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At Long Last, Fashion Is Making Cool Merch for Fandoms

Last Sunday, I, along with 17.4 million other viewers, tuned in to the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones. I didn’t cosplay for the occasion, but I did wear something special—a silver ring, with a braided, adjustable band and a wolf crest. From a distance, it’s not unlike the stackable jewelry you see any fashion person (or Meghan Markle) wearing. But if you look closely (and are a fan of Game of Thrones), you’ll recognize the House Stark sigil on its face.

The ring is from a collaboration between HBO and jewelry brand Alex & Ani, and it’s one of several Game of Thrones-inspired collections that have come out in the lead-up to the final season. There are Adidas sneakers, John Varvatos T-shirts, and even Urban Decay makeup palettes. And it’s not just the Seven Kingdoms inspiring big-name brands.

Alex & Ani

Alex & Ani Game of Thrones Stark Signet Adjustable Ring

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When Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released in 2017, it was met with limited-edition capsules from Rag & Bone, ASOS, Clarks, and many others. Coach is a frequent Disney collaborator, creating apparel and accessories embroidered with characters from different franchises. Opening Ceremony’s Spring 2018 collection was inspired by Mickey Mouse—and debuted at Disneyland in California. Alex & Ani has a page for all of its collaborations, called Official Fan Collection, where you can buy pieces inspired by Harry Potter, Wonder Woman, and, yes, Game of Thrones.

Now, these partnerships are first and foremost a canny business move. The Wall Street Journal reported that HBO’s cumulative marketing partnerships for the final season of Game of Thrones are valued at $20 million. Fans of the show number in the millions, and they’re hyped for new episodes after a two-year hiatus. There’s a sense of nostalgia, too, knowing that the current season is its last, so the fans will commemorate it, and the checks will come in. It’s a matter of going where the money is—with a little help from licensing agreements and legal fees.

Coach

Disney x Coach Kisslock Frame Pouch With Disney Motif

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But as an avid fan, it’s more than just another way to support the shows I love.

I care about how I dress—I always have. I also get really invested in certain franchises: Outlander, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, I could go on. In the past, I’d want to combine the two, but I’d look at the merch that was available and be disappointed. I couldn’t justify spending the money on gimmicky pieces I couldn’t see myself wearing outside of the house or to a meet-up. I was so fed up with it, I started creating my own fan gear, transcribing my favorite quotes or symbols from a series onto blank T-shirts. Still, I wanted something a little bit more legitimate, something I’d feel proud investing in and could get excited about.

Fast-forward to 2019: Whenever a big-budget project with an established fandom premieres, I can expect a handful of inspired-by collections to drop with it. Finally, as both parties have wised up to the big business opportunity at the intersection of fashion and fandom, I have access to merch that looks and feels cool, not costume-y. I’ve graduated from DIY T-shirts and pins to sleek denim jackets and sophisticated leather bags, and it’s super validating. It legitimizes to me that fashion and fandom aren’t mutually exclusive.

The numbers show that the customer is there: The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA)’s report on the global licensing industry for 2016 revealed that spending on licensed merchandise was up by 4.4 percent and valued at $262.9 billion, according to Deadline. More than half of those sales came from the U.S. and Canada, the group found.

Mark Hamill Went Above And Beyond To Make Chucky Special In The New Child’s Play

Mark Hamill may be best known for his onscreen role as the heroic Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise, but he is also a prolific voice actor who has voiced great villains over the years like Firelord Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender and Batman’s nemesis, the Joker, in DC’s animated movies and series. Now he is lending his voice to another iconic character, this one belonging to the horror genre, Child’s Play’s Chucky.

CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg spoke with Seth Grahame-Smith, one of the producers on the upcoming reboot/remake of Child’s Play in an exclusive interview, and he spoke about how Mark Hamill really went above and beyond to make his Chucky special. Seth said:

Wow, Mark Hamill was not messing around, he really approached Chucky with all the preparation that he would a live-action character and perhaps more so. Seth Grahame-Smith sounds as though he was both surprised and impressed at how Mark Hamill viewed the role as an acting challenge, and the level of homework that he put in to develop the voice for Chucky.

