Friday, October 31, 2014

Read A Note Given To Episode VII Cast & Crew On Their Last Day

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By: Benjamin Hart

Earlier today Mark Hamill popped up beardless, leading us to believe that Star Wars Episode VII's filming is nearing completion. Now we have received a near-confirmation that principal photography is done thanks to a tweet by James Rose, who apparently worked on the film, shared a photo of a heartwarming note he received today with the caption: "Last day on set for some friends today! #StarWarsEpisodeVII #StarWars"


Lucasfilm president, and Episode VII producer, Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that filming would end in three weeks, and it's been a little over two weeks since then. So as post production ramps up, a large portion of the cast and crew will be going home, or moving on to other projects soon. It's also worth noting that this note is the first official acknowledgment of the filming that was done in the Forest of Dean, which we previously only heard rumors about.

It's awesome to see the higher powers that be at Lucasfilm are doing things like this to convey their appreciation to all those who are making Episode VII happen. We, as fans, are certainly grateful for their efforts as well and we can't wait to see all their hard work on the big screen next year!

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Mark Hamill Spotted Clean Shaven Outside Pinewood Studios

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By: Benjamin Hart

Over the past few months Mark Hamill has appeared on social media and in interviews with his "contractually obligated" beard that he was required to grow in order to properly portray Luke Skywalker again in Star Wars Episode VII. Today, however, Mark tweeted a photo of himself outside Pinewood studios, where Episode VII is being filmed, and to our shock, he is now beardless:


Weeks ago we heard from Kathleen Kennedy that filming would be ending soon, and we also heard rumors that Harrison Ford and Oscar Isaac had finished filming their scenes for Episode VII. This could be a hint that Mark has also finished his work on the film. Our perhaps Luke finds a razor before the end of Episode VII. Nevertheless, December 18th, 2015 can't get here soon enough!

Source: Twitter

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The SWU Podcast LIVE | 31/10/14

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On this episode Chris, Ben, and Dominic discuss and debate the latest and greatest Star Wars goings on.  They debate the pros and cons of moving Rebels to ABC over keeping in on Disney XD.  Then they delve into this week's Rebels episode 'Rise of the Old Masters'.  What did they think of Ezra's training?  What were their impressions of the Inquisitor?  They also break down the new Darth Vader scene from the ABC edition of 'Spark of Rebellion'.  Finally, they discuss the new picture of the rumored villain of Star War Episode VII.  Plus, the potential season one arc for Rebels, rumors of an Episode VII trailer coming very soon, Vader and Ahsoka, and the return of #Cumberwatch!  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, October 30, 2014

DARTH DADDY's CUSTOMIZING CORNER: OUT OF COMMISSION TOYS

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OUT OF COMMISSION TOYS aka TTT hasn't been making toys as frequently as he used to, but I just had to show off his custom Star Wars figures around the ghoulish days of Halloween.  His zombie Star Wars offerings are my personal favorites in the Star Wars custom community and I know you'll all enjoy them as much as I do.

TTT's father collected Star Wars figures in the 70's-80's. Him and his brother used to modify their toys as kids, usually with a bench vice for their Hot Wheel cars and a lighter for their model planes/cars.  Back in 2007, a few of his toys fell off a shelf; everything was okay except for a Transformers Alternators Smokescreen figure that was busted in half at its waist. He decided to add battle damage...why not - nothing to lose. He just went at it, melted some bits, dremeled off chunks, had fun and it worked rather well. Then he found he wanted to do another...and another...and...well, the rest is history.

TTT now specializes in pretty much anything, models, figures...cars, statues...clean and shiny to rusty, burned, trashed or zombiefied. Most fans know him for his battle damage and zombie work. 2014 marks 7 years of TTT "torturing your toys".

He's just the perfect customizer for the week of Halloween with his awesome zombie Star Wars creations. Have you ever wondered what the zombie apocalypse would look like in the Star Wars universe. Check out these customs and find out.  His paint work is as fun as it gets!  Now, go get your "Death Trooper" on!




























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New 'Tarkin' Mini Excerpt

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By: Dominic Jones

The official Star Wars Books Facebook page has released a brand new mini excerpt from  the upcoming (canon) novel Star Wars: Tarkin.  The novel is written by James Luceno and covers the entire life of Grand Moff Tarkin.  The novel hits shelves next week on November 4th.

Check out the excerpt below,
“Obliteration.”

“Whatever you deem necessary, my lord. Force is the only real and unanswerable power. Oftentimes, beings who haven’t been duly pun¬ished cannot be reasoned with or edified.”

The Emperor repeated the words to himself, then said, “That has the ring of a parental lesson, Governor Tarkin.”

Tarkin laughed pleasantly. “So it was, my lord—though applied in a more personal manner.”

The Emperor swiveled his chair toward the light, and Tarkin glimpsed his sepulchral visage; the molten skin beneath his eyes, the bulging forehead. After all these years, he was still not accustomed to it.

“When one consorts with vipers, one runs the risk of being struck,” the Emperor had told Tarkin following the attack on him by a quartet of Jedi Masters.

There were many stories about what had occurred that day in the chancellor’s office. The official explanation was that members of the Jedi Order had turned up to arrest Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and a ferocious duel had ensued. The matter of precisely how the Jedi had been killed or the Emperor’s face deformed had never been settled to everyone’s satisfaction, and so Tarkin had his private thoughts about the Emperor, as well. That he and Vader were kindred spirits suggested that both of them might be Sith.

