D23, Star Wars, And You!

(Douglas Porter.Staff Writer)

This weekend, Anaheim CA was the host to the annual D23 Disney Expo. Sprawled across the Anaheim Convention Center D23 is the Comic Con of Disney Studios. The 3 day event covers many aspects of the ins and outs happening within Disney. It has also become a showcase for many of the Disney properties and has become the host of many award ceremonies that Disney uses to honor what they have termed as “Disney Legends”. Much like Hall H in San Diego, Disney uses a large part of the convention halls, to
premier upcoming Disney Films, TV shows, and Documentaries. The main focuses of this year’s D23 were the launch of the new Disney streaming service, Disney+. The service will be launching November 12 th and will be the home of the past and future Disney media. New and Past movies, and TV shows will be hosted on the service, and subscribers to the service will also be able to add-on packages, unlocking things like ESPN, and other Disney owned subsidiaries. The other focus of D23 was the ever growing universe that is Star Wars.

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Disney purchased the hibernating giant that is Lucasfilm from George Lucas on October 30 th , 2012 for the sum of $4.05 Billion dollars. Since the purchase Disney has begun to put Lucasfilm in hyperdrive.
They have created 4 movies (The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Rogue One, Solo: A Star Wars story) with the 5 th movie, The Rise of Skywalker premiering December 20 th . They have produced 2 television shows
(Star Wars: Rebels, and Star Wars: Resistance), as well as countless web shorts. They retconned all current novels and comics to bring the “expanded universe” to a close, so that they could keep a linear story continuity in place to help control the new Disney narrative of Star Wars.

Disney begun their Star Wars announcements on Friday with Kathleen Kennedy (CEO, Lucasfilm) presenting the upcoming projects in a very Steve Job like format to the audience. The first announcement was for the 3 rd television series by Disney titled, The Mandalorian. The Mandalorian is a story set 5 years after the events of The Return of the Jedi. The story will follow the title character, simply dubbed “The Mandalorian”, played by veteran actor Pedro Pascal as a bounty hunter traversing the galaxy far from the reaches of the “New Republic”. This new show, written and produced by newly
awarded “Disney Legend” Jon Favearu will be more of a “a version of a show that took place after Return of the Jedi, after the revolution, after everybody’s done celebrating because the Empire is gone,” he said. “And then chaos reigns because there’s no central government in the galaxy and so it degrades into a world where, like the old Samurai movies and the old Westerns, where the gunfighters are roaming and people are fighting for their own safety.”

Rounding out the cast is former UFC fighter turned action movie starlet Gina Carano, veteran action movie actor Carl Weathers, actor/filmmaker Werner Herzohg, Breaking Bad villain Giancarlo Espisito, and New Zelander actor/filmmaker Taika Waititi who will be providing the voice of fellow bounty hunter, IG-11. Disney/Lucasfilm have been very selective of what they have shared in regards to the
show in the past, but they debuted a poster for Season 1 of the show:

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They also premiered the first trailer for season 1:

Following on the tails of The Madalorian, Kennedy brought out actors Alan Tudyk and Diego Luna, 2 of the stars of the Star Wars standalone film Rogue One. Disney had previously announced a series following the adventures of Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), and K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) but details have always been very scarce. Sadly, details were not abundant on Friday, as the only pieces of information that were given is that its definitive place in the canon timeline is concurrent with the timeline of other post
Revenge of the Sith stories known as “The age of Rebellion”, and that the series will begin shooting in London next year. Alan Tuydk did offer up what he felt was a great title for the show: “Kay-Too Fast, Kay-Too Furious: A Cassian Andor Story.”

The biggest news to come out of Friday was the confirmation of a rumor that has been floating around the Star Wars community in one fashion or another since the completion of the prequel trilogy in 2005. News this week reinvigorated the rumors of an Obi-Wan Kenobi story, with such industry papers as The Hollywood Reporter, and Vanity Fair picking up the story as well. Kennedy doing her best to be settle, set up the audience to bring out one more actor, although by the amount of cheers that occurred before
she even mentioned the actors name, the audience was pretty clued into what was happening. That actor of course was young Obi-Wan Kenobi himself, Ewan McGregor. McGregor asked Kennedy to, infront of all the witnesses in the building, ask him if he is playing Obi-Wan Kenobi again. With resounding applause Kennedy asked this question to McGregor, who followed up with a simple yet Star Wars history defining, YES!

