Hello folks, Dale here, and my oh my has it been a busy week for Star Wars news.
Not only did we begin to get set photos leaked online revealing a few nuggets of gold, but we got two great new additions to the cast, we got a whole new film announced with a release date, director and writer, and then just yesterday we got the announcement of another director for ANOTHER film. Fun times.
So let’s get into it shall we.
Firstly, Gareth Edwards, the acclaimed director of ‘Monsters‘ and the excellent new ‘Godzilla‘ has been hired to direct the first Star Wars spin-off film. Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed several months ago that Disney were moving ahead with both the Sequel Trilogy and three standalone films. To be released on December 16th 2016, the script for the film is being written by Gary Whitta, writer of ‘The Book of Eli‘, ‘After Earth’, ‘The Walking Dead Game’, and a controversial figure in Star Wars fandom due to vulgar comments he repeatedly made about the Prequel Trilogy, the Special Editions, and George Lucas himself on a website called NeoGAF.
The film is currently untitled and officially we do not know what the film is about, however, a little while ago there was an apparent schedule leak by Hasbro at a German convention involving upcoming Star Wars titles.
Fall 2014- Rebels
2015- Episode VII
2016- Boba Fett
2017- Episode VIII
2019- Episode IX
2020- Red Five
If this leak is true (and there’s a definite chance it could be as Hasbro has been responsible for many early reveals in the past) then the Gareth Edwards spin-off film would be the long rumoured Boba Fett movie. To this I say EXCELLENT!!! Edwards is a great director in my opinion, he has a keen eye for visuals and his films have a real grit to them, something essential for a Boba Fett film that would undoubtedly see the Underworld, the darker side of the Star Wars universe, and Gary Whitta’s ‘Book of Eli‘ was for all intents and purposes a Western, something that would fit with the character of Boba Fett, someone who has often been compared to Clint Eastwood’s ‘Man With No Name’.
And it was just revealed yesterday that Josh Trank, director of ‘Chronicle‘ and the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, will direct the second spin-off film, though no release date, writer, or title was revealed. If we go by the Hasbro leak though, then it appears Trank will be directing ‘Solo’, the film about a young Han Solo that has been rumoured since Disney first purchased LucasFilm.
Nothing is yet known about the third spin-off film, supposedly ‘Red Five’, other than a possible 2020 release. Hardcore Star Wars fans will of course know that ‘Red Five’ was the codename given to Luke Skywalker when he was attacking the Death Star in the original ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope’.
Onto Episode VII, and the announcement of two new actresses to the cast.
When the cast of Episode VII was first announced, there was applause and joy (a lot of it because it was actual news after what seemed like a year and a half of nothing but rumours) but there was also some backlash, as a complaint arose that the cast featured predominantly males, with only Carrie Fisher and newcomer Daisy Ridley representing women in that galaxy far, far away.
Well fear not folks, because more diversity has arrived, in the form of Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie.
Nyong’o is the actress who recently won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award at the 2014 Oscars for her role in Steve McQueen’s ‘12 Years A Slave‘. If you have not seen the film then I highly recommend it, but beware, it is not easy viewing, and Nyong’o is sensational in it. And of course Gwendoline Christie is famous for her role as Brienne of Tarth in the awesome television series ‘Game of Thrones’, and will next be seen in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1′.
Rumours persist that Nyong’o will play a Dathomiri Nightsister, dark side witches first introduced in ‘The Clone Wars’, while I would personally love to see Christie play a Bounty Hunter.
‘Star Wars Episode VII’ is directed by J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Super 8, Mission Impossible III), produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Abrams, and Bryan Burke. The first screenplay was written by Oscar winning Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), and the new script is written by Abrams and Star Wars legend Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi), based on a story treatment by George Lucas himself. The score for the film will be composed once again by John Williams (Star Wars, Jaws, Indiana Jones).
The film’s cast includes John Boyega (Attack the Block, 24: Live Another Day), Daisy Ridley (Silent Witness, Casualty, Youngers), Adam Driver (Girls, Inside Llewyn Davis, Tracks), Oscar Isaac (Drive, Robin Hood, Inside Llewyn Davis), Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Prestige), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time, Harry Potter, Dredd), the legendary Max Von Sydow (The Seventh Seal, The Exorcist, Minority Report), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave, Non-Stop, Shuga), and Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, Wizards vs Aliens), with returning Star Wars actors Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, and Kenny Baker as R2-D2.
Dennis Lawson, the actor who played Wedge Antilles was offered to return for Episode VII but declined, saying it “would have bored him“.
There is nothing official as of yet about the characters that the new actors and actresses are playing, however, certain viable rumours give us an idea of what they will be.
John Boyega is possibly Luke’s son or his apprentice. He is the main character.
Daisy Ridley is Han and Leia’s daughter.
Adam Driver is possibly Han and Leia’s son, and apparently the villain.
Oscar Isaac is said to be the new ‘Han Solo scoundrel’ type character.
Domnhall Gleeson is possibly Luke’s son.
Max Von Sydow is rumoured to be the villain, possibly Darth Plagueis (Palpatine’s master, had control over life and death, was mentioned in ‘Episode III: Revenge of the Sith‘.)
Lupita Nyong’o is rumoured to be either a descendant of Obi-Wan Kenobi, or a Nightsister of Dathomir.
Numerous set photos were leaked online recently by TMZ which revealed a new alien creature, completely practical, no CGI, they revealed the Millenium Falcon, the new X-Wing design, and an explosion and smoke on the Tatooine set (yes folks, we’re going back to Tatooine) etc.
We know the Empire will have some sort of presence on Tatooine due to the photo released months ago of the Imperial Walker (or AT-AT) foot in the desert.
While not officially titled as of yet, there is a strong belief that Disney are going to reveal the official title of the film (as well as possibly the spin-offs) at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.
There have been rumoured titled however.
Star Wars Episode VII- A New Dawn
Star Wars Episode VII- Return of the Sith
Star Wars Episode VII- Rise of the Jedi
Star Wars Episode VII- Shadows of the Sith
Star Wars Episode VII- The Order of the Jedi
Star Wars Episode VII- The Ancient Fear
‘A New Dawn‘ was revealed to be the title of the first novel in the new Star Wars novel continuity.
‘Return of the Sith‘ and ‘Rise of the Jedi‘ were reported by Latino Review, a site that is usually reliable.
‘Shadows of the Sith‘ was the title of a video game that was in development at LucasArts before being cancelled.
‘The Order of the Jedi‘ was reported by MoviePilot, a debatable source.
‘The Ancient Fear‘ was reported by Ain’t It Cool News, a usually legitimate source of information, and said to be titled as such in reference to Max Von Sydow’s character.
As of right now I personally think ‘The Ancient Fear‘ is the most realistic of the bunch, but whether it turns out to be the official title, we’ll just have to wait and see nerfherders.
As I said above, Max Von Sydow is rumoured to be playing Darth Plagueis, which would be rather intriguing in my opinion, but there are also rumours that the Nighsisters of Dathomir will have a strong presence in the film, due to a photo release online by a production member (take it with a grain of salt just in case though).
This is about all we have so far, though I suspect we’ll learn much more in the coming months as we near Comic Con and filming continues to get further under way.
I shall keep you updated on anything new folks, until then, may the Force be with you… always.
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