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Star Wars Insider – April 2018

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MAY 2018
“That wizard’s just a crazy old man.”
That’s what Owen Lars told Luke Skywalker when
the bright-eyed farm boy asked his uncle about “Ben
Kenobi,” a mysterious hermit who lived out beyond
Tatooine’s Dune Sea. How many of us thought that
decades later that very description could have been
applied to Skywalker himself?
Surly and Yoda-esque when Rey first meets him,
Luke’s journey seemingly ends with his emotional
sunset moment in The Last Jedi (yes, there was a
particle of grit in my eye too!), but was it really the
end or simply the beginning of a brand new journey?
“Death” in the fantasy genre is rarely, if ever, fatal.
Which brings me to the contents of this issue of
Star Wars Insider, in which we explore how Luke went
from hero to wizard in Rian Johnson’s game-changing
movie. Luke’s corporeal journey isn’t the only ending in
Star Wars-land recently, what with the grand finale of
Star Wars Rebels, Disney XD’s key animated series that
followed the adventures of a close-knit band of rebel
heroes. We celebrate the series with a retrospective
look back at its highlights, and speak with the show’s
executive producer, Dave Filoni. Then there’s this new
movie coming up called Solo: A Star Wars Story, but
we’ll let Chewbacca spill the beans on that one…
May the Force be with you!
Editor / Chris Cooper
Senior Editor / Martin Eden
Copy Editor / Simon Hugo
Editorial Assistant / Jake Devine
Art Editor / Andrew Leung
Senior Editor / Brett Rector
Art Director / Troy Alders
Creative Director / Michael Siglain
Asset Management / Tim Mapp,
Erik Sanchez, Bryce Pinkos,
Nicole LaCoursiere
Story Group / Pablo Hidalgo, Leland Chee,
Matt Martin
Tricia Barr, Kristin Baver, Megan Crouse,
Daniel Wallace, Darren Scott,
Michael Kogge, Tom Miller,
Wilfried Tshikana-Ekutshu
Lucy Goldsmith, Erich Schoeneweiss
at Random House, Holly McIntosh, Joseph
Taraborrelli, Andrea Towers, and Jim
Nausedas at Marvel Comics, Lizzy Draeger,
Tracy Cannobbio, and Chris Argyropoulos
at Lucasfilm, Beatrice Osman and Shiho Tilley
at Disney
Production Controller / Peter James
Production Supervisor / Maria Pearson
Senior Production Controller / Jackie Flook
Art Director / Oz Browne
Senior Sales Manager / Santoosh Maharaj
Circulation Assistant / Frankie Hallam
Direct Sales & Marketing Manager
Ricky Claydon
Subscriptions Executive / Tony Ho
Brand Manager, Marketing / Lucy Ripper
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Advertising & Marketing Assistant / Bella Hoy
U.S. Advertising Manager / Jeni Smith
Publishing Manager / Darryl Tothill
Publishing Director / Chris Teather
Operations Director / Leigh Baulch
Executive Director / Vivian Cheung
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Darren Scott
Growing up loving
all things science
fictional, Darren
has forged a
career from
writing about it
wherever and
whenever he can.
Megan Crouse
Megan enjoys
movies, and
taking walks.
She is currently
waiting for the
Tesla Model 3
electric car.
Michael Kogge
Michael is the
author of the
junior novelization
of Star Wars: The
Force Awakens,
and the Star Wars
Rebels chapter
book series.
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Kristin Baver
Kristin was a
card-carrying Star
Wars fan before
she had reason to
own a wallet. Now
she’s a journalist
who writes about
all things sci-fi.
Tricia Barr
Tricia is the
co-author of
DK’s Ultimate
Star Wars.
She also wrote
the acclaimed
novel Wynde.
Find us
Dan Wallace
Dan has written
many Star Wars
books including
several in the
Essential Guide
series and was
a co-author of
Ultimate Star Wars.
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Solo: A Star Wars Story
Meet the scoundrels who inhabit
the galactic underworld of the
new Han Solo movie.
1 8 0
2 0 1 8
to S
Star Wars
Page 50
Rebel Journey
Sacred Texts
With a new series of movies and more TV
on the way, we round up the news from
across the Star Wars galaxy, including the
latest merchandise and publishing.
It’s the end of the beginning, as Star Wars
Rebels reaches its breathtaking finale.
Insider celebrates the highlights of its
four rebellious seasons.
Jason Fry and Michael Kogge, authors of
the adult and junior novelizations of Star
Wars: The Last Jedi, discuss their
approaches to adapting the movie.
Joonas Suotamo
Dave Filoni
From Hero To Wizard
Insider speaks to the ex-basketball
champion about his on-set Star Wars
experiences and the thrill of life as
a Wookiee hero.
Lucasfilm’s animation guru and co-creator
of Star Wars Rebels looks back at the
series’ run and towards the future
of Star Wars.
Following in the footsteps of Obi-Wan
Kenobi and Yoda in The Last Jedi,
how did Luke Skywalker go from
hero to mentor?
Rogues Gallery
Who Shot Last?
Richard Marquand
Get ready for the release of Solo: A Star
Wars Story with the Insider guide to the
movie’s nefarious cast of characters.
Author Daniel José Older unveils
the new Han and Lando novel,
Star Wars: Last Shot.
A classic archive interview from 1983 with
director Richard Marquand, to mark the
35th anniversary of Return of the Jedi.
Jedi Master’s Quiz
Image Archive
We have five copies of
Star Wars Icons up for grabs.
Put your knowledge of the Ghost crew
to the test in our Star Wars Rebels quiz.
Charity runs and tattoo art, from the
fans inspired by Star Wars.
A rare behind-the-scenes photo from
the set of Return of the Jedi.
/ C O M I C S
/ FA S H I O N
Game Of Empires
Thrones showrunners to create new Star Wars
he creators of long-running,
TV series Game of Thrones,
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss,
have been announced as the
writers and producers of a new set of
Star Wars movies.
Benioff and Weiss, whose adaptation
of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy epic A
Song of Fire and Ice has been wowing
television audiences since 2011, made a
joint statement on their appointment,
saying, “In the summer of 1977 we
traveled to a galaxy far, far away, and
we’ve been dreaming of it ever since. We
are honored by the opportunity, a little
terrified by the responsibility, and so
excited to get started as soon as the final
season of Game of Thrones is complete.”
With that show set to conclude with
its eighth season in 2019, fans will have
a while to wait until we discover what
the duo are planning for their Star Wars
saga, which is entirely separate from the
trilogy also under development by Star
Wars: The Last Jedi writer and director
Rian Johnson.
In the announcement made on
February 6 the president of Lucasfilm,
Kathleen Kennedy, said, “David and
Dan are some of the best storytellers
Photos: D.B Weiss - Gage Skidmore / David Benioff - Shutterstock
working today. Their command of
complex characters, depth of story and
richness of mythology will break new
ground, and boldly push Star Wars in
ways I find incredibly exciting.”
In associated news, Disney CEO Bob
Iger revealed during the company’s
annual First Quarter conference call that
“not just one but a few Star Wars series”
are under development for Disney’s
new streaming platform, which is due
to launch in the U.S. sometime in 2019.
Details remain shrouded in mystery, but
it’s clear that Star Wars has an exciting
future with a destiny stretching far
beyond the finale of the Skywalker saga
in J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX.
A Galaxy Far,
Star Wars live-action TV series swings into action
et more amazing news for
Star Wars fans comes in the
form of Emmy-nominated
producer and actor Jon
Favreau, who swaps Disney’s Marvel
universe for a galaxy far, far away to
executive produce and write an allnew live-action Star Wars television
series for Disney’s forthcoming
subscription streaming service.
Favreau, who provided the voice
of Pre Vizla in Star Wars: The Clone
Wars and also has a role in Solo:
A Star Wars Movie, said in press
release accompanying the Lucasfilm
announcement, “If you told me at 11
years old that I would be getting to
tell stories in the Star Wars universe,
I wouldn’t have believed you. I can’t
wait to embark upon this exciting
Lucasfilm president Kathleen
Kennedy was equally enthusiastic,
saying, “Jon brings the perfect mix
of producing and writing talent,
combined with a fluency in the Star
Wars universe.” She added, “This
series will allow Jon the chance to
work with a diverse group of writers
and directors and give Lucasfilm
the opportunity to build a robust
talent base.”
A launch date for Disney’s directto-consumer platform, and the as-yetuntitled Star Wars live-action series,
has yet to be announced.
The Watchlist
ILM takes YouTubers behind the magic
head of February’s Academy
Awards, renowned effects
house Industrial Light &
Magic (a nominee for the
hotly-contested 2018 VFX Oscar, for
their work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
released a quartet of video shorts on
its YouTube channel, peeling back the
digital layers on some of the movie’s
most striking effects sequences.
These fast-paced featurettes, released
under the banner Behind the Magic,
lift the lid on the Battle of Crait, The
Hanger, Bombing Run, and Creating
Supreme Leader Snoke. Watch them all
by searching ILMVisualFX on YouTube.
yourself in Star
Wars hotel
Set Course for a Space Vacation
Disney Parks announce Star Wars projects around the world
uring a recent visit with
France’s President Macron in
Paris, Disney CEO Bob Iger
announced a $2.47 billion
investment in Disneyland Paris that
will include a brand-new Star Wars
area, set to be built alongside a huge
Marvel superhero experience and a new
attraction based on the hit animation
Frozen (2013), which will be opening
in phases from 2021.
Meanwhile, in an event at Disney’s
D23 Expo Japan 2018, Bob Chapek—
the chairman of Walt Disney Parks and
Resorts—was on hand to reveal further
exciting details about the Star Warsthemed hotel planned for Florida’s
Walt Disney World Resort.
Chapek announced that the hotel
will connect seamlessly with Star Wars:
Galaxy’s Edge, the new land opening in
Disney’s Hollywood Studios next year,
offering a totally immersive, 24-7
experience of life in a galaxy far,
far away.
The adventure begins the moment
guests arrive at the hotel, the interior
of which will replicate a starship
in breathtaking detail, from guest
quarters to a stunning bridge area
(as seen in the above concept art).
An opening date for the hotel is yet
to be confirmed, so watch this space.
Blu-Rey Bonanza
Bring The Last Jedi home
ith over two hours of
bonus content, including
14 deleted scenes and a
fascinating documentary
feature that goes deep behind-thescenes on the making of the movie,
the home entertainment release of
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is available
now on digital download and disc.
Amid a deluge of value-added
material, the highlight extra is The
Director and the Jedi, an intimate
and personal journey on the making
of the movie with Rian Johnson
that was specially produced for
this release. Johnson also discusses
his interpretation of Star Wars
mythology in the Balance of the
Force featurette, and provides a full
audio commentary.
There are also breakdowns
of key scenes that provide extra
insight into the movie-making
experience, including Lighting the
Spark: Creating the Space Battle and
Showdown on Crait, which explores
the interplay between real-world
locations and visual effects. Snoke
and Mirrors looks at the motioncapture process behind creating The
Last Jedi ’s big villain, which takes
us to Andy Serkis Live! (One Night
Only)—an incredible bonus feature in
which we witness Serkis’ intense and
raw performance as Snoke before the
digital addition of the First Order’s
head honcho.
Retailer exclusive versions of
Star Wars: The Last Jedi also include
unique and exclusive bonus material.
as a digital
download or
physical disc
Dtay Wonna
Hasbro’s HasLab aims to
crowdfund Jabba’s Sail Barge
asbro’s big New York Toy
Fair 2018 reveal set fans and
collector’s hearts racing,
with the launch of the
brand’s unique crowdfunding HasLab
initiative—and the promise of one of
the most ambitious and long-awaited
Star Wars action figure accessories the
toy firm has ever produced.
The Vintage Collection Jabba’s Sail
Barge (also known as The Khetanna) will
measure approximately 4 feet long, and
is designed to accommodate Hasbro’s
standard 3.75-inch figures. It will feature
premium decoration, vintage-style Star
Wars packaging, and include an action
figure of the almighty Jabba himself.
Using crowdfunding to finance
development and manufacturing of
the limited-run product, the project
set out to achieve 5000 pre-orders by
April 3, 2018. So, by the time you read
this we’ll know whether HasLab hit
its production-run target—or if the
infamous Hutt will be hitchhiking his
way home across the sands of Tatooine!
You’ll never go solo at
bedtime again!
oon you won’t need a life
debt to snag your own
fuzzy-faced sidekick. The
Star Wars Ultimate Co-Pilot
Chewie is a pint-sized walking carpet
with all the roars, whimpers, and
sassy comebacks of his much-larger
counterpart. Standing at 16 inches
tall, your new best friend—due to
be released by Hasbro in the fall
of 2018—responds to sound and
motion, with more than 100 reactive
combinations including a variety of
facial expressions that bring your
furry friend to life. With poseable
legs and Chewbacca’s ever-present
bandolier and satchel, rock him
gently and this little Wookiee nods
off to sleep. But be careful not to upset
him—even with a Wookiee this small,
that’s not a wise thing to do!
Hasbro’s Star Wars Ultimate Co-Pilot
Chewie will retail at $129.99.
By Russ Brown and Jamie Cosley
A Flock Of Falcons
All the hunks of junk you could ever wish for
t’s the ship that made the... ah, you know the rest! With the release
of Solo: A Star Wars Story, toy manufacturers LEGO and Hasbro are
fully on board with the new-look Millennium Falcon—or should that
be old-look, before Han and Chewie made more than a few “special
modifications”?— with both offering new versions of the iconic freighter:
Solo Feels
The Force?
Solo: A Star Wars Story
figures get Force Linked
ast year, the Hasbro Force
Link line brought movie
sound effects and favorite
phrases from Star Wars:
The Last Jedi home with wearable
technology that recognized characters
in their 3.75-inch action figure range.
Now the Force Link 2.0 starter kit arrives
with an exclusive Han Solo figure and
the capability to bring the magic of
Solo: A Star Wars Story right into the
palm of your hand. The line works with
more than 30 compatible characters,
and there are more figures on the way.
Star Wars Force Link 2.0 Starter Set will
retail at $29.99, with the regular 3.75inch action figure assortment starting
at $7.99.
Old friends and new foes from Solo,
including Tobias Beckett, Qi’Ra, and
Lando Calrissian, also join the forces
of the Black Series range, featuring
high articulation and stunning sculpts
(pictured below). The new Black Series
figures are priced at $19.99, and will all
be available in toy stores around the
world from this spring.
Out in Spring,
priced at
LEGO Kessel Run Millennium Falcon
LEGO’s Kessel Run Millennium Falcon kit features 1,414 individual bricks that
piece together to re-create the ship’s gleaming interior and a pristine white and
blue paint job. The set comes with a full crew of Minifigures, including the Falcon’s
dashing captain Lando Calrissian, Han and Chewbacca, and the mysterious Qi’ra,
along with a Kessel droid and two additional characters. With the film coming out in
May, building this set should occupy some of the long hours before it’s time to stand
in line for tickets. The LEGO Kessel Run Millennium Falcon (Set number 75212) is
out in Spring, priced at $169.99.
The 3.75-Inch
Falcon Vehicle is
out now priced
Hasbro Kessel Run Millennium Falcon Vehicle
For 40 years, the Hasbro Millennium Falcon has landed high on kids’ (and adults’!)
wishlists as the ultimate in Star Wars accessories. Travel the storied Kessel Run in
less than 12 parsecs with this new iteration of the infamous starship that includes
lights, sounds and vibrations, courtesy of an especially cool “rumble pack”.
Hinting at the ship’s future, a push of a button makes several panels pop off, and
there’s a removable mini-ship that separates from the front end of the Falcon.
Hasbro’s Solo: A Star Wars Story 3.75-inch Kessel Run Millennium Falcon Vehicle is
out now for ages 4 years and up (and up again!), priced $99.99
New Zealand Notes
More wealth than you can imagine
new collection from the
New Zealand mint is busy
immortalizing your favorite
characters and unforgettable
moments from Star Wars: A New Hope
in collectible 5g pure silver coin notes.
First up is a familiar farm boy with
his mind lost on the horizon during a
somber twin sunset. A collage of images
of Luke Skywalker is emblazoned on one
side of the note, with a combination
of engraving and color printing adding
dimension and fine detail. On the
obverse, the profile of Queen Elizabeth
II is set against a field of Imperial and
rebel symbols. Each note has a unique
Porg sneakers
available from
May 2018
serial number, and is legal tender on
the South Pacific island of Niue.
Future releases will also include Han
Solo and Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi,
Princess Leia, R2-D2 and C-3PO, and
Darth Vader. Each coin note delivers
in a protective sleeve, with the Luke
Skywalker note coming with a unique
album enabling collectors to store all
six notes together.
The Luke Skywalker 5g silver coin
note and collector’s album is priced at
$39 and available from
Porg Pumps
Star Wars sneakers for your Ahch-toes
irect from the island refuge of AhchTo, these porg-speckled sneakers are
the coolest new addition to the Po-Zu
Star Wars line of intergalactic footwear.
The delightful space creatures are printed
onto organic cotton to create these low-cut laceup and high-top shoes, perfect for traversing the
galaxy or simply hanging around your hut in
between thala-siren milkings.
In keeping with the rest of the brand’s
offerings, both styles continue Po-Zu’s tradition
of crafting vegan-friendly, ethical, sustainable
shoes that are as comfortable as they are cute.
These two porgalicious pairs will be hitting
stores in May, starting at $77.46. See
for more details.
Important dates
in Star Wars
Perfect Grade
Falcon from
Bandai Hobby
May 26: Peter Cushing (Grand
Moff Tarkin) is born.
May 14: George Lucas, the creator
of Star Wars, is born. Happy
birthday, George!
May 6: Lars Mikkelsen (Grand
Admiral Thrawn in Star Wars
Rebels) is born.
May 12: The novelization of Star
Wars: A New Hope is published by
Ballantine Books.
