lazypadawan: (Default)
Normally I post links to AdamDB's Jedi News on SWPAS, but this one covers the whole enchilada and is a reminder of keeping an open mind when it comes to future SW flicks:
lazypadawan: (Default)
J.J. Abrams told "Empire" magazine he "declined early on" directing Episode VII:

It seems to me the convo probably went more like this:

"Hey, guess what they're making more Star Wars movies."

"God help the poor bastard they pick to make that thing! Don't even ask me! Trekkies are easier to please!"

Eh, fine by me. The King of the Lens Flare is what I call a Fifty Percenter. The last thing I want is a director who's determined to "fix" the saga his way and ignore or try to retroactively discredit the prequels. We need somebody who respects Lucas's vision as a whole, not an overgrown fanboy looking to create a late '70s nostalgia piece.

That's nearly all of the fanboy faves, isn't it? They've all demurred, citing "other projects" or "fear."

Again, think outside of the box:
lazypadawan: (Default)
What better to do on Christmas Eve than to outwardly ponder what I think would be neat to see in Eppy VII?

For one thing, I’m putting the whole post-ROTJ expanded universe continuity off the shelf. They may use a few things from the piles of books and comics set in that timeframe but as Lucasfilm reiterated, this is an entirely new story and it’s based on Lucas’s notes for Eps 7-9. Ewan McGregor recently told the Washington Post in an interview that Lucas had told him while filming the prequels that there always was a last part of the story, but at that point Lucas didn’t think they’d ever be made.

So with the field wide open and assuming it still takes place within the lifetimes of Luke, Leia, Han, et al., here are some of my brain doodles:

For one thing, I’d like to see what the galaxy is like with the Force in balance so we can all truly understand what is meant by Anakin’s whole mission as the Chosen One. In Episodes I-III, the shadow of the Dark Side was falling across the galaxy as the Sith’s power was rising and the Republic was in decline. In Episodes IV-VI, the Dark Side was firmly in control as personified by the Empire’s tight grip on the galaxy and the only hope left consisted of underdogs: a farmboy with crash course Jedi training, band of scattered Rebels, criminals, Ewoks, and aging Jedi Masters who had been hiding out for several years. The sun’s back out in Episode VII, the Republic finally is the place of legend, the Jedi Order is restored, and the is universe at peace. One of my pet theories is that with the Force in balance and the galaxy in a new golden age, the door is open to all kinds of abilities that might have been suppressed for a long time by the Dark Side. In short, Luke and his posse of new Jedi will kick butt in ways we have not seen before.

I also think that, as in the expanded universe, Luke will make some tweaks to the Jedi Order that will help them avoid the same pitfalls that destroyed the Order at the end of the Clone Wars. Maybe the new Jedi will operate independently from the Republic (this would be smart). Maybe someone like Leia could be sort of an envoy between the Senate (assuming the Republic restores the Senate) and the Jedi, but none of this crap where the Supreme Chancellor can put his boy on the Council whenever he feels like it. Never again will the Jedi just be sent off to fight a war based on a Senate vote. The Council will keep its own counsel on what it does. The no nookie rule? I can’t see Luke keeping that one either since in a post Order 66 galaxy, beggars can’t be choosers and I don’t see people abandoning their families en masse to go play with lightsabers. As I’ve always said, I can imagine the reply Luke would get if he told Leia she had to dump Han to fulfill her destiny. Unless Leia declines to become a Jedi for that reason. Hmm…

Of course it remains to be seen if the Luke of Episode VII gets a Mrs. Skywalker or not.

All of that said, Luke and Co. have to be secondary players to a whole new generation of heroes. That’s the way it works in Star Wars. The old guys make room for the new, some prematurely (this might be the trilogy where Luke or any one of our fave heroes goes off to Valhalla). We’ll see another batch of heroes and heroines embark on their epic journey of discovery. I think that since Lucas always described the movies as a symphony that echoes parts of each other, I think we’re going to find a young hero in the lead and the primary heroine someone with political clout (like Padme Amidala—former queen and senator—or Leia—former senator and princess) and some third guy along for the ride (Obi-Wan in the prequels, Han in the first set of flicks). They may or may not be related to the Skywalker family, though I think for continuity’s sake they’re likely to be.

