“We’ve devoted serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of Star Wars as inspiration for our process on the new movie, and I’m thrilled that returning to the UK for production and utilizing the incredible talent there can be a part of that,” said Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm.
The interiors of the Original Trilogy and The Phantom Menace shot in Britain, but when it came to Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, the majority of those productions were filmed in Australia, with just a bit filmed in the UK. Coupled with word that ILM may be considering a London-based office, this is really no surprise.
A lot has happened in the last week. Here are the highlights:
Bad Robot’s Bryan Burk, who is serving as one of the producers for EPISODE VII, has indicated that they are on track to begin shooting that film in early 2014. (via Collider)
Mark Hamill has confirmed that Carrie Fisher is returning for EPISODE VII, while admitting that he has had one creative meeting with Kathleen Kennedy in which he expressed his desire to have less CGI and more practical effects in the film. (via Ain’t It Cool)
EA has acquired the licensing rights from Disney to create STAR WARS video games. They are interested in fans expressing what they would like to see on Twitter with the tags @EA_DICE @VisceralGames @BioWare and #starwarsnextgen. I have already requested a Terraria-like STAR WARS game featuring the Ewoks and utilizing material from the old cartoon, the TV movies, and of course, Return of the Jedi. (via IGN)
Dave Filoni posted a piece of artwork on his Facebook that appears to be an incomplete TIE Fighter suspended from a crane, along with the heading, “It’s hard to believe that I have worked at Lucasfilm almost eight years, and this is the first time I have ever gotten to draw a TIE fighter.” Speculation are that it’s for the new animated series, though whether it’s a TIE being built sometime between the Prequels and Original Trilogy or being demolished following Return of the Jedi is anybody’s guess (my money’s on the latter). (via IGN)
Lucasfilm has registered new domains. They are: gunganfrontier2.com, gunganfrontier3.com, gunganfrontier4.com, order67.net, starwarsalliance.com, starwarsrebels.com, starwarswolfpack.com, wolfpackadventures.net, and wookieehunter.com. There’s no news whether these are for new television, video game, or other media projects, though Gungan Frontier was an educational game released around the time of The Phantom Menace. (via IGN)
Sky Movies has a video where notorious Prequel detractor and the voice of Dengar on Clone Wars, Simon Pegg interviews EPISODE VII director JJ Abrams about STAR WARS.
I’m doing my best not to repost every little rumor regarding the upcoming STAR WARS movies. For me, it’s the difference between an official announcement of returning cast/crew by key creative people (Kennedy, Arndt, Abrams, Iger, etc.) and Carrie Fisher making a joke about Disney sending a personal trainer to her house for the new movies leading her to binge eat now. That said, here’s the two most relevant pieces of news that I’ve read in a few weeks:
JJ Abrams says that he expects John Williams will be back to score EPISODE VII (via TrekMovie.com)
One of the “bonus content” arcs of The Clone Wars will involve the mystery of Sifo Dyas according to supervising director Dave Filoni (via USA Today and Dave Filoni’s Facebook Page)
And here’s a new clip from the upcoming Clone Wars bonus content:
In case you hadn’t heard, about a week ago, a user on the IMDB message boards claiming to be a former Lucasfilm employee posted a few pages that appear to be from a series bible for a new STAR WARS animated series set after Return of the Jedi and meant as a prequel for Episode VII. He claims it was green lit in January, then placed on hold with the recent round of layoffs. If true, it certainly is intriguing as the material seems to ignore much of the Expanded Universe material over the years while remaining consistent with the recent Clone Wars series. Personally, I feel that it’s fake simply because Lucasfilm and Disney haven’t raised a stink and demanded that it be removed. But at this point, with no good news following the announcements of the Clone Wars ending and the LucasArts shutdown, fans are grasping at anything to speculate about.
Ugh. Has it really been over a month since I last posted? Sorry about that — it’s a simple matter of “real life” getting in the way of things (basically, chaos in the day job that has finally resolved itself). In that time, two episodes of Clone Wars aired that I have yet to review, the series was cancelled (though bonus content is *supposedly* on its way), and yesterday it was announced that LucasArts is closing.
I’m not really surprised, as it seems that Disney is trying to wipe the slate clean for the Star Wars franchise in order to rebuild it for its upcoming films (at least, that’s what the “postponement” of the 3D films and the cancellation of Clone Wars seems to indicate). I can’t say that I blame them. So much of the merchandising for Star Wars has become stale as to only appeal to the most die hard of fans. I’ve got a lot of friends who like Star Wars, have a decent amount of collectibles (some were even heavily involved in the costuming community), but haven’t been excited by anything in the way of books, comics, video games, toys, or cartoon shows set in that universe since about 2007. Yet the news of a new film has them jazzed, and as disappointing as it is to me personally that Disney would want to limit the franchise until a “relaunch,” I can’t argue that fatigue hasn’t set in.
Unfortunately, that means no 1313, which looked kinda awesome.
I’m curious what will happen next. There’s been speculation that the comics will revert back to Disney-owned Marvel once Dark Horse’s license expires, and I could see that. But will Disney go so far in their “get rid of everything” crusade as to dismiss the Expanded Universe novels or maybe officially relegate them to an “alternate Star Wars universe” from the films? What will Hasbro do with the action figure line until the new movies hit? There’s not much coming this year in the way of toys, but what about 2014? We’re in a wait and see mode right now, and as someone who considers himself a diehard fan, I’ll admit, it’s very frustrating. I mean, yeah, we’ve got new movies coming, but at this point, I (along with many others) am kind of skittish with how Disney is handling things. But I guess that is to be expected with changes, so here’s holding out hope that they know (or at least have a very good idea of) what they’re doing.