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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pedro Pascal to Play 'The Mandalorian'

Variety is now reporting that Pedro Pascal will star in The Mandalorian, presumably as the title character. This was already rumored by Making Star Wars last month, but Variety indicates that Pascal "has been offered the role and negotiations are underway." THR corroborated Variety's report. This most likely marks the first in a string of Mandalorian casting news in the next few weeks and months. 
Pascal is best known for his role as the ill-fated Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones. Between Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The Equalizer 2, The Great WallProspect, the upcoming film Triple Frontier, and 2020's Wonder Woman 1984, he's become a popular action star in Hollywood since then. He should be able to handle both the attitude and the physicality of the "lone gunslinger" at the heart of The Mandalorian.

It's a fun coincidence that both The Mandalorian and the Cassian Andor series announced last week have Latino leads. This is a big step for Latinx representation in Star Wars, which was previously limited to Bail Organa, Poe Dameron, and Cassian in important but non-central roles. (Clearly, there’s still some work to be done in terms of female Latinx characters.)

What do you think of this news? What other actors do you hope join The Mandalorian? Tell me in the comments or tweet to @SithObserver, and may the Force be with you all.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cassian Andor TV Series Announced

Disney's Q4 earnings report today included some big news for Star Wars: Rogue One's Cassian Andor will be getting his own live-action series, with Diego Luna reprising his role. The series will obviously precede Rogue One (because who wants to watch a pile of ashes on Scarif?) and will follow Cassian's missions as a spy during the rise of the Rebellion and age of the Empire. 
As with The Mandalorian (which has been filming over the past month, but has strangely had virtually zero casting news) and the Clone Wars revival, this series will be on Disney's streaming service, now revealed to be named Disney+, AKA the parasite that will slowly but surely drain our bank accounts.

Though Luna is currently the only actor confirmed to star in the show, it will almost definitely see Alan Tudyk reprise his fan-favorite role as K-2SO—perhaps to tell the origins of how they met. We could also see returning Rogue One actors like Genevieve O'Reilly and Jimmy Smits as Mon Mothma and Bail Organa, respectively. 
In Rogue One, we saw Cassian murder an informant on the Ring of Kafrene (a location that could easily appear in the series) and nearly assassinate Galen Erso on the Rebellion's orders. It would make sense for this series to show us more of this kind of unethical activity and once again illuminate the dark side (no, not that Dark Side) of the Rebellion. As Mothma said in Star Wars Rebels, "If we degrade ourselves to the Empire's level, what will we become?!"
In a broader sense, this announcement is setting a precedent for Star Wars series focused on popular supporting characters from recent films—similar to how Marvel Studios will be releasing Loki and Scarlet Witch series on Disney+ as well. Captain Phasma, Chirrut and Baze, Enfys Nest and the Cloud-Riders, Lando and L3-37, Beckett and Val, and even Qi'ra and Maul would similarly draw audiences to streaming series but wouldn't necessarily warrant films of their own.

Who else do you want to appear in this series? What kind of adventures do you want to see from Cassian? Tell me in the comments or tweet to @sithobserver, and may the Force be with you all.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

'The Mandalorian' First Look Image and Directors Revealed

A day after Jon Favreau revealed the title and premise of The Mandalorian, StarWars.com has officially announced the rest of the series' creators and released a first look image:
This image is pretty much what we'd expect from the premise: a lone Mandalorian gunfighter. We still don't know who will be playing them, and this image doesn't even confirm their gender. (Female Mandalorian armor as shown in The Clone Wars and Rebels is a little more discernibly feminine, but there could still be a woman under this helmet.)

The five episodic directors are a refreshingly diverse group:
  • Dave Filoni, revered by fans for his work on The Clone Wars and Rebels. This is his first time directing live-action. He'll be directing the first episode, and will also be producing along with Favreau, Kathleen Kennedy, and Colin Wilson. 
  • Deborah Chow, who has directed episodes of series like Mr. RobotJessica Jones, and Better Call Saul. She will be the first Asian person and first woman of color in general to serve as the primary director of a Star Wars project.
  • Rick Famuyiwa, best known for directing 2015's Dope. As a Nigerian American, he will be the first Black primary Star Wars director.
  • Bryce Dallas Howard, daughter of Solo director Ron Howard and an actress known for the Jurassic World movies. She's only directed short films before. Like Chow, she will be one of the first female Star Wars directors.
  • Taika Waititi, the biggest name on this list, known for Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and What We Do in the Shadows. He is of partial Māori descent and will be the first indigenous Star Wars director. The colorful intergalactic action he displayed in Ragnarok and the humor he brings to all his films will translate nicely to Star Wars.
Let's hope the full cast list will match the diverse and groundbreaking nature of the directors. 

What do you think of this image? What do you hope these directors bring to The Mandalorian? Tell me in the comments or tweet to @SithObserver, and may the Force be with you all.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Title and Premise Revealed for 'The Mandalorian,' Jon Favreau's Live-Action 'Star Wars' Series

As Making Star Wars has been consistently reporting, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars TV series is entering production this week. Favreau took to Instagram to reveal the series' title, "The Mandalorian," as well as the premise: 



A post shared by Jon Favreau (@jonfavreau) on
After the stories of Boba and Jango Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.... 
MSW already reported several times that Favreau's series would involve Mandalorian politics, but now it seems it'll be more about a single warrior than the whole planetary system. The titular character was rumored to be played by Game of Thrones and Kingsman: The Golden Circle star Pedro Pascal, but MSW now says that might not be the case. The full cast will undoubtedly be officially announced in the next few weeks.
It's worth noting that the titular protagonist of the series very well could (and, arguably, should) be female. The premise doesn't use any male pronouns describing the character, and the new canon has made it abundantly clear that Mandalore is a gender-equal society that values women as both warriors and leaders. Moreover, Rebels has made it canon that the Mandalore system is multiracial, so this is an opportunity for Star Wars to have its first on-screen lead of color. (Pascal, for the record, is Latino). 
The premise of a scoundrel traveling the galaxy, shooting up bars and getting involved in the galactic underworld is a very Star Wars-y one, if not especially creative or original. 

Check out MakingStarWars.net for set photos of The Mandalorian and details about who will be directing the series.

What do you think of the title and premise of The Mandalorian? Which characters would you like to see in the series? Tell me in the comments or tweet to @SithObserver, and may the Force be with you all.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Kathleen Kennedy Renews Contract; Lucasfilm to Focus on Television

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy—whose name is guaranteed to elicit either fury or unwavering support from any Star Wars fan—has renewed her contract for three more years, THR is reporting. This is a heavy blow against fans who have been demanding and spreading rumors about her departure from Lucasfilm.
Moreover, THR reports that "the near future of Star Wars lies in television," specifically Jon Favreau's live-action series and the Clone Wars revival, both of which are coming to Disney's streaming service (set to launch in the second half of 2019). Though we were already well aware of both these projects, it's good to hear that Lucasfilm will be focusing their resources on them.

After all, Favreau's series would require a huge budget to come anywhere close to the quality of Star Wars films. Nowadays we have cinema-quality television like Game of Thrones that costs $10 million an episode and upwards; a Star Wars series would naturally cost at least that much. Clone Wars would also need a pretty high budget to maintain the beautiful animation featured in the teaser trailer.
THR also notes that Favreau's series (which is rumored to center on Mandalore) is currently casting, meaning that we'll be getting more official details about it in the coming months. If it's anything like the other recent Star Wars projects, the series will be casting young, up-and-coming stars as its leads, with maybe some A-listers finding supporting roles. Good thing Mandalorian armor looks good on literally anyone.

This also matches up with Disney CEO Bob Iger's comments last week that there would be a "slowdown" on Star Wars films after the box office failure of Solo. After Episode IX, the only projects officially in development are Rian Johnson's trilogy and a series of films by the Game of Thrones creators. Variety is reporting that "a spinoff development slate," including Boba Fett's long-rumored film, is being scrapped. 

As for Kennedy herself, there's no doubt that she is extremely competent, experienced, and set in her ways as a manager and producer. However, what a property as big as Star Wars really needs is someone with the creative vision of someone like Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige, who famously plans out films several years in advance and hires reliable, talented, diverse creators. 
Kennedy with Rian Johnson, the only recent Star Wars director who she's actually gotten along with
All this means is that when Kennedy inevitably steps down (be that in three years, five, or even 10), her replacement should be someone with a Feige-level mind—and hopefully someone who's more interested in bringing diverse talent to both sides of the screen.

What do you think of this news? Are you dreading the cost of Disney's streaming service? (You should be.) Tell me in the comments or tweet to @SithObserver, and may the Force be with you all.