The Star Wars News Roundup – 5.10.13


Episode VII and Spinoff Movie News Summary

Collider spoke with Star Wars: Episode VII producer Bryan Burk who says that they’re likely going to start filming in early 2014:

Collider: Do you know where and when you might be filming?

BRYAN BURK: We’re progressing on a schedule to hopefully begin next year, or the beginning of next year, and the location is still kind of floating around in the air all depending on script and a whole bunch of other issues. As I just said, everything is kind of a free-flowing thing, and when we feel like the story level on this script and everything is really coming together and schedules are all working and pieces line up, we prowl ahead, and Star Wars will be no different.

Are you a little bit surprised, even for you, about the level of interest or did you sort of know there would be a level of interest you’ve never had before on anything?

Visit the link above for more!

Last week there was word that Iceland was being scouted for Star Wars locations. Now The Sun is reporting that Scotland is also being scouted for possible locations for “Episode VII”:

Scenes from Star Wars: Episode VII, the latest instalment of the sci-fi franchise and the first under director J.J. ABRAMS, will be shot in the Highlands and the Isle of Skye.
A source said: “Location bosses feel Scotland possesses stunning scenery perfect for movie backdrops. They will look great on the big screen and the rock formations will replicate the perception of mountainous planets. It will be the first time Star Wars has ever been shot north of the border.”

Visit the link for the rest of the article.

Adding to the filming location rumors, Jedi News reports that Disney just signed a 5 year deal to film at Pinewood Studios:

A good friend who’s just finished working at Pinewood studios told me that Disney have signed a new 5 year deal there and a new sound stage is in the process of being constructed.

Some of the people there are calling if the new Star Wars stage. Apparently the Disney deal is for multiple movies and security has started to be tightened up.

Visit the link for more rumors.

Entertainment Weekly hosted a 30th anniversary screening of “Return of the Jedi” last weekend and Mark Hamill conducted a Q&A. Of course “Episode VII” was discussed.

George Lucas invited Hamill, his wife, and Carrie Fisher to lunch last year. Hamill figured he was going to talk about the 3D re-releases of the original Star Wars trilogy; as we all know now, the conversation was about something very different indeed. With regards to the new series, Hamill explained, “I’ve only had one creative meeting about the new films, but I do remember saying: ‘We’ve got to find a proper balance between CGI and old-school models.’ I want to have a more organic look so that we don’t get into Roger Rabbit territory.” This statement earned loud cheers from the audience, leading Hamill to laugh, “That’s just me! Don’t get too excited! I don’t imagine their top priority is what I want.”

There is a lot more about his “Star Wars” experiences at the link. Check it out! AICN added the following info:

Hamill also said that he knows that Carrie Fisher’s in 100%, has heard Harrison Ford is onboard, but hasn’t talked to him personally to confirm it and that he hasn’t yet met with JJ Abrams.

He anticipated the focus of the trilogy to be on the next generation “and that’s as it should be.” Hamill doesn’t know anything specific, he was quick to remind us, but he suspects the “old folks” will be more like Sir Alec Guinness in the OT. “I want it to be age appropriate, so heavy on the Jedi mind tricks and lighten up on the lightsaber duels. Let the kids do the heavily lifting!”

“Part of me is cautious, saying ‘let well enough alone, let everyone keep their nice memories if they have nice memories and don’t try to go back and do it again.’ But the other side of me, the adventerous side, thinks ‘If everyone’s in, how could I miss this?” How could you indeed?

Hamill wrapped up his new trilogy talk with this gem:

“I’m one of you, I feel like you’re one of us. I’ll be in there fighting and trying to be as honest as I can be about what I think it is made these movies so special in the first place. It always starts with the script and that’s why I’m so encouraged by Michael Arndt’s involvement because I respect his writing so much. He’s a big fan of these movies, so hopefully we can make something that doesn’t make everyone want to find us, cut off our heads and throw it right in our faces.”

TheForce.Net also posted a few videos from Hamill’s appearance. Check them out at the link!

In an interview with the LA Times, Simon Kinberg spoke about the “Star Wars” spinoff films:

HC: Larry Kasdan said that what sets the original movies apart is that they’re more about people than the films that followed. Do you plan to take this new film back in that direction?

SK: Completely. I think what worked so well in all of the “Star Wars” movies is the characters. I think the reason that they’re different than other science fiction or other genre movies is because George [Lucas] created a universe of people that you wanted to go back and see over and over again, and that’s why it’s spanned and spawned so many different mediums, so many different generations, every different language. You want to go back and see those characters, like I did when I was a kid. “Empire Strikes Back” was the first movie I saw in a movie theater more than once. And I went back 10, 15 times in the theater, and I’ve seen it probably over a 100 times since. But I saw it that many times in the theater because I loved those characters. I loved Han, I loved Leia, I loved Luke, I was right at the age when I was old enough to start to understand the nuance of that movie. I think I was too young for “New Hope” when it came out in the theater, although I loved it and it was my favorite film until “Empire.” And then really, that changed my life, that movie.

HC: Which of those memorable characters is your favorite?

SK: There’s so many that I love and for different reasons. I really love Han Solo. He does that thing that Larry does so well. He’s really human and real, but also really fun and banter-y and larger than life. And when I was a kid, I wanted to be Han Solo.

Visit the link for more.

The NY Times did an article about J.J. Abrams and discussed how he was originally brought on board for “Episode VII”:

Though Mr. Abrams suggested in interviews last year that his commitment to “Star Trek” would make it nearly impossible for him to direct “Star Wars,” he said that his thinking evolved as he worked on “Into Darkness” and his schedule became clearer.

“It wasn’t as if they offered it to me outright and I passed,” he said of his conversations with Lucasfilm. “It was early discussions, and I just felt like it was not the right thing to even consider.” But “a number of weeks, if not months, went by in between those calls,” he said, “and it was easier to actually think about.”

For his “Star Trek” colleagues, this proved a surprising and bittersweet development. Mr. Lindelof, who was in an editing suite with Mr. Abrams when news of his “Star Wars” deal appeared online, said his reaction “was the same, probably, as most people’s, which is that he said he wasn’t going to do it.”

Mr. Lindelof said he was “profoundly thrilled” that there would be new “Star Wars” movies and that Mr. Abrams would be directing one. But seeing Mr. Abrams poised to jump to a new swashbuckling, intergalactic epic, Mr. Lindelof seemed unsure if audiences would still care about the swashbuckling, intergalactic epic they just finished.

“I wonder if ‘Star Wars’ is now going to eclipse ‘Star Trek,’ ” Mr. Lindelof said, “so that when this movie comes out and people are asking us questions, is everyone going to be asking me about ‘Star Wars’?”

Check out the article for more!

MTV had lots of “Star Wars” talk this week. They spoke to J.J. Abrams, who stated that he’s not working on the spinoff films and they’re mainly focused on “Episode VII”:

Damon Lindelof speaks about the first time he heard J.J. Abrams was directing “Episode VII: and whether or not he’s want to work on a spinoff:

Leonardo DiCaprio expressed his love for “Star Wars” and his openness to performing in one of the films:

Total Film spoke with Simon Pegg about what J.J. Abrams would bring to the “Star Wars” universe, and he’s not shy about giving his thoughts on the prequels:

“What will he bring to the franchise? Everything that was missing from the last three. That’s what he did to Star Trek, really – invigorate it with a little bit of Star Wars magic. He switched it from science-fiction to science-fantasy.

“And I think if anyone can pull [Star Wars] out of the mire, it’s J.J. He’ll bring the fun back. Lucas seemed to misread what made the first ones great, and concentrate on things that people didn’t really care about, or wilfully ignore the things that people cared about. Whereas J.J. will embrace them all.

“We’re going to see the Millennium Falcon again. We’re going to see those characters again. All the things that we loved about the first three, we will see again.”

