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.
And yes, you can buy the Rebels logo t-shirt online.
StarWars.com also live-blogged the Carrie Fisher event, and highlighted some fan stories. They also shared a video from yesterday with Warwick Davis, Doug Chiang and Iain McCaig.
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!
That was it as far as announcements go from Kennedy’s panel this morning. StarWars.com liveblogged it, and I’ve collected the tweets on Storify.
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.
“He was there long before I was,” Abrams said at a Star Trek Into Darkness press conference in Berlin. The remark comes at 8:12 into the video. (via)
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.
Not a whole lot of love for genre pictures at the Oscars this year. The Avengers got just one nomination, for Visual Effects, where it was joined by online punching-bag Prometheus. Both of them will probably lose to Life of Pi.
The good news is that some fan-favorite actors scored big. Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for Best Actress — not for The Hunger Games, but rather for her work in Silver Linings Playbook. She plays a woman suffering from a variety of mental illnesses so who knows, maybe she’ll even win. And though The Dark Knight Rises was shut out, Anne Hathaway got a Supporting Actress nod for playing Fantine in Les Misérables, and she’s pretty much a lock. Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, was also nominated for Les Misérables, but let’s face it, he has no chance.
The Hobbit got three nominations, for Visual Effects, Makeup, and Production Design. Not bad until you remember that the last Middle-earth epic nabbed eleven nominations, and won all of ’em.
Plus we have to mention: John Williams picked up his 48th nomination for Lincoln. Pretty sure that’s a record. And weirdly enough, the Simpsons are now Oscar nominees. Something called Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare” is up for Best Animated Short.
At least we can always look forward to making fun of the fashions. This year the Academy Awards air on February 24th.
Edit: Thanks to Pablo for pointing out that new Lucasfilm head honcho Kathleen Kennedy (along with Steven Spielberg) was nominated for producing Lincoln! It’s the front-runner for Best Picture, too.
There was no love – or at least, no awards – for The Clone Wars at Saturday’s Annie Awards. However, ILM’s Rango did take home several prizes, including best animated feature, while composer John Williams won for his Tintin score. ILM’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon took best animated effects.
The Clone Wars had 5 total nominations, including Best General Audience Animated TV Production (The Simpsons won) and editing. The individual achievement categories singled out Joel Aron for animated effects and voice actors Dee Bradley Baker and Nika Futterman.