As all things Star Wars begin to go quiet ahead of this month's big Star Wars Celebration convention—more on that later—it's been a strange couple of weeks when it comes to news from the galaxy far, far away. But that doesn't mean things have been entirely silent when it comes to the warriors beyond the stars. Here's what's been going on on this side of the Outer Rim.
This Is What Episode IX Looks Like (Maybe)
The Source: An online leak of what might be a promotional image for the movie
Probability of Accuracy: While the method of release is kind of unconventional, this looks pretty legit.
The Real Deal: What might be the motherlode of Episode IX spoilers leaked online last week with the appearance of what seemed to be a poster for the movie that showed a lot of things previously rumored to be in the movie, including the Knights of Ren, a new breed of stormtrooper with red armor, at least three new characters—including what may be Lando Calrissian's daughter—and, to the delight of a lot of fans, C-3PO wearing Chewbacca's bandolier and holding his crossbow. (What, exactly, is happening there!?) As of this writing, Disney hasn't made any comment about the poster's authenticity one way or another, but it's worth keeping in mind that a similar leak of a retail image for Avengers: Endgame a month or so ago turned out to be legit without any official comment from Disney at all. So, chances are, this might be a real glimpse at what's to come.
Forget Familiar Faces, Expect Familiar Voices in The Mandalorian
The Source: Speculation based on a social media post from Jon Favreau
Probability of Accuracy: This one is a toss-up, but we know which side of the coin we're hoping comes up.
The Real Deal: Fans have known for some time that The Mandalorian will feature IG-88, or some other droid that looks particularly like the Empire Strikes Back bounty hunter. But what if that droid, whoever it ends up being, had a familiar voice? That's what Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau seemed to suggest with an Instagram post that definitely looked as if Taika Waititi was voicing the character.
Of course, this might be a mix of wishful thinking and off-target speculation, and Waiti is there in his role as director with a microphone in front of him purely by chance. But we can all dream, can't we?
Now We Know Who the Villain of The Mandalorian Is
The Source: None other than acclaimed filmmaker and Mandalorian actor Werner Herzog
Probability of Accuracy: It seems to be a pretty open-and-shut case.
The Real Deal: Speaking of The Mandalorian, Werner Herzog may have accidentally revealed some information about his character in the Disney+ series during an interview with IndieWire. Prompted by mention of his rare acting roles, he said, "Now this is not a secret anymore, [I have] a small part, real small part, in The Mandalorian, the Star Wars sequel or whatever you call it. I like to do it because I know I'm good on screen, but only if I have to play a real villain." So, it seems like Herzog is playing a bad guy—or one of them—then, huh?
Prepare to Return to the Old Republic
The Source: An anonymous Lucasfilm insider
Probability of Accuracy: As with any anonymous insider reports, this could go either way, but the idea doesn't lack merit, if that helps.
The Real Deal: For everyone wondering what was next for Star Wars after the end of the Skywalker Saga, an interesting rumor about the trilogy helmed by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss broke through recently, and it's one that might make many old-school Star Wars fans happy. According to an (of course) anonymous source, "it is set during the Old Republic, as Disney wants to open up the Star Wars timeline and appeal to a more Game of Thrones-style audience." While that last part might ring a little false— the Star Wars timeline only really got more focused once Disney bought Lucasfilm, so the notion that they’re suddenly interested in opening that timeline back up feels slightly hinky—the mention of the Old Republic is likely to make people very excited. The same source, when pressed for details, reportedly said, "The timeline is hundreds of years prior to the Skywalker's, so think almost Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings." That’s definitely the kind of genre mash-up determined to drive fans wild, if it happens.
This Is What to Expect in the Middle of April
The Source: Lucasfilm itself
Probability of Accuracy: It's a convention schedule; it's as accurate as these things get, barring last minute cancellations.
The Real Deal: For those attending Star Wars Celebration in Chicago later this month, it's time to start planning your week: The official schedule for the event is out, including panels on Episode IX, The Mandalorian, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and many, many more things. For everyone not attending, it's also a good idea of just when the internet is going to light up with the information you've been waiting for. (Spoilers: Friday between 9am and 10am Pacific is going to be very busy, we suspect.)
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