Disney and Lucasfilm continued their marketing barrage by releasing a series of character posters as we get closer and closer to the release of the Star Wars The Force Awakens. The posters feature characters new and old such as Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa. Take a look at the posters below.
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!
After the recent news about the possible Star Wars spin offs in the works from Disney (see here for more details ), we now have even more news on the subject. Total Film shared some incredible news for Star Wars fans world-wide. The first was a piece of news from scooper El Mayimbe (writer for Latino Review) who announced on Fox News that Harrison Ford was returning as Han Solo and that it was a “done deal”.
This is shocking news, especially as Harrison was famously quoted as wanting to kill of his character in Empire Strikes Back. Maybe Fords return to the Sci-Fi genre with Cowboys and Aliens got him excited about the Star Wars universe once more, or maybe he was of a mind-set “If you want something doing right, you have to do it yourself”. He could also just be in it for the money. Before too much speculation could take place however, more news was released (again from Total Film), with an Entertainment Tonight interview with Mark Hamill. Hamill had a slightly different story to tell. Though George Lucas had been in talks with him about role reprises, nothing had been signed at this time.
Hamill said in his interview…
[quote]“They’re talking to us. George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we’d be interested. He did say that if we didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out. … I can tell you right away that we haven’t signed any contracts. We’re in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed – on their end, not mine. They’re more busy than I am.”[/quote]
This shows a certain level of respect for the original actors. The fact George Lucas has spoken to Mark Hamill about what could happen in the new franchise would indicate that he really wants the original cast back to play their parts. The fact that they would write the characters out of the timeline, if no one was interested in reprising their roles again also shows a certain level of respect, but this time for the fans (as well as the actors) who are going to have trouble seeing these beloved characters played by different actors, especially when all the original cast are still alive.
[quote] “And another thing I’d want to make sure of is are we going to have the whole gang back? Is Carrie [Fisher] and Harrison [Ford] and Billy Dee [Williams] and Tony Daniels, everybody that’s around from the original [returning]? I want to make sure that everybody’s on board here, rather than just one.”[/quote]
This is also great news, with Hamill wanting all the crew on board we would have continuity throughout the series of movies. This is exactly what the fans want to see, the old chemistry of our favorite Jedi’s and smugglers all in the same movie. It is great news that Hamill knows what the fans want, and the fact he to only wants to work with his fellow Star Wars cast members. Hamill pleased the fans even more by saying he favored practical effects over CGI, something that worked against Episode 1-3.
[quote] “I’m assuming, because I haven’t talked to the writers, that these movies would be about our offspring – like my character would be sort of in the Obi-Wan range [as] an influential character.”[/quote]
A lot of the stories told after Episode 6 do focus on Luke Skywalker taking a more Obi-Wan role in the universe and a lot of the other stories focus on Leia and Hans children who are also gifted with the force. This would open up a great wealth of story possibilities as well as the fun fact we would be seeing how these characters have evolved since Episode 6. Though it is not clear if Harrison has signed or not, it is looking incredibly likely that we may see a return of the old cast, possibly with a married Han and Leia fighting over who is going to take the kids to Jedi training, while a white-haired Chewbacca plays chess with C3P0.
Keep checking Grizzly Bomb for more updates.
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.
If you haven’t been keeping up with all the news about the upcoming Star Wars films, we’re not sure where you’ve been the last few weeks, but we have you covered. Quite a bit has been leaked about the films since Disney bought Lucasfilm, enough to possibly fill the hidden cargo holds on the Millenium Falcon.
For one, rumors started going around that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn would be hired to direct the upcoming Star Wars VII, and shortly thereafter the fan base exploded in excitement when Harrison Ford said he was open to the idea of reprising his role as the iconic Han Solo, despite his continual avoidance of the franchise and surrounding events. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher had already been informed of the new films, and both have also expressed interest in reprising their respective roles as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.
