With Star Wars fervor at an all time high Halloween presents itself as the perfect opportunity to dress up as your favorite character. The best part? There are so many options out there to chose from.
2014 is nearing a close with a flood of news and rumors about the future of the Star Wars franchise. Mace Windu is rumored to be getting his own spinoff film, the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens dropped earlier today, and a new dose of Star Wars spinoff film news has hit the web.
We have known for a while that starting in 2015 Disney plans to release a new Star Wars movie each year, alternating between the new series and stand alone character based movies. We now have confirmation that these movies will be origin stories. Disney’s chief financial officer Jay Rasulo announced during a presentation to financial investors that the intermittent installments would play host to the origins of some of the best-loved characters from the franchise.
Variety broke the story yesterday afternoon stating that Rasulo sees it as “the sky’s the limit” for the for the sci-fi franchise, including expanding its presence in the company’s theme parks. “There’s incredible flexibility. It’s an unbelievable palette to create from.”
Rasulo also confirmed that from 2015 one Star Wars trilogy film or origin story film would also appear on the release schedule, starting with the seventh installment in the Star Wars saga directed by J.J. Abrams. Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were previously rumored to have been hired to write the second and third installments, with Michael Arndt already scripting Star Wars Episode VII, however it is now confirmed the Kasdan and Kinberg will be writing the stand-alone origin movies.
Any Star Wars fan that knows his salt is aware that Kasdan is no new-comer to the saga, having written, in my opinion the best installment, Empire Strikes Back and having an eye in on Return of The Jedi. Aint It Cool News reported a little while back that one of the stand alone films would focus on Yoda, and Bleeding Cool recently reported that there was also talks of Han Solo and Boba Fett movies with a casting call already out for a young Han. It remains to be seen if Han Solo and Boba Fett would get separate movies or have share the screen. We already know that Harrison Ford and the rest of the central Star Wars cast will be reprising their roles, but this would be the first sign that Disney is looking to recast characters from the original trilogy for the new movies. Granted Harrison Ford is too old to play a young, agile Solo, but this is certainly a piece of casting Disney will need to get right.
It would be great to see two of the best characters from the saga face off against each other. I fear for fanboys the world over whose heads would explode in excitement!
Geek Exchange have confirmed that Disney has more plans for the Star Wars franchise and certainly more movies in the pipeline. We also now know who will write two of them. Lawrence Kasdan (Screen Writer on The Empire Strikes Back) and Simon Kinberg (Screen Writer on X-Men: Days of Future Past) were confirmed by Disney CEO Bob Iger. He had this to say about the two writers:
[box_light]“[Kasdan and Kinberg are] working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga, so we still plan to make Star Wars VII, VIII and IX roughly over a six-year period of time starting in 2015. But there are going to be a few other films released in that period of time, too.”[/box_light]
So not only are Star Wars fans getting more of the continuing storyline of George Lucas’s epic saga, they are also going to be treated to more movies spinning off from Star Wars Mythology. Fantastic news to say the least and some even better news about the great talent behind these spin offs. Lawrence and Kasdan are established and clever writers and with Kasdan himself already a part of the Star Wars universe (with him working on Empire) we can expect great things. This format opens up a massive selection of characters that could be given their own stories.
While the movies lay dormant for quite some time after Return of the Jedi (until The Phantom Menace came onto our screens), the universe did not wait and expanded out into books, comics, with a huge amount of expanded stories that spanned through several era’s in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Stories concerning events set years before The Phantom Menace (The Old Republic, Tales of the Jedi), or during the original trilogy (Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, Shadows of the Empire), and the continuing story after the original trilogy which are sagas in their own right (Dark Empire, The Thrawn Trilogy). So while the expanded movies will be original stories, there really is no limit to where they can move forward from here. Especially with a few stand-alone pictures mixed in. Can you imagine a whole film with Yoda (rumored) or Mace Windu? That’s what this turn of events could offer us.
Shortly after this was released to the masses, Bob Iger came back again with even more exciting news. Collider shared that two confirmed stories would be about a young Han Solo (following the young rogue smuggler after Revenge of the Sith to his appearance in A New Hope) and the mightiest of all bounty hunters Boba Fett (probably between A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, unless you go with the expanded universe version where HE SURVIVES) mixing it up with some other bounty hunter scum.
So what do we have here exactly? Well with these stories we could see a return of characters now dead in the franchise. Darth Vader could easily make an appearance again,as he hired Boba Fett and could have had dealings with Han Solo, whohas had trouble with the Empire before. And with Boba Fett involved you would think that Jabba the Hutt will pop up at some point as well as his old bounty hunter buddies like IG88. With Han Solo we could see him winning the Millennium Falcon or meeting up with his hairy buddy Chewbacca. There are lots and lots of possibilities here.
However, there are certain problems with this. Finding an actor to play a young Han Solo could be a problem. Those are some big boots to fill as every one remembers Harrison Ford as their Han Solo. Most people seemed to embrace Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan, so maybe it will not be an issue. As I mentioned before the comics and books about Star Wars have already expanded greatly on the adventures of certain characters and Boba Fett is one of the most talked about. He has had entire comic books written about his exploits so it will be interesting to see if any of these plot lines are taken for the movie. It seems that Boba Fett will not rise from the Sarlacc’s belly as he did in the comic books; just because of the fact his story takes place in between parts 4-6. Still, it would be great to see him jet off again in his own adventure.
Is it a good thing to do these spin-off movies at all? If Disney is spreading themselves to thin here, than will the spin-off movies be of a poor caliber compared to Episodes 7 – 9? Personally I think Star Wars content lends itself better to television format rather than other feature films. Television is better suited to character development. Certain new characters could be introduced to a fresh audience this way and established characters can be expanded on, giving older Star Wars fans something to get excited about. People could disagree with me here after the cheesy nature of The Star Wars Holiday Special, but television has moved on greatly since then and it has become a respected form of story telling in its own right. But at the end of the day it is still more Star Wars so as long as it does not turn out like The Phantom Menace (which I hate to say is still painful to watch even after its release in 1999 over ten years ago), then I think we can all agree it is an interesting time to be a Star Wars fan.
One finally note to this news which may be of interest. Yahoo has an interview with both Lawrence and Kasdan about how they feel taking on this established and beloved universe and some of their plans for it. Keep reading Grizzly Bomb for more information as it develops.
At least the Clone Wars is providing us with some entertaining filler before the final two episodes of the season featuring Darth Maul. Last night’s episode ‘Bounty’ was rather excellent, featuring a new planet and a couple of species that I’ve never seen before. Not to mention the newest addition to the growing cast of bounty hunters. Not only do we get to see some of the soon to be veterans such as Bossk, Dengar and Boba Fett but also a couple of newcomers.
The episode follows Ventress after last weeks defeat and general annihilation of the Night Sisters on Dathomir by the Separatist forces of Count Dooku. It seems like Ventress is basically on a path to nowhere, perhaps letting the force lead her to her next point in life which in this episode happens to be on Tatooine where she runs afoul of Boba Fett and his motley crew of bounty hunters. After killing one of their number for the huge mistake of hitting on her, Ventress is sort of forced into joining their team for a job, even though I’m pretty sure that she could have killed them all in about ten seconds flat if she wanted to. And so begins the episode which is ultimately not linked to the storyline for next week’s episode but filled with plenty of action which was beautifully shot against the backdrop of a unique planet where all of the action takes place well below the surface.