The-Numbers.com has released their Blu-Ray sales estimates for Solo: A Star Wars Story. And the movie is the best selling Blu-Ray, or at least it was when the movie was released on home media several weeks ago. It always takes time for these estimates to be released.
And according to the estimates by The Numbers Solo sold 789,549 Blu-Rays in the US. That was more than enough to cling the top position in the sales charts. To put things in perspective: Solo sold about 42% of the Blu-Rays The Last Jedi sold in its first week. However, Solo only made about 34% of The Last Jedi’s box office in North America. So relatively speaking Solo does a little better on the home media market than its box office results would indicate, especially considering that physical disc sales are shrinking. Maybe the mostly positive word of mouth did convince a few more people to give the movie a chance at home. But overall, even considering a shrinking Blu-Ray market, sales are down and general interest in the movie can’t keep up with The Last Jedi or any of the previous movies.
Now that comes as a nice surprise! Disney announced yet another live action show for its upcoming streaming service Disney+ (the name was also announced)! And the show will revolve around none other than Cassian Andor, starring Diego Luna, who will reprise his role from Rogue One. Not much else is known, other than the show being a prequel to Rogue One (for obvious reasons). According to the official announcement the show will be a spy thriller. Production will begin next year. No release date has been announced yet!
So, what do you think? Are you excited? Rogue One is one of the best liked Disney era Star Wars movies and Cassian was quite intriguing in the movie, his entry was memorable and showed that he is willing do to anything to reach his mission goals. And while it is perhaps unlikely the show might even feature the one or the other Rebels character, since the events in Rebels and Rogue One might overlap. And of course it could mean we get more K-2SO!
CBR.com interviewed Ahsoka voice actress Ashley Eckstein and Ashley mentions something very interesting. Here’s is the relevant passage from the interview:
CBR: Have you started recording yet?
Eckstein: We’re currently recording. That’s all I can say! [laughs] So it’s coming to the Disney streaming service. And that’s about it.
Now, what does that mean? Will the cast only record some new bits and pieces? Or is the 7th season all new material after all, using no or only very little pre-recorded dialogue? About two extra seasons worth of dialogue was recorded for the show before it was canceled. But if season 7 is mostly or all new material then this dialogue will still be in a vault somewhere, waiting to see the light of day. Only recently voice actor Daniel Logan said that he recorded several episodes focusing on Boba Fett. Let’s all hope The Clone Wars will be a huge success, so that Lucasfilm feels it’s worth the money to finish all the episodes that have recorded dialogue. And of course, season 7 of TCW can’t come soon enough!
Now, keep your salt shakers ready! But according to a rumor which was first reported by the Weekly Planet Podcast on YouTube (and subsequently picked up by several websites) an inside source told them that Matt Smith will play none other than a young Sheev Palpatine in Episode IX. Now what could that be? Flashback? A Clone? Or maybe just yet another baseless rumor? At least the source is not Mike Zeroh 😉
What do you think? Would you like to see Palpatine in Episode IX? Should he teach Kylo Ren a thing or two about being the Evil Lord of the galaxy?
Now, this just came in. The international Han/Leia exclusive set will NOT be sold on HTS. Instead, you can order the set on Entertainment Earth, starting tomorrow! No product page exists at the moment so keep refreshing that browser come November 6th! You can find the announcement on the HTS website!
Well, I was informed today by my etailer of choice in Germany that they will most likely not get the US Disney Store exclusives Phasma (Quicksilver Baton) and Zuckuss. But they wished me good luck finding the figures elsewhere. Ok, ebay usually has everything and not getting the figures at all was never the problem, but ebay has ebay prices and of course you can get Zuckuss and Phasma both on ebay. And I pulled the trigger, but not without much grumbling. However, the whole bounty hunter collection would be pretty much useless without Zuckuss. The question now is, fellow collectors outside North America: were you able to find, pre-order or buy either of the figures in your country (other than on ebay, that is)? And dear Hasbro, why on earth is it so difficult sometimes to get figures to distributors or etailers outside of North America? And why can’t or won’t the various Disney Stores in Europe and elsewhere sell the figures? You had all the time in the world since TRU’s demise to figure out something? You do realize that Zuckuss is needed to complete the 6 inch bounty hunters and that collectors will be quite annoyed if they can’t get him?
Comicbook.com recently released an article in which Clone Wars Boba Fett voice actor Daniel Logan is quoted as saying that Disney canceled The Clone Wars back in 2013 because the show would have become too graphic for them.
Logan said this at London Comic Con: “Disney, they cancelled it, I think it was getting a little too graphic — actually, it was getting really graphic. Boba was doing some really, really cool stuff. He started actually becoming a bounty hunter.”
According to Logan he recorded dialogue for several episodes which would have pitted Boba Fett against Cad Bane and would have seen him become the bounty hunter we know.
But instead of finishing The Clone Wars Disney created Rebels, a more family friendly show. We can only hope that we will get all the missing episodes one day, graphic or not, I think Disney should not insist that all of Star Wars must be family friendly, Resistance is good family entertainment, The Clone Wars can be more mature. Let’s all hope the show will be a huge success on the streaming service and convince Disney to finish all the episodes that have recorded dialogue!
Variety has a new exclusive story: apparently JJ Abrams is seeking to strike a huge deal with an entertainment company, in an effort to consolidate his business. As of now, Abrams has a contract with Paramount (for movies) and Warner Bros. (for TV related work). Abrams wants to change all that and is seeking a deal that would encompass not just movies and TV shows, but also digital content, music, games, consumer products and even theme park opportunities. Click through for some more details!
Among Star Wars collectors a very common misconception seems to be widespread: that of the vendor or manufacturer that dumps some pegwarmers on unsuspecting retailers who then have to see how on earth they can get rid of all that junk they just bought. The vendor or manufacturer meanwhile leans back in their seat, counts the dollar bills, lights a Cuban cigar with a $100 bill and cackles maniacally while lightning and thunder fill the sky in the background. Ok, I may exaggerate a tiny little bit here, since the vendor is of course on a tropical island without any thunder and lightning. But one idea that is often found in comments is that of Hasbro simply dumping product on the doorstep of retailers who then scratch their heads and wonder how to sell the stuff and who then have to resort to deep discounts to clear shelf space to finally get rid of unwanted junk. Losing money in the process. The actual truth is very, very different. So click through to find out more about the complicated world of the retailer – vendor relationship.
YouTube Channel HelloGreedo released a short but informative video earlier today. He talks about that Star Wars magic we felt as kids and if it’s all gone now. In my opinion he makes some great points here. I believe it’s time to step back a bit and to take in the whole picture. We can get lost in debates about the handling of Luke in The Last Jedi, the distribution of toys, whether or not Kathleen Kennedy is the worst studio president ever, when in fact none of that matters that much or not at all even to the new generation. Which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t debate these things, we definitely should, but we shouldn’t think that this is something of utmost importance to everyone. So check out that short 4 minute video and maybe it will make you feel better about Star Wars again. Thanks to JTA regular Matthew C. for the tip! As always, leave your own thoughts in the comments!
On paper things should look very bright for Star Wars. We have new movies. Quite a few of them too, with even more in the pipeline. And in the very near future we will get Star Wars shows on Disney’s streaming channel with one all new series, “The Mandalorian”, and the return of the fan favorite “The Clone Wars”. On the toy front we have a lot to choose from, there are 5 POA toys, there is The Vintage Collection, we have the Black Series, and on top of that there are Asian companies that also make 6 inch figures or model kits, not to mention larger scale figures such as Hot Toys / Sideshow, Jakks Pacific “Big Figs” or Hasbro’s very own 5 POA 12 inch figures. In terms of sheer choice things have hardly been any better. But nevertheless some collectors are unhappy, disillusioned and sometimes even angry at Disney, Lucasfilm and Hasbro. In this editorial I would like to talk about that feeling of frustration. Click through for some thoughts about the topic.
S.H.Figuarts recently showed their Yoda prototype again. In the photo you can see that SHF will give us a prequel Yoda. And even though the sign says “Revenge of the Sith”, this Yoda is also the only missing character for the duel in Attack of the Clones between Dooku and first Anakin and Obi-Wan and then Yoda.
I am not so sure however, if the sculpted plastic robes work so well on Yoda, also they seem to be pre-sculpted for some more dynamic action poses. Furthermore, the figure looks very clean, almost like a model kit, I think some wash would be needed here. And even though all the joints are commendable they also make the figure look somewhat overengineered, but on the plus side Yoda will be able to attain various action oriented poses. The headsculpt looks fantastic. No release date is given. Yoda could be announced either very soon or in two years from now, you never know with SHF.
Thanks to JTA regular Matthew C. for sending us the photo!
Early this morning Hasbro released their financial results for the 3rd Quarter of 2018. As expected Hasbro is still struggling with the demise of Toys R Us. But what’s especially troubling is the steep decline in the Partner Brands segment. Click through for all the details!
Jon Favreau updated his Instagram account with some new photos a few hours ago and look who came to visit for his birthday! It’s good to see that George is still around, at least visiting. Who knows, maybe he even gave Jon the one or the other piece of advice about Star Wars. No matter what he did, it’s nice to see the two of them together. Another photo shows the two with Dave Filoni who will, as you all know, direct the first episode of The Mandalorian. The show can’t come soon enough!
