Lucasfilm Games and Ubisoft Teaming Up for an Open-World Star Wars Game

Star Wars Ubisoft
(Electronic Arts)

In major video game news, the Star Wars IP is going to a game developer far, far away from its prior relationship with EA. OK, not that far away, but Disney has energized the gaming world this week with the announcement of rebranding their gaming division as Lucasfilm games and now they’ve announced a new open-source world Star Wars game is being developed with Ubisoft.

Ubisoft, the company behind the incredible Assassin’s Creed franchise, broke the news on Wednesday. Lucasfilm Games made huge news on Tuesday by announcing a new Indiana Jones game in production with Bethesda.

There’s no word on the story or era yet for the new Star Wars game, but it is huge news as it seems like Lucasfilm is making a big investment into gaming and the appeal of telling stories through that medium.

“We know that fans of Star Wars value the feeling of immersion—of being transported into the Star Wars galaxy and moving through richly-detailed environments,” Lucasfilm Games VP Douglas Reilly told StarWars.com. “It’s fun to imagine what the team at Massive can do within Star Wars by bringing their innovative spirit and their commitment to quality.”

While there are still two years left of EA’s exclusivity over SW games, the departure from EA is surprising. It opens up a world of possibility and different gaming genres, not unlike Disney’s current plan to invest heavily in a whole new batch of Star Wars shows and movies.

It should also be noted that EA didn’t do a bad job with Star Wars games. Jedi: Fallen Order was an OUTSTANDING game, and Squadrons was pretty solid too.

We’ve seen what shows like The Mandalorian can do when they explore different corners of the Star Wars Universe, so there’s an enormous amount of storytelling possibility for video game developers, and some genuinely exciting games will soon be on the horizon.

The Mandalorian Gets Reimagined as 1990s Sitcom and We Want Full Episodes Please

Grogu Pains Mandalorian Sitcom
(YouTube/Nerdist)

The Mandalorian is a lot of things. It’s a Star Wars story, it’s a Western, it’s a touching tale of fatherhood, it’s even occasionally about a psychopath who eats babies. What it is not is a family sitcom from the 90s.

But what if it were?

The good people over at Nerdist decided to see what that would look like. They chopped up a bunch of clips from the popular Disney+ show and re-engineered them into the opening titles to a sitcom called “Grogu Pains,” complete with cheesy character intros and funny action shots, and the results are hilarious.

My favorite part has got to be “Robert Fett” but Grogury St. John is pretty solid too. The only thing missing is the use of the actual Growing Pains theme song!

Check it out:

Geniuses Troll The Mandalorian by Adding Lyrics To Theme Song

Mandalorian Lyrics
(YouTube/The Warp Zone)

Admit it: you make up songs sometimes.

Sometimes you pull a Weird Al and create new lyrics for an existing song, sometimes you turn everyday phrases into little jingles, and sometimes you’re inspired by a tune and decide to create a little ditty of your own.

We’ve all done it, but when we do it, it doesn’t usually get hundreds and thousands of likes. Of course, it helps when the song you made up uses the instrumental theme of an incredibly popular TV show.

Which is what the people over The Warp Zone did, when they decided to add some lyrics to the theme song Disney+’s The Mandalorian.

The instrumental theme song is pretty awesome on its own, but when you add these lyrics, it gets pretty hilarious too, using them to describe the show and lay out some of its influences.

Here’s the official description:

IF THE MANDALORIAN THEME SONG HAD LYRICS
Din Djarin sings along to the epic music of the Mandalorian theme by Ludwig Goransson. Along the way, he gives some honest feedback on the Disney Plus show and some of its heavy usage of western and sci-fi movie references.

Check it out:

Lucasfilm Releases Behind-the-Scenes Footage for Empire’s 40th Anniversary

Empire Behind the Scenes
(YouTube/Star Wars)

As fans – and stars – continue to revel in Luke Skywalker’s glorious return on The Mandalorian, some brand new footage of Hamill himself, and his costars, filming The Empire Strikes Back has surfaced, and it’s a delightful look behind the scenes at a bunch of friends just having a regular old good time while changing pop culture forever.

2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the most celebrated film in the Star Wars franchise (out of nine!), and as a treat for fans, Lucasfilm marked the anniversary by releasing almost seven minutes of never-before-seen footage taken during the filming of Irvin Kershner’s game-changing first sequel to A New Hope.

Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher are shown goofing around with the crew and each other, we see Lucas editing footage and hear him providing his thoughts, and we get a glimpse of what it was like to film the legendary Hoth sequence in Norway. There’s even an alternate version of Han and Leia’s kiss.

The footage is a real treat for fans. Check it out:

Mark Hamill Leads Chorus of Fans Thanking Favreau and Filoni For The Mandalorian

Hamill Thankful for The Mandalorian
(Disney+ Twitter/lorelaisrory)

It’s always fun to learn that a celebrity is a fan of something you also enjoy. Especially if they are actually a part of that thing.

Over the last 45 years, Mark Hamill has been an integral part of the Star Wars universe. Even when he wasn’t an active participant – in the 90s and 2000s, when the prequels were being made and the star of the original trilogy was seemingly a bit out in the cold, Hamill was a large part of fan culture, either via his genial interaction within Star Wars fans online, secret roles, and off or via his voice-acting roles in various other popular universes.

Now that Hamill was brought back into the fold with the newer trilogy, and Disney+ has helped further awaken the original Star Wars fanbase with the phenomenal Mandalorian series, Hamill is once again front and center, the way
his Luke Skywalker was back in the 70s and 80s. But then it seemed like he might be gone forever when he wrote a touching farewell letter.

But with The Mandalorian’s second season finale, the spotlight was all on Luke, and, like everyone else, he loved every minute of it.

The Mandalorian has brought almost nothing but praise from fans and critics, and Star Wars fans everywhere are thanking Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni for creating and elevating the series to be a worthy companion to the original trilogy.

Just before the new year, Hamill himself joined the chorus of praise, thanking the men behind Luke Skywalker’s triumphant and unexpected return last month, adding the “#ThankYouJonandDave” hashtag to a tweet about his appearance:

Fans followed Hamill’s lead, highlighting moments they loved, like Mando and Grogu’s goodbye:

And the live-action appearances of favorite characters:

And for simply resurrecting the thrills they felt when being introduced to Star Wars for the first time:

Happy New Year! Like Mark Hamill and all the other fans out there, we can’t wait to see what Star Wars has in store for us in 2021!

Chewbacca Singing Silent Night Is the Holiday Cheer You Need

Chewbacca Sings silent Night
(Lucasfilm)

The holiday season is full of touching gestures and especially heartwarming content. You had the holiday short of a grandpa’s adorable kettlebell workout, then an 8-year-old became Santa’s dentist. But none of those feel-good stories are Star Wars related. So be sure to check out the dad who put together an Imperial March Christmas light show and 2020 wouldn’t be complete without a The Mandalorian Christmas light show.

But if you’re still lacking the Star Wars holiday spirit, this video will lift you up to where you need to be.

It’s Chewbacca’s rendition of Silent Night.

Good luck getting that out of your head. It’s like the exact opposite of The Star Wars holiday special. It’s something you want to watch time and time again, and this will hopefully get its own entry into the Star Wars pantheon someday (idk, I’d probably rank it right up there with Rogue One and Mandalorian, and definitely ahead of the prequel and sequel trilogies).

You can thank the folks at How It Should Have Ended for the great holiday tribute from one of the all-time great Star Wars characters. All we can hope now is for a “Jar Jar Jingle Bells” someday.

RUMORED: Disney+ Has a Luke Skywalker Series in the Works

Luke Skywalker Series
(Disney)

I hope you watched The Mandalorian‘s season two finale over the weekend because if you haven’t been spoiled yet, you’re about to be.

The explosive conclusion to Disney+’s show not only teased a new spin-off series about Boba Fett, and not only seemed to wrap up Mando’s, aka Din Djarin, quest to find safety for Grogu, aka Baby Yoda, it also brought us Jedi Luke Skywalker, as the pure, unadulterated bad-ass we’ve always imagined but never quite got to see.

It seems we’re about to see a whole lot more of him.

Don’t get it twisted: we knew Luke was a badass in Return of the Jedi, striding into Jabba’s palace (now Boba’s!) to fight off a rancor and free his friend, but with the sequel trilogy picking up 30 years later, with a disillusioned Luke having cut himself off from the force, we never really saw his flex his lightsaber the way we wanted to. Not until he showed up to save the day and rescue Baby Yoda from Moff Gideon, in a green-lit tour-de-force reminiscent of his dad’s explosive appearance at the end of Rogue One.

Fans went wild for Luke’s return – did you see him force crush that dark trooper?! – and will continue to go wild as they rewatch the second half of the episode over and over again. Ease up off that rewind button, because soon we may be able to see a lot more of Luke, the galaxy’s most powerful Jedi because rumor has it that Disney+ is moving forward with a Luke Skywalker series.

The CGI de-aged Luke was a closely guarded secret – even Hamill himself, who loves to have fun on social media, kept quiet (until after it aired!) – but that cameo wasn’t the only new Luke content Disney has in store.

According to Fandom Wire, a new Luke Skywalker show, set around the same time as The Mandalorian, is in development. Nothing is certain at this stage – many projects get developed without coming to fruition – but it’s hard to believe this one won’t make it to air.

Despite using CGI to bring a younger Hamill to the screen, the current buzz points toward recasting, with Marvel’s Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier), who looks remarkably like a young Hamill, one candidate to step into Luke’s cloak.

Disney already has fans excited with a ton of new Star Wars projects on the docket, including an Obi-Wan series, a young Lando series, and that Boba Fett spin-off teased in The Mandalorian’s post-credits scene. But a “Luke Skywalker in his prime as a Jedi” series would pretty much blow the rest of those out of the water.

Especially if he’s training Baby Yoda, hanging out with young Han and Leia, and eventually gets to meet his new nephew, Ben…

It’s Confirmed, We’re Getting a Boba Fett Spin-off on Disney+

Book of Boba
(Twitter/TheMandalorian)

By now, we’re far enough past the season finale of The Mandalorian for this to be a spoiler, but Disney+ is finally bringing us a Boba Fett series. This isn’t news to anyone that watches (all of) “The Mandalorian” as the fan-favorite character made his reappearance into the Star Wars Universe midway through the season. Fett has a post-credits scene that ended with the title screen “The Book of Boba Fett, Coming December 2021.”

No one knew exactly what to make of it. Was it the next season of the Mandalorian? A stand-alone movie? Now, we have confirmation, as Mandalorian creator and beloved hero of true Star Wars fans everywhere, Jon Favreau, has confirmed it’s a stand-alone series, set during the same time as The Mandalorian.

The new original series stars Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett in the prequels and naturally played a revived Boba in The Mandalorian, and Ming-Na Wen, who was introduced in The Mandalorian as an assassin slash bounty hunting badass.

The two had a role to play with our new favorite Mandalorian this season (seriously, watch the whole season if you haven’t yet, it is INCREDIBLE), but the post-credits scene has nothing to do with the season. Fett, now reunited with his armor, returns to Jabba’s palace, taking out a now-ruling Bibb Fortuna, and sitting on Jabba’s throne with Wen’s Fennec Shand at his side.

So, we get the feeling it’s going to be about his return to the criminal underworld of Tatooine and the outer rim. The series is being produced by Favreau and Dave Filoni, the magnificent duo that gave us The Mandalorian, and the show will be run by the incredible director Robert Rodriguez, who directed the episode with Fett’s return in The Mandalorian.

With no confirmation yet on when we will get season 3 of The Mandalorian, the news of the Book of Boba Fett is very welcome to Star Wars fans.

It’s the best Christmas gift from Disney+, ever.

 

Dad Turns House Into Star Wars Christmas Light Show With Imperial March Remix

Dad's Star Wars Christmas Light Show
(YouTube/Living Light Shows)

Even though Winter is the darkest time of the year, Christmas lights never fail to brighten things up both literally and figuratively. There’s something about driving through typically pitch-black streets only to find a neighborhood filled with twinkling lights and bright, inflatable, larger-than-life decorations that fills us with joy. Though a few strings of Christmas lights is enough for most families to feel festive, Matt Johnson takes holiday decorations to a galaxy far, far away.

Matt Johnson, a dad who works in technology consulting and software development, has always had a passion for using technology in creative and innovative ways. Though Johnson has done many creative projects over the years, his next-level light shows gained international attention. The video of his 2017 light show has nearly a million views on YouTube (ok, half of them were me), and after a mere 5 seconds, it’s clear why. As much as we love The Mandalorian light show that’s currently trending, the force is strongest with this one.

The light show combines traditional Christmas lights, pixels, and an insanely cool custom soundtrack for maximum entertainment. Though the video is only three minutes long, Johnson’s creativity combined with the constantly-changing elements makes it feel like a fully-immersive journey.

Johnson explains on his website, “Our show is not your traditional light show! There are no inflatables, characters, blow molds, or other ‘traditional’ elements. Even the music is not traditional Christmas music; it is a custom sound track composed of Dubstep, EDM, hip hop, movie clips and even our children!”

“The result is an exciting show that feels like a dance party! Even the lights are not traditional, we use Pixels which are similar to what you would see in a stadium Jumbotron. Each pixel can be controlled individually and set to any color and intensity. This means many more effects than what can be done with Christmas lights!”

Johnson ran his light show for free in his Texas neighborhood, and wants to give others the opportunity to create their own. His YouTube channel features videos teaching viewers how to create specific elements of his incredible light show, from projection mapping to using apps to control the show’s moving parts. Johnson even sells kits on his Living Light Show website, allowing even us less-techy folks to create our own pro-level displays.

The latest video on Johnson’s channel shows this talented dad playing with some new technology for his 2020 light show, so keep your eyes open for his next incredible display – though if it’s anything like 2017, it’ll be hard to miss.

This Epic Mandalorian-Inspired Christmas Light Show Is the Way

Mandalorian-themed light show
(Youtube/Steve Beers)

Some Christmas traditions have to wait until next year, so we’re leaning extra hard into the ones we can enjoy right now. Whether it’s a full month of Elf on the Shelf chaos or completely decking out your house to reflect your passion for the season, there’s no shortage of ways to make this holiday feel festive.

Extravagant light displays are a long-standing tradition, allowing Christmas-lovers to both show off their technical prowess and their love for Star Wars. Often, the inspiration for these next-level light displays come from unexpected yet familiar places, and this Mandalorian light show is no exception.

While many light shows we’ve seen over the years smack you in the face with loud music and flashing lights right off the bat, this slightly more modest show pulls you in with elements that build on each other as the house seemingly comes to life.

The Mandalorian theme song begins to play, filling everyone who’s seen the show with immediate anticipation. The lights themselves, however, start off as barely a twinkle. The house remains completely dark for the first 30-something seconds of the video as the trees spell out “The Mandalorian” in a marquee-like display, but patient viewers are rewarded with a light show that won’t soon be forgotten.

The lights appear to dance along with the music – flashing, twinkling, and moving to the beat. As the song builds, so do the lights. The entire display has a very intergalactic vibe, reminiscent of a spaceship itself (or at least the way they’re depicted in sci-fi movies).

This Mandalorian Christmas light show is out of this world, and perhaps one of the most fitting themes for the season – I mean technically, both Christmas and The Mandalorian are centered around The Child.

Star Wars Actors Pay Tribute to Jeremy Bulloch, the Original Boba Fett

Boba Fett Tributes
(Twitter/starwars)

In a cruel twist of fate, just as the character he helped make famous had re-entered our lives, the actor who originally portrayed him has passed away.

It’s the circle of life, sort of. (The Mandalorian was created by Jon Favreau, who also directed the live-action Lion King, both of which reside on Disney+. So it sort of makes sense?)

The man who first donned Boba Fett‘s iconic Beskar armor and helmet, actor Jeremy Bulloch, passed away earlier this week. He was 75.

He played the silent but deadly bounty hunter in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. While he didn’t get the chance to reprise the role in the prequel trilogy or on The Mandalorian, where Temuera Morrison has taken over post-Sarlacc pit, he did continue to appear in movies like Octopussy, and on TV, in the BBC’s original Dr. Who series.

He had a wife, three sons, 10 grandkids, and countless fans. Many of whom worked alongside him.

As the news made its way around the internet, various colleagues from within the Star Wars universe paid tribute to Bulloch.

Mark Hamill:

Billy Dee Williams:

And the official Star Wars Twitter account:

And even Daniel Logan, who played a young Boba Fett in Attack of the Clones:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by #DanielLogan (@instadaniellogan)

It seems the man who played one of the coolest characters in all of that galaxy far far away was also one of the coolest, and kindest men in our own.

The Mandalorian Season 2 Documentary Special Drops on Christmas Day

Mandalorian Xmas Special
(Disney)

2020 has been a rough year, but as we approach 2021, there are signs of hope. And it looks like we’ll be able to close out this year from hell with some solid entertainment.