The story is now being touted as a Disney+ series, as compared to the long rumored movie trilogy, and there were no details given at the panel other than the confirmation of McGregor’s attachment and that the series which has its entire first season fully written will begin filming next year. The new current timeline was tweeted by Ryan Penagos, Vice President and Creative Executive of Marvel New Media.

This new timeline also confirms the official titles for each era of the series. Prequel stories, such as the trilogy films and the Clone Wars TV show, take place during the “Age of Republic” Stories between Solo: A Star Wars Story and Return of the Jedi take place at the “Age of Rebellion” Rounding out the end of the timeline everything from post Return of the Jedi which ends with The Rise of Skywalker exist within the “Age of Resistance”.

Disney also teased some episode 9 news with the release of the first “official” poster. There has been a teaser poster released previously but this is one is the first main poster to be made. This will be the poster that begins being placed in prominent locations in theatres nationwide.

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Saturday was the big episode 9 day with the main panel stage being taken over for The Rise of Skywalker. Kathleen Kennedy, and J.J. Abrams were joined by cast members: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Keri Russell, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Naomi Ackie. However, much like the Cassian/K-2SO announcement, there was not much in the way of details shared beyond what we already now. J.J. told a very heartwarming story about Carrie Fisher,
which included him discussing her influence on him making the decision to return to helm The Rise of Skywalker. New cast member Keri Rusell the star of the J.J. Abrams tv show Felicity, shared some of her excitement of being part of the Star Wars saga. Hitting the point home with a nice quip about her son now finding her cool. The panel completed with a First-Look “sizzle” reel of footage from The Rise of Skywalker. Many news outlets broke the story of the footage, going into great detail of what was seen,
as Disney did a great job preventing this footage from leaking online. Disney, ever the media buzz generator did upload the footage to the official Star Wars YouTube channel early Monday morning.

The footage does a great job in furthering the point that this film will be the conclusion of the multi-generational story of the Skywalker saga. Disney announced earlier this year that The Rise of Skywalker will be the definitive conclusion to the 9 movie series, as they have no intention of further telling the Skywalker story. But instead intend to move the series outside the Skywalker saga and being to tell new stories occurring in all parts of the timeline. Disney did not include Star Wars media in their Sunday programming, but focused more on the theme park and upcoming hotel’s future. A trailer for the 2 nd
ride for Galaxy’s Edge, The Rise of the Resistance was shown and subsequently leaked online. At the time of writing this article, Disney has not released the trailer on any official source, and has not made movements to have the leaked footage removed from YouTube.

As the release date approaches, we here at Nowhere California will be sitting down once more to discuss all of what has been released prior to the premier of the movie, and give our opinions, theories, and emotional stories that are tied to the youth defining franchise. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premiers in theatres nationwide December 20th,2019 with early bird screenings beginning on December 19th,2019.

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The Talented Life Of Anton Yelchin Remembered In New Film..

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(Joshua Gilmore-Staff Writer)

Anton Yelchin was born in 1989 and tragically taken from this world in 2016, but this talented individual’s impact is still being felt to this date. You can quickly look through Anton’s Imdb listings and realize he was wise beyond his year, as his talents are forever linked to some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Anton was a talent in every aspect of his life and his hobbies beyond acting were known by a random few, until now and that is in thanks to the new documentary “Love,Antosha”

“Love, Antosha” is the new documentary from director Garret Price and this is a rare portrait of a young talent that easily transcended the typical ideals of young Hollywood, by constantly raising his game in front of and behind the camera. This story is presented through movie clips and home movies, these images are punctuated by the people that worked and knew Anton recounting their friendships with a young talent gone way too soon.
This film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to glowing reviews and has been labeled as “heartbreaking” and a reminder of how one person can impact so many lives in an unfortunate short time.

“Love,Antosha” will be entering theaters on August 2.

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Will The Saga Continue For Leia?

