|FILM FESTTHE CHI|
Everything is delayed, canceled, or on hold at the moment due to the coronavirus COVID-19, which means that film festivals are having to make some tough choices. Cannes is postponed. SXSW was canceled, but they recently announced they would try to put together an online film festival with Amazon Prime Video. TIFF has yet to make a decision one way or another, but festival runners Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey mentioned last week that they were considering a potential digital festival. Digital film festivals are a distinct possibility in several locations, but there’s one fest that has flat-out refused to go digital: the Venice Film Festival.
With the coronavirus continuing to upend film festivals across the globe, some are wondering if virtual, online film festivals might be the solution for the time being. And while some fests – SXSW, TIFF – are open to this idea, the Venice Film Festival isn’t having it. Speaking with Variety, a Venice spokesperson said: “The Venice Film Festival cannot be replaced by an online event,” adding that “there is obviously the possibility that we use technology for some initiatives, [but] it’s too early for this to be decided.”
The Venice Film Festival is supposed to run in September, and as of now, everyone involved with the fest is still operating under the assumption that the festival is still on. Organizers have put out a call for “projects for its Final Cut in Venice co-production workshop dedicated to supporting works from the Middle East and Africa, currently scheduled to be held during the fest.”
Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera was quoted as saying he and his team “are working just the same as in past years” and that they “cannot provide specifics about the future.” The only thing they can confirm is that no matter what happens, the festival will not go digital. While some are more than happy to accept the idea of a digital festival – no travel fees! – not everyone is okay with the idea. For one thing, if a film without distribution were to debut digitally and then immediately be pirated, it would hurt its chances at eventual purchase. Plus, many filmmakers and producers long for that festival buzz that can only be achieved by screening titles for a live audience.
But we remain in uncharted territory for the moment, and it’s unclear just when the coronavirus situation will end. As of now, Italy remains in strict lockdown, and if that continues into the fall, there’s very little chance the Venice Film Festival will go off as planned....
A concept artist on The Mandalorian still refers to the Child as Baby Yoda. Lucasfilm and Disney have confirmed dozens of times that his official name, for the time being, is the Child. He is not an infant version of the little green Jedi Master, though he looks just like him. In the Star Wars timeline, the real Yoda is dead at the time of The Mandalorian. There is still a ton of mystery surrounding the Child and the species that he is.
The Mandalorian concept artist Doug Chiang posted some concept art from the series on social media. The image is of Din Djarin as he holds the Child in his hand. Chiang posted the image, along with a caption that reads, 'Time for a Mando and Baby Yoda sketch!' We all know he's the Child, but Baby Yoda just fits so much better, especially since we know next to nothing about the little green dude.
The Mandalorian season 2 should debut in the fall. Disney+ and Lucasfilm have confirmed that the show is supposed to come out in October, but that could all change at any moment, due to the current state of world affairs. The entertainment business has been stalled as we all wait for this to pass. Regardless, season 2 should give us a bit more insight into who and what Baby Yoda is, or at least tease more of his backstory. We do know that Moff Gideon will be trying to get his hands on him, which could prove to be massive problem for Din Djarin.
A lot of Star Wars fans have been curious about the original Yoda's species for decades. It's never been explained before and some fans want to leave it that way. It's unclear how far Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni will go into the Child's history, but there are still a lot of people who want to learn more about the original Yoda in The Mandalorian. It will be interesting to see how much information they will be coming up with. Regardless, if it goes far enough, it could anger a lot of Star Wars fans, which seems inevitable at this point.
For now, we'll just have to wait and see what season 2 of The Mandalorian brings. We have yet to see any footage from the upcoming season, though that makes sense. If Star Wars Celebration ends up still happening at the end of August, we'll probably see the first footage there, or around that time. Disney and Lucasfilm have not yet commented on whether or not the annual celebration will happen this year, though San Diego Comic-Con seems to be going ahead, at least as of this writing. Things could change at any minute now. You can check out The Mandalorian concept art below, thanks to Doug Chiang's Instagram account.