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 announcement or a noteworthy author interview, you’ll find it here. Let’s check the HoloNet and see what happened in the past week.
Star Wars Rebels has been in the news a lot. It started with a new Entertainment Weekly interview with executive producer Simon Kinberg, in which Kinberg discussed the look and feel of the show, how much it borrows from Ralph McQuarrie’s concept artwork, and how it is different from The Clone Wars and the prequel trilogy. I really enjoyed hearing from Kinberg, who seems to have an excellent grasp on what made the original films so fun and how to show the birth of the Rebellion. He mentions the American Revolution as a reference point for how the series will depict the Rebel Alliance, and says, “we’ve approached [the depiction] in a real-world way.” If the Revolutionary War analogy proves to be an accurate comparison, we’re all in for a thoroughly fun ride.
Another thing I found interesting about the interview is the way Kinberg discusses Pablo Hidalgo’s work on the series. Hidalgo is apparently “very integrated into the process” of creating the show. Kinberg’s references to Expanded Universe material make me think that Rebels will incorporate material from the EU in order to flesh out the world of the series. They have already done that at least once with the Imperial Inquisitor. Kinberg mentions that the Rebels creative team will often ask Hidalgo to flesh out characters and planets for use in the series. Depending on how often that happens, it’s possible that we could see regular, even weekly nods or homages to the material from the books and comics –– a prospect that I think many EU fans would greatly enjoy.
The Internet is currently abuzz with interest about the newest Star Wars Rebels cast member to be introduced. Like the first confirmed cast member of Episode VII, this character is more machine than man. Specifically, he’s an astromech droid named C1-10P, or “Chopper.” (Notice what his designation spells if you pretend that the “1-1” is an “H.”) Dave Filoni and other members of the Rebels crew discussed Chopper in a new video on StarWars.com. Filoni called him “grumpy” and “rickety,” saying that his patchwork nature was the result of the rebels’ limited resources. “If Artoo’s your favorite dog,” Filoni said, “Chopper’s a cat.” Chopper’s design is based on early concept artwork that Ralph McQuarrie worked on for R2-D2 in A New Hope, and sure enough, Hasbro is going to make an action figure of Chopper for its 3¾ Rebels Saga Legends line.
Yesterday, Random House published Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown by Joe Schreiber. You’ve heard about this book in many HoloNet Digests over the last few months, but in case its premise is unfamiliar to you, you can read the publisher’s summary here. If the book appeals to you, you might want to check out TFN’s interview with Joe Schreiber, as well as our two-person review. If you want to read reviews of Lockdown, you can check them out from Eleven-ThirtyEight, Knights’ Archive (Bryan and Meagan), Coffee With Kenobi, Lightsaber Rattling, Club Jade, Big Shiny Robot, Tosche Station, and Roqoo Depot. Honor Among Thieves by James S.A. Corey is next on Del Rey’s release calendar, due March 4.
In other book news, USA Today posted the cover art for William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back, the second book in a trilogy by Ian Doescher adapting the original trilogy in Shakespearean language. The Empire Striketh Back, a publication from the aptly named Quirk Books, will be out on March 18th. The third book in the series, Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return, will be released on July 1st.
Let’s wrap up on a fun note. Mark Hamill, best known for playing you-don’t-need-me-to-tell-you-who-Mark-Hamill-played, answered fan questions on the social sharing website reddit last week as part of the site’s Ask Me Anything Q&A series. The full “AMA” can be found here. No, he didn’t spill the beans about Episode VII, but he did respond to questions on subjects like The Holiday Special, keeping Episode V’s big secret, his favorite deleted scene, and his thoughts on his legacy. There’s much more in the full Q&A, so be sure to hit the link to read it. Episode VII or not, it’s great to see Hamill engaging with fans and clearly having fun while doing so.
Eric Geller is a college student majoring in political science whose interests include technology, journalism, and of course Star Wars. He co-hosts The ForceCast podcast and manages social media for Star Wars fan sites TheForce.Net and Rebelscum.com. He is originally from the Washington, D.C. area.