Wednesday, August 31, 2016

'The Star Wars Show' Unveils New 'Rogue One' Droid

By: Dominic Jones

Lucasfilm's official Star Wars YouTube series, The Star Wars Show continued its trend of breaking news this week when they unveiled a new droid from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  The droid, C2-B5, is an imperial astromech.  According to The Star Wars Show host Peter Townley, "the Galactic Empire relies on astromech droids to maintain its machinery.  But unlike the Rebel Alliance, Imperial technicians do not grant their droid independence and subject them to frequent memory wipes to keep them subservient".  You can check this week's The Star Wars Show, to see the reveal for yourself, below,

The official Star Wars Facebook page also released the image of C2-B5,

The Star Wars Show was actually quite good this week, with the Rayne Roberts interview being one the most insightful segments the show has ever had.  I loved hearing about she and writer Michael Arndt came up with the idea of Luke Skywalker barely being in Episode VII.  


More 'Rogue One' Funko Pop! Figures Revealed

By: Benjamin Hart

Last night a multitude of news dropped regarding the toys of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, revealing new action figures, Legos and more. Among the new collectibles, we got our first look at two new Funko Pop! vinyl figures; one for Jyn Erso, and another for the villain of the film, director Orson Krennic. Over the past few hours further announcements have come out which have revealed even more Pop! figures.

Yakface reports that Funko released official images of two more figures based on characters from the film. The photos show us that Captain Cassian Andor and his Droid comrade K-2SO will be getting the Funko treatment!

And although they haven't been fully revealed just yet, two more Pop! figure were also revealed today. On today's edition of Good Morning America, an assortment of the new Rogue One toys were unveiled live on the program. While the hosts briefly mention the Pop! figures, the camera shows us some that have yet to be officially announced.

In a close up shot we see the previously mentioned Cassian and Kaytoo figures, but in the background you may notice that there is also two for Chirrut Îmwe:

And later during a wide shot of the display, you can clearly see a figure for Baze Malbus on the far right as well:

You can see a ton more of the new Rogue One toys here, all of which will be headed to store shelves on September 30th!

Sources: Yakface, Good Morning America


Riz Ahmed Reacts To Seeing His First 'Rogue One' Action Figure

By: Benjamin Hart

Riz Ahmed has been in the news quite a bit lately. The actor, who plays Bodhi Rook in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, appeared on The Late Show earlier this week to discuss the lack of bathroom breaks while filming. Today, Good Morning America caught up with Ahmed and filmed him as he unwrapped his Bodhi Rook action figure for the first time. You can see that at about 1:00 in the video below:

Also in the video, the GMA hosts unveiled several new toys from Rogue One. You can see most of them here, and keep checking back here at the SWU for more coverage of the new Rogue One products!

Source: Good Morning America


Rumor: Details About a Vision Scene in 'Episode VIII'

By: Dominic Jones

As many questions as The Force Awakens left us with about the future, there are just as many that revolve around the past.  What happened between the end of Return of the Jedi and the beginning of The Force Awakens remains largely a mystery.  Star Wars publishing has begun to tell some of those stories, specifically as they relate to Leia, Han, and Poe, but one character who's story remains untold is Luke Skywalker.  A new report from our friends at suggests that Episode VIII will fulfill fan wishes and delve into what happened to Luke between Episodes VI and VII.  As usual, there is a chance this may be false, but if you are trying to avoid all Episode VIII spoilers then stop reading now.  This is your SPOILER ALERT!

According to Jason Ward at MSW, Episode VIII will revisit some of the scenes briefly glimpsed during the "Force-back" sequence in The Force Awakens.  Specifically, the scene where we see Luke placing his robotic hand on R2-D2.   Apparently, we will see what took place immediately before and after that moment and several young actors were brought in to play Jedi padawans. 

According to MSW,

As we have heard the rumor, a sequence appears to involve Rey, Luke Skywalker, Artoo, Kylo Ren and dead bodies of youthful characters. An inactive adult Rey at the scene makes us think this is probably a continuation of the flashback sequence Rey began on Takodana. Rey appears to be a bystander, making us think this is her vision of the past seen from her perspective.

Assuming this is true, it will be good to have some clarity into what exactly happened to Luke's Jedi Academy and what made Luke exile himself from the galaxy.  Not to mention what insight it might offer into Ben Solo's fall to the Dark Side, becoming Kylo Ren.  It also makes you wonder what other sequences from the "Force-back" we might revisit.  Obviously, we know what the stuff on Cloud City and the stuff in the forest is, but what about the sequence with the Knights of Ren?  Could we revisit that sequence, perhaps from Kylo's perspective?  And, of course, there's the mystery of who dropped Rey off on Jakku and why? 