Perfect Grade Corellian Kit
Bandai pieces together the finer points of the Falcon
hanks to Solo: A Star Wars
Story, we now know how the
Millennium Falcon looked
in its glory days, but Bandai
Hobby’s latest version of the freighter is
hardly a hunk of junk.
The fittingly named Perfect Grade
(PG) Millennium Falcon is an epic
1/72 scale model kit that painstakingly
re-creates Han Solo’s beloved ship as
seen in Star Wars: A New Hope. The
19-inch-long masterpiece is the result of
thousands of hours spent by designers
researching studio models used during
filming, making this the most accurate
model kit of the ship to date.
Priced at $350 this standard edition
of the Falcon differs from the original
version that went on sale at New York
Comic-Con in 2017, using stickers
rather than water-slide transfers and
omitting the LED engine lights.
With snap-together parts and decals
masterfully depicting every asteroid
dent and blast mark on the Falcon’s
shabby exterior, and featuring tiny
replicas of Han, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan,
Luke, C-3PO, and Princess Leia nestling
in the cockpit, Bandai Hobby’s Perfect
Grade Millennium Falcon remains the
most detailed Corellian light freighter
on the market!
Blue Lord Of The Sith
May 12: Domhnall Gleeson
(General Hux) is born.
May 25: Star Wars: Return of the
Jedi is first released.
May 1: Star Wars: The Last
Command, the third book in
Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the
Empire trilogy, is published
by Bantam Spectra.
May 13: The Xbox version of video
game Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter
is released.
May 3: The soundtrack album for
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is
released by Sony Classical.
May 25: Solo: A Star Wars Story is
released in cinemas worldwide.
An unexpected pleasure from ThinkGeek
ighly stylized by Egg Attack Action for, this “holographic” Darth
Vader boasts 26 points of articulation,
interchangeable hands, a removable cape
and vest, and a removable helmet revealing Anakin
Skywalker’s scarred visage. Standing at 7 inches tall,
the Star Wars Darth Vader Hologram Figure is available
now exclusively from, priced $119.99.
Book Club
A pair of scoundrels take center stage in the
latest Star Wars book releases
In book stores
from April 17
Han and Lando, Together Again
Old friends roll the dice one more time in Star Wars: Last Shot
Lando Calrissian and Han
Solo share a long and often
rocky history—introduced
in The Empire Strikes Back
and set to deepen in Solo:
A Star Wars Story. On April
17, an all-new adventure
unravels a critical piece of
that checkered relationship.
Set during the largely
unexplored gap between
Return of the Jedi and The
Force Awakens, Star Wars:
Last Shot from Del Rey
Books presents a Han Solo
who seems happy with the
quiet life of raising a family
with his favorite princess.
But then Lando turns up at
his door, and the former
outlaw gets caught up in a
tangle of troubles that he
thought he’d left behind a
decade ago.
Fyzen Gor—a gangster
and genius machinist who
commands a deadly army
of robotic minions—has just
resurfaced and is in pursuit
of a mysterious artifact.
With Gor’s grim assassins
already on Lando’s trail, the
roguish duo recruit a crew
that includes an Ewok slicer
prodigy, a young hotshot
pilot, a Twi’lek who might
be the love of Lando’s life,
and good old Chewbacca.
The race is on to save
Lando’s Cloud City home
and prevent Fyzen from
using the Phylanx Redux
transmitter to reshape the
fate of the galaxy. Can two
notorious scoundrels
teaming up for one last job
win through? Don’t tell
them the odds!
Star Wars:
Encyclopedia of
and Other Vehicles
A-wing, B-wing, Y-wing, U-wing?
In a galaxy where starships are
as common as automobiles,
it can be easy to lose sight
of all the specifications. Fans
can fix that with Star Wars:
Encyclopedia of Starfighters
and Other Vehicles, Dorling
Kindersley’s new 208-page
reference covering 200-plus
rides that are truly out of this
world. Packed with fun facts and
fascinating stats, this imageheavy encyclopedia draws
upon the entire saga, including
the films and the animated
adventures. From the swamps
of Kashyyyk to the city-canyons
of Coruscant, writer Landry
Q. Walker covers everything
that can traverse land, sea, and
air while showcasing the best
transports anywhere.
Released on April 3, 2018.
Choose Your Destiny:
A Han & Chewie
The Moviemaking
Magic of Star Wars:
Creatures and Aliens
When the famous duo set off in
the Millennium Falcon for what
looks like an easy smuggling
gig, they get far more than they
bargained for after Han tries
to pose as vile gangster Jabba
the Hutt. Han and Chewie are
soon in trouble, with a swarm of
Imperial TIE fighters on their tail.
Should they stick around and
shoot back or do their best to
outrun them?
That decision and many
more are left up to the reader in
this original choose your destiny
adventure by writer Cavan Scott.
The fate of our favorite space
pirates rests in your hands with
the turn of every page, as you
make the decisions that will
either see Han and Chewie
through to the final chapter or
spinning off into an asteroid
field. Just like Han, you’ll be
making it up as you go along!
Coming this spring from Abrams
Books, The Moviemaking Magic
of Star Wars: Creatures and
Aliens uses the movie saga’s
unforgettable extraterrestrials
to take younger readers on an
interactive tour through the
history of the special effects
used in the making of the Star
Wars movies.
Exhaustively researched by
author Mark Salisbury, this nonfiction hardcover book includes
archive interviews with some
of cinema’s most celebrated
creative artists, including crewmembers from the original
Star Wars trilogy such as Ralph
McQuarrie and Stuart Freeborn,
as well as exclusive new insights
from next-generation innovators
such as Neal Scanlan, Doug
Chiang, and Dave Filoni.
Comics Roundup
From the Rebellion to the Resistance, these Star Wars
comics prove that fighting for a cause never goes out of style
All Odds
Star Wars and Poe Dameron
serve up inspiring tales of heroism
Princess Leia has a plan. That statement
could apply in equal measure to Marvel’s
flagship Star Wars comic and its Poe
Dameron series, despite an in-universe gap
of more than three decades between the
two titles.
As Star Wars chronicles the Rebellion’s
early triumphs, under the guidance of writer
Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca,
Princess Leia remains determined to free
the Imperial-occupied waterworld of Mon
Cala. But in issue #46, her stratagems hinge
on the unlikeliest of diplomats: etiquette and
protocol expert C-3PO!
Over in Poe Dameron, writer Charles
Soule and artist Angel Unzueta kick off an
all-new story arc with issue #26—one that
promises to bridge the comic and some
familiar big-screen events. The multipart
story is titled “The Awakening Begins” and
sees Black Squadron leader Poe Dameron
head off to the desert planet Jakku on a
mission for General Leia Organa. Poe is
determined to make contact with Lor San
Tekka and bring the Resistance one step
closer to locating the absent hero Luke
Skywalker. Don’t miss this chance to follow
Poe Dameron’s adventures during the unseen
events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens!
Star Wars: Poe Dameron Vol. 4: Legend Found
For those who can’t get enough of the Resistance’s charming flyboy,
Star Wars: Poe Dameron Vol. 4: Legend Found collects the previous
efforts of Poe Dameron and Black Squadron to pick up the trail of
Lor San Tekka. The 168-page trade paperback, written by Charles
Soule and Robbie Thompson, with art by Angel Unzueta and Nik
Virella, offers wall-to-wall adventure with tales including an againstall-odds prison break and Poe’s desperate plight stranded in First
Order space with no ship and precious little oxygen. Legend Found
collects issues #20-25 of the monthly series as well as Annual #1.
Don’t Miss These Great
Forthcoming Titles
Star Wars Adventures #10
Powered Down: Part 1
Hitting shelves to coincide with the
release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, issue
10 of IDW Comics’ Star Wars Adventures
finds Han and Chewie on the run from
bounty hunters once again, but they’re
headed for even more trouble when they
take refuge on a world that mysteriously
shuts down all electronics. With no way
off the planet, will our favorite scruffy
duo be able to evade their pursuers?
Written by Cavan Scott with art by
Derek Charm, the issue also includes
a bonus Lando Calrissian story, with
writing and art by talented duo Elsa
Charretier and Pierrick Colinet.
Star Wars Adventures
Vol. 3: Endangered
Star Wars Adventures #9
Writer John Barber,
Nickolas Brokenshire
Artists Chad Thomas,
Nickolas Brokenshire
Cover Artist Chad Thomas
Star Wars #46
Writer Kieron Gillen
Artist Salvador Larroca
Cover Artist David Marquez
Star Wars Adventures
Annual 2018
Writer John Jackson Miller
Artist Jon Sommariva
Cover Artist Jon Sommariva
Collecting stories from Star Wars
Adventures issues #6–8, IDW present
more untold tales from the Star
Wars galaxy. Rose Tico–the breakout
character from Star Wars: The Last
Jedi—gets an action-packed adventure
all of her own in which she takes up the
fight against the First Order. Meanwhile,
young Anakin Skywalker finds himself
competing in a podrace the likes of
which he’s never seen before, and the
rebel crew of the Ghost undertake a
mission to rescue a sacred bird from
the clutches of the Empire! Delilah S.
Dawson provides the words, with art
from the reliable pen of Derek Charm.
Darth Vader #14
Writer Charles Soule
Artist Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover Artists Giuseppe
Camuncoli & Elia Bonetti
Star Wars Legends Epic
Collection: The Empire Vol. 4
Darth Vader #15
Writer Charles Soule
Artist Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover Artists Giuseppe
Camuncoli & Elia Bonetti
This one is all about the bad guys,
collecting numerous Darth Vader, Jabba
the Hutt and Boba Fett tales into an epic
496-page volume. A former Clone Wars
trooper becomes inspired by the rise of
Darth Vader; Jabba the Hutt steals the
spotlight in four stories of bartering,
backstabbing and betrayal; and Boba
Fett threatens to become an enemy of
the Empire when Vader hires him for an
important job. The collection features
the work of writers Tim Siedell, Jim
Woodring, John Wagner, Kia Asamiya,
and Beau Smith, and artists Gabriel
Guzman, Art Wetherell, Ian Gibson, Kia
Asamiya, and Mike Deodato Jr.
Star Wars: Thrawn #3 (of 6)
Writer Jody Houser
Artist Luke Ross
Cover Artist Paul Renaud
Star Wars: Poe Dameron #26
Writer Charles Soule
Artist Angel Unzueta
Cover Artist Phil Noto
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #19
Writers Kieron Gillen & Si Spurrier
Artist Emilio Laiso
Cover Artist Ashley Witter
Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo proved a worthy successor to original
Wookiee Peter Mayhew in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Now
he’s stepping back in time to tell the tale of Chewie’s first adventure on the
Millennium Falcon in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
because working with this ensemble of superstars
on’t ever listen to anyone
is such a unique experience. All these movies are
who tells you watching
their own little world. I can’t wait to see this one
movies won’t get you
on screen.”
Perhaps the biggest difference this time
“Star Wars films were
around is that Peter Mayhew, the man inside
the first movies that I really
the Chewie suit since A New Hope, will not be
remember watching,” says Joonas Suotamo, who
has gone from childhood fan and film student
taking part in this latest production. Mayhew
to the dizzy heights of playing Chewbacca on
and Suotamo shared Wookiee duties on The
the big screen. “We put on those VHS tapes and
Force Awakens, and the older actor served as a
consultant on The Last Jedi. Now, for want of a
I used to wonder about the little details. Like the
better phrase, Suotamo is going solo.
blue milk that Luke is drinking with his Uncle
“Before The Force Awakens, Peter and I took
Owen and Aunt Beru. I didn’t know what it was
part in what we called ‘The Wookiee
called, but I thought it was porridge,
Bootcamp,’” reveals Suotamo.
because I used to eat a lot of oatmeal
“When we first met, he said I was
when I was little.
a little bit too skinny! We spent a
“I also remember watching
couple of weeks together, going into
the gonk droid, and thinking it
detail about how Peter used to make
was a refrigerator with legs, and I
the suit work for him, the way, for
completely didn’t really realize there
example, that Chewbacca wears his
was a man inside Chewbacca. I can
chest proud.
remember thinking that he was just
“It was amazing to get that kind
a bear that they found somewhere.”
of detail, and I couldn’t believe how
Suotamo was chosen to be the
gracious Peter was about it, because
“bear” for a new generation of fans
after nearly five months of auditions
for a project called “Foodles”—the
working alias for The Force Awakens.
The process began with him sending
a video, filmed by his girlfriend, of
his best impression of a caveman.
Almost half a year later, following a
trip to London to meet J.J. Abrams,
he won the role of the world’s
favorite Wookiee.
“The Force Awakens was my first
movie, so obviously it was full of
those butterflies-in-your-stomach
moments, with everything being
so new. Getting to work with J.J.
Abrams was an experience I will
never forget.
“For this new movie,” he says,
referring to Solo: A Star Wars Story,
“it was thrilling in a different way,
„ Born October 3,
1986 (31 years old)
„ Raised in Espoo,
Uusimaa, Finland
„ 6 ft 10 in tall
„ Studied film
and video at Penn
State University,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.,
graduating in 2008
„ Played college
basketball for Nittany
Lions at Penn State,
for seven seasons in
Finland’s basketball
leagues, and for
the Finnish national
basketball team
„ Served in the
Finnish military
„ Sold insurance
over the phone
before landing the
part of Chewie
it must be hard to see something
that you’ve done all your life be
passed on. But I assured him that
I had much respect for him and
the character he made famous, so
Chewie was going to be in good
hands. Now I try to take everything
that Peter has brought to the role
and make it my own, with my own
unique physique!”
So how does Suotamo’s Chewie
differ from Mayhew’s now that he is
three films in?
“Because of my love for Star Wars
and all that comes with it, I wanted
the Chewbacca that I play to be very
similar in essence to the one that
Peter plays,” he says. “I want there
to be that same feeling, when you
look at this character in Solo, that
he is thinking about the same things that Peter
thought about in the original trilogy.
“It sort of transcends the script and the actor,
and it can be very hard to gauge, so I do ask to
see my scenes once we’ve filmed them to be sure
I’m doing them justice. Being covered in hair, I
don’t have the usual references that I do when
working with my own face, and I want to do it
well. So that’s how I approach it.”
Being “covered in hair” has other drawbacks,
too, and Suotamo describes these as the few
“non-perks” of the job. “The suit requires a lot of
maintenance,” he explains. “Hats off to everyone
who works on the suit after each day of sweat
and whatever elements we’re subjected to while
filming, because they have to take such good care
of it! If I want to go to the bathroom, we have to
remove the entire costume, which takes about
10 minutes. Unfortunately, it takes longer than
that to put it back on. It can get very complicated
01 Rian Johnson
directs Suotamo
in the Millennium
Falcon’s cockpit.
02 Chewie displays his
natural charm as a
Resistance medic tends
to his wounded arm in
The Force Awakens.
negotiating the filming schedule for the day,
but I still wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Dealing with the elements was, of course,
a major issue when filming in Ireland for The
Last Jedi, where the island of Skellig Michael
served as Luke’s island on Ahch-To. Here
Chewie was reunited with his Jedi friend, as
well as making new, feathered pals, in the
shape of the lovable porgs.
“I’ve read the stories that porgs were based
on the puffins that were really on the island,”
says Suotamo, “but I never saw them myself.
The actual porgs on set were real enough for
me. The creature effects team, guided by the
awesome Neal Scanlan, did such a great job in
bringing those characters to life. Watching it
hop on to the dashboard of the Millennium
Falcon while we were shooting… It was like a
real thing. Of course, I had to forget that there
were about five people involved in moving the
wings, the feet, the body, the head, and the
eyes! It was a big collaboration.”
And did Suotamo think of all those people
when he had to eat a porg? He laughs. “I’ve
decided now that eating porgs is a very bad
thing! And I think that Chewie instantly
regrets it, too!”
Not A Piece Of Junk
Speaking of the Falcon, Solo sees Suotamo
stepping inside the iconic ship for the third
time. Does it ever stop being cool?
“It is a wonderful place and I could live
there,” he laughs. “Everything about it is
iconic—even the smell! I think Mark Hamill
has commented that the smell it had in the
1970s is still there. It must be the glue, or the
construction material that they use. I definitely
get goosebumps every time we shoot there.
“…I completely
didn’t realize that
there was a man
inside Chewbacca.
I can remember
thinking that he was
just a bear that they
found somewhere.”
“I remember the first time I filmed in the
cockpit,” he admits, “I broke some part of it off!
Coming out of that, I tried to be more careful,
but the next time I went in, I broke something
else entirely. It took me about three tries to get
my bearings and not break anything. Shooting
Solo was great, because other people broke stuff
as well!”
Suotamo’s enthusiasm for Solo is obvious,
and not just because he is now the Star Wars
veteran on the set. “I can’t wait to see it, first
of all,” he enthuses, “because I had such a fun
time making it. The cast is just phenomenal.
We hung out together; we went to [Qi’ra actor]
Emilia Clarke’s place. There was me, Donald
[Glover, Lando], Alden [Ehrenreich, Han],
Woody [Harrelson, Tobias Beckett], and Phoebe
[Waller-Bridge, who plays sassy droid L3-37].
“We had such a good time making this film
under the guidance of [director] Ron Howard,
who brought so much knowledge and experience
to the set. It was just a dream to be making this
film. It makes it easier than you might think,
being in such good care.” He checks himself and
chuckles, realizing how excited he sounds.
“Obviously, there’s going to be a ‘buddy’
aspect to this film, where we’re going to see how
Chewbacca met Han, and how that relationship
started. There are a lot of escapades in the
underworld, with people who are new and
people who are known to us already. It’s going to
be a fascinating adventure!
“When we were shooting, Alden and I used to
make light of the fact that we were both playing
these iconic characters. I used to ask Alden to
do Harrison Ford impressions, which he can
do so well. But I also respected the fact that he
wanted to make this character his own, because
in acting you sort of have to be careful about not
mimicking the character you’re playing and
03 Chewbacca’s personal
makeup team groom
his shaggy mane.
04 Chewbacca and Finn
(John Boyega) under
First Order fire on
05 Rey (Daisy Ridley) and
Finn join Chewie on
the Millennium Falcon.
basing it off someone else’s performance. That’s
what I try to do with Chewbacca and that’s
what Alden tries to do with Han. It was great to
see him give that character his own variety and
Suotamo is, of course, the only actor to
appear with both incarnations of Han Solo.
“You’re absolutely right! I’ve never thought of
that! I’m very grateful to have worked with both
of them. One of them is en route to becoming
legendary, and one of them already is. Harrison
is everything that I remember watching when I
was a kid! Alden saw that, too, I think. He saw
the boots that he had to fill and he took it on so
well. He was always so prepared. He wrote a lot
of notes in the development phase. I can’t wait
for everyone to see how he pulls it off, because
he did such a phenomenal job.”
A Wookiee’s Story
The title of the movie may be Solo, but Suotamo
promises that fans will learn a lot about Chewie’s
background, too.
“It’s so interesting, because this movie not
only tells the story of how Han and Chewie
met, but also things about Chewie’s life that
we’ve never seen. When they meet, he’s fallen
on pretty hard times. I think people are really
going to get a new outlook on Chewie after they
see that. But it’s a buddy movie most of all, and
if you’ve never seen a Star Wars film, you can
come to this and be totally engaged. You don’t
need any prior knowledge of this world. It’s just
a fun-loving adventure for everybody.”
People who have never seen a Star Wars film?
Surely not. Super-fandom is now pretty much
the norm! Speaking of which, what has been
Suotamo’s most memorable experience of Star
Wars fans so far? He ponders…
“It’s either the person who baked me a
Chewbacca cake, or the dad in IKEA who wanted
to take a picture of me with his two kids. The
kids didn’t have a clue who I was, so they just
cried and tried to get away from me! All the fans
are so passionate about Star Wars, and they’ve
been there for so long. I feel very humbled that
I get to be part of making these stories for the
next generation.”
As well as a worldwide base of dedicated fans,
Star Wars also comes with a huge family of cast
and crew that a relative newcomer like Suotamo
can turn to.
“I feel very lucky to have this experienced
06 Joonas Suotamo as
Chewbacca in Solo: A
Star Wars Story
07 “U OK, Han?” Chewie
lends a reassuring paw
to Han Solo (Alden
08 Chewbacca (Suotamo),
Beckett (Woody
Harrelson), Qi’ra
(Emilia Clarke), and
Han take flight in Solo:
A Star Wars Movie.
“This movie not only tells the story of
how Han and Chewie met, but also things
about Chewie’s life that we’ve never seen.”
generation of actors who have done it all of their
lives,” he says. “Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill,
Peter… And also Carrie Fisher, who gave me such
amazing advice. I remember when we were flying
across the Atlantic for the premiere of The Force
Awakens, we talked about the fans, and how you
need to be in contact with them. She was just so
good about that. It’s a legacy I’m stepping into.”
So, finally, did anyone else have good advice
for Suotamo?
“I think I got most of what I needed from
Peter and his wife Angie,” he says. “They were
very helpful in giving me pointers in how to
behave. They told me how passionate the fans
can be, and how you have to acknowledge that,
because they are the reason we’re here, basically,
and that must be respected.
“It’s great that I’m now connected to this
character who’s so universally known and so
iconic. What Peter did in the original films is
so personal, and you’re very much able to read
what Chewbacca is thinking. That was very
groundbreaking, I think, for a suited character,
and that has a lot to do with why Chewbacca is
so loved. I’m just very happy to be part of that. I
can’t wait for what’s next.”
Star Wars Insider presents our guide to the
scoundrels of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
oin us on a journey into the darker corners of the Star Wars galaxy, where a
life of crime may be the only way of surviving Imperial domination.
In Solo: A Star Wars Story, we discover how a young Corellian thief and
swindler named Han Solo begins his journey toward becoming the most
beloved (if not the most trustworthy) scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series
of dazzling escapades deep within the dangerous galactic underworld of organized
crime, Han Solo will meet his fearless future co-pilot Chewbacca, and encounter
the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, along with a host of nefarious characters
who will set the destiny of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.
Solo: A Star Wars Story releases in U.S. theaters on May 25, 2018.
Han Solo
Han Solo
Portrayed By Alden Ehrenreich
Times are tough under
Imperial rule, with planets across
the galaxy feeling the pressure
of the Emperor’s iron grip. One
such world that has seen better
days is Corellia, transformed by
the Galactic Empire into one of
its principle starship production
facilities, its famous shipyards
now churning out TIE fighters,
Star Destroyers and many other
weapons of Imperial domination.
To survive the harsh reality
that has befallen his homeworld,
a young street thief named Han
spends his days running scams
while working for a notorious
Corellian gang, stealing what he
can and cutting deals on behalf
of his ill-tempered crime boss.
Han is unrefined, reckless, and
continuously getting himself into
scrapes—then improvising his
way out of them.
Never one to plan too
far ahead, Han goes where
opportunity calls. Determined
to become “the best pilot in the
galaxy,” he enlists in the Imperial
navy only to find himself kicked
out of the flight academy for
“having a mind of [his] own.”
But he’s about to meet a
charismatic rogue named Tobias
Beckett, a man who will have an
enormous impact on the kind
of person Han is destined to
Portrayed By Joonas Suotamo
A mighty Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk, Chewbacca has
had many highs and lows during his almost 200-year life. He’s been
enslaved by Trandoshans, defended his homeworld from invasion
during the Clone Wars, and even helped a Jedi Master escape the
grasp of the Emperor. But as the Galactic Empire has expanded,
Chewie (as he’s known to his friends) has fallen on hard times.
When he first encounters young Han, Chewbacca definitely has
his doubts about the cocky Corellian—and we all know it isn’t wise
to upset a Wookiee.
Portrayed By Emilia
As a child, Qi’ra was
just another powerless
street urchin, making
her way as best she
could on the grim
thoroughfares of
Corellia. Running with
a street kid named Han,
she was determined to
move up in the world
and gain status and
reputation. As she got
older, Qi’ra had grown
into an independent
young woman—clever
and calculating, with
a sophisticated edge
and a knack for devious
Qi’ra is a secretive
woman of the shadows,
but who she really is is
hidden away, and visible
only to those she trusts.
When her path crosses
with Han’s once again,
Qi’ra is destined to
become an influential
force in the life of the
young smuggler.
Lando Calrissian
Lando Calrissian
Portrayed By Donald Glover
Lando Calrissian, the smooth and sophisticated captain of a sleek and
personally modified freighter known as the Millennium Falcon, has had
enough of the life of a smuggler. Instead, he’s determined to become
something of a “sportsman”—that is, a full-time gentleman gambler.
A roguish charmer, Lando likes to know his way in and out of any given
situation he finds himself in. Gallivanting across the galaxy from card game
to card game, the gambler plays by the rules when he’s likely to benefit
from them—but will happily break them if he’ll benefit even more.
Portrayed By Phoebe Waller-Bridge
A “self-made droid,” L3-37 has cobbled herself together using an
assortment of components from astromechs, protocol droids and
countless other robotic sources, devising her own form and function
to become something quite unique—with an impressive AI to match.
L3-37 is Lando Calrissian’s enlightened navigator and co-pilot.
Her programming makes for an indignant, spirited and somewhat
eccentric companion, who cares deeply about droid rights. With a
mind of her own (after all, she built it!) L3-37 is subservient to no one.
Portrayed By Thandie Newton
A member of Tobias Beckett’s criminal
crew, the occasionally prickly Val is cool and
self-assured without being flashy. Measured
and methodical, she is a crack shot with
a blaster rifle, and the most even-headed
and capable member of the ragtag gang of
rogues Beckett has recruited to undertake
a foolhardy escapade in search of riches on
the muddy battlefields of Mimban.
When she first meets Han, Val is far from
impressed with the young Corellian, lacking
faith and skeptical of his self-professed
skills as a pilot.
Tobias Beckett
Portrayed By Woody Harrelson
Tobias Beckett is someone
who certainly had an influence
on Han in his early years,
before audiences first met the
space pilot in a hoodlum-filled
cantina on Tatooine. Beckett is a
seasoned, no-nonsense survivor,
forever working the angles to
make sure he always comes
out ahead of the game. Sound
Beckett has assembled a
team of specialized scoundrels
to carry out a series of risky but
profitable heists, and when he
needs some extra hands for one
particular job, he allows young
Han and his Wookiee partner-incrime, Chewbacca, to tag along.
If it comes down to a fight,
Beckett is as happy to take on
his enemies in hand-to-hand
combat as he is to blast them
to smithereens, using the pair
of mismatched blasters that are
never far from his side.
Moloch of the
White Worms
Portrayed By Harley Durst
The sadistic Moloch wallows in
authority over the lesser thieves
of his gang. Like all White Worms,
Moloch is extremely sensitive to
natural light and must wear special
protective gear when operating
beyond the murk of his dank lair.
Enfy Nest
Enfys Nest
Leader of the Cloud-Riders
Busy carving out a nefarious reputation as the
violent and enigmatic leader of a gang of swoop-riding
pirates—the Cloud-Riders—the deadly Enfys Nest is an
extremely dangerous and brutal marauder. With his
face always obscured beneath a fearsome helmet, Nest
is deadly, athletic, and percussively vicious.
Interstellar Icons
Win a copy of Titan’s new Star Wars: Icons of the Galaxy book
Star Wars: Icons of the Galaxy is
Titan’s latest compendium of all-time
classic features from the pages of Star
Wars Insider, celebrating some of the
most iconic elements of the saga,
from its timeless characters including
Princess Leia, Darth Vader and Luke
Skywalker, to notable scenes, important
artifacts, and even much-loved
This collection explores memorable
highlights from the saga, and includes
interviews with incredible talents
like Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford,
a look at the amazing costumes that
were created for Return of the Jedi’s
rebel forces, and a comprehensive
exploration of the legendary Marvel
comic-book adaptation of the original
movie. Star Wars: Icons of the Galaxy
uncovers the wealth of extraordinary
characteristics that make Star Wars
such a unique piece of popular culture.
This is the ultimate exploration of
the space fantasy and its icons that
changed the world!
To enter with a chance of
winning one of five copies of this
incredible book, simply answer the
following question:
What was Princess Leia’s first line of
dialogue in Star Wars: A New Hope?
A) “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
You’re my only hope.”
B) “Darth Vader. Only you could
be so bold.”
C) “Aren’t you a little short for a
Send your answer to our regular email
or postal address (see ‘Contact Us’ on
page 3), marked “ICONS” by May
24th, 2018.
May the Force be with you!
© & TM 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd.
Only available in the U.S. and Canada.
©2018 MARVEl
© & TM 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd.
For four years, Star Wars Rebels has brought new
characters to life and traced the formation of the Rebel
Alliance. With the final season complete, we look back
on the paths that Ezra, Hera, Kanan, and the rest of
the Ghost crew have walked.
n the dark days of the Empire, a courageous band of
freedom fighters comes together to make their stand
against tyranny and exploitation. Star Wars Rebels
follows their adventures as they go from being
a small group of trouble-making insurgents to a
team that operates at the heart of the Rebellion.
The series reveals dramatic new elements of Star Wars lore on the
small screen as it explores a period in galactic history in which the
Jedi have fallen mostly into memory.
Starting with Ezra Bridger’s discovery of his own Force powers, over
four seasons the series becomes a history of the Rebellion itself, and
of what it means to be one of the last of the Jedi. Through Ezra, the
show explores triumph and loss, and the desire for understanding and
self-empowerment that at times led him dangerously close to walking a
darker path. Rebels tells the story of a galaxy in chaos, framed through
the lens of a boy and his newfound family of heroes.
The Best
of Rebels
Insider takes a look at the
rebellious moments that
resonated most with fans…
Season 1, Episode 1
Ezra And Kanan’s meeting
Directed by Steward Lee,
Steven G. Lee and Dave Filoni
Written by Simon Kinberg
The Force will lead Kanan
Jarrus and Ezra Bridger
through many trials, but first
it must bring them together.
Ezra has an innate Force ability,
but the connection he feels
with Kanan is the first time he
has recognized that ability in
another. Their meeting gives
Ezra hope, and a glimpse of
the friendship in store.
Season 1, Episode 10
Ezra Builds His Lightsaber
Directed BY Dave Filoni
Written BY Charles Murray
Scavenging Kanan’s lightsaber
is one of the first things Ezra
does on board the Ghost,
but as a Jedi apprentice, he
needs a weapon of his own.
Each member of the Ghost
crew contributes parts, making
Ezra’s lightsaber as much a
symbol of his becoming a
member of the crew as it is
about being a Padawan.
Season 1, Episode 13
Ezra’s Transmission
Directed BY Steward Lee
Written BY Greg Weisman, Simon Kinberg
Ezra’s message to the citizens
of Lothal to fight the Imperial
occupation reinforces how
important the planet is to him.
He knows he can never go
back to the life he had before
meeting Kanan, and when all
seems lost, his transmission
gives people—including his
own parents—hope.
Rebels and Ghosts:
A Story of Found Family
The crew of the Ghost have become family to
one another in their time together. One way
in which Star Wars achieves its mythic weight
is to explore universal stories of parents and
children, of family gone wrong or right,
and of shared experiences that make friends
closer than blood. Each has experienced the
consequences of decisions made by members
of their families, whether those decisions
are good or bad. In Rebels, the Ghost family
is held together by Hera’s leadership and
decisiveness. Each member has to deal with
their blood family in their own ways, too.
When Ezra Bridger joins the crew, he has
to learn how to work with others instead of
following the independent spirit that has kept
him alive on Lothal. It isn’t easy, especially
when his mentors include the no-nonsense
Hera and former Jedi Kanan Jarrus, who was
tossed from his own version of family life
when the Jedi Order was destroyed. However,
the Ghost brings them all together, and along
the way they experience the ups and downs
of many different types of family.
Ezra himself is searching for his parents
throughout Season One, knowing that they
have been part of anti-Imperial efforts, but
not exactly what happened to them. The
Bridgers follow in the footsteps of other Star
Wars families, such as the Organa’s legacy of
peace and activism that encouraged Leia to
fight, but their decision to fight didn’t come
at quite the right time. The ultimate fate of
Ezra’s parents is tragic: dying just after their
son announces open rebellion across Lothal
using the planet’s communication system.
Ezra just missing out on meeting his parents
is his call to heroism come late, their deaths
breaking one of the many strands that is
holding him on Lothal. Yet his concern for
the planet doesn’t fade—and neither do his
parents entirely. He is later granted closure in
the form of a Force vision of his family.
The Bridgers’ deaths aren’t a pivotal,
Season 1, Episode 15
The Reveal of Ahsoka Tano
Directed BY Dave Filoni
Written BY Simon Kinberg
With questions about her fate
left hanging after The Clone
Wars, Ahsoka Tano’s return in
Rebels as a powerful, secretive
Force-user operating under
the code name Fulcrum was a
big event. Ahsoka has become
a calm, otherworldly presence
who helps Ezra to grow.
Star Wars Rebels
tells the story of a
galaxy in chaos, framed
through the lens of a
boy and his newfound
family of heroes.
on-screen shock, like those of Beru and
Owen, or Han Solo at the hands of his own
son. Instead, their fate is presented almost as
an accident of wartime. This discourages Ezra,
but ultimately galvanizes him into action,
with the support of his Ghost family to help
guide him.
Kanan steps into the role of father figure
for Ezra, but in doing so he reveals his own
insecurities. The Force ties the Jedi and his
Padawan together, and also connects them
to Lothal (witness Ezra following a Loth-cat
to the place where he is shown a vision of
his parents, or Kanan heeding the guidance
of the Loth-wolf that calls him by his family
name). But bereft of the structure of the Jedi
Order or a galaxy at peace, Kanan has a lot to
learn about being a de facto parent.
At first, Kanan lets his uncertainty stop
him from training Ezra, but wartime necessity
forces him to grow. Hoping that Jedi Master
Luminara Unduli is still alive and can help
him train the boy, Kanan is forced to learn—
upon discovering her death—that the
responsibility is his own. However, this is far
from the first loss that Kanan has experienced,
having never known his own parents and
with no way to begin to track them down.
For Kanan, some of his uncertainty about
becoming a Master may come from the fact
that he never received that title before the
fall of the Jedi Order. For Ezra, learning that
his parents died helping others escape from
an Imperial prison teaches him a bit about
himself, too. He can continue their legacy
by helping others and staying hopeful.
Hera Syndulla also comes from a family
with a legacy of rebellion and leadership.
While little is known about her mother,
her father, Cham, was both a political
activist and a guerrilla fighter during the
Clone Wars on his home planet Ryloth. At
01 Hera Syndulla (Vanessa
Marshall) is the glue that binds
team Ghost together (left).
02 Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars
Mikkelsen) takes charge of the
hunt for the rebels as Season
Three begins (left).
03 Garazeb Orrelios (Steven Blum)
prides himself on being a thorn
in the Empire’s side.
04 Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze
Jr.) and Ezra Bridger (Taylor
Gray) get some help from Leia
Organa (Julie Dolan).
05 Former clone trooper Rex (Dee
Bradley Baker) at the rebel
base on Yavin 4.
06 Sabine (Tiya Sircar) returns
to her home planet, Krownest,
with the Darksaber.
first, their different approaches to rebellion
drove Hera and Cham apart. Both thought
they were doing something good, driven
by their determination to travel unerringly
in the direction their moral compasses led.
Like Saw Gerrera, Cham believed that the
Rebellion was not being aggressive enough
in its fight against the Empire. When Hera
tells her father that he inspired her to join the
Rebellion, the thing that separated them also
brings them together.
The Syndulla family shows how the Clone
Wars informed the Rebellion politically.
The conflict between the Republic and the
Separatists left in its wake Twi’leks such as
Numa, who became a freedom fighter with
Cham, and Cham himself, who thinks that
the only way to win is to concentrate on local
struggles and send small forces up against
The Best of Rebels
impossible odds. Hera teaches him that by
joining with a wider movement he could be
more effective. The Syndullas’ home region
on Ryloth is still in disarray at the time of Star
Wars Rebels. With Cham’s home taken over
by the Empire and freedom fighters living in
canyons, the Empire has ruined the planet
economically, as well as pulled families apart.
The Syndulla family tragedy also means
that Hera can understand what it’s like for
Ezra to grow up without his parents, or for
Sabine to clash with hers in the delicate tribal
landscape of the Mandalorian clans. If things
had gone differently, Hera could have grown
up happily in the house where she knew the
Kalikori heirloom would one day be hers,
watching Cham and her mother meet with
local politicians and keeping the people of
Ryloth fed and cared for. Instead, her family
was broken by one conflict after another.
Building bridges
Sabine also endures clashes with her blood
relatives, but her journey to understand her
relationship to her family is different in one
significant way: she leaves the Ghost because
of it. Until this point, the story of Rebels had
largely been told from the perspective of Ezra,
so seeing what Sabine has been through at
roughly the same age is a startling contrast.
Once a prodigy in the Imperial academy,
Sabine had created a weapon that the Empire
would later use against the Mandalorians, an
act for which she carries a heavy guilt. Her
reconciliation with her mother shows the core
of what they both stand for. Like the Twi’leks,
the Mandalorians have been thrown into
disarray by the Empire’s violent occupation.
Sabine’s mother, Ursa, believed that she
had to work with the Empire to keep her
family strong. This kind of loyalty can lead
to tough decisions for people: should Ursa
have prioritized the independence of her clan
and the honor of her daughter if that honor
would probably have led to their deaths? She
made a tough decision, the same one faced by
Sabine’s brother, Tristan, later on.
When Ursa and Sabine meet for the first
time since Sabine’s exile, they have to agree to
disagree on what is best for their family. Like
many parents, what Ursa thought was an act
of protection and love for her daughter didn’t
look that way to her child. Sabine had not
considered the fact that Clan Wren allying
with her, or separating themselves from Gar
Saxon’s Imperial-allied Mandalorians, would
bring fire raining down upon them. Her
desire to be accepted by her family was
outweighed by the needs of the Ghost crew.
She wants both of her families to be proud of
her. Receiving that pride is overwhelmingly
important to her, so much so that she stops
Kanan from telling her outright.
Though their family stories are perhaps
less central, Zeb and Chopper also have
their own histories that make the crew of
the Ghost their most important family
members. Zeb believed he was the last of
his species until the discovery of a hidden
colony of Lasat. Chopper is also somewhat
of an outcast, his former life forgotten in the
wreckage of the Y-wing he crashed in.
Hera and Kanan created a framework for
the Ghost family, but each of its members
found something that they were missing in
the camaraderie and reliability of the crew.
They make the Ghost their home, decorating
with Sabine’s art and Zeb’s posters. When one
suffers, the others suffer—and do whatever
they can to help ease that suffering. The
Ghost family represents the best of the
Rebellion and its ability to bring together
people willing to put their lives on the line
for the good of the galaxy.
A history of Rebellion
“So, this is how liberty dies…with thunderous
applause.” Senator Padmé Amidala witnessed
the formation of the Empire under Supreme
Chancellor Palpatine’s rule and noticed the
support he held, the way his words swayed
people. What appeared to be the end of one
war against the Separatists was actually the
beginning of another wave of subjugation,
of the Jedi and the common people of the
Season 2, Episode 1
The Arrival of Darth Vader
Directed BY Bosco Ng, Brad Rau,
Dave Filoni
Written BY Henry Gilroy
The stakes were raised in
Season Two when Darth Vader
arrived, coldly observing the
death of Lothal’s Minister
Maketh Tua after she attempts
to join the dissidents. He is
determined to keep Ezra
from continuing the Jedi
Order’s legacy, but Ahsoka’s
intervention suggests that the
spirit of Anakin Skywalker still
lives on within the Sith Lord.
Season 2, Episodes 21 and 22
Kanan’s Blindness
Directed BY Dave Filoni
Written BY Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg,
Steven Melching
Maul’s blinding of Kanan with
his lightsaber is a particularly
shocking scene and a harsh
reminder of the powers
the rebels are facing. Yet it
also marks the start of an
empowering storyline in which
the Jedi is unbowed, tapping
into new senses and exploring
new talents.
Season 3, Episode 1
The Appearance of Thrawn
Directed BY Bosco Ng, Mel Zwyer,
Justin Ridge
Written BY Steven Melching, Matt
Grand Admiral Thrawn’s
role in the novels of Timothy
Zahn meant fans knew he
would bring a different kind
of threat to the show. His
appearance during the Lothal
conflict puts both the rebels
and the Imperials on edge.
He immediately proves his
intelligence and cunning,
correctly predicting Phoenix
Squadron’s every move.
Season 3, Episode 17
Kallus’ Defection
Directed BY Saul Ruiz
Written BY Nicole Dubuc
After forging an unsteady
alliance with Zeb in Season
Two, Kallus comes to regret
his role in Imperial oppression.
This episode reveals that
Kallus is now the latest holder
of the codename Fulcrum,
and has been sending vital
intelligence to the rebels.
It’s not only a thrilling twist,
but also testament to the
power of Kallus and Zeb’s
connection and Kallus’ desire
for atonement.
galaxy alike. On Lothal, the change is gradual
but unsubtle—first through increased mining
operations and valuable business ventures,
then in factories devoted to building weapons
and restrictive Imperial Academies.
Onto this stage step Ezra, Kanan, Hera, and
their crew. The thunderous applause Padmé
heard has become acquiescence to, or support
for, the Empire on many planets. In a story
that had not yet been told in Star Wars, Rebels
bridges the gap between the Empire’s rule and
the long fight that began on Scarif.
With the release of the prequel trilogy, we
started to see some of the people, events, and
decisions that led to the formation of the
Rebellion against the Empire. The Petition of
2,000 formally stated opposition to the use
of emergency powers by Supreme Chancellor
Palpatine, planting the seed of resistance
that Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, and their
compatriots in the senate would nurture for
The Ghost family represents the best
of the Rebellion and its ability to bring
together people willing to put their lives
on the line for the good of the galaxy.
as long as possible. Rebels reveals the shoots
from that seed as they connect different
groups of people, allowing us to see how the
Rebel Alliance flourished and changed.
When he was working on Star Wars: The
Clone Wars, Rebels’ executive producer/
supervising director Dave Filoni said this
of the Rebellion: “Before the Empire takes
over, we already have these little groups out
there, and what they need is to find a way to
come together. And that’s really where your
Mon Mothmas and your Bail Organas come
07 By Season Four, Ezra has
become an adept wielder of a
lightsaber (left).
08 The Ghost crew talk tactics
with Mon Mothma, Bail Organa
and General Dodonna.
09 Sabine tries to reconcile with
her mother, Ursa, leader of
Clan Wren.
10 Unreliable ally Hondo Ohnaka
(Jim Cummings) helps the
rebels when it benefits him to
do so.
The Best of Rebels
in. They’re the way that you can galvanize
these rebels.” In Rebels, this idea was fully
What motivates people to rise up against
an administration? Injustice? Famine? What
influence did the Empire have on the lives of
people on planets that were not the location
of dramatic conflicts? Rebels—and the series
of middle-grade novels, Servants of the
Empire, that accompanied it—show this
by tracing how the planet Lothal changes
during the Imperial occupation. It also
shows how the Ghost crew rubs elbows with
famous leaders such as Leia Organa and Mon
For Leia Organa, part of her motivation
to rebel comes from wanting to continue in
the family business. The novel Leia: Princess
of Alderaan shows how she discovered that
her parents were aiding rebel causes, and her
own early efforts to help. The Organas are in
the Empire’s good graces when Leia meets
up with Kanan and Ezra, with stormtroopers
deferentially following the orders of the
princess whose family still holds a strong seat
in the Senate. Until she takes the Death Star
plans from Scarif, she can use the power of
the Empire to her advantage.
In Rebels, it allows her to help the Ghost
crew steal the Hammerhead corvettes that
will later be used in battle over Scarif. Leia’s
part in this episode shows how entrenched
the Senate remains in Imperial politics, and
how narrow the knife-edge on which she
needs to tread. For Leia, capture does not
just mean the elimination of one rebel cell;
it could mean the exposure of the entire
Organa family and their allies in the Senate.
Spreading the word
The rebel message in the Senate is passed
from person to person, in whispers and codes.
In Rebels, Mon Mothma’s appearance shows
how the coalition arrayed against the Empire
is growing: Mothma explicitly declares that
she has “resign[ed] from the Senate to fight
for you, not from the distant hall of politics
but from the front lines.” She brings together
Hera’s Phoenix Squadron and Gold Squadron,
Like the Jedi before
them, the rebels are
both soldiers and
bringers of mercy.
enabling the Ghost and its accompanying
rebel ships to hold their own against Grand
Admiral Thrawn’s TIE defender.
Though the Rebellion deploys on mercy
missions as often as it does military ones,
the convergence of these two fleets and the
Lothal guerrilla fighters marks the formal
beginnings of the Alliance. Like the Jedi
before them, the rebels are both soldiers and
bringers of mercy—and are not capable of
bringing peace without more people hearing
their message.
As their fleet expands, the operation
becomes harder to hide, even in the depths
of space. This is where Commander Jun Sato
becomes a critical member of the Alliance.
As the commander of the Phoenix Group,
he is the figurehead of what will become the
Rebellion’s military fleet, as seen in battle over
Scarif and Yavin 4. Having started out as a
smuggler, Sato becomes the noble and calm
leader of Phoenix Squadron at a time when
the Rebellion is choked by the Empire’s hold
on shipyards and supply routes. His group
paves the way for the strong rebel showing
at Scarif, even if he and many of his pilots do
not live to see it.
Hera’s network of spies and dissident
soldiers clearly already use some of the
framework that Mon Mothma and other
sympathetic senators put in place long before
either she or Ezra Bridger made their historic
transmissions to bring rebel cells together.
Hera’s use of codenames for the Ghost crew
and others is a necessity in wartime, especially
when the role of undercover agent Fulcrum is
taken on by the high-ranking Imperial officer
Agent Kallus. The Rebellion lives on in secret
coordinates and names meant to obscure.
Hera remained an important person in the
Alliance, and she was certainly at the Massassi
Temple before the Battle of Scarif, evidence by
her name being heard over the intercom in
Rogue One. There is even evidence that she
piloted the Ghost against the Empire during
the battle, still defying the oppressive regime,
which used kyber crystals to weaponize the
Death Star.
“The strongest stars have hearts of kyber,”
Guardian of the Whills Chirrut Îmwe once
said. Hera knew more about kyber crystals
than most. From the single crystal she found
floating in space to the shards of crystal at
the heart of lightsabers, she knew them—and
Hera was the heart of Star Wars Rebels, a key
player in the rebel journey, as the Alliance
grew from what seemed like an insignificant
coalition of soldiers, survivors, and pilots into
the fighting force seen in A New Hope.
Season 3, Episode 18
Mon Mothma’s Leadership
Directed BY Bosco Ng
Written BY Matt Michnovetz
Mon Mothma’s first
appearance in Rebels is key
in showing how the Alliance
became a cohesive fighting
force, rather than scattered
groups of hopeful dissidents.
Much like Ezra’s transmission
back in Season One, Mothma’s
public resignation proves to
be a historic moment in the
formation of the Rebellion and,
eventually, the New Republic.
Season 3, Episode 20
Darth Maul’s Last Death
Directed BY Dave Filoni
Written BY Dave Filoni, Henry Gilroy
Darth Maul’s long journey
comes to an end in Rebels.
Having failed to make Ezra
his apprentice, he is left
with nothing but an age-old
grudge. His final confrontation
with Obi-Wan Kenobi is a
reckoning between one man
who couldn’t let go of the
past and another who let go
of everything, including the
enmity between them.
Season Three, Episodes 21 and 22
The Loss of Chopper Base
Directed BY Justin Ridge
Written BY Steven Melching, Henry
Gilroy, Matt Michnovetz
Thrawn’s bombardment of
Chopper Base is a tense look
at the power of the Empire—
just when things looked to
be going the rebels’ way. As
Zeb and Rex defend a failing
shield generator, it seems this
could be the end. Interventions
by both the Bendu and the
Mandalorians are vital, but it is
the rebel’s perseverence and
hope that saves the day.
Season 4, Episode 7
Hera and Kanan Kiss
Directed BY Sergio Paez
Written BY Dave Filoni, Henry Gilroy
Hera has made the Ghost crew
into a family, but she keeps
her love for Kanan closest to
her heart. Her work with the
Rebellion keeps the pair at
a distance, however, so their
kiss when they are reunited is
a long-awaited moment—for
the couple and for fans alike. It
shows their deep connection,
and the relationships at stake
as the rebels face Thrawn and
his assassin, Rukh.
Dave Filoni:
Rebel Rouser
Star Wars Rebels executive producer/supervising director Dave Filoni
reflects on the end of the critically acclaimed series.
fter four rebellious seasons,
Star Wars Rebels reached its
epic finale in March 2018. As
the dust settled, Dave Filoni sat
down with Insider to reveal his
thoughts on the animated saga.
How do you feel about Rebels coming to an end?
Dave Filoni: I feel really good about it. I think it’s
important to tell a complete story. You have this
point to get across, and you let the characters really
grow. They become who they were meant to become
and the story becomes what it is meant to be.
So you weren’t tempted to do a little more before
you left these characters behind?
I don’t think it was something that could keep going
on without it becoming a little bit stale. I don’t
think of it as leaving the characters behind, because
we’re creating so much Star Wars content these days
that they could appear almost anywhere. People at
Lucasfilm ask me whether they can use them here or
there… Providing they’re still around!
Certainly, when The Clone Wars ended, those
characters ended up coming back in different ways.
I would say that the biggest loss for me is that I
really enjoy working with the actors. The team on
understood the nature of what it meant for Kanan to
be a Jedi, and how this was a slightly different type of
Jedi that was emerging after the Clone Wars.
Vanessa came with her love of Star Wars built-in
already: an avid fan of not only the films but also
The Clone Wars. She understood what we were going
for, and created a character that is not represented
a lot in Star Wars—this kind of mother archetype.
There’s Shmi and Jyn’s mom, but Hera has by far the
most screen time, and she takes the lead in getting
everyone to fight for the greater good. She portrayed
that brilliantly.
Tiya really brought Sabine to life. We had the
broadest canvas to paint on with Sabine when we
began, and we didn’t have the most specific goals in
mind for her. But through getting to know Tiya and
what she could bring to the character, the way that
she was performing really solved a lot of things for
Sabine in terms of where she should go and what she
should do.
With Taylor—it’s funny—whenever I hear his
voice I just hear Ezra. He’s been amazing and he’s
had quite an arc himself, I think, on the series and
coming to understand it. I remember, when he started
out, watching Freddie and Vanessa mentor him on
the nature of Star Wars and what it means… He’s had
almost a real-life Ezra Bridger experience, which was
“The fact that people are concerned that they might lose
some of their favorite characters—or all of their favorite
characters—is a good thing. We’ll see if they like what I did!”
Rebels has been fantastic, and we recorded together
a lot. That’s the biggest thing: not seeing them on a
more regular basis because they’re really interesting,
talented people. But their characters live on, and
that is really exciting and a credit to their work.
For someone who has never seen Rebels, how
would you describe it?
Star Wars Rebels is about an unconventional family.
It’s the story of a boy who has lost everything, and
how he finds the love that he needs from another
group of people who have, in their own ways, all
lost things too. It’s about the strength you can have
when you come together for one another and the
greater good. That’s what it drives at: the sense of
family and how we support one another.
On many occasions, you’ve talked about the cast
being like a family, too. What memories will stay
with you about your time with them?
With Freddie, I’ll remember how he was so Kanan
in every way. He understood the character, he
really fun to watch! His sense of humor, his snark, his
character, are definitely all in Ezra.
And Steve… With Zeb, Steve brings such enormous
compassion to a character that is sometimes just seen
as muscle. He can play the strength, but he can also
play the sensitive older brother type, and he can play
the wide range of emotions when he’s up against a
character like Kallus. All of the main cast have just
embodied these characters in a way that made it really
easy to keep writing them.
You forgot about Chopper!
Oh, Chopper was a pain. But that’s Chopper! What
are you going to do? You know droids. They’re a
different thing entirely!
Did you always know Rebels would run for
four seasons?
I had always thought, kind of vaguely, that it would
be around four seasons, and a lot of that was from my
experience of working on The Clone Wars. If a show
goes on too long, you lock in your audience but you
01 Ezra
Rebels arc
begins and
ends on
02 Ezra (Taylor
Gray) and the
Season Four.
03 Hera
takes control
of a B-wing
don’t really bring new people to
it, because they feel overwhelmed
by how much they have to catch
up on.
Also, I think the story has to
get somewhere; the characters
have to evolve in a certain way.
You can only steal so many ships,
or have so much fuel to find
before you’re doing repetitive
things. I wanted it to feel like
it had a beginning, middle,
and end as a series, and I think
that’s made the fourth season,
frankly, very successful. I think
that the stories feel a little more
important, and that there’s a lot
more at stake, because people
know we are coming to the end.
Does that mean that not
everyone’s going to make it out
Well, there’s always that danger!
Since episode one there’s been
that danger. So, we’ll have to
see. But there have to be real
stakes, you know? For me, what’s
really working at this point is
that people are actually worried
about the characters. That means
we’ve done our jobs well, because
the audience cares. The fact that
people are concerned that they
might lose some of their favorite
characters—or all of their favorite
characters—is a good thing. We’ll
see if they like what I did!
What did you do differently
on Rebels based on your
experience of The Clone Wars?
Well, The Clone Wars is really,
really vast. It covers a huge
amount of time and many
different perspectives on that
conflict. Where Rebels is very
different is that it’s all this one
little group. It’s a family. That
makes it very strong for the
character arcs, and it’s a little
more rewarding for the audience
following it.
I will concede that—with The
Clone Wars—some people just
weren’t really into, say, the droid
episodes. They wanted to just
see clone episodes. So it’s more
a pick and choose environment,
where Rebels is one whole piece.
"For Sabine, the Darksaber
episode is hugely significant for
her as a character. She really
evolved as the series went on, and
that whole arc, with her and her
family, became very important."
When we did some of the bigger
four-part arcs in The Clone Wars,
I saw how those stories would
evolve, and felt that bringing that
mentality to an entire series was
something important for Rebels.
Did you know where the
character arcs were going from
the beginning, or did they
develop over time?
I would say that it is a little of
both. For me, it’s really important
to have a plan of where this is
all going to go right from the
beginning. You make up a lot
of things as you go along, but I
need to know that we are driving
towards something specific. Even
if that something changes—
and sometimes it can change
dramatically—you are always
driving towards an end game.
On The Clone Wars, where I
felt the main arc was always with
Ahsoka, I was always driving at
what her story ending was. I had
different versions of that, but
they had relative similarities. It’s
the same for Ezra. Ever since the
first week we’ve been working on
Rebels, I’ve been tasking myself
with: “Where does this kid go?
What are the primary questions
that we need to answer? What
do people think when they start
watching this series? What is the
outcome going to be?” And I’ve
tried to address those needs as
we’ve gone along. The specifics
have evolved and changed, but
the overall ideas and themes
have not.
Simon Kinberg [co-executive
producer on Rebels] was always
very interested in the family
dynamic on the show, and that
was the touchstone I would
always come back to. If I ever
thought that I was getting lost
somewhere, I’d remind myself
that we’re making this story
about a family, and try to see that
through all the way to the end. I
knew at the beginning that it was
independent from the rest of the
Star Wars saga—in that it does
not influence Luke Skywalker’s
story—and that was important.
It’s not even a story that has a big impact on Rogue
One, because… Well, I don’t know why it would. We
see the Ghost at the Battle of Scarif, but you don’t
get the idea that it’s playing a major role. So the end
of this series doesn’t need to be about any of those
things. It has its own ending which fits the saga of
Ezra Bridger.
What were the pivotal character moments across
the four seasons for you?
The Jedi Temple episodes from each season are very
important, and I throw the Sith Temple on Malachor
in there as well. If you were to just see those episodes,
that part of Ezra’s story would play out in its entirety.
You need the episodes in-between to see his learning
curve as a Jedi, but those episodes in particular are
where you thread those bigger ideas together. When
you hit the episode in the first season where he gets
his lightsaber crystal, we’re getting back to some
ideas that I was playing with on The Clone Wars.
For me, each character has their own arc that you
can separate out and watch in relative isolation. For
Sabine, the Darksaber episode is hugely significant
05 Kanan
Prinze Jr.)
in a moment
of meditation
on Lothal.
06 Bringing
Darth Vader
and Ahsoka
into the
series was
says Filoni
07 Rebels
several arcs
from The
Clone Wars
“When you think of Rebels, we
didn’t know any of these characters
before we started. Now, some people
tell me they are their favorite
Star Wars characters.”
for her as a character. She really evolved as the
series went on, and that whole arc with her and her
family became very important. Kallus and Zeb have
their own story, which gets woven together from
the very beginning, and for Hera the B-wing episode
was very important. It shows you the different side
to this person and what she really loves.
On a broader level, bringing Darth Vader and
Ahsoka into the series was pivotal. The tone shifted
with the arrival of Vader, and we had to add bigger
heroes to counter him. I think that story arc
tracks nicely in the background, but has a proper
influence on what Ezra’s doing, too. And Kanan’s
always paired with what Ezra’s doing, so there are
all these different angles from which you can watch
the show.
When did you feel Rebels was established enough
to introduce its more philosophical themes?
It’s hard to say. For me, it’s about a young boy who’s
growing up. The philosophy just naturally comes
into it when he’s fighting more evil characters like
Darth Vader. You have to explain what the nature of
this evil character is, what’s driving them, and how
it affects this boy.
It’s the same with Luke in The Empire Strikes
Back, which is deepening everything that he was
learning in the first film. You always try to keep the
fun aspects, and there is always adventure, but I
think people want to feel this depth of emotional
investment. This deep mystery that is the Force—
compelling us to the dark or the light—is in all the
characters, not just the Jedi. It’s just that the conflict
is most focused through the Jedi.
“I’m definitely still excited
about Star Wars. I’m 12 years
into it, and creatively I still
feel very strongly about it.”
again and again. It’s always fun to see the old
characters we know, but it’s more exciting to
delve into the unknown and meet new ones
we’ve never even heard about before.
Can you comment on fan hopes
that characters from Rebels
could appear in Solo?
Not really, no! It’s always fun to
speculate, and I always think: If
there’s a good reason for it, sure!
Anything is possible. But logically
speaking, if there was going to
be a story where characters from
Rebels would appear, you’d think
it would be Rogue One. So I guess
Chopper had his moment in that,
when he appeared on screen for a
second. But it’s got to make sense.
As a filmmaker, you are
always worried about crowding
everything, and having everybody
know everyone else. What I like
is the interest from fans saying,
“Hey, we would love to see these
characters in live-action.” That
means we’ve achieved something
in making people feel that these
characters are as real as anything
else they watch in Star Wars. That
is always one of my goals with
these series.
Lucasfilm are working on some
new Star Wars series. How do
you feel about the future of the
franchise on TV?
I think that we always need new.
New is good. When you think
of Rebels, we didn’t know any of
these characters before we started.
Now, some people tell me they are
their favorite Star Wars characters.
Star Wars is a universe that people
love, and my experience is that
there are innumerable stories in
it. We certainly never ran out of
them on The Clone Wars, and
we didn’t run out of them on
Rebels. That’s where Star Wars
really proves itself as an incredible
mythology, and it’s what makes
people want to visit this galaxy
Is there anything more that you’d really love
to explore in the Star Wars universe?
Oh, there are all kinds of stories that I want to
tell! There are a couple in particular that I’m
really interested in getting out there, so we’ll
have to see what happens. But I never feel like
we’ve left something on the table in terms of
the things we’ve done so far. One of the luxuries
we’ve had is the length of time we’ve had to tell
our story. It can be challenging to tell a story in
24 minutes, but to have an entire season to tell
a story is a real luxury, and I think we’ve done a
pretty great job of doing that. The movies have
to condense their stories into an hour or so to
watch, which is a challenge in its own way.
Whatever I do next, for me it’s not about
taking it to the “next level,” because I’ve tried to
tell every story as big as I can with the resources
I have. I’ve worked in 2D animation and then
computer-generated animation, and they have
different properties that you can exploit to
tell your story. If I were to do something that
was live-action… Well, there are way more
similarities than differences. For me, it’s just a
question of what’s the best way to tell the story.
I’m definitely still excited about Star Wars. I’m
12 years into it, and creatively I still feel very
strongly about it.
the fields of
Lothal to the heart
of the Empire, Star Wars
Rebels has told a story of
friendship, destiny, war, love,
and loss. But how much do you
really know about the
crew of the Ghost and
their adventures?
Compiled by
Tom Miller
Testt yo
our know
ge of th
he toughesst family
y unit in the
e gala
1: In the episode
“Shroud of
Darkness,” what
does Anakin
Skywalker accuse
Ahsoka Tano of?
A: Letting him become Darth Vader.
B: Failing the Jedi Order.
C: Abandoning the Republic.
D: Betraying herself.
2: The superweapon designed
by Sabine Wren, nicknamed the
Duchess, superheats which alloy
inside Mandalorian armor?
A: Weskar
B: Fleximetal
C: Cerlin
D: Beskar
3: In the episode “The Last
Battle,” who is declared the
victor of the Clone Wars,
and why?
A: There was no winner, because
both sides failed.
B: The Republic, because they
were victorious in battle.
C: The droids, because they did
not betray their purpose.
D: The Empire, because neither
side was meant to win.
6: The Darksaber is an
ancient weapon guided by
the wielder’s thoughts and
actions, and is known to
change in response to a
heightened emotional state.
How does it change?
A: It increases in length.
B: It short-circuits.
C: It produces an electric field.
D: It becomes lighter.
4: Grand Admiral Thrawn is
foretold of his defeat by Bendu.
How does Bendu describe it?
A: “Like many arms surrounding
you in a cold embrace.”
B: “Like the last fading embers
of a dying star.”
C: “Like hands of ice, dragging
you down into the depths.”
D: “Like the inevitability of
tomorrow’s morning sun.”
5: What is the first thing that Ezra
Bridger does in Season 3?
A: He gets hit by Sabine.
B: He uses the Force.
C: He takes out a stormtrooper.
D: He cracks a joke.
10: In “Fire Across the Galaxy,”
what are the Grand Inquisitor’s
final words to Kanan Jarrus?
A: “At last, a fight that might be
worthy of my time.”
B: “There are some things far
more frightening than death.”
C: “I do so admire your
D: “I have nothing left to fear.”
7: In the Star Wars Rebels short
film “Art Attack,” how many times
do the Stormtroopers miss
Sabine with their blasters?
A: 40 times
B: 17 times
C: 23 times
D: 36 times
8: In “Always Two There Are,” how
does Chopper trick Ezra during a
training session?
A: He magnetizes his feet to stop
Ezra levitating him.
B: He makes Ezra’s lightsaber
short circuit.
C: Knocks him off the Ghost
with milk cartons.
D: Beats him in a game of dejarik.
9: What is the
secret code
phrase Agent
Kallus (AKA
Fulcrum) uses
to confirm his
identity to the rebel fleet?
A: “Only the Honor Guard of
Lasan may carry bo-rifles.”
B: “The Phoenix will rise again.”
C: “Lothal is haunted
by spectres.”
D: “By the light of
Lothal’s moons.”
11: What do the Spectres trade
with crime lord Cikatro Vizago
as payment for smuggling them
into Lothal?
A: A Sith holocron
B: Pure kyber crystals
C: The Twi’lek Ark
D: Puffer pigs
12: Which of the Spectres is
known to have participated in
the Battle of Scarif?
A: Hera Syndulla
B: Garazeb Orrelios
C: Sabine Wren
D: Chopper
y wh
hich rebel said the
e following
“How we choose to fight is just as
important as what we fight for.”
you if
you don’t
shut up.”
“It doesn’t matter
where we came
from, Admiral.
Our will to be free
is what’s going
to beat you.”
“ You were right: I was a coward. But now
I k n ow t h e r e is som e t hing stro ng er tha n
fear. Far Stronger. The Force. ”
gle out whicch sha
ady age
ent of the Empire iss whicch...
0-5 X-wing Degreaser –You can work on my Y-wing when you’re done.
6-15 Empire Detractor –There’s more to rebellion than shouting slogans.
16-21 True Rebel –The bounty on your head is how much?!
Answers - QUIZ 1 A, 2 D, 3 D, 4 A, 5 C 6 C, 7 C, 8 A, 9 D, 10 B, 11 D, 12 A VOICE OF THE REBELLION 1 Ezra Bridger, 2 Sabine Wren, 3 Hera Syndulla, 4 Garazeb Orrelios, 5 Kanan Jarrus
IMPERIAL DOSSIER 1 The Grand Inquisitor, 2 The Eighth Brother, 3 The Seventh Sister, 4 The Fifth Brother
A JUST $57.99 FOR 8 ISSUES!**
© & ™ 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2018 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.
*Free Hasbro Star Wars: The Black Series Die Cast figure is only valid with U.S. print subscriptions. U.K. print subscriptions will receive Hasbro Star Wars: The Black Series
- Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu) figure. Offer valid until supplies last and are subject to availability. Figures vary from the models shown above and are shipped at random.
**Free delivery for U.S. orders only. Canadian price includes $15 shipping and handling. Rest of the world prices include additional postage and packaging costs.
OR CALL: U.S. 800 261 6502 - U.K. 01778 392085
Who Fired Last?
After having his own adventures as a New York City paramedic,
Daniel José Older is now a best-selling author, and the man
behind the epic new Han and Lando novel, Star Wars: Last Shot.
W O R D S : K R I S T I N B AV E R
s author Daniel José Older
tried to get a grasp on the
inner complexities of
Han Solo, he thought
back to the decade
he’d spent rushing
around New York’s
urban jungle as a paramedic
and saw many similarities.
“There’s a joy to having a
sense of purpose in what you
do,” Older explains. “People
misunderstand that to be an
adrenaline rush, but really it’s
being able to put your mind
and body and spirit into the
service of something that you
know you’re good at, and that
can make a change. That’s an
amazing feeling.”
Older’s new book, Star Wars:
Last Shot, catches up with the
former scoundrel and his old
friend Lando a few years after
the Battle of Endor, with Han
now a father to two-year-old
Ben Solo and recently married
to the formidable Leia Organa.
Any hopes of a
quiet domestic
life are shattered,
however, when
an entanglement
from Han and
Lando’s piratical
past puts them on
course for a new
“One thing I
really did want
to get at is: What
is his passion?
What drives him? Because on one
hand he clearly loves his life as a
smuggler, and there’s something
about it that really pulls at him.
But he takes to being part of the
Rebellion really quickly. Yeah, he
has a moment where he storms
off and it’s about the money, but
no one believes that.
“So now that the war is over,
what is a solider to do? He can
be very strategic in his own way,
but he’s no politician. His are the
politics of the blaster,” Older says
with a laugh.
Despite being a New York
Times best-selling author, Older,
38, is a relative newcomer to
the publishing world. After a
collection of his short stories,
Salsa Nocturna, was released
in 2012, he quit working on
an ambulance crew to become
a full-time author. In 2015, he
hit the ground running with
Half-Resurrection Blues, the
start of his Bone Street Rumba
series, and the young-adult novel
Shadowshaper, which kicked off
its own trilogy.
Given the chance to write a
Han Solo novel, Older relished
the opportunity to employ his
unique sense of humor to ask a
burning question from his youth:
“Do these people ever pack?”
Older laughs again. “Well, do
they? They fly all over the galaxy
and yet they never seem to have
a bag with them, so there is a
moment in Last Shot where Leia
packs Han’s underpants. She’s
like: ‘Here, I packed your bag. It’s
got clean underwear in it.’”
It’s just the kind of detail you
might expect
from someone
whose first foray
into Star Wars
lore focused
on one of the
Tatooine for a
pair of missing
droids—part of
last year’s From
a Certain Point
of View anniversary anthology.
Told in the format of an incident
report (which shares similarities
with the forms that Older once
had to complete after every
emergency call), “Born in the
Storm” introduced the straighttalking Sardis Ramsin to Star Wars
canon, sounding off over shoddy
blasters, Imperial protocol, and
“butt-scratchingly uncomfortable
armor.” Older smiles as he recalls
that line. “That was one of many
things I wasn’t sure they would
let pass, but they did!”
But, as well as being a laughout-loud rant on everything that
“I felt like
Star Wars was
real on a level
that all of
that sparkly
sci-fi is not.”
01 Author Daniel José Older
the Empire gets wrong, Older’s
tale is also an exploration of the
humanity beneath the helmet
of these faceless troopers. “I love
the idea of counter narratives
and just turning the tables on
who we perceive as protagonists,”
he says. The story also captures
the restlessness and personality
clashes among a unit of soldiers—
thrown together but not always
getting along—and the series of
bumbling mistakes and disastrous
decisions that allow the droids to
make their escape.
“I remember being on duty
as a paramedic,” he says. “You’re
going about your business, doing
your job, and of course you’re
really focused on what’s in front
of you. Sometimes that is people
dying, but more often than not it
is just people with indigestion.
“But you also have your own
issues going on, maybe you’re
texting with someone, you have
your rent due, and there’s all this
other stuff that’s present for you.
So I was interested in writing a
character who has all this other
stuff happening and is speaking
through this incident report
form, exactly like the ones we
had to fill out.”
The short story even touches
upon the compassionate side of
the soldier, when Sardis finds a
majestic dewback. “I was obsessed
with dewbacks as a child,” says
Older. “I didn’t know what they
were called, because we didn’t
have in 1986. But
I thought it was just such a cool
little detail that gave rise to so
much world-building.” In the
original cut, the beasts are on
screen for just a few seconds, but
long enough to capture Older’s
imagination. “That was incredible
to me,” he says.
No greater power
Older clearly remembers the
feeling of coming home from
seeing Return of the Jedi (1983)
in the theater for the first time.
“It changed my life,” he says.
“I was too young to understand
how, but I was totally immersed
in the world from there on out.
We had all the toys and the other
stuff that came along with it, and
I watched the other two films on
video over and over again.”
The vividness of the galaxy
far, far away, from its strange
inhabitants to its used, weatherbeaten, and sometimes fallingapart spaceships, would help to
shape Older into the writer that
he would become.
“The world-building is so
in-depth. The original vision is
so grandiose and expansive and
fascinating, with so much room
for growth. That’s the model
for how to think about worldbuilding. It’s not just about the
one character. You really feel like
every character in that cantina
has a life story and needs of their
own, and is there for a reason.
And that’s so rare.”
As an adult looking back on
the special-effects masters who
brought the story to life, Older
is still in awe of the magic that
turned simple materials into the
extraordinary. “The power of
Frank Oz with a piece of rubber
on his hand! There’s no greater
power on Earth when it comes to
special effects,” he says. “None
of these were things that I could
articulate as a kid, of course, but
they still resonated. I felt like Star
Wars was real on a level that all of
that sparkly sci-fi is not.”
“Han and Leia are dealing
with politics and family
life and all these other
things, and then Lando
shows up and brings a
whole world of trouble
to their door again.”
