Today isn’t just any old day. NO! Today is the greatest unofficial holiday on the calendar: Star Wars Day. Fans have made May 4th (and may the fourth be also with you!) the day of celebration the franchise we all love and celebrate here at Killing Time pretty much unrelentingly the other 364 days of the year. Star Wars fans are, I believe, the most creative, passionate, and unreservedly awesome of all fans. Granted, I’m partial, but so are most of you (rest of you, out the back…git!). 2016 brings a lot for us to celebrate! Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, returned the franchise to critical and financial glory. It is the #1 film of all-time in the United States and the #3 film of all-time worldwide. It was the first film in US history to pass both the $800 million and $900 million barriers, grossing $931 million in the states and $2 billion globally (if I listed all the records it set, that would be the entire column). Whether you are pro or anti-Prequels, pretty much everyone loved Episode VII, the return of the original cast and the exciting new characters introduced to carry on the legacy.
Star Wars: Rebels just finished its second season on Disney XD. It’s carried along the legacy of The Clone Wars series while exploring the birth of the Rebellion and adding new depth to the character of the greatest screen villain of all-time: Darth Vader (Kylo’s still got work to do, though grand-daddy would be proud). If you’re not reading Marvel Comics’ Star Wars line, you are missing out on the best two regular series in comics at the moment, as well as a number of awesome limited series. Rebels, however, is not the biggest attraction for fans in 2016. We have to wait another year to continue the adventures of Rey, Finn & Company (Episode VIII is past the half-way mark, shooting at the time of this writing), but the first spin-off film in the franchise’s history will debut in December: Rogue One- A Star Wars Story.
Rogue One opens up the Star Wars universe to explore key moments and origins of characters in one-shot movies. The first film fittingly will set up 1977’s A New Hope, as Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and her team of rebels steal the plans for the first Death Star. The film will also see the big-screen return of Darth Vader. The second spin-off film in 2018 will explore the origin of the late Han Solo. Where 2020’s film will go is anyone’s guess, but rumors seem to point to an Obi-Wan Kenobi film with Ewan McGregor, presumably during his time stuck on Tatooine between Episodes III and IV.
Enjoy your May the 4th be with you holiday. Take your lightsaber to work! Play John Williams’ score! Annoy your family and co-workers into frenzied palsy! Have a very happy Star Wars Day!