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


BREAKING: First 'Rogue One' Toys Revealed In New Stop-Motion Short (Updated)

By: Benjamin Hart

Recently we've been getting a lot of leaks regarding the merchandise that will be accompanying Rogue One: A Star Wars Story later this year, but now it appears Lucasfilm is ready to finally spill the beans! Entertainment Weekly has just revealed the first installment of a brand new series of stop-motion shorts titled "Go Rogue". The videos, which are produced by a crowdsourcing studio called Tongal, are a supposed to be a spoof of the film itself and use a variety of different toys from the new Rogue One product line. Everything from Lego minifigures, to Funko Pop! bobblehead figures and Hasbro's 6-inch Black Series action figures are used to bring the story to life. You can watch chapter one of Go Rogue below:

In addition, Entertainment WeeklyUSA Today and Yahoo Movies officially revealed a plethora of new Rogue One products and toys. You can check them all out below!

Lego Rebel U-Wing Fighter - $79.99
Includes Bistan, Rebel Trooper,  U-Wing Pilot, Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso minifigures.

Lego Imperial Assault Hovertank - $29.99
Includes Chirutt Imwe and two Hovertank Pilots minifigures.

Lego Sergeant Jyn Erso Buildable figure - $24.99

Hasbro 6-inch Black Series Imperial Death Trooper Figure - $19.99

Hasbro 3.75-inch Jyn Erso figure - $7.99

Hasbro 12-inch Jyn Erso figure - $9.99

Funko Pop! vinyl Jyn Erso and Director Orson Krennic figures - $9.99 Each

Jakks Pacific Big-Figs 20-inch Jyn Erso figure

Jakks Pacific Big-Figs Stormtrooper figure - $19.99

Disney Story Elite Series die-cast 7-inch Cassian Andor figure - $26.95

Disney Story Elite Series die-cast 7-inch Jyn Erso figure

Disney Story Elite Series die-cast 7-inch Chirrut Îmwe figure - $26.95

Disney Story Elite Series die-cast 7-inch Baze Malbus figure - $26.95

Disney Story Elite Series die-cast 7-inch K-2S0 figure - $26.95

Disney Story Elite Series die-cast 7-inch Bodhi Rook figure - $26.95

Disney Story Elite Series die-cast 7-inch Deathtrooper figure - $26.95

Disney Store Deluxe 4-inch figurine set - $24.95
Includes: Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, Bodhi Rook, Chirrut Imwe, Baze Malbus, K-2SO, Orson Krennic, Shoretrooper, Deathtrooper and Darth Vader.

Hot Wheels die-cast AT-ACT - $4.99

Hot Wheels lineup: A two-pack - TIE Striker and X-Wing fighters - $9.99

Sergeant Jyn Erso child's costume - $44.95

Imperial Death Trooper child's costume - $44.95

Imperial Death Trooper Voice-Changing Mask - $26.95

Of course, you can get more detailed photos and information about the toys by visiting Entertainment WeeklyUSA Today and Yahoo Movies. Most of these products are expected to be available for pre-order on September 2nd, and all will hit retailers on September 30th!

Update: released a behind the scenes featurette for the Go Rogue series which features interviews with the creators and looks at even more figures from the upcoming line:

Sources: EWUSA TodayEWComicBook.comYahoo Movies


The SWU Podcast | Kanjikast #5

On this episode Chris, Ben, and Dominic are joined by SWU Patreon supporters Rusty Zion, Eric Strothers, Joey Mays, and Gary Myer.  They focus on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, discussing the most recent trailer and how it compares to the rest of the marketing for the film.  They also discuss the potential of Star Wars burn out, with a new film every year do we run the risk of having too much Star Wars?  Plus, Rusty shares some of his experiences at Star Wars Celebration Europe last month and Dominic and Chris share stories of falling asleep during conventions.  All this and much more!

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Mark Hamill Shaves His 'Episode VIII' Beard On Camera

By: Benjamin Hart

Star Wars: The Force Awakens showed us that Luke Skywalker had changed much since we last saw him. The young Jedi's blonde hair had grayed in his older age and he now wears beard of similar color on his face. In real life, actor Mark Hamill was forced to grow the beard in order to reprise the role, which he has voiced his displeasure about several times. Hamill calls his facial hair "contractually obligated" and was said to have shaved it off not long after filming wrapped on The Force Awakens. More recently Mark had to grow another beard for the filming of Star Wars: Episode VIII, and once again he was eager to rid himself of it.

