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Your Star Wars news roundup!

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The Force is strong with your latest Star Wars news roundup. Here's what's been making the headlines across the galaxy.

Christian Bale considered Solo role

He's currently burning up the screen in gritty Western Hostiles, and it turns out Christian Bale has always been a massive Star Wars fan. So much of a fan in fact, he was in talks for a pivotal role in the forthcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, directed by Ron Howard. Even so, it wasn't to be.

"Yes, [it was] very tempting," he tells Happy Sad Confused podcaster Josh Horowitz. "I not only love the films going back to my childhood but also have a very long relationship with Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall because they did Empire of the Sun many years back. There was discussion, [and] I hope there will be future discussions."

Can we rule out a possible appearance in a future Star Wars movie? Whilst we wait for an answer there's certainly no denying Bale's love for the series.

"I'm a huge fan. Yeah Star Wars really interests me. I’ve still got the Millennium Falcon, I’ve got the AT-AT. My daughter, her first love was Darth Vader. She absolutely adored Darth Maul. [She] stood near him at Disneyland and he growled and he’s got those teeth and he stayed in character, really wonderful performance, and she was teeny and I thought, 'This is gonna scare the crap out of her, this is such a bad idea.' And then she stopped and she said, 'Daddy, I’m in love.'"

Solo: A Star Wars Story is released on 25th May 2018. In the meantime, discover the questions we want answered in Episode IX.


The secrets behind The Last Jedi's infamous milk sequence

Did you love or hate The Last Jedi? Whatever your response one scene is hard to dislodge from the mind. We are of course talking about the controversial moment where hermit Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) milks a creature (known as a Thala-Siren) on his island retreat of Ahch-To, to the disgust of Rey (Daisy Ridley).

An explanation as to how Luke has survived on his own for all this time? Or simply an excuse for gross out humour? Whatever your feelings writer-director Rian Johnson and the crew went to challenging lengths to bring the sequence to life.

Creature designer Neal Scanlan tells Collider that a massive animatronic puppet was built in the classic Star Wars tradition at Pinewood Studios. This was then transported to the filming location: the remote island of Skellig off the south-west coast of Ireland. Two hidden operators then brought the Thala-Siren to life.

"Once it was in the location, we locked two puppeteers inside there. The head opened a little bit, two puppeteers got inside, we put the head back up, and we sealed it with a prosthetic band that went around the side," he explains. "The guys on the inside could see what was happening on the outside, through monitors and a walkie system that we had, and Mark literally walked up, bent down, and milked his sea-sow. It made a lovely tasting drink, by the way. It wasn’t as disgusting as it looked."

On the latter point, Scanlan adds: "They CG-ed a tint on it, in the end, to make it look even more disgusting. It was wonderful to be there and to do it for real, amongst the elements."

What did you make of this scene in The Last Jedi? Tweet us your responses @Cineworld.


Star Wars surpasses Harry Potter at the box office

In the age-old battle between Jedi and Hogwarts, there can be only one victor. And Star Wars has been the one to emerge victorious in the battle of the box office franchises, surpassing previous record holder Harry Potter in terms of bums on seats.

The runaway success of The Last Jedi, which recently exceeded $1 billion worldwide, has boosted the total B.O. of the Star Wars saga to a gargantuan $8.55bn, according to figures from Star Wars News Net.

The Harry Potter series, which ended in 2011 with The Deathly Hallows – Part II, amassed $8.53bn across nine movies. Even so, it's not enough to defeat the might of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which currently looms over everything with a $13.5bn total. With further phases of the MCU planned, don't expect to see that franchise overhauled any time soon.

However the battle isn't done yet: the Fantastic Beasts prequel series is ongoing with the next instalment, The Crimes of Grindelwald, coming in November of this year. Meanwhile Star Wars is proceeding with Episode IX (directed by JJ Abrams), Rian Johnson's planned new trilogy, due to begin in 2020, and the anthology offshoots including the aforementioned Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Which side of the fence do you fall down on: Jedi or wizard? Let us know @Cineworld.