The Star Wars News Roundup – 9.13.13


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 Movie News Summary

Variety reported on some comments made by Disney chief financial officer Jay Rasulo at a financial conference recently. Highlights include:

He called the franchise an “evergreen property” that continues to mint money through licensing deals, and had the potential to become even more valuable with the right deals…

Rasulo also noted that one “Star Wars” trilogy film or “origin story film” would also appear on the release schedule each year, starting with the seventh installment in the “Star Wars” saga that J.J. Abrams will direct and Disney releases in 2015.

The exec cautioned that after the disappointing box office performance of “The Lone Ranger” this summer, “there needs to be a cap on (budgets of) tentpole franchise movies.” “Going forward, we will see a cap on spending on those movies,” he said.

As for the ‘origin story film’ he referred to, it’s safe to bet that he was talking about the young Han Solo films or early Boba Fett films. We’ll see how that pans out.

Just to add fuel to the fire, Bleeding Cool reports that casting for young Han Solo is already under way:

I understand that casting for a young Han Solo has been happening for a few months now, alongside the casting for Episode VII. A basic description of the character – about as useful as “Han Solo, but young” – was created, agencies listed the role as a situation vacant and actors started to get in line. I don’t know if anybody has read for the role yet, but if they have, it was under an even heavier veil of secrecy than the saga casting is hiding. My best guess is that the filmmakers are very, very early in the process and just rounding up some candidates for now.

Visit the link for more.

The Hollywood Reporter broke news that J.J. Abrams is building a post-production facility for “Star Wars” in Los Angeles:

According to one insider, Abrams — who has shot all of his films in Los Angeles (he even personally covered some of Star Trek Into Darkness’ costs in order to keep production local) — is converting a portion of his Bad Robot headquarters into production spaces built specifically for the Star Wars project.

A green room, sound studios and other new facilities will be developed within the three-story, 18,000-square-foot Santa Monica building, which already includes editing bays, a workshop for making props, a screening room that can double as a set and Abrams’ personal suite of offices.

Visit the link for more.

Earlier this week, reported on a possible new title as well as a rumor of some construction going on with the sets in London:

Here is what I heard from my source:

“…title I’m hearing is A New Dawn.”

So I sat on this for a few days and contacted a number of sources and awaited a response, then not long ago I received contact from another of my sources confirming it.

“there will be many potential titles by now, but yes that is a title I have heard mentioned. So do with that what you will.”

The mails I received from the source who gave me this information, also elaborated on a number of key things when I pressed for more details.

“… yes the falcon will make a big appearance, 1.1 scale size cross section is being constructed over at Pinewood, along with a power plant set and the famous cantina.”

However, the title “A New Dawn” was debunked a year ago. We’ll see if any of the other rumors come true though it’s entirely believable that a Millennium Falcon set is being built. Meanwhile, Latino Review sources confirm the Millennium Falcon reports:

All of post-production and re-shoots are to work around Abrams and Actors schedules. 90% of shooting in London. Also they are building the Millennium Falcon on at Pinewood. Interior is done.

As for casting rumors, a while back Chloë Grace Moretz expressed interest in being in a Star Wars film. Star Wars 7 News noticed that the actress was watching the prequels (as research?) and posting comments on Twitter:

I think she’d be a great addition to the cast. We’ll see if they audition her!

Meanwhite, Benedict Cumberbatch continues to address rumors that he was being considered for a role. Despite denials from his reps, MTV spoke to the actor and he may not necessarily be out of the running just yet:

Cumberbatch does seem to be honest when he revealed just how badly he would like to be involved in the new “Star Wars”–a desire that apparently Abrams or George Lucas is also aware of. “People know I’d like to be, including the boss, most importantly.”

These rumors first popped up last week when Cumberbatch suddenly pulled out of director Guillermo Del Toro’s next film, “Crimson Peak.” Tom Hiddleston stepped into the role, replacing one fan favorite actor for another, but this action, Cumberbatch theorizes, led to his present association with “Star Wars.”

“This is all conjecture after me passing on another film, and that meant me meeting with people saying, ‘Ah, he’s passed to free himself up for ‘Star Wars.” I didn’t know they were filming at the same time. I had no idea, and of course I’d like to be in it. Of course I’d like to do it, but no formal offers are being made at all as far as I’m aware. So really, it is just conjecture.”

Watch the full video below.

Television reports that Star Wars Rebels will be presented at the New York Comic Con:

The Millennium Falcon. The A train. Coruscant. Manhattan. Star Wars hits the Big Apple at New York Comic Con 2013, October 10-13 at the Javits Center, with several panels and events — including a revealing look at Lucasfilm’s upcoming animated series, Star Wars Rebels. Check out the schedule below for a preview of what’s awaiting Star Wars fans at NYCC 2013.

Star Wars Rebels: The Might of the Empire
Saturday, October 12, 2013
2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m., Room 1E
What happens when the Galactic Empire takes over a planet? What if Imperials took interest in your world, and garrisoned Stormtroopers and TIE fighters to maintain order? Star Wars Rebels, the thrilling, all-new animated television series from Lucasfilm for Disney XD will ask those questions — and so will this panel hosted by Lucasfilm’s resident Star Wars expert, Pablo Hidalgo.

Details on the show are closely guarded, but fans at NYCC will get a first look at new art from the series, and learn new information about the formidable forces of the Galactic Empire. Star Wars Rebels is set between Episodes III and IV, and it is a dark time in the galaxy. In the spirit of the original trilogy, the Empire is once again the preeminent villain of the saga, and Star Wars Rebels puts the awesome might of Imperial forces in the spotlight.

The series is still a year away, so don’t miss this chance to get an early look at its development.

Visit the link for listings of more panels. – LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles arrives on DVD:

The LEGO Group and Lucasfilm announced today that LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles, featuring the hit animated specials “The Phantom Clone” and “Menace of the Sith,” will release on DVD this October. The two original 22-minute specials offer brand new epic adventures with everyone’s favorite LEGO Star Wars characters — and a major new one, as well. Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, the DVD will be available exclusively in the United States at Wal Mart beginning October 15. For international release information, please check with your local retailer.

“The Phantom Clone” and “Menace of the Sith” are both original stories filled with action-packed comic adventures that are brick-smashing fun and feature characters, locations, and vehicles well-known across the entire LEGO Star Wars universe.

In “The Phantom Clone,” the action-packed adventure begins when Darth Sidious unveils his plan to create a new super-weapon — an enhanced Sith clone named Jek-14 — to help him defeat the Republic once and for all. It’s up to Jedi Master Yoda and his young Padawan students to work together and save the galaxy!

In “Menace of the Sith,” Count Dooku uses his new and improved Clone-a-Matic to create an army of Jek clones, but the original Jek-14 wants no part of the sinister scheme. Now, with the help of some old friends and two familiar Droids, substitute teacher Anakin Skywalker must lead Yoda’s Padawan class to victory.

Stay tuned to for more on LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles!

Around The Web – R2-D2 spotted in Star Trek Into Darkness

Paste Magazine – Intricate Star Wars Busts Created From Tech Parts

Kickstarter – The Art Of Lawrence Noble:

This 72-page 12″ x 12″ hardcover book showcases the work of renowned artist Lawrence Noble, whose 40-year career as a freelance illustrator and public sculptor has produced such memorable pieces as the original 1979 Flash Gordon movie poster, the California Firefighters Memorial in Sacramento, and the iconic bronze Yoda fountain statue at Lucasfilm headquarters in San Francisco, among others.

Blast from the past – Bobbie Wygant’s Empire Strikes Back Special

Bobbie Wygant’s Empire Strikes Back Special from Erik Clapp Cinema+Photo on Vimeo.

Watch your back, Lindelof!

Variety – ILM’s John Knoll, ‘Robot Chicken’ Studio Snag Animation Kudos

CNET – ‘Star Wars’ X-34 Landspeeder is a pedal-powered win – Chalk another one up for awesome geek dads. This particular dad built his son a pedal-powered X-34 Landspeeder from wood and flower pots.

ARS Technica – Once-lost Star Wars-related short to screen for the first time in 33 years:

While it doesn’t directly involve Luke or Leia (or, luckily, Jar Jar), Black Angel is every bit the missing piece to any hardcore Star Wars collector’s stash. The short film represents the directorial debut of Roger Christian, better known as the Oscar-winning set designer for the original Star Wars (who then went on to direct Battlefield Earth and Underworld, become the art director on Alien and Life of Brian, and reunite with George Lucas for Phantom Menace). It ran before Empire in Australia and parts of Europe, specifically the UK and Scandinavia. What Luxo Jr. or Geri’s Game is to the Pixar legacy, Black Angel is to the Lucas-verse.

Visit the link for more!

Yahoo! News – ‘Star Wars’ actor Mayhew has surgery on knees

/Film – Trivia: How George Lucas Helped With the ‘Gangs of New York’ Elephant Problem

Books and Comics announced that Star Wars author Ann Crispin passed away last Friday:

Ann Crispin, one of the founders of Writer Beware, died this morning.

Her death comes three days after she posted a farewell on Facebook:

“I want to thank you all for your good wishes and prayers. I fear my condition is deteriorating. I am doing the best I can to be positive but I probably don’t have an awful lot of time left. I want you all to know that I am receiving excellent care and am surrounded by family and friends.”
Newbie writers have lost one of the best friends they could ever have had.

Buy and read her books. Recommend them to your friends. Name and shame the scammers.

I’ll miss you, Ann.

Our condolences to Ann’s friends, family, and fans. She will certainly be missed.

TheForce.Net – TFN Interview: Empire And Rebellion: Razor’s Edge Author Martha Well

Knights Archive discovered that Disney Press will be producing a series of books based on the TV series “Star Wars – Rebels.” They are due in August 2014.

National Geographic Angry Birds Star Wars Trailer

Bleeding Cool – The Star Wars Smashes To The Top Of Advance Reorder Charts

Video Games

Star Wars Pinball – Balance of the Force Trailer

Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ – “Join the Battle” Official Live Action Video

Collecting News

R2-D2 Central – Hasbro’s Horrible Mission Series Tantive IV R2-D2 & C-3PO – Store Report: New Disney Star Wars Pins Found

Kotobukiya – Star Wars R2-Q5 ARTFX+ Statue 2013 NYCC Exclusive Edition