The Mandalorian’s Stellar second season ends this week, but that doesn’t mean there is not more quality stuff to stream over the holidays. Disney+ will be releasing the new Pixar movie Soul on Xmas Day, HBO Max is dropping Wonder Woman 1984 as a Christmas present, and The Mandalorian himself will have some new material when the kids drag you out of bed that morning.

Disney+ is releasing a social one-hour edition of their behind-the-scenes show, Disney Gallery, focusing on the second season of The Mandalorian.

Mandalorian Christmas Special
(Disney)

The official announcement lays it all out:

“From the triumphant return of legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett to the live-action debut of fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano, the second season of The Mandalorian is a fun, surprising, emotional thrill-ride which has kept fans excited to see how each new weekly chapter will unfold. Disney+ will bring viewers behind the scenes of the groundbreaking season in a new hour-long Making of Season Two special, premiering December 25 on the streaming service.

In this new installment of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, filmmakers and cast provide unprecedented access to the storytelling decisions and innovations that went into the second season of the Emmy Award-winning series.

Featuring immersive on-set footage that places viewers right in the middle of the filmmaking process, and rare insights from the cast and crew, this special documentary explores the production of all 8 episodes in season two – from early concept art through the groundbreaking technology introduced in the series.”

The episode piggybacks on the original Gallery series that spent 8 episodes going over the making of the show’s first season. This time it’s just a single episode that focuses on season two, clearly to make sure their Mandalorian content doesn’t run dry before the holidays are over.

It’s not new fictional content, but with the third season of the show already in the works, it shouldn’t be all that long before we get new episodes. And with it probably some new behind-the-scenes content as well.

This is the way, and Christmas is the day.

Hayden Is Back as Vader and all the Other Star Wars Bombshells Disney Dropped

Star Wars Roundup
(Lucasfilm/Disney)

Disney dropped a metric ton of Star Wars and Marvel news Thursday, but among some of the coolest developments is news that Darth Vader is back, and so is the man who controversially played him. Hayden Christensen will be reprising his role as Vader in the Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries for Disney+, with production on the show starting soon.

Capitalizing on the breakout success of The Mandalorian, Disney+ announced a whole new slate of shows that will debut on the streaming service, including 10 new Star Wars shows and 10 new Marvel shows.

 

We’ll be getting our first glimpse of Vader since the stunning finale of Rogue One, and Christensen’s first time back in the suit since Revenge of the Sith. Star Wars fans are PSYCHED over this news, which you would not have expected 20 years ago. However, having Vader, the most iconic Star Wars character, back in a limited series is exciting, and McGregor’s Kenobi was great already, so expectations are high for this show, which is set 10 years after their last meeting.

“It was such an incredible journey playing Anakin Skywalker,” Christensen said in a press release. “Of course, Anakin and Obi-Wan weren’t on the greatest of terms when we last saw them… It will be interesting to see what an amazing director like Deborah Chow has in store for us all. I’m excited to work with Ewan again. It feels good to be back.”

And that was far from all the Star Wars news. Among other announcements, we will have TWO spin-offs from The Mandalorian, including one that has a lot of hardcore Star Wars fans excited, as the people behind Mando (Favreau and Filoni) are teaming up again to bring an “Ahsoka” series, starring Rosario Dawson as Star Wars Clone Wars and Rebels fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano. She played Tano in one episode (so far?) of The Mandalorian.

We will ALSO have a new Star Wars movie from Wonder Woman Patty Jenkins, as Star Wars Rogue Squadron hits theaters in two years. Taika Waititi is also creating a Star Wars movie that is expected to be unlike any we’ve seen yet.

Along with these new expansions into the galaxy far, far, away, we’re also getting to see some more characters we’ve grown to love. A Lando prequel series is bringing Donald Glover back to the role that was the best part of the “Solo: A Star Wars Story” movie. We’re getting the highly anticipated Andor series featuring the spy from “Rogue One”.

ON TOP OF THAT, we’re getting some animated shows, one starring C-3PO and R2-D2, and “Bad Batch”, which we already have a sneak peak of and it LOOKS AMAZING.

Finally, Star Wars is going waaay back with “The Acolyte”, which is a mystery thriller set in the High Republic era, which has yet to be explored in Star Wars canon. It’s a mystery thriller that will take viewers ‘into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.”

While Christensen as Vader in Kenobi is filming soon and will probably be among the first of the new Star Wars shows, there are a lot of really talented filmmakers working on an incredible slate of shows, taking the exploration far beyond the Skywalker Saga.