The Prophecy And in time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as : THE SON OF THE SUN. And he shall bring Balance to the Force. "Journal of the Whills, 3:12"
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A trailer for Episode IX debuts at D23 ! 31st August 2019
At the annual Disney Convention 'D23' lots of news and video was revealed for 'Star Wars' ! Firstly, an initial poster and a new trailer for Episode IXThe Rise of Skywalker was released :
Opening with a fond montage from the previous eight episodes (and possibly including a Leia scene cut from TFA ?!) the trailer presents the new heroes on the desert planet of Pasaana overlooking what appears to be some sort of local celebration ; we then briefly see a ruefully smiling Leia on a forest / jungle world ; this is followed by quick shots of a Rebel / Resistance fleet reverting from hyperspace within the cloudy skies of a planet - this ploy might become controversial if only because Han's similar trick pulled in TFA implied that only he would have the daring and the audacity to propose, and successfully pull off, such a stunt... unless the heroes have simply 'learnt' this trick from the old smuggler of course ! - and then what appears to be an enormous fleet of archaic Imperial Star Destroyers... which wholly belies the "fleet" seen at the Battle of Endor - currently canonical print and gaming publications have apparently indicated that Emperor Palpatine had a contingency plan in place in case his New Order floundered ; we next see Finn and Jannah in a Resistance ship and flown by a pilot, and in what appears to possibly be a convoy under attack ; an intriguing shot of Threepio with red-coloured eyes [more on this below !] ; a massive red laser beam smashes into a tundra mountainside ; then, in what could be the same environment where we saw Leia earlier - and the teary hug seen in April's teaser trailer - we find Rey practising with the 'Skywalker' lightsabre (and a training remote !), all be it slicing down healthy trees ! Finally, accompanied by Palpatine's voice-over saying "Your journey nears its end", we see Kylo Ren striding forth from his starfighter and igniting his lightsabre, all located in an odd setting of snow and arid cracked soil and stormy cloud and lightning, followed by an intense lightsabre duel between Kylo and Rey on top of what appears to be Death Star wreckage (gun turret to the left !) amidst a crashing sea ; and then closing with a very brief and teasing image of a hooded Rey with red eyes and a 'flip-open' double-bladed red lightsabre styled akin to canonical Jedi Temple Guards ! ... And more on that below !
Also unveiled at the D23 was a poster and a richly detailed trailer for 'The Mandalorian', the first of the live-action TV shows that LFL/Disney are now producing :
This certainly looks very exciting ! There is some confusion and concern as to when exactly the new 'Disney+' TV streaming service will commence in the UK, but for me, as I did with the Clone Wars and Rebels series, it may well be that I will have to hope and wait for a dvd / bluray release.
Shortly afterwards, fansite SWNN provided a summary of some of the main characters, provided by 'Entertainment Weekly' :
Imperial Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito)
Greef Carga, leader of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild (Carl Weathers)
Ex-Rebel Cara Dune (Gina Carano)
Bounty Hunter droid IG-11 (voiced by Taika Waititi)
And thirdly, D23 announced the latest TV show to be green-lit : with actor Ewan McGregor appearing on stage with Kathleen Kennedy, it was confirmed that an Obi Wan Kenobi show will go into production next year !
Ewan is grinning like a cheshire cat !!
Fansite MSW revealed some potentially spoiler-ridden rumour reports clarifying some of the scenes seen in the new ROTS trailer unveiled at D23 : the author suggests that it will be Leia who oversees the more skilled sword training for Rey... which is not entirely implausible that she was trained to some degree by her brother, except for the fact that, if this had been the original intention from the outset, then perhaps it would have been nice (but not absolutely necessary) for us to have seen or had reference to this previous training ; Threepio's 'red eyes' might come from his translating a Sith inscriptions on a Dark artefact, namely a 'Sith Dagger', which in turn may be implicated with the fate of Rey's 'nobody' parents ; and the Force-link that was set up in TLJ seems to play an important role in this episode.
Early in August, fansite MSW reported on rumours involving the new character Zorri Bliss, who is believed to be a mercenary and from the tundra world Kijimi, but who aids the heroes. It's suggested that her ship is similar to the one seen in Rey's vision in TFA, and to the extent that Rey even says it looks familiar ; so the question is, was Zorri involved in depositing a young Rey on Jakku ??
In addition, there has been much speculation surrounding a new type of Star Destroyer, inspired by the pre-production artwork for the the LFL/D sequels : fansite SWNN suggests that Palpatine had in place a contingency plan in the event of failure or defeat, which is a semi-canonical scenario based on recent official publications, and that the concept of the 'First Order' was in effect a 'smokesceen' or 'front' hiding the true adversary, an Imperial super-fleet stationed in the 'wild space' outskirts of the galaxy. The proposed ships based on the concept art are star destroyers with huge globes within their centre, with the firepower capacity nearly matching or equal to the Death Star weaponary ; the article also suggests that there may also be 'heavy duty' Starhawk war-cruisers available to the Resistance too, which, according to the novelisation for TLJ could go head-to-head with the Imperial cruisers, and even were instrumental in downing the enemy vessels over Jakku.
Fansite SWNN reported on a recent interview with timpanist Don Williams, John Williams' brother, where it was revealed that the maestro has written 135 minutes of score ! It was also revealed that many familiar themes will be returning, either in full form or in fleeting aural glimpses.
The illustrated virtual edition of Episode VII : Plague of Doom continues ! Han and Leia have stolen ponchos and rebreather helemts from fallen sentries, and entered the mining network. They spot their friends, Chewbacca and Lando, working with the other enslaved miners, and approach the guards to trick them into releasing them.
At the end of the month I found some time to crack on with writing the virtual edition Episode X The Riddle of the Pirates. This is currently in a long-hand prose format, and I've been able to write the first three opening scenes ; next up we meet Chewbacca and the Solo children ! :o)