Rumor: Ewan McGregor to return as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode IX?

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From The Sun:

“EWAN McGregor is set to return as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the next Star Wars movie.

He will film scenes for the finale of the sequel trilogy directed by JJ Abrams, ­sources in Los Angeles said.

Star Wars fans will have mixed feelings as they have been hoping for a full-scale Obi-Wan spin-off from Disney.

Scot Ewan, 47, last played Obi-Wan in 2005’s Revenge Of The Sith.

A source said: “Ewan will secretly film for the next Star Wars movie.

“Disney have been mulling over a stand-alone film for Obi-Wan. There have been concerns about getting the story right.” […]”

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The A.V. Club contributor says Padmé was her “perfect heroine” and wants her to get “her due” in Episode IX

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From The A.V. Club:

“[…] Though I’m sure screenwriters J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio will craft a fitting tribute to the princess-turned-general [Leia Organa] and find a way to continue the story in her absence, Episode IX will still have a palpable void—in particular, where Leia’s maternal influence over Kylo Ren presumably would’ve been. And one option for filling it could be to call back a character who’s thus far been notably absent from the continued Star Wars mythos: Queen, Senator, Skywalker-twin mother, Kylo Ren grandmother, and all-around underappreciated Star Wars heroine, Padmé Amidala.

I’ll readily admit that, her horrendous Revenge Of The Sith arc aside, I perhaps have a greater fondness for Amidala than most fans.

[…] I see much of Padmé’s stiltedness as a conscious acting choice on Portman’s part. After all, she’s a young woman who’s spent her entire life within the stuffy, mannered world of galactic politics; Attack Of The Clones delightfully reveals that Padmé had her first kiss with a boy in her “Legislative Youth Program” when she was 12. At its best, Portman’s performance juxtaposes Padmé’s public-facing formality with her more casual private persona. And in her defense, as Harrison Ford once famously said, “George, you can type this shit, but you sure can’t say it!”

[…] [Padmé is] first and foremost a political leader, one who’s primarily concerned with the importance of preserving democracy. This has led many Star Wars fans to write her off as “wooden” or “boring,” but her political skills are exactly what make Padmé such a compelling character to me.

Even as a kid, I adored watching Padmé grapple with big political concerns, all while struggling with the fact that, as a young woman, people were less inclined to take her seriously. Early in The Phantom Menace, the Emperor tells his Neimoidian allies, “Queen Amidala is young and naive. You will find controlling her will not be difficult.” But that turns out not to be true. As a teenage queen, Padmé is curious, observant, empathetic, selfless, and brave. She’s willing to both put herself in harm’s way and humble herself before a political rival in order to save her homeworld. It’s no wonder the people of Naboo tried to amend their constitution to get her to stick around as queen once her two terms were up.

Though Attack Of The Clones is the weakest of the prequels, it’s probably the best showcase for Padmé as a character. As a Galactic Senator, she’s clear-eyed as she balances her idealism about how democracy should work with her pragmatism about how it actually does. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind, but she’s also thoughtful about where and how she does so. And while very little about her relationship and repartee with Anakin actually works, the film features several delightful moments in which Padmé puts Anakin in his place whenever he jumps in with an opinion she didn’t ask for. That Attack Of The Clones also solidifies Padmé as the best-dressed person in the entire Star Wars universe is just icing on the cake.

Even amid her disappointing Revenge Of The Sith denouement—inexplicably losing the will to live after giving birth is perhaps the most insulting death she could’ve been given—Padmé at least gets to deliver some particularly savvy political observations as Chancellor Palpatine transforms the Republic into his Galactic Empire. “So this is how liberty dies,” she notes dryly, “with thunderous applause.” As a nerdy, opinionated young girl, Padmé was the perfect heroine on which to project my dreams, much as so many people did with Luke in the original trilogy.

It’s a little disappointing, then, to see Padmé completely forgotten in these new Star Wars films. Obviously I don’t expect her to suddenly turn up as a central character, given that she died long before the start of this new trilogy. But Episode IX has the perfect opportunity to bring her spirit back into the fold. As the one most personally betrayed by Anakin’s turn to the dark side, Padmé could easily fill the role Leia presumably would’ve played in challenging Kylo Ren’s obsession with Vader. Perhaps in encountering her old journals (holographic if Portman wants to return; written if she doesn’t), Kylo could develop an emotional connection to his grandmother, the same way he already has one with his long-dead grandfather.