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(Joshua Gilmore-Staff Writer)

As “The Last Jedi” faded to black, there have been multiple questions that have lingering and most of those questions will continue to be debated for years to come, but one question did stand out above most and that is how would Leia’s story end? That question was answered with the announcement of “Episode IX” production starting August 1st and the cast being revealed with Carrie Fisher being listed in the talented cast.

“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” J.J. Abrams said in the announcement on StarWars.com. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX  by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”

This announcement added to an every growing roster of returning name from the current incarnation of this immortal saga; Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joona Suotamo, and Billie Lourd are set to return. Also, Naomi Ackie from “Doctor Who”, Richard E. Grant from “LOGAN”, and Keri Russell from “The Americans” will be joining the cast, but their characters still are unknown at this time.

During this series of films, the legacy has been held in high importance and some familiar faces have returned to continue the link from the past to the present. This will not be different with “Episode IX”, as Mark Hamill will be return (unsurprisingly) as Luke Skywalker. In “The Last Jedi” we were left wondering what could be next in Rey’s training and the answer could be coming in the form of a “Force Spirit”. Also, Anthony Daniels will be returning as C-3PO and Billy Dee Williams will return to the galaxy far…far away as Lando Calrissian.

“Star Wars: Episode IX” has not received a title, but with this stream of news and production starting soon, the people that miss their general and still mourn for their princess can feel the proper closure to the Skywalker saga.

Episode IX will be in theaters December 20, 2019.

NowhereCalifornia.com Reaches Its First Year..

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(Joshua Gilmore- Staff Writer)

It started one year ago today, this site was launched and took the concept of Nowhere California to a whole new level.

Nowhere California started in 2011 and it was just another conversation between two friends, but these conversation started taking place in front of a microphone and unleashed on the internet. It was as simple as that, but as Nowhere California evolved, the team grew and new accomplishments were reach.

The episodes started to grow and the team ventured out of the Nowhere city limits, as they dove into the world of conventions and conducting interviews. It was with each accomplishment, the Nowhere California family stuck to their ideals of what they wanted to produce and not to become just another podcast.

It was that mindset that grew into this website and, as we mark our first year on the net, we want to simply say THANK YOU.

Thank you for following the journey of Nowhere California.

Thank you for listening to the original podcast and all of the other podcast that have sprung from this little idea.

Thank you for checking out this site

And thank you for continuing this adventure with us.

Captain Phasma will return for Episode VIII

(Nicholas Dye/Staff Writer)

phasmaWhat this writer believes was the ONLY disappointing aspect of the mega-smash hit that was The Force Awakens, was the lack of Captain Phasma. Shining metallic Stormtrooper armor, that black and red cape menacingly slung over her left shoulder with an even more menacing blaster rifle in her right hand, not to mention the fact that SHE is the first female villain in Star Wars film history, and she was here and gone in the blink of an eye. Well apparently not.Gwendoline-Christie-Red-Lips-Images

At the recent SAG awards, Gwendoline Christie was asked about her role in Star Wars Episode VIII. “I will be in the next Star Wars movie. I think that’s an exclusive, actually.” Christie readily divulged. She also spoke on her enthusiasm at playing the part and how much she wanted that role. In Game of Thrones, as Brienne of Tarth, Christie has been a force to be reckoned with so it is no surprise that her confident stature and fierce attitude were a perfect fit for the commander of the New Order forces. That sentiment was obviously echoed by J.J. Abrams who immediately cast Christie in a role that was originally written for a man. We can expect more from the impressive (and gorgeous) Gwendoline Christie when she hits the screen as Captain Phasma in Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017.

Star Trek Beyond

(Nicholas Dye/Staff Writer)

In the barrage of new trailers that have  emerged in the last few days, Paramount Pictures decided to take it a step…Beyond. Justin Lin, of The Fast and the Furious series, steps in to fill the director spot left by the departure of J.J. Abrams. Simon Pegg and Doug Jung have written this third installment of the Star Trek series that finally sees the crew of the USS Enterprise embark on their 5 year deep space exploration. Pegg and Jung, decided to venture away from known canon and will introduce us to a new alien baddie in Idris Elba (Thor/Luther) and a new ally in Sofia Boutella (Kingsman). Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin all return to command the legendary starship in it’s new adventures and the only question left is whether this ship with have smooth skies without Abrams at the helm. After watching this trailer, I have very high hopes. Star Trek: Beyond hits theaters in REAL D 3D and IMAX 3D on July 22, 2016

