Get ready to open up those wallets, Star Wars fans as we're about to see a whole bunch of new merchandise coming our way for this year's Force Friday event. This has become an annual tradition for Lucasfilm during the Disney era and this year's event is being billed as Triple Force Friday. That's because we're getting merchandise for The Rise of Skywalker, The Mandalorian and the new video game Jedi Fallen Order, and you can watch the livestream reveal right here.
Related: Rumored Rise of Skywalker Opening Scene Is Very Different from Previous Sequels
Undoubtedly, the main attraction will be Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Directed by J.J. Abrams, this is set to be not only the final chapter of the sequel trilogy, but the final installment of the Skywalker saga overall. This is a movie more than 40 years in the making and Lucasfilm is sure to pull out all the stops when it comes to new toys. The only thing we've really seen are leaks of some of the Funko Pop! figures set to hit shelves. Beyond that, we'll have to wait and see.
This will be an important moment for The Mandalorian, which is the first ever live-actionStar Wars TV series. The show launches on Disney+ on November 12 and, so far, we've only had one trailer and several images to let fans know what is in store. Lucasfilm will surely want to get some of these characters represented in stores with action figures and other merch. In part, to help let people know this is on the way, but also to perhaps help see what the appetite is from the fanbase for the show ahead of its launch.
As for Jedi Fallen Order, this is the golden ticket for certain fans. If Disney's Star Wars has been lacking in any one area so far, it's in the video game department. Here, we're finally getting a single-player focused, campaign-driven game that will feature a canon story. This looks to make up for the lackluster response to the revamped Battlefront games, which missed the mark for many. Triple Force Friday takes place on October 4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to hit theaters on December 20. Both The Mandalorian and Jedi Fallen Order arrive in November, on November 12 and November 15, respectively. Be sure to check out the livestream from the Star Wars YouTube channel.
Kevin Feige doesn’t sleep. That’s the only explanation for how the Marvel Studios president and head honcho of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has added yet another new project to his giant slate, as several outlets have confirmed that Feige is developing a new “Star Wars” film for Lucasfilm. That signals yet again that change is coming to the venerable franchise as it closes out its long-running Skywalker Saga this December with the release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
The move brings together two major figures in the current blockbuster landscape, as Feige will work with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy on the new project. A statement from Walt Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn struck a celebratory note: “With the close of the Skywalker Saga, Kathy is pursuing a new era in 'Star Wars' storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a 'Star Wars' film together.”
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This synergy should come as no surprise. Feige has held his current job since 2007; Disney acquired Marvel in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012, kicking off the recent run of new “Star Wars” films and series. While Feige is most closely associated with his Marvel properties, the executive is reportedly a huge “Star Wars” fan and has been eager to get into the Lucasfilm mix for some time. Shared ownership makes that ask somewhat easy, but Feige is still the first Marvel brass to make the jump into the “Star Wars” universe, limited run or not.
So what might this news tell us about the future of “Star Wars,” Marvel, and Disney as a whole?
What does this mean for Kevin Feige?
Feige is best known for two things: producing hits and making it look easy. All told, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made over $8.5 billion in domestic dollars alone, with four MCU films holding spots in the all-time box office top 10. This summer, “Avengers: Endgame” alone made nearly $2.8 billion in global receipts, becoming the top-grossing film of all-time in the process. Feige is the guiding force behind each of those films, credited with bringing unification to a wide-ranging franchise packed with characters and storylines, and rallying a variety of stars and filmmakers to make them.
Tellingly, there’s no reported time period for this new “Star Wars” endeavor. Since buying Lucasfilm seven years ago, Disney has aggressively put out new “Star Wars” movies, and even Disney CEO Bob Iger recently admitted to The New York Times that the studio’s ambitious rollout plan might have been too much. “I just think that we might've put a little bit too much in the marketplace too fast,” Iger said about the response to “Star Wars” under Disney. “I think the storytelling capabilities of the company are endless because of the talent we have at the company, and the talent we have at the company is better than it's ever been, in part because of the influx of people from Fox.”
Here’s what that probably all means: His production isn’t imminent, and both his busy schedule and the studio’s desire to pull back slightly on new releases are likely to give him plenty of time to work on whatever ideas he’s cooking up. Don’t expect Feige to churn out a new “Star Wars” movie next year.
What does this mean for Kathleen Kennedy?
The longtime producer and eight-time Oscar nominee has been president of Lucasfilm since 2012, coming on board just before George Lucas sold the company later that year. She’s one of the few female executives at Disney right now, and since taking up her post, she’s essentially served as the face of Lucasfilm. Last year, she upped her contract for three more years. She’s not going anywhere.
