Monday, February 29, 2016

Star Wars Highlights From The 88th Academy Awards

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By: Benjamin Hart & Dominic Jones

Last night all eyes were on Hollywood as the 88th annual Academy Awards took place! Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens was honored with five Oscar nominations, and while it ended up not taking home the gold, there was plenty of Star Wars mixed into the event. Below we have recapped all of the Star Wars filled moments from the Oscars!

First off, the "year in film" video that opened the event Featured several scenes from The Force Awakens, including BB-8 pulling the tarp of R2-D2(who was replaced with an Oscar), the now infamous "That's not how the Force works" scene, and Finn & Rey's simultaneous "I can do this" lines inside the Millennium Falcon, among others. You can watch it below:


Additionally, The Force Awakens' own Rey, Daisy Ridley, made a huge impression with her appearance on the red carpet. Later she presented the award for Best Documentary Feature alongside Dev Patel:


The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams was on hand to present the award for Best Director:


And Supreme Leader Snoke himself, Andy Serkis, also took the stage to present the award for Best Visual Effects:


It's also worth noting that famed Italian composer Ennio Morricone won the Oscar best original score for his work on The Hateful Eight. In his acceptance speech he payed tribute to fellow composer and nominee John Williams:




Also appearing on stage were the most famous trio of Droids in the Galaxy. C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8 walked and rolled their way out on stage while they apparently searched for their seats. Before exiting the stage they managed to give a shout out to John Williams who had just earned his 50th Oscar nomination. You can watch the full skit below:



In the video you may have noticed the a young boy who jumped out of his seat when the Droids came on stage. That was nine year old Jacob Tremblay, who starred in the Oscar nominated film Room alongside Brie Larson, who took home the award for Best Actress later that night. Tremblay is a massive Star Wars fan and showed up on the red carpet wearing Millennium Falcon cuff links and Darth Vader socks:


Later he got to meet Daisy Ridley and the Droids, much to his delight:

A photo posted by Jacob Tremblay (@jacobtremblay) on

A photo posted by Jacob Tremblay (@jacobtremblay) on

BB-8 especially drew a lot of attention, as always, and actors Jared Leto and Reese Witherspoon took selfies with the Droid:


Live! with Kelly and Michael host Kelly Rippa also had a moment of her own with BB-8:

A video posted by LIVE with Kelly and Michael (@kellyandmichael) on

And Lady Gaga got to meet Threepio:


Some other Star Wars actors that were not in attendance had some great reactions to the Oscars as well:


Beyond numerous nominations and several Oscars Star Wars has picked up over the years, the saga has rich history with the event dating back to when A New Hope won 6 Oscars in 1978. Check out our recent spotlight article on Oscar acceptance speeches for a trip down memory lane.


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New 'Star Wars Rebels: Shroud of Darkness' Preview Clip

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By: Dominic Jones

Lucasfilm has released a new preview clip from this week's Star Wars Rebels episode, "Shroud of Darkness".   The episode features Ezra and Kanan returning to the Jedi Temple on Lothal with Ahsoka Tano to learn the secret of Darth Vader.  The clip features Kanan facing off with Jedi Temple Guard, first seen in episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  Check out the preview below,


"Shroud of Darkness" airs Wednesday at 9pm on Disney and features an impressive (most impressive) roster of guest stars, including Frank Oz, James Earl Jones, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ashley Eckstein, and Matt Lanter, reprising his role of Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

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Even More Pictures of the Episode VIII Set in Dubrovnik

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By: Dominic Jones

Over the last few weeks, several pictures have emerged of the sets for Star Wars Episode VIII being built in Dubrovnik.  Today, StarWarsDubrovnik.com posted some new pictures of the set.  What's unique about this set of pictures, is that the set is now features lights.  This has led some to speculate that the scenes being shot in Dubrovnik will be night scenes.  Check out the pictures below,





Source: StarWarsDubrovnik.com

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Report: 'Episode VIII' Set Spotted at Pinewood Studios

