There’s so much Star Wars happening right now, and it’s all good.
It’s been an unusual November, with new games, books, television, and merch spinning out of a galaxy far, far away — and it’s all leading up to the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker next month. As players immerse themselves in the adventures of Cal Kestis in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Star Wars Resistance is making its way to a conclusion, while The Mandalorian is just getting started. Great storytelling is happening everywhere, and like the Force, it surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds us together as fans.
This week, Lucasfilm released a Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker “Special Look” that was a bit different than the usual special looks that Disney tends to share in the ramp-up to its theatrical films. The trailer-length video takes a look back at the fandom and phenomenon that started with the release of the original Star Wars back in 1977. The video also delivers a first look at a previously unannounced member of the Resistance. Let’s just say it’s a guy known for being “in the room where it happens.”
Routine reshoots on the film just wrapped on Sunday, but despite all of the usual secrecy surrounding the film, one copy of the screenplay wound up on eBay. In a very unusual circumstance, a cast member accidentally left a copy of the screenplay under their bed, where it was found by a housekeeper and passed along to someone who placed it on the auction site. Disney got it back before it could make its way into nefarious hands. Abrams explained the mishap while showing an exclusive clip — featuring our first look at First Order Jet Troopers in flight — on ABC’s Good Morning America.
.@starwars launched 42 years ago. And 24 days from now, the final chapter will be revealed in theaters! We are THRILLED to have director @jjabrams with us this morning — and he’s sharing an EXCLUSIVE clip from #TheRiseOfSkywalker! pic.twitter.com/gOfUTGWzpW
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 25, 2019
I’m cool w it
— Pedro Pascal (@PedroPascal1) November 24, 2019
“The Child” Steals the Spotlight
On Disney+, The Mandalorian is winning audiences despite one unexpected criticism: The episodes are too short. With a 30-40 minute runtime that includes an introductory recap and roughly four minutes of credits at the end, the adventures of our intergalactic gunslinger are leaving audiences wanting more, and that’s a good problem to have. But is the titular member of the Mandalore being upstaged by a mysterious, green munchkin? Perhaps, but the man behind the mask — Pedro Pascal — isn’t worried about it.
We may never know what species it is, but Mando’s tiny sidekick is a breakout star, and yes — merch is coming! The Pop Insider’s Editor-in-Chief Marissa Dibartolo spoke to MarketWatch about the “Baby Yoda” (not his name) craze and what to expect this holiday season. Thus far, the only official merch to feature “The Child” (its official designation) are apparel and Pop Sockets being sold through the usual outlets, such as Hot Topic, Box Lunch, 80s Tees, Amazon, etc. Allegedly, there will be preorders for toys and plush, but there’s no word on if the little Force user will be here in time for the holidays, but someone else will. …
This past weekend, Hasbro revealed the new Black Series Heavy Infantry Mandalorian. This member of Mando’s tribe — voiced by series creator Jon Favreau — made a big impact in the most recent episode, and is a good sign that we’ll be seeing other members of the extended family make their way into action figure form. This one is a Best Buy exclusive and is expected to ship on or around Dec. 18.
‘Zat You, Zuvio?
It’s been four years since the legend of Constable Zuvio began. The subject of a full feature here at the Pop Insider, Zuvio hit the scene in early preview articles ahead of The Force Awakens and was subsequently cut from the film. The Kyuzo lawman was stationed on Jakku alongside two cousins who served as deputies. At one point, the trio would’ve encountered Rey and Finn during the market conflict with First Order Stormtroopers — and technically, they did, but the appearance only made it to the big screen as a few blurry frames with the characters in the background. Filmmaker J.J. Abrams says that they were just cool background characters created to enhance the film, but as Star Wars goes, they were given a detailed backstory and appearances in other mediums. Zuvio himself received two separate action figures from Hasbro that notoriously became pegwarmers at retail. But could Zuvio be primed to shine?
Just three episodes into its first season, The Mandalorian is already treating fans to a treasure trove of Easter eggs and deep references, largely driven by creative costume re-use from recent films, including The Force Awakens and Solo. In the bar that “Mando” visits to receive assignments from Greef Carga (Carl Weathers), there’s definitely a Kyuzo rockin’ the same uniform that Zuvio and his cousins wear — but could it actually be Zuvio? The cult-like fanbase for the oddball character certainly hopes so, though whoever is in The Mandalorian is wearing the visor favored by Zuvio’s cousins. That’s not to say that the Constable wouldn’t wear one as well, but we just don’t know yet. From the coloring on the disc-shaped hat, I’m leaning toward the Kyuzo in The Mandalorian being one of Zuvio’s cousins.
- The Columbia Sportswear Co. is about to unveil its latest Star Wars collaboration. Over the past few years, Columbia has produced some stellar Star Wars-inspired outerwear, including a recent batch of parkas based on the crew jackets from the Hoth filming of The Empire Strikes Back (1980). The next collection looks to be inspired by The Rise of Skywalker, but details are scarce. The Columbia Star Wars page now has a placeholder counting down to Dec. 5 with a lightsaber flickering between blue and red accompanied by a question: “Which side will you choose?”
- Lucasfilm and Roblox teamed up for the Galactic Speedway Creator Challenge. The initiative allows players to tinker with Star Wars parts in the Roblox sandbox to create cool speeders from a galaxy far, far away.
- Yogibo has a new collection of Star Wars furniture that would look great in the Pop Insider offices (or your house).
- The official character posters from The Rise of Skywalker have been released.
- Her Universe issued a fantastic Ahsoka Tano print, but they’re already gone.
- Abrams released a gorgeous 2020 calendar based on the concept art of the late Ralph McQuarrie.