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July 2020
S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

It's flashback time! Back in 2014, I did a series of episodes looking at interviews conducted with George Lucas by Alan Arnold for the seminal book Once Upon a Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back.

Here's what to expect in today's episode, based on what I wrote back then:

[Lucas] talks about the financial investment he made by committing to Empire. What will it take to break even, what will happen if it doesn’t make enough money, and what he dreams of creating with the hoped-for revenues of the film, as well as the challenges of making Star Wars a self-sustaining enterprise.

It is pretty astounding stuff (what he reveals, that is). Punch it!

***I'm listener supported! Join the community at http://Patreon.com/sw7x7 to get access to bonus episodes and other insider rewards.*** 

Direct download: 2020-07-31-StarWars7x7-2219.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

It's flashback time! Back in 2014, I did a series of episodes looking at interviews conducted with George Lucas by Alan Arnold for the seminal book Once Upon a Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back.

Here's what I said in prep for the episode:

Lucas gets personal with his discussions about how he prefers to work, what’s on the line for him creatively and financially, and shares some things that, had he remembered them 20 years later, the prequels might have been much different.

Now, let's dig into the details... Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-30-StarWars7x7-2218.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

It's flashback time! Back in 2014, I did a series of episodes looking at interviews conducted with George Lucas by Alan Arnold for the seminal book Once Upon a Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back.

I was a little worked up over this part, apparently. Here's what I said about it back then:

In this episode’s set of interview questions, Lucas talks about the directing and not directing, and arrrgh!! What happened from 1979 to 1999 that he changed his mind about this?!

Well, have a listen today and find out why... Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-29-StarWars7x7-2217.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

It's flashback time! Back in 2014, I did a series of episodes looking at interviews conducted with George Lucas by Alan Arnold for the seminal book Once Upon a Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back.

Here's what I said about this episode at the time:

Today’s set of questions continues the theme of control and translating his vision to the other professionals creating the movie reality, as well as a brief meditation on the importance of attention to detail in the Star Wars universe – an endeavor that’s fraught with more danger than you’d expect!

So, let's get into it ... again. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-28-StarWars7x7-2216.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

It's flashback time! Back in 2014, I did a series of episodes looking at interviews conducted with George Lucas by Alan Arnold for the seminal book Once Upon a Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back.

Here's what I said about this episode at the time:

What’s more, memory is a slippery thing. We know Lucas has changed his story over the years about the movies and the process and so forth … and I’m certain not all of those changes are intentional. (Unlike his Special Edition changes!) Part of it is for public perception and posterity, to be sure. And, eventually, all of us as people remember the stories the way that we want them to be told, and maybe the facts change, get mixed around, edited, ret-connned in the process.

So today, we dive in to the first of multiple Lucas interview episodes. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-27-StarWars7x7-2215.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

We talked about the Traveler's Guide to Batuu earlier this week, and I'm thrilled to have its author, Eloc Throno - aka Cole Horton - back on the show to talk about the making of this vital Galaxy's Edge resource. (This interview was actually conducted last month, but because the book's release had been moved to July 21st, we held this interview until now - it was actually recorded on the same day, 1-2 with our conversation about Star Wars: Book of Lists.) Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-26-StarWars7x7-2214.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

There aren't a lot of Star Wars music videos out there! I know that's not exactly shocking, but when I checked out the recent music video of Ludwig Göransson performing the theme from The Mandalorian, the point hit home. Prior to that, I think the only other "official" music video was the one released for The Phantom Menace's "Duel of the Fates." I'll talk about those today, and as promised, here are the videos I talked about in the show, and a couple more!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXJa1YcV6OQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga7Iw7-ANho

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ROl4LuyNQM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEcjgJSqSRU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdu8I1gWqk4

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Direct download: 2020-07-25-StarWars7x7-2213.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The allusions to the Aphra/Sana relationship in the Star Wars comics covered by the Doctor Aphra audio drama are brief and filled with attitude, but the audiobook reveals that it's at the heart of the action... Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-24-StarWars7x7-2212.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In a move that likely comes as no surprise - it was probably inevitable at this point - Disney has updated its movie release schedule. With movie theaters still closed and production still halted due to the coronavirus, there's no help for it. So the announcements came today, and with them, the news that Star Wars is moving from its previous December dates in 2022, 2024, and 2026.