Now one rumor in particular that has surfaced is causing the fan base to explode in pseudo-excitement again: several media companies are claiming that the infamous Darth Vader will appear in Star Wars VII. How, no one really seems to know yet, and details are limited if not entirely fictitious. The unidentified source involved in the film’s production merely said that the creative team considers Vader “integral” and that “the plan is for [Darth Vader] to return and play a significant role in the new films” [Screenrant].
Vader returning like a Jedi (or Sith, technically) worries many fans, who over the past few weeks have claimed that if Disney tries to physically resurrect the asthmatic villain through some sort of technological cloning process, they will lose faith in Disney’s ability to properly stay true to the Star Wars universe. Others have said that it’s only logical that Vader should reappear as long as he is shown in flashbacks and memories. No further news has been reported on this issue as of now.
The newest information about the upcoming Star Wars films has been predominantly focused around the writing and producing. The Hollywood Reporter said that Michael Arndt, screenwriter for Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3, was brought on board to write the script for Star Wars VII even before the Disney buyout of Lucasfilm. StarWars.com confirmed this is still the plan for the 2015 movie. Considering Arndt recently penned the script to the upcoming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, his script for Star Wars VII should hopefully have good balance of drama, comedy, and action.
Finally, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi writer Lawrence Kasdan has come on the scene in addition to the writer of the new X-Men movie, Simon Kinberg. Though it’s been confirmed that the two will help produce Star Wars VIII and IX, their exact writing roles are not yet decided. The news of Kasdan returning is positive indeed; having a veteran to the Star Wars franchise should help keep it true to its roots, and Kinberg’s credentials are nothing to balk at, either.
Star Wars news is sure to keep spilling over the next few months and years. The Grizzly Bomb will do our best to act like Bothan spies and get the information out to you as quickly as possible, so keep watching for updates!
Star Wars introduced me to geekdom.
I was about ten years old when I first sat in front of a massive CRT and VHS setup on vacation at my cousin’s cabin in the woods. Except I wasn’t scared in the least bit. I was mesmerized. So started fifteen years of action figures, extended universe books, costumes, excitement and consequent disappointment at the prequels.
You can imagine then my surprise at the news last week of Lucas selling his empire to Disney for over $4 billion. I posted my initial reactions to that corporate decision on that day on my Geek My Life blog, but since then I have realized that this sale was probably the best thing for Lucasfilm to re-energize it. I’m assuming, of course, that Disney will re-energize faithfully to the Star Wars franchise, and with the latest rumors coming out of the Hollywood offices, I think they’re on the right track.
Several sites claim to have insider information that Matthew Vaughn dropped the sequel to the X-Men movie because he was offered directorship of Star Wars VII. Vaughn has a solid and many would even say impressive resume that consists of Stardust, Kick-Ass, and X-Men: First Class. All of these films were successful in their own ways, a hard accomplishment in the cut-throat, short-attention-span industry of movies.
These films exemplified strong directing mixed with entertaining, consistent story lines and easy-to-follow pacing. If Vaughn is able to do the same thing with Star Wars VII, I doubt few Star Wars fans will find anything substantial to complain about in regards to storytelling, especially since Vaughn is a writer. “If [Vaughn] ends up directing Star Wars, we’d also be getting someone that could solve script issues on set” [Collider]. This is especially important considering that my digital media professor keeps emphasizing that the successful professionals in entertainment are the ones that know more than just one craft.
But what about the characters? What will Disney do with them? After all, people like Luke, Han, Leia, and even the non-humans like C-3PO are many of the reasons why fans are in love with Star Wars in the first place. Though the film hasn’t officially been scripted yet, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher have already gone on record to say they are excited to see the future of Star Wars. How ironic considering that when Hamill was younger he said that “[Return of the Jedi] has to be the last one, period” [Huffington Post].
