Nonfiction. Star Wars Books has posted some screencaps from the enhanced Making of eBooks, which will be out next week.
Dueling rumors. Jedi News’ Jedi Master SQL says that with John Williams only contracted for movies, J.J. Abrams himself may compose the Rebels theme. But Making Star Wars says it will be Williams doing the theme – and something for at least one other TV show. All-righty then. UPDATE: Michael Giacchino also in the mix?
Podcasting. On that note, Full of Sith’s latest Rumor Control is out, and I’m proud to have joined regulars Bryan Young and Bobby Roberts to chat Rebels (we taped this just hours after the NYCC reveals) and the latest Episode VII news and rumors.
Alumni. Anthony Daniels teased fans about C-3PO appearing in Episode VII, per Business Insider Australia, while Disney themselves teased that the droids would “presumably” return at D23 Expo Japan. Confirmation? Not really, but it’s probably a fairly safe assumption to make.
Gaming. Kotaku has a lengthy write-up/expose on the last days – and games – of LucasArts. There’s plenty on the evolution of the game that was announced as 1313, and what was going on behind-the-scenes after the Disney sale. Interesting stuff – even for a non-gamer.
Star Wars Reads. A number of locations have been added to the StarWars.com list of venues participating on October 5. Ashley Eckstein, Timothy Zahn, Aaron Allston, Martha Wells, John Jackson Miller and many other EU luminaries will be attending events around the country. (Anyone else considering the Ann Arbor stop?)
Lists. John Williams’ theme for Star Wars tops a BBC poll of voter’s favorite soundtracks.
Another year, another Celebration… And now we can rest. For a few weeks, anyway. For those of you who weren’t in Germany, who didn’t wake up before dawn to catch news out of Germany, or who maybe just had other stuff to do this weekend, here are the headlines.
“Real locations and special FX”
Kathleen Kennedy inferred that we’ll be seeing more of a mix of effects – not just the digital stuff, which is pretty much inevitable, but also some more traditional model-based effects and such as well. HitFix’s Drew McWeeny addresses this – and the staggering pressure that Episode VII has to live up to:
I love that much of what I’ve been hearing seems to match what Kennedy is saying. I’ve heard that Lawrence Kasdan is considered by everyone else in the process a pretty great resource, and a really lovely collaborator. And I’ve heard that ILM is building a lot of actual models for this film, that they plan to shoot the models and digitally composite on a much larger scale than the last trilogy. It’s an aesthetic choice, evidently, and I find it very exciting to imagine big ILM model units working to build out the world.
Kennedy knows the gig, she’s clearly taken the time to understand what’s going on with fandom – and I don’t think she’s the only one. This is, as McWeeny said, a fragmented fandom. There are a lot of voices, and the stakes for this movie, for the whole franchise, are high. Will they manage to please everyone? Probably not: There are fans who will love or hate Episode VII no matter what. But I think it’s a good sign that they’re willing to try, and that shows in what little they’re willing to tell us so far. What’s behind closed doors? Hopefully something even better.
Of course this was the big ticket news out of the con, and while I understand being disappointed that we didn’t get more, it’s still rather reassuring to have Williams back on board.
There’s been some confusion about whether he’s back for just one movie – the official site says just Episode VII, but apparently onstage, Kennedy said he was coming back for all three. And maybe that’s the plan, but just not on paper yet. In any case, it’s good news.
We may not have the whole enchilada yet, but Dave Filoni did give fans enough to sate their appetites, it seems. He made it clear that the style is very much based on Ralph McQuarrie, that the stories will be told in order and showed off some concept art… One of which may be Alderaan.
And the Wookiee Gunner points out that we’ve actually been seeing new ship The Ghost all along! Tricky, tricky.
And we have our next convention! In all honesty, I welcome the gap: We could all use a little time and space to save, as much as Lucasfilm will need the time to prepare. Let’s not forget, the Celebrations started as a way to get fans excited about the new movies… And think how much they’ll have to show us a month or so before the thing even comes out!
The venue change isn’t much of a surprise… But I really doubt we’ve seen the last of Orlando. After all, Disney does have two theme parks.