All of that said, there has to be a villain, an antagonist or else there’s no tension in the story. Back in 1992, I thought “Dark Empire” was the bees’ knees. But I don’t want to see a Recycled!Palpatine in a new movie, largely because of the way the prequels have influenced the way I look at the story overall since then. Bringing back Sidious or cloning him or whatever would undermine and cheapen Anakin’s big Chosen One moment in ROTJ. That was the moment he finally fulfilled his mission and brought balance to the Force. It would be ridiculous to boot. A few days ago, Timothy Zahn—yes I’m bringing in Tim Zahn—mentioned in an interview about his new book “Scoundrels” that he’d like to see something beyond Guy May Or May Not Fall To The Dark Side, and to be honest, I would too. The Sith have been defeated, leave them there. A possibility is something like the Yuuzhan Vong, an outside alien force that threatens the galaxy through its military strength and its utter brutality. Another possibility is a sect of dark magic users like the Nightsisters. The Clone Wars series established that magic co-exists with the Force in the Star Wars universe. They may not be able to cosmically shift things but can create a lot of instability and trouble. There may be political forces such as differing philosophies causing tension. Maybe there are still many in the galaxy who don’t trust the Jedi, including among the political leadership. But the villain has to be bigger than life, someone who can go toe-to-toe with the Jedi, not just some corporate schmuck looking to pollute a planet or something lame like that.

Speaking of The Clone Wars, I’d love to see elements of the show turn up in awesome and unexpected ways (that came from Lucas’s brain therefore it is parallel with the film canon). Who knows, maybe Ahsoka survived all of these years and runs the Jedi Order with Luke. Maybe we’ll see Mortis in film form. Boy, would I do a happy dance!

It would also be fabulous if there was greater attempts to further tie the six existing films together. Let’s see some Naberrie cousins and visits back to Naboo. Let’s see Luke chatting with Anakin’s Force ghost or Qui-Gon. Or some Jedi watching an old holocron lesson with Mace Windu or Obi-Wan.

Let’s see Jar Jar as Supreme Chancellor, heh heh. Nobody said how long Gungans can live.

I’m sure they’ll find a way for Lando Calrissian to drop in, say hello, and call in a favor. Maybe somebody will finally convince Denis Lawson to put in an appearance. Folks would love to see Wedge again.

And oh yes, word of Chewbacca’s death in that NJO book was greatly exaggerated ;).

Of course I may be way off base. They’re gonna do what they’re gonna do, so I’m not married to any particular idea. But I’m sure we’ll find out what’s in store in 2013, especially when they get around to casting.
lazypadawan: (Default)
A couple of days ago, Reuters mentioned in an article about the Mayan temple that doubled as the Rebel base on Yavin IV in ANH that Eppy VII was about Luke setting up the Jedi Order there...naturally people thought this lowly Reuters staffer knows something the rest of us don't. Folks, Michael Arndt isn't going to take his script to a bar and leave it there like a drunken Apple employee for a Reuters reporter on his way to Guatemala to discover. I knew right away the guy who wrote the article was referring to Kevin J. Anderson's books from the '90s and he probably got that from scouring Wookieepedia or something. Nothing to see here, move along.

Then came more chatter about Marvel getting the comics license when the current one with Dark Horse expires, this time from a Disney blog. Sadly this is probably true. It would be really surprising if Disney were to allow Lucasfilm to license its own comics to a rival when Disney owns one of the biggest comics publishers in the world. Disney likes to keep it in the family. Even though not every Star Wars comic from the past 20 years was a winner, Dark Horse has been a great home for the GFFA. It went from being a small indie to the third largest comics publisher (behind D.C. and Marvel) just as the Star Wars renaissance was happening in the '90s. While the old school Marvel Star Wars comics had their hokey charm, I liked that Dark Horse's stable took the mythology a little more seriously. I thought they had a better handle on what Star Wars is and at the same time, were willing to take chances and expand the universe even beyond what has been in the books. At least back in the late '70s, Stan Lee was still in charge. Frankly I am not a fan of current Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada and I worry about what that guy will do to Star Wars titles. Not to mention that in my humble opinion, most of the guys who work for the big two are the usual fanboy hacks, while Dark Horse finds really good, interesting artists.

Update: Yesterday, Dark Horse's Randy Stradley posted on DH's forum in response to the rumors, "Don't believe everything you read on the internet."
lazypadawan: (Default)
I know this news is a few days old but Kathleen Kennedy told ABC Radio that pre-production on Eppy VII starts next year and that in January, she hopes to have a big announcement ready. Everyone thinks it'll will be about who got hired to direct. This is a reasonable assumption, since you need one in place to get the whole thing off of the ground.

It looks like we'll see pre-production next spring, filming during the summer of 2013, and the long post-production process beginning that fall. If that's the case, this has to be the fastest pre-production time frame I've ever seen for a Star Wars film. Or it's going to be a fast post-production timeframe if they end up shooting later. Usually pre and post take a long time, at least a year or so.
lazypadawan: (Default)
There's a new vid today with Kathleen Kennedy, Papa George, and Lynne Hale as they talk about the Star Wars phenomenon. No earth shattering news but an interesting short chat:

Meanwhile, apparently Lucas was asked about his involvement in Eppy VII and his response was "I don't really have much to do," which makes sense since he retired to do his own stuff. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if he doesn't drop by the set or post-production every now and then! As we all know, Star Wars is a hard habit to break.

Just ask our pal, Ewan McGregor. He'd love to come back!

As I've said on the SWPAS Facebook page, fine with me! It seems to me that Ewan's far more of a fan of all of this than the publicity has let on and over the past few years, it seems to me Ewan kinda misses the GFFA. I don't see why they can't sneak in a holo or a spectral visit in this new trilogy. I say it's entirely possible Anakin taught him the ability to look young and sexy again ;).

But there's another possibility. Disney wants to do spinoff movies that can take place in any timeframe featuring different characters a la Marvel. How about an Obi-Wan film that takes place between ROTS and ANH? They're publishing that book "Kenobi." Why not make that into a movie? That would be SWEEET. *Rubs hands eagerly.*

I read a new post on the official Star Wars blog from Steve Sansweet on the crazy rumors of the past and a post on Club Jade about the Spoiler Wars of '97-'98. I agree with Club Jade on getting a handle on disseminating information and that giving LOTS of behind-the-scenes content and stuff like they did with ROTS is the way to go. It won't stop the crackpot rumors but it will control on-set moles or people stealing scripts and trying to sell them to fan sites.
lazypadawan: (OT3)

And in the pick me! pick me! files, Corey Feldman would love to be in the new flick as well. Heh heh.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Joining the likes of Russell Brand, Tom Hiddleston, David Tennant, and Chris Hemsworth is veteran British stage actor Derek Jacobi in his quest to get jumped into the Star Wars gang:

As you know, Star Wars has a fine tradition of old white guys and gals: Alec Guinness, Peter Cushing, Phil Brown, Shelagh Fraser, Ian McDiarmid, Christopher Lee, Oliver Ford Davies (Sio Bibble), Jira the fruit lady, Cliegg Lars, Jocasta Nu. Why not Derek Jacobi? I say go for it.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Another celeb has expressed his interest in hopping on the Star Wars Bus, the mighty Thor:

I like Hemsworth, so it would be okay by me! (Please include shirtless scenes, thx.)
lazypadawan: (Default)
This time and are claiming that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinsberg (X-Men First Class, X-Men Days Of Future Past, Sherlock Holmes, Jumper) "have been approached" to write subsequent Star Wars films.

"Have been approached" isn't the same thing as being hired and who knows if they were even asked in the first place?

It's like those magazine covers that keep screaming "AT LAST! A BABY AND WEDDING FOR JEN" when Jennifer Aniston has remained for years single (though currently engaged) and childless and nothing changes.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Some "anonymous" person at claimed he's seen Michael Arndt's treatment (what, did he leave it in a bar like an iPhone in development?) and says Lando Calrissian plays a big role in the movie. Huh? Doesn't sound right to me. Furthermore while watching TMZ's show last night, I saw that a staffer ran into Billy Dee Williams at a gas station. When asked about this Moviehole rumor, Williams's response was along the lines of, "Whut?" Yeah.

Then somebody had asked Carrie at a book signing if she was in the flick and someone took her jokey answer to be a "yes." People, people never take anything that chick says seriously!

Finally, rumors are going around the film is going to be released July 7, 2015 without any explanation as to why it would be out in July instead of May like all of the previous six films.
lazypadawan: (facepalm)
Courtesy of a low-level British tabloid that's like the poor bloke's Sun or Daily Mail...Disney wants to resurrect Vader because they can't imagine Star Wars without him:

Sure, if they want to destroy everything Lucas set up with the prior six films! I mean, did the Express's creative writing department even see ROTJ? I guess they also assume nobody at Disney ever saw TPM or AOTC, two movies without Darth Vader that still made a lot of money. Vader as we knew him in Eps VI-VI didn't even appear until almost the end of ROTS, another movie that made a lot of money. Maybe he could appear in a nutty nightmare sequence or something, but Vader's not going to be the primary baddie in this new trilogy.
lazypadawan: (Default)
This was posted yesterday and it looks like more of these are on their way. They want a director who really loves Star Wars. Well, me too. Someone who really loves ALL of Star Wars.
lazypadawan: (Default)
The Hollywood Reporter says the guy who wrote "Toy Story 3," "Catching Fire," and "Little Miss Sunshine" is the one working on an extended treatment for Ep. VII and might write the whole thing after all:

Sounds kinda believable. We'll see!
lazypadawan: (Default)
Russell Brand says he would love to be in the new Star Wars flicks:

To which I say, "Dear God, no!!"
lazypadawan: (Default)
With last Tuesday’s shocking announcement of a new Star Wars film set for release in three years—it might actually be more like 2 and a half years if it’s out in May 2015—comes the inevitable consequence of a Star Wars chapter in pre-production: rampant rumors and speculation.

