Star Wars

Disney Announces Dates for ‘Star Wars 8′ and First Ever Star Wars Spinoff, ‘Rogue One’

New 'Star Wars' Every Year...Until forever

In the two years since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the internet has freaked over every little bread crumb of information J.J. Abrams and company have dropped about the master plan for the new slate of Star Wars films. “Oh my God they’re making Star Wars 7!” (Breathes into paper bag.) “Oh my God they got the original cast!” (Shivering with excitement.) “Oh my God the Millennium F…the Millennium F…the Millen…” (Passes out, back of hand to forehead.) “OH MY GOD THE TRAAAAILLLERRR!” (Nerdgasm.)

The reason for all the fuss is that, relatively speaking, we get so few Star Wars movies. Sure, there are already six of them. But they were released over the course of 28 years. There was a 16-year gap between the first two trilogies, and it’s now been a full decade since the last trilogy wrapped up.

Of course, all of this is about to change. On Thursday, our Disney overlords announced the schedule for the next two instalments in the Star Wars franchise. The first character-based spinoff movie will be called Rogue One. Directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and starring Felicity Jones (Theory of Everything), it will hit theaters December 16, 2016, one year after The Force Awakens. Then, after that, Star Wars: Episode VIII – A Film Yet to Be Titled, written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper), will hit theaters on May 26, 2017.

Obviously, there’s plenty of stuff about which we can all speculate and salivate. (Who is Felicity Jones playing in Rogue One? A young Princess Leia? Or will Aaron Paul, who’s been mentioned in casting rumors, star as a young Han Solo? Is the movie about the origins of the Rogue Squadron, the rebellion’s elite crew of X-Wing pilots?) But in the grand scheme of things, we’re not going to be waiting around very long in between Star Wars films. The Force Awakens will slake our Star Wars thirst in 10 months. Then we’ll only have to wait a year for Rogue One, and then another five months for Episode VIII.

Seems to me the yearly release of Star Wars movies will make us less inclined to freak out over every minor revelation. Which is a shame, because that’s half the fun.

Unsubstantiated Internet Rumors of the Week: Pinkman in ‘Star Wars’, Heisenberg in ‘Star Trek’?

Breaking space!

The best rumors running through Hollywood right now? One says Aaron Paul is being considered for the male lead in one of the upcoming Star Wars spinoffs. The other says Bryan Cranston is being eyed for the villain role in the upcoming Star Trek 3.

F*cking sweet, right? Breaking Bad in space.

I must reiterate, though, that these are just rumors.

Earlier today, THR reported that Oscar-nominated Theory of Everything star Felicity Jones has been cast in the unnamed Star Wars spinoff being directed by Gareth Edwards. Then, further down in the article, it was reported that Aaron Paul and Edgar Ramirez were being considered for the male lead. Though one can only assume that, if the former Breaking Bad star does end up getting the part, Edwards will kill him off 20 minutes into the movie.

As for Cranston, that rumor comes to us from Film Divider (via Screen Rant). They reported that filmmakers apparently want someone “Bryan Cranston-like” for the villain role and have actually “had words” with Cranston himself. There’s no telling what those words were. They may have been “no, sorry, I don’t want to be in your space movie,” or “wait, you want us to pay you how much?” But they might also have been, “yeah, that would be awesome, let’s figure this out!”

Personally, I’m hoping both rumors prove to be true. The big screen needs way more Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.

Yes, There Will Be Ewoks in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

warwick davis cast in star wars episode 7
Warwick Davis has been cast in 'Episode VII'...

Hey, remember when Han, Luke, and Leia took out a whole battallion of Imperial Storm Troopers with nothing but a couple of rocks and a tribe of cuddly teddy bears in Return of the Jedi? Well, guess what? Those cuddly teddy bears—the Ewoks—are returning for Star Wars: Episode VII.

Or at least that’s what J.J. Abrams wants us to believe. Yesterday Abrams (and by “Abrams” I mean somebody who works for him) posted a funny little video announcing that Warwick Davis, who played the Ewok Wicket in Return of the Jedi, has been cast in the latest instalment of everyone’s space opera set in a galaxy far, far away. So the obvious conclusion is that there will be Ewoks.

The only problem? J.J. Abrams loves messing with us, and the video didn’t actually say Warwick Davis would reprise his previous role. So it’s quite possible Abrams cast Davis in some other role and made a big deal about the announcement just to make us think there will be Ewoks.

That being said, if this really does mean there will be Ewoks in Episode VII, maybe I was right. Maybe Lando Calissian did go to Endor, enslave the Ewoks, and start a new mining colony after they blew up Death Star II.

Obsessive ‘Star Wars’ Fans Are Creating a ‘Despecialized Edition’ to Undo George Lucas’s Alterations

In a galaxy far, far away...without any girlfriends

In case you couldn’t tell from the 200 posts we did on Episode VII casting rumors, this whole Star Wars thing is kind of a big deal. In fact, you might say people obsess over it.

