The Star Wars News Roundup – 4.4.14


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!

From Richard Lim

Episode VII and Spinoff News and Rumors

Badass Digest got a filming update this week:

Many Bothans etc: sources tell me that Star Wars Episode VII will begin shooting almost exactly six weeks from today, on May 14th. The first two weeks will be on location in Morocco.

If I had to guess I would say this means a return to Tatooine, and that it’s possible the production will be skipping over to Tunisia as well, where most of the Tatooine stuff was shot.

The Hollywood Reporter – With ‘Black Mass’ Casting, Jesse Plemons Likely Out of ‘Star Wars: VII’

Jesse Plemons’ name has been orbiting the Star Wars: Episode VII casting universe since January when it was reported the actor met with the movie’s director, J.J. Abrams.

But a new casting signals that Plemons likely won’t be dropping by a galaxy far, far away anytime soon.

As The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reported Wednesday, the Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights actor is in talks to join Black Mass, the Whitey Bulger biopic starring Johnny Depp.


Billy Dee Williams’ Final Dance

Entertainment Weekly – Billy Dee Williams bows out of ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Billy Dee Williams and Emma Slater will not continue to fight for, or casually shuffle towards, season 18′s coveted mirrorball trophy on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. (More Week 3 results after the break.)

Williams, 77, cited chronic back pain and his doctor’s warning not to dance as reasons for sitting out tonight. The Star Wars actor, who’s had two hip replacements, thanked Slater for “this wonderful, brilliant, fantastic blast of a time” and promised to keep dancing — “It’s an epic part of me now,” he said of his ballroom experience.

The Hollywood Reporter – ‘Big Bang Theory,’ Lucasfilm Team for ‘Star Wars’ Day Episode (Exclusive)

CBS’ The Big Bang Theory is teaming with Lucasfilm for an epic Star Wars episode timed to Star Wars Day, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

In “The Proton Transmogrification” — the episode set to air May 1 and timed to the annual May 4 Star Wars Day — the gang gets together to celebrate the annual geek holiday, while Sheldon (Jim Parsons) is guided by visions of his childhood idol and mentor, Professor Proton (Emmy winner Bob Newhart), who appears to the socially challenged genius as his own Jedi master.

Hollywood Reporter – ‘The Goldbergs’ Sets ‘Star Wars’ Day Tie-In With Lucasfilm (Exclusive)

Following nods to cult movies Goonies and Tron, ABC’s 1980s-set comedy The Goldbergs will team with Lucasfilm for its upcoming Star Wars-themed episode.

George Lucas’ production company behind the iconic franchise has signed on for a tie-in with the episode to support the annual international geek holiday Star Wars Day “May the Fourth.”

As part of the tie-in, Lucasfilm partnered with studio Sony Pictures Television and ABC for the May 6 episode titled “A Wrestler Named Goldberg.” Lucasfilm will help promote the episode in the lead-up to the broadcast. The episode sees Adam (Sean Giambrone) and Erica (Hayley Orrantia) encounter elaborately costumed Star Wars fans, including Reno 911’s Thomas Lennon, while waiting in line at the Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi opening.

Around The Web

Star Wars Featurette: The Birth of the Lightsaber

Star Wars Vs. Rush Hour

Daily Mail – J.J. Abrams on Believe, Spielberg and Star Wars – Wil Wheaton Talks Star Wars Board Games

Variety – Is Disney’s Big-Game Hunting Paying Off?

Richard Lim art via Geek Tyrant from the cancelled LucasArts game “Star Wars: First Assault”

Attractions – Imagineering Star Tours, Part 2: Lightspeed to Endor

Books & Comics

Disney Publishing Worldwide and publishing partners announce third annual Star Wars Reads Day: Disney Publishing Worldwide and its publishing partners announced today the third annual Star Wars Reads Day to be held this October 11, 2014. Last year, Star Wars authors and costumed volunteers participated in over 2,000 Star Wars Reads Day events across North America and, for the first time, around the world. On October 11 of this year, Star Wars fans, authors, and artists will again come together in this multi-publisher initiative that celebrates reading and Star Wars. Participating publishing partners include Abrams, Chronicle Books, Dark Horse, Del Rey, Disney Book Group, DK, Klutz, Quirk Books, Random House Audio, Scholastic, and Workman Publishing.

“With the debut of our new animated series Star Wars Rebels launching on Disney XD this Fall, and the upcoming theatrical release of Episode VII in 2015, our third Star Wars Reads Day comes at an exciting time,” says Carol Roeder, Director of Lucasfilm Franchise Publishing, Disney Publishing Worldwide.

The following authors are confirmed to participate in official Star Wars Reads Day events: Chris Alexander (Star Wars Origami), Tom Angleberger (Origami Yoda series), Jeffrey Brown (Goodnight Darth Vader, Star Wars: Jedi Academy), Troy Denning (Star Wars: Crucible), Ian Doescher (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, William Shakespeare’s Empire Striketh Back, William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return), Jason Fry (LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary: Updated and Expanded, Star Wars in 100 Scenes), Daniel Lipkowitz (LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles), John Jackson Miller (Star Wars: Kenobi), Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas (Star Wars: Death Star Owner’s Technical Manual), Daniel Wallace (The Bounty Hunter Code, The Jedi Path) and Ryder Windham (Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide, Star Wars Rebels Junior Novel).

For updates and more information, follow Star Wars Reads on Facebook

An official Star Wars Reads Day event kit (free of charge), including reproducible activity sheets and trivia, will be available for download at:

Video Games

Star Wars Pinball – Episode IV – A New Hope

EA Games – Amy Hennig joins Visceral Games

I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Amy Hennig to our team at Visceral Games and EA as Creative Director on our Star Wars project.

Amy has long been recognized as one of our industry’s top visionaries, and is coming off an amazing run as the Writer and Creative Director of the Uncharted franchise. But her contributions go beyond the games she helped create at Naughty Dog and at Crystal Dynamics, where we worked together many years ago. As both a colleague and friend, I’ve always admired her approach to creative development – focusing on nailing down the soul of a game first, and then making sure the writing, the gameplay, the design and the art comes together to form a unified, interactive experience for the player. This fits in perfectly with what we’re trying to do here at Visceral and Amy’s going to help us continue in our pursuit to make the most thrilling, immersive games in the world.

Over the last few weeks, Amy and I have spent a lot of time talking about what her first project would be. There are a lot of different directions we could have gone, but I could sense that what really excited her about this opportunity (because let’s face it, we weren’t the only ones knocking at her door) was Star Wars. Amy’s a huge fan. We happen to be making a Star Wars game. Just thinking about the possibilities made both of us even more excited about having her join the team.

So welcome, Amy! This is a great day for our team at Visceral Games and EA. If you’re interested in joining Amy and our team, please visit


Consumerist – The Only Princess Leia Toy Offered In Hasbro’s Star Wars Line Is Wearing The “Slave Outfit” – The Sears Wish Book and Star Wars Toys’ Real Value