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Here’s How Star Wars Plans To Link Return Of The Jedi To The Force Awakens

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Star WarsWe all knew that since Disney bought Lucasfilm and now owns Star Wars we were going to see that universe grow and expand like never before. There are already books, comics, and an animated series, as well as half-a-dozen movies in the works, but holy crap they are not messing around. Even though the Expanded Universe of novels and other properties that have existed for years has been scrapped, deemed non-canon, that doesn’t mean that Lucasfilm is abandoning that expansive approach, and they have plans to release an avalanche of new, officially canon material.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Disney, along with Worldwide Publishing and Lucasfilm Press, plans to release “at least 20” Star Wars books this year, a series titled Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This is all designed to capitalize on the hype surrounding the impending release of J.J. Abrams’ film, which opens December 18, and much of the ground covered falls between the original trilogy and the new films, serving as a link between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. After all, a lot can happen in 30 plus years.

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Star Wars Smithsonian Exhibition Delves Into The Costumes Of Far, Far Away

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SW1With new Star Wars movies on their way to theaters beginning later this year, many fans are diving back into their love of a franchise the prequels may have tarnished, or just embracing it with even more excitement and enthusiasm. Well, in between Rebels marathons and reading the comics and novels, now you can explore Star Wars’ history courtesy of a new traveling Smithsonian show focused on the franchise’s amazing costumes.

From Darth Vader’s imposing silhouette to the Rebel pilots’ orange jumpsuits or the elaborate garb of Queen Amidala, Star Wars’ costume design has been an integral part of making George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away feel rich and detailed and real. An exhibition entitled “Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume” opened in Seattle on January 31 and will remain on display at the EMP Museum through October 4, 2015, after which it will travel to 11 more as-yet-unannounced cities. The show is a collaboration between Lucasfilm, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).

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Star Wars Rebels Brings Back This Nefarious Villiain

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We’ll have wait until December 18 to meet a bunch of new characters in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and while there are a handful of familiar faces waiting for us there as well, the animated Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD has been holding it down on that front. They’ve already brought back Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi Wan Kenobi, Lando Calrissian, and others. And the hits just keep on coming, as Grand Moff Tarkin makes an appearance on the show, which you can check it out in this clip from the episode “Call to Action” below.

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Watch Billy Dee Williams And Lando Calrissian Return To Star Wars

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If you’re a Star Wars character from the original trilogy, and you’re not making an appearance in The Force Awakens next December, don’t worry, Star Wars Rebels has your back. They’ve already brought in beloved characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Master Yoda, and even Darth Vader, and now they’re bringing back another fan favorite, Lando Calrissian, as voiced Bill Dee Williams himself. This new video hypes up his return, with Williams running lines, bringing his trademark smoothness to the voice role, and the cast and crew talking about how the character fits into the Rebels world.

We heard Lando was coming back, and even saw an image of how his character looks, but here you get actual footage. While I’m still not crazy about the animation style, they certainly capture the essence of the character. Lando has more swagger than anyone in the Star Wars universe, including Han, and that comes across here. And Williams may be 77-years-old, but he’s just as smooth as ever, bringing his charm and flair to the role one more time.

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George Lucas Had Very Different Plans For Star Wars 7

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star wars the force awakensGeorge Lucas both created and almost destroyed Star Wars. I know there are those of you who like the prequels, but regardless of personal feelings, the public backlash against them was so severe that it actually turned many people off to the franchise that they loved. (Hence the massive trepidation about the new movies.) A great many fans breathed a sigh of relief when they found out that Lucas has nothing to do with the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t have plans for Episode VII, however, and he recently opened up about them a bit.

As far back as 2011 the idea of more Star Wars movies was bouncing around, but it wasn’t until Disney bought Lucasfilm for an outlandish amount of money in October of 2012 that those rumors were confirmed. Talking to USA Today about his upcoming animated film, Strange Magic, Lucas revealed that he seriously toyed with the idea of Episode VII with an eye on a May 2015 release date. In fact, he had plans for a whole new trilogy, though he mentioned that he was considering selling Lucasfilm off after the seventh film.

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Lucasfilm Opens Sandcrawler-Shaped Building In Singapore And Kathleen Kennedy Talks Canon

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Sandcrawler BuildingMost people for get that Lucasfilm is a worldwide production studio with outlets and locations all around the planet. Recently, George Lucas’ former company opened a new office building in Singapore, which will be the new location for special effects artists for Lucasfilm, Disney, and Marvel in Southeast Asia. It’s good to see Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm payoff, in terms of expansion and employment.

Lucas and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy made the journey to Singapore to commemorate the opening of the new eight-storey building, which is awesomely shaped and designed as the Sandcrawler from the original Star Wars, and it looks phenomenal. Imagine walking down the street in a busy city, and turning the corner only to see a giant Sandcrawler made out of glass looming in front of you. It’s a clever design and will surely become a destination for Star Wars fans around the world. Kennedy also took the opportunity to expound on the future of the franchise.