Pegg later clarified his comments on Twitter:

Total Film also asked several stars about who they’d like to play in Star Wars: Episode VII. The answers range from silly to downright thoughtful. Check out Ben Kingsley, Aaron Eckhart, Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Zoe Saldana, Famke Janssen, Dougray Scott, and Ryan Reynolds:

Sky Movies also features a conversation between “Star Wars” fans Simon Pegg and J.J. Abrams:

Topless Robot points readers to a couple of fun “Episode VII” videos. The first features Harrison Ford’s intense negotiations to play in the new sequel: “Star Wars Episode 7 – Harrison Ford Contract Negotiations: Ep. 3 – ‘Return of the Han Guy'”:

Next up are some kids with the coolest dad in the galaxy – “Star Wars Episode 7: Return of the Junior Jedi”:

With fresh excitement over the making of a new Star Wars movie, three children (and some, ahem, adults) set out to make a trailer for a possible Episode 7. Shooting in beautiful Los Angeles including famous Vasquez Rocks and supplementing with VFX and sounds inspired by Star Wars, this short teaser asks the question what a galaxy far, far away be like with Junior Jedi protecting it. Winner – Best Group Project. Premiered at Encino Charter Elementary School Movie Night on April 27, 2013. Starring Marley Gonzales, Kai Hale and Liam Hale.

Star Wars Episode 7: Return of the Junior Jedi from Sam K. Hale on Vimeo.

Star Wars Television

Club Jade shared a letter that Kathleen Kennedy has been sending fans of “The Clone Wars.”

Thank you for your passion for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and taking the time to write us.

What fans think of Star Wars is extremely important to everyone at Lucasfilm. It is incredible how deeply the show connected with fans around the world and we are so proud of Dave Filoni and the Lucasfilm Animation team for creating such an amazing series.

After five critically acclaimed seasons of The Clone Wars, we felt the time was right to wind down production. As we enter into an exciting new era focused on the next Star Wars feature films, we have also decided to pursue a new direction in animated programming.

I’m pleased to share that Dave Filoni and many members of his Clone Wars team are already hard at work developing a new Star Wars animated series set in a time period previously untouched in Star Wars films or television programming. I’m hoping we will have more details to share with all of our fans soon.

Please know how much we appreciate your support. Keep an eye on to be the first to know about new developments on all our projects.


Kathleen Kennedy

Click the link for a scan of the full letter.

Meanwhile, everyone expected the comedy series “Star Wars: Detours” to be completely dead, but Rachael MacFarlane revealed on Twitter that they’re still working on episodes:

Also, “Clone Wars” director Dave Filoni teased fans with a drawing of a TIE Fighter. The question is…. was he simply doing fan art or is this a tease of the new animated series?

Video Games announced the following:

Today it was announced that Lucasfilm Ltd. and Disney Interactive are entering into a multi-year, multi-title exclusive licensing agreement with Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) for the creation of new high quality Star Wars games aimed at the core gaming audience and spanning multiple genres for console, PC, mobile, and tablets.

Industry leaders and creators of best-in-class blockbuster games, the development and publishing teams at EA will collaborate with the creative teams at Lucasfilm to provide audiences with all-new gaming experiences set in the ever-expanding Star Wars galaxy. As part of the agreement, EA studio teams DICE (Battlefield series) and Visceral (Dead Space series) will join BioWare (Mass Effect series, Star Wars: The Old Republic) in the development of new Star Wars games.

“Our number one objective was to find a developer who could consistently deliver our fans great Star Wars games for years to come,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “When we looked at the talent of the teams that EA was committing to our games and the quality of their vision for Star Wars, the choice was clear.”

While EA studios will develop for the core Star Wars gaming audience, Disney Interactive will focus on delivering new Star Wars games for casual audiences on mobile, social, tablet, and online gaming platforms.

“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to creating quality game experiences that drive the popularity of the Star Wars franchise for years to come,” said John Pleasants, co-president of Disney Interactive. “Collaborating with one of the world’s premier game developers will allow us to bring an amazing portfolio of new Star Wars titles to fans around the world.”

“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe,” said EA Labels President Frank Gibeau. “Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay.”

More information, including titles in development, will be announced in the coming months. Continue to check for updates on the future of Star Wars gaming.

Time has an article entitled “Four Reasons the EA-Star Wars Deal Can’t Possibly Work (and Three It Just Might)”. Meanwhile, Bloomberg has their own anaylsis of the deal entitled “Why Disney Licensed Star Wars to Electronic Arts.”

Ever wanted to see the intro to “A New Hope” in Minecraft? Then check out Kotaku.

