The official site finally put to bed all rumors and announced the cast of Episode VII.
“Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.”
HUZZAH. Fandom knows Andy Serkis from the Lord of the Rings films, playing Gollum, while Domhnall Gleeson played Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Oscar Davis starred in the film Inside Llewyn Davis, while Adam Driver is best known for his role in the HBO series Girls.
Also: MAX VON FRICKIN SYDOW? Wow, okay. On a diversity note, we’ve got two POCs in the main cast…but only one girl. Oh well, at least it’s some progress!
Finally, a fangirl note from the author of this post: JEDI MASTER LUKE SKYWALKER RIDES AGAIN!
Now, let the speculation of who they’re all playing begin.
I’m a fan of the Expanded Universe. It’s what sucked me in to the saga, made me a fan, and made me stay a fan. Once the credits rolled on my first viewing of Return of the Jedi, I had to know what happened to the characters next. Little did I know that a book called Heir to the Empire had just been released, and coincidentally enough, it starred Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo.
Over the past 20+ years I’ve followed the EU pretty closely. I’ve gotten angry at certain plot developments and given up on it entirely. I’ve come crawling back with the promise of good Father-Son interaction, and a new X-Wing book. I’ve gotten tired of the Big Three starring in every story, and threw up my hands at the Crucible announcement. Before the Disney sale, I was optimistic about the future of the EU, and looking forward to more X-Wing books and a trilogy about Jaina Solo, Han and Leia’s daughter. It was about time she got her time in the spotlight, completely separate from her parents.
Now, with Episode VII on the horizon, I wholeheartedly believe that the Sequel Trilogy must star one of the next generation of Skywalkers, and I will argue this point until I’m blue in the face.
We actually got some Episode VII news out of the Disney shareholders earning call today! Not a lot, but right now I’m willing to grasp at any and all scraps of news I can get my tiny fingers on.
Bob Iger confirmed that Episode VII will begin approximately 30 years after Return of the Jedi (or 34 ABY for us Expanded Universe folk), and will star some familiar faces along with a trio of new leads. However, the only confirmed cast member is still R2-D2. Le sigh.
Still! Some news is better than no news! I think. Hopefully, with filming starting in May, we’ll get some more substantial news–like casting!–pretty soon.
The official site has announced that Episode VII will open on December 18, 2015.
Alan Horn, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, made the announcement today. “We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” he said.
Looks like the rumors about Lucasfilm wanting a 2016 release while Disney wanted a 2015 release may have held some water, but this seems to be a good compromise. Extra time to make a better movie is always a good thing.
(Although, personally, seeing a Star Wars movie in December, without the 20th Century Fox Fanfare, is going to be really really really weird.)
Episode VII will begin filming in Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios.
The above conversation was probably representative of a number of conversations you all had with your peers. Except you probably didn’t bother to black out the expletives.
One year ago today, the entire fandom was blindsided by the news that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas. That was wild enough, but shortly after those rumbling began trickling out onto the Internet something even wilder happened. Disney confirmed the sale and announced that the one thing that was never going to happen was about to become a reality: The Sequel Trilogy.
At the time of the announcement, I was in a Taco Bell in Moses Lake, Washington having just finished up a work trip. Nanci sent me the above text message alerting me to the news and a few hours later Dunc from Club Jade joined us for the first and only emergency podcast episode we have ever done.
And here we were worried we’d have nothing to talk about after Celebration VI. What are your memories from the day Disney bought Lucasfilm?
File this one under ‘Seriously?!?’ with a skeptical eyebrow raise. Badass Digest is claiming that Episode VII will have a mid-December release date. Forgive us if we take this with a mountain of salt grains. We were told at D23 that Episode VII would have a ‘summer 2015’ release date which fits with the assumption that Lucasfilm will stick with May. Plus, Celebration VII was announced for April 2015 which is another reason to not take this as likely.
Of course, like with most rumors, there’s a possibility it could happen but this it’s highly doubtful.
Sound the rumor alert again. The Latino Review is now saying that Ewan McGregor will be back for Episode VII. The assumption for the rumor is that he’ll be back as a Force Ghost since (spoiler alert) Obi-Wan died in A New Hope. The rumor also says that McGregor wants his own standalone film.
As per usual, take this rumor with a grain of salt. We already know that Ewan’s said he’d be happy to play Obi-Wan again if they ask him so it’s plausible but this is a looooong way from confirmed. However, like others, I don’t think we’d have any objections to an adaptation of Kenobi or a standalone film in general for Obi-Wan. But until it’s on StarWars.com, it’s just a rumor.
UPDATE: Turns out the title of this article is, in fact, a rumor. A Lucasfilm spokesperson told Big Shiny Robot that Kathleen Kennedy as said that “Nothing has changed” and Episode VII will still begin shooting in 2014. There was no comment on the codename.
Our friends over at Jedi News have a report up saying that a trusted source has told them that a deal has been struck to use Pinewood Studios in England for filming for the next ten years.
To quote their report:
Further to this we understand that the film has been in pre-production at Pinewood Studios for three and a half months in advance of an August 2013 shooting date. We hear they have block booked the studios for 10 years and that construction of offices and facilities on-site is underway. Also storage space is being located in the local area.
There’s also a mention in the report that Episode VII could be filming under the fake name of ‘Foodles Productions Ltd’.
As always, this is an unconfirmed rumor so take it with a grain of salt until we hear something official from Lucasfilm.
Kathleen Kennedy’s panel at Celebration Europe this morning didn’t yield much in terms of Episode VII news but she did announce that John Williams will be back to score all three Sequel Trilogy films. A video interview (as seen below) was shown to the panel audience and he clearly seems to be as thrilled to be back in the galaxy far far away however he has yet to read the script.
You can read the entire official liveblog of Kennedy’s panel over on the main site.
According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Disney insiders, there may be some familiar faces making an appearance at the D23 Expo this year:
The bi-annual event, taking place Aug. 9-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center, will feature a strong Star Wars presence, with Disney planning events like Darth Vader: The Evolution of a Villain, showing the development of the villain, to Crash Course in the Fourse: Star Wars Saga 101.
Insiders say some Star Wars actors may be making appearances during the D23 Expo, confirming their participation in the J.J. Abrams-directed sequel trilogy — which is expected to hit theaters in 2015. (Filming is expected to begin in early 2014 in the U.K.)
Confirming their participation in the Sequel Trilogy? Possible, if it isn’t confirmed first at Celebration Europe.