Harrison Ford decided to join the ranks, kind of last-minute like when Han decided to join the Rebels. But he took it a step further, saying that he is open to the idea of being in the new film, not just supporting it off-screen. Considering that he thought Han Solo “should have died in the last one to give it some bottom” [EW], it appears that Ford’s attitude towards his character and the franchise is coming around. Ford probably “won’t go to the next level of contract talks until there’s a script and director in place” [EW], but him coming back as Han Solo for Star Wars VII could very well be one of the turning points to returning the Lucasfilm franchise to the grand old way it was.
There are a lot of “we’ll see” and “what ifs?” flying around right now in the Star Wars fandom, but it’s better for them to be flying around at lightspeed like the Falcon than to not be around at all. That would mean Star Wars VII isn’t happening, which would be disastrous. Besides, many of us are just starting to get used to saying Star Wars VII without questioning the reality of it. We’re in a happy place now.
‘Whether or not Han Solo shot first’ is one of the biggest debates ever. It’s somewhere akin to the health care issue in the United States or whether global warming exists or not. You have Star Wars geeks of all creeds and color going at it back and forth about whether or not Han was a hero by not shooting first, or if he was a cold blooded killer for being shooter numero uno.
Personally, I always felt that Han definitely shot first when I was a youngling, and justifiably so. I think it qualifies as self defense when some scumbag Rodian has a gun pointed right at you and is gloating about taking away your starship and/or turning you over to a disgusting, oversized slug gangster. To tell you the truth I never actually thought twice about the whole situation.
Then came the special edition releases of the Star Wars trilogy and the modified scene where Han looks like he had a slight seizure to dodge a blaster bolt that harmlessly hits against the wall. I remember being in middle school and thinking not much of it, but after watching the movie about 80 more times it sort of started to bug me about why they did that, and why it looked so terrible. It was something that many fans including myself had hoped would disappear once all six Star Wars movies were released on Blu-Ray, but it was to no avail. George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars franchise claimed time and again that he added the scene because he didn’t want Han to look like some cold blooded killer. But if that was the case then why have the scene be so shoddy in the first place? Why not just fix this shit in the 70’s so we don’t have to waste our geek time debating it now?
Since then, there has been a recent development. This one is coming straight from the source. The Maker and flannel bearer himself George Lucas has recently had this say to the whole Han-Greedo debacle (IGN):
[quote]In a chat with The Hollywood Reporter (via /Film), Lucas said, “The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.” [/quote]
Oh yes George. We, the violent masses want nothing more than for our beloved Han Solo to be a murdering psychopath who just guns down every Rodian he sees. Really? I don’t think that anyone was upset due to the fact that Lucas’ terrible wide shot proved that Greedo shot first, I think they’re mad because you did such a crap job about it in the special editions. Lucas should have either left the whole thing up to interpretation or done a better job way back when. And yeah, I guess Han should be looking at keeping his image clean without any bar room murder, despite the fact that he’s already a f–kin’ smuggler and self-proclaimed scoundrel. (He did like the sound of that.) Either way I guess it doesn’t matter because Lucas will leave things that way that he wants. So that means all of the Star Wars geeks will remain looking like idiots as they argue over which guy shot first. Seriously say those last four words again, it doesn’t sound good at all.
The Darth Plagueis novel was very unlike many other Star Wars literature I’ve read. It was light on action and heavy on political machinations by the Sith as they tipped the force inexorably in their favor. I was under the impression that Plagueis died well before Palpatine started his foray into politics but alas I was very wrong. I also assumed that the book would start with Plagueis training Palpatine from the start and again I was proven wrong. The book not only chronicles the apprenticeship of Sidious to Plagueis but also touches on the relationship between Plagueis and his own master Darth Tenebrous. There are a few other Darths mentioned throughout, but learning further about the Sith succession line is only a small portion of what makes up a fantastic book by Star Wars veteran James Luceno.
Welcome to Hero Express, your one-stop shop through the news filled world of superhero’s in Film, TV, Video Games and whatever else floats your boat.
This is the Hero Express for June 24, 2011: