Michelle MacLaren may be in the mix to direct Anthology #2

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Today was a good day for Anthology rumors. First up, apparently director Michelle MacLaren took a meeting on the second spin-off. MacLaren was most recently in the news for departing the Wonder Woman film, but her directing credits include episodes of Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad.

As for Rogue One, JoBlo has a few bullet points, most of which we’ve already been told or can guess at, but consider it a double-down on a few things.

Star Wars virtual reality is coming


Lucasfilm and ILM today announced that they’ve formed the ILM Experience Lab (ILMxLab) to create “immersive content” – aka virtual reality and such. Coming one day to a theme park or gaming console near you, probably!

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If that doesn’t do it for you, there’s also a new George Lucas interview.

First (official) look at The Force Awakens toys: I hope you like stormtroopers!

Hasbro Black Series 6" stormtrooper (SDCC exclusive)

Entertainment Weekly has our first official look at The Force Awakens toys, but they’re all stormtrooper-themed, so it feels a little underwhelming. (One of them, Hasbro’s Black Series 6″ stormtrooper above, has already shown up on eBay – and as it’s the SDCC exclusive, expect it to show up again.) Wake me up when we get the details on that remote-controlled BB-8.

Christopher Lee passes away at age 93

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Veteran actor Christopher Lee, who counted Star Wars’ Count Dooku among his hundreds of film roles, died Sunday in London.

In the ’50s and ’60s, he was best known for his work in the Hammer Horror films, where he famously played Count Dracula, often alongside another actor who eventually showed up in Star Wars, Peter Cushing. In the ’70s, he upped his profile with pivotal roles in The Wicker Man and The Man with the Golden Gun.

(My personal introduction to Lee was 1982’s The Last Unicorn, where he voiced the villain, King Haggard.)

In the early 2000s, he gained a whole new audience in two of the decades biggest franchises, playing Dooku in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and the wizard Saruman in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptions. He also appeared in several Tim Burton films.

Films aside, Lee led a intriguing life: He served as an intelligence officer during and just after World War II, where his duties involved hunting down Nazi war criminals. (In an infamous bit from the Lord of the Rings extras, he tells Peter Jackson how it sounds when a man is stabbed in the back.)

He also released several heavy metal concept albums, the last in 2013.

Below the cut, a handful of tweets. Continue reading

Primordial Reptile Regulatory Committee: Best #StarWars, #TheForceAwakens and #SWEU tweets for May 29-June 10

@sternbergh: We jeered when STAR WARS became all about trade routes but I'd watch a film about the regulatory agency that allowed Jurassic Park to reopen

Since last time, we found out we’re going to SDCC (well, The Force Awakens is, clear your Friday) and the Star Wars comic dropped a crazy tidbit into a core character’s past that no one saw coming, though maybe we should have. Also! Homemade BB-8s! Pee jokes! All the usual bullshit!

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The Force Awakens is going to SDCC

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There will be a Hall H panel for The Force Awakens at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 10, StarWars.com revealed today. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and “special guests” will be present.

There are several other panels, including two for Star Wars publishing. (Del Rey will be at ‘Part 2,’ Friday at 11 a.m.)

Could Star Wars return to Skellig Michael?

rumors-skellWill we see the Skellig Michael location in Episode VIII? The Irish Times says a production team visited the island recently. At least two actors were present for the Episode VII filming there last July, and if one believes the plot rumors it seems likely that the location could reoccur. (Or there’s always Rogue One, I suppose.)

Meanwhile, Jedi News is saying that The Force Awakens also filmed in Scotland, though not with actors.

→ Also appearing in the latest issue of Interview magazine (Domhnall Gleeson is one of the cover models) is Billie Lourd, who denies that she’s playing Leia’s daughter, not that that was ever rumored, but hey, it’s not like we get a ton of denials these days.

How does one pronounce ‘Joruus C’baoth,’ anyway?

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On the latest Full of Sith, Bryan Young caught up with Timothy Zahn at Origins this weekend, and got him to pronounce some of the names from his Star Wars books.

It’s not too long an episode, for various reasons – Our condolences go out to co-host Mike Pilot and family for the loss of their dog last week.

The Force Awakens novelization now has a hardcover release date

tfa-novelWe already know that Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens novelization will out first in eBook on the same the day movie comes out – December 18 – but we now have an exact date for the hardcover version: January 5. (via)

→ Some slight cosmetic changes to Threepio for The Force Awakens, if a Mexican soda can is to be believed. (Honestly, I wouldn’t place any bets on this one – it looks more like a coloring error than anything else, but stranger things, etc.) Also on MSW, The Force Awakens LEGO set names don’t really shed much light on anything.

→ Both Adam Driver and Domhnall Gleeson had some things to say about Star Wars recently.