Star Wars user ratings have been debated for quite a while now, especially following the release of The Last Jedi in December 2017. Now that Solo came and went I think it’s a good time to look at how Star Wars fares on IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, the three most popular sites for movie user ratings. I will also look at the user demographics – how does each age group rate the movies? Some interesting observations can be made. So click through for some lovely bar charts, I know you love them!
Each quarter the iconkids & youth GmbH publishes its “Kid’s License Monitor” in Europe, which monitors the popularity of various toy licenses in three of the European key toy markets: the UK, France and Germany. Kids ages 4-12 are the target of this survey. So, how much do they like Star Wars toys? Click through to find out!
Star Wars Episode IX will hit theaters in 14 months from now. Filming is underway, some set photos have been leaked, but other than more or less unsubstantiated rumors we know next to nothing about the actual plot of the movie. And in true JJ Abrams fashion this will probably not change until the release date.
The question is, what are your expectations about Episode IX? Do you believe it may heal the rift in the fandom that opened up after The Last Jedi? Do you believe it may be a satisfying conclusion to the sequel trilogy? Or do you simply don’t care anymore and want the sequels to be over, so we can finally move on? Click through for a discussion about Episode IX and the inherent issues the movie has to overcome.
JTA reported on so-called “Deep Fake” videos before. Basically you train a special piece of software with lots and lots and really lots of photos and then this special software can automatically replace someone in a photo or video. Sounds like magic, but it’s actually a deep learning AI algorithm that makes all of that possible. Maybe you remember the enhanced Leia in Rogue One clip, where the “deep fake” Leia looked even somewhat better than what ILM did. Well, now you can check out how Solo could have been if ILM had decided to put CGI Harrison Ford into the movie. It’s not always perfect, but some scenes look eerily real. And remember, this is something one person did at home with his PC with no budget at all. ILM could certainly do an even better job, given the time, money and inclination. So, what do you think? Should this guy do all of Solo now and find some voice actor to redub all the lines?
Over the weekend Jon Favreau posted a picture of the rifle the Mandalorian will use in the show on Instagram. And it seems it’s a clear reference to the rifle Boba Fett used in The Holiday Special cartoon segment. And who knows, maybe it even is Boba Fett’s rifle, unless this design is more generic. The action figure that comes with that gun can’t be revealed soon enough!
Chuck Wendig, known among Star Wars fans as the author of the Aftermath trilogy, has been fired by Marvel comics today. Wendig announced that on his official Twitter feed. Wendig was supposed to write the 5 part Star Wars miniseries “Shadow of Vader” for Marvel, which is supposed to be launched in January 2019. Actually, the series had only been announced a few day ago at NYCC. Wendig, who already wrote issues 1-3 will no longer write issues 4 and 5 and another unnamed Star Wars comic book. Wendig has his own theory about why he was fired (because of toxic Star Wars haters), official word is he was fired by Marvel because of his very frequent Twitter rage rants and outbursts. The last one happened only a very short while ago and featured some rather crass language. It remains to be seen if Wendig will keep writing Star Wars novels for Lucasfilm now that he has been fired by Marvel. It’s also unknown at this moment if Shadow of Vader will go ahead with a new author or not. The comic has not been solicited yet.
That was quick! Only a short while after Episode III Obi-Wan S.H.Figuarts announced Count Dooku yesterday and he’s already available for pre-order now! Unfortunately, Count Dooku is a web exclusive, which means anyone not pre-ordering him will have to pay a lot of money on the aftermarket! So hurry! Count Dooku is available at most of the usual Japanese etailers. I secured my figure already. Count Dooku was my most anticipated prequel figure and I’m glad I can finally add him to the collection. Count Dooku will be released at the end of April 2019. So patience is in order. The figure comes with two heads, cloth cape, lightsaber, the usual extra hands and even one hand with Sith lightning. Check out more photos here!
JTA reader Kieran C. had the opportunity to talk to Steve Evans at NYCC. He wanted to know if Disney’s royalty fees might prevent Hasbro from doing more TVC figures. It has been speculated that production costs for TVC and the Black Series might basically be the same but that TVC has smaller margins, which results in fewer new figures for the line. Steve Evans’ answer however paints a somewhat different picture. Click through for what he said!
S.H.Figuarts released their Episode III Anakin Skywalker figure a little more than a week ago. After some delays (FedEx took their time) the figure finally found its way to me. Click through for some general thoughts about the SHF Episode III Anakin action figure!
