Tsum Tsum Plush Preview: Tangled

Thanks to Toy Fair in London this past weekend we got a preview of some upcoming Tsum Tsum sets!

Posh Paws, the maker of 3rd party Tsum Tsums in the UK (the ones sold at stores other than the Disney Store like Toys R US), had a booth with a bunch of upcoming Tsum Tsums. Many were ones that have already been released by the Disney Store but haven’t made their way to other stores yet (For example Aladdin and Peter Pan); however, there were a few that were completely new!

Before discussing this set further here are some close ups of the Tsums in the set:

Rapunzel:

Flynn Rider:

Pascal

Maximus:

We are VERY excited about this set as we love Tangled but there are still a few questions.

First, when will the Tangled set be released? Sadly we don’t know for sure yet; however, the Disney Store always releases sets before Posh Paws does and Posh Paws probably won’t release them until the summer (it looks like they will release Tangled and Finding Dory at the same time). As far as the Disney Store that is a little harder to guess; however, based on other upcoming sets it is quite possible it will be within the next few months. The exact month will depend on how far in advance of the movies they release the Jungle Book and Finding Dory Tsum Tsums, but if I had to guess it will probably be March or April.

Second, will there be other characters in the set? Most of the 3rd party (Posh Paws, Disney Collection, etc) sets have been subsets of the Disney Store sets with characters missing (for example, they only have 3 of the 7 dwarfs) so it is likely there will be additional characters released at the Disney Store. Based on e-bay leaks we expect Mother Gothel and possibly another Pascal (wearing a dress) – but there could be even more than that… hopefully we will know for sure soon!

Barbie’s Got a new Body

MATTEL RELEASES THREE NEW BODY SHAPES FOR THE WORLD’S BEST-SELLING DOLL. INSIDE THE BIGGEST CHANGE IN BARBIE’S 57-YEAR HISTORY–AND WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT AMERICAN BEAUTY IDEALS

Barbie’s dress won’t fit.

Photograph by Kenji Aoki for TIME

 

Like every girl who has ever played with the most popular toy in history, I yank her clothes off and try to put on a new dress. It’s a blue summery frock, cinched tightly at the waist with a black ribbon. I try to tug it over her head, but the waistline gets stuck at her shoulders, her blond mane peeking out from the neckline. “Try going feet first,” the lead designer suggests, and I do. No good. Her plump bottom gets stuck in the same spot. Yes, plump. Barbie’s got a new body. Three new bodies, actually: petite, tall and curvy, in Mattel’s exhaustively debated lexicon, and beginning Jan. 28 they will be sold alongside the original busty, thin-waisted form on Barbie.com. They’ll all be called Barbie, but it’s the curvy one—with meat on her thighs and a protruding tummy and behind—that marks the most startling change to the most infamous body in the world.

It’s a massive risk for Mattel. Barbie is more than just a doll. The brand does $1 billion in sales across more than 150 countries annually, and 92% of American girls ages 3 to 12 have owned a Barbie, thanks in part to her affordable $10 price tag. She’s been the global symbol of a certain kind of American beauty for generations, with brand recognition that’s up there with Mickey Mouse. M.G. Lord, a Barbie biographer, once said she was designed “to teach women what—for better or worse—is expected of them in society.”

The company hopes that the new dolls, with their diverse body types, along with the new skin tones and hair textures introduced last year, will more closely reflect their young owners’ world. But the initiative could also backfire—if it’s not too late altogether. Adding three new body types now is sure to irritate someone: just picking out the terms petite, tall and curvy, and translating them into dozens of languages without causing offense, took months. And like me, girls will strip curvy Barbie and try to put original Barbie’s clothes on her or swap the skirts of petite and tall. Not everything will Velcro shut. Fits will be thrown, exasperated moms will call Mattel. The company is setting up a separate help line just to deal with Project Dawn complaints.

