Today, in sequel trilogy ‘news’ that really isn’t… Oscar Isaac expressed an opinion on what planet he would like Poe Dameron to be from, which some news sites immediately took as fact. Nope! Just wishful thinking on Isaac’s part – really, if it was true, or if his homeworld was actually something that came up in the film, would he just up and tell the AP like that? Logic! It’s a hell of thing.
Isaac was also asked if he was related to Jimmy Smits’ Bail Organa, to which he (rightfully) replied “there’s room in the Galaxy for more than one Latin family.”
And then the Joss Whedon thing has reared up again, because of course it has. Quite frankly, after comments he’s made recent about how exhausting Avengers: Age of Ultron was, I can’t see him signing up for another big franchise movie for a while. And by ‘a while’ I mean ‘not this trilogy.’ Let the guy have a break.
When I heard that J.J. Abrams was at the VES awards last night, I wasn’t expecting much more than the standard boilerplate quotes. But he spoke to Collider on the red carpet, discussing the broadsaber (and the “many contradictory emails” he’s received about it,) IMAX, CGI, and more. Watch the video, or head over to Collider for the most pertinent quotes.
The basics, though: They’re still putting together the first cut of the film, he’ll be executive producing VIII and IX, there will still be “an enormous amount of CG effects,” (duh) and the broadsaber “was not done without a lot of conversation and it’s fun to see people have the conversation that we had, but in reverse.” None of these are huge revelations (we’ve known that only one scene is in IMAX for months,) but considering how little we’ve had out of Abrams overall, this is a bonanza.
Deadline was the first to report that Disney and Lucasfilm have tapped Looper writer-director Rian Johnson to take over from J.J. Abrams on the next two Episodes. The Wrap countered, saying that while Johnson will write and direct Episode VIII, he only write a treatment for IX.
The Hollywood Reporter is also saying that Johnson is in talks. They agree with The Wrap on his IX only being a treatment. Variety’s writeup mentions only VIII.
We don’t consider any news fully confirmed until Lucasfilm weighs in, but four trade reports in such quick succession is a fairly good sign that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Johnson isn’t verified on twitter, but you may consider his last tweet telling.
In addition to Looper, Johnson’s directing credits include Brick, The Brothers Bloom and several episodes of Breaking Bad. Vulture has nice little overview, if you don’t mind some major Breaking Bad spoilers, and there’s also THR on why he’s a good choice for the job. Another must-read is Drew McWeeny’s take on the bigger picture.
Long answer: It’s on StarWars.com, and is reported by media outlets as such. The outlet will either source/link StarWars.com or have quotes from Lucasfilm people using their actual names.
For a recent example of an outlet actually breaking news with Lucasfilm’s blessing, let’s look at IGN’s original report of David Tennant in The Clone Wars. It has extensive quotes from Dave Filoni and a video clip – which was exclusive to them when the story broke. (StarWars.com later posted it as a preview of the episode.) So far, Lucasfilm hasn’t been doing this with Episode VII news – the Arndt item simply appeared on the site – perhaps because they know that everyone is going to write about it anyway. The Tennant news simply isn’t as big, and getting it onto a mainstream outlet gives it an extra boost that will reach casual fans (and people like Doctor Who fans) who aren’t regularly watching The Clone Wars. This is also probably why Del Rey gave Entertainment Weekly that Scoundrels exclusive EU fandom spent a day agonizing over back in March.
Other outlets writing about those stories does not confirm them, either. Words like ‘reports’ and ‘reportedly’ are basically just a journalistic way of saying ‘rumors.’ It might give them a little more weight – I tend to use the word ‘report’ if I think something is just a tad more plausible than things like, say, Vader rising from the dead. But in essence? They mean exactly the same thing: It’s not official yet, just things people or the media are saying. That doesn’t make them fact, no matter how many people run the story.
Because nothing is confirmed until Lucasfilm says it is. Lucasfilm and, now, Disney. Not Major Entertainment News Outlet #47 reporting off Major Entertainment News Outlet #86. And trust me, we are watching.
StarWars.com has released the second video featuring Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas talking about the new Star Wars films, Lucas’ role in them, and what they’re looking for in a director.
There’s some overlap with the first video in the beginning, Kennedy did mention “people she’s worked with in the past,” but didn’t bring up any names. “I think we have a unique opportunity to go after some incredibly talented people,” she says. “It’s not going to be people who don’t already have some affinity for Star Wars probably, it’s gonna be somebody who really appreciates what Star Wars meant to them and is excited to dive in and be a part of this. I think the thing that will be immediately apparent are the directors who walk into the room and say ‘I can’t wait to be a part of this.'”
“I think it’s going to be a pretty long list,” Kennedy concludes.
Tomorrow it’ll be a full week since the biggest Star Wars news since the mid-90’s dropped: Not only Disney buying Lucasfilm, but that they’d be making a new trilogy – the sequel trilogy and perhaps beyond.
And amid all the rumors and fan hopes? There’s not really all that much info that’s actually solid. So in order to help stem at least a little confusion, I’ve created a page to keep track of what we actually know about Episodes VII-IX so far. It’ll be updated as we get further information.