The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (via) have dug up the first trailer for Return of the Jedi – back when it was still Revenge of the Jedi. It’s so early on it doesn’t even use any footage! Teaser trailers, you’ve come a long way.
The original Star Wars was released on this day in 1977, making both the franchise and the film 39 years old today. Nowadays we call it A New Hope, but it didn’t receive the subtitle until a 1981 re-release.
Return of the Jedi also came out on May 25, in 1983, making it 33 today.
Other Star Wars movie birthdays this month were Attack of the Clones on the 16th (14 years); The Phantom Menace (17 years) and Revenge of the Sith (11 years) on May 19; and The Empire Strikes Back (36 years) on May 21.
Happy real Star Wars Day! Whatever else happens today… Well, we’ll see.
→ The teaser trailer for Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast has broken the record for 24-hour views set by the second teaser for The Force Awakens last year. I’m puzzled (the B&TB trailer is super bland,) but such is the media ecosystem.
Netflix announced today that come September, they will be “the exclusive U.S. pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar.” The date is new, but the deal itself is old news, as is one key fact: The Force Awakens is the last film under Disney’s former deal with Starz, which means it’ll first run on the traditional pay cable channel in the U.S.
Unless you’re in Canada, Rogue One will be the first Star Wars to have first-run on Netflix, alongside Disney’s other 2016 releases, like The Jungle Book (above,) Zootopia, and Captain America: Civil War.
Looks like some enterprising fans have managed to sneak into the sprawling Episode VIII set at Pinewood, and got up close and personal with some of the structures there. (via) A second set of photos has also surfaced, these taken in daylight. (Although they also say it’s a different film studio!)
→ And finally, local sources have reported that the third actor who’s been spotted at the Ireland shoots has rejoined Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley. Recent reports of Carrie Fisher being present are likely false, as the date overlaps with her very public appearance in Cannes.
At some point during the production of a Star Wars film, the rumor mill starts churning about possible titles. With The Force Awakens, the big one was ‘A New Dawn,’ which later ended up being a book title. Pablo Hidalgo later revealed that ‘Shadow of the Empire’ was a working title, but it certainly never leaked as such. And while a fan did guess The Force Awakens on a message board in 2012, that title never gained much steam elsewhere.
Star Wars title rumors are almost always guesses – and the only one the internet ever got right was the most predictable one: “Revenge of the Sith is the only Internet-era title that got out before its announce,” Hidalgo tweeted this week. “It’s the only one with a final title during production.” Which means even Lucasfilm likely doesn’t have a final title in place for VIII yet. It remains Space Bear.
Will we get a title at Celebration Europe? Well, maybe. But we only got The Force Awakens when principal photography wrapped on VII, so if anyone wants to guesstimate that, be my guest.
So don’t be surprised when latest terribly undynamic title can officially take a minor place in fandom history alongside fake titles like Rise of the Empire, The Creeping Fear and Balance of the Force.
Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo went on a tweetstorm this afternoon on the old Expanded Universe, reboots, and the original history of Mon Calamari. It’s not going to change anyone’s mind, but it’s a good read.
Bonus: John Jackson Miller, one of the few authors to write on both the old and new EU, on storytelling in a shared universe.