Star Wars HoloNet Digest #29: September 4-11, 2013


Eric Logo Hologram

Artwork courtesy of Joshua Stolte

Welcome back to the Star Wars HoloNet Digest, a weekly feature where I bring you a recap of the latest news from the world of Star Wars. Whether it’s an Episode VII rumor or a noteworthy author interview, you’ll find it here. Let’s check the HoloNet and see what happened in the past week.

It seems like every week a new Episode VII rumor (or two or three) has surfaced and made waves among Star Wars fans. This week, we’ve got one casting rumor and one hybrid title/story rumor. The first rumor is that actress Ksenia Solo “is being considered “for a role in the new movie, according to Jedi News. My friends at JN quote a source whom they’ve dubbed “Jedi Master SQL” as saying that Solo may end up playing Han and Leia’s daughter. The real-life Solo, whose previous work includes the movie Back Swan and the Canadian TV series Lost Girl, has not made any public comments about the rumor. This is one of those reports that I find hard to believe or disbelieve given the paucity of information. That being said, I see two upsides to the casting of Ms. Solo, if in fact the rumor is accurate. First, she’s a fresh face, and as I’ve said over and over again, it would behoove Disney to cast young unknowns in key roles. Second, her last name is Solo. How is this not a match made in heaven?

The second rumor that dropped this week came from a blog called Talkbacker. They began by resurfacing a claim that MarketSaw made late last year: that Episode VII will be subtitled A New Dawn. Then, the anonymous source who confirmed to Talkbacker that this title was being considered followed up with more information: “[T]he falcon [sic] will make a big appearance, 1.1 scale size cross section is being constructed over at Pinewood, along with a power plant set and the famous cantina.”

First, let me say that I think A New Dawn is a really bad subtitle for Episode VII. It borders on Twilight-level cheesiness. But I also don’t think that the subtitle rumor is accurate. I don’t doubt that someone somewhere made an offhand remark about it at some point, but I would be very surprised if Disney went with it in the end.

The rumors about the Millennium Falcon and Chalmun’s Cantina are more interesting. I have no doubt that the Falcon will appear if Han appears. It’s an iconic ship and I’d be surprised if Han went anywhere without it. The extent of its involvement, of course, depends on how much we see of Han, and my guess is that we’ll see very little of him. Still, it wouldn’t take more than a glimpse of the ship to get many fans –– myself included –– fired up.

I suspect that the bit about the “famous cantina” is wrong. In fact, I’d be surprised if we visit Tatooine at all in the new movie. Luke said it best in A New Hope: Tatooine is the point farthest from the bright center of the universe that is Coruscant. The new movies will presumably take place shortly after the fall of the Empire, when reestablishing galactic order and constituting a benevolent government are top priorities. Coruscant will continue to be the bright center of the universe. Giving Tatooine a starring role in yet another Star Wars movie would further chip away at the image of it as a backwater world far from major trading lanes and government attention. Unless Episode VII involves something unique to Tatooine (such as Luke visiting his paternal grandmother’s gravesite), I just don’t see the planet playing a role in the film.

New York residents: Are you tired of reading about Episode VII and not being in it? You’re in luck. Showbiz411 reports that casting for three roles has begun in New York. If you’re an early-twenties young man, a late-twenties man, or a late-teens young woman, you will soon be able to audition for the next Star Wars film. Details about the audition process have not yet been released.

In book news, attention has turned to the next novel on the schedule, Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells (out on September 24th). Random House has organized a Razor’s Edge blog tour, and so far they’ve promoted stops at Fiction State of Mind (an interview with Martha Wells), Unbound Worlds (some sweet Leia Organa cosplay), and TheForce.Net (my own interview with Martha Wells). Fans who want to preview the book before its release are in luck. Unbound Worlds posted 50 free pages as part of its 50 Page Fridays and Del Rey recently shared a new micro-excerpt on Facebook.

In other literature news, LucasBooks Senior Editor Jennifer Heddle has written a short story for the next issue of Star Wars Insider called “Constant Spirit” that stars Leia Organa in “a do-or-die mission.” This will be the first piece of published Star Wars fiction for Heddle, who took over supervisory editing duties at Lucasfilm’s publishing imprint in October 2011. “I think it’s one of the earliest-set stories about Leia there’s been, if not the earliest,” Heddle wrote on Twitter. “So I’m really excited about that.” The article will feature art by Magali Villeneuve and will be available on newsstands on October 22 as part of Insider #145.

We’ll end this HoloNet Digest on a sad note. Ann (A.C.) Crispin, the author of The Han Solo Trilogy and many other books, passed away on the morning of September 6, after a battle with cancer. Crispin, a former vice president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and the founder of its Committee on Writing Scams, was a friend and mentor to many in the science-fiction publishing community. A few days before she died, she posted a farewell message to her friends, fans, and readers. Jim Macdonald, who broke the news of her death on his blog, said, “Newbie writers have lost one of the best friends they could ever have had.” The thoughts of all of us here at Unbound Worlds are with Ms. Crispin’s family. Our community has lost a strong and beloved voice.

Eric Geller is a college student majoring in political science whose interests include technology, journalism, and of course Star Wars. He reviews The Clone Wars TV series and manages social media for Star Wars fan site TheForce.Net. He also co-hosts The ForceCast podcast. He is originally from the Washington, D.C. area.