The Star Wars News Roundup – 3.21.14


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 and Spinoff News and Rumors

The big news of the week came from, where it was confirmed that filming starts in May:

Disney and Lucasfilm are excited to announce that principal photography on Star Wars: Episode VII, directed by J.J. Abrams, will commence May 2014, and will be based at London’s historic Pinewood Studios.

It has also been confirmed that Star Wars: Episode VII is set about 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and will star a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces. No further details on casting or plot are available at this time.

Star Wars: Episode VII will release in theaters on December 18, 2015.

We knew a lot of this, but now it’s official.

It was also announced that “Episode VII” would be released in IMAX. Here’s the press release:

IMAX Corporation and The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company, today announced an agreement to release several of Disney’s upcoming films in IMAX® theatres under an extension of the companies’ long-running relationship.

Under the agreement, IMAX will be part of Disney’s release strategy for its most highly-anticipated live-action tentpole films, including Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 2014), Maleficent (May 2014), Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (August 2014), and Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 2015), Tomorrowland (May 2015) and Star Wars: Episode VII (December 2015).

“Disney has enjoyed a terrific ongoing collaboration with IMAX, and we are thrilled to extend this relationship with a collection of exciting, highly anticipated cinematic events that are perfect for the immersive IMAX format,” said Alan Bergman, President, The Walt Disney Studios.

“For the last several years, Disney and IMAX have worked together to deliver extraordinary cinematic experiences to audiences around the world,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “The combination of the great product being created by Disney and the overwhelming enthusiasm of moviegoers to see films in IMAX theatres makes this agreement really exciting.”

“Disney’s and Marvel’s larger-than-life characters and dynamic universes clearly resonate with our core audiences,” said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President of IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. “We are delighted to build upon this longtime association and continue to collaborate to bring many of the most iconic and cutting-edge properties in the world to life in the most immersive way possible.”

Latino Review and The Hollywood Reporter both posted that Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o met with J.J. Abrams:

Add Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o to those meeting for the part of the female lead in Star Wars: Episode VII.

Sources say that Nyong’o met with J.J. Abrams only a few weeks ago, just before the Academy Awards where she took home the statuette for best supporting actress for her work in 12 Years a Slave.

TheForce.Net caught an interesting series of tweets from a Hasbro executive. He apparently visited the set, then after posting messages about the visit, deleted his Twitter account. Here’s a sample of the tweets:

One more sleep before my visit to pinewood studios tomorrow.
— Steve Evans (@Stevie18) February 26, 2014

What a day on the #starwars set. Met JJ Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy & the legend Lawrence Kasdan ⭐️
— Steve Evans (@Stevie18) February 28, 2014

I met someone in the bathroom while on the EPVII set. Casting rumors abound…
— Steve Evans (@Stevie18) March 8, 2014

@SavageDaddy I’m sure you’ll know soon enough…
— Steve Evans (@Stevie18) March 16, 2014

Along similar lines, Jedi News UK had their source return with some updates:

Over the past few weeks we have heard that a select number of executives from the leading Star Wars vendors have been invited to, and attended meetings at Pinewood Studios. They have had presentations on SOME elements of Episode VII, together with tours of a LIMITED number of Episode VII sets. Vendor meetings began on Friday 28th February, and continued into early March. The majority of the vendors invited are long standing trusted Lucasfilm vendors, or divisions within the Disney family…

Finally, also on set over the past few weeks has been a number of actors and actresses whom we assume are cast, and or at least in late stages of negotiation. Costume fittings and training are starting…

Visit the link for more details.

Jedi News UK also discovered another article from Iceland reconfirming the belief that some shooting will be done there:

On the front page of an icelandic newspaper there was an article about a crew coming over in april and shooting some plate shots that are to be used for episode 7 and that if they like it here they might shoot more scenes with cast and crew.

Disney executive Bob Iger did a presentation with a minor update:

Ever since it was rumored that the original cast would return for “Episode VII,” I’ve been wondering if Denis Lawson would return as Wedge Antilles. The Scotsman finally caught up with Lawson and asked him:

He turned down the opportunity to reprise his Star Wars role when George Lucas revisited the story in 2005, but when I ask him about it he just sighs wearily and won’t be drawn. “Honestly, I made the first Star Wars film in 1976 and it doesn’t really interest me. I know it’s interesting to other people but I get really bored talking about it. Sorry.”

Doesn’t sound very promising!

Vulture – An Updated Collection of All the Star Wars: Episode VII Rumors and Reports


Around The Web

Star Wars Visual Effects, from AT-ATs to Tauntauns

It’s ‘Dancing With the Star Wars’ as Billy Dee Williams Reveals Why He Signed Up for the Reality Show

Variety – George Lucas’ Request to Today’s Filmmakers: ‘Don’t Forget the Basics’ – Fashion and the Force: Rodarte’s Star Wars Gowns

The Hollywood Reporter – ILM Launches New Vancouver Visual Effects Facility

StarWars7News – Mark Hamill on Rob Paulsen Live!


D23.Com – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event Returns to Anaheim August 14-16, 2015

All the magic and excitement of the past, present, and future of Disney entertainment will come together once again under one roof when D23: The Official Disney Fan Club presents the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center the weekend of August 14–16, 2015. Each of Disney’s wonderful worlds will unite to celebrate what’s new and what’s on the horizon from theme parks, television, music, games, and films, including Pixar, the Muppets, Star Wars, and Marvel.

Books & Comics – STAR WARS Meets Shakespeare: Read an Exclusive Excerpt From THE EMPIRE STRIKETH BACK

TheForce.Net – Synopsis For Kevin Hearne’s Luke Skywalker Novel Surfaces

Kevin Hearne, New York Times best-selling author of the hugely popular Iron Druid Chronicles series-including Hounded, Hexed, and Hunted-makes his Star Wars debut with an action-packed classic Star Wars adventure, starring Luke, with pals Han, and Princess Leia!

In an attempt to distract the Empire from important Rebel Alliance activity, Luke Skywalker draws the attention of Imperial Security, leading him-along with Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, and Chewbacca-into a deadly trap right in Darth Vader’s sights!