The good news is, they were moved one year ahead, to December 2023, 2025, and 2027. This, at least, suggests that the delays are only coronavirus related, and not because of anything else going on behind the scenes. Couple this with a recent Taika Waititi interview, and we've got predictions for who will be in charge of each of those three movies... Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-23-StarWars7x7-Bonus.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 10:42pm EDT

Yes, it's established that Doctor Aphra is a scoundrel. As such, it's probably wise not to trust her with anything too valuable. But as a character in the Star Wars comics on which the Doctor Aphra audio drama is based, she presents a very reliable front. In other words, she is exactly who she appears to be in those stories.

But once you put her front and center, and let her tell the whole story - well, that's when things get a little more slippery. On today's episode of the show, I'm going to talk about how Doctor Aphra became an unreliable narrator, and cite three particular types of unreliability. And the responsibility for each type, depending on the type, falls on different shoulders... Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-23-StarWars7x7-2211.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Yesterday, during the non-spoiler review of the Doctor Aphra audio drama, I mentioned that there were a couple of places in the story where, if you were not familiar with the source material (namely, the first series of Darth Vader comics for Marvel), you might find yourself a little lost. As, in, with references to things that seem to be coming out of nowhere.

There's a structural reason for that - since Aphra is our narrator, and since there are lots of things happening in that comic book series which have nothing to do with her, it's the moments where Aphra crosses paths with those other events that it gets a little odd inside the audio drama. She has no frame of reference for what's happening, and so the listener can get a little confused, much as Aphra herself does.

I think it was an unavoidable side effect of adapting this storyline. Since Aphra never becomes privy to some of those details, it's not like she can explain it to the listener after the fact via some other narrative device.

So, on today's episode of the podcast, I'm going to very quickly explain what was happening in that series outside of Aphra's knowledge. That should make the two primary confusion points in the audio drama make more sense. It's only lightly spoilery for the comic series and for the audio drama... Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-22-StarWars7x7-2210.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The Doctor Aphra audiobook original builds from the source material, featuring a compelling expansion on the title character by author Sarah Kuhn, and an exuberant performance by Emily Woo Zeller.

On today's episode of the show, we'll stay in non-spoiler review territory - REALLY non spoiler, as most of the conversation is about the intended audience; the evaluation of its adaptation from the comic book stories; the novel ways in which author Sarah Kuhn expanded upon the original comic stories; and the deeper development of the title character by Kuhn and as performed by Emily Woo Zeller. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-21-StarWars7x7-2209.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Traveler's Guide to Batuu is essential reading for anyone who hopes to go to the Star Wars land at Disneyland or Walt Disney World one day - and connects to Star Wars storytelling as well.

On today's show, I'll share more details from the book and its author, "Eloc Throno" - a thinly-veiled anagram for Star Wars reference book writer extraordinaire Cole Horton - including how the in-universe aspect affects the way information is presented; the spot on the timeline where the Galaxy's Edge experience exists; connections to other Star Wars stories; and more. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-20-StarWars7x7-2208.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

When we were talking about the possibility of a sequel to Solo: A Star Wars Story the other day, there was one other rumor I failed to mention. It actually dates back to September of 2019, and involves another rumored Star Wars project that had the rug pulled out from under it. Because things with Solo didn't go as planned? Maybe so, maybe no, but the fate of another rumored Star Wars project that's actually coming to fruition may point to a way forward.

I'm going to use that as the jumping-off point to talk about the future of Star Wars live action storytelling, and ask YOU a question. As we get into this gap of time where we're waiting for the next announcements about movies and live action series, where do you draw the line as far as rumors, leaks, and spoilers go?

For myself, as the years have gone by, I've drawn the line at plot points. I don't mind hearing about casting and character rumors, for example, and I don't mind hearing about settings or timeframes. But let's say - to give a 138% completely invented and hypothetical example - there had been a rumored published saying that there Baby Yoda was successfully cloned, and that we'd see dozens of him in season 2 of The Mandalorian. That's the kind of rumor that A) I'd never want to know in advance of the actual episode where they appear, and B) I'd never want to discuss that on the podcast until they had appeared in the actual episode.

So that's where my head is at on these sorts of things. As a listener, where's your head at? Where do you draw the line? Let me know in the comments... Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-19-StarWars7x7-2207.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

You know what we haven't talked about for a while? The Cassian Andor series, that's what! So let's check in on what's been happening there, shall we?

On today's episode, we'll talk about the casting announcements we know so far - including a Star Wars connection for two of the actors whose specific roles we don't yet know - and rumors about two actors that have yet to be confirmed. We'll also talk a bit about Cassian's character backstory, the time in which the story is supposed to be set, and the directors and writers currently involved with the show. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-18-StarWars7x7-2206.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

So let's be clear: Up until a few days ago, the notion of a sequel to Solo: A Star Wars Story was nothing more than a boisterous fan campaign. The most visible one since the movement to get a season 7 for The Clone Wars, it should be noted. But most recently, back in March, co-writer Jon Kasdan said on Twitter:

Don't think anyone's pursuing a Solo sequel at the moment ... I think a feature, at this point, would be a tough sell & the D+ Star Wars slate is really...pretty packed, all shows I'm lookin forward to.

But then Alden Ehrenreich is featured in an Esquire cover story a few days ago, and when pressed about it, says:

I've heard soooome stuff, but nothing concrete.

WAIT A MINUTE!!! What's this "soooome stuff" he's talking about???

The Esquire article doesn't press further, so on today's show, I'll be double-checking the rumor mills to see whether there are any other hints about a potential Solo sequel out there. And there are two - from a certain point of view, of course, and one of them doesn't seem very likely. We'll also talk about two big obstacles to a Solo sequel, and whether Disney+ can handle them - if they even need to. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-17-StarWars7x7-2205.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

It's been a tumultuous year since the announcement of the Kenobi series at the D23 Expo in August 2019. One thing that has never wavered was, and continues to be, Ewan McGregor's enthusiasm for the series, which is awesome. One wonders if, among other reasons, it was also because he knew something we didn't. Something about one of his co-stars, for example...

It didn't storm the social media airwaves yesterday, but Latino Review Media dropped a rumor report that Hayden Christensen - Anakin Skywalker himself - has signed onto the Kenobi series. They also claim that it's not for a cameo appearance, but for a major role in the series.

I received a bit of outreach from my own source-of-a-source on this, and I'll tell you what I heard on today's episode. I'll also put this in context with the news and rumors that have come before about the series, and what this new rumor - if it's true - suggests for the direction of the series. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-16-StarWars7x7-2204.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Resuming our "What to Watch Now" series from Monday, after we were so rudely interrupted by that Bad Batch series news, lol...

Until now, the only place you could stream Solo: A Star Wars Story (if you didn't already buy it, that is) was on Netflix. But no more! The contract has run out, and the movie is now on Disney+. That makes it complete - every Star Wars movie is now on the service!

But with the advent of Solo on Disney+ comes a set of "Extras" - 11 of them, to be precise. Today, we'll talk about what's there and what's worth your time. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-15-StarWars7x7-2203.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

We've been saying we were due for an announcement about Star Wars animation, and it finally arrived yesterday: The Bad Batch is getting their own series.

If you watched the final season of The Clone Wars on Disney+, you finally met Clone Force 99 - or, as they call themselves, The Bad Batch. The StarWars.com Databank says:

The motley crew that makes up Clone Force 99 boasts an astounding 100 percent success rate and skills unseen in any other clone troopers. Adept at working together, Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, and Crosshair use their unique talents and specialized physiology to execute extraordinary solutions on the battlefield. And after rescuing the clone trooper Echo from Separatist captivity, they welcome the cybernetic soldier into their fold.

