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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A Saga To Be Concluded..

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(Joshua Gilmore-Staff Writer)

As the saga continues, the first teaser trailer of the episode 9 has been revealed to the world and, with some time passing, the debates are still at a fever pitch and the legion of Star Wars loyalists continue to replay our first taste of “The Rise Of Skywalker.”

The Christmas gift that keeps on giving and a continuing pattern for this leg of the Star Wars universe, this trailer gives our first look into the conclusion of the “Skywalker Saga” and the cinematic aftermath of “The Last Jedi”.

The time frame from episode 8 to 9 hasn’t been set in stone, but in this trailer we get a glimpse of where our favorite characters are at and a quick vision of the legendary Carrie Fisher getting to appear in this finale. JJ Abrams and the Fisher family decide to use unused footage to bring our princess and general to the screen one more time.

The trailer for “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker” brings us many moments from both sides of the force, as no one can deny their excitement from seeing Lando back in the pilot’s seat of the Millennium Falcon to the goose bump inducing shock of hearing that all too familiar laugh of the emperor.

There is still a long road ahead for the movie going public and the guys from Nowhere recently gathered to discuss this trailer. Also, they take a look back at this recent trilogy in the unforgettable franchise.

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CLICK HERE For EPISODE 134- The Force Awakens The Last Jedi From His Nap.. (57:59)

The Force Is Strong In The Last Jedi Trailer..

(Joshua Gilmore-Staff Writer)

 This week has brought great excitement to the force and the epicenter has been the 2017 Star Wars Celebration, located this year in Orlando. During this event, there has been panels and other happenings, but the moment the universe has been waiting for has happened and we have our first look at “The Last Jedi”

There you have the first trailer for Episode VIII and Christmas can’t get here soon enough. In this two minute clip, the viewers can quickly tell that we are not got to get any type of flash forward and we are witness to the beginning of Rey’s training. It is a given that it is Jedi training, but where will we see the reality of this episode’s title come into play. The rumors are out there and I can dive deep into them, but that type of discussion will be saved for the podcast (You can find the Nowhere California Podcast on your favorite podcast search engines) or on the comment section of this site. The reality and identity of the LAST Jedi will come into view in December, but that is just a microcosm of this trailer.

 The trailer, as a whole, can be dissected and screams for repeat viewing, so the viewer can hope to catch the slightest hint towards the plot of this film. You can look at the vast landscapes and wonder if you are looking at a rock pile or a surprise character. You can listen to every wave of audio and pin point the source of the whispers. It is a tough mission, but it is a mission the internet is more than happy to accept.

 As the current slate of movie releases have shown, it is an awesome time to be a movie fan and the trailers we have received continue to show that fact to be true. Also, DC and MARVEL can have their dick measuring contests when they release trailers, but the current series of Star Wars has shown their still a force to be reckoned with in the box office. December can’t get here quick enough.

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Now for a P.S. to my thoughts on the trailer. This poster is obscene in its awesomeness!

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.

Welcome To Episode VIII..

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(Joshua Gilmore-Staff Writer)

The end will be the beginning, well at least when it comes to the start of production on Star Wars Episode VIII.

In this teaser released by Lucas Films, production has started on the next installment of the Star Wars franchise and it looks like some questions will be answered very quickly.

As of this posting, very little is known about this installment and the world still waits for the complete title to be released. The information that is known is the cast that will be returning and not returning, if that statement is confusing, then do yourself a favor and get to the movie theater NOW!

Also, there will be some new faces added to this edition of the saga and there are some Hollywood elite that are entering this galaxy. Kelly Marie Tran (About A Boy), Benicio Del Toro (Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas), and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park) will make their marks in the Star War’s Saga, when Episode VIII blasts into theaters December 15,2017

"Worlds, Galaxies, And Universes: Live Action At The Walt Disney Studios" Presentation At Disney's D23 EXPO 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – I am definitely awake!

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(Pilot Porter.Staff Writer)

I write this now being a little over 4 days from my completion of a movie, which I have been anticipating for my entire life. That is not a dramatic sentiment meant to define the gravitas of my eagerness, I was born in 1984 and Return of the Jedi was premiered in 1982, so the math adds up. Growing up a Star Wars fan I had always heard of the possibility of a final trilogy, but once the prequels were put on the docket I among many others started believing that our anticipated final trilogy was no more, left to the annals of the Extended Universe. But then on October 30th, 2012 a shirtless little mouse announced, his owners will make our final trilogy.

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They will do it fast, and they will throw a bunch of other stuff in as well, just because we asked nicely. Never let it be said that Walt Disney pictures would not make the most profitable drug dealers in the world, if they turned their attention to organized crime. Most of you reading this have probably been following The Wars for quite some time, so I will spare you the boring history lesson. If you would like to discuss Star Wars history, by all means tweet me, @thedougporter!! Since history discussions will be saved for later, I wanted to write about what The Force Awakens has done for me as a…..it pains me to say this….a lapsed Star Wars fan.

Yes, over the last few years my interest in the fandom of Star Wars has been on a slow, slow, slow, sloth like journey to dormancy. That isn’t to say that the Galaxy far far away had been any less important to me, I have it tattooed on my body…TWICE! I just found myself getting less excited with the “day to day” of the Star Wars fandom. But this movie has AWOKEN (PUN) the fan that waited 5 days outside a theatre for Attack of the Clones.

I think it is fair to say at this point if you’re a fan of Star Wars you have seen this movie at least once, but if you haven’t PLEASE COME BACK AFTER YOU’VE SEEN IT, cause there will be rosebud type spoilers aplenty. I will give you a minute to get out of eye sight before I continue….

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Well I think burying the lead at this point is futile so, WTF HAN IS GONE!?!?!?!?!?! I am still in mourning from this scene. I have cried multiple times in my life, but I have wept 4 times in my life. Han’s death was the latest. Now before you judge me for being a copy of cryingfwife.com I would like you to understand something. I spent quite a lot of time growing up by myself watching movies, because as we all know the outside sucks! I would on average watch one of the original trilogy a day. I consistently ran the marathon once I had gotten a TV in my room, so the characters became my pseudo family. Always there when I needed them, never leaving, never making fun of me, always encouraging. Han Solo was the epitome of the man I was hoping to become in my adult life. Now as an adult, I have realized that Han’s death was meant to affect us on an ever deeper level than just losing a familiar figure head, losing Han was the symbol of losing our childhood. The story of Star Wars has always followed Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey and one of the key turning points is The Death of the Mentor. This is the moment that the hero’s innocent, childlike life, is forever changed and puts said hero on the final part of the journey towards heroism.

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Han was our mentor, he was the non-believer who we could relate to while watching Luke takes these steps into the force. Now, JJ Abrams wants us to take our own journey with Rey, how do we do that? Remove our mentor. By removing our mentor we have to take this journey with her, we have no one else to look to, we alone are the deciders of our destiny. Plus, added bonus Kylo Ren has become just more evil than Darth Vader in the eyes of the fandom. Which will make his inevitable fight with Luke that much sweeter….unless JJ wants to completely tie up all loose ends and kill him too. Wouldn’t that be something, eh?

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.