02 Han faces
off against a
gang of new
foes, in Solo:
A Star Wars
Aside from the special effects,
Older also reveres the powerful
human drama within the saga.
“That’s great storytelling,” he
says. “It’s really powerful. There
are so many dynamics at play in
that world. At the heart of it, you
have a good-versus-evil story, but
that’s where the simplicity ends
because beyond that you find so
many varieties of behavior within
this huge realm.”
As an author invited to further
explore the galaxy in novel form,
translating the vividness of Star
Wars posed its own challenges—
like how to convey Han’s easy
charisma and Lando’s panache
on paper. “How do you write that
cape?” he laughs. “That was a
struggle. How do you give him
that true ‘oomph’ that he has
as a character? Because so much
of that is in the really beautiful
micro details of how Billy Dee
Williams moves and how he
carries himself; his posture and
the tenor of his voice. So that was
a great challenge as a writer.
“It’s very easy to have Lando
just constantly sashaying from
one kind of conquest to another,
but I wanted him to go through
stuff and be wrestling with what
it means to live in peacetime.
What does it mean to want to
settle down after a life of flying
around the galaxy, participating
in all these ridiculous stunts and
barely making it out alive?”
Star Wars taken as a whole is
complex. At the heart of it is the
Hero’s Journey, but take a few
steps back and the rest of the
galaxy comes into focus, teeming
with gangsters and smugglers,
evil Empires and alliances, and,
says Older, “political questions
about war, spirituality, militarism,
and different understandings of
what it means to rebel and to be
a hero.”
Just look at Calrissian. Even
though he has relatively limited
screen time in the original trilogy,
Older found the character to
be multifaceted and intriguing.
From the first moment we saw
him with Han on the landing
platform, it was clear the two
had a deep connection, and a
complicated friendship. “You
feel the whole weight of their
relationship in just that little
interaction,” he says. “That’s
great writing and great acting.”
For Last Shot, Older bounces
between life for Han and Lando
after the Galactic Civil War and
their younger days, in a story that
has connections to Solo: A Star
Wars Story when it debuts in May
of this year. In the same vein as
Claudia Gray in Bloodline and
Chuck Wendig in his Aftermath
trilogy, Older also sheds further
light on the turbulent years of
fledgling democracy following
the end of the Empire.
“Han is dealing with the
question of what it means to
be settled a little bit more,” he
ventures. “After being on the
run and living this ridiculous
romantic and dangerous life for
so long, he now has a wife and a
two-year-old kid. Han and Leia
are dealing with politics and
family life and all these other
things, and then Lando shows
up and brings a whole world of
trouble to their door again.
“A lot of the problems that
they are dealing with in this
story are rooted in events that
03 Has Han
finally found
a home?
04 Star Wars:
Last Shot
older and
versions of
Han and
Glover as
Lando in
Solo: A Star
Wars Story)
happened a decade earlier. The
past is stubborn, even when you
think you’ve dealt with it. What
happens to a friendship after a
tremendous betrayal? Do they
talk about that? Do they deal
with it? I think that’s very real. I
wanted Han and Lando to have
at least one moment where that
rises to the surface again and
they have to confront that with
each other. The past is rushing
up to meet the present and both
narratives are intertwined. They
build up to a climax together.”
Intimidating Thrill
The whole experience of writing
the novel has been something
of a dream come true for Older.
When he got the commission,
he was ecstatic. “I might have
blacked out or something,” he
jokes. “I remember an email with
the words ‘Han’ and ‘Lando’ in
there, and then just writing a
frantic reply back to my agent
before I even finished reading
it. ‘Yeah, yeah, definitely that!’ I
really wanted to do it. My own
understanding of success is being
able to do the project you want
to do. So, by that standard, I’m
a very successful writer, which is
just great.”
To prepare for the intense
three-month writing frenzy that
lay ahead, Older took time out
to re-watch the original trilogy,
re-read the most recent Star Wars
novels, immersed himself in Star
Wars lore from every resource
he could find, and flew from
his New Orleans home to San
Francisco to attend a briefing on
the Solo standalone movie.
As for the novel itself, Older is
determined to keep mum on the
plot details of his tale, and on the
additional characters that feature
beyond its roguish leads. “I will
say that we go to Utapau,” he
says, referring to the planet where
Obi-Wan Kenobi clashes with
General Grievous in Revenge of
the Sith (2005), “as well as some
brand new planets. Chewbacca
is along for the ride, of course…
Oh, and there’s an Ugnaught!
“I’ve been a Star Wars
fan all my life, so these were
characters that I already knew
as if they were old friends,” says
Older. “In my head, I tried to
see every moment as if it were
on a screen—and as if it were
brilliantly directed by Rian
Johnson, J.J. Abrams, or George
Lucas! If I could see it, then I
could also hear it, and then I
would write it.
“It was definitely intimidating,
but in equal parts intimidating
and exciting,” he concludes.
“There aren’t that many universes
that I would even care to play
“It was a lot of fun, and
just such an honor to bring
these characters to life.”
05 Han (Alden
and Chewie
enjoy their
new ship.
06 The duo find
trouble, in
Solo: A Star
Wars Movie.
in, but Star Wars is the one that
I’ve always wanted to write for. It
was a lot of fun, and just such an
honor to bring these characters
to life. In my mind, I have been
playing in this universe for my
entire life.”
Star Wars: Last Shot is out
on April 17. Read an exclusive
extract now at
Star Wars:
Heroes of the Force
ISBN 9781785851926
Star Wars: A New Hope
The Official Celebration Special
ISBN 9781785864605
The Best of Star Wars Insider
Volume One
ISBN 9781785851162
The Best of Star Wars Insider
Volume Two
ISBN 9781785851179
The Best of Star Wars Insider
Volume Three
ISBN 9781785851896
The Best of Star Wars Insider
Volume Four
ISBN 9781785851902
Star Wars:
Lords of the Sith
ISBN 9781785851919
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Official Mission Debrief
ISBN 9781785861581
© & TM 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd.
With additional scenes and unique
viewpoints on the story of Star Wars:
The Last Jedi, the adult and junior
novelizations of the movie offer
alternate takes on the latest episode
in the Star Wars saga. Insider offered
authors Jason Fry (Star Wars: The
Last Jedi) and Michael Kogge (Star
Wars: The Last Jedi: A Junior Novel)
the chance to discuss their separate
approaches to adapting the movie.
Star Wars Insider: What were
your starting points for these
two books?
Jason Fry: Early on, I was thinking
about what we wouldn’t see on
screen that would work in a book:
What did I want as a lifelong fan
and as a reader? That took me to
some interesting places in terms of
which characters’ heads I wanted to
be inside to better understand their
thoughts and motivations.
Overall, the novel is really
Rey’s story. She is struggling to
understand what has happened
to Luke, who he has become, and
what that means for her and the
galaxy. Getting to be in Luke’s
head was tempting, but ultimately
worked against that story. I had
to stay on Rey’s shoulder, not on
Luke’s. That didn’t mean I couldn’t
be in Luke’s head, too, but I had
to pick my spots and make them
count. That was a lesson that took
me a while to work through.
Michael Kogge: I had a similar
method. When I wrote The Force
Awakens junior novel I tried to
focus my points of view on the
younger characters—Rey, Finn,
Poe, Rose, and Kylo Ren—only
branching out to Han or Leia when
necessary. I continued that in The
Last Jedi. Luke and Leia get their
deserved moments, but I had to
resist the temptation to go straight
to them. The core of a junior novel
should revolve around the younger
heroes and villains, and the reader
should spend most time with them.
How does writing a novelization
differ from your other work?
JF: The biggest difference is a good
lesson for any writer to learn: take
your ego out of it. It was a great
honor and privilege to tell the
story, but it isn’t my story. It’s Rian
Johnson’s. When it came to any
expansions on the story, I looked at
my job as: “Rian would’ve written
this if he had the running time to
include it.” I had to be true to the
narrative, but also do things the
film couldn’t do, such as getting
into the characters’ heads to
staring at the X-wing and thinking
explore their motivations, their
about it like she would on Jakku:
histories, and their doubts. The trick
What’s salvageable in it? That leads
is making sure that my role does
her to thinking about the Falcon,
not pass from interpretation and
and then Chewie, as she figures out
maybe a little augmentation into
that Luke might listen to an angry
something else.
Wookiee even if he won’t listen to
MK: I like to say that this isn’t my
her. You look for opportunities like
story, but these are my characters.
that, moments that allow a writer
Because, as a writer, if you don’t
to go into a character’s
completely own the
history and get into her
characters—if you
or his head a little bit,
don’t understand all
in a way that hopefully
their motivations and
is true to the movie and
emotions—the book’s
deepens it. You want
not going to be any
Jason Fry has
good connective tissue,
good. And while I might
written over two
not just extra stuff you
not get to plot the beats
dozen Star Wars
books, including the
could insert just because.
of what happens, I do
Star Wars Rebels:
I made sure that nothing
have to live in Rey and
Servants of the
I did felt like that.
Finn and Poe and Kylo
Empire quadrology
and Star Wars: The
MK: I feel the same
Ren’s shoes to figure
Last Jedi Incredible
way. You look for ways
them out and to make
Cross Sections. He
is also the author
to flesh out the story in
them real on the page.
of the young-adult
ways the film doesn’t
So, I’m very possessive
space-fantasy saga
have time to do. One
about these characters.
Jupiter Pirates.
of the great things of
When I see Rey or Finn
Jason Fry:
collaborating with Jason
being cosplayed at a
was that we discussed
convention, I see a little
the areas where there
bit of me in them, even
Michael Kogge is a
was room for the novels
if the person in the
regular contributor
to expand. Some scenes
costume isn’t familiar
to Star Wars Insider,
might work well for
with the books.
and penned the
junior novelization
the junior novel, some
JF: That’s a good way
of Star Wars: The
better for the adult, so
of putting it. These are
Force Awakens. He
there could be new,
fictional characters that
was also Head Writer
on the augmented
exclusive material suited
matter enormously
reality video game
to each. One such scene
to people. There’s a
Star Wars: Jedi
for the junior novel was
responsibility there.
Michael Kogge:
planned to have Luke
And the writer’s job is to
and Chewbacca saying
inhabit everyone’s head
goodbye. But I thought
and be true to them as
about it for a few days
they see things.
and decided that it
would be better with R2-D2 instead
So how do your books expand
of Chewbacca, since R2 is such a
on the film?
close and loyal friend of Luke’s. So
JF: One of the scenes in my book,
before the Falcon leaves Ahch-To,
which works in a novelization but
would stop the movie cold, expands
Luke says farewell to the astromech
on Rey seeing Luke’s X-wing in
in the rain. It’s a small moment that
the water off the island. I have her
shows Luke’s character is changing
“The novel is really Rey’s story. She
is struggling to understand what has
happened to Luke, who he has become, and
what that means for her and the galaxy.”
Jason Fry
and he is heading in the direction
that he needs to go.
JF: I love that scene! We have
slightly different canvases for the
same story. With a good story, there
will be many more canvases to
visit—which is awesome!
Were there any scenes that didn’t
make the final edit?
JF: In an earlier version of the
script that I read, the sequence
with the Master Codebreaker plays
out differently, in what feels like
a wonderful homage to To Catch
a Thief. It ends as disastrously
as before, but it just takes a little
longer. In my book, I tried writing
that, because we thought it would
be a lot of fun. But in the end it
was decided that it was too big a
departure and we’d exceeded the
proper role of a novelization. It was
certainly an interesting experiment
for me. Who knows? Maybe it will
see the light of day somewhere
down the line.
MK: For me, it wasn’t so much
the scenes that were cut, as bits
of background and character
psychology. That is typical of
any good book—you have to
tell the story without too much
embellishment—but it doesn’t
mean that the unused writing has
been a waste. One can spend days
writing a scene or a chapter only
to realize you have to throw it out.
It’s all part of a writer’s journey. You
have to go down every rabbit hole
in order to make things really work.
Often you get a line or an idea or
an emotional beat that you would
never have gotten otherwise.
01 Rose (Kelly
What was it like tackling
Marie Tran)
Luke’s existential crisis?
and Finn
JF: Luke is a character who’s
been incredibly important to
witness the
me since I was eight years old.
inequities on
To me, the most interesting
Canto Bight.
thing about his crisis is how he
got there. I tried a lot of things
02 Poe Dameron
to answer that. I wrote eight
or nine interludes from Luke’s
prepares to
journey—I called them interdefend the
Lukes—starting with Darth
Vader’s funeral pyre on Endor
03 Chewbacca
and then leading to the island.
They didn’t tell the whole story,
but just gave glimpses of what
waits for Rey
on Ahch-To.
he’d been up to. But much as
I hated to admit it, they just
didn’t work. They were interesting
on their own, sure, but they took
the reader away from the story that
was being told.
One thing I did get to do was to
open the novelization with Luke,
so we get a look at him before Rey
arrives. I wanted to get a sense of
the emotions we see on his face
when she offers him the saber.
Start with the idea that the Force
is literally awake—or, if you prefer,
the cosmic Force is looking for a
new vessel—and it is making its
mark on the galaxy again, after
this period of dormancy. But Luke
has closed himself off to the Force
and is literally refusing to hear its
voice. Since the Force has agency
here, how does it get through
the defenses he’s thrown up? My
answer was a dream: Luke can’t
close himself off so thoroughly that
he can shut that door, and the Force
uses it to get at him and insist he
hear its message. So the novel
starts with a dream sequence, and
when Luke wakes up, he knows that
the Force is at work and he knows
something’s coming. That sequence
was one I really enjoyed doing.
MK: Jason and I talked at Star
Wars Celebration in Orlando. He
pitched his opening to me and I
thought it worked really well. I’d
already started my book, and the
opening prologue I’d written was
from an elevated point of view, an
omniscient narrator recounting
the life of Luke Skywalker, almost
like old-man Luke is looking back
at his life from a distance. What is
marvelous is that both the adult
and junior novel approach it in a
slightly different way, yet they’re
both thematically the same and
they both go straight to the conflict
in Luke. When I finally read Jason’s
manuscript, I thought: This is
fantastic, they connect well. We’re
both saying the same thing in a
different way.
What other considerations did
you have to take into account?
JF: Obviously, you have to think
about the big, pivotal moments in
the story. What are the moments
that will make the book fly or die?
For me, Luke’s death was one of
them. It was really useful, as the
process was unfolding, to have my
subconscious noodling away on
that scene, saying: “Oh my God,
this is Luke Skywalker passing into
the Force, and I’m going to be the
guy that gets to describe it on the
page! How do I do that?” By the
time I actually got to write that
scene, I think I’d written it in my
head 50 times!
MK: Yeah, that scene became a
goal for me, too. It was something
I looked forward to reaching, not
because I was eager to kill Luke, but
because it was so momentous. I had
to write a similar scene for Han Solo
in The Force Awakens, and now
I had to do it for Luke Skywalker.
It felt like I was killing off my
childhood heroes one by one. It’s
really bizarre. It’s not therapeutic!
JF: No, it’s not.
MK: It’s very sad. I didn’t want to
kill off Han, and I didn’t want to
kill off Luke. But I believe, within
the structure of these stories, these
moments make sense. As a writer,
as an artist, it was a great challenge.
I felt a little emboldened. You gotta
do this. You’ve got to make their
endings really good. You have to let
them go out in a blaze of glory.
With your books not coming
out until three months after
the film’s release, were you
able to make revisions after
seeing the final cut?
MK: I had a week after seeing
the film to make any final
changes. But things still occur
to you later that you really wish
you could have added!
“I didn’t want to kill
off Han, and I didn’t
want to kill off Luke.
But I believe within
the structure of these
stories these moments
make sense.”
Michael Kogge
04 Rey (Daisy
discovers her
past and her
future on
05 Luke (Mark
Hamill) and
R2-D2 look
on as the
Jedi training
temple burns.
JF: I did the same thing. I was
tweaking at the very last minute,
thinking: “Oh, I need to underscore
this scene and that scene,” but
eventually you just need to let it
go. What George Lucas said about
movies is also true about books:
They don’t get finished, but they
eventually escape. And so be it!
Where do you see the story
heading in Episode IX?
JF: I don’t have an answer, but I
know the key questions I would
ask: When are we starting and what
has changed? To me, that will say
a lot about what’s going to unfold.
Are we going to be a day later or
are we going to be three years later?
I think that we’re going to get a
very different Rey or Kylo or Poe
or anyone else depending on the
answer to that question.
MK: That’s a brilliant way to look
at the future: through a question.
The Wizard Archetype
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi,
Luke Skywalker goes beyond
his Hero’s Journey to embark on
a different type of adventure…
n discussions of the Hero’s Journey
in contemporary storytelling,
Luke Skywalker is one of the most
frequently cited examples. Joseph
Campbell—the academic whose
work on the subject influenced
George Lucas’ writing—viewed Luke’s path
in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) as a modern
execution of what he called the “monomyth:”
the archetypal hero’s story common to every
culture and era. Likewise, Christopher Vogler—
who reframed Campbell’s ideas into a model
specifically designed for cinematic storytelling—
used A New Hope as one of his primary examples
in his 1992 book The Writer’s Journey.
Yet Luke’s story did not, of course, end with A
New Hope. What seemed like a complete Hero’s
Journey in that film was expanded and developed
upon in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1981)
and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983), making the
path from farmboy to Jedi far more involved than
simply using the Force to destroy the Death Star. The
prequel trilogy then expanded the story of Luke’s
father, and how the pieces came to be in place for
Luke’s own journey.
In the new trilogy, the Hero’s Journey belongs to
Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren. Each has progressed along
their own path as the story has unfolded. But Luke’s
journey is not over. In the events between trilogies,
Luke has gone from Jedi Knight to Jedi Master, and
then disappeared into exile. Having elevated him to
mythic status within his own fictional universe in
The Force Awakens, the latest trilogy has one more
cycle for Luke to complete in The Last Jedi: that of
the Wizard’s Journey.
Wizards are a familiar and
longstanding archetype in
fiction—whether the magicwielding sorcerers of high
fantasy or the technological
masterminds of science-fiction.
The iconic examples are easy
to name: Merlin, The Lord of
the Rings’ Gandalf, and Harry
Potter’s Dumbledore in the first
category; and in the second, the
Doctor (as in Doctor Who), the
Back to the Future Trilogy’s Doc
Brown, and Plutarch Heavensbee
(The Hunger Games). Frequently,
though, these characters don’t
have a story arc of their own.
They may be revered for the
role they play as mentors to
a younger hero undertaking
the Hero’s Journey, but they
are not separately undergoing
a metamorphosis to become a
better version of themselves.
That is the difference between
a character who represents the
wizard archetype and a character
whose Wizard’s Journey brings
them through a final heroic cycle
to reach self-mastery.
In Star Wars, a Jedi Knight
may reach the rank of Jedi Master
by training an apprentice, but
few will attain the transcendent
understanding of the Force that
brings the spiritual wisdom to
become more powerful than
one can possibly imagine. Of all
the masters seen in the prequels
and Star Wars: The Clone Wars
on TV, only three have become
one with the Force after death:
Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi,
and Yoda. Each has completed
a Wizard’s Journey in order to
do so (although Anakin seems
to score a free pass in Return of
the Jedi), but for the most part
this has occurred beyond the
view of the audience. Star Wars:
The Phantom Menace (1999)
establishes Qui-Gon’s iconoclastic
perspective on the Force—the
source of his differences with the
Jedi Council—but we do not see
how he acquired the views that
became vindicated later.
Obi-Wan learns much from
his former master during his
long exile on Tatooine, but we
only saw the origin and end
of that process in Star Wars:
Revenge of the Sith (2005) and
A New Hope, not his progress in
between. For Yoda, The Clone
Wars offers a brief glimpse into
his spiritual and philosophical
transformation, when he visits
the mysterious Force Priestesses
and learns how to reconnect with
Qui-Gon during the Season One
episode, “Destiny.”
In The Last Jedi, however,
we see a Jedi Master take his
Wizard’s Journey onscreen. In his
first interactions with Rey, Luke
is very much the archetype of a
wizard mentor—and an especially
grumpy one at that. But then the
story moves him forward, and he
becomes not simply a Gandalf, or
a Yoda in Empire, but something
more: Rocky Balboa learning to
become a teacher and mentor to
Adonis in Creed (2015); Captain
America redefining his nature
and purpose as a hero in the
face of fundamental conflicts
over power and accountability
in Captain America: Civil War
(2016); and in The Hunger Games
movies, Haymitch and Finnick
evolving to become not merely
former victors and allies to
Katniss, but icons of the rebellion
in their own right. Luke fulfills
his Wizard’s Journey before our
very eyes.
Luke Skywalker’s
Heroic Cycles
The first iteration of a Hero’s
Journey, according to Campbell
and Vogler, is what a modern
audience would call the “origin
story.” The hero has some special
gift—a connection to the Force,
the ability to wield magic, an
innate or artificially induced
superpower—and must learn
to use that gift in the course
of succeeding on a quest. Luke
blows up the Death Star, then
later saves his father. Katniss
wins the Hunger Games, then
helps liberate Panem. Wonder
Woman defeats Ares, and saves
the World of Man.
Once the hero’s origin story
is completed, they can progress
through further heroic cycles.
Each new adventure brings a
new metamorphosis. Each new
transformation compels the hero
“In the events between
trilogies, Luke has gone from
Jedi Knight to Jedi Master, and
then disappeared into exile.”
to redefine their identity, reconciling who they have
been with who they are now becoming. As one cycle
builds upon another, the hero draws progressively
closer to their true self.
For comparison, this iteration of heroic cycles
is quite distinct from more contemporary forms of
storytelling in which the character becomes more
powerful over time. With its origins in roleplaying
games, and now common in videogames, the
concept is a familiar one: ongoing adventures
provide the character with experience which allows
them to “level up” in power, unlocking increasingly
stronger abilities and requiring opposition from
increasingly dangerous adversaries. The best
creative storytellers will ensure that the characters’
aspirations and motivations evolve alongside their
abilities, but often—especially in YA fiction—a
gaming-style focus on “power creep” predominates
over personal growth. Arguably the Star Wars
Legends tales struggled over time with this dynamic,
particularly in relation to Luke and other Jedi, by
focusing on combat prowess or feats of the Force
rather than exploring their emotional crises or
spiritual development.
In the films, Luke’s origin story establishes the
basis for his subsequent heroic cycles. In A New
“Luke is not the first Jedi Master
to face terrible tragedy at the
hands of a fallen apprentice...”
01 Luke Skywalker’s
heroic journey
begins in
Star Wars:
A New Hope.
02 Luke (Mark
Hamill) hears
Leia’s plea for
help from his
mentor, Ben
Kenobi (Sir Alec
03 In The Empire
Strikes Back,
Luke finds a new
mentor in Yoda
(Frank Oz).
04 Luke’s
takes him to
Cloud City to
his friends.
Hope, he learns of his ability to use the Force, and
successfully draws upon this gift to fire the torpedoes
that destroy the Death Star. He also meets the mentor
and friends who will shape his journey, along with
the adversary who seeks to thwart his victory. In
his first iteration of the Hero’s Journey, he has only
begun to discover the power of the Force, and the
man he will become.
In Empire and Jedi, Luke’s continuing Hero’s
Journey refines his self-awareness as he transforms
from apprentice to Jedi Knight. He learns more about
the Force, and the dangers of the dark side that come
hand-in-hand with the light. The story also reveals
the core nature of Luke’s heroism: his compassion.
He is less concerned with Jedi tutelage on Dagobah
than with saving his friends on Cloud City. He steps
away from the battle against the Empire to rescue
Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt. He risks everything
to confront Vader and the Emperor, his belief in
success founded in his faith that he can reach the
good that still remains within his father. On the
second Death Star, Luke’s moment of triumph
comes when he tosses away his lightsaber and truly
becomes a Jedi. It’s a show of emotional fortitude in
the face of extreme adversity that inspires Anakin
to return from the dark side. Luke saves his father,
not through combat or with the Force, but with
compassion and unconditional love.
Luke completes at least one more heroic cycle
prior to The Last Jedi, though its details remain
hidden. Like the audiences of the 1980s, who
wondered about offhand references to the Clone
Wars or the Kessel Run, today’s fans can only infer
from brief bits of dialogue in the films and nuggets
of backstory in novels and comics. Those hints
indicate that after redeeming his father, saving his
friends, and defeating the Empire, Luke’s compassion
becomes writ large. He endeavors to fulfill the task
Yoda set for him: to pass on what he has learned, and
rebuild the Jedi to once again serve the cause of peace
and justice in the galaxy. He searches far and wide
for information about the nature of the Force and
the Jedi Order of old, seeking whatever knowledge
the Empire has not erased or destroyed. Later, he
establishes a training temple and takes on a dozen
students as Jedi apprentices, including his nephew,
Ben Solo. Over time, this heroic cycle takes Luke
from being a Jedi Knight to a Jedi Master.
Luke continues to travel in search of knowledge,
training Ben at his side. This means the young man is
05 Luke risks
to confront
Darth Vader
and the
Emperor in
Return of
the Jedi.
far away from his parents when the galaxy learns the
truth that his mother, Leia, is the daughter of Darth
Vader (as detailed in the novel Bloodline). Along
with Supreme Leader Snoke’s manipulation, this
revelation plays a large part in Ben’s turn to the dark
side, which finds its full expression one fateful night
at the training temple. When Luke senses the extent
of the darkness already within Ben, his instincts urge
him to prioritize his compassion for others over his
compassion for one young man capable of inflicting
so much suffering. In the instant it takes for Luke to
pull back, recognizing his own mistake in thinking
that carrying out one horrific deed would prevent
many more, it is too late. Ben has already seen the
ignited lightsaber in Luke’s hand, and unleashes a
heinous vengeance.
Everything You Just Said is Wrong
Luke is not the first Jedi Master to face terrible
tragedy at the hands of a fallen apprentice, of course.
At the end of Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan and
Yoda go into exile having seen their greatest protégé
turn to evil. They hide the newborn Skywalker twins
and commit to wait, biding their time on the fringes
of the galaxy, until the moment is right to finally
make a move against the Sith. After the destruction
of his training temple, and the massacre of most of
his students, Luke too goes into exile. Unlike his
teachers, though, Luke is not hiding with a plan to
re-emerge. Instead, Luke has chosen to live out his
final years on Ahch-To alone, so that—when the
time comes—the Jedi way will die with him.
While some fans struggle with where Luke starts
his Wizard’s Journey, his backstory suggests he was
less prepared to face the emotional toll of being
a Jedi Knight compared to Obi-Wan and Yoda,
who received a sophisticated education in the Jedi
Temple and were taught from their youngling days
of their value in the galactic balance. Similarly, his
sister, Leia—who throughout the novel Leia: Princess
of Alderaan is shown failing but persisting—has
learned from a young age to accept failures while
continuing to fight on.
When Rey arrives to break Luke’s seclusion, he
explains his refusal to take up his old lightsaber in
simple terms. The galaxy, he says, does not need
Luke Skywalker. The idea that he could stand alone
against the First Order armed only with a laser sword
is a fantasy, he scoffs. There is no “One.” It is time,
he insists, for the Jedi to end.
“It is Yoda who guides Luke to see
the one final lesson he must learn:
that failure is not a reason to quit...”
In his Wizard’s Journey, Luke
discovers the same lesson that he
imparted to Rey and Kylo: that
everything he said was wrong.
Luke holds himself to blame
for creating Kylo Ren. In Rey’s
strength in the Force, he sees only
danger, not potential. The guilt
he carries for his error that night
in the training temple drives his
refusal to train anyone else in the
ways of the Jedi. The Jedi Order
of old failed due to its hubris, and
so, Luke believes, did he.
It is Yoda who guides Luke to
see the one final lesson he must
learn: that failure is not a reason
to quit, but a source of knowledge
for the challenges ahead. Luke’s
06 Luke refuses
to take up his
old lightsaber
when Rey
returns it
to him.
07 Luke sees
only danger
in Rey’s
strength in
the Force.
08 In The Last
Jedi, Luke
insists there
is no “One.”
09 Is it time
for the Jedi
to end?
failure came not in Ben Solo’s fall to the dark side,
but in Luke’s own reaction to it, both in exiling
himself from the galaxy and in rejecting Rey’s plea
for training and guidance. A Jedi does not fail when
his objective is not achieved; a Jedi fails only when
he no longer seeks any objective at all.
In that moment, Luke recognizes a fundamental
truth: it may be too late to save Ben Solo’s soul,
but it is not too late for Luke Skywalker to make a
difference once again.
Luke completes his Wizard’s Journey by accepting
this truth about himself and his role as a Jedi Master.
Leia is in danger; the Resistance is at the brink of
annihilation. On the verge of military conquest by
the First Order, the galaxy needs a spark of hope.
Luke bids farewell to his sister, apologizing as much
for his own choices as for the fates of Ben and Han.
He releases his guilt and regret. And then he does
what Rey had asked. He becomes a legend.
Fan friends launch Kessel Run for sick kids
hen Star Wars fans team
up to help children for
charity, they become more
powerful than you could possibly
imagine. Just ask Jason Ward and
Brandon Manriquez, the duo behind
the inaugural Kessel Toy Run.
Last fall, Jason’s longtime friend
Brandon—an ER nurse at California’s
Long Beach Memorial Medical
Center and Miller’s Children’s
Hospital—suggested mounting
a toy drive for the holiday season.
“We discussed how, when a sibling
is ill, the other siblings are suffering,
too,” says Jason. “We decided to
collect the toys for the children and
their siblings so that they could all
enjoy a fun day and have Star Wars
to share together.”
The friends used the Making
Star Wars Podcast Network to get
the word out to the fans, resulting in
more than 800 incredible Star Wars
toys being donated. Brandon’s new
home was filled right up to the brim
with the sheer “graciousness of Star
Wars fans,” marvels Jason. “Then,
on December 15, some volunteers
including Brad Crihfield, whose very
young daughter was a patient at the
hospital, podcaster Sal Perales, and
the Saber Guild: Temple Prime
costumers handed out the toys at
the hospital.”
Jason and Brandon are already
planning how to make the Kessel
Toy Run 2018 even bigger. “Anytime
we can do something selfless in this
world while enjoying Star Wars, the
thing we love, it is totally worth it.”
We want to hear from you! Tell us about your
Star Wars experience. What made you want
to become a fan? What have you done in the
name of Star Wars? Tell us your Star Wars
story by sending your photos, art, and
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Talented Star Wars fans share their amazing
drawings inspired by the galaxy far, far away....
As a child, Holly Griffith, 39, had
always wanted to be Princess Leia
Organa when she grew up. With a
little help from tattoo artist Steven
Compton at Red Dagger Tattoo
near her home in Houston, Texas,
the fan who grew up to work in
NASA’s Mission Control now has a
permanent reminder of the fearless
rebel leader.
Melissa Thomas, 23, from Indiana, was
inspired to create this chibi-style digital
piece when she first saw the Star Wars:
Forces of Destiny shorts last year. “I’m a
big fan of Star Wars animated content,
and the ladies of Star Wars are one of
my favorite things to draw,” she tells us.
U.K. based artist Liam
Brazier, 37, was totally
consumed with creative
thoughts about Star Wars:
The Last Jedi that he
came up with this digital
poster as a rough sketch
before the film had even
premiered. “Because of
my general aversion to
curved lines, I scribbled
my expectations down in
Illustrator as more physical
compulsion than design,
prior to seeing the movie,”
he says from his home in
London, U.K., or as he puts
it “in a galaxy near, nearby.”
Scouring the galaxy for the
stars of Star Wars...
Meet the stars, show the evidence, win
the bounty! Bounty Hunters is sponsored
by Kotobukiya. Each issue's winner will
receive a fantastic Kotobukiya Star
Wars statue kit! To see more,
ot only is Spencer Cohen a huge
Star Wars and Muppets fan, but
he’s also a freelance puppeteer.
So, when he heard Frank Oz was set to
appear in front of a live audience as part
of the AOL Build Series being filmed in
Manhattan, the 23-year-old puppeteer
from Westchester County, New York,
made it his mission to be there.
“After the interview, Frank was kind
enough to have photos taken with the
fans in the audience, one of them being
me!” Spencer tells Insider.
“I still can’t believe it happened!” he
adds. “Frank Oz has brought to life some
of my favorite characters through the
wonderful art of puppetry: the Cookie
Monster, Grover, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear,
and of course, Yoda! Meeting Frank was
such a wonderful experience, as I have
looked up to him for years. This was a
day that I’ll never forget.”
01 Freelance puppeteer Spencer Cohen meets his
idol, Frank Oz (left) at an AOL Build event.
Jez Allinson is now a Guinness World Record holder
ack in Insider #172 (May
2017), we reported on Jez
Allinson, a.k.a. the Running
Stormtrooper. Now, the Royal Air
Force officer from Oxfordshire in
the U.K. has sent us an update on
his marathon efforts for charity.
“Since then,” he writes, “I have
smashed my target of running four
half-marathons on a treadmill at
Star Wars Celebration in Orlando,
before returning to the U.K. to run
in the London Marathon just four
days later!”
As a result of his London run, Jez
is now the Guinness World Record
holder for being the fastest person
to run a marathon dressed as a Star
Wars character. “The target time set
by Guinness World Records was shy
of five hours,” he explains. “I was
able to complete the run in four
hours, 59 minutes, and 12 seconds,
with just 47 seconds to spare!”
As part of last year’s May the
Fourth celebrations, Jez strapped
on his armor once more to run 40
miles around Pinewood Studios,
exceeding his £10,000 fundraising
goal for Make-A-Wish Foundation
U.K., and raising well over £13,000
($18,345). The route finished under
a ticker-tape cannon outside the
Lucasfilm building.
For anyone thinking that they
might follow in Jez’s footsteps,
the Running Stormtrooper has
some cautionary advice. “There’s
very little leg and knee mobility in
the armor,” he says. “When the legs
are on, I can’t bend over to put
my shoes on, so I need some help.
Visibility is also a problem, and the
chaffing can be an absolute pain.
It’s not a costume designed for
mobility, that’s for sure!”
Jez still enjoys the experience of
running as a Star Wars icon, and has
vowed to make a comeback in 2018.
“In a world full of doom and gloom,
we are surrounded by people who
are willing to do good,” he says. “I
was overwhelmed by the generosity
of people keen to help out or raise
money. They all helped to prove that
a stormtrooper can hit his target!”
Talented fans bid
farewell to Rebels
s Star Wars Rebels reaches
its finale, a collective of fan
artists has come together
to create an epic poster honoring
the Ghost crew, their allies, and even
their foes.
“I have actually always wanted
to try a collaboration like this, but I
was really worried that artistic styles
would conflict with each other,” says
Michael Pasquale, a Florida-based
professional designer and avid fan
artist. Over the years, he has built a
crew of talented friends and fellow
fans that have become a supportive
community on individual projects.
“These are the folks I talk to almost
daily now,” he says. “I had a feeling
that we’d all have artwork planned
for Season Four, so I thought, ‘Why
not share this moment together and
salute the cast and crew?’”
Using the initial teaser trailer as
inspiration, Michael illustrated Grand
Admiral Thrawn, then
recruited 11 artists to
contribute other key
characters and icons
from the show.
