“No One’s Ever Really Gone” in the First Trailer for “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker”

As the 2019 Star Wars Celebration in Chicago rolled over into the weekend, some heavily awaited-for previews were finally revealed. The most important of them obviously is the first teaser for “Star Wars: Episode IX.” Not only did fans finally see the anticipated visuals, we now know its official subtitle.

“The Rise of Skywalker” at first blush sounds somewhat clunky. But after seeing the scenes from the trailer one might think it appropriate. It seems to imply new meaning to the name “Skywalker.” Anakin was born of a Tatooine slave. Rey was born of seemingly similarly unremarkable parents. He was a Skywalker; is Rey too?

Why don’t we find out by going over the teaser?

  1. Rey (Daisy Ridley) is now dressed like a Jedi. She also apparently has repaired Anakin’s lightsaber from its ruin back in “The Last Jedi.”
  2. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) seems to talk to Rey in narration, talking about how she now has the knowledge of “a thousand generations.”
  3. “Every Generation Has a Legend.”
  4. It seems Rey is in a desert planet (Tatooine) facing down a low-flying First Order TIE Fighter. Is Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) at the controls?
  5. Rey shows how much more Jedi she is now by fearlessly jumping on the TIE with lightsaber lit.
  6. A starship arrives in another world at night.
  7. Kylo Ren doing a berserker charge against Resistance ground troops. He also is apparently repairing his helmet, similarly destroyed during “The Last Jedi.”
  8. BB-8 has its own droid companion now.
  9. With Han Solo dead, Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) returns to pilot the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo).
  10. “The Saga Comes to an End.” To be specific, it’s probably the saga of a family central to the “Star Wars” narrative. The franchise itself will never be allowed to end.
  11. A chase is on the desert planet with Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) aboard a sand skiff a la “Return of the Jedi.”
  12. General Leia (Carrie Fisher) hugs Rey. This is some of deleted footage from the first two Sequel Trilogy films, edited to provide a role for Leia after the passing of her actress years ago.
  13. As Luke tells Rey that “they will always be with her and no one’s ever truly gone,” she and her friends appear to be on the forest moon of Endor, looking at fallen fragments of the Galactic Empire’s second Death Star.
  14. We hear a familiar, sinister “old guy” laugh.

Back in Star Wars Celebration itself, any ambiguousness of the voice was made certain by the appearance of the actor in question, onstage. Director J.J. Abrams also confirmed that Ian McDiarmid is back as Sheev Palpatine / Darth Sidious / Emperor.

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” premieres this December 20.

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List of More Newly Announced Content for Disney+ Streaming

There is still no specific date other than that it’ll be launching this year, so anticipation for the Disney+ exclusive streaming platform is high. We’ve already gotten a peek at what the House of Mouse and its partner studios could pack into that service: more live-action adaptations of animation, MCU and “Star Wars” TV series.

Quite recently a second big batch of upcoming programs has been announced for Disney+. As with the content already announced before, it’s unknown when they will arrive, as they’re likely only under development at present. We’ll provide a list of the new Disney+ stuff, plus brief descriptions of each program. Some titles are still temporary:

  1. Marvel’s Hero Project – spotlight on various youth who do positive acts and make great changes in their community, making them real-life young heroes
  2. Marvel’s 616 – documentary anthology exploring the greater Marvel franchise umbrella, from superhero characters to settings and their creators; to be presented by various filmmakers
  3. Be Our Chef – reality cooking competition where contestant family groups strive to create a winning dish that would actually be added somewhere in the Walt Disney World menu
  4. Earthkeepers – documentary showcase on conservationists and the endangered species they’re observing
  5. Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies – behind-the-scenes look on production costumes and props from some of the most famous Disney movies
  6. (Re)Connect – reality series wherein families whose members have grown apart are taken to unique experiences in the hope of restoring and strengthening their bonds
  7. Encore! – reality comedy series with Kristen Bell as executive producer, that follows the now-adult production members of a high school musical, who are challenged to do their production all over again
  8. Rogue Trip – travelogue hosted by father-son tandem Bob and Mack Woodruff; their itinerary is described as the “overlooked” corners of the world
  9. Shop Class – reality competition with student teams working to create new gadgets through the three-stage process of design, assembly and testing
  10. Walt Disney Imagineering Documentary Series – an exploration of Disney theme parks focusing on the work of the Imagineering division, in celebration of their over 60 years of incredible work

Scar, and Other Talking Points of New “Lion King” Remake Trailer

About one month and a half ago, we saw what had been the recent teasers for Disney’s remake of the 1994 animated classic “The Lion King.” Thus far all previews of the CGI-laden live-action movie centered on the original opening sequence. For those who tire of hearing “Circle of Life,” this new trailer’s for you.

