As the world adjusts to social distancing and self-quarantine, a new batch of Star Wars entertainment is here for everyone that’s stuck at home. While there’s quite a bit happening in a galaxy far, far away, some of the biggest news is anchored in the most recent cinematic adventure.
J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out now on digital ahead of its March 31 Blu-ray release, and the widespread availability of the film has opened up some new discussion. While the film was polarizing (spoiler alert: my family loved it) audiences are giving it another look. The accompanying feature-length documentary, The Skywalker Legacy, is shining some light on the complicated production of a film that came with a tall order: to wrap up a nine-film saga that spanned 43 years.
Beyond the film, Del Rey Star Wars released the long-awaited official movie novelization. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Expanded Edition was penned by author Rae Carson (Star Wars: Most Wanted) and offers all-new scenes that were not included in the movie, along with additional material created with input from the filmmakers. The book itself received an early release last month, but only for fans who were lucky enough to attend Reedpop’s C2E2 in Chicago.
Star Wars Toy Designer Mark Boudreaux Retires
Legendary toy designer Mark Boudreaux is retiring after a 43-year career spent working on some of the most iconic Hasbro Star Wars toys and vehicles. Boudreaux joined Kenner as a University of Cincinnati co-op student in 1977, the year that George Lucas’ Star Wars first hit theaters. During his lengthy career, he designed all of the 3.75-inch-scale Millennium Falcon vehicles, including the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Battle Action version.
As senior principal product designer for Hasbro’s Star Wars team, Boudreaux’s work has come full circle, most recently with a 40-year-old toy that made its live-action debut in The Mandalorian. Developed as an original toy that kids could use to extend the Star Wars adventure at home, the Imperial Troop Transporter never appeared in the original films and didn’t enter the Star Wars canon until it appeared in animated form on Star Wars Rebels a few years back. Following its live-action appearance during the season-ending cliffhanger of The Mandalorian on Disney+, the vehicle is back in stores as a new addition to the Star Wars Vintage Collection lineup.
Boudreaux also designed the gigantic Jabba’s Sail Barge, which was successfully crowdfunded through the Hasbro Pulse HasLab platform.
Rosario Dawson Reportedly Cast as Ahsoka Tano in The Mandalorian
After years of vocal lobbying to perform the role of Ahsoka Tano in live-action, it appears that Rosario Dawson (Clerks 2) snagged the role. According to Variety, Dawson is portraying the former apprentice of Anakin Skywalker in season two of The Mandalorian. Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein has voiced the character in animation for the entirety of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.
While The Clone Wars‘ story is still unfolding in its final season on Disney+, chronologically we last saw Ahsoka setting off on an adventure with Mandalorian Sabine Wren at the close of Star Wars Rebels. Presumably, the duo was heading off to find the location of Ezra Bridger. Lucasfilm has yet to confirm the casting at this time.
Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures Returns
The bite-sized animated adventures from Star Wars Kids continue in season two of Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures. The first three episodes arrived this week, moving the story into a new trilogy. For the first time, the series is focusing on characters and scenarios from the sequel trilogy, with Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron and the gang showing up in new episodes that average just a minute long. Fans looking to bring the adventure to the shelf or toy box can look for Galaxy of Adventures action figures in stores now, … or maybe when they reopen after the whole COVID-19 thing passes.
Our Star Wars Stories Season Two Debuts
Toy Hunter Jordan Hembrough (profiled in the Pop Insider last year) hits the road for another season of the acclaimed digital series that showcases the unique stories of Star Wars fans across the U.S. In the season-two premiere, Hembrough heads to Cleveland, Ohio, to meet Dale Hopkins, a cancer survivor who found strength in Star Wars.
Hot Toys Drops an Epic New Mandalorian Figure
If you’re looking for an incredible Mandalorian showpiece, this is the way. Hot Toys‘ incredible The Mandalorian and The Child (Deluxe) figure set includes a highly detailed pair of figures that come with dozens of accessories, many of which are exclusive to this set. Accessories include interchangeable heads for The Child; The Client’s Beskar safe, based on Willrow Hood‘s famous ice cream maker from The Empire Strikes Back; smoke and fire effects; a holographic puck; a deluxe version of The Child’s floating pod; and a Mudhorn signet for Mando.
The $313 set is available for preorder through Sideshow, but you’ll be waiting a while to get one. Shipping is estimated to take place sometime between April and July of next year.
Build a LEGO Star Wars Helmet Collection
The LEGO Star Wars collection has a new sub-line of build-to-display helmet models. Launched this week with Boba Fett, Stormtrooper, and TIE Fighter Pilot helmets, the new collection is specifically geared toward builders ages 18 and up. The new collection comes in sleek, elegant packaging emblazoned with the Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary branding. The helmet collection will be available to ship from LEGO Store beginning on April 19.
- The Clone Wars‘ final season continues on Disney+, and this week Ahsoka Tano is back!
- Looking for some classy Mandalorian decor for your home or office? Regal Robot’s got you.
- If you’re hoping that summer convention season still happens, you’re not alone! We can’t wait to get our hands on some of Hallmark’s new PopMinded convention exclusives, such as the Imperial Probe Droid Keepsake Ornament.
- ICYMI: Funko’s new Pop! by Loungefly collection launched this month with a sweet Yoda Cosplay Mini Backpack.
Photos: LEGO, Lucasfilm, Hot Toys, Hasbro