Even before he had recorded a single line of dialogue, Mark Hamill had already watched all of the films in the Child’s Play/Chucky franchise and was working on multiple voices for his iteration of the character. All of this for a killer doll; that’s what you get with a true pro voice actor like Mark Hamill.

I guess it should be unsurprising he puts this much thought into his characters given how vocal he has been about the direction of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. He isn’t just reading a script, he has an idea in his head of who his characters are and what their story should be. All that hard work paid off too, as Seth Grahame-Smith continued:

It sounds like Mark Hamill knew that he had the unenviable task of taking on an iconic character that already has a signature voice. Mark Hamill obviously wasn’t going to try and imitate Brad Dourif who has voiced Chucky in all the previous films and is the voice of Chucky to this point.

With that in mind, Mark Hamill really wanted to put his own spin on Chucky and work hard to make sure that this new Chucky was memorable and unique and that he sounded the way he does for a reason that is informed by his character.

This makes sense too considering that the Chucky in the new Child’s Play isn’t a doll with the spirit of a serial killer in him. This new Chucky is more a Black Mirror-esque killer A.I. that turns smart home products into tools to kill. So he should have his own unique voice and Mark Hamill took that responsibility very seriously.

We haven’t heard (or seen) much from Mark Hamill’s Chucky in the trailers so far, and they seem to be really building him up. If Seth Grahame-Smith’s comments are anything to go by, the famous actor disappeared and really became Chucky for Child’s Play. And given Mark Hamill’s track record, we have no reason to doubt that he will be a worthy torchbearer for this horror icon.

Child’s Play slashes its way into theaters on June 21. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see all the movies headed your way as we enter the summer movie season.

Toro Y Moi Bathes In Midnight’s Lights In Late Night ‘Freelance’ Performance

Toro Y Moi bought funk and grace to the dim lights on the stage of Late Night with Seth Meyers. Basked in a deep red and blue glow, he performed “Freelance.” The metallic performance was mystifying and magical and a great way to end the night.

“Freelance” is groovy and sensual and illegal to perform during the daytime because of how well its suited for 2AM car rides. It makes sense that the lights are low, the colored lights are piercing, and there are only a few backup musicians on stage with Toro Y Moi. But it’s not simple by the slightest. Toro Y Moi’s voice is warped beyond measure and it adds to the disorientating feel like you’re inside of a kaleidoscope without the crazy mix of colors and shapes swirling around. Toro Y Moi waltzes around stage majestically, his feet seldom staying in one second for too long. He casts a spell upon the audience at the show and at home. You won’t want to leave this hazy world explored over the course of four minutes. It feels so close, yet so far away.

“Freelance ” appears on Toro Y Moi’s latest album, Outer Peace which came out in January.

Check out the mesmerizing performance up above.

This New *Game of Thrones* Theory Predicts How Cersei Will Die

There are several theories floating around the Internet speculating how some of your favorite Game of Thrones characters will die. Some of them are far-fetched, but a few actually have merit—like this new one from Redditor Namez Are Hard that centers on Cersei.

If you remember from season five, we learned that when Cersei was little she visited a witch, Maggy the Frog, who made all sorts of (accurate) predictions about her life. Maggy prophesied that Cersei would marry the king and have three children, who would all die. And this happened. The only thing that hasn’t yet is the final component of Maggy’s fortune: “The valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.” “Valonqar” is High Valyrian for “little brother,” so fans have been convinced for seasons that either Jaime or Tyrion would eventually kill Cersei.