In what may or may not be video game news, learned that Lucasfilm just registered domain names with the following terms:

Star Wars Alliance
Star Wars Rebels
Star Wars Wolf Pack
Wolf Pack Adventures
Order 67
Bothan Spies
Gungan Frontier 2
Gungan Frontier 3
Gungan Frontier 4
Wookie Hunters

The link above has more details. Are these video game titles? We’ll see!

Around The Web – 10 years later, the “Star Wars Kid” speaks out about what happened to him after the infamous video went viral:

Raza said he lost what few friends he had in the fallout, and had to change schools. “In the common room, students climbed onto tabletops to insult me,” he told L’actualité.

It was “a very dark period,” he said. “No matter how hard I tried to ignore people telling me to commit suicide, I couldn’t help but feel worthless, like my life wasn’t worth living.”

Raza, now a law-school graduate from McGill, said he was driven to speak out by the recent spate of high-profile cases of cyberbullying, some of which have pushed their victims to commit suicide. If the same situation were to happen today, he said he hopes school authorities would help him through it.

Visit the link for more. – Where did Jabba’s Sail Barge end up? In a house in Yuma, Arizona. – Ray Harryhausen is memorialized. George Lucas said of him, “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no STAR WARS.” – In case you missed it, Ewan McGregor has joined Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton in “Jane Got A Gun.” This is not a “Star Wars” sequel.

/Film – Check out some original handwritten notes from Lawrence Kasdan from “The Empire Strikes Back.”

Neatorama – LEGO Imperial Volkswagen Walker.

“Star Wars” Infomercials! – The Periodic Elements of “Star Wars.”

Laughing Squid – See what the Tunisia “Star Wars” sets look like today!

The Huffington Post says that Disney is indicating that they may have entire sections of their parks devoted to “Star Wars”:

“In addition to the Star Wars feature films that we’ve already talked about, we’re also working on opportunities for television and our parks,” Iger said during an earnings call Tuesday. “It’s still very early in the process. We’ll announce details as these developments evolve.”

Disney wrote in an emailed statement to The Huffington Post:

“For more than 25 years, our partnership with LucasFilm has helped bring the imaginative universe of Star Wars to life at our parks and resorts across the globe. We combine legendary Disney storytelling and innovation with the iconic characters of the Star Wars franchise to transport guests of all ages to a galaxy far, far away. We’re excited to explore new ways to bring these stories to life.”

The link above has more details.

Pringles has started posting their fan-submitted “Star Wars” themed commercials on YouTube. Here are a couple of fun ones:

Book & Comic News

SUVUDU features an excerpt from the upcoming novel “Crucible” by Troy Denning:

CRUCIBLE takes off right after FATE OF THE JEDI: APOCALYPSE, the thrilling conclusion to the FATE OF THE JEDI series, and also penned by Troy.

Here’s the jist:

“When Han and Leia Solo arrive at Lando Calrissian’s Outer Rim mining operation to help him thwart a hostile takeover, their aim is just to even up the odds and lay down the law. Then monstrous aliens arrive with a message, and mere threats escalate into violent sabotage with mass fatalities. When the dust settles, what began as corporate warfare becomes a battle with much higher stakes—and far deadlier consequences.

Now Han, Leia, and Luke team up once again in a quest to defeat a dangerous adversary bent on galaxy-wide domination. Only this time, the Empire is not the enemy. It is a pair of ruthless geniuses with a lethal ally and a lifelong vendetta against Han Solo. And when the murderous duo gets the drop on Han, he finds himself outgunned in the fight of his life. To save him, and the galaxy, Luke and Leia must brave a gauntlet of treachery, terrorism, and the untold power of an enigmatic artifact capable of bending space, time, and even the Force itself into an apocalyptic nightmare.”

Visit the link for details!

Wired gave another look at the upcoming comic “The Star Wars” based on the original draft of the movie script.

Today may be Star Wars Day, but fans of the franchise now have something to look forward to in September, when Dark Horse Comics releases the first issue of The Star Wars, an eight-issue comic series that adapts George Lucas’ very first draft of his science fiction fantasy tale into comics.

“It’s a very different story. It’s not like, ‘Oh, this is a new scene,'” comics writer J.W. Rinzler told Wired. “It’s totally different, and although the characters are still there, they’re also totally different. Luke Skywalker isn’t an eighteen-year-old kid. He’s an old Jedi general with decades of experience. Leia is a princess, but she’s not related to Luke; she has a different mother and father. Han Solo is there, but he’s a giant green alien. A lot of the relationships are all there, they’re all percolating.”

Visit the link for more looks at the artwork.

Entertainment Weekly gives a sneak peek at “Jedi Academy” from Jeffrey Brown, author of “Vader and Son.”

Jedi Academy captures the humor and awkwardness of middle school — all told through one boy’s comics, journal entries, letters, doodles, and newspaper clippings. Roan’s one dream is to leave home and attend Pilot Academy like his older brother, father, and grandfather. But just as Roan is mysteriously denied entrance to Pilot Academy, he is invited to attend Jedi Academy — a school that he didn’t apply to and only recruits children when they are just a few years old. That is, until now. This novel follows Roan’s first year at Jedi Academy where, under the tutelage of Master Yoda, he learns that he possesses more strength and potential than he could have ever dreamed. Oh, and he learns other important things too — like how to make a baking soda volcano, fence with a lightsaber, slow dance with a girl, and lift boulders with the Force.

“Jedi Academy” arrives August 27th. You can see a trailer for it at the link.

Event News

The creatures from Jabba’s Palace are reuniting at Celebartion Europe!

Celebration Europe, running from July 26-28 in Messe Essen, Germany, is getting closer, and new details on special guests and exclusive merchandise have been revealed!

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi, there will be a true reunion of cast and crew from Jabba’s Palace at Celebration Europe. Look for these stars in the Celebration Autograph Hall, and expect to see many on various show stages:

Michael Carter (Bib Fortuna)

John Coppinger: Creature crew. Supported Jabba the Hutt puppet with remote control operation, and played Graxol Kelvyyn and Senator Yarua in The Phantom Menace.

Sean Crawford (Yak Face)

Tim Dry (Tooth Face)

Mike Edmonds: Operated Jabba’s tail and played Logray, the Ewok medicine man.

Gerald Home (Squid Head)

Toby Philpott: Jabba’s left arm (operated left side)

Tim Rose (Salacious Crumb, Sy Snootles, and Admiral Ackbar)

Femi Taylor Ogilvy (Oola)

Simon Williamson (Max Rebo)

And these stars of Return of the Jedi who appeared in Jabba’s Palace are appearing, as well! Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia, and Boussh in Jabba’s Palace) Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) Kenny Baker (R2-D2)

Check out the link at for additional info on exclusive items for sale at the convention.

Tokyo Disneyland has its new “Star Tours” ride open! Check it out:

Collecting News

Want to turn yourself into a “Star Wars” figure? Then get thyself to Disney Hollywood Studios this summer. Disney reports that “D-Tech Me” is coming back:

I’m excited to share that the Star Wars – D-Tech Me experience will be returning for Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this year. The experience will be located inside Darth’s Mall, the highly themed merchandise destination located in the courtyard adjacent to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. You may recall we first introduced the Carbon-Freeze Me experience last year during Star Wars Weekends (my fellow author Gary Buchanan explains how it works in this video). We also introduced the experience at Celebration VI, the ultimate Star Wars fan event that was held last August in Orlando, Florida.

This year, we are bringing back the popular “cast yourself in Carbonite” option that was inspired by a scene from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. We are also delighted to offer a new option featuring the elite soldiers of the Galactic Empire, the Stormtroopers.

The 10-minute experience uses the world’s highest-resolution, single-shot 3D face scanner created by our Imagineering scientists with Disney Research labs. That captured image is later sent to a high resolution 3D printer to create the figurine. The completed figurine will arrive within 7-8 weeks after the experience if shipping domestically (it takes a little longer if shipping internationally). Guests will also receive either a Carbon-Freeze Me light-up band or a collector button depending upon which option they choose.
The Star Wars – D-Tech Me experience is $99.95, plus shipping and applicable sales tax.

You can find more details at the link!

Want to see how “Star Wars” figures decay and wear over time? Then check out Merchandising Is Forever: