STAR WARS NEWS
As Star Wars – the original film, A New Hope – turns 38 this year (it opened May 25th, 1977), it's hard to imagine a time when Star Wars wasn't an ingrained part of our pop culture. For a second, just imagine a world where lightsabers aren't a thing and the Millennium Falcon is just a figment of George Lucas's imagination. There's no denying Star Wars has infiltrated almost every aspect of our culture and as we prepare to embrace a whole new chapter of the Star Wars legacy with this December's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, let's take a look and see how Star Wars has changed movies – and pop culture – permanently.
More casting news for the upcoming Star Wars Anthology spin-off titled Rogue One, being directed by Gareth Edwards. With shooting starting up soon, they're finalizing casting and so far we've seen them making some excellent choices: Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed are confirmed. And now Variety can confirm a few others: Diego Luna and Ben Mendelsohn. The plot, revealed at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim a few months ago, follows a band of resistance fighters on a daring mission to steal the Death Star (plans). Luna will play a lead role alongside Jones and Ahmed, however Mendelsohn is apparently playing the lead antagonist (or "primary villain" as he's being called). Now this new movie is really starting to come together.
It's a Chrometrooper! One of the many new characters we'll be meeting in J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens is this bad guy (she's part of the "First Order" not the "Empire" anymore) nicknamed the "Chromtrooper", played by Gwendoline Christie (of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, "Game of Thrones"), who wears a chrome stormtrooper outfit and carries a big gun. The caption from the reveal at Vanity Fair (as part of the Annie Leibovitz photo spread) only states: "First Order officer Captain Phasma surveys the rubble following an attack." Sleek. I wish we could see her without the mask! Very interesting.
Happy Star Wars Day - it's now May the 4th and everyone is celebrating! Including even Vanity Fair, going all out with their latest issue featuring a cover shot of Han, Chewie and the new gang, plus an entire photo spread shot by Annie Leibovitz. What?! I know! The photos have been unveiled in full this morning, and they're rather revealing, including our very first ever look at Adam Driver in costume on set (as far as we know he plays Kylo Ren). We also get to see more set images featuring director J.J. Abrams and a look at Lupita Nyong'o with her facial capture rig, meaning she's definitely playing some kind of alien. VF states she's playing a character named Maz Kanata. Take a look at all of the impressive new shots revealed below.
The Empire Reboots! Is that really the bold, eye-catching headline Lucasfilm wants on the cover of Vanity Fair? Is the new Star Wars saga really being dubbed a "reboot" or is that just mumbo jumbo they threw on there to sell magazines? Who knows. Vanity Fair has unveiled a new cover shot photographed by Annie Leibovitz showing Han and Chewie (Harrison Ford + Peter Mayhew) sitting with two new guys: Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, and BB-8 as BB-8. Yes, I'm including BB-8 as part of the new "trio" even though Oscar Isaac as X-Wing pilot Poe is missing from this cover. It's a cool shot and the best part is that Leibovitz has taken even more photos, and more will be revealed once the magazine is on stands. Woot.
Briefly: As much as I hate reporting on the non-news that someone is no longer working on a project they were originally attached to work on, if it involves Star Wars, it's still worth mentioning. StarWars.com and Variety are reporting that Lucasfilm has officially announced and confirmed that Josh Trank (director of Chronicle and this year's Fantastic Four reboot) will no longer be directing a Star Wars spin-off movie. Not long after Gareth Edwards got the first offer for Star Wars: Rogue One, due in theaters late 2016, Trank landed the gig to direct the next spin-off solo Star Wars movie due in 2018. However, he's been booted and Disney/Lucasfilm are going back to the drawing board - no replacements have been named yet. Interesting…
As of now, the only confirmed cast member for Star Wars: Rogue One is Felicity Jones, and details from Star Wars Celebration last weekend revealed that she'll be playing a Rebel soldier involved with the heist to get the plans to the first Death Star. . However, two more potential names have surfaced to join the first Star Wars Anthology spin-off slated for release on December 16th, 2016 as The Wrap reports The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay star Sam Claflin is being eyed for a role and Badass Digest adds that Four Lions and Nightcrawler star Riz Ahmed seems to be attached to the project too. Read on!
Thanks to all the excitement from Star Wars Celebration this weekend, the buzz on last week's new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is still going strong. And thanks to a statement made by Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy and will reprise the role for Episode VII this winter, people are talking about his voiceover heard in the trailer, the only dialogue heard in the film besides the moment we see Han Solo and Chewbacca again. It's clear the dialogue is from Return of the Jedi, but Hamill has people thinking the dialogue was changed for the trailer. But that's not the case.
"For more than a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire…" Plenty of new details about the expanded Star Wars universe revealed, as the Star Wars Celebration event in Anaheim ended with a panel featuring director Gareth Edwards. After bring us Godzilla, Gareth is next set to direct the first "spin-off" solo Star Wars movie after Disney bought Lucasfilm and brought back Star Wars. It was revealed recently that the title of the December 2016 film would be Rogue One, but during the panel they played a very early, brief teaser trailer for Rogue One that featured a different title. Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One is what the title card shows in that, but we also know more details about the plot - and it's not really about X-Wings.
In the original Star Wars trilogy, the battle was always between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire. But after the events of Return of the Jedi, it looked like the Empire was finally defeated. However, as we've seen in the most recent trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, about 30 years after the second Death Star was destroyed, there are still remnants of the Empire, complete with new stormtroopers, including a bad ass chome stormtrooper with a cape, and a mysterious new villain named Kylo Ren. Well, thanks to an exhibit at Star Wars Celebration, we have information where the Rebels and the Empire stand.
There's no doubt that yesterday's second teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens really moved fans of the sci-fi saga, especially with that final shot featuring two of our favorite heroes. Social media was full of people overwhelmed with feelings and joy, and apparently so was Matthew McConaughey. A reaction video has surfaced showing McConaughey watching the teaser trailer for the first time, and it's pretty clear that he's a huge Star Wars fan. There's plenty of people who got emotional, but McConaughey's reaction is on another level. He even went so far as to watch the trailer from space. He's just that dedicated.
Bleep! Bloop! Bleep! Translation: come fly to Japan on my airplane! Holy crap this is… awesome? Yea, I'm going to say it is. One of the big reveals this week at Star Wars Celebration, along with the new trailer for The Force Awakens, is a brand new R2-D2-painted Boeing 787 commercial airplane. We've seen Smaug the Airplane, now it's R2's turn. The new aircraft will be part of All Nippon Airways fleet, based out of Japan, and it will be launching in fall 2015 (a bit closer to the release of The Force Awakens). The plane is being shown off in videos at their booth, but we found nice clean shots of it in flight. I'll take a ticket, please.
Early this afternoon, we were wowed by the second teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was chock full of plenty of new goodies, and also some sentimental old faces and friends. And now that we've had a chance to watch it dozens of times, and will continue to do so until December, we wanted to examine the trailer much more closely and see what we can decipher about what's to come in Star Wars: Episode VII. There are undoubtedly some hints as to what we can expect in the J.J. Abrams flick, but we're still just piecing together fragments here and there combined with the rumors we've heard. More below!
An early look at The Making of The Force Awakens. Disney kicked things off with a bang in Anaheim with the opening panel of Star Wars Celebration, taking place this weekend in Southern California. The panel included an hour long discussion and first look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens, guided by director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy. They told stories of growing up with Star Wars, making sure the fans are satisfied (in every way), the daunting task of continuing this legacy when George Lucas decided to hand it over. In the background were slides showing various behind-the-scenes production photos, including on the desert planet Jakku (or is it Jaku?). And, to be frank, we love behind-the-scenes photos. This recap comes directly from the live stream of the Star Wars Celebration opening presentation.