I believe this is the same Yoda Patrick Stewart met? Below the cut, singing, eavesdropping and some other stuff.
We already knew there would be no dedicated Episode VII panel at San Diego Comic Con, but it is something of a surprise that Disney won’t be featuring any other upcoming films – aside from Marvel, which has their own panel and is expected to drop plenty of news. But Disney has several other upcoming films, like Big Hero Six, Tomorrowland, and Pixar’s Inside Out… And it’s not like they have a D23 this year.
They’re not the only ones sitting it out either – also absent is Lionsgate, who has The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 coming out in January. Is SDCC just not worth the trouble for studios anymore, or are they simply ceding this ground to the superheroes?
What does this mean for us? Well, not much. Some folks were hoping that StarWars.com saying Episode VII wouldn’t be ‘featured’ wouldn’t rule out a few moments at a general Disney film panel. I still think it’s a bit much to expect a bombshell like the title – hell, at this point, they could save that for Celebration – but something like a second video set report, perhaps something celebrating the results of A Force For Change? Of course, we just got word that deadline has moved back, so that’s not quite as feasible as it would have been a week ago. (Now? I’d be surprised if that doesn’t happen pre-SDCC, for a final bit of publicity push… But LFL does as LFL does, and we can only guess and hope… Hope, not expect.)
In any case, when in comes to Star Wars, Disney (and presumably Lionsgate) know they don’t need a con to whip their fandoms up into a frenzy… Who needs Hall H when you have the internet? Let Marvel (and Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman) have this one.
The final A Force for Change deadline has moved back to July 25. It was originally the 18th.
Today, Latino Review’s Da7e Gonzales claims that there’s indeed a struggle behind the scenes to push Episode VII back to May 2016, with JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy on one side and Disney’s Bob Iger on the other. (As we’ve heard before – but from LR, so.) Their bargaining tool? Harrison Ford’s leg, which I think has more press than rest of the cast combined at this point.
Of course we know Lucasfilm is still sticking to December 18, 2015 – but then, they would be. That is the release date – at the moment, anyway.
There are a thousand other considerations when a huge corporation like Disney is involved, but from the fan end, would any of us really object to May, if it comes to pass? I’d certainly prefer it, but the movie’s release date was never going to be my hill to die on.
In any case, this paragraph in particular makes the upmost sense to me:
The franchise and it’s spinoff films will likely be big no matter what, but the value of owning Star Wars is owning the bottomless well of potential money and that means plugging into nostalgia. Star Wars as a franchise can’t pull a Rise/Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and drastically change tones, Star Wars can’t reboot. Star Wars is continuous. Kathleen Kennedy cannot have an Episode VII that botches the handoff between Star Was and Star Is.
Star Wars may not really need to be ‘fixed’ after the prequels – I’m not even a big prequel fan and I think it’s silly to say the franchise was ‘broken’ by them – but there is a perception issue in the mainstream. The mainstream thought the prequels were bad. We can argue about whether that’s been softening until the cows come home, but the fact remains that the perception is there and it’s still plenty powerful. It still, to this day, colors how many people see Star Wars.
Kennedy needs to usher Star Wars into something that can last for Disney. She knows they can’t afford to stick the landing by releasing a rushed, subpar Episode VII with the future of the franchise hanging in the balance.
Episode VII will make Disney millions, maybe billons, not matter when it’s released or how good (or bad) it is. No matter what movie it opens against. But if Star Wars is going to last beyond a third trilogy, it’s going to need some careful cultivation. There are a whole lot of people to convince, and most of them aren’t those of us who follow every drip and drabble of news, or who know that just using the terms ‘bad’ and ‘prequels’ in the same sentence will lead to a tedious debate in certain company. Lucasfilm and Disney both need the mainstream, and they need to convince them that Star Wars is, and can be, ‘good’ again.
Of course, this story of an internal struggle and using an old man’s innocent leg as a bargaining chip is only a rumor, and none of this may pan out in any way; You know the drill. And even if it is true, plenty of great films have come from crazier turmoil than this. We simply won’t know until the movie actually comes out – whenever that ends up being.
UPDATE: Pajiba, per IMAX, says that Abrams has three IMAX cameras for Episode VII – only four working ones exist, with the fourth being used for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. More to the point, they claim Episode VII will be post-converted to 3D for both regular and IMAX screenings.
Last week had parties, pictures, and a blonde Carrie Fisher, for some reason.
Rumor: Is Episode VII filming in Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean? The news crew seems convinced, but in all fairness, it could be any number of things – and Star Wars is far from the only big production filming in the U.K. that could make use of a fairy-tale forest, wigs and practice swords.
Kevin Smith talks more about his Episode VII set visit. He got to see the Millennium Falcon.
StarWars.com interrupts this holiday weekend to bring us… “Thomas” and “Rachel.” For real, this time: Pip Andersen and Crystal Clarke have won the coveted open call parts.
The update also contains some brief production information, including a two-week hiatus coming in August. Meanwhile, Harrison Ford is “doing well and is looking forward to returning to the set soon” as shooting – and the release date – remain “on track.”