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.
The Telegraph interviewed J.J. Abrams, who spoke about the importance of secrecy:
A moment later Abrams laughs incredulously. "Are you kidding me? My god. My office… I'm working on the Star Wars script today and the people in my office have covered up all my windows with black paper. I guess they wanted to make sure no one could see what I was doing." He seems lost for words, for the first and last time in our conversation. "It seems rather extreme"...
Before the release of last year's Star Trek Into Darkness, Abrams tried to keep secret the identity of the villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch – something he now regrets. "We were trying to preserve the unexpected for the audience, but it came across as if we were trying to be too clever," he says.
"Star Wars is in every way a different animal. It's always been a more open, fan-engaged universe than I've been used to, so I'm sure there'll be some sort of compromise. But it feels to me like there's a purity in not knowing every little thing."
Blastr interviewed Billy Dee Williams and asked him about Episode VII:
J.J. Abrams has said the new Star Wars script is done. It's been rumored that Michael Arndt's draft contained the Lando character. Will you return as Lando in Star Wars: Episode VII?
Williams: I haven't heard anything. No midnight calls yet. Sure, I'd be interested in playing Lando again, if it came my way. Sure.
Star Wars 7 News threw a new rumor out there that connects "Star Wars Rebels" to "Episode VII":
It can be said, that Rebels will introduce Mara Jade, into the film canon, sometimes appearing with the Inquisitor and she will be the living mother of Ben Skywalker.
Episode seven takes place, in 30 ABY. Jacen, and Jaina will be to Ben what Han, and Leia were to Luke. Ben is around the same age as his cousins. Chewie will be alive, and this is an all new timeline from 4 ABY forward.
Star Wars 7 followed up with more rumors including the following:
At some point J.J. Abrams had a meeting with the Thrawn trilogy writer Timothy Zahn. Actually there might have been more than one meeting and it was probably just for consultation.
Timothy Zahn posted to Club Jade the following which seems to proton torpedo the credibility of those rumors:
I usually don’t get involved with this stuff, but since my name came up I thought it might be useful for me to state for the record that Abrams and I have *not* met. For whatever that's worth.
And that’s why you don't take all of these rumors seriously.
As usual, early leaks of toys continue to be a good source of information on all things Star Wars. Yakface found an update from a German toy website that appears to confirm some character names from "Star Wars Rebels":
Star Wars Rebels:
"Green Stormtrooper"? It isn't easy being green. MakingStarWars.net added some more names as well as clarified others:
Check the link for descriptions of the characters.
Meanwhile, Dave Filoni introduced the new droid "Chopper" on StarWars.com:
In Star Wars, droids are always eager to help out their human masters, drop whatever it is they're doing when called upon, and sometimes even sacrifice themselves to save others. Right?
Not quite. Introducing Chopper, a lazy, cranky (if ultimately goodhearted) astromech droid, and the latest character revealed from the highly anticipated Star Wars Rebels animated series. "If Artoo is the family dog," said Dave Filoni, executive producer of the show, "Chopper is the cat." Chopper is an essential crew member of the Ghost, tasked with keeping the starship running and operable for its band of heroes. In reality, thanks to his many "unique" upgrades and customizations, no other alien, human, or droid could handle the job.
The design of Chopper, a.k.a. C1-10P, takes cues from early Ralph McQuarrie concept art for R2-D2, especially the expressive arms that fold out of his head. As Star Wars Rebels takes place four years prior to the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, Chopper's retro look creates an aesthetic continuity with droids of the original trilogy.
Check out a special preview of Chopper in the accompanying slideshow, including a first look at Hasbro's upcoming toy -- part of a full line of 3.75-inch Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends action figures -- and learn more about the grumpy astromech from the creators of Star Wars Rebels in the video below.
Star Wars Rebels is scheduled to premiere in fall 2014 as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel and will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.
There was also a look at what appears to be the toy version of Chopper.
Chopper was also revealed in LEGO format. Check it out.
Neoape also posted some photos of the upcoming LEGO sets of the Phantom and Ghost ships. Click the link for more!
The Hollywood Reporter - Hollywood Mourns Former Academy President Tom Sherak - George Lucas called Sherak "an honorary Jedi master," as actors, producers, politicians and Hollywood execs expressed their messages of sympathy upon the passing of the industry great, who died Tuesday at 68.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, George Lucas shared his thoughts about the sad news, saying, "Tom's passion for everything he did made him an inspiration to work with. His boundless enthusiasm for Star Wars earned him an honorary Jedi master title. He was unique in the industry and will be missed"...
Producer Jon Landau also shared his thoughts, telling THR: "There was no one that I respected more than Tom, not just as a businessman but as a person, and how he conducted his life should be an inspiration for us all."
He went on to recall a favorite memory from when he was a Fox exec, saying: "When Fox was working to get the rights to the next trilogy of Star Wars movies, Tom actually did a spoof with me that we called 'Episode Seven, the Distribution Wars.'
"He played Luke Skywalker. It was his way of showing George and everyone at Lucasfilm how much it meant. We made a five-minute short. There was a voice like Obi-Wan Kenobi and it said, 'Tom, do you think you're going to be able to do this? He said, 'It'll be as easy as opening Home Alone. That was showmanship," said Landau.
Cracked - Adventures in Jedi School - Sexism and Lightsaber Safety
TheForce.Net - TFN Interview: Maul: Lockdown Author Joe Schreiber
IGN - Sony Online Entertainment Shutting Down Four MMOs - Free Realms, Vanguard, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, and Wizardry Online to close by July.
The game is now at a stage in its cycle where players are growing up and moving on so we have mutually agreed with LucasArts to sunset the game on March 31, 2014. We will be sending the game off in an exciting way that players would come to expect for this epic franchise.
USA Hockey - Star Wars Jersey Auction Open Now Until Feb. 13
Specially-designed jerseys made for the U.S. National Under-18 Team as part of Star Wars Night on Jan. 18, are now available for purchase through auction. Team USA wore these jerseys featuring Darth Vader when the U.S. played the Waterloo Black Hawks at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. Bids are being accepted here beginning tonight at 6 p.m. EST. All proceeds will benefit C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich.