Star Wars: Attack of the Rumors | August 22

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Every Tuesday at Nerd It Here First, we’ll be compiling a list of the biggest news and rumors of the week in the world of Star Wars. Be sure to tune into our Nerd It Here Weekly podcast, where our staff will discuss these topics in even more depth. This week’s roundup includes:

SNOKE’S BLACK RING — What does it tell us about the mysterious villain?

A leaked image of a Snake figurine shows him wearing a large black ring on his left hand, presumably made of a kyber crystal. A previous leak of Luke Skywalker’s Funko Pop bobblehead showed him wearing a red crystal around his neck in a similar way to Jyn Erso, with the natural assumption being that he’s wearing the red crystal from his father’s lightsaber. Rogue One highlighted the importance of kyber crystals in Star Wars lore, while also laying some foundation for the history of the Jedi in passing mentions of the Guardians of the Whills — and Episode VIII director Rian Johnson has stated previously that the history of both the Jedi and the Force will be a focal point of The Last Jedi. Also of interest is the fact that Benicio Del Toro’s character, who presumably is the new Lando, is also wearing the same ring. So what is Snoke’s connection to the highly coveted crystals? And does this give us any more indication of who Spoke is? Could he maybe even be Director Orson Krennic, who somehow survived the Death Star blast on Scarif?

KYLO’S FIRST WORDS — did a recent toy leak tell us anything about where The Last Jedi is headed?

Audio from a Kylo Ren action figure has inadvertently given us our first bit of dialog from The Last Jedi, and it’s… interesting. Without context, it’s obviously hard to know exactly what everyone’s favorite son/murderer of Han Solo is talking about, but the words are:

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

“I need your guidance.”

“Will you help me?”

“Show me again the power of the dark side.”

“Don’t be afraid.”

“NO!”

“It’s too late.”

Along with various lightsaber noises.

Sounds like Kylo has another conversation with Darth Vader’s helmet, and some of this dialog may be taken from scenes of Snoke completing Kylo’s training, which was alluded to at the very end of The Force Awakens. But if anything, the lines we have here confirm rumors that have swirled for months that The Last Jedi will be a darker, more emotional experience than The Force Awakens. Or at least as much as Disney and Kathleen Kennedy will allow it to be.

To hear the audio yourself, click here: https://mobile.twitter.com/KnightofEm/status/899027266847424512

MICHAEL KENNETH WILLIAMS IS OUT — The Han Solo movie just can’t catch a break.

The Han Solo movie was always a bad idea, and the behind-the-scenes shuffling a couple of months ago did nothing to dissuade rational people from thinking that. But one of the few silver linings that were in place nearly from the beginning was news that the great character actor and Emmy-nominee Michael Kenneth Williams would play a role in the movie. Sadly, that’s no longer the case, as it appears that when Ron Howard came on as the new director, the film’s shooting schedule was modified. Because of that, Williams’ new dates conflicted with a film he’s set to shoot entitled The Red Sea Diving Resort, which co-stars fellow Marvel veterans Chris Evans and Ben Kingsley (Williams appeared briefly during the finale of The Incredible Hulk).

“When Ron Howard got hired to finish out the film, there were some reshoot issues that needed to be done in regards to my character, in order for it to match the new direction which the producers wanted Ron to carry the film in,” Williams told Deadline. “And that would have required me on a plane a month ago to London, to Pinewood, to do reshoots. But I’m here, on location in Africa. It’s scheduling. I’m not going to be back on the market until the end of November after [his SundanceTV series] Hap and Leonard, and for them to wait that long for me, that would have pushed back the release date, which I believe is in May 2018. They wanted me now; I couldn’t go. So they had to clip-clip-clip.”

RIAN JOHNSON’S CRYPTIC INSTAGRAM — the most explosive news of the week!

A post shared by Rian Johnson (@riancjohnson) on

This week, Rian Johnson uploaded a cryptic black-and-white image from the sound mixing booth at Skywalker Ranch, showing an enormous explosion taken from a frame of The Last Jedi while one of the sound mixers toils away perfecting the awesome audio for that event. So… what blows up? A First Order ship? A new Death Star? The Jedi Temple on Ahch-To? We may not know till December…

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