the Force for some exclusive content and some air-conditioned entertainment.


PARADE

Celebrities, Storm Troopers, Jedi Micky--the parade is a Star Wars fan's delight. People flock to line up among the parade route for a chance to get a glimpse at their favorite characters and stars. Make sure your phone has space and that it is charged, you'll want to take photos of every realistic Tusken Raider, Wookiee, and droid that passes by.

HINT: If you're not interested in parades, this is the best time to ride Star Tours or eat lunch while the masses are enthralled by the celebrities and the 501st Legion ;)

STARS OF THE SAGA

Stars of the Saga is a celebrity talk show hosted by James Arnold Taylor. The fact that it is hosted by the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi himself is enough reason to attend, but throw in an Original Trilogy actor each week and it makes the show appeal to every generation of Star Wars fan. Get there an hour early if you want good seats and bring a water bottle or two, because the lines will start to wrap around and you may be out in the sun until it starts moving.


Star Wars Weekends is a blast for diehard and casual fans alike because there is something for everyone to do.

Whether you're a Star Wars Weekends veteran or if you're planning to go for the first time, eat the food, see the shows, geek out with the other fans, and have a stellar time

This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer (the one being kissed by the Cantina Band member), and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.
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Rumor: Video of Daisy Ridley's Stunt Double Released

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By: Ciaran Duggan

Two days ago an intriguing video was released on the internet which was supposedly taken from the set of Star Wars Episode VII. The reactions concerning this video over the last two days have been mixed, with some people claiming that the video was a fake and not related to Star Wars. Others have stated that the female in the video was the actress, Daisy Ridley. Here is the video in question:


However, a number of sources (including Daisy Ridley News) have affirmed that the female individual was Daisy Ridley’s stunt double named Hannah Collins. Daisy Ridley News had this to say (around the time of the video release):

"An extra on set of Star Wars Episode VII told me “today was very exciting, very exhausting, but really awesome. It was all about action today, explosions were awesome, and Daisy amazing like always, light on her feet, sharp face, beautiful, quick and very polite.

Also is Hannah Levitt-Collins, a dancer/model from London, Daisy’s double for some scenes? There’s evidence she’s on set with her, just as there was with Chloe Bruce, the amazing stunt woman."


The authenticity of the above statement has been given further credence with the knowledge that stunt performers Chloe Bruce and Florian Robin, both of whom recently worked together on Guardians of the Galaxy, are both in Abu Dhabi, as displayed on FlorianRobin’s Twitter account. In addition, Chloe Bruce, Florian Robin and Hannah Collins are all in the same hotel where the Episode VII crew are staying in Abu Dhabi, illustrated through the image posted on John Boyega’s Instagram.

In essence, it is lucid that Chloe Bruce, Florian Robin and Hannah Collins are all working on Episode 7, namely as stunt doubles. Hannah Collins certainly seems to be Daisy Ridley’s double, but there ambiguity regarding the other two. This is certainly a story to keep an eye on, undoubtedly more information on this story will be updated soon enough.

As always this is just a rumor until confirmed or denied by Lucasfilm or Disney.
 
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Carrie Fisher Talks Episode VII

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By: Dominic Jones

Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher spoke at the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts this past weekend and naturally the topic of Star Wars Episode VII came up.  Fisher revealed that while she isn't scheduled to begin filming for a few weeks, she has gone to costume fittings and script read throughs.  In addition, while she couldn't comment on the Episode VII script, she did imply that she was very impressed with it, saying "its been written by Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams- DO THE MATH."  She also stated that she would like to bring back the "Cinnamon bun" hairstyle for Episode VII, only this time with grey hair.


You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25
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Friday, May 23, 2014

Opinion: Open Letter to Gary Whitta

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The following is an open letter to Star Wars Spin Off film writer Gary Whitta.

Dear Mr. Whitta,

First, allow me to congratulate you on your new job as writer of the first upcoming Star Wars spin off film.  I can't imagine how exciting it must be for you to be writing in a universe so beloved by so many, yourself included.  I can't wait to go to the cinema on December 16th, 2016 and see what you and your collaborator Gareth Edwards have in store for us.

