The Star Wars News Roundup – 4.12.13


We’ve got a LOT of material for you today. And if it looks like a crazy amount, consider the fact that almost all of this appeared online just this week. Read on!

Episode VII and Spinoff Movie News Summary

Harrison Ford was on Good Morning America this week promoting the release of 42 when he was asked about Star Wars: Episode VII:

Vargas also addressed a few upcoming roles in which she hopes to see Ford.

“We hope we’re going to see you very soon in ‘Star Wars.’ Will you be great in that as well?” Vargas asked.

“Yeah, I’ll be average,” Ford joked.

You can see video of the interview at the link.

Ford also appeared on the David Letterman show and discussed it as detailed by the The Huffington Post. Ford obviously continued to have fun with it all:

When Letterman asked him about the rumors though, Ford didn’t exactly sound like he was on board.

“I was only in three,” he said. “You follow what I’m saying?”

“You don’t want to be in another one?” Letterman asked him.

“Well, for a long time they didn’t ask me. So, imagine how I feel,” Ford responded.

You can see the full video here:

Meanwhile, Billy Dee Williams took to his Facebook page to clarify rumors about his potential casting in the sequels.

“I am in the dark with the actual plans that Disney and Lucasfilm have for the future of the “Star Wars” universe. I have heard the same rumors that the fans heard, that a new trilogy is being made, that spin-offs may be made, that we all [Mark, Carrie, Harrison and myself] are going to be reprising our roles in these projects. At this point in time, nothing has been confirmed about my participation and I have signed no contracts. I assure you that I would absolutely love to reprise my role of Lando Calrissian. He’s a character that I took great pride in creating on screen and have continued to be a part of when providing his voice for video games, the new “Star Wars Detours” cartoon and for various episodes of “Robot Chicken,” among other projects. It’s a lot of fun to keep Lando alive and I am eager to do it again, on film, when I get the call. I thank all the fans out there for their continued support and I hope to get the call from Disney and Lucasfilm real soon, until then, may the force be with us all!” ~ Billy Dee Williams

Digital Spy also caught up with C-3PO himself Anthony Daniels and got his update:

Asked about the prospect of an Episode VII return for C-3PO, Daniels told Digital Spy: “Look, it’s all very early days and I don’t want to wear anybody out by speculating or letting you waste your energy by saying ‘What do you think?’

“I’m certainly not sitting by the phone, but it’s always nice when it rings. Do you know what I mean?”

Daniels described the prospect of more Star Wars movies under the stewardship of Disney as “wonderful”, saying: “It never occurred to me that it would happen. Everybody’s really happy that Disney have taken over the mantle. Kathy Kennedy is so well loved and she is carrying George Lucas’s torch so much further.”

Visit the link for comments on when we may hear more Episode VII news.

Club Jade noticed an interesting bit of information this week:

In a press release yesterday announcing that Captain America: The Winter Soldier has begun filming, Marvel credits Mary Jo Markey with also being the editor for Episode VII. Surprise!

They also note that Maryann Brandon, another frequent J.J. Abrams collaborator, is credited on IMDb, but not much stock is put in that information yet.

Many know Sam Witwer as one of the stars of “Being Human,” but Star Wars fans know him as Starkiller from the “Force Unleashed” games and the voice of Darth Maul and other characters from “The Clone Wars.” So Digital Spy naturally asked him if he had any interest in “Episode VII.”

“I would jump at the opportunity to simply audition [for Episode 7],” Witwer told Digital Spy.

“Star Wars is something that I’ve been a fan of since I was a kid – I played all the video games and I grew up reading Star Wars books.

“Working on the franchise and getting direction from George Lucas – it’s something that I never thought would take place.”

Witwer also voiced his approval for the new Star Wars producers, adding: “They have a great creative team – George is basically resuming the role that he had back in the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi days – the guy behind the story.

“And then they’ve got JJ as the director – they have a lot of smart people working on this.”

So as we’ve said before, expressing interest to the press about Star Wars got Samuel L. Jackson his role as Mace Windu. Witwer already has an ‘in’ at Lucasfilm, so we’ll see where that takes him.

On Monday, there was a press event to show 10 minutes of Elysium. At the event were the director Neill Blomkamp (who directed District 9) and “Episode VII” producer and Star Wars spinoff writer Simon Kinberg. Blomkamp was asked about creating original sci-fi and playing in other people’s world’s when he stated the following:

“Then there’s a few pieces of cinema history that I like so much. I don’t know if I could be involved with them, but there’s iconic characters out there that I really like and would love to get closer to and make a film about. When I start dipping my toes into it, I get this allergic reaction. Maybe one day I’ll end up doing something like that.”

Kinberg gave a smile after this. Is Blomkamp being courted to do a Han Solo or Boba Fett movie by Kinberg? Stay tuned!

Star Wars Rumor Mongering

A reader sent in the photo below of some Stormtroopers gathering on the Universal backlot. Why? Nobody knows for sure. Maybe it was for a commercial or TV special. We’ll see!

Star Wars Video Games

Kotaku talks to former Lucasarts employees about the days leading up to the shuttering of the company:

But over the past few months, morale has been low at LucasArts. Due to the freeze on all hiring and game announcements, staff at the company had no idea whether their games would ever actually come out.

In January, a month after the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, Disney’s Iger came out and said they would be taking a close look at the violence in their video games.

This was a red flag for the developers at LucasArts. Here they are, working on a first-person shooter and a violent action-adventure game, and Disney says they’re re-evaluating the amount of violence in their games? Not a great sign.

“It was very clear that we were kind of the redheaded stepchild,” said a source. “We kinda came along with the hot mom being the film properties.”

Around The Web

Laughing Squid – Star Wars vehicles as buses and taxis.

13 News – Check out this Star Wars-themed marriage proposal at the museum exhibit in Orlando.

Shannon L. McRandle – Shannon, who was the model for Luke Skywalker’s wife, Mara Jade, has let fans know that she’s starting a battle with cancer. Visit her Facebook page for details. We wish her the best in this fight!

Neatorama – See the Millennium Falcon’s cameo in “Blade Runner”!

IGN – Dave Filoni developing the next Star Wars animated series

Edgar Wright – Director Edgar Wright shares his experience meeting the Queen of England and George Lucas at an event at Windsor Castle.

TheForce.Net – Every Star Wars reference from “30 Rock” compiled into one video.

Yahoo Movies UK – Star Wars ASCIImation!

Zenothan Archives – An autograph party with Ford, Fisher, and Hamill in 1977!

Neatorama – Check out this conversion of a walker for a four year old into an AT-AT. Great work!

Christian Science Monitor – Apparently the Royal Palace of Caserta, where “The Phantom Menace” was filmed, is in such disrepair and so poorly guarded that the local mayor says the military needs to step in.

Forbes – How are startup companies like Star Wars and Star Trek? Forbes makes the comparison.

Custom toy maker Sillof recently teamed with Patton Oswalt to make a set of unusual Star wars figures:

I don’t do a lot of commission jobs but when the geekfather, Patton Oswalt, makes you an offer – you can’t refuse. A brief back story to clarify… obviously anyone savvy to pop culture knows who Patton Oswalt is. He is most known for his numerous television appearances, film roles, and his hilarious stand up. A few years back he mentioned me on a tweet and we threw some ideas back and forth about crazy potential lines. He has been very supportive over the years of my work mentioning it on twitter, in print interviews, and even getting the idea for his character’s hobby in Young Adult while looking at my work.

A short time passed and Patton commissioned me to create one of those earlier ideas. He wanted me to do the re-imagining thing I do but this time rather than an era or genre he wanted me to fuse the line with the wildly fun films of exploitation film maker Russ Meyer, in particular, with the film “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” He gave me a few ideas but really left most of it up to my imagination (which is the way I prefer to work). One catch, because most of Meyers films, 99.9% to be exact, feature busty females protagonists Patton wanted me to gender flip every character making the characters I would usually make men into woman and vice versa. He also had a specific vision involving a mini bar and a GTO.

A few samples are below, but you’ve got to check out his site to see them all plus a few other amazing sets he created. spoke with effects legend Dennis Muren about the current state of visual effects:

Dennis Muren is a legend. His name may not be familiar, but you know his work if you’ve ever flown through the trenches of the Death Star in Star Wars, been entranced by the magic of Willow, or watched in awe as dinosaurs walked the Earth once again in Jurassic Park. Muren is one of the legacy members of Industrial Light & Magic, the special effects company created by George Lucas that transformed blockbuster cinema forever. Now a Creative Director at ILM, Muren continues to help design and execute special effects for Hollywood’s biggest movies — although it may not be as groundbreaking as it once was.

“I think we sort of have reached [a ceiling],” Muren says when considering the evolution of his craft. “In some ways, I think special effects aren’t special anymore. We really were at that stage when we did Willow.” Muren says that around 1988 and 1989, the entire effects industry was still “doing it the old fashioned way,” working through effects-enhanced set pieces with the known tools. “If you look back at a whole series of films in the ’80s, there wasn’t a big, visual “wow, look at that!” like 2001 had been or Star Wars had been.”

Visit the link for much more.

Book & Comic News

Star Wars author Dave Wolverton (“The Courtship of Princess Leia”), who also writes under the name David Farland, is in need of fans’ help His son was recently in an accident and is now in a coma. With medical bills piling up, readers can step in and help out. Details were posted at his website:

On Wednesday, we will have the book bomb. If you haven’t yet purchased Nightingale or Million Dollar Outlines, please consider doing so on Wednesday. If you have already purchased them, you can donate money to Ben and his family here.

If you have a blog and would like to do a post about this book bomb, please email me at, and I will send you some information you can use.

Visit the link above for more info and links to buy his books.

Will Dark Horse Comics be losing the Star Wars license to Disney owned Marvel Comics? That’s a question that has been in the minds of fans since the Disney buyout of LFL. Now Entertainment Weekly has an update straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Editor Randy Stradley and publisher Mike Richardson give an update on their license status:

The licensing landscape is shifting after Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm and must be a source of intrigue to you. Disney owns Marvel so is there a good reason to suspect the comics will be returning to their portfolio?

Stradley: Well, we’re, waiting for the other shoe to drop. What we’ve been told is we’ll hear something about the future of the license sometime this year.

Richardson: We have it for the foreseeable future, though, so we’re just going about business as usual. It is what it is. Look, from day-one we always knew it was a possibility that someday we might not have the license. We’re prepared for it. We have other franchises to move into that space, but we got involved with publishing in part because we loved Star Wars and so sure it’ll be disappointing on a business level, but probably more disappointing on a personal level.

If you both return to the status of “interested fan,” what would be your hope about the film trilogy on the way?

Stradley: I really hope they don’t just retread the old ground. I hope they embrace the idea that they’ve got an entire galaxy to explore and take the time to do it. Especially with the expanded universe and within even our comics, the old ground has been trodden and re-trodden until it borders on the familiar rather than the exotic. And I’d really hope to see new situations and new planets and new characters. I don’t figure that as a big concern. I think they’re going to go for the new, but I’ve been doing this long enough that I’ve seen how many people just want to regurgitate what’s been done before.

Richardson: Yes, it would be great to see them start in a whole new place. Maybe with reference to the classic characters, but really give it a, a whole new start. They’ve got terrific filmmakers involved. When Kathleen [Kennedy] was first announced, immediately we figured something was afoot as far as the filmmaking. That’s the great thing about bringing J.J. Abrams on board. I don’t think that [recycling or revisiting] will be his approach to the material and with Kathleen involved it really bodes well for the future of the franchise.

The link above has much more. However, Randley Stradley was very, very unhappy with the article. He took to the Dark Horse Message Boards to vent his frustration with Entertainment Weekly:

Kinda pissed off right now. No, that’s not true. I am furious at the Entertainment Weekly interviewer. Not only did he not run the interview by us as he agreed to, and not only is the story weeks late in going live, but now that it has, I can see it is full of inaccuracies, misquotes, misattributions, and backhanded assumptions.

