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
This week we have a minor bit of news from a reliable ComingSoon.net source. They tell us that casting for “Episode VII” has been taking place at The Culver Studios. This is the same lot where they have been filming “Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” The casting has been going on in a very plain, unassuming building on the lot unbeknownst to many people.
On the casting front, Sky News got confirmation from actress Saoirse Ronan that she did, in fact, audition for a role in “Episode VII”:
The 19-year-old Irish actress, whose new film How I Live Now opens this week, has confirmed rumours that she has auditioned for a role – before modestly adding “so has everyone”… When questioned on the subject of the film by Sky News – the Atonement star said bosses would “chop off her head with a light-sabre” if she revealed any more.
Fresh off having their rumor confirmed, Latino Review has a new casting rumor:
The guy that went in for a read is…SULLIVAN STAPLETON
Stapleton is best known for his role in the television series Strike Back and has the lead role in the film 300: Rise of an Empire, as the Greek leader Themistocles.
Visit the link for more.
BBC – Star Wars fan Jonny Mathers puts in bid to become Chewbacca.
Harrison Ford spoke briefly about “Episode VII”:
Furious Fanboys reports that Ben Kingsley has also auditioned for a role, but this remains rumor at this point .like everything else.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Pinewood Studios in the UK is looking to expand to accommodate a galaxy far, far away:
U.K. studio facilities operator Pinewood Shepperton on Monday reiterated its need for more capacity even after completing a new stage before the weekend.
The stage operator near London, which is the home of the James Bond franchise and earlier this year attracted Star Wars: Episode VII as its latest big Hollywood production, has in recent years pushed for more studio space. But earlier this year, a British district council rejected Pinewood’s application for a planned $300 million-plus expansion, the second time the company’s growth attempts were held back.
After an appeal to the national government, which highlighted the company’s ability to create jobs, a public inquiry was set. It will kick off Nov. 19
Meanwhile, Jedi News UK has a rumor that stages are going to be cleared in November for the “Episode VII” sets:
I understand that the current intention is to clear stage late November for Episode 7. A large proportion of the Cinderella shoot is on location, so expect a 12 -14 week stage shoot.
The rest of 2013 will be used for the UK based crew to clear the stages and prepare for what is needed for set build and back structure. Lucasfilm recruiting crew now in key roles, and are fleshing out the crew in October. They don’t want to pull them to the UK during the holiday season, so the schedule is currently due to start the 2nd week of January with a view to being on the stages for 24th February and the start of principal photography.
The Jedi News UK source continues:
Also behind the Bond stage is the Cinderella village. There is some second unit action for the Ridley Scott Moses flick Exodus going on in the Attenborough Stage and also on the wet tank behind the new Star Wars stage. They have also built an Egyptian set outside which some sources believe is for Star Wars.
Visit the link for more.
J.J. Abrams was interviewed on PBS’ The Travis Smiley Show where he discussed “Episode VII.” He addressed concerns that Disney would try to warp Star Wars into their own image. Comic Book Therapy has a transcript:
The beauty there is Disney doesn’t want that. They are well aware of this and they are very careful to make sure that they are sensitive to that. They don’t want that at all, that’s the last thing they want. But that company, which is Marvel, they have it’s incredible the scale of that company. They are as aware of that as anyone. Back to your other question though, I think there may be a lot of Trekkies that would be thrilled if I abandoned them.
You can also watch the video below:
Finally, celebrity fan Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures) makes his case for wanting to be in “Episode VII”:
We’ve received word from Lucasfilm that a short teaser for the highly-anticipated animated series “Star Wars Rebels” will air this coming Monday during the premiere of “Mighty Med” on Disney XD. Tune in on Monday at 8:30 ET/PT to catch the teaser, but if you can’t, don’t worry, it’ll be online shortly after.
The series is set between the events of Episode III and IV — an era spanning almost two decades never-before explored on-screen. It takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape.
“Star Wars Rebels” will be produced by Lucasfilm Animation, featuring many of the key talents that made “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” It is scheduled to premiere in fall 2014 as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel, and will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.
Bleeding Cool’s Podcast (about 16 minutes in) with Brendon and Jason broke some Star Wars Rebels news. The duo claim Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia are eight years old during the series and they’re not in it. That means Star Wars Rebels takes place eight years after Revenge of the Sith or twelve years before A New Hope. If accurate that’s the real gem of the podcast’s news.
They go on to claim the first film is about a the Galactic Empire taking over a planet. A bunch of people are lined up, even some of the parents fall into line but a group of teenagers refuse. The teenagers go on the run in a ship called the “Ghost,” which we saw at CEII. So the teenagers are the rebels and the adults are the Galactic Empire.