However, there is an issue I would like you to address at some point between now and the release of the film.  Over the past 24 hours fans have been scouring the Internet to find out your history with Star Wars.  What they founds was much disdain for the Prequel Trilogy and Special Editions, as well as some less than kind words about creator George Lucas (or "the maker", as we like to call him).  

You, like everyone else, are 100% entitled to your opinion.  That being said, my concern is that your way of expressing your opinion sheds a bad light on Star Wars and risks disenfranchising fans who do appreciate the more recent installments in the saga.  Many fans from the younger generations grew up with the prequels and special editions and feel as passionately about them as you do the Original Trilogy.

I'm not saying you need to change your opinion or only say say positive things.  Far from it, and I hope I am not coming across that way.  I completely understand that part of the creative process is to be critical of prior works, both yours and others.  What I am doing is asking you to change your approach.  For example, stay away from words like "abomination" and avoid saying things like "F$%k George Lucas" when discussing your opinions.  And if you have some nice things to say about the Prequels and Special Editions we'd love to hear those too! 

Please keep in mind that you are now officially representing the franchise and, by extension, the fans.  By changing your approach, you reduce the risk of alienating fans who do enjoy the Prequels and Special Editions.  The great thing about Star Wars is that there is so much to love and everyone can find something they can like (even if there are parts they aren't so fond of).  Focusing on the parts we love (and not so much on the other stuff) creates a more unified fan community and is better for the overall health of the franchise.

So, over the next two and a half years, my hope is that you will take my advice and focus more on the parts of the saga you love.  Like I said, you don't have to lie or only sing the praises of the Prequels and Special Editions, simply use different language when discussing the films in the media.  (Shameless plug: if you're looking for a place to start this shift in approach, I highly recommend The Star Wars Underworld Podcast).  This will reflect better on you within the fan community, and on the franchise to the rest of the world.

Once again, congratulations on the new gig.  I look forward to seeing what's in store on December 16, 2016.

May the Force be With You,

You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25
 
This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.
 
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'Star Wars: Attack Squadrons' Cancelled

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By: Dominic Jones

It's another sad day in the world of Star Wars video games.  It was announced today that the upcoming free-to-play browser game Star Wars: Attack Sqaudrons has been cancelled.  The following was posted on the game's official Facebook Page,

We want to thank all of the fans who participated in the closed beta of Star Wars: Attack Squadrons.

After much consideration, we have decided to cease development so that we can focus on other Star Wars game experiences.

We truly appreciate the time you spent engaging in the beta.

The game was announced back in December and Beta testing had been going on for a few months now.   As for the future of Star Wars video games, we do have the next installment in the Battlefront franchise to look forward to.  Plus E3 is next month so who knows what else could be announced!


You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25 
  
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Hidalgo on Rebooted Fett Rumors: 'Don't Give 'Em Any Weight'

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By: Dominic Jones

A few months back a rumor began circulating that Lucasfilm was planning a spin off film about Boba Fett which would see the death of the prequel era Boba and see him replaced with a stranger, restoring the man with no name element to the Boba character.  Today Lucasfilm story group member Pablo Hidalgo spoke out on Facebook about the rumor saying,

"Spoiler: Boba is a clone of Jango Fett. It turns up in one of the movies."

"There was this whole thing where he was a legitimate character with a developed back story and complex motivation that showed up on this show called Clone Wars. It was pretty neat. The guy who invented the character came up with it, which was a nice touch. I think it's on Netflix."

"Also - get this - there's a version of The Empire Strikes Back ("Episode V" some call it) where they went to the trouble to make Boba Fett's voice the same voice as the character who played his father. That was one of several clues woven into the movies that strongly suggest the movies released from 1999-2005 take place in the same universe, and if you think about it, are sort of the same story as the ones that came out earlier. It's pretty crazy. They're connected. Anyway, this version of it can be found on DVD and Blu-ray where such things are sold."

