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 big news of the week was what appears to be our first photo from the set of “Episode VII” in Abu Dhabi:
The National photographer Mona Al Marzooqi has captured what are believed to be the first images of Star Wars: Episode VII set deep in the Abu Dhabi desert.
The photos, taken on Tuesday morning in the dunes near Qasr Al Sarab resort, reveal a large encampment of tents with four to five workers moving around what appear to be parts of a filmset.
It is one piece of equipment in particular, however, that is the most suggestive: a giant, round, grey disc, which bears a striking resemblance to parts of an escape pod on which C3P0 and R2D2 crash-landed on Tatooine in the original, 1977, Star Wars: A New Hope film.
The National gave additional details on how they discovered the shoot:
Initial digging proved predictably fruitless, with twofour54 the only Abu Dhabi production company really big enough to handle such a project and the parent organisation of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission saying they hadn’t heard of anything. But then, slowly but surely, other teasing nuggets of info started coming out of the woodwork.
A rather big cheese in the local industry revealed he’d known about the shoot “for ages”, but couldn’t say more despite our best attempts at Jedi mind trickery. Other sources hinted that a production crew had been hired, while production companies in Dubai said they weren’t involved as it was “all happening in Abu Dhabi”. A contact, not in the film business, claimed to know someone who spotted Abrams on a flight to the capital in recent weeks. It seemed we were on to something.
In perhaps the most amusing bit of investigative reporting, a friend told us that her colleague had been chatting to a fellow via the iPhone app Tinder, who in a gross act of flirtation had revealed that he was an assistant director on a major film shoot in Abu Dhabi, inviting her to guess what? That’s right, Star Wars.
Visit the link for more!
There are also theories that the object seen in the set photos are part of a foot of an AT-AT, but we’ll let you be the judge.
The Age caught up with Peter Mayhew in Australia and asked him about “Episode VII”:
Before we wrap, there’s one more question I have to ask, even though I’ve been warned not to. Reports surfaced this week that he has been cast in Star Wars Episode VII, which is now in production in London.
”What was the question?” he asks, reverting to the angry Wookiee demeanour of the first minutes of our chat.
”I cannot deny and I cannot confirm either.”
I figure it’s best I don’t push it. The force may not be entirely with him, but only a dummy would provoke a giant with a light sabre in his hand.
Radio Times reports that Benedict Cumberbatch says he won’t be in Star Wars:
Cumberbatch also appeared to lay to rest on-off rumours that he will work again under Star Trek: Into Darkness director JJ Abrams in his upcoming Star Wars movie, telling fans according to Australian entertainment site The Iris “I would’ve liked a part in JJ’s new Star Wars but it won’t happen, sadly.”
Daily Mail – The LIGHT side of the force! Carrie Fisher shows off trim figure on shopping trip, as she prepares for Princess Leia’s return in the new Star Wars.
She has reportedly been getting back in shape as she prepares to reprise her iconic role of Princess Leia in Episode VII of the Star Wars franchise.
And Carrie Fisher was looking noticeably slim and trim as she left a Los Angeles grocery store on Tuesday.
The 57-year-old actress and author sported a bright blue cardigan over a black top and leggings with practical flat sandals for the trip.
Visit the link to see the photos!
MTV – We Asked Everyone At The MTV Movie Awards If They’re In ‘Star Wars’…And two people actually admitted to auditioning.
Finally, Badass Digest reveals that a letter purported to be J.J. Abrams threatening people over Star Wars leaks is, in fact, fake. Get the full story at the link.
Rebels Report – Star Wars Rebels Sneak Peek on May 4th During ABC Event
On Star Wars Day May the 4th during the ABC TV Event, Disney will be hosting a dinner and reveal a sneak peak of Star Wars Rebels.
Exclusive invites were sent out to bloggers (not us unfortunately) to join Disney and ABC at a Red Carpet Tailgate between May 4th May 7th in LA for the premiere of Disney’s Million Dollar Arm, a live taping of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, meet and greet of several cast and crew of ABC productions, and the dinner for Star Wars Rebels to celebrate Star Wars Day.
TV Guide – First Look: The Force is With The Goldbergs for Star Wars Episode
The Force is with him! The Goldbergs creator Adam F. Goldberg, a lifelong Star Wars nut, will flash back to the 1983 release of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi for the sitcom’s May 6 episode (9/8c, ABC). The plot has young Adam (Sean Giambrone) blackmailing his sister, Erica (Hayley Orrantia), to wait in line with him on opening day of the movie, where they meet a bunch of costumed fans including guest star Thomas Lennon.
“When I was nine, I got my head stuck in a bucket trying to be Darth Vader,” Goldberg says. “Like most kids of the ’80s, I was obsessed. But I never thought I’d grow up to say I owe my entire career to those movies. It began when I wrote the cult movie Fanboys and, to this day, I always do an epic Star Wars homage in all of my projects.”
