As part of their annual report on LGBT characters in movies, the anti-defamation group GLAAD is pushing Star Wars to introduce gay and lesbian characters into the films. Per Variety:
“As sci-fi projects have the special opportunity to create unique worlds whose advanced societies can serve as a commentary on our own, the most obvious place where Disney could include LGBT characters is in the upcoming eighth ‘Star Wars’ film,” the report reads. “2015’s ‘The Force Awakens’ has introduced a new and diverse central trio, which allows the creators opportunity to tell fresh stories as they develop their backstory. Recent official novels in the franchise featured lesbian and gay characters that could also be easily written into the stories.”
The introduction of gay and lesbian characters into the canon Star Wars novels has been controversial, but really, what isn’t?
Also at Variety, Brent Lang looks at why major blockbusters like Star Wars and Marvel have been reluctant to add LGBT characters.
The Daily Mail has some images of outdoor sets being built for Episode VIII at Pinewood. The first, which appears near-finished, is very similar to Skellig Michael/Ahch-To. Two others remain mysterious. Also present: The Millennium Falcon. View at your own discretion.
Episode VIII director Rian Johnson highlights the microfiber sham guys in his Tumblr post marking the halfway point of filming.
Rock on, microfiber sham guys.
Lucasfilm senior editor Jennifer Heddle writes about Claudia Gray’s Bloodline on StarWars.com, teasing eight reasons why fans will want to read it. Among them: “Some of the story ideas and elements in this novel came straight from Rian Johnson, director of the forthcoming Episode VIII.”
Bloodline is out in hardcover and eBook on May 3.
Daisy Ridley shows her wushu progress in a video made with the help of stuntman Liang Yang (aka TR-8R, aka FN-2199.) Head over to her Instagram to check it out.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Princes William and Harry filmed cameos during their Episode VIII set visit last week, alongside Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and… Benicio del Toro?
Given this is the Mail, a publication not exactly known for being on the up and up, and that there was no sign of del Toro at the official set visit… Well. We’ll see. The Mail also uses a character name for del Toro that I believe originates from the recent Reddit posts.
There have been two so-called leaks come out at Reddit in the week or so, but neither of them are really worth putting any stock in. The first, from last week, is quite frankly so ridiculous that I’m sure sure why anyone is believing it in the first place. (Well, it’s the internet.) A few things in it ring possible to me (I’ve had similar speculative thoughts regarding the Benicio Del Toro character, for instance) but that means nothing.
The second has since been deleted, but Da7e over at Latino Review has reproduced part of it, and in any case this one has been flat-out denied several times by Pablo Hidalgo. Though note, he’s getting out of the debunking business, which is probably a good call.
But as we well know, however, it pays to be very, very cynical about ‘leaks’ this early in the process. Don’t believe everything you read! Particularly on Reddit.
The U.K.’s Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry visited the set of Episode VIII at Pinewood Studios on Tuesday, meeting director Rian Johnson, stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, and many more. Click on the gallery pics for tweet links and captions.
: The Duke and Prince Harry come face to face with Daisy Ridley’s @starwars head cast @PinewoodStudios
: Next up: a visit to the @starwars costume department @PinewoodStudios
: Prince Harry, Chewbacca and @JohnBoyega compare outfits @PinewoodStudios
: The Duke meets Luke Skywalker @HamillHimself and @starwars director @rianjohnson
: Prince Harry receives some piloting advice from @HamillHimself
There were fairly few revelations, naturally, but we do see Prince Harry in an A-wing, which could be either a red herring (from Rogue One, even?) or actually slated to return in VIII. We don’t get a complete look at the ship, at least not enough for a non-prophead like me to spot any differences. Journalist Rebecca English has a similar pic from a different angle.
And there’s also a video of the princes with BB-8, and another at the Mirror. I also collected more images and video from journalists.
Oscar Isaac spoke briefly to the Los Angeles Times about Episode VIII, comparing the experience to “making an independent film,” and saying that “Rian [Johnson] is definitely going to places and investigating things that haven’t really been done in the ‘Star Wars’ universe.”
In spoiler corner, Making Star Wars has descriptions of Luke Skywalker and Rey’s costumes, while The Movie Bit has pictures of the setup-in-progress at Ceann Sibéal. UPDATE: Artist Natalia Trykowska has drawn the outfits based on MSW’s description.
Ostensibly to celebrate Daisy Ridley’s birthday (she’s 24 today) Mark Hamill shared the picture below, bringing a thousand tongue-in-cheek fan arts to life. Oh, Mark.
In other Daisy news, she won Breakthrough Performance at the MTV Movie Awards last night. The movie also took Best Villain for Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Movie of the Year. The awards air tonight on MTV.