But staying the course was not an option. Barbie sales plummeted 20% from 2012 to 2014 and continued to fall last year. A line of toys designed to teach girls to build, Lego Friends, helped boost Lego above Mattel as the biggest toy company in the world in 2014. Then Hasbro won the Disney Princess business away from Mattel, just as Elsa from the film Frozen dethroned Barbie as the most popular girl’s toy. The estimated revenue loss to Mattel from Elsa and the other Disney Princesses is $500 million.

Meanwhile, American beauty ideals have evolved: the curvaceous bodies of Kim Kardashian West, Beyoncé and Christina Hendricks have become iconic, while millennial feminist leaders like Lena Dunham are deliberately baring their un-Barbie-like figures onscreen, fueling a movement that promotes body acceptance. In this environment, a new generation of mothers favor what they perceive as more empowering toys for their daughters. Elsa might be just as blond and waif-thin as Barbie, but she comes with a backstory of strength and sisterhood. “The millennial mom is a small part of our consumer base,” concedes Evelyn Mazzocco, head of the Barbie brand, “but we recognize she’s the future.”

BarbieCurvy_Original

PART 2
The board behind Mazzocco’s desk is filled with words like out of touch, materialistic, not diverse.

She tacked them up shortly after she took over Barbie in 2014, part of a massive shake-up at Mattel during which president and COO Richard Dickson put people with creative backgrounds at the head of several brands, hoping they would come up with more-innovative solutions to Mattel’s sinking sales. The first thing Mazzocco did in that role was survey Barbie’s haters.

“I wanted to remind myself every time I came to work about the reality of what is going on with the brand,” says Mazzocco, who has three daughters whom she uses as her “own little focus group.” Not that she needed the reminder: she routinely receives hate mail and even death threats over Barbie’s body.

Barbie has courted controversy since her birth. Her creator, Ruth Handler, based Barbie’s body on a German doll called Lilli, a prostitute gag gift handed out at bachelor parties. Her proportions were designed accordingly. When Handler introduced Barbie (named after her daughter Barbara) in 1959 at the New York Toy Fair, her male competitors laughed her out of the room: nobody, they insisted, would want to play with a doll with breasts.

Still, Barbie’s sales took off, but by 1963 women were protesting the same body men had ridiculed. That year, a teen Barbie was sold with a diet book that recommended simply, “Don’t eat.” When a Barbie with pre-programmed phrases uttered, “Math class is tough,” a group called the Barbie Liberation Organization said the doll taught girls that it was more important to be pretty than smart. They switched out Barbie’s voice box with that of GI Joe so that the blonde cried, “Vengeance is mine,” while the macho warrior enthused, “Let’s plan our dream wedding.”

Mattel argues that the criticism was misplaced—that Barbie was a businesswoman in 1963, an astronaut in 1965 and a surgeon in 1973 when 9% of all doctors were women. “Our brand represents female empowerment,” argues Dickson. “It’s about choices. Barbie had careers at a time when women were restricted to being just housewives. Ironically, our critics are the very people who should embrace us.”

Mattel has also long claimed that Barbie has no influence on girls’ body image, pointing to whisper-thin models and even moms as the source of the dissatisfaction that too many young girls feel about their bodies. A handful of studies, however, suggest that Barbie does have at least some influence on what girls see as the ideal body. The most compelling, a 2006 study published in the journal Developmental Psychology, found that girls exposed to Barbie at a young age expressed greater concern with being thin, compared with those exposed to other dolls.

BarbiePetite_Tall

But it was only when moms started voting with their dollars that Mattel had to reassess these criticisms. In the mid-2000s Barbie faced her first serious competition after years of maintaining about 90% market share of the doll sector. Bratz, the edgy, bug-eyed dolls with their own smartphones and lip gloss, were “eating Barbie’s lunch in the older-girl demographic, and Disney Princess was chomping away at the younger-girl demographic,” explains Dickson. “Barbie was having an identity crisis.”

