New X-wing model teased in connection to Force for Change

Yes! One of my favorite models of starship ever makes an appearance in this new video about Force for Change, the charity campaign for UNICEF. Yes, it looks like a Z-95 that I remember from the old video games (and other parts of the Expanded Universe), but as Variety showed (in a good overview) through a link to an official tweet, it’s an “Episode VII X-wing.” It does look a bit unusual; there is one engine on each side instead of two, and the wings seem to fold differently. Just another example of change being inevitable, but it still has the classic trilogy feel to it, and I hope that Luke still has his old X-wing stashed in the garage somewhere.

Be sure to check the Variety link above as it has further information and other fun goodies, as does the video on YouTube.

More actors for Episode VII

The Official Site has announced the addition of American stage and screen actress Crystal Clarke and British actor and freerunner/traceur Pip Andersen to Episode VII. Commentary on other news articles on this subject expressed worries that the cast was getting too big, but I think it’s likely that actors like these two will only have brief appearances, hopefully showing their talent and athleticism to the fullest (I can easily imagine some battle scene where we might see Andersen parkouring around in the background, for example). In any case I’m happy to see the tradition of mixing fresh young talent with excellent veterans is continuing in Star Wars, as it has since A New Hope!

Anyway, check the official article out for more information on the two newest lucky bastards as well as how filming is going in general.

Writer/director for second in sequel trilogy

The L.A. Times has announced that Rian Johnson will write and direct Episode VIII (the second movie of the sequel trilogy and eighth overall). Planning ahead, are we? Usually I like to wait for an official announcement, but after a few days of reading about him I thought it was intriguing enough to post. Johnson is the writer/director of several independent movies, including futuristic crime film Looper (link contains spoilers), and some episodes of Breaking Bad.

Star Wars: Battlefront 3

I wanted to wait for E3 to be over before saying anything about Battlefront 3, but alas, there wasn’t much news.

Here is a teaser trailer from DICE (Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment):

(If YouTube has it flagged for some reason, you can click the above link to DICE to view it.)

Here is a short behind-the-scenes trailer linked to by the Official Site:

It’s also posted by GameSpot here with some comments It shows that, at the very least, the planets Hoth and Endor from the Original Trilogy will be in the game, but it does not show what combat will be like, if there will be space battles, or whether anything from the Prequel or even Sequel movies will feature.

As mentioned, Battlefront 3 is being developed by DICE, a Swedish subsidiary of EA (Electronic Arts). It has a projected release of spring 2015, which makes Sequel locations/story unlikely except perhaps as added content later. It will use the Frostbite engine for use on platforms including Xbox One and 360, Microsoft Windows, and PlayStation 3 and 4.

Related: Lucasfilm had announced a couple of months ago that all future Star Wars content, including games, will be “canon.” It’s good to know that the Sequel Trilogy will not be contradicting anything that happens in Battlefront 3. ;)

Abrams has fake problem with this week’s leaks

That didn’t sound right.

A few pictures of the set in Abu Dhabi have been leaked. These are not major spoilers — that is, they don’t give away any plot — but I’ll still leave it up to you to decide whether you want to read the link names and click the links. They are pics of mainly background stuff such as extras, small structures, spaceships, and weird animals.

Here is the first link which is a bunch of outdoor desert sets and characters (remember to click the picture to view photos).

Here is the second, which shows the construction of a couple of starships as well as a new alien animal creature thing.

Those starships should look very familiar to Star Wars fans! J.J. Abrams made a hilarious fake denial of these ships appearing in the movie and asked that we stop leaking these pictures. Too awesome.

For more information on the Abu Dhabi filming, here is an article from their newspaper The National and another lovely article from 7 Days in Dubai.

Director for stand alone movie announced

Josh Trank has been announced as the director of one of the Star Wars spinoff films. It’s not clear, but I’m assuming he will direct the second spinoff rather than co-direct the first movie with Gareth Edwards.

Trank is relatively new, having only directed one finished feature film (sci-fi film Chronicle), several episodes of action series Crime Point, and one film currently in development (The Fantastic Four reboot), but also has experience in writing and editing these and other works. I’m looking forward to see what he does with Star Wars.

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