That being said, when it comes to Star Wars, there are obsessions, and then there are OBSESSIONS. It’s one thing to read every casting rumor, but quite another to completely remaster the original trilogy.

Oh yes. Remaster the original trilogy.

As you probably know, about 30 different editions of Star Wars have been released over the last 15 years, and every time George Lucas has gone back and made tweaks and changes. In each case, Lucas has justified these alterations by saying he only does the stuff he originally wanted to do, but could not because of technological limitations. But hardcore fans don’t want to hear any excuses. They like the original trilogy the way they first saw it, and in their eyes Lucas is just messing with perfection.

Still, they wouldn’t even mind so much if they could still go back and watch the original, unaltered trilogy. And earlier this week there were rumors that such an edition was going to be released on BluRay. But Disney put an end to that pretty quickly. So Star Wars nerds are left with just two options: dig the old VCR out of their parents’ basements and watch the trilogy in brilliant 25p, or just create a NEW old (but completely remastered) Star Wars of their own.

Well, one group of obsessed fans decided on option B. They’ve been painstakingly piecing together a version of Episode IV that’s as close to the original as possible. And they call it the “Despecialized Edition.”

Take a look:

Now that’s a labor of love. Passionate, obsessive, nerdy love.

[via MTV]

Harrison Ford Is All Better Now, So Filming of ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Will Resume This Month

somebody get this guy a wookie!

As you probably know, Harrison Ford broke his leg on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII back in June. For a while J.J. Abrams and company fed us a line of bull about how production would totally stay on schedule once they made a few minor tweaks. Earlier this month, however, the inevitable happened. The production finally succumbed to Han Solo’s injury and went on a two-week hiatus. (You probably noticed when the earth stopped spinning and the sky turned crimson red.)

Well, on Monday Harrison Ford was out strutting his stuff on the red carpet at the premier of Expendables 3, and while the rest of the film’s stars were using canes and walkers (’cause they’re all so old), Indiana Jones was walking around all fit and limber and ready to go. Now The Hollywood Reporter is saying a source told them that  J.J. and the gang will resume filming in London later this month.

Will Ford be joining them right away? That remains unclear. But it won’t be too long, and the main takeaway here is that Star Wars fans can take a big sigh of relief. Episode VII will probably still hit theaters December 18, 2015.


J.J. Abrams Casually Reveals X-Wing Fighter in Video Seeking Charitable Donations for UNICEF

j.j. abrams x-wing reveal
The man is playing us like a fiddle

I don’t know exactly when Star Wars 7 director J.J. Abrams decided to use set reveals to raise money for charity, but if I had to guess I’d say it was some time after people went totally apeshit for those “leaked” pics of the Millennium Falcon back in June. Abrams probably saw the way people reacted and asked, “How can I take this weird boner grown men have for this movie franchise and use it to do something good?”

The solution he came up with is pretty brilliant. Make a video asking people to donate money to “Force for Change,” a charitable effort trying to raise money for UNICEF’s Innovation Labs. In that video slowly pan out to reveal an entire X-Wing Fighter. The video will spread like wildfire, because the internet is run by geeks and geeks love this stuff. Then, when people watch the video and hear how donating could win them a role as an extra in the film, or possibly an advanced screening for 20 of their closest friends, “Force for Change” will raise lots of money.

Well done, J.J. Abrams. Well done.

‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ to Be Written and Directed by Rian Johnson

Wait, who?

I think it’s safe to say that, when Disney announced they were making another Star Wars trilogy and that J.J. Abrams was set to helm Episode VII, we all assumed he would also be directing VIII and IX as well. However, on Friday we learned that will not be the case. According to Deadline, Looper writer/director Rian Johnson will write the script for Star Wars: Episode VIII for sure and probably Star Wars: Episode IX.

That’s pretty huge news. To be sure, chances are that this was Disney’s (and Abrams’s) plan all along, and you’d have to think Abrams will have some role going forward, either as a script collaborator or as executive producer. It’s just that this is a strange time for this news to break. Abrams only recently began filming Episode VII, and though we have every reason to believe the end product will be excellent, it still seems like a bit of a gamble to sign a new director to wrap up the new trilogy this early.

Then again, it’s become obvious in recent weeks that the folks running the show at Disney are betting big on the next generation of Hollywood filmmakers. It’s already been officially confirmed that Gozilla director Gareth Edwards will helm one of the highly anticipated Star Wars spinoffs, and it’s believed Chronicle director Josh Trank will helm another. So the choice of Rian Johnson to take the baton from Abrams isn’t exactly shocking in context.

That being said, taking over a franchise as iconic as Star Wars would be enough to cause many a young filmmaker to hyperventilate. And the significance was definitely not lost on Johnson, who tweeted this obvious reference to his new gig after news broke on Friday:

Yeah, we feel you, Rian.