Steven Weintraub of Collider claims to have spoken to people who’ve seen footage of Episode VIII and Rogue One at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas.
Weintraub isn’t sharing any details – all those who actually saw the footage must be under NDA or it would be all over the internet by now. But if this is true, it seems likely it’ll be unveiled publicly at next month’s Celebration Europe. We already know that Rogue One will be featured heavily, but we’re still not quite sure how much to expect from VIII. But note that they’ve already shown more of it than we saw of Rogue One at Celebration Anaheim!
UPDATE: Making Star Wars says the VIII footage is the Skellig Michael stuff linked above, while the Rogue One stuff was photos of the sidekick droid. Apparently Alan Horn did joke that the VIII title is imminent, but given that they’re almost done with filming that seems fairly obvious.
Also out of the Expo came the news that Star Wars and The Force Awakens helped to lift licensed merchandise sales 4.2%.
Talking to Variety, composer John Williams says he has every intention of returning to score his eighth Star Wars film.
“If I can do it, I certainly will. I told Kathy Kennedy I’m happy to do it, but the real reason is, I didn’t want anybody else writing music for Daisy Ridley,” he quips.
Williams also says he has no intention of retiring. His next film, before VIII, will be Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One.
Williams received the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award Thursday night. The ceremony, which features Spielberg, George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, Harrison Ford and more paying tribute, will air on TNT June 15th at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
“In the home stretch,” Episode VIII director Rian Johnson posted, along with an image of a familiar (?) cape, on his Tumblr today. This pairs nicely with one he posted on his Instagram last week, which seems to feature similar rock formations. More of Ach-to?
Director Rian Johnson today confirmed reports that Episode VIII is through filming in Ireland. Mark Hamill also marked the occasion, though more irreverently.
Looks like some enterprising fans have managed to sneak into the sprawling Episode VIII set at Pinewood, and got up close and personal with some of the structures there. (via) A second set of photos has also surfaced, these taken in daylight. (Although they also say it’s a different film studio!)
→ Making Star Wars has a follow-up report to Wednesday’s spoilerific Knights of Ren piece, about another sequence that seems to feature the group. Again, these could very well be big spoilers, so click forewarned.
→ And finally, local sources have reported that the third actor who’s been spotted at the Ireland shoots has rejoined Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley. Recent reports of Carrie Fisher being present are likely false, as the date overlaps with her very public appearance in Cannes.
We’ve been here before. I recognize that tree.
This is not a movie.
At some point during the production of a Star Wars
film, the rumor mill starts churning about possible titles. With The Force Awakens
, the big one was ‘A New Dawn,’
which later ended up being a book title. Pablo Hidalgo later revealed that ‘Shadow of the Empire’
was a working title, but it certainly never leaked as such. And while a fan did guess The Force Awakens on a message board in 2012
, that title never gained much steam elsewhere.
Star Wars title rumors are almost always guesses – and the only one the internet ever got right was the most predictable one: “Revenge of the Sith is the only Internet-era title that got out before its announce,” Hidalgo tweeted this week. “It’s the only one with a final title during production.” Which means even Lucasfilm likely doesn’t have a final title in place for VIII yet. It remains Space Bear.
But if you’re still curious, io9 has a great takedown of this new title rumor, and how clumsy the ‘leak’ really is. (They clearly put some effort in, but it’s extremely clumsy.)
Will we get a title at Celebration Europe? Well, maybe. But we only got The Force Awakens when principal photography wrapped on VII, so if anyone wants to guesstimate that, be my guest.
So don’t be surprised when latest terribly undynamic title can officially take a minor place in fandom history alongside fake titles like Rise of the Empire, The Creeping Fear and Balance of the Force.
And here we have what may be our first serious* Episode VIII spoiler rumor: Making Star Wars on how the Knights of Ren come into the action. Again, these are likely serious spoilers, so if you’re not so inclined, don’t click.
* Reddit never counts.
Oscar Isaac is on the cover of Rolling Stone, and while the article is a straight-up profile, we do learn a few things about The Force Awakens:
All of the funny lines – including one about Poe being unable to hear Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren through his helmet, and the “who talks first” exchange – were added in reshoots, and Isaac improvised some of them. He’s always pushing to complicate and deepen Poe, who started as little more than a charming archetype. “We’re making shit up as we go,” he says.
As for Episode VII:
“In the new film, there’s a lot more to do,” Isaac says. “What happens now is the heroes get tested. All three of them” – Poe, Daisy Ridley’s Rey and John Boyega’s Finn – “get tested immensely.” And how’s BB-8 doing? “BB-8’s doing all right. BB-8 gets tested too! Everybody gets tested! It’s the dark second chapter, but not really dark.”
P.S. The dog’s name is Moby.
Filming at Malin Head has already wrapped, complete with a (obligatory?) Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley pub sightings. Making Star Wars has some pictures, including a very blurry look at Rey in costume.
Meanwhile, Carrie Fisher is Carrie Fishering about in Cannes, where a new documentary about her and mother Debbie Reynolds is debuted.
Today’s big VIII buzz is that director Rian Johnson and several cast members have arrived at at Belfast International Airport in Northern Ireland, where they’re expected to film at Malin Head. (A familiar object is being built there.)
Mark Hamill went all out for the photographers, but his costars were less gregarious. Director Johnson and Daisy Ridley are no surprise, but the fourth person joining them may be, so click at your own risk.
→ Though Malin Head is the only known filming location in Northern Ireland, there are several in Ireland now – SWNN has a map.
→ John Boyega picked up a Chopard Trophy at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, (alongside Bel Powley, who was rumored for a VIII role at one point) and even found time for a couple of interviews. With Variety he discussed Finn and Rey and described VIII as “a different take, darker, bigger” than The Force Awakens. At Vulture, he has nothing but praise for new costar Kelly Marie Tran.
→ Meanwhile, Oscar Isaac and his Poe Dameron haircut are doing publicity for X-Men: Apocalypse. To Collider he says “Poe has a lot of love to give,” while he tells Entertainment Tonight that VII characters will get “tested intensely.”