Home Movies

Latest ‘Star Wars’ News: Fiona Shaw opens up about her ‘Andor’ character and we may have a release date for ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ sequel

Looks like there's a date you should keep free in your calendar.

Rey - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Image via Lucasfilm

It’s been a very busy week for Star Wars. We began with the bombshell reveal of a sequel to The Rise of Skywalker from Lost‘s Damon Lindelof, saw the franchise win big at the Saturn Awards (and cause upsets in several categories), got a new episode of Andor, and a full season of the animated Tales of the Jedi shorts.

That’s given us a lot to chew on. But today we have a neat interview with Andor‘s Fiona Shaw, a convincing report on when the next big screen adventure will drop, and fans still grumbling over The Last Jedi.

Let’s get stuck in:

Fiona Shaw talks us through her ‘Andor’ hero Maarva

Maarva in Andor
Screengrab via Disney Plus

Eight episodes into Andor and it’s firmly established itself as an ensemble show. Sure, all roads will eventually lead back to Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor, but the show is also deep into developing Luthen’s secret plans to attack the Empire, Mon Mothma carefully navigating high-class Coruscant society, the tense investigations at the ISB, and Syril receiving a Death Star Laser level of passive-aggressive criticism from his Mom.

Fiona Shaw’s Maarva is one of the most interesting, an older mother figure with a grudge against the Empire. Shaw explained in a new interview with StarWars.com what it was like working with Diego Luna during COVID restrictions:

“Diego has a wonderful open-hearted relationship to the world. We met mainly masked, but he was always so kind. .. We had this very difficult scene, a huge rousing with which to begin, not just our relationship, but our shooting relationship. It’s fantastic that actors who don’t know each other can jump in and do these very difficult things because you can only do it if you trust the person. And, of course, Diego’s a very easy person to trust.”

Shaw went on to expand on her relationship with loveable new droid B2EMO:

“I have no experience with droids, but I think most people who’ve got dogs have a similar relationship to their dogs. Particularly an old dog, which is what this droid is. B2 is quite old. But, you know, the droid has got old with Maarva and I think that’s a lovely thing. She kept the same droid. You get a feeling that by then the droids are able to harness the information they got and therefore have a thing similar to affection. They have affection for their masters. They should be just computers, but actually they’re not. And they develop or disintegrate in the same way as humans and that’s what makes it charming, I think.”

But Shaw wouldn’t be drawn on Maarva’s future:

“I can tell you everything I know about Maarva, but I’m not sure I should.”

Given that we don’t see her in Rogue One and that she seems hellbent on fighting the Empire we suspect Maarva won’t make it to the end of the show alive. Her death is guaranteed to seriously affect Cassian, perhaps providing the motivation he needs to fully commit to the Rebellion. Let’s hope she sticks around until at least season two.

Damon Lindelof’s new Star Wars movie will likely land in December 2025

Image: Lucasfilm

We know that the new Star Wars movie will be set after The Rise of Skywalker and feature some returning sequel trilogy characters, but other information is thin on the ground. But reporter Jeff Sneider, who first broke the news of this movie’s existence, seems to be fairly confident he knows the release date.

Speaking on an appearance on ‘The Hot Mic’ podcast, Sneider said:

“In fact, I think it actually has a release date! I’m like, ‘Wait, I have to keep track of what I’m allowed to say!’ I think it’s gonna come out December 19 2025.”

This was to be the date Taika Waititi’s movie would have premiered, but with that still in the scripting stage, it’s looking like it’s been postponed and this new movie has inherited the prime holiday season release date.

Sneider wouldn’t be drawn further on who’s going to be in the movie, responding to a question on further details by saying:

“I have no idea which characters from that trilogy you might see. I hope that they keep that to a minimum, I think I wanna see ‘new’; that trilogy was that trilogy.”

We doubt we’ll get many hard facts on this project anytime soon. Our bet is that they’ll do a full unveiling at 2023’s ‘Star Wars Day’ in May, when we’ll get an unveiling from the creative team, possibly a cast reveal, and some indication of what the broad strokes of the story will be. Until then, maybe it’s best to flick forward in your calendars and make a note to keep Dec. 19, 2025 free.

Was Snoke’s unexpected death a good or bad idea?

Snoke - Star Wars The Last Jedi
Via Lucasfilm

And finally, Star Wars fans are once again picking over the carcass of The Last Jedi. One of the most controversial moments in the movie saw Supreme Leader Snoke, up until then the apparent big bad of the sequel trilogy, almost casually killed off by Kylo Ren. This set up Kylo Ren as the new Supreme Leader of the First Order and audiences walked out of The Last Jedi expecting a final installment in which we’d see him struggling with the weight of leadership.

Sadly it didn’t work out like that and Disney’s frantic backpedaling in The Rise of Skywalker meant we got “somehow Palpatine returned” instead.

Fans have been arguing over whether Snoke should have died here, though many accept that he’s ultimately not a very interesting character and it was the right call to move the focus onto Kylo Ren. The real complaint is that The Rise of Skywalker failed to do anything interesting with this story development, meaning that in retrospect it’s annoying to watch as there’s so much wasted storytelling potential.

We’re still gobsmacked that Lucasfilm and Disney went into the sequel trilogy without deciding the broad strokes of the story ahead of time and simply decided to make it up film by film. Let’s just hope they’ve learned their lesson when it comes to future Star Wars trilogies.

That’s all for a busy week in Star Wars. Have a relaxing weekend and let’s see what’s going on in a galaxy far, far away on Monday.

David James
About the author

David James

London-based writer about everything and anything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil.