The Star Wars News Roundup – 8.30.13


The purpose of this roundup is to put the highlights of all things Star Wars from the last week in one location. If you read this each week, you should be able to converse fluently with any Star Wars fan on everything from the latest Star Wars: Episode VII developments to the latest toys. And maybe you’ll even share with them something that they might have missed.

Let’s get to it!

Episode VII Movie News Summary

Variety posted a big feature article on where Star Wars may shoot:

While press reports have surfaced about U.K. chancellor George Osborne pushing multiple U.K. locales, no other locations beyond the famed Pinewood Studios outside London have been confirmed for “Star Wars.”

That hasn’t stopped the rumor mill. Albuquerque Studios president Dana Arnold says there has been talk for two years that parts of “Star Wars” may shoot in New Mexico, his facility’s home state. He’s also heard talk of locations as disparate as Iceland, Jordan, Scotland and Ireland.

Arnold figures Burk, Abrams and Lucasfilm chief and “Star Wars” executive producer Kathleen Kennedy must be swamped with sales pitches from film commissions and facilities to win a part of the Disney production.

“Every location and facility across the globe and every state in the U.S. must be offering the moon and stars,” Arnold says. “And they’re all willing to offer things on a one-shot basis, everything they can imagine the producers might want, just to be able to say they got the new ‘Star Wars’ shoot. That din is probably the first challenge facing any location or facility that wants to be seriously considered.”

Visit the link for more discussion. Variety also reports on how the UK is benefitting from having Star Wars filmed there:

While Hollywood continues to feel withdrawal pains from the production exodus, the U.K. is thriving, thanks to a mix of tax incentives and high-quality crews.

Pinewood Shepperton and Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden have been working full bore during the past few months, housing Kenneth Branagh’s “Cinderella,” Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and WB-Village Roadshow’s “Edge of Tomorrow” (aka “All You Need Is Kill”). J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars” pic is skedded for Pinewood in January.

Blighty’s tax credit of 25% of qualifying production expenses for films that spend up to £20 million ($31 million), and 20% for films that spend over that total was recently added to the TV and animation sectors. There are rumblings that a standalone VFX incentive may be in the works as well, as Soho is flush with top pros and looking for post-“Harry Potter” biz.

The link above has more.

On the rumor front, Latino Review claims to know the start date of production:

Well, we now know the actual start date of principal photography. According to sources, we found out the following….

First day of principal photography is January 21st 2014.

Wait a minute. That date falls on a Tuesday. Why not start on Monday the 20th? Well, because the 20th is holiday, Martin Luther King Day.

But that is not all. Speaking of dates, we are also hearing that the Disney/Lucasfilm are so far behind schedule that Episode VII will in fact be released around Christmas 2015 as originally reported by Devin Faraci over at BadAssDigest.

Visit the link for more!

Latino Review also added more names to the casting rumor pool:

I know who went in for an audition to play the daughter of Princess Leia (and presumably Han Solo)…And got it confirmed via representation and other solid sources: Rachel Hurd-Wood…

That’s not the only thing I found out! I’ve now heard from a number of people that another actor is going for a meeting to possibly star in the film: Alex Pettyfer.

(Photos by Getty Images and

There will undoubtedly be many more names in the coming months, but we’ll see who eventually gets the roles.

Ian McDiarmid addressed recent rumors that he would be returning for “Episode VII” while at a convention in Canada:

McDiarmid added, “There’s been all sorts of rumors. No conversations have been had, and no deals have been struck. And anyway, I’m dead…but I could be resurrected. Yes, I’ve heard of ghosts, I’ve heard of clones. There’s all sorts of possibilities. But until I get that phone call, like the one I had before, I won’t believe I’m in it. And I think I won’t be working for it, because it’s a whole new world now that I think is going to be invented. There might be some old favorites in it, but I should imagine it’s about the adventures of the descendants of the first characters and new villains that no one except George has ever imagined. And I hope it is, because the great thing about Disney is that it will continue in a new form with new people and be reinvented, just like all great works of art are sooner of later.”

