Episode VII filming in IMAX, will be post-converted to 3D

First bit of news: As the above tweet from Bad Robot shows, Episode VII is filming with IMAX cameras as we speak.

Second bit of news: Episode VII will be released in theaters with a post-conversion 3D option.

It’s perhaps not too surprising that Disney and Lucasfilm want to have a 3D version of Episode VII in theaters, but it will no doubt disappoint many that this will be done in post. Films in 3D that aren’t shot natively with specialized stereoscopic cameras tend to be odd looking. Characters and objects in the foreground look oddly flat in front of the background.

Lucasfilm does have some internal experience with the post-conversion process, having re-released Episode I as a 3D film a few years ago to mixed reception. The film did look a fair amount better than most hastily thrown together conversions, but there were still a number of moments where the characters appeared jarringly flat. We’ll see how this conversion turns out.

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Amazon releasing free 2014 Star Wars literature sampler next week

Hat tip to John Jackson Miller for informing us that we’ll be able to get our hands on a sampler book previewing the upcoming Star Wars literature novels coming out later this year and through next year.

The sampler from Amazon will feature excerpts from Miller’s A New Dawn, Luceno’s Tarkin, and Kemp’s Lords of the Sith.

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Crystal Clarke and Pip Anderson cast for Episode VII

And from out of left field, another casting development for Episode VII. Announced on the official site, joining the fold are Pip Anderson and Crystal Clarke.

Having hunted high and low for young and undiscovered talent, the filmmakers are delighted to announce that two actors from the open call call have been cast.

Crystal Clarke is an American actress studying in Glasgow, UK, who has both stage and screen acting experience and is soon to be seen in her first feature, The Moon and the Sun (to be released in 2015). British actor Pip Andersen is a skilled practitioner of parkour, a discipline that involves propelling oneself through any given environment with incredible grace and agility. Pip recently demonstrated this remarkable skill in a Spider-Man ad for Sony.

“The Star Wars universe has always been about discovering and nurturing young talent and in casting Episode VII we wanted to remain absolutely faithful to this tradition. We are delighted that so many travelled to see us at the open casting calls and that we have been able to make Crystal and Pip a part of the film,” said producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.

Clarke and Anderson were pulled from the extensive multi-city and online talent search that contained over 37,000 attendees and 30,000 online applicants.

While there’s no indication on what the extent of the roles are, it is good to see the production crew going out of their way to cast another woman of color to appear in the film. While there is still room for improvement, slowly but surely the diversity ratio is improving in the Galaxy Far, Far Away.

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Review: Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows

It’s another Vader graphic novel as the collected edition of Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows hits shelves today.  Tim Siedell on script and Gabriel Guzman on art take us on another galactic adventure with the newly named Dark Lord of the Sith… or do they?

Darth Vader’s rampage across the galaxy after the fall of the Republic continues as he seeks out the remaining Jedi and rebels to destroy them.  It’s through the eyes of a deserter clone trooper returned to the fold that we some of this as he comes to serve as one of Vader’s most trusted stormtroopers.

Continue reading

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Star Wars Insider teams up with Nerd Block

Star Wars Insider is teaming up with toy subscription site Nerd Block for a neat promotion this coming July that will net subscribers some special Star Wars swag:

The Force is strong with Nerd Block! A geek tested, nerd approved monthly mystery package that includes toys, collectibles and a limited edition shirt. Nerd Block and Star Wars Insider are teaming up to include 2 epic Star Wars items in July’s classic block!

Visit this link and save 10% of your first month with promo code WICKET! 

Subscribers will also receive copies of Insider with their package. Head to the links above for more details.

SWI+NerdBlock

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Tosche Station Radio #87: Fording the Ramp

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Star Wars Weekends, conventions, and broken Harrison Ford appendages are on the docket for this all new Tosche Station Radio.

Kicking off the show, the hosts highlight What’s New on the Blog. Bria reviewed Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #2, Legacy #16, and Rebel Heist #3. Emily reviewed Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #6. Conventions 101 by Bria. We didn’t make this, but we loved it so much we had to talk about it: Guardians of a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

In Fixer’s Flash, the hosts kept busy with Star Wars Weekends and a healthy dose of Steve Blum and Mark Hamill. They also went and saw X-Men: Days of Future Past and found some time to culture themselves with Into the Woods. Of course, it’s World Cup Mania so soccer has gotten into the mix as well.

Deak’s Dirt starts with Her Universe debuting a new Marvel line and Transformers products. Congrats to the Star Wars Insider on celebrating 150 issues! Congrats are also in order to Club Jade, which celebrated its 10 year blogoversary this month. George Lucas museum is heading to Chicago. ABattlefront trailer shown at E3. Shuffling release dates: Heir to the Jedi coming on February 17, Lords of the Sith coming on April 21. Josh Trank to direct second standalone film. Rian Johnson to direct Episode VIII, pen a treatment for Episode IX.

In Biggs’ Bull$#!%, there are more rumors about plot. Most importantly, it’s the ongoing Saga of Harrison Ford’s Broken Appendage. First he broke his ankle. Lucasfilm confirmed and said shooting will continue while he recuperates. Then his publicist said he broke his leg and had surgery. Despite previous reports, the accident involved a door, not the Millennium Falcon ramp. Lucasfilm is still staying mum on the story. The latest rumor is that Ford’s recovery will take 6 months, shooting is being rescheduled, and the Episode VII release date will be moved. Lucasfilm has told TFN that there will be no delay, but rumors persist that Abrams and Kennedy want to move the release date to May 4, 2016, while Bob Iger says “no way”

Camie’s Concerns kicks off convention season with a look at three of the big ones coming up this summer. The hosts also take time to discuss Bria’s blog post offering convention advice for first-timers. Be sure to tune back in two weeks from now when we have Brandy from the Star Wars track at Dragon Con to discuss the track and the convention.

Wrapping up the show, the hosts field a question in Ask us Anything.

Nanci and Brian are the co-founders and writers of Tosche-Station.net. You can find Nanci on Twitter with the handle @Nancipants and you can find Brian with @LaneWinree.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and Audible.com.

Her Universe - Flaunt Your World - www.heruniverseshop.com Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at audible.com!

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Review: Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #6

serenity 6It’s New Comic Book Day, and Dark Horse seems to release everything at once, so naturally, all our reviews come out at once.  Today, the last installment of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind releases and keeping things spoiler-free, here’s what I have to say:

Aw, comic, no.

I’m not going into the substandard art again, but if there’s been one thing I have enjoyed about this series, it’s been the writing–until now.  And I understand that this comic is setting up for whatever the next Serenity comic mini-series is going to be, but the end of this comic very, very quickly took a turn for both 1) a (second) rehash of an old plotline and 2) a WTF spin on the level of Buffy Season Eight.

If you’ve bought the other five comics in the mini-series, buy this one to complete the set.  But if the next mini-series continues off this arc, rather than telling stories like The Shepherd’s Tale or Better Days, I’d be just a little bit wary of investing money in it.

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