Daniel José Older is the author of the upcoming novel Star Wars: Last Shot.
Older in 2015:
Rae Carson is the author of the upcoming novel Star Wars: Most Wanted.
Carson in 2012:
“The long-eared amphibians from Naboo have been represented by brave warriors like Captain Tarpals, or clumsy outcasts like Jar Jar Binks, but the Gungans have a rich history that might surprise you. Care to dive into a sea of fun facts about the water-dwelling, duck-billed creatures?
1. There are two main Gungan races.
If you’ve seen The Phantom Menace, you’ve probably noticed that the Gungans of Naboo come in varying shapes and sizes. There are some that look more lanky like Jar Jar and Tarpals, and others that have a quite different stocky body type like the leader of the Gungans, Boss Nass. This is because the Gungans can be split into two major races, the Otolla and the Ankura. The familiar Gungans we saw fighting in the Battle of Naboo are the Otolla, and you can tell their race from their long, skinnier body frames and long haillu, or floppy ear-like body parts. The Gungans like Boss Nass are called the Ankura, and they’ve got much shorter bills, hooded eyes, and a more rotund body frame. We haven’t seen many in the Star Wars universe because the truth is, there aren’t many left. The Ankura are a much older species of Gungan than the more common Otolla.
2. They have a sacred space.
Another more reptilian group of humanoids known as the Elders also inhabited Naboo once upon a time. This species actually were in conflict with the Gungans, but little is known about what the two sides were fighting about. The Elders eventually died off, but their massive statues still stand in a location called the Gungan Sacred Place and we all got a peek of it in The Phantom Menace. Rewatch the scene where Jar Jar Binks brings an undercover Queen Amidala to visit with Boss Nass to negotiate an alliance. The heads poking up from the swampy marshland could be of the species themselves or of the gods they worshiped. The Gungans often choose to gather at the Sacred Place during times of fear and anxiety.
3. Jar Jar resembled a few different animals.
When the concept for Jar Jar Binks was being created, artist Terryl Whitlach knew he had to be a comedic character with a lot of personality. His legs and body were gangly from the start, but what his face and neck would look like was still up for debate. The Gungan took a year and a half to get just right, and first iterations had him closely resembling a duck. When he was made to look more friendly, his look took on a droopy-looking dog. Finally after a debate about his coloring (few real underwater creatures are actually green) and more changes to his nose and mouth, the designers settled on the orange-hued familiar face we know and love.
Fun fact #1: Jar Jar’s goofy antics were inspired by the comedy legends Charlie Chaplin, Danny Kaye, and even Walt Disney’s Goofy.
4. The actors that played Jar Jar and Boss Nass didn’t exactly try out for the parts.
When you think Gungan you probably think Binks, and this list wouldn’t be complete without focusing on Jar Jar. The bumbling Gungan was brought to life by actor Ahmed Best and his casting call was an interesting one. Casting director Robin Gurland discovered Best while he was performing in the show Stomp, a theatrical percussion show being held at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theater. The part of Jar Jar was taking a long time to fill, so when Gurland caught eye of Best performing animatedly with a kitchen sink around his neck, she knew he was just right. The part took a specific combination of mobility and voice acting that Best proved to have once he was invited to meet with Gurland and unknowingly recorded. Another famous Gungan, Boss Nass, also had a unique casting. Brian Blessed got Gurland’s approval as an actor that needed to be in the film before the character of Nass was even established. Once they were on the look-out for someone with a “bigger than life” persona, Blessed had the part. […]”
Read more at StarWars.com.
From Entertainment Weekly:
“Each new Star Wars film comes with a constellation of novels, comics, and storybooks surrounding and enhancing the narrative. In this exclusive preview, Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain takes EW on a journey through the books of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Last Shot, by Daniel José Older
The author of Half-Resurrection Bluesand Shadowshaper has penned this novel that connects three eras in the lives of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian. “Part of it takes place before the events of Solo and focuses on Lando and L3-37,” Siglain says, referring to Lando’s droid sidekick in the new film. “Part of it takes place between Solo and A New Hope, and that focuses on Han and Chewie, and that’s where we get Sana Starros for the first time.” She would be the character, first introduced in the Marvel Comics, who claimed to be married to Han.
“Part of it takes place post-Return of the Jedi, and that’s where we see Han, Leia, a very young Ben Solo, and Lando come into the story,” Siglain adds. The cover is reversible — on one side is Han’s silhouette, while Lando’s is on the other. […]
“We bounce around through time,” Siglain says. “We always wanted to tell a story that had Han and Lando having one adventure after Return of the Jedi. At the same time, we really liked the idea of contrasting that with seeing them much earlier in their lives. A crime lord comes looking for the owner of the Millennium Falcon, but mistakenly thinks it was Han Solo at the time, but it was really Lando — which gets Lando mixed up in something else Han did that was Han’s fault. All these years later, the two of them have to right a wrong from much earlier in their history.”
Most Wanted, by Rae Carson
This YA book by the author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns focuses on Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo and Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra, back in their teenage years. “This is about the younger, young Han solo,” Siglain says. “We’ll see what it was like for these two kids from Corellia to survive the seedy streets of this industrial world. They’re definitely products of their environment, and this story shows that.”
Lando: Double or Nothing, Rodney Barnes
This Marvel Comics miniseries is written by Rodney Barnes (a veteran scribe from TV’s The Boondocks) and will play out over five issues. “It’s focused on Lando set during an incident right before the film, with backstory about Lando and L3,” Siglain says. The series debuts the Wednesday after the movie opens, since its story is so closely tied in. “Coming out of the film, we think everyone is going to want ot read more about Lando.” […]”
Read more at Entertainment Weekly.
“We’ve all seen a lot of Star Wars fan art over the years, yes? Well, you’ve never seen anything like this. This is basically all of it put together in one big, beautiful image.
What you see above is just a piece of a 15-foot Star Wars mural by artist James Raiz. It combines all the characters from the first seven episodes of the Star Wars saga, as well as Rogue One, and took 450 hours spread over seven months to create. Here are a few other looks.
[…] Want to see more? Raiz also created a few videos to get into the making of the piece, as well as its details. ”
“The pairs’ competition is wrapping up at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Pairs’ medals will be awarded at the conclusion of the pairs’ free skate, so this is the time to go big or go home. For Team China’s Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang, they put it all on the line with a routine set to the music from Star Wars.
The 2018 Winter Olympics mark the first year that figure skaters can use music with lyrics in their routines, and so we have seen a variety of music in these Games ranging from Elvis and the Beatles to Lorde and music from Moulin Rouge and La La Land. All of that comes in addition to the skaters who choose to stay with more traditional selections like the main theme from Swan Lake.
For Team China, it was the music from Star Wars that kicked off their free skate at the Olympics in the final night of the pairs’ competition. Their routine was set to a medley from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. […]”