Over the decades that films of the Star Wars saga has been released, the production teams has sometimes sneaked in some notable people in cameo appearances: one-off characters ranging from background bar patrons to Rebel and Empire officers. That latter faction is something of a favorite for having helmeted Stormtroopers.
As a nod to some of its production team, and later to prominent celebrities, Lucasfilm has brought them in to cameo as Imperial stormtroopers, either suiting up in costume or having them provide voices. What we have here is a short list of famous celebrities that made cameos as stormtroopers:
A New Hope
Joe Johnston (effects artist under George Lucas, later major film director) – voice for three stormtroopers
The Force Awakens
Michael Giacchino (film/TV composer and collaborator of J.J. Abrams) – voiced First Order trooper FN-3181, part of the unit that captures Resistance pilot Poe Dameron; he also reprises the role in Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet in an appearance at the Oh My Disney website.
Nigel Godrich (music producer for rock band Radiohead) – voiced First Order trooper FN-9330, part of the Starkiller Base garrison; killed by Chewbacca
David Accord (supervising sound editor of the film) – voiced First Order trooper FN-2199, who calls defector Finn “traitor” on Tadokana and fights him until killed by Han Solo; fans jokingly call him TR-8R
Kevin Smith (filmmaker, “Silent Bob”) – voiced an unnumbered First Order stormtrooper in the battle of Tadokana, who notices the incoming Resistance X-Wing fighters
Daniel Craig (“James Bond” actor) – portrayed First Order trooper FN-1824, assigned to guard Rey only to be subjected to her first use of the Jedi Mind Trick; fans also give him a joke serial number, JB-007
The Last Jedi, or What Could Have Been (scene cut in theatrical release, but restored on DVD)
Tom Hardy (actor) – portrayed First Order trooper FN-926, part of the complement of the Supremacy, flagship of First Order Supreme Leader Snoke, recognizing the undercover Finn
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and…
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex – both portrayed First Order troopers in scene with FN-926
Star Wars Episode IX, or What Comes Next (a rumor for now)
Ed Sheeran (music artist) – announced to cameo in the film as a First Order trooper; whether he will only voice or portray the character in costume has yet to be determined
After months of having nothing to call the final installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 – and fourth Avengers film – but simply Avengers 4, we now know the movie’s subtitle with the recent release of the first trailer for Avengers: Endgame. It certainly sells the ending vibe of this first decade of the MCU.
While it’s a no-brainer that the plot of this direct sequel to the tragic events of Avengers: Infinity War earlier this year, would be the heroes that survived the Decimation (aka cosmic finger-snap) of Thanos assembling to take him down once and for all, were’ still short on specifics regarding how the survivors are doing before Endgame begins. We’ll enumerate the statues of characters seen in the trailer so far:
Tony Stark/Iron Man is adrift in space after using the Guardians of the Galaxy’s ship to escape Thanos’ home world. Losing power and air supply, he records a poignant message to Pepper Potts on his armor, not knowing if he’ll make it to Earth alive. Nebula, daughter of Thanos and “sister” of the fallen Guardian Gamora, is apparently accompanying him.
Thanos, triumphant in his quest to use the Infinity Stones to reduce all life in the universe by half, is in retirement at a rural world, his armor set up as a scarecrow in an alien field (a direct reference to the original Infinity Gauntlet storyline in the comic books).
Surviving Avengers on Earth – Steve Rogers/Captain America, Natasha Romanov/Black Widow, Bruce Banner/Hulk, and Thor – take stock of the Decimation in their HQ, including making records of prominent heroes and associates listed as missing: Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Princess Shuri of Wakanda.
Clint Barton/Hawkeye, unseen since Captain America: Civil War, resurfaces under a new masked identity, known in the comics as Ronin.
Speaking of Scott/Ant-Man, he shows up unexpectedly despite being stuck in the Quantum Realm at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, with Cap and Black Widow wondering just how.
Avengers: Endgame is due to premiere on April 26, 2019.
Mira: Royal Detective, the recently announced upcoming 3D-animated series for Disney Junior based on the culture of India, sounds like it’s going to be a great hit in the vein of Sofia the First, and other shows like it. But there’s a problem: it’s premiering two whole years from now.
If you can’t wait that long for something new and animated on Disney’s cable programming, well they actually have a production premiering in January next year. Titled “Gigantosaurus”, it’s an adaptation of the prehistoric-themed children’s book by Jonny Duddle, and produced for Disney Junior by Cyber Group Studios from France.
The show will focus on a foursome of young dinosaurs exploring their Jurassic-era world to uncover the secret of the titular Gigantosaurus. Along the way they’ll encounter new things and situations to overcome with teamwork.