But Namez Are Hard has a different idea. They think it’s actually Cersei’s unborn baby who will kill her during childbirth. This, of course, is hinged on (1) Cersei actually being pregnant and (2) her having a boy. Namez Are Hard’s theory checks out otherwise. “She is killed by the valonqar. Nowhere in Mag’s prophecy does it say HER valonqar, just THE valonqar,” the user writes. (Cersei’s hypothetical baby boy would technically be the little brother to her three deceased children.)

Several fans seem to think Cersei is lying about being pregnant. In the first episode of season eight, she was seen drinking a glass of wine. Of course, she could just be drinking through her pregnancy, but she notably turned down wine last season because she was expecting. So many mysteries!

Of course, we’ll find out these answers definitively at some point this season. Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 P.M. ET on HBO.

Christine and the Queens’s Héloïse Letissier Explains the Feminist Twist in Her ‘Comme Si’ Video

By Kat Bein

Does art imitate life, or is it the other way around? Héloïse Letissier, better known to music fans as Christine and the Queens, can no longer be sure. In 2014, she wowed the world with her raw power of her debut album Chaleur humaine. It was lyrically poetic and emotionally vulnerable, challenging of society’s approach to gender and sexuality. Onstage, she captivated audiences with her movements, so angular and agile but somehow aggressive.

Her all-in approach to performance left her body more lean and muscular, and the power she felt on stage as a successful artist fueled her second album, Chris, the self-produced LP exploring ’80s synth-pop sounds. She cut her hair off, and explored androgyny as she became even more sexually empowered.

Last Saturday night (April 13), she brought raw power to Coachella’s Outdoor Theatre. The bare stage used thoughtful fireworks to amplify the theatrical movements of Letissier and her group of dancers. She climbed the rafters and let her voice boom through the night air.

However, after losing her mother earlier this week, Letissier is no longer playing Coachella’s second weekend. (She is currently scheduled to return to the States in May for a tour with Florence and The Machine). On Weekend 1, we sat backstage with her to talk about the performance and where her art is headed next.

MTV News: Thanks for taking some time to speak with me. How are you feeling? How did you wake up today?

Héloïse Letissier: I woke up like this [laughs]. Actually, I didn’t. I feel excited because, of course it’s Coachella, and it’s madness, blah blah blah, but it’s the second time for me. The first time is really about discovering the whole thing, people freaking out around you, and you slightly freaking out as well. I will freak out at some point, but you get to come back knowing a bit what to expect, and as a performer, it feels a bit more comfortable. I have a fantastic slot this time also, the outdoor theatre just before Billie Eilish. It’s kind of like stamina-infused in a good way. Like, let’s do it.

MTV News: You have this theatrical show planned. Somebody called it “weird Shakespeare” in another interview. Did you have Coachella in mind when you’re putting it together?

Letissier: It’s actually slightly adapted from the tour. I did work on the stage design, and we’ve got huge paintings, but it was too fragile for open air. I mean, I love theater and I always have theatrical ideas, and open air is a nightmare for theatrical ideas. So I have to give up my paintings, and I was like, how can I work on something kind of pictorial and really raw and bare? Pyrotechnics! Still pretty simple but hopefully a bit moving. I want people to be a bit moved. I don’t know if it means anything. I don’t really want to impress them. I mean, Coachella is all about that anyway, but I’ll be the tiny thing that tries to move your heart.

MTV News: I was just watching the “Comme si” video that you recently put out, and that is Shakespearean-inspired, taking the story of Ophelia and retelling it. Did you choreograph that dance yourself?

Letissier: Sometimes I do, but on this, I collaborated with a fantastic crump dancer called Cyborg. He’s one of the best crump dancers, and he’s French. In France, we have a fantastic dance scene. I wanted to crump as a woman, because not a lot of women are crumping. It’s not “pretty.”

MTV News: There were so many moments I loved. Sometimes, you’re almost like a gorilla showing your power.

Letissier: I do want to work that energy as a woman. Also, the idea to twist the end of Ophelia was a feminist statement: “Let’s bring Ophelia back from the dead.” Because in the play, she’s dead because she’s unwanted, which is such a violent statement. I want to be dumped but enjoying that.

MTV News: I’ve read the physicality you experienced and the strengthening in your body partly drove the character of Chris, but I’ve also spoken to artists about how the act of performing sometimes changes the music they make. Chris is a little more angular in its sound. Did you want that in your performance?

Letissier: I think I did. I wrote the second album really shortly after I finished the first one, and I think I was still oozing what happened to me on the first tour. I wanted to write songs that I could inhabit physically with lots of new stamina, and it was deliberate. I did want to work on minimalism, but in a way that could be more gripping physically and immediately. At the same time, I didn’t overproduce it. I was always removing layers instead of adding them, so it feels like a spinal cord moving sometimes. Even on “Comme si,” it’s like a heart pulsing.

I wanted that sound, that physicality for the second chapter — almost like you’re a novelist. If you fantasize about the dream career, you have like 10 chapters, right? Every time you write a chapter, you’re scaring yourself a bit. You’re giving yourself a dare, and my dare for the second album is like, I’m going to own that sensuality I’ve been afraid to own when I was younger. I’m going to own my female body lusting after someone.

MTV News: You’re working on some more music now. Where’s it going?

Letissier: It’s already kind of shifting. I’m working on songs that are like a weird addendum to Chris. It’s like an epilogue. Chris is really an intense record. I always joked about how the record is like working on something that is too much. Then, releasing that recording and touring it, my life became too much also. It almost became a mirror of the record. Owning so much of my desire and my carnal personality, I got faced with sometimes blunt rejection and I really became like this meta — I should pitch it to Netflix because it became that on stage. Life becomes crazy.

MTV News: There are so many facets that you are in control of, from the production to the writing, the dancing, the stage design. It’s consuming. How do you find escape?

Letissier: I have to say, I’m kind of obsessive. It shapes my life, which becomes interesting and dangerous at the same time. You fall in love with the work and everything infuses the work. My favorite movie of all time is All That Jazz by Bob Fosse. It’s about a stage director who lets everything become a part of the work. People are like, “Just get out of your stage.” At one point, I was like, I can’t believe I’m reenacting that. I can maybe control that now. Maybe the next album I’ll be a bit calm before the storm. I felt everything for my art. The new songs are a bit different in terms of production, but they kind of resonate with Chris. I don’t want to spoil it, but I think it’s going to shift again.

MTV News: Is there anything on your mind that you just want to share? Any musings that have been swirling around in there or anything that you just woke up today wanting to say?

Letissier: I woke up today [and I] just wanted to perform. I am becoming a performer. It shapes everything around you which is a bit comforting, because you have that obsession again. When you stop touring, that’s the bad part. You don’t have that catharsis every night. This is why you write new songs. My label is like, “Maybe not so soon?” And I’m like, please let me tour again.

Standout Moments From Beyoncé’s Homecoming Doc We’re Crazy In Love With

As Netflix has grown in popularity over the years, the streaming service has been getting in formation with all kinds of exclusive content to keep us on the couch, whether it’s award-winning films and TV such as Roma and Black Mirror, Noah Centineo-led rom-coms or reality television such as Queer Eye. The scrolling potential is endless and it can often be a mess to sift through. But every once in a while, the streaming giant delivers us an unforgettable gift, and this time it’s from pop superstar/angel Beyoncé.

Whether you were one of the lucky fans in the crowd of Queen Bey’s Coachella epic last year, caught the YouTube livestream broadcast or vaguely heard about the event after the fact, all the buzz surrounding it makes it one of the few concert experiences that begs to be immortalized.  Beyoncé transformed music festival expectations by turning what could have been a simple concert set into a mighty showcase of an icon’s 22-year career. Homecoming allows Netflix users to relive the event and look behind the scenes into just how the vocalist pulled it off.