While “Star Wars” has proven culturally divisive mostly due to all the fans who didn’t like Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” and have spent two years harping on it, Kennedy’s financial track record is strong: All told, the four “Star Wars” films produced for Disney by Kennedy and Lucasfilm have grossed almost $4.5 billion. Critically speaking, all four new films have earned strong reviews each of them is ranked “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, a feat even the prequels couldn’t pull off.
There have been some missteps along the way, however. In 2016, Kennedy drew ire after a Variety interview when she told the trade that although finding a female director for one of their features was a priority, the studio “want[s] to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do 'Star Wars,' they're set up for success. ... They're gigantic films, and you can't come into them with essentially no experience.”
She also added that, because of the perceived lack of female filmmakers with blockbuster experience, they were actively looking for appropriate talent. “We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do “Star Wars,” they're set up for success,” she said at the time. “They're gigantic films, and you can't come into them with essentially no experience.”
And yet Lucasfilm has yet to officially tap a female director for one of its films, but upcoming series like “The Mandalorian” boast women behind the camera, and the company continues to elevate women. Earlier this year, producer Michelle Rejwan was named SVP of Live Action Development and Production for Lucasfilm. Still, Kennedy’s leadership excels where it should: Her projects make money.
What does this mean for “Star Wars”?
While Feige is currently on deck to make one new film for the franchise, and initial reports suggest he already some big ideas. But Feige’s influence could perhaps be most profoundly felt on a much larger scale, should Lucasfilm harness his track record with assembling a successful franchise. Marvel hasn’t been immune to behind-the-camera shakeups remember the upheaval that was Edgar Wright leaving “Ant-Man”?, but Lucasfilm has faced far greater challenges.
“Rogue One” memorably tapped veteran director Tony Gilroy to retrofit an unsatisfying third act from original director Gareth Edwards, while the “Star Wars” team axed Colin Trevorrow from “Rise of Skywalker” before he even shot a frame of the third film in the Skywalker Saga. And then there’s the “Solo” disaster, which saw original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller fired in the middle of production, necessitating the immediate hiring of Ron Howard. That resulted in the lowest-earning of the new films and seemed to kill off hopes for many other prequel titles in the process.
The franchise has a number of films lined up for the coming years, but there’s definitely been a pulling back when it comes to new projects. For now, “Game of Thrones” showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff are on deck to make a new series of films to follow “Rise of Skywalker,” and “Last Jedi” filmmaker Rian Johnson is still reportedly working on his own new trilogy of films for the franchise. Meanwhile, Lucasfilm seems to be leaning a bit more on its Disney+ series offerings, including “The Mandalorian” out in November, along with a “Rogue One” prequel and a much-anticipated series returning Ewan McGregor to his role of young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
If there’s anyone who knows how to craft a seamless production experience and a unified creative front for so many stories told by so many creators over so many platforms, it’s Feige. And that’s the one thing “Star Wars” needs above all.
What does this mean for the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Feige’s current MCU slate is packed — it includes the next phase of Marvel films “Black Widow,” “Eternals,” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” and a number of other in-the-works productions and the soon-to-be-released run of Marvel TV series on Disney+ like “WandaVision,” “Loki,” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”. Feige will also be tasked with bringing other heroes into the Disney fold after the recent Fox acquisition, including the X-Men and the Fantastic Four which he has called his favorite superhero series. For now, it appears that his involvement with the MCU remains unchanged and it’s unlikely Iger would approve the addition of a new film if there was any threat to Disney’s primary cash cow.
What does this mean for Disney?
In a word: synergy. As Iger noted to the Times earlier this month while speaking about the future of “Star Wars” and the studio, “the talent we have at the company is better than it's ever been, in part because of the influx of people from Fox.” Integrating Marvel and Lucasfilm into the Disney fold was an easier proposition than pulling in a whole other studio, but by attempting to cross-pollinate between those existing teams, Iger will have a better understanding of just how well these properties can play together.
If Marvel and Lucasfilm can share talent well, what does that mean for the rest of the studio? Feige is already expected to integrate Fox-owned superheroes with the rest of the Marvel fray, and if he can present a smooth front to working with Lucasfilm brass, it could pave the way for all kinds of new creative mergers. He's not Disney's only hope, but he could be the studio's best shot at mapping out the future.
Marvel's Kevin Feige is set to develop a Star Wars movie for Disney, and rumors are now swirling on the web he's looking to bring in Captain Marvel star Brie Larson for a leading role. To be clear, there are no reports the actress has officially signed on for any Star Wars projects, but her fans have been pointing out what they see as hints to suggest Feige is eyeing her for a role. This includes the fact that Larson was invited to the Stars Wars Galaxy Edge Opening in Disneyland and that she has been frequently talking about the franchise over the past several months. Additionally, Feige has suggested he's looking for a "major actor" for his Star Wars movie, leading to speculation he could be pulling out a top name from one of the most successful Marvel movies... like Captain Marvel.
Clearly, nothing is concrete here about the upcoming Kevin Feige Star Wars movie, and Larson could just be nothing more than a really big fan of Star Wars. Still, the rumor has been generating some discussion on social media. As you would expect, it's bringing about a variety of opinions. Fans of Larson's are completely on board with the idea, feeling the actress deserves the opportunity. Her critics are singing a different tune, with one Twitter user suggesting she should only play a "stormtrooper that is shown for one second." Others yet are somewhere in between, on board with seeing Larson enter the Star Wars universe but not at the expense of minimizing her role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
On Wednesday, it was announced Kevin Feige would be working with Kathleen Kennedy on a new Star Wars movie. An additional report claims Feige has a specific actor already in mind to lead the project, but there were no details made available beyond that. It is also unclear if the unspecified actor will be from the MCU, although that certainly seems possible given the success of those movies and the name value of the talent. However, it's just as possible Feige will go with another big name who has yet to appear in the MCU, such as John Wick star Keanu Reeves. At this time, all the fans can do is speculate, but the idea that this unidentified individual could be Larson seems to be picking up steam.
Related: New Rise of Skywalker Toys Confirm Kylo Ren Secrets: What's His Mission?
Larson became a household name with the release of Captain Marvel, which premiered in theaters earlier this year. It marks the 21st installment of the MCU with Larson in the lead role as Carol Danvers. Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, it also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Dimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, and Lashana Lynch. As a prequel set in the '90s, the movie tells the story of how Carol Danvers comes to be the titular crimefighter after the planet is caught in the midst of a galactic conflict between two alien races. The movie grossed over a billion dollars at the box office and is one of the highest-earning comic book movies of all time.
Time will tell if Larson shows up in the Star Wars universe under Feige's watch. The idea may be just a rumor, but it certainly wouldn't be surprising if the announcement happens for real. We'll just have to stay tuned for updates. You can check out some tweets about the rumor below, originating from BrieLarsonHQ on Twitter.
Hints that Brie is possibly being casted in Star Wars:▫ She was invited at Star Wars Galaxy Edge Opening in Disneyland ▫ Kevin Feige is pushing for a major actor from MCU to be in Star Wars▫ Brie is seen talking about Star Wars VERY OFTEN the past few months pic.twitter.com/JOaedmPZbw
It wasn't long ago that Marvel boss Kevin Feige insisted he wasn't going to trade over to Disney's other biggest franchise, but tonight it's being reported that the producer behind Avengers: Endgame, the biggest movie of all time, is developing a new Star Wars movie. Details on what the Kevin Feige Star Wars movie will be are scarce at the moment.
Walt Disney Studios co-chairman Alan Horn explains that Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy is ready to make some changes, and is forging a new path for the Star Wars franchise, which will all fall into place after the launch of The Rise of Skywalker this December. Horn had this to say in a statement.
"[Kathleen Kennedy] is pursuing a new era in Star Wars storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a Star Wars film together."
It should come as no surprise that Kevin Feige is a huge Star Wars fan. What may come as a surprise to Marvel fans is that Sony Pictures claimed Feige was too busy bringing Fantastic Four and X-Men into the MCU to really concentrate on Spider-Man any more. He has the next two Marvel phases planned out, which includes both movies and Disney+ TV series, so he's quite busy. No one was expected Kevin Feige to add this to his plate.
Kevin Feige had been discussing his foray into the Star Wars universe this past summer with Kathleen Kennedy, bringing studio co-chairmen Alan Horn and Alan Bergman into the discussion. Horn went onto say this about the developing new phase for Star Wars after the Skywalker saga.
"We are excited about the projects Kathy and the Lucasfilm team are working on, not only in terms of Star Wars but also Indiana Jones and reaching into other parts of the company including Children of Blood and Bone with Emma Watts and Fox. With the close of the Skywalker Saga, Kathy is pursuing a new era in Star Wars storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a Star Wars film together."
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are currently working on a new Star Wars trilogy that has been rumored to take place during the Knights of the Old Republic. It is believed that they will only be directly involved in the first installment, and plans beyond that have not been announced. Rian Johnson, director of The Last Jedi, is also working on a separate Star Wars trilogy, though details are scarce, and he will probably direct another original movie before work gets under way.
