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‘Star Wars’ Names Jimmy Vee as the New R2-D2

It’s been a big week for Star Wars droid news. Yesterday we learned the Star Wars universe might get its first female droid in the Han Solo spinoff, a character who might be voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge of Fleabag. And today the new R2-D2 has been announced.

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‘Star Wars’ Han Solo Spinoff May Feature the Franchise’s First Major Female Droid

The Star Wars universe has always been a pretty great place for women (unless you’re a director, that is), so why is it that we haven’t yet seen a female droid in as significant a capacity as C-3P0 or R2-D2, or scene-stealer BB-8? There have been female droids in the canon, but usually that’s not revealed until after the fact, and no woman has ever voiced a major speaking role for a robot. With the new Han Solo prequel/spinoff, that’s about to change.

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Lucasfilm
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Kylo Ren and Rey’s Official ‘Star Wars’ Bios Received a ‘Mysterious’ Update

In the world of Star Wars fandom, the simplest, smallest things can have major implications, inspiring exhaustive speculation over their potential meaning — like, for instance, Lucasfilm’s recent updates to Kylo Ren and Rey’s official character bios. Those pages were quietly updated sometime in the last few months to include phrases that convey a direct connection between the two characters; one that seemingly goes beyond their on-screen encounters in The Force Awakens. But what does it all mean?

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Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
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Han Solo ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff Eyes ‘Fleabag’ Star Phoebe Waller-Bridge For Key Role

Unless you binge-watched the heck out of Fleabag on Amazon recently (you should), then you may not be particularly familiar with the name Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the brilliant creator and star of the fierce British miniseries. But that’s beginning to change, as Waller-Bridge’s talents have become increasingly notable — enough to catch the attention of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, as the filmmaking duo are currently eyeing the actress for a “key role” in the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars spinoff.

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These Are the ‘Star Wars’ Special Editions Facts You’re Looking For

You know that James Earl Jones provided the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars films. But did you know when Star Wars was first released in 1977, Jones was not listed in the closing credits? Over the years he’s claimed that the reason for the omission was his belief that he hadn’t done enough work to deserve billing, and later confessed that he worried that if he was credited he would be typecast as a bad guy for the rest of his career. Jones’ name was added to the credits of the film when it was released in 1997 in its “Special Edition.” That’s just one of the Star Wars Special Edition facts featured in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!

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The Top Five Worst Changes to ‘Star Wars’ Since Its Original Release

In the tradition of ScreenCrush series like You Think You Know Movies and You Think You Know TV comes a new YouTube series: Top Five! Every two weeks (or so; we’ve got a lot of other stuff going on), ScreenCrush editor and critic Matt Singer will count down a particular topic from the world of movies (and probably write these introductory posts in the third person).

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STX Entertainment
STX Entertainment
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Young Han Solo Directors Confirm Woody Harrelson for ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff

Just a couple of weeks back we learned that Woody Harrelson was in talks to join the young Han Solo movie, the next spinoff under the Star Wars Story banner. Today, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller officially confirmed the actor’s casting via Lucasfilm with a statement in which they praised Harrelson’s talents — both in front of the camera and behind a ping pong table. Hopefully those skills come in handy for the role of Han Solo’s mentor.

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George Lucas Bringing His Museum (And Rare ‘Star Wars’ Art) to L.A.

When you have as much money as George Lucas has (a number we common peasants can scarcely imagine, a secret number, known only to those of the one percent’s one percent), simple luxury begins to lose its luster. You can only pay so many Ukrainian models to hand-feed you grapes and gently fan you with palm fronds before it all gets a little tired, at which point a person starts looking for more meaningful ways to spend their money. Philanthropy was born from this impulse, and branding-obsessed Lucas has found the perfect act of humanitarianism that also befits his planet-sized ego: founding a museum in which his creations of Star Wars can be displayed for all the world, and then slapping his name on it.

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Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm
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‘Star Wars’ Creatives Meeting to Address Carrie Fisher’s Expanded Role in Sequels

Without knowing the scope of Carrie Fisher’s role in the upcoming Star Wars sequels, it’s difficult to speculate about how Lucasfilm might address her recent passing. But a new report has uncovered key details (and potential spoilers) regarding General Leia’s narrative arc in Episodes VIII and IX, and reveals that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is planning to meet with director Colin Trevorrow next week to contemplate their options for Leia’s role in the forthcoming sequels.

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Araya Diaz, Getty Images
Araya Diaz, Getty Images
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Mark Hamill Shares Tribute to Carrie Fisher, ‘An Inspiration For Young Girls and Women Everywhere’

We lost an incomparable actress, writer, icon, and amazing human being when Carrie Fisher passed away on December 27, 2016. No one is feeling that loss as deeply as those closest to her, and in the days since Fisher’s passing, we’ve had the privilege of reading and hearing some of their remembrances. Today, Mark Hamill has shared his own personal tribute to Fisher, offering a touching, humorous and appropriately candid essay for his Star Wars co-star and longtime friend.

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‘Star Wars’ Designer Explains the Process of Creating Darth Vader’s ‘Rogue One’ Castle

Rogue One will have to settle for being the second-highest grossing film of the year — damn you, cultural juggernaut Finding Dory! — but it does have the distinction of being among the better-reviewed films in its franchise. Many critics have praised director Gareth Edwards’ vision of some unexplored pockets of George Lucas’ universe, singling out Darth Vader’s castle lair that appears in the film on a violent, molten-lava planet. (The planet bears a strong resemblance to Mustafar, the magma-covered site of the final showdown between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith.) Now, one of the key designers from Rogue One has provided a little background on the memorable locale and how it came to be.

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‘Rogue One’ Has Another ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Connection That Didn’t Make the Movie

Rogue One made impressive effort not just to tie into the original Star Wars films, but also the animated Star Wars Rebels in at least three instances. We’ll even meet a younger Rogue One character on Rebels in 2017, though the film’s visual guide might also tease another Rogue favorite making an animated debut at some point in the series.

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