Big News from a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Good news, Star Wars fans! These past few weeks have brought a lot of news from a galaxy far, far away, with information about “Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi,” “Star Wars IX,” EA Games’ “Star Wars: Battlefront II,” “Star Wars Rebels” and future Anthology standalone films. Star Wars Celebration was this past weekend in Orlando, and with Star Wars Day, “May the Fourth,” quickly approaching, news has been abundant. There has never been a more exciting time to be a “Star Wars” fan, as there is so much on the horizon.

On December 15, The Skywalker saga continues in “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.” The first teaser trailer just debuted last Friday, and it introduced us to the next chapter of the Star Wars movie franchise. This movie is the second installment in the newest canonical series of films, bringing back new favorites like Rey, Poe Dameron and Finn. It is still shrouded in secrecy, but the teaser showcased a new planet, some new vehicles and our first real look at Mark Hamill’s return as Luke Skywalker. There are many distinct similarities between “The Last Jedi” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” as this movie looks to feature an aged Jedi (Luke, instead of Yoda) teaching a young Force user (Rey, instead of Luke) how to control and wield the Force. At the end of the video, we are left with an ominous line from Luke himself, as he says “It’s time for the Jedi… to end.” We will have to wait and see what exactly he truly means by that, though. Directed by Rian Johnson and introducing actors Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro into the Star Wars universe, “The Last Jedi” looks to continue to build upon the Star Wars franchise’s unprecedented success.

The information about “Star Wars Episode IX” is still minimal, but we do have recent confirmation that Carrie Fisher will not be making an appearance in this movie, which means “The Last Jedi” will be the last time we see Fisher’s Leia Organa on film. As most of you know, she passed away on December 27th, only 11 days after “Rogue One” released featuring her digitally-recreated likeness. So, unless they take that route again in another movie, we won’t see Leia again on the big screen. The yet-untitled ninth episode is slotted to release on May 23, 2019.

Also recently released was the “Star Wars Battlefront II” teaser. This game will be the second installment in the reboot of the Star Wars Battlefront franchise and there is already good news about the game. First, there was the announcement of a single player campaign, which was noticeably lacking in the original, which upset many, many players. Interestingly, the campaign will put us in the role of the Empire and, more specifically, an Imperial named “Iden Versio” after the fall of the second Death Star. This will provide an interesting take on the classic story. The campaign is meant to bridge the gap between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens,” and will in fact be canonical. There is also confirmation that players will be able to play as Kylo Ren, Luke Skywalker and presumably more heroes and villains too.The multiplayer in the 2015 reboot of “Battlefront II” was one of the only good things about the game, so hopefully the sequel builds on that. Unlike the first installment, which only featured the original trilogy, this game will draw from all 3 eras in Star Wars history, covering all seven of the main movies released thus far. (That means no “Rogue One,” unfortunately). But space battles are back, which will be an awesome feature brought back from the original games from the 2000s. EA has announced there will not be a Season Pass or Downloadable Content (DLC), which means players will get all of the game’s content simply by purchasing the game. But, soon afterwards, they released a contradictory statement, so we will have to wait for official confirmation on this, one way or another. Look for this game on the shelves on November 17.

“Star Wars Rebels Season 4” has been announced to be the final season of the hit show, leaving many viewers wondering if all their questions will be answered in the upcoming season. The series has been airing on Disney XD since 2014, but will end after this season.

And finally, concerning future standalone movies, the Han Solo movie still has very little known about it, but there was a news report in the past few months suggesting that Han Solo may not be his real name. Recently, this false report was denied by Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney. And also, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has hinted at the next spin-off movie being announced this summer, so keep your eyes peeled for that! (Fingers crossed for an Obi-Wan or Boba Fett movie!)

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