The official Star Wars site published a very first look at the main character of the upcoming show “The Mandalorian” by Jon Favreau, which will have its premiere sometime in 2019. Dave Filoni will direct the first episode, while other episodes will be directed by Bryce Dallas Howard (you know her from Jurassic World), Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) and Taika Waititi (Thor 3). The show will be written by Jon Favreau.
What do you think about the look of the character? In my opinion it’s classic Mandalorian armor but different enough from Boba Fett’s version. Pedro Pascal is rumored to be the main character of the show. And one thing is clear: we need an action figure of “The Mandalorian” in all possible scales and lines!
Today Hot Toys announced their take on Luke Skywalker as he appeared on Crait. Expect pre-orders to open very soon! The figure will come with a light-up LED lightsaber, an extra lightsaber blade that simulates motion blur for that swooshing action, the usual extra hands and with Han’s pair of dice. Go to Hot Toys’ Facebook page for many more photos of Crait Luke!
A 1980 documentary about the making of The Empire Strikes back surfaced on YouTube on Monday. It’s by Michel Parbot and was considered lost and hadn’t been seen in its entirety in decades, but apparently someone got hold of a film reel of the documentary, digitized it and then uploaded it. So I advise you to watch the video before YouTube might take it down again! The documentary has a run time of one hour, but it’s well worth your time!
The SyFy website has a new article about Star Wars Resistance which reveals some interesting tidbits about the show. Click through for more details!
The Hollywood Reporter recently posted an article about a study that examined tweets directed at Rian Johnson, following the release of The Last Jedi. And the study finds that more than half of all the negative tweets are not by real fans but are either politically motivated by the alt-right or come from Russia in order to sow dissent. I did read the actual paper and if you click through I will provide some additional info.
German etailer Toy-Palace will offer three Star Wars exclusive sets at the “Science Fiction Treffen” (Science Fiction Meeting) in the Technikmuseum Speyer in Germany this weekend, that is today and tomorrow on Sunday. Toy-Palace will sell the Han/Leia Hoth set exclusively at the con, as well as the TVC Aphra SDCC exclusive and the SDCC Han Exogorth Set.
According to the info Toy-Palace provided the Han/Leia Hoth set will be available online in Germany in November. So anyone who doesn’t have a chance to attend the SF Meeting in the Technikmuseum Speyer today and tomorrow can try their luck then. Expect this set to sell out quickly. We will notify you once the set is available for pre-order!
SH.Figuarts Episode III Anakin Skywalker is being released just now and the figure will be shipped soon. And just in time for Anakin’s release SHF have announced Episode III Obi-Wan. Pre-orders will open on October 1st, so be sure to check the usual Japanese etailers on Monday. Click through for some more infos and a few initial thoughts on the figure!
Update: Figure is available for pre-order now!
A recent article on Seeking Alpha shows a somewhat disturbing trend. Several national buyers of key retailers across several international markets were asked how Star Wars action figures rank in their sales statistics. And the results should be cause for concern for Hasbro and Disney. Click through for more details!
Variety has an interesting exclusive article about Disney’s plans to make MCU shows for their upcoming streaming service. That alone would not be worth mentioning really, what is worth mentioning is that Variety also reports that the MCU shows will not just feature main characters from the movies, but that each character, such as Loki or Scarlet Witch, will be played by their MCU actors, Tom Hiddelston and Elizabeth Olsen. What could that mean for Star Wars? Click through for some speculation!
The USA and China are currently engaged in a trade war, it’s not the taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems that is in question, the US administration is of the opinion that China is taking unfair advantage of free trade, so more and more imported goods from China are subject to trade tariffs. What would happen should the US administration impose a 25% tariff on virtually anything produced in China? Including toys? How would and could Hasbro react? What effects would consumers feel and what scenarios are there? Click through for details!
Whenever you want to make a Star Wars toy, you need to have a license. This should be pretty common knowledge. Lucasfilm and Disney protect their intellectual property and whoever wants to make anything based on Star Wars needs a licensing agreement. Now, these agreements are usually secret, other than some very basic facts, no specific details are released, so it’s usually very difficult to know how much money is involved.
While digging through the internet I was able to find a (somewhat redacted) licensing agreement between Hasbro and Lucasfilm from October 1997, an agreement that was extended several times in the meantime until 2020. And while redacted, it is still very informative, so informative that I think anyone should click through now to read all the details and to finally find out how much Hasbro is paying for that Star Wars license! You may be very surprised. Also, a very interesting question will be answered: who actually owns anything Hasbro makes? So, click through for everything you need to know about Hasbro’s Star Wars license!
The Last Jedi is currently the top selling Blu-Ray in the USA. Perfect time to take a closer look at Star Wars home video sales. And a closer examination shows some puzzling numbers that may warrant further discussion. Click through for more!
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