Visit the link for more comments from him. attended Fan Expo Canada and reported on “Episode VII” comments made by Carrie Fisher:

Fisher joked, “Not in a metal bikini…unless they could involve Spanx somehow with it.” Then, Fisher added more seriously, “I would like to shoot guns again if that came up. No, I couldn’t say. It’s the imagination. It’s the storytelling. It’s the fantasy element those films that appeal …it’s the fairy tale of the 21st century, so it’s just nice being in a world that’s an imaginative world that somehow seems familiar, but how could it?”

When asked what she thought of George Lucas selling Star Wars to Disney, Fisher replied, “If someone offered me a couple of billion dollars for something, I might sell it, even if it was Star Wars.” Fisher also expressed her hope of seeing Princess Leia incorporated more into Disneyland, saying “I’d like to be a ride. That is not a euphemism.”


Jedi News UK reports that Disney and Lucasfilm may be distributing old and new Star Wars programming on iOS devices soon:

Our source told us the following:

“A Disney branded app for Star Wars will launch on Apple TV devices, with plans to distribute the final Clone Wars episodes exclusively digitally only through the Apple TV device for a limited period of time. This will happen in this holiday season.

In 2014, plans are in an early stage to use the platform to deliver SW7 production news ‘live’ from the sets, followed with Star Wars Rebels in late 2014 taking us all the way through to SW7 release.”

The source followed this up with the following:

“Distribution will only be on Apple TV devices capable of running iOS7 and there has been no confirmation if the same app will be available to other iOS devices such as iPad or iPhone.”

Visit the link for more details.

There may not be much in the way of Star Wars on TV right now, but LEGO’s “The Yoda Chronicles” has been going strong on YouTube. Below is the latest episode. See many more previous episodes at YouTube.

Then there is “The Yoda Chronicles: Menace of the Sith” on Cartoon Network September 4th. Check out the trailer:

Around The Web

Check out this year’s Lucasfilm Sidewalk Art Festival!

Harrison Ford talks “Indiana Jones 5” and “Paranoia”…

The Sacramento Bee – Star Wars Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor passed away at the age of 99 on August 23, 2013.

In a comment cited in the sketch, Taylor said he was “most happy to be remembered as the man who set the look for Star Wars.”

That wasn’t easy. The sketch alludes to clashes with George Lucas and a black-and-white set design that left little room for lighting of any kind. He said the Death Star, in particular, was “like a coal mine.” He solved the problem by punching quartz lights through John Berry’s set.

“I wanted to give it a unique visual style that would distinguish it from other films in the science-fiction genre,” he was quoted as saying. “I wanted ‘Star Wars’ to have clarity because I don’t think space is out of focus.”

Visit the link for more details on his career.

B3TA.Com – The Han Solo in Carbonite Refrigerator!

The Mary Sue – Star Wars Shoes!

Neatorama – The AT-AT poodle skirt!

Kotaku – Chewbacca is an average idiot in Japan.

In Japanese, “Chewbacca” is written as “Chuubakka” (チューバッカ), which sounds incredibly similar to “average idiot” (or “medium stupid,” if you like!) in Japanese, which is “chuu baka” (中馬鹿 or 中バカ). Yes, “bakka” is different from “baka” (stupid), but they are similar enough so that when Japanese kids hear “Chewbacca” for the first time, they might make a joke about the character’s intelligence.

The Stylish Geek – The Making of Lady Vader!

LA Times – John Williams to be honored by the Hollywood Museum

Books and Comics

Kenobi: Star Wars by John Jackson Miller as read by James Arnold Taylor, voice of Obi-Wan from “The Clone Wars.” – John Jackson Miller talks about how he first had to map out the local Tatooine geography before writing the novel “Kenobi,” now in stores.

UNGOLIANTSCHILDE – Star Wars comics by Bruce Timm!

Star Wars: Jedi Academy Book Trailer

Comic Book Resources – Star Wars comic book cameos!

Video Games

“Angry Birds Star Wars II” is coming September 19 and Rovio has started the media assault. See below!

Visit the link for more videos and character reveals!

Activision also revealed that the console version of “Angry Birds Star Wars” will feature multiplayer options:

Collecting News

Kotaku – “Angry Birds Star Wars II” toys are now in stores! See them dissected!

Bleeding Cool reports that Toys R Us has big plans for “Episode VII”:

As you can see, this store is going to be the “premier global destination” for Star Wars toys if those talks go to plan.