The Verdict! Star Wars: Battlefront

(Nicholas Dye: Staff Writer)

I must admit, I am a bit behind in this posting. Was it due to the madness of the pending holiday? Perhaps it was the fact I have a 6 month old daughter I care for? Or maybe it was simply because I am a die-hard Star Wars nerd and I didn’t want to put down my controller to write this damn article! Yeah , that last one was probably it. As I am writing this, my inner 7 year old is screaming at me to get back to the game so I will keep this brief.

I bought the deluxe edition version of Star Wars: Battlefront for the PS4 and couldn’t wait to try Jakku from the upcoming Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. Unbeknownst to me, that sneaky bastard J.J. Abrams delayed play until December 8th! Keeps the air of mystery I suppose but I digress. The deluxe edition of the game gives you the DL-44 blaster, better known as Han Solo’s blaster, the Ion Grenade, Ion Torpedo, Ion Shock emote, Victory emote, and eventually, Jakku.

The thing that grabs you right away is the extreme attention to detail that EA/DICE has put into this game, from the sparkling of the ice on Hoth, to the small bugs and marsh creatures that bring Endor to life. The sound is the next quality that I adore. All of the traditional sounds that make Star Wars so rich and immersive are present. You get the familiar “roar” of the TIE fighter, the gravely sound of Slave-1 as it accelerates into battle. My personal favorite is the “wat-wat” sound from the laser fire that erupts from an X-Wing. This game holds nothing back in it’s attempt (and success!) to bring you into the world of Star Wars.

Now, I am a big first person shooter guy and I expect a certain level of customization in my experiences and load outs. While, you cannot put a long range scope onto Boba Fett’s EE-3 blaster, you do get to pick what weapons you want to take into battle. Each weapon serves it’s purpose and many can be well suited for any map big or small. For instance, Han’s DL-44 hits like a truck but is limited in it’s effective range. There’s even a modified Jawa stun weapon that is more like a sawed-off shotgun in that it couldn’t hit the wall 15 feet away but will kill you dead 5-7 feet away. The secondary weapons come in the form of cards that you hold. Not like Magic the Gathering but you have a “hand” of three cards you can carry which are two weapons like a thermal grenade or homing missile and the third being an ability like focus fire which is…pretty self-explanatory.

Back in the day, (a term used by old people like me to vaguely reference some point in our past) I was a HUGE X-Wing player on the computer. Much like that PHENOMENAL commercial for Battlefront that featured the two brothers reuniting in the cockpit of an X-Wing, I wanted to be transported back to that feeling. I am happy to say, Battlefront, did not disappoint!! There is an entire game lobby dedicated to vehicle dog fighting and it is absolutely stunning. Saddle up in an X-Wing or an A-Wing for the Alliance or a TIE fighter or TIE interceptor for the empire and special upgrades allow you to pilot the Millennium Falcon or Slave-1.

To wrap this up, I will leave you with this: Star Wars: Battlefront may not have the customization of other first person shooters but that is the only avenue it lacks in. It runs the spectrum of map sizes and the graphics are immersive. Where it it may fall short in the scope of games like Battlefield and Call of Duty, it completely makes up for in action and nostalgia. With the upcoming Star Wars VII, I can only imagine the a galaxy far, far away is going to get a hell of a lot bigger. I will gladly give this 4.5 out of 5.

 

A New Trailer From A Galaxy Far, Far Away..

(Joshua Gilmore-Staff Writer)

The world is around 58 days away from returning to a galaxy far, far away and Lucas Films has given us our biggest taste of episode VII. Here is the trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS..

This trailer continues to do the right job, by giving you enough to not give everything away and keeps you wanting more. It will be hard for the most jaded Star Wars fans not to get goosebumps by this trailer, as the passion of this franchise continues to burn and grow in the hands of this generation. The legacy and force will endure.

Just a friendly reminder, if a reminder is needed, Star Wars Episode VII: THE FORCES AWAKENS will be in theaters December 18th.