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By: Dominic Jones

Star Wars Episode VIII production is in full swing, with principal photography now under way.  The only planet from previous films that we know we will be returning to is Ach-To, the island planet where Rey found Luke at the end of Episode VIII.  We saw in the production announcement teaser that production had already returned to Skellig Michael, where the scenes from The Force Awakens were shot, and it looks like we can expect to see a lot more of the planet in Episode VIII.  However, due to environmental restrictions about shooting at Skellig Michael, there have been reports that locations on the island were being recreated on the back lot at Pinewood Studios.  The Instagram account JediRealEstate posted a picture from outside Pinewood Studios that seems to show the Ach-To set.  Check it out below,



As you can see, the structure beyond the wall definitely bears a similarity to some of the stone huts on Skellig Michael which we saw Rey walk past before finding Luke.

Source: JediRealEstate (Instagram)
Via: Jedi News (Facebook)

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Daisy Ridley Talks Luke Skywalker in Episode VIII, Working With Mark Hamill

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By: Dominic Jones

The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley (Rey) was on hand at The Oscars last night (even though Star Wars went 0 for 5 in terms of awards) to present the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature with Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, The Newsroom).  Before the show, she spoke with MTV's Josh Horowitz about Star Wars Episode VIII, seemingly confirming that Episode VIII begins immediately after Episode VII (a first for Star Wars).  She also spoke briefly about working with Mark Hamill and teased Luke Skywalker's role in Episode VIII.  Check out the video below,


Daisy Ridley spills everything she knows about the next Star Wars Movies.
Posted by MTV on Monday, February 29, 2016
Ridley said,
“Me and Mark have been rehearsing a lot, and it’s really amazing.  When we went back to Skellig to do the opening of [Episode] VIII, it was so crazy doing the same scene with a different crew of people. He’s amazing to rehearse with, and I’m very excited to be doing the rest of the stuff.

It’s such a good story.  Seriously. Luke is so cool in this one. Really.”


Speculation that Episode VIII would begin immediately after The Force Awakens began as soon as the credits began to roll after the first screenings, and then heated up when a short teaser announcing that Episode VIII had begun production showed that scene being shot with director Rian Johnson on set. Though some speculated this may have been reused footage from The Force Awakens, it was later confirmed to be all new footage shot by Johnson.

It will be very interesting to see a Star Wars film pick up immediately after the previous one.  But what's really exciting is what Ridley is saying about Luke's role in Episode VIII.  It's no real surprise, given how The Force Awakens ended, but it's still intriguing to see what part he will play in the new film and how he will respond to Rey.

Star Wars Episode VIII hits theatres on December 15th, 2017.  The film is directed by Rian Johnson and stars Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, and Oscar Isaac.


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Phil Noto and Charles Soule Discuss Upcoming 'Poe Dameron' Comic Book Series

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By: Dominic Jones

Last month Marvel Comics announced a new ongoing series, Star Wars: Poe Dameron, based on Oscar Isaac's character from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  The series will be written by Charles Soule (Lando, Obi-Wan & Anakin) with art by Phil Noto (Chewbacca).  The duo spoke with Comic Book Resources about their experience working on the series.

Soule talked about when the series is set, saying,
It's set before "The Force Awakens." The New Republic and the First Order are in a position of detente, and while there have been a few small skirmishes between the Resistance and the First Order, it's very much a sort of cold war. That said, the "Star Wars" galaxy is a dangerous place, and the First Order isn't the only opponent Poe will face.


He also touched on what other characters from The Force Awakens we'll see in the series, saying,
BB-8 is Poe's right-hand droid, for sure. We also see a bunch of characters that readers will recognize from "The Force Awakens," as well as new and old faces from across the Star Wars galaxy. Poe is part of a squadron, like a special missions crew, and it's a great mix of folks.

On doing the artwork for the series, Noto said,
Luckily, I have a ton of reference from working on the novels, so it's been fun using that to bring more life to the squadron compared to the tiny bit of illustrations I've done with them previously. Designing the villain was a lot of fun using all the cool First Order visuals as a touchstone.

On the villain of the series, Soule told CBR,
The main villain is a new character, an intelligence officer in the First Order with some ties to the old Empire. He's a scary guy, a little older, which I think gives him a cool gravitas in much the same way Peter Cushing delivered as Grand Moff Tarkin in "A New Hope." His approach to conflicts is very interesting, and he can be a charmer. I think of him almost like an evil Lando.
And finally, Noto praised Soule's scripts saying,
I think people will really enjoy this book as Charles has really nailed the charisma of Poe and it's exciting to see him as the main character doing more than piloting an X-Wing.

Marvel's Star Wars: Poe Dameron will begin hitting shelves in April


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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Spotlight: 'Star Wars' Oscar Acceptance Speeches

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By: Dominic Jones

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is up for five Oscars at tonight's Academy Awards.  Before the ceremony kicks off tonight, let's look back at the times Star Wars films won Oscars, beginning with the most successful Oscar night the galaxy far, far away ever had.  Back at the 1978 ceremony Star Wars was up for ten golden statues and won six of them: Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound and Best Visual Effects.  Check out the acceptance speeches below,









In addition, Mark Hamill (along with C-3PO and R2-D2) appeared to present a special achievement Oscar to Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind for Sound.  Check it out below,



Looks like the droids will be on hand once again at tonight's ceremony.  The Academy tweeted out this picture yesterday,
Star Wars' only other big award win at the Oscars came three years later when The Empire Strikes Back won for Sound Mixing.  Check out Lando himself, Billy Dee Williams, and Bernadette Peters present the award below,


Both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi also picked up special achievement awards for Visual effects at the 1981 and 1984 Oscars respectively,



None of the Star Wars Prequels won any Academy Awards, however they did pick up several nominations. The Phantom Menace was nominated for Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects, Attack of The Clones picked up a nod for Visual effects, and Revenge of the Sith was nominated for Best Makeup.

Hopefully we'll have several more acceptance speeches to add to list after tonight's ceremony.  The Force Awakens is nominated for Film Editing, Original Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects.  In addition, both director JJ Abrams and star Daisy Ridley will be on hand as presenters at the Chris Rock hosted ceremony.

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Live From Lothal | "The Honorable Ones"

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On this episode, Chris, Ben, and Dominic discuss the Star Wars Rebels episode "The Honorable Ones".  They explore the changing relationship between Agent Kallus and Zeb, and speculate about what's next for both of them.  Plus, the show addresses some major themes and what's next for the Death Star?  All this and much more!

Right click here and select save link as to Download MP3. 
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Website:  www.starwarsunderworld.com
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Email: swunderworld@gmail.com


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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Report: New 'Rogue One' Logo Appears On Cast & Crew Gear

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By: Benjamin Hart

Our friends at Making Star Wars are reporting that a new logo from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has surfaced from an unlikely source. Apparently some Rogue One crew members are auctioning off some bags and other gear on Ebay which they received during the production of the film. Both bags feature logos and writing for Rogue One; the duffle bag includes the standard logo, while the smaller bag features imagery we've never seen before:



As you can see, on the white bag there is a logo that appears to be a variation of the Rebel Alliance Starbird logo seen in the Original Trilogy, and more recently was used as the Resistance's logo in The Force Awakens. The Aurebesh text below it reads: "Go Rogue". In addition, it feels very similar to Sabine's Rebel graffiti seen several times in Star Wars Rebels:


It will be interesting to see how this logo might be featured in the film and/or it's marketing. And some possible connections to Rebels would be awesome as well.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16th!

Source: Ebay
Via: Making Star Wars

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Report: 'The Force Awakens' Blu-ray Cover Revealed

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By: Dominic Jones

The blu-ray for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is rumored to be hitting shelves on April 5th, and it looks like we now know what the cover will look like.  The pre-order page for The Force Awakens blu-ray on the Wal Mart website currently features a look at what the packaging for the film will look like.  To no one's real surprise BB-8 is front and center, check it out below,



What do you think of the blu-ray packaging for Star Wars: The Force Awakens?  Let us know in the comments!

Source: Wal Mart
Via: Stitch Kingdom

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Daisy Ridley Discusses Life After 'The Force Awakens'

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By: Benjamin Hart

Star Wars has had a history of making little-know actors household names almost overnight, and the latest installment in the saga was no different. Within just a few short years Daisy Ridley went from being virtually unknown to one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.  Her outstanding performance as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens quickly propelled her to superstardom last December, and understandably life has changed massively for Ridley since then. She recently spoke with Breaking News about adjusting to her Star Wars fame. Here's what she had to say:

“It’s different now because people have seen me in a film but people don’t tend to recognise me that much because I don’t tend to look like this and I’m filming a film which is what I was doing before anyway, everyone really freaked me out but really it’s fine."

Additionally she mentioned some advice she received from co-star Simon Pegg(Unkar Plutt):

“Simon Pegg said, in the wise words of Han Solo, “here’s where the fun begins” and he just said “enjoy it”, it’s nice because even the days when people recognise you it’s for a good reason."


She also commented on the comparison between The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams Episode VIII's director Rian Johnson, whom she's currently working with:

“It doesn’t feel that different, they are both Star Wars fans and kind of nerds and both warm and funny. They are obviously different in their whole lives but both really kind and you see that in the crew and once again I feel very warm and welcomed into a crew.”

Daisy will return as Rey alongside Mark Hamill(Luke Skywalker), John Boyega(Finn), Oscar Isaac(Poe Dameron), Carrie Fisher(Leia Organa) and others in Star Wars: Episode VIII, opening in theaters December 15th, 2017!

Source: Breaking News
Via: Star Wars News Net

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J.J. Abrams Talks Harrison Ford's Reaction To Han's Fate In 'The Force Awakens'

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By: Benjamin Hart

By far most emotional Star Wars moment in recent memory was the death of Han Solo at the hands of his son Kylo Ren(Ben Solo) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The scene has become Controversial among fans due to how beloved a character Han is, and the creators behind the scenes did not make the decision to kill him off lightly. Recently director J.J. Abrams spoke to Fandango while promoting his newest film 10 Cloverfield Lane and they asked about Han's demise. They specifically inquired what the actor behind the character, Harrison Ford, thought of the scene. You can read and hear Abrams' words below:

"He was very thoughtful about it, and he got it. He understood why it was so powerful. And I think part of it was because Harrison himself -- Han, the character -- has so much ahead of him. Has so much life and fight and adventure -- that this was the time to do that thing. If we felt like the character was sort of at the end of his days, it wouldn't have been as powerful. The thing that made it potentially meaningful wasn't just who does it and how it happened, but that it's a character that is so vital that is meeting his demise. I'll also say that Harrison's always said that he knew that Han needed to have clear utility, and that's what he wanted to do. And that's why he argued back in the day that Han should die and George [Lucas] didn't want to do it. And I don't know what his utility in that regard would've been, though I'm sure Harrison would've come up with a clever pitch for it. But in this case there was such a clear utility -- it's about bringing this new villain to the fore, and there's nothing I could think of that is more hideous than patricide, especially when it comes to Han Solo."




As J.J. mentions, Harrison was a strong proponent for Han dying in the latter part of the Original Trilogy, feeling that it would give his character more weight if he sacrificed himself in a meaningful way. It may have taken 32 years, but Harrison certainly got his wish.

Source: Fandango

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JJ Abrams Says He Expects To See Gay Characters In Future Star Wars Films

By: Dominic Jones

Star Wars has been receiving praise recently, as it should, for the franchise's increased diversity in the films, specifically with the casts of The Force Awakens and Rogue One.  One area of diversity, however, that the Star Wars films have yet to extend into is the inclusion of gay characters.  The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams was asked about this at the recent Oscar Wilde Awards, and he commented that it wouldn't make sense for Star Wars not to include gay characters in the future.

Abrams said,
“Of course!  When I talk about inclusivity it’s not excluding gay characters. It’s about inclusivity. So of course.  

I would love it.  To me, the fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility. So it seems insanely narrow-minded and counterintuitive to say that there wouldn’t be a homosexual character in that world.”


The Star Wars canon already includes a few gay characters, with the novels Lords of the Sith by: Paul S. Kemp, and Aftermath by Chuck Wendig both including homosexual characters.  Obviously, Kemp and Wendig are to be commended for their inclusion of gay characters but Star Wars' biggest audience is on the silver screen and as the films continue to expand the universe they should continue to include characters that reflect their entire audience.

I think this sort of inclusivity and diversity in Star Wars can only be a good thing.  Diversity opens up the story telling to new audiences which simply means more people to share our Star Wars passion with.  And that is undeniably a good thing.  If you're against the inclusion of gay characters, I can't help you.  It's going to happen sooner or later, preferably sooner.  As Wendig put it on his blog,

"If you can imagine a world where Luke Skywalker would be irritated that there were gay people around him, you completely missed the point of Star Wars."

UPDATEThe Lucasfilm Story Group's Pablo Hidlago revealed on Twitter that we have already seen a same sex couple on screen in Star Wars in the episode of The Clone Wars "Lightsaber Lost".

Source: The Daily Beast

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Thank You For Nominating The SWU Podcast In The Star Wars Podcast Awards! (Updated)

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Earlier this month it was announced that the 1st annual Star Wars Podcast Awards would be taking place with the mission to celebrate the Star Wars Podcasting community by recognizing all of the fan favorite shows! The first round of fan voting has ended and the nominees in each category have been revealed. Those of us at the SWU were excited to learn this week that The Star Wars Underworld Podcast had been nominated for multiple awards! We are truly overwhelmed and humbled by this wonderful recognition.

Update: While the SWU Podcast did not make it into the finals, our Star Wars Rebels Podcast Live From Lothal did! It has been nominated in the TV Review category. You can vote in the finals by clicking here!

The SWU Podcast's nominations are as follows:


Special thanks to Andy and Mike for putting this event together, and huge thanks to all of our loyal listeners and fans for their support!


Of course, we would be honored if you would vote for us as the nominations roll on. And there are plenty of other shows that are certainly worthy of your votes, so head over to StarWarsPodcastAwards.com now to get involved!


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Even More Photos From The 'Episode VIII' Set In Dubrovnik

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By: Benjamin Hart

Dubrovnik, Croatia has been a hotbed of activity recently as crews have been working on turning one of the cities streets into a set for Star Wars: Episode VIII. Being that the location is a public street, photos have been pouring out from various sources of the extensions that have been added to the buildings there. Our friends at Making Star Wars got a hold of some new images of the set which originated from Poslovni.hr. In them we get some more views of the street, as well as some closer looks a control panels that have been applied to the door casings. You can check out all the photos above and below:




As you can see some security guards appear to be keeping watch over the area. We can assume security will continue to be strengthened the closer we get to the beginning of filming, which is expected to start in a few weeks in Dubrovnik.

You can see more pictures of the set by clicking here and here, and video here.

Star Wars: Episode VIII opens in theaters on December 15th, 2017.

Source: Poslovni.hr
Via: Making Star Wars

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Rebels Review: "The Honorable Ones"

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It was big week for two principal players on Star Wars Rebels, as Zeb and Agent Kallus were forced to work together to survive after crash landing on a moon of Geonosis.  "The Honorable Ones" not only changed their dynamic for good but also seems to have set Agent Kallus on a new path, one which may lead him away from the Empire.

This was an episode I was really looking forward to going in.  Zeb and Kallus' first showdown in the Season One episode "Droids in Distress" was a highlight of the series, and it was something Rebels had not addressed much since then.  Watching the two interact over the episode, we got to see their relationship change from one of mortal enemies to reluctant allies to one of mutual respect.  It was a bold path for the show to go down, given Kallus' role in the genocide of Zeb's people, but "The Honorable Ones" does an excellent job at conveying their changing relationship.

We see a respect between two warriors emerge in this episode that previously hadn’t existed.  This was forged partially out of necessity, but the writers took it deeper than that.  The first noticeable change occurs when Kallus explains how he came into possession of the bo rifle.  Upon learning that it wasn't simply a trophy from his victory at the fall of Lasan and that it was passed on to him by the Guardsman he defeated in battle, fulfilling Lasat tradition, Zeb seems to gain a new respect for Kallus.  It's not that Zeb looks at Kallus in a positive light in that moment, but he also realizes Kallus may have more honor that he gave him credit for.  “The Honorable Ones” also forced Kallus to come face to face with all the pain he had caused.  Being stuck alone with Zeb, he is forced to confront his role in the massacre on Lasan as he sees first hand the scars Zeb was left with.