"Anyway, these sorts of clues are hidden all throughout the movies. The opening crawls are actually numbers if you look at it (I = 1, II= 2/... V = 5, VI = 6). if you look at it the right way, it hints that this whole thing is meant to tie together."

"You know, there was a post not a month ago that said what were the immovable objects in the Star Wars canon. The internet records such things."

"Obviously I got nothing against **** (cheers!) It's just the rebooted Fett rumor is so transparently coming from someone (not ****, in case there's any confusion) who still has an axe to grind against the prequels. That's where all these retcon prequel rumors come from. Don't give 'em any weight."

The last paragraph is the most important so I'll quote it again,

"Obviously I got nothing against **** (cheers!) It's just the rebooted Fett rumor is so transparently coming from someone (not ****, in case there's any confusion) who still has an axe to grind against the prequels. That's where all these retcon prequel rumors come from. Don't give 'em any weight."

This should hopefully (finally) put these rumors to bed.  Hidalgo is on the Lucasfilm story group, which means it is literally his job to know what all the stories are going forward and make sure they all fit together.  So if he says it's not happening, it's not happening.


You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25 

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The SWU Podcast LIVE | 23/05/14

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On this episode we have breaking news!  Chris, Ben, and Dominic discuss the exciting news that the first spin off film has a writer, director, and release date!  Plus they discuss all the excitement coming from the Episode VII set in Abu Dhabi including new aliens, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley riding camels, and a chance for you to win a trip to be in Episode VII.  Then they discuss the first issue of the comic series Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir.  Plus the latest rumors, live calls, and Ben lays down some BBQ trivia!  All this and much more!
Right click here and select save link as to Download MP3.   
Website:  www.starwarsunderworld.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/swunderworld
Twitter: @TheSWU
Subscribe and Review on iTunes
Email: swunderworld@gmail.com
Voicemail: 1-410-989-1138
Listen live Thursdays at 9pm EST on Channel 1138 
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gareth Edwards Directing, Gary Whitta Writing Spin-Off Film Due In 2016

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Director Gareth Edwards(left) and writer Gary Whitta(right).
By: Benjamin Hart

Breaking news! We have more details on the first Star Wars spin-off film! StarWars.com just announced that Gareth Edwards will be directing it, and Gary Whitta will be writing the screenplay for the first spin-off. Edwards is a relative newcomer to directing and his latest film, Godzilla, was just released. Whitta is know for penning 2010's The Book Of Eli and has also worked with Telltale Games on the award winning The Walking Dead video game.

StarWars.com features quotes from both gentleman about their Star Wars fandom and their new job:

Gareth Edwards: "Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life - join the Rebel Alliance! I could not be more excited & honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm."

Gary Whitta: "From the moment I first saw the original movie as a wide-eyed kid, Star Wars has been the single most profound inspiration to my imagination and to my career as a writer. It is deeply special to me,so to be given the opportunity to contribute to its ongoing legacy, especially in collaboration with a film-maker as talented as Gareth,is literally a dream come true. I'm still pinching myself."

They also confirm that the Spin-off film is scheduled for release on December 16th, 2016, almost exactly a year after Star Wars Episode VII's release. Even with all that info, one big question still remains: what will it be about? I suppose that question will be answered in due time.

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Report: Healer Twins Spent Four Days Working on Episode VII

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By: Dominic Jones

The Healer Twins, a Indo-Jazz fusion band from Abu Dhabi, have let the cat out of the bag that they spent four days on the set of Star Wars Episode VII.  The twin sisters, actress Thea and Liana Shengelay, posted a picture on Instagram of them in a car with the caption "After 4 days of #shooting #byebye #AbuDhabi đŸ‘‹ #seeu".  The team over at Jedi News got wind of this and asked the sisters if they were working on Star Wars, to which they replied that they were, though they weren't sure if they would be a part of the shoot at Pinewood Studios in London.

This sounds to me like they were doing extra or cameo work, since they were only on set for four days and don't know if they will be a part of the shoot at Pinewood.  Regardless, we look forward to seeing them in Episode VII in December 2015.


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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

John Boyega's 'On The Way To Work' Instagram Video

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By: Benjamin Hart

Principal photography for Star Wars Episode VII is now underway, and with it a swath of photos and videos from the set have been unleashed. Earlier today Director J.J. Abrams appeared in a video on the Abu Dhabi set to announce "Force For Change", and he also appeared via video at Star Wars Weekends. Now we've got a different perspective as one of the stars of Episode VII has shared a vlog with us. John Boyega just posted a video on his Instagram featuring himself and, who we can assume is co-star Daisy Ridley, among others, riding atop Camels in the desert. While he doesn't make it clear, we're safe to assume the "work" he's on his way to is the Star Wars Episode VII set in Abu Dhabi. You Can check out the video below:



I think we all can agree that this trend of vlogging by the cast & crew needs to continue!

Via: Making Star Wars

Update: John has shared yet another Instagram video! This time it's of him mounting the Camel, presumably from before the first video.



Update #2: He also had a photo to share with the caption: "Well rested with a good view to soothe my mind and influence mental reflection. Thoughts are flowing. #peace"


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DARTH DADDY's CUSTOMIZING CORNER: DAN OF THE DEAD

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by: Darth Daddy


One of my favorite parts about writing the "Customizing Corner" feature is introducing you all to the artists who have influenced me on my journey through the world of Star Wars custom action figures. One artist that really stands out and always releases one exciting figure after another is Dan of the Dead.

Although Dan gets most of his notoriety for his G.I. Joe custom action figures, his Star Wars figures are certainly nothing to scoff at. He always makes such creative characters and his color pallette constantly demands my eye's attention. He always takes such great photos of his action figures, and a lot of customizers could learn a lot from Dan about how to present one's art. Best of all, Dan of the Dead is another artist that provides the recipe that he used to make every one of his figures. A trait I have always admired a great deal.

Dan has played with and taken apart toys all his life. On his blog, he's very open about his dabbling with customizing action figures for as long as he can remember. Dan of the Dead really got involved in the hobby in 2009 after he was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma/vestibular schwannoma. His surgery came and went, and somewhere during his recovery, toys became art and art became therapy. 

Not only is Dan an incredibly talented artist, but he also pens some super cool stories about the action figures that he makes that are always a lot of fun to read.  Hopefully his art will be just as inspirational for you as it was for me.


































Click the link below for more of Dan the Dead:




or go to his blog:

  






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J.J Abrams Announces 'Force For Change' On The Episode VII Abu Dhabi Set

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By: Ciaran Duggan 

Who here would love to play a part in Star Wars: Episode VII? I am guessing everyone reading this article would love to and you may well get a chance to do so! J.J. Abrams revealed as much in a special announcement today. Furthermore you will have the opportunity to support a great cause.

A video has been released today of a message from J.J. Abrams on the set of Star Wars at Abu Dhabi. The video showcases elements of the set of Episode VII in the background, including costumes, props and a fascinating four foot alien carrying a rucksack on his back. In addition to this, J.J. Abrams explains to us that a pair of fans have a chance to be involved in Star Wars Episode VII, observe behind the scenes and meet with the cast at Pinewood Studios. Finally, J.J. Abrams implores everyone to support an amazing project named Star Wars: Force for Change. The purpose of the project is to solve some of the biggest global problems; assisting the incredible UNISEF innovation labs and programmes. You can find more information on the project at this website: www.omaze.com/starwars

Here is the announcement made by J.J. Abrams:



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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Harrison Ford "Delighted" To Be Working On Episode VII

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By: Benjamin Hart

For the years prior to the announcement of Star Wars Episode VII, Harrison Ford had become infamous for his distaste for Han Solo and Star Wars. But since then, and more recently being officially confirmed to be in the film, Harrison has had much more positive things to says about the 'Wars.

