TV GUIDE – Are you ready to head back to a galaxy far, far away? No, you haven’t slipped into a coma and woken up in December in time for Star Wars: The Last Jedi; it’s just the first episode of the new animated series Star Wars Forces of Destiny, which has dropped online early!
The short animated series will debut daily, starting today, and focus on characters throughout the history of the Star Wars universe. Things kick off with Rey (Daisy Ridley, reprising her role from The Force Awakens) in the first episode — titled “Sands of Jakku” — and will also feature everyone from Princess Leia, to Star Wars Rebels’ Sabine and Hera.

The short picks up from a key scene in The Force Awakens, after Rey has met up with precocious little droid BB-8 for the first time. From there, we get to see the duo’s first adventure together — and it’s just as thrilling and adorable (in BB’s case) as you’d expect.

Every episode is narrated by Lupita Nyong’o’s possibly immortal, definitely very old, definitely very into Chewbacca Force Awakens character, Maz Kanata. Felicity Jones will also bring back her Rogue One character Jyn Erso for a future episode.

Each episode will then be bundled up for a network premiere on Disney Channel, on July 9; though you can keep checking them out in abbreviated form on Disney’s YouTube channel.

DEADLINE – Disney and Lucasfilm unveiled the first look at Star Wars Forces of Destiny, a new initiative celebrating the inspiring stories of iconic heroes from across the Star Wars universe. The new original series of animated shorts are about 2-3 minutes in length and will explore new adventures of key characters including Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, Princess Leia, Ahsoka Tano and others.

Developed by Lucasfilm Animation, Star Wars Forces of Destiny will remain true to the Star Wars stories and show how the characters choices shape their destinies, opening up a whole new world of opportunities for each character. The series will launch in July and be available on Disney’s YouTube Channel ahead of its two-part TV special featuring eight additional shorts on Disney Channel in fall 2017.

Daisy Ridley (Rey), Felicity Jones (Jyn), Tiya Sircar (Sabine), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano) and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata as narrator) reprise their roles by lending their voice to their animated characters.

“Star Wars Forces of Destiny is for anyone who has been inspired by Leia’s heroism, Rey’s courage, or Ahsoka’s tenacity,” said Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm. “We’re thrilled that so many of the original actors are reprising their roles in these shorts which capture the small moments and everyday decisions that shape who these characters are. It is a fun new way for people to experience Star Wars.”

Additionally, each animated story will be supported with a line of toys from Hasbro, including new “Adventure Figures” – a fusion between traditional dolls and action figures, creating a whole new way to play Star Wars.

Fans attending Star Wars Celebration in Orlando this weekend will get to see a sneak peek of Star Wars Forces of Destiny during the “Heroines of Star Wars” panel on Friday, April 14. Check out the preview above.

Win the Three Most Epic Star Wars Experiences Ever! More infirmation here.

SCREENDAILY – Altitude Film Distribution has struck a deal with sales agent Celluloid Dreams for UK rights to Otto Bell’s documentary The Eagle Huntress.

The film tells the tale of a young girl who is determined to become the first woman to enter Mongolia’s annual Golden Eagle Festival. Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley narrates and is also an executive producer on the project.

Sharon Chang and Stacey Reiss produced along with director Bell.

Following its premiere at January’s Sundance Film Festival, and recent berths in Toronto and Telluride, the feature is set to screen at the BFI London Film Festival on October 6 and 9.

Celluloid Dreams closed a deal with Sony Pictures Classics in Sundance for North And South America, Scandinavia, Australia/New Zealand, Germany/Austria and Asia.

Further deals have been closed for France (ARP Selection), Italy (I Wonder Pictures), Spain (Caramel), Switzerland (Praesens), Turkey (Filmarti), Portugal (Film 4 You), Ex-Yugoslavia (21 Films), and Bulgaria (Bulgaria Film Vision).

Will Clarke, CEO & co-founder of Altitude Film Entertainment commented: “It is a beautiful film that offers unique glimpses into this remote community as they balance their traditional lifestyle with the modern world, but it is Aisholpan’s determination to pursue her dream which is such a powerful story of female empowerment and provides inspiration which is universal and contemporary.”

Listen to Daisy reading a short story by the 2016 BBC Young Writers’ Award’s winner Lizzie Freestone. You can also listen to her congratulation message here.

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