This was the first episode of the series to really flesh out Kallus as a character.  Kallus has served mostly as a foil for the Rebels, though he hasn't been very effective since mid Season One.  This episode changes his character completely, ending with the hint that Kallus might be on his way out of the Empire.  Just a week ago this would have seemed impossible but the Rebels team did an excellent job of fleshing out Kallus by giving him a tragic backstory (though his encounter with the Lasat warrior on Onderon seemed a bit on the nose).  His backstory also gave us our first instance on the show of hearing of a battle from the Imperial perspective.  Kallus' trauma at seeing his unit killed in cold blood, especially since it's clear he actually believed in their mission to bring peace and security to Onderon, adds new depth to his cold demeanor and obvious hatred of Rebels.

The final scene with Kallus returning to his quarters aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer was very telling about how the Empire treats their own, especially when juxtaposed with Zeb's reunion with his friends.  The fact that he keeps the warming rock Zeb gave him shows that these two have formed a deep bond.  The stone now represents a potential other path for Kallus.  Rebels definitely seems to be setting him up for some sort of redemption story, possibly with him leaving the Empire for good and perhaps joining the Rebellion.   The question is, how would the Rebels respond to someone like Kallus, who was responsible for some much pain in the galaxy, wanting to join their side?

I was pleased to see the series address the "I was just following orders" argument that is so often brought up by those who commit atrocities in our own history.  Kallus explains to Zeb that the invasion of Lasan was not suppose to be a massacre and that he was simply doing as he was told.  It was good to see Zeb challenge Kallus on not asking questions about the Empire's actions, implying that Kallus knows he is on the wrong side but can't admit it.  But it was also interesting to see Kallus turn things around on Zeb and challenge him on his stance that all Imperials are evil, despite him telling Kallus that he can't judge all Lasats based on the action of the one who killed his unit.  I thought it was a smart move by the series to address some of these issues and continue greying the lines between good and evil.  This is a dark period in the galaxy, and it's nice to see the show reflecting that.

It's fitting that in an episode that deals with the aftermath of the Empire massacre on Lasan, that we learn of another atrocity committed by the Empire. The episode begins with The Ghost approaching the planet Geonosis to investigate the Imperial construction facilities that orbit the planet.  A scan of the planet reveals that there are no life forms on Geonosis.  This sets up a mystery that could have far reaching implications for the Star Wars story.  We know from the novel Star Wars: Tarkin, with the Story Group's Pablo Hidalgo reiterating this on Rebels Recon, that construction on the first Death Star began above Geonosis.  The Geonosians, as we saw in Attack of the Clones, were responsible for the design of the Death Star and, as we have since learned, the labor that constructed the space station.  It's clear in the episode that at one point something massive was being built above Geonosis, though nobody says Death Star for obvious reasons, but it has since been moved.  This seems to indicate that when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which tells the story of the Rebel group who stole the plans, opens in theatres in December the Death Star will not be in orbit around Geonosis.

(Side note: It’s always nice to see continuity across the various mediums of storytelling.  This episode ties in nicely with Marvel’s Darth Vader comic book series, where the “sterilization” of Geonosis was first addressed).

I'm very excited to see the Death Star mystery brought back into the show.  It was hinted at a few times in Season One and in "The Siege of Lothal", with early speculation about the series being that our heroes would be the ones who Death Star steal plans and get them to Princess Leia.  Obviously, this changed when Rogue One was announced and we learned it was a different Rebel cell who pulled off that mission.  Prior to this episode the Death Star mystery had not been dealt with at all since the show came back in October, so it's nice to see Rebels coming back around to it.  Star Wars Rebels head writer Henry Gilroy confirmed on Rebels Recon that the series would return to the mystery of what happened on Geonosis.  It seems like a safe assumption to make that this means investigating the Death Star further.  And who knows, maybe this could set up some kind of small tie in between Rogue One and Rebels (a battle or mission we saw on the show being referenced in the film, a Rogue One character appearing on Rebels, etc.).  It seems like a big missed opportunity to not do some sort of tie-in between the show and the film, no matter how small, given that they are both major Star Wars projects set in the same era being released around the same time.

My one criticism of this episode is the action, specifically the showdown between Zeb and Kallus at the start of the episode.  When these two faced off in Season One we were treated to a dynamic and intense fight between two great warriors.  By comparison, their fight in "The Honorable Ones" looked more like a shoving match.  It's clear that the focus this week was on the interactions between characters, not the action itself.  That being said, the show did an excellent job at balancing the action on the moon with the interactions between Zeb and Kallus.  Their fight at the beginning just left something to be desired.

It was fun to see a few more nods to The Clone Wars this week.  Having Rex back with the crew of The Ghost on a mission for the first time in 2016 was nice, even if he didn't have all that much to do.  It was also cool to hear Kallus name check Saw Gererra, who we met in the Season Five "Onderon Arc".  After Cham Syndulla's appearance last week, Saw seems like the next logical character from The Clone Wars to be brought into Rebels.  Based on what Kallus said this week though, it seems his Rebels cell may have embraced some more aggressive tactics than what we're used to seeing on the show.  Having a good character take things too far in terms of brutality could make for some interesting dynamics as the series progresses.

Overall, "The Honorable Ones" is a great episode, as it shakes up some of the long standing dynamics of the series.  Having Zeb and Kallus move past their feud and develop a mutual respect sets up some interesting potential for stories down the line (like Kallus possibly deserting the Empire and joining the Rebellion?)  The weight of the episode is carried by their interactions, and stellar performances by Steve Blum and David Oyelowo give this episode the significance it deserves.

Score: 9/10

You can follow me on Twitter: @DominicJ25

Check out my reviews of the rest Season Two here.

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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Daisy Ridley Chats About Her Experience Filming at Skellig Michael

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By: Dominic Jones

Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley (Rey) was honored last night at the Oscar Wilde Awards.  At the event, she spoke with Goss TV about her experience filming at Skellig Michael and what it was like working with Domhnall Gleeson (even though she didn't have any scenes with him).  Check out the video below,




Also on hand at the Oscar Wilde Awards was The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams, who told E Online that Ridley's singing career may about to take off.  Abrams said, "On Saturday, this weekend, she is going to record a song with an unnamed person, but let's just say a massive superstar."


Ridley was notorious for singing between takes on set, which led to a fantastic video from a Star Wars press event of her singing with her co-star Oscar Isaac (who had previously starred as a folk singer in Inside Llewyn Davis). 
Sources: Goss TV, E Online


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Descriptions for the Final Episodes of 'Star Wars Rebels' Season Two

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By: Dominic Jones

Disney has released the descriptions for the final bunch of episodes Star Wars Rebels Season Two. Check them out below,

"Shroud of Darkness": Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka return to the Jedi Temple on Lothal, seeking answers from Yoda about the Inquisitors’ ability to continually track the rebels.…  (Air date: March 3rd)

"The Forgotten Droid": When Chopper gets left behind at an Imperial outpost, he forms an unlikely friendship with an Imperial droid, and discovers a base location for the rebels.… (Air date: March 16th)

"The Mystery of Chopper Base": Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka prepare to depart to unravel Vader’s secret, while the rebels find a way to fend off the predatory creatures that occupy the planet.… (Air date: March 23rd)

"Twilight of the Apprentice Pt I & II": After gaining information about the Sith, Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka battle the Inquisitors with the help of a new ally, but are overmatched when Vader arrives.… (Air Date: March 30th)


It sounds like there will be more of a consistent story running through these episodes then there has been for most of this season.  Star Wars Rebels airs Wednesdays at 9pm on Disney XD.

Source: Disney

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The SWU Podcast LIVE | 26/02/16

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On this episode Chris, Ben, and Dominic continue the discussion about The Force Awakens by discussing the characters General Hux and Captain Phasma.  They also discuss the look at "Star Wars Land" we got during the Disneyland 60 TV special.    Plus the upcoming release of The Force Awakens on home media, photos of the Episode VIII set construction in Dubrovnik, and is there a place for gungans in the sequel trilogy era?  All this and much more!

