Category Archives: star wars

The real lesson of The Empire Strikes Back

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May is the month of Star Wars birthdays, of course, and Wednesday was the 35th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back. Entertainment Weekly’s Darren Franich took the opportunity to write the lesson nobody learned from Empire Strikes Back – that the small and personal is what makes the film succeed, not the dark and twisty.

The Force Awakens: Vanity Fair catches up with Pablo (and John Williams)

pablo-hidalgo-lucasfilmRed alert! Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo is in Vanity Fair! We knew him when, y’all. Okay, they also have John Williams talking about The Force Awakens score, but: Pablo! He gives another fab quote on the Legends situation:

…there are great stories told there, but in all honesty they were written in an era where there was no expectation that we were going to add new movies or cinematic content onto that. So they blazed new trails there without the benefit of that knowledge, and they told really cool and compelling stories, but it’s not necessarily the stories that we want to tell on-screen.

→ Someone else got a super-vague quote from Oscar Isaac about Star Wars, this time the improbably named Monkeys Fighting Robots. (Says the woman who runs a site that sounds like it probably hosts porn.)

→ Do you want a (possible) synopsis of The Force Awakens based on all the Making Star Wars rumors? Do you? Because MSW has that for you. Click or not, it’s all you.

Kathleen Kennedy on what really makes Star Wars

Kathleen KennedyThere’s some great stuff from Lucasfilm head honcho Kathleen Kennedy at Vanity Fair today.

George made it personal. He just made a movie that meant something to him. And I think that’s probably the biggest challenge for anybody stepping into this is that they can’t spend a lot of time thinking about what other people are going to think of the movie. They have to come at it from the point of view of, What does this mean to me and what does it have to do with me? Frankly, I don’t think great movies ever get made unless there’s some aspect of that going on between the creator and the story that’s being told. It can only become emotional [for an audience] if it’s operating on some kind of personal passion.

She also the emotional resonance of Star Wars, the old school experience, and how she and Steven Spielberg ended up hiring J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) to fix up those old Super 8 films.

Wired’s oral history of Industrial Light & Magic

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Vanity Fair isn’t the only magazine borrowing some Star Wars mojo this month. Wired today has ‘the definitive oral history of ILM,’ with George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg, Dennis Muren and more. (Including J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson.)

The Force Awakens: Costumes, Pip Andersen and bōjutsu

tfa-teaser2-firstorderToday, Vanity Fair has an interview with The Force Awakens costume designer Michael Kaplan, which actually feels surprising revealing for this point in the process. Namely, the stormtrooper uniforms are sturdier and Empire and Rebels First Order and Resistance are more color-coded. On that note, a new photo of Oscar Isaac in his base jumpsuit has emerged.

Pip Andersen talked a little bit about his role.

A few more tidbits from the Japanese interviews: Kathleen Kennedy said Daisy Ridley was trained in the bōjutsu fighting style, which means she’ll actually be fighting with the staff we’ve seen the trailers.

→ Hasbro has announced a Star Wars panel for SDCC. Maybe they’ll finally show some stuff for The Force Awakens?

→ Rumor corner, take 1: There’s something floating around a third trailer for TFA may be on Pixar’s Inside Out, and that it’s already been shown at a “Disney blogging conference.” However, another attendee has denied it.

→ Rumor corner, take 2: A Youtube video that supposedly shows an effects scene being filmed has popped up.

Lawrence Kasdan on Star Wars past, future, and Lando

braintrustVanity Fair isn’t done just yet: In addition to (finally) posting their complete cover story on The Force Awakens, they have an interview with Lawrence Kasdan where he talks about the old film, the new film, and hints that Lando Calrissian’s journey isn’t over just yet.

As for TFA, less is more when it comes to running time:

…it’s turning out really great. J.J. directed it so beautifully, and it’s so exhilarating and everything. It’s a big movie. It’s full of wonderful stuff, incident and character stuff and jokes and effects. One of the things that we always refocus on from the get-go was that it not be one of these very long, bloated blockbusters. A lot of very entertaining movies lately are too long. In the last 20 minutes, you think, why isn’t this over? We didn’t want to make a movie like that. I mean, we were really aiming to have it be—when it’s over you’ll say, “I wish there’s more.” Or, “Wait, is it over?” Because how rarely you get that feeling nowadays, and I think we’re headed there. But it means that there will be constant critical looking at it from now to the end, saying, “Do we need this? Do we need that? Is it better if this comes out, even though we love it?” Killing your darlings.

The Force Awakens roundup: Boyega’s topical jogging gear, Weekends merch features new trooper

john_boyega: Leaving the ultra nerd house for a nerd run. #Troophoodie

john_boyega: Leaving the ultra nerd house for a nerd run. #Troophoodie

John Boyega jogs in a stormtrooper hoodie. Stars: They’re just like us. Also, you can get a glimpse of the stormtrooper figure he got Harrison Ford (and it looks like a few others) to sign.

Star Wars Weekends are revving up at Disney World in Orlando, and there’s an Episode VII tee on sale there that actually features the new stormtrooper. It comes in men’s, women’s and kid’s sizes.

→ Rumor corner: What is the green planet? (I have some doubts, due mainly to a certain actor’s flippancy with something else that recently came up, but spoilers. Sigh.) On that note, it appears that TFA’s water scenes may have been filmed in England’s Lake District National Park.

→ Lucasfilm movies will be featured at D23 Expo this year. This obviously isn’t a surprise, and clearly The Force Awakens will be the priority, but it may be the first chance for something to go wide on Rogue One – though D23 is only two weeks after Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation drops on July 31, which could still be cutting it a bit close.

Rumor: Diego Luna joins Rogue One

deigo-lunaVariety is reporting that Diego Luna has landed a role in Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One, the first Star Wars Anthology film.

Luna will play a Rebel soldier, Variety says. We know the film is an ensemble about Rebels stealing the Death Star plans shortly before A New Hope. The film’s only confirmed cast member remains Felicity Jones, but Riz Ahmed and Ben Mendelsohn have also been subjects of rumors from the trades.

Luna’s previous credits include Elysium, Milk and the animated The Book of Life.