As we reported earlier, a website called Tales of the New Republic has popped up on the internet, advertising what appears to be a CGI Star Wars cartoon. The full site is due to go live on Friday 25th May—which, as I'm sure you don't need to be told, is the thirtieth anniversary of Star Wars.
The obvious question is whether this is official Star Wars stuff, or if it's simply a high-quality fan-film.
Here's what we've been able to work out so far.
* The style of the cartoon is the same as that of the official Gentle Giant character maquettes, which you can see here (that connection seems to have been made first on the Slashboing blog).
* In addition, the "Star Wars Animated" logo that appears on the website also appears on the packaging and bases of the maquettes.
* So either some film-making fans are being very cheeky and stealing the logo and visual style of the official maquettes, or else the maquettes were some very sneaky advertising for the series.
* The animation uses LightWave 3D, and is headlining the news ticker on the software's official site. From a quick browse, it seems clear that much of the site's content is tied up with high-level professional use, on movies and TV series like 300 and Stargate: Atlantis, but I don't know if that would exclude a fan-film.
* Attempts to track down the ownership of the URL talesofthenewrepublic.com takes you from InterNIC, via TUCOWS, both standard registration sites, to a company called Perfect Protection LLC, who seem to specifically exist to prevent people ID'ing the real owners of URLs. Again, I don't know if this would exclude the possibility that this is a fan-film.
* The images in the trailer feature Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Wedge Antilles, but not Han Solo. Now, a few months back, we reported on a rumour that Harrison Ford had turned down some sort of Star Wars sequel, which would fit in with Han's apparent absence. The report was quickly dismissed, however, and this could easily be just a coincidence.
So, what's the final analysis? This certainly could be a real new piece of official Star Wars storytelling—there's nothing in all this that conclusively rules it out; but as yet, it would still be pure speculation to suggest that's what it was.
The alternative, of course, is that this is the work of some creative fans, perhaps trying to be deliberately mysterious in the hope of generating some hype about their new fan-film....
We'll bring you more on this story as we have it!!
UPDATE: New pics over at talesofthenewrepublic.com. Click here to check them out. Thanks to John N. for keeping an eye out. Again, we will bring you more as we learn more.
UPDATE #2:Tales of the New Republic site updated with new trailer. Click here to check it out. (Thanks to Nuno S., Master Ki-Aaron-Mundi, Jonathan B. and Soren for looking out)
UPDATE #3: Looks to be a fan film and possilby not a film at all, but a sweet looking trailer. Here is how the teaser is described at YouTube:
"A 'what if' teaser in the style of a cartoony animated Star Wars show."
Thanks to reader "ObiWannaKracker" and Jason from your Weekly Force Cast for scoping this one. UPDATE #4: The Tales of the New Republic site have added the following disclaimer: "We can 100% assure you that this is NOT an official Lucasfilm production and is in no way connected to them." And there you have it. Wonder if legal action had anything to do with the new disclaimer. Check it out here.
Thanks to "m1n1s1n" for catching the disclaimer.
Jedi Journals: May 2013 Posted By Dustin on May 1, 2013: Chris & Jay discuss their May The 4th (Be With You) plans!