Already there are all kinds of rumors, some that seem within the realm of believability and others that seem to be really out there. One howler is that the film will be shot in Ohio. Ohio??!! The logic of that rumor is that parts of “The Avengers” were shot there. Except “The Avengers” used urban settings on the cheap because it takes place in our world in our time. Star Wars doesn’t. Does anyone seriously believe they’ll just find cantina extras at a Wal-Mart in Dayton? Puh-leeze. Other rumors claim a screenwriter and director have already been picked, or claim that the film takes place 50 years after ROTJ and the protagonist is female. Those could feasibly have some truth or be right on the money. Or they could be b.s.. We just don’t know.

The thing is at this point, hardly anybody knows and the few that do either don’t have complete information or they are not going to say a word. Once shooting starts, there will be a lot more information, most of which will be false or inaccurate, some of which will turn out to be true.

Anyone who was into Star Wars during the mid-late ‘90s know exactly what to expect in the coming years. There will be a LOT of lies and ridiculous whoppers that will make you laugh hysterically years from now. With the prequels we all knew what it was going to be about and at least a handful of characters who absolutely had to be there. There were still silly rumors, especially early in the production process. Pulling out my old zine Blue Harvest, I can see that there rumors of a Mrs. Obi-Wan character, either to be played by then red-hot Kate Winslet or some Mexican soap opera actress. There was no such character. Also, who can forget the parade of Jedi supposedly being cast for AOTC that happened to fit a bunch of racial/ethnic stereotypes? Or that Bono was going to play a poet? I once talked to a guy in 1997 who claimed he started a rumor on the internet—I don’t know which one—just for jollies. Stuff is made up wholesale or they will run with someone’s speculation as a fact. Even closer to release there were crazy stories. For example, in early 1999 I was hearing that a then-underage Queen Amidala was going to do some sort of seductive dance in TPM. Sometime in 2001-2002 there was a rumor (I hadn’t heard it until later since I was going spoiler-free) that Anakin turns to the dark side right in the middle of the Geonosis battle and starts killing his homies. Both were preposterous and false. How about the rumor that Leonardo DiCaprio was a shoo-in for a grown-up Anakin?

Then of course were the Chicken McNuggets that were true. Around summer-fall 1996 I started to hear casting rumors and that was with limited internet access and relatively few Star Wars fan sites online. One guy I knew at the time sent me an AOL IM one fine day in October 1996 with the cryptic question, “So, what do you think of Natalie Portman?” I answered back, “Who the hell’s Natalie Portman?” (Shortly thereafter, I searched my memory banks and recalled she was the kid Timothy Hutton was in love with in “Beautiful Girls.”) And his reply was, “She’s going to be Luke and Leia’s mother.” I don’t know how this guy knew that, but he was right. Late 1996 was the first time I heard about Ewan McGregor playing Obi-Wan. “Uh, ‘Trainspotting Dude?’” was my reaction. Then not too long after that, I read that he was Denis Lawson’s nephew and realized, “Ah HA!” I’m not saying that’s the only reason Ewan got the part, but it certainly didn’t hurt! Of course, that story turned out to be true. In 2000, I’d heard that Ryan Phillipe was on the short list to be Anakin and it was true. I heard Hayden Christensen was chosen for the role about two weeks before the official announcement. The story about N*Sync shooting a scene as extras for AOTC seemed completely ridiculous since there was a similar rumor about Savage Garden, but later the group members verified it was true and the scene was cut due to fanboy bitching. (Way to set a precedent, Lucasfilm.) During the summer of 2003, I’d heard the makeup for post-duel Vaderkin was so graphic, it was probably going to push ROTS into a PG-13 rating. Yup, it turned out to be true though there are other reasons why it got the PG-13 label.

Going back further, I recall the nutty rumors floating around the playground and in the pages of Starlog magazine. (Read my 10/25 post). There’s a fan published book called “Collect All 21” about growing up during the 1977-1983 era and the bizarre stories the author had heard, like the sequel to Star Wars was already playing at some theater in Kansas City back in like 1978! When information was limited, people’s imaginations ran wild though few fans were all of that interested in having the whole movie spoiled beforehand. The only spoiler-holics around had to wait until the novelization came out weeks before the film’s release.

So with a trilogy that’s wide open on everything, the rumors are really going to be nuts. To sift your way through the nonsense, you just need to use your common sense. Distinguish between speculation, which is just “guessing” or “theorizing”, and what’s purporting to be fact. I’ve noticed that very few sources, whether they are professional or fan sources, distinguish very well between them. And remember nothing’s official until it’s announced through Lucasfilm or Disney.

December 2012

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