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
So it has been a big week for “Episode VII” news! For history’s sake, let’s follow the events building up to the big reveal.
Deadline then dropped some information stating that casting was imminent:
Looks like JJ Abrams, who is so secretive he probably still wont admit to having directed the first two Star Trek movies, is finally going to have to divulge his cast for the revamp of Star Wars. The force is with him, in that hes got a big table read tomorrow with the cast in London, and so hes finally going to be forced to fess up shortly. There have been more rumors on this one than any film in recent memory, and heres the latest.
Im hearing that Inside Llewyn Davis star Oscar Isaac is in line for a major role, as is Adam Driver and Attack the Blocks John Boyega, both of whom have been rumored. There is also a young girl, and that might be Maisie Richardson-Sellers, an Oxford-trained actress whose casting has been rumored in recent weeks. The new cast members will join returning Star Wars alums Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill. The big surprise, Im told, is that Ford has a gigantic role in the first of the next three films. Disney hasnt been commenting on any of this, and todays no different. Stay tuned.
The List then got wind that Andy Serkis was in the mix:
The ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ cast have met up for the first time.
Director J.J. Abrams hosted a bonding session at upmarket London restaurant 34, where new cast members Adam Driver and Andy Serkis were joined by three familiar faces from the sci-fi franchise, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Peter Mayhew ahead of a planned script read through later this week.
A source told The Sun newspaper: “The cast are being flown out to various locations to film.
“Bosses want to capitalise on them all being in London by booking in a get-together. It was a top secret mission, nobody was allowed to let on they’d be meeting up.”
And with that, the casting was finally announced:
The Star Wars team is thrilled to announce the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.
Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.
Director J.J. Abrams says, “We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”
Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.
Then the post-game began!
Check out Daisy Ridley in the short film “Blue Season”
Comic Book Movie – Domhnall Gleeson On Landing The Role Of A Lifetime In STAR WARS VII
While talking to Ray Darcy on Dublin radio show 2FM, the actor describes the feeling of finding out he nabbed the role just one day before he had to join his cast-mates for a table read in London. “I’m still struggling to come to terms with it,” Gleeson admitted. “It all happened really quickly for me. It was like the day before and then I’m at a table reading with Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill. It was madness but it was great.” So who is Glesson playing? He’s quizzed about it, and asked if he will be playing the son of Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker, but obviously he has to keep schtum. “I’m afraid if I say anything I’ll give away the plot of the whole movie. I’ve got two years of this ahead of me. The movie is released in December 2015 — that’s the amount of time I have to keep my mouth shut!”
Along with the think pieces were complaints. Why werent more women cast? Why not more races? Wheres Warwick Davis? Well, the The Hollywood Reporter said more news was on the way:
Several sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that director J.J. Abrams has another substantial role to fill and it’s a female part. No further details are known.
That might be good news for a vocal segment of Star Wars fans that have bemoaned the lack females in the six previous films and the just-announced new cast.
My thoughts on the new cast? Random reactions follow:
– Drawing wild conclusions from where people were sitting in the table reading photo, I would guess that Daisy Ridley (sitting between Ford and Fisher) could be the Solo’s daughter.
– I’m very happy to see Andy Serkis cast. He’s not only a great actor, but an incredibly nice person that I got to meet at San Diego a couple of years ago. It’s probably a good guess that he would play a CG character. As my young said, “He’ll probably be a CG monkey man.” Good guess.
– I love Max Von Sydow and think he’s a great addition. I love seeing Ming the Merciless in Star Wars.
– J.J. Abrams must have really loved “Inside Llewyn Davis.” If you watch it, you’ll see why he cast Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac.
– “Attack the Block” was a lot of fun, so it’s great to see John Boyega cast as well. He would seem to be the biggest question mark as far as casting goes. Is he a Jedi? A pilot? It doesn’t matter as long as he isn’t related to Lando. Not everyone in Star Wars should be related.
Stephen Colbert on the “Episode VII cast
The Big Bang Theory – The Proton Transmogrification (Preview)
“STAR WARS REBELS” TRAILER DEBUTS WORLDWIDE ON STAR WARS DAY — SUNDAY, MAY 4TH
The rebellion begins this Sunday. The trailer for the upcoming animated series “Star Wars Rebels” will premiere in a global, multiplatform debut on Star Wars Day, SUNDAY, MAY 4th — also known as “May the 4th Be With You,” the unofficial fan-driven holiday celebrating Star Wars.
In the U.S., Disney XD will feature the “Star Wars Rebels” trailer during the premiere of LEGO’s “Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles” at 7:00 p.m., ET/PT. Additionally, the trailer will air on Disney Channel, ABC, ABC Family, Fusion, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 at varying times throughout the day.
The trailer will also debut on Disney XD and Disney Channels in countries spanning across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Australia — reaching approximately 105 million households in over 50 countries, across six continents and over 20 time zones.
On Sunday, May 4 (12:01 a.m., PT), the trailer will be available across multiple sites including www.StarWars.com, www.ABC.com, www.ESPN.com and www.Disney.com.
USA Today – Sircar’s Sabine vs. Empire in ‘Star Wars Rebels’
Part of Tiya Sircar’s induction into the Star Wars family was walking a red carpet with Imperial Stormtroopers.
But at least her arrival to this past weekend’s Radio Disney Music Awards was in cosmic style.
“I had never seen a Stormtrooper in real life. They were lovely,” says Sircar, the actress who voices the Mandalorian explosives expert Sabine in the upcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels.
In honor of Star Wars Day on May 4, the first Rebels trailer premieres early Sunday morning (3:01 a.m. ET/12:01 PT) on various websites including StarWars.com and Disney.com, and will also air during Disney XD’s LEGO animated special Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles on Sunday night (7 ET/PT).
The footage can be seen ABC, ABC Family, Fusion, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 at varying times throughout Sunday, and will also debut on Disney XD and Disney Channel in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Australia.
ABC’s Good Morning America will air a 30-second sneak peek at the trailer for Rebels, which is slated to debut as a one-hour special this fall on Disney Channel with an animated series to follow on Disney XD.
Entertainment Weekly – ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ gets 4 daytime Emmy noms
Around The Web
A Star Wars Day Message from NASA
Large Scale Advanced X1 Tie Fighter Quad-Copter
io9.com – 13 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Lightsabers
Toronto Sun – ‘Star Wars’ icon James Earl Jones returning to Broadway
Neatorama – Star Wars Creature Pancakes
Neatorama – Zac Benedict’s Sharp Star Wars Woodcuts
TheForce.Net – Vans Star Wars May 4th Video Features Skateboarding Wookiee
Laughing Place – Executive Changes at Walt Disney Imagineering; Launches Star Wars Studio
There have been some executive changes at Walt Disney Imagineering. Tom Fitzgerald is taking over the Imagineering direction of Epcot. Tom was an Imagineer on Epcot and created the quote “If you can dream it, you can do it” for Horizons which is often misappropriated to Walt Disney.
Scott Trowbrige, who was leading Imagineerings R&D and Blue Sky efforts is launching a new Star Wars studio that will work on bringing new experiences to the parks. He also will take over portfolio management of the Disneyland Resort. Scott previously worked at Universal where he lead the development on projects such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.
International Digital Times – Star Wars Battlefront 3 Release News: Story To Be Official Part Of Star Wars Universe Says Lucasfilm
Books and Comics
The Star Wars Expanded Universe: Past, Present, and Future
In this special look at the Star Wars Expanded Universe, many of Lucasfilm’s brightest talents and authors discuss the legacy and exciting future of the company’s comics, books, and videogames.
When George Lucas created Star Wars, he depicted it as a lived-in universe with a history. That’s where the creation of the Expanded Universe, or EU, comes in. “The movies are so rich and so full of detail,” says Howard Roffman, EVP, Lucasfilm Franchise Management, “and you know that there’s a ton of things that aren’t revealed in the movies but obviously exist in the lore of Star Wars and in the story of Star Wars. The EU has been our attempt to take you into areas that aren’t explored in the movies and give you much more depth.” Kilian Plunkett, art director of Star Wars Rebels, names Brian Daley’s classic novel, Han Solo and the Lost Legacy, as his introduction to the EU, while Lucas Books senior editor Jennifer Heddle cites Splinter of the Mind’s Eye as her first EU experience — a tale featuring Princess Leia dueling Darth Vader. The EU took a new direction with the 1991 landmark release of Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, which takes place five years after the events of Return of the Jedi and set the stage for the modern era of connected Star Wars stories. It led to comics like Dark Empire — a favorite of Lucasfilm’s Dave Filoni — and videogames like Knights of the Republic, all informing each other. Many concepts that would be used in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, such as the Nightsisters, came from the EU.
Now, with Lucasfilm’s Story Group, the EU will be unified like never before. Across the new films, TV animation, comics, novels, and games, the Star Wars narrative will be entirely consistent and cohesive. “I think the idea of aligning the content,” says Kiri Hart, head of development, “is actually a really fantastic and exciting opportunity that no other fictional universe could really even support.”
The EU remains an important resource for a galaxy far, far away. “There’s a bright future for Star Wars,” says Filoni. “But I think the EU will be a legacy that’s mined forever.”
Timothy Zahn – Tim reacts to the news of the EU reboot:
Having now had a few days to process the news from LFL, a few thoughts:
First, since many of you are wondering, I have *not* yet been asked to write any new Star Wars books. But that doesnt mean I wont receive such an invitation in the future. If that happens, whether or not I accept will depend on what kind of story Im asked to write, what input Id have on the content, what era the story will be set in, etc. I would certainly *like* to return to the GFFA, but at the moment thats not my decision to make.
Second, as far as I can tell from the announcement, LFL is *not* erasing the EU, but simply making it clear that nothing there is official canon. Thats not necessarily a bad thing, nor does it immediately send everything into alternate-universe status. If nothing from the Thrawn Trilogy, say, is used in future movies (and if theres nothing in the movies that contradicts it), then we can reasonably continue to assume that those events *did* happen. It looks to me like the “Legends” banner is going to be used mainly to distinguish Story-Group-Approved canon books from those that arent officially canon but might still exist.
Third, even if something from the Thrawn Trilogy *does* show up in a movie in a different form, we authors are masters of spackle, back-fill, and hand-waving. For example, if Ghent appears in the movies but never mentions Thrawn, I can argue that he simply doesnt want to talk about that era, or else has completely forgotten about it. (Which for Ghent isnt really much of a stretch.)
Finally, theres nothing inherently demeaning in the term “Legends.” Think back (a little farther a little farther) to Disneys 1950s “Davy Crockett” TV series, (a show I grew up with) which presented stories and legends about the King of the Wild Frontier. Historians have Crocketts genuine history, but theres nothing that says these TV adventures *didnt* happen, right? So until and unless the legend puts Davy in Tennessee at the same time the real history puts him in Virginia, we can still believe those adventures happened. Thats how I expect it to be with the “real” Star Wars history versus the “legendary” adventures of the EU.
Bottom line: lets all sit back and relax and see what new adventures are offered to us, both in new books and new movies. Itll be Star Wars, and thats what counts.
Disney Store – Exclusive Darth Vader figurine
ANOVOS Unveils Collection of STAR WARSTM Costume Replicas
The Force will be strong with STAR WARS fans this spring when ANOVOS Productions LLC unveils its first line of STAR WARS replica costumes designed to be both displayable and wearable.
Pre-sales begin on May the 4th for these licensed replica costumes. The collection of STAR WARS replica costumes by ANOVOS will premiere with three extraordinary creations based on the unforgettable adventure of STAR WARS: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. Pieces from the collection will premiere during the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo from April 25 to 27.
“Our new Star Wars collection goes way beyond simple costumes theyre based on the original costume designs and patterns used in the production of these classic movies,” said ANOVOS CEO Joe Salcedo.
Luke Skywalkers Bespin uniform and holster will lead the release of the STAR WARS replica costumes collection by ANOVOS, followed by Han Solos iconic costume from The Empire Strikes Back and later in the summer a wearable full-length Darth Vader costume.
ANOVOS plans to expand its new STAR WARS offerings later in the year with the addition of wearable armor-based costumes under the banner of “Kamino Armor Works.” Items from this line will include a bounty hunter Jango Fett costume from STAR WARS: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, and Clone Troopers costumes from STAR WARS: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. A sampling of prototypes will be displayed in the ANOVOS booth #408 during C2E2.
The STAR WARS replica costumes collection by ANOVOS will be available for pre-ordering beginning May the 4th at www.anovos.com. Sizes for the costumes, which are created to be unisex, will range from small to XXL.
“Entering the Star Wars universe is a dream come true for us,” Salcedo said. Since its inception in 2009, ANOVOS has created wearable fandom for a wide range of popular entertainment properties. “There are no fans more passionate, more excited and more engaged in wearable fandom than Star Wars fans.”
As the STAR WARS replica costumes collection by ANOVOS grows, plans include expanding Kamino Armor Works to encompass wearable costume replicas of Sandtroopers, Biker Scouts, Stormtroopers and other variants of Clone Troopers.
For more information about ANOVOS Productions and the STAR WARS replica costumes collection by ANOVOS, please visit www.anovos.com or find ANOVOS on Facebook (facebook.com/Anovos), on Twitter (@ANOVOS) or on Instagram (@ANOVOS).
The whole force in small size – LEGO Star Wars Microfighters