The 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.
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.]
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!
Bob Iger signs on to Disney through 2018. He’s been CEO since 2005, and is the guy behind the Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm acquisitions. Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy has occasionally come up as a wild card to succeed him.
Tour the Singapore sandcrawler. The Architectural Review snootily proclaims that the geekier details “trivialise an immensely elegant building,” but you can’t please everyone, I guess. At least the pictures are nice.
Disney is selling a lot of lightsabers. 10 million a year, in various forms from keychains to the expensive collectibles. We can also expect to start seeing Rebels products in August.
Tony To joins Lucasfilm as head of production and development. A former executive VP of production at Walt Disney Studios, he’ll report to Kathleen Kennedy and oversee “all live-action and animation production.” For our purposes on the ground, perhaps the most interesting part of the Variety story is this: Lucasfilm has “several TV projects in various stages of development on its slate.” Curious…
There’s a new front page on StarWars.com – it’s not a super dramatic redesign, but it is certainly a refresh.
“We have 10 years of work ahead,” said Industrial Light & Magic president and general manager Lynwen Brennan as the company takes over a former Pixar facility in Vancouver. As much as one-third of the work on Episode VII will be done there. In addition to the various new Star Wars films, they’ll also be working on Warcraft and Jurassic World.
Marvel Comics met with Lucasfilm for the first time last week, Bleeding Cool reports. They’re apparently looking at “a couple of monthly series.” I expect the comic folks will have an easier time figuring out their writer hints than I will.
Lucasfilm officially opened their new ‘Sandcrawler’ building in Singapore this week (complete with some delightful photos) but for our purposes perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of this are Kathleen Kennedy’s comments on how the spin-off films will interact with the sequel trilogy, from the Straits Times, via Toys Revil.
“George was so clear as to how that works. The canon that he created was the Star Wars saga. Right now, [Episode VII] falls within that canon. The spin-off movies, or we may come up with some other way to call those films, they exist within that vast universe that he created,” she says.
“There is no attempt being made to carry characters (from the standalone films) in and out of the saga episodes. Consequently, from the creative standpoint, it’s a roadmap that George made pretty clear,” she adds.
We’re all pretty clear on ‘canon’ in this context, so the real meat here seems to be that the characters anchoring the spin-off films won’t be in the “Episodes.” The question: Does she mean just the new Episodes, or the Episodes that are already in the bag? The rumor mill has pegged characters such as Boba Fett, Han Solo, and Yoda as contenders, but Lucasfilm and Disney themselves have said nothing beyond that the spin-offs would be “origin stories.”
I’m inclined to think she means only the new films – which would probably clear folks like Fett and Yoda – but it’s certainly open for interpretation. And a formal name for the spin-offs would be nice as well. Star Wars Origins? (via)
Would you like the chance to win a trip to meet The Maker and Luke Skywalker? There’s an interesting contest afoot that lets you buy chances to do just that!
For $10 an entry (which get less expensive the more entries you buy), you could win a trip for you and a friend to Skywalker Ranch on February 21st. (Cancel all plans.) There you get a tour of the Ranch with the ranch manager and get to meet George Lucas! Then you get whisked away to meet Mark Hamill at Nerdist HQ in Los Angeles. (That date is, apparently, more flexible, but they’re currently wanting you to do it the next day.)
All entries go to benefit Make-A-Wish. So even if you don’t win ::sob::, your money is going to a great cause.
There are perks to just entering. At various levels, you get everything from an e-card from Mark Hamill thanking you for entering to a t-shirt to a signed lightsaber and beyond!
What are you waiting for? This is actually a big event you can win without having to bid tens of thousands at an auction. How often does that opportunity come around?