The documentary is packed with memorable moments that make it spectacular, and it’s time to unbox the highlights to the left, to the left:

Her Regal Entrance

With the pound of a drumbeat, Beyoncé makes a powerful entrance to the Coachella main stage dressed in a Nefertiti-style get up, stunning the eyes on her and commanding her acclaimed status as a queen. The powerful introduction sets the stage for the caliber of performance we’re about to see as a giant pyramid full of 200 performers (including dancers and a “university” orchestra) are unveiled at center stage.

Beyoncé makes a second grand entrance at the top of the pyramid after the band hypes her up, and the crowd’s response is unlike any other. They are yelling “Beychella” before the phrase is even announced as a new iteration of “Crazy In Love” starts to play.

It’s quite the sight to behold as the singer delivers some near-perfect vocals, while dropping moves with her army of dancers. As the cinematography flips between Beyoncé in her first and second weekend performance and the amazed crowd, it’s clear the concert was orchestrated with a cinematic experience in mind all along.

Homecoming’s Concept

In between the concert, Homecoming also takes it back to the rehearsal stages of the performance, which was a massive, almost year-long undertaking by the artist. The pyramid of performers behind her, donning sorority letters of yellow and pink, signify the college experience Beyoncé never had due to her time on Destiny’s Child. She’d always wanted to go to a HBCU and Beychella became a way for her to create this community she’d dreamed of.

Since her headlining had the historical significance of being the first African-American woman to get top-billing for the festival, Beyoncé took that title to heart in everything that she planned. She personally picked dancers and musicians who could represent looks and backgrounds that have been dismissed in the past on that grand stage. Beyoncé’s concept for Homecoming really shows her character of taking the opportunities given to her and putting every ounce of effort into it and giving her fans and family something to be proud of.

Another star of her status would have taken the easy way out and done a performance already decided upon from their tour or just belted out their greatest hits. Homecoming really shows to both casual listeners and fans of her just what goes into the product we often see in her music, videos and performances, and it’s as massive of a project as it looks at the end of the line.

Her Post-Pregnancy Comeback

Another unexpected bit we learn from Homecoming is just how much of a sacrifice and personal journey putting on this show was for Beyoncé. The artist has asserted herself as a very powerful woman over the years that her own personal challenges can go by the wayside. In this documentary, she gets candid about how the preparation for Beychella was an emotional trial for her, as she had just given birth to her twins Rumi and Sir when she started up plans for the Coachella performance.

Beyoncé spoke about the immensely difficult pregnancy she had, which concluded with an emergency C-section. Learning the dance choreography for a two-hour show she was leading as her body was recovering and adhering to a very strict diet (which looked like it only consisted of apples?) so she could do the performance was an incredible point for the artist to make in his documentary, because wow, did she pull it off.

She also talked of her struggles to be away from her newly born children and 7-year-old Blue Ivy during practices. Her vision of having her “homecoming” back to the stage after her pregnancy – which had her miss her first chance to headline the year before is a beautiful theme that gives viewers a new perspective on her attention to her career.

The On-Stage Reunions

Over halfway through the show, fans were already over the moon with the show Beyoncé was putting on for them, but then this happens: the trio that started it all reunite on stage looking like Charlie’s Angels. Homecoming captures the reaction of the audience really well here as fans in the crowd get emotional and devotedly sing along to “Lose My Breath,” “Say My Name” and “Soldier,” with the original members of Destiny’s Child who look badass as ever strutting the stage side by side.

It’s a nostalgic moment for those who have followed Beyoncé from the beginning and clearly an important one to the artist too whose smile especially lights up stage when beside her girl group sisters for the number.

Before Destiny’s Child hit the stage, her famous hubby Jay-Z also came onstage to duet “Deja Vu” with her in a sweet moment between the two that had their chemistry beaming on stage in a way we don’t always see between the two of them, especially after the singer belted out angry tunes of his past infidelities prior. In another cute moment to cut the overwhelmingly beautiful dance numbers and pop tunes is when Beyoncé’s sister Solange also comes on stage to bust some moves with her during the bridge of “Get Them Bodied.”

