Ian McDiarmid, the actor who portrayed Emperor Palpatine, will join fans at Star Wars Celebration Chicago this spring.
McDiarmid will also be joined by Brian Herring, half of the puppeteering team who operated BB-8 as well as other creatures and characters in the sequel trilogy.
Veteran voice actor Mark Dodson, who helped bring Jabba the Hutt’s cackling court jester Salacious B. Crumb to life and has provided vocals for other Star Wars stormtroopers and aliens, will also be there.
Several new guests have been confirmed for the Topps autograph area at Star Wars Celebration Chicago!
Ashley Eckstein, who portrayed Ahsoka Tano — Anakin Skywalker’s gifted apprentice turned rebel warrior — in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, is headed to the five-day fan event. Eckstein is also the founder of the Her Universe, a groundbreaking fangirl fashion company and lifestyle brand.
Joining Eckstein to meet and sign for fans is a galaxy of Star Wars veterans, including: Daniel Logan, the actor who brought young Boba Fett to life in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: The Clone Wars;
Jett Lucas, who played Padawan Zett Jukassa in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith;
Ken Leung, who portrayed Admiral Statura in Star Wars: The Force Awakens;
Katy Kartwheel, an actor and circus performer who played HURID-327 in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and was a creature performer in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story, including the body of Rio;
And finally, John Ratzenberger, who is known the beloved Cliff in Cheers and can be seen as Major Derlin in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.Stay tuned to StarWars.com for more Star Wars Celebration Chicago updates!
Star Wars Celebration Chicago will take place April 11-15 at McCormick Place. Visit StarWarsCelebration.com for tickets and more info!
As we await the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort later this year, Star Wars fans can get a sneak peek of the planet Batuu with new books and comics coming to shelves .
Meet Dok-Ondar, the infamous Ithorian who deals in rare antiquities, find out why General Leia Organa takes an interest in Black Spire Outpost, and indulge in myths and fables from a galaxy far, far away, plus other stories set on the Outer Rim locale.
Today StarWars.com announced the first six titles that will help introduce fans to the planet of Batuu:
Black Spire Outpost has long been frequented by smugglers, merchants, and travelers from every corner of the galaxy looking to make their score on the infamous black market — or experience the exotic thrills the remote world of Batuu alone has to offer. Aliens like the infamous Dok-Ondar, a proprietor of rare and one-of-a-kind antiquities, thrive on the unique opportunities which abound on the lawless outpost at the very edge of Wild Space in this all-new miniseries from Marvel writer Ethan Sacks (Old Man Hawkeye) and artist Will Sliney (Solo: A Star Wars Story).
Black Spire (Del Rey)
Written by Delilah Dawson
Available: September 3, 2019
In this novel, a prequel to the Disney Parks experience, General Leia Organa dispatches her top spy to Batuu in a desperate search for Resistance allies.
A Crash of Fate (Disney Lucasfilm Press)
Written by Zoraida Córdova
Available: August 6, 2019
In this Young Adult novel, Izzy and Jules were best friends until Izzy’s family abruptly left Batuu when she was six. Now she’s back, and Jules, the boy who never left, is unsure what to make of her. While on the run from vengeful smugglers and an angry pirate, the two friends will come to terms with who they are, and what they mean to each other.
Star Wars: Myths & Fables (Disney Lucasfilm Press)
Written by George Mann
Illustrations by Grant Griffin
Available: August 6, 2019
In this middle grade novel, hear the thrilling space tales, fables, and myths that are told in a galaxy far, far away. The book features two stories that take place on the remote Outer Rim world of Batuu, plus many other untold tales from the edge of the galaxy, lushly illustrated in a style that pays homage to real-world children’s classics.
Read an exclusive excerpt from the tale “The Knight & the Dragon” below!
There was once a tribe of nomadic people on the distant, dusty planet of Tatooine who, for many months, had been terrorized by a fearsome dragon.
These were a simple people, with simple needs, who had for generations eked out an uncomplicated existence on the harsh desert sands, trading with the other tribes for water and sustenance, salvaging the wreckage left behind by those careless few who shared their world—those others whose lives unfolded in the noisy cities and spaceports, who tried ineffectively to hold back the sand rather than embrace its gifts.
The desert folk had little cause to visit those teeming cities, however, and although they had once roamed the rolling dunes in great caravans, they had found a place to settle. They were at one with the land and knew that the desert itself would provide them with everything they might need.
So it was that these Sand People came to establish a village of their own, a place they might call home.
For many months the village flourished, and food and water proved bountiful as the desert offered up its gifts. The villagers, once so used to their endless migration across the sands, grew complacent and comfortable. Yet in their ignorance, they knew not that they had awoken the wrath of a great dragon, Krayt, that made its nest amongst the nearby dunes and called that domain its own.
Krayt was sly and knew that the people of the sand were in no way its equal in battle or cunning, so it devised a plan to rid itself of them. Just as the desert had provided for the villagers, it would provide, too, for the dragon. The people of the sand were numerous, and the dragon ever hungry; if it rationed them carefully, the villagers would sustain it for many months to come. Soon enough, it would reclaim its domain from those interlopers—once they were all inside its belly—but dragons are long-lived and lazy, and Krayt saw no need to hurry.
Thus, it chose to begin with the villager’s plump livestock, which they held in large corrals on the outskirts of the village. Only then, when the entire herd had been consumed, would the dragon enjoy the taste of that which it so craved: people.
So began a campaign of nightly terror as the dragon—so large that the beat of its wings alone was enough to stir the sand into great storms that ravaged the villagers’ tents—descended upon the village to snatch at the mewling beasts in their pens before hurrying away, back to its sandy lair, to feast. The villagers cowered at the mere sight of such a terrible beast, and in their fear, they made no move to try to prevent the dragon’s attacks.
On the fifth day, however, the villagers were growing desperate, for they knew that if the dragon continued, soon there would be no livestock left in the pens to feed their children. That night, ten of the village’s most trusted warriors took up their arms and went to stand guard over the pens, in the belief that, together, they might prove strong enough to scare the beast into fleeing, or even to slay it.
As it had each night before, the dragon came with the setting suns—a vast and horrifying silhouette, stark against the reddening sky. On huge wings it soared, sweeping low over the heads of the villagers, wheeling above them as they raised their weapons and took aim. Yet their weapons were ineffective and did not so much as scratch the beast. Far from dissuaded, it brushed the villagers aside with a flick of its wing and once more sailed away into the night with a squealing animal for its supper.
In such a way it continued for many days, until the villagers’ livestock had all been consumed, and the Sand People themselves lived in fear of what the dragon Krayt might do when it returned to discover the pens empty.
Krayt, though, had planned for such an eventuality and had secretly willed that day to come, because to a dragon, there is no sweeter meal than a helpless villager.
That night the dragon returned to the village to find the livestock pens had been abandoned. With a cackle of malicious glee, it turned to the village and beat its wings until the tents were swept away in a blizzard of sand and the people cowering beneath were revealed. For a moment the dragon seemed to linger, and then, licking its lips, it selected a young boy, whom it plucked from his mother’s arms and carried away into the night.
The boy was not the last of his peers to be lost in such a fashion, for Krayt soon developed quite a taste for children. The villagers took to hiding their young in pits beneath the shifting sands, but the dragon was wise and had seen such tricks before. It dug up the children like wriggling worms, one to feast upon each night.
The villagers could stand for this no longer and elected a warrior from amongst their number, whom they armed with their most precious weapons, adorned with their strongest armor, and sent out into the desert to stir the dragon from its nest. This warrior carried vengeance in her heart, for she knew the dragon must pay for the lives it had stolen, and she boldly claimed that she would soon return with the beast’s head as a trophy of her victory. The villagers cheered as she strode off toward the horizon, and in their hearts, for the first time in months, they carried hope for the future….
You can expect these books and even more titles coming this fall including a Galaxy’s Edge kids comic from IDW Publishing, home of the critically-acclaimed Star WarsAdventures and Tales from Vader’s Castle, to transport readers to the mysterious world of Batuu in an action-packed adventure for readers of all ages. There will also be an official Galaxy’s Edge cookbook from Insight Editions, featuring some of the exotic cuisine created for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as well as dishes drawn from the saga’s history, written for home cooks of all ages and skill levels by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel, New York Times bestselling author of A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Cookbook and The World of Warcraft Cookbook, with Marc Sumerak (Star Wars: Droidography).
In 2020, epic adventures at sea return to Disney Cruise Line with limited engagements of two popular experiences – Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea. Setting sail on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic to the Caribbean and Bahamas, these seven and five-night sailings combine the splendor of a Disney Cruise Line vacation with a special day at sea filled with unique character encounters, live shows and action-packed entertainment.
Star Wars Day at Sea
Guests can celebrate the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga on special seven-night Disney Fantasy sailings from January to March 2020, taking them to the Caribbean and a galaxy far, far away.
In addition to encounters with the galaxy’s most formidable and heroic characters, including Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2, this cruise features a full day of Star Wars activities including live shows, Star Wars-themed family and kids’ activities, unique food and beverage and special merchandise offerings. The day ends with “Summon the Force,” a deck party that celebrates the Star Wars universe and caps off the night with a fireworks show of galactic proportions.
Star Wars Day at Sea will only be offered on nine Disney Fantasy seven-night Caribbean cruises sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida.
Departing Jan. 11, Jan. 25 and Feb. 22, 2020, the eastern Caribbean itinerary includes Tortola, St. Thomas and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.
Departing Feb. 8, 2020, the eastern Caribbean itinerary includes Tortola; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Castaway Cay.
Departing Jan. 4, Jan. 18, Feb. 1, Feb. 15 and Feb. 29, 2020, the western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica and Castaway Cay.
Marvel Day at Sea
From January to early March 2020, special five-night Disney Magic sailings will combine the excitement of a Disney cruise to the Caribbean and Bahamas with the thrills of renowned Marvel comics, films and animated series for an action-packed, day-long celebration of the Marvel Universe.
The largest assembly of Marvel Super Heroes and Villains, including the recent addition of Captain Marvel, along with Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man and more, highlight an all-day entertainment lineup that includes live shows for the whole family, an extraordinary deck show, Marvel-themed activities for kids and families, special merchandise and unique food and beverage offerings.
Marvel Day at Sea will only be offered on nine Disney Magic Caribbean and Bahamian cruises sailing from Miami, Florida.
Departing Jan. 9, Jan. 27, Feb. 10, Feb. 24 and March 9, 2020, the Bahamian itinerary includes Key West, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.
Departing Feb. 1, Feb. 15 and Feb. 29, 2020, the western Caribbean itinerary includes George Town, Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay.
Departing Jan. 18, 2020, the western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico and Castaway Cay.
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit http://www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.