At first, this wasn’t a major problem for Mattel. Dickson was brought in in 2000 to expand the Barbie brand from dolls to apparel, TV shows and gaming. That’s when Barbie got her own interactive website. (She also has her own show that streams on Netflix.) The Barbie brand’s sales went up even as the doll’s sales sank. And Mattel as a whole prospered. The company was producing the Disney Princess dolls through a licensing deal, and to combat the Bratz problem, it created its own line of cutting-edge dolls, Monster High.

But in 2012, Barbie global sales dropped 3%. They dropped another 6% in 2013 and 16% in 2014. And the dominance of Frozen’s Elsa signals more trouble ahead. Even two years after the film’s release, the allure of Frozen hasn’t abated. At a Los Angeles Target, I locate Barbie in the toy aisle, beaming down at me from her dream house (pink convertible sold separately). On the next shelf over sits Elsa in a box that invites you to press a button to hear her sing. I press. As the doll begins to belt out the girl-power anthem “Let It Go,” children—girls and boys—come running from all directions screaming, dancing, one explaining to her mom why they need yet another variation of the Elsa doll in their house. I make a hasty retreat as the mother begins to look around for the idiot who started playing “Let It Go” in the toy aisle during the holiday season.

Therein lies Barbie’s problem. As much as Mattel has tried to market her as a feminist, Barbie’s famous figure has always overshadowed her business outfits. At her core, she’s just a body, not a character, a canvas upon which society can project its anxieties about body image. “Barbie has all this baggage,” says Jess Weiner, a branding expert and consultant who has worked with Dove, Disney and Mattel to create empowering messaging for girls. “Her status as an empowered woman has been lost.”

With all that in mind, Kim Culmone, head of design, posed a challenge to her team:

If you could design Barbie today, how would you make her a reflection of the times? Out of that came changing Barbie’s face to have less makeup and look younger, giving her articulated ankles so she could wear flats as well as heels, giving her new skin tones to add diversity and then of course changing the body. While curvy Barbie’s hips, thighs and calves are visibly larger than before, from the waist up she is less Jessica Rabbit than she is pear-shaped. Mattel refuses to discuss the actual proportions of the new dolls or how it came to decide on them.

What’s clear in listening to the team discuss the project is that every step was taken on tiptoe. “It’s a personal issue because almost every woman has owned a Barbie, and every woman has some relationship with or opinion about Barbie,” says Culmone. During one meeting, designers, marketers and researchers fixated on the shoe problem. There will now be two Barbie shoe sizes, one for curvy and tall and another for original and petite. “We can’t label them 1, 2, because someone will read into that as saying one’s better than the other,” Barbie designer and former Project Runway contestant Robert Best explains. “Plus, we have to put the Barbie branding on every single object, and the shoes are so tiny.” They finally land on a B for one shoe size and Barbie’s face on the other. Moms will have to puzzle out which is which when they find a miniature stiletto jammed between their couch cushions.

Indeed, the additional bodies are a logistical nightmare. Mattel will sell the dolls exclusively on Barbie.com at first while it negotiates with retailers for extra shelf space to make room for the new bodies and their clothes alongside the original. There are a seemingly infinite number of combinations of hair texture, hair cut and color, body type and skin tone. And then there’s the issue of how to package the dolls. Mothers surveyed in Mattel focus groups expressed concern over giving the new dolls to their daughter or a friend of their daughter’s. What if a sensitive mom reads into the gift of a curvy doll a comment on her daughter’s weight? Mattel decided to sell the dolls in sets to avoid this problem, but then it had to figure out which dolls to sell together to optimize diversity and marketability.

“Yes, some people will say we are late to the game,” says Mazzocco. “But changes at a huge corporation take time.”

“Hello, I’m a fat person, fat, fat, fat,”

A 6-year-old girl giving voice for the first time to curvy Barbie sings in a testing room at Mattel’s headquarters. Her playmates erupt in laughter.