All in all, the Beyoncé film is a highlight in of itself as it showcases an incredible feat by the singer on that Coachella stage last year that will be talked about for years to come. The singer beautifully captures her memorable set, opens up about her behind-the-scenes prep and leaves a whole lot of heart on that stage. There are so many more moments I’m not over yet. Did you see Beyoncé’s Netflix movie? What were your favorite moments? Sound off in the comments below.

Martin Lawrence Celebrated Bad Boys For Life Wrapping Production With Photo From The Set

Development hell is a realm that any film worth its salt is lucky to escape. Projects in this land of the damned were once promising, until the point where they become an empty promise. But every now and then, a movie is powerful enough to escape this demon pit, and make it to the finish line, and Bad Boys For Life is one such film to earn such an honor.

This calls for a celebration, and leave it to Martin Lawrence to commemorate the occasion with a photo on the day Bad Boys For Life wrapped production. Check out that photo for yourself below:

It wasn’t too long ago that Will Smith was commemorating the start of production for Bad Boys For Life, so it’s fitting that Martin Lawrence back his partner’s call with a similar gesture during the long awaited film’s final moments of filming. Considering the history of this film’s production, we can’t blame them for celebrating that Bad Boys For Life actually exists, and is about to have the finishing touches bestowed upon it for a run in theaters next year.

Several years past 2003’s release of Bad Boys II, rumors about a third installment in director Michael Bay’s buddy cop franchise ran rampant up until 2015 when there was an official announcement of not one, but two sequels, set to debut in 2017 and 2019. While there was a fair amount of optimism that this plan would come to fruition, it eventually was derailed, despite promising developments along the way.

If Bad Boys For Life’s original incarnation stuck, we’d have seen a film written and directed by Joe Carnahan, the mind that brought us films like Smokin’ Aces, The Grey, and the upcoming film, Boss Level. But eventually, the setbacks that continued to delay this third film saw Carnahan leave the project, paving the way for a new pair of directors and a new lease on life.

The current lineup for Bad Boys For Life does see Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return to their respective roles of detectives Mike Lowry and Marcus Burnett, as seen in this commemorative photo on Lawrence’s Twitter feed. But this time out, young directors Adil El Arbi and Bilal Fallah will be shepherding the destruction and excitement that follow this legendary pair, with a particularly interesting rumored plot involving the break up (and eventual make up) of Lowry and Burnett.

It all brings us to this very real moment, where Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, and everyone else behind Bad Boys For Life have completed their task. Now, all that stands between this hotly anticipated film and its potential audience is the post-production process. Looking at everything this film went through to get here, that’ll probably be the easiest part of the whole process.

Bad Boys For Life will finally have its day in theaters on January 17, 2020; unless it gets a bump into a summer release date more worthy of movies sporting gun fights and car chases.

Latest Avengers: Endgame TV Spot Confirms Another Superhero Team Up From The Movie

After a long year of waiting, Avengers: Endgame is nearly upon us. The Russo Brothers shocked hardcore fans and casual moviegoers alike by the events of Infinity War, which ended with Thanos’ victory over the titular heroes. Fans are eager to see how The Avengers are grappling with life after Thanos’ snap (aka The Decimation), and witness new character pairings from the surviving characters.

A new Avengers: Endgame TV spot teased just that, and it’ll get fans very excited. Because alongside the footage that we’ve seen before, this new trailer shows Tony Stark flicking a mini Ant-Man off of his shoulder. You can check it out for yourself below.

In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, the new Avengers: Endgame trailer shows Tony Stark safe and sound back on earth, and working alongside Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man. Scott Lang was noticeably absent from Infinity War, so fans are definitely eager to see him crossover with the rest of the heroes when the blockbuster arrives next week.

