ScreenCrush’s WookieeLeaks is a weekly roundup of everything Star Wars! From Episode 7, to the upcoming spinoffs and the TV shows, if it pertains to that long ago, far away galaxy, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, delve into the latest spoilers from The Force Awakens, ponder the new Star Wars books, and spitball some ideas for what Rogue One is actually about.

The Future of Star Wars is Here in Press Release Form

Some huge Star Wars news broke this week and chances are strong that you have already read it and analyzed it within an inch of its life. But let’s briefly recap:

Gareth Edwards’ mysterious spin-off film starring Felicity Jones will be titled Star Wars: Rogue One. As many Star Wars fans will gladly tell you, that title seems to imply that we’re looking at a movie about X-Wing pilots, despite every single rumor that has come before claiming that this will be a bounty hunter-centric adventure. After all, Rogue Squadron was the name of the group of pilots that Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles led in the original trilogy and the expanded universe. But don’t forget: the expanded universe is gone. This could easily be something else. Maybe (just maybe!), Rogue Squadron began its life as a collection of criminal pilots who decided to devote themselves to the Rebel cause. That’s just spitballing, though.

Rian Johnson has been (finally) officially announced as the writer and director of Star Wars: Episode VIII, which will be released on May 26, 2017. The Johnson news isn’t surprising since this has been an unofficial fact for a long time now, but we’re just glad this is actually happening. Johnson is an incredible filmmaker and we can’t wait to see what he does in this massive sandbox. Also noteworthy: Episode VIII will hit theaters one day after the 40th anniversary of the original film’s May 25, 1977 release. Also, also noteworthy: the original press release neglected to mention J.J. Abrams, who was quickly edited in as an executive producer, a title that is often ceremonial at best. Does this lend credence to the rumors that Abrams and Disney had a huuuge falling out while making The Force Awakens? Yeah. Pretty much.

 

The Force Awakens’ Big IMAX Scene, Revealed!

Another week, another batch of (potential) spoilers from the folks at Making Star Wars. This time, it’s a description of the first major action sequence in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was shot with IMAX cameras…and it certainly sounds like it warrants it. As usual, we can’t verify the truth behind any of this, but it certainly sounds like the kind of action scene J.J. Abrams would cook up. If you don’t like spoilers, you know what to do.

To best appreciate the later action scene, we have to start at the beginning. It seems that Daisy Ridley’s Rey leads a quiet life scavenging for supplies in the deserts of her home planet (which is still, supposedly, not Tatooine). In fact, when we first meet her, she has found the salvage of a lifetime:

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rey is introduced while scavenging the innards of a huge Star Destroyer that has crashed on the planet’s surface, probably years before Rey steps into it. In the concept art for this sequence, we see Rey standing at a ledge leading to certain doom. She’s hundreds of feet up in the belly of this beast. You can see TIE Fighters on the ground that fell through a hole somewhere and plummeted to the bottom of the chasm during the crash. In the concept art, I would say she seems very agile and it also seems as if she takes risks. To be able to do Rey’s job, you may even need serious skills in parkour, maybe. In the concepts, the Star Destroyer looks like its been crashed there for some time. It has paneling falling apart and the paint is almost rusted inside.

Rey is soon joined by BB-8 and John Boyega’s AWOL Stormtrooper, Finn. Naturally, trouble finds them, they find the Millennium Falcon and things start to get hairy. Soon, our heroes have to evade a swarm of TIE Fighters in the iconic ship and, well, things get a little out of hand:

Later on in the film after Rey and Finn take their flight in the Falcon is where we get the IMAX sequences. The Falcon is chased by TIE Fighters and we apparently move by some familiar landmarks in the film’s one-sun desert setting. This is the big chase and action sequence which dominates the film’s first act. TIEs are in hot pursuit of the Falcon as it rockets away from the salvage station. Rey and BB-8 pilot the ship. Finn gets on the Falcon’s turret. There’s a lot of banter between the two and to an extent they don’t seem to really know what they’re doing. But most of all, Finn is rather inept. As TIEs shoot at the Falcon, Rey has to ask Finn if he plans on “answering back.” Its a situation he can’t talk himself out of and he has figure out how to use the turret and actually hit one. To save their skins, Rey pilots them into the insides of the giant crashed Star Destroyer she was scavenging from during her introduction sequence. The Falcon and the TIEs “slalom” around debris and the insides of the downed ship, eventually losing their pursuers.

In each of his films, Abrams has shown an affinity for action scenes that are as intricate as they are complex. If this sequence is fake, it’s one heckuva good fake. That sounds exactly like something he would cook up. And if true, this is clearly the scene being teased in the big final shot from the trailer.

 

Let’s Take a Look at those 20 New Star Wars Books

In news that should surprise no one who reads WookieeLeaks on a regular basis, Disney and LucasFilm announced that 20 new books will hit shelves this fall to help bridge the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. We have been sharing individual titles and authors as they have been leaked, but it sure is nice to have some official confirmation.

The 20 books will be a combination of novels for older readers and storybooks for the younger set, so don’t worry about having to read everything. If you just want to stay up to date with the new canon, stick to the books longer than 30 pages. Here are the major titles that have been revealed so far:

  • Cecil Castellucci is writing Moving Target, which will tell the further adventures of Princess Leia.
  • Jason Fry will pen the Luke Skywalker tale The Weapon of a Jedi.
  • Greg Rucka will take on Han Solo with Smuggler’s Run.
  • Most intriguing is Lost Stars, a decades-spanning romance set in the Star Wars Universe from writer Claudia Gray.

This whole initiative will span several publishers, but all of them fall under the banner of Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If has its own art and everything:

LucasFilm

Although no actual plot descriptions have been released for any of the announced books, the internet it, as always, one step ahead. A new title has leaked, along with a basic plot synopsis. If this is accurate, it sounds like Star Wars: Aftermath will be vital reading for fans looking to piece together everything that happened between Episodes VI and VII:

The second Death Star is destroyed. The Emperor and his powerful enforcer, Darth Vader, are rumored to be dead. The Galactic Empire is in chaos.
Across the galaxy, some systems celebrate, while in others Imperial factions tighten their grip. Optimism and fear reign side by side.
And while the Rebel Alliance engages the fractured forces of the Empire, a lone Rebel scout uncovers a secret Imperial meeting…

Interestingly, this is territory that was covered in great detail in previous expanded universe stories. But alas, that is all gone. Forever. It’s time to find out what really went down after that dumb Ewok party.

 

Everything Else

Welcome to 2015: there is now an official mobile app for trading digital Star Wars trading cards.

It looks like John Williams will be recording the score to Star Wars: The Force Awakens with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Secret Cinema, the group that built a replica of Hill Valley for a Back to the Future screening, is tackling The Empire Strikes Back next.

George Lucas may be retired from the
Star Wars game, but he went ahead and picked up the new comics anyway.