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 Hollywood Reporter dropped the big news of the week when they quoted Disney chairman Alan Horn as saying that "Episode VII" is actually already filming:
The new Star Wars -- episode 7 in the nine-picture franchise -- has already begun filming and most of the cast is now in place for the movie, Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn revealed April 2. "We have a lot of them [in place]," he said about the main actors, whose names have not been disclosed. "We’re just not completely done yet."
Horn acknowledged there had been some problems getting the script right. "It’s all about the screenplay," he said. "It has to be screenplay, screenplay, screenplay." Asked if the screenplay was fully where it needed to be, he added: "It actually is now." The script has been co-written by Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams, following an early draft by Michael Arndt.
The Hollywood Reporter then stated that "Episode VII" would be shooting Tatooine scenes in Morocco rather than Tunisia:
Paparazzi, prepare to storm the desert! A source says Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams and Disney are planning to build out an extensive re-creation of Tatooine, the desolate home planet of Luke and Anakin Skywalker, in a Morocco-like environment (the original was built in Tunisia).
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Star Wars: Episode VII will shoot in and around the city-state, which is part of the United Arab Emirates, beginning mid-May. Sources also say it would be a four-week shoot.
Could an Oxford-educated actress with no movie credits to her name land a key role in Star Wars: Episode VII?
Speculation is swirling like the mists of Dagobah around newcomer Maisie Richardson-Sellers. Several sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that she is in line to nab an undisclosed and possibly major role in the high-profile Disney/Lucasfilm production, which is in the middle of an extended casting search in London in advance of a May production start date.
The Hollywood Reporter also confirmed what we surmised a couple of weeks ago - Peter Mayhew is returning as Chewbacca:
Collider - Karen Gillan Talks Oculus, Filming a 13-Minute Monologue, Guardians of the Galaxy, Donating Her Hair to Star Wars, ABC’s Selfie, and More
Was it just very liberating to shave your head, or did you have any moments of tears while they were doing it?
GILLAN: No, I was laughing hysterically. It really hit me when I woke up the next morning. That’s when I was like, "Oh, my god, where’s my hair?!" But also, everyone kept me in good spirit. Everyone was laughing and telling jokes. Marvel are the best company to work for, they really are. They treat you really well. They made my hair into the most incredible well-made wig and they gave it to the Star Wars people. It’s just so funny to think that my hair is made into a wig, next to all these Star Wars monster heads in a warehouse. I thought that was really funny.
Seth Green and Matthew Senreich gave an update on "Star Wars Detours" to Topless Robot:
LYT: Has Disney killed Star Wars Detours?
SG: No, no, and I think - I'll correct this again - there's a misinterpretation that Disney had anything to do with that decision. That was 100% a Lucasfilm decision, and it was born from the time they decided to make new movies. We started having conversations about what the next three years of Star Wars were going to be before those movies came out. And it was months of talking with Kathy Kennedy, and the decision makers at the company.
The decision really was that because our show - the way it was conceived - is timeless, and because we've got nearly 40 completely finished, ready for broadcast episodes, but because the tone of the show is comedic, and it's more like the Simpsons universe within the Star Wars universe, it was counter-intuitive to spend the next three years targeting young kids and teens with a show that was kind of a deconstructionist view of the characters that they just, three years from now, were going to be meant to take very seriously.
SG: You know, when the new Star Wars starts, after Return of the Jedi, the death of Darth Vader, the death of the Emperor - those need to be akin with the death of Stalin, the death of Hitler. And so our show portrays those characters the same way that Robot Chicken does, as sort of beleaguered, middle-management, the higher-up, head of a CEO that's running some intergalactic space station.
MS: The worst thing that people tell us all the time is that they introduce people to Star Wars through Robot Chicken, which is the worst thing that you can possibly do. It's backwards.
SG: It's just handicapping your kids' ability to interpret the sincere version of something by introducing them via the ironic one.
MS: And knowing that there's a sincere version coming, and we are the comedic version - we can take stage after they actual present the new...
SG: It's a delay, it's not a cancellation. There is so much material, and I really believe the media is going to catch up to it.
MS: So much.
SG: In the same way that networks are focusing on green-lighting whole seasons at a time, the same way that Netflix is building an entire series that people can view via download - that's where Detours will live. But it won't be for, like, five years. So everyone's just got to be patient.
MS: It's a Disney question.
SG: Well, it's still a Lucasfilm question. Don't pass it off on Disney. [chuckles]
MS: Yeah, okay.
I'm coming to a small screen near you! Premiering 10pm ET, April 19, BBC AMERICA and BBC 2 delve into 'The Real History of Science Fiction'.
Disney Parks Blog - New Options for Star Wars – D-Tech Me Returning to Star Wars Weekends Starting May 16, 2014
This year, two returning favorites – Carbon-Freeze Me and Stormtrooper – will be joined by two new figurines – Alderaan Princess and X-Wing Pilot. There are both male and female options offered for X-Wing pilot, Carbon-Freeze Me and Stormtrooper figurines. For children, Alderaan Princess and Carbon-Freeze Me figurines will be available in more youthful appearances.
Additionally, we will share details starting May 16 on DisneyParksMerchandise.com about how you can have your image from last year added to a new figurine this year. An example of this is shown above with a Stormtrooper figurine image from last year applied to the new X-Wing Pilot figurine.
The Star Wars – D-Tech Me 7-inch figurines are $99.95 each, plus shipping and applicable sales tax. For the 16-inch figurines, retail is $1,499.95 each, plus shipping and applicable sales tax. All participants will receive a specially designed button.
Completed figurines will arrive within 7-8 weeks after the experience if shipping domestically (it takes a little longer if shipping internationally).
To book your experience, please call 407-WDW-TECH (407-939-8324). We will only offer the experience during Star Wars Weekends 2014 (May 16 – 18, May 23 – 25, May 30 – June 1, June 6 – 8, and June 13-15).
Books & Comics
Just got in advance copies of: SB book, TSW #7--both look great--am working on final touches to Poster book. pic.twitter.com/KK5NqB0kLq
Jedi News - New "Star Wars Rebels" Books Coming Later This Year
August 5, 2014: STAR WARS: REBELS - A NEW HERO (previously announced as Picturebook, Purchace includes free Star Wars eBook) written by Pablo Hidalgo, hardcover (32 pages), ISBN 1-4847-0669-5), $16.99 This action-packed picture book uses beautiful concept art from the show.
August 5, 2014: STAR WARS: REBELS - CHOPPER SAVES THE DAY (previously announced as 8x8 Stickerbook) softcover (24 pages), ISBN 1-4847-0273-4), $4.99 This action-packed 8x8 retells scenes from the show.
August 5, 2014: STAR WARS: REBELS - ZEB TO THE RESCUE (previously announced as World of Reading Early Reader # 1, Level 1) softcover (32 pages), ISBN 1-4847-0486-X, $3.99 This level 1 early reader retells scenes from the show.
August 5, 2014: STAR WARS: REBELS - EZRA'S GAMBLE (previously announced as a Prequel Junior Novel) written by Ryder Windham, softcover (160 pages), ISBN 1-4847-0272-7), $5.99 This action-packed junior novel gives readers a glimpse at our main hero's adventures before the events of the first episode of Star Wars Rebels.
August 5, 2014: STAR WARS: REBELS - RISE OF THE REBELS (previously announced as Chapter Book # 1) written by Michael Kogge, softcover (112 pages), ISBN 1-4847-0270-3), $4.99 This action-packed chapter book retells an episode of the show.
August 5, 2014: STAR WARS: REBELS - EZRA AND THE PILOT (previously announced as World of Reading Early Reader # 2, Level 1) softcover (32 pages), ISBN 1-4847--0271-9, $3.99 This level 1 early reader retells scenes from the show.
October 21, 2014: STAR WARS: REBELS - THE REBELLION BEGINS (previously announced as the Movie-of-the-Week Junior Novel) written by Michael Kogge, softcover (160 pages), ISBN 1-4847-1475-1, $5.99 This action-packed junior novel retells the premiere episode of Star Wars Rebels.
October 21, 2014: STAR WARS: REBELS - SERVANTS OF THE EMPIRE: EDGE OF THE GALAXY (previously announced as Original Novel # 1) written by Jason Fry, softcover (160 pages), ISBN 1-4847-0485-1, $6.99 This action-packed junior novel tells an original story set in the world of Rebels.
October 21, 2014: STAR WARS: REBELS - EZRA'S WOOKIEE RESCUE (previously announced as Read Along Storybook and CD) written by Meredith L. Rusu, softcover (32 pages), ISBN 1-4847-0504-1, $6.99 Real character voices and thrilling sound effects add to the action in this exciting storybook-and-CD set.
November 18, 2014: STAR WARS: REBELS - DROIDS IN DISTRESS (previously announced as Chapter Book # 2) softcover (112 pages), ISBN 1-4847-0466-0, $4.99 This action-packed chapter book retells an episode of the show.
December 9, 2014: STAR WARS: REBELS - THE INQUISITOR'S TRAP (previously announced as 8x8 Storybook # 2) softcover (24 pages), ISBN 1-4847-0468-4, $4.99 This action-packed 8x8 retells scenes from the show.
IGN - LucasArts Canceled a Darth Maul Star Wars Game Inspired by Arkham Asylum
Prior to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, developer Red Fly was working on a Star Wars game starring Darth Maul, the Sith Lord from Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and eventual star of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Red Fly's PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U game would have been a stealth action game inspired by Batman: Arkham Asylum, Game Informer revealed in its May 2014 issue. Maul was, as an anonymous developer described it, "insanely powerful and deadly, but one or two hits will take you out."
Although the developer aimed to create a Darth Maul origin story in 2010, LucasArts' goal was to link the game, codenamed Damage, to an upcoming season of The Clone Wars, in which reintroduced the supposedly dead Maul via his brother, Savage Opress.
George Lucas himself shifted the direction of Damage drastically, with the story involving Darth Krayt and Darth Talon, known within Star Wars' Dark Horse Comics canon.
Game Informer - Art From The Darth Maul Game You'll Never Get To Play
The recently released May issue of Game Informer Magazine contains an article that chronicles the creation and cancellation of a Darth Maul game that was in development at Red Fly Studio. I talked to numerous people from the development team and secured a wealth of assets from it, including gameplay footage (which you can see in Game Informer Digital), and concept art.
Below is a gallery of artwork that features new pieces not seen in the print or digital version. These images give insight into the direction Red Fly's artists hoped the game would go in. Without a script, or even a writer to pen one, these proposed stages and characters may never have seen the light of day. Had they been woven into the plot, however, this Darth Maul game would have given fans a look at a much different side of the Star Wars universe than previously seen in games.