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.

Two actresses added to Sequel cast

After previous rumors about Kenyan/Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) being cast in Episode VII, it has finally been made official along with English actress Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones).

Here is the official announcement.

And here’s an article on EW.

Not clear yet whether either or both of these actresses are filling in that major female role(s) I’ve been hearing about, but many of us would love to see the Sequels continue what the Classic Trilogy started with regards to strong female characters (a topic for another post).

lupitanyongoinnonstop gwendolinechristieasbrienne

Photo sources: Optimum Releasing for Nyong’o as Gwen in Non-stop and Comic Vine for Christie as Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones (has more pics).

Translation of Chinese comic adaptation

Asian studies student Nick Stember is blogging his translation of an interesting 1980s Chinese comic book adaptation of Star Wars. Princess Leia is translated as Laia Gongzhu (來阿公主), Uncle Owen is apparently a Western swashbuckler, Boba Fett and other smugglers are present at the capture of Leia, and the art is … fascinating. Worth a look at this different point of view:

http://www.nickstember.com/chinese-star-wars-comic-part-1-6/

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