The new footage from this TV spot is super exciting, and teases the type of interesting team dynamic audiences will be privy to once Avengers: Endgame finally hits theaters. While Infinity War separated the massive cast of heroes into two distinct groups (Team Wakanda and Team Titan), Endgame looks like it’ll unite the surviving heroes for one last stand against the Mad Titan. Ant-Man and Iron Man were on opposite sides during Captain America: Civil War, so it’ll be great to see these two comedic technology-based heroes working together for Endgame.

In the brief shot of Tony Stark flicking Ant-Man off his shoulder, he’s seen wearing a S.H.I.E.L.D. jumpsuit. This is a detail that has thrown fans for a loop, as it’s unclear how Nick Fury’s organization will come into play during Endgame. Despite being just a week left out of Endgame‘s arrival, there’s still plenty of time for more fan theories. Personally, I think they might just have some S.H.I.E.L.D. gear in Avengers Facility, which appears to be a significant location in the upcoming blockbuster.

The trailers for Avengers: Endgame tease that Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang will have a significant role in the battle to come. Fans were bummed when he was noticeably absent from Infinity War alongside Hawkeye. But both of those heroes will help fill in the ranks of The Avengers, now that so many heroes were reduced to ashes after the snap.

When we last saw Ant-Man, he was left stranded in The Quantum Realm after Hope, Janet, and Hank turned to dust. This setting may have a major role to play in Avengers: Endgame, and it should be fascinating to see exactly how Scott ends up at Avengers Facility as seen in the trailers. Luckily, we don’t have much longer to wait.

Avengers: Endgame will arrive in theaters on April 26th. In the meantime fill out CinemaBlend’s Endgame death pool, and check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Rex’s Journey From Star Tours To The Black Spire At Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Revealed

Back when Disneyland unveiled the original version of Star Tours, it was quite different than the version of the attraction we have now. Rather than having a confused C-3PO as your pilot, your tour ship was flown by RX-24, or R3X, a droid voiced by Paul Reubens who was even more inept at piloting the ship than 3PO. We already knew that R3X would be making his return to active duty in the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land, but at Star Wars Celebration we learned there’s a whole story as to how he got there.

During the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge panel at SWCC last week, Lucasfilm Story Group member Matt Martin revealed that, when the decision was made to turn R3X into a DJ at Oga’s Cantina, he took on the responsibility of creating the story of how R3X went from becoming a Star Tours pilot to a cantina DJ. According to Martin…

While Matt Martin doesn’t explain exactly how R3X became part of the Rebel Alliance, Imagineering Story Editor Margaret Kerrison says that what Martin wrote was something like 17 pages long, so it probably maps out a very specific story as to how R3X joined the Rebellion. That’s a story I’d love to read.

R3X proves during the original Star Tours that he’s not much of a pilot. He takes the wrong way out of the hanger and ends up completely missing his destination, the forest moon of Endor, and entering a meteor shower. Why the Rebellion would want somebody like that to pilot a ship I can’t guess, but I suppose when you’re fighting the Galactic Empire, beggars can’t be choosers.

While it has never been seen in a movie, the Battle of Jakku is a major event that takes place following Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi that was the final nail in the coffin of the Empire. It’s more than a little hilarious to imagine that somewhere in that battle R3X was up in space flying a ship. He’s apparently been on Batuu ever since, but now, he’s a DJ.

Paul Reubens returned to record a lot of new dialogue for R3X. This will certainly be a lot of fun for fans. While it’s hard to argue that Star Tours isn’t a greatly improved attraction now, R3X had a certain charm to him that is missing now..

Of course, actually getting to experience R3X at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge won’t be easy. From all reports, Oga’s Cantina, won’t be a location with a great deal of space, even less if you want to sit down, and you can be sure it’s going to be incredibly popular, if only because it will be one of the few places at Disneyland where alcohol can be purchased.