“For the Spectres,
Elisa Ardell painted
Ezra, Melissa Thomas
did Hera, Olivia Moy
provided Sabine and
Chopper, Bethany Moy
came up with Kanan,
and Misty Hillard gave
us our Zeb,” Michael
“Then Ksenia
Zelentsova added Rex
and Governor Pryce,
Darren Tibbles handled
the death troopers,
Shane Molina took on
spaceships, Courtney
Morelock resurrected
Bo-Katan, Carsten
Bradley tackled the
Loth-wolf and Saw
Gerrera, and James Raiz did Fenn
Rau! Melissa and Bethany also gave
us Agent Kallus and Mon Mothma.
“What had started out as just the
Ghost crew on a simple background
snowballed into a dozen artists
working on a movie-style poster!”
Michael digitally merged each of
the individual artists’ work to make
the finished poster, which he
describes as being “All about
family, which is the true essence
of Star Wars.
“This motley crew of characters
have formed such a tight-knit family
who, no matter what, are always
there to support each other as they
persevere through the dark times.”
Aluminum astromech is a canny creation
pen any closet in the
North Fork, California
home of Roy Greenwood
and you could be buried by a sea
of soda cans. Roy, a card carrying
member of the International Plastic
Modeler’s Society, uses the cans to
build scales models of airplanes
and spaceships.
Roy’s most ambitious build to
date is a life-sized replica of R2-D2,
built over the course of four months
from more than 1,400 soda cans,
with help from his children Evelyn
and Neil Jr. “I affectionately call
them the ‘soda can elves,’” he says.
Compounding Roy’s big challenge
was the fact that his astromech has
no supporting structure beneath all
of the soda cans, meaning that the
blueprints available from the various
R2-D2 builder’s clubs online were of
little use to him. Instead, he used a
paper template as his guide, and so
painstakingly constructed layerupon-layer of thin metal to build up
the body. The same technique made
the little droid’s stout legs strong
enough to support its weight.
Today, R2 sits in his very own
custom-built display case, emitting
beeps from a built-in MP3 player.
“I wanted to be the first person to
build R2-D2 out of soda cans,” Roy
explains. “I think the most obvious
choice for my next build would be
a C-3PO.”
Before the Jedi returned
It’s an astounding 35 years since Return of the Jedi brought the original Star Wars
trilogy to its epic conclusion, and to commemorate, Insider brings you this fascinating
archive interview with the movie’s director Richard Marquand.
Interview by Katherine Catalano
George Lucas has been
called a 20th-century
mythmaker, and he created
the Star Wars saga to be a
contemporary fairytale. How
do you feel about directing a
mythological tale?
I think that any successful drama
contains an enormous amount
of myth. Otherwise, what is it?
It’s superficial, of no significance.
My previous experience with this
aspect of drama has to do with
working as a theater director with
the Jacobean plays of Marlowe,
or Shakespeare. These men were
the greatest mythmakers of their
time. As for today, I do think very
much that the Star Wars saga does
carry a huge barrel of myth with
it. The more that movies go back
in time or far out in space or into
some legendary land, the stronger
the chances are of wielding a
magic wand and making a real
myth. The Star Wars saga seems
to invite comparison to other
tales and histories, but the fact
is—completely on its own terms
and not looking for parallels—it
is a true saga. It holds up in its
own right. It taps a deep response
in the audience. This very strong
mythology is why, although they
don’t quite realize it, people go
back to Star Wars time and time
again for succor, for nourishment,
relief… like an oasis when
crossing the desert.
What attracted you to the saga
as a director?
First of all was the magic we’ve
been talking about: The Jedi
myth, the dark side, the threat to
your individuality and your soul,
whether one can survive as an
entity or not. I like the inherent
“The Star Wars
saga seems to
invite comparison
to other tales and
histories, but
the fact is
a true saga.”
01 Luke
message in there. Although these
are not message movies, they tell
a lot about love and sacrifice and
danger, about individuality and
his destiny
aggression and good. Also very
in Return of
fascinating to me is the subtle
the Jedi.
definition of evil in Jedi, which is
sort of interwoven into the skein of
the film. There is a suggestion as to
what evil really is. The other thing
for me, just purely as a director, was
to get the chance to put that on the
screen using all the techniques that
Lucasfilm has at its disposal. That
was irresistible. So it was the magic
that attracted me, and the chance
to put my hands on it. This is pure
filmmaking—the ultimate in film
techniques. The movie experience
is practically three-dimensional.
Did you see Star Wars when it
was first released?
I’ve always been an ardent movie
fan, and I’ll never forget when I
first saw Star Wars. My son, who
was then a young 12-year-old
going to school in Boston, had
seen it five, six, seven times. He
said, “Dad, this movie is amazing.
It’s something you’ve just got to
see. It’s on a par with all the great
westerns, with Robin Hood.” So
when I was next in New York I
found it was still running and I
saw it. I was completely knocked
out by it. I was astounded that it
was possible to do that on film. It
was hard to imagine how anybody
had the brilliance to consider doing
it, and to present it as an absolute
reality. A lot of people who’ve tried
to do the Star Wars thing have not
succeeded because they’ve missed
this point. It cannot be campy, or
put-on in any way. It has absolutely
got to have the smell of reality.
That sense of real, real truth has
to be kept throughout the saga. In
Jedi, we have pushed that sense to
the danger point—absolutely to the
brink—because we have all these
extraordinary creatures.
How do you direct the creatures?
Do you think of the people inside
Jabba the Hut who articulate the
creature? Do you direct an Ewok,
or an actor in an Ewok suit?
Well, you don’t direct an actor in
an Ewok suit. You’re dead if you
do. And actually as a director you
are talking to Jabba himself, or to
Wicket, or Admiral Ackbar, or Bib
Fortuna. You’re telling them what
to do. Oh, in the early stages when
you are casting the people who will
later put on the outward show of
these characters, you are thinking
of them as the manipulators. At
that point you are interested in
their shape and personality and
temperament—whether or not they
can stand being in costume for any
length of time, and what ideas they
have about the character. But once
that is set and they are in costume:
Yes, I definitely deal with Jabba!
Must the actor playing the part
forget his humanity and be an
Ewok, or a Pig Guard?
It’s a very schizophrenic exercise
being an actor in a costume, inside
a mask or an outfit that doesn’t
look like you, or feel like you. The
actors need to see themselves
02 “Who is
and get used to themselves in
in there?
their new persona. Masks are
Who is he?”
very rich and magical, and can
asks of
give out a whole lot more than
Darth Vader.
you can imagine just seeing them
03 Luke almost
hanging on a wall. The actor
needs to get the sense of this—to
to the
see what he looks like again and
tempation in
again in that mask or costume—
Return of
before they can be that character.
the Jedi.
How can this be accomplished
on set?
If the creature is huge like Jabba,
you organize it so that a small
television monitor screen inside
the body of the creature can be
matched with a camera outside
pointing back at him, like a
mirror. This way the people inside
can see what the creature they are
articulating looks like as he makes
this or that movement. For small
creatures like Ewoks, with one
person per costume, you make
sure they have holes in the eyes
of the headpiece of the costume.
Then you set up mirrors wherever
they go so that as they are walking
along, they see that they are
actually Ewoks; they are not people
anymore. Each Ewok actor has to
see [themselves] as an Ewok or they
will never come off as one.
Can the audience tell right away
in Jedi whether a creature has
good or evil intentions?
One of the incredibly important
things about the saga, or the
way it’s presented, is that it
demonstrates that the man in the
white hat is not necessarily the
good guy—or the bad guy either. I
think this is especially relevant for
the young people who are going
out to live in the society of the
future, which seems to be heading
toward increasing uniformity in
people’s lives. People often judge
quickly. I’m reminded of the first
time I saw Chewbacca in the
cantina. The first impression is
definitely—from everything we’ve
been taught in the way of prejudice
and cliché—“Uh-oh! Look out!
Chewbacca is a very big, dangerous
creature.” And, of course, he is a
very emotional character as we
come to know him, but he’s not
like one would expect. You don’t
always know which way he’s going
to go, but he does have a heart
of gold and all that. So he’s an
anti-stereotype. Another example
of that is the Ewoks. They’re little
furry things, but they’re not teddy
bears by any means. On the other
hand, there are baddies who are
ugly. We sort of mix it up.
What about Darth Vader? He’s
extremely popular, and bad.
The Darth Vader thing is sort of
different. Vader is popular not just
because he’s a baddie—though they
are usually the most interesting
characters—but because of other
fascinating things about him.
One of them is that he has a kind
of subtle sense of humor, which
makes him more attractive than
some of the other bad guys. Also in
Jedi, he is only really outflanked by
the real bad guy, who has an even
better sense of humor, as well as
being more evil. Vader has a very
wry, mean way of looking at life,
Richard Marquand on
the Imperial bunker set
for Return of the Jedi.
Welsh-born Richard Marquand,
the son of a British MP, lead a truly
international life. Educated at King’s
College, Cambridge, and later in
France, he studied Mandarin while
serving in the British Army, and
even presented the news on Hong
Kong Television. Marquand’s early
theatrical background extended
from his first youthful screenplay to
writing to acting in university drama
productions. While living in the Far
East, he gained behind-the-scenes
experience as a producer, writer, and
director in television, before directing
numerous productions for the BBC in
the U.K. His theatrical directing debut
came in 1978 with The Legacy, but it
was his 1981 movie starring Donald
Sutherland, Eye of the Needle, which
drew the attention of George Lucas,
who offered him the director’s chair
on Return of the Jedi.
because he is a wry, mean man.
Another thing that sets him apart
from other movie bad guys is that
he has tremendous power, which
is very attractive. If I were an eightyear-old I would like to have him
by my bedside. My R2 night-light is
sort of nice, but it couldn’t protect
me in the middle of the night.
Ultimately, the most interesting
thing is that you don’t really know
who he is. He provokes the same
curiosity as the Mona Lisa. Why is
she smiling? You keep coming back
to it with Vader, too. Who is in
there? Who is he?
So you see Darth Vader as a
fascinating enigma?
Yes, he takes us off our guard the
whole time. People don’t know if
he’s lying or not. He constantly
pulls the rug out from underneath
you. When you look at his face you
can have no idea what is going on
inside him. Again, it’s what makes
that mask thing so interesting.
Human faces are much easier to pin
down. You can look into someone’s
eyes and get a sense of what is
going on, of what’s happening
in there.
An actor’s eyes alone can
express anger, especially in a
close-up. How about emotional
manifestation in creatures?
The main problem along those
lines, in a fast-moving story like
we’re dealing with, is that you
don’t have much time to develop
a deep psychology for everyone.
But within the limitations of the
amount of screen-time that any
given character has got, you have
to inject as much as you possibly
can of the little bits and pieces
that hint at the undercurrents of
psychology going on. Jabba, for
instance, has a tail, like a cat’s tail,
which moves slowly up and down
when he is really angry or excited
or disturbed. This is an extra useful
piece of descriptive action—a little
insight into his emotional pattern.
You’ve got to keep this attention to
detail going. This richness… This
reality, if you will. Even with the
lesser characters like the Pig Guards
[Gamorrean Guards], we attempted
to show several levels of behavior. I
felt that the Pig Guards were totally
unintelligent, neo-fascist types.
Their dumb attitude to carrying
out order is one level of behavior.
“Vader has a very wry,
mean way of looking at
life, because he is a wry,
mean man.”
At the same time, we wanted to
convey that, just as with the school
bully, you can outmaneuver them
if you’re smart and they will turn
into cowards. This is what happens
in the movie. Also, I thought an
interesting characteristic for them
to have would be for them to
relish witnessing the discomfort of
one of their own: To enjoy seeing
another Pig Guard being given a
hard time. We actually managed to
get that into the film.
How do you decide on what
is appropriate behavior for a
creature; what his motivations
These are the areas where the
collaborative aspects of making
these films most comes into
play. Motivation, emotional
characteristics, physical traits,
body language, and movement
absolutely require input from
the man who invented the universe
in the first place. All through
pre-production, the shoot, and
post-production, George made
himself available. A good example
of his creative collaboration
involved the Ewoks. Early on,
during pre-production, I had hired
a choreographer to work with the
actors, the little people, who were
to play the Ewoks. The idea was
to get them into some kind of
physical situation and some kind of
costume as early as possible. Well,
at this point we devised a whole set
of body language for them—how
they would scratch their fleas,
look up, interact with each other,
etcetera. George saw one of these
early rehearsals and he really didn’t
like the way the Ewoks ran. He
thought they were too uniform,
and preferred that they return to
their own methods of running. I
said, “Sure, fine.” As it turned out,
he was absolutely right.
You seem to see the making
of Return of the Jedi as a truly
collaborative effort.
This movie has reconfirmed
my belief in the essence of
collaboration possible between the
director, the creative producer, the
production office, and the people
who actually make the movie. The
proof of the effectiveness of this
joint effort has really come to me
profoundly in this huge film. I have
been virtually given carte blanche
by George and the producers
as far as my selection of people
that matter to a director—other
actors, cameramen, remaining
crew. I was free to choose people
whose strengths I knew, whom
I could rely on. We were a team.
In the business of making movies
there are no loners. Everybody is
doing it together. There is no one
Michelangelo. The effort involves
a lot of people mixing paint,
preparing the brushes, building the
scaffolding, preparing the ceiling,
and even doing some sketches
around the sides. That’s probably
how the Sistine Chapel got painted,
and it’s certainly how most movies
are made.
Was there anything you learned
as a child that relates to what
you’re doing as an adult?
I’ll tell you how it all began,
because I don’t think I ever told
anybody this and I do think it’s
rather interesting. When I was
12, I had a very eccentric English
master, a Mr. Craddock, who wore
a rather strange tweed suit and
smoked a pipe. The class had been
reading the poem “Locksley Hall”
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, which
is an extraordinary 19th-century
vision of what the future would
be like, way before H.G. Wells. It
goes: “For I dipt into the future,
far as human eye could see, Saw
the vision of the world, and all
the wonder that would be.” I was
loving it, but some of the boys
didn’t appreciate the higher forms
of poetic art. We were coming to
the end of a semester and there was
to be a two-week break at Easter.
Mr. Craddock said at the end of
the last day: “You’ve got a task to
do this vacation. Take any four
verses of this poem, and during
the vacation write a screenplay
based on those verses.” There was
a groan from some of the boys,
but I thought, “Gee, this could be
really good.” He explained roughly
how to lay it out—I don’t think
he had it exactly right, but that
really didn’t matter. The important
thing was that that vacation I went
off with my four verses and I just
wrote a film. I had never really
thought before how you could put
it down on paper with headings
and descriptions. I remember that
my brother and I were vacationing
on this farm. I loved farming. I’ve
always been a country boy. Well, I
showed it to my brother, who was
then 15, and he read it. “That’s
fantastic,” he said, “you’re going to
be a film director.” Well, of course, I
“The temptations facing
Luke are so enormous
that you cannot see how
it’s possible to solve
them and save him.”
had no such intentions. At the time
I wanted to be either a farmer or an
actor. It’s funny—the question has
keyed this memory of mine, which
I had totally forgotten about for 25
Mythological tales usually end
with the triumph of good over
evil. Do you think the Star Wars
audience will be happy with the
The difficult thing about doing a
film of this nature is that, at the
start of it, you don’t want the
audience to know how it’s going
to end. It’s difficult to keep a
certain amount of tension going,
but this film does it—I think quite
brilliantly. We’ve achieved a sense
of jeopardy to the very end. You
never get the idea that this is a
formula idea where the lovers meet
and, although they have their ups
and downs, you know very well
that they will eventually go off
into the sunset.
We’ve got a really good story
here. It’s about individual people.
There are no generalizations. We
know these people and they know
each other. They’re friends, and
they’re concerned about the world
in which they live. The story
becomes more complex as the
saga progresses, and going into
the third movie—although you
hope for the best—you’ve no idea
how their overwhelming problems
are going to be resolved.
I think we’ve managed to keep
totally away from the old style
in which the good guys are sure
to win, because you really don’t
know. I mean, you don’t know
whether Han is going to get away.
You have no idea who will come
to get him. And the temptations
facing Luke are so enormous
that you cannot see how it’s
possible to solve them and save
him. Luke’s involvement is
terribly complex. And George
has come up with the most
terrible Emperor-like doublecross, which is just incredible.
In the movie it just takes
your breath away. With each
character it’s the same thing:
constant confrontations with
the twists and turns of fate. At
the end—because it’s been such
an appalling journey, because
you’ve had such a tough
ride—you feel wonderful. A
tremendous sense of uplift. Oh,
it’s a real celebration.
Could you summarize your
experience as director of
Return of the Jedi?
In the early stages I was so
amazed that anybody would
consider me as the director of
such a rich, rich film, that I almost
04 Under
Shaw is
prepped for
his reveal as
05 “As a
director, you
are talking to
says of his
costumed and
puppet cast
06 Marquand
(left) cameos
as an AT-ST
pilot with
Jedi coproducer
Robert Watts.
balked at it. I thought: Hey, there
must be someone older, wiser, and
with more experience. I didn’t
know, going in, that it could be
so much fun. Also I don’t think I
ever worked so hard. There were
times when I wasn’t absolutely
certain I could possibly survive.
It was really due to the constant
encouragement and fellowship of
my co-workers that I was able to get
through it. There was tremendous
support and great loyalty, which is
so important in this business. I was
very fortunate. I felt, as the director
of this movie, like the pilot in the
cockpit of a plane about to take off.
He knows the ground crew and he
trusts the machine. He knows that
everything is OK, and that even in
an exhausted state he can count
on the plane to fly. That’s a good
feeling—a wonderful feeling. And
when you land at the other end,
as we have now, and it’s still OK…
Dennis Muren takes
a light reading as
Mark Hamill (Luke)
and Carrie Fisher
(Leia) prepare to film
Return of the Jedi ’s
speederbike chase.
Star Wars
Lights! Camera! Action!
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Star Wars photo archives.
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from the latest
Star Wars story
An exclusive interview
with the legendary
Star Wars designer
A week in the life of
The Star Wars Show
May 29
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I thought
we were in
trouble there
for a second,
but it’s fine.
We’re fine.
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