Tarkin often wondered if that wasn’t the actual reason Palpatine had been targeted for arrest or assassination by the Jedi. It wasn’t so much that the Order wished to take charge of the Republic; it was that the Jedi couldn’t abide the idea of a member of the ancient Order they opposed and abhorred emerging as the hero of the Clone Wars and assuming the mantle of Emperor.

 
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SportsNation Star Wars Halloween Special Announced

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By: Dominic Jones

ESPN 2 has announced that on October 30th at 7:30pm there will be a Star Wars themed episode of SportsNation.  The show will feature many Star Wars characters including Han Solo, Boba Fett, Yoda, Darth Vader, R2D2, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and Chopper.  The set of SportsNation is also being transformed to look like the Millennium Falcon.  As if that wasn't enough, the show will also feature an exclusive clip from an upcoming episode of Star Wars Rebels.  And if you're wondering if there will be any actual sports on a sports show, don't worry there will be Star Wars themed highlight packages like "Best Jedi Mind Trick" and "Most Unstoppable Skywalkers."

The Hollywood Reporter also exclusively revealed the opening of the episode featuring SportsNation hosts Michelle Beadle, Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley.  Check it out below,

This is not the first cross over between SportNation and Star Wars.  Max Kellerman did a special interview with Yoda to promote "This Is Madness 2014."  I have to say this was an interesting brand synergy for Disney (who owns both Lucasfilm and ESPN).  But as a fan of both Star Wars and sports, I love the idea of getting a bit of both in one special, even if it's just once a year.


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Star Wars References Spotted In Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D & The Flash

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By: Benjamin Hart

Star Wars references; they're everywhere! The Saga has been a pop culture phenomenon since it's inception in 1977, and since then just about every other popular franchise has given the 'Wars a nod. This past Tuesday saw not one, but two different references on two different TV series created by two rival mega Superhero powerhouses. The Flash which airs at 8pm ET on The CW, and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D, which airs at 9pm ET on ABC, created by DC and Marvel, respectively, both featured awesome Star Wars references in their latest episodes.

First off, the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. reference appears near the beginning the latest episode titled "A Fractured House". At around 3:50 in the episode, Bobbi Morse, a.k.a Mockingbird(played by Adrianne Palicki), appears wearing a blue Star Wars shirt:



And then we have The Flash, which hosts an even more impressive Star Wars nod. It happens around 21:35 in the episode titled "Going Rogue". In the scene, Barry Allen/The Flash(Grant Gustin) is participating in a trivia contest with Iris West(Candice Patton), Eddie Thawne(Rick Cosnett) and Arrow's Felicity Smoak(Emily Bett Rickards). Eddie gets a question wrong, which prompts this exchange between Barry and Felicity:

Barry: "Maybe they'll get it wrong too."
Felicity: "Oh yeah, I'm sure that the team named "Pride & Padawans" doesn't know the name of Han Solo's ship."

Felicity then motions to a Star Wars costumed group on the other side of the room:



According to our count. this is the first Star Wars reference in the Arrow/Flash TV universe and the second in the Marvel Cinematic universe(the first being Steve Rogers' notebook in Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Let's hope these aren't the last Star Wars nods we see in both universes! If you want to see the scenes in full, you can watch The Flash episode on CWTV.com and the S.H.I.E.L.D. episode is currently available to certain subscribers on ABC.com.

The next best thing to watching Star Wars is seeing it pop up in other awesome things. We love to point out and discuss references to Star Wars in pop culture, so if you know of any, such as the ones above, in movies, TV shows, Video games and more, please drop us a line at swunderworld@gmail.com!

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Clip From Next Star Wars Rebels Episode 'Breaking Ranks' Revealed

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By: Benjamin Hart

Season 1 of Star Wars Rebels is moving fast as we approach the 4th regular episode of the series titled "Breaking Ranks". Yesterday the official Star Wars YouTube channel released a clip from the episode featuring Commandant Aresko addressing a squad of Stormtrooper cadets. At the end of the video it's revealed that one of the helmeted youths is a familiar face. You can check it out below:



An excerpt from the Star Wars Rebels Visual Guide gives us more insight into the context of this clip. Minor SPOILERS are included:

"Ezra sneaks into Lothal's imperial Academy and poses as a cadet in order to steal and Imperial decoder. In the process he learns that the Inquisitor intends to take fellow cadet Jai Kell as his prisoner. Ezra enlists his friend Zare Leonis to help them escape."

You can catch Breaking Ranks on November 3rd at 9pm ET/PT on Disney XD, and it's available now to Disney XD subscribers on Watch Disney XD.

Source: YouTube

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Rumor: New Episode VII Droid Concept Art Description

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By: Dominic Jones

Luke and Anakin had R2-D2, the crew of the Ghost have Chopper, so it just makes sense that the heroine of Star Wars Episode VII will have her own droid.  Our friends over at MakingStarWars.net have posted a new concept art description, this time all about the new droid!  As always, there is the possibility that this may not be true so if you're trying to avoid all details about Episode VII stop reading now, this is your official SPOILER ALERT!  If you want to hear all about it, then scroll down.
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According to Jason Ward over at MSW, here's what the droid will be like:
This droid belongs to the hero of Star Wars: Episode VII that we think might be named “Kira.” The very brief glimpse of the droid seen online recently was incomplete and didn’t really give anyone a feel for the droid, in my opinion. Some of this won’t be new and some it will be, I think. Most of the concept art of “Kira” always features this droid and it appears it is with her for many sequences, if not most of the entire film.
 The droid is barely boot high. The body is probably a little bigger than a basketball. The body is round, of course. The head is probably as big as a cantaloupe. The droid’s body is white and grey. However, the highlight markings are orange. No matter how the design changes, the head features a big black lens for an eye. The head is somewhat similar to a Pit Droid in some concept with Artoo-Detoo markings and features. The head is a dome like that of an Artoo unit in most designs. The neck has a manifold cover that accordions out, but I can’t tell if it can extend its head or not.
I get the impression the droid is not an Astromech like Artoo-Detoo. There is never a socket for this droid to interface with a ship that I have seen so far. Other ship designs appear to have Artoo units in them that match the size of Artoo-Detoo. I could be wrong though. My guess is this droid is a service droid primarily.

Here’s the interesting thing. The droid is a gyroscope. There are groves or tracks along the body. So while the body roles on the ground, the head is always level. My guess is this droid will be CGI or CGI and a mixture of puppetry. If this droid works in a practical sense, I will be blown away by that fact.

One concept shows the head of the droid. It has four orange pizza shaped covers all pointing towards the center of the dome, sort of like Artoo. Each slice of the pie allows the “Quarter sections to lift. Lightsabre ejects up to allow hand to grip and extract.” Another one shows Artoo-Detoo and reads “Small panel retracts and slides similar to R2D2 in ROTJ. Lightsabre ejects up to allow hand to grip and extract.” Another shows a circle in the body itself that spins and reveals a compartment where the Lightsaber is stored. It basically spins revealing a cavity in the body to place the hidden weapon.

The body itself has circular compartments all around it actually. For instance a “Pop-out tool-kit” shoots out like a computer’s disc drive. Inside it are small screwdrivers and hydrospanner-like tools. Another circle is broken into quads. One quad has a “Data Port Interface” that comes out like Artoo-Detoo’s arm. My personal favorite is the “Fold out Tools Laser Cutter.” A tiny little hand about the size of a pen extends with a little laser on the tip. There is also a feature to give Chopper a run for his money! A “Fold Out Hand/Claw” that has fingertips and could type on computer if needed to.

The big feature comes via a Stormtrooper. The Stormtrooper picks up the little droid up. Presumably its laser cutter, hand claw, and tools won’t help it. So it has a puffer fish like defense mechanism. That’s right, mechanical quills come out of the body and fend off attackers or would be kidnapping Stormtroopers.

In the concept art we’ve seen of the little droid, the adventurers are going into catacombs and the little droid leads the way. It appears to be curious and adventurous. When the little droid is not leading the way, it is standing ground beside the heroes ready for a fight. My guess is this droid is Artoo-Detoo’s daughter.

The droid sounds cool and like a logical continuation of the astromech technology.  It makes sense to me that they would get smaller (look at how computers and cell phones have changed over the past 20 years).  I also appreciate the fact that, like what was done on Rebels with Chopper, they're not just giving as carbon copy of R2 but rather something that is both different and evokes a similar style and spirit to R2.

Source: MakingStarWars.net
 
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Rumor: Another Episode VII Concept Art Description

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By: Dominic Jones

Our friends over at MakingStarWars.net are back with another one of their famous concept art descriptions.  This new one is of what sounds like a potentially very dark scene in the film.  As always, there is the possibility that this may not be true so if you're trying to avoid all details about Episode VII stop reading now, this is your official SPOILER ALERT!  If you want to hear all about it, then scroll down.
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This scene features a cyborg character, who may or not be the villain, and Daisy Ridley's character (Kira).  According to Jason Ward over at MSW,

This scene takes place in a castle. I have very little doubt this is the same planet where the Skellig Michael  shoot took place for Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley. It’s a green mountainous area with lots of water surrounding it. The black castle has several different designs which we will talk about in the future. What is notable is the architecture. The six Gothic cathedral windows to the left of the frame light the room and give us a clear hint this is the castle from several different pieces of art. Another notable thing is that the castle designs seem to be based on a McQuarrie piece. However, they moved very far and away from McQuarrie’s depictions as the design process went on.

There are arches and columns in the background that show us we’re near the windows but this room is a lot bigger than we we’re seeing here. This place is clearly a domain of evil.

A young woman, twenty years old perhaps is embraced by a monster. He is grabbing her from behind. His creepy right arm is clutching her left shoulder. Her face in this depiction is totally blank. She’s colder and more calculated here than in an earlier depiction. Her dirty blond hair is tousled, disheveled and unkempt. Her blue scarf is around her neck and we can only see some of her brown clothing because the figure behind her is enveloping her.

The figure holding the woman is wearing a brown robe not unlike that of Obi-Wan Kenobi. It is very much a classic Jedi robe. He’s a white male. His hand holding the woman in place is white but the flesh has started to wear off, revealing his cybernetic hand. Imagine if Luke Skywalker, after getting his robotic hand in The Empire Strikes Back took sand paper to the flesh on his robotic hand rubbing it off in places. It’s very Terminator 2. You can see flesh and metallic silver bits coming through the flesh revealing his artificial appendage. The figure’s face is the same. The flesh from his face has been burned or scratched way in the same fashion. This figure could have a beard if need be but only his very human lips are  visible in the natural light, full of shadows. His nose is metallic, his right eye also has metal on the outside and some of his forehead has the fake skin,worn off in many places. His skin has deteriorated showing us some of his face has been repaired and reconstructed in the past and some of it is still very human. You cannot see his eyes. There are no red lights for eyes, just two black dark voids.

This cyborg is whispering something into the woman’s ear and she’s coldly taking in his words.
To the right of the frame there is a mirror. A tall mirror. It reflects the cyborg holding the woman in it. But only their dark shadowy images can be scene. The mirror is golden and ornate, very Victorian era. Behind the mirror is some kind of glass structure, like a golden glass room with a chair inside it. Might this cyborg figure sit in there to breath properly or for rejuvenation? It has pipes going into it to funnel air or something unknown. This glass chamber is ornate but it emanates a faint red light. The woman’s shoulder obscure much of it. Either way, it is a glass room with a fancy chair inside, for one person only.

Behind the woman and the cyborg, on the left of the frame, stand three figures.  Closest to the window is a male, black, with a blue lightsaber ignited, ready for combat. A small bipedal alien stands next to him holding a satchel. The alien is just a little taller than waist high on an average male. The last figure is the little droid with a basket ball sized spherical body. The three figures are clearly there to kick some ass and take names. They seem ready to get their friend back and do whatever it takes to make sure that happens.

Is “Kira” being seduced by evil in this painting? Is she hearing him out hoping her friends will kill him before he notices they have arrived to save her? She’s so cool in the painting, I’m not sure she actually needs saving.

It is my personal belief if the phantom cyborg figure is someone we know from the past, his face could be reconstructed as he does not appear to have any structural damage. Maybe this figure appears evil and actually isn’t? Maybe he’s whispering “I’ve been injured and I mean you no harm.” Until I see what follows, I find this very open to interpretation.

Jason also says the painting reminds him of a scene from the Phantom of the Opera.  This sounds very interesting.   I could definitely see this as one of the more intense/dark scenes from the film.  perhaps it's the first meeting between Kira and the villain, with John Boyega's character on hand to witness their exchange.  I guess we'll find out on December 18, 2015.


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EA Confirms 2015 Release For Battlefront III

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By: Lillian Skye

Electronic Arts confirmed a 2015 winter release for Star Wars: Battlefront III via their official Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon:
Since Disney shut down LucasArts in 2013, EA games has taken over and will be developing and publishing future Star Wars video games. Fans had a mixed reaction to EA's Batrlefront III news:

Keep checking The Star Wars Underworld for more updates on Star Wars Battlefront III!

Sources: @EA on Twitter

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'Star Wars Rebels: Spark Of Rebellion' iTunes Version Updated With Vader Scene

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By: Benjamin Hart

This past Sunday ABC re-aired the Star Wars Rebels TV movie premiere "Spark Of Rebellion" with an added scene featuring Darth Vader. Those who bought the movie on various formats after it's initial premiere were left wondering if they were going to miss out on the new scene. We now have a solution for their predicament thanks to our good friend Kenny Kraly in Club SWU who let us know that the iTunes version of Spark Of Rebellion has been updated with the new scene. Anyone that buys it now or in the future we'll get the "special edition" of the movie, as some jokingly call it, and those who already own it can simply re-download it. I was able to achieve this by deleting the current version from my device and downloading it again from the Cloud.

If you've noticed any alternative ways to accomplish this, or anything of this sort in other formats, such as Amazon and Google play, please let us know so we can get the word out!

Source: iTunes

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Monday, October 27, 2014

The Clone Wars Strikes Back | Episode 21

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On this episode Dominic and Ciaran are joined by Chris from the Star Wars Underworld to talk about the Mortis Trilogy.  They delve into some of the biggest questions around the Star Wars universe as a whole.  What is Balance of the Force?  Is Anakin the chosen one?  Plus they delve into what this arc means for Ahsoka and how it could have influenced her decision to leave the Jedi Order.  Also, what is Mortis, can someone be brought back to life, and is does Mortis affect the rest of the galaxy or does Mortis affect the rest of the galaxy (or a bit of both)?  All this and much more!

Right click here and select save link as to Download MP3.    
Subscribe and Review on iTunes
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Twitter: @TCWStrikesBack
Email: clonewarsstrikesback@gmail.com   

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Dave Filoni Talks 'Rise of the Old Masters' With IGN, Drops Hints About Ahsoka

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By: Dominic Jones

Star Wars Rebels Supervising Director and Executive producer chatted with Eric Goldman from IGN about tonight's episode of Rebels, "Rise of the Old Masters."  This is should go without saying, but if you haven't seen the episode yet, this is your official SPOILER ALERT!  He discusses using the Force to sense someones presence.  He also drops a very tantalizing hint about our favorite padawan from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka Tano!  Filoni told IGN,

"Literally, what you see in that hologram, is her sitting, waiting to be executed. It’s a recording of that event. So when they walk in and see her, they’re actually standing where the Inquisitor was standing [when it was recorded]. And so when she walks up and looks at them kind of distantly and not very friendly, she’s looking at the Inquisitor and that’s what the recording is of. Then she steps over into that chamber and obviously she gets killed there. It’s really wicked when you think about it. The material of her body is the essence that Kanan is somehow sensing through the Force. But he knows there’s something off about it. But since he didn’t really know Luminara, he doesn’t really know. That’s one of the interesting things about death and then the dark side and all these different ways you can use the Force. The sensing of people is one of the biggest dilemmas, I think, in all of Star Wars, because people want to use it like a metal detector. I am very, very certain that it really just relates to how much you know somebody and intention of threat. You take those two things and combine them. So of course when Obi-Wan arrives in the Death Star, Anakin knows about it. Obi-Wan’s intentions are fairly clear, what he wants to do. He even, I think to some degree, knows he’s going to face Vader. And they knew each other so well, they were so close. It’s like a battering ram.