Around The Web
Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones – Bloopers & Outtakes
Mighty Mega – Amazing Poster Art for the Original Star Wars Trilogy
Neatorama – Star Wars Adventures in Miniature
StarWars.com – Fully Operational Fandom: How Star Wars Inspires Careers
Daily Mail – Father’s heartbreaking tribute at Star Wars themed funeral to boy, 4, who died after battling brain tumor
Reddit – The Harrison Ford Interview
I was approached with the offer of a job, which at that point, was all I wanted to hear. I had helped George Lucas audition other actors for the principle parts, and with no expectation or indication that I might be considered for the part of Han, I was quite surprised when I was offered the part. My principle job at the time was carpentry, I had been under contract as an actor at Columbia and Universal. I had a house at the time I wanted to remodel, a bit of the wreck of a house. I’d invest money in tools but wouldn’t have money for materials, so I realized this was another way of putting food on the table. And allowing me to pick and choose from the acting jobs that were being offered at the time.
Did you ad lib Han’s famous line “I know”?
It’s not really an ad lib, it was a suggestion, and movie making’s a real collaborative process at its best. You don’t ad lib it, you suggest it and then you try something in rehearsal and then you agree. So it was my suggestion, because I thought it was more of a character line than what was written, but the director and Carrie and I all thought it was a good idea at the time so we did it.
Hello Harrison! Who would win in a celebrity boxing match: Han Solo or Indiana Jones?
The promoter would win.
Are you still mad at Lando?
If you and Mark Hamill fought who would win?
Me, of course.
I love you.
Reddit – Ahmed Best followed Harrison Ford and did a Q&A session as well. He was funny and gracious as you can see at the link:
I guess most questions will be on the same theme but…
No, it hurt a lot. You put your heart and soul in to something groundbreaking for two years and it gets slammed, that hurts. But It made me stronger. Cheesy answer, but it’s true.
Knowing what you know now about how your character in Star Wars would be received, by fans, critics, and the general public, would you still have said yes to taking on the role of Jar Jar Binks, and why?
YUP! I’m a skinny kid from the Bronx. I’m not supposed to be alive let alone a pro artist. Opportunities like SW come once in a lifetime. Those are the ones you say yes to.
So how did you end up being the actor for Jar Jar? Was there any competition for the role?
I auditioned. Michael Jackson really wanted to do it but George picked me. Marinate on that one. I still am.
StarWars.com – Check out the new site re-design!
Chicago Sun-Times – Emanuel to Chicago civic leaders: Find spot for Lucas museum
The Guardian – The force of law: Prisoner claims persecution for Star Wars faith
StarWars.com – Vanessa Marshall, the Galaxy’s Newest Rebel, Is Heading to WonderCon
Books & Comics
Disney Publishing WorldWide Announces Four New Star Wars books
Videogamer.com – No plans for Star Wars to join Disney Infinity
There are “no plans for Star Wars to join Disney Infinity at this moment in time,” according to an update from the Disney Store, despite earlier rumours suggesting that the Star Wars universe could be included in the next version of the popular figure-collecting game.
Disney Store made the comments on its Facebook page in response to questions brought on by an image of a Darth Vader figurine (pictured above), which stands on a base similar to that of existing Disney Infinity toys.
“Whilst there are no plans for Star Wars to join Disney Infinity at this moment in time… please do continue to check back for more exciting updates to our Star Wars collection”, wrote the store.
StarWars.com – Happy Rancor: Mail-Away Star Wars Action Figures
StarWars.com – Star Wars Toothbrushes: The Empire Strikes Plaque
StarWars.Com – STAR WARS INSIDER #150 LEGO COVERS – EXCLUSIVE REVEAL!
StarWars.com – MY M&M’S STAR WARS CHOCOLATE “MPIRE” STRIKES BACK
Whether you’re more Jedi or Sith, there are now chocolate candies just for you.
To celebrate Star Wars Day on May 4, My M&M’s is unveiling Star Wars-themed My M&M’s chocolate candies and merchandise. Fans of either the dark or light side can join the Chocolate Mpire and display their allegiance with special blends of M&M’s featuring popular Star Wars phrases and characters, including Yoda and Darth Vader.
“Star Wars is a phenomenally well-known and well-loved franchise and, with the introduction of Star Wars-themed My M&M’s, fans have a fun and unique way to show their dedication,” said Leslie Convey, general manager of My M&M’s.
My M&M’s allows Star Wars fans to choose from a wide variety of unique merchandise at www.mymms.com/StarWars, including:
Star Wars M&M’s Blends — choose from three different pre-printed blends: red, gray and black dark side M&M’s, blue and white light side M&M’s or gold and silver M&M’s with the famous “May the Force Be with You” phrase
Star Wars Character Candy Dispensers — a nostalgic old-fashioned candy dispenser that features M&M’s characters dressed as Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Darth Maul, or clone troopers and comes with a one-pound bag of Star Wars blend chocolate M&M’s candies
Star Wars Glass Bowl — display your Star Wars fandom and add to your collection with a glass bowl personalized with favorite characters and movie scenes, and a one-pound bag of official Star Wars M&M’s
Star Wars Party Favors — celebrate May the 4th in style by giving your party guests favors they won’t forget. Choose from silver tins or pillow packs featuring Star Wars characters and logos
For more Star Wars My M&M’s chocolate candies and gift ideas, visit www.mymms.com/StarWars.
Hallmark – 2014 Star Wars Christmas Ornaments
Jedi News UK – Hallmark 2014 ‘Star Wars’ Event Exclusive Wampa Keepsake Ornament