The Star Wars News Roundup – 1.17.14

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 News and Rumors

A few significant items popped up this week. First off, TheWrap reports that Jesse Plemons (from “Breaking Bad” and “Friday Night Lights”) is up for an “Episode VII” role.

Plemons is scheduled to meet with director J.J. Abrams next week to discuss the highly anticipated sequel, which is expected to bring back original stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. Plemons has already taped an audition that was well-received by those involved in the casting process, and he’ll by flying in to Los Angeles from Austin, Texas for a second audition that will bring him face-to-face with Abrams.

While Plemons is represented by Talentworks, a smaller agency located in Burbank, two well-placed sources within the major agencies have told TheWrap that Plemons is a favorite to land one of the coveted lead roles in the “Star Wars” sequel; a third individual confirmed that Plemons is in the running and a serious contender.

Meanwhile, on the red carpet for the Golden Globes, Yahoo! Movies asked Chiwetel Ejiofor about the latest “Episode VII” rumors:

The 12 Years A Slave star, who has been rumoured to have a role in the upcoming seventh installment, which will be directed by JJ Abrams, hinted that he has to keep his cards close to his chest.

“Who knows? We’ll just have to see. I don’t know is really the only answer I can give you,” he teased.

The 36-year-old added: “I’m a huge fan of that world and JJ, but I don’t know. I can’t tell you.”

However, The Hollywood Reporter posted some of the most significant updates in a while. First, on casting:

The Star Wars: Episode VII casting speculation game continues — and The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision has a few names to add to the mix: Michael Fassbender, Girls star Adam Driver and Hugo Weaving.

They continued with some plot updates:

The project has changed significantly since Oscar winner Michael Arndt split as writer on Episode VII in the fall, with duties taken up by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

According to multiple insiders, the reason for the parting of ways was not due to a timeframe issue, as has been reported, but rather due to a difference of opinion of which characters to emphasize.

Arndt is said to have focused on the offspring of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), with the original trilogy’s heroes taking on supporting roles. Abrams, however, wanted Episode VII to focus on the classic trio of characters, so audiences could have one more chance to enjoy them before a fitting send-off. The new characters, the offspring, will now be in supporting roles, according to these sources, and take center stage in Episode VIII and IX. Some characters have disappeared from the Arndt script and new ones are being added.

Star Wars creator George Lucas, who directed the 1977 original and each of the most recent trilogy, was also involved in the debate, according to insiders. But Lucas, who sold his Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, acquiesced to Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy, who now runs Lucasfilm.

There are a few more details, but you can check them out at the original article.

Latino Review also dropped this rumor (though it seems questionable):

Rumor has it there’ll be a new Kenobi in the film. It would appear Obi-Wan may have fathered a child before he ended up a pile of clothes on the floor. The production is seeking a multi-racial girl in her twenties to play his granddaughter, allegedly.

Latino Review also supported and denied some of the rumors reported by the The Hollywood Reporter:

Since Arndt walked almost all of his ideas have been tossed and Abrams/Kasdan are pursuing the Skywalker-centric version they wanted. Mark Hamill’s part has been beefed up so much he might end up shooting 6 months on the movie, our source estimated…

We expect Plemons’ involvement will be announced early on, but the Disney/Star Wars PR Plemons Plan, currently, is to confirm his involvement without naming his part. So we’ll get a confirmation, but not an official confirm that Plemons is playing Ben Skywalker, Luke’s son. Plemons’ character would be the main protagonist of Episode VIII.

They also give an update on the Boba Fett film:

To counter-act the prequels, the Boba Fett spin-off movie planned for 2018 has an interesting twist pitched by Episode VII writer Lawrence Kasdan: the spin-off will start with a complete stranger killing Boba Fett and taking his armor, starting a Man-With-No-Name bounty hunter tale. So: someone kills the Boba Fett from the prequels and takes his armor and name. One this is for certain is that Kasdan didn’t like the prequel and wants no Bobba Fett Clone in the spin-off film…

Lastly I was told by 3 sources, reps etc, etc…(so call who ever you want) that Captain American director Joe Johnston is on top of the list to direct the spin-off, which makes sort of sense since he began his career as a concept artist and effects technician on the first Star Wars film.

Finally, they addressed how Obi-Wan or his relatives could come into play in “Episode VII”:

In response to a rumor that Obi-Wan would have some sort of offspring, we’re told that it’s absolutely not true. That being said, the Kenobi family will come into play. Could be niece nephew, no real details on that one. It could be a Force Ghost or a something else, we just know it’s not his daughter or grandkid.

Cosmic Book News also had a less substantiated rumor on what we might see:

Our DC Entertainment Source who has a friend at LucasFilm has sent in a couple tidbits of information with mention that Star Wars: Episode VII will feature Force Ghost Yoda.

We’re told that Yoda will have words with Luke Skywalker about a rising unbalance in the force and the need to preserve the Jedi.

There is also talk amongst production that would give a nod to the previous Jedi characters in the form of holographic pictures in the new Jedi Temple.

It’s said it wouldn’t be anything major, but would be in a background sequence featuring holograms of Yoda, Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn, Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu as well as others.



The Hollywood Reporter tells us about an event that will have an impact on “Episode VII” – “George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy Launch Lucasfilm Facility in Singapore”

The “Star Wars” director and Lucasfilm president swept into the city-state to unveil the company’s new offices in the 242,190 square-foot “Sandcrawler” building.

Escorted by a phalanx of stormtroopers and Darth Vader himself, George Lucas officially opened Lucasfilm’s new Singapore HQ, part of the 22,500-square-meter (242,190 square-foot) “Sandcrawler” building, named after the Jawas’ vehicle on Tatooine in Star Wars IV.

Lucas, who sold the company he founded to The Walt Disney Co. in 2012 for around $4 billion, told local media that everyone had thought he was crazy when he originally moved to set up shop in the Southeast Asian city-state. But the Sandcrawler “is a symbol of the people of Singapore and computer animation combining with Lucasfilm to create something that is (of) world quality”, he said.



(Photo Credit: Getty Images)


Television


Entertainment Weekly posted a new look at the Inquisitor from “Star Wars Rebels.” Note the slightly different lightsaber from previous images.

Dave Filoni clarified how the upcoming Dark Horse Darth Maul comic would fit in with the “Clone Wars” TV series on Facebook:

You may have seen the recent Clone Wars / Dark Horse Comics news, and I thought I would chime in and clarify things a bit. I am very excited about our collaboration with Dark Horse and this opportunity to tell an unfinished story developed for the TV series.

Before we get into the details about the Maul comic, I’d like to make clear that this storyline does not represent The Clone Wars series finale. I’ve seen some confusion about that online and want to set the record straight. There are additional Clone Wars episodes on the way and one arc in particular marks the series finale in my mind. We’ll have fun discussing that in the not too distant future.

Allow me to reveal in more detail what the story “Darth Maul, Son of Dathomir” is, and where it came from. As I have mentioned in previous interviews, for us to create the rich and incredibly complex stories that we were telling during The Clone Wars, we would be working on around fifty episodes at one time. This is from rough outline form, all the way through final sound design and picture lock. There were several stories that had gone through a substantial amount of development when the series was ended. We realized that this meant certain character arcs would go unfinished, but the Story and Publishing teams at Lucasfilm approached me with a unique way to continue Maul’s story for everyone who had been faithful to the show. The idea was to tell the story in comic book form, and knowing the great work that Dark Horse had done over the years, I thought it was an excellent plan.

The story of Darth Maul had become an important one for the series and it was only fitting that we chose him for a comic adaptation. The comics will be based on four finished scripts that were written for Season 6 . These scripts came out of one of our story conferences with George Lucas. As they moved through the production pipeline, they became finalized scripts with a great deal of the actual design work completed. The designs you will see, the plot lines, and character development in these comic books are all coming directly from the TV production. I turned over all of the art to Dark Horse so they could create an accurate representation of what we were planning for the show.

I am thrilled with the result, and thankful that we could partner with Randy Stradley and his team on this project. As I have always said, the stories told during the Clone Wars era will live on, and we are eager to share Darth Maul’s storyline with you. Is it the final story for Darth Maul? You will have to read the comics to find out.

You can read more on Filoni’s Facebook page.

Jedi News reports that episodes of “Clone Wars” Season 6 will be released in Germany on February 15. Descriptions of the episodes were posted on StarWars-Union.de:

Unknown – Clone cadet Tup is suffering from a severe neurological disorder that causes the death of a Jedi master. Trying to find the motives for the assassination, Anakin escorts Tup back to Kamino for examination, but then they are attacked by the Separatists…

Conspiracy – Clone cadet Tup is undergoing a medical examination in the sterile laboratories of Kamino to find the motives for his shocking attack on the Jedi master. For the examination to succeed, cadet Fives must enter the depth of Tup’s mind, where he finds a secret code manipulation in the cloning program of the Republic.

Fugitive – Clone cadet Tup is transported back to Coruscant, where his body is to be examined by the chancellor’s personal physician. Cadet Fives is also investigating the matter and discovers that a modified code has been hidden in the minds of all the clones…

Orders – Fives is still trying to find answers regarding the mysterious actions of clone cadet Tup. Hoping to personally speak with chancellor Palpatine, Fives finds himself suddenly accused of trying to murder the chancellor and decides to make a run for it.

An Old Friend – While on a mercy mission to the planet Scipio, Padmé Amidala’s’ old flame, Rush Clovis, gets in touch with her asking for help. Having made a stand against the corruption on his planet, Clovis has now become the target of the bounty hunter Embo. Together with Padmé, he is now trying to leave his planet and get help…

The Rise Of Clovis – Back on Coruscant, Clovis strikes a dubious deal to becomes the leader of his clan which is deeply mired in corruption. Anakin doesn’t trust Clovis, causing tensions in his relationship to Padmé.

Crisis At The Heart – Having made a deal with Count Dooku, Clovis finds himself drawn into the war. Since it was him who brought the war to his home planet of Scipio, the Republic is now forced to intervene.

The Disappeared (Part 1) – The peaceful world of Bardotta finds itself threatened by an ancient prophecy. Since now of all times its spiritual leaders have vanished, Bardotta’s people ask their representative in the senate for help. And Jar Jar Binks indeed manages to convince Jedi master Mace Windu that this matter is of grave importance…

The Disappeared (Part 2)
The Lost One
Voices
Destiny
Sacrifice



Around The Web




VISIT SKYWALKER RANCH AND MEET GEORGE LUCAS BENEFITING Make-A-Wish®

You + your luckiest friend will get a tour of Skywalker Ranch where you’ll meet George Lucas before flying to LA to hang with Mark Hamill at Nerdist Studios

Airfare & hotel included for 2!

Every entry helps Make-A-Wish® grant the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses

WHAT YOU’LL DO: This is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to take a pilgrimage to the Star Wars Mecca: George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes tour with the ranch manager, meet the legendary director, and then fly to LA and hang out with Mark Hamill at Nerdist Studios.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN: What it’s like to set foot in the incredibly exclusive, over 4,000 acre fantasy world and workplace of Star Wars’ mastermind, the secret to perfecting your Chewie impression, and why a battleship the size of a planet had a completely unprotected thermal exhaust port.

WHAT ELSE: This Skywalker Ranch meeting will happen on February 21, 2014. The Mark Hamill meeting at Nerdist will happen the following day or on a mutually convenient date. Enter by February 14 at 11:59pm PST for your chance to win. May the Force be with you.



Sound Advice: An Interview with Ben Burtt


TVLine – Exclusive: The Big Bang Theory Books Out-of-This-World Star Wars Cameos

Big Bang executive producers Bill Prady and Steve Molaro told TVLine on the Golden Globes red carpet that both James Earl Jones (aka the voice of Darth Vader) and Carrie “Princess Leia” Fisher will guest-star as themselves in an upcoming episode, crossing paths with Sheldon.

“Star Wars” Characters Cut By Disney

Jimmy Kimmel Live – Can They Do It Live? – Unicycling Darth Vader with Flaming Bagpipes

Adventures in Jedi School: New Series Trailer


SF Gate – Empire strikes back — Lucas’ new museum plan



Books & Comics



To celebrate the release of MAUL LOCKDOWN, we designed a few old-school fight posters that were popular back in regional wrestling days.

Then we took it one step further and asked the 501st Midwest Garrison of The 501st Legion if they could stage a few photos of characters and the posters. Our first set features some stormtroopers following orders. More photos will be revealed next week!




Games

Star Wars: The Old Republic “Galactic Starfighter Spotlight: The Gunship” Trailer

The Escapist – Disney Abandons Star Wars 1313 Trademark



Collecting



Neatorama – Beautiful Lamps Made from Classic Star Wars Toy Sets


Technabob – Star Wars Toy Photos Look Amazingly Real


From Around the Web

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