We finally get to see more of the lush and vibrant African wilderness setting that “The Lion King” is known for. This time the focus is on the antagonist, the lean and hungry Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his plot to remove his brother Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and nephew Simba (JD McCrary) to become King.

But to make things concise, we’ll talk about everything in this new trailer for “The Lion King,” in list form:

  1. First scene is Simba and Nala (Shahadi Wright Joseph) as cubs, exploring the Elephant Graveyard. Scar is heard in voiceover, with a paraphrasing of his speech to the hyenas.
  2. First shot of Scar; he is slim but with an almost similar mane color to Mufasa.
  3. Hyenas appear to confront Simba and Nala, intercut with a probable later scene where they appear at Scar’s side.
  4. Redone scene of Mufasa talking to Simba atop Pride Rock, where this time he goes into further detail about how the Circle of Life works. Cut to Simba exploring the animals of the Pridelands and meeting Zazu (John Oliver, see above).
  5. Comparative scenes are shown, of Scar and the Hyenas (possible “Be Prepared” sequence), and of Mufasa continuing his discourse while Simba measures his paw in his father’s pawprint.
  6. Redone scene shows the wildebeest stampede, plus the aftermath with Scar “banishing” Simba who is chased by the hyenas.
  7. The exiled Simba hangs with his new friends Timon and Pumbaa (Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen) in the “Hakuna Matata” time-skip sequence.
  8. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” sequence involves adult Simba (Donald Glover) and Nala (Beyoncé).
  9. Rafiki (John Kani) adding a mane marking to the symbol of Simba on his tree.
  10. Last scene shows Timon and Pumba wandering the forest while singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

“The Lion King” premieres July 19.

Vintage-Style Disney Apparel Available in Both Disneyland and Disney World Shopping Districts

Who can say no to Disney-themed apparel? For fans of the House of Mouse, the Disney logo on clothing can be as valuable as big-name fashion brands. And there’s a new series of apparel that’s now available on the commercial districts of both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Their theme: Disney in a vintage look.

Designing brand-new clothes to look like they’ve been around for years or decades isn’t an original concept. But when applied to Disney apparel, it sells the idea that the brand has been a part of many lives and generations not only in America, but worldwide.

Here’s a list of these Vintage Disney clothing line available:

Vintage-Inspired-Disneyland-Apparel-at-Disneyland-Resort-7-900x1200

Exclusive at Downtown Disney, Disneyland

  1. Red Vintage-Inspired Disneyland Hoodie – $44.99
  2. 1955 Vintage-Inspired Disneyland T-Shirt – $34.99 (Disneyland opening year)

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Exclusive at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World

  1. Vintage 1971 T-shirt – $34.99 (WDW opening year too)
  2. Athletic Hoodie – $44.99

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Available in Both Locations

  1. Striped Embroidered Castle Pocket Tee – $34.99
  2. Vintage-Inspired Mickey Sweatpants – $39.99
  3. Brown Mickey Tank Top – $34.99
  4. Good Mood Mickey Vintage-Inspired T-Shirt – $34.99
  5. Best Day Ever Vintage-Inspired Disneyland Long Sleeve Sweatshirt – $44.99

List of Exhibitor Exclusive Items for 2019 Star Wars Celebration in Chicago

If you’re a “Star Wars” fans who has made arrangements to go to Chicago next week for the 2019 Star Wars Celebration, the event must be feeling so close now that one could almost taste it. For the collectors among the fans, the exclusive items to be had there are sure to be worthy additions.

While there are expected items: event-themed clothes and accessories, novelties, stationery and collectible trading pins abound during Star Wars Celebration, there’s also a particular set of stuff that’s so rare, they need to be awarded to attendees via lottery. These exclusive toys range from displayable, to poseable, to outright buildable.

Listed here are the exhibitor exclusive items that can be had for Star Wars Celebration:

Funko

  • Chrome Blue Pop! Figures
  1. 63 – Chewbacca
  2. 124 – Yoda
  3. 157 – Darth Vader
  4. 295 – Princess Leia
  5. 296 – Stormtrooper
  6. 297 – Boba Fett
  • New Figures
  1. 298 – Watto
  2. 299 – Darth Maul

Hasbro6-inch Black Series action figures, featured with special cardbacks

  1. Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi
  2. Darth Maul

LEGO

  • LEGO Star Wars 20th Anniversary Special set
  1. Darth Vader Bust (number 75227)

Disney Flexes New Cinematic Power by Previewing Fox-Marvel Movies Alongside MCU Films and More, at 2019 Cinema-Con

Following the completed acquisition of 20th Century Fox and other related media assets last month, it was only a matter of time before Disney begins showing them off alongside its other subsidiaries. That time came with the 2019 Cinema-Con film industry trade show, running Monday to Thursday this week at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

Off the bat, Disney chairman Alan Horn spoke of the sheer cinematic firepower that is “Disney and Fox combined” in future. He says during his opening address, “We are truly excited because we believe that together we will be more than the sum of our parts. It’s just an unbelievable collection…coming from bold visionary filmmakers…”

This was followed by exclusive footage from upcoming Disneyand Fox – films for this year. Here’s a list of the choice preview highlights from them:

  1. Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) is fairly confident she can beat Thanos (Josh Brolin) and rubs all the surviving Avengers the wrong way.
  2. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) tests Marvel/Carol by summoning Stormbreaker close to her head (like in the trailer).
  3. Nebula (Karen Gillian) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) volunteer locations where Thanos may be; the former knows where he might be resting while the latter discovers another world that had its life population halved (ie. Thanos).
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix – This is the final installment of Fox’s “X-Men” reboot (from “First Class”) before MCU possibly integrates the characters.
  1. Prof. Xavier (James McAvoy) volunteers the X-Men to rescue NASA astronauts in a space crisis.
  2. The rescue mission ends with Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) left behind and possessed by the Phoenix.
  3. Her return to the Xavier School triggers gossip and uneasiness, especially as Jean feels herself losing control, and liking it.
  4. Magneto apparently attacks the school, only for Phoenix Jean to “shut him down.”
  1. Aladdin (Mena Massoud) and Abu explore the Cave of Wonders, and survive its collapse when Abu touches something forbidden.
  2. Genie (Will Smith) is summoned (like in the trailer), followed by full “A Friend Like Me” musical sequence.
  3. Palace dance features Aladdin and Jasmine (Naomi Scott), with him coaxing her onto the magic carpet towards the “A Whole New World” sequence.
  1. Full sequence is shown of Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and young Simba (JD McCrary) talking about the Pridelands kingdom atop Pride Rock (Mufasa’s lines overheard in first teaser).
  • Maleficent 2
  1. No footage, just a behind-the-scenes look.
  1. Flashback to how Bo Peep (Annie Potts) was given away between the events of the second and third film.
  2. Montage of how young Andy played with his toys before eventually passing them on to Bonnie (Madeline McGraw) in the third movie.
  3. Extended sequence from trailer shows Woody (Tom Hanks) introducing Forky (Tony Hale) to the rest of the toys after Bonnie made him in class.

Being exclusive means no videos, but here’s hoping you enjoyed the descriptions we wrote down. And there was no peep on “Star Wars: Episode IX” despite its franchise being mentioned.

Disney Baddies Take Over in WDW’s “After Hours” Special Event Nights at Magic Kingdom this Summer

Disney has long held in consideration that there are guests who would like to avoid the usual crowds. For them they developed the “After Hours” program, offering tickets allowing guests into Magic Kingdom in Disney World after 7 PM. Not only does it cut down on waiting lines, Disney After Hours also offers special events on nights when they’re held.

One such special occasion has been announced for Magic Kingdom. It’ll fall on selected After Hours evenings between June 6 and August 8. “Villains Unite the Night” will see several famous antagonists from Disney animated films performing a grand stage show on the chosen nights.

  1. Hades from “Hercules” (with Meg)
  2. Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” (dragon form will also roam the theme park)
  3. Evil Queen from “Snow White”
  4. Jafar from “Aladdin” (celebrating the live-action film premiere no doubt)
  5. Dr. Facilier from “The Princess and the Frog”

Aside from the baddie-dominated stage show, which will be held near Cinderella Castle, some attractions will also be “villainized” for the duration of these villain-centered After Hours evenings. Prominent examples are the fabled (for long lines) Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean as well.

Lastly, villain-themed food and beverages, plus merchandising will be brought out at all stalls and shops during these nights. About the only thing Villains Unite the Night won’t certainly have are meet and greet moments with the Disney bad guys.

Here’s a list of dates where the Disney After Hours will be designated Villain Nights:

  • June – 6, 13, 20, 27
  • July – 1, 11, 18, 26
  • August – 1, 8

Magic Kingdom tickets for Disney After Hours Villain Nights will be $139 if booked ahead of the date, $144 when bought on the day itself, and discounted to $109 for AP/DVC members.

“Early” Screening of “Avengers: Endgame” by AMC, Part of 60-Hour and 22-Film MCU Marathon

April 26. On that day, over three weeks from now, “Avengers: Endgame” will premiere. Fans of Marvel superheroes, particularly as portrayed in the MCU, are looking forward to this film. It will after all conclude the saga of Thanos and the Infinity Stones. For some, the wait is almost unbearable.

AMC Theaters is offering something for the impatient. They will be screening “Avengers: Endgame” on April 23, three days before its official premiere. Cool? You’ll probably change your mind if you learn the rest. AMC will be hosting another film marathon that day. It’ll be a Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon.

Just to drive home just how long AMC audiences must wait, consider this figure. There are 21 MCU films already premiered. On average they clock at over one and a half hours per film. At the end of movie 21, “Captain Marvel,” the marathon would end with “Avengers: Endgame” which runs for about three hours.

avengers-infinity-war

All told, this 22-installment MCU marathon by AMC Theaters will come close to 60 hours. There will be half-hour breaks every few films. In hindsight, that means the audience will arrive at “Avengers: Endgame” one hour before the conventional premiere.

But are there any dedicated moviegoers around who can stand non-stop viewing for over two days straight? There are. As soon as AMC began selling tickets to the marathon their online booking site went down. It’ll be up to you, if you have an AMC nearby, if you want to take them up on this.

AMC Marvel Marathon Movie List

That said we have a superfluous marathon film catalog here:

  1. Iron Man
  2. The Incredible Hulk
  3. Iron Man 2
  4. Thor
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger
  6. Avengers
  7. Iron Man 3
  8. Thor: The Dark World
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy
  11. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  12. Ant-Man
  13. Captain America: Civil War
  14. Doctor Strange
  15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  16. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  17. Thor: Ragnarok
  18. Black Panther
  19. Avengers: Infinity War
  20. Ant-Man and the Wasp
  21. Captain Marvel
  22. Avengers: Endgame

New Attractions Opening April on Disney California Adventure

For years, the system of having two Disney theme parks on opposite coasts of the country meant that there are certain attractions that one had first, before the other got them. This meant that solid Disney fans with spending money would have to visit both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World to any exclusive attractions both may have to offer.

But eventually, what one had before the other might eventually be featured in both. That’s the rationale behind a WDW Magic Kingdom attraction soon coming west to Disneyland, particularly the Disney California Adventure theme park.

This new addition to DCA will be housed in the Sunset Showcase Theatre. At the same time, the “Toy Story”-themed Pixar Pier area will add a new ride based on the show-within-the-film “Woody’s Roundup” as seen in “Toy Story 2.” Both of these attractions will become officially open before the month of April is out.

  1. Mickey’s PhilharMagic – first featured on the Magic Kingdom at Disney World, Disneyland will get its own counterpart over at Disney California Adventure. It’s a 3D audiovisual experience featuring famous Disney Animated Canon songs, as well as Donald Duck taking a prominent role in the presentation.
  2. Jessie’s Critter Carousel – opening soon in DCA’s Pixar Pier, it’s a merry-go-round ride with the ridden animals based on “Woody’s Roundup” from the second “Toy Story” film, with Jessie as the central character. Even before the official launch, DCA is allowing the Critter Carousel to be taken on test rides.

These attractions ought to tide over Disneyland guests and maintain interest before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the long-awaited theme park expansion area, opens at last in Disneyland, then Disney World.

“Disney on Ice” New Zealand Tour will have “Moana” Segment Performed in Maori Language

The Disney on Ice shows by Feld Entertainment (via Ice Follies and Holidays on Ice, Inc.) and Disney have been entertaining audiences around the world for close to 40 years now. What’s great about the productions is that they’re renewed annually, so repeat attendees are sure to see something new when they get to see it regularly, year to year.

This year’s Disney on Ice presentation, “Dare to Dream,” features new ice-choreographed interpretations particularly of 2016’s animated film “Moana.” What’s more amazing perhaps is, as the tour goes worldwide and performs in New Zealand, they’re planning to do the “Moana” segment in the Maori language.

New Zealand is the primary home of the Maori, a Polynesian people who also contribute in the islander depiction seen in Disney’s “Moana.” In fact, the film even got an official version dubbed in te reo Maori, with Maori New Zealander actress Rachel House reprising her role as Moana’s Gramma Tala from the original English.

Nicole Field, producer of Disney on Ice “Dare to Dream,” said the decision to use the Maori language for the “Moana” segment in the country is a salute to the movie’s cultural significance in the Pacific island nations, and to the people of New Zealand who flocked to watch “Moana” during its premiere in 2016.

The show will be held in three cities during its New Zealand stop. The “Moana” in te reo Maori will be done in one performance of the whole “Dare to Dream” production for every city it’s in. Tickets for the show will go for as low as NZ$33 starting April 1, not an April Fools.

Anyway, here are the stops of the Disney on Ice 2019 tour in that country.

  1. Auckland – August 2-4, Spark Arena
  2. Hamilton – August 8-11, Claudelands Arena
  3. Christchurch – August 17-18, Horncastle Arena