Today on social media Mark Hamill posted a video of himself being shaved with the caption; "Haven't seen my chin since May of 2015, so #FarewellFacialFur & #ByeByeBeard (at least until #EpisodeIX)." Many fans have been speculating about whether or not Mark will return as Luke in Episode IX. I think his caption speaks for itself. You can watch the video below:

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

Source: Mark Hamill


Dave Filoni Talks About Saw Gerrera Being in 'Rogue One'

By: Dominic Jones

Fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars cried out with joy a few months ago when it was announced that Academy Award actor Forest Whitaker would be playing Saw Gerrera, a character which first appeared in Season Five of The Clone Wars, in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  We later learned that the character had originally been created by George Lucas for the Live Action Series he had been developing since 2015.  Given that the character first appeared on The Clone Wars, one person who knows Saw well in Dave Filoni (supervising director of The Clone Wars and executive producer of Star Wars Rebels).  Filoni spoke with /Film recently about Saw making the transition from the animated series to the live action films.

Filoni said,
"I like the reaching back into Clone Wars, because obviously for personal reasons, but Saw is a character that makes a lot of sense for the type of story they were telling. And I like that it seeds off of the ideas that we had at Lucasfilm in the very early days of Rebellion story, which is that it is rooted out of Jedi’s training these groups on a small planetary scale. And that those are the seeds that were placed throughout the galaxy of the Rebellion. So in that way it makes a lot of sense and, you know, again, personally I like that it points you back towards that material and since hey, you wanna know everything, you should probably be watching this. So I think that it’s pretty strong for that. And I think Forest Whitaker is pretty exciting as Saw Gerrera, right?"

He also spoke about the collaboration between the Rebels crew and the Rogue One crew (given that both are set in the same era), saying,
"I feel there’s a nice bit of continuity between the two pieces. I think that they are going to fit really well. And of course I know John Knoll well. And I’ve met [director] Gareth Edwards several times and [screenwriter] Gary Whitta as well. So, we as a bunch of fans can conspire for little things. We want each thing to be unique in its own way and have its own thing. So a tough thing is that I never wanna put something out ahead of its appearance in say Rogue One. I want it to be special when it’s on screen there. And they don’t wanna ape anything that we’re doing. So we try to collaborate to figure things out."


Riz Ahmed Talks 'Rogue One' on 'The Late Show'

By: Dominic Jones

Riz Ahmed, who plays Bodhi Rook in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to promote his role on the acclaimed HBO mini series The Night Of.  We know The Late Show host Stephen Colbert is a huge Star Wars fan so, of course, he couldn't pass up the opportunity to ask Ahmed about Rogue One.  While Ahmed didn't offer up any story details, he did speak about what it was like to work with director Gareth Edwards and how Edwards' style makes Rogue One different from any previous Star Wars film.  Check it out below (the Rogue One talk starts at about 6:40),

Source: The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (YouTube)


Ian McDiarmid Confirms He's Not in 'Rogue One'


By: Dominic Jones

With appearances by classic characters such as Darth Vader, Mon Mothma, and Bail Organa confirmed for this Decembers' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, there has been much speculation about what other iconic characters from the classic films might be showing up.  One person who claims their character won't be back is, the Emperor himself, Ian McDiarmid.  McDiarmid, who appears as Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine in every Star Wars film except A New Hope and The Force Awakens, was at Amsterdam Comic Con over the weekend and spoke with XGN about his feelings towards The Force Awakens and if he would be appearing in Rogue One.  Check out the video below (McDiarmid begins speaking at 6:24 in the video),

Personally, I had been hoping for an appearance by McDiarmid as the Emperor, even if it was only a brief hologram.  It would make sense that if the plans to his ultimate weapon went missing, he might get involved personally (in the film that will probably mean dispatching Vader, something that will likely happen off screen).  That being said, with appearances from Vader, Bail, and Mon Mothma confirmed, and rumored appearances by Tarkin, Leia, and Boba Fett, it may be that the filmmakers don't want to rely to overdo the number of cameos from legacy characters.  This is, after all, suppose to be the first film outside the main story.


Review: 'Star Wars Rebels' Season Two Blu-ray Box Set

By: Dominic Jones

We’re now less than a month away from the return of Star Wars Rebels to Disney XD on September 24th, making this the perfect time to revisit this past season.  Fortunately, the second season of Star Wars Rebels hits blu-ray this week.  The box set offers fans the opportunity to relive the season in the highest quality available, though fans looking for bonus features may be disappointed.

Season Two of Rebels picks up where Season One, with our heroes still flying high after their defeat of the Grand Inquisitor, while embarrassing Grand Moff Tarkin and meeting Ahsoka Tano in the process.  The season opened with a bang, a showdown between Kanan, Ezra, and Darth Vader, while Ahsoka was forced to confront an unfortunate truth.  The season refocused after that, showing the growing pains of the Rebellion (finding a suitable planet for a base, gaining new resources and allies, etc.), all the while the confrontation Star Wars animation fans had been anticipating since 2008 loomed. 