When an adult comes into the room and asks her if she sees a difference between the dolls’ bodies, she modifies her language. “This one’s a little chubbier,” she says. Girls in other sessions are similarly careful about labels. “She’s, well, you know,” says an 8-year-old as she uses her hands to gesture a curvier woman. A shy 7-year-old refuses to say the word fat to describe the doll, instead spelling it out, “F, a, t.”

“I don’t want to hurt her feelings,” she says a little desperately.

As always, Barbie acts as a Rorschach test for the girls who play with her—and the adults who evaluate her. It’s a testament to anti-bullying curriculums in elementary schools that none of the girls would use words like fat in front of an adult, which Barbie’s research team says wasn’t true even three years ago. Still, the girls learning the ways of political correctness do not as wholeheartedly embrace the new dolls as their moms.

“We see it a lot. The adult leaves the room and they undress the curvy Barbie and snicker a little bit,” says Tania Missad, who runs the research team for Mattel’s girls portfolio. “For me, it’s these moments where it just really sets in how important it is we do this. Over time I would love it if a girl wouldn’t snicker and just think of it as another beautiful doll.”

It’s a sign that even kids as young as 6 or 7 are already conditioned for a particular silhouette in their dolls, and it highlights Mattel’s challenge. Mazzocco reflects on her experience with her daughters (two Barbie fans, one not) when she talks about the diversity imperative at the brand. “I do all kinds of things for my kids that they don’t like or understand, from telling them to do their homework to eating their vegetables,” she says. “This is very similar. It’s my responsibility to make sure that they have inclusivity in their lives even if it doesn’t register for them.”

Many of the mothers in the four focus groups that Mattel allows me to observe agree with the direction Mattel is taking. And they are, after all, the ones who buy the dolls. Though young moms might be the most vocal on social media when it comes to Barbie’s body, Mattel’s extensive surveys show that moms across the country care about diversity in terms of color and body, regardless of age, race or socioeconomic position. (The majority of the women in the focus groups I watched were middle class and African American or Hispanic.)

Emily Shur for TIMEA Barbie prototype is pieced together at Mattel’s El Segundo, Calif., headquarters

“She’s cute thick,” offers one mom who says she has a 19-year-old son and two daughters, 3 and 5. “I have the hardest time finding clothes that are fitted and look good. It’s like if you’re bigger, you have to wear a sack. But she doesn’t look like that.” A mom sporting a tattoo says that she prefers buying My Little Pony toys to any sort of dolls to avoid the body-image issue altogether, and other mothers nod in agreement. Most say the new Barbie types would make them more likely to buy Barbie.

What I Learned Watching Moms and Kids Meet Curvy Barbie

Some say Mattel didn’t go far enough. “I wish that she were curvier,” one woman wearing her uniform from her job at a restaurant complains. “There are shapes that are curvier and still are beautiful. My daughter definitely has curves, and I would want to give her a doll like that. It’s a start, I guess.”

And despite the girls who thought the curvy doll looked fat, most of the kids in the groups I observe choose their favorite doll or the doll that looks most like them based on hair, not body shape. A curvy, blue-haired doll that many girls dub Katy Perry is by far the most popular. But when asked which doll is Barbie, the girls invariably point to a blonde.

The idea that all these different dolls—none of whom look alike—can all be Barbie is confusing to moms too. “I brought my daughter to a Christmas-tree lighting with Santa and Barbie the other day,” says a mom in one of the focus groups. “If a black woman or a redheaded woman or a heavyset woman had shown up, my daughter would have been like, ‘Where’s Barbie?’” If Mattel takes away everything that makes Barbie an icon, is she still that icon? Companies work decades to create the sort of brand recognition that Barbie has. When people around the world close their eyes and think of Barbie, they see a specific body. If that body changes, Barbie could lose that status. Worse still, some customers may not like the new version. Too bad for them.

