Now that Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII is filming (mostly) under cloak and dagger and Rogue One is going through post-production, things should be quiet in the world of Star Wars. Not the case! Instead, we have news of an unexpected leak, a surprising cancellation, and a very exciting onlooker’s report from the set of VIII. Absolutely no Bothans were harmed in the production of this roundup, but we’d appreciate it if you read on nonetheless.

Episode VIII Might Have the Villains You’ve Been Looking For

Source: On-set snooping
Probability of Accuracy: There’s a lot of speculation going on here, so let’s put this one as 50/50 at best.
The Real Deal: The Making Star Wars site is reporting “black helmeted medieval-looking figures” have been spotted chasing Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley on the Malin Head, Ireland set of Episode VIII. The on-set source(s) also report that there was some sort of fight between Luke Skywalker and Rey—both using lightsabers—and that Kylo Ren was with the black-helmeted characters. All of this is leading to speculation that those men in black will be the Knights of Ren, the mysterious order that gave Ben Solo his new name and just might be behind his worship of Darth Vader in The Force Awakens. But as of now, that’s purely conjecture, so don’t get your hopes up too high just yet. (On the other hand, according to the person who claims to have seen the scene described, apparently Old Luke is impressively badass when it comes to combat, which should be fun to see if it turns out to be true.)

Meet the Team Planning to Heist the Death Star Plans

Source: Leaked pages from an official Rogue One publishing tie-in
Probability of Accuracy: It’s complicated. You’ll see.
The Real Deal: As far as spoiler-filled leaks go, this was the motherlode: the catalog for publishers Media Lab Books revealed pages from the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story—The Official Visual Story Guide last week, divulging all manner of information about the anthology film hitting theaters in December. Really, a lot of information. Things like character names, details about new vehicles, and even a description of the group sent to steal the Death Star plans all hit the Internet very quickly when the pages leaked. (We won’t repeat those details here for fear of spoiling, but they’re easily Google-able.) But there’s a twist to this story: In requesting that sites running the pages remove them from the Internet, Lucasfilm explained that “a lot of the information listed isn’t even correct.” So all these juicy details may not be all that juicy—or even details, really.

The Case of the Amazing Disappearing Comic Book

Source: Amazon, other online book retailers
Probability of Accuracy: What little is actually known is 100 percent true. It’s everything else that’s confusing.
The Real Deal: Back in March, Marvel Entertainment revealed its publishing plans for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. At the time, Marvel said there would be a three-issue comic book prequel, accompanied by a one-off special issue, launching in October, and a collected edition that would be released before the movie hit theaters. Except that won’t happen anymore. Last week, all pre-orders were cancelled by Marvel without explanation, with the company declining to comment on the subject when approached by reporters. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a Rogue One comic—Marvel has officially only released information on single issues through August, which gives them some time to reassess and announce without theoretically missing a beat—but it does suggest that plans are changing in some form or another. When combined with the unexpected “a lot of the information isn’t even correct” line about the Rogue One visual guide leak, it does raise the question of whether the problem isn’t with Marvel, but with some last-minute changes to Rogue One itself.

Sorry, Shippers

Source: Mr. FN-2187 himself, crushing dreams while visiting Cannes
Probability of Accuracy: It’s coming straight from the stormtrooper’s mouth, so this is obviously legit, if not necessarily legitimately obvious.
The Real Deal: Interviewed by Variety, John Boyega poured cold water on those fans who thought his Finn and Daisy Ridley’s Rey were destined to fall in love. “I mean, we didn’t establish a romance in seven; we never played it that way. Daisy and I, we’re friends,” he said. When asked whether he was definitively saying that there was no romance between the characters, he replied, “Yes, Finn and Rey—they’re just friends. Finn is a stormtrooper, so he doesn’t really know what’s going on. So the romance thing is something that’s going to be interesting in the next installment. It’s not going to go the way you think it’s going to go.” That definitely suggests that there’s going to be some kind of romance in the new movie, but between who? Rey/Poe? Poe/Finn? All-new characters?

Now We Have More to Thank Oscar Isaac For

Source: A magazine profile of the Resistance’s most dreamy pilot
Probability of Accuracy: As true as Poe Dameron’s aim.
The Real Deal: What’s that you say? You’re looking for even more reasons to love Oscar Isaac? Well, how about learning that he improvised some of Poe Dameron’s dialogue in The Force Awakens? A profile of the actor in Rolling Stone revealed that is the case, while also explaining that the majority of the character’s scenes were filmed during reshoots. Isaac also teased what Episode VIII had in store for Poe, as well as the other new heroes of the series: “What happens now is the heroes get tested,” he said. “All three of them get tested immensely.” And it’s not just Poe, Finn, and Rey: “BB-8 gets tested too! Everybody gets tested!” he added. “It’s the dark second chapter, but not really dark.”

Is This the Title of Episode VIII?

Source: A mysterious video from an unknown source
Probability of Accuracy: Honestly? It seems very shaky, but…!
The Real Deal: A new video appeared online earlier this week showing a poster with the logo for this summer’s Star Wars Celebration event that apparently reveals the official title of Star Wars: Episode VIII as Star Wars: Fall of the Resistance. The title of the movie is given the same type treatment as last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There are, of course, reasons to doubt the veracity of the video—like, for example, where it came from. It appears to have been shot in a public place, but what public place has a poster with the title of the new Star Wars movie just sitting around?! That said, “Fall of the Resistance” does fall in line with the “four word subtitle that is almost a plot synopsis where things go wrong for the heroes” pattern of the middle features in the other two trilogies… Right now, file under “Interesting.”


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