While I would argue the shadow of Vader and Ahsoka’s showdown loomed a bit too large over the rest of the season, I do feel the ability to binge watch this season increased my enjoyment of it.  Where the story of Season One was well suited to having a separate adventures that built on each other week after week, the connections Season Two episodes were subtler.  Having a week between each episode, as well as month long hiatuses and new Star Wars movie in the theater, made it hard to appreciate the big picture at times.  Watching the episodes in quick succession, I was able to better appreciate the way the Rebel fleet grew and evolved over the course of the Season.  Establishing their base at the end of the Season felt random when the Season first aired, but upon a rewatch it felt earned and like something they had been building towards all season.

Unfortunately, I found the Bonus Features on the box set to be a bit lacking.  There are three main offerings, “Connecting the Galaxy: Rebels Season 2”, “From Apprentice to Adversary: Vader vs. Ahsoka” (blu-ray exclusive), and all twenty episodes of “Rebels Recon”.  While each of these is cool in their own way, I feel there is a missed opportunity to really go in depth on the behind the scenes process of the making of Rebels.  “Rebels Recon” gives us some of that, however those have been available (for free) on since the episodes aired.  A more in depth look into the development of this season would have been welcome.

The blu-ray exclusive feature, “From Apprentice to Adversary”, is the best of the set.  It features Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni discussing the showdown between Ahsoka and Darth Vader and the journey they took to get there.  Though much of what is said might be familiar to fans who have followed their story since 2008, Filoni does provide some fresh insight into their relationship and story arc this season.  (Also, it makes me wish we could get some episode commentaries from Filoni.  Imagine a Filoni commentary for “Twilight of the Apprentice” or “Shroud of Darkness”, it would be fascinating!)

The “Connecting the Galaxy” feature is fun, and clearly aimed at introducing younger fans to the larger Star Wars galaxy.  It’s a rapid fire trip through some of the Easter Eggs and nods to Star Wars history, both on and off screen, seen this season.  Some are pretty obvious, like Ezra picking up a green crossguard lightsaber being a nod to Kylo Ren’s lightsaber in The Force Awakens.  It was also nice to see that Ralph McQuarrie was mentioned in the featurette, given that the look of the show is so heavily inspired by his work.

Some other quick thoughts on the blu-ray.  I wish there was a way to watch the two part episodes, like “The Siege of Lothal” and “Twilight of the Apprentice”, as one 44-minute episode without the credits and titles in between the episodes.  The episodes aired this way, so it would be nice to relive them this way two.  A fun Easter Egg I found (though I hesitate to call it that because it’s not that hard to find on your own) is that if you select “Sneak Peaks” on the first disc, you get the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story teaser!  Even though it’s been available online since April, it’s still nice to see it in blu-ray quality.

The main attraction with a box set like this is the episodes, and they do look great on blu-ray--not to mention the ability to binge watch them enhanced my viewing experience.  For that reason alone Star Wars Rebels fans will enjoy this box set, even if the bonus features are lacking.

Score: 7/10  

A photo posted by Dominic Jones (@dominicj25) on

You can follow me on Twitter: @DominicJ25

Check out my reviews of
Star Wars Rebels Season Two here.

This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization


Monday, August 29, 2016

New Thrawn Trilogy Cover Art Revealed

By: Benjamin Hart

Last month we received word that the legendary Thrawn Trilogy of novels, written by Timothy Zahn, would be getting a makevoer with some new covers very soon. Today, Club Jade alerted us to a new report by Jedi Bibliothek in which they revealed the new cover artwork for Heir To The Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command. Jedi Bibliothek explains that the trilogy will be reissued in the U.S. in paperback form on September 27th.

The artwork is truly fantastic, featuring Han, Luke and Leia prominently, and of course, Grand Admiral Thrawn. These novels really seem to capitalize on Thrawn much more than the original cover art did, most likely to coincide with Thrawn being brought back into canon with his upcoming appearance in Star Wars Rebels. As you can see above, all of the covers can be joined together to form a complete, panoramic image. You can get a detailed look at the covers below:

Update: Del Rey confirmed via the Star Wars Books Facebook page that the artwork was created by artist Rich Kelly.

Source: Jedi Bibliothek


Saturday, August 27, 2016

New 'Rogue One' Images Revealed From Empire Magazine

By: Benjamin Hart

Earlier this week the newest issue of Empire Magazine, which focused heavily on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, hit newsstands earlier this week. Through various previews we were treated to new info and photos from the film. Now it appears the issue itself included even more reveals from the film.

Our friends at Making Star Wars have gotten their hands on a collection of new images from Rogue One that were revealed in the latest issue of Empire. Included are new shots of our main cast of characters, including Jyn Erso(Felicity Jones), Cassian Andor(Diego Luna), Chirrut Îmwe(Donnie Yen), Baze Malbus(Jiang Wen), Bodhi Rook(Riz Ahmed) and Orson Krennic(Ben Mendolsohn). We also get a new behind the scenes shot of several actors with director Gareth Edwards on the Scarif set. You can see one above, and the rest below:

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

Source: Making Star Wars

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