I had a really interesting conversation once with George [Lucas] about sensing the Force. It was in regards to… Well, it would have been in regards to Ahsoka. It was an old talk he and I had at one point about Ahsoka and Darth Vader and what she would think of that whole situation… but we’ll have to leave that for another time."

Filoni went on to describe what he just said about Ahsoka as a "good little tease."  Of course, we all hope to see Ahsoka on Rebels and going back to The Clone Wars days we had speculated about that very scenario of Ahsoka meeting Vader.  That would be really cool to see, though I'd settle for just a cameo from Ahsoka.  Hopefully we'll get to see that sooner rather than later.



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Report: 'X-Wing' and 'Tie Fighter' to be Re-Released as Downloads

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By: Dominic Jones

LucasArts may no longer exist as a game studio, but some their greatest hits are getting a re-release as digital downloads.  Kotaku is reporting that the special editions (slightly higher resolutions) of the space combat games X-Wing and Tie Fighter are being re-released on Good Old Games for $10 each.  Kotaku is speculating they could be available as soon as tomorrow!  

It's great to see the LucasArts legacy being kept alive through re-releases of their best stuff.


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Rumor: More Info About Ridley & Boyega's Episode VII Roles

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By Chris Seekell

Tonight Get Your Geek On host David Gremillion revealed on his show that a source had told him some information about Daisy Ridley and John Boyega's roles in Star Wars Episode VII.

Gremillion stated that the source confirmed to him that Ridley's character name is Kira, which fits with rumors we have heard before. The source also added that at some point Kira will take to space in the film flying a starfighter. The source cited seeing footage of Daisy Ridley in a cockpit making maneuvers in space.

Concerning John Boyega's character, the source confirmed to Gremillion that Boyega is indeed playing a Force-user, most likely a Jedi, and wields a lightsaber. This also fits with many rumors we have heard concerning Boyega's role.

It sounds more and more like Ridley and Boyega will be the pillars of the new generation of Star Wars characters.

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'William Shakespeare's The Phantom Menace' Announced!

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By: Dominic Jones

Word has gotten out that the Star Wars prequel films will given the Shakespeare treatment by author Ian Doescher.  Doescher had previously re-written the original trilogy as if they were Shakespeare plays, titled Verily A New Hope, The Empire Striketh Back, and The Jedi Doth Return.  The team over at Jedi-Bibliothek spotted a listing for the book in the Edelweiss catalog.   The book will hit shelves on April 15th, 2015 and will feature faulty iambic pentameter from Jar Jar Binks.  The suggested retail price is $14.99 USD and $15.99 CDN.  Read the official description below,

The popular, NYT best-selling Elizabethan/sci-fi mashup series continues, with a Shakespearean take on the first Star Wars prequel, The Phantom Menace.

When the best-selling William Shakespeare’s Star Wars presented the classic George Lucas film in the form of an Elizabethan drama, the results blew the minds of Star Wars fans and Shakespeare buffs alike. Now the curtain rises once again on that star-crossed galaxy far away, this time revealing the tragedy, hubris, and doomed romance that will lead to the fall of the Republic and the rise of an Empire. The saga starts here with this reimagining of Episode I, a prequel tale in which a disguised queen, a young hero, and two fearless knights clash with a hidden, vengeful enemy. Masterful meter, Shakepearean soliloquies and intricate Elizabethan illustrations will leave more than a few readers convinced that the Star Wars saga sprang straight from the Bard’s quill. 

Other selling points that are featured in the catalog are:
"A scene-by-scene retelling of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, as if it was a play written by William Shakespeare.

First title in the series, WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S STAR WARS, shot to the NYT Bestseller List within one week of release. The two follow-up titles were also NYT best sellers.

Fans will love the Star Wars jokes and Shakesperean flourishes (R2D2 speaks to the audience; Jar Jar’s iambic pentameter is faulty).

Builds on the huge following established by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S STAR WARS online and on social media.

This first of the three prequel books is a great jumping-on point, especially for the generation that grew up with Star Wars episodes I-III.

Text accompanied by fantastic wood-cut illustrations that place classic Star Wars characters in an Elizabethan-style universe. Will Darth Maul sport breeches and hose? What does an Elizabethan podracer look like?

Gifty package and great design make this delightful book a super gift and self-purchase.

Readers will appreciate the humor and attention to detail. Who knew iambic pentameter could be so funny?

Includes 20 interior illustrations.

Officially licensed by Lucafilm."

I must say I am very excited to hear that this is coming, especially after there was some doubt if the book would come out.  I look forward to seeing the rest of the prequels retold in the style of the bard.  Hopefully this means we'll also get adaptations of the sequels some day....


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Death Troopers Coming To 'Star Wars: Commander'

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By: Benjamin Hart

Zombies have been a part of the Star Wars Saga for some time now, from the novel Death Troopers to various appearances in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Now it appears the undead may be making a return soon in the recently launched Star Wars: Commander mobile game. StarWars.com announced today that a new limited-time campaign has been introduced in the game title "The Sickness". The official description reads:

"An army of Death Troopers has been unleashed on Dandoran due to an outbreak at a secret Imperial research facility. Commanders will need to fight to survive and locate the source as the Rebellion, or keep things under wraps as the Empire. No matter which side a player is on, they will need to figure out a way of keeping this outbreak of undead troopers from spreading across the galaxy."

Also revealed was information on the limited-time units that are included with the campaign:

  • Death Troopers: Infected by an Imperial bioweapons project gone horribly awry, this stormtrooper died a painful death and is now a nearly mindless, cannibalistic monster with a blaster.


  • Scout Death Troopers: Exposure to an infectious viral agent has twisted the body and mind of this Imperial Scout Trooper. Even in its undead state, this trooper scuttles quickly across the ground to prey on resource buildings.


  • Heavy Death Troopers: This Heavy Trooper is the product of a lethal virus known to most as “The Sickness.” Studies have revealed that infection of this host causes slower movement but improved ability to sustain damage. (Available to both Rebel and Empire players)


  • Rebel Starship Strike – HWK–290: Originally manufactured without weapons, this HWK-290 freighter was outfitted to drop incendiary bombs. The bomb blast affects a moderate area, making it most effective against infantry.


  • Empire Starship Strike – VT–49 Decimator: Receiving command of a VT-49 Decimator is considered an honor in the Imperial Navy. Used as a raiding vessel, this ship drops firebombs which burn a moderate area. It is most effective against infantry.


You can download Star Wars: Commander now for free on iTunes, Google Play and Windows Phone store.

Source: StarWars.com

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New Episode VII Starship to be Revealed in Upcoming Book

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By: Dominic Jones

A new listing has appeared on Amazon for a new Star Wars book, titled Star Wars: Ships of the Fleet and is slated for a June 2nd, 2015 release date.  What's most exciting about the book, however, is that it promises to unveil a new ship that will appear in Star Wars Episode VII!  According to the description of the book,
"Discover details of all the most well-loved ships from the Star Wars saga in this cool book that folds open to feature each ship, including a brand-new ship from Episode VII.

From the Jedi starfighters to the one and only Millennium Falcon to a soon-to-be-unmasked ship from Episode VII, the best and fastest ships in the Star Wars galaxy are explored in fun detail. Each panel of this unusual book reveals amazing facts and little-known trivia about your favorite ships in the Star Wars fleet. Fold out the pages to witness an epic, 30" x 27" battle scene between the Republic and the Rebellion!"

If I were a betting man, I would gamble that this book will be among, if not the first in a long line of Episode VII tie-in material.  What could the new ship be?  A new version of the TIE fighter?  A new Rebel cruiser?  A new snub fighter?  All will be revealed June 2nd, 2015.

Star Wars Episode VII hits theaters on December 18th, 2015 and stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, and John Boyega.

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Rumors: Rebels Season One Plots, Clone Wars Vets Join Cast

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By: Dominic Jones

It seems two more voice acting veterans of The Clone Wars animated series will be making the jump to Star Wars Rebels in recurring roles.  Our friends over at MakingStarWars.net have heard that Sam Witwer (Darth Maul and the Son) and Andrew Kishino (Saw Guerrera) will be joining the cast, though don't expect to hear them every week.  I have to say, I'm very excited to hear about their return, especially Witwer's.  Witwer has earned his place as a fan favourite among Star Wars fans for his roles on The Clone Wars and The Force Unleashed video games, so it will be great to have him back involved in Star Wars.

But that's not the only thing MSW has heard about the rest of Season 1 of Rebels.  They've also heard some very tantalizing rumors about the plot about the rest of Season 1.  This is just a rumor and could turn out to be false, but if you are trying to avoid all Star Wars Rebels spoilers, stop reading now.  This is your official SPOILER ALERT!
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According to MSW, here's some of the major plot points going forward with Season 1,
Hera and Kanan are in contact with a man named Fulcrum. Fulcrum is a codename. The crew members of the starship Ghost do not know about Fulcrum and this leads to some trust issues down the road.
The interesting thing about Fulcrum is he is in contact with the various rebel cells throughout the galaxy. He is bringing them intelligence, supplies, and viable targets. It is not immediately clear if there is a connection between Fulcrum and Bail Organa at this point in the early stages of the Galactic Civil War or not.
This path takes the crew of the Ghost down a dangerous journey where they eventually learn about the Empire’s five year plan for the outer rim territories. The crew gets titillating information from a Rodian with a Lobot styled head device on which contains information on Ezra’s parents as well.
I cannot confirm this final bit beyond the sources giving me tons of implication.  It appears the rebels are given deeper  purpose as the series moves on in Season 1. The story involves investigating and eventually trying to halt the development of a super weapon conceptualized during The Clone Wars if you can see what we’re getting at. The other interesting part is that this five year plan would run right into A New Hope.
Can the rebels do their part to save the galaxy?
This is very tantalizing.  I love that this series seems to have a overall story arc and, if this turns out to be true, the idea that it could involve the Death Star...It sounds like this series will really make significant impact on the saga as a whole.
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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Rumor: Music for Episode VII Trailer to be Recorded on November 15th

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By: Dominic Jones

With the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer sweeping the web, it has a lot of us wondering when we'll be getting a trailer for the other big (well, let's be honest, bigger) movie coming out in 2015, Star Wars Episode VII.  Well, it may be sooner than you think.  The John Williams Fan Network is reporting that Williams is composing new music for an Episode VII trailer and will be flying into LA to record it on November 15th!  According to them,
"A reliable source just said JW received a trailer from JJ Abrams on Monday, Oct 20.  JW has already written new Star Wars music to accompany this trailer.  This new trailer music will feature new music and will be recorded on November 15 in LA with full orchestra.  Still determining if the score will be recorded in London due to advanced age of composer/conductor.  14 hour flight to LA not too kind on 82 year old.  This is all a secret and this message will be deleted shortly."

