Category Archives: star wars

Meet Kiri Hart, one of the women now driving Star Wars

kiri-hartThe Rebels blitz continues, with the Wall Street Journal today featuring Lucasfilm’s Kiri Hart.

Tasked by head honcho Kathleen Kennedy to develop and oversees new Star Wars content, Hart and her ‘team of five’ (the Story Group, ahem) keep a tight rein on the galaxy… Although she does know there’s room for a lot of different things in the franchise:

“I think there are boundaries, but we don’t want to rigidly define them,” she said. “It’s obviously not slapstick comedy, but there’s room for many different stories and genres that still feel like ‘Star Wars.'”

One filmmaker says she is “as close to a Kevin Feige as there is at Lucas,” and in a longer interview she details some of Lucasfim’s recent choices.

On development:

We pretty quickly arrived at a content plan that stretches out for several years and we didn’t go looking for those ideas. Those existed internally. We were in a situation of looking for people to help us execute the ideas we had.

On setting aside the EU:

I’m crazily passionate about this idea of narratives travelling across different platforms. It just feels like a golden opportunity. This is a fictional universe that not only supports [narrative coherence] but invites it.

In addition, we wouldn’t be giving the right green space to our filmmakers if we mandated they stay within the stories that have been told [in books.]

On diversity:

I haven’t experienced “Star Wars” being for boys, because I loved it from seven years old. I was so powerfully influenced by Princess Leia as a kid. I remember being transfixed by her — she was so empowered and smart and funny.

There are a lot of different types of characters. “Star Wars” should be diverse because it’s a big galaxy.

This certainly sheds some light for us on how things are working internally these days!

Rumor: Is this Episode VII’s ‘I am your father’ moment?

spoilers-swirl-muppetMaking Star Wars finishes the day with a real whopper, what Jason is calling the “I am your father” moment of the film. Which means this is possibly the biggest spoiler of them all, so click through at your own risk.

It is, honestly, kinda cra-cra in an eye-rolling Seth-and-Amy (“Really?”) kind of way, but to paraphrase Jason, it’s bad execution that ruins stories, not the ideas. (I agree with him on spoilers too, obviously.)

But if you don’t like this rumor… Well, my red herring theory from this afternoon still stands, and this is the kind of thing that makes me want to stand by it all the more. We’ll see.

There’s going to be quite a bit of snark bearing down on this. Batten down the hatches.

UPDATE: A follow-up gives this a tad more context.

Today in Episode VII: Yet more (spoilery) rumors regarding all sorts of things

spoilers-swirl-bbwarwick→ Making Star Wars is on a real roll today with several rumors that could be extremely spoilery. First, this morning, there was Daisy Ridley’s house. Jason then followed up this afternoon with some details about Max von Sydow’s character, a couple of planets/locations, a beast and lastly, a new droid, alien and discovery.

First of all, I have few doubts that Jason has seen this stuff. And doubling down is Devin at Badass Digest, who talks about much of the same stuff, including further von Sydow details and something about Chewbacca. But as a skeptical skeptic who skeptics, I have to wonder if some of this is a deliberate red herring. Head to the comments for my personal conspiracy theory.

In less spoilery things…

Carrie Fisher gets an award. Mark Hamill is there. Their #beardwatch and #blondewatch games are still strong, but they are both in Los Angeles, so perhaps they’ve wrapped up as well? In any case, enjoy the sibling cuteness and hope we’ll get to hear Carrie’s inevitable jokes sooner rather than later.

Ben Affleck explains the genesis of the Batman v Superman/Episode VII ‘feud.’ (Warning: Autoplay video.)

Today in Episode VII: A fresh bunch of shady rumors, Oscar Isaac already wrapped

rumors-swirl-sw-oot→ Some iffy details on a possible scene involving Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and a couple of old timers from – where else – the Star Wars 7 News message board.

→ On that note, last night saw a highly unconvincing ‘leak’ of supposed ‘dailies’ from Ireland on Youtube. The video and the account that posted it were gone by morning, but I did watch it last night, and… I’ve literally seen reenactments on old episodes of Unsolved Mysteries that were more convincing. (The ‘narrator’ was no Robert Stack, either.) Some of it may have been filmed in Ireland or someplace that looks like it, but everything else is pretty low-rent. Here are some screenshots, so don’t be fooled if you see it pop up again.

→ This is a few days old, but apparently Oscar Isaac wrapped up his filming on Episode VII last Friday – the same day as Anthony Daniels, at least. (via)

Book review: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe is a fun primer on the franchise

hswctuChris Taylor’s How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, out today, is one of those rare nonfiction books not fully authorized by Lucasfilm. An independent biography of the franchise, it covers from George Lucas’ own upbringing and influences to just post-Disney. Curious? Read the first chapter at Mashable (as well as one on the 501st) right now.

It’s also a pretty great read. I got my copy Saturday, finished it yesterday afternoon, and it flew. Taylor talks to fans and pros alike, highlighting both sides of the (increasingly more narrow) divide. Most of the attention thus far is on the moviemaking portion, where the book’s biggest sound bites come from.

Full disclosure: I was interviewed for and appear in the book, and received a review copy from Basic Books.

Continue reading

This weekend in Episode VII: David Fincher talked to Lucasfilm early on, Boyega working on a cartoon?

David Fincher→ David Fincher’s Star Wars? The director (Fight Club, The Social Network, the upcoming Gone Girl and many more) told Total Film that he did have some discission with Kathy Kennedy about helming Episode VII. Here’s his take on the franchise:

“It’s tricky,” he adds. “My favourite is The Empire Strikes Back. If I said, ‘I want to do something more like that,’ then I’m sure the people paying for it would be like, ‘No! You can’t do that! We want it like the other one with all the creatures!’

“I always thought of Star Wars as the story of two slaves [C-3PO and R2-D2] who go from owner to owner, witnessing their masters’ folly, the ultimate folly of man… I thought it was an interesting idea in the first two, but it’s kind of gone by Return Of The Jedi.”

Probably just as well it didn’t pan out, though it’s fun to imagine the road-not-taken if George Lucas had been looking at up-and-coming directors back in the prequel days.

→ Ryan Leston of Total Geeks was hanging around some Episode VII crew in Wales, where they stayed during the Puzzlewood shoot.

John Boyega was working on a cartoon this weekend. CURIOUS. (Of course, Making Star Wars has a theory, but honestly I feel it could be pretty much anything under the Disney umbrella at this point.)