Lucasfilm has carved out three theatrical dates for the future beyond The Rise of Skywalker. Those are set for December 16, 2022, December 20, 2024 and December 18, 2026. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are expected to be working on the 2022 release, so Kevin Feige's Star Wars movie could be one of the other two dates listed here. But there is no official confirmation on that at this time. This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter.
Disney has owned both Marvel and Star Wars for a while now, so it’s almost surprising this has taken so long: According to a Hollywood Reporter exclusive, Kevin Feige, lord of the MCU, is going to develop his own Star Wars movie — one that hopefully won’t further enrage the already apparently tetchy George Lucas.
According to THR’s source, Feige met with Kathleen Kennedy, Lucas’ hand-picked president of Lucasfilm, in late summer to discuss his dipping a toe in another part of Disney’s ever-swelling content pool. There, of course, is no word on what type of movie it will be — a prequel, a spin-off, something else — and there likely won’t be until The Rise of Skywalker, aka Episode IX in the main branch of the franchise, comes out mid-December.
There’s been some anxiety around the property of late, with the spin-off/prequel A Solo Story underperforming during the 2018 summer and slightly underwhelming attendance at Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge though some postulate that may be due to complex circumstances, such as rising hotel prices and potential attendees’ fears of packed crowds.
And yet there’s clearly more room in the Star Wars inn. There are film projects in the works by Rian Johnson and Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, plus all the Disney+ shows, boasting the likes of Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi and New German Cinema titan Werner Herzog.
Should Feige indeed board the ship, he’ll come bearing some experience with contemporary blockbusters: He’s overseen the MCU from its infancy, watching as four of its 20-plus titles have entered the Top 10 all-time box office not adjusted for inflation. Feige may be busy — one reason Sony yanked Spider-Man from the MCU was they felt he was already over-extended to look over their boy — but clearly he’s not too busy to sprinkle some of his magic dust on a franchise that might need it.
The Rise of Skywalker is still a few months away from release, but next week will see a flood of new Star Wars merchandise in stores with Triple Force Friday. This Thursday, there will be a livestream with the cast, as they show off some of the exciting new toys and collectibles tied into not only the final saga in the Skywalker saga, but also The Mandalorian TV show and the upcoming Jedi Fallen Order video game. Some individuals are already getting an advanced look at some of this incoming merch. And with it, a few new secrets about Kylo Ren have been revealed.
One of the toys that has leaked early is the Black Series figure for Ben Solo, listing him as Supreme Leader Kylo Ren. With the reveal of the box, we get some interesting new intel on what Kylo Ren is actually doing when we catch back up with the Sith wannabe. The short character description on the back of the box contains this information.
"As Supreme Leader of the First Order, Kylo Ren wields more power than ever before. Nevertheless, Ren continues to search for secrets of the Force from the depths of the dark side."
From the start in The Force Awakens, we knew that Kylo Ren was a collector of Sith and Jedi artifacts, one of his most prized possessions being his grandfather's Darth Vader helmet. That idea was pretty much abandoned by Rian Johnson in The Last Jedi, as Han and Leia's Dark Side offspring spent most of his onscreen time trying to lure Rey over to the First Order. It is possible that his search for these secrets has something to do with unleashing Emperor Palpatine, who was believed to be dead after the destruction of the second Death Star.
Among the other toys about to be revealed this Thursday during the Triple Force Friday preview, it has been confirmed that Kylo Ren's new TIE Fighter is officially called The TIE Whisper. Perhaps because it is silent and stealthy. There isn't much more information to go on. Along with the Kylo Ren description, we also get a character bio for the Sith Trooper, who was unveiled at both Comic-Con and then D23 over the summer.
"In its ultimate push towards galactic conquest, the First Order readies an army of elite soldiers that draw inspiration and power from a dark and ancient legacy."
There is also a character description included for The Mandalorian, who headlines his own show, the first ever live-action series for Disney+. About the bounty hunter who has ties to Boba Fett, we learned this from his Black Series action figure.
"His body is shielded by beskar armor, his face is hidden behind a T-visored mask, and his past is wrapped in mystery. The Mandalorian is battle-worn and tight lipped, a formidable bounty hunter in an increasingly dangerous galaxy."
To see some of the carded figures for Rise of Skywalker before they are officially unveiled during the Star Wars livestream, you can visit Star Wars News Net. Apparently some of these toys have been out on display by certain stores that aren't necessarily following the Triple Force Friday rules set for October 4.
Related: Kylo Ren's Dark Side Origins Won't Please Everyone Warns Star Wars Writer