We are also thrilled to announced that we are launching a Patreon campaign, click through to find out how you can support The SWU and receive some awesome perks: http://bit.ly/1QJznwx

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Listen live Thursdays at 9pm EST on Channel 1138



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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Dave Filoni Talks 'Star Wars Rebels' Season Two, Hints About Darth Maul's Upcoming Appearance

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By: Dominic Jones

Star Wars Rebels executive producer, and fan favorite, Dave Filoni spoke with the New York Daily News recently about Season Two so far, his goals for the series, and Darth Maul.

On the topic of Season Two, Filoni said,
"There were so many things to things to make the audience familiar with in Season 1, but (in Season 2) it's really more in-depth, it's more detailed, in backstory, in visuals. Everything has many more layers to it than we were able to do in Season 1. I think you'll see the animation has gotten better, the lighting has gotten better."

As for how these Rebels relate to the Rebel Alliance we see in the films, Filoni told the NY Daily News,
"What we find is that different pockets of rebels are trying to fight back against the Empire in different ways and not everybody is on board with a full out war with the Empire.

"I mean, this is a people that just had a Clone War for several years. To follow that up immediately with another, on any galactic scale, would be a terrible thing. So it's a growing time for our crew and we mainly stay focused still on our crew and the resistance fighters that are around them."


Filoni also discussed how the process of making the series has changed with so many new films being made,
"It's interesting because you have to be aware of it and you don't want to repeat beats that they're doing storywise.  We all want to be different and tell different stories, but to me it's fun because they're other creatives. We've now got JJ (Abrams) working on stories, Rian Johnston telling stories, Gareth Edwards telling stories."

He also revealed that one of the things he's striving for on Rebels is to top some of the later episode of The Clone Wars, specifically "The Lawless" from Season Five, in terms of quality,
"'Clone Wars' was at a point where I really felt we were producing pretty much a feature-level thing on a weekly basis, which is very hard thing to do in animation, with the amount of characters, the detail on the sets and the backgrounds.

Eventually, I think it will be possible because animation is a very flexible medium. You can do all kinds of things in it and with the way computers are evolving and real-time rendering. I think it's going to be amazing, what can achieved in the future,"

And finally, when asked about Darth Maul appearing in the series, Filoni said,
"It would be great to tell more stories with him. We had more in 'Clone Wars' and some of them we put out in a comic book form (2014's 'Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir'). You never know, he is a great character; we're just very careful which ones we bring in.

What would that be like, for him to meet the rebel group, I mean could they deal with him?  I never say never because I brought Maul back and I would have thought that was impossible myself. Once you do that, anything's possible."

While Filoni avoids discussing Maul's return directly, the fact that Hasbro has already revealed a Rebels Darth Maul action figure and that the character known as "Old Master" in the Season Two Mid Season trailer looked and sounded just like Maul seem to confirm his return.  It sounds like Filoni, and the entire Rebels crew, wants to keep Maul's appearance under wraps for the time being, allowing the focus to remain on the impending showdown between Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader.  If I had to guess, it sounds like we won't see much of Maul in Season Two and that he's being set up to be a big player in Season Three.

 
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Preview for Marvel's 'Star Wars Special: C-3PO' Revealed

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By: Dominic Jones

Marvel has released several preview pages for their upcoming one-shot comic book Star Wars Special: C-3PO.  The comic will tell the story of how C-3PO got the red arm he had (rendering him virtually unrecognizable) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  The issue, written by James Robinson with art by Tony Harris, is slated for a March release.  Check out the official description and preview pages below,

How did C-3PO get his red arm?! Find out this March as the burning question is answered in STAR WARS SPECIAL: C-3PO #1! Today, Marvel is pleased to present your first look inside this highly anticipated special. Reuniting acclaimed & award-winning creators James Robinson and Tony Harris for the first time in nearly two decades, follow everyone’s favorite protocol droid on a solo adventure leading up to his appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens! STAR WARS SPECIAL: C-3PO #1 is the only place to learn the shocking truth behind how C-3PO lost his original arm – and the exciting origin of how he gained a new one. Get the full story and discover the origins of his new appendage when STAR WARS SPECIAL: C-3PO #1 comes to comic shops in March!






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