“Ultimately, haters are going to hate,” Dickson says. “We want to make sure the Barbie lovers love us more—and perhaps changing the people who are negative to neutral. That would be nice.”

DC Legend of Tomorrow

I Just watched episode One and Two

 

– I liked Arthur Darvill. I think he did a good job as Rip Hunter. However, making Rip Hunter basically Doctor Who was an odd choice.

– The Rogues and Sara Lance work together very, very well.

Martin Stein drugging Jax to get him to go with them was waaaaaaay too disturbing of a thing to do for Jax to just go, “Eh, it’s cool. As it turns out, this reminded me that I like being part of a team again, so don’t feel bad about you drugging and kidnapping me.” Also, Franz Drameh does some terrible, terrible line readings.

– Isn’t it kind of weird that Rip Hunter tells them that Vandal Savage killed billions of people, and they’re like, “Eh, what are you going to do?” but then, “He killed my son!” and it’s, “Okay, Rip, we’ll help you!”

– The writing in general was pretty clunky, but it was understandably a hard concept to get across.

– I miss Sara Lance, so I’m glad to see her back on TV. Caity Lotz is charming.

– The whole twist of them being there because they are NOT legends was a good one.

– I really like the Hawk-people effects. I don’t like either of the actors for the Hawk-people, but the effects of their wings are cool!

– It is always fun seeing actors like Victor Garber in shows like this, because it’s almost like it is effortless for them to be good. Like all the Shakespearean actors who love doing Star Trek (remember Christopher Plummer in Star Trek VI? Dude was SO into it!).

– I’ll stick around for more, but I liked the Flash pilot a good deal more than this one and the Arrow pilot (which was a bit iffy itself) more than this.

 

 

Zachary Levi loses work over being ‘too Jewish

 

“Thor” star Zachary Levi says that he has been turned down for roles because he’s “too Jewish” – even though he’s not Jewish at all.

“I heard multiples times that I was too Jewish,which is surprising to people because I go by Zachary Levi. Levi is my middle name. Pugh is my real last name. I’m Welsh.”

“I guess they were looking for more of a corn-fed, white boy look,” he added, “My family is from f****** Indiana! Come on, I’m like dying here!”

Fortunately, the actor told us he got to skip the casting directors entirely when landing his new role in Eva Longoria’s show “Telenovela.”

“I didn’t audition,” he said, “We’ve been friends for so long and she just said, ‘Hey, I have this role. Would you want to come do it?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll come do it.'”

Trailer for Wonder Woman

It’s been more than a decade since we’ve seen a super-heroine movie, which, given the overload of superhero movies we’ve had in the same time period (20-plus), is especially disappointing. Plus, the kick-assery of new series like Supergirl and Marvel’s Jessica Jones has given us a taste of just how awesome these leading ladies can be—so our desire to see an anti-damsel in distress take over the big screen and the box office is officially at an all-time high. Hence, why we’ve been obsessing over every single detail and image from the forthcoming DC Comics production of Wonder Woman, which isn’t due out until June 2017. The first looks at Gal Gadot as the Amazonian warrior have both impressed; not only does she look especially fierce, but the absence of any Wonderbra cleavage and corsets is both relieving and refreshing. And now, the first official footage from theWonder Woman movie is here—and it’s safe to say we’re more than pretty pumped for the film.

The teaser not only gives us a closer look at Wonder Woman in action (Spoiler: She’s one badass warrior), but also a peek into her origin story. “We’re going to see her coming of age, the entire history, what’s her mission,” Gadot revealed in the preview. Director Patty Jenkins also shared: “The greatest thing about Wonder Woman is how good and kind and loving she is, yet none of that negates any of her power.” Also featured in the preview are her co-stars Chris Pine (who describes the movie as “pivotal and important—the story of a very powerful woman”) and Ben Affleck. Take a look below…


Wonder Woman will first appear in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice on March 25, and Wonder Woman hits theaters June 23, 2017.