I will not hesitate to let all future interviewers know that Geoff Boucher is the reason I will never again do a live interview.

Perhaps I’ll go into detail in the future, but just a cursory skim of the interview shows me places where I was completely misquoted, places where my quote was attributed to Mike, or his to me, where portions of different statements we made were combined into one, or where statements just stop before the thought is completed.

Visit the link above for the full thread. Thanks to TheForce.Net for pointing this out.

The LA Times Hero Complex also discusses the upcoming comic adaptation of the first draft of Star Wars. Check it out!

Comic Book Resources spoke with J.W. Rinzler about the upcoming “The Star Wars” comic series based on the original draft of Star wars

What is the difference between a lightsaber and a lazer sword?

In the rough draft, lazer swords are as common as swords in a Robin Hood movie — everybody has one. Which, in a way, makes it a real swashbuckling tale. The Jedi are like Errol Flynn — they’re the best at using their lazer swords. It’s like the Ralph McQuarrie painting with the Stormtrooper holding one. In my opinion, that’s a lazer sword, not a lightsaber. They don’t become lightsabers until later on.

How closely are you sticking to the rough draft? Are there holes in plots/characters that need to be filled?

It is/was a rough draft, though I believe Francis Ford Coppola thought it was pretty good even at the time. George was experimenting and not dotting every ‘i’ and crossing every ‘t,’ so I have to fill in some minor holes.

For example, when characters that haven’t seen each other for a while meet again, I throw in some dialogue. I’ve added a couple of fights where there was a need for them and thrown in some continuity fixes. Also, when you adapt from one form to another, you have to make allowances and adjustments. Nevertheless, I’m sticking as close as possible to George’s original story — that’s the whole point of doing this. It’s a great story, innovative and exciting, which I’d never want to gum up.

Is George Lucas involved at all in the process?

I’ve shown him early material. I’m still going to show him complete pages but I think, or at least hope, that he trusts us to do something good. And you never know. He may want to be more involved as it goes on. That’s happened before. I’ll show him the pages pre-dialogue and sincerely hope he’ll like them.

Fortunately for all of us, Mike Mayhew is doing a great job.

Visit the link for more!

Comic Buzz – Check out the preview for Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1

TheForce.Net – Check out some details on long lost Spanish Ewoks and Droids comics!

Event News

American Film Institute – AFI will be featuring a couple of screenings that Star Wars fans may be interested in:

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today its collaboration with Target and MAGNUM® Ice Cream Bar for the return of the special one-night-only event, Target Presents AFI Night at the Movies.The popular program initiated in 2007 will present fans with a rare chance to see classic films alongside the community’s top filmmakers and stars who made them. Target Presents AFI Night at the Movies will take place on Wednesday April 24 at the ArcLight Hollywood. Tickets will go on sale on April 11 through the ArcLight Hollywood website ( and in person at the ArcLight Hollywood box office at 6360 West Sunset Blvd.

The films and artists confirmed to participate include:

Harrison Ford presenting BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT

Samuel L. Jackson presenting PULP FICTION (1994)

Visit the link above for more!

The Post Tribune has an update on an upcoming Star Wars event in Indiana:

“The Force” will be at Indiana State Museum with a massive exhibit, “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination,” promising to not only entertain, but educate many fans of the iconic films and fans of science, technology, engineering and math.

Disney Parks has confirmed that Billy Dee Williams will be at Star Wars Weekends.

The Romford Record has info on a Star Wars event in the UK. – Anthony Daniels will be appearing at Celebration Europe:

Anthony Daniels, the actor behind C-3PO, the golden protocol droid that was a central character in all six Star Wars movies, is slated to attend Celebration Europe, signing autographs and meeting fans in the Celebration Autograph Hall, and appearing on the Celebration Stage.

Gainesville.Com – Check out the Star Wars One Man Trilogy in Gainesville, FL.

Collecting News

You may have missed this T-Shirt on sale for one day. Visit Techna Bob to see what you missed.