“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?
While we are eagerly awaiting news of how the bonus content for The Clone Wars will take shape, the show picked up nominations for the 41st Annie Awards, given out for the best in animation. Announced by ASIFA-Hollywood, nominations for The Clone Wars included two individual achievement categories: Keith Kellogg for Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production and Jason W.A. Tucker for Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production. The nominations were released today, and the award winners will be announced in February.
Our frequent interviewee Michael Price, writer of the LEGO Star Wars specials earned a nomination for Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production for his work on The Simpsons. Juried awards have already been announced, including the Winsor McCay Awards to Steven Spielberg and Phil Tippett.
ILM also continued its streak of Annie award nominations, with four nominations, three of them in a single category of Animated Effects in a Live Action Production (two different teams for Star Trek Into Darkness and one for Pacific Rim). Another Pacific Rim ILM team got a nomination for Character Animation in a Live Action Production.
In a matter of hours, it’ll be a full year since the Lucasfilm sale to Disney was announced. We still don’t know that much about Episode VII – most of the confirmed information still fits on one page at StarWars.com – but we can be confident that they’re working on it, at least.
In the meantime… With a year to digest, what are your thoughts? Are you (still?) excited for the future of Lucasfilm and Star Wars?
Jedi News has snagged an image from the European Brand Licensing Show that reveals a few things about Lucasfilm and Disney’s marketing plans going forward.
First off, in spring/summer 2014, there’s ‘Classic LEGO Games Mobile” release, which speaks for itself, and “Darth Vader Themed TV Specials.” With Rebels is named separately and no LEGO, what form could these take? This is, quite literally, the first we’ve heard.
In autumn/winter 2014, there’s mention of a “Digital Library Launch.” Given the context here, I don’t believe this is anything to do with the books – which are already available digitally anyway – but to the release of the films themselves in a digital format (Apple TV, perhaps?) And I really doubt they’ll come alone – this could be a venue for The Clone Wars, other cartoons (Ewoks, Droids, Clone Wars 2D) and various specials from over the years – From Star Wars to Jedi, maybe, or even the Holiday Special. And even if it’s only the movies themselves, a digital release is long overdue.
And finally, there’s a reiteration of spring/summer 2015 for Episode VII. Shocking.
UPDATE: And here’s the rumor part of the equation from Jedi Master SQL.
Gaming. Kotaku has a lengthy write-up/expose on the last days – and games – of LucasArts. There’s plenty on the evolution of the game that was announced as 1313, and what was going on behind-the-scenes after the Disney sale. Interesting stuff – even for a non-gamer.
Star Wars Reads. A number of locations have been added to the StarWars.com list of venues participating on October 5. Ashley Eckstein, Timothy Zahn, Aaron Allston, Martha Wells, John Jackson Miller and many other EU luminaries will be attending events around the country. (Anyone else considering the Ann Arbor stop?)
Lists. John Williams’ theme for Star Wars tops a BBC poll of voter’s favorite soundtracks.
Release date hijinks. Bryan Young at Big Shiny Robot – with an assist from Variety – writes on why Episode VII probably isn’t getting pushed back to December. And Jeremy Conrad at Furious Fanboys points out that the shooting schedule for Episode VII actually mirrors the one from Star Trek Into Darkness.
And, for the record, there’s another possible date change rumor from Jedi News.
The blogside. Over at Fangirl, there’s a interesting piece on speculation and how having too much knowledge of the franchise puts fan bloggers in a precarious position. Personally, although I do and will continue to report rumors, I’ve been staying away from outright speculation – mostly because it just annoys me, honestly. I don’t mind spoilers, but as an EU and fanfic fan I’ve read more than enough half-baked versions of our favorite characters – and while I have no plans to go spoiler-free (none at all) I am willing to wait and judge on the finished product. Let’s not forget that it isn’t always the basic ingredients that make something succeed or fail – it’s the execution. And that we won’t see in full until the movie is in theaters.
Lucasfilm. Oh look, it’s the fairy musical again.
Actors. The Hollywood Reporter concern-trolls Harrison Ford. Harrison Ford does what he wants, damnit. And they also found a few Sith who’d be up for a return – Ray Park and David Prowse. Somehow I doubt a dude who can’t even get a Celebration invite is going to get a movie part, though.
Steve Sansweet reveals the Revenge of the Sith title via t-shirt at SDCC ’04.
For those of us who remember the prequel era, perhaps the most puzzling part of fan speculation about Episode VII reveals has been the assumption that a title would be offered this early in the process. Mike Ryan at The Huffington Post has a nice look at Star Wars title announcements – and wonder no more why none of us veterans* are expecting to see a full title before mid-2014.
* I use the term loosely. Look how shitty this post is. I didn’t even use the title. Bad baby blogger.
A few more pieces emerged yesterday about fan expectations in the wake of D23. Germain Lussier at Slashfilm points out in his (occasionally eye-roll worthy) piece on the backlash, part of the issue is that the landscape of movie announcements has changed drastically over the years. Most pointedly, Marvel is giving fans their titles, characters and other tidbits long before they begin filming. On the other hand, Scott Mendelson thinks that Marvel and others actually reveal far too much about their films before they’re out. And even Harrison Ford has spoken out on the trend, saying that if Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark came out today they “would be no fun at all.”
We’re in a holding period for Episode VII right now. We have some varied answers from folks at the top, but with the notoriously secretive J.J. Abrams at the helm we can probably safely predict they won’t be nearly as forthcoming as the Marvel folks. And maybe that’s a good thing. (Or are they just driving us on?) It’s a whole new landscape, and even Lucasfilm is still figuring it out. So again: patience.