Around the Galaxy: Star Wars News 12.6.17

Dark and gray, but not old

Possible spoilers for The Last Jedi ahead…

Last Jedi

Even before a single ticket has been scanned, The Last Jedi is already a huge media event, with nearly every news or blogging outlet — big and small — posting something about the upcoming film.

Unless otherwise notified, I’m pretty much focused on our friends and frequent reads for the most up-to-date and pertinent info. However, it’s pretty neat to see so many sites get in on the action.

For example…

Five Things They Learned

Bryan Young of HowStuffWorks.com (he also writes for Star Wars Insider, Big Shiny Robot, and StarWars.com) attended the recent press conference for The Last Jedi and compiled five takeaways from the presentation.

The first? The film is dark but fun.

We’ve heard dark; assumed the fun. But we previously missed these thoughts…

Young quotes Oscar Issac, who said, “Often with the second chapter in a story of three, because the first one sets the tone and introduces them, in the second one you don’t have to spend so much time doing that. You can delve right into the story and into the conflict of each of the characters.”

Issac also added:

[Rian Johnson] has challenged, deeply, every single character, including the droids. These are the biggest challenges they’ve ever faced, and that’s how you learn about the characters on all sides of the spectrum, from light to dark.”

Readers will find some other interesting tidbits, including ruminations on the film’s point of view, plot, and the secrecy of Mark Hamill.

Find the full piece on HowStuffWorks.com. Beyond the press conference, the author also “interviewed” BB-9E.

She didn’t see TFA?

Usual suspect and good friend Germain Lussier is continuing his coverage of The Last Jedi and yesterday posted an interview with Kelly Marie Tran – a.k.a. Rose Tico.

Lussier had an interesting note to discuss regarding Tran’s introduction to the sequel trilogy: Kelly Marie read the script for The Last Jedi prior to seeing The Force Awakens.

Lussier writes:

Tran doesn’t know if she’s the only person in the world who had read the ultra-ultra-ultra secret script to The Last Jedi before seeing the ultra-secret The Force Awakens, but do the math. In December 2015, the number of people who had read the script to The Last Jedi had to be very, very small, probably consisting of only the returning actors and the most connected and highest-ranking officials at Disney and Lucasfilm. All of those people would have seen (or at least known the story of) The Force Awakens, since they were directly involved in its production.

That said, Tran remembers the day she finally saw TFA very well.

“I was wearing a beanie,” she said. “A black beanie. With cat ears. And a teddy bear sweater. I don’t know why I remember that. I think it’s because I remember these little details about these moments that were so… they feel so big to me.”

That might be the greatest quote of all time.

Read this article and Lussier’s continued Star Wars work over at io9.

Sorry, No KOTOR

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Increased access to The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson means that journalists can stretch their legs a bit and ask questions beyond the current film.

To that end, Mashable’s Chris Taylor writes that reporter Laura Prudom queried Johnson about the filmmaker’s upcoming Star Wars trilogy project.

Prudom was particularly interested if Knights of the Old Republic might be a source of material for the auteur.

He responded:

Oh, they love Knights of the Old Republic…I played that game when it first came out and it was like, god, I loved it. Yeah, that’s a fantastic game. And I understand it, the instinct to automatically go to something that you know and love, that you’ve already seen.”

However, and despite that admiration for KOTOR,  it will not be the direction Johnson takes in his new set of Star Wars films.

“To me, what’s really fun is the notion of what new stuff are we gonna see, what new stories can we tell?” he said.

Johnson also admitted the project remains in its very preliminary stages. So, we’ll have to wait a bit until we know how those new stories will manifest themselves.

Meanwhile, try to avoid the flood of fanboy tears and read the full post at Mashable.com.

Esquire: Gray is in…

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According to Google, one of the definitions of “esquire” is “a young nobleman who, in training for knighthood, acted as an attendant to a knight.”

So it seems very appropriate for Esquire.com to weigh in on The Last Jedi.

Reporter Matt Miller explores the fan theory that “the Gray Force” will play an important role in the new film.

Miller writes:

Most of the speculation on the Gray Jedi comes from some of Luke Skywalker’s mysterious statements in the early trailers for The Last Jedi, in which he says “it’s time for the Jedi to end” and his retreat from the light side of the Force. As many fans have theorized, Skywalker has become disillusioned with the Jedi and their ability to defeat and contain the Sith. Perhaps his retreat to solitude was to study a different path, a middle path after his Jedi Academy failed. Consider the Jedi’s obsession and prophecies of bringing balance to the force. If that person is indeed Skywalker, then perhaps neither light nor dark is the balance that the universe has been waiting for.

It’s an interesting read — with links to all sorts of Star Wars content — which may be found at Esquire.com.

Carrie’s Advice

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Another unusual Star Wars source is Glamour.com, which recently spoke to Daisy Ridley about “Insta-Bullies, Disney Execs, and Living Up to Rey.”

It’s an interesting article and Q & A, covering the gamut of Ridley’s experience and perhaps giving some insight as to why Daisy might have been a bit opaque as to her future in Star Wars.

Tackling the Dark Side and anxiety might be a tough mix, especially under the glare of the Star Wars spotlight.

“I did this test in January of last year, and [the doctors] said my body should be 30 percent stress, 70 percent normal,” explained Ridley to reporter Allison P. Davis. “I was 70 percent stress and 30 percent normal. My cortisol was so high, or something like that, that my body was constantly in fight-or-flight. I was so sick one of the days we were filming that a publication tried to make out like I was hungover. I was like, ‘Guys! I don’t drink on school nights.’”

That kind of stress led Ridley to ask Carrie Fisher how to deal with the sometimes intimidating moments of life in the spotlight:

She told me she hugged a fan once and [felt the fan’s] heart was racing. She was like, “That’s what you have to remember: It’s nerve-­racking for everyone.”

Can one sweater save the world?

On a lighter note, Oscar Issac’s colorful sweater “set off an internet frenzy” according to Carlos Aguilar of Remezcla.com.

“Guatemalan-Cuban-American heartthrob Oscar Isaac was on hand to represent Latinos and to set a holiday sweater craze in motion on Twitter,” wrote Aguilar. “The colorful piece of clothing is definitely festive and fans, inside the conference and beyond, want to know where to get it. If you look closely, the orange and white stripes on the arms resemble his uniform in the movie as Poe Dameron. Of course this is just a guess.”

My favorite of the frenzied Tweets Carlos mentioned:

Read the full post at Remezcla, and check out the remixed Poe Dameron-only The Last Jedi trailer!

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John Bishop

A graduate of Boston and Northeastern universities, John Bishop became the beat reporter for BostonBruins.com prior to the B’s 2006-07 hockey season. While with the Bruins, “Bish” traveled North America and Europe to cover the Black & Gold’s every move via laptop, blog, and smart phone. The co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, John covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the B’s 2011 championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke in central Massachusetts.

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