Alas, Celebration announcements always bring a round of disappointment: We all want it close to us, but there are a lot of people to please and no matter where the thing is, some folks aren’t going to be able to come. The convention center may not be as cavernous, the plane tickets may not be as cheap, etc. It’s sad but there’s no pleasing everyone, ever. We all just have to deal, one way or another, and wait to see how the experts surprise us.
But still, I’m hopeful about California and very happy with the return to the original pre-movie schedule. Hell, I might even go to the theme park for once. Might.
And remember, news hounds: Patience. They’re not going to give us everything at once. They’re going to dribble it out slowly, they’re going to deny things, the rumors will keep flying. (All this has happened before… All this will happen again.) It’s our lot to wait it out and see what emerges.
Well, obviously two big bombs got dropped today: The return of composer John Williams is official and we got our first look at the new cartoon, Star Wars Rebels. Kathleen Kennedy also talked about chatting with J.J. Abrams and using “every tool in the toolbox” for Episode VII, implying that we’ll be seeing a mix of CGI and practical effects.
Newswatch! Sunday is by far the lightest day on the schedule, so those of us on this side of the pond may take the opportunity to sleep in, at least a little. There are still plenty of panels, but for our purposes I think we only need to keep an eye on two of them: Mark Hamill at 2:30 p.m. CEST (8:30 a.m. EDT) and the Closing Ceremonies at 4:00 p.m. CEST (10:00 a.m. EDT.) Will we learn the date and location of the next Celebration?
As for the hoped-for Big 3 confirmation… If neither Kennedy or Fisher said anything, I doubt Hamill will, either. Next milestone is in two weeks at Disney’s D23 Expo, and the rumors have already been churning. Patience!
Our big news out of Kathleen Kennedy’s Celebration Europe panel: John Williams has officially signed on to score Episode VII!
At this point, it seems almost certain that John Williams will be returning to compose the soundtrack for Episode VII; He’s said he’s like to do it and director J.J. Abrams think he’ll return. Even longtime Abrams collaborator Michael Giacchino thinks so.
In an interview with Zap2it, the composer said:
“We’ve certainly talked about that, and I’m happy and willing to do it,” he confirms. “J.J. Abrams, who will be the director, seems excited about the idea. I have to say that J.J. is a much younger man than I, but I will try to keep up with him as much as I can!”
I’m not sure that “talked about that” infers that formal negotiations are currently in progress, but it does show that he hasn’t lost interest.
There’s been a lot of speculation that Michael Giacchino, who’s scored all of J.J. Abrams’ films, might step in to replace or collaborate with John Williams on Episode VII. But Williams said earlier this year that he’d like to return, and now Yahoo reports that Giacchino is all for it.
“One of the things that excites me most about ‘Star Wars’ coming back is chance to hear a John Williams score,” he said at a weekend Q&A in Switzerland:
“He has been a great inspiration to me over the years,” he continued. “He has been a great teacher to me and good friend and I would love nothing more than to hear more of his music from that universe.”
“If it were up to me I would say ‘John, you must do it.’”
In addition to Abrams’ films (and Star Tours: The Adventures Continue,) Giacchino has scored several films for Disney and Pixar. He was nominated for an Oscar for Ratatouille in 2008 and won in 2010 for Up. Williams, of course, has 5 Oscars, including one for the original Star War score.
Music. John Williams is perhaps one of the biggest question marks for the sequel trilogy, but at a recent concert he made some optimistic remarks, according a reader at the John Williams Fan Network. “I need to make sure I’m still ready to go in a few years for what I hope would be continued work with George,” he said on February 9. (via)
Opinion. Wired’s Laura Hudson writes about Leia and Hollywood’s woman problem, adding another voice to those of hoping for a female lead for Episode VII. Meanwhile, Tricia Barr looks at the male-centric wishlists for the spin-off films.
Ric Olie, is that you? Showbiz 411 is taking the Han Solo rumors fairly optimistically, and that Fisher and Hamill are sure to return as well, but the films will be about their kids. To which 99% of the internet says: Well, duh.