Bye Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman always claimed you might get to know him by watching his work. And if that’s the case, then he was an artist, a lover, a comedian, and more. His work has unrivaled importance in my life, and in the lives of so many others.

He was more than just that droll voice that almost seemed to sneak out from between clenched teeth. His voice was so iconic, and he used it to express so many different emotions: love, hatred, snark, warmth, amusement, disgust, et cetera. But when he was at his best…his voice conveyed the deepest passion. And that extended outside of his roles. When he spoke of acting, he always spoke of it as art, and he insisted upon it with the sort of passion that makes you acutely aware of the fact that there is a live, beating organ inside of your chest.

His characters have always had so much depth, layer upon layer upon layer. He gave life to even the most despicable villains, like Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988) who was twisted at best…and yet, he was the type of bad guy that made you rub your hands together in glee. Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) was one of the greatest performances ever. The heat of his hatred of Robin Hood was completely beautiful and delicious, but nothing was more beautiful and delicious than his blasé attitude towards causing others pain and suffering. It was as funny as it was dark. I’ll go so far as to say he deserved an Oscar. “I’m gonna cut your heart out with a spoon!” is still one of the best moments in anything ever. Ever.

And then of course, there is Severus Snape. Even before fans of J.K. Rowling’s legendary Harry Potter book series learned Snape’s real story, Alan Rickman portrayed the Slytherin professor’s dislike of Harry Potter with a strain of something deeper. There was always an underlying pain there, like Rickman knew there was more to Severus Snape’s story even before he read about it in the book. Snape wasn’t simply a tragic figure when Rickman played him. It wasn’t just sympathy he incited. If you go back and watch the films from the beginning, you can see how hard he battles himself – in every look, in every word. When I think of Rickman’s performance in all eight of the Harry Potter films, the one scene that stands out the most is his very last scene. He’s insisting to Voldemort that the wand he wields has the power to kill the very same boy he’s been secretly protecting all these years. After years of fearlessness in the face of the Dark Lord, for once, we see Severus Snape afraid. The anger and evil he’s always shown in his face when meeting with Voldemort flickers, and in a slight twitch of his mouth, you see real fear…fear of Voldemort’s intentions, and finally fear of his own death. The brutality of Snape’s murder juxtaposed with his final words to Harry – none of this would have had any of the impact without Rickman’s performance.

But unlike so many other actors who immortalized themselves in their villainous roles, Alan Rickman was still so very believable as a hero, as a comedian, and even as a lover. In Sense and Sensibility, Rickman plays Colonel Brandon with a quiet kindness and intelligence. When he insists he’ll never be good enough for Marianne, the much younger and very beautiful object of his affection, he puts the blame totally on himself, not on her. There’s never an ounce of self-pity, however. Rickman’s Colonel Brandon is the best portrayal of Jane Austen’s creation onscreen to date because of how effortless it is. There is no reason why Marianne shouldn’t realize she loves him at the end of the film. It isn’t just that he saves her life. It’s every last facet of his strong, reliable, admirable, passionate character.

And then there was Dogma (1999). “I am…the Metatron.” His comedic timing was just flawless. The lines Metatron was given could’ve easily fallen flat with any other actor. It was a flurry of quips, catchphrases, and witty clichés. But with Alan Rickman at the helm, those lines were undeniably brilliant.

My personal favorite was his role as Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest (1999). Or, as Dane’s fans knew him, Dr. Lazarus. It’s easy to write Galaxy Quest off if you aren’t a huge nerd. After all, Rickman was an award-winning, serious, Shakespearean actor. But Rickman’s turn as a disgruntled science fiction television actor who’s painfully aware of his career’s decline is probably the biggest reason why the film has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. His self-disgust in the beginning of the film is dripping from every single word he says. He hates his life, he hates Dr. Lazarus, and he hates the fans. He hates everything. Galaxy Quest has such a massive audience because it’s a satire on nerd culture, made by people whose own nerdiness and affection for nerd-dom comes through in every last facet of the film. No other character exemplifies this better than Alexander Dane, who comes to truly understand the massive impact Dr. Lazarus and the show had on its fans, as silly as the show was. His character swings from the indignity in his voice when he promotes furniture dealers in perfect Alan Rickman drone, “By Grabthar’s hammer…what a savings,” to passionately using the same corny catchphrase with pride towards the end of the film in order to comfort Quellek in his last moments.

pic 1

Alan Rickman’s art knew no bounds. He was a very serious actor, who treated every last role with respect, whether it was in a comedy, a romance, a period piece, an outright drama, or a Shakespearean role on the stage. But there was warmth to him, and approachability. In spite of his obvious intelligence and elegance, he was endearing, admirable, and funny. And he was certainly aware of the anomaly of his voice. He was amused by the way people took to it and attempted to impersonate him.

It’s impossible to truly describe his loss. We didn’t just lose a good actor. He was an artist. He was an exceptionally good man. He was the type of celebrity who was, to his fans, both enigmatic and personal. There will never be another Alan Rickman. His artistry and his humanity have marked my existence, just as it has marked the existence of so many others. Millions of people throughout the decades his career spanned were touched by his performances. Moved by his voice.

He was a gift to the industry. And he was a gift to his fans.

By Grabthar’s hammer, Alan Rickman, you shall be remembered.

Young Han Solo Will Be Revealed Sooner Than You Think

Star Wars
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

RELEASE
12/16/2016

CAST
Felicity Jones
Forest Whitaker
Mads Mikkelsen

STUDIO
Disney

DIRECTOR
Gareth Edwards

Disney and Lucasfilm are zeroing in on their young, scruffy-looking Nerfherder for the upcoming, untitled Han Solo standalone film set before A New Hope.

According to Variety, the studio has narrowed down its short-list of young Han Solos to just about a dozen young actors, and producer Kathleen Kennedy and directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are expected to make a decision within the next few weeks.

Per the report, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort (who professionally DJs under the name “Ansolo”), Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Emory Cohen, and Blake Jenner are among the names making the cut. Filming for Lord and Miller’s much-hyped Solo film doesn’t officially begin until January, but the rush to find their Nerfherder might have something to do with production on Gareth Edwards’s standalone feature Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which wraps in a few weeks. Reportedly, Solo might make a surprise appearance in Rogue One.

If young Han Solo makes a cameo in Rogue One, it could help us unravel the mystery of Disney and Lucasfilm’s untitled Solo anthology film. Rogue One takes place before a A New Hope, following a group of Rebel fighters who come together to carry out a crucial mission: to steal the plans for the Death Star before it can be used to enforce the Emperor’s rule. It’s been confirmed that the timeline of Rogue One will tie in loosely to the Disney Channel animated series “Rebels,” which takes place five years before the events of Episode IV.

Harrison Ford was 35 when he played Han Solo in George Lucas’ A New Hope, and while Solo’s age has never been officially confirmed, Lucas himself said he was looking for someone around the age of 30 to play the captain of the Millennium Falcon. If young Han Solo does appear in Rogue One, and it does indeed take place approximately five years prior to A New Hope, this means we’re looking at a 24 to 26-year-old Han Solo.

Now, Hollywood is all about smoke and mirrors, and any one of these young actors could play someone in their mid-20s—at 29, Eastwood is the oldest contender—but it helps flesh out some of the details of this top-secret project. That being said, there’s no official confirmation that young Han will appear in Rogue One. In fact, Kennedy told EW back in August that Han will “definitely be probably in the high teens, low 20s.”

Given the varying ages among the actors in the short-list, however, they’re clearly still figuring young Han Solo’s story out. We can only hope the film is a two-hour love letter to Han and Chewie’s everlasting friendship.

All jokes aside, regardless of who gets cast in the role, we’ll definitely be along for the ride.