Given how much the new films have tried to distance themselves from the prequels, there’s probably no realistic chance of Padmé finally getting her due in Episode IX—even if the inclusion of Jimmy Smits’ Bail Organa turned out to be one of the most unexpectedly moving parts of Rogue One. But hell, I’d even accept a Jimmy Smits hologram, talking about how much he respected Amidala as a political ally and how much his adoptive daughter reminds him of her. Because in a universe strangely devoid of mother figures, it would be nice to see the franchise remember it still has some inspiring ones in its past, just waiting to pass down their wisdom.”


“ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Caroline Siede is a pop culture critic in Chicago, where the cold never bothers her anyway. Her interests include superhero movies, feminist theory, and Jane Austen novels.”

J.J. Abrams sees Episode IX as the end of the Skywalker saga

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From Rolling Stone:

“[…] This trilogy will end with Abrams’ Last Jedi sequel, and after that, it sounds like the main thrust of the franchise will move into Johnson’s mysterious new movies, which look to be unconnected to the previous saga. As far as Abrams is concerned, that will be the end of the Skywalker story. “I do see it that way,” he says. “But the future is in flux.” […]”

CinemaBlend says it’s ‘necessary’ for the sequel trilogy to acknowledge the prequel era

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From CinemaBlend:

“The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy is unquestionably a divisive topic among the space opera franchise’s fans, but whether you love those movies or hate them, they’re still important to the saga of the galaxy far, far away. As the backstory of how Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side and became Darth Vader was revealed, these three movies significantly expanded to the mythology of this universe, adding more flavor to not just the cinematic series, but the novels, comic books, video games and more. But Revenge of the Sith concluded this Star Wars era in 2005, and more than a decade later, we’re now in the midst of both another main trilogy and standalone Anthology spinoffs being released every other year. Recently, however, Star Wars: Episode IX director J.J. Abrams and writer Chris Terrio reportedly said that Episode IX will be infused with “thematic” Prequel elements. That’s a good decision, because it’s necessary to acknowledge this era of Star Wars history, no matter how polarizing it is.

[…] The events of this time period were important, particularly the Clone Wars conflict that ravaged the galaxy between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and paved the way for the Empire’s rise. Even though that all happened half a century ago when the new trilogy unfolds, the consequences of that era left an indescribable impact on this galaxy.

Obviously not everything that from the prequels was added to the Star Wars canon was great, and there are some elements that are better left gathering dust in the proverbial corner. For instance, I doubt we’ll ever hear about midichlorians again. Still, it’s one thing for the current trilogy to maintain connections to the first Star Wars movies, but to ignore the Prequel period entirely is a disservice to the franchise. Obviously the main focus should be making Episode IX a great story, but if J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio can do that and effectively pay tribute to a period of Star Wars history that (from our perspective) only ended a little over a decade ago, then so much the better.

Of course, it remains to be seen what these Prequel elements in Episode IX will actually be. They could be something as minor as seeing a few starships from that era (I’m partial to the Naboo straighter) or hearing about Old Republic politics, to something major like a new droid army or clone operatives being activated by The First Order or The Resistance. […]”

Episode IX writer Chris Terrio reportedly said the Prequels will be referenced

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From StarWarsNewsNet:

A recent Reddit thread was just started by someone who just met with [Episode IX writer-director J.J.] Abrams and his co-writer Chris Terrio, with photographic proof:

The poster specifically went on to claim that they got to speak with Abrams and Terrio, and while they obviously couldn’t spoil anything, one thing of interest seems to be that the Prequel Trilogy will definitely be alluded to:

“They said that they’re going to be brave and there will be big surprises. I got the impression that JJ felt like he had to refresh previous Star Wars moments for a modern audience in TFA, and now it feels like they have free reign to do what they want. Apparently they’ve had no interference from Kathleen or Pablo or the Lucasfilm Story Group. 9 is also the film which unites all three trilogies and brings everything together. That’s all they would tell me.”

“I worry a little bit that the questions I was asking were too leading. I was speaking to Chris and he was talking about the OT. I said about how I grew up with the PT and the prequels were my entry point into Star Wars. I asked about elements of the PT coming into 9 and Chris said about how 9 unites all of it. He said 9 definitely makes it feel like they’re all happening in the same universe, and there would be PT elements in 9. They could be visual or thematic – he didn’t overtly say that there would be returning planets or characters from the PT or anything.”

Interestingly, this insistence that this movie is going to serve as both the conclusion of the Sequel Trilogy and the conclusion of the trilogy of trilogies lines up with the kind of vision that Colin Trevorrow wanted to bring to Episode IX:

“By the time we get to Episode IX, I look at that movie as one movie, as three movies, as six movies, and as nine movies. It’s something that needs to honor a story that has been told over a period of 40 years… I don’t want to ignore any of it, and I respect all of it. It’s something I think the fanbase is going to embrace.”