Visit the link for more of the synopsis.
StarWars.com – Star Wars Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs coming October 8.
LEGO® Star Wars The Yoda Chronicles DVD TV Spot:
Around The Web
Show Your Disney Side: I Am Your Father | Disney Parks
Wax Nostalgic – Check out these amazing crayons carved into Star Wars art and more!
Find out the history of Boba Fett’s invoice at Geekosity!
— Rare Star Wars Pics (@UnseenStarWars) October 3, 2013
Joe Johnston Sketchbook – Q&A: Episode 2
Ralph McQuarrie Interview: The Star Wars Gallery
Books and Comics
Comic Book Resources – Siedell returns to “Star Wars” with “Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows”
USA Today – Star Wars Reads Day is October 5th
Suvudu – A Quick Chat with Star Wars’ Artist Leonid
StarWars.com – Inside the Star Wars: Cross-Sections Series
StarWars.com – 10 Interesting Things I Learned from The Making of Return of the Jedi
— StarWarsBooks (@DelReyStarWars) October 3, 2013
Jedi News UK – NY Comic Con 2013: Dark Horse Exclusives
Kotaku – How LucasArts Fell Apart
In early 2009, a small team of LucasArts employees started working on a Star Wars game called Underworld, according to two people familiar with the project. Designed to complement an in-development television show of the same name, Underworld went through several early designs, including an open-world game with quests and other RPG-ish elements.
By the middle of the year, the project had evolved into a co-op shooter modeled after Gears of War, set during a period of time between the two Star Wars film trilogies. The game would unfold on the planet Coruscant, in the subterrean world of Level 1313, and like the TV show, it’d be grittier than anything we’d seen from Star Wars before: crime families, mature content, the works.
(The television show would be an “HBO-style adult-targeted drama,” according to a source, but it was never produced, and its status is still up in the air.)
The team started staffing up, and they put together early prototypes of the Underworld game, which some LucasArts employees jokingly referred to as “Gears of Star Wars.” But in mid-2010, when Paul Meegan took over as president of the studio, he didn’t think the game was innovative enough, according to a person familiar with the situation. Some key Underworld staff agreed, and they rebooted again, this time transforming Underworld from a co-op shooter to a cinematic adventure inspired by the Uncharted action-adventure games. The Coruscant setting would stay the same, but the action would be totally different.
Per directive from George Lucas himself, the game’s protagonist would be a bounty huntera generic jack-of-all-trades without the Jedi powers that usually took center-stage in Star Wars games. Instead of swinging lightsabers and using the Force, players would manipulate gadgets and capture bounties for cash. Team members were psyched about the new direction for the project, which they called 1313.
But the goal posts kept shifting, ex-team members say. Every so often, Lucas would check in with the team, and as he grew to trust the staff behind 1313, he’d offer up changes, asking them to switch characters and rewrite the story based on what he felt would be more fitting for the game. Ex-LucasArts staff describe Lucas as someone who cared deeply about telling stories, but didn’t know much about the game development processevery Lucas-mandated story change meant shifts in every department: the design, the art, the programming. How could that not be frustrating?”
“One of the problems of working in a film company[Lucas] is used to being able to change his mind,” said one source. “He didn’t really have a capacity for understanding how damaging and difficult to deal with these changes were.”
In 2012, just eight weeks before E3, George Lucas dropped a bombshell: instead of starring a generic bounty hunter, 1313 would be helmed by the iconic mercenary Boba Fett.
Visit the link for the full intriguing story!
GameNGuide – The Dread War hits Star Wars: The Old Republic
Gentle Giant LTD – Wampa Kenner-inspired Jumbo Figure with FREE Luke Hoth Kenner Figure
Rebelscum – Amazon Exclusive Droid Factory Up For Pre-Order
StarWars.Com – WeLoveFine’s Star Wars Work Shirts: Celebrating the Average Joes of a Galaxy Far, Far Away
GentleGianttCollectors.com gets the first video look and unboxing of the Star Wars Gentle Giant Vintage 12″ Prototype Rocket Fire Boba Fett
Geek Alerts – Star Wars Battling Fighters Slot Car Set
Cartamundi USA – Coming out early 2014! The Star Wars themed Chips and Dice set will be the perfect compliment to your Star Wars playing card decks! Both the chips and dice will have Star Wars logos and be in lightsaber colors!
Geekologie – And The Rebels Win The Game!: Death Star Soccer Ball