On today's episode of the show, we'll talk about what we learned from the announcement, and take a closer look at the creative team - including their past experience, and how that may bode for the series. Punch it!

***I'm listener supported! Join the community at http://Patreon.com/sw7x7 to get access to bonus episodes and other insider rewards.*** 

Direct download: 2020-07-14-StarWars7x7-2202.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Well, the Disney Gallery series on The Mandalorian is complete. Season 2 of The Mandalorian doesn't come out until October. The Cassian Andor series is still in pre-production, as is the Kenobi series, and if something new is coming later this year from the animation side of the house, we don't know about it yet. Also, the next movie won't arrive until 2022 at the earliest.

So ... what, as a Star Wars fan, could you watch now to keep yourself entertained and immersed until the next story arrives on your screen? Today, let's talk about one option: "The Force of Sound," a very cool mini documentary from ABC News. Punch it!

And here's where you can watch the full documentary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM0-8v4Ppb4

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Direct download: 2020-07-13-StarWars7x7-2201.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Kae and Jeremiah from The Fanitarium were kind enough to invite me on their show to talk about my TEDx talk, Star Wars Celebration, The Mandalorian, how podcasting has changed these last few years, and much more. On my show, I'm sharing an excerpt where we talk about Baby Yoda and what they may or may not do with his character in season 2 of the hit Disney+ series... Punch it!

And as mentioned on my show, here's where you can check out the full discussion on their show:

https://youtu.be/WMogPnzhd5g

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Direct download: 2020-07-12-StarWars7x7-2200.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

"Connections" is the final episode of the Disney Gallery series about The Mandalorian, and a significant amount of time is spent discussing the concept of fan service in the series. Not only that, but it has so many visual examples of scenes, characters, species, and creatures from across the range of Star Wars stories and how they're brought in to the story of The Mandalorian - and on today's show, you'll hear about how Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni addressed the notion of fan service in the series.

You'll also get to hear how George Lucas summarily and succinctly disavow any connection to one of those bits of fan service... Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-11-StarWars7x7-2199.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

We've talked about Dave Filoni being the heir apparent to George Lucas this week, but Lucas was running the business of Lucasfilm for a good long while. So, since that's Kathleen Kennedy's job now, will it eventually be Filoni's? after all, Kennedy's contract ends in 2021, and despite years upon years of (unfounded) rumors, there's been nothing to suggest that she's going to cut her contract short.

Meanwhile, as we've discussed this week, Dave Filoni has been groomed for a certain level of prominence within Lucasfilm. From learning directly from Lucas with storytelling, to learning about live-action direction with The Mandalorian, and so much in between, Filoni's skill set is increasing and aligning more with the skill set Lucas has. But does that mean he's in line for Kennedy's position when her contract ends?

I'll give you my thoughts today, and I look forward to hearing yours as well. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-10-StarWars7x7-2198.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

From a certain point of view, Dave Filoni has a number of advantages that George Lucas didn't have at their respective stages of their careers. For example, Filoni isn't having to invent the Star Wars galaxy from scratch. He doesn't have to run multiple companies. He doesn't have to push filmmaking technology further than it's ever been pushed. But there's one specific advantage he has, that's been developed throughout his career, that might make all the difference for the future of Star Wars storytelling.

On today's episode, I'll be talking about the three phases of Star Wars storytelling in both Lucas' and Filoni's career, and looking at three specific aspects of the storytelling process. The differences in how they've unfolded for Lucas and Filoni are where I'm headed with this... Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-09-StarWars7x7-2197.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Naturally, the career paths of George Lucas and Dave Filoni have been very different. That said, it looks as though Lucasfilm is working to close the gap in their skill sets...

Building off of our conversation from Monday (Episode 2,194), I'm going to take a high-level look at George Lucas' skill sets, and use that as a jumping-off point to talk about Dave Filoni's work experience over the years, and how his tenure on The Mandalorian seems tailor-made to expand his experience into areas where Lucas was proficient. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-08-StarWars7x7-2196.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Nearly 2200 numbered episodes, five movies, the first live-action series, two animated series and a revival for a third, multiple video games and AR/VR experiences, dozens of books, hundreds of comics, and so much more. It's been an amazing six years so far.

