The Star Wars News Roundup – 5.9.14


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

“Star Wars Day” greeting from J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan – J.J. Abrams confirms that more casting news is on the way. also reported that in a conference call reporting Walt Disney Company earnings, Bob Iger gave some updates:

Although it’s certainly no surprise given the immense popularity of the franchise, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger confirmed today during a Q2 Fiscal 2014 Earnings Conference Call that “at least three” Star Wars films are in development beyond the new trilogy of “Saga” chapters. Up until now, only two of these standalone projects were confirmed.

Referred to in the past as “origin story film[s]”, these features are said to be targeting release dates that alternate with the Saga entries, suggesting that these three (presumably the first of many more) will arrive in 2016, 2018 and 2019. Although previous rumors have suggested that these adventures will follow Han Solo, Boba Fett and/or Yoda, nothing specific has as of yet been confirmed outside of Larry Kasdan and Simon Kinberg’s involvement on the screenplay side.

Earlier this week, “Episode VII” title rumors started swirling around. Ain’t It Cool News reported the following:

Hey folks, Harry here… in response to my article earlier today a new source has come forward to confirm information that I’ve been sitting on for over a month. As I’ve said – getting confirmation has been a bitch. I know lots of people in JJ’s camp – including JJ… but when I put the title to JJ… he never even responded. That alone was suspicious. But my original source had told me back in January that Abu Dhabi was a location, and when that came to be, he sent me a scoop that the title for STAR WARS EPISODE VII was THE ANCIENT FEAR.

Latino Review then countered with the following:

I’ll start with this tidbit to form goodwill: The “working title” of Star Wars Episode VII is NOT The Ancient Fear, it’s Episode 7.

The Bleeding Cool countered with the following:

…it’s AVCO. We’ve seen proof… named after the Los Angeles cinema that showed a certain film back in 1977. They were one of only four cinemas who fitted Lucasfilm’s THX sound system for the film. And it was the cinema that the young JJ Abrams first saw the movie.

They follow up with additional evidence that sounds possible, but whatever is being used right now, it’s certainly a placeholder until the real title is revealed. For all of the speculation, I’d remind fans of the following:

Domhnall Gleeson spoke a little bit about his role in “Episode VII” with the Waterford Whispers News:

ALTHOUGH plot details on the next installment of the Star Wars saga are scarce, Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson has let slip a few nuggets of information about the character he will be playing, which he has described as being a “space pikey”.

The young actor, best known for his role as Brendan Gleeson’s son, blabbed the top-secret Episode VII storylines while hammered at an after party of his new movie Frank.

“I basically play the Blackie Connors of Tatooine” blabbed the redhaired thespian, whose real name is Donal Gleeson.

“I’m caught robbing the landing gear off of the Millennium Falcon by Chewbacca, and there’s this really funny bit where me and Chewie understand each other. That’s how my character gets mixed up with everyone else, and we all go off on a mad one altogether”.

It gets stranger from there. Just check out the article to see if we’re getting our leg pulled or not.

Movie Cricket also quotes David Prowse as saying he doesn’t think Kenny Baker will be healthy enough to reprise his role as R2-D2:

So, what do you make of the returning characters in Star Wars: Episode VII? We understand you are friends with Kenny Baker who is billed to be in the film.

Dave Prowse replied,

“There are lots of the older people coming back in. I mean, there is some talk about R2D2 coming back, Kenny Baker coming back…Well, Kenny Baker is really ill. However he is going to reprise his role I do not know.”

We then asked Dave Prowse;

So you do not expect Kenny Baker to return to Star Wars despite his expected appearance?

“I can’t see (Kenny Baker returning for ‘Episode VII’)…He is in such a terrible state with his terrible chest. I can’t honestly see it…though I mean they could put him in the unit and he doesn’t have to do it all.”

We’ll see what happens!

Mirror UK – Star Wars’ new star Daisy Ridley: Dad praises ”extraordinary” daughter after she lands “Episode VII” leading role.

Dad Chris, a 73-year-old photographer and father of five, said Daisy landed the Star Wars role very recently.

“They take out an option on you, they sign you and narrow it down. There are various stages,” he revealed. “Then it goes the other way and there is a result. But I’ve been sworn to secrecy.”

He said film-makers Disney, who have taken over the Star Wars franchise from its original creator George Lucas, are “terribly protective and everything is shrouded in dust sheets. They don’t want to let anything out”.

The proud dad says Daisy is already developing a close working relationship with her most famous co-star.

“She came home and said she’d had coffee with Harrison Ford and he said, ‘Don’t call me Mr Ford! Call me Harrison’,” said Chris.

“He’s a very sweet guy, though he looks terribly grumpy. She said he looks much better than he does in films and he’s a much nicer guy.”

Asked if Daisy was a Star Wars fan her dad said: “She is now!”

BBC News – Carrie Fisher ‘excited about Star Wars return’

Debbie Reynolds told BBC Radio 5 live’s Up All Night: “There aren’t many roles for women… so for them to consider the original princess is a great compliment to her.”

Disney Casting Calls – “Star Wars: Episode VII” begins casting process for extras

Lucasfilm is set to begin principal photography (second-unit filming began in April) on the epic feature film Star Wars: Episode VII, and casting for extras is now underway.

The Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm, in association with Kasdan Pictures and Bad Robot Productions will begin principal photography on the first in a new stand-alone Star Wars trilogy in London on May 14, 2014. The extras casting team in the United Kingdom has sent out a Star Wars: Episode VII casting call seeking extras of all ages and types, 16 years and older, to work as fully paid extras and possible featured background actors. There will also be additional casting for smaller speaking roles during production. There are also some specific casting needs such as interesting and unusual character faces, sailor and Navy types.

Star Wars: Episode VII is set three decades after Return of the Jedi. Returning in their roles is Academy Award nominee Harrison Ford as Hans Solo, two-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee Carrie Fisher as Leia Solo, and BAFTA Awards winner Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. Also returning is Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Kenny Baker as R2-D2, and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca. New cast members are two-time Academy Award nominee Max von Sydow, Golden Globe Award nominee Andy Serkis, British Independent Film Awards nominee Domhnall Gleeson, Primetime Emmy Award nominee Adam Driver, Golden Globe Award nominee Oscar Isaac, and Black Reel Awards winner John Boyega.

Two-time Primetime Emmy Award winner J.J. Abrams is directing Star Wars: Episode VII from an original screenplay written by himself and four-time Academy Award nominee Lawrence Kasdan, based on characters by four-time Academy Award nominee George Lucas. J.J. Abrams is also producing along with eight-time Academy Award nominee Kathleen Kennedy, and Primetime Emmy Award nominee Bryan Burk. Executive producers are Tommy Harper and Jason D. McGatlin. Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled to hit theaters on December 18, 2015.

Star Wars: Episode VII Extras Casting Call Information

Star Wars: Episode VII is now casting extras to appear in the film as fully paid background performers. Some roles will be possible featured background actors. All types and ages are needed, 16 years and older. The following are the breakdowns of some specific needs:

[ALL AGES AND TYPES] Males and Females, 16 years of age and older. Any ethnicity. All types, sizes and shapes.
[YOUNG ADULTS] Males and Females 16- 22. Girls and Boys of all ethnic backgrounds.
[CHARACTER TYPES/INTERESTING FACES] Males and Females, any age over 16. Interesting looks. Character faces, memorable eye-cathing looks, unusual type looks. This could be people with strong physical features, facial scars, big beards, long hair, bad teeth, large facial features, dreadlocks, or interesting ethnic appearance such as darker skin and light eyes.

Shooting on these roles will take place on various days between May, 2014 and September, 2014 in the London, Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire areas of the UK.

Visit the link for more!

For something different, check out this fan made trailer that utilizes the voice of the late, great Don Lafontaine.

Finally, check out this AMC podcast featuring my friend Paul Ens and “Fanboys” director Kyle Newman.

AMC Jedi Council – A Star Wars Podcast for May The Fourth


Star Wars Rebels: Full Trailer

LEGO Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles “Escape from the Jedi Temple” Preview Clip

It looks like some favorite original trilogy characters may be appearing in “Star Wars Rebels.” First up, Obi-Wan Kenobi can be seen in a listing of the “Rebels” toys:

Then the Star Qars Insider hinted that Lando will be seen as well:

So, we’ve all seen the intriguing Star Wars Rebels trailer and then watched it several times over again. Now you’ve got a feel for it, are you going to be tuning into the first episode?

CG form or in the flesh, we’re on cloud 9 (well, level 1-50 of Cloud City, which we hear is even better) having Lando back on our screens!

Thanks to Making Star Wars for the alert!

Around The Web

Conan O’Brien Reveals Alternate “Episode VII” Titles

Star Wars Cantina Band Auditions

Star Wars Day Celebration In-Flight Ewok Cam

Honest Trailers – Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones

C-3PO – “I Am Gold” feat. Disney’s “Frozen” Let It Go

The Hollywood Reporter – ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’: R2-D2 Answers Fan Questions (Video)

Esquire – The Man Who Literally Built Star Wars: Set decorator Roger Christian tells us what it was like making George Lucas’s dreams out of scrap metal

Neatorama – Use the Fat, Luke: Star Wars Donuts


R2-D2’s Secret D23 Star Wars Day Message

Video Games

Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace Trailer

Kotaku – Yeah, That Cancelled Star Wars Game Looked Pretty Cool

Brazilian artist Bruno Werneck works at Filmpaint studio, where he’s been able to contribute to some of the world’s biggest video game and movie projects.P

I’m not kidding around when I say biggest, either. In games, he’s worked on Titanfall and the Mass Effect series, while in Hollywood his stuff has been used in Star Trek: Into Darkness and Thor.P

Filmpaint also worked on Lucasarts’ cancelled 1313; you can see some images of that below, showing everything from a very Blade Runner take on Coruscant to a…Hoth train station.

Books and Comics

Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy – Book Trailer

Drew Karpyshyn – Thoughts on the EU reboot


Vans x Star Wars

Rebelscum – High Resolution Hasbro: The Black Series 6-Inch Yoda & Jabba The Hutt