Here’s a list of characters:
Mazu – the young dinosaur who wants to learn more about the world
Tiny – the fun-loving dinosaur who wants to enjoy their escapades
Bill – the cautious dinosaur who isn’t that excited to go on adventures
Rocky – the brave one who confronts any problems and the unknown head-on
Gigantosaurus premieres January 18 on Disney Channel and app.
In 2002, Disney Channel premiered Kim Possible, an action-comedy animated series about a high-school girl who sets herself up as a general do-anything freelancer online, only to become a globe-trotting crime-fighter with a number of friends, allies and foes. The show combined awesome action sequences with Kim’s personal issues as a growing adolescent, and her relationship with her best friend/sidekick.
Some 12 years after the fourth and final season of Kim Possible ended its run on Disney Channel, they’re bringing it back – as a live-action feature-length TV film, with a story written by the original animated series creators. It’s the third Kim Possible TV movie, a retelling of the story with Kim and Ron starting out at Middleton High School.
Here’s a list of the cast announced for the live-action Kim Possible next year:
Sadie Stanley – Kim Possible, high-school cheerleader, problem solver, crime fighter
Sean Giambrone – Ron Stoppable, Kim’s sidekick and best friend.
Alyson Hannigan – Dr. Ann Possible, Kim’s mother, a brain surgeon
Connie Ray – Nana Possible, Kim’s grandmother
Todd Stashwick – Dr. Drakken, a mad scientist and Kim’s primary archenemy
Taylor Ortega – Shego, Drakken’s energy-wielding henchwoman, Kim’s personal rival in hero-villain terms
Erika Tham – Bonnie Rockwaller, Kim’s childhood frenemy and cheerleading rival
Ciara Wilson – Athena, transfer student at Kim’s school
Issac Ryan Brown – Wade, computer genius, ace inventor and hacker, Kim’s “voice with an internet connection”
Patton Oswalt – Professor Dementor, another mad scientist with an over-the-top German accent; he is the only character from the animated series to be reprised in live-action by his voice actor
There will also be a cameo from Christy Romano, the original voice actress of Kim Possible from the show.
Kim Possible will premiere February 25, 2019 on Disney Channel.
In the happiest places on Earth, no matter which specific parts of them you may happen to be, there’s always a festival going on. Whether it’s the string of festivities there always seems to be in Disney World’s EPCOT, or a more natural sequence of special events, Disney theme parks won’t let you down celebration-wise.
Take for instance this flash from Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. They’ve got a reminder of the major multi-day festivals that will be going on at the early months of 2019 at Disney California Adventure. And while this is a short list, we’ll be sure to add important, necessary details so you’d know what to expect when dropping in at the DCA to celebrate New Year’s:
Festival of the Holidays (until January 6) – Just because the year has turned doesn’t mean DCA can’t squeeze a few more days to see the yuletide season of 2018 off
Lunar New Year at DCA (January 25 to February 17) – take part in the grand welcome for the Chinese New Year. Since it’ll be the Year of the Earth Pig, the Three Little Pigs will take center stage, along with the return of the always-anticipated Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession
Food and Wine Festival (March 1 to April 23) – giving a respectful yet fun tip of the hat to the agricultural industries of the state, it will be even better than before thanks to Disneyland Resort expanding the Sip and Savor 2019 Pass not just to the annual pass-holders but to everybody coming to Disney California Adventure to partake in the occasion.
All these DCA festivals as spring comes next year will also have the ever-present Festival Marketplaces offering merchandise to fit the event and commemorate your visit. Plan your trip to Disneyland Resort soon.
The news about a new expansion area for Disney theme parks around the world that is inspired by Lucasfilm’s Star Wars saga, and that of similar areas but themed after Marvel, may have dominated recent park-related news for Disney. It’s come to the point perhaps that new in-development attractions under Disney in general are overlooked.
But there are indeed new attractions that even now are under construction in Tokyo Disneyland, looking forward to opening sometime in the year 2020. The centerpiece of the new additions is a Beauty and the Beast indoor ride opening in Fantasyland over there. Here’s a list of these attractions headed for Tokyo in due time:
Beauty and the Beast Enchanted Tale – indoor spinning cup ride with scenes from the movie, housed inside a replica of the Beast’s castle, with all major characters featured in animatronic form
La Taverne de Gaston – new Fantasyland restaurant
Fantasyland Forest Theatre – 1,500 seat capacity indoor stage for Disney musical productions
Happy Ride with Baymax – Big Hero 6-inspired ride opening in Tomorrowland
The Big Pop – new Tomorrowland popcorn shop
These new in-development attractions will make visiting Tokyo Disneyland new again for returning guests, and will inspire more first-time visitors to come.
When Marvel Studios released Black Panther last February as part of the MCU they score a jackpot at the box office. With African-American and African-descent cast members, director and production team, the film resonated with the African-American community and Africa as well, the way Wonder Woman from rival Warner Bros.-DC did for women in 2017.
With Phase 3 of the MCU about to end, the matter of what new Marvel characters to be given movies in Phase 4 has been brought up. One of them feels like kin to the recently-cancelled Marvel-Netflix series Iron Fist. The hero in question is Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu, a 1970s creation inspired easily from real-life actor Bruce Lee.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is looking at the possibility of a future Shang-Chi film being the Asian equivalent of Black Panther, in casting, director and production. Fan discussion has begun on which Asian-descent actor might be approached by Marvel for the part. Possibilities include:
Daniel Wu (New Police Story, Warcraft) – from Hong Kong
Eddie Peng (The Great Wall) – from Taiwan
Wu Jing (Wolf Warrior) – from China
Zhang Jin (stunt double of Zhang Ziyi on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) – from China
Already Marvel Studios is in talks with Chinese-American Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984 co-writer) for the screenplay of Shang-Chi. They also hope to cut down on the stereotypes present with the Shang-Chi character and his background. No further details have been shared about the film, including whether it might really be part of the MCU Phase 4 or not.
If anybody told somebody from videogame developer Square Enix that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the greatest crossover franchise ever, they might politely ask the speaker to hold whatever beverage they had on hand. That’s because Disney and Square Enix have been working on the Kingdom Hearts game series, crossing characters from the House of Mouse and S-E’s Final Fantasy games, for many years now.
And the long-arching saga of King Mickey Mouse and the Keyblade wielders is set to continue in Kingdom Hearts III arriving January 2019. To whet gamers’ appetites however, Disney and Square Enix will be opening a limited-time attraction and exhibit at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World: the Kingdom Hearts Experience.
Said Kingdom Hearts Experience will be centered around one thing fans of the RPG franchise have been clamoring for: a playable demo of the game featuring Sora, Donald and Goofy on their cross-dimensional adventures in the worlds of Frozen, Big Hero 6, Toy Story and more, as promised in the official Kingdom Hearts Twitter page.
But that’s not all. We’re making a list of what the whole Experience can offer.
Kingdom Hearts IIIdemo
Keyblade replica exhibit
Game artwork gallery
Preorder digital kiosks
Kingdom Heartsmerchandise booth
The Kingdom Hearts Experience will run from December 14 to January 31, making the holidays the perfect time to visit Disney World if you’re a console RP-gamer. The Kingdom Hearts III game from Square Enix will be released on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on January 25.
While many of Disney’s live-action versions of their Animated Canon are faithful adaptations to the original plotlines with certain embellishments, others are more imaginative retellings like Alice in Wonderland (with Johnny Depp) and Maleficent (with Angelina Jolie), a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty in the point of view of the antagonist.
It looks like Disney may be investing in another adaptation in that vein, as they’re set to tell the story of sinister dognapping fur diva Cruella De Vil, villainess of 101 Dalmatians. The thing is, they’re developing it as a prequel; and being live-action, it will apparently go off the interpretation of the first 1996 film adaptation where Cruella was portrayed by actress Glenn Close.
The movie’s still being negotiated but a number of names have been tentatively attached to the project. They are:
Emma Stone (Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man films) cast as (young) Cruella De Vil
Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) as director (replacing original choice Alex Timbers
Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) as writer
Marc Platt and…
Kristin Burr as producers
The live-action Cruella prequel is said to be set in the 1980s and driven by a “punk” vibe. No further details have been shared.
Disney and Marvel Studios must have hammered it hard and often enough to its movie-going audience that the current “Phase 3” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise will end with Avengers 4 next year. The phase-based storytelling of the superhero franchise had helped to manage its overall plotline quite nicely.
The epic ending of Avengers 4 has been marked as the conclusion of MCU Phase 3, the longest phase in the saga with the most films. Afterwards, the still-being planned Phase 4 outline will serve as a soft reboot of the franchise with increased focus on heroes outside the Avengers.
While only one MCU film has been confirmed to be in production for release after Phase 3, there’s been several other titles either in development prior to full filming, or merely announced. Here’s a rough list of what to expect after the Avengers deal with Thanos on Avengers 4 (2019):
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – uncertain status following director James Gunn’s departure