ScreenCrush’s WookieLeaks 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, revisit the most memorably bad creation in the ‘Star Wars’ saga, examine some new character art, and preview a new look at the original trilogy.


You Really Should Watch ‘The Star Wars Holiday Special’

Here’s the thing about movie news: not much of it breaks during the week of a major holiday. By extension, that means that there wasn’t a very much ‘Star Wars’ news over the past seven days, making this the rare stretch in the year before the release of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ where WookieeLeaks will feel a little like a ghost town.

So let’s make up for the lack of fresh news by getting into a festive and seasonally appropriate spirit! The holidays may be winding down, but no December is complete without revisiting the infamous ‘Star Wars Holiday Special,’ one of the strangest curiosities ever to emerge from this franchise.

If you haven’t seen it before, that’s okay. George Lucas has spent the past few decades fighting to suppress it all costs. He’s succeeded in an official capacity. You can’t find this thing in an official form anywhere in the world. However, bootlegs of it exist everywhere and since this is the year 2014, that includes YouTube. So do yourself a favor and pour a stiff drink and click play on the YouTube embeds below. You’ll find a genuinely fascinating (and delightfully terrible) example of a cultural crossroads. The ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’ stars the cast of the original film and a bunch of B-level celebrities (Jefferson Starship!), introduces Boba Fett via a hastily animated cartoon, and predicts the future debacle of the Ewoks by creating Chewbacca’s extended family. It’s a nightmare every fan needs to have at least once.


New Looks at Old and New Characters

Earlier this week, an image of early sculpts for future ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ action figures appeared on online and we talked all about them. Shortly after that, the picture was swept off the internet at the request of LucasFilm, Hasbro, and their well-paid legal team. So while we cannot share the picture with you again, we can tell you that they depicted Chewbacca, the new droid BB-8, John Boyega’s Finn, Daisy Ridley’s Rey, and a mysterious masked figure. If you want extended, nerdy commentary on each of these toys (including the exact height of BB-8!), make sure you click that link above. We have something a little bigger to talk about.

Everyone immediately assumed that the fifth figure in the line-up was Kylo Ren, the mysterious, red lightsaber-wielding bad guy glimpsed in the trailer. You know, the one who is most likely played by Adam Driver. After all, the basic look of the sculpt seemed to match what little we do know about the character from leaked concept art.

And then Indie Revolver (who have been releasing leaked art for much of 2014) revealed two new pieces of Kylo Ren art and yep, the toy is definitely him. They also provided some minor spoilers about the character and his strange weapon, so if you're spoiler-averse, scroll down a little bit. As always, take everything with a grain of salt until you hear something from an official source:

We’re trying to confirm many other aspects of the character with different sources, including that he begins the film with the leaked “Wampa Saber” as his own weapon. That could indicate that his broadsword is one of the “Sith relics” we’ve heard so much about regarding the story of Episode VII. It certainly looks different from the traditional saber blade – it appears to be made not just of light, but electricity and flame.

You can check out the art for yourself below and yes, one of those is the size of a postage stamp.

Indie Revolver

Speaking of concept art, some new pieces depicting Han Solo and Chewbacca emerged and while we cannot verify their authenticity, a number of ‘Star Wars’ sites claim that they’re legit (believe what you will). In any case, the Han art definitely looks like what we’ve heard (the white hair and long coat have been in several other descriptions) and the Chewbacca piece just looks like Chewbacca. That’s actually a little surprising. Apparently, Chewy was given a number of different looks throughout development (including a robotic arm and grey fur), but it seems that he’s just going to look like himself.



Books and Magazines and More

You (the person reading a column about esoteric ‘Star Wars’ news) probably hate the prequels. However, there are plenty of people who grew up with Episodes one, two and three. That’s their ‘Star Wars’ and yes, they will hopefully one day see the light and change their wicked ways. But this is a problem Disney and LucasFilm recognize. How do you ensure that the younger generation of fans will be as excited for a new film as the older fanboys?

Star Wars Rebels’ was step one (ween the kids off ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ with another animated show) and step two is adapt each of the original films into illustrated novels for younger readers. Here’s the official description of the project, followed by a surprisingly entertaining video where the trio of authors and their artist discuss their take on the material:

The classic saga will come to life like never before through adaptations by bestselling children’s authors Tom Angleberger, Adam Gidwitz, and Alexandra Bracken.

With art by famed Star Wars concept artist Iain McCaig. Each of these celebrated authors will bring their contemporary, unique voice to the galaxy far, far away, bridging the multi-arc storyline in anticipation of the release of Star Wars: Episode VII.

If an actual book is too much for you these day, fret not! Marvel is set to republish the original five issue comic book adaptation of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ next year. The hardcover will retail for $25, although no one is sure if it will feature the original art (created before the movie was released) or the revised art, which was redrawn to better match the film.

Finally, everyone is talking about BB-8, but it’s R2-D2 who’s gracing the cover of the next issue of Total Film. Now we have to wonder if the galaxy’s most famous Astromech droid will play a major role in the new movie or if he’ll just be around long enough to pass the torch to the latest adorable robot.

Total Film


Everything Else

SlashFilm was present for that ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ live script read we talked about last week and they’ve written up a great recap.

Rare behind the scenes B-roll from the set of the original ‘Star Wars’ is online and ready for your thorough analysis.

Playboy has compiled a gallery of the strangest and craziest ‘Star Wars’ collectibles.

The best ‘Star Wars’ video game of all time, Bioware’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, is now available on Android devices.