He recently attended the Cannes Film Festival and during a press conference for The Expendables 3, in which stars, he was asked about Star Wars. After reportedly trying to pretend he didn't hear the question, he gave in and said he was "delighted to be involved." And he went on to say, “We have a great cast and a great script, and the director, J.J. Abrams, is at the top of his game.” You can watch video of the exchange below:


It certainly is awesome and refreshing to hear Harrison, not only freely discuss his role in Episode VII, but to also speak with such positivity. If Harrison Ford is excited about Star Wars, then we must be in for a treat come December 18, 2015!

Source: Yahoo Movies UK
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Opinion: About Those Unaltered Original Trilogy Release Rumors...

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There has been a story that's been making its way around the Internet the last few days, that Disney is planning on releasing the unaltered versions of the Orginal Trilogy on home media.  This would include on demand services as well as DVD and Blu-ray.  The story, which was first reported by Bleeding Cool, has been picked up by many other fansites and bloggers and many of them are jumping for joy at the prospect of owning versions of the films where Greedo doesn't shoot first and Darth Vader doesn't cry "NOOOOO" at the end of Return of the Jedi.

I, however, have my doubts that it will happen.

Before we continue, let me make it perfectly clear where I stand in all this.  I have absolutely no problems with ANY of the changes made to the films.  I have defended them before, and will defend them again.  I am perfectly happy with the copies of all six films I currently own on blu-ray.  That being said, if (and that's a big if) the original theatrical versions of the films were released, I would certainly buy them.

Now let's talk about why Disney would do this.  I'm not here to debate costs or if original versions of the films even exist.  There is no real way of knowing the truth unless you work for Lucasfilm/Disney and have access to the archives.  The how, is not the issue at hand.  I want to know WHY Disney should put effort into this.  Yes, it would appease many Original Trilogy purists.  But is brownie points from a subculture within a subculture enough to make it worthwhile for Disney? 

Like most of Hollywood, Disney's goal is to attract the biggest audience possible.  To do this, their goal is to constantly push for as much new content as possible.  Hollywood operates with the same mentality as Barney Stinson, "New is always better."  We can debate whether or not this is the right way to do business all you want, but it's hard to argue with the facts.  We all stay after the credits in a Marvel movie to catch a glimpse at what's next.  We're not satisfied with just seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we stay through the credits for teases at what's to come in Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Why?  Because new is always better.

So let's look at what Disney's got coming up for Star Wars.  Priority #1 is, and should be, 2015's Star Wars Episode VII.  Disney expects this film alone to make over $1 Billion.  Priority #2 is likely Star Wars Rebels.  Establishing Star Wars on the small screen on a Disney channel, as well as bringing in the younger viewers thanks to the animation medium.  Priority #3, the Spin off Films, again with the potential for hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars.  Priority #4, video games.  Successful video games can gross hundreds of millions of dollars, Disney is likely hoping that Star Wars games can join that group.

So with resources being poured into all those new, upcoming projects, with the potential for buckets and buckets of money (as well as bringing in new fans) what is the value in re-releasing these films?  Comparatively speaking, it's not that much.  The release of the complete saga on blu-ray in 2011 grossed over $84 Million dollars.  While that's nothing to sneeze at, it is still barely 6% of what The Avengers (a film that I feel is a fair comparable to what Episode VII is likely to do) grossed.  On top of that, to the general public, it will just seem like ANOTHER Star Wars re-release.  The general public doesn't care about special editions and will likely be happy with their current copies of the films and not pick them up.  And then there's the fact that 20th Century Fox owns the distribution rights for the films.  So any revenue made on the release would have to be split with Fox, a direct competitor to Disney.

So while a re-release of the new films will make Disney some money, it's nothing that should make them reconsider their priorities and put the focus on restoring the films to their original versions.  Disney did not pay $4.05 Billion to re-release the old Star Wars films and make a little money, they paid $4.05 Billion dollars to release new Star Wars films and make A LOT of money.

But then again, anything is possible.  As a very wise man once said, "Always in motion is the future...."

You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25
 
This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.

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