Very interesting.  Listeners to the SWU Podcast will know that on the latest episode our own Chris Seekell let it slip that he heard from one of his sources that a trailer was being worked on.  It definitely seems that all signs are pointing the fact that this trailer exists in one form or another.  As for when we'll see it, no one is quite sure.  The logical starting place would be Star Wars Celebration Anaheim next April.  That would make sense as the trailer which John Williams reportedly has is likely a very rough version, lacking effects and CGI and the teams at ILM will take the next six months or so to perfect the shots needed for the trailer.  Plus, around eight months out from the release of the film is usually a safe bet for when to expect a trailer (see: Avengers: Age of Ultron).

But, if you were hoping to see something sooner (perhaps at Christmas, attached to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies), Jason over at MakingStarWars.net may have some good news for you.  According to Jason,
"Trek friends have let me know that each time Abrams did a film, he did a teaser with stuff not from the film itself and that could mean we are about to see something for Christmas. The one thing I will say, is I have heard we would see the Star Wars “kick off” really begin at about the one year mark before the film and this lines up really well with that."

There seem to be lots of logical places for Lcuasfilm to debut the trailer, we'll just have to wait and see how they decide to do it.  The real question, however, is: if this trailer leaks, what Star Wars villain will Lucasfilm blame?


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In Case You Missed It: October 18th - 25th, 2014

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By: Benjamin Hart

ICYMI has returned to wrap up another awesome week in Star Wars news! This time we've got some #CumberWatch, cool comic news, Trekkies in Star Wars, Episode VII set photos, Harry Potter, yelling Goats and an exclusive scoop! Read on and get caught up...


Films

Source: Episode VII Aliens Will Be Animatronic; Less CGI
Our sources behind the scenes say that Lucasfilm will be utilizing some groundbreaking filmaking techniques to make Episode VII feel as real as possible.

New Episode VII Set Report and Pictures
Some lucky people happened to be walking by a park where scenes for Episode VII were being filmed, and they took pictures!

#Cumberwatch: Benedict Cumberbatch Says he's Been on the Episode VII Set
Despite not(yet) being cast in a Star Wars production, Cumberbatch is a frequent headliner here. This time he actually admits visiting the Episode VII set.

Daniel Radcliffe Visits Episode VII Set
The Harry Potter went inside Pinewood Studios and spoke about hanging out with Harrison Ford.

Cinematographer Greig Fraser is Working on Gareth Edwards Directed Stand Alone Film
He confirmed his involvement, but of course, felt his life was in danger if he dared say anything specific.


Television

Brent Spiner Officially Joins 'Star Wars Rebels' Cast
You probably know him as Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He's set to have a cameo in the upcoming episode "Rise Of The Old Masters".

'Star Wars Rebels: Spark Of Rebellion' To Re-air On October 27th In U.K
U.K fans will be able to enjoy the premiere movie, along with a new Darth Vader scene, very soon!

Preview For 'Star Wars Rebels: Rise Of The Old Masters' Revealed
Kanan takes on the Inquisitor in a desperate, climatic duel in the next episode of Rebels!

Germany is Getting an All Star Wars TV Channel This December
Apparently being a Star Wars fan in Germany these days is pretty awesome. One network in the country will soon be showing Star Wars 24/7.


Literature

New Variant Cover for 'Star Wars #1' Revealed
Marvel is back making Star Wars Comics, and to commemorate it, they created revised version of their very first comic. And it's pretty awesome.

Revised Release Dates for New Star Wars Novels
If you're looking forward to picking up the two upcoming novels Heir To The Jedi & Lords Of The Sith, you'd better check this out.

'Star Wars: Tarkin' Audio Book Preview
Want more Tarkin? Take a listen to this, and get even more excited for the novel, due out on November 4th.

Germany is Getting an All Star Wars TV Channel This December
Apparently being a Star Wars fan in Germany these days is pretty awesome. One network in the country will soon be showing Star Wars 24/7.


Merchandise

Her Universe Unveils New 'Star Wars Rebels' Tees
Ashley Eckstein's clothing company has some awesome designs based on Sabine Wren on sale now!


Rumor

Description of Episode VII Concept Art of Han and Chewie
Spoilers! Looks like Han and Chewie are still of having adventures together, even 30 years after we last saw them.


Also check out....




Tidbits



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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Preview For 'Star Wars Rebels: Rise Of The Old Masters' Revealed

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By: Benjamin Hart

The next episode of Star Wars Rebels is coming up this Monday, and today we were treated to a 30 second preview of the episode, titled "Rise Of The Old Masters". The video comes from the Disney XD UK YouTube channel and focuses heavily on the climactic duel between Kanan and the Inquisitor. Check it out below:



Catch "Rise Of The Old Masters" this Monday, October 27th, at 9:00pm ET/PT on Disney XD! Or you can watch it right now on Watch Disney XD if you're a Disney XD subscriber. And speaking as someone who has seen this episode, let me tell you, you do not want to miss it!

Source: YouTube

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Her Universe Unveils New 'Star Wars Rebels' Tees

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By: Benjamin Hart

Since joining the Star Wars universe as Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars, Ashley Eckstein has been hard at work building her Clothing company Her Universe, which gives Geeky ladies the opportunity to express their fandoms through their apparel. Now, from the creators of The Clone Wars comes Star Rebels, and Her Universe has accepted the challenge of creating awesome Rebels themed clothes. Yesterday they revealed two Sabine themed designs(seen above), one featuring her Rebel Starbird graffiti and another sporting the colorful Mandalorian's helmet with the words "Join The Rebellion." You can get the designs in both adult and youth sizes with either short or long sleeves.

Visit HerUniverse.com to check them out and buy yours now!

These are certainly fantastic, and I'm sure more Star Wars Rebels themed apparel is on the way!

Source: Her Universe

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Friday, October 24, 2014

'Star Wars Rebels: Spark Of Rebellion' To Re-air On October 27th In U.K

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By: Benjamin Hart

Earlier today the official U.K Star Wars Facebook page released info on when and where fans in England can watch the re-airing of the Star Wars Rebels premiere "Spark Of Rebellion". The hour-long TV movie will air on Sky1 at 4:30pm on Monday, October 27th and will include an added scene featuring Darth Vader, voiced by James Earl Jones. Also revealed was a brand new photo from the scene, which you can see above.

You can check out a preview of the movie, and a sneak peek at the scene, in this video:



And as the video says, if you're in the U.S,, you can catch it one day early on ABC at 7:00pm ET/PT on October 26th.

Source: Facebook

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Cinematographer Greig Fraser is Working on Gareth Edwards Directed Stand Alone Film

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By: Dominic Jones

Outside of the director (Gareth Edwards), the writer (Gary Whitta), and the release date (December 16, 2016), very little is known about the first stand alone Star Wars film.  As we expected, more details are making their way out as we get closer to the production of the film.  One new detail was revealed this week when cinematographer Greig Fraser spoke with Hitfix and revealed he is working with Edwards on the new film.  He had a very funny exchange with Hitfix about this job, which you can read below,

And you're doing a "Star Wars" movie!

And then I'm doing a f**king "Star Wars" movie, which is like – I don't know about you but "Star Wars" is like my first film love, do you know what I mean?

For a lot of people, yeah.

Princess Leia was the first woman that I kind of went, "Yeah, she's all right, that one."

Which one is Gareth doing?

Gareth is doing a standalone film. Of course I do know some specifics, but it's obviously something I've signed my kidneys away for.

So you can't even tell me what it is, if it's the Han Solo movie or if it's the Boba Fett movie or what.

No. I can't tell you what it's about. I think I signed my left kidney to Disney and my right kidney to George Lucas. So I'd hate to be talking to you next time when I'm on dialysis.

[Laughs.] Well I liked "Godzilla" quite a bit, actually. So I'm pretty excited you're collaborating with him.

Did you see "Monsters?"

I did, yeah.

That's the thing that made me a fan of Gareth because, you know, filmmaking's hard. Like it's so hard and that guy took a camera down to Mexico and shot, directed — he took an editor and a sound guy and that was it and two actors. And he basically made a film. And he wasn't bound by the handcuffs that most filmmakers are bound by, which is, "We don't have a tank going across the road so we can't shoot that shot." He just went, "Well, there's a truck. I'll just shoot the truck and then turn the truck into a tank." He wasn't bound by the same mental brain space that handcuffs directors into not doing things or doing things when they've got permission. I was really impressed by the size of the guy's cojones because he went out and made a film that was totally anti-establishment and it was good. I hadn't seen "Godzilla" when I took "Star Wars." I haven't seen movies in ages because of the kids but I sat down and I watched it with him and we talked about all the pros and all the cons. And we basically just talked about what we loved about each of the ["Star Wars"] films and what we hated about each of the films.

Does it have a title?

It does have a working title but I don't know if it's up to me to tell you what that is.

Alright, alright.

Sorry, dude. I'm terrified, man! You know, after "Zero Dark Thirty," I was so terrified that someone was going to trip me up on something or the CIA was gonna, like, knock at my door and go, "You shouldn't have said that."

I hear you. But it's awesome. It was just five years ago that we were sitting at a table in a restaurant talking about "Bright Star." Now you're doing "Star Wars."

Yeah. And the thing is, it's never been my goal to do "big" films because a big film in itself is not very interesting to me. I don't love big films for the sake of big films. It's not been a career drive to get to that point. But it's really exciting purely just because it's such a big part of my childhood. And also, too, dude, if I f**k it up then I f**k up my childhood. So, you know, the pressure's on!

It's great to hear that another life long fan has been brought on board to work on the new films!  And on behalf of everyone here at the SWU, I would just like to say Welcome to the Star Wars family Greig.


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'Star Wars: Tarkin' Audio Book Preview

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By: Dominic Jones

StarWars.com has released a special preview of the audio book for the upcoming novel Star Wars: Tarkin by: James Luceno.  The novel deals with the character Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin during the time period between Episodes III and IV.  The audiobook is read by Euan Morton.  The novel, and audiobook, will be released on November 4th, 2014.


I must this preview has pique my interest more than any other preview for this novel so far.  In the excerpt we hear reference made to Tarkin's memoirs that were found after his death.  It sounds like this novel is going to have a "voice" unlike any other Star Wars novel released to date.  And that really intrigues me.  


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