I'm pausing to give thanks and reflect for a moment today, sharing the subjects of the top 10 episodes from the last year, and considering why it's still important - even with everything else going on in the world - to bring a daily dose of Star Wars joy into your life. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-07-StarWars7x7-2195.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

One of the things the Disney Gallery series about The Mandalorian is doing - perhaps unintentionally, perhaps not - is introducing a new group of Star Wars fans to Dave Filoni. In most of the episodes, Filoni has been given space to talk about a variety of Star Wars subjects at length, and the round table audiences have all been so deeply attentive to what he's shared.

It was no less the case in the "Score" episode, where Filoni, in conversation with Jon Favreau and Ludwig Göransson, digressed slightly during a discussion of the music to talk about the blessings and the perils of making new Star Wars stories now, and as compared to when George Lucas was making A New Hope.

I'll share that clip with you as we start to explore the deal with the heir apparent to George Lucas' storytelling legacy. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-06-StarWars7x7-2194.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

On a Sunday Conversation episode, I'm thrilled to welcome Alexander Freed to the show. Freed is the author of four Star Wars novels, including last month's Shadow Fall, second in the Alphabet Squadron trilogy.

The topics of conversation I proposed included his writing process; the uniqueness of the physical setting of the novel; the construction of battle sequences and how his experience with video game and comic writing may or may not play into them; how he views the main characters of the trilogy; and how the novel itself and certain sequences within it seem to reflect a kinship with the structure of The Empire Strikes Back.

The conversation takes turns to talk about the nature of Star Wars stories, the mystical and spiritual aspects of character arcs, and much more. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-05-StarWars7x7-2193.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The seventh episode of the Disney Gallery Series for The Mandalorian, "Score," starts off with one of the most unlikely stories you'll ever about the creation of a Star Wars soundtrack - and only gets more fascinating from there. On today's episode of the show, we'll talk about why that is, and I'll play a musical instrument for the first time ever on the show. Not nearly as well as Ludwig Göransson, of course, but still.

The conversation will also explore the unique place music has in the eyes of Star Wars fandom, and what the timing of the recording studio sessions for season 1 may tell us about how things developed for season 2, especially in light of the coronavirus shutdown. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-04-StarWars7x7-2192.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Admiral Ackbar said it himself - at close range, Mon Calamari Star Cruisers can't hold up against Imperial Star Destroyers. On today's episode of the show, you'll hear him and Lando talking about it during the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi.

As it turns out, the Rebellion was secretly working on a ship that could go toe-to-toe with a Star Destroyer - and win. And the development of the prototype for that class of battleship looks like it's going to play a major role in the single-player campaign of Star Wars Squadrons when it comes out in October 2020.

I'll explain all about it on today's show, and talk about the major galactic battle where the Mark I versions of these ships helped turn the tide against the largest known Imperial remnant. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-03-StarWars7x7-2191.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Star Wars Squadrons revealed more about its story and inspirations, thanks to an interview on Polygon with EA's creative director Ian Frazier. Here's what he revealed, and what could be read between the lines. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-02-StarWars7x7-2190.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

We ended June with an update on The Mandalorian Season 2, and we start July with news of a surprising kind - an expansion of the world of The Mandalorian, with new forthcoming stories.

Lucasfilm just announced a Mandalorian-themed publishing program, which they say will begin in the fall of 2020 and continue into the winter and spring of 2021. So far, only two dates have been announced - both of which are technically in the fall, but are well after the anticipated start to season 2 of The Mandalorian. That means it's not a "Journey to" publishing program like we've had prior to the releases of the Sequel Trilogy movies. But many of the elements are similar.

I'll talk about what we know so far, why we might have seen this coming, and when we can expect further details - all on today's